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Activision CEO talks console-less Guitar Hero, turning fear into profit


When he's not predicting the downfall of all forms of entertainment at the hands of video games, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is talking about how his company's bottom line is more important than folks having fun making the games we play. That's just one of the things GameSpot reports he touched on at today's Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

The talk included hints at a future Guitar Hero that doesn't require a console (thus, as he explained, giving the company "some leverage with first parties when it comes to downloadable content and the business model) and a promise that the industry can "expect many of [Activision's] products to be playable independent of a console." Kotick didn't explain his comments further, leaving us to wonder if he means something along the lines of the specialized plug-and-play "TV Games" found in the toy department at Target.

Before delving into the strange and disturbing, Kotick remarked on the likelihood of next-generation consoles coming anytime soon, saying that Activision hasn't received any indication of new hardware from the big three console makers -- something it usually sees roughly two years before a new console launch.

Now for the promised strange and, yes, disturbing comments on Kotick's part. What may have been music to bean counters' ears still has ours ringing, as he described tailoring developer bonuses to "really [reward] profit and nothing else" and how an air of "skepticism, pessimism, and fear" is promoted within the company with the goal of "keeping people focused on the deep depression." You know, so they focus on profit and nothing else. It's all to plan, though, seeing as Kotick confided that, "The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games."

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