For those gamers that resent the giant publisher tradition of sequels, licensed franchises and movie tie-ins, avert your eyes now. Activision?s plans for the next fiscal year are almost entirely devoid of fresh innovation. However, as one of the most profitable publishers on the planet, the company clearly understands what makes for a lucrative business strategy.
Having canned the only original IP on the roster ? Dead Rush, there is a distinct tone of familiarity to every other proposed title. Although specific dates haven?t been confirmed, each of these titles is expected to be ready for retail before the end of the next fiscal year i.e. March 2006.
The Neversoft team are working on another Tony Hawk?s game, unsurprising considering that each title always sells extremely well, and the rights agreement extends to the year 2017. However, the precise details of this are still open to interpretation. THUG 2 has been confirmed for PSP, and there has also been talk of a THUG 3: so it could be either or both of these. What is certain is that there will be plenty more Tony Hawk titles all over the place for the foreseeable future.
Neversoft are also working on a totally new title which might be based on something other than an existing game, comic or movie. However, because Doornink has described it only as ?the biggest game of next year? we can?t yet congratulate the company on its adoption of original thinking.
It is easy to criticise Activision for its overtly commercial approach, but to be fair, casting an eye down this schedule reveals plenty of titles that ought to be of an enjoyably high standard. Go on, have a look and join us in surpressing those cynical urges?
New Tony Hawk?s title
New ?very big? Neversoft title
True Crime 2
Call Of Duty 2
Spiderman 2 (NDS)
Spiderman 3 (more likely a Marvel franchise than a movie tie-in, given that the film isn?t due till 2007)
Marvel?s Fantastic Four
Marvel?s Iron Man
Activision Anthology (PSP)
Lionhead?s The Movies (which isn?t a movie tie-in? gasp!)