The union, Game Workers Unite, is calling for Bobby Kotick’s firing.
Activision Blizzard laid off 800 employees despite the company recording the highest revenues in its history. A game developer union, Game Workers Unite, has called for the ouster of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
Upending 800 workers’ lives while raking in millions in bonuses for you and your c-suite buddies isn’t leadership, it’s theft.
We, the workers of Activision and their friends, have had enough. Join us in saying that it’s time to #FireBobbyKotick. ✊🏿✊🏽✊🏾
— Game Workers Unite ✊🏿✊🏽✊🏾 GDC (@GameWorkers) February 13, 2019
Kotick is unlikely to be ousted from Activision Blizzard.
Kotick is a polarizing figure in the gaming industry. He has been at the helm of Activision Blizzard for over 20 years and is one of the longest-serving CEOs in the gaming industry. Activision Blizzard is in charge of multiple IPs across various gaming platforms. These include IPs such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, Overwatch, and more. Until a few months ago, Activision Blizzard was a safe bet for those looking to invest in gaming stocks. From an investor perspective, Kotick was, for a very long time, a go-to guy in the gaming industry.
However, Kotick is extremely unpopular with the very people who play his games. Some have claimed that Kotick doesn’t even play his own games, while others have said that Kotick puts profits over the quality of games and the feedback of gamers. Activision Blizzard gave its own Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Dennis Durkin, a $15 million bonus. This led to even further criticism from gamers. Kotick himself makes nearly $30 million a year.
Can Activision Blizzard learn from their competitors over at Nintendo?
In contrast to Kotick’s “money-first” approach (which we have covered before at DVS Gaming), Nintendo executives have given themselves pay cuts in times of crisis. In 2011 and again in 2014, then-CEO Satoru Iwata (who served as president and CEO of Nintendo from 2002 until his death in 2015) and other executives took pay cuts to ensure no employees would be fired.
What do you think about the nature of these layoffs? Should Bobby Kotick be fired? Should game developers form a union to help negotiate for better pay and working conditions? Let us know in the comments below!