Boys Will Be Boys

So Double Fine’s Tim Schafer said Activision’s Bobby Kotick was a prick and then Bobby Kotick said Tim Schafer was rubbish and he’d never even met him anyway and then Tim Schafer said Bobby Kotick was stupid and mean, and before that Bobby Kotick said EA were rubbish and mean and then EA’s Jeff Brown said Bobby Kotick was rubbish and mean and now I don’t know what to think about anything and everyone seems mean and angry and I’m so confused about who’s a goodie and who’s a baddie and I wish people would just make nice games instead of calling each other names across the internet.

For God’s sakes! How does this help anything? And we wonder why the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously by the mainstream media.

(Pic source)


  1. a.nye.123 says:

    I’d wager that there’s an equal amount of juvenile name-calling in banks, solicitors, hospitals, etc. It’s just that their media doesn’t report it.

    If websites like Kotaku didn’t report it, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    • Flameberge says:

      I can vouch for “juvenile name-calling” between solicitor’s offices.

    • subedii says:

      More to the point, is the mainstream media really paying close enough attention to a namecalling spat between two industry guys that 99% of gamers won’t have even heard of?

      If the mainstream media doesn’t take gaming seriously, it ain’t because of this.

    • subedii says:

      Incidentally,this spat has also expanded to include EA in general now, with Kotick basically sayong nobody good wants to work there (“It’s like, if you have no other option, you might consider them. “):

      link to

      And on the flip side we now have EA responding in kind.

      link to

      “Kotick’s relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation,”

      Say what you want, but I’m actually finding this whole thing highly entertaining. I’m looking forward to the time when John Riccitiello and Bobby Kotick accidentally bump into each other in a narrow corridor at a convention.

    • subedii says:

      And apparently I ddin’t notice that was already in the article and have no means of editing, so disregard.

    • Nick says:

      That EA quote you mentioned (“Kotick’s relationship with studio talent is well-documented in litigation”) is wonderful, you can just picture him licking his finger and marking a 1 in the air whilst hissing between his teeth after saying it).

    • monkeybreadman says:

      “Juvenile name calling” at the BBC – check

    • Simon says:

      Juvenile name-calling at a major high street bank: Check.

    • Komus says:

      Juvenile name calling when I have placed you on hold – check

    • Urael says:

      Juvenile name-calling in the UK Telecoms industry – Check.

    • Homunculus says:

      Juvenile, but pithy, inter-departmental name-calling at a major higher education institute – check.

    • Acosta says:

      Juvenile name calling among politics: Check.

  2. Phil H says:

    “If you do a really god job – and a lot of our studios do – you get to pick what is, in my view, the most difficult thing to pick in the industry: to make original intellectual property.”
    Original IPs at Activision? Really, Kotick? Really?

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Well… theory…like 10 years ago :)

  3. Dances to Podcasts says:

    This is a horrible post. Now I have that Miami Sound Machine song in my head.

  4. Jimbo says:

    I think they should just fight. I bet Bobby would be up for it so long as it’s PPV.

  5. Vinraith says:

    Call me when any of these people are actually making a game I’m interested in and I might give a crap what they have to say about each other.

    No, wait, not even then.

    • the wiseass says:

      Amen brother!

    • ynamite says:


    • LintMan says:


      I care, because these people keep buying up game studios I care about, introducing idiotic DRM schemes, running franchises into the ground, making games I care about into console exclusives, and ever-seeking new ways to monetize games and extract more money from the cash cows, um I mean gamers.

    • Vinraith says:


      It seems to me that’s even greater reason to ignore their pathetic posturing, at least unless and until they decide to kill each other for the greater good of the industry.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Vinraith, sometimes apathy doesn’t get the desired effect.

    • Vinraith says:


      Err, how does caring about their inane infighting accomplish anything more than ignoring it?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Oh no Vinraith posted my exact thoughts.

      I wondered if this day would ever come. Someone hold me, I’m scared.

    • Theblazeuk says:


      I love how people ignore things on the internet by reading them then posting about how little they care.

    • crooon says:

      You get a gold star, and a high five. I’m that caring.

  6. Fumarole says:

    No crying eyes tag? For shame.

  7. Skusey says:

    I think they’re all silly and should stop insulting each other so publicly. Why can’t they just put “X is a jerk and his Mum is fat” in the credits or something like that? That would be far funnier.

  8. Sunjumper says:

    I must say that I find this cat-fight oddly hillarious.
    I could watch them calling each other names all day. (Provided they still continue making good games. On the other hand hasn’t the Schafer betrayed the PC?)

    • Quests says:

      So did Gilbert.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      “Provided they still continue making good games.”

      You’re talking about Activision. Continue would imply they have been doing so in the recent past (and no I don’t consider any of Blizzard’s games “Activision” releases even though I don’t play any of them myself).

  9. Duffin says:

    Then why give them even more media coverage over this crap?

  10. Pijama says:

    I don’t know if you guys are just being intentionally naïve or what, but yeah, such kind of behaviour doesn’t happen in politics, academia, sports etc because everyone of importance outside the games industry is professional and exemplar, right?

    That being said, Activision Douchebag Executive Officer’s vanity is such that he HAS to reply and add even more to his prick-factor. Any smart suit stays quiet and let his job do the talking and the PR for him.

    But noooo…

  11. ToxicDeepeyes says:

    There is no such thing as bad publicity,

  12. ChampionHyena says:


  13. Blain says:

    “And we wonder why the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously by the mainstream media.”

    What!? Public figures in the music and movie industries are constantly in and out of rehab / jail. Your theory needs work.

    • Berzee says:

      It’s just one of their favorite things to say around here when people act stupid, “Bwhaaar mainstream media! Look lively!”

    • Sigma Draconis says:

      If Alec was being serious with that, he’s grasping at straws more than anything. Childish bickering and shit-talking occur in music, movies, and sports industries with far more frequency. Matter of fact, the mainstream media has shown on many occasions that they welcome any form of pointless verbal conflict between personalities with open arms. And like subedii questioned above me, I doubt the majority of it would recognize these two names in the first place.

    • Robert says:

      I think gaming needs drive-by shootings or Christian Bale. But wait…. isn’t gaming supposed to be a violence-inducing narcotic? Why don’t be have those then…? :puzzled:

  14. James says:

    I totally like that this was written, I agree with the sentiment but it’s odd to think that in some ways this actually contributes to the problem. Paradox!

    • Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:


    • Mad Doc MacRae says:

      It’s supposed to be “invoked.”


    • Mattressi says:

      He’s actually got a German accent (in written form >_>) and is trying to say he’s been “Ewok-ed”.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Definition of EVOKE
      : to call forth or up : conjure

      Not that im implying anything.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Oh, wait. *ping* /sound of broken brain spring

  15. Gap Gen says:

    Yo momma so fat she has to be split over 2 DVDs/Yo momma so stupid she lost a battle in Total War/Yo momma so ugly she make the life and times of Nico Bellic look cheery and uplifting/etc

  16. EthZee says:

    I thought a post of this tone would have been made by John Walker. Alec, we expect manlier things from you.

    Go and wrestle some bears and eat some steaks until you can’t remember what feelings are.

  17. Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox says:

    They’re both rubbish pricks.

    Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox

  18. niffk says:

    i will start publicly backing up tim schafer if he releases brutal legend for PC

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Word has it it’s not that good anyhow. So I’m not sure we’re missing out. Well, unless you’re a fan of Jack Black..

    • subedii says:

      It was more that a lot of people were expecting it to be an action game when it actually turned into a Battlezone style RTS.

      I’ve heard as an RTS it’s actually pretty good, but then like you, I’m getting this from other people.

    • adonf says:

      yeah, brütal legend was an odd mix or RTS, action and open environments. i bought it for the humour and, err, stayed for the humour. there are a few great moments, but the RTS bits were tedious. jack black was tolerable. seriously, it’s probably one of his better roles.

  19. Bascule42 says:

    Bitch fiiiiggghhhht!

  20. Gritz says:

    Staring Eyes?

  21. bob_d says:

    Let’s sort this out, shall we? Bobby Kotick is a prick. Tim Schafer isn’t rubbish. Kotick and Schafer have never met, and top developers don’t want to work for EA, because EA are mean. (But setting up your own studio owned by EA is another matter entirely.)

    There. Sorted.

  22. skalpadda says:

    The comeback from EA was rather good though. Not as good as Tim Schafer quoting Beyonce, but still.

  23. Flaringo says:

    I think they should be more like the movie industry. Man up and settle this with a boxing match!

  24. Pancho says:

    What about bear steaks?

  25. Radiant says:

    I love Bobby Kotick he is proper DGAF

  26. Anthony Damiani says:

    “For God’s sakes! How does this help anything? And we wonder why the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously by the mainstream media.”

    Don’t be silly. The mainstream media loves pointless personality feuds. If we had more of them, they’d pay more attention.

    • Gap Gen says:

      We could make it more like WWE.
      “Schaferon! You’ve missed your last deadline!”
      “B-Kot! Sue my new publishers… IN HELL”
      *cue sweaty grappling*

  27. ynamite says:

    Although I agree with a lot of you I’m gonna take Tims side when it comes down to a good ol’ bare knuckles fight. For one, he’s responsible for a couple of awesome games, Kotick (co-dick or co-prick?) on the other hand hasn’t got much to show for himself, unless I’m missing something (and I might), and I just don’t have much sympathy for him and the company he owns.

  28. Nick says:

    Bobby Kotick is a c you next tuesday. Simple as.

    • Lambchops says:

      But he does a fantastic job in his role of Creating Understanding of New Technology.

  29. Kieron Gillen says:

    (I disagree with Alec. I think developers should be in constant knife-fights. Anything short of east-coast/west-coast rap battles is frankly not trying hard enough.)


  30. pupsikaso says:

    Hahahha, best laugh of the evening. Thanks for compiling those links, Alec!

  31. dragon_hunter21 says:

    Bobby Kotick appears, if the evidence is accurate, to prefer franchises that can be used to release a game every year in order to maximize profits, potentially causing new and innovative ideas from reaching the market. ()

    Fair enough?

    (and yes, I realize the hypocrisy of posting a link to an article calling Kotick out, but golly is it hard to find his words exactly.)

    • dragon_hunter21 says:

      Also wow that link turned out badly.

      And the CAPTCHA is staring at me.

  32. Sigvatr says:

    I would care about things like this if someone respectable in the industry was saying them, like John Carmack or something.

    In fact if John Carmack says you are a prick then you probably are because everything he has said came true.

  33. starclaws says:

    Except EA really is rubbish…

  34. Vodkarn says:

    I still cannot believe that Kotick – KOTICK – claims that EA sucks the life out of studios. Jesus Christ man, don’t give your enemy ammunition or anything…

  35. Rii says:

    I’ll take human beings acting and speaking like human beings over the bland, crafted output of corporate PR departments any day of the week, thanks.

  36. Tetragrammaton says:

    Dont be down Alec, this is frankly pedestrian compared to the drama of every other entertainment industry. Also its a little ironic that this has been pretty much the doing of journalistic shit stirring. But hey, as you say: boys will be boys.

  37. LintMan says:

    I care, because these people keep buying up game studios I care about, introducing idiotic DRM schemes, running franchises into the ground, making games I care about into console exclusives, and ever-seeking new ways to monetize games and extract more money from the cash cows, um I mean gamers.

  38. Feanor says:

    “And we wonder why the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously by the mainstream media.”

    That has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  39. DMoe says:

    Schafer is making a royal ass of himself. He apologized for his comment, then got all butt-hurt when Kotick called him a bad developer (which was true, Brutal Legend was a poor game) so he rescinds that apology to go all “he took our jerbs.”

    The EA/Activision stuff is gold though: An endless cycle of a pot arguing with a kettle.

  40. disperse says:

    John Walker’s childhood photo?

  41. Swef says:

    Fuck Eurogamer. They’re the only pricks that keep reporting on this trivial shit you’d expect to see in a celebrity gossip magazine. Literally half the items on their front page consist of nonsensical unimportant fishwife talk at any time.

    Also, the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously because every year budgets get bigger and products get worse. 2 man development teams are making a comeback as soon as this graphics craze pumping billions into the hardware market ends, and believe me it’s coming like a freight train.

    • Rich says:

      “soon as this graphics craze pumping billions into the hardware market ends”
      Since we’ve been sitting on essentially the same tech. for the last five years, that would be now.
      I’m not saying there isn’t a lot of money in hardware, but it’s been established that until the next generation of consoles, PC hardware is going nowhere fast. DX10 and 11 don’t count, as they make bugger all difference.

  42. bhlaab says:

    Who cares what the mainstream media thinks, and who are you to play the tutting mother anyway?

    If the book industry can maintain its dignity despite Harlan Ellison, I think we’ll all survive this.

  43. fela says:

    Yeah, seriously, why should we care what the ‘mainstream media’ thinks? The same media that spews idiotic, pointless programming and propaganda daily? You wanna be taken seriously by these corporate lapdogs?

    The more the gaming industry remains underground, the better. Hell, I don’ even want gaming to be associated with any soulless sounding term like ‘industry’. Let’s try and keep it as a community.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Jez: Stealing things just makes everything very cheap. Plus, you know how I feel about capitalism.

      Mark: Yes, confused.

  44. Torqual says:

    Set Schafer and Kottick in a plane crashing on a caribean island. There they can fight each other to die or they learn to survive together.

    Have a nice ship wreckage

    P.S. Who takes the mainstream media seriously?

    • Tei says:

      The mainstream take the mainstream press serius. Thats the joke.
      Sports are *very important* stuff. Also hollywood movies, and wen politics insult each another.
      The mainstream is the joke.

  45. TheApologist says:

    Does God have more than one sake?

  46. Choca says:

    “For God’s sakes! How does this help anything? And we wonder why the games industry doesn’t get taken seriously by the mainstream media.”

    Agreed 100%, way to sound like overgrown kids.

  47. int says:

    Their whinging can only be solved in…


    Two men enter, one man leaves!

  48. Tei says:

    Thats not a way to conduct bussines. Is unprofessional.

    I could, somehow, accept that a designer make these type of comments. A designer is somewhat like a artist, he has artist responsabilities over a product, and he is hired, in part, because of his subjectivity. But a CEO is a different thing. A CEO control the politic of the corporation, so his opinions can be seen as the opinions of the company. If the competence is awnful, thats good news for the CEO, and not something to make public fuss about.

    Also, I refuse to read what everybody say. I don’t read his comment, because I don’t see anything interesting in these comments.

  49. What? says:

    Yeah, i agree namecalling is stupid. but it’s completely acceptable in Rock Paper Shotgun to insult Stardock… Right?

  50. sana says:

    Is that title a reference to About A Boy or is it just standard British speech?

    • Jeffthewonderbadger says:

      Standard British speech. Generally used by browbeaten parents to excuse whatever act of antisocial ghastliness their mewling progeny has just committed.