Kotick: Nobody Wants to Work for EA

Activision boss claims rival has lost its way.

Posted by Staff
Kotick: Nobody Wants to Work for EA
Activision boss Bobby Kotick has, in his usual outspoken manner, had a good old kick at Electronic Arts, saying that the rival publisher has "lost its way" and that developers don't want to work there.

In his rather frank interview with Edge magazine - where he has already backhanded Brutal Legend developer Tim Schafer - Kotick explains how he feels his company and EA differ in terms of developer relations.

"The core principle of how we run the company is the exact opposite of EA. EA will buy a developer and then it will become ?EA Florida?, ?EA Vancouver?, ?EA New Jersey?, whatever. We always looked and said, ?You know what? What we like about the developer is that they have a culture, they have an independent vision and that?s what makes them so successful?," he said.

"We don?t have an Activision anything ? it?s Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer. That, to me, is one of the unassailable rules of building a publishing company. And in every case except for two, the original founders of the studios are still running the studios today."

Not only that, but he went as far as to state that Electronic Arts has a problem in signing talent. "The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don't really want to work there. It?s like, if you have no other options you might consider them. 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, its lost its way. And until it has success and hits, and gets it enthusiasm back for the company, its going to have a struggle getting really talented people which is going to translate into less than great games."

Some might disagree and say that EA's been on something of a winning streak lately, but that's ultimately one for you guys to discuss - what do you reckon? Is Kotick right or wrong? Speak out in the discussion forum below.



deleted 27 Sep 2010 12:20
Does anyone else in the industry actually speak any more, or does Bobby let everyone else know?

EA as far as i am concerned has turned a corner and offering better titles, from Burnout, to Battlefield what's not to like.
gingineer 27 Sep 2010 12:20
that is some fighting talk there! i think EA have been doing much better than they used to. they used to be associated with sports and other tie in franchise games like the film ones. but now they seem to have got some innovation back.
more comments below our sponsor's message
JUG 27 Sep 2010 14:33
Simple retort: Bioware

Enough said.
Jay Dee 27 Sep 2010 15:04
That's the EA of 5 years ago, Bobby. Hmmm...sans Blizzard (because that was a merger) what "great" teams exist at Activision? Only team that comes to mind is Infinity Ward, and I seem to remember a bunch of news items about several key personnel LEAVING that group recently.......
vivek 27 Sep 2010 15:48
@haritori : what he told about retaining talent is 100% true.
copolii 27 Sep 2010 18:29
As a previous EA employee, I totally agree. I put my heart & soul into my job and was kicked to the curb to make room for PLayFish.
Kotick is feeling the heat 27 Sep 2010 19:15
Kotick is just feeling the heat. Activision has COD, unfortunately they lost the heart of Infinity Ward (they now partner with EA). Activision did get lucky and got paired with Blizzard.

The thing is, Kotick is a bit of a clownshoe when you think about it. He trumpeting his horn, when in reality Blizzard is the actually the good IP, not Activision. What Activision offers for games isn't really that deep or compelling. Let alone Activisions absence in social media and mobile games. something that EA has embraced.

I'm looking forward to Activision being dissolved and Blizzard being put in the driving seat. The game quality and fun to play of Activision games would increase 100%. Anything is better than Kotick's view on the gaming industry. I'm not looking forward to $100 titles.
ex-EA Employee 27 Sep 2010 19:58
Couldn't agree more!! As the consequences of Riccitello's greed began to mount via layoffs each quarter, merit increases cut, bonuses cut and a festering reliance on publishing the same game year after year, one really begins to wonder what the board of directors must be thinking (or perhaps receiving) not to have not gotten rid of this guy yet. When Riccitello had EA purchase a company he founded (thereby lining his pocket) only to throw that company away 2 years later you think they would have fired him. No. Perhaps when the stock price fell more steeply than all of our competitors you think they would have fired him. No. Last company I'd ever work for let alone invest in.
Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.