Following today's earnings announcement from Activison, CEO Ron Doornink took part in a conference call with analysts. Apparently unsatisfied with announcing an impressive release schedule for Activison's fiscal year 2005 (April 2004 to March 2005), he revealed a massive slate of titles for the following 12 months.
For fiscal year 2006 (April 2005 to March 2006), Doornink said Activision will release "sequels to True Crime, Call of Duty, Spider-Man, Tony Hawk, Shrek, and Quake." Doornink did not mention what platforms these sequels would appear on, sparking speculation that the titles could be released on next-generation consoles. However, Doornik only obliquely mentioned that Activision will be "committed at launch to next-generation consoles."
(The majority opinion among analysts is that Microsoft will release the next Xbox in late 2005, with Sony's successor to the PlayStation 2 hitting the market in early 2006.)
While the Spider-Man sequel was already well known, Activision's early announcement of new installments in its highest-profile franchises almost sounded like a challenge. Indeed, Doornink repeatedly said throughout the call that Activison was positioning itself to challenge "competitor A." Toward the end of the call, one analyst asked him who this "competitor A" was. After a hearty laugh followed by a pregnant pause, Doornink said simply, "EA."
In addition to its formidable assortment of sequels, Activision will have several new titles in its fiscal-year-2006 arsenal. Games based on the comic-book-inspired Fantastic Four and Iron Man films are planned, as is a tie-in with DreamWorks' computer-animated film Madagascar. All three films are scheduled for release in 2005.