The gaming internet loves having a good target to funnel its hate and Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision has been at the barrel of the gun for some time. Kotick has taken the chance to speak about himself and Activision in his DICE 2010 keynote and he showed us his geeky gamer inside that has been locked away in the cold shell of a very expensive suit for years. Please take this with a grain of salt as it is coming from the man himself, but you should know that his gaming cred runs deep.
Kotick used to love games; he played a huge amount in the early ’80s and it is his high risk of addiction to the medium that keeps him away from games these days. Not only did he play games, but he made them as well: he had created Apple II games for Electronic Arts. In business, Kotick paid $400,000 for 25% of what was to be Activision because he loved Activision’s catalogue of games and he wanted to restore the company to it’s former glory.
As for his past comments that the blogs ran with, Gamasutra recaps:
Aware of recent criticism of some of his remarks to investors — remarks about taking the fun out of making video games and working in an environment of skepticism, pessimism and fear, to name a few — Kotick says that too much brashness means “you can come across as being like a dick.”
He particularly addressed his ‘taking the fun out of video games’ comment: “I wanted to somehow come across in a humorous way that… it wasn’t some Wild West lack of process exercise.” Nonetheless, he says, he regrets how it was misconstrued.
Finally, Kotick revealed the creation of the 2010 Activision Independent Game Competition (PDF) granting $100,000 to the winner.
Take from this what you will, but you can’t deny that there is more to ‘ol Bobby than just an expensive suit.