Bobby Kotick criticizes online passes

Activision CEO and rust-flavored harbinger of Hell’s eternal night Bobby Kotick has said something that isn’t evil. In fact, he’s criticizes the rather sleazy “online pass” initiative that Electronic Arts and THQ have recently embraced, because the scheme isn’t in the best interests of the consumer. 

“We can do some of these things that EA and others have done,” he explains. “We actually don’t think it’s in the best interest of the gamer, and so we’ve chosen not to.

“From a financial perspective you look at it and say, ‘Okay, well the retailer is not paying us anything for the privilege of doing it and you know we invest all this capital in making a game and we are not getting any credit, any return on their resale of the game,’ but, you know something, the best way to keep people engaged in your game experience is keep giving them more great content.

 “I think you always need to be sensitive to that relationship and not crossing the line to a place where the customer feels like they have been taken advantage of.”

Of course, it’s in Activision’s best interest to make sure everybody has free and easy access to the multiplayer, because then it gets to sell more $15 map packs. This, of course, throws up an interesting question — what would you rather have? Expensive DLC, or online passes? Exactly which is the lesser of two evils?

Bobby Kotick on the business of Call of Duty: DLC, Treyarch, Infinity Ward [Joystiq]

Jim Sterling