News Article

Activison Anticipating Rough End To 2013, Wii U Partly Responsible

Posted by Damien McFerran

Playing the blame game?

Super-publisher Activision has posted better than predicted financial results for the first quarter of the year, but CEO Bobby Kotick has stated that he expects the latter part of 2013 to be less fruitful — and the poor commercial performance of the Wii U is partially to blame.

Net revenues were $1.32 billion during the quarter that ended March 31, which represents a 13 percent increase over the same period last year. There was also a year-on-year jump in net income from $384 million to $456 million — that's a 13.75 percent rise.

However, Kotick was cautious about the future, and has warned that the back-end of 2013 will hold less positive figures. The fact that the Wii U is struggling to sell units was just one of the reasons he gave — World of Warcraft is shedding subscribers, next-generation consoles are generating uncertainty in the marketplace and Activision is set to face increased competition in key sectors — most notably from the forthcoming Disney Infinity, which will be going head-to-head with Skylanders: Swap Force this holiday season.

[via polygon.com]

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User Comments (77)

MadAdam81

#3

MadAdam81 said:

People are finally starting to kick their habit of World of Warcrack and finding good games that don't cost a fortune. Plus they have done a bunch of games that have stunk. The fact that they didn't sell as much on the Wii U as they hoped is partly due to the lower Wii U sales than anticipated and part to do with the fact that they haven't had anything on Wii U that a lot of people have felt the need to buy.

SilverArrow

#4

SilverArrow said:

Yes, let's all blame the Wii U because you want to put out the same game with a few changes. I know Nintendo does this with New Super Mario Bros. but the only time where their releases collided was when the 3DS XL and Wii U came out. And that was due to bad timing. Plus, there's only one New Super Mario Bros. for every handheld and console while you're making the same game for the same systems.

Nintenjoe64

#7

Nintenjoe64 said:

I didn't think they were blaming Wii U, they said that it had been a disappointing launch and it made them cautious about the PS4 and 720 especially given the current climate. They were probably delighted with getting any sales of walking dead at all. Even Black Ops 2 isn't the graveyard it was on launch day (unsurprisingly)

Einherjar

#8

Einherjar said:

I simply love it when devs expect sales out of thin air and then blame the console itself...you know, YOU have to make a game or two at the end of the day, so that WE can buy it to give YOU the money, you got that, right ? Because nearly every dev nowadays dont sea to understand that principle.

GiftedGimp

#9

GiftedGimp said:

Headlined to direct traffic, Activision had a bad year, but as the article say numerous factors atributed to why.
Tbh Activition blops2 didn't sell well mainly because most people already had it on other systems, alot of whome already invested in the season pass and then those on the fence waiting to see if dlc would come didn't get a reason buy it.
Activision thought blops2 would be thier big earner on WiiU, it wasn't and other games like the technically poor Spiderman game just didn't warrant purchase due to being old games with no improvment over other the versions. (spiderman screen tearing for example).
They also excluded Australia for most releases.
In short thier Issues with WiiU have been brought on by themselves.
Same as thier reliance on WoW, and when ever theres a new console generation started, all games sales drop, as people are trying to decide wether its worth buying games on a more stricter bases, especially this time around with the rumoured no backward compatability on Kinectbox and the cloud only backward compatability on ps4.

redd214

#10

redd214 said:

Seriously people, he didn't just blame the wii u, that was just one of the reasons he listed. Stop getting so bent out of shape. Why have Nintendo fans become so sensitive lately?

MrGawain

#11

MrGawain said:

Seeing how many 3 for 2 Skylanders giants figures are out there, I think it's easy to figure out where a big chunk of their profit went.

MAB

#12

MAB said:

Activision should go back... Way back and remake some of these great games ;)
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Otto-Soq

#18

Otto-Soq said:

The headline is wrong spelled, NL!....My favoured Activision game is: Pitfall- The Lost Expedition.

The-Chosen-one

#19

The-Chosen-one said:

i wont be buying any new console from launch anymore, for the new xbox 720, and the new ps, i'll just wait for a year maybe 2 years, when it gets cheaper.
Games like watchdogs, splintercell, i will buy for my wiiU, with all the options u can do with splintercell with the touchscreen controller.

8thGenConsoles

#20

8thGenConsoles said:

Yeah, put the blame on Wii U even though it's your fault and your fault alone Activision. When was the last time they made a game worth playing and worth talking about?? Don't worry I'll wait...

Activision reminds me of EA sometimes and that's NOT a good thing. Become less like EA and more like Ubisoft and you'll see profits.

XCWarrior

#21

XCWarrior said:

You mean Activision going years without trying new IPs is finally starting to catch up to them? About time. COD had to start falling apart from its mountain status eventually. Eventually people get tired of paying $60 a year + DLC for map packs. And Skylanders is way out of control. And well WOW should have started falling off the map a long time ago. MMOs with a monthly subscriber base is OVER. It's just OVER.

Try to get creative Activision. Or better yet, get N or get out.

ajcismo

#22

ajcismo said:

Who are these companies going to blame when the PS/720 isn't selling either because of its $500 tag?

Haxonberik

#25

Haxonberik said:

Ok, he is right, and at least mentioned that things are not as sure for the next gen consoles as all that PS4 hyped people suggest.

Haxonberik

#26

Haxonberik said:

Ok, he is right, and at least mentioned that things are not as sure for the next gen consoles as all that PS4 hyped people suggest.

steamhare

#27

steamhare said:

This seems pretty fair. New markets are scary, and he seems to think all the next gen consoles are risky business, too.

rjejr

#28

rjejr said:

Disney Infinity and Skylanders Swap Force will be head-to-head like a steamroller battling a banana. The store shelves are filled w/ Skylanders, people have had enough, but the kids -and many adults- willall be clamouring for Capt. Jack Sparrow et al. Even if they should have named it Pixar Infinity instead.

GameLord08

#30

GameLord08 said:

GoNintendo wrote:

What are the reasons behind Activision's nervousness?

Here's what Kotick listed.

  • drop in World of Warcraft users
  • poor performance of the Wii U
  • uncertainty surrounding next-generation
    consoles
  • increased competition

The Wii U isn't the only thing Activision is blaming,
but it's clear that they were expecting more out of
the platform by now.

Nobody's playing "the blame game"; the Wii U has been disappointing for a lot of us thus far, and it's only worse for developers right now. It's not like they're saying the Wii U is destined for hell and fire. They were just reasonably expecting more out of the its sales performance, especially with its launch - weren't we all?

I swear, a lot of fans here can be irrationally sensitive at times.

Buzzthebatgirl

#31

Buzzthebatgirl said:

Bull!

Bobby blames Wii U owners that don't want to buy ports of old FPSs on their new console. Sorry buddy - get out and come back when you make proper games!

Banker-Style

#32

Banker-Style said:

We if Activision actually bothered to release a decent selection of games for Wii U,then they probably would have had a bigger rise in profits.

JuleyJules

#33

JuleyJules said:

So this time it's Wii U that's partly responsible. What's next? if PS4/720 don't have great launches he'll blame them instead of the lack of games people wanted? Of course it couldn't have to do with Activision itself or the changing market.

Chunky_Droid

#35

Chunky_Droid said:

Like the more rational people here, it's only one factor.

However, the fact they're not selling any of their Wii U games in Australia except Skylanders and Call of Duty is alarming to say the least.

ultraraichu

#37

ultraraichu said:

That's a fun way to brag and pass the bomb all in one go. Do great now and if something happens later on, you know who to blame.

digga

#39

digga said:

i couldnt give a poopy if no activision games came to wii u,, activision is doodoo, ubisoft makes better games by far and we have ubisoft on board ,,, and we will be gettin top notch nintendo games soon,, oh fast and the furios showdown this month WOW activision that game looks amazing ,,,NOT,,, its not wii u fault its ure own

digga

#40

digga said:

if they made good games we would buy them,m but truth is there games are crap

GiftedGimp

#41

GiftedGimp said:

Its not what activision are saying thatscthe problem, they are saying numerous reasons why, they as I and others said they have brought it on themselves.
However Media sites (inc nl) have made sure the headline is WiiU hate enough to keep the sites traffic up.

Captain_Toad

#43

Captain_Toad said:

Oh no our sales are failing sir! What do we do?
Oh I know, Let's point fingers at this guy!
Yeah I feel better already!

Unca_LzStaff

#44

Unca_Lz said:

@GiftedGimp Oh that couldn't be because...I dunno...this is a Nintendo news site? They mention the Wii U, so it's news here.

Blizzaga

#45

Blizzaga said:

"Activision is set to face increased competition in key sectors — most notably from the forthcoming Disney Infinity, which will be going head-to-head with Skylanders: Swap Force this holiday season."

Competition is a bad thing now?

bunnyking

#47

bunnyking said:

How do you blame the Wii U when it's the economy? It's like jumping in a pool and blaming your swimsuit for getting wet.

Should of used another Swimsuit Activision.

Jayvir

#48

Jayvir said:

"Our stuff isn't selling, so clearly can't be because we are putting goods stale games out all over the place. Let's just blame the console that no one wants to put a game on!"

Seriously, put the time to get one decent game on the system and more will sell. Games sell systems people!!

bunnyking

#49

bunnyking said:

@GameLord08 I think it's unreasonable to not state the obvious and pass the buck.

It's the economy 1st. If we were rolling in dough right now more people would be buying more stuff. But the case is everyone is on a budget except the guys that stole everybodies money, and I don't think they play video games.

astroshamu

#50

astroshamu said:

Activision doesnt make a lot of good games anyways, everyone in my group of friends arent getting the next COD

Mizzah_Tee

#54

Mizzah_Tee said:

@manu0 LOL me too. I was like "how does that work?" But Activision should blame themselves for not offering enough incentive to pick up the Wii U version of COD. Instead we get no DLC...

GameLord08

#55

GameLord08 said:

@bunnyking: Aye, that's exactly the point. They're not exactly projecting the blame on either Nintendo or the Wii U; everyone's aware that the economy isn't at its most favourable, even less so for the games market.

At most, I can see them just pointing out how much that's been affecting the Wii U in particular (even more so with Nintendo's marketing issues), which sucks because they're invested in the console.

Nobody's pointing fingers. It's a mere observation. But as usual...

Tony_342

#56

Tony_342 said:

I find this somewhat ironic. If anything is going to have a much better second half of 2013 compared to how it performed in the first half - it's Wii U.

tanookisuit

#57

tanookisuit said:

Yeah like we could take Kotick's word on much of anything with his existing track record of rehashed junk, squashing developers and their heads, and pounding WoW so far into the ground people are running to better experiences that aren't MONTHLY FEE based like Guild Wars 2. Cap that off with a poor economy too being honest about it instead. Sure, blame Nintendo, they've always been a great scapegoat for peoples own personal failures at their job. Do what EA did, fire the problem up top and reorganize.

nik1470

#59

nik1470 said:

Picked up MH3U today in my local game store and the girl behind the counter said it's really popular and a lot of people are buying the console with it so maybe its just your games activison!

TheXboxHero

#60

TheXboxHero said:

Hey Kotick, here is a thought. If you give us interesting games that ps3 and xbox will have too and not shovelware and and a black ops game, then your profits will go UP UP UP! ._.

dereq

#62

dereq said:

@MadAussieBloke So true. I loved the homage to Pitfall! in Bit.Trip.Runner. I remember enjoying quite a few of their Atari games, especially River Raid!!..If I'm not mistaken, Activision was the first console 3rd party ever.

Trikeboy

#65

Trikeboy said:

Maybe they should take a look at their latest releases before they blame others. Skylanders essentially asks parents to buy their kids the game then buy all the toys to put them in the game. Not many parents would be happy to do that. The same will be the result for the upcoming Disney game.

element187

#70

element187 said:

Black Ops2 actually sold decent on Wii U (some 300k copies) which isn't bad for a system with 3 million owners. Thats a 10% attach rate. So they must be talking about Skylanders.

So its Nintendo's fault that kids are no longer interested in Skylanders?

I dunno activison, maybe you need to find a new way to milk parents.

Traxx

#71

Traxx said:

If there were more players online playing Blops2 and if there were DLC I wouldn't regret for a second buying and playing that said game. Don't no why there so much hate towards it.

Pierceton

#73

Pierceton said:

@TheRealOtto haha my bad I just glanced at it I was just messin with you in the first place no hard feelings! So what's it like in the Nederlands?

P-Gamer-C

#77

P-Gamer-C said:

How ever u feel about the game if call of duty doesent sell on your platform its a nail in the coffin

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