Activision boss Bobby Kotick is known around the gaming industry to gamers as pretty much the devil. The man has single-handily taken an entire publishing company (Activision) and turned it into a money factory in the most negative ways imaginable. Not only has the man pushed the milking of franchise after franchise, but has openly admitted he doesn’t want gaming to be fun and that he’d have no problem charging gamers for cut-scenes. If this sounds incredibly stupid to you, you’re probably one of the sane ones.
Now, Kotick has been up to his old antics once more. In discussions with EDGE, Kotick has thrown developers under bus, he’s thrown the industry under the bus and we’re sure if offered enough money, we could convince him to throw himself under the buy as well. His latest targets is of course Jason West and Vince Zampella, the former heads of Infinity Ward over at Activision.
Kotick believes that West and Zampella backstabbed him out of no where and had Kotick himself been the one to attempt what they did, it would have been illegal.
“It shook my belief in two specific people, who were my friends,” he said. “The frustrating thing about that is, the stuff that these guys did, I never would have expected them to do. We’re a public company, we’ve got ethics obligations, and the things they did were… I would go to jail if I did them.
“You can’t use the company and the company’s assets for your own personal benefit, and you can’t use the leverage that you might have for personal benefit – you’re not allowed to do that! And so we didn’t have any choice.”
Furthermore, Kotick went ahead with the removal of these iconic figures within his company despite knowing that it would probably tear apart Infinity Ward as a whole and result in a large percentage of employees leaving with them — but that’s okay, because he’s doing his part to keep the bonuses.
“When we bought the company, they were 20 or 30 guys – these were guys that shared vacation homes together, they were all best friends, they were at each other’s weddings. We knew that when we had to fire Jason and Vince we were going to lose a lot of really talented people,” Kotick added.
“That’s one of those really difficult decisions as the CEO of a company, where you step back and say, ‘No good is going to come of this. They’re going to leave and probably have a really hard time ever being productive or successful ever again, and we’re going to lose some talented people, and there’s nothing we can do about it.’ And there wasn’t.”
To be frank, I don’t understand why Kotick continues to stay in the public eye and instead doesn’t run the company from inside his office, hidden from everyone. I have a feeling a lot more people would be willing to support Activision if this guy dropped the ability to talk to press and just ran the business side of things.