Activision on its reputation: “Some people are going to hate because hating is more fun”

Wednesday, 27 April 2011 05:58 GMT By Nathan Grayson

Without a doubt, Activision’s the publisher that everybody loves to hate. But is the unending torrent of bile justified? After all the recent lay-offs and cancellations, you could be forgiven for thinking so. Activision community manager Dan Amrich, however, thinks gamers haven’t quite given the “evil empire” its fair shake.

“I’d like to think it’s both ways — Activision should keep trying to be transparent, to show skeptical gamers ‘this is why this was done’ and ‘this is how we feel about this thing which you also care about very deeply’ — that’s step one,” he replied to GamesRadar when asked how Activision should improve its standing with gamers.

“But gamers, on their part, have to be willing to listen to those things and take them at face value. If the audience says ‘But I don’t care because you’re Activision,’ well, that won’t work either. Activision could be giving orphan kids prosthetic limbs and you’d still have haters who say they’re building a cybernetic army for their own nefarious purposes. Some people are going to hate because hating is more fun.”

“But if we can get both sides to lower that wall a bit – the big corporate wall and the gamer knee-jerk reaction – then we might be able to get somewhere. But at the end of the day, if the games are not good, nobody will care anyway,” he added.

Amrich also noted that Bobby Kotick takes absurd amounts of flack (try Google image searching him for proof), but that’s not necessarily justified. “You know, if you get a meal you don’t like, you want to talk to the manager, not the chef,” he explained.

Now we just want someone to popularize an image of Bobby Kotick as a downtrodden, single-tear-crying McDonald’s manager. We’re not entirely sure that’s what Amrich was going for. At any rate, the full interview’s chock full of choice bits, so check it out if you’re interested in hearing from an Activision employee who’s definitely not afraid to speak his mind.