Home Gaming Bobby Kotick thinks that Activision’s games aren’t the place for “political views”

Bobby Kotick thinks that Activision’s games aren’t the place for “political views”

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This comes mere weeks after the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which many of you might have noticed, was rather political.

cod_highway_of_death

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, isn’t really a man who enjoys the spotlight being shone directly onto him. He doesn’t give interviews all that often and hardly ever makes public appearances to talk about his company. That being said, Activision Blizzard hasn’t exactly had a great year thus far, what with being embroiled in arguably 2019’s biggest controversy in the gaming industry. Following the controversial banning of professional Hearthstone player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai after voicing his support for the Hong Kong protests, Activision Blizzard hasn’t exactly been in the public’s good books for their questionable political stance. Appearing on CNBC last night, Bobby Kotick spoke a little about how he thinks gaming and politics should intersect.

According to him, they shouldn’t.

In response to the statement that the public is looking to business leaders and industry professionals regarding a variety of subjects such as “Hong Kong,” and “Democracy,” Kotick responded by saying, “We’re not the operator of the world’s town halls. We’re the operator of the communities that allow you to have fun through the lens of a video game. My responsibility is to make sure that our communities feel safe, secure, comfortable and satisfied, and entertained…That doesn’t convey to me the right to have a platform for a lot of political views, I don’t think. I think my responsibility is to satisfy our audiences and our stakeholders, our employees, our shareholders.”

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Which, sure, it is his job to satisfy all those groups. Yet in personalising the question, he doesn’t really answer the broader question of his company’s political actions or decisions. This response comes not only after the banning of Blitzchung but also following the misrepresentation of the “Highway of Death”, a war crime committed by the United States military that was instead turned into a Russian act of violence in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. So while Bobby Kotick says that his platform isn’t the place to represent political views, I think that Activision Blizzard’s actions this year have proven otherwise.

Last Updated: November 21, 2019

19 Comments

  1. Caveshen Rajman

    November 21, 2019 at 10:52

    I’m somehow on both sides of this argument.

    Because if someone got up and held up a union jack, would people be saying Blizz were fair to ban them? But then on the other hand, this is cleeeeeeeeeearly some appeasal of the powers and fuck that shit.

    Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    November 21, 2019 at 10:52

    Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, isn’t really a man who enjoys the spotlight being shone directly onto him.

    Slimy soul sucking money grubbing parasites never do.

    Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    November 21, 2019 at 10:52

    Bobby looks like someone you don’t want to be left alone with at family gatherings

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      November 21, 2019 at 10:58

      I wouldn’t buy a pen from him, he’ll probably sell the ink as an extra

      Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    November 21, 2019 at 10:58

    Bobby Kotick
    His head is so thick
    Needs to be hit with a stick
    What a….

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      November 21, 2019 at 11:12

      tick

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        November 21, 2019 at 11:12

        Noice, that works as well

        Reply

  5. HvR

    November 21, 2019 at 11:17

    He should start by removing “Every voice matters.Think globally.Lead responsibly.” from the Blizzard mission values.

    Reply

    • Son of Banana Jim

      November 21, 2019 at 13:46

      Every voice matters unless you’re offending our paymasters… ?

      Reply

  6. Darren Peach

    November 21, 2019 at 11:37

    Soooo… on the one hand we condemn the Russians cause Trump…but then we condemn America and Kotick because they changed the narrative of a real world event and because of what Blizzard did with Blitzchung ? Then we condemn China because of their antics but we still contradict ourselves because a lot of manufacturing happens there..( I know this is a over simplification )

    It’s all very confusing at the moment.

    Reply

  7. Son of Banana Jim

    November 21, 2019 at 13:31

    He’s not wrong, and I agree that games shouldn’t be used as propaganda or to push the personal political views of the developers or the publishers. I always think about Alan Moore’s watchmen, who even as a self-identified extreme hyper liberal, wrote a convincing character in Rorschach. He did it because he understood that great characters trumps trying to score a few points in an ever-changing political landscape. Games are an amazing platform that allows for an interaction with stories and characters that we have never seen before. It allows for writers and artists to explore interesting and challenging themes but it also has potential to be a really horrible propaganda machine.

    Fortunately, so far the market has spoken and the simple principle of “get woke go broke” has been a consistent truism, but the danger always lies in when the pendulum swings. And, it always does.

    Reply

  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 21, 2019 at 11:17

    I actually don’t disagree with what he said. Games can deal with political issues as part of their stories, but I don’t want or need a company to take an explicit stance in the story saying “x good, y bad” as a real world statement. Part of “entertained” is a compelling story that could contain relevant political commentary, but I don’t look to companies that make video games to tell me what’s right and wrong in the real world. If they want to they can, but demanding it from corporations seems rather silly.

    Reply

    • HvR

      November 21, 2019 at 11:23

      Completely agree, but want to add that they also should not try to use politics to build their image and sell games and then complain when they due something on the contrary and get backlash.

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      November 21, 2019 at 11:28

      One game that totally flipped the MURICA and right vs wrong thing was SpecOps The Line

      Reply

      • Allykhat

        November 21, 2019 at 13:30

        That game was/is FANTASTIC

        Reply

      • Son of Banana Jim

        November 21, 2019 at 13:35

        Spec Ops was amazing and it delivered its anti-war messaging in such a stunning way. It always amazed me that it flew over the heads of so many who just couldn’t understand what it was about.

        But, it’s a great example of how a game could carry a powerful message without being partisan or political. It also supports what Kotick is saying, and why I think Ubisoft has been right in keeping away from real world politics in favour of a fictional world, where topics can be thoroughly explored…

        Reply

    • HvR

      November 21, 2019 at 11:23

      Completely agree, but want to add that they also should not try to use politics to build their image and sell games and then complain when they due something on the contrary and get backlash.

      Reply

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