Kotick ‘lost in a time machine’

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick "seems lost in a time machine perspective of a past business model that will never return".

That’s according to IndustryGamers publisher Mark Friedler, who in a scathing editorial says that the publisher’s unwillingness to brach into the casual and social gaming sector is a serious mistake.

Kotick said last year that he didn’t "view the App Store as a really big opportunity for dedicated games" and that "the place where you have the opportunities for growth is within the communities of franchises we control".

"[Kotick] seems lost in a time machine perspective of a past business model that will never return," Friedler wrote. "Really? [There’s] not an opportunity in social games? Facebook has over 600m users and has a private market capitalisation five times greater than Activision’s.

"Zynga’s market cap is now 150 per cent that of EA even though Zynga is still private. The Apple App store has sold over one billion apps. People like those experiences, business models."

The comments of course follow Activision’s decision to scrap the popular Guitar Hero franchise. Friedler claims that this too is evidence of Activision’s lack of social strategy.

"There is no doubt music games have declined dramatically," Friedler added. "However, Guiter Hero has sold over $3bn since launch and it’s a monster ENTERTAINMENT franchise. Does Activision not have the creativity, intelligence or business sense to find a way to monetize the millions of fans of the franchise in new ways?

"What options exist for the intellectual property beyond just selling discs and plastic guitars at retail? Where is Activision’s board and executive management team on this or did they all agree to destroy an iconic brand? Brand equity, growing businesses and responding to disruptive changes (these are the issues that have kept my consulting practice busy lately) are vital for any company to grow in a competitive market place.

"Think about what if Disney killed Mickey Mouse after the Mickey Mouse club TV show ended in 1959? The company and the entertainment world would be radically different today."

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