Why do gamers hate Activision?

INTERVIEW: Activision Community Manager, Dan Amrich helps us trace back the rage

GR: Over onOneofSwords.com, you, more so than most other community managers I've ever seen, have to do a shitload of debunking.

DA: That's a hobby. I don't actually HAVE to do it. Nobody told me to write that Bobby manifesto; it pissed me off that I saw so many people passing around false statements as fact, so I wanted to do something to correct it. I actually had to convince people here to let me do that - it's to date the only thing I've had to ask permission to post.

GR: What's the most ridiculous rumor surrounding Activision you've ever had to field?


Above: Art imitating rumor!

DA: The tops was definitely during the Infinity Ward situation last spring. Obviously, the way it unfolded was dramatic and there were a lot of rumors and suspicions going on, mixing conjecture with what little factual info was actually known. Someone on Twitter said "How is Mr. Kotick going to defend himself against charges of kidnapping and murder?!" And I went... “What?!” Are you that out of touch with reality that you would give that credence? I mean, to WANT to believe something like that... well, that's an extreme willingness to believe the worst thing about Activision.

GR: That wasn't true?! So much for my next question… I heard a vial of Hitler's blood was poured into the ink vat that printed the Black Ops covers. Like that Kiss comic... but with Hitler

DA: It wasn't Hitler. That's all I can say.

GR: What do you want the angry gamers out there to understand most about Activision's business practices? Something that could remove any "evil" mystique?

DA: I just want the angry gamers to look past the anger and consider there might be more to the story than they have heard. Don't assume the worst. There are usually logical reasons for doing stuff. Just consider another perspective and you might find them.


Above: Art by graboids

GR: Last question! If you were made head of Activision tomorrow, what would you do to build back some good favor? Money is no object, President Amrich.

DA: Hmm… Well, I don't think it's something that will be bought off, let's put it that way. If you gave everybody a free game, they'd just say "Cool, free game. Still hate you." I think it's about communication. I mean, that's why I'm here, because I wanted to try to create some of that two-way discussion. I think people really get upset because what they see or hear (or think they see or hear) Activision doing does not make sense. Nobody explains "well, this is why we did that." I would want to focus on that, in whatever form made the most sense. I think it's got to be a getting-to-know-you thing. Don't give them excuses, give them insight. That, to me, is the key.

Apr 26, 2010


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