Vilified Activision CEO Bobby Kotick took the stand at this year’s D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, an annual gathering of videogame executives, where they (I assume) talk about their yachts in the Bahamas.
Famous for alienating himself from gamers, developers and gaming journalists for saying things like wanting to â€œtake all the fun out of making video games,â€ and that he intended to milk franchises for all their worth. Whether sincere, or a last-ditch attempt to recapture a human public image, Kotick managed something extraordinarily out of character – humility.
"I don’t know how this happened, but all my life I was the rebel flying the Millennium Falcon or the X-Wing fighter and suddenly I wake up and I’m on board the Death Star," said Kotick, realising that he’s evil incarnate.
â€œSometimes that commitment to excellence, well, you can come across as being like a dick. And when I say things like ‘taking the fun out of making video games,’ it was a line that has been often-quoted lately, but it was a line I used for investors. It was mainly because i wanted to somehow come across in a humorous way that we were responsible, in the way we made our games in that it wasn’t some wild west, lack of process exercise and that we really did give some thought to the capital being used to provide a return of investment to shareholders. So I say things like ‘taking the fun out of video games’ knowing full well that all we’re actually trying to do is keep the fun in the process because, as most of you know, when you’re getting into crunch time it becomes really difficult to meet those milestones or get things polished the way you would like, that isn’t a lot of fun. That is not what I meant by it," he said, trying to climb back into an X-Wing.
He apologised for the many mistakes he’d made – including how the purchase of Guitar Hero was handled – admitting he’d bet on the wrong horse.
"When we were buying Guitar Hero, or buying Red Octane, the makers of Guitar Hero, we knew about Harmonix," Kotick said. "We had always known them as sort of somewhat a failed developer of music games." Activision, of course, handed the franchise over to internal studio Neversoft, famed for making (and subsequently destroying) the Tony Hawk franchise.
"We really didn’t even think, ‘Hey we should go to Boston, and meet these Harmonix guys and see what they’re up to.’ And, of course, if we had gone up, I think the world of Guitar Hero would have been rewritten. It would be a lot different today. And it would probably be a profitable opportunity for both of us and an opportunity where you’d have even more innovation in the category.â€
We’ll have to see if this new-found humility is sincere and lasting, or if it really is for the purposes of putting on a public face. either way, it’s nice to hear something out of Kotick’s mouth that doesn’t translate as â€œYou’re all retards and I’m raping your walletsâ€
Source : Kotaku
Last Updated: February 19, 2010