Game Lawyer Calls Bobby Kotick "Emperor Palpatine"

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Game Lawyer Calls Bobby Kotick "Emperor Palpatine"

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Game lawyer Tom Buscaglia compared Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to Darth Vader's boss in a rant at GDC 2010.

Game lawyer Tom Buscaglia, whose firm specializes in representing game developers, took Kotick to task for statements he made at the DICE Conference last month and during an Activision shareholders meeting earlier in the year. Buscaglia made the strong statements at the "Fired and Fired Up!" rant at GDC 2010 in response to the recent "screw-job" at Infinity Ward.

"At the shareholders meeting earlier in the year," said Buscaglia. "Bobby Kotick said to his shareholders in public, and I know a lot of people heard this, 'We're going to take the fun out of making games. These people don't take this shit seriously. We're going to make sure that they're serious about making games.'

"Ok. If there's no fun in making games, then the games suck, but I don't think he gets that," he said.

After that, Buscaglia said that Kotick began orchestrating what would be known as the scandal with Infinity Ward CEO Vince Zampella and CTO Jason West. "They instituted the deal to screw West and Zampella out of the bonuses for their team and all that other shit. If you read the lawsuit, it's just amazing. Then [Kotick] goes to DICE and starts off his speech by saying, 'You know, I used to think that I was Luke Skywalker but now I find myself on the Death Star.'

"Bobby, you're not on the fucking Death Star. You're Palpatine," Buscaglia said to laughs from the crowd. "You didn't get there by accident, you got there by the decisions you made."

Buscaglia then took umbrage with Kotick's attempt to curry favor with game designers in his DICE speech by saying that he respected their talent, all while he was performing the "screw-job at Infinity Ward." Buscaglia summed up his two messages to Bobby Kotick with his parting words:

Pull your head out of your ass, cowboy up, you are the fucking evil Emperor. Just be who you are and stop trying to pretend like you're one of us. Number 1.

And number 2, all you have is money. You sell games. We got the fucking games, and you got shit without us. So pony up and back your talent, and treat them right. If you won't do it, somebody else will, and then they're going to replace you and your big company.

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Oh, how I wish this were true... In a perfect world, Kotick would have failed miserably by now. I'll let Gabe & Tycho explain, as they so masterfully do.

Emperor Palpatine is way better than Bobby Kotick.

On Topic: I hope Kotick realizes that by taking the fun out of making games and making the employees be serious about it that the work going into making the games is going to plummet.

People may concentrate more on making the game but if they are unhappy they are not going to invest as much time into making the game as good as it can be.

Truly hilarious and true!

And made even funnier the fact a lawyer said it!!

lawyers. Love them or hate them, you can't ignore them.
Unfortunately.

Jaredin:
Truly hilarious and true!

And made even funnier the fact a lawyer said it!!

I know. Goddamn, I wish I could have him in court.

Joking aside, he's correct about everything except his finla parting shot; there will always be retards who throw their life savings at games; who cares if they are fun, EVERYONE ELSE HAS THEM!!1

I whole heartily agree. EA had their time being assholes, and for a while Eidos looked like they were going to be like them (Kane and Lynch controversy, the award for the game thats not out yet, and the "Laid off" Gamespot reviewer) but it appears that Activision have stepped in the be the biggest Fuckwad. Even when they give out a good game (Modern Warfare 2) they FUCK IT UP by Fucking the people who made it! Guitar Hero has been driven into the ground and will NEVER come back up (unless it makes Guitar Hero: Mature complete with Steel Panther's feel the steel album) and so for once in their time, we have a lawyer who is doing their fucking job right.

Calumon: Can I uncover my ears now? Has Jack finished Yelling?

He gave a good speech.

To think gamers everywhere were mocking Buscaglia not too long ago when he was defending the IGA and Langdell.

So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

I don't usually say this but the Lawyer is right.
Did it just get colder in here?

You treat your talent like crap and they will go work for someone else.
The only problem with that is the fact that talented developers are treated like crap everywhere, not just at Activision.
Wasn't R* San Francisco fighting off a revolt earlier this year?
Probably has something to do with the RDR delay.

So, as it turns out, you can be a lawyer AND an internet troll at the same time.

Nice.

I mean, it's not like I'm defending Kotic or anything like that, but man... Some of the rants in that thing they do in GDC are fun, but ad hominems and cursing at industry professionals in public is beyond my comfort zone.

Noelveiga:
... but ad hominems and cursing at industry professionals in public is beyond my comfort zone.

Kotick is NOT an industry professional. Kotick is a jerk who is helping kill and dull out the video game industry.
This needed to be stated at the GDC, hell this needs to be stated everywhere. Kotick must go.

I love Tom (great guy) but man, if I had done that, they'd be constructing electric fences around my home and office right about now.

Long and short of it, he's right though.

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

The Oompa-Loompas.

Or the Hobbits. Feel free to pick either one.

OT: Spittin' fire against Kotick is never wrong. I hope it made him cry.

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

The good people of Alderaan perhaps?

Hells yeah!

Wait. A lawyer... talking sense about videogames... in this day and age? Never!

Love the Palpatine jab. I reeeeally despise Kotick after Infinity-Ward-Gate. If this guy doesn't like videogames, get the fuck out of the industry!

Frank_Sinatra_:

Noelveiga:
... but ad hominems and cursing at industry professionals in public is beyond my comfort zone.

Kotick is NOT an industry professional. Kotick is a jerk who is helping kill and dull out the video game industry.
This needed to be stated at the GDC, hell this needs to be stated everywhere. Kotick must go.

Like I said, I'm not defending Kotic. I'm just saying it's one thing to rant about the state of the industry on those terms, and a different one to do it about a specific person. You are free to rant and express your opinion, but it gets ugly when you use that tone on a specific human target.

So Kotic must go? Okay, valid opinion, I'm not going there at all. Kotic is a jerk? May or may not be. For all I know he's a beautiful person. I'm just in a position to disagree with his business practices and ideology (and, for the record, I do disagree with both).

I do think it's worth pointing out, though, that his speech at DICE was a transparent PR effort to clean up his image. I never bought it, and I was disappointed at some press people who reported on it without clearly conveying this. Of course, the IW affair was a tidal wave of crap thrown against that effort and dismantled it completely (at least within the industry, nobody cares about IW outside of it, look at Treyarch's sales on World at War), but still.

Finally, on a related topic, let me just quickly say that Treyarch doesn't deserve all the hate. They have been making the most of limited time and resources for a long, long time. They took Neversoft's cute Spider-man platformer and turned it into the superpowered sandbox game everybody has been ripping off since. They performed admirably with other people's IP across several genres, too... most companies in that position (and there are plenty) do not survive that long or produce so many good games. I honestly don't know if their people graduate to other developers quickly and they are entry-level Activision or if it's the same team it's always been, but they clearly deserve a shot at original IP with a decent budget and a "when it's done, it's done" schedule, because it's clear to me that they have good talent there.

Heh, i was with you, Tommy Buscaglia, i really was. That is, until you used the phrase "cowboy up." Ugh, are you college frat boy or something?

Otherwise, ok sounds good.

Now THAT's a rant. I stand in awe.

Corporate execs are good at making money, NOT at making videogames. People who are passionate about games are not making the major decisions about their developent under the big publishers.

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

JAWAS!

OOOTINI!

Frank_Sinatra_:

Noelveiga:
... but ad hominems and cursing at industry professionals in public is beyond my comfort zone.

Kotick is NOT an industry professional. Kotick is a jerk who is helping kill and dull out the video game industry.
This needed to be stated at the GDC, hell this needs to be stated everywhere. Kotick must go.

That he does, I really can't stand that man, and I refuse to buy any Activision or Blizzard games as long as they are still merged and he is running it.

Catkid906:
I whole heartily agree. EA had their time being assholes, and for a while Eidos looked like they were going to be like them (Kane and Lynch controversy, the award for the game thats not out yet, and the "Laid off" Gamespot reviewer) but it appears that Activision have stepped in the be the biggest Fuckwad. Even when they give out a good game (Modern Warfare 2) they FUCK IT UP by Fucking the people who made it! Guitar Hero has been driven into the ground and will NEVER come back up (unless it makes Guitar Hero: Mature complete with Steel Panther's feel the steel album) and so for once in their time, we have a lawyer who is doing their fucking job right.

Calumon: Can I uncover my ears now? Has Jack finished Yelling?

I'm with you on Guitar Hero Steel Panther. We'll put your talking rat on drums.

Bobby is something else, I loved his "I'm Luke Skywalker" talk. Someone should point out to Bobby that Pol Pot, Hitler, Ghengis Khan, David Koresh and Stalin all thought they were the good guys... most people disagree.

jackanderson:
If this guy doesn't like videogames, get the fuck out of the industry!

Kotick hates games because like Jack Thompson he scores a zero when ever he tries to play Pac man, Asteroid and Space Invaders. He is the whiny rich kid who says "If I cant do it then I will make sure no one else can either!"

CONGRATULATIONS BOBBY KOTTICK, you have officially reached AL DAVIS status. and for those of you who don't know, Al Davis is the owner of the Raiders, and the reason why they suck right now, and the epitome of the corporate asshole who wants to take the fun out of everything so that they can fill their own fucking wallets.

I would like to say that I have referred to him as the Dark Lord Bobby Kotick for several months now.

Were I there, I wouldn't have bought that lawyer a drink; I'd have bought him the bar down the street and put his name over the door in neon lights.

Tom Buscaglia:
"Ok. If there's no fun in making games, then the games suck, but I don't think he gets that," he said.

I think he DOES get that... and he likes it. Because the motto of people like him is, "Quality Doesn't Sell."

somekindarobot:

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

The good people of Alderaan perhaps?

No, we're the stormtroopers who gave him his empire. think about it.

Well I have been saying this for a while, I even made a pic a few weeks back!

image

bismarck55:

somekindarobot:

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

The good people of Alderaan perhaps?

No, we're the stormtroopers who gave him his empire. think about it.

Following that line of reasoning, I'll take it one step further... we are the clones. OH SNAP!!

Greg Tito:
Game Lawyer Calls Bobby Kotick "Emperor Palpatine"

image

Game lawyer Tom Buscaglia compared Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to Darth Vader's boss in a rant at GDC 2010.

Game lawyer Tom Buscaglia, whose firm specializes in representing game developers, took Kotick to task for statements he made at the DICE Conference last month and during an Activision shareholders meeting earlier in the year. Buscaglia made the strong statements at the "Fired and Fired Up!" rant at GDC 2010 in response to the recent "screw-job" at Infinity Ward.

"At the shareholders meeting earlier in the year," said Buscaglia. "Bobby Kotick said to his shareholders in public, and I know a lot of people heard this, 'We're going to take the fun out of making games. These people don't take this shit seriously. We're going to make sure that they're serious about making games.'

"Ok. If there's no fun in making games, then the games suck, but I don't think he gets that," he said.

After that, Buscaglia said that Kotick began orchestrating what would be known as the scandal with Infinity Ward CEO Vince Zampella and CTO Jason West. "They instituted the deal to screw West and Zampella out of the bonuses for their team and all that other shit. If you read the lawsuit, it's just amazing. Then [Kotick] goes to DICE and starts off his speech by saying, 'You know, I used to think that I was Luke Skywalker but now I find myself on the Death Star.'

"Bobby, you're not on the fucking Death Star. You're Palpatine," Buscaglia said to laughs from the crowd. "You didn't get there by accident, you got there by the decisions you made."

Buscaglia then took umbrage with Kotick's attempt to curry favor with game designers in his DICE speech by saying that he respected their talent, all while he was performing the "screw-job at Infinity Ward." Buscaglia summed up his two messages to Bobby Kotick with his parting words:

Pull your head out of your ass, cowboy up, you are the fucking evil Emperor. Just be who you are and stop trying to pretend like you're one of us. Number 1.

And number 2, all you have is money. You sell games. We got the fucking games, and you got shit without us. So pony up and back your talent, and treat them right. If you won't do it, somebody else will, and then they're going to replace you and your big company.

Permalink

That is the most awesome speech EVER.

Sad to say it but it's like a fight between two Sith masters over who gets to oppress us poor peasants during one of their empirical reigns.

To explain this quick simply, the basic point about game developers is correct from things that I've read over a period of years explaining how the industry works. They generally speaking do not behave professionally, and they tend to waste massive amounts of money.

It is however also correct that if the producers/money bags get too draconian with them, they risk shooting themselves in the foot, especially since it is a valid point that developers can always try and find patronage elsewhere at least so far.

To put things bluntly us gamers pretty much get pwned anyway it goes. The reason being that with developers who think their job is supposed to be "fun" you wind up with a lot of goofing off out of the development budget, people not working, and living off of that money. With a huge budget there is a tendency to try and milk what is there. This is one of the reasons why a project can go massively over time and see very little finished, or not have half the features promised when released. Simply put the devs were all goofing off, and didn't do any of the work that was promised until surprisingly close to release at which point there was a "Supercrunch" to get it done.

To be honest, this seemed a lot like a boss telling his employees "fun time is over, we're going to be focusing on the work". Basically a producer who comes up with the money saying he's not going to be fronting money unless his people spend far less time goofing off and behave professionally and focus on the projects while they are getting paid.

Look at projects like "Duke Nuke'em Forever" and various "Vapourware" over the years that has been well financed and then disappeared into a vortex of development. That's the worst case scenario, and truthfully it seems to me that if anything developers are demanding larger salaries and even more perks than ever before, seeming to feel like they should be nerd-rock stars based on the example of a few.

This is of course not to say that the Producers are great either, because the flip side of the above is of course to create what amounts to a paid police state with horrible morale, and constant pushing to get something done to the point that instead of seeing stuff not implemented because nobody was working on it seriously, you see the same problem because the producers were pushing so hard to get it out the door and see a return on their money that things were just not finished, tested properly, or they simply did not want to wait for design work to be completed.

The bottom line is that both extremes are bad, and in the above back and forth I think your ultimatly seeing extreme 'tudes in both directions. Neither side is entirely right, or wrong. What's bets for games, and gamers, is something pretty much in the middle, but I feel that you rarely see such things.

As fanboys we tend to want to side with our favorite creators/developers, after all they are the people who make the games, however by the same token we have to consider the position of the people coming up with that money, and understand that they are not nessicarly wrong or being unfair when they expect developers to be able to create the games they say, within an agreed on time frame.

One thing you will find ironic is when you here from developers and such "well we're a big fan of these other developers, while we were working on this project we all spent a lot of time playing this other game by them and had this idea...". Or reading between the lines "we got paid out of that multi-million dollar production budget to sit around and play video games for months". Not to mention other expenses I've read about like development offices ordering out for food every day, for every meal. That kind of thing adds up, and is the kind of expense that doubtlessly annoys producers who expect people to buy their own food given the money they are being paid for the job, and use the money on the bloody games they are supposed to be making.

I probably am not articulating this right, but the basic point is that neither point of view is 100% correct. Read enough stuff about "how the industry works" in articles tossed around here and there (Game Informer, The Escapist, etc.. have all had them, even if they do contridict each other at times), it's not black and white from either perspective.

At any rate, I guess we can always hope they duel each other with lightsabers and simultaneously decapitate each other. Then we can hope the next Sith Masters are more benevolent and beat us less... because honestly, this issue aside, the game industry really doesn't care much about us gamers other than how badly we can be exploited nowadays. We're just bipedal money bags to them in the final equasion.

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

Clone troopers of course. Who else did Palpatine abuse, use and manipulate on his way to the top? Oh, the developers are Jedi of course :) Now, we just have to issue Order 65 before Kotick gives Order 66...

r_Chance:

BlueTomfoolery:
So in the Star-Wars analogy, who are we?

Clone troopers of course. Who else did Palpatine abuse, use and manipulate on his way to the top? Oh, the developers are Jedi of course :)

No, I'd say his staff are the conscripts in ineffective white armor who get shot with lasers, slashed with lightsabers and thrown down ventilation shafts. We're the people on Alderaan getting fried by a huge green laser that blows up the planet.

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