Games are relationships - Activision

Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says games today are "ongoing and long lasting," likens consumer interaction with titles to that of dedication to a favorite sport or hobby.

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Games today are many things. They are interactive stories, competitive arenas, and sprawling adventures. But to Activision, these elements come together to become "relationships" with consumers.

Activision might call this an explosive relationship.

"Games are different because they're not disposable; they're not one time. They really are relationships," Hirshberg told Venturebeat.

Hirshberg also noted that he believes consumer interaction with games today is similar to the way in which a person might enjoy a particular hobby or sport.

"The way you interact with a game has much more in common with the way you interact with a sport that you love or a hobby that you love...that's ongoing and long lasting...than with how you watch a movie, which you do for two hours and then you move on."

Activision had a strong 2011. It published the biggest game of the year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and also launched Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, selling over 20 million toys for it along the way. These efforts helped Activision post over $1 billion in profit during the year, its highest mark ever.

Discussion

131 comments
Black_Id_Jenova
Black_Id_Jenova

If what he said is true, it means that i'm forever alone guy, i love my games....

DS-man
DS-man

I might get wedding with one of my game

aamir69
aamir69

"Activision had a strong 2011. It published the biggest game of the year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3." I can hear some motor boating right there. Seriously, stop it gamespot

egres122
egres122

Still have my copy of Spider-man 2 after 7 years. Even play it every once in a while. If that isn't a relationship, I don't know what is.

sirkibble2
sirkibble2

I would have to agree with Eric this time. He does have a point. As much as I love basketball, I feel even more strongly about video games.

oldschoolvandal
oldschoolvandal

Calm down....dude has a point... I understand that as he's from activision everybody goes nuts calling him exploiters, gold diggers and all sort of things....BUT....sorry to break it to you, dude has a point. First, he does not mention ANY activision games, the statement is that "Games are different because they're not disposable; they're not one time. They really are relationships". Second, I've played my first Zelda game around 15 to 18 years ago....Metal Gear some 12 years ago....those are just two examples, there's a whole bunch... and I still dig those games and look forward to new releases in the series. I still call gaming my hobby....but you can just as easy say I do have a (long lasting) relationship with it. That's particularly true if you think about franchises such as the one I mentioned. Sorry COD haters....like it or not...dude has a point.

hnirvana
hnirvana

then Activision is a b!tch.

heroesfan261
heroesfan261

activision, if games are relationships, then COD and I desperately need some couple's counseling because the spark is gone.

ar6ra6sh9
ar6ra6sh9

activision must know that ... that i done some bad things to the lairs ... games are relationship ha???ACTIVISION??? ... hehehehe sure!!!

neotheinstein
neotheinstein

there should be a complete balance between the offline and online gameplay in a game unlike cod games in which the campaigns are extrmely short somewhat same and not so good . fps should be as imaginative like gow halo and crysis.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Yeah, and Activision is the abusive ex-husband who keeps coming around with sweet-talk to get our money ("Aww, c'mon baby, it's like MW3 -- but newer!"), then beats us down with more crap.

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

"They really are relationships" you have a point. before every overseas deployment, i install the entire half life series and hitman: blood money...because they are awesome franchises. MW, one time wonder. haven't replayed any since its initial release nor did i play the multiplayer once i heard dedicated servers were dismissed

splash42
splash42

"Games are different because they're not disposable; they're not one time. They really are relationships," I... come on, seriously? Do I even have to say anything about that? "The way you interact with a game has much more in common with the way you interact with a sport that you love or a hobby that you love" No, that's how you interact with gaming as a whole. And that's because it is a hobby, and in some cases it can be seen as sport. "...that's ongoing and long lasting...than with how you watch a movie, which you do for two hours and then you move on." You seem to have forgotten CoD. Basically, you took how many feel about gaming as a whole, and tried to apply it to one game. What was the point this?

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

"Ongoing and long-lasting" Until November....

Kayweg
Kayweg

If they figure that games are relationships, then they should start making games with personality and not generic re-runs aimed only at the mainstream' wallets.

DutchZombie
DutchZombie

The only "relationship" Activision cares about is the one with our wallets. Their $1billion profit is proof of that.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

The way you interact with a game has much more in common with the way you interact with a hobby that you love. Activisions Eric Hirshberg has just caught on to this? Maybe he does not play videogames Playing videogames has been a hobby that I have enjoyed since 1983.

trivolution
trivolution

Before, when we mention Activision, CoD doesn't come to the picture. It's different right now, as if they are synonyms.

The_Last_Ride
The_Last_Ride

@PlatinumPaladin yeah not exactly coming from the right mouths and developers...

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!! "Games are different because they're not disposable; they're not one time. They really are relationships," So they only last one year before you should move on to the next. That's rich coming from these a$$holes.

neotheinstein
neotheinstein

cod sucks and thats why i never ever bought a cod game and never will. fps should be like gears of war halo and crysis and theres nothing else even close to it.

weedman1985
weedman1985

Yep, It's a relationship alright, especially with Activision. They rape the fans in the a** and they love it. Both parties enjoy the d***ing so who am I to stand in your way? More power to ya, fanboys. Want some soothing cream for that aching a**hole, by the way? Pay me 15$ a month. It's a great deal! Besides, what's a few more bucks considering you already pay 50$ a year plus however it takes to buy a new game every year?

neotheinstein
neotheinstein

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Lhomity
Lhomity

Is this Activision's way of saying "happy valentine's"? Aww, how sweet. For the trolls: It isn't hard to figure out why there's a new CoD every year with the same engine. Activision would have to be completely retarded to NOT take advantage of the demand. Consumer buys = Activision sells = Consumer buys = Activision sells = and so on and so on. Chicken. Egg. If you really have a problem with Activision's business model, your problem should be with the people who still play these games year after year. In other words, that's you, YES you, and you, and you, and you too over there! Might as well be blaming and hating yourselves. I've never personally bought a CoD title, but that's simply because I'm not an FPS fan. I did play WoW for 5 years though, so I'm guilty too. Activision sells CoD only because . Even if you buy used copies, you're still playing the damn things and have literally ZERO right to say Activision are milking anything. Come back when you've learned anything at all about running a successful business.

max_1111
max_1111

@Banefire76 I'm quite aware of this. I'll be the first to admit that CoD in and of itself is a solid as hell game... It is NOT, however, worth the $60 price tag, nor is the DLC worth whatever exorbitant amount that Activision is trying to get away with (in either the form of Elite or packaged content downloads).

max_1111
max_1111

@Gelugon_baat You realize that Activision started flinging the s*** first right? Of course not. Furthermore, not only did i not put words in your mouth, i haven't labelled you any more than you have anybody else. You're quite touchy for someone who likes to condescend the way you do.

justinka777
justinka777

so i guess in conclusion im saying activision can suck it

justinka777
justinka777

i think they are right on the money if they are comparing their games to sports. much like the NFL have the superbowl every year the so too do they release a CoD every dam year, and just like every superbowl, the previous years are completely forgettable and only brought up to compare to most recent. in further relation to his statement i find that an excellent movie will continue to draw my attention over and over again for years later much like a really well made game will do.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

If Games Are Relationships, then Activision is in an Abusive one with a lot of Gamers, and they should file for Divorce.

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

@nemesis1990 Particularly one of those that insist on wasting your hard earned money on the same useless stuff they already have

nemesis1990
nemesis1990

Activision is like an obessed ex-girlfriend who stalks you everywhere. No matter how many times you try to tell her that it's over she keeps trying to come back into your life.

Banefire76
Banefire76

@Gelugon_baat @max_1111 http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/02/what-do-you-make/ Check out the link above. That article points out just "some" of the reasons why publishers are almost universally hated by gamers. They are the gaming worlds politicians, backstabbing, power hungry manipulators who survive by parasitically feeding off talented developers, then casting them aside. Gamers do not love certain games because of the publisher, they love it because of the work, talent and vision of the developers. Yet publishers chew up and spit out the artists who make them bundles of cash and repeat the process over and over again. Its not something to reward or look up to, its something to revile and gamers are beginning to realise thier tactics, hence the hate. The fact that articles like this are coming out in force and that Activision has employed someone like Hirshberg is because they know that thier future is on shaky ground now that gamers are waking up to how they operate....and so they should because they are NOTHING without talented developers who actually "Make Something" when all Activision make is profits. I get your point Gelugon but i think your heart is in the wrong place.

wyan_
wyan_

No mister CEO. Some games become religions. Some people only play Call of Doodie. I used to get religious about racing games. Gran Turismo used to be my racing god and there was no other. Now I don't play racing games at all. I guess I... don't believe in God anymore.

rasjr1305
rasjr1305

Dear Activision, the game that sells more does not mean that it is the best.

max_1111
max_1111

@Gelugon_baat [quote]Normally, I wouldn't have problems with hate-trains and bandwagons - but when certain quarters, such as Electronic Arts, are exploiting them to sell their own stuff, I see these fads as hurting the customer base.[/quote] True enough, but to lump everyone in with such a thing because it's "commercially viable" is pretty near-sighted and hipster-esque ("I hated Activision before it was cool!") of you, especially considering most people with half a brain know that the likes of EA / Ubisoft, for example are equally as terrible. [quote]As if I said that they are now tremendously better.[/quote] I didn't imply that you were saying they were tremendously better, but you certainly seemed to come off as if you think they've turned a new leaf. Frankly i don't care what position Hirshberg is in, Activision has yet to actually show that they're doing something about their horrible rapport with educated consumers and cramming a ball gag down Kotick's throat (while i will admit i relish in the idea of) isn't really that big of a step...

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

Gaming has long been a hobby. RPG's have long been my hobby. Final Fantasy has long been my hobby. Dragon Quest... etc etc... You can do the same thing here... shooters have long been a hobby, first person shooters have long been a hobby... etc etc... They may have a right to have a big head with the sales they put out, but it seems he's not really thinking about it being the First Person Shooter genre that people are attached to, and CoD just being the most popular one at the moment.

Nic345
Nic345

" how you watch a movie, which you do for two hours and then you move on." I've been saying that for years to my folks, especially when I was younger and trying to afford/get a game. Games are a hobby now and have been for over 25 years now. They're mainstream and very much legitimate just like reading, sports etc. In all honesty Activision isn't to far off by saying its like a relationship. In the sense that people connect and follow titles, series and even publishers just like people follow authors, sports teams etc. That kinda of relationship yes not the soul mate one...however you can marry a objects in Canada so who knows? Maybe I'll finally put a ring on that Chrono Trigger..

Empiro
Empiro

If games are relationships, then Activision is like the abusive boyfriend or husband. They mistreat and insult their fans, but millions of people keep crawling back and giving them more money.

eccentricwizard
eccentricwizard

that's just how pervasive video games are in Japan... which is why I'm so grateful I'm fluent enough to play them (i.e. original titles) in all their purity

soulless4now
soulless4now

lol I'm sure some Japanese men would agree with games being relationships since some of them take their dating sim games to the movies with them. :P

eccentricwizard
eccentricwizard

if games are relationships, then I suppose mine is like an actual girlfriend, in that I pay little to nothing for my games (e.g. download, buy used or wait for price-drop), as opposed to bleeding out hand over fist for new-releases; of course most of the games I play can only be accessed in ROM-form, being Japan-only titles. Yet still I feel the pain of the modern gamer, in the face of such high price tags and potential for success/failure EDIT: I agree with beutlich, I consider games to be more of an interactive novel or movie than a relationship... and on an unrelated topic, I think it's silly that problem gaming/electronic addiction still isn't formally recognized

Evo90
Evo90

Hahahaha it's ironic because Activision = worst GF EVARRR!!!!

max_1111
max_1111

@Gelugon_baat Why do you talk as if people don't have a reason to dislike them? God forbid lots of people share the same opinion. I mean clearly there's nothing wrong with Activision (or EA, or Ubisoft)... OBVIOUSLY it's just the cool thing to do, right? EDIT: And just because there's a new face that Activision is trying to put on its corporate agenda doesn't suddenly make them a better company.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I think gaming is a hobby and, to some, it has also become a sport. However, I don't think it's fair to compare one game to a sport or a hobby. That's like comparing one game to movies in general instead of just one movie. I want to see diversity in gaming, not one game or game-franchise getting so bloated that the fillers take on a life of their own.