Activision's Kotick Continues To Ruffle Gamer Feathers
There's no doubt that video games is big business. There's no doubt that we need businessmen - and not just gamers - to create and maintain successful companies. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is one such man and it's tough to deny his success, but he's starting to rub people the wrong way.
During a speech to investors and analysts at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco, Kotick spoke for 45 minutes about the future of game development, and while it was indeed relevant considering the audience, his focus seemed to be more about making money and less about satisfying the consumer. For example, Kotick spoke about an interesting advancement in the world of music-based games: Guitar Hero will eventually become playable without a console. Essentially, this means he's not all that enthusiastic about producing three different versions of every new Guitar Hero entry. This may seem easier on the consumer because everything is all designed around one all-encompassing system, but it also means we'd all have to buy yet another set of peripherals; i.e., more Guitar Hero packages. And speaking of packages, you may have noticed that Activision is all about those things lately; DJ Hero, Tony Hawk: Ride, and the pricey Prestige Edition for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 all drop for the holiday season.
Then, Kotick made a statement that has already shot around the Internet at lightning speed:
"The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."
Yes, you're reading that correctly. Kotick also added that he likes "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" from his employees at this moment in time because he wants them to remain focused on the low economy. So we'll have a new way of playing our music video games in the future, which will likely require another expensive package purpose and Kotick's apparent desire to rule with an iron fist isn't entirely appealing. But hey, can we really deny Activision's success in this generation? It's this whole Machiavellian debate...
9/15/2009 9:15:52 PM Ben Dutka