Q&A With Activision CEO: What's Next for Guitar Hero Franchise?

| About: Activision Blizzard, (ATVI)

Gamespot picked up and linked to my Q&A in Portfolio with Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. The funniest part are the comments that speculate on ways Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI) might expand the Guitar Hero franchise. Best suggestion is Banjo Hero. Second prize: Polka Hero.

Anyway, the Gamespot folks seem hungry for more about Kotick's thoughts on Guitar Hero. Since only a slice of our conversation made it into the magazine, here's a raw chunk from the part where Kotick talked about Guitar Hero.

KOTICK: One of the things that is very exciting is when you think about how you expand your audience -- moving from a solitary game to social experiences. It's a really important change in the gaming experience. It brings new users, new audiences, a new market place.

MANEY: Mm-hmm.

KOTICK: The age appeal is something we've never seen before -- seven-year-olds who have no idea who Aerosmith is are playing the band's music on Guitar Hero. So are 45-year-olds who spent a good portion of their lives following the band around. And so, that broad appeal is something that I think we're capitalizing on. But it's not just about guitars. We'll include a lot of other instruments, vocals. When you look at how it helps us expand internationally, for example, it's the first product we've had where local content is so powerful -- local artists, local bands, local musicians, local promotions.

MANEY: You'll sign up more bands?

KOTICK: One of the big benefits we'll get from our Vivendi transaction is access to Universal Music. Guitar Hero takes you as an artist to a whole different place in the popular culture right now. Your relevance and importance to 17-year-olds is going to change in a way that you could never get any other way. And, you know, my five-year-old is walking around singing "Smoke on the Water." And so, and I think (artists are) starting to recognize that. It's changed their touring opportunities. It's changed the downloads. It's changed their album sales.

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