Activision not keen on social, iPhone games

CEO Robert Kotick sees little financial value in fledgling markets, remains dedicated to existing titles.

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Despite the incessant popularity of the iPhone/iPod Touch gaming market and the global phenomenon that is social gaming, Activision CEO Robert Kotick says he's not interested in tapping into those gaming sectors.

Kotick and Activision aren't ready to play FarmVille.

Speaking with Reuters recently, Kotick said Apple's App Store isn't an area best suited for "dedicated gamers."

"We don't view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games," he said. He went on to say, according to Reuters, that investing in games for tablet devices, including Apple's iPad, is not in Activision's immediate future. However, Kotick did say it might be a course of action for the publisher someday.

Addressing the social gaming movement spearheaded in part by free-to-play games on Facebook, Kotick recognized the popularity of this demographic, but he said making money off users in this sector is difficult.

"It's a different question assessing it as a business opportunity. Right now, we don't see an opportunity for us to participate in that market," he said.

Activision's current-quarter balance sheet is expected to be rosy, as the publisher released Call of Duty: Black Ops in November. The Cold War-era shooter has made over $650 million to date and is the fastest selling entertainment property of all time. On top of that, next week Activision will release World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the latest expansion to World of Warcraft, which recently surpassed a gargantuan tally of 12 million registered users.

Discussion

213 comments
j_cain341
j_cain341

I stand corrected. It was my understanding Activison is the boss of Blizzard. That is where my comment came from.

advanracer
advanracer

This guy Kotick looks like the Max the Head Vampire in The Lost Boys. Just finished seein' the movie on tv LOL.

KuRf
KuRf

I thought Guitar Hero is social games? I just saw yesterday my neighbour using it to smash the sofa...social enough for me...

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

AHA! The man DOES have a weakness! So how do we get Guitar Hero and Call of Duty to become social games so Kotick becomes uninterested?

ACx7
ACx7

Please, for the love of Christ, stop interviewing this schmuck.

RedChuckz
RedChuckz

true i did buy the CODs cuzz thats what ppl play these days and i support the developers i know the money goes into his pocket but still hate him

D3thN1gh7
D3thN1gh7

As expected from Activision it's always about money. It doesn't matter what users will enjoy or what the community wants, it's all just about how many games they can sell and how much money they walk out with. Really is a sad picture.

blackalbino45
blackalbino45

Not a surprising remark from Activision really. As a company with no sense of innovation, they'll most likely stick to whatever sells... until it doesn't anymore, after which they proceed to scramble and cower in fear as they try to innovate in a way that can only be compared to shooting hoops blind folded... but worry not Activision fanboys they've done it before they can probably do it again.. after all it's just a one in a million shot and they definitely have a lot of millions to spare with what they're selling out so far :)

xymt
xymt

his face remind me to something... trollface? look at that evil smirk!

marinamanson
marinamanson

@Gelugon_baat He says "he doesn't see it as a big opportunity" and that investing in games for tablet devices is not in the immediate future. He never says they haven't made any games for them, or that they will never make any. The only thing he is saying is he doesn't see it as a big focus. He's not lying, you're just putting words in his mouth.

SkidRow18
SkidRow18

look at that face....just look at it! oh gosh!

Viruses
Viruses

@PresidentDman The release date it set by Blizzard under a estimate/schedule during the development period, not activision, they have no say on the time of release as they have absolutely no hand in the development of Blizzard's games. In-case you didn't know, Activision Blizzard still exist has separate entities when it comes to developing video games and still retain their individual corporate leadership. Just check the box of the latest Blizzard game you bought, you won't see an Activision Blizzard logo on it.

PresidentDman
PresidentDman

So we have EA going all guns blazing into social gaming and Activision wanting nothing to do with it.... 1 Year down the line its going to be interesting to see who's right. To me there is huge potential to take social gaming to the next level. If you look at the mechanics and ideas of current social games there a decade old and something new and fresh could really capture peoples imigination. I say an EA win on startergy.

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

His eyes are unnaturally dark and seem to suck out all the happiness in the world.... :O I have concluded that Kotick is a dementor.

PresidentDman
PresidentDman

@viruses Activision WILL release world of Warcraft Cataclsym - thats a fact despite your insinuation. I don't recall anything in this article stating that they created the game.

Viruses
Viruses

"Activision will release World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the latest expansion to World of Warcraft, which recently surpassed a gargantuan tally of 12 million registered users." Blizzard made the game not Activision! Get your facts straight Gamespot! Still amazes me that Blizzard ever merged with Activision; all the more annoying that they would get credit for a game they never even made. -_-

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

kotickvision doesnt give a $h!t about iphone, kotickvision makes black ops DLC maps for 20$ then evil laughs......... DLC maps were super efective against the ignorant fools......... kotickvision got full and farted out guitar hero 6 with a lawsuit

BuBsay
BuBsay

I can see his point about their probably being little financial value from social and iphone games. But on the other hand they cost next to nothing to make, and I don't even want to know how much Activision is raking in every week from WoW, CoD, and Starcraft. P.S. Am I the only one who finds it funny that when you search for Bobby Ko on google, the first 2 things that come up are: "Bobby Kotick" and "Bobby Kotick is the devil". I'd say that sums him up pretty well.

GodzillavsXenu
GodzillavsXenu

God, can you imagine what hellspawn would emerge if Activision and Zynga were to merge? (shudders)

killlo
killlo

thumbs up if every time you see this guys face it makes you think evil villain, jerk, devil, hitler video game rapist and so on

nathan83_xp
nathan83_xp

probably waiting for an indie developer to make it big in the social market, buy the developer and IP and then maybe fire the founders and take over operations completely. todays activision is afraid to make it's own IP..

steven141
steven141

I am really surprised. Kotick usually goes for anything that can make him even the tiniest bit of profit.

iamacow
iamacow

"Kotick said Apple's App Store isn't an area best suited for 'dedicated gamers.'" . . . aaaand Activision is?

alibabba13
alibabba13

I really dont understand not exploring making a mafia wars like game. It costs a tiny fraction of what it takes to develop a cod game and if it is succesful creates a hugely profitable game with a much longer life span than a cod game. Where is the downside?

LeJR
LeJR

He probably doesn't want to do it because it will take some form of investment to make it happen. I don't think he's keen on trying *anything* new for this reason. /exaggeration?

okassar
okassar

Although he seems like a big dick, Iwhich I probably is, I have to admit, Kotick is a good businessman. He is raking in mind blowing profits and no matter how much you say otherwise it doesn't seem like there's going to be an end to that soon. When CoD wheres out, the Bungie/Activision project will come in. They'll always have something people are going crazy over. He's right here about iPhone games and all the small stuff, diverting valuable time and energy to crap like that isn't going to make him as much money as putting the same effort towards systems. and....is Kotick getting fatter? He has been having too much cheese with his wine. "There we have it. All Activision cares about is money!" Herp derp.. Of COURSE, if I ran a company that's all I would care about---whatever it takes to get max profit.

TWoodcook
TWoodcook

Interesting comments from a man whose company's most popular product, Call of Duty, thrives on the multi-player, social network scene. Also, the game's continued success on the Wii, and the company's continued decision to publish the line on that system, shows that their products can appeal to a more casual gamer as well.

calvinsora
calvinsora

Considering the massive sales of the (not-free) Angry Birds, one would think a person that cares so much about money would capitalize on that motion. :? Guess there's nothing reliable about Kotick at all, what a shocker...

sunbeam_Espeon
sunbeam_Espeon

Before the recent WoW patch id say blizzard had a good thing going wasnt complicated wasnt too had now that activision has finally fully taken over blizzard they nerfed the way people played the game to "simplify" a simple game i cant even play my geared pally how bad they changed him not only did that happen but they are too cheap to create a new pet for their 6th year anniversary but on the same day they create 3 new in game pets you can pay "$10" for not only that but i hear they want you to pay money for a in game cutscene that should come witht he game? if you ask me activision is a greedy company and you can say all company's are but they have one thing activision lacks and thats a heart to give the customer base what they want and not milk them in these hard times just look at Playstation and the free internet you get with them or xbox giving out free trials every so often imo kotick and activision are a bunch of greedy heartless money hungry tools and i feel they're gonna drive their fans away with this type of respect

adamt68i
adamt68i

What is he talking about? 'His' company's franchises have already reached iPhone and other mobile platforms. Either way, he is making a serious mistake with that thinking. Big companies have a habit of getting too complacent, and sliding down the market after missing huge opportunities. I'm sure there are many people at Activision who'd be keen to tackle the social networking and mobile phone challenge.

y2kv
y2kv

@tyskenfan I hate to break it to you, but all that every company cares for is money.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I didn't think anyone was capable of a Joker smile without white face make-up and green hair.... then you look at EVERY picture of Kotick, and there he is. AAAAAAARGH!? How do his kids sleep at night seeing that grin right before they close their eyes!?

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

...Call of Duty is already on the iPhone and therefore the iPad. Activision is already milking the iPhone and iPad cash cow. Is this really just an article saying "Activision isn't so keen on making Call of Farmville"?

mrhagane
mrhagane

apple should glad that activision will not involve

helldude90
helldude90

What a chode "It's a different question assessing it as a business opportunity. Right now, we don't see an opportunity for us to participate in that market," (yeah because we are busy milking the COD franchise to death)

dmblum1799
dmblum1799

This guy is the poster boy for corporate douche bag.

tyskenfan
tyskenfan

There we have it. All Activision cares about is money!

AuronTsubaki85
AuronTsubaki85

Someone needs to slap that stupid smile off of Kotick's face & give him a wake up call fast!

Reilly86
Reilly86

No more farmvill please!!! I also agree that video games do encourage violence as every time I see a picture of Robert Kotick I get very angery and a suddon urge to punch him.

gameboy716
gameboy716

Just keep doing what you do best...:D

Hercules321
Hercules321

I feel like Gamespot is trying on purpose to make Kotick look like a douche bag with all the horrible pictures of him they post up in all the articles he is in. Then after doing a Google Images search on "Kotick" I see that he looks like the above photo in every search result I am given...

iamnessie
iamnessie

Wow, that's the first non-douche bag thing he's said in a long time. But that's giving him too much credit seeing as how he's said 30 times more stupid things. But people keep buying WOW subscriptions and filling his pockets.

pudgexd
pudgexd

He looks evil and retarded. I agree with his decision but hate him anyway.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

That's great,.. the browner the apple ..the better..

firehawk998
firehawk998

I seriously think Kotick suffers from foot in mouth disease .

HappyBB
HappyBB

Can Kotick's words be trusted? I don't think so!

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Is Kotick really overlooking a moneymaking opportunity? Or maybe they'll wait until headlines read Zynga Surpasses EA In Profits. I'm glad Kotick is staying out of that area of gaming, but every time he opens his mouth, I just want to see him lynched. Seriously, this guy needs to stop talking.