No Modern Warfare on iPhone until Activision can guarantee it won't be app number 400,001

Hirshberg spells out mobile strategy

No Modern Warfare on iPhone until Activision can guarantee it won't be app number 400,001
Long gone are the days when publishers traditionally at home on consoles would turn a blind eye to mobile – EA perhaps the best example of a major player currently reaping the rewards of the smartphone market.

In comparison, rival Activision has been notably quiet.

Major releases, such as Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies, have made an appearance on the App Store, but its development was outsourced and gameplay focused on the franchise's living dead-inspired offspring rather than the main event.

The publisher's apparent prudence, however, is less to do with any concern that smartphones aren't a suitable vehicle for its franchises, but rather a worry that its titles simply wouldn't stand out.

Modern marketplace warfare

Speaking to the New York Times, Activision chief executive Eric Hirshberg told the paper that the company plans to test the waters with Call of Duty: Elite – the franchise's new online multiplayer service, also available (to a degree) via apps on iOS and Android.

However, no full Modern Warfare releases are forthcoming.

"There are 400,000 apps in the iTunes App Store," Hirshberg said.

"I don't want to be number 400,001."

Hirshberg said it has to make sense from a business perspective for Activision to risk porting its big series over to mobile.

"What we're trying to do is use new technologies and new devices in gaming to strengthen our core business," he added.

"We don't just want to go and spread our roulette chips around the table. We also don't want to do anything that we can't do with excellence."

Serving up Spyro

Nonetheless, Activision does plan more mobile releases in the near future, including the multi-platform Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, which will hit consoles, mobile, and the web.

Aimed at kids between 6 to 12, it's a tentative look at the market rather than a full blown assault, with Hirshberg repeating he is wary of betting the farm on the mobile market.

"[Mobile is] a double-edged sword," he concluded.

"On one hand you have a huge install base, but what we are not doing is just shotgunning all of our games onto mobile."

[source: New York Times]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.