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EA responds to Kotick's bashing, gives him and his 'hubris' what for


Above: Welcome aboard the USS Double Facepalm!

One interview with Activision's Bobby Kotick is like a twenty-car pileup on the freeway. This is the third story we've written today about his much-discussed chat with EDGE, but this time it's not just about Kotick's flapping jaw - EA has fired back against remarks that it fails to respect the independence of its studios.

"The core principle of how we run the company is the exact opposite of EA," said Kotick. "EA will buy a developer and then it will become ‘EA Florida’, ‘EA Vancouver’, ‘EA New Jersey’, whatever. We always looked and said, 'You know what? What we like about a developer is that they have a culture, they have an independent vision and that’s what makes them so successful.' We don’t have an Activision anything - it’s Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer."

That gets one facepalm. There may be some truth in there, but publically accusing former executives of criminal activity doesn't really help his case. It also doesn't help that the Infinity Ward founders' new studio, Respawn, remains independent with its EA deal. Of course, Infinity Ward was just an exception, and Kotick doesn't stop there with the EA bashing:

"[EA’s] DNA isn’t oriented towards that model - it doesn’t know how to do it, as a culture or as a company, and it never has... Look, EA has a lot of resources, it’s a big company that’s been in business for a long time, maybe it’ll figure it out eventually. But it’s been struggling for a really long time. The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don’t really want to work there."

Them's fightin' words! And to the benefit of all of our amusement, EA is up for a fight. Corporate Communications VP Jeff Brown told Gamasutra, "Kotick’s relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation... His company is based on three game franchises – one is a fantastic persistent world he had nothing to do with; one is in steep decline; and the third is in the process of being destroyed by Kotick’s own hubris."


Above: This 'aint a TV show on USA, it's notice that YOU JUST GOT BURNED!

The "fantastic persistent world" referred to is World of Warcraft, the franchise in "steep decline" is presumably Guitar Hero, and the franchise being "destroyed" may be Call of Duty, which EA's Medal of Honor is positioned directly against. The cases of litigation referred to (Infinity Ward and Double Fine) also involve EA's competition with Activision, so it's not as if EA is neutral in this ongoing spat.

But still, we can't smirk harder. EA has every reason to keep Kotick's mouth a-movin' - he's done a great job stealing away its Evil Giant image. EA may not be David, but Activision is sure looking like Goliath.

No word on whether or not anyone has been stuffed into a locker, or if there will be a showdown later at the bike racks.

[Sources: GamasutraEDGE]

Sep 27, 2010

37 comments

  • Xenos - September 29, 2010 4:18 a.m.

    @ Crumbdonky (lol love the name btw) I agree but to me I think that kotick even in his incessant ranting that he knows at the end of the day he doesn't have to know what he's talking about because all this man seems to care about is dollar signs in the highest order and as a business man he knows one thing, and that's publicity no matter good or bad equals $. But I also do agree that if he keeps at he probably back pedal into the last decade....
  • Crabhand - September 28, 2010 8:49 p.m.

    Yea, EA is taking creative control away from developers *rolls eyes* THEY ARE DUMPING UNTOLD MILLIONS INTO STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC! And Bioware is getting free reign to do what they do best and make (what is looking to be) a damn fine game with next to no major influence from EA. Not to mention their stellar customer support during the first months of Rock Band and replacing broken peripherals. EA has been significantly increasing it's public image, while Kotick throws Activision under a truck every chance he gets. And He really cannot claim the success of WoW is his, because Blizzard can easily stand on it's own without Activision. All Activision has left is Call of Duty, and the Medal of Honor reboot + Infinity Ward Clustershart could do some damage to that franchise. And now I've created a mini-rant, which I totally thought I was going to avoid.
  • JohnDagger - September 28, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    I wasn't a fan of EA when years ago because they had a model similar to what activision has now. But then they started to back innovative and new IPs that I love (Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, giving Bioware all the money it needs). That's why when I see the EA logo now I don't groan, I just think at least I know that a few thoughts went into getting the game published, not just cranked out in hopes people aren't sick of the franchise yet.
  • Vulneratus - September 28, 2010 2:13 p.m.

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! What's that Bobby? EA is ugly and it smells? and EA's mother smells too?? ooooooooooooooohh!! D'you hear that EA??!! You gonna let him say that?? IT IS ON!!! LOL
  • joshin69 - September 28, 2010 10:12 a.m.

    Bobby Kotick = Jabba, Activision = jabba's palace. Now where the hell is a Jedi when you need one
  • JakeyBaby - September 28, 2010 7:43 a.m.

    "EA will buy a developer and then it will become ‘EA Florida’, ‘EA Vancouver’, ‘EA New Jersey’" Seriously said that? Did he just read the Edge issue just released before he went to the interview, and reverse exactly what EA happened to say in THAT interview?! For those that don't know, the "RockBand 3 cover" issue of Edge had a massive 5 page feature on EA. EA said, we used to change studio's names, but now under new leadership have given back studio's identities. I mean, just look at Crytek, Criterion, Visceral... Come on Kotick, did you JUST learn all this about the Industry you supposedly run YESTERDAY?!
  • AGENTJORRRG - September 28, 2010 7:33 a.m.

    Can we have and Activision vs EA all ot team deathmatch? That would be pretty even, I reckon. Activision has the gaming equivalent of satan, and EA has the council of evil. Also, EA have Peter Molyneux to really get the EA army RIDICULOUSLY fired up, and Activision have the great behemoths that are Infinity Ward and Bungie on the frontlines. Can we please make this happen?
  • AnonymouZ - September 28, 2010 5:45 a.m.

    it's funny cuz EA used to be his kind of greedy. NOW, they're still a business, but at least they don't shout on the mountaintops that the only thing they give a shit about is your money and how dumb you may/may not be for buying/not buying their games. At least, kotick is getting his ass handed to him in words. xD which make me lul like a lil girl.
  • SAUGAPRIME - September 28, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    If Kotick what he says is true then why do I see Activision's name on every game showing up first instead of the developers name, when you turn on the game. And I also want to add, look at your CoD4 MW box look at how big Call of Duty's name is and how small modern warfare name is, look at Activsion's name how big it is towards infinty wards name which is smaller. Now, look at your MW2 box, do you know how PISSED Activision got when they made the call of duty name so small and infinty wards name was bigger then Activision's name, Kotick gave then shit for that. Now look at Black-Ops how big the call of Duty name is again do you know why that is? That's because Treyarch is there little bitch that's why! They never got spider-man right and they will never get CoD right!
  • KaiokenKid - September 28, 2010 5:25 a.m.

    Poor dan. hes gonna be sick from the incoming spinning hes gonna have to do.
  • TDard23 - September 28, 2010 4:45 a.m.

    Zen Money is right and Tyler THANK YOU FOR NEVER RESPONDING TO MY PM. YOU TOO CHRIS AND BRET. Is it because my name suxs? Or I don't post any good fan art? Or am I a guy that you guys choose to not to give a shit about? Please tell me because GR and Tdar are part of the reason I decided to go into being a Journalist in college. And don't give the excuse of no time to look when you mention PMs in the podcast.
  • TDard23 - September 28, 2010 4:30 a.m.

    Yay BURN NOTICE!!! Lets not forget Bobby is a businessman looking for a profit so business can continue and thrive. And Gamers are too used to community companies like Valve and Bungie, who take their communities very seriously.
  • Redeater - September 28, 2010 3:52 a.m.

    @reveffect ..ghostbusters reference? Are you Dan Amirch incognito? j/k
  • reveffect - September 28, 2010 3:30 a.m.

    kotick is starting to remind me of that guy in the ghostbuster movies who is the mayors assistant who doesnt listen to the ghostbusters at all even when the problem is sitting in his face. that guy was a right bastard and i always get all excited when the part comes up in the second one where he gets fired. if only that would happen with kotick because he is pretty much doing the same thing.
  • ZenRobot - September 28, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    CEO's focus on making money. That's a rule. But when you focus on opening up fights with rival corporations you will rarely come away looking like a hero. In fact, by the time you start making comments like this you probably know you're on your way out. I'll be interested to see where Kotick is in 18 months.
  • ArmTheBomb - September 28, 2010 2:43 a.m.

    That's a scrap! Honestly, this article speaks truth. Kotick has done an excellent job in filling the "evil villain" role for the games industry. EA has Valve, DICE and Bioware so it would be hard for some to hate EA THAT much...
  • SenatorPepper - September 28, 2010 2:39 a.m.

    Dan Amrich, why?
  • Helios - September 28, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    No, a facepalm is too much. More like this: http://static.funnyjunk.com/pictures/facepalmreading.jpg
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 28, 2010 2 a.m.

    Oh, it is on like white on rice. This'll be interesting... :D
  • D0CCON - September 28, 2010 1:57 a.m.

    I thought that the reason that Activision didn't change the names of their developers to include the word Activision was because when the developers invariably get sued by Activision for the evil of wanting to be paid for their work, bystanders would think it'd look weird for Activision to be suing itself. EX: It sounds less stupid for Activision to sue Infinity Ward than for them to sue Activision Ward.

Showing 1-20 of 37 comments

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