Activision CEO: "No Choice" But to Fire Infinty Ward Execs

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Activision CEO: "No Choice" But to Fire Infinty Ward Execs

image

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says he had "no choice" but to fire Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, adding that their betrayal of his friendship was just as disappointing as their alleged professional misconduct.

Whether or not Kotick expected a firestorm of this intensity and durability when he removed Infinity Ward bosses West and Zampella back in early March will probably never be known, but two months after the fact he's still dealing with the aftermath. He touched on the topic in a conference call with investors yesterday and while he didn't reveal what exactly the pair did to get booted, he insisted that he had no choice but to act.

"The decision to terminate the two executives was not done lightly, and was not done to deprive them of their bonuses," Kotick said. "Nor was it done without a great deal of deliberation about the consequences. We felt we had no choice but to terminate the Infinity Ward executives. We did this to protect the company's assets and the interest of our shareholders."

Kotick also claimed to be distressed by their behavior on a personal level. "I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends," he added. "Their conduct was a compromise of our friendship, which was equally disappointing."

Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said, although he acknowledged "it is likely that a few more people will leave as well." And although it was difficult, he insisted that terminating West and Zampella was the right decision to make. "There was nothing that would have allowed us to retain their services, as talented as they might have been," he said.

Source: Gamasutra

Permalink

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

Don't be ridiculous. I do not believe that big fat CEOs can have such thing as "friends".

In seriousness: does anybody even believe Kotick now? I don't think so.

Hubilub:

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

Hehe...Thats what the big hole in the back of the HQ is for...

And, although he may have said there was no other option, I dont think this will ever die until we know exactly what happened...and, I know there is confidentiality and such but still...if they could come out and tell us it could make thingsdie down so much more rapidly

Dear Bobby Kotick,
If you truly want to protect your shareholders & its interests, I suggest you re-evaluate yourself. Either:
1. Resign.
2. Stop being a plague upon the gaming industry.
Or...
How about stop shamelessly milking franchises (Call of Duty & Guitar Hero as examples), stop charging above-average prices for standard editions of games (e.g. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) and their respective DLC (e.g. the first MW2 DLC pack), and start treating your customers and staff with a bit of respect. We're the ones who fill up the coffers after all.
Thank you.

And in other words, whilst we don't know the circumstances, firing the bosses of Infinity Ward in the way it was done is terrible. I bet they've lowered morale (some people have jumped ship, for example) and they've just furthered their reputation as a bunch of utter pilchards.

If Activision really want to be seen as a good company, Kotick really needs to get his backside into gear.

Im guessing West and Zampella would never have called Bobby friend.

Bobby has a lot of explaining to do to those share holders.

Andy Chalk:

Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said

Get over yourselves-- all you've got is Call of fucking Duty.

Awwww, the poor wittle CEO has such a touching PR statement. Maybe he's a good guy after all.

Jaredin:

Hubilub:

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

Hehe...Thats what the big hole in the back of the HQ is for...

And, although he may have said there was no other option, I dont think this will ever die until we know exactly what happened...and, I know there is confidentiality and such but still...if they could come out and tell us it could make thingsdie down so much more rapidly

Whatever the truth is I bet Electronic Arts is now holding it as a retaliation weapon to use in an appropriate time. Now I don't know if that is a good or a bad thing, as EA is as expert in evilness as Activision.

Next thing Activision will be implementing same policy Apple is using on his chinese subsidiary companies.

I wonder if all this kerfuffle has had any affect on the share price?

Hubilub:

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

I expect he acts alot like Mr Devon Banks, thats how i've always pictured him. Hell this is how I imagine the conversations between him, West and Zampella went:

It's nice to know that they have a new company and I hope that the next game they make is better than MW2, that really knocked my confidence in them.

"In order to ensure Security and Continuing Stability, The Republic Activision will be reorganized into the FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE!....FOR A SAFE! AND SECURE! SOCIETY!"

Emperor Palpatine Bobby Kotic-_

Of Course Emp- i mean Bob. We ALL believe you.

The power of friendship is bullshit, after all.

Demon ID:

Hubilub:

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

I expect he acts alot like Mr Devon Banks, thats how i've always pictured him. Hell this is how I imagine the conversations between him, West and Zampella went:

It's nice to know that they have a new company and I hope that the next game they make is better than MW2, that really knocked my confidence in them.

Although sadly, IW doesn't have a laser shield.

Damn you Kotick and your futuristic warfare!

Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said, although he acknowledged "it is likely that a few more people will leave as well."

A tad arrogant are we?
Mr Kottick, even if we were to accept that at face value before all of these shenanigans, it certainly wouldn't be true now with...what? Over half of IW's core staff leaving?

Then again, this PR statement is not meant as much for the public at large as it is for his shareholders. He's literally winking at them through the camera, as it were.

I like how when Kotick says "terminate the Infinity Ward executives" my mind thinks of homicide before dismissal. Could be because it's Kotick talking, could just be my craziness. Maybe a bit of both.

Also, yeah Kotick doesn't have friends; he's probably a sociopath.

Yeah, but who really cares about what he says.

He's insane, so let's just expect him to do stuff that's crazy.

Eh, sounds pretty much like a standadised response that any big evil coporation would spit out in such circumstances.

HSIAMetalKing:
[quote="Andy Chalk" post="7.193340.6124116"]
Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said

Get over yourselves-- all you've got is Call of fucking Duty.[/quote

At this point, they could live off just making Call of Dutys.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/97446-Modern-Warfare-2-Breaks-1-Billion

Oh cry me a river.

Considering the number of other people who've jumped, nevermind filing serparate lawsuits that tell depressingly similar stories to West and Zampella's, are we really supposed to believe anything this professional career evil jerk says?

His lawyer is gonna bust a blood vessel. He pretty pretty much just said the decision was also a personal one. Your lawsuit just turned up shit creek mr. kotick. keep your mouth shut next time.

Dear CEO: Money cost you developers.

Money cost you weight.

Money will cost you players.

Money will cost you your friggin chair. Enjoy it while you can.

Not to deprive them of their bonuses? The guys STILL AREN'T PAID!

HSIAMetalKing:

Andy Chalk:

Infinity Ward remains "the top destination for development talent in the video game industry," Kotick said

Get over yourselves-- all you've got is Call of fucking Duty.

Yeah, they've only got the biggest selling franchise in gamings recent history...

coldalarm:
Dear Bobby Kotick,
If you truly want to protect your shareholders & its interests, I suggest you re-evaluate yourself. Either:
1. Resign.
2. Stop being a plague upon the gaming industry.
Or...
How about stop shamelessly milking franchises (Call of Duty & Guitar Hero as examples), stop charging above-average prices for standard editions of games (e.g. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2) and their respective DLC (e.g. the first MW2 DLC pack), and start treating your customers and staff with a bit of respect. We're the ones who fill up the coffers after all.
Thank you.

And in other words, whilst we don't know the circumstances, firing the bosses of Infinity Ward in the way it was done is terrible. I bet they've lowered morale (some people have jumped ship, for example) and they've just furthered their reputation as a bunch of utter pilchards.

If Activision really want to be seen as a good company, Kotick really needs to get his backside into gear.

I agree completely. I also love how he takes this PR opportunity to shamelessly promote his own company. All Activision has is a few heavily overmilked franchises, it is not "The top destination for talent in the games industry" because if it was, then they'd make something different, not just slap a graphics upgrade and a few new missions/songs on it and release it as a new game.

SlainPwner666:
snippy

I agree completely. I also love how he takes this PR opportunity to shamelessly promote his own company. All Activision has is a few heavily overmilked franchises, it is not "The top destination for talent in the games industry" because if it was, then they'd make something different, not just slap a graphics upgrade and a few new missions/songs on it and release it as a new game.

This. I mean, imagine you're one of the guys working ON guitar hero. How fucking bored would be, considering how fucking boring it is to actually PLAY these days?

Man, this is like the End of Evangelion. Instead of NERF, it's Infinity Ward. I wonder when all the humanity will become one XD

Make money your god and it'll plague you like the devil.

This brought a tear to my eye, then I realized it was a reaction from the utter stink of the Public Relations 101 bullshit coming out of Mr Kotick's mouth. Could you be any more transparent? There's far too many people coming out of IW and by all accounts appear to be on the same page with the douchebaggery at play coming from this man.

For being a CEO, this guy is clueless as the day is long. Everytime he opens his mouth, the cock up factor rises exponentially.

Hubilub:

Demon ID:

Hubilub:

Andy Chalk:
"I personally considered [West and Zampella] friends,"

...

Remind me never to mess with Kotick again.

If that is how he treats his friends, I do not want to know how he treats his enemies...

I expect he acts alot like Mr Devon Banks, thats how i've always pictured him. Hell this is how I imagine the conversations between him, West and Zampella went:

It's nice to know that they have a new company and I hope that the next game they make is better than MW2, that really knocked my confidence in them.

Although sadly, IW doesn't have a laser shield.

Damn you Kotick and your futuristic warfare!

It's a true shame they don't, now all i've got to do is find other funny characters to be parts of the gaming community, I wonder if I can combine Bernard Black to anyone...

As for activision right now, all I can hope for is a good treatment of Bungie. If that goes all fucked up i'm just going to refuse to buy their games anymore on priniciple. Hell it won't affect their sales but i'll feel happy knowing i'm not funding them.

Bullsh*t. I don't think Vince and Jason are angels, they're arrogant artists and sly moneymakers, exactly the kind of people Kotick would have as friends. Let's be clear though:

Infinity Ward is finished. Team synergy is a thing, whether you want to believe it or not. You can't just randomly replace 30 guys and not expect your output to be irrecoverably damaged

Respawn Studios will take years to build up and if they try and shortcut the team-building process, they'll fail around game 3 (the first two will have enough hype off this debacle to sell regardless of quality)

Those are both good things. Get those lame ass shooters out of the way so that other genres can finally get a taste of that sweet money. Goddamn I hate it when people consider call of duty a good series. No, its not a good a series. It's a good game, a game they made six times with different visuals.

Poor Bwobby, now he's got no friends =(
I hope he jumps in traffic. Jackass

yes...I agree with you Kotick

I mean, how could they expect to get PAID??

I mean, of course the Emperor deserves ALL of the money, right?

surely any other way must be absurd!

...sigh hopefully the courts fry his [rear]

Oh that's a load of fucking bullshit and this asswipe knows it. Was this statement written by a six year old? To protect his assets and his shareholders? As far as I'm concerned, that team brought him the biggest entertainment launch of all time. What's he going to lose out of those assets were he to give them the fucking bonuses, a fucking penny?

Get your head out of your asses. You never treated West and Zampella with an ounce of respect. You went against giving them the permission to make CoD2 a modern warfare title up until you gave them permission to, while you handed CoD3 to Treyarch.

Do all of us a favor, and please for the love of God please die in a motherfucking fire.

This is what is classicly known as Damage Control ... and its not very good damage control at that.

If Mr. Kotick wants to deal with this firestorm he really needs to explain/justify his behavior, which he constantly talks around, which leads me to believe there is no way he CAN justify it.

Sure there is a lot of speculation, but I think there needs to be some specifics if this is going to end. The more he avoids giving them, the worse he's going to look.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here