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Schafer vs. Kotick: The Punches Continue To Fly

It's turning out to be one of the more entertaining feuds of the generation. If you haven't been following along, let's get you caught up.

Back in July, Double Fine boss and game creation guru Tim Schafer called Activision CEO Bobby Kotick "a total prick" in a Eurogamer interview this past summer. This came after Schafer needed to find a new publisher in EA after Activision opted not to produce Double Fine's latest, and then Kotick and Co. tried to stop EA from releasing it due to a rights argument. If you need a refresher, here's Schafer's exact quote:

"His [Kotick's] obligation is to his shareholders. Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible. It's not something he's interested in."

Now, Kotick has fired back in a new Edge interview:

"The guy comes out and says I'm a prick. I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."

Then Kotick addressed what he had said about game making, and how he would "take all the fun out of video game development." He insists it was just a joke, and that if there's a small minority out there who actually believes he meant it, he can't combat that. As for not being a gamer and not caring about video games in general, Kotick said:

"This is my dream job. I've been playing games since I was 18 years old. I could have bought any company, but I bought a bankrupt game company, and I've been doing it for 21 years. This idea that I'm not passionate about videogames is ludicrous. But you say something and it gets taken out of context."

Tim? You're up. Stick 'n move.

Tags: bobby kotick, tim schafer, activision, double fine

9/28/2010 10:37:28 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

frostface
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 10:56:08 AM
Reply

This is drama at it's best...HBO will be fighting for the rights next!

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Highlander
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:00:15 AM
Reply

Bobby has been playing games since he was 18? Oh dear, what a boring childhood that man must have had.

Oh, wait, perhaps he's so old that he was 18 when the Atari VCS arrived? Perhaps he only played his first games on a Nintendo system? Who knows. But 18?

Considering the Atari arrived in 1977 that'd make Bobby something like 61 years old now - assuming of course that he played video games on the Atari VCS. I mean, ever since the Atari VCS, kids have played video games almost universally, whether home console or arcade.

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Sir Dan
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 12:13:54 PM

Is he were 18 in 1977 he would be 51. That's not that old. I say that as a 44 year old. Tee Hee

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Highlander
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 12:49:37 PM

Indeed, you are correct, my math is impaired, must be my advanced years.

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Shams
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 4:01:11 PM

Bobby has been playing games since he was 18? Yes, if you consider running companies into the ground as games, I guess he has.

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pillz81
Friday, October 01, 2010 @ 1:51:10 PM

He was 18 in 1981, since Wikipedia gives his birth year as 1963.

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coverton341
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:05:59 AM
Reply

My only question in this whole melodrama is, as Schafer pointed out, why would Kotick try to stop the publishing of a game that he didn't care to publish himself? I mean if you aren't ever going to do something with the game and the developer wants to take it over to another publisher to get it out there why do you even give a damn?

IMHO Kotick was being a prick about it. His statements about Schafer's deadlines and the fact that the game didn't really do as well as expected might be spot on but in the end that doesn't explain why he tried blocking the game. Was it a personal vendetta against Schafer? If so, that would be considered a prick move in my book.

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FullmetalX10
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:07:46 AM
Reply

I'm with the small minority.

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Jawknee
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:08:01 AM
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He's passionate about making money not games. Again I don't begrudge those go own a business and want to make a profit but he's doing to the video game industry what those greasy record label producers did to music. Turned into a bank machine where something is just bought and sold. Not created from an artistic vision and produced to move to relate to people. Was once a sacred place.

I would rather fail at something I created and cared about then sell out just to make money. I tell my friends who I write music with all the time, the integrity of the music comes first. Always. This idea is lost on Booby. Share holders are what matters, not creative vision.

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coverton341
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:17:23 AM

Very much agreed. It's rather sad to know that this is the inevitable direction things are going to take as well. Might sound like a fatalist viewpoint but if we look at every other medium of art that can be turned into a commodity; music, film, photography, you will see that the game industry will eventually be capitalised on by more people like Kotick, and that's just a depressing thing.

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BTNwarrior
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 12:26:04 PM

Thats how 80s music happened, and we are all glad the industry recovered from that

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booze925
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 7:55:44 PM

why does everyone call him booby?
is that supposed 2 b offensive somehow?

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spiderboi
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 1:19:24 AM

Boobies = good
Bobby K = not so

so let's maybe call him Bully King?

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mexgeo86
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:13:12 AM
Reply

Kotick isn't making any friends; just this week he took a major jab at EA saying people didn't like working there and how EA wasn't as good as they say they are. I hope EA counters.

Last edited by mexgeo86 on 9/28/2010 11:15:22 AM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:23:55 AM

mexgeo86,
FYI,
EA already countered kotex's statement a few days ago.

See my post from EA over at the last Kotex thread(about 2-3 days ago)

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:17:48 AM
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As far I'm concerned, Kotex IS a pr*ck.

So I'm now supposed to take every word from every negative thing he's said about gamers, games themselves, his own employees, & on top of that, everyone else that's even outside his company, as all that he was just making jokes?
And most of his asinine comments were made at either, board meetings or business functions, or as a keynote speaker.

Plus the fact that kotex himself, said that he only "WATCHED" somebody else play 1 video game in his entire life, & also that he didn't like it.

Sorry Bobbie, but NO, the biggest joke on earth aren't the words that spill out of your mouth & are polluting the Earth....
It IS YOURSELF, who is the biggest joke in this Galaxy!!!!!

BTW Boobie, look to me as the President of that vocal minority!
PR*CK!!!!!!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/28/2010 11:20:27 AM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:28:11 AM
Reply

Tim Schafer hits Kotick right in the kisser....
(with his own rebuttal)

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-09-27-schafer-hits-back-at-kotick

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:36:41 AM
Reply

mexgeo86

Here ya go, I went & got it for you...
EA's rebuttal....

EA Fires Back at Bobby Kotick

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/ea-fires-back-at-bobby-kotick/


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mexgeo86
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 1:14:09 PM

thanks amigo!

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Scarecrow
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 11:59:12 AM
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Of course you took the chance to buy a game company you dumb ass.

Video games was and still is one of the fastest and most profitable businesses out there.

Stop trying to fool us. Sickening.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 12:09:00 PM
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"The guy comes out and says I'm a prick. I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brütal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it.'

And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game..."



Schafer's right. He is a prick!

Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/28/2010 12:09:09 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 8:28:20 PM

That quote right there is the thing that Kotick says that rescues him from this mess. What he says is spot on, if someone is over budget, late and not meeting quality standards, their project needs to be either canned or given to someone else.

Perhaps he's a prick, perhaps not. But he was right about the game in question...

;)

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Underdog15
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 9:28:19 AM

yeah, you're right. I think a little further down I made a comment yesterday about how this quote proves both Schafer's point about him being a prick, and the point Kotick makes in the quote.

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Alienange
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 12:51:14 PM
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Hey Schafer, in the gaming world, that's called getting pwned.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 1:14:39 PM

lol yup. I love how in Kotick's statement proved both his own and Schafer's points.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 1:50:21 PM
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A good game boss is a quiet game boss.

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zork
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 2:00:01 PM
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What makes me laugh about all of this, gamers will be in line November buying that trash,
Kotick will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 2:48:47 PM
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Whether anyone likes Kotick or not, the man did indeed take a very poor company, and turn it into one of the best (subjective). So whether you hate his attitude or how he feels about gaming, the guy is a great businessman. Just wish he would learn to back off a bit about gaming :|

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LightShow
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 3:10:47 PM
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Schafer's an artist. Kotick is a businessman. obviously schafer hates kotick for cutting his cashflow (thus putting his art in jeapordy), and kotick isnt a big fan of schafer because he doesnt take orders very well. next article please.

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THEVERDIN
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 5:04:31 PM
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They both should shut their pie holes and get on with making games.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 5:28:21 PM
Reply

Bobby Kotick, I reckon, probably has no friends in the industry. His only admirers are Xbox 360 fanboys with their Tea Party mentalities and Ben Paddon, the hobo of video game journalism.

Last edited by n/a on 9/28/2010 5:28:44 PM

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booze925
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 6:15:21 PM
Reply

You know who wins the war between Kotick and Schafer?
i do :)
Booze: 1
Kotick and Schafer: GOT NUTHIN

Last edited by booze925 on 9/28/2010 6:15:58 PM

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 @ 9:16:22 PM
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You just made it a 3 way tie now, LOL

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___________
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 @ 4:13:44 AM
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oh dear lord this is hilarious!
cat fight! cat fight! cat fight! cat fight! cat fight!!!!!
*sits back, gets some popcorn ready, and readies the video camera for recording*

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