For his anecdotes of business regret, Kotick reiterated the story of missing out on buying Blizzard for $7 million, and it turns out he had another opportunity pre-World of Warcraft to buy it for $700 million -- the final price tag was considerably more. He also mentioned missing out on buying Maxis while Will Wright was working on "Jefferson," which eventually turned out to be mega-franchise The Sims. Another acquisition that could have gone quite differently was that when Activision was looking at purchasing Guitar Hero from RedOctane, he stated that he didn't look in Harmonix's direction, which he felt was "somewhat a failed developer of music games." Kotick alluded that had he taken the trip to Boston to meet Harmonix, the "world of Guitar Hero would have been rewritten."
The softer side of Kotick also took the opportunity today to clarify his oft-quoted "take all the fun out of making video games" statement. He explained that at the time he was trying to be humorous talking to investors and was just trying to express that the company was fiscally responsible and has a "commitment to excellence." However, even as Kotick brought the love, he stayed clear of mentioning the recent layoffs, capping his presentation with the announcement of the indie games competition.
[Image credit: Elisabeth Caren]