Thanks for the franchise, now please step off the premises.

March 3, 2010

Activision, Activision, Activision… You really know how to piss over your success’ don’t you? First Guitar Hero and now Call of Duty, Tony Hawk imploded in upon itself in the hands of its own developers so that’s just a sideline casualty, I’m talking about Activision’s startling tendency to publish a brilliant franchise and then cut out the people who came up with the idea in the first place, leading to the franchise losing its way in the inevitable sequels.

Normally a mark of quality, now simply a mark of Activision.

This post obviously comes about after Activision’s hasty firing of Jason West and Vince Zampella, Mr and Mr Modern Warfare, allegedly because they were having issues with Activision’s handling of their franchise, it just amazes me personally that Activision’s simple response is to pull an Alan Sugar and say ‘you’re fired’.

These are the guys that made the franchise what it is, it’s their baby, I know Harmonix went on to make Rock Band but imagine how their stomach’s must have turned when Activion ran away with Guitar Hero and threw it at Neversoft, cracking their whips made of money so that they could get three games in the franchise minimum each year. And this is going to happen to Call of Duty now.

The franchise belongs to the development machine from hell; Kotick’s Activision.

Pure. Evil.

Even when EA were at their most tyranical, assimilating companies left and right, they didn’t flog Theme Hospital with themed expansions to fit with current epidemics (Theme Hospital: Swine Flu Fever!) or force out a thousand Command and Conquer games, and even then they didn’t fire the guys who made the franchises, Activision’s business etiquette simply seems below the belt.

I’d love to say I will boycott Activision from now on, but they hardly put out much I want to play anyway. What I would suggest is that any self righteous gamer treads carefully around their franchises in the future, as any slight chance of it being incredibly popular may mean it becomes the companies latest stinking horse corpse.

To put it simply Activision, it’s just not cricket.


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