'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.

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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.
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."

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