Kotick Admits Activision's Spider-Man Games "Sucked"

John Funk

U.N. Owen Was Him?
Dec 20, 2005
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Kotick Admits Activision's Spider-Man Games "Sucked"



Activision boss Bobby Kotick thinks that the publishing giant could stand to learn a thing or two from its Blizzard branch in terms of quality control.

Bobby Kotick has become the bogeyman of the games industry these days. There's no one man that gamers love to hate more (other than Thompson, J. or Atkinson, M. of course), which is interesting because he's also undoubtedly one of the most powerful figures in gaming right now. But it seems that you can't turn a corner without gamers and press alike blaming him for every single wrong in the industry from the lack of dedicated servers in Modern Warfare 2 to, I don't know, killing babies in Dante's Inferno.

Which is why it's interesting that the guy comes off so... well, reasonably in the feature interview in the latest Game Informer. There's some interesting stuff in there, from his experience addicted to Sierra games in college to his entrance into the industry in the '80s, but also on more relevant stuff, like Kotick's thoughts on franchises, the value of new IP, etc. This same interview has generated news already, from prediction about PC developer Blizzard that went very, very wrong [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97540-DJ-Hero-Sequel-Coming-Later-This-Year].

It's actually speaking about the Blizzard branch of the Activision-Vivendi merger where we hear one of the most frank admissions of fault from Kotick in quite some time. In relating an anecdote about one of the first joint management presentations between his folks and Blizzard's, Kotick recalled how Mike Morhaime, Paul Sams and Rob Pardo were stunned by Activision producers behind movie games and kid-focused games who were shooting for Metacritic scores around the 75-80% range.

Their response, says Kotick, was essentially "Why would you ever target an 80-rated game?" The producers answered that, since they saw most game reviewers as having biases against kid games and movie games and marking them down in turn, an 80 was "a good rating for a kid's game or a movie game."

"I remember walking out of the meeting saying, 'Why would we make an 80 rated game?' Even adjusting for genre. ... I was thinking that when we did the great Spider-Man PlayStation game, we got a 95 rating. You can make a great game. Our Spider-Man games have sucked for the last five years. They are bad games. They were poorly rated because they were bad games."

"If you don't do web-slinging right, what is the fantasy of Spider-Man? But I think that was one of those wake-up calls."

The five games in question, as noted by D'toid [http://www.destructoid.com/kotick-activision-s-spider-man-games-have-sucked--160930.phtml], are Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man: Friend or Foe, Spider-Man: Battle for New York, and Ultimate Spider-Man. (If you count from 2009 or 2010, this might also include 2004's Spider-Man 2, as well).

It's still a very frank statement from a man infamous for his concern with the bottom line, and to be honest, it's a bit refreshing. It would also be really kind of ironic (and amusing) if this were evidence of a newfound commitment to quality from Activision even as all the rest of the major publishers start swinging back in the opposite direction from their momentary gaming Renaissance.

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oliveira8

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Feb 2, 2009
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"Who are you, and what did you do to Kotick?".

He doesn't seem so "off" from the gaming world after all. Maybe he wants to clean up Activision name.(Hahhahahaha)
 
Apr 28, 2008
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I remember the spiderman game for the PS1.
That game kicked ass, and was full of unlockables.
 

Cherry Cola

Your daddy, your Rock'n'Rolla
Jun 26, 2009
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I hope it's not including Spiderman 2, because that's was a really good game.

Oh well, it wasn't the best, so I guess he's right to say that it was shit.
 

Nimbus

Token Irish Guy
Oct 22, 2008
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What? Ultimate Spider-Man was good. It was very good, in fact. Far from perfect, but a perfectly good addition to the franchise.
 

sunami88

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Jun 23, 2008
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I'm glad they didn't mention Spiderman 2. That game freaking rocked (and was probably the last spidey game I played).
 

JediMB

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Nimbus said:
What? Ultimate Spider-Man was good. It was very good, in fact. Far from perfect, but a perfectly good addition to the franchise.
USM's biggest problem was the dumbed-down web swinging mechanics, which affected how much fun the free-roaming was once you'd taken care of the otherwise excellent story mode.
 

Jark212

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Jul 17, 2008
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Now that the problem is out in the open they can now take steps to improve the next ones...

A few of the Spiderman games where good though, they need to focus on what made those games great...
 

thiosk

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What about that guy from Edge who sues everyone?

We love to hate him too.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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This is the thing with Kotick: yes, he's evil. But he also knows his business. Those were some tough times the industry went through, and everyone jumped on "boo, Kotick!" instead of, you know, "boo everyone cutting jobs, cancelling games, etc." Yes they did some kinda dickish things, but name one studio that hasn't done something to upset someone. Now that things have begun to somewhat equalize a bit, perhaps we'll get a more personable Kotick.

When you're lying in a hospital bed dying, which would you prefer: a doctor who sits there holding your hand telling you alright as you slowly die, or House.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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Sep 6, 2009
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Jark212 said:
A few of the Spiderman games where good though, they need to focus on what made those games great...
Assuming they know, it could just be blind luck that they made a few good ones.
 

Insanum

The Basement Caretaker.
May 26, 2009
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I liked Spiderman two, But i forever hate the words;

"OH NO, MY BAWOOON"[/I]

*twitch*
 

sirdanrhodes

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Nov 7, 2007
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Kotick has a few years to live*, he wants to be remembered as a gaming icon, so he is cleaning his act.

*For those playing at home, he has a very slow sedative in him planted by angry gamers
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Apr 4, 2020
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That son of a *****.

First he makes shitty games and then gleefully admits that they're shitty.
 

Amarok

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WanderFreak said:
When you're lying in a hospital bed dying, which would you prefer: a doctor who sits there holding your hand telling you alright as you slowly die, or House.
Gimme JD or Turk. Or Cox. Or... the Janitor?

On-topic, I'm not gonna say anything for or against Activision (they get £8 from me a month anyways so that's that). I'll neither decry Kotick as a devil nor praise him as an angel. I'll just avoid any spiderman games with "activision" on the box, since he has kindly admitted they're shite.
 

John Funk

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Dec 20, 2005
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i remember playing the first two spider man games when i was little and loved it. I still think spider man two to be the birth of sandbox mode.