Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer didn’t pull any punches when talking about Activision CEO Bobby Kotick at this week’s Develop Conference in the UK.

To be fair, as Crave notes, Schafer’s Brutal Legend game was originally going to be published by Activision before it merged with Blizzard. The game was dropped and eventually published by Electronic arts, which could have contributed to some of the bad taste in Schafer’s mouth.

Among Schafer’s comments on Kotick:

[Kotick] makes a big deal about not liking games, and I just don’t think that attitude is good for games in general. I just don’t think we’re an industry of widgets. We can approach it like we approach bars of soap, where you’re just trying to make the cheapest bar of soap.

I don’t think he’s great for the industry, overall. You can’t just latch onto something when it’s popular and then squeeze the life out of it and then move on to the next one. You have to at some point create something, build something.

Hopefully he’ll go back to another industry scene. He could go to an industry that makes more money. Ball bearings… something that suits his passions more. Weapons manufacturing?

Ouch! More comments from Schafer can be found in the Crave Online article.

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  1. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    Kotick is right about one thing, artistic types tend to be poor at Business. The problem is that most businessmen, being businessmen, see that as something that can be exploited and manipulated, it’s like something small and squeaky to a cat, they see a chance to use people who enjoy what they do and turn it into an enterprise centred around money instead of the sheer pleasure of creativity. That quite often kills the creative heart of the venture, you only have to look at the number of sequels, both in Movies and in Computer games to see how dry the well of creativity is actually getting.

  2. 0
    vellocet says:

    Not just Atari but the entire North American videogame industry.  Kassar is pretty much responsible for the crash of ’83.

    However, to be fair… It was his business acumen that made Atari the $100 million company that it was (in the 80s!).  But that’s the problem isn’t it?  These suits just care about making the most money right now and not the future of the business.

  3. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Kotick is cut from the same cloth as the suits and MBAs (fuck MBAs) who ran Atari into the ground in the 80’s. 

    Ray Kassar and the MBAs of Atari were responsible for disasters like the deal that spawned the E.T. game (5 months to make the game), the terrible quality of 2600 Pac-Man, Video Rubiks Cube, and all the shovelware shit that doomed the industry. 

    Mr. Kassar (who was not a gamer) had a reputation of being an uncaring prick who treated developers poorly and thought of games as package goods.  He did indeed take all the fun out of making games. 

    How ironic is it that Activision, founded as a force for good in the games industry, is now run by a man who is just like the man who destroyed Atari?

  4. 0
    Monte says:

     What you say about "suits" applies to just about EVERY creative medium. Really, when it comes down to it, i really do wish all of these companies were run by creators and not businessmen… or at the very least people who take part and indulge in the kind of media they produce.

  5. 0
    axiomatic says:

    Tim is echoing the statement I have made for a long time now. "Suits" have brought nothing but heartache and loss to gaming.

    I miss the heady days when games took a long time to come out but they were unique and of high quality.

    Gaming since the "suits" arrived is one large beta test where we consumers are the testers and the value of the games is half of what it used to be.

    (There are exceptions, BIOWARE, and maybe a few more.)

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