Robert "Bobby" Kotick, Activision CEO and widely reviled video game exec, had unkind things to say about one of his company's biggest rivals, Electronic Arts, blasting his competitor's "culture," its games, and claiming "great people don't really want to work there."
The outspoken Kotick knocked EA in a newly published interview with Edge magazine, claiming that the publisher of Madden and Medal of Honor—which will go up against Activision's Call of Duty this fall—swallows up studios without respect to their independent culture.
"The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don't really want to work there," Kotick said. "It's like, if you have no other option, you might consider them. They have some… the team that makes Madden is a really great team, it's been able to manage, capture and keep some good people. But we have no shortage of opportunity to recruit out of EA...
"It's lost its way. And until it has success, and hits, and gets that enthusiasm back for the company, it's going to have a struggle getting really talented people, which is going to translate into less-than-great games."
EA quickly fired back. The publisher's VP of communications, filling in for CEO John Riccitiello, extended his claws and hissed the following.
"Kotick's relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation," said Jeff Brown in a statement to Gamasutra. "His company is based on three game franchises – one is a fantastic persistent world he had nothing to do with; one is in steep decline; and the third is in the process of being destroyed by Kotick's own hubris."
We'll guess that the franchises Brown is referring to are, in order, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty. Strange that he didn't mention Blood Drive...
Anyway, which multi-billion dollar corporate entity do you like better?