Activision Responds to Critics
Activision has secured a top spot in the video game industry. For them, the journey has been long and arduous, but it has certainly paid off given from the massive revenue they've has managed to earn. Unfortunately for Activision, they've received a lot of criticism with that success, most recently for their layoffs and canceled or delayed titles.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Activision's Head of Developer Relations Dan Winters discussed the company's state as a top publisher and defended against claims that Activision is "evil." "We're not this big, monolithic empire that's making decisions in a dark room, we're still very collaborative," said Winters. "We still have the same healthy respect and appreciation for talent that we ever did."
According to Winters, their standards haven't changed. Sure, Activision has gone on to become a massive publisher, but the developer relations rep argues that the key people within the company are still respectable. Winters stresses that no one had anything bad to say about Activision before they reached meteoric heights. "It's interesting, before our merger with Blizzard, becoming the number one publisher from a revenue perspective, we were always known as the warm and cuddly Activision; the scrappy, lovable number two," he said. "As soon as we become the number one and develop broader perspectives, perceptions started to change a little bit."
It makes sense that so many people would attack the top publisher. It's common practice not only in the gaming world, but also in many other industries. Booming companies are often ostracized due to their massive earnings. These corporations are forced to make difficult decisions on a daily basis, and many are fairly unpopular. Activision has managed to attract similar negative attention. Gamers and industry professionals have taken exception to Activision's tactics, especially after all the firings they've done in the past.
I've never played a Spider-Man game, and I've never touched Call of Duty for more than five minutes because of personal disinterest in the genre, which itself is getting pretty uneventful. I don't hate Activision, but a lot of their products just aren't for me. Not only that, but many of their franchises seem to be losing their luster. Though the partnership with Blizzard ensures that quality titles such as StarCraft builds a massive following, I'm not even remotely interested in the majority of their franchises.
After axing potential winners like True Crime: Hong Kong, it seems that Activision has trouble prioritizing. Lots of people love Call of Duty, but by holding out on other franchises (including Guitar Hero and DJ Hero), they're ignoring a large percentage of their audience. They might not be evil or "monolithic," but they don't keep different audiences at the top of their priorities list, either.