Schafer unleashes verbal attack on Kotick

Brutal Legend dev suggests Activision CEO's attitude is bad for the industry

Double Fine's Tim Schafer has unleashed a verbal assault on Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, calling him "a dick" and stating that his business attitude is bad for the industry.

Activision filed a suit against Double Fine over the release of Brutal Legend, which ended up in the hands of Electronic Arts after Activision dropped the title – a heavy-handed practice that Schafer is still clearly furious about.

"His 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," said Schafer in an interview with our sister site

Schafer suggested Kotick's attitude to creating games – taking a popular form of entertainment and 'squeezing the life out of it' for profit – won't help the industry grow in the longer term.

"He makes a big deal about not liking games, and I just don't think that attitude is good for games in general," said Schafer. "I don't think we're an industry of widgets. I don't think we can approach it like we approach bars of soap, where you're just trying to make the cheapest bar of soap.

"He definitely has that that kind of widget-maker attitude. I don't think he's great for the industry, overall. You can't just latch onto something when it's popular and then squeeze the life out of it and then move on to the next one. You have to at some point create something, build something."

"He could go to an industry that makes more money. Ball bearings... Something that suits his passions more. Weapons manufacturing?" he joked.

Schafer was unapologetic in his attitude towards Kotick, stating: "You don't want to burn any bridge because you never know. But once somebody sues you... Maybe that bridge is pretty burned."

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Latest comments (14)

Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 11 years ago
"You don't want to burn any bridge because you never know."

I think this is probably why we've not seen more people commenting publically on the situation at Activision, at the moment.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sam Maxted on 15th July 2010 11:39am

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Josef Brett Animator 11 years ago
Well done Tim Schafer.

As I've just posted on the 'Gamestop 2nd hand sales' thread, the kind of attitude that Kotick seems to embody is going to damage this industry. It's the same attitude that has crept into the film industry over the last 10 - 15 years and it has damaged that industry (creatively speaking).

It's very short sighted for any industry to 'stagnate' in the manner that the film and (to a much lesser extent) the games industry are. To grow, you must change (or some such rubbish)!
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Wow. Tim is our local worldwide hero
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Show all comments (14)
Finlay Thewlis Studying Game Design & Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee11 years ago
I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I've always wanted someone to say that
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 11 years ago
Give this man a medal!
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Arnold Shortsle11 years ago
Schafer is completely correct. Activision needs to structurally build products meant for the long term. Eventually the consumer will catch on to what the company is doing and totally by-pass, or ignore, the product completely, resulting in millions lost every year because of these business practices. And what then? What will Activision do when their house of cards falls apart? Seriously, Kotick should work for Nintendo with this "widget" mentality.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Arnold Shortsle on 14th July 2010 3:01pm

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Carlo Delallana Project Manager/Game Designer, Tencent11 years ago
More power to you Tim. I don't wake up at 5:30 in the morning everyday just to make widgets and neither should you or anyone else that gives a damn about games and game development.
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Brian 'Psychochild' Green MMO Developer 11 years ago
I used to work at 3DO and for a while they definitely had that "widget maker" attitude toward games. Most of us know where that got them....
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 11 years ago
I applaud him to have the guts to come out and make that comment. Activision has just be bad in handling franchise and turning creative franchises into slave money making machines. Nothing really great came out of them indeed and his way of dealing things in the industry is just bad form. I think he is really spot on in saying that Kotick should just work for the weapon industry cos there are lots of money to be made with his business attitude.
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Shane Sweeney Academic 11 years ago
I hope Bobby Kotick responds. My day needs more drama.
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This kind of thing needs to be shared more often, nice one
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology11 years ago
very well siad, good one. tim
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.11 years ago
Tim seems to be saying what most of us are thinking. Kotick's policy, attitude, comments and direction embody everything that is wrong with the current industry.

And Arnold, are you being serious? Nintendo has a passion for their products. Kotick has a passion for himself.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 11 years ago
Arnold are you seriously trying to say that the Wii and DS, and upcoming 3DS are works of corporate pushing and not works of passion?
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