As most of you know, Activision has become the dog in the doghouse in the eyes of many hardcore gamers. But the world's biggest publisher remains undaunted and in fact, has an interesting comparison to make…

You should definitely read what Activision boss Eric Hirshberg told Industry Gamers in a recent interview, where he first talks about doing "what you have to do" from a business standpoint. Hirshberg admits it's a tough business and you aren't going to please everyone all the time, but his most interesting comments came when he compared Activision bashing to the negative press the PlayStation 3 received early in its life cycle:

"I have Google, just like everybody else, and I’m of course aware of what the reputation is amongst core gamers, and there’s a narrative that I think has taken over reality to a certain extent. I think there’s definitely some disconnect between the perception and the reality. I would give you a couple of thoughts on that. If you go back in a time machine and read the general tenor in the blogosphere a couple of years ago about Sony PlayStation, it sounds a lot like what people are saying about Activision today. There’s a lot of disappointment in the PS3, and it was overpriced, and they’ve given up on the core gamer, and Sony Blu-ray… all those complaints were out there. It takes time sometimes to win peoples hearts and minds. I was a part of helping them turn around that image through the marketing of PlayStation, but also perception caught up with the reality. The reality is they put out a pretty great product and the versatility has become one of the key selling points, even with core gamers. My point is you’ve got to stay on the train, because the scenery changes.

I think that some of Activision’s reputational challenges are not based in the reality of the company that I’ve experienced here so far. I would love to be a part of closing the gap between perception and reality, and I also like working in an industry that has such an engaged fan base that keeps you honest and keeps you focused on the right things. There’s no success in this business without delivering for gamers. I invite that; I love that. There was a pretty vocal community of people who commented on the advertising business as well, and I think that’s really good for creativity, ultimately, because the values of the people who are the most vocal you might agree or disagree with what they’re saying at any particular moment, but I think it’s pretty clear that everybody in the core gaming community wants great games."

How was that? You agree with that? Hirshberg seems intent on righting Activision's image and don't think it can't be done…EA was in the doghouse early on due to terribly lacking ports for the PS3, and they recovered. Of course, at this point, what with Call of Duty ruling the world and earning a lot of resentment in the process, it may be quite the uphill climb.

Subscribe
Notify of
55 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Well, he does have a point. I have to say though, he could best begin by making Bobby Kotick sign and observe a permanent gag order.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I like your new avatar. What's it from?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

It's KOS-MOS from the cover art on a thing called Xeno Emissions E2 – an art-book based on the characters and scenes in Xenosaga Episode 2.

AntDC
AntDC
9 years ago

I'm sorry but I have to disagree completely. The comparison is ridiculous. Sony didn't release a broken piece of hardware, and it wasn't unsupported.

The PS3 has always been a quality product, and has only gotten better. Can't say the same for the Call of Duty franchise.

And also, the issue with pricing? The PS3 was being sold AT A LOSS. We got a bargain with the PS3 when we bought it. Activision, we all know you're making an absolute killing with every game sold, yet you still insist on selling your game for more than the usual PS3/360 price. I think most people will see through this PR BS. Especially the PS3/PC gamers (Not saying 360 owners are dumb, just that their version seems a lot more stable).

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

I got a good laugh out of that one, it's also completely true.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

I agree that it's a bad analogy. Activision is NO PlayStation.

The change in EA's reputation began with a change in leadership and philosophy, not a change in marketing.

If Activision wants to improve their reputation, they need to follow the same path.

You can only shine a turd so much.

p.s. I can't believe I was actually happy when Activision bought Blizzard. That seems like eons ago.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/18/2010 2:50:43 PM

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

Hmmm…

Sony fixed the problem by getting rid of the high price tag. Ergo Activision needs to fix their problem by canning Kotick, right? I think that would make everyone happier. Except Kotick, but he's an asshole so who cares?


Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 12/16/2010 9:42:17 PM

SixSpeedKing
SixSpeedKing
9 years ago

I agree with him somewhat but at the same time, as was at the end of the article, they have a big uphill battle ahead of them.
If they can change some of their practices and, like Highlander said, put a gag order on Kotick then maybe they can do it.
I am highly skeptical but I'll have to wait and see.


Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 12/16/2010 9:44:10 PM

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

If you want to get back in my good graces, then start by kicking "hoof in mouth" Kotex to the curb.

Until then, I'm not buying(new).

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

"There’s no success in this business without delivering for gamers."

*stands*

*slow clap*

ZettaiSeigi
ZettaiSeigi
9 years ago

The only difference is Sony justified the hefty price tag, although it took quite a while. But at this point in time where the PS3 is at, it is well worth the original $600 asking price. But then again, that's just me.

Activision, on the other hand, continued to get themselves in the spotlight and not with the things that core gamers (particularly PlayStation fans) would like to hear. How's threatening not to support Sony if it doesn't bring down the price of the PS3 for starters? And there's "thought" of charging money for cinematics from Activision-Blizzard games, charging a fee for online play, and (some may disagree), a COD every year.

From a business standpoint, releasing a COD game a year makes sense. It is printing money for them. I personally wouldn't mind that, as long as they put something new on the table. Not a rehash of last year's game then slapped with a higher number. I read a lot of things where people said that the new COD is much like that.

So Hirshberg may have good intentions, but as long as they have a d-bag of a CEO in the person of Kotick, I don't think that perception would change so much. I wish him luck in "closing the gap between perception and reality" though.

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
9 years ago

yea, thats the only thing I was interested in reading about… clearly he doesn't know how to work google "just like the rest of us"

laxpro2001
laxpro2001
9 years ago

"There’s a lot of disappointment in the PS3, and it was overpriced, and they’ve given up on the core gamer, and Sony Blu-ray… all those complaints were out there."

Yea except those complaints were coming from 360 fanboys who for some moronic reason wanted the PS3 dead.

Giving up on the core gamer? Really? That must have been about the same time that a core gamer was defined by the amount of FPS's in his library which was also coincidently when Microsoft started doing an excellent job catering to those gamers Sony so furiously tried to neglect
/Sarcasm

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

"Yea except those complaints were coming from 360 fanboys who for some moronic reason wanted the PS3 dead."

Score!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Your rep is bad because of Kotex's loud mouth, the way you treat your employees, and oh yeah mediocre quality games lazily slapped together for a quick buck.

frostface
frostface
9 years ago

I like your avatar, where's it from?

sirbob6
sirbob6
9 years ago

Most likely some rule 34 site.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Ha! eeh..yea, I'm not buying it. These fools only care about money and were completely wrong about the PS3. So…no dice.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
9 years ago

No, ps3 = quality

Activision = milking to the West's need for guns. It's as simple as that.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I must be out of touch with things. I knew people had beef with Kotick's statements, but I didn't think people necessarily disliked Activision.

They publish games. What else are they supposed to be doing? How is it any more complicated then fronting money to devs and pushing a game to market with advertising. Is it any more ridiculous than what some japanese publishers have been doing as of late? It seems many gamers love to share their two-cents for any of the publishers these days.

I think he's also drawing a pretty vague comparison with PS3 (a company vs. a product). Okay, so PS3 came to the market with a lot of criticism: price, crappy multi-plats, forcing blu-ray etc. but how is that correlated with Activision's role as a software publisher? They publish games that release for $60 like anyone else. THey have products that lots of people want. They've secured a 10 year deal with Bungie… They have a loud mouthed boss that most gamers think is retarded. Who seems to be the one responsible for 3/4 of IW leaving. Their problems seem to be far from the problems many other publishers are struggling with these days.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

"They publish games."

Buggy, mediocre games. Been playing GT5 the last few weeks. It's made me think about how it really is sad and disappointing how some developers(Acvitvision)really don't care about their customers. They want to release games and fast as possible so they can make a profit and really don't pay much attention to making them great or even quality. I didn't get Black Ops, but from what I read its the worst in terms of technical quality. People pay quite a bit of money for these games, they should do more to make them worth it.

Plus they have bad mouthed the PS3 and were completely wrong. They don't like the PS3 because they don't like the challenge of making great games. They only care about raking in the dough. Making money is great, and I encourage it anywhere it can be made my legal means but I also think quality is important and its just not something Activision sees as a top priority.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I guess I should make a correction. Activision is more of a publisher than a developer but I think my point is still valid because they are the ones who want these buggy, fast developed games on the shelves the way they are.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Each CoD has a 2 year development cycle, that's standard. There's nothing rushed about that. EA has many games that come out on a yearly basis. The demand is there, and Activision is meeting it. Nothing new. Arguments against Black Ops should be leveled against the dev. The fact that Activision is being singled out as a below standard publisher doesn't make sense. I'll say Sony has the most consistent publishing record of releasing quality content, but outside of them, everyone else exists in the same grey void of hit or miss content. Whether it's Square-Enix(Neir, FF14), Capcom (Lost PLanet 2, Dead Rising 2), Sega (the sucky spy-game I can't remember it's name and the countless other crap Sega games), Namco(ignoring fan requests for ToV, Enslaved was forced out too soon), EA(MoH), Bethseda(Fallout New Vegas) or others, they all have a number of titles that have questionable quality (many of which I already listed and released this year) or have made it a practice to schedule popular franchises on an annual basis.

And Bobby Kotick was the man who foolishly commented about ousting PS3 support, along with other mud slingers like Gabe Newell.
The only problem people have with Activision more-so than any other dev is the name and the face known as Bobby Kotick.
If he goes away there's no longer a mouth making retarded comments and a company to associate his reputation with.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/17/2010 1:41:47 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

oh yeah, and Koei-Tecmo–how could I forget? Quantum Theory and Fist of the Northstar… real winners right there.. =p

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

"Each CoD has a 2 year development cycle, that's standard. There's nothing rushed about that."

Ok this is true. I concede that point however it doesn't help their defense considering other developers came make much better games in that time span.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

umm, if you were there since the beginning of modern warfare 2 online and until now, then you'll agree that it was rushed. given that they had 2 years for each game, an online beta test had to be top priority for a game whose hype is built up on the online component of the game. black ops has pretty much the same problems although not as much. the main thing i KEEP running into is games that wont start at all even when theres a full room.


Last edited by johnld on 12/17/2010 2:32:05 AM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

johnld, I don't really follow the online end of most games. But when I think of headlines, even Sony's, I can think of many games that had solid development time and still managed to have network issues.
GT5, MAG, and SOCOM are three games that come to mind and two of those are designed from the ground up as online games and they still managed to have problems that lit up blogs and message boards with complaints and negativity. And as for MW, IW did a much better job with multi-platform quality control within a 2 year dev cycle than Treyarch. Besides, even "greatest game of all time contenders" Uncharted 2, and Uncharted 3 have 2 year dev windows. Blame the dev not the publisher.

GuyverLT
GuyverLT
9 years ago

This all the way left field & off topic but this a very big deal 4 me.

I meet my very 1st female gamer (in person)the other day and shes Hottt….

On that note have absolutely no idea on who this guy is, never heard of him b4 this article.


Last edited by GuyverLT on 12/16/2010 11:36:30 PM

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
9 years ago

well while he makes a good analogy, the truth of the matter is the ps3 got alot of hate because playstaion was trying to do too much, instead of just building a gaming machine. Activision however is getting hate because they are trying to do as little as possible, and make money off of it.

I mean sony was loosing money on every ps3 sold, because they wanted to make the best gaming experience to date. While activision cuts costs by using existing engines and textures to make new games.

A2K78
A2K78
9 years ago

"Activision needs to fix their problem by canning Kotick, right? I think that would make everyone happier. Except Kotick, but he's an a**hole so who cares?"

I don't about you, but in no way would I want Kotick be "canned" as you put it. You know why? Had it not been for Kotick's leadership Activision would've still been in the dumps given the fact he turned around a company that was drowing.

Looking at Activision these days the company is making moves; whereas other developers failing, Activision seem to be steaming ahead.

In the end all of this the stupid anti-Activision BS is ridiclous and really uncalled for.

"Buggy, mediocre games. Been playing GT5 the last few weeks. It's made me think about how it really is sad and disappointing how some developers(Acvitvision)really don't care about their customers. They want to release games and fast as possible so they can make a profit and really don't pay much attention to making them great or even quality.

You're basically speaking about EVERY game development company in this industry and its not just limited to Activision. It also include the like of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo; companies that also who guilty of forcing out buggy or medicore stuff.

Speaking Gran Turismo, lets not forget it was Sony who forced PD to release Gran Turismo 2 in a very buggy state, a state that left the game practically unplayable. The same goes for Champions of Norrath..good game, but riddled with bugs.

In the end its just Acitivion who is guilty of forcing out buggy games, but many other game developers and publishers.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

"You're basically speaking about EVERY game development company in this industry and its not just limited to Activision. It also include the like of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo; companies that also who guilty of forcing out buggy or medicore stuff.

Speaking Gran Turismo, lets not forget it was Sony who forced PD to release Gran Turismo 2 in a very buggy state, a state that left the game practically unplayable. The same goes for Champions of Norrath..good game, but riddled with bugs."

There's too much stupid in this comment. I don't know where to begin.

Granted GT5 has some problems its still 100X the game anything Activision has put out. And NO not all developers, or even most release bug ridden games. There are some whoppers out there but Activision IS more guilty than others.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

Steaming ahead in the shite train, Activision should take note of other developers who actually improve upon their game engine. I hardly see them put out patches for games, maybe 1 or 2 patches? When they do the patch something else pops up and they don't even bother to address it, that to me sounds like they don't care for the game at all and just want the moola in the pocket.

I like COD and all but they seriously need to get their act together. I don't see Sony developers lacking in the patch department as Activision is right now. I rarely see patches by Activision but i see a lot more from Sony's Developers and more content for the game being offered, i mean what the hell is Activision waiting for? By the time the patch comes out a new COD will be out.

Sorry to be rough but seriously.


Last edited by Clamedeus on 12/17/2010 2:13:40 PM

A2K78
A2K78
9 years ago

"While activision cuts costs by using existing engines and textures to make new games."

Again, Activison isn't the only one who is guilty of cutting corners, but as I have said EVERY company is guilty of this. Overall the whole lets burn Activision at the stake attitude gamers have been displaying is ridiculous.

BTNwarrior
BTNwarrior
9 years ago

I know other companies do this as well, but good developers improve upon existing engines and fix bugs if they are going to use them again. While an example from activision would be the downgrade in quality from MW2 to Black Ops, both visualy and technically. I mean there are other examples out there, Fallout New Vegas being the greatest perpatrator. But activision has been doing this for a while now, I mean is there any real difference visually from Guitar Hero 3 and Guitar Hero 11 "Warriors of Rock"

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Call of Duty games get worse with every installment while others get better.

Rings0fUranus
Rings0fUranus
9 years ago

Dudes, don't fall for it! He's just being "that guy". He hates Activision as much as the rest of us.

Milonakis
Milonakis
9 years ago

Did i read that wrong or were they trying to take credit for playstations image improving? if so they are bigger r-tards than i thought.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

That's Activision for ya.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Well, I suppose they DID stop making inflammatory comments at its expense. In the mind of a businessman, that's good enough reason to take credit.

EA, on the other hand, actually did things to support Sony.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

Whatever he is smoking, I think I need some.

First off there's a difference between sony releasing a good product that ppl were to whiny to realize how awesome it was and activision repeatedly releasing crappy, glitchy, horrendous games and then telling everyone how much they could care less because they just want to make money.

Second, how is the statement

"I was a part of helping them turn around that image through the marketing of PlayStation"

even remotely true. I don't know much about the guy but unless he used to work for sony's marketing department, I think he's smoked a little too much and needs to come down off his high.


Last edited by kraygen on 12/17/2010 1:16:37 AM

PorkChopGamer
PorkChopGamer
9 years ago

"Activision repeatedly releasing crappy, glitchy, horrendous games and then telling everyone how much they could care less because they just want to make money"

This is about as far as a gamer can get from reality.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

i wouldnt use crappy and horrendous but glitchy yes. and that is as close to how activision does it in reality. theres still crap going on in both MW2 and BO that they didnt fix.

kraygen
kraygen
9 years ago

You have to realize tho that activision releases a ton of games, not just modern warfare and the big name stuff. They release a ton of shovelware that is terrible. Think about how often they don't fix glitches in their big name games, most of their games they don't patch at all.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

I looked him up and he worked for Deutsch before he worked for Activision and they WERE involved in marketing for PlayStation, so he actually has some justification for his statment.


Last edited by Fane1024 on 12/18/2010 3:07:28 PM

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

wait, he's comparing the ps3's quality with the quality of activision and their games, basically. with all the crap happening with activision and their price gauging, maybe Activision's Perceptions of Gamers Aren't Based on Reality.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Or Activision's perception of reality isn't based in reality. ūüôā

gangan19
gangan19
9 years ago

@jawknee – lmao to he max

bloody_rootz
bloody_rootz
9 years ago

good point jawknee.

Kevin555
Kevin555
9 years ago

Truth is SONY did fail back at launch. It was too expensive, the online was pathetic compared to Xbox Live and the only decent launch games (Resistance) recieved butthurt praise from loyalists that had nothing else to play at the time, add the "losing exclusives" part into it & you have a right to grudge it.

But fast forward time and it's a different ball game altogether now. Price has dropped, a plethora of exclusives are flooding in and the online is much more stable. What is Activisions excuse for giving PS3 fans of COD a sh!t service full of lag and disconnections?

Get your crap together! Not that i'm a fan of COD anyway, it gets tedious when a 12 year old over the mic asks you to lick his balls for the 10th time.

gangan19
gangan19
9 years ago

i know right