Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has revealed why the newly-merged company chose to drop many of the projects in production at Vivendi, and it doesn’t have much to do with artistic integrity.

All but five games in development at Vivendi and its subsidiary, Sierra Entertainment, were dropped following a post-merger review of the properties acquired by Activision Blizzard in the Vivendi merger: Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Ice Age, Prototype and one unannounced title. As a result, a number of relatively high-profile titles including Ghostbusters, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, Brutal Legend and Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena found themselves without a home. Some of the cuts were a bit mystifying, but according to Kotick, the reason they didn’t fit into Activision’s master plan can be summed up in one simple word: Sequels.

“[The dropped games] don’t have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million dollar franchises,” he said in Activision Blizzard’s earnings call yesterday. “I think, generally, our strategy has been to focus… on the products that have those attributes and characteristics, the products that we know [that] if we release them today, we’ll be working on them 10 years from now.”

Kotick noted that while original IP development still figures into Activision’s plans, only a small percentage of successful game releases over the past several years have been original titles. “You still need to have production of new original property but you have to do it very selectively,” he said. “The focus at retail and for the consumer is to continue to be on the big narrow and deep high profile release strategy… We’ve had enough experience that I think the strategy we employ is the most successful.”

He added that Activision Blizzard has 15 titles set for release next year over “more than 70 SKUs,” among which will be “three, maybe four exciting new intellectual properties.”

via: MTV Multiplayer

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