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.