Kotick predicts 'more developer and intellectual property consolidation'

Kotick predicts 'more developer and intellectual property consolidation'
Michael French

By Michael French

February 27th 2008 at 10:30PM

Activision CEO also says fast-tracking multiple new IPs is 'recipe for failure' and toasts 'decentralised' studio system

Bobby Kotick, the head of Activision, said that the games industry should expect less company consolidation - like his firm's approaching team-up with Vivendi to create Activision Blizzard - and more development and IP acquisitions.

"I think that what you’ll continue to see is less company consolidation and more developer and intellectual property consolidation," he commented, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium 2008 Conference, where he talked up the advantage of the Activision Vivendi merger, saying it built a firm with unparalleled international reach

He later added that Activision will be one of those doing the acquiring, as well: "Franchise licenses and development talent will consolidate to the places where you have the best prospect for realization. So over the next 10 years, if there are companies that have intellectual property rights or development talent, or there’s external development talent that we can use to complement franchises we own or control or enhance our portfolio — we do that."

Kotick also said he feels fast tracking too much new IP is 'a recipe for disaster' and that once his firm has merged with Vivendi to create Activision Blizzard the publisher will offer an unrivaled place to work for developers.

He said: "I think we’ve developed the capability to selectively introduce new intellectual property — not where we’re trying to do a half dozen or a dozen a year, which we think is a recipe for failure, but one or two very selectively in a year. Where you have focused development resources, focused marketing activities, you’ve taken the time to really make sure that there’s an audience need and a well-defined audience opportunity."

On the vast and varied development workforce boasted by Activision-Blizzard, and what that provides other developers, he said: "If you’re a developer and you want to be able to participate in bonus programs or incentive programs, you’re going to have a geographical footprint with us that’s going to allow for better participation. We have a model that we’ve developed over a very long period of time that favors the independent, decentralized development studio. We have compensation-and-reward metrics that we’ve developed over many, many years that are very tailored towards that system.

"So, when I think about the business over the next 5 to 10 years, I think we’re better positioned than any of our competitors to capitalize on the growth that you’ll see in games over the next decade."