News: Along with Call of Duty 7, Starcraft II, Tony Hawk Ride 2 and a new Spider-Man game. But not Diablo III.
Activision held their quarterly financial call yesterday and, as usual, revealed a boatload of new details on the company's upcoming releases.
The big news in the coming days is the launch of the Starcraft II closed beta, which Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime says will begin this month. The game itself is still slated to be released in "mid 2010". However, on that note, Diable III definitely won't be released until 2011 at the earliest as Morhaime stated the company has "two huge product releases planned" for 2010, referring to Starcraft II and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Moving on, Michael Griffith, CEO of Activision Publishing, laid out the company's Spring slate, which will begin in April with the release of Blur, Bizarre Creations' PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 Mario Kart-like battle racer. Before that, however, the game will receive a multiplayer beta in March. Although the platform and participation requirements were not revealed.
May will see the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron
and the game adaptation of Shrek Forever After
. Those two titles will be followed in June by Raven Software's oft-delayed first person shooter Singularity
This will directly into what Activision is calling "the back half of the year", which is just jam-packed with new releases. But speaking of jamming, one of the company's goals for 2010 is to drastically cut the number of Guitar Hero
games released. Starting with the announcement that the franchise is done on the PlayStation 2.
In its place will be a slimmed down selection of Hero games including "the next Guitar Hero"
(which the company is not reffering to as Guitar Hero 6, DJ Hero 2
and Band Hero 2
, which will only be released as a standalone disc and not as a "high priced product" (AKA a full band bundle). Again, these games will be released towards the end of the year.
That back half of the year will also include such Activision staltwarts as Call of Duty 7
, a new James Bond
game, a new Spider-Man
game, a new Bakugan
game and the resurrection of the True Crime
series on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Even though the original was battered by poor reviews, 2010 will also see the release of Tony Hawk: Ride 2
. Michael Griffith believes the series (and its signature skateboard peripheral) can get back into gamer's good graces with a new focus on the gameplay now that the controller has been "optimized":
"Game ratings for Tony Hawk Ride weren't as high as we would have hoped last year. And in hindsight, it took longer to optimize the hardware leaving less time to develop the software we launched in 2009. Still, play testing and consumer feedback have been very encouraging. The premise of standing on the skateboard and performing tricks that only the pros can pull off is very compelling. This year, with the hardware complete, we'll be focusing on improving the software in order to unlock the full potential of the board."
Finally, Activision revealed that they want to move some of their "most popular brands" into the iPhone arena (like last year's Call of Duty World at War: Zombies
) and that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is still thinking about a Call of Duty MMO
: "If you think about the success that we've had in other product categories on subscription, you can get a sense of the direction that we want to take that franchise,"
We'll have more soon.