Kotick Hits Out At EA, Schafer, And More

Well, it seems that gaming’s favourite hate-figure, Bobby Kotick is on a roll, with his interview in this month’s Edge magazine giving him a chance to sound off against a roster of targets.  According to Kotick, Activision’s greatest rivals, EA, are ‘struggling’.  “Great people don’t want to work there.  It’s like, if you have no other option, you might consider them.”

He went on to say that Activision treats its studios better than EA and that “…in every case except for two, the original founders of the studio are still running the studios today.” Well, we all know to which studio he’s referring, which is just as well, because he also has something to say on the subject of the Activision/Infinity Ward drama earlier this year.

When Infinity Ward founders, Jason West and Vince Zampella  were fired and marched from the IW building in dramatic style, we were treated to months of soap-esque drama as the he said/they said accusations started and the duo claimed that Activision had fired them to avoid having to pay their bonuses on Modern Warfare 2.  West and Zampella went on to file a lawsuit against Activision and started up their own studio, Respawn Entertainment.  A notable list of Infinity Ward employees jumped ship in the wake of the scandal, many of whom went on to join Respawn, who themselves joined forces with Activision’s favourite, fellow publisher, EA, signing with the EA Partners program.

Talking about Respawn, Kotick is dismissive, claiming that West and Zampella will “have a really hard time ever being productive or successful ever again.” He goes on to claim that he felt ‘betrayed’ by the actions of people he thought of as friends.  Somehow, we doubt that the fired duo will see it that way, especially after their various claims about Activision and Kotick in the tumultuous days and months after the, now infamous, events at IW.

Appearing to be unwilling to leave any stone unturned, the outspoken Activision CEO also turned his attention to Monkey Island writer, Tim Schafer, who, if you’ll remember, as we reported some time ago, branded Kotick a prick in an interview with Eurogamer, blithely suggesting weapons manufacturing as a future career if his current work doesn’t pan out.  Returning fire, Kotick popped back at the head of Double Fine, Schafer, claiming that he made the right decision to axe Brutal Legend and that it was the sensible thing to do…“it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game…” Of course, being impartial, we would be loathe to muse on the fact that Schafer was racing deadlines with the game, thanks to Activision’s lawsuit trying to get it stopped, so we won’t mention it.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Schafer responded: “It’s sad is that instead of just insulting me personally, he goes after the product of my hard-working team – a group of people he almost put out of work a while back.” Ending on a final dig, Schafer added that “…what’s even sadder is that it took him two months to think of a comeback.” Shhhmack.

As much as the industry loves to loathe Kotick, like Jack Thompson, he’s become something of an institution…we’d probably miss him if he were gone, though there are a more than a handful of devs, writers, programmers, and gamers out there who’d vehemently disagree.  Well, with the heavy hitting releases not due to land until October time, we have to amuse ourselves with scurrilous gossip, bitching, and scandal, don’t we, so for the full interview, hit the newsagents for Edge, issue 220.

Sources: Edge & Eurogamer

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  1. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Far be it from me to have an opinion on the politics of the gaming industry, especially while I try to remain as impartial as possible… but Kotick is not a gamer. He’s not a video game enthusiast who heads up a video game empire… he’s a businessman. In the long tradition of managerial positions, he doesn’t need to know or even profess to know anything about gaming… just as long as his suit looks good when he has to stand up and shoot someone down or praise his own organisation.

    I want video game companies to be run by visionaries, innovators, speculators and people who actually CARE about gaming and the games themselves rather than how much profit they’re turning in any given fiscal period. Someone who shows as much contempt for his audience, ie those who pay his ludicrous salary by buying in to his franchises, has no right to be a figurehead for an organisation such as Activision Blizzard.

    Kotick’s responses to Schafer are not even worthy of being described as infantile, and it speaks volumes that it took him so long for his retort. Way to go Kotick.

  2. Richie richie says:

    Kotick is quite clearly the biggest tosser in gaming.

    He’s stripping out the joy. The fat fuck.

  3. Samuel Samuel says:

    Well, someone had to be the biggest knob in gaming since Jack Thompson got disbarred, and Kotick is definitely giving it his all to fill the vacancy.

  4. Lorna Lorna says:

    And this on top of his recent remarks about Bungie being the only real decent indie developer out there. Couldn’t believe that one.

  5. [...] bickering back and forth between Bobby Kotick and…well…everyone, continues as EA take their turn in responding to the Activision CEO’s recent remarks in an [...]

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