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Activision: We're not a "monolithic empire"

Thu 14 Apr 2011 6:40am GMT / 2:40am EDT / 11:40pm PDT
BusinessPublishing

Kotick has built a studio model that allows retention of culture; company steering brands to market is the "magic sauce" - Winters

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...

activisionblizzard.c...

Activision's Dan Winters, head of developer relations, has spoken out about what he feels are misconceptions of the company's image, telling GamesIndustry.biz that it's not so long since his company was the plucky underdog.

Winters' comments come as part of an exclusive interview about the general state of play at Activision, in which he is keen to point out that the company has a great deal of respect for developers, something he hopes is reflected in public perceptions of the publisher.

"I would like to think that we spend a lot of time, and I individually spend a lot of time thinking of ways to reach out to the development community and show that we have respect and complete admiration for what they do on a daily basis," Winters argued. "I hope that there aren't any hard feelings and I hope there isn't any reluctance - I've certainly not felt it directly.

Before our merger with Blizzard we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, loveable number two.

Dan Winters, Activision

"A business is a tough thing to manage on a number of different fronts, especially when you're dealing with a creative community like video games or interactive entertainment. Any time that I do hear anything of concern I do try to dispel it. The overall message that I would love people to get out of any time they actually get detailed information about us or my personal approach is that we have admiration and respect for the talent in this industry.

"We recognise that the success we've had as a company comes from the talent of those individuals and those teams. We would like to think that we're able to compliment that talent and high-quality product with the ability to move things through the right channels, and that's great, I think that's part of our magic sauce. But without really high quality product, and without the passion and talent behind it, we recognise that the business is only the business. I hope there's no reluctance, I certainly haven't felt it directly."

Recently, in an interview in Edge magazine, three high level ex-Bizarre Creations staff spoke about their experience during the notice period and subsequent closure of that studio by Activision. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there was an impression that the process had been handled with a sensitivity and tact, with the offer sitting on the table to buy back the studio as an independent concern.

"I'm sorry that people were surprised by that," Winters responded when the interview was raised. "With all of our internal studios we have built a process, Bobby [Kotick, CEO] has really done this directly himself, built a process for the independent developer model, that allows them to retain their own culture, their own visibility, their own leadership, really to drive the stewards of the brands. I think those are important pieces of ownership, as it's loosely defined.

"I think that's an important part of people coming in and having a passion and being able to exercise that passion as opposed to going in and being called publisher's name plus location. That takes some of the individuality away from that studio, and maybe some of their ability to personalise, to put in passion and ownership into their studio process. So I think we've done a good job of that through the years."

A large part of the negative perception of Activision's behaviour doubtless comes from its success. As Winters points out, it's wasn't too long ago that EA was sitting in Activision's current position: number one in terms of revenue, and wearing the heavy badge of the 'Evil Empire'.

"It's interesting, before our merger with Blizzard, becoming the number one publisher from a revenue perspective, we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, loveable number two. As soon as we become the number one and we develop broader perspectives, perceptions started to change a little bit.

"We've worked very hard, and continue to do so, to let people know that, you know, we're the same guys, we really are. We haven't changed! I'm the same guy that I was before the merger, as are most of us. We're the same organisation. We haven't gone out and hired 3000 people. Our ability to scale and move quickly is the same as it was before. We're not this big, monolithic empire that's making decisions in a dark room, we're still very collaborative. We still have the same healthy respect and appreciation for talent that we ever did."

The full interview with Dan Winters can be read here. He will also be speaking at the Festival of Games, taking place April 28-29.

32 Comments

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
Unfortunately for some reason ATVI has become no. 1 enemy presumably because of their success. They run their business like a business. It' a beautiful machine. Their brands are best in class as are their sales and marketing. Closing low quality/poor performing franchises was also the right thing to do - though it may seem harsh to outsiders. The reality is over the last 3 years millions of people have lost their jobs in all industries - it's not like ATVI are unique. They didn't create the worst recession since the '30s. And its shareholders money they are spending. If people have an issue with ATVI take it up with the owners. The Kottick bashing is pathetic and childish. The power of the internet.

One criticism I do have is the poor ATVI PR allowing this ATVI hate to fester. So it's good to see some efforts to see their side of the story. Ultimately there is a very noisy minority who voice their dislike. It's immature but to be expected. Sadly the ATVI/Kottick trolling still seeps into this industry site - which is a shame. Constructive ATVI criticism seems few and far between. People should be applauding a business that releases a video game year in year out that generates revenues of $1bn Ė itís playing a major part in keeping the industry alive.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 0.8
@Graham Simpson

Iv got to disagree on this "Closing low quality/poor performing franchises was also the right thing to do"

Activision is a terrible company and I'm not talking about the lack of respect for its devs, from a business point of view, for example what Ip's do they even have now? Call of duty and Spiderman? They refuse to make new IP's and when they do they are low quality or they are given zero marketing, just look at Blur and Singularity two good games which could be come very profitable IP's but no! because they didn't sell 5 million copies in the 1st week Activision closed/cancelled them. There will be a day when people stop buying Call of Duty what are they going to do then? Surely they can't just rely on the Bungie deal.

And to finish on this point "People should be applauding a business that releases a video game year in year out that generates revenues of $1bn Ė itís playing a major part in keeping the industry alive. "

You would think that its a good thing that a game generates that revenue but in fact its not, when you think about it its pretty much a 1 billion dollar black hole for the industry, instead of 10 games from different business making 100 million you've got 1 making a billion, that's not good for the industry, its a monopoly on the Q4 market. Stagnation, Stagnation everywhere.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Smith on 14th April 2011 9:41am

Posted:3 years ago

#2
"Before our merger with Blizzard we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, loveable number two. " lol sorry but unfortunatly that wasn't the case, all across the internet even before the merger, people hated you guys.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
Activision warm and fuzzy? hell no!

closing good developers,shutting down IP's just becuase they didnt perform to the level of call of duty?

respect for devs and the whole point of making games fun rather then cash cows is something they have lost.

games SHOULD NOT be cash cows,instead they should fun,enjoyable and original. Has activision got any of that? no.

(Quote: Dan Winters: Before our merger with Blizzard we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, loveable number two.) name once point in recent history before the merger with blizzard activision was ever loveable?


sorry activision, ive lost all respect for you.

no money from me!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jamie Watson on 14th April 2011 10:57am

Posted:3 years ago

#4

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
I have to side with Graham here.
Activision is a business, they are out there to make money and if they dont they have to answer to the shareholders.

Its easy to look at a company or an industry from the outside but its very different looking in from the inside out and seeing what is going on.

Could the Acvtivision management done things differently?
Yes they could have but development and project approvals start 18+ Months out and the markets can change much faster that.

I used to work for them, I seen the beast from the inside and I worked with some of the best people in the industry who wanted to make the best games possible.
Its a shame so many where let go but it comes back to the first point is that Activision are a business and businesses are there to try and make profits and the IP lineup was not doing that for them so changes had to be made for good or for bad.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College

294 27 0.1
Someone put Kotick in a cupboard and the publisher may be able to hold its arrogant head above water.

While some of the original comments may be fair, having spoke to guys working under Activision they donít have a bad word to say directly about the publisher but the cancellation of projects which didnít perform to the standards of CoD is where the company rears its ugly [business] face...

Poor Bizarre & Red Octane which had obviously served their purpose of generating +$1b to the coffers which obviously wasnít enough after being squeezed dry.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator

956 185 0.2
"Before our merger with Blizzard we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, loveable number two. "

Seriously?

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Joe Bognar PR Account Executive / Journalist

99 2 0.0
He is right but actually he's not. Activision was an awesome, friendly company before. 2 answers from here on. 1. Money and power and the fear of loosing them, changed them (axed True Crime!) and this is what happens with all the companies that ever will be on the top of this list.
2. EA really was evil and it still is but now that it's 2nd, we just don't focus on it.

To be honest, I still tend to lean for the first answer... EA continously publishes a lot of creative, addictive and - in general - awesome games.
Activision does a lot of CoD...

No hatred, no sadness. Facts. :(

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde

110 0 0.0
I can understand the different arguments that come across here. I believe the issue is in the PR that has been generated by ActiBlizz since the merger, and Kevin sums it up perfectly: there is an arrogance in their business logic that subsequently bleeds into their public image.

I concede that I did have a greater appreciation for Activision prior to becoming #1. Prior their merger, it was a company that invested in many IPs and licenses and continued to create good games that sold modestly well (think early CoD, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, Marvel licenses, movie licenses). Sure, some games were bad, others were not, but their catalogue provided variety in a way that EA at the time did not provide.

So what happened? Post merger, the CoD phenomenon really kicked off and suddenly the company had two huge cash cows: WoW and CoD. Two very different games that came out at the right time to the right demographic with a quality that demanded some form of success. The problem seems to be that the longer these IPs have continued to rake in money, the publisher philosophy has remained such that an IP must provide sufficient revenue to justify continued investment, but the bar has been raised significantly. As a result, many an IP has been scrapped. Furthermore, they are open in admitting that they are doing this as smart business practice, focussing on profitability over entertainment value for consumers. Naturally these two overlap, but not all consumers find what you consider entertaining and worth the investment.

This brings on two issues: you alienate part of your consumer base who were content to continue playing games such as Blur, Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk etc. given you now wish to focus entirely on 2 or 3 brands (Blizzard are excused here, since they just do whatever the hell they like it seems). These people enjoyed the games you were making, but it's clear in everyones eyes - thanks to both the products on shelf and the open PR of the company, that Activision simply don't care if you were, their concern is getting you to buy what they're selling now. Sure, CoD is a huge hit, so as far as they're concerned, they're doing their job right.

The second issue, more importantly, is people losing their jobs. Losing your job is a horrible position to find yourself in, and moreso given the continued financial climate. Of course this becomes more prominent in the media and when you consider the previous point, comes across as rude and insensitive. Sure, it's smart business practice, and no doubt there are many talented people who help keep them on the top of the pile. But, sacking - or indeed suing - so many employees rather publicly while investing so much money into marketing one or two games that will make shareholders happy (and rich), will undoubtably make the company come across poorly.

Personally, I think the biggest problem is that they strongly advocate, and publicly acknowledge, their 'trim the fat' business model despite historically being A) the company whose success was driven by a variety of diverse products (quality is open to debate) and B) for a long time #2 in the industry to a company who previously acted exactly as they do now and have been forced to change their ways to adjust to the changes in the market.

It's a catch 22: the thing that makes them so profitable and successful will continue to be the catalyst for why so many people despise them. Said people simply waiting for the house of cards to come crashing down when the CoD sensation finally dies down.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
I guess I should not be surprised by the typical responses from the blue. They are young and still learning their way in life Ė many are still teenagers. That said, itís more worrying when the people lecturing them, like Kevin above, has similar naÔve views. Itís a real pity these so called games courses donít teach the aspects of business management. It should be mandatory for everyone doing further education to have a section on business management (even if itís a term of basic sales/ marketing / accounting).

You would have thought it a no brainer since a games developer could quite easily create a game or to and before they know it they have to run it as a commercial operation (witness any number of indie successes). Instead we have children who love playing games leave school and go and do a games development course generally using out of date development tools and at the end leave with a piece of paper that says they are a games developer and little prospect of a job in the industry they love. Thatís hardly setting them up for a future of success.

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 0.8
@Graham

If you're referring to me, I'm not against Activision making money but anyone with eyes can see that they are doomed to failure or bankruptcy (again) they are thinking far to short term with their IP's All you have to do is look at their past, they run all of their successful franchises into the ground, call of duty will follow and they will only have the Bungie deal to fall back on, that is not good business Its idiocy

Posted:3 years ago

#11

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Paul, Activision are not doomed to failure.

You have no idea the quality of the people they employ and can bring on board.
Some of the future IP might not be grown internally but dont think for a second they wont be around for a long time.

Maybe they wll to become smaller and leaner but its a huge business and a sucessful one on many levels.

Posted:3 years ago

#12

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
ATVI's business model is a handful of extremely successful franchises they can repeatedly leverage content off. Everyone seems to think CoD's days over despite Black Ops outselling MW2 when many so-called experts claimed it would not. People need to think outside the box. ATVI know churning out MW X or Black Ops Y will just decay the brand. But then you cannot blame them when they generate $1bn in revenues. They've just begun with this franchise - you've got [insert other Wars] or Sci-fi variants / RTS / RPG / entertainment offshoots - movies/comics etc. A brand like that is going nowhere. It's not about any one game anymore. It's about entertainment in the home.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College

294 27 0.1
@ Graham

I think you show yourself quite nicely when you state "these so called games courses" now who is being naive?

I teach Game Development which covers a range of aspects relating to the industry, unfortunately/fortunately there is no unit for business management which isnít what the students signed up for. They signed up to understand how games are made and to learn how to make games, which we do.

With regards my comments, these are my own personal opinion and as ever I always give a balanced view on any subject I deliver relating to the industry, the students make their own mind up regardless.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Daniel Leaver Creative Director, Ambient Studios Ltd

23 4 0.2
The only comment I can make on this matter is one of opinion and not hard fact. However, I seem to remember that at one point, a little known WWII shooter named Call of Duty didn't blow the doors off the games industry on it's first outing. Neither did DEAD SPACE, which had fairly low initial sales, yet has grown into an entire universe of merchandise and spin off comics, films and toys. EA stuck with it an believed in the IP. I'm personally over the moon they did, as DEAD SPACE 2 is one of my all time favourite games.

Essentially, it's easy to write off an IP as a failure after it's first game, but some games need a sequel before the consumer has the confidence to invest in the game (games such as Blur deserved a second go!). I'm not even sure I can remember the behemoth Need for Speed franchise being all that popular until "Hot Pursuit"; their 3rd outing!

I can't comment on Activision's business decisions directly, since they know far more than I, yet, I can't help feeling that COD and WoW can't support them forever. They'll need new IP to survive, and simply acquiring the devs who produce hits on their own could be expensive.



Posted:3 years ago

#15

Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design

70 14 0.2
Bizarre Creations. Nuff said.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Steven you missed a few.
Its not just Bizarre, hell I have lost count of the number of people I used to work with who dont work for Activision any more or even for matter work in the game industry anymore after the cuts in the last year.

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Curt Schilling Chairman/Founder, 38 Studios

3 0 0.0
Quite simply they are #1, a position they have rightly earned. People in this country, for the most part, do NOT root for the best, the leaders, the winners, they root for the underdog. Yes they bought Blizzard, but ANYONE could have done that. They were smart enough, savvy enough, to engage in a transaction that pushed them to the front. That's just good business.

For 86 years baseball fans around the world rooted and felt for Red Sox nation. There was some pity there, and sympathy, but everyone wanted to see it happen. They wanted the miracle. They got that in 2004, and again in 2007. Combine that with the success of the Patriots, who were lovable losers as well, and the Celtics, and now people's first reaction to Boston and it's fans is one of scorn or disdain.

Activision has earned their perch. They've learned, and will continue to learn, it's far harder to stay there than it is to get there.

Posted:3 years ago

#18

Mark Dygert Lead Character Animator, Her Interactive

21 24 1.1
Graham Simpson wrote: Unfortunately for some reason ATVI has become no. 1 enemy presumably because of their success.

The revolving door of the industry doesn't actually foster good will toward those who do the laying off. Especially when they where hired under the guise of full time employment, worked like mad, then treated as contractors and let go.

It only confirms douche bag bussiness practices when they hire the same artists they let go.
"You're studio is under preforming, we have to let you go"
(3mo later)
"Oh hey I worked with you 3mo ago, want a job doing the same thing, under XYZ working on ABC?"
"I am tired of unemployment and gnawing on cardboard boxes for sustenance..."

For a lot of people in the industry its not about the money but the sense of job satisfaction. If you can provide the basics to a person to the point they don't have to worry about them then they focus on the job and preform better.
If a person constantly has the threat of a lay off looming over their head and questions about their future stability they are a lot less free to focus on doing a great job. In an industry where creativity is king its a horrible thing to do to a person and then demand that they be creative. It's a "the beatings will continue until creativity improves" sort of thing.

But that's just my perception based on my friends that are amazing artists, that put in phenomenal amounts of work and some really long hours only to be greeted shortly after shipping not with the promised carrot but a pink slip.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Mark Dygert on 14th April 2011 6:29pm

Posted:3 years ago

#19

Paul Smith Dev

189 154 0.8
Activison didn't buy blizzard, Vivendi merged the two company's

Posted:3 years ago

#20

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
Correct Paul.
Vivendi agreeded to Merge Vivendi Games with Activision Publishing crating Activision Blizzard with Vivendi holding the marority stake in the new company.
People forget those who held the purse strings for Blizzard still do, and the people now have a large say in how Activision is run.

Mark, I know people who have worked in the same studio for 3+ years full time day in day out and still do.
And its an Activision who own those studios.

You would think I would be sat here slating them instead of defending them.
I was let go a year ago, I had to relocate back to Europe and was out of work.
I now work in a non-game company doing a lower level role than I was on previously so I have more than enough reason to call them out and say they are the worst employer in the world but they are not.
Yes they do hire in staff for the crunch period but its a matter of course for the industry.
How many people work on a contract period and are let go once the project ends?

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 8 0.1
Actually, i'm going to have to agree with the "cute and fuzzy" statement. No, I wouldn't compare the old Activision to a cuddly teddy bear or a puppy, but after playing Mechwarrior 2 Activision was one of my favorite companies. I couldn't wait to see what they came out with.

But ATVI is the monolithic empire that everyone sees it as. It combines two of the largest video game companies in the world. The only company that comes close is EA. Yet the difference between the two companies is long-term possibilities. Blizzard has lots of IPs to work with, but Activision just has Call of Duty. EA has almost a dozen excellent IPs that we hear about on a weekly basis. Just look at the long list of games EA has come out with over the past 6 months and tell me that those IPs don't have long-term growth possibilities.

ATVI seems to be scared of taking risks, but it's part of the business. Maybe True Crime: Hong Kong would have failed. If so, shelve the IP. Maybe Guitar Hero is getting old, maybe Blur and Singularity didn't sell as well as they would have liked. But when all of the new ideas that people have still aren't good enough for you sooner or later the hounds at your heels will start picking up those table scraps and growing stronger.

Calculated risk is the key, not zero-risk.

Posted:3 years ago

#22

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
@ Curt - " Yes they bought Blizzard, but ANYONE could have done that."

Actually, it was more like the other way around; Blizzard's parent company Vivendi bought a controlling stake in Activision, and if I recall correctly the Activision senior staff were appointed in charge of the entire games division aside from Blizzard, who have their own management and are effectively run as a separate company.


At the end of the day Activision are a business and are very good at what they do, and when the Call of Duty games are generating over a billion dollars turnover each year the company's focus on the brand is understandable. However, they're openly admitting to focusing the business going forward on just a few brands (one of which they are only acting as publisher of), and don't seem to have much interest in IP which are not big sellers out of the blocks. Although every publisher wants each new franchise to perform like Assassin's Creed, hardly any do; even with huge marketing campaigns. Perhaps Activision need to have a long hard look at the concept of nurturing a franchise and building a brand rather than expecting games to compete at the top of their given genre on their first attempt. There will come a time when Call of Duty does begin to lose popularity, and when that happens they'll need a broad catalogue of strong (if not necessarily amazing) franchises to help sustain the company.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 15th April 2011 9:06am

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Mark Dygert Lead Character Animator, Her Interactive

21 24 1.1
John Donnelly wrote: How many people work on a contract period and are let go once the project ends?
____________________
Contractors being let go when the contract expires, I understand. The thing that gets me is that they hire full time employees work them for 2-3 years then lay them off.

This shouldn't be hovering over the head of anyone it distracts them from their job and steals focus from the project. Indeed in a lot of studios that aren't owned by big publishers this isn't the case. The studio heads are connected to their talent and value their worth and will struggle a bit to keep them on when every business person would cut them loose. I've been fully employed for 5 years in one such studio and I love it, and they've been around for 15+ years. But I've seen countless friends and comrades go through the meat grinder at other places and some day if I want to work on different IP I'll have to play that game also...

Terence Gage Wrote:
"Activision need to have a long hard look at the concept of nurturing a franchise and building a brand "

I totally agree. They need to fund and cultivate IP differently then they would keep an established franchise going. Instead of boom or bust on one title they need to plant a seed and grow it carefully and deliberately. What you create isn't much more than a vertical slice. This not only requires less cash to produce but allows you to start growing an audience and get their feedback on what can be new and innovative ideas.

A friend of mine did a write up that speaks to this.
[link url=http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PeterKojesta/20110224/7084/The_Pilot_Paradigm_How_to_launch_a_new_IP_more_effectively_and_cheaper.php
]http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PeterKoje...[/link]

It makes for less impressive boom periods but it is sustainable and a lot more humane to the employees it also fosters the kind of environment that they wish they had. I point to valve who is not known for hiring and firing the way the rest of the industry does. Instead of bloating a team full of talent just to ship a title then firing them, you make a game built to a scope you can create with your core.

Personally I see this as a PR stunt aimed at bringing in new studios because they see their eggs in too few baskets. "ahh come on baby I won't slap you around again, I've changed you know me I would never hurt you again"

Edited 8 times. Last edit by Mark Dygert on 14th April 2011 7:11pm

Posted:3 years ago

#24

Alessandro Tento VP Art Development, Activision Blizzard

2 0 0.0
Besides Graham, very few on this thread seem to really know the business side of the Gaming Industry. Positive game reviews and a loud minority hardcore fan-base do not automatically translate into multi-million (unit) selling franchises. Large publicly traded Publishers are driven by numbers (revenue). You can make a 90%+ rated game, but if it doesn't have mass-market appeal and meet/exceed forecasts it will still be positioned for failure from a pure business perspective. Sad but true.

Posted:3 years ago

#25

Mark Dygert Lead Character Animator, Her Interactive

21 24 1.1
Alessandro, its a little paradoxical to think that they can use business logic to make cold calculating decisions and then turn around and want to see warm fuzzy wishes from those same people... But then again maybe they are talking to the people they haven't yet burned?

Wow when did I get so cynical and jaded...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Mark Dygert on 14th April 2011 7:36pm

Posted:3 years ago

#26

Alessandro Tento VP Art Development, Activision Blizzard

2 0 0.0
Mark, I've been cynical and jaded for the last 20 years...it's the only way to survive.

Posted:3 years ago

#27

Tom Keresztes Programmer

700 354 0.5
@Mark,

I think the hardcore gamers are now a minority, and large publishers are trying to position hardcore games for a more general audience. That might be one reason why 80% of the AAA games do not even generate enough revenue to cover the costs of the development.

Posted:3 years ago

#28

Thomas Sigrist

12 0 0.0
Respect for developers, maybe. Respect for the enduser, noooot. I loved ATVI because of idSoftware and how they pushed the idTech3. That time is long gone with the last lines of code in ModernWarfare1. Then they went down the hole completly. GuitarHero...TonyHawk... the stopped selling software, probably because they had a better margin with PLASTIC.

Posted:3 years ago

#29

Aleksi Ranta Product Manager - Hardware

292 154 0.5
Strange Activision hate going around. They make money. Its a business they run. Businesses are sometimes driven by love for all humanity or for the love of money. The companies that focus on the latter are usually the most successful ones.

We dont need to like activions policies with regard to scrapping games/developers, but what they do, they do well and that is profit.

People get burned, companies are closed down and franchises are killed off, thats just how companies striving for profit act and streamline their profit margins.
If activision is such a demon, let people vote with their wallets.
We could go on and on and on about how terrible it is that people are laid off. Well it is, but again, thats not the business activision is in, to keep people coding games that will fail at retail.
Its purely to please the shareholders. Period.

Posted:3 years ago

#30

Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
@Alessandro: yes most young people (including myself) dont really understand the model of business activision use but on a end user standpoint activion doesnt come across as end user friendly so thats most likely were the "hate" and dislike of activision came from.

At the end of the day they are a business and have to make money, and thats all well and good its just they rely to heavily on certian IP's and saturate the market. Maybe if they didnt do that then they would be liked and well deserving of their current position.

People didnt like EA when it was number one but now that it is number 2 they have release more varied and orginal games,something activision could use and become like again.

@Aleksi: please the shareholders? now that makes much more sense to why they spam the market with medicore games..1bn+ selling game (eg: COD)=MEGA PROFIT=HAPPY SHAREHOLDERS!=Big fat check for kotick!

no wonder consumers are sick of cod..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jamie Watson on 15th April 2011 12:43am

Posted:3 years ago

#31

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
Don't be silly. consumers are not sick of CoD. You are.

Jamie you may have thought the COD games mediocre and that is your opinion. The reality is that opinion is the very very small but very very noisy minority given the sales of $1bn+ for the last to CODs. People love those games and they vote with their wallets. Over 2 billion hours have been spent playing the multiplayer. Can you even begin to get your head round that? There is no other entertainment franchise across any medium that has generated that sort of usage. It's cool to hate ATVI, say their games are repetative but the reality is ... that's what the market wants.

If you want IP innovation go indie there's no shortage of content. Everyone else is just going to have to accept that ATVI are going to run a handful of very successful franchises period. And if you don't like their titles don't buy them. As for Kottick he deserves the 'big fat cheque' after all he runs businesses that generate $4bn in revenues annually and last year released 3 titles that all broke records. Success should be rewarded. It's failure that should not. And before anyone says he scoops all the money up I know a number of people who have shared mortgage paying off style cheques much further down the ATVI chain of the back of CoD.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Graham Simpson on 15th April 2011 9:09am

Posted:3 years ago

#32

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