He Didn’t Just Say That?

Slavemaster Kotick

Via Broken Toys, Gamespot is reporting on an interview with Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision-Blizzard where he makes the following two comments.

We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.

Gamespot added:

If that sounds like it would create a corporate culture that isn’t all sunshine and hugs, then it’s “mission accomplished” for Kotick. The executive said that he has tried to instill into the company culture “skepticism, pessimism, and fear” of the global economic downturn, adding, “We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression.

Well. I’m almost speechless…


This attitude isn’t just confined to the computer game industry or the US. I’ve encountered it before in a place where I’ve worked, and it isn’t nice. Not only does the climate of fear in a company like that make effective slaves of the employees — at least the ones who haven’t been demoralised enough to escape — it also reduces productivity a tremendous amount.

The thing that surprises me is that Kotick openly states that he set out to create a dark and dismal environment for his workers. Normally folks keep those sort of things to themselves.

It’s not a great way to be recognised as an employer of choice.

I wonder if Pharoah Kotick intends to entomb his employees with him when he passes to the afterlife.

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  1. Wolfshead

    This is the oldest trick in the corporate playbook — keep your employees in a constant state of fear and uncertainty. Never let them feel secure or safe.

    Shame on Kotick!

  2. Stropp (Post author)

    Yep. Agreed. It’s certainly not a new school of management thinking, and you are right. It is shameful. This is the 21st century, not the 15th.

  3. Pingback: Should Videogame Development Be Fun? | Stropp's World

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