Kotick: People like rehashing the same game over and over again! - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:37 PM
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Default Kotick: People like rehashing the same game over and over again!

Not sure if I agree with him, but I guess if it's good enough for EA, then it's good enough for Activision.


http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...te-within-them

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Kotick: "People are happy with existing franchises, if you innovate within them"

Making videogames is all about balance, Activision's Bobby Kotick has said, with successful sequels being all about combining the familiarity of a trusted brand with "innovative and inspiring" new features.

Talking to The Economist, Kotick denied claims Activision doesn't innovate saying, "a small segment of very vocal gamers say everything has to be new and different every year. Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them."

Another balance, believes the CEO, is in building a company that combines people who are creative and entrepreneurial and people who know processes. When he first took control of Activision in 1991 he said he quickly realised it was important to maintain a creative environment for designers.

"In our business the key is that certain things lend themselves well to process, and certain things don't," he pointed out.

On the subject of Activision's merger with Vivendi, and its main asset Blizzard, Kotick pointed to the biggest coup within the deal - World of Warcraft. The subscription-based game, he said, "is the most stable form of profitable revenue in the industry."

But Activision's own brands - such as Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero - are broadening gaming's audience, he believes.

"We are seeing new audiences emerge because of the physical nature of the experience."

The exec said he has learnt not to impose his own views on what makes a playable game on his company's products - he used to tweak them to fit his own tastes, he admits - and now leaves such decisions to product managers.

He says the trick in creating a successful formula is not only through feedback and focus groups, but also in knowing which bits of feedback to ignore. "Thatís the delicate balance," he added.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:44 PM
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I think his main point: "Actually, people are happy with existing franchises, provided you innovate within them." is perfectly valid, but I'm not sure it's happening much in Activision's yearly releases.
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Old 08-20-2009, 04:48 PM
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I pretty much agree with what he says. As long as the game is innovative, does it matter if it's a new IP or a continues a series? For some genres more than others, you don't even need to innovate as long as you execute well.

And as much as people complain about a new Madden every year, companies get attacked just as harshly for not making sequels to hit titles.

How many times have you heard people begging for a sequel to game X? Or to bring back game series Y?
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:30 PM
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Well, he's right. Sales bear out what he says. People are afraid of new things and love the comfort of old things, or old things redone. That's why CoD can be expected to sell 5+ million everytime, same with Halo, same with FF, same with any big franchise, whereas a new IP selling those kinds of numbers is exceedingly rare. That's why people would rather have FF7 remade for PS3 than get FF15 or whatever.

That doesn't mean we have to agree with them.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:38 PM
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I'm with Red on this. I also don't think there's anything inherently wrong with rehashing existing franchises in games. It's exactly the same thing with novels (Vampire Lestat to Twilight) and film (Twilight to Let The Right One In Let The Right One In to Twilight). Entertainment is a comfort and, familiarity can be a major component of comfort.

I only get worried if it gets to the point where we see no new innovation or IPs at all. And of course, revisiting an IP for the sake of an annual revenue spike--like the insane number of Guitar Hero releases in the last few years--is taking the concept too far the other way.

The two ideas of revisiting and innovating have happily co-existed and can continue to do so. For every Tony Hawk or Madden retread, we get a Bioshock or Ico, which in turn creates new franchises.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
I'm with Red on this. I also don't think there's anything inherently wrong with rehashing existing franchises in games. It's exactly the same thing with novels (Vampire Lestat to Twilight) and film (Twilight to Let The Right One In Let The Right One In to Twilight). Entertainment is a comfort and, familiarity can be a major component of comfort.

I only get worried if it gets to the point where we see no new innovation or IPs at all. And of course, revisiting an IP for the sake of an annual revenue spike--like the insane number of Guitar Hero releases in the last few years--is taking the concept too far the other way.

The two ideas of revisiting and innovating have happily co-existed and can continue to do so. For every Tony Hawk or Madden retread, we get a Bioshock or Ico, which in turn creates new franchises.
i don't know about twilight, but let the right one in is actually a great movie
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
I'm with Red on this. I also don't think there's anything inherently wrong with rehashing existing franchises in games. It's exactly the same thing with novels (Vampire Lestat to Twilight) and film (Twilight to Let The Right One In Let The Right One In to Twilight). Entertainment is a comfort and, familiarity can be a major component of comfort.

I only get worried if it gets to the point where we see no new innovation or IPs at all. And of course, revisiting an IP for the sake of an annual revenue spike--like the insane number of Guitar Hero releases in the last few years--is taking the concept too far the other way.

The two ideas of revisiting and innovating have happily co-existed and can continue to do so. For every Tony Hawk or Madden retread, we get a Bioshock or Ico, which in turn creates new franchises.
That's my concern, that they continue to crank out the same product without coming out with any Ico's or Bioschlocks.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:52 PM
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Godstar View Post
That's my concern, that they continue to crank out the same product without coming out with any Ico's or Bioschlocks.
I think it might be a valid concern with Activision considering how vocal they've been of late with their distaste for new IP. But it hasn't seemed to really affect other developers or publishers so dramatically. Mass Effect was new to this generation, as was Uncharted. We had a few tanks like Too Human and Lair as well. Brutal Legend is obviously new, and so is stuff like Heavy Rain. We've even got a new IP coming out of Ninja Theory, who is now being published by Namco Bandai, although this new title will be multi-platform.

And of course, there's the surprise victory of EA's Skate against Activision's Tony Hawk series. I don't think anyone saw that coming. A new IP from EA beating out a previously innovative and now stale IP from Activision.

More signs of the times changing, right there.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoeless View Post
It's exactly the same thing with novels (Vampire Lestat to Twilight)
Bad analogy. There are no vampires in Twilight, just emo Super-characters with dietary concerns.
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