Remember back when EA was the reason for everything bad in the game industry? They swallowed up every developer they laid their sights on and left no series untouched. That was then, this is now. A new bane of the gaming industry has reared its, or his, head and it goes by the name of Bobby Kotick.
Many may not know this CEO by his name but Kotick currently runs ActiBlizz, a combination of Activsion and Blizzzard, the studios responsible for Call of Duty and Starcraft. With both of these studios under his belt you can imagine the amount of money he and his compatriots must be raking in. However this doesn’t seem to be enough for him. No, Kotick, in a recent interview at the Deutsche Banking Securities Technologies Conference in San Francisco, claimed that making games was solely for the purpose of making money. Which is true but he went on to confirm his insatiable greed with “We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.” Does that sound right to you?
The CEO of the two largest game developers in the market, not to mention three of the largest franchises, sees no benefit to having fun within the market. With gamers clamoring for companies to make new IPs, Intellectual Property (original games), Kotick’s idea of games that Activision Blizzard d[oesn’t] pick up, he said, “don’t have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises.” seems counter productive to the entire scheme of the gaming industry. Games are meant to be unique in themselves, granted there will always be a form of cross over due to genre saturation, but purposely refusing to work on a game to call your own just for the sake of milking it to dust? Corporate greed has never looked so ugly.
Games cost a whopping $60 a pop at the store counter so why would we, the gamers, continue to pay for the same iteration of a game over and over? The answer is brand loyalty. Just like you trust a brand of jeans to be well made, Infinity Ward has become known for their Call of Duty games. However doing so limits their creative talents. Just recently an article was posted regarding how Activision wanted to have another WW2 Call of Duty instead of going Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare route. What if that company had threatened to pull funding? The game we all love would not have existed and yet another WW2 game would be on the washed out market. From a business standpoint it makes sense to cash in on the popular titles but there is such a thing as a limit. But where is that limit? Companies like ActiBlizz will never know it if we continue to take their price hikes, and accept only 1 or 2 map packs for a game.
The point of a business is to make money, I get that, but to flaunt your greedy decisions and laugh while it rests upon the shoulders of gamers is more than what should be tolerated. I give Sony, Nintendo, and even Microsoft more credit for saving face by not outright forcing the greed driven machinations down our throats, albeit the majority willingly accept the choking from companies such as ActiBlizz. How much more will you allow yourself to be choked?