Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Attack Of The Clones

There are quite a few crazy things in college football that I could write about today--Pete Carroll going to the Seahawks, Tommy Tubberville being hired at Texas Tech, Lane Kiffin going to USC--and believe me, I'd love to write about Tennessee students semi-rioting on their campus last night, but instead, there's this:
Ubi Focuses On AAA, New Assassin's Creed To Hit Next Fiscal Year

More (from Gamasutra):
The French-headquartered publisher has historically thrived on the diversity of its product mix, balancing licensed film tie ins, family-friendly DS and Wii titles, and core games like Assassin's Creed and the Tom Clancy-branded games.

But burned by retailer discounts on catalog games and a casual portfolio it says has shrunk as much as 50 percent since last year, the publisher is shoring up its focus on competitive AAA core titles on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 -- and that means it plans to launch a third Assassin's Creed game in its next fiscal year.

Wait--focusing on AAA titles. Isn't that the new Take-Two approach?

Oh, wait--isn't the new Take-Two approach actually the new EA approach?

Wait one more time--isn't the new EA approach actually the Activision approach?

That's right. With minor variations, Activision, EA, Take-Two, and Ubisoft are now all using the same strategy.

Well, that's certainly going to work, until it doesn't.

If you look at the gaming industry as some kind of ecosystem, what these four companies represent as part of the ecosystem today is significantly different from what they represented twelve months ago, and not in a good way.

It seems to me that a second-tier company that focuses on "AA" titles with smaller budgets would be ideally positioned to succeed now. The "big boys" have essentially abandoned that market, seemingly creating a significant opportunity.

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