EA has “lost its way,” says Kotick

Monday, 27th September 2010 16:24 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Activision boss Bobby Kotick has laid into EA a little more, saying the publisher has “lost its way.”

“It’s like, if you have no other option, you might consider them,” he told Edge.

“They have some… the team that makes Madden is a really great team, it’s been able to manage, capture and keep some good people.

“But 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.”

Kotick adds EA will “struggle” to find top-notch developers until “it has success, and hits, and gets that enthusiasm back for the company.”

Kotick also told the mag he had considered ex-Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella “friends,” before firing them for “insubordination,” saying they had “betrayed” him.



  1. Blerk

    Is he sure he didn’t get EA and Activision confused?

    #1 4 years ago
  2. JopDiga

    Today is Kotick day isn’t it?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. themadjock

    We’ll see when Medal of Honour is released if you still feel the same.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    I know, I mean what the fuck EA? You have numerous IPs on the go that have not been given the pointless yearly update treatment yet.

    What the shit is up with that?

    Dropped the ball guys.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. The_Red

    Wow… just wow. It’s like Hitler trash talking a convicted murderer (With on victim). Sure, that convict is no angel but criticisim from the man behind holocaust and a little world war 2 isn’t exactly warranted.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. onlineatron


    It’s much better to rely on two franchises, one of which is already dying then to have a wealth of games for people to enjoy.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    The guy has a point. Ricitiello is trying to apply his old specialty of TV dinner production to EA. Quantity over quality. Instead of making one good, original shooter, they make three generic and mediocre ones.

    Instead of improving their sports games, they just cram them full of product placement and let glaring faults go unfixed between iterations. Fight Night has basically been completely ruined in the last iteration, and sales of Madden is down to half.

    When you actually start ruining games, something’s wrong.

    @4 Yeah, EA hates their franchises. They’d never build a company on ‘em or anything. And they certainly don’t do 1-2 year iterations of any of them. Need for Speed, Burnout, Medal of Honor, Dragon Age, Battlefield: Bad Company, Command and Conquer, Rock Band and every mass produced sports game they ever did, says hello.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. cookiejar

    Lost its way into my good books, sure. I’ve played many a great EA published game in the last year or so, and about 1 Activision title. A title which I don’t play now anyway.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. ivycrew707

    Just mentioning stock options clearly shows where is mind is all the time

    #9 4 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    there’s more kotick on the way

    heres one about schafer:

    in all honesty i kinda agree with him about schafer

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 Lawl, someone let Kotick speak again :P

    There’s no doubt that Schafer dropped the ball completely on Brütal Legend, but the whole attempt by Activision to jack it even though they’d passed on it, wasn’t very nice.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Ransom

    ” bla bla bla bla bla bla , bla bla bla.” says kotick

    #12 4 years ago
  13. EscoBlades


    #13 4 years ago


    #14 4 years ago
  15. back_up

    He is right.
    EA only makes Ripped games now.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    @DSB, “original shooter”

    Crysis 2 and of course my favourite for now: Bulletstorm

    PS: when Acti made original shooter? :D

    “one good”

    Battlefield:BC2 :D

    “Fight Night has basically been completely ruined in the last iteration”

    Complete fanboyish statement, when last one is fantastic.

    “Yeah, EA hates their franchises”

    You forgot to mention about awesome sauce like Dead Space 2, Burnout series, Mirror’s Edge, Bulletstorm and Alice.

    Activision and Call Of duty fanboy get the fuck out :D

    #16 4 years ago
  17. back_up

    You are completely wrong.

    Crysis and Bulletstorm are made by independent game developers.Ea are just the publisher they cannot control the game.

    Please only count the games made by Ea subsidiary and then you will notice EA is making ripped games (army of two,Dante Inferno,Create) or struggling to make good games
    (NFS & C&C).
    Only good games are BC2,Deadspace,Burnout

    Cod4 MW is the original shooter(it’s first military shooter taking place in modern times)

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Freek

    Every time he opens his mouth, dumb shit comes flying out. And yet he keeps saying he’s misunderstood!
    It’s charming really.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. DSB

    @16 Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 aren’t out yet, what the hell are you talking about? :P You’re like the neighbourhood retard, interrupting peoples conversations with your inane babbling.

    I can’t help the fact that you wouldn’t know a good game from your own asshole, but everyone who’s actually played Fight Night, for any ammount of time, has no problem seeing that Fight Night Round 4 is a piece of garbage in comparison to its predecessor. The training system is destroyed, it has loading screens every 2 seconds, the fight planning system is a mess, and the customization sucks compared to Round 3.

    I’ve been playing EAs games since the early 90′s, and I’ve loved it, but the fact is that they’re throwing everything they have into budget development of mediocre games, aimed at making them a decent profit, when its all put together.

    As Kotick rightly says, a large organisation with low average profits, is not as viable as a smaller organisation with high average profits, which is why they’re rebounding so slowly.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. KrazyKraut

    I can agree him in certain points..but..yeah. Dead Space is cool…NFS will be cool again (hope that)..MOH..dunno…Crysis 2: GFX are not everything.

    Lol..we have an old grafic application for mac….its fucking old (about 20 years?) which is made by EA^^ Maybe Adobe will make games too^^

    #20 4 years ago
  21. spiderLAW

    Fight Night Round 4 was absolute shit. Horrible game….horrible. Round 3 was far better than that crap Round 4.

    Did i mention that Round 4 sucked really badly?

    Dead Space and BFBC2 are the only EA games out right now that are worth playing. Burnout Paradise was a great idea but felt poorly executed (IMO). Need for Speed Hot Pursuit looks amazing though.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. DSB

    @21 Indeed. You’d have to be deaf and dumb to reach another conclusion.

    To me, Fight Night Round 3 is the best boxing game ever made. That just made the disappointment of Round 4 that much worse. I can’t believe they fucked it up that badly.

    Dragon Age was great too. FIFA is still going strong, but I think the rest of the sports games have stopped dead in their tracks. Haven’t tried NCAA, though.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. spiderLAW


    I was so pissed at how poorly Round 4 came out. They went way backwards. Hopefully the next Fight Night (Fight Night Champions i believe its called) will fix the issues that plagued Round 4.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. DarkElfa


    Why does this guy not understand that just because he runs Activision, it doesn’t mean that he has anything to say that anyone wants to hear.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. CaptPierce

    DSB, let me ask you something. Has EA released SEVEN games of the same franchise in one year? Yes I think we are all willing to agree EA was no saving grace of the industry either back in ’05-’08, but they have redone everything so well, it nearly makes up for it. True they don’t own Crysis 2 or Bulletstorm. You seem to be forgetting Bungie’s game released by Activision isn’t owned by them either. Electronic Arts is starting to show it actually cares about us (somewhat), and Activision is starting to look a lot like the people we used to hate 5 years ago.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. spiderLAW

    I agree with most of what you said except for EA looking like they care for us. They dont give a shit about the gamer and thats made obvious with their Buy New or miss out on content crap, the glitchy and unpatched games they release (Mainly BFBC2 and NFS), and their Terrible online Server that seems to crash every other weekend.
    Ive had my stats completely erased twice on BFBC2. Still enjoy the game but EA clearly is worried more about their own income than anything else. I dont hate them for that though, that’s basically how every company works.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. CaptPierce

    Notice how I said “somewhat”. I’m well aware of this. BC2 lags like a bitch for me too. I meant they are beginning to show progress, and it’s a lot further than Activision.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. DSB

    @25 I haven’t said a word about Activision. I was commenting on EA.

    Fact is their franchises are stagnating. Fact is they’re spreading their money around even more, instead of focusing it on finding the developers with the right talent. To me, that can only lead to more, and more mediocre games.

    How you deduce from that, that a multi-national corporation cares about you boggles the mind.

    I didn’t mind EA back in the deuces, I thought they were doing fine. Under Ricitiello they’re restructuring into mass production, including browser MMOs, and they’re attacking the used game market with a ferocity that’s never been seen before, instead of trying to make games that are worth keeping.

    I would be surprised if Ricitiello doesn’t beat the market to making a subscription for their online services.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Dralen

    What the fuck is he on about, some of my most wanted games of this year are all EA games. FIFA 11, Dead Space 2, Crysis 2, Medal of Honor and that’s not even mentioning next years games that I cannot wait for (The Old Republic and Dragon Age 2). Activision are the ones who are falling apart and just watering down all their IP’s.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. spiderLAW

    I agree

    Wow so many smart/well though out comments today from everyone all around. Surprising!

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Ge0force

    @29 I agree. Activision is now what EA was a few years ago.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Erthazus

    @back_up, i know that these games are made by subsidiaries. But sir DSB mentioned 3rd party supporters to EA thats why i mentioned them.

    Still, even with first parties they make great games. DICE make great battlefield franchises, Visceral games make Dead Space that is also awesome. Mirrors Edge, Burnout series and e.t.c.. Hot Pursuit new is really cool. For some people SIMS really is a cool franchise. That is also successfull. How can you say that EA lost it’s way when they sell a lot of good games.

    there are plenty of cool games out there.

    Activision? I’m interested only in new NASCAR game. Call Of duty? Lost interest. It’s a matter of taste really. Nothing much from them. Last Spiderman sucked ass, New James Bond looks meh… and e.t.c.

    @DSB, “it has loading screens every 2 seconds”

    Maybe it’s in your own garden 2 second, but i don’t see a problem. Thats the only Sport game i’m playing and enjoying it a lot. List of improvements you can read on the official site.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. No One

    Dear Bobby, shut up plz!

    #33 4 years ago
  34. YoungZer0

    Someone really needs to learn to shut the fuck up.

    As if anyone here cares about stock options.

    Your company sucks and you know it.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. DSB

    @32 The lead designers from Visceral Games founded Sledgehammer Games. They’re not there anymore.

    I’m not surprised you list a promotional website as an argument for why Round 4 is supposedly good. You really have no critical sense, or in this case reference, what so ever. Two people here have played Fight Night Round 3 and Fight Night Round 4, and both agree that the former is great and the latter is a piece of shit.

    You even admit to not playing sports games, even while you run your mouth on whether they’re good or not.

    Just as I suspected, as usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Erthazus

    “I’m not surprised you list a promotional website as an argument for why Round 4 is supposedly good.”

    *Facepalm* It’s not about the promotional website, it’s about the new features that thing has. Everything what was in FNR3 is the same. Game is much better and enjoyable. There are things that fans wanted from it.

    “The lead designers from Visceral Games founded Sledgehammer Games. They’re not there anymore.”

    I don’t know about that and i really don’t need to know about that. So far so good. Dead Space 2 looks much better than Dead Space 1 and i can’t wait for this game.
    Not to mention other games that i listed. Dragon Age 2 from Bioware looks again, very promising and e.t.c.

    “You even admit to not playing sports games”

    I play Gran Turismo 5, SIM games and FNR.

    “Just as I suspected, as usual, you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    Yeah right, i suspected that you troll everytime i see EA article. If you like activision that much go and work for them. Stop beying a fanboy.
    Not to mention 80% of people here in this thread disagree’s with you and enjoy games from EA a lot.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. DSB

    You’re not a fanboy or a troll just because you critisize a publisher on it’s priorities, or the fact that the quality of it’s staple franchises are going down pretty much across the board. You’re a fanboy or a troll if you critisize it just because.

    I’d like to see EA succeed, I’ve been playing their games for more than a decade, but with Ricitiello at the wheel, they’re gonna try for a Walmart model. That’s a shame.

    Nothing has been seen from Dragon Age 2 yet, and nobody’s played Dead Space 2. You believe everything you see on the internet man. It’s no substitute for actual experience and critical thinking.

    You’re the one sucking EAs cock and disregarding every criticism. I don’t know, but I think that’s a lot more fanboyish than simply looking at the facts, and talking about games you’ve actually played.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Michael O’Connor

    I think it is finally time to pass down the torch from TEA and I to you and Erthazus. There is no need for us anymore!

    I nobly hand my torch to you, DSB. Do me proud!

    #38 4 years ago
  39. Erthazus

    “You’re the one sucking EAs cock and disregarding every criticism.”

    I’m sucking EA cock so hard that i can’t take WOW Rip Off With lightsaber so serious, i’m sucking so much COCKS saying that Mass Effect 1-2 are cheap Western RPG games, except they are NOT even RPG games.
    Man, thats not true and you know it. EA just began to show what they can do with games and they are doing really good right now.

    “Nothing has been seen from Dragon Age 2 yet”

    I said it looks promising. Bioware when promise always do it. I liked Dragon Age, but for me it felt a little bit old. So they are improving things what i wanted from them from the start. Need to wait and see.

    “and nobody’s played Dead Space 2″

    True and it looks promising. I saw a lot of gameplay and it looks promising and not worse than the first one. It’s enough for me to judge that graphics, gameplay are great. I don’t know what the story will be or how decent multiplayer will be. It’s enough for me to buy a game.

    Stop beying a fanboy. Chill out dude seriousy. Play some games.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Yoshi

    Just so you know EA has responded to this, its pretty epic :P
    “Kotick’s relationship with studio talent is well documented in litigation,” Brown said, referring to Activision’s latest lawsuit with developer Infinity Ward over the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise and previously with Double Fine over Brutal Legend.

    “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.”

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Michael O’Connor

    - World of Warcraft
    - Guitar Hero
    - Call of Duty

    That was easy.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. spiderLAW

    Hit the nail right on the head Mike :)

    They’ve already been fucking up with Spiderman.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. AHA-Lambda

    @42 – oh god shattered dimensions was SOOO bad! I feel sick now D=

    #43 4 years ago
  44. DSB

    Figured EA would be quick to launch back. This could get ugly if someone doesn’t shut Kotick up.

    All they’re really saying is nanny nanny boo boo, though. That’s not exactly the way to disprove that your company is in decline.

    @38 Lawl. I hate myself for doing it, I really do. I promised myself I wouldn’t. Erthazus is too fucking ignorant to really indulge, but how can you not do it? :D

    Some things are just so profoundly stupid you can’t help but call people out on it.

    #44 4 years ago
  45. back_up

    @CaptPierce (25):
    “”Has EA released SEVEN games of the same franchise in one year”

    Ea releases NFS,Sims games every year and if you want to count you can add Madden and FiFa.
    Ea tries to improve Fifa every year but same cannot be said to Madden series.

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Yoshi

    @45 I don’t think thats exactly true. I don’t play the Madden series but I keep up with reviews and it does seem like they are slowly improving

    #46 4 years ago
  47. DSB

    @46 You can always debate it, but I’ve stopped buying Madden. I played it since the early deuces and it went up with every iteration until around 2007. Today it’s stalled completely, and instead of improving it, they’re pumping it full of product placement and micro-transactions.

    Madden fans are special though, they’ll always buy it, but even in spite of that, the sales are down by 50% from 5 years ago.

    EA Sports games are usually the best in the market, and often the only licensed games, but that’s all the more reason to keep them improving, instead of just re-releasing the same old thing.

    #47 4 years ago

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