'Fallacy to say that we're not innovating' - Activision

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says Skylanders, Call of Duty: Elite, Bungie project, and "incremental" updates in Call of Duty games evidence that company is trying new things.

Activision does not believe its games lack innovation. In a new interview with Gamasutra, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said the company's endeavors are replete with examples of innovation.

Hirshberg believes Activision is full of innovation.

"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. "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 noted that the need to innovate--for Activision and others--is greater now than ever, due to what the executive called a change in behavior for gamers.

"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.

Specific examples Hirshberg called out as areas of innovation for Activision during the past year were the releases of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and the subscription service Call of Duty: Elite, as well as "incremental innovations" in Modern Warfare 3 and the ongoing mystery project at Bungie.

"[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."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

328 comments
another_drew
another_drew

I want this douche to name one single innovation they fell they have brought. CoD: Elite? How in the hell is that innovative? Online stat tracking and file sharing have been around for yeearrs. Incremental innovations in MW3? In what effing way? Seriously I wish I knew some way of contacting these people directly. I just...I mean.....Just look at........sigh..... you just can't argue with stupidity effectively.

Ironfist66
Ironfist66

George Costanza once said" It's not a lie if you believe it"

jayrocks111
jayrocks111

I can't believe I wasted around 60$ on cod elite. If I could I would get my money back because its not worth paying 60$ for something I never use.

megafitch
megafitch

Its people like Hirshberg who have made me turn my back on first person shooters, online play and even as far as to say - make me lose interest in my xbox 360 - this is now why I deal exclusively in playing my 3DS - I would take Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 7 over 20million Call of Duty titles anyday.

neudog79
neudog79

Innovative? First off the technology in Skylanders seems similiar to that which was in the Hyperscan console. Also Activision shows their greed when they reinvigorate a sad business model started with Pokemon. How is a game innovative if it forces the consumer to buy pieces of plastic at a 100% mark-up. How about giving us a game in which GAMERS have an equal oppurtunity to experience all aspects of the game within a reasonable price. Oh wait, that is right it is a business and at the end of the day it is about profits and not the experience. Skylanders = Hyperscan + Pokemon.....REAL INNOVATION!

Jonwh18
Jonwh18

too bad it customer is always right lol. If we say its not innovative then its not innovative. ACTIVISON = MONEY WHORE

HenryVem
HenryVem

Thank you Hirshberg, Kotick and Activision, for COMPLETELY DESTROYING the gaming industry. After CoD 4, there are many games that have been drastically dumbed down, replayability has been reduced, and graphics are really the only thing that matters. To name a few:Crysis 2 ( bad corridor shooter), Dragon Age 2, Command and Conquer series, Battlefield series (although I like BF3). Also see what happened to adventure games like Myst. The gaming industry is destroyed because, sadly, Call of Duty attracted kids in the age 10-16, and they SUCK in any other game, except for CoD, therefore they won't buy anything else. Once the game starts to be slightly challenging for these kids, they rage, sell the game and tells their friends the game sucks. I speak of experience here. These are the same people that are calling Battlefield 3 "too realistic" and those that complain about Skyrim being boring. Hirshberg and Activision should be ASHAMED of themselves for even THINKING about telling us they're innovative. I hope Activison implodes and does not get a burial, the same could go to EA and Ubisoft. However, I would like to give a big applause to companies like Bethesda, CD Projekt, Bohemia Interactive and Paradox Interactive and Blizzard (with the exception of WoW) for making QUALITY games with GOOD gameplay and replay value and for TRYING SOMETHING NEW. Sincerely a 15 year old boy, proud of not buying a single CoD game since CoD 3.

Digital_DJ_00
Digital_DJ_00

How much did Bobby Kotick pay him to say this? "as well as incremental innovations" How about SUBSTANTIAL innovations??? Activision hasn't funded anything innovative since Call of Duty 4, which it's success has been taken advantage of for 5 years now...

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Mr. Hirshberg is creating an innovative fallacy by saying it's a fallacy to say that their innovation is a fallacy. How innovative. And fallacious.

dxdevilex0
dxdevilex0

Translations:Yes,of course we innovate.We innovate by making news ways to decrease production costs and manpower by copy & paste and increase games and DLCs prices.

Sweendrix
Sweendrix

I think you guys should regress back to the gameplay found in Black Ops. That game was epic. MW3 was poor in comparison.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

Its official Activision is peeing on its Consumer base and telling them its raining......

Krucification
Krucification

I'm a major COD Fanboy, and even I believe this is crap. Bungie came out with Stat-tracking way before IW was pissing them themselves because their top developers left! MW3 isn't innovative, it's a (I stress this) half finished fixed version of Modern Warfare 2. I love it, but that doesn't mean it's a good game. There's a reason why many of the major commentators out there are getting excited for COD: Iron Wolf, only 3 and a half months after this crap was released.

soul_resonance
soul_resonance

Elite is not innovative, it's Halo Waypoint with a subscription fee. They're taking old ideas, butchering them, and calling them innovative. "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..." Translation- COD is popular so we're gonna make another one. Even COD fans don't want just another COD, give us something new. If they're so inclined to keep crapping out COD games, maybe they could try one that focuses on a a lengthy, and exciting campaign, and then add a map pack for the already established MW3 multiplayer. 343 did it with Halo CE, the campaign was why you bought the game, and the map pack just built on the already great Reach multiplayer.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Well there are very few places on your slate where I DO see innovation Mr Hirshberg. CoD Elite is NOT innovation. It's another way for you to squeeze every last dime out of a franchise before it implodes on itself. And Spyro.... we can't ignore the huge innovation in a chart-topping Spyro game can we? This guy and EA CEO John Riccitello ARE the fundamental flaws in the gaming industry and they poison it with their antiquated ideas and money grubbing tactics like subscriptions and online passes. I can already see how Mass Effect 3 has been EA-ified just by the demo on XBL.

ExplosiveChorro
ExplosiveChorro

Confirmed by Activi$ion, crapping in a box and calling it MW3 is innovation!

cephas90
cephas90

Lol, Activision. "Ok guys, I think we've discovered something radical, something mind-boggling, game changing (lol pun) and absolutely incredible to present to our audience. I give you... CoD 4.7, now PAY TO PLAY! WHAT DO YOU THINK? AMIRITE?!" Go light yourself on fire and die activision, you ruined WoW for me, you are an evil evil company and I will never buy your games.

DemonChorro
DemonChorro

FREE WEEKEND OF MW3 ON STEAM OMFG I AM GOING TO TROLL SO HARD

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Hahaha. I just came in here to laugh. (Though Skylanders is an interesting concept, it's too much of a money grab with those expensive statuettes for my taste.)

adventurer360
adventurer360

Maybe in some aspects, but cod has not had any "real" innovation!

Shame-usBlackley
Shame-usBlackley

I could list Activision's release schedule for the next three years and be pretty damn accurate (at least 80 percent) without it being formally announced. Innovating my white ass. I don't see why they're so bothered with the truth -- they're milking those gold ores until they run dry, and when they do, they'll buy a new gold mine that someone else discovered. Is it lame and commercialized from a gamer's perspective? Oh, hell yes. Is it sensible from a business standpoint? Absolutely.

Morphine_OD
Morphine_OD

Yeah, full of innovation of how many money could be dumped into marketing of a stale product

brunorr
brunorr

As long as people are buying why should they innovate? Blame on the gamers. To think I never bought one single COD game makes me proud nowadays.

dav2693
dav2693

@Skylar123 Congratulation, You have been milked by activision. Moooooooooooooo.

dav2693
dav2693

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

scatterbrain007
scatterbrain007

"Hirshberg believes Activision is full of innovation." I know what else they're full of.

skylar123
skylar123

Wow it is sure is fun hating on Activision, isn't it? I'm tired of seeing the same old crap. Go back to playing whatever game you are playing and stop wasting time bickering about Activision. Everyone already knows your point of view already, there's no reason to keep complaining when the whole internet knows it. Innovations are completely new ideas, right? Spyro Skylanders sounds innovative to me, the same goes for Call of Duty Elite. Every game company has a huge franchise that gets tons of sequels, look at Sonic, Mario, Assassin's Creed, and the Need for Speed series. Yet they get treated like royalty compared to Activision. Recent Sonic games play just like some of the older ones, the same for Mario, Assassin's Creed, and NFS. I see this as a double standard because people are jealous of CoD's success. If they are able to change things up to make it fresh each year, then it shouldn't be a problem, right? When the games stop selling good they will start making different changes to it (like Call of Duty 4's drastic departure from WW2). Plus, the online multiplayer is fun, same for the single player. I find the series very enjoyable. As long as they fix bugs, glitches, and add in new features then I don't see a problem if it is released yearly. I can look forward to a new story, new multiplayer modes, etc. It's much easier making a sequel that plays like the original game rather than making it totally different. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

febreez123
febreez123

Eric Hirshberg you are such a troll.

Jex9
Jex9

You, sir, are a fallacy! Oh and you're not innovating.

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

The "innovation" of Call of Duty: Take references from other movies, go from point A to point B and shoot alot of people.

3N4C3R
3N4C3R

Skylanders is a start. He should have moved on to mention that Dead Space and Mass Effect were new Intellectual Properties at the time and that Bungie has a new one cooking. This article did nothing but piss me off. He considers CoD Elite (A subscription model for sequels) innovation? He also listed CoD as innovation?! Holy crap what is wrong with this guy?

monco59
monco59

It is true that Activision innovates. When it comes to milking the consumer for everything he/she has, Activision`s ingenuity and innovative ideas are without equal.

Daian
Daian

I hope he realizes how full of crap he is, either that or he's borderline retarded.

boomshot-fodder
boomshot-fodder

"What we are doing is making those choices very carefully, and focusing on areas where we can make MOAR MONEY!!!" - Eric Hirshberg.

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

When I read the title, I clicked only to say... STOP PAYING ATTENTION GUYS.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Skylanders I'll half agree with.. Call of Duty Elite however was about as innovative as a dead rabbit. It's a money making scheme and that is all. As for the bungie project we'll wait and see. I'm wishing for good things anyway! :)

nyran125
nyran125

i just played Call Of Duty 4....that was innovation...i then played Modern Warfare 3 and it lacked innovation but it was overblown with too much garbage. It took a great formula of COD4 and just pumped it full of bling and now the game is boring. I hope CS:GO doesnt put A and B logos on my screen to tell me where to go, that drives me insane in Modern Warfare.

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

From article: "...focusing on areas where we think we have something unique to contribute, and a real competitive advantage." Yeah,mind controlling millions of people every year to spend money on ANOTHER FPS with very few advancements is definitely something unique. Summary of FPS=Pick gun. Run through crumbled battlefield. Shoot guys with red tags over heads. Repeat. Another thing,that Spyro game actually does look pretty fun,and it's a neat idea.But it's still pure evil. Rope the kiddies in with the fun toys and the game,but in order to get into all the areas of the game,you must buy more 8 dollar action figures. Most diabolical.The only thing Activision knows how to innovate with is harvesting living beings for their money.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Holy Hannah! Hirshberg's really coming out with some cracking jokes this week. CIA brainwashing couldn't convince me that Elite is an innovation.

Wavory
Wavory

Activision Blizard are the only companies which have yet to inovate in the new cwntury.

AfrosRockMan
AfrosRockMan

Gotta love corporate idiots that show their intellect (or lack there of) when they open their big mouths. Also... Is it just me, or is Activision filled with execs who have faces that make you want to punch them?

sexyweapons
sexyweapons

@nousername66 agreed,but as long as people keep buying they wont stop

nousername66
nousername66

They are innovating...they're releasing 20 map packs this year instead of only 10.

Raxyman
Raxyman

@Ladiesman17 Again, you used the word gamers while that wasn't what you meant... I OWN all of these you mentioned, and Vampire Masquerade is one of my favourites. But you know the problem? It's trendy being a "gamer" nowadays, but these idiots who want to call themselves a gamer don't have the patience to even play a RPG, so they all play these 5 hour CoD, sports games and, oh, Angry Birds.... I'm not saying a gamer never plays those, i'm saying that those are supported like they were the best game ever by a mass of idiots, who aren't gamers, but are @#$%&$# everyone who IS one. Since they're the majority, we're thrown to the side, with few games to please our tastes. I liked the old Activision, but they saw that appealing to that mass they'll profit way more than to the (few) true gamers.

Boomer76
Boomer76

hahahaha When did activision-blizzard innovate on anything these last few years ?

RBwd
RBwd

the innovation with cod is to add an elite package that adds nothing to the game and costs the gamer the same price as the game itself which equals double the income for money grabbing activision

xainish
xainish

 @HenryVem bethsda's game suck ass and so do blizzards. youre really gonna defend blizz after diablo 3? their idea of replay value is loop hunting the same content that was bad in the beginning. bethesda has used the same horrible formula for everything since morrowind only made a bad formula ever worse. most of paradox games are 6's at best, thought perhaps they have more innovation than the others. i dont know anything about cd projekt or bohemia so i'll leave them alone. if you want real innovation, you have to go to steam's $10 list. world of goo, trine, amnesia and super meat boy are among those sorts of games. skyrim WAS boring! and a huge POS never i'd never even play a modern COD, i think i played cod2 back in the day maybe.