Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

July 14, 2010 -

Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer didn’t pull any punches when talking about Activision CEO Bobby Kotick at this week’s Develop Conference in the UK.

To be fair, as Crave notes, Schafer’s Brutal Legend game was originally going to be published by Activision before it merged with Blizzard. The game was dropped and eventually published by Electronic arts, which could have contributed to some of the bad taste in Schafer’s mouth.

Among Schafer’s comments on Kotick:

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

I don’t think he’s great for the industry, overall. 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.

Hopefully he’ll go back to another industry scene. He could go to an industry that makes more money. Ball bearings… something that suits his passions more. Weapons manufacturing?

Ouch! More comments from Schafer can be found in the Crave Online article.


Pic from
StaticPixel


Comments

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Kotick is right about one thing, artistic types tend to be poor at Business. The problem is that most businessmen, being businessmen, see that as something that can be exploited and manipulated, it's like something small and squeaky to a cat, they see a chance to use people who enjoy what they do and turn it into an enterprise centred around money instead of the sheer pleasure of creativity. That quite often kills the creative heart of the venture, you only have to look at the number of sequels, both in Movies and in Computer games to see how dry the well of creativity is actually getting.

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

What we need are artist with business sense. People who love games and know how to run a company.

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Kotick is cut from the same cloth as the suits and MBAs (fuck MBAs) who ran Atari into the ground in the 80's. 

Ray Kassar and the MBAs of Atari were responsible for disasters like the deal that spawned the E.T. game (5 months to make the game), the terrible quality of 2600 Pac-Man, Video Rubiks Cube, and all the shovelware shit that doomed the industry. 

Mr. Kassar (who was not a gamer) had a reputation of being an uncaring prick who treated developers poorly and thought of games as package goods.  He did indeed take all the fun out of making games. 

How ironic is it that Activision, founded as a force for good in the games industry, is now run by a man who is just like the man who destroyed Atari?

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Not just Atari but the entire North American videogame industry.  Kassar is pretty much responsible for the crash of '83.

However, to be fair... It was his business acumen that made Atari the $100 million company that it was (in the 80s!).  But that's the problem isn't it?  These suits just care about making the most money right now and not the future of the business.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

They want a generous severance package so they can keep their mansion while cutting their employees adrift.

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Tim is echoing the statement I have made for a long time now. "Suits" have brought nothing but heartache and loss to gaming.

I miss the heady days when games took a long time to come out but they were unique and of high quality.

Gaming since the "suits" arrived is one large beta test where we consumers are the testers and the value of the games is half of what it used to be.

(There are exceptions, BIOWARE, and maybe a few more.)

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

 What you say about "suits" applies to just about EVERY creative medium. Really, when it comes down to it, i really do wish all of these companies were run by creators and not businessmen... or at the very least people who take part and indulge in the kind of media they produce.

Re: Schafer on Kotick: Maybe He Should Sell Ball Bearings

Rather than an article with a few choice quotes, why not go to the original source?

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/double-fines-tim-schafer-develop-interview

He also says that he doesn't know why Kotick is such a prick about games development too. :)

 
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IronPatriotBut hey, you're welcome.05/29/2015 - 5:23am
Andrew EisenEZK did say he didn't find any info on the appeals process. And if all he did was look at the ratings process part of the ESRB's website, he wouldn't have. That's where I would have looked too. But hey, thanks for being thorough and finding the info.05/29/2015 - 5:01am
Andrew EisenDude, again. I am NOT saying there is no appeals process. THERE OBVIOUSLY IS. All I am saying is that the appeals process is not described in the ratings process part of the ESRB's website.05/29/2015 - 4:59am
IronPatriotI googled appeal esrb.org and it is the first and third hits. Second is esrb talking about appeals for web publishers. Gamefaqs is fourth.05/29/2015 - 4:01am
IronPatriotZachary said he did not find any information about a formal appeals process. I did a simple search and found two places on the esrb site with the info. Just sayin.05/29/2015 - 3:57am
IronPatriotOn Google I get "1 Written Testimony of Patricia E. Vance President ... - ESRB" http://www.esrb.org/about/news/downloads/pvtestimony_6_14_06.pdf05/29/2015 - 3:55am
Andrew EisenNow, that post on GameFAQs was made four years ago. It appears the ESRB has since moved the appeals process stuff behind the publisher login on its website.05/29/2015 - 3:32am
Andrew EisenOh, third link on the Google search. Okay. That leads to a GameFAQs message board which quotes a section of the ESRB website that includes a description of the appeals process. But when you follow the link, that quote doesn't exist.05/29/2015 - 3:30am
Andrew EisenThird link down from what? Look, I'm not arguing the existance of an appeals process. There obviously is one. I was merely noting that it's odd that it isn't described on the website's ratings process section but it is on the mobile site.05/29/2015 - 3:25am
IronPatriotOK, so use the third link down, which describes the appeals process and is not on the mobile site"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board, which is made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals."05/29/2015 - 2:47am
Andrew EisenRight, which links to the ESRB's mobile site. On the website (again, unless I'm overlooking it) the appeals process is locked behind the publisher login.05/29/2015 - 2:37am
IronPatriotHuh? Google "appeals esrb". It is the first link. Click it. No login requested.05/29/2015 - 2:31am
Andrew EisenInteresting. It's on the mobile site but unless I'm overlooking it, I don't see it under the Ratings Process on the web site. It is under the publishers section but you can't access it without a login.05/29/2015 - 2:13am
IronPatriot"Publishers also have the ability to appeal an ESRB rating assignment to an Appeals Board made up of publishers, retailers and other professionals. " Esrb05/29/2015 - 2:01am
IronPatriotZachary, did you look on the esrb site? The esrb appeals process pops up when you search "esrb appeals" http://m.esrb.org/faq_09.php05/29/2015 - 2:00am
Andrew EisenThe humor reminds me a lot of Axe Cop.05/29/2015 - 1:37am
WymorenceOh sweet god, Kung Fury is freaking awesome...05/28/2015 - 10:03pm
E. Zachary KnightWonder, I know you can revise content and resubmit it, but I can't findany information about a formal appeals process.05/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Wonderkarpever wonder if there's an appeals process for AO?05/28/2015 - 6:55pm
Matthew WilsonDanny and Andy play the first couple of levels of the upcoming Hatred http://www.gamespot.com/videos/hatred-gamespot-plays/2300-6425016/ imho it does not look like it should be AO.05/28/2015 - 5:57pm
 

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