Activision CEO Bobby Kotick's outspokenness is legendary. Last year, the cash-flush executive became a lightning rod for game-industry frustration when he declared that his company had taken "all the fun out of making video games." He also didn't win any friends at Nintendo, Microsoft, or (especially) Sony when he declared that Activision's ultimate goal was to bypass consoles altogether with game/peripheral hybrids.
"I think DJ Hero is a really innovative product," said Kotick. "I can't wait for you to see next year's." Though it was in the February issue, it was unclear if his comments were made in 2010 or 2009. Like most magazines, the GameStop-owned publication releases the following month's issue during the current month--in this case, January.
DJ Hero's return is somewhat surprising, given its disappointing performance in an oversaturated rhythm game market. Activision and developer FreeStyleGames had high hopes for the original, enlisting such top acts as Daft Punk, Cut Chemist, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Grandmaster Flash, and the late DJ AM to mash up nearly 100 hip-hop, pop, dance, and techno songs. However, the game sold only 175,000 copies during its first month in release in the US, thanks in part to its steep $120 price tag. During its second month at retail, it sold only 123,000 units--a far cry from the $2 billion bar set by its sibling franchise, Guitar Hero.
That said, DJ Hero's sales haven't deterred Kotick's enthusiasm for the property. "We're sticking with it," he declared. "We'll stick with it and get it right." He also obliquely addressed Activision's flooding of the rhythm genre: "It's going to be less games, better games. That's our strategy."