Bobby Kotick's greediest/cleverest schemes

The Activision Blizzard boss sculpts an industry in his image..

Pragmatic. Predatory.

Honest. Contemptible.

Genius. Buffoon.

Hero. Villain.

Your perception of Bobby Kotick will very much depend on which side of the consumer/shareholder divide you perch.


If it's the latter, you'll no doubt love his incorrigible, relentless hunt for profit - and his unique ability to amplify revenue streams you previously considered stretched to breaking point.

But if it's the former - where, let's face it, most of us reside - you're likely to view Kotick as a worrying scourge on your hobby.

It's not just his rapacious thirst for commercial gain, either; it's his downright cavalier refusal to be disturbed by what gamers think of him. He doesn't just offend us; he makes us feel unimportant, dammit.

Trouble is, we also secretly adore him. He's the money man we love to hate. We actually treasure him for it. Who else, across the great gamut of gaming legend, inspires such debate?

Even his instantly recollectable appearance - somewhere between cuddly uncle and black-eyed phantasm clown - gives him the air of a cartoon evildoer; his scalp aptly crowned with that matt of Joker copper wire.

Typically, this oft-caricatured nemesis of the everyday gamer wields an idiosyncratically insulting weapon of choice: The rogue, opportunistic, cut-throat 'new business model'. And he possesses many more than one.

Fortunately, most of them have never got any further than stuffy investor calls or P&L-focused boardrooms. But Bobby 'big balls' Kotick's greediest/cleverest ideas are nothing short of astounding.

Refresh your memory below - and then admit it. The man's a marvel. He's also a prick, apparently. But at least he knows it...


Bobby's a big fan of this one. His hope to ditch the PlayStations and Xboxes of this world first cropped up in September last year, when he intimated that he wanted to release a new Guitar Hero that eschewed traditional gaming hardware - and plugged directly into your TV.


"I think the untethered Guitar Hero... equals the playing field a little bit more and gives you leverage with first parties on downloadable content and the business model," he said at the Deutsche Bank conference.
 "You should expect to see many of our products to be playable on the television independent of a console."

At E3 in June 2010 he revealed that his focus had shifted - but his desire to bypass Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's machines stood strong.

Kotick salivated over the prospect of straight-to-TV PCs replacing home consoles - and is eyeing up manufacturer Dell to do the job.


Back in August 2008, Kotick showed he was every bit as fiery as his famous curly mane - by lightly threatening music giants that were calling for more revenues from Guitar Hero.


In what the FT dubbed 'a sign of increasing tensions between the two companies', Kotick hinted that Warner Music would lose out on cash in future games if it kept up its bully boy tactics.

  1 2 3