Why Activision Stopped Making Games

Are they really just a Destiny and Call of Duty factory?

Activision Games

Activision is officially the biggest third-party video game publisher in the world. Scooping up franchises in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the company gained success initially by adapting popular properties from other mediums. It helped that the games themselves were good of course, and from the beginning of the millennium, the likes of Tony Hawk's, an endless amount of Marvel games (including fan favourites like Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Legends) as well as a little release called Call of Duty filled out Activision's admittedly diverse lineup.

However, somewhere along the way, the rot began to set in.

Where the company had previously used cross-media franchises to launch their own great games, the latter half of the 2000s saw them coast along on name recognition alone, unable to evolve with an ever-growing market. The profits increased, but the quality of releases suffered massively, with licensed comic-book and movie tie-ins (Spider-Man 3, Tony Hawk's Ride, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) feeling more phoned in than ever.

Spider-Man 3

Likewise, what new franchises were created, such as the smash-hit phenomenon Guitar Hero, ran out of steam quickly thanks to overexposure and annualisation (seriously, when Activision released seven different sequels and spin-offs in 2010, we should have known it was rinsing the name in preparation to kill it).

However, while these neat ideas would pop up and inevitably be axed, Activision has seemingly decided to cut down massively on its gaming output in the past few years, leaving players wondering why the biggest cross-platform publisher in the world has all but stopped making games.


Writer. Mumbler. Only person on the internet who liked Spider-Man 3