September 23, 2010
Bobby Kotick… The Anti-Christ or Just a Solid Businessman
Bobby Kotick has been referred to as many things. Greedy, Self Righteous, asshole, crook, arrogant prick and the list goes on. However does this make what he runs Activision inherently wrong?
Corporations are required by law to do whatever it takes to make money and their responsibility is to their shareholders. Activisions shareholders expect them to make money and make money they have.
“Activision Blizzard Inc. said sales of its blockbuster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have exceeded $1 billion worldwide since it launched Nov. 10.
Though the Santa Monica publisher didn’t specify how many units it had sold, that’s probably close to 15 million based on the 8 million units the game sold in its first week, generating $550 million in receipts” — Los Angeles Times
An interesting fact that I learned while I was in school is that corporations have to listen to their shareholders even if it goes against their personal convictions. For example, say leaving the stadium lights on longer at night helps boost sales. The owner of the stadium then finds out that leaving the lights on keeps all the surrounding neighborhoods awake because the light from the stadium shines inside their homes. Hearing this, the stadium owner shuts the lights off earlier but then looses the additional sales revenues. The shareholders see the loss in profits and tell him to turn the lights back on to drive the sales back up. He promptly refuses to do so and in turn get’s sued by the shareholders and the share holders win in court. This is based off of a real work example that happened a number of years ago and it goes to show how ruthless a corporation and shareholders can be.
Companies are built by the consumers that support them. In addition have having massive sales revenue from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Activison has made a stunning $37.5 million dollars from DLC for MW2 alone in the last year. While you may hear many decree that if he doesn’t stop his “evil ways” people will stop supporting the company the truth of the matter is that sales figures don’t lie and Bobby Kotick his band of pirates made one of the most successful games to ever be released. A game that is so successful that people are willing pay $30 dollars for 10 extra multiplayer maps, half of which are just rehashes of old maps released with it’s predecessor.
Bobby Kotick may be a greedy immoral bastard and many may consider him to be the anti-Christ of the gaming world. You have to admit, however, that he has helped create a gaming franchise that has brought in more money with on title then most Hollywood blockbuster titles. So long as people continue to shell out millions, nay, billions of their dollars for his games he is not likely to stop his business model.
Personally I think Bobby Kotick is the biggest bastard to come along in a long time and the way he schemes people out of millions of dollars makes me sick to my stomach. I do not own, nor will I ever buy Modern Warfare 2 because of my personal disgust on how he’s turned a franchise into a way to milk people of millions of dollars. Having said all of that I have to respect the fact that he’s convinced people that it’s ok to spend top dollar on DLC, pay more for less game. While I hate to admit it, Bobby Kotick, as a businessman, is doing a good job.