Activision drops 10 titles from lineup

Publisher delivers quarterly numbers; says revenues dropped 31 percent. Ceases development on all platforms of Trinity, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder 2, Street Hoops sequel.

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Today, after the financial markets closed in New York, Activision reported its fiscal second-quarter results. The bullet points are as follows: Compared to last year's second quarter, revenue decreased by 31 percent; the company reported a net loss for the quarter of $10.1 million, compared with last year's income of $9.1 million; and revenue for the quarter fell to $117.5 million, from $169 million a year ago. Activision attributed the results to the quarter's "significantly smaller release schedule."

Activision's second quarter ended September 30.

The company said it would take a one-time, pretax charge of $23 million in the third quarter--this is due to it's slashing of 10 products from its current release calendar. The titles affected are Trinity, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder 2, and Street Hoops 2.

In a statement that accompanied the news, Activision president Ron Doornink said the company was taking steps to adapt to the new, high-stakes game of console, computer, and handheld game development. "The video game market is increasingly dominated by high-quality products based on recognizable franchises supported with big marketing programs. We have decided to take steps to align our business with the continuing evolution of the video game market."

For the most recently reported six-month period, Activision's software library had been divided among the major hardware platforms as follows: Console games made up 72 percent of its output, handheld games made up 5 percent of all titles brought to market, and games for the PC marketplace made up 23 percent.

As to why the company canceled so many products, Doornink said, "Specifically, we have canceled the development of 10 games, which we believe are unlikely to produce an acceptable level of return on our investment. This will enable us to focus and increase our development and marketing resources on those franchises with the greatest potential. We believe that this realignment will enhance our position to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the growing mass-market."

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