Ahead of the upcoming PS4 and new Xbox releases, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has suggested that despite offering new ways for gamers to pay for content, next-gen consoles will not spell the end of physical disc sales.
Speaking during the company’s latest earnings call, Activision head Kotick has addressed the expanding revenue options offered to publishers, stating although a tantalising prospect for increasing profits, new sales avenues for games are seen “sceptically.”
“I can’t comment specifically on the next generation consoles, but our general view is, we approach new business models sceptically, and we take our time and we look for those that will turn out to be something that is sustainable for the long term,” Kotick told Activision investors.
Highlighting his belief that disc-based games sales will remain the lead focus for publishers and consumers alike, the lead CEO stated: “I think we’re seeing a lot of exciting new ways for customers to pay for their experiences, there are a lot of new ways for us to monetize our content, but I can’t say that you’re going to see any dramatic shifts in the way things are monetized on consoles.”
Despite revealing that Q1 profits were “better than expected,” Kotick’s earnings calls stressed the potential threats of the transition into next-gen hardware, claiming the 2013 holiday period will be “more challenging than our earlier view.”
Although confirming that MMO behemoth World of Warcraft shed 1.3 million subscribers in just three months, the Activision earnings call revealed the company recorded revenues of $1.32 billion (£849m) for the first three months of the year, up from the $1.17 billion last year.
“Our first-quarter performance was driven by continued consumer interest in all of our key franchises,” Kotick said. “While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter.”
He added: “The shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in our World of Warcraft business all raise concerns, as do continued challenges in the global economy. For these reasons, we remain cautious.”