Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said that merging with Blizzard allowed him to be more patient with a game’s progress.
Bobby Kotick is a lot of things, but quiet certainly isn’t one of them. It seems he is always talking about the state of the games industry or what Activision is doing differently. At a panel at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco today, Kotick said that he is focused on listening to his customers more than he ever was before. He also said that due to the money pouring in from the Blizzard side of his company, Kotick is able to be more patient when it comes to game development. Perhaps Blizzard’s policy of “Don’t ship it till it’s done” is rubbing off on Kotick and Activision in general.
“I would say that one of the great benefits of the merger of Activision and Blizzard is the elevation of patience,” Kotick said. “Partly because we have the financial resources to do it, but we’re now in a place where we can really take the time to make sure that we’re going to deliver the best games. And that’s an incredible luxury.
“You have to instill that value into the culture. Blizzard has that as a unique value of the culture, and it’s now been very well-instilled across all of Activision Blizzard. Patience is rewarded.”
Kotick also mentioned the importance of not only receiving customer feedback but acting on it. “I think [listening to customers] matters more now than ever before,” he said. “You have incredibly passionate and vocal consumers, and they are really thoughtful and articulate about what they would like to see in a game, how you can enhance the experience. So if you take the time and actually listen to what your customers have to say, you are going to create much better experiences.”
I may be taking crazy pills, but the stuff that’s been coming out of Kotick’s mouth has actually been making sense lately. What happened to the “I’m taking fun out of making games” Kotick that we all love to hate? Has he been offed and replaced with this fuzzier, more coherent clone?