Only “successful” Acti studios “earn the right” to make new IPs, says Kotick

Tuesday, 28th September 2010 11:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Ready for some more? Of course you are.

Activision president Bobby Kotick has told Edge that only the “really successful” developers inside the publisher “earn the right” to create a new IP.

He also outlined the risk in taking on board four new IPs within the past year: DJ Hero, Singularity, Blur and Prototype.

“In the last year, we’ve taken four or five big bets – Singularity, Prototype, DJ Hero and Blur were completely new,” Kotick said.

“That’s more than we usually would do, but in each case there was a very good reason why the developer chose to do it.

“Our process isn’t that we say, ‘Neversoft, you make a new IP.’ When they wanted to make Gun, they certainly earned the right to make new IP. They came in and said, ‘This is our idea,’ and we provide a lot of the research that will tell them how to think about the product.”

He added: “Then they go off and make the game they want to make, and we try and be supportive. You have to earn the right to do that, so it’s usually the really successful studios that get the right.”

Big Bob was all the rage yesterday, laying into EA in the same interview, as well as two of his ex-employees: former Infinity Ward bosses Jason West and Vince Zampella.

Via CVG.



  1. Michael O’Connor

    Oooooh god make it stop! MAKE IT STOP! MAAAAKE IIIIT STOOOOOP!


    “In the last year, we’ve taken four or five big bets – Singularity, Prototype, DJ Hero and Blur were completely new,” Kotick said.

    And all but one of them was shit.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. ShiroGamer

    you missed the bit where he replies to Schafer`s comments

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Ghost_Dog

    I wouldn’t call DJ Hero a new risk-taking IP.

    It’s pretty much Guitar Hero with a new piece of plastic.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. distraet

    I wouldn’t blame any of the employees at Activision, if they’re starting to feel a bit ashamed by now. Does this man never stop?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. EscoBlades

    Bwhahahaha! Kotick is on a roll….he only has to think about opening his mouth now, and crap spews forth!

    #5 4 years ago
  6. scuz

    stop quoting shit this plum fairy regurgitates.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Neolucifer

    At least now the next studios who decides to work with him , can no longer pretend they didnt know and arent warned .

    #7 4 years ago
  8. 52pickup

    “earn the right”

    That sounds like a line spun from the mouth of a dictator.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    Bobby:” So, one of the employees went to the toilet without asking me…and then he earned the right to jump into the pool (which is placed in my office) full of sharks with lazers helmets.”

    But…i earned the right to enjoy Singularity.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. humanfish

    This guy knows shit. He’s only been at the head of a very successful, multiple billion dollar company making/publishing videogames for the last 20 years. How the fuck can he have any kind of valid opinion on the games business.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Michael O’Connor

    @10 Our issue isn’t with his business practises. It’s with the assholish, condescending, stuck up way he goes about conducting them.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Neolucifer

    seriously this makes very little sense . How would they “earn the right” anyway ?

    If the IP is successful, you’ll make them churn out game after game of the same IP.
    IP is a failure, you’ll make them churn out new versions of an existing IP or close them.

    Prototype was basically Hulk ultimate destruction with a new setting , and happened because Radical had no big established ip to fall back onto , aside from the now fallen crash bandicoot franchise .

    Blur happened because Bizzare Creations studio didnt own Gotham racing .

    And dj hero is barely a new ip , its guitar hero turned dj .

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Eregol

    Oh my god.
    Will someone take this guy to one side and tell him:
    ‘Bobby, you’re being a cunt. Stop it now. We beg of you.’

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Ransom

    #14 4 years ago
  15. LOLshock94

    this guy is amazing holy shit all hail kotick

    #15 4 years ago
  16. YoungZer0

    He looks like the devil in this picture. Just look at that grin of his.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Stephany Nunneley

    This EA Acti thing is like celebrity death match or something.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Freek

    More like Kotick digging himself into a PR hole, with the rest of the industrie more then willing to help by giving him some shovels.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. joshua nash

    @1 prototype is worse than shit

    #19 4 years ago
  20. spiderLAW

    It was bound to happen. They have mimicked each other so much for years that its become the norm for them. They are finally noticing it (took them long enough) and so now just like young aged brothers that share the same room, they are fighting for dominance.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. itsucks

    @19 but better than that pile of steamy donkey diarrhea that was inFamous.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Psychotech

    @21 in your dreams

    #22 4 years ago
  23. spiderLAW

    Dont feed that guy. He hates everything Playstation without good reason.
    inFamous >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Protoype….but i wouldnt call Prototype worse than shit. It was just wildly mediocre.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Michael O’Connor

    @19 The fact that you realise it was Prototype I was referring to says it all about the other games, eh? Hahaha!

    It was an alright title. No game of the year, mind you.

    Never could get into Infamous myself.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. spiderLAW

    I couldnt either. But one day a year later, i made myself play till the 2nd island at least before giving up on it. and it turned out that the game was very good. Really good actually.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. DSB

    He certainly is on a roll.

    If they really do run it that way, I don’t think it’s very bright. It’s like writing an essay in school. If you write about something you don’t give a rats ass about, you aren’t going to be on your best game.

    If your hands are free and you can go nuts, that’s when you get a bit of passion in your work.

    @1 So if they stick to franchises (ie what works) they’re wrong, and if they make a new IP, they’re wrong? Which one is it?

    Personally I’d like to see just one publisher take a stand, do away with sub-par studios and stick to making high quality games with talented people.

    Utopia I guess :P

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Michael O’Connor

    @26 I never said either was right or wrong. I simply said that the vast majority of the company’s games are shit.

    Activision’s games are, as a general rule, consistently bad. They’re poorly designed, have weak gameplay mechanics, regularly have bad graphics, and constantly fall back on horribly outdated design concepts.

    You can tell there’s little labour of love being put into Activision’s games by most of the designers. They never feel personal or polished.


    #27 4 years ago
  28. DSB

    @27 You’re not wrong. Shooters are basically all they’ve got going.

    I don’t think there’s any reason why crap like Spiderman or Transformers ever needs to be made. Blur and Singularity were supposedly alright, but who wants games that are just alright, or half-finished projects like Prototype?

    It’s just expensive shovelware. I think publishers should strike against that, and to Koticks credit, I think signing the guys who made Dead Space, and letting Bungie do their thing is a step in the right direction.

    Raven, Radical, Beenox, High Moon and Bizarre are all underperformers, with really only Bizarre proving that they could actually make great games at one point. Radical got it half-right with Prototype, but games that are late and overbudget just don’t cut it today.

    Regardless, it’s bad business sense to dictate creatives in my oppinion. No matter what company you’re in. You should be listening (to pitches) first, and then calling the shots.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. spiderLAW

    I liked XMen Origins Wolverine, Spiderman Web of Shadows (somewhat), Spiderman Shattered Dimensions and Transformers War for Cybertron but at the same time i agree with you.
    There is no reason they shoud just be “Alright”….They shold focus on making their games Excellent-Outstanding

    #29 4 years ago
  30. HighWindXIX

    @28 Yeah, he signs the guys that made Dead Space and then has them work on a Call of Duty title . . . And I’m sure he had to let Bungie do their thing otherwise they would have gone to EA. Bungie doesn’t need Activision. They’re freakin’ Bungie!

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Lord Gremlin

    Videogame industry became just like pro-wrestling. A lot of nagging and swearing and no good show.

    I liked Prototype though. Played it on PS3. I hope evil Kotick will support a sequel.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. DSB

    @30 If he kidnapped them from their village when they were 13 and brainwashed them into making Call of Duty games, I could maybe see that as a crime. They’re not exactly unwilling participants. They’re highly educated, highly talented, and highly paid professionals.

    They chose to leave Visceral to found Sledgehammer, and indeed make a new kind of Call of Duty game. Lots of people like Call of Duty games, myself and countless hypocrites online included. Get over it, shall we?

    As you say, Bungie can pick and choose. They don’t have to follow the money, the money follows them. I’m guessing Activision just made them a better deal.

    I’m amazed at how people seem to think the games industry is some kind of Mario-style fairytale kingdom full of Bowsers trying to destroy everything the toadies make. Grow up.

    #32 4 years ago

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