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Activision Won't Launch An EA Access-Style Program Anytime Soon

Executive Eric Hirshberg says Activision is always considering its options, but won't pursue such a program until the business model is proven.

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Don't expect Call of Duty and Skylanders company Activision Publishing to launch its own version of the subscription-based EA Access program anytime soon, management for the company said today. Responding to a question during a post-earnings financial call today about whether or not the company might launch such an initiative, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg outlined his company's plans.

"As you know, we have a very focused strategy as a company, and we tend to focus our resources and our people on the biggest and best creative and commercial opportunities," Hirshberg said. "And right now, I think we have our strongest slate ever and we're broadening that slate, so we have a lot to focus on and a lot to make sure we get right in the coming months to keep our tentpole franchises driving and establishing new ones as well. And we think everything we're working on has huge potential."

Activision Publishing's tentpole franchises are Call of Duty and Skylanders, with Destiny situated as the company's next major franchise. The company expects the Bungie-developed game to join those two as the company's third billion-dollar series.

Hirshberg made it clear that Activision is constantly examining the current business landscape for ways to better serve players (and shareholders), but he said the company--at least for now--will instead focus on its mantra of doing a few things and doing those things well.

"So of course we're always looking at new opportunities to better serve our players and our communities; and we're always evaluating new business models," Hirshberg said. "And once those models are proven, we'll pursue them if we think it makes sense for our players and for our business. But right now we're continuing to focus on the things we discussed on our call, which include a wide range of business and monetization models, all of which will deliver we think the best experience for our fans and a great return for our shareholders."

Battlefield and Mass Effect publisher Electronic Arts announced EA Access last week. For $5/month or $30/year, you receive unlimited access to The Vault, a collection of EA games, the first of which are Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4. You also get a 10% discount on digital EA games and content, as well as access to upcoming games five days before everyone else. The service is currently in beta on Xbox One, with a wider release scheduled for this month. Sony said no to the service for PlayStation 4 because the company thought it did not represent a good value for PlayStation fans.

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