Over at the blog Dubious Quality, Bill Harris has been spotting some dots and trying to connect them. The picture he's got is of Activision making a play for MTV-owned Rock Band studio Harmonix, something that is pure speculation.
Harris notes recent comments from an MTV person saying the Rock Band vs Guitar Hero format war is not something consumers want. Then he rolls us into an EA earnings call, quoting EA's John Schappert, saying their deal to distribute Harmonix's Rock Band games expires at the end of EA's 2011 Fiscal Year (Harris does miss that Schappert was corrected by EA boss John Riccitiello, who said that the deal expires at the end of FY 2010, meaning the end of March of this year). Riccitiello said he hoped the relationship could continue.
And then there's Activision boss Bobby Kotick saying last week that maybe Activision should have partnered with Harmonix, not shunned them.
In particular, why would Bobby Kotick admit publicly that not parterning with Harmonix was a mistake?
Don't think he said this casually, because I don't think Kotick says anything casually, even when it seems that way. To me, Kotick doesn't even mention this unless he's trying to set the table for something. I see two possibilities here:
1. Activision wants to be the distributor for Rock Band games when the EA agreement expires, or
2. Activision wants to buy Harmonix from Viacom/MTV Games.
Harris apologises for his theory coming out of left field, but if it makes you feel any better, my friend, we here at Kotaku were batting this around as a what-if scenario after that EA earnings call too.
Interesting theory. Would Activision then distribute or publish Rock Band? What would happen to Guitar Hero? Again, pure speculation.