Since Activision's rise to gaming publisher domination and their commitment to rehashing money makers over and over again the gaming world has had a new face of evil to point at as the problem with everything ever: Bobby Kotick. To be fair the man doesn't really help himself when he spouts out that games shouldn't be developed for fun or that Activision is just in it for the money. All this being said, you have to wonder if Kotick sits up in a big chair, petting his white cat while he kills his minions for not being able to destroy 007 or if he's actually just a guy running a company.
Kotick spoke at the DICE gaming convention this past Thursday in a fluffy fleece and tried to settle the score by explaining his actions, talking about the decisions he's made as Activision's CEO and discussing the mistakes he's made. He opened with a non-James Bond related movie metaphor, "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."
Star Wars humor! Crap, he's got me hooked so there's more after the jump along with video of the full speech.
Kotick went on to explain that the evil comments he makes are usually to investors who are looking for those evil comments because they sound like things a money-making company would do. "Sometimes that commitment to excellence, well, you can come across as being like a dick," he said after commenting that Activision was committed to excellence. "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."
Kotick also discussed Activision's past purchases and mistakes, saying, almost apologetically, that buying Guitar Hero was a good move, but that they should have acquired Harmonix to make the games. He also said that if he had met with Will Wright, Activsion would have picked up Maxis as well. Perhaps most impressively he admits that being the CEO has insulated him from the passion of game developers, and it's one of the things he regrets.
Not sure if I believe him, but at least he's trying. Here's the full speech for you to watch.