Activision: We Can Lead the Racing Genre
With Need for Speed, Gran Turismo, Forza, Dirt and other high-profile racing games, one would think the genre is overcrowded.
But contrarily, Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith called the genre "under-penetrated," and expressed his confidence in studio Bizarre Creations’ next title, described as a "racing category killer."
"We’re convinced we have the opportunity to capture leadership in this genre," he said during the company’s analyst day.
"We’ve tested extensively our position and our game design, and results have reinforced our hypothesis. Consumers respond extremely well to our racing concept, with significantly stronger results … than external competition."
Activision acquired Project Gotham developer Bizarre Creations in 2007. The U.K.-based studio’s work has been generally highly regarded among gamers and a strong sales performer.
He also claimed that there is plenty of global opportunity for the game, particularly in Europe, which has a strong racing fanbase. Griffith said Europe made up 58 percent of the total racing category in 2007.
Griffith explained the criteria that Activision follows when establishing a new franchise.
"We start with five basic questions that we’ve got to answer affirmatively to justify moving forward: Is the genre large with an acceptable barrier to entry? Do we have something unique and compelling to offer? Is the opportunity annualize-able? Do we have the right developer to deliver game quality? And finally, can we expect a strong return on investment?"
He added, "We knew with Bizarre Creations, we had the perfect partner for the game we had to make in this space."
The game is slated for calendar 2009.