Bobby Kotick was included in a list of the 49 most influential men amongst such luminaries as the Old Spice Guy and Russell Brand.
The Canadian website Askmen.com compiled votes from more than half a million readers to determine its list of the 49 most influential men of 2010. In 2008, the list was topped by Barack Obama while Don Draper grabbed the honor in 2009 (Yes, a fictional character was deemed more influential than the President of the United States.) This year, Jon Stewart was named the #1 most influential man, perhaps due to the hype surrounding his upcoming Rally to Restore Sanity in Washington, DC this weekend. Videogames were finally well-represented in 2010 by Bobby Kotick grabbing the #16 slot for his role as CEO of the Activision/Blizzard behemoth.
The writeup for Kotick’s entry acknowledges his often combative relationship with gamers. “Hardcore gamers detest his perceived arrogance and utter disregard for originality. It hardly helps matters that Kotick doesn’t sugarcoat his statements to the press,” said Askmen.com.
“He has also infuriated legions of gamers by suggesting a strong desire to raise prices and charge for cutscenes. It’s radical ideas like these that have led more than one talking head to call him ‘the Hitler of the Gaming Industry.'” Personally, I think that calling him Hitler gives him too much credit. He’s more of a Trotsky.
Of course, Kotick’s appearance on this list must be taken with a grain of salt because there are a few questionable choices. First off, Russell Brand was picked as #49, which seems a bit silly for a guy who co-starred in a funny but ultimately unimportant film earlier this year (Get Him to the Greek). At what can only be a slap in the face to the British comedian, he was deemed less influential than Steve Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant who cursed out the passengers over the PA, stole two beers and jumped out the emergency exit. Great story, but what exactly did it influence? Drunken rage quitting?
Then there is Isaiah Mustafa, better known as the Old Spice Guy. He ranked #30, above Canadian bank chief Mark Carney and below Zack Galifianakis. I mean, I like the Old Spice commercials as much as the next guy …
You know what? Once you get parodied by Grover on Sesame Street, you’ve kind of made it. I guess the Old Spice Guy is influential.