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It's Hip To Hate On Activision, But Is The Hate Justified?

Figured we'd come back with something very discussion-worthy. ;)

As you can see by our poll, we've been thinking about Activision and how they're so often in the news for - seemingly - all the wrong reasons. Over the past few years, they've managed to generate an immense amount of income...along with a very vocal and continually growing group of gamers and journalists who aren't the biggest fans of the publisher's business practices. And as you can see by the poll results so far, nearly half those who responded said they'd at least try to avoid buying Activision games while more than a quarter say they absolutely won't purchase anything with an Activision label. But sometimes, it's our job to step back and look at something objectively, with no biases or personal judgments. In so doing, we have to look at exactly why the publisher is frequently seen in a negative light.

CEO Bobby Kotick has come under fire for many comments that rubbed gamers the wrong way, including the one about how he'd "make games cost $100" if he had his way. Considering the state of the economy at the time - not to mention that the cost of games is always a hot issue in the industry - this was clearly a bad idea. And in regards to his other questionable statements, many can be attributed to classic foot-in-mouth syndrome. But as usual, a set of maybe three or four comments in the past year manages to outstrip anything else the man has said, and he has given his fair share of interviews. If you actually read those interviews, you might be surprised at how much you agree with; you might even respect a few of those comments. It's probably fair to say he's a businessman first and a friend to gamers second but if one wishes to successfully run a multi-billion-dollar business, this is probably essential.

As for the company itself, they've gotten the reputation of being money-grubbing faceless executives who really don't care how much pain they inflict on a wallet. Some have complained at the cost of Call of Duty expansion packs (in direct relation to what you actually get in those packs), and the recent snafu over a possible pay-to-play model - quickly debunked, though - hasn't helped. The Infinity Ward blowup probably reigns supreme on the list of "reasons why we hate Activision" but in that respect, not quite so fast: there will always be a widespread feeling of sympathy when the "little guy" appears to be on the receiving end of abuse and oppression by the "big fish." It was easy to label Activision the aggressor and in the position of, "we have more money than you, so we're going to take what we want." But let's not forget that neither of IW's bosses, Vince Zampella and Jason West, have what you would call squeaky clean pasts...

Lastly, and this is only from my personal standpoint: lawsuits cost company's money and if you think a massive lawsuit like the one that faces Activision doesn't bother them, think again. There's no way on earth they spend a giant chunk of cash on a bazillion lawyers and risk going to court if they believe they have no case; if they were clearly in the wrong, it's very likely they would've quietly paid off the duo and the rest of Infinity Ward and been done with it. But it seems they honestly believe they're in the right, as all their statements to the press have indicated, and they intend to fight it to the bitter end. This is not the behavior of a company whose higher-ups are going, "okay, they got us. Let's just make this go away."

In the end, I do believe Activision is guilty of creating a gulf between them and gamers, but I also believe the headline-hungry press and universal empathy for the "little guy" and common distrust of huge corporations have contributed to Activision's current reputation. And I think this is an accurate assessment.  This being said, I think there are steps Activision can take to mend the rift; the question is whether or not they will do so.  Granted, it's not all their fault but they could make some sort of public concession and give us gamers a significant gift of some kind...just a thought.

Tags: activision, activision reputation, activision gaming

8/4/2010 3:45:59 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (95 posts)

TheIllusiveMan
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:01:03 PM
Reply

The reason I don't like Activision is simple. They try to put out a new product every year thats simply new levels and maybe a single new feature or two and call it a new game.

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:17:31 PM

Sadly thats how a lot of developers are. Valve barely put any work into L4D2 and somehow it sold tons of copies. On the other hand, Insomniac makes a game every year, but its always incredible and always tons of fun.

Sony better hope Insomniac doesnt go multi-plat permanently. They are the best studio in the world (imo of course) and losing their exclusivity would really suck.

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Godslim
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:32:13 PM

alot of games do that tho man they are sequals your not exactly gonna change the game completed take uncharted for example...its gameplay and graphic style are very much the same

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NiteKrawler
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:11:31 PM

@Godslim: Compare fail.

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TheIllusiveMan
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:36:44 PM

I'm not saying they're the only ones (EA is just as bad), I'm just saying that it seems like the majority of their games aren't really improving. Just look at any Activision game from the last few years that's has had a sequel(s). There's little to no improvement on most of them.

@godslim: Really? Graphics were easily noticeable, and gameplay was slightly. But it added multiplayer, and that's a major improvement.

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packersfan66
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:43:07 PM

don't rip godslim, what he said is fair. He didn't say graphics he said graphic style, and the gameplay was very similar, all they did was improve and add in multiplayer. Saying "all they did" though is an understatement that game was amazing.

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Godslim
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 5:27:28 AM

thxs tommccrossin thats exactly what i was trying to put across :) everyones just really defensive about uncharted on here
im not insulting the game i love it!

Last edited by Godslim on 8/5/2010 5:28:40 AM

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NiteKrawler
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:45:14 AM

I think you are the defensive ones. You compared Uncharted 2 to L4D2 and the fact that many games just add a few levels and a feature or 2 and call it a new game. That would lead any normal person to think that you are saying Uncharted 2 only added a few levels and a feature or 2 and called itself a new game. Well, I'm sorry but that is just so obviously wrong. It was indeed a compare fail and if you don't think so, you probably need a CAT scan.

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manofchao5
Saturday, August 07, 2010 @ 11:50:26 PM

i sometimes wish bobby kotick would but over so i can kick him in the ass "face"
he probably has some good opinions but he doesnt seem to show the good ones too often imo

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LittleBigMidget
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:04:57 PM
Reply

My problem with Activision is that they are unoriginal. I mean, all I get is a rehash of Call Of Duty after Call of Duty. It gets tiring. Would it kill Activision to be original for once? would it kill them to make some new IPs...? Not to mention the overpriced content they put out...I dunno, this is just me.

Last edited by LittleBigMidget on 8/4/2010 5:05:25 PM

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hellish_devil
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:42:38 PM

they published Transformers: War of Cybetron. I don't know if that would counts as a new IP, since it wasn't based on a movie

Last edited by hellish_devil on 8/4/2010 8:43:01 PM

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Killa Tequilla
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:11:24 PM
Reply

If Activision comes out with a New Game... Do what Speedy Gonzales does.

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 8/4/2010 5:13:09 PM

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bOnEs
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:13:04 PM
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i voted that i'd still buy their games if there were good ones... but, there aren't any... i don't really give a crap about this fiasco though... quite frankly i don't care about what goes on behind closed doors... all major companies have these issues...

it's the games that make a company but, activision doesn't have any good ones at the moment, and charging $15 for a few maps isn't going to help bring in new fans either... but, i am not going to boycott them...

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Axe99
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:57:27 PM

Activision don't just release CoD/MW and Guitar Hero. They also published Transformers: War for Cybertron, and will be behind the upcoming Apache: Air Assault. And TF:WfC was a good game, and the devs behind Apache are air combat game specialists - I'd expect it to be at least solid.

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big6
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:18:01 PM
Reply

This is similar to professional sports, in that, a team is only as good as their last game...and sports fans have a very short memory.

It was only a few years ago when EA was the evil software company, and everybody hated on them. Now, it's Activision's turn.

All it'll take is for Activision to make one good and friendly game and/or industry-hugging move, and all is forgiven again.

Hey, it worked for EA. Activision will be no different.

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 6:52:19 PM

It'll take more than one.

My biggest gripe with Activision/Kotick are his comments regarding the treatment of developers (i.e., wanting to work them harder with less compensation). Without devs, there are no games, as I'm sure he's about to discover when the COD franchise fades into obscurity.

Activision have now driven away the original developers of their two biggest franchises (GH and COD). Why would anyone work for them?

Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/5/2010 6:58:50 PM

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Alienange
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:25:52 PM
Reply

I'm not sure why the way a CEO runs a game publishing company should even matter to me. I play games. If the game is overpriced, I won't buy it. If it's a game I don't enjoy playing, I don't buy it. What does the greed of a CEO have to do with anything? Am I supposed to be Mr Righteous and pretend that I'm holier than a money making company's CEO?

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Naztycuts
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:54:28 PM

Yes Alien conform damnit! XD

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totozero18
Sunday, August 08, 2010 @ 5:40:58 PM

I'll have to disagree there, hence: Wada, Square it's on it's way to the fiery pits of hell...whose to blame there other than the CEO running the company?

On the whole theme of the big mean company against the poor helpless people...idk, people keeps on buying videogames made by them regardless of the price-content ratio. What's really sad is that there are developers out there who got scammed, and as Ben said there are developers who wouldn't work with Activision by no means.

The company seems to be in the same selfdestructive trail that Square is.

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Godslim
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:32:51 PM
Reply

tbh i dont care about any of pubilishers if they have a good game i'll buy it if not i wont end off

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fluffer nutter
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:33:19 PM
Reply

If you really want to get a bad view of Bobby and friends, check this out.

http://gamepolitics.com/2010/08/03/kotick-amp-friends-lose-15-million-lawsuit

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Axe99
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:44:02 PM
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Hmmm...while Activision may believe they're in the right legally with the IW issue, there's (unfortunately) often a huge gulf between what is legally and morally right, and I think there's still a huge question mark over the moral high ground in the whole IW-Activision thing. When a third of a studio packs up and leaves, it's unlikely that someone's treated them right....

The other thing that gets me about Activision is that they seem to put shareholders before customers, not realising that over the long-term, looking after customers means looking after shareholders. Our gaming clan is deliberately avoiding CoD:Black Ops because of Activisions game and map pricing policies (it's not as if there aren't plenty of alternatives), sure we all got MW2, but we were so burned by that we're not going back. Activision does this with other games as well (the pricing on the recent Transformers pack was high both in the context of what it provided and as an incentive to get more people online in the game).

So, to me, they come across as corporately greedy in a way that'll cost them long-term. At the moment, they rely _heavily_ on three cash-cows, WoW, CoD/MW and their Guitar/Band Hero games. If these get overshadowed (such as by the likes of RB3 - I personally won't be going back to GH), then Activision will find out very sharply the long-term cost of a short-term corporate strategy.

So I don't hate 'em - hell, there are so many AAA games out these days that I don't need to play anything from Activision and I'm hardly missing out - but I do think they're stupid and likely immoral.

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Qubex
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:09:58 PM

Well said Axe99...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Alienange
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:22:30 PM

You got burned by MW2? How's that?

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johnld
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:42:00 PM

over priced map packs, jacked up spawns, all the bugs that it had starting at launch, online is basically a campfest for a nuke, the feeling that modern warfare 2 is just a cheap ass update of modern warfare 1. i'm sure others can add to that list.

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carl0975
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 12:25:50 AM

John - MW2 is not an upgrade by any means, except for the host system, everything that was added to MW 2 completely broke any semblance of balance there was to begin with.

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Mavfan321
Friday, August 06, 2010 @ 6:23:19 AM

COD 4>MW2 easily, that said while I hate Activision's ways I cannot say I hate all the games they published because the DEVELOPERS do a good job from time to time. Would we hate all authors if their publisher charged too much for a book that was maybe worth reading?

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BTNwarrior
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 5:49:27 PM
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I understand your point, but from the way they have been putting out games it seems like activision is forcing their devs to make nothing but sequels. Which gives little to no creative freedom to the teams. And this leaves to the misconception (maybe) that when a team tries to make something new Activision fires them.

And I personally despise them for coming out with 11 Hero games between 2009 and 2010

Last edited by BTNwarrior on 8/4/2010 5:52:22 PM

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Dancemachine55
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:55:35 PM

11 Hero games. Wow, really? That doesn't sound right...

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (2008)
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith(2008)
Guitar Hero World Tour
Guitar Hero Smash Hits
Guitar Hero: Metallica (best of the lot IMO)
Band Hero
DJ Hero
Guitar Hero 5
Guitar Hero: Van Halen
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
DJ Hero 2

Holy mackeral, you're right BTN Warrior!!!!!

I'm just sticking with Rock Band 3 for now. Here's hoping Children of the Grave by Black Sabbeth and Uprising by Muse make its way to Rock Band network.

I've found Rock Band is the only music game you need. Harmonix know what the people want and like, not just songs but service and features as well.

Importing the entire RB 1 disc to RB 2 was a stroke of genius. No more disc swapping. The fact that RB1, RB2, Lego RB and RB Green Day could be exported to RB3, along with all DLC working on RB3 was a done deal for me.

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BTNwarrior
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:12:34 PM

you forgot the mobile games, those make it 11 in just one year

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:03:13 PM

Oh dear God, yes, please have Uprising in RB3.

p.s. Rock Band has always been the only Music game you need.

Last edited by Fane1024 on 8/5/2010 7:04:36 PM

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Victor321
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 6:21:52 PM
Reply

I completely understand what you're saying Ben, the media did play a role on the outlook of Activision's reputation. The media is powerful, everywhere in life if you think about it.

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Qubex
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:13:36 PM

Well Victor321, I guess we have brains. Up to us not to get influenced by the media so that we become moronically blinded... I for one try to reject most of the stuff I see as hype, stupidities and unnecessary news items that really do nothing for myself nor the quality of my life... it is a big time waster... and mind waster...

Whilst the media, to some extent, may have "demonised" Activision to varying degrees... there are people who genuinely feel Activision is an evil corporate company, out to stitch people up...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 8/4/2010 7:13:56 PM

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FatherSun
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:24:38 PM
Reply

Morality and business. Now that is a thin line. Activation is NOT a not-for-profit organization. Their primary function is to make money. They will not change their business strategy because of a few disgruntled customers. Ok.. Maybe more than a few, but my point is that the sales of these games are astronomical. So until the sales drop dramatically you can expect most of the practices to continue. As far as Kotick.. He can use a few lessons in business communications. Just by rearranging a few words he couldve gotten away with most of the asinine statements he made.

For the amount of production it takes to create a game a price of $100 is not beyond the realm of reason. And as a CEO of a company I am expected generate money and if I could I would charge that amount. But realistically we must remain competitive and that amount its just not logical.

Basically the same statement minus the arrogant tone. Or maybe he is just an a-hole. I dont know him personally so Who knows. But of course the internet is a haven for negativity so the bull is spead so far and so wide that any positive statements he may have made are swallowed whole.

P.S. Happy belated Birthday Ben. And Happy Birthday World.

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:05:49 PM

No, their primary function is to make GAMES.

Their secondary function is to make money so that they can keep making games.

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spiderboi
Friday, August 06, 2010 @ 3:12:03 AM

Second Fane. If they keep doing what they do now, its a bad short term approach. They will make money but when people snap out of their sequel-trance they'll run like heck.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:35:06 PM
Reply

Anti-vision could be a good company, but It all boils down to that a-hole, kotex, who's running it into the ground with re-hashed dribble.

I have no respect for a man who makes money hand over fist from the gamer nation, but who continually bashes them with comments, such as "I'd make game $100 if I could"!

And until anti-vision unloads his a$$ as boss, they they deserve all the criticism they get!

Plus as fluffernutter said above, kotex was successfully sued as a co-defendant in a sexual harassment case. And the case was settled to the tune of $ 1.5 million dollars.

Here's a second article on it too.....

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/activisions-kotick-loses-sexual-harassment-wrongful-termination-lawsuit/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:27:48 PM

And another black mark against kotex.....

If anti-vision was so right in ousting the 2 founders of I.W., then why did 23 other IW employees just up & promptly quit within weeks of kotex's newly reformed, but puppet-filled I.W.????

And another thing to bear in mind is why did 50 of those former IW employees all band together to file another lawsuit against anti-vision & kotex, this one being for non-payment of money they ALSO say that were long overdue to them too?

And we should like kotex's anti-vision why????

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Shams
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:41:56 PM

It's interesting how Kotex justified his wrongful termination of the female flight attendant who was sexually harassed by the his private jet pilot, because of a supposedly ensuing "hostile" enviroment, yet he apparently had no problem sending in bouncer-types unannounced to physically remove West and Zampella from the the IW premises.

Of course, he's thinking, "Bobby does not want to die in a freak flight accident because some lowly flight attendant won't give in to the sexual advances of my pilot. What should Bobby do? Fire the pilot, or fire the flight attendant? Bobby should settle the problem like he always does. Get rid of the people that don't matter, and settle it in court. Bobby has nothing better to do with his time. Bobby thinks this is less of a business risk. Bobby is smart."

I hope Bobby gets fired...and removed by bouncer-types.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:36:32 PM
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H.B. to both Ben & World!

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gangan19
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 7:47:35 PM
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I hate anybody who's greedy for money. *cough*activision.

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556pineapple
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:19:42 PM
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I don't mind the Infinity Ward feud and it's perfectly understandable for any businessman to want to raise the price of something as much as possible to make max profit, but this next quote from Mr. Kotick is the main reason why I dislike Activision.

"[Activison won't make 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."

Activision has Call of Duty, Guitar Hero/DJ Hero, and Tony Hawk as their main franchises (though I think that RIDE probably killed of the TH franchise.) There has been at least one entry in EACH of those franchises every year since they started (with the exception of 2004 for CoD.) Other than that, they pretty much just have cheap licensed games. Now I'm sure they'll just exploit whatever Bungie gives to them.

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NonProphet
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:26:35 PM
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The hate is absolutely justified. I just read an article on 1up about Kotick which reinforces everything you ever thought about this prick. (http://www.1up.com/news/activision-ceo-kotick-loses-legal)

Even if you didn't know anything else about the guy, if you read this article, you'd think he was a scumbag.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:32:28 PM

Oh, there's little doubt about that. But you know, if you take a random sampling of CEOs of the world's biggest companies, I'm willing to bet at least half would qualify for that scumbag label.

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Mornelithe
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:44:33 PM

And that makes it ok Ben? I really don't mean to start anything here, but exactly how does the mantra 'well the majority of other CEO's do it, let's give him a free pass' make any sense?

Activision, and Kotick, have done pretty much everything they can to milk as much money out of their core audience as possible. During a time when they're making TONS of money from all manner of games, he's talking about jacking up prices, subscription fee's for worthless FPS', and I'm sure he's trying to figure out a way to tear down orphanages and turn them into sweat shops.

Everyone else does it, didn't fly when we were kids, and it certainly should not fly as adults. Too bad most of the world doesn't have enough restraint to really stick it to this....person, by simply not buying ANY of their games.

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Alienange
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:27:41 PM

Nobody's giving Kotick a free pass Mornelithe. But why all the surprise? Why all the hate as if somehow he's unique in his greed? The man is CEO of a company that puts out games that are absolutely LOVED by millions and millions of people. Look at the recent Starcraft II. Look at Diablo III that's coming.

Activision publishes games that millions of people like. Of COURSE Kotick is going to get rich. Of COURSE he's going to be a prick of a CEO. What makes you, or anyone else, think he's going to be a saint?

Last edited by Alienange on 8/4/2010 9:28:11 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:46:08 PM

Mornelithe: I never said it was all right. I'm the first person to stand up and rail against the "others are doing it so it's okay" mantra.

The point is that it's hardly rare to find scummy CEOs. And many times, that scumminess doesn't always have a negative effect on the company. It may in the END, of course, but for the time being, everything is all peachy at places like Activision.

So besides an interest in what's right and business morality - which doesn't grow on trees - what incentive does Kotick have to be a model citizen? You and I know the incentive comes from within, but that can change quick with billions of dollars. Sadly, it's the Achilles Heel of humans.

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Mornelithe
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:09:51 PM

I am far too pissed off right now to respond coherently. I've had an extraordinaly bad week. I'll try back tomorrow when I'm a bit more calm. (Has nothing to do with any of ya'll).

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Mornelithe
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:48:42 AM

So you're asking why I hate Activision so much? I'm pretty sure I've gone into this before with at least Ben, but here goes:

What they did to the CoD Franchise after 2. (I don't care if you all trip over yourselves over Modern Warfare-esque games, CoD made it's name with historical pin-point accuracy). You know, actually learning about something while playing.

It's kinda offensive to see developers making up stories about current events, rather than going with real life data, when people are actually dying as we speak in such locations, pretty fu**ed up and simply a glorification of what's occuring right now.

A company at the forefront of screwing over the fanbase that made it so powerful, needs a reality check. A serious one. Unfortunately, most people are simply too greedy to care.

So whatever, drink the next batch of Koolaid Activision throws your way, fine, but remember, you reap what you sow.





Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/5/2010 10:35:13 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 10:37:04 AM

I've made similar comments about Square-Enix and my beloved Final Fantasy franchise.

But in the end, we should probably be realistic. We can scream and cry and rant all we want...if the company is making money with their new angle or direction or whatever, and they have millions of fans buying their stuff and in turn, telling them how much they love them, we have to admit we're in the minority.

And in the long run, in terms of money, companies really don't care about the minority. They want the MAJORITY to buy their product and sadly, a very large number of gamers love the recent Call of Dutys. We can't change that, and we can't say it isn't true.

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Mornelithe
Monday, August 09, 2010 @ 3:01:02 PM

@ Ben: I know, my kind definitely appears to be a dying breed. I'm realistic, but at the same time, I won't budge either. I know they're going to cater to most things I despise because the majority find it entertaining.

The majority also found 'NSync, Brittney Spears, Justin Bieber and so on and so forth, entertaining. Doesn't mean I'm about to waltz out and buy one of their albums. Hehe.

So, I pick and choose, very, very frugally. I absolutely _require_ certain things about certain types of games, before I'll even give them the time of day. The first inkling I have that a developer is going half-assed, I'm done with it.

A shitty port to the PC from consoles, or vice versa, is still a shitty port. I only wish everyone was able to know this, and stop the impulse buying long enough to hammer it home to these developers.

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Shams
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 8:40:31 PM
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Richard Branson, billionaire founder of the Virgin companies said something to the effect of this: "The primary of concern of a company is not the shareholders, nor even the customers, but the employees. Loyal employees create loyal customers, who in turn create happy shareholders."

It is clear not every company goes by this slogan. I'm not totally siding with those now known as Respawn. I simply don't know enough of what happened. But what I do know is the manner at which it happened (bouncer types coming in unannounced like the police and removing those two from the premises, who were voluntarily followed by a significant chunk of the team) reflects a publishing company's disregard well beyond that of mere professionalism, but perhaps of it's own partners and employees (those of whom who even had to witness the unsettling event). The problem that happens when a corporation becomes too aggressive, is that it can break it's very own foundation, the people. If you take out the "fun" of making games, you will undeniably destroy it's creativity, and it's perpetuity. That doesn't even make business sense, as I'm sure Richard Branson would agree. And I think that's what a certain someone from EA meant by Activision shooting their "prize horse".


It is clear that at the center of it all, the IP rights over MW wasn't the heart of the matter. Fact of the matter is, Activision owned COD, so even if Respawn went to make more MW titles under a different publisher, it have to have a different name. Furthermore, Those formerly known as IW plainly stated that after a couple of back-to-back iterations, they wanted to take a break and perhaps work on something else. Activision wanted to push another MW right away, and was forcing IW to do it, before going to Treyarch (whom they eventually had to go to anyways).

It's quite clear that what followed was avoidable. Look at Sony and Insomniac. Insomniac, after many more years, and 20 million + sales, has gone off to take a bigger chunk of the market. Notice how even now they enjoy a healthy relationship with Sony. It's interesting how these two seperations happened roughly during the same time period, yet, look at how different the outcomes were. That is the difference between good business and bad business. I mean even look at Bungie and MS.

About the unpaid royalites and bonuses, and IW's supposed breach of contract and insubordination, we have a saying where I come from: "Give a worker his dues before even the sweat dries from his forehead." Regardless of what happened with the future iterations of the MW franchise, Activision should've made good what IW was promised for working on the current one. This is not only a matter of proper business ethics, but basic morals as well.


Last edited by Shams on 8/4/2010 8:43:33 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:03:42 PM
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My reason for disliking them is simple.

The poor quality of online gaming in MW2. Now I know often the online component is not enough to hate on a game, but in this case, the online component is something they pride themselves on. I am sick and tired of being kicked out of games for no reason other than the host player has crap internet. I can't attempt to improve my stats, because when you get kicked out of a game, it counts as a loss.

Every single night that I do play it, I am guaranteed to run into problems.

I also hate it for the glitches. Glaring ones! Like the quick scope auto-aim malfunction glitch. I HATE that. And I hate the physics of online play too. If they had a dedicated server, it'd be fine.

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:06:43 PM
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Interesting and thought provoking - as always. Bobby Kotick still reminds me of Gerald Ratner.

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gangan19
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:32:47 PM
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gabe newell & bobby kotick should get raped by 4 shemales.

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:07:43 PM

And your comment should be deleted for the trash it is. Come on you can do better than that. Ignorant hatred? Here? No thanks.

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fluffer nutter
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 12:01:00 AM

Ignorant? Sounds like gaNWars is pro she-males.

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Highlander
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 12:16:03 AM

Perhaps, but it was hardly the kind of comment we see around here, perhaps it would be acceptable at Destructoid or Kotaku?

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gangan19
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:31:13 AM

your right mybad

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 10:22:48 AM

Yeah, let's not.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 9:39:48 PM
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Highlander,
Yeah, but I'd say that kotex has been much more than just "doing a Ratner",

Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/4/2010 9:40:58 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:08:23 PM

Well, yes in a way, but unlike Ratner, Kotick hasn't actually killed his organization just yet.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:11:33 PM
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I think this should some it up nicely.....

Game Developers More Inclined to Work with EA, says Insider.

An industry source notes that developers would rather work with EA boss John Riccitiello than other execs.

The full story here...

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/game-developers-more-inclined-to-work-with-ea-says-insider/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:18:14 PM
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FYI,
Yet, as much as kotex hates video games, look what's still going to be raking in the big bucks for him.

YES, IT's THOSE SAME VIDEO GAMES THAT HE DESPISES SO MUCH.....F'ING HYPOCRITE!!!!

Call of Duty Online in China Could Net Activision $100 Million in First Year.....

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/call-of-duty-online-in-china-could-net-activision-100-million-in-first-year/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:21:23 PM
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Call of Duty:Halo: The Battle Begins????

Halo:Reach will be a long term hit mostly for its multiplayer, but there are plenty of people who are interested in it for its story.

Here in this trailer, we see some glimpses of the story campaign and how much the aesthetics have been affected by "Call of Duty".

Watch the trailer here....
http://www.thealistdaily.com/news/call-of-halo-the-battle-begins/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:26:50 PM
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More money, money, money....going into greedy kotex's multi-million dollar nest egg.....

Call of Duty Map Packs Surpass 20 Million Units Sold

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/call-of-duty-map-packs-surpass-20-million-units-sold/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, August 04, 2010 @ 10:33:04 PM
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On a side note about the ex-founders of I.W....

Former Infinity Ward Bosses To Appear at QuakeCon.

Jason West and Vince Zampella, founders of Respawn Entertainment, will be attending QuakeCon this year.

Respawn Entertainment founders and former studio heads of Infinity Ward Jason West and Vince Zampella have confirmed that they will be attending QuakeCon to sit on a “Building Blockbusters” panel during the event.

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/former-infinity-ward-bosses-to-appear-at-quakecon/

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 1:54:43 AM
Reply

I probably have nothing to add at this point, but my problem with Activision is moral, not financial or anything like that. I have no problem with a company seeking more money, but if they do it through intentionally price-gouging their consumers, then that doesn't fly with me. I have no problem with a company releasing a broken product, so long as they are willing to acknowledge that and work on fixing it.

What I have a problem with is some of Kotick's inflammatory comments relating to gaming and the way that he wants his business to run. I know that businesses exist to make a profit, but when it comes to screwing over the person who wants to buy the product they offer, then it all goes to hell. Bugger 'em I say. Give me something interesting and I'll buy it, until then, work on it Activision.

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___________
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 3:34:49 AM
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only reason why i hate them is because they care about $ and nothing but $.
a game could be the best thing since sliced bread, they could get so many awards it would make uncharted 2 look bad but if it does not bring in the $ they would not be happy!
they dont give a sh*t about there games, and neither do they polish them!
look at MW2, singularity and wolfenstein 3 of the buggiest most unpolished games i have ever played!
when it comes to unpolished games, only one company can compete with antivision.
bethesda!
cough, fallout 3, cough fallout 3 DLC, cough WET!
i swear to god, if fallout new vegas is half as broken as fallout 3, than bethesda is going to mysteriously disappear of the face of the earth!

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Bjorn77
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 5:41:01 AM
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I'm not in to the 'branding'... Make a product I like and I will buy it, make crap and I will ignore it.

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Beamboom
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 5:50:05 AM
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I'm reading every single word in the article, every single comment, and I still can not see what this "hatred" is all about.

"all they care about is money"
"Their boss says he'd like to raise the price on his products"
"They always release follow-ups if the other releases sold well"
"They don't care about US, they care about our MONEY"

Uhm... What are you guys really, a bunch of hippies, some remnants of the sixties?
Gaming is business. Not only that, its BIG business, and continues to grow at a tremendous pace.

If there is ANY of you who believe there is one single games developer who is NOT in it for the money then sir, you are a fool. They may pretend they are not, but that's only cause they know you'll more likely buy their games then.

Look at Microsoft! Google! Apple! They use every dirty trick in the book in order to grab their shares. They are ALL in it for the money, with CEOs that ALL are saying the same: "HOW can we maximise profit?". It's their JOB. They are just better at it than their competitors.

So at the end of the day: Focus on the games. Buy those that will give you what you're after. The only, and I mean ONLY, real difference between the developers is their skills in making the products.

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Axe99
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 6:44:28 AM

Aye, beamboom, but if you read the comment I've posted above, Activision is running its company badly. Sure, they're making a lot of money, but that's through acquiring companies that were previously well run and running them down (IW, anyone?), and alienating its customers (or articles like this wouldn't be written).

Gaming is business, and if you compare the performance (from a business perspective) of Activision to almost _any_ other publisher, it's managing of customer (and employee) relations is pretty damn poor. If you go below the issues, this is where the seed of the issue lies, and it's got nothing to do about hippies. Activision is and should be in it for the money, but we'd all be a lot happier (as would their employees) if they did a better job of it.

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Beamboom
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:37:43 PM

Fair enough Axe, but this article is about *hate*. Aggression. Irrational emotional outbursts. The "eeeevil" Activision that should be BOYCOTTED for their indescribebably crimes against the humanity. It so it sounds.

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Axe99
Friday, August 06, 2010 @ 7:03:50 AM

Aye - I think hate is getting a bit carried away as well, was just running with the general vibe. I'm not really a hate person anyways. In fact, if everyone is being a bunch of hippies, I think they're not supposed to be haters (although correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not enough of a flower-child to be sure ;)).

I think part of the issue is also the 'ole 'entitlement culture' amongst gamers, exacerbated by the 'peer pressure' to play MW2 for a lot of teen gamers. I don't hate Activision for what they do at all. I think they're silly, and it has meant I don't buy as many Activision products, but I've spent more time writing/thinking about it in relation to this thread than anywhere else combined.

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Beamboom
Friday, August 06, 2010 @ 7:54:46 AM

Hmm of course you are right - they can't be hippies... They gotta be commies, then! :D

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Axe99
Friday, August 06, 2010 @ 5:38:24 PM

lol! Although technically communism is all about the people (through the state) owning the means of production, so they should be arguing that the Government should buy Activision, _then_ give away all the DLC free :).

(disclaimer: This isn't what I'm personally suggesting!)

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JackC8
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:03:41 AM
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It's not just the lawsuit with the ex-IW guys, it's the history of lawsuits with just about everybody Activision has ever had any dealings with. It has nothing to do with feelings of right or wrong, it's their knee-jerk response to everything.

What I hate most of all was the way they had people go into the Infinity Ward offices and interrogate employees until they were driven to tears. And having goons show up in the offices to guard the place or whatever. Real Stalinist crap there. Abusing people who are just there trying to earn a living - that's unconscionable and utterly unacceptable.

And of course there are Kotick's arrogant statements about not making PS3 games any more unless Sony lowers the price of the console - this from the guy who wants to raise the price of his games as high as possible. Utterly hypocritical. I have absolutely no respect for him, and I've got far better things to do with my time than trying to find a reason to sympathize with a publishing CEO who makes games I have no interest in.

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TheOldOne
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 8:48:18 AM
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I don't like Activision's management. But we can't punish all the developers (companies and employees) under their publishing umbrella because of some of their practices (best example Infinity Ward). So I hate them, but i don't regret buying their published games.

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Amazingskillz
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 8:54:32 AM
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I probably stand alone here but I really don't give an F about the company that makes the game as long as the game is an incredible, mind blowing, top notch, unforgetable, quality filled experience at the $59.99 price point. I neither love nor hate Activision. I do think they screwed up with the Infinity Ward debacle though. They apparently lost a lot of talent to Respawn Ent. Anyway, if the game is bad ass then that's all I care about. Like I said I probably stand alone on this issue.

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Amazingskillz
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:01:12 AM
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Oh by the way, Kotick raped by 4 shemales???!! That's some way wierd ish dude. I almost laughed and vomited at the same time.

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Highlander
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:23:29 AM

Yeah, well if the comment section here descends into a challenge to out-weird each other with crap like that posted by 'gaNWars', I will be out of here so fast it will make your head spin, as will a number of other regular contributors.

No offense to anyone, but if a poster has to resort to quips or jokes about real people being raped, then I don't wish to be associated with that poster. As they say in the UK, it's not big, and it's not clever. Personally I think it's immature and utterly ignorant.

YMMV.

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Amazingskillz
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:54:20 AM
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@Highlander
I agree this really isn't the place for that kind of wierd sexual comment. Makes you wonder what kind of person that ganwars is.

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Highlander
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 9:58:35 AM

Indeed. I get kinda protective of this place as it's such a civil place full of thoughtful commenters and readers. Kind of an oasis on the Net, you know?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 10:23:12 AM

Don't worry. And I missed that before but at least the poster apologized.

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Highlander
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 11:32:34 AM

Indeed, an apology is always welcome.

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:18:49 PM

Why PSXExtreme is so great:

Show me another website anywhere on the net where anyone apologizes for anything.

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totozero18
Sunday, August 08, 2010 @ 6:02:58 PM

4 chan! No wait...

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OxyFenix
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 11:06:40 AM
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I like your article, but it got me thinking again. Is it really that Activision believes they are in the right? Or, is it that they just don't want to give away the multimillion dollar cashcow brand that is 'Call of Duty'? They could just pay Vince and Jason but they also want Call of Duty which is their baby. But Activision wants to milk that baby till it's dry. So is it a matter or right or wrong? Or a matter of a long term or short term financial issue?

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Fane1024
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:20:40 PM

Babies don't produce milk. ;P

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BikerSaint
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 1:34:08 PM
Reply

And Anti-vision just lost another suit, by trying to steal away the rights to the Greg Hastings Paintball games franchise too.


Activision Lost Legal Battle to Paintball Champion, adding to the pile of legal disputes that Activision has had of late......

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/activision-lost-legal-battle-to-paintball-champion/

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BikerSaint
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 1:37:28 PM
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Activision Doesn't Like Women?

Sources state that Activision brass does not believe that female leads can sell games.....

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/activision-doesnt-like-women/

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Jian2069
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 1:52:16 PM
Reply

the reason i hate activision is that they force deadlines and release sequels way too often, look how many damn guitar hero games there are now
REDUNDANT MUCH? At least with the CoD games they are switching back and forth between devs which allows 2 years per game basically...

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PANICinc
Thursday, August 05, 2010 @ 7:35:24 PM
Reply

Wow, can't believe nobody made the comparison to Microsoft! The company founded on stealing technology and rushing it out the door, flaws and all! Thus far, Kotick hasn't done that!
Sure, CEO's are scheming snakes, that's corporate fact!
Activision's games do not appeal to me, I find similar games from different developers if something does look fun, but...whatever!

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firesoul453
Sunday, August 08, 2010 @ 5:56:51 PM
Reply

I find I hate activition more and more. They're almost as bad as EA (which I will NEVER buy a game new from again)
The merge with blizzard is a major downside for the gaming industry...
Any ya how can they possible justify the price on map pack.

Now they are making sequels like clockwork. Pretty soon a new COD game every year wont be enough.

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totozero18
Sunday, August 08, 2010 @ 6:43:51 PM
Reply

AMEN PANIC! You're talking about MS stealing the prototype processor por the PS3. It's really funny now that you mention it, being this a Pro-PS brand community which means that people here actually has brains beneath the hair. (Throw something like this in a bot community, and comments would overload the server just like S-E twitter after wada's question about FFVII's remake)

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