In a new interview, Erich Hirshberg, Activision’s Publishing CEO, addresses a great deal of the online criticism that has been waged against his company. In response to accusations that Activision is a “heartless” big company with too much focus on Call of Duty, Hirshberg says he thinks that “all of the reputational perceptions out there…are incorrect.”
He also acknowledged that the company is often criticized for being “risk-averse” — putting too much of their weight behind sure-thing franchises like Call of Duty, rather than supporting indies and new IP’s. Hirshberg fired back by citing Skylanders as a new IP that “didn’t exist 18 months ago,” and that it is an example of “not only a new IP, but a new genre of play that was totally unproven.” The CEO, who recently stated that Activision would continue to support Wii U despite declining sales, even credited his company with making some of the most well liked games out there.
Do you think Activision deserves the criticism leveled against them, or are they making all the right moves? Here are some full comments made by Hirshberg in the interview:
“I think that we’ve been a little bit more experimental where it comes to mobile games thus far, but I also think that we are who we are as a company — and we’re a very focused company. Look, this is a company of passionate people who make games and love making games. I’m certainly aware of all of the reputational perceptions out there, but I think they’re incorrect and this is a company that has consistently made some of the most well liked and most played gaming experiences. And that hasn’t happened by accident.”
“Our strategy is to do a few things and do them exceptionally well. I think that sometimes people misperceive that as somehow being risk-averse, and yet we’re taking some of the biggest risks in new genres and new business models and new IPs than anybody….Skylanders is a brand that didn’t exist eighteen months ago — people forget that already because it’s been so successful. It was not only a new IP, but a new genre of play that was totally unproven.”