Activision CEO: People Like Sequels

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Activision CEO: People Like Sequels

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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick denies that the publisher relies too heavily on exploiting existing franchises, saying most gamers prefer it that way.

Activision is the new EA, the story goes, and many gamers point the finger squarely at CEO Bobby Kotick as the reason. The man couldn't care less about games; he focuses solely on profits and keeping the shareholders happy. Ben Kuchera of Ars Technica went so far as to call him a "carpetbagger" earlier this year, citing the company's reliance on sequels and disinterest in games that cannot be easily franchised.

For his part, however, Kotick says people like sequels and that it's quite possible to break new ground within their boundaries. "A small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year," he told The Economist. "Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them."

There's also no question he believes that companies need a committed, results-oriented focus if they're going to succeed and that's how he approaches Activision. "We needed a balance between people who would be creative and entrepreneurial, and people who knew processes," he continued. And despite what many gamers may think, part of that balance includes giving the creative types room to work. "In our business the key is that certain things lend themselves well to process, and certain things don't," he added.

Another thing that lends itself to success in the videogame business is ownership of World of Warcraft, the ridiculously lucrative MMOG that Activision acquired as part of the merger with Vivendi. Kotick said he'd had his eye on Blizzard's hit game because of the regular income it provides and even though Activision has published numerous popular game franchises in recent years, subscription income now accounts for more than half of Activision Blizzard's operating profit. As Kotick noted, "World of Warcraft is the most stable form of profitable revenue in the industry."

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Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

AH! THE DEVIL!!!!

He corrupts everything good and worthwhile...Like Blizzard.

Gamers are alot more conservative then they like to admit

Sparrow Tag:
Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Fable 3, Battlefield:Bad Company 2 and Tekken 6.

Right?

Every game I am looking forward to is a sequel. The thing is I don't see any good games coming out soon that aren't.

Give us a decent non-sequel and we'll buy it!

Why is it that everything that comes out of this man's mouth sounds evil and full of shit?

Sparrow Tag:
Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

Assassins Creed 2, Modern Warfare, Fable 3, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Teken 6.

Fuck ninja'd

oliveira8:

Sparrow Tag:
Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Fable 3, Battlefield:Bad Company 2 and Tekken 6.

Right?

We have a winner.

He does have a point insofar as people obviously keeps buying the sequels. But it would be nice to a bit of experimenting with new ideas while at the same time making money on the sequels. It should be possible. At least to me with zero knowledge of anything. :)

But EA seemed to do a bit of experimenting last year, so why can't ActiBlizzion?

I am so sick of that bloody picture. SHOOT IT!!

Fudgo:
I am so sick of that bloody picture. SHOOT IT!!

When ever I see this picture I can only picture a caption under it like "I suck cock" or "I am the cancer of gaming and every single year I will bring down quality as I raise the prices of games to a hundred a game. When I die people will sledge hammer my tombstone."

Machines Are Us:
Every game I am looking forward to is a sequel. The thing is I don't see any good games coming out soon that aren't.

Give us a decent non-sequel and we'll buy it!

Not even Brutal Legend, Dragon Age or Batman:Arkham Asylum?

Sparrow Tag:

oliveira8:

Sparrow Tag:
Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Fable 3, Battlefield:Bad Company 2 and Tekken 6.

Right?

We have a winner.

So? I only get that? Not even a cookie..or pie...or cake...

/dissapointed

Actually Mr. Kotick people like sequels if they look like effort has been made.

Sequels that are made simply because the developers bath isn't quite full of money aren't good.
Thus ends my lecture about sequels.

dkuch:

Fudgo:
I am so sick of that bloody picture. SHOOT IT!!

When ever I see this picture I can only picture a caption under it like "I suck cock" or "I am the cancer of gaming and every single year I will bring down quality as I raise the prices of games to a hundred a game. When I die people will sledge hammer my tombstone."

And he can still say that with a grin. It's scary.

he can fuck off with that shit.

consumers want sequels, gaming hobbyists don't. there is a difference.

Machines Are Us:
Every game I am looking forward to is a sequel. The thing is I don't see any good games coming out soon that aren't.

Give us a decent non-sequel and we'll buy it!

Dragon Age: Origins is not a sequel and will be a huge hit

Jackpot:
he can fuck off with that shit.

consumers want sequels, gaming hobbyists don't. there is a difference.

And the hobbyist are a minority... Plus I'm sure hobbyist will be playing COD MW2, god of war 3, MGS(whatever) and all that jazz.

oliveira8:

Machines Are Us:
Every game I am looking forward to is a sequel. The thing is I don't see any good games coming out soon that aren't.

Give us a decent non-sequel and we'll buy it!

Not even Brutal Legend, Dragon Age or Batman:Arkham Asylum?

Not really, I only buy games that really interest me nowadays. If I still a student where I only really spent money on games I'd probably consider them.

iggyus:

Machines Are Us:
Every game I am looking forward to is a sequel. The thing is I don't see any good games coming out soon that aren't.

Give us a decent non-sequel and we'll buy it!

Dragon Age: Origins is not a sequel and will be a huge hit

Unless you are psychic that's just speculation. The guy has a point considering that all these sequels coming out people really really want.

Hey doesnt that guy look like Rick Astley?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu_moia-oVI

He's dead right. So long as a sequel is an improvement on the old one, i'll buy and enjoy it.

While I do like sequels, it's nice to have somewhat of a known quantity before handing over my 40 (65 if Activision are involved), it's much more refreshing to see something new and different.
I'm looking forward Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2 and Modern Warfare 2, because I know I'm going to like them and get a good amount of hours out of them. That said, I also really like playing something new, that isn't really like anything else, even if it doesn't hold my attention for as long as a more established game might.
I think EA have the right balance now, they seem to be willing to help developers with new ideas and they can do so because they've got the funding from their franchises.

Edit: Also, that man looks like the devil.

Thing of it is, new intellectual properties can bring in brand new game mechanics, new ways of looking at old gaming conventions and more radical innovation than a sequel can without betraying the audience.

Sometimes untested new games fail and that is why companies tend to take a dim view of producing them. But some new ip's are brilliant (No more heroes for example).

We only got to the point we're at by the innovation of what we now call classics. More innovation generally means better games and a larger variety of them in the long run. In the short term, it means you won't know what to expect when you see a new game on the shelf and you may buy a crappy game from time to time.

Another thing that lends itself to success in the videogame business is ownership of World of Warcraft, the ridiculously lucrative MMOG that Activision acquired as part of the merger with Vivendi. Kotick said he'd had his eye on Blizzard's hit game because of the regular income it provides and even though Activision has published numerous popular game franchises in recent years, subscription income now accounts for more than half of Activision Blizzard's operating profit. As Kotick noted, "World of Warcraft is the most stable form of profitable revenue in the industry."

And yet, it's an original game. Yes, it's part of the Warcraft saga, but it's not really a sequel in that it's an entirely different genre and playstyle experience to the previous Warcraft iterations (all of which were RTS and the one WC game that wasn't going to be an RTS, Warcraft Adventures, was cancelled indefinetly). People may like sequels but I need only point to the incredible success of WoW as evidence that original titles can still tear it up.

oliveira8:

Sparrow Tag:
Well, he's right. I love my sequels, AC 2, COD 4 MW 2, F III, B BC 2 and T 6.

Kudos to anyone who can name all of the above.

Assassins Creed 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 2, Fable 3, Battlefield:Bad Company 2 and Tekken 6.

Right?

The only one I couldn't work out was B BC 2.

OT: Of course people love sequels, especially in games. In films it's hard to get better on the success as it's mainly story and effects that you can improve.

In games you can improve graphics, story, gameplay, controls, etc. So there's more you can do (so generally) the sequels should get better. Who doesn't like the idea of their favourite game made better?

Hes such a moron its unbeleiveable. People like GOOD Sequals. But how would he know what they're like as he doesnt even look at the games hes too busy washing himself in childrens tears and drying himself with money.

I cant wait till he just pushes the line and everyone rebels on him and knocks him off his spot.

No. Gamers look forward to GOOD sequels, not bland pieces of shit.

Starcraft 2, for example is looking like an excellent example of a job well done. Assassin's Creed 2 ain't looking bad either.

he's right and wrong at the same time

while people do like a sequel, if it continues a good story and/or is an improvement on the last iteration, they don't like them if they are just pumped out and there's no real improvements, such as the guitar hero franchise.

there is definitely a fine line with what a consumer wants and i think he doesn't understand that line, he just thinks everyone wants a new sequel each and every time.

best way i can describe it is video games are like ice cream, some days you want vanilla and some days you want chocolate, it really depends on the day

No one likes a crappy sequel. And all this coming from this dude, who is responsible for the milking of many different franchises, burying quality and novelty with price tags and cheap production. Tell me that we really need a new THPS, or GH, or, i don't know, tetris. Certain types of games can only be released so many times.

"A small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year."

Fallacy much?

Most of these 'vocal gamers' like and buy sequals, but they see that there's a massive imbalance in the new to sequel ratio. Many of the games (arguably) held as some of the best this gen have been new IP, (LBP, Zack & Wiki, Mass Effect, Bioshock and Portal) given this fact, it's easy to see why some people would like to see more new IP.

Discouraging this argument by displaying it as an extreme view of 'I want everything to be new IP' doesn't help.

I don't mind sequels, at the very least I know I have to live with them but I wouldn't mind more publishers putting out new IP's. The games I'm most looking forward to are Mini Ninjas and Borderlands, whenever I see a game like Fifa, Guitar Hero or Call of Duty with a new version every year all I can do is roll my eyes and die a little on the inside.

Now that you mention it, I've quitted WoW ever since these two companies merged together. I guess my sub-conscious wanted to protect my gaming admiration and wallet safe from this evil man.

dkuch:

Fudgo:
I am so sick of that bloody picture. SHOOT IT!!

When ever I see this picture I can only picture a caption under it like "I suck cock" or "I am the cancer of gaming and every single year I will bring down quality as I raise the prices of games to a hundred a game. When I die people will sledge hammer my tombstone."

When I see that I think he's going:

"Yeah... I love big rolls of money, and I love anally fisting myself with those rolls, cause I got plenty more where that came from you monkeys!!!"
Which makes me want to lace some of the money I use for the next purchase of any Activision game with Pufferfish venom...

I've been on the Escapist long enough to pick up that I should hate this guy, whoever he is, but I do agree with him.

For his part, however, Kotick says people like sequels and that it's quite possible to break new ground within their boundaries. "A small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year," he told The Economist. "Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them."

Especially this. I've also been on the Escapist long enough to notice that group that he's referring to, not to mention sequel (or prequel) games that surpassed their originals.

I think the formula goes something like this.

BAD GAME = Boo!

GOOD SEQUEL TO BAD GAME = Yay!

GOOD GAME = Yay!

GOOD SEQUEL TO GOOD GAME = Stop ruining original IPs by giving them sequels. Boo!

BAD SEQUEL TO GOOD GAME = Meh, I never liked the first game anyway.

NeutralDrow:
I've been on the Escapist long enough to pick up that I should hate this guy, whoever he is, but I do agree with him.

For his part, however, Kotick says people like sequels and that it's quite possible to break new ground within their boundaries. "A small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year," he told The Economist. "Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them."

Especially this. I've also been on the Escapist long enough to notice that group that he's referring to, not to mention sequel (or prequel) games that surpassed their originals.

The fact that established franchises are well received, and innovation is more accepted within those established franchises is no secret though, people are in their comfort zones with a tried and true formula. However it's no excuse to have that as a reason not to bring out original IPs.

If all I gave you was steak with different sauces and spices each day, chances are you'll be satisfied, but it doesn't mean you might not want a different dish altogether if I asked you, right?

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