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Activision plans one game per studio

Worldwide studios boss calls for focus as DJ Hero sales pass 1 million

Activision-owned studios are to concentrate on only one new title at a time, according to new comments made by worldwide studios executive vice president Dave Stohl.

"You've really got to focus", said Stohl in an interview with website Joystiq at E3. "People want the freedom to put all their resources against the big opportunity, and that's what we're trying to do."

Stohl suggests that Activision's increasing focus on "big cross-platform launches in all territories with massive network support on the backend" also favours a one game per studio approach. "So the opportunities and projects are just bigger; they're more challenging. And it absolutely takes focus. I mean, it really does," he said.

The policy was also influenced by the 2009 Christmas line-up of Activision and other major publishers, which Stohl suggested had coalesced "around one or two titles a publisher". For Activision this was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Guitar Hero.

On the subject of the music game business in general, Stohl acknowledged that the genre had become oversaturated: "Between Guitar Hero and DJ Hero, as a business overall, it's still a big business. Is it as big as it was back in the heyday? No. But it's still a big business and I think there's still a lot of opportunity there."

He remained evasive on the current project of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ developer 7 Studios, which Activision acquired in 2009. However, he did admit that they had "supported [DJ Hero developer] FreeStyle a little bit, but they're doing something new and different."

The company's faith in the DJ Hero franchise appears to have been justified, with newly revealed sales data indicating that the expensive peripheral-based title has sold 1.2 million units. The data, which appears to be purely for the US, was revealed on the blog of Activision's Dan Amrich, who suggests that race game Blur may also prosper - despite a similarly slow start.