Activision and Electronic Arts have never been the best of friends, but Bobby Kotick’s recent interview with Edge magazine has really gone for the jugular. Claiming that EA has “lost its way”, the Activision CEO believes only studios that have “no other options” should work with such a publisher.
“Look, EA has a lot of resources, it’s a big company that’s been in business for a long time, maybe it’ll figure it out eventually,” says the fire-kissed despair merchant. “But it’s been struggling for a really long time. The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don’t really want to work there.
“It’s like, if you have no other option, you might consider them … But we have no shortage of opportunity to recruit out of EA — that’s their biggest challenge: its stock options have no value. It’s lost its way. And until it has success, and hits, and gets that enthusiasm back for the company, it’s going to have a struggle getting really talented people, which is going to translate into less-than-great games.”
Kotick claims that Activision rewards success and lets each studio keep its own culture, while EA simply takes over a developer, rebrands it, and ostensibly suffocates the company. There is no denying that EA has been guilty of this in the past, though it genuinely seems to have recognized that’s an issue. Is it too little, too late, however?