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Activision aims to break free of consoles

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is no stranger to controversy. He didn’t win any friends with threats to drop support for Sony platforms or with a call to take the fun out of making video games, but now he’s at it again.


Above: How dare you play this for “free”

Repeating points from a recent Wall Street Journal interview in an interview with the Financial Times, Kotick talked about his displeasure with the fact that Activision doesn’t see any profits from Call of Duty online play. Map packs and add-ons provide a substantial profit to Activision, but they don’t see any share of the annual subscription fees Microsoft collects for Xbox Live.

These statements may seem unusual, but Kotick gives his reasoning behind the comments, stating “We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call of Duty”.

It would be interesting to discover where Kotick heard this statistic and how one defines “because of”. Call of Duty may be a juggernaut for online play, but suggesting that 60% of players are driven to the eight-year-old service because of a franchise other than Halo sounds dubious.


Above: Whether you think he’s a crazy man, a raging egomaniac, or a brilliant businessman, make no mistake: Bobby Kotick doesn’t give a shit what you think

Then again, it’s not we who have to believe it, but Kotick, who clearly does. He would prefer a subscription based model where Activision provides its own online network, similar to World of Warcraft. In order to support this, Kotick would like to break the consoles’ “walled gardens with new gamer-friendly PCs, designed to be plugged into the television.” Activision will “very aggressively” support efforts by Dell and HP to connect PCs to TVs.

It would be nice to see PC gaming regain its former prominence, but no one can deny that consoles have been king for years. Moving away from them could be a very bad move for Activision. Additionally, though the idea of a Call of Duty MMO is a tantalizing prospect and many gamers would be willing to pay a subscription fee if the game was worth it, many MMOs have been moving toward free-to-play models recently. So it seems the industry is actually moving in the opposite direction.

With all of that in mind, Activision isn’t likely to abandon consoles completely or tack on a subscription fee for console online play. The company wields a big stick in the industry, but it wouldn’t risk a move that reckless. No one is that arrogant. Right? Maybe it’s best you don’t answer that.

Jul 8, 2010

26 comments

  • Rowdie - July 10, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    "“We’ve heard that 60 per cent of [Microsoft’s] subscribers are principally on Live because of Call of Duty”." Hubris like that will ruin your company. "We've heard," LMAO, from who? your boyfriend? Not that my group is statistically significant, but now a single one plays because of COD. Figure 25 people easy.
  • oryandymackie - July 9, 2010 10:43 a.m.

    Hey, Bobby, when's your 11 year-old daughter next going skiiing?
  • Ruvalc - July 9, 2010 2:42 a.m.

    well MW2 sux'd cooock i frankly don't give a f**k but im looking forward to black ops made by treyarch.
  • HonestGuy - July 9, 2010 12:06 a.m.

    Bobby Kotick is your typical cash-cow-hog of a 'bad guy', we get it. It would have been cool looking ( for him ) if he's at least more coy about it. :P
  • Cyberninja - July 8, 2010 11:39 p.m.

    well this is not going to end well for ativison
  • mentalityljs - July 8, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    Those greedy bastards. First off, it's not just "Activision", it's Activision/Blizzard, as we all know charges a monthly fee for WoW. To force gamers who, keep in mind are use to playing for free, is insane! WHY do u think I don't play WoW? WHY do u think I don't own a 360? I'll tell you why, because I already pay $50/mo for Roadrunner. Not to mention all the hardware, periferals, and (ahem) GAMES I've already payed for on top of that. I promise Activision, I will never purchase another game from you guys again if I have to pay to play online PC!
  • Evilsafetyboy - July 8, 2010 8:18 p.m.

    Xbox Live use? Two words: Netflix. Okay, maybe one really big awkward pseudo word... (actually, I don't agree that you need a "gold" subscription to stream Netflix, but that's another article)
  • TheWebSwinger - July 8, 2010 7:50 p.m.

    Ugly, evil man.
  • fatdog12300 - July 8, 2010 7:16 p.m.

    i wouldn't care less if he did this. I don't play Call of Duty unless i'm at a friend's house, and I barely play it then because it's overrated. I think paying multiple fees to play online, one for the internet connection and one for live or things like this, is idiotic. That's why I have a PS3/WII and not an Xbox.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - July 8, 2010 6:57 p.m.

    $$$ Wow the haters have come out in full force for Mr Kotick who I agree with most of the time. I wish Rockstar released their high profile games more akin to Activision instead of the 3-4 year gaps in between them (GTA). $$$
  • AgentHonor - July 8, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Next year on E3, Activision will introduce their own console solely for Call of Duty. And everyone will give them a big FU.
  • RebornKusabi - July 8, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    You know, if ever there was a face that accurately reflected staring at Lucifer's ****, this guys face does that.
  • JADENkOTOR - July 8, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    I play CoD sometimes but I use live for SO MUCH OTHER SHIT. CoD doesn't even amount to 1% of my online use. This money hungry tool needs a fucking reality check real quick and i hope he tries this retarded idea. I won't buy SHIT just to get to play CoD and I hope gamers will stick together on this one.
  • skynetiscoming - July 8, 2010 6:42 p.m.

    That dumbass picture of him makes me wanna break out the ol' Trololo. Hopefully developers wouldn't agree to make anything with that kind of business model.
  • Gameguy94 - July 8, 2010 6:34 p.m.

    Just by looking at that guy you can tell he's an asshole!
  • gaseoussnake - July 8, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    What the f**k is modern warfare?
  • SumthingStupid - July 8, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    why would you run away from the money?
  • crazytar - July 8, 2010 6:20 p.m.

    so i'm not the only one who feels bobby "kodick" should be thrown into a vat of acid?
  • Dabenguin - July 8, 2010 6:15 p.m.

    Activision= facepalm
  • FNG - July 8, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    Activision is dead to me.

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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