Game Lawyer Calls Bobby Kotick “Emperor Palpatine”


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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