The Wall Street Journal sat down to interview Activision CEO Bobby Kotick
, and our little World of Warcraft
game got a nice bit of face time (one wonders why no one's asking Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime about, say, Guitar Hero
, but who are we to question the corporate structure?). Kotick says that Activision closely examined what everyone else was doing with MMOs and online gaming, and saw that the only real winner in the market was Blizzard. Rather than investing in their own franchise, then, they decided to just buy Blizzard from Vivendi (and as you know, that's what happened
). Kotick says what's so difficult about running these online games is just the scale -- you've got to handle credit card fraud, keep thousands of servers up and running (and patched), and still provide a good experience for millions of players at a time.
Kotick also talks about the way that WoW is sold in Asia
(there, instead of paying a monthly fee, many people in Internet cafes pay per hour in cash), and says that Blizzard's experience with setting up a viable pay model may come in handy with other Activision properties overseas, Guitar Hero
being his first choice.
We're still not exactly clear on how all of this relationship works -- while both Blizzard and Activision have said in the past that it's hands off, you have to think that even though things are buddy-buddy now while the money's flowing, but what happens when the two sides start to disagree?