Annual release schedule is not always the best way
It’s no understatement that Activision is the king of the annual game release. Call of Duty; Skylanders; and the — may it rest in peace — Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero franchises have been milked to death in more than a few gamer’s eyes. For the most part, the annual release schedule has worked well for the publisher. So well in fact it’s started to influence other companies, like Ubisoft and Warner Bros., looking to cash in on re-using game engines, art assets, and the benefits of having multiple teams on a property.
To some corporate heads it may sound like a good idea, but to Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin it’s a formula, he recently conveyed in an interview, that shouldn’t be for everyone.
“There are companies out there who have been copying that formula – won’t name ‘em because you already know exactly who they are — but it doesn’t necessarily work for them. And Rockstar, and also games like Skyrim, they have a different formula that does work for them. Neither formula is better than another but studios, actually publishers really, need to figure out that the Call Of Duty formula doesn’t work for everyone,” Ruben said.
It’s easy to agree that the “Call of Duty” formula doesn’t work for everyone, as it can lead to rushed and buggy products like Assassin’s Creed III and the latest Batman: Arkham Origins. At the same time though one only needs look at the review scores for Call of Duty: Ghosts to see that maybe the developer should listen to some of its own advice.