Activision?s Bobby Kotick hates developers, innovation, cheap games, you

can't-think

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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been on fire this week. At the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco he made a number of comments that seem to have been calculated to explode the heads of gamers, developers, and anyone who cares a jot about the industry. In a wide-ranging speech, Kotick ? who earned $14m last year ? dropped a number of bombs about Activision's future plans, none of which were designed to make anyone happy apart from Activision shareholders.

Essentially, Kotick is in thrall to the almighty dollar to the expense of all else. Thus: "In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today."

This echoes a statement Kotick made last year when he explained the company's lack of support for some new games, specifically ones that don't lend themselves to sequels. Activision, Kotick said, has no interest in games that "don't have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises."

Talking of $100m franchises, Kotick likes the way that World of Warcraft is heading. "The best of all margins ? the 25 per cent operating margin business ? has the potential as we can see with World of Warcraft to be a 50 per cent operating margin business. What used to be a low 20s return on invested capital business is now growing to a plus 40 per cent return on invested capital business."

And he's not just setting his sights on Guitar Hero and WoW fans. Talking about upcoming and expensive Activision titles such as Modern Warfare 2, Kotick said: "if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further."

Having fired these encouraging salvos at the gaming community, Kotick then switched his targets to console manufacturers, who he seems intent on putting out of business by "untethering" Activision games from other-party hardware. "I think what the untethered Guitar Hero does is equal the playing field a little more and give you some leverage with first parties when it comes to downloadable content and the business model."

Maybe the choice quotes of the event, though, came when Kotick talked about Activision's developers; you know, the guys who actually make the stuff he gets so rich from. You'd think he'd have a bit of respect for them, right? Oh no, Kotick's goal over the past 10 years has been ? you couldn't make this up ? "to take all the fun out of making video games." How? By instilling a culture of "scepticism, pessimism, and fear" amongst the company's staff based around the economic depression and an incentive program that rewards "profit and nothing else".

We're having a hard time coming to terms with all this. While we tend to expect mega rich corporate bosses to be at least a bit evil, this flagrant display of gamer hate has left us dumbfounded. Activision is a mammoth company, with some of the biggest-selling franchises in the world under its umbrella, but at the end of the day its profits come from the pockets of gamers who don't want to miss out on some great titles. If any other CEO exhibited as much contempt for his or her customers as Kotick has, their company would surely expect to face negative feedback or even a consumer boycott. But you just know that nothing like that will happen here. Apart from running the negligible risk of a few blogs printing pictures of him with devil horns or a Hitler moustache, Kotick knows that he's invulnerable. The gaming "community" just doesn't have the will or the organisation to, say, boycott Modern Warfare 2, and that ? even more than Kotick's comments ? makes us truly sad.

Source: http://www.geeks.co.uk/7282-activision%E2%80%99s-bobby-kotick-hates-developers-innovation-cheap-games-you

Thoughts?
 

darkfire613

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Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't these all really old quotes?
Also, he's Bobby Fuckin' Kotick. He can say whatever he wants and people will still buy Activision's games.
 

Kollega

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We all know that he is the Anti-Christ. We must stop talking and start acting. Let's go stick a flamethrower up his big fat arse.
 

Teh_Doomage

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It is old stuff, overall but not off those quotes were spoken off unless you looked deeper...I have to say though, I have flat out stopped buying Activision titles because I don't like the direction the company has been steered.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of their developers jump ship by the end of 2010 if he keeps up this mentality.
 

manaman

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darkfire613 said:
Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't these all really old quotes?
Also, he's Bobby Fuckin' Kotick. He can say whatever he wants and people will still buy Activision's games.
Eventually they will stop. You can only crap on people so long before they are not going to wade through it anymore. Eventually they will just spend their money on more cost effective alternatives that other companies will love to step up to the plate with.
 

Spineyguy

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So the hate has spread to here now huh?

Not surprised, Bobby Kotik is a twat. He's notin the game industry to make good games, he's in it to exploit all us poor gamers because he knows that he can make the same game every year with slightly better graphics and increasingly trashy emotional undertones and you people will just lap it up.

I hope no-one buys Modern Warfare 2. I know I certainly won't.
 

can't-think

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Honestly Activision has been trying their best to screw gamers of all platforms the best they can lately. They've stopped doing things for the "Community" for years now. It just sucks that they?re dragging Blizzard down with them, here?s a somewhat overworked post of stuff they did to line their pockets during that time period:

  • [li]Activision had just merged with Blizzard and it was decided, that StarCraft isn?t going to make enough money as one normal game that?s great, so they have to pad it and sell it as 3 full-price titles which are mediocre, of which you will need all to properly play the multiplayer part competitively.
    http://kotaku.com/5061980/starcraft-ii-single-player-is-a-trilogy [/li]
    [br]
    [li]Soon after they?ve been dropping games like Brütal Legend and Ghostbusters from their Portfolio, because they seemingly can?t be exploited on an annual basis for enough $$$.
    http://www.joystiq.com/2008/11/06/activision-blizzard-ceo-kotick-vivendi-franchises-lacked-poten/

    Kotick (Activision's CEO) says:
    With respect to the franchises that don't have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of over time becoming $100 million plus franchises, that's a strategy that has worked very well for us.
    [/li]
    [br]
    [li]?Blizzard? decides to drop the LAN playability mode on both Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2, so everyone that wants to play their game HAS to have a Battle.Net Account, an Unique Key (no longer playing with your mates or family on a private LAN with one copy of the game, but everyone needs his own and has to be logged in while doing so).
    http://starcraft.incgamers.com/blog/comments/no-lan-in-starcraft-ii-confirmed/
    They also decided to turn the new Battle.Net 2.0 into a Privacy and Modder?s Nightmare

    Battle.Net says:
    In order to provide the Battle.net Service, Blizzard must be entitled to access, monitor and/or review text chat, including private, or "whisper" chat, in the event of complaints from other users or violations of the law. By clicking the check box below, you agree that Blizzard (or one of Blizzard?s affiliates) has the right to monitor and review personal messages you send or receive on the Battle.net Service, or through any game that is playable through the Battle.net Service, to investigate potential violations of the law, the Battle.net Terms of Use, or the Terms of Use agreement specific to any game playable on the Battle.net Service. Blizzard will not use the information for any reason other than pursuing such violations.
    11.4 User Content. ?Content? means any communications, images, sounds, and all the material and information that you upload or transmit through a Game client or the Service, or that other users upload or transmit, including without limitation any chat text. You hereby grant Blizzard a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, paid-up, non-exclusive, license, including the right to sublicense to third parties, and right to reproduce, fix, adapt, modify, translate, reformat, create derivative works from, manufacture, introduce into circulation, publish, distribute, sell, license, sublicense, transfer, rent, lease, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, or provide access to electronically, broadcast, communicate to the public by telecommunication, display, perform, enter into computer memory, and use and practice such Content as well as all modified and derivative works thereof. To the extent permitted by applicable laws, you hereby waive any moral rights you may have in any Content.
    [/li]
    [br]
    [li]After noticing that Brütal Legend might be a bigger Deal than they previously anticipated, as it had won E3 awards and was on the front wall of the entrance building, Activision decided to sue Double Fine to try and stop releasing the game altogether:
    http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/59034
    Activision is suing Double Fine Productions to stop the release of Brutal Legend, The Associated Press reported, claiming it still holds a valid contract to publish the heavy metal fantasy and has invested roughly $15 million in it.

    The dispute stems from Brutal Legend's troubled history. Activision declined to acquire the game's publishing rights from Vivendi when the two merged in July 2008. EA picked up Brutal Legend that December, and planned to release it on October 13 this year.

    Reports emerged in February that Activision believed it was still in negotiations over Brutal Legend when EA picked up the title, and was considering suing. An EA representative responded that it would "be like a husband abandoning his family and then suing after his wife meets a better looking guy."

    EA and Double Fine Productions have yet to respond, but we'll keep you updated.
    [/li]
    [br]
    [li]Blizzard decides that raising the entry prices for its Blizzcon 2009 from 100$ to 125$ would be a good idea, also for the first time ever, one can watch a Stream of the Event Live over DirecTV or the Internet, yours only and exclusively for 39.95$
    http://blizzcon.rayv.com/Pages/en/faq.aspx
    Can't have free coverage like say during the biggest gaming events like the E3 or Tokyo Game Show...[/li]
    [br]
    [li]Soon after raising prices for games that require Peripherals and for example Modern Warfare 2 by 10-20%, Kotick says if it were up to him he would ?raise the prices? of games even further:
    http://www.strategyinformer.com/news/5100/kotick-would-raise-the-prices-of-games-further-if-it-was-left-to-him
    "And then on the second question, Tony, on the pricing, we?ve had for all of our launch titles in the back half of this year, some of which contain peripherals, as you point out, very strong retailer acceptance and support for all parts of our plan, including our merchandising plans, our marketing programs, and our price points," replied Mike Griffith to an analysts question.

    Bobby Kotick chips in: "And Tony, you know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further." It was then that the other executives chuckled, before pausing and moving on to another question during the Q2 earnings call Q&A.
    [/li]
    [br]
    [li]Activision continues to sell their retarded Guitar Hero crap, breaking the barrier of 10 releases in 3 years and still making money with it.[/li]
    [br]
    [li]On a finances conference in San Francisco Kotick (Activision?s CEO again) literally says it was his GOAL ?To Take All the Fun Out of Making Video Games?:
    http://www.industrygamers.com/news/bobby-koticks-goal-to-take-all-the-fun-out-of-making-video-games/

    Kotick says:
    Kotick noted that in the past he changed the employee incentive program so that it "really rewards profit and nothing else." He continued, "You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly. ... We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

    Yes, he just said that.

    Ultimately, Kotick doesn't want his employees to take anything for granted. They should always be aware of "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" in the midst of the global economic downturn. "We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression," he said.

    Cheery fellow.
    [/li]
    [br]
    [li]Infinity Ward decides to drop Modding Support and Custom Dedicated Servers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, so they can control every Aspect of their game just like on consoles and demand money for such "Premium Content" as 1-2 New maps in DLCs while practically eliminating competitive play in leagues and for clans completely.
    http://kotaku.com/5384057/new-modern-warfare-matchmaking-service-will-definitely-reshape-pc-community
    It?s like they took everything good this Developer said in an Interview about the PC version of Call of Duty 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMfTR8PBrsE and turned it around 180°, not only that but after that they tried to make everyone actually believe less features is better.

    Just one more step of many in destroying video gaming and penetrating the customers up their ?[/li]

Activision has the power to destroy PC gaming and tries as best it can, or even worse turning it into Console gaming, I basically stopped buying any of their games for the time being?
 

Amnestic

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Dexter111 said:
Not got time to read all that as I've got an imminent lecture to go to, but a glance over it showed you put some stuff about Blizzard in there. For the umpteenth time folks: Blizzard and Activision are autonomous of one another. Kotick has no say in what goes on within Blizzard's four walls.
 

can't-think

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Amnestic said:
Dexter111 said:
Not got time to read all that as I've got an imminent lecture to go to, but a glance over it showed you put some stuff about Blizzard in there. For the umpteenth time folks: Blizzard and Activision are autonomous of one another. Kotick has no say in what goes on within Blizzard's four walls.
Yes of course, and Santa Claus also exists of course and is bringing you presents by pushing himself down your chimney...
Game Companies just change their principles and way of doing business from one day to the next, but again Kotick put it the best:
"You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly. ... We have a real culture of thrift.
Meaning "studio heads" didn't really care about finances before and actually MADE GOOD VIDEO GAMES, now it seems to be the other way around.
 

squid5580

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Dexter111 said:
Amnestic said:
Dexter111 said:
Not got time to read all that as I've got an imminent lecture to go to, but a glance over it showed you put some stuff about Blizzard in there. For the umpteenth time folks: Blizzard and Activision are autonomous of one another. Kotick has no say in what goes on within Blizzard's four walls.
Yes of course, and Santa Claus also exists of course and is bringing you presents by pushing himself down your chimney...
Game Companies just change their principles and way of doing business from one day to the next, but again Kotick put it the best:
"You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly. ... We have a real culture of thrift.
Meaning "studio heads" didn't really care about finances before and actually MADE GOOD VIDEO GAMES, now it seems to be the other way around.
Right it is all thier fault and we shoulder none of the blame. We never demand anything from them. We would never turn our noses up at a game that had weak graphics or less than spectacular production values. We would never support reviewers who give a game less than an average score because of the length. Or because the world wasn't big enough. And we would never steal from them. Oh no not us.
 

SimuLord

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none of which were designed to make anyone happy apart from Activision shareholders.
Sounds like Kotick's doing a great job since, y'know, those are the people who decide whether he gets to keep that $14M a year gig...and if you don't like it, call a stockbroker and buy ATVI.
 

oliveira8

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Dexter111 said:



Can you point the name of Activision in this cover? Did you also went to the future and saw that the 3 Starcraft games are mediocre? And that the 3 parts are actually going to cost full price? And did you read any recap of Blizzcon and watched the new mod tools for Blizzard games? And that Blizzard is going to help modders by making some mods payable, so the mod teams can make some profit out of them? And that those agreements you pointed are probably the same to the Steam ones or any other type of chat programs?(You are aware that they don't have a team working 24/7 to monitor your conversations.)

The only thing that you managed to link Activision greed to Blizzard was the raise of the ticket prizes, and paying for the stream.
 

Jandau

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The only way I'm buying ANY Activision game is second-hand, since I know Kotick hates that.
 

can't-think

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well at least he's upfront with the fact hes a greedy power hungry prick with no consideration for the consumers or his own staff.

three seperate products to buy for starcraft 2 if you want each single player campaign? hmm here in Australia i bet they will be around $50 aud each instead of the usual full price single $99. so they end up making 1/3 more on it.

i may of liked modern warfare, but i really have no interest to speak of in MW2 or starcraft 2 thank goodness.
 

CrysisMcGee

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You know, I once made a thread calling EA evil. This was because of several things, but mostly dissolving Westwood studios. However I retract this statement, because they made Command and Conquer 3 themselves, and its a damn good game. As a whole, EA actually works to make their games better, instead of releasing the same game every year. Yes they do this with sports games, but they actually put a lot of work into them.

Also the fact that the C&C 4 is PC exclusive makes me happy.

Microsoft I would say likes to nickel and dime us, but they aren't beating a dead horse. Halo is still breathing. Also, A lot of games released under their titles Microsoft games and Games for Windows are pretty damn good.

As for Blizzard, they are working to make it worth your while with starcraft. It's not one game divided into 3 persay. They are working to expand all 3 sections, which would be a hell of a long game if it was released in 1. Also, I own every damn product they have ever made. Including the lost vikings.

In the end, competition has its place. There will always be companies going against Activision. Innovation and Creativity have always been behind a popular series, because if you don't distinguish yourself, you get lost in the crowd. Eat it, Bobby.
 

Amnestic

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Aug 22, 2008
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nikki191 said:
well at least he's upfront with the fact hes a greedy power hungry prick with no consideration for the consumers or his own staff.

three seperate products to buy for starcraft 2 if you want each single player campaign? hmm here in Australia i bet they will be around $50 aud each instead of the usual full price single $99. so they end up making 1/3 more on it.

i may of liked modern warfare, but i really have no interest to speak of in MW2 or starcraft 2 thank goodness.
Once again: Blizzard =/= Activision. Furthermore, those Single Player campaigns are each as long as the entirety of Starcraft 1, which means you're paying full price for a full length game.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck and has biological makeup of a duck...it's probably a duck.