We over-rely on Call of Duty, Activision suggests

'Performance not good enough' in some divisions, says chief financial officer

Activision Blizzard CFO Thomas Tippl has acknowledged that the company needs to perform better in the first nine months of the year, during the calendar months when a new Call of Duty game isn't released.

"I think we have a number of businesses where the performance is not where we'd like it to be," he said on an investor conference call last night.

"We're making some progress in those areas. But clearly not enough and not fast enough.


"We reset some of the product development targets, particularly on the casual and licensed part of our portfolio, so we believe we can improve the margin performance on our publishing business."

While it may be running the risk of franchise fatigue, one way to improve results could be to release more than one Call of Duty title each year.

"We have more development resources dedicated to Call of Duty than we've ever had before," Tippl acknowledged, so don't be surprised to see two, or possibly even three CoD games next year - perhaps one from Infinity Ward, one from Sledgehammer and an online one for the Chinese market.

During the investor call, Activision also said it plans to support CoD with more downloadable content than ever before in 2011.

Additionally, CEO Bobby Kotick said he expects CoD: Black Ops to surpass Modern Warfare 2's record breaking debut and become the biggest entertainment launch of all time.