June 19, 2009 / 10:49 PM / 10 years ago

Activision says may stop supporting Sony PS3: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in a published report on Friday it may stop making video games for Sony’s PlayStation 3, the No. 3 console in the United States, due to high costs and poor sales.

Visitors play Sony PlayStation 3 video games during the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 in Los Angeles June 2, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

In an interview with the Times of London, Kotick complained that the PS3’s $399 price tag is too high, and said the game publisher might stop supporting the console.

Kotick was quoted as saying: “I’m getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don’t make it easy for me to support the platform. It’s expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better.”

Kotick said in 2010 and 2011, Activision “might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP too.”

Activision, the largest U.S. game publisher, did not respond to requests seeking additional comment.

The most popular console, Nintendo’s Wii, costs $250, while the cheapest version of Microsoft’s Xbox goes for $200.

Roughly 290,000 units of the Wii were sold in the United States in May, according to research group NPD, versus 175,000 for the Xbox and 131,000 for the PS3.

Complaints from game publishers about the cost of consoles are nothing new, but Kotick’s statements were particularly pointed.

“It’s a little shot across the bow .... Was there a message there to Sony? Quite possibly,” said MKM Partners analysts Eric Handler.

“It is more difficult to develop for the PS3 and it costs a little more .... The PS3 install base isn’t what they thought it would be and the machine is too expensive.”

In an emailed statement, Sony Computer Entertainment America said “we enjoy healthy business relationships with and greatly value our publishing partners and are working closely with them to deliver the best entertainment experience.”

Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang

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