EA Kicks Activision While They’re Down

July 23, 2010Written by Max Murray

By now, Activision’s extremely poor public appearance is known from the hardest of the hardcore, to even the casual crowd. Initially, Activision’s image was tainted by their CEO Bobby Kotick and his plethora of unprecedentedly ludicrous public statements concerning Sony, his staff, and Activision supporters, but this was only the start of their headache.

Their image continued to rapidly wither in the eyes of the community this past year due to their harsh,“police-state” methods of running partner company Infinity Ward. This lead to two of their most talented lead designers being forcibly removed from their offices, and ultimately ended in a multi-million dollar lawsuit, and the self-explosion of Infinity Ward. But from the ashes, Zampella and West created a new studio, backed not only by an exclusive partnership with Electronic Arts, but also with more than 30 of their previous co-workers. Now, just as the dust settles, Activision’s history is brought back into mind by a statement from EA.

Growing proportionately with the gaming industry, Electronic Arts is one of the giants in video game publishing companies. They’re often compared with Activision in terms of quantity and variety of titles produced each year, but recently during an interview with IndustryGamers, EA’s COO John Schappert explained just what sets his company a part from the other mega-publisher, Activision.

“I would say we’re two very, very different companies. What we try to be is a company that embodies creative development, that fosters the development of games, that treats talent as well as you possibly can, because at the end of the day, that’s what our industry is and that’s what our company is.”

“Without great people we can’t have great games, and without great games we don’t have much of a company and so it’s all about taking care of the people that make the products and treating them as the most precious resource because they truly are. So that’s really our philosophy.”

Speaking directly about Activision and their former employees, Schappert went on to express his enthusiasm to have more creative minds on board.

“… stories of late [regarding Activision] haven’t been very positive. And we couldn’t be happier to have Jason [West] and Vince [Zampella] as part of our EA Partners program, or Ted Price of Insomniac.”

How do you feel about the two giants? Do you think they’ve both done enough to rectify past mistakes?