Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Thinks You're a Moron

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#1 Edited by hodkurtz (60 posts) -

The article below was written by a good friend of mine, Sir Phobos, on his own website, and I thought it needed to be shared here: 
 

  
Bobby's early years, before heading up one of the country's biggest games publishers. He is on record saying it was a "dark, yet extremely rewarding time in my life."


If you haven't read this story on Gamespot, do so now. The quotes attributed to Activision's CEO, Bobby Kotick, are despicable and unethical, to say the least.  How this man is allowed to leave his house without checking in with a parole officer is beyond me, but I don't make the rules. If I did, I'd make sure ol' Bobby was trading places with the kid actors from Slumdog Millionaire. What a douchebag.

"I think what the untethered Guitar Hero does is equal the playing field a little more and give you some leverage with first parties when it comes to downloadable content and the business model," said the crotch-sniffing asshat Kotick, during the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference. Sure, that quote sounds innocuous enough, but read it again and then think about it. What he's actually saying is that if Guitar Hero winds up not requiring an actual console to play it on your T.V., then they can do whatever the hell they want as far as pricing their DLC. At least that's what I'm reading into it. Maybe I'm reaching. But then again, maybe Bobby Kotick is an evil cock that doesn't deserve the title of Head of Custodial Arts, let alone his actual title of CEO.


  
Promotional material for my upcoming Docu-Drama, "Life With Bobby, or; How I Learned to Like Not Being a Rich Cunt"


That quote alone wouldn't even remotely approach the sound reasoning that he deserves the scorn and ridicule I'm doling out to him. Nay, I say to you who doubts his assholeishness. Observe another gem of wisdom when Kotick 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."

Exqueeze me? Baking powder? What the fuck did he just say? His life-goal with Activision "...was to take all the fun out of making video games." Way to go, asshole. You're not SUPPOSED to say that shit in public. That's the type of thing you say to your secretary over an early morning breakfast of infant appendages and A-1 sauce while twirling your moustache with grease made from aborted Christian fetuses.


  
Here is Bobby Kotick, clearly not looking like a tool.

And, astonishingly, he didn't stop there. To quote the Gamespot story, "The executive said that he has tried to instill into the company culture 'skepticism, pessimism, and fear' of the global economic downturn, adding, 'We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression.'"

You'd think something would fire up some neurons in his brain and involuntarily keep his fat fucking mouth shut before he was able to get out that utterly ridiculous "company culture" bullshit. That's no way to run a company, and I don't care how big that company is. If that's how you treat your employees, then Activision can't be a very nice place to work. In all seriousness, this kind of attitude is absolutely unacceptable. It's unethical, immoral, and whatever other synonym for shitty you can think of.

In an article from Edge dating back to August of this year, the Prince of Darkness decided to chime in when Activision executives were asked about retailers' reactions to their pricing, saying, "… You know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further,” before pulling a giant lever which opened up a cavernous hole beneath his #2's plush office chair.


  
Here, Bobby is seen celebrating his random sale of stock, which happened to make him $17 million in a single day. He later admitted he is going to use the money to nuke us into oblivion. Victory!

As if you need any more proof that this dude is a jerkoff, The Business Insider picked up on a little financial transaction by Bobby from around May, in which they found "Kotick, who had sold a big chunk [of Activision stock] in March, filed to sell 1.5 million shares worth about $17 million..." Let me be clear about this kind of thing: I don't think that there is anything inherently wrong with anyone selling stock that they own. But I will raise questions when you are the CEO of a major corporation who makes millions every year, and yet you still think it's a good idea to sell an ass-load of stock in your own company. Why, you ask? Well, the final sentences in the article sum it up pretty well for me. "It could be that they[sic] execs need to do some 'estate planning' or some other functional reason. It could also be some ill winds blowing across the gaming sector. Retailer GameStop said on Friday that same store sales were weak and its outlook cloudy for the second quarter." You see, when I read something like that, all I can think of is random opportunity for Bobby. He makes a lot of money. Durh. So why would he sell millions of shares of stock in Activision? On a whim? And if that's the case, did he even bother to think of what this might tell people like the writers of that article? He's putting artificial doubt in the minds of financial analysts for the sole sake of making $17 million on a whim. That's ridiculously unethical in my not-so-humble opinion. Like I said, there's nothing illegal about doing what he did, but I think it's pretty telling as to his character and ethical center.


 

I'd already swore off Activision-published games, as the poll on the right-hand-side of the blog points to. I'll admit to buying the odd game published by them, but that's only because I didn't know the full extent of Kotick's insane beliefs. I already knew he didn't want to publish a game unless he could franchise it, but Jesus, I had no idea he was this far down the rabbit hole. Fuck this guy, and fuck everything that comes from Activision. It's too bad I won't be able to enjoy Call of Duty 6 when it comes out, but Infinity Ward should really consider moving on to greener pastures at this point. Activision is ruining their franchise by watering it down with inferior products every other year, and the trend is only going to continue. With CEOs like Bobby Kotick lurking around the dungeons of corporate depravity, it's no wonder sometimes I feel like the games industry is lagging behind where it should be in terms of creativity.

Seriously, fuck Bobby Kotick and Activision. Don't support this type of bullshit by buying their games. It has to be done.    
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#2 Posted by choffy21 (1521 posts) -
@hodkurtz said:
"Don't support this type of bullshit by buying their games. It has to be done."
While I agree that we shouldn't support Kotick, I don't know how I could go without some Modern Warfare.
 
But Guitar Hero? Fuck that. Rock Band is better anyways.
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#3 Posted by Milkman (19312 posts) -

Modern Warfare 2 is much more important than my morals. Sorry, Kotick wins again.

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#4 Posted by Jayzilla (2707 posts) -

While I completely agree with the boycott of anything from ActiBlizz based on these reasons alone, I think you could have written a more professional blog about the man. I won't be buying Modern Warfare 2, and it really sucks. I have worked for companies that treat their employees like he does and I won't support entities like that financially. As far as his stock sale goes though, It's like only getting mad at the athletes in pro sports who get caught for cheating and steroids. The truth is, is that most of them cheat, and a lot of them take things illegally to enhance their performance. Don't hate just Kotick for saying what most suits believe.  I think the more shocking thing is NOT that he said these things, it's that they are in his head at all. I think it's actually refreshing that he put into words what MOST CEO's out there are doing on a daily basis but keeping to themselves and their colleagues: Most employees are expendable and really are only are their to make a product that earns the top 1% of the brass exorbitant sums of money. 
 
So, if we are trying to only support ethically operated entities, we really can't own a console or a PC. Just because other CEO's don't say it, it doesn't mean they aren't thinking it. In the end, thinking it is just as bad as saying it because if you carry out that kind of evil business practice but pay lip service to your employees that you care, but actually don't care, you are just as evil. In fact, they may be more evil because they lie on top of it by not being honest to the people that work for them and the customers that buy their products.

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#5 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

I read this interview and I also thought his comments made him sound like an asshole.  It's all well and good acting the big hotshot, trying to run a games company with the same kind of cynicism that's required to run real companies that are actually important to society, but eventually their current stable of fads will run their course and they will require a) the goodwill of the long-term gaming fanbase, and b) the creativity and passion of their employees.  I imagine he is pissing off both groups of people at the moment.
 
He won't care - because he'll probably be long gone - but there will come a time when WoW, CoD and rhythm games are yesterdays news.  You can flog these properties to death with an assembly-line mentality, but you can't recreate their success like that.

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#6 Posted by hodkurtz (60 posts) -
@Jayzilla:
You bring up some interesting points that you bring up in your post.  You are probably right to assume that most CEOs think the way Kotick speaks, and when they cover up their thoughts with fake admiration of their employees, it adds another layer of despicability.   
 
On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily call what Kotick said at the conference "refreshing."  While it is definitely different to hear a CEO stating these self-serving principles, I would have to argue that a CEO who feels so empowered by his money and position that he has no regard for the public he addresses shows an even further lack of character than those who simply think it but don't say it. 
 
A good example of this concept would be with the whole Kanye West / Taylor Swift incident.  I'm sure there were probably many people who thought Beyonce deserved to win over Taylor Swift, but Kanye West deliberately going up on stage and saying that to Taylor shows a total disregard for the idea of respect and consciousness of a public.   
 
The same applies with Kotick.  By commenting on such principles, Kotick is essentially touting his prescence of power and position to the public, as if saying "yes, I run my company this way... what are you going to do about it?"  That, in my mind, is actually more depraved than simply thinking them. 
 
Nonetheless, you do make valid points that essentially, if we truly didn't want to support unethical entities, we would have to cease our purchases of more than just Activision products.  In this case, though, a boycott of Activision would be to state that, "you can't verbally and publically spit in the face of your public, your employees, and your consumers, and assume that they're going to still mindlessly purchase your product.
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#7 Posted by MrMuise (231 posts) -

I guess he's right, most people are morons. This isn't anything special for running a company just a CEO trying to maximize profits. 
 
EA went through the same thing and Acitivision Blizzard is just the new game company for people to hate. 

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#8 Posted by EvilTwin (3313 posts) -

If you wanted to buy the games without supporting Activision, you could just buy them used. 

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#9 Edited by ryanwho (12011 posts) -

Oh man, all he has to comfort himself from the angry peoples on the internet is a wildly successful company.
I'm sorry if pragmatism gets your goat but the results speak for themselves.

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#10 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15753 posts) -

Hmmm.... I don't think he cares that we hate him. Know why? Because he is swimming in a giant pile of money right now.  
 
But, to take the first step in "Fighting The Man" I pledge to only buy the regular edition of Modern Warfare 2 as opposed to the Prestige edition. Happy?

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#11 Posted by FreeTWOGame (22 posts) -

This has to be one of the most poorly written and immature rants I've ever seen.

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#12 Posted by ryanwho (12011 posts) -
@ArbitraryWater said:
" Hmmm.... I don't think he cares that we hate him. Know why? Because he is swimming in a giant pile of money right now.    But, to take the first step in "Fighting The Man" I pledge to only buy the regular edition of Modern Warfare 2 as opposed to the Prestige edition. Happy? "
By that same token, I will not buy the Delux LE that's offered with Starcraft 2, I'll only get the regular LE. Fight the power!
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#13 Posted by AhmadMetallic (19300 posts) -
@MrMuise said:
"  just a CEO trying to maximize profits.  "
yeah nothing surprising. 
 
Plus, many of the greatest games ive played have the Activision logo on them, so he wins.
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#14 Posted by AgentofChaos (1575 posts) -

Yeah he is a huge dick, but name one CEO who isn't.

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#15 Posted by raddevon (514 posts) -
@hodkurtz: I'm on board. Great article. It may be that the most successful CEOs are heartless and unscrupulous, but that doesn't mean they deserve my money (or the OP's).
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#16 Posted by mordukai (8516 posts) -

What else is new. He says that you're a moron, you buy his games anyways. EVeryone who is getting any sort of games from activision is supporting everything Kotick's says. 

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#17 Posted by Black_Rose (7772 posts) -

NERD RAGE!!!!
 
Who gives a shit about what a CEO thinks? just play the damn games.

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#18 Posted by Atomic_Tangerine (360 posts) -

Yeah, it's not like he is doing anything that other companies aren't.  We're just mad at Activision right now cause they are the best at selling lame games to people.  However, my outrage is minimal.  If people actually want to play World at War over Call of Duty 4 or Guitar Hero over Rock Band, I don't care at all.  Really, I don't.
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#19 Edited by Suicrat (3829 posts) -

 Does anyone remember the last time the guys from Grin were on the Bombcast? They told us that they opened a studio in Jakarta, and why Jakarta? Because it had nice whether compared to Stockholm. Look what happened to them, they went belly up.
 
As a CEO it's your job to make sure your employees understand the stakes at hand, and unless your employees understand that making money programming video games is a privilege, not a right, you need to help them stay on their toes. "Taking fun out of video games" may be a step too far, but I think you're trying to make hay out of nothing.
 
Moreover, what is so unethical about selling stock in your own company? If your company's share price peaks, and you don't think it's sustainable, you can sell some off before the dip hurts your bottom line. There is nothing unethical about that, and throwing the word 'unethical' around as loosely as you have seems to indicate you don't really have a coherent sense of ethics.
 
And what's so evil about charging "whatever you want" for your product? If they go too high, then people won't buy it, simple as that. There's nothing unethical there. I think you need to pull your anti-Activision pole out of your ass.

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#20 Posted by Rowr (5861 posts) -

to much hate out of the gate made me not bother reading this.

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#21 Posted by lemon360 (1231 posts) -

Modern Warfare 2. That is all.
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#22 Posted by SuperfluousMoniker (2929 posts) -

...and ActiBlizzard becomes the new EA. C'mon, you knew it was going to happen.

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#23 Posted by Atlas (2739 posts) -

I feel like I've been anti-Activision for a while, and everytime this douche comes out with another obnoxious quote, I start hating him more. I also can't think of a recent (2-3 years) Activision game I liked. I actually looked at a list on Wikipedia and couldn't find one game I like. Shocking, really. Or perhaps not so shocking.

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#24 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -
I agree with the consumer getting more aware of what it is buying, but not always turn it into a boycott, as it is becoming a trend.
        
I personally only boycott individual measures that are abusive to the consumer. 
 
And to me modern warfare doesn't speak much, less even at a higher price. 
 
My only sadness with Activision Blizzard is Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, as it sounds very tempting, but for now i won't buy till i know how at what conditions the dlc for xbox 360/ps3 will be made available.     
 
@Milkman
said:

" Modern Warfare 2 is much more important than my morals. Sorry, Kotick wins again. "

LOL then think about this again when he finds a way of milking even more money from you with that same franchise. And think about your moral. 
 
While we can't confuse the CEO of a company for it's product, the thing is that... if the consumer doesn't fight it back against dubius strategies and behaviours, this media will get more and more money hungry and less ethical. 
 
If that's what you want, then by all means... 
 
Just know when it's time to jump ship. 
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#25 Posted by damnboyadvance (4199 posts) -

Commentary aside, Bobby Kotick is an idiot and I hate him.

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#26 Edited by Jimbo (10472 posts) -
@Suicrat said:

"  Does anyone remember the last time the guys from Grin were on the Bombcast? They told us that they opened a studio in Jakarta, and why Jakarta? Because it had nice whether compared to Stockholm. Look what happened to them, they went belly up.  As a CEO it's your job to make sure your employees understand the stakes at hand, and unless your employees understand that making money programming video games is a privilege, not a right, you need to help them stay on their toes. "Taking fun out of video games" may be a step too far, but I think you're trying to make hay out of nothing.  Moreover, what is so unethical about selling stock in your own company? If your company's share price peaks, and you don't think it's sustainable, you can sell some off before the dip hurts your bottom line. There is nothing unethical about that, and throwing the word 'unethical' around as loosely as you have seems to indicate you don't really have a coherent sense of ethics.  And what's so evil about charging "whatever you want" for your product? If they go too high, then people won't buy it, simple as that. There's nothing unethical there. I think you need to pull your anti-Activision pole out of your ass. "

You know, I don't think they really opened a studio in Jakarta because of the weather.  More likely because they could pay their employees fuck all.  The difference between Grin and ActiBlizz is that Acti have successful franchises to rely on from a time when they didn't have an assembly-line mentality - Grin just went straight into it and it backfired.  
 
I'm sure this mentality is working out great for ActiBlizz for now, but their current success is all from pre-merger franchises - a time when innovation and creativity were the watchwords.  I don't think either company would have given interview answers like this at that time and it seems like hubris for Kotick to give them now.  Oh no, the studio heads weren't qualified accountants - well lucky for them that they had other talents like producing some of the best and most profitable games in history.  We're too big for that now, we know about numbers and shit.  I think ActiBlizz are great, they deserve to be at the top of the game right now, but they won't replicate that success indefinitely if they insist on turning game development from an art into a science.
 
The dodgy part in CEO's dumping shares in the company they work for is that you can never tell whether they based their decision on fair information or information he has as a result of his privileged position.  The former is fine, the latter is illegal.  If he's seeing internal stats which show WoW subscriptions nosediving for example, it's not like he can erase that from his mind, but I also couldn't prove that's what his decision is based on.  Personally, I think CEOs shouldn't be dumping shares in their own company regardless of what their decision is based on - as CEO he has an obligation to the shareholders not to do anything which will damage the company.
 
I'm surprised you of all people see 'making money programming video games' as a 'privilege'.  Surely it's just a mutually beneficial trade between a company and an individual - currency in return for labour?  It isn't a privilege one way or the other.
 
[edit:  reworked first paragraph for clarity.]
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#27 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
" @Suicrat said:

"  Does anyone remember the last time the guys from Grin were on the Bombcast? They told us that they opened a studio in Jakarta, and why Jakarta? Because it had nice whether compared to Stockholm. Look what happened to them, they went belly up.  As a CEO it's your job to make sure your employees understand the stakes at hand, and unless your employees understand that making money programming video games is a privilege, not a right, you need to help them stay on their toes. "Taking fun out of video games" may be a step too far, but I think you're trying to make hay out of nothing.  Moreover, what is so unethical about selling stock in your own company? If your company's share price peaks, and you don't think it's sustainable, you can sell some off before the dip hurts your bottom line. There is nothing unethical about that, and throwing the word 'unethical' around as loosely as you have seems to indicate you don't really have a coherent sense of ethics.  And what's so evil about charging "whatever you want" for your product? If they go too high, then people won't buy it, simple as that. There's nothing unethical there. I think you need to pull your anti-Activision pole out of your ass. "

You know, I don't think they really opened a studio in Jakarta because of the weather.  More likely because they could pay their employees fuck all.  The difference between Grin and ActiBlizz is that Acti have successful franchises to rely on from a time when they didn't have an assembly-line mentality - Grin just went straight into it and it backfired.  
 
I'm sure this mentality is working out great for ActiBlizz for now, but their current success is all from pre-merger franchises - a time when innovation and creativity were the watchwords.  I don't think either company would have given interview answers like this at that time and it seems like hubris for Kotick to give them now.  Oh no, the studio heads weren't qualified accountants - well lucky for them that they had other talents like producing some of the best and most profitable games in history.  We're too big for that now, we know about numbers and shit.  I think ActiBlizz are great, they deserve to be at the top of the game right now, but they won't replicate that success indefinitely if they insist on turning game development from an art into a science.  The dodgy part in CEO's dumping shares in the company they work for is that you can never tell whether they based their decision on fair information or information he has as a result of his privileged position.  The former is fine, the latter is illegal.  If he's seeing internal stats which show WoW subscriptions nosediving for example, it's not like he can erase that from his mind, but I also couldn't prove that's what his decision is based on.  Personally, I think CEOs shouldn't be dumping shares in their own company regardless of what their decision is based on - as CEO he has an obligation to the shareholders not to do anything which will damage the company.  I'm surprised you of all people see 'making money programming video games' as a 'privilege'.  Surely it's just a mutually beneficial trade between a company and an individual - currency in return for labour?  It isn't a privilege one way or the other.  [edit:  reworked first paragraph for clarity.] "
Okay, let's take it from the top because I think you've misconstrued some of my words.
 
First, as it relates to Grin, there are probably a myriad of reasons why the company failed, but my point was more to illustrate that a casual laid-back attitude toward your business isn't a be-all/end-all.
 
Second, as for the "privelege, not a right" thing, that was probably a little rhetoric-heavy, I admit. But my point was more to illustrate that people who get money by producing art take that fact for granted at their own peril.
 
Third, if a CEO does something to damage his company (that isn't theft or fraud), it should be the board of directors and shareholders who should hold him to account, not the legal system. Insider trading should NOT be illegal (but if you want to discuss that, let's start a new thread.) If Kotick got subscription data or some other figure that would indicate his share price is about to dip, the market would have that information just as quickly. But share price shouldn't be tied to something like subscriptions, it should be tied to profit. Money in versus money out, but blame bond rating agencies and that sort of thing for that problem. But again, if we're going to talk about the way stock markets are heavily manipulated by the law and government, we should do so in another thread.
 
However, it would seem that shareholders and the Board of Directors.
 
You can't produce art without science, so to assume that the former can exist without the latter would be erroneous on your part. You also can't produce profitable art without the science of profit, and that's his job.
 
I'm not one to defend people for no reason, but I'm not here to defend Kotick as a person, but to defend CEOs for their actions, and the actions they take (when they are within those laws that are worth following) are being criticised with prejudice in this thread, particularly by the thread creator.
 
Thank you for scrutinizing my words though, I should never have used that phrase "privelege, not a right". That was terrible on my part.
Avatar image for damian
#28 Posted by Damian (1521 posts) -

Vote with your dollars y'all. It's all you can do. If you want cookie cutter, support big business. If you want creative, support small business. It's not complicated, or worthy of any more rage than any other massive company. 
 
Bobby is a refreshing asshole though. I appreciate his balls, even though I'd like very much to kick him in them.

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#29 Posted by Chirag4 (586 posts) -

A CEO who's only concern is money? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!

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#30 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@Damian said:
" Vote with your dollars y'all. It's all you can do. If you want cookie cutter, support big business. If you want creative, support small business. It's not complicated, or worthy of any more rage than any other massive company.  Bobby is a refreshing asshole though. I appreciate his balls, even though I'd like very much to kick him in them. "
I think that that statement is completely divorced from reality. There are large companies that have produced profound works of interactive art (as well as craploads of hella-fun games) and there are small companies that aren't capable of producing anything but shit. The polarity of large/small is not parallel to that of bad/good.
 
Every game developer will tell you that they want more revenue than expenditures, this is not evil, this is human.
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#31 Posted by hodkurtz (60 posts) -

Anyone here who thinks that the way Bobby Kotick is running his company is the only real way to stay profitable needs to read this article: 
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6227735.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=hot-stories&tag=hot-stories;title;1 
 
It discusses what it's like to work for Valve, and in it, you actually see Valve head Gabe Newell operating from antithetical principles to Kotick, to the point where he pays his valued employees even when they need to leave for medical reasons for six months.  He also is the opposite of Kotick's whole "take the fun of out making video games," in that he actually encourages his employees to play games at the office, to help them build ideas. 
 
Last time I checked, Valve isn't doing too bad for themselves.... maybe some of you have heard of them.  Oh, and unlike Activision, Valve has yet to release a product that wasn't profitable.
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#32 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@hodkurtz said:
"
Anyone here who thinks that the way Bobby Kotick is running his company is the only real way to stay profitable needs to read this article: 
http://www.gamespot.com/news/6227735.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=hot-stories&tag=hot-stories;title;1 
 It discusses what it's like to work for Valve, and in it, you actually see Valve head Gabe Newell operating from antithetical principles to Kotick, to the point where he pays his valued employees even when they need to leave for medical reasons for six months.  He also is the opposite of Kotick's whole "take the fun of out making video games," in that he actually encourages his employees to play games at the office, to help them build ideas.  Last time I checked, Valve isn't doing too bad for themselves.... maybe some of you have heard of them.  Oh, and unlike Activision, Valve has yet to release a product that wasn't profitable. "
So doesn't that mean that Valve is more risk-averse than Activision?
 
I won't speak for anyone else, but my comments were to point out that there is nothing unethical in selling something you own, including shares. You did not start this thread to illustrate the contrasts between good game publishing and bad game publishing, you started this thread to bash a CEO for being a CEO. As I said before, I think that Kotick is incorrect in attempting to 'remove fun' from an industry that is about producing fun, but that doesn't mean he's unethical, just that he's ignoring the source of value in the products he sells. It is foolish to do so, but not unethical.
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#33 Posted by deactivated-5c5cdba6e0b96 (8259 posts) -

I still don't understand why Blizzard joined up with these fuck heads, wasn't Wow bringing in enough cash for 10 companies?

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#34 Edited by SoothsayerGB (1500 posts) -
@Milkman said:

" Modern Warfare 2 is much more important than my morals. Sorry, Kotick wins again. "

I Lawled, then agreed.  I am not worthy of MW2.  I bow down!
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#35 Posted by hodkurtz (60 posts) -

Unethical and evil are two different things.  Ethics deal with the value you place on other individuals, and the motives you act upon.  The dictionary defines ethics as "dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions."  
 
In the case of Bobby Kotick, certainly being financially conscious about profit isn't the unethical issue.     The unethical issue in Kotick's case is putting personal profit before all other principles, including employees, the company, loyal consumers, and even advancing the medium.  Taking all the fun out of making games means that Kotick certainly doesn't care whether a game is fun or not, but simply if it sells.  Moreover, by selling large portions of company stock after getting wind that the industry might be taking a hit, you are showing that you'd rather take your money and run than sticking around and keeping the company going strong.  When you sell $17 million worth of stock in your own company, the company will always hurt from that.  The stock price drops, pushing other investors to sell (especially when they see the CEO selling first), meaning profits drop, leading to layoffs and less corporate funds for new ventures. 
 
I find it ironic that a CEO who seems so focused on the bottom line and "balance sheets" didn't seem to care how adversely those two categories would be affected when he sold his shares.  
 
Focusing on profit and finances is good.  Focusing only on profit, while showing reckless disregard for the employees that produce your products, and the consumers that support them, is counterproductive and destructive.

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#36 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@hodkurtz said:
"

Unethical and evil are two different things.  Ethics deal with the value you place on other individuals, and the motives you act upon.  The dictionary defines ethics as "dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions."  
 
In the case of Bobby Kotick, certainly being financially conscious about profit isn't the unethical issue.     The unethical issue in Kotick's case is putting personal profit before all other principles, including employees, the company, loyal consumers, and even advancing the medium.  Taking all the fun out of making games means that Kotick certainly doesn't care whether a game is fun or not, but simply if it sells.  Moreover, by selling large portions of company stock after getting wind that the industry might be taking a hit, you are showing that you'd rather take your money and run than sticking around and keeping the company going strong.  When you sell $17 million worth of stock in your own company, the company will always hurt from that.  The stock price drops, pushing other investors to sell (especially when they see the CEO selling first), meaning profits drop, leading to layoffs and less corporate funds for new ventures. 
 
I find it ironic that a CEO who seems so focused on the bottom line and "balance sheets" didn't seem to care how adversely those two categories would be affected when he sold his shares.  
 
Focusing on profit and finances is good.  Focusing only on profit, while showing reckless disregard for the employees that produce your products, and the consumers that support them, is counterproductive and destructive.

"
The good/evil dichotomy is parallel to the ethical/unethical dichotomy. The only difference is 'evil' is a word with strong psychological connotations. Those members of his team he treats poorly will gravitate to other companies. As for selling shares hurting his company's share price, you should do some more research before you make baseless assumptions. Activision's share price was relatively stable during the month of June. It lost value during the summer months, but that was not anomolous to the market, and the price is currently trading above its average.
 
I don't think anything he's done has been reckless. If it was, the board of directors would have fired him. He is generating shareholder value, and that's his job.
 
But, personally, I haven't bought an Activision game since Geometry Wars 2.
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#37 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@FreeTWOGame said:
" This has to be one of the most poorly written and immature rants I've ever seen. "
Poorly written?  Sorry, but just because you don't like the content doesn't mean you can get away with saying anything to discredit what I wrote.  And as far as it being immature, it's called a rant, basically.  It's an angry protest about something that is ridiculous.  If I feel something is stupid and worthy of ridicule, guess what?  I ridicule it.  Sucks for you if you don't like it.
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#38 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@EvilTwin said:
" If you wanted to buy the games without supporting Activision, you could just buy them used.  "
Agreed, that's the way to go...
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#39 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@SirPhobos: Huh? You didn't write it, hodkurtz did.
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#40 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" Oh man, all he has to comfort himself from the angry peoples on the internet is a wildly successful company. I'm sorry if pragmatism gets your goat but the results speak for themselves. "
The same results can be achieved by much better means.  Look at Valve and Criterion, to name a couple of great companies.
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#41 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@SirPhobos said:
" @ryanwho said:
" Oh man, all he has to comfort himself from the angry peoples on the internet is a wildly successful company. I'm sorry if pragmatism gets your goat but the results speak for themselves. "
The same results can be achieved by much better means.  Look at Valve and Criterion, to name a couple of great companies. "
Criterion doesn't publish, they develop. And both companies rely on EA to distribute their games in the retail market.
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#42 Posted by hodkurtz (60 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" @hodkurtz said:
"

Unethical and evil are two different things.  Ethics deal with the value you place on other individuals, and the motives you act upon.  The dictionary defines ethics as "dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions."  
 
In the case of Bobby Kotick, certainly being financially conscious about profit isn't the unethical issue.     The unethical issue in Kotick's case is putting personal profit before all other principles, including employees, the company, loyal consumers, and even advancing the medium.  Taking all the fun out of making games means that Kotick certainly doesn't care whether a game is fun or not, but simply if it sells.  Moreover, by selling large portions of company stock after getting wind that the industry might be taking a hit, you are showing that you'd rather take your money and run than sticking around and keeping the company going strong.  When you sell $17 million worth of stock in your own company, the company will always hurt from that.  The stock price drops, pushing other investors to sell (especially when they see the CEO selling first), meaning profits drop, leading to layoffs and less corporate funds for new ventures. 
 
I find it ironic that a CEO who seems so focused on the bottom line and "balance sheets" didn't seem to care how adversely those two categories would be affected when he sold his shares.  
 
Focusing on profit and finances is good.  Focusing only on profit, while showing reckless disregard for the employees that produce your products, and the consumers that support them, is counterproductive and destructive.

"
The good/evil dichotomy is parallel to the ethical/unethical dichotomy. The only difference is 'evil' is a word with strong psychological connotations. Those members of his team he treats poorly will gravitate to other companies. As for selling shares hurting his company's share price, you should do some more research before you make baseless assumptions. Activision's share price was relatively stable during the month of June. It lost value during the summer months, but that was not anomolous to the market, and the price is currently trading above its average.  I don't think anything he's done has been reckless. If it was, the board of directors would have fired him. He is generating shareholder value, and that's his job.  But, personally, I haven't bought an Activision game since Geometry Wars 2. "

It's quite obvious to anyone watching the game industry that Activision's stock is doing just fine, otherwise he wouldn't be talking the way he is.  The point I was making was on general guidelines.  You don't have to look to far in recent history to find other CEOs selling off stock based on insider information, and running away before their company went belly-up.   
 
As for the issue of shareholder value, it's ignorant to attempt to credit Kotick with the company's success whatsoever.  It's quite obvious that what generates shareholder value has been profits, which are generated by the production of great games, which are generated by the production of great developers.  Not Kotick.  Kotick is simply lucky that he has the franchises under him that he does; franchises that have come about from the ingenuity of developers outside of Activision.  His company culture isn't what produces Activision's success.
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#43 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@SoothsayerGB said:
" @Milkman said:

" Modern Warfare 2 is much more important than my morals. Sorry, Kotick wins again. "

I Lawled, then agreed.  I am not worthy of MW2.  I bow down! "
Is there really no other game that can give you roughly the same experience?  Is Modern Warfare soooo amazing that it's worth telling jerks like Kotick that it's fine by you that he treats people like shit?  If your answer is yes, then that's fine as long as you understand that you're part of the problem.
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#44 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" @SirPhobos: Huh? You didn't write it, hodkurtz did. "
Um, no, I wrote it.  Read the beginning of the article.  He's posting something I wrote on my blog.
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#45 Posted by Suicrat (3829 posts) -
@SirPhobos: Damn, shows how observant I am.
 
I didn't read till after the Saddam Hussein/Satan/South Park photo.
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#46 Posted by killdave (1079 posts) -

Seems perfectly normal to me.
 
Are you sure you're not just a little emo?
 
Admit it, not even a tiny amount??

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#47 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" @SirPhobos said:
" @ryanwho said:
" Oh man, all he has to comfort himself from the angry peoples on the internet is a wildly successful company. I'm sorry if pragmatism gets your goat but the results speak for themselves. "
The same results can be achieved by much better means.  Look at Valve and Criterion, to name a couple of great companies. "
Criterion doesn't publish, they develop. And both companies rely on EA to distribute their games in the retail market. "
You miss my point.  Valve and Criterion are great examples of companies who make great products while not screwing over the very people they want to buy their games.  Publisher or developer makes no difference to what I was talking about.
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#48 Posted by SirPhobos (33 posts) -
@Suicrat said:
" @SirPhobos: Damn, shows how observant I am.  I didn't read till after the Saddam Hussein/Satan/South Park photo. "
lol, it's cool
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#49 Posted by Time_Lord (793 posts) -

Any body got 30 billion so we can buy Activision and fire this ass hole?

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#50 Posted by EvilTwin (3313 posts) -
@Time_Lord said:
" Any body got 30 billion so we can buy Activision and fire this ass hole? "
I have great credit, I can probably take out a loan.