Major game publisher and developer Activision saw investor confidence in its holiday game line-up dip as Bank of America Securities analyst Gary L. Cooper downgraded the stock to "Neutral" from "Buy", citing concerns over the company's game releases for the rest of the year, as well as into 2006.
Specifically, Cooper suggests of Activision's game line-up and general market trends: "Given the subdued retail traffic ahead of the Xbox 360 launch, the average performance of Gun
and the low ratings of True Crime: New York City
we do not expect Activision to substantially beat its third quarter 2006 guidance."
Neversoft-developed original IP Gun
is one of Activision's marquee titles for this Christmas, and has jumped atop
North American rental charts, showing some significant consumer interest, but its competent, not overwhelming
critical reception has left analysts concerned over its longer-term retail performance.
However, other titles such as Call of Duty 2
and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland
may still do well for the company, and Cooper additionally suggested: "The company's third-quarter estimate is achievable, and there is likely to be upside", but, more damningly, suggested: "Activision is unlikely to grow its earnings in fiscal year 2007." This suggestion, although not empirically backed up, sent Activision shares down over a dollar to $15.18 in trading on Friday, despite this week's news
of a long-term Activision and Marvel agreement to continue use of important licenses Spider-Man