Anyone would think this was goddamn Formula 1 at the moment…
Activision CEO and professional munchkin Bobby Kotick has charged Sony with reducing the premium entry fee of their console or face the worlds largest third-party publisher removing support for the format.
Reasons cited include the heightened development costs vs. return of investment when compared to the über-popular shovelware casual platform that is the Wii or the Xbox 360 (with its user-friendly & speedy development tools that also allow easier porting to the Windows platform).
Speaking to The Times, Mr. Kotick criticises the PS3’s awkward development platform, high cost of entry (although nearly 23 million+ sales say differently) and a potential slowdown in sales as reasons why his company might be forced to pull out of the platform, focusing solely on the Wii360 market.
“They have to cut the price, because if they don’t, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony.
When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP too.”
Of course, as his interests are solely in his companies bottom line, which is heavily bolstered largely by the casual favourite that is Guitar Hero (and it’s spin-offs), MMO World of WarCraft & the Modern Warfare (née Call of Duty) franchise, its obvious his goal is to drive more sales with as little feasible outlay as possible.
What the guy doesn’t seem too have grasped is that whilst Sony may lose the support of the largest 3rd-party publisher in town, it still has a plethora of strong support (including EA & Ubisoft). Does that mean that Activision are willing to cut out an entire chunk of it’s potential market? The figures say yes (Guitar Hero is generating obscene amounts of money with no real developments costs past licensing new songs and diversifying the brand every so often), but in these economic times, it’s hard to say what happens.
The Wii could, in theory, die a death any day now, especially since it’s no-longer the cheapest package (thanks to agressive 360 price-cuts) and parallel development isn’t really possible due to specification and interface differences. Project Natal could doom the 360 by fracturing the community. In either case, the PS3 (with it’s promised extended lifecycle) could just pick up the pieces.