June 20, 2009

Activision Hints That It Might Cut Out On Sony PS3

Chief Executive of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, said in a published report that due to soaring costs and meager sales, they might stop designing video games for Sony's PlayStation3.

Kotick complained in an interview with the Times of London that the price of $399 for a PS3 is too high for its waning popularity, leaving them wondering if its worth it to support the console.

Kotick was quoted as saying: "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better."

Kotick said that in 2010 and 2011, Activision would likely reconsider their support of the console and the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as well.

Activision, the largest U.S. video game developer, was disinclined to comment any further on the issue.

Nintendo's Wii is the most popular console right now, which costs $250, while the cheapest version of Microsoft's Xbox goes for $200.

According the research group, NPD, approximately 290,000 Wii units were sold in the United States in May alone, as opposed to the Xbox that sold 175,000 and the PS3 that sold 131,000.

Game publishers are known to often criticize the pricing of consoles, but Kotick's intimations carried a punch. 

"It's a little shot across the bow.... Was there a message there to Sony? Quite possibly," said MKM Partners analysts Eric Handler.

"It is more difficult to develop for the PS3 and it costs a little more.... The PS3 install base isn't what they thought it would be and the machine is too expensive," he added.

Sony Computer Entertainment America emailed a statement reading; "we enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience."


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