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Op Ed

Dubious Quality - The Self-Evaluated Genius Of Bobby Kotick. Thanks nin.
No one seems to be noticing the incredibly obvious analogy here, which is oil. Successful oil companies, even as they pump oil from successful wells, are always conducting research into additional drilling locations, and they drill new wells, even though many of them will turn out to be dry or of almost no commercial use.

They do that because even their highest-producing wells have limited capacity.

Sure, maybe it's not limited right now, but eventually, the oil pumped from a well will start to decline. And there have to be new wells to replace that production.

That's not how Bobby Kotick does business.

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21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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21. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 23:49 Beamer
 
wrong topic  
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20. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 23:45 Beamer
 
Game developers and oil wells? Seriously? What a terrible analogy.

It's not a bad one to show why Kotick runs things poorly.

Perhaps a better one is fowl, in keeping with the Penguin theme from earlier this week. Some people keep chickens and keep them healthy, expecting long term benefits from them. Others, if they get a chicken, will work it to death then slaughter and eat it, assuming there's always a chance it will die soon, anyway, and you may as well get maximum value from it NOW. Both methods have times and places, and neither is necessarily wrong. However, the latter method is not a good way to run an entertainment company. By cashing in and getting maximum value right at this very moment you're probably getting less value overall. Then again, people are fickle and there's always the time value of money, so maybe doing 8 billion guitar hero games today will result in more money in your pocket than a slower release schedule and the hopes that consumers stay interested.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 22:00 Ruffiana
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 18:29:
Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you? That's basically been both how Activision and Microsoft have run their game development systems.

Yes, and how Apple made their cell OS.
Acquiring someone isn't a subsitute to R&D and I'm surprised you're alleging that. Acquiring people isn't a bad thing. It's a form of R&D. Why reinvent the wheel, so to speak? If you can acquire a good team cheaper than building one why build it?

It's how you use them that is bad.

And IBM and Microsoft, and pretty much any tech company with any shred of success.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 21:59 Ruffiana
 
In my fantasy we through Bobby Kotick and Jack Thompson into a room and lock the doors...see what happens.  
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17. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 21:53 raVen
 
Game developers and oil wells? Seriously? What a terrible analogy.

 
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16. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 21:12 space captain
 
killer_roach wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 19:09:
What I'm getting at is that people are complaining about Kotick not bringing any new ideas to the table... that's not his problem. All that matters to him is that he finds some guys who are doing work that he can make some money off of and buy out their operation. That's how they get their next revenue stream, and it's not unique to Kotick or Activision.

Ha! im referring to how stupid you are - way to be stupid, dumbass
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 20:14 Beamer
 
What I'm getting at is that people are complaining about Kotick not bringing any new ideas to the table... that's not his problem.

But it is his problem. You can buy all you want, but if you don't cultivate you're wasting time, talent and money.
Buying can't replace R&D - it isn't a subsitute. It's a compliment or a variation. You buy, you incorporate and you grow. Yes, you shut down what isn't working, but you give it some time. You also let it try to find its way.

Publishers aren't trying to innovate, they're just trying to watch the bottom line. Plenty of companies in the past have started worrying more about immediate numbers than any kind of picture. They almost all end up shut down. If you focus on the numbers today you make bad decisions, often on bad information.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 19:15 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 18:52:
Implying that companies can't have good R&D and foster innovation because they buy innovative companies is asinine.

Eh, sounded like he was just stating the facts. Microsoft and Activision are publishers who find good ideas elsewhere and buy them. Maybe he was implying that it wasn't R&D (I didn't think so), but I agree with you that it is just another form of it.

Valve does the same thing to some extent but it also invests heavily into R&D with its own developers and makes the teams it buys its own as well.

Microsoft and Activision are more apt to partner/buy the studio, fund it, and then either shut it down or reorganize it into Activison Developer #2.

Do Microsoft and Activision create/nurture new IP or do they buy it?


Eh, I guess the thing that he originally replied to is where the implication comes from. Maybe I should read the quotes along with the new comments.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 19:09 killer_roach
 
space captain wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 18:45:
killer_roach wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 17:47:
Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you?

hey genius thats how the majority of the business world actually works, its called "employment"

I'm referring to M&A, not hiring. Way to swing and miss, troll.

What I'm getting at is that people are complaining about Kotick not bringing any new ideas to the table... that's not his problem. All that matters to him is that he finds some guys who are doing work that he can make some money off of and buy out their operation. That's how they get their next revenue stream, and it's not unique to Kotick or Activision.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 18:52 Beamer
 
Implying that companies can't have good R&D and foster innovation because they buy innovative companies is asinine.  
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11. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 18:48 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 18:29:
Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you? That's basically been both how Activision and Microsoft have run their game development systems.

Yes, and how Apple made their cell OS.
Acquiring someone isn't a subsitute to R&D and I'm surprised you're alleging that. Acquiring people isn't a bad thing. It's a form of R&D. Why reinvent the wheel, so to speak? If you can acquire a good team cheaper than building one why build it?

It's how you use them that is bad.

You read into stuff and find the anti-corporate bits even when they're not there huh?
 
Avatar 17249
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 18:45 space captain
 
killer_roach wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 17:47:
Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you?

hey genius thats how the majority of the business world actually works, its called "employment"
 
Go forth, and kill!
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9. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 18:29 Beamer
 
Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you? That's basically been both how Activision and Microsoft have run their game development systems.

Yes, and how Apple made their cell OS.
Acquiring someone isn't a subsitute to R&D and I'm surprised you're alleging that. Acquiring people isn't a bad thing. It's a form of R&D. Why reinvent the wheel, so to speak? If you can acquire a good team cheaper than building one why build it?

It's how you use them that is bad.
 
-------------
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http://www.deathwishinc.com
http://www.hydrahead.com
http://www.painkillerrecords.com
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8. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 17:51 Doombringer
 
I hate to say it, but take a look at EA... at least they made a bid for PopCap, and got it. They realized "hey, we need some new blood... these guys are pretty hot." Evidently someone there said "we can't live on Madden forever."  
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7. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 17:47 killer_roach
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 26, 2011, 14:03:
Kotick's been running Activision forever, but yeah, it seems as if recently he's forgotten what R&D is in gaming. It isn't new technology, it's new studios and new game types. You need to take some risks to open new markets. If they don't pan out they don't pan out, but if you're smart some will.

Why develop yourself when you can acquire others to do the development for you? That's basically been both how Activision and Microsoft have run their game development systems.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 14:03 Beamer
 
Kotick's been running Activision forever, but yeah, it seems as if recently he's forgotten what R&D is in gaming. It isn't new technology, it's new studios and new game types. You need to take some risks to open new markets. If they don't pan out they don't pan out, but if you're smart some will.

Big publishers need an entirely new innovation method. They're spending too much time chasing trends and not enough time trying to create them. The trends they had created are drying up (mostly) and they don't have new ones waiting in the wings.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 13:59 Dev
 
Kotick says he drops games if they:
donít have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million dollar franchises.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 12:38 Parallax Abstraction
 
That's pretty much been my view of Kotick for years now. The short-sighted, greed ridden investors on Wall Street who only caer about the next quarter see him as a hero. But when Call of Duty and WoW run their course (and they will, make no mistake), he'll have nothing left because he fired everyone there who has the potential to make new IP for Activision. But by then, he'll have sold all his stock and cashed out, meanwhile the rest of the company and the people who actually made him all this money will suffer. The modern investment community mentality is killing innovation and long-term potential.  
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3. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 11:13 Cutter
 
Nodick and Ass-Pachter should start their own company. I'd love to see how fast it'd flop.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Jul 26, 2011, 10:51 ldonyo
 
He's a legend in his own mind.  
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