Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Tim Schafer Voices Vitriol For Activision CEO

Tim Schafer, founder of Double Fine Productions and creator of cult hits such as Monkey Island, Full Throttle, Psychonauts and most recently Brütal Legend - launched a verbal assault on Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in an interview with Eurogamer:
"His obligation is to his shareholders. Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible. It's not something he's interested in.2

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

"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."

"He could go to an industry that makes more money. Ball bearings... Something that suits his passions more. Weapons manufacturing?"
Presumably there’s no love lost between the two companies, after Activision tried to sue Double Fine over publishing Brütal Legend in 2009 - the game was dropped by Activision Blizzard after the Activision-Vivendi merger in 2008, and after EA picked up the game for publishing, Activision subsequently filed a lawsuit claiming they still held the distribution rights (which resulted in Double Fine counter-suing). The claims were settled out of court later that year for undisclosed amounts. Commenting further on potentially pissing off the biggest publisher out there, Schafer said:
"You don't want to burn any bridge because you never know. But once somebody sues you... Maybe that bridge is pretty burned."
Far be it from us to take sides in such a discussion, but you have to wonder how accurate Schafer’s comments are: Kotick doesn’t seem to be doing much good for the industry right now.

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