During his DICE keynote, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick spoke about the way he’s perceived within the gaming industry, phrasing it in a way that all of us can understand.
“I don’t know how this happened, but all my life I was the rebel flying the Millennium Falcon or the X-Wing fighter,” stated Kotick. “And suddenly I wake up and I’m on board the Death Star.”
Kotick also addressed one of his more infamous quotes in which he said something along the lines of “taking the fun out of game development.”
“Sometimes that commitment to excellence, well, you can come across as being like a dick, 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,” he explained. “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. So I say things like ‘taking the fun out of video games’ knowing full well that all we’re actually trying to do is keep the fun in the process because, as most of you know, when you’re getting into crunch time it becomes really difficult to meet those milestones or get things polished the way you would like, that isn’t a lot of fun. That is not what I meant by it.”
The Activision exec admits to being somewhat removed from the creative process in game development, saying, “Sometime what winds up happening when you are 50,000 feet above is you can get insulated from that creative passion.” Kotick cites how he originally dismissed Blizzard’s Warcraft and Will Wright’s The Sims as examples of this.
“A lot of times when you get caught up in the financial details of the business, it makes you overlook what’s really important, which is who’s passionate, who’s committed, who’s inspired and where’s the next idea going to come from,” he concluded.