Bobby Kotick takes the fun out of Activision

by: John -
I waited a day or so to even post this as I just don't know what to think for someone to say things like this. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has done it again by saying some really head scratching things.

Let's start by alluding to a Guitar Hero series sans console. That I don't think is out of the realm as I can see them making a setup where you don't need anything but instruments plugged into some device that can retrieve music from a server. There are toys out there already where you plug the instrument straight into the TV so I guess if he wants to go that route with the Guitar Hero games more power to him.

He also demonstrated some new technology that would make things such as mouth movements a lot more realistic. That's good. I like executives that actually talk about new technology they are working on and demonstrate them as well. So far so good.

But then he says, "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"

What? Are you serious?

I've been through a few companies where they take the "fun" out of developing and trust me it's not very pretty. When times go bad and companies do these types of things thinking it will help out the company in the long run, talented folks leave in droves once  the economy picks up leaving you a shell of your former self.

As a developer, I cringe when I hear things like this and part of the reason I now have a working environment where I don't answer to corporate execs and their politics. 

It's a little ironic that Kotick talks about taking the fun out of being in an industry where the job of it is to have fun. Look, I can understand you have a responsibility to your share holders and you want to make a good living yourself. But, there are good ways and bad ways to go about this and Kotick doesn't seem to be doing the former.

Activision has a good thing going for them. They have Blizzard and Infinity Ward in tow plus a bunch of other solid looking titles coming out. There's no reason to be the way he is and I wish he'd learn that if you're good with people and good with the community, money will come in along with being well liked in the community allowing you to keep reaping the benefits of that good will.

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