In light of recent comments he made regarding game development and his "taking the fun out" of it, Activision CEO and resident industry comedian, Bobby Kotick, has told Edge Magazine
that said comments were "a joke!" and that "the fact that there are people – and it's a small vocal minority – [who] actually think that I meant it - how do you combat that?".
I would say by not saying it in the first place.
He also delved into EA's internal studio model, suggesting that they don't nurture the creative side of game development in the same way Activision does, which sort of ironically came right after having derailed Tim Schafer's recent comments
about Kotick being a "total prick".
"The guy comes out and says I'm a prick," Kotick told Edge. "I've never met him in my life – I've never had anything to do with him. I never had any involvement in the Vivendi project that they were doing, Brutal Legend, other than I was in one meeting where the guys looked at it and said, 'He's late, he's missed every milestone, he's overspent the budget and it doesn't seem like a good game. We're going to cancel it'. And do you know what? That seemed like a sensible thing to do. And it turns out, he was late, he missed every milestone, the game was not a particularly good game."
And on EA's current place.
"The core principle of how we run the company is the exact opposite of EA," he said. "EA will buy a developer and then it will become 'EA Florida', 'EA Vancouver', 'EA New Jersey', whatever. We don't have an Activision anything, it's Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer... there's not a studio at this company that will tell you: 'Activision is forcing us to get the game out.'
"It's like, if you have no other option, you might consider [working for] them... 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."
EA's response to all of this via corporate communications VP Jeff Brown to Gamasutra
was pretty scathing.
"Kotick’s relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation," he said. "His company is based on three game franchises – one is a fantastic persistent world he had nothing to do with; one is in steep decline; and the third is in the process of being destroyed by Kotick’s own hubris."
: In response to comments about Brutal Legend not being a great game and his comments to Tim Schafer, the Double Fine studio head told Eurogamer
that "it's sad that instead of just insulting me personally, he goes after the product of my hard-working team - a group of people he almost put out of work a while back", adding "what's even sadder is that it took him two months to think of a comeback".