Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Activision Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick Speaks!

Former New Yorker and now Los Angeleno Bobby Kotick is a very funny guy, always cracking wise about everything from politicians to art to his skills as a parent.

During an interview yesterday, he even got a few good ones off about the funny foibles of Activision, the gaming company he runs, even though it has suddenly become a much more serious business after a recent merger with Vivendi Universal’s gaming division.

Here’s a video chat with Kotick, who also serves on the board of Yahoo, which I made after we had lunch at–like I said, he’s funny–Google’s cafeteria (and, of course, he also gets a good one in about Electronic Arts’ competitive Rock Band game at the end):

Activision, which makes the popular Guitar Hero video game series (its Guitar Hero III is expected to be one of the best-selling this holiday season), has vaunted itself to be about equal in size to EA, the longtime dominant video game company.

Perhaps most importantly for Activision, the move puts the business squarely into the Web space. Vivendi’s Blizzard Entertainment unit makes the hugely popular World of Warcraft multiplayer game, where users compete on the Internet.

Kotick will be CEO of the merged company, even though Vivendi will get a 52% stake. It will be called Activision Blizzard with combined revenues of $3.7 billion.

But even together, the pair face the challenge of churning out more hits and keeping their franchises fresh.


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