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Activision: We’re innovating, honest!

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Activision has been accused of killing innovation in games, and pumping out rehashes of the same games every year. It’s what killed Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk – though it doesn’t seem to be doing a damned thing to stop each annual Call of Duty from topping the sales charts.

Activision Publishing’s CEO Eric Hirschberg says that claim is nonsense.

"It’s simply a fallacy to say that we’re not innovating, or that we’re not attempting to bring new IP and new ideas to the industry," Hirshberg said in an interview with Gamasutra. "What we are doing is making those choices very carefully, and focusing on areas where we think we have something unique to contribute, and a real competitive advantage."

Hirshberg also said the entire industry’s need to innovate is now greater now than ever – as a result of a change in gamers’ behaviour.

"Gamers are voluntarily spending more and more time with the games that they love, and that by nature drives you to innovate within those franchises, as opposed to maybe the behavior we saw a few years ago, where people grazed more, and sampled things from many different categories, and moved on," he said.

He called out Skylanders (which I wholeheartedly agree with), Call of Duty Elite, the new project with former Halo studio Bungie and -ha! – incremental innovations in Modern Warfare 3 as examples of this innovation.

"[Innovation is] a hard creative assignment, staying true to the things that people love about a franchise while also figuring out new ways to make it fresh that don’t ruin what people loved about it in the first place," he said. "There are very few places on our slate where I don’t see innovation."

Ladies and gentlemen, the floor is yours.

Last Updated: February 15, 2012

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