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Announcing Koticku

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Today, I'm excited to announce that Activision Blizzard is making a strategic investment into a new and exciting space, video game enthusiast press blogging, with the acquisition of Kotaku, formerly a Gawker Media property, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Publishing.

Activision's purchase of Kotaku is just one part of our key effort to realign our core businesses, changes which you may have read about earlier this week with the appointments of Mike Griffith as my chief advisor, and Thomas Tippl, the company's new chief operating officer. The company has also formed dedicated business units for the Call of Duty, Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero properties, with our Blizzard Entertainment business remaining an independent entity. These efforts will bring together our various brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources.


Let me explain how Kotaku dovetails with our refocused corporate strategy.

First, we'll be rebranding the site with its new moniker Koticku, as I'll be personally involved in the day-to-day business of the site. We have a great opportunity with Koticku to engage more directly with the core consumer, which I hope will result in better one-on-one relations and fewer devil horns, forked tongues, demonic familiars and Hitler moustaches being Photoshopped onto my official headshot.


You know, I'm also not a huge fan of having my eyes filled with black or red like I'm some sort of hellspawn.

Second, I've appointed former Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Brian Crecente to oversee all Call of Duty related coverage. We're embedding Brian deep into the Call of Duty business and we already consider him our "fourth Call of Duty developer," every post he writes an extension to the franchise. We plan to release more than 3,000 Call of Duty-related posts this year, the next evolution in the annualization of our franchises, shipping new "product" daily—that's something no other publisher has ever attempted. He'll be aided by former Senior Contributing Editor Brian Ashcraft, who will be instrumental in the expansion of the Call of Duty brand into Asian markets, specifically all-girl Japanese high schools.

Former Deputy Editor Stephen Totilo is now focused on reporting on our Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and Tony Hawk businesses. Keep an eye out for Stephen's coverage of our new Guitar Hero cereal line, a lightly sweetened, vitamin enriched breakfast option with marshmallow guitar shapes that we'll be launching later this year as part of an effort to extend that franchise to mornings. Stephen's experience at Kotaku and MTV will be invaluable in speaking credibly to the tween and teen markets and his passion for massive dedicated controllers is contagious. He'll sit on anything.

For the rest of the Koticku staff, it will be business as usual. Expect top-tier coverage of the rest of the Activision Blizzard business, including our upcoming slate of titles True Crime, Blur, and Singularity. Koticku's writers have already been reconditioned to enthusiastically anticipate our exciting line-up of licensed games, like the recently announced Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Transformers: War For Cybertron. The Koticku staff's eagerness to do as instructed is impressive. These guys understand the value of being labeled insubordinate, a rare quality.


To our shareholders, we view this acquisition as an investment in our operational efficiency. With the Koticku and Activision staff working more closely together, Activision employees previously dedicated to fielding questions about quarterly studio closures and layoffs will be freed to focus on other matters. Reduction in force notices and termination package details will be handled through the comments.

Actually, that reminds me. Mike Fahey, you're fired.

As I said at this year's DICE Summit, I genuinely hope to not be as insulated from the kind of creative passion that Koticku's employees exhibit on a daily basis. Activision doesn't want to miss another opportunity to buy and dispose of the next Maxis, Harmonix or Blizzard Entertainment. I mean, we're kind of running out of acquisitions to dissolve and the Kotaku buy represents a great opportunity for us.


The entire Activision and Koticku family is excited about bringing together up-to-the-minute coverage of Activision Blizzard's presence in the industry with a corporate culture of thrift, while working tirelessly to take all the fun out of writing about video games. Working with the Koticku team, I feel that we can instill skepticism, pessimism and fear on a broad basis. I'm looking forward to interfacing with each and every one of you through Koticku.

I'm also really looking forward to the next Ban Monday.

Robert A. Kotick