Home / News / Games News / Activision "May Have to Stop Supporting Sony"

Activision "May Have to Stop Supporting Sony"


Activision "May Have to Stop Supporting Sony"

There's a general agreement that Sony needs to drop the price of the PS3, but when consumers are still willing to purchase the consume at its current price such whining doesn't carry that much weight. When you're Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, however, and you suggest Sony should consider adjusting its pricing it might be time for someone to sit up and pay attention.

Speaking to The Times, Kotick explained: "I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform." The issue, says says Kotick is that: "It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation."

According to Kotick, a price drop would, as well as improving console sales and, as a result, games sales by dint of there being more possible buyers, up attach rates - the number of titles purchased by each console owner. "They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony," says Kotick. "When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP too."

While I've certainly never found the price paid for a console factor in deciding whether to buy games for it, I agree that a price drop can't really hurt Sony's bottom line. Considering the nearly £2 billion the PS3 has cost Sony, it doesn't really make much sense to harm worry about losing more money on the hardware - at least from where I'm standing.

Sony's gaming division profit henceforth is going to come from developers, like Activision, which incidentally Kotick says handed over some $500 million in royalties to Sony last year. Surely keeping its developers happy should be a priority for Sony, even if appeasing consumers with a much-demanded price-drop isn't a concern?

Sony has responded to Kotick by saying, well, nothing really. According to a statement: "We enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience."

We probably shouldn't expect Sony to change its "no price-drop" stance any time soon, then.


The Times.


June 22, 2009, 5:32 pm

Is there somewhere that lists the number of units sold of the consoles, because I had thought that the PS3 had actually caught up quite a lot on the xbox 360 on sales, so im wondering where the comment on the PS3 losing momentum has come from, is it actually backed up with fact?

Saying that, im an xbox 360 owner who would be intersted in getting a PS3 if they did drop the price a bit so I hope they do!


June 22, 2009, 5:50 pm

Intresting logic there: Sony has already lost so much money on the PS3 (and still loses money with each one sold, by the way) it might as well lose a bit more! What would make more sense is for Sony to also offer a PS3 in a slimline version without the Blu-ray player so consumers have a choice, especially those who already have a Blu-ray player. And then drop the price of course!


June 22, 2009, 5:55 pm

The logic isn't "Sony should lose a bit more" but rather "look at the big picture." When you know a console is going to lose money anyway (because aside from the Wii, no console ever makes money on hardware) so it makes sense to try and make as much money as possible on software and accessories - and a price drop on the console would mean more sales there. I bet at least part of any price drop would be countered by the profit on second controller purchases, for example.


June 22, 2009, 5:57 pm

@ Ripsnorter

If it had no Blu-Ray player you wouldn't be able to play any games on it, as they're on Blu-Ray discs.


June 22, 2009, 6:22 pm

for me at least the price of the console defintely impacts on the number of games i initially buy. i bought my xbox with 3 top games and that was still less than a ps3. over time it wouldn't make a differnce though.

i'm sure there are loads of 360 ownres like me who'd love a ps3 but are in no rush and waiting for the price drop.


June 22, 2009, 6:43 pm

worldwide console sales



last week


ps3= 110,000

David 27

June 22, 2009, 6:49 pm

Activision cant be doing that bad if they had to make a $500million royalty payment to Sony


June 22, 2009, 8:25 pm

Hugo wrote:

We probably shouldn't expect Sony to change its "no price-drop" stance any time soon, then.

If you were going to drop your price, you wouldn't announce it in advance, would you? That would just put off sales which might otherwise come in sooner at the higher price. "No price drop" may be Sony's official stance, but I'd be amazed if they don't drop the price by the end of 2009.


June 22, 2009, 9:36 pm

@SJ. Sony uses the PS3 to push the Blu-ray format but, as far as I'm aware so please correct me, many, if not most of the games don't make full use of the disc's greater capacity and so could fit on standard DVDs. I have a very good DVD player at present and am not really interested in Blu-ray until the prices of the discs come down to a sensible level (here in Germany, at any rate). If the PS3 were a nice, slim, games-only device then I would be interested. Provided the price were lower, of course. I read somewhere recently that Sony has said they have found ways to manufacture it more cheaply, but I doubt that will be passed onto consumers.


June 22, 2009, 11:24 pm

Removing the BluRay drive from the PS3 has <1% chance of happening. First of all, it would be a PR nightmare beyond imagination (breaking compatibility with existing PS3 games + Sony accepting defeat on BluRay); secondly it would require ALL PS3 games to be re-manufactured onto DVD... creating mass expense and consumer confusion; thirdly it would piss off every developer who actually uses the space on BluRay.


June 23, 2009, 12:58 am

Expensive? Really, Mr. Kotick? That extra cash is easily worth the unlimited online gaming and customer support &#8211 something that I otherwise I´d have to fork out a load for. Maybe his only problem is that the developers are not making the extra buck from PSN content. Part of the Xbox LIVE subscription fee goes into paying for bandwidth, whereas Sony provide their content for free making developers pay for their own bandwidth. Seems fair to me. If you expect gamers to buy your products and extra content, why not pay for the distribution of the demos yourself? I know money is wonderful, but sometimes you got to spend it to make it.

Microsoft have definitely done a good job in keeping the developers happy. Sony may still be stuck in last generation in terms of game developer´s politics, but they are still focused on the main element of the industry, the gamers.

So, Mr. Activision. If you do decide to pack your bags and leave let me remind you that you are doing damage to yourself. You will be shunning an entire community of hardcore gamers and media/tech buffs. The gamers have already seen what the PlayStation 3 is capable of and for any developer or publisher that decides to threaten to abandon a console only to raise revenue in their software is a sign of corporate money-mongering. Game development is a form of art &#8211 it should be done for passion and not for the quick buck.


June 23, 2009, 2:04 am

@David - Activision would pay royalties out of their revenue not the profit they make. They may even be a loss making company (I have no idea) but are still required to pay Sony the royalty due on the software sold. Royalties are a major reason that games are expensive to buy - it is where Sony hope to make up the money for selling the consoles at a loss. The article touched on the attach rate and calculating the price to drop so owners bought 1 more game would be difficult. Are Sony correctly allocating Blu-ray disc royalties to the PS3 division as well? If these royalties are going to the Blu-ray unit then their profits will be overstated and PS3 division not getting the benefit.


June 24, 2009, 3:50 pm


Developers complain DVD's are not big enough - I think UT3 had to be cut down on the 360 for this reason, and there are the odd multi dvd games out there, most games do not need this massive capacity - and with copy protection - would Sony ever allow DVDs to play games - afterall duplicated PS3 BD discs are available in China, so if games started appearing on DVDs (easier / cheaper to press) then tehy could open the floodgates..

Moving back to DVD would be a huge step backwards, I'm not a PS3 fanboi by any means but I do think the BluRay is the only significant advantage it has to the 360.

comments powered by Disqus