Schafer: Kotick not good for games industry

Acclaimed developer Tim Schafer has in an interview with Eurogamer criticised Activision boss Bobby Kotick for acting like a total prick”.

Schafer has previous with Activision after the two fell out over 2009 console release Brutal Legend. The game was developed by his studio Double Fine and eventually published by EA, though only after a lengthy legal dispute with Activision, which claimed to own the rights after its acquisition of Vivendi.

He makes a big deal about not liking games, and I just don’t think that attitude is good for games in general,” the developer admitted. I don’t think we’re an industry of widgets. I don’t think we can approach it like we approach bars of soap, where you’re just trying to make the cheapest bar of soap.

I don’t think he’s great for the industry, overall. You can’t just latch onto something when it’s popular and then squeeze the life out of it and then move on to the next one. You have to at some point create something, build something.

His obligation is to his shareholders. Well, he doesn’t have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick. It seems like it would be possible. It’s not something he’s interested in.”

Despite the strong words, however, Schafer won’t completely rule out the possibility of working with Activision in the future – though he admits the chances are increasingly slim.

It’s a small industry. You don’t want to burn any bridge because you never know. But once somebody sues you… Maybe that bridge is pretty burned,” he stated.

You can’t waste your time getting mad at a company, because a company doesn’t really exist. A company’s just an idea. It’s like, in the old days I used to be really loyal to companies. I used to be really loyal to Atari growing up because I had an Atari computer, and I was constantly confounded by the different choices they were making.

I was like, ‘Oh! Why is my loyalty not being rewarded?’ And then I realised, oh, that’s because I’m being loyal to a collective corporate structure, which is absolutely meaningless. So, hating Activision, loving Atari, it’s all the same thing. Those people over there I hate, don’t get me wrong.”

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