Bobby Kotick says EA has lost its way

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick believes Electronic Arts (EA) is going nowhere fast.

“We have no shortage of opportunity to recruit out of EA – that’s their biggest challenge: its stock options have no value. It’s lost its way,” the outspoken CEO told Edge.

“And until it has success, and hits, and gets that enthusiasm back for the company, it’s going to have a struggle getting really talented people, which is going to translate into less-than-great games.”

Kotck attributed EA’s troubles to the company’s allegedly “unattractive” working practices.

“The core principle of how we run the company is the exact opposite of EA. [They] will buy a developer and then it will become ‘EA Florida’, ‘EA Vancouver’, ‘EA New Jersey’, whatever. 

“We always looked and said, ‘You know what? What we like about a developer is that they have a culture, they have an independent vision and that’s what makes them so successful.’ We don’t have an Activision anything – it’s Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer.”

However, Kotick  emphasized that EA had been “in the business” for a long time and may choose to correct its strategy “eventually.”

“But it’s been struggling for a really long time. The most difficult challenge it faces today is: great people don’t really want to work there. It’s like, if you have no other option, you might consider them.

“[Yeah], they [do] have some [talent]. [For example], the team that makes Madden is a really great team – it’s been able to manage, capture and keep some good people.”