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Despite of the fact that the forthcoming next-generation video game systems from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are based on microprocessors and graphics adapters derived from PCs, the game development costs are projected to rise again with their arrival, believes Activision Blizzard, a major publisher. In a bid to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the next-gen PlayStation and Xbox, investments have to be made.

“In every single console transition we have seen an increase in development costs. Over long periods of time it gets smoothed out, I would say this is not a transition where that is going to be an exception. We are going to have to figure out how to take advantage of the unique capabilities of new hardware, and that requires new skills and investment in tools and technology and engines and so yes, [increase in development costs] is likely,” said Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

The head of one of the world’s largest video game publishes did not reveal which unique capabilities of the new game consoles will require major investments. Moreover, the executive did not reveal whether the increased development costs will affect final prices of video games.

Quite unsurprisingly, but just like many maker observers, the management of Activision Blizzard was disappointed with slow launch of Nintendo Wii U. Activision launched record four titles for Wii U, including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Skylanders Giants, Transformers Prime and Wipeout 3, on November 18, and prepped three more for release shortly, including Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013, Rapala Pro Bass Fishing and 007 Legends. Quite naturally, Activision Blizzard could barely be satisfied with three million consoles shipped so far. Moreover, with slow Wii U launch, the game publisher is unsure what console will be used by children in the coming years.

“We were somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U, and I think it is a challenging environment this year. One of the things we are concerned about is what the installed base of hardware will be like for 6- to 11-year-olds,” said Mr. Kotick.

Tags: Activision Blizzard, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Wii U, Xbox, Xbox Next, Playstation, Orbis, Durango, Loop

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 02/10/13 04:49:57 AM
Latest comment: 02/12/13 02:48:25 AM
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1. 
what? consoles are closer to pc hardware than ever and this is a problem?
How come?
2 1 [Posted by: nitro912gr  | Date: 02/10/13 04:49:57 AM]
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Must be their way to justify milking gamers with countless DLCs and Season Passes. Since PS4/720 will use x86 CPUs and GCN GPU from AMD, all they'd need to do for the first 2-3 years is just port PC games directly to the consoles. Later they could just port PC games with lower settings.

These publishers are just complaining that they won't be able to rehash the same COD game engine for 6 years in a row but they'll actually have to a create a brand new DX11 game engine on which to base their games on. All this time they rehashed similar art assets and didn't spend much $ on next generation graphics/game engine effects. Mind you Activision/Blizzard just posted amazing revenues/profits for 2012. Kotick just wants to spend as little as possible and charge as much as possible for sequels!
2 0 [Posted by: BestJinjo  | Date: 02/10/13 03:51:41 PM]
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2. 
why would it be more expensive??.... if all goes as rummored, PS4 and XBOX Next, will run in a AMD core and similiar gpu... The wii will appears to run in a XBOX360 like CPU with better graphics.

There you have 3 platforms with very similar architecture PS4, XBOX, and PC. Just the Wii left outside but with nothing new about it.
2 0 [Posted by: techguymex  | Date: 02/10/13 05:13:05 AM]
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3. 
WiiU is dead in the water.. whoever buys a WiiU may as well just toss their money in a trash can!
0 0 [Posted by: vid_ghost  | Date: 02/11/13 09:09:01 PM]
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4. 
This is what happens when a small subset of gamers and developers catering to those obsessing over how much their ingame wood grain look like real life instead of how to make a game FUN.

Just think about it, when was the last time a game failed because it didn't have good enough graphics as compared to every other reason?
0 0 [Posted by: Randomguy  | Date: 02/12/13 02:48:25 AM]
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