Schofield defends Activision â??calendar-wareâ??

Schofield defends Activision â??calendar-wareâ??

By Rob Crossley

January 8th 2010 at 3:08PM

Says that routine annual updates of high-profile games are a necessity

One of Activision’s newest and most decorated recruits has defended the publisher’s policy of annual instalments of key IP.

Glen Schofield – who last year made a shock move from EA studio Visceral to an Activision startup – also elected to defend his former employer for using the same practices.

Both Activision and EA often seek to maximise sales of key IP by releasing annual instalments of popular games, such as FIFA, Call of Duty, Need For Speed, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Tony Hawk.

That process is often criticised by consumers and developers alike, as strict and short development timelines often result in substandard product – a result pejoratively termed “calendar-ware”.
 
Yet Schofield was of the opinion that calendar-ware can often be a necessity for big publishers.

“In fairness, most Fortune 1000 companies are built around a predictable revenue model, and Activision is no different,” he told Joystiq.

Schofield reasoned that, with development budgets at record highs, calendar-ware can fuel publishers with the kind of income that can allow them to remain sustainable, and thus take risks elsewhere.

“Developing and publishing games is expensive, and funding those efforts means having a profitable business model. Annual instalments are a necessary component of that model, but definitely not the entire mode,” he said.

“Sledgehammer has been given the time to develop a game that will make the company proud. They hired us for our track record and vision and they are supporting our plans, ideas and creativity 110 per cent. It's refreshing; the trust that they have given to us, and we don't take it lightly.”