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Activision Publishing CEO Laments Company's Reputation

by Matt Bertz on Dec 15, 2010 at 06:25 PM

Over the past few years, certain events have transpired that sullied Activision's reputation and turned the publisher into the community's go-to punching bag. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is well aware of gamers' ire, comparing it to the backlash Sony received during the PlayStation 3 launch.

"I have Google, just like everybody else, and I’m of course aware of what the reputation is amongst core gamers, and there’s a narrative that I think has taken over reality to a certain extent," said Hirshberg, who joined Activision this past July after working in the advertising industry. "I think there’s definitely some disconnect between the perception and the reality. I would give you a couple of thoughts on that. If you go back in a time machine and read the general tenor in the blogosphere a couple of years ago about Sony PlayStation, it sounds a lot like what people are saying about Activision today. There’s a lot of disappointment in the PS3, and it was overpriced, and they’ve given up on the core gamer, and Sony Blu-ray…all those complaints were out there. It takes time sometimes to win peoples hearts and minds. I was a part of helping them turn around that image through the marketing of PlayStation, but also perception caught up with the reality. The reality is they put out a pretty great product and the versatility has become one of the key selling points, even with core gamers. My point is you’ve got to stay on the train, because the scenery changes."

Hirshberg reiterated that he doesn't feel the public reputation jives with his experience at the company. "I think that some of Activision’s reputational challenges are not based in the reality of the company that I’ve experienced here so far," he said. "I would love to be a part of closing the gap between perception and reality, and I also like working in an industry that has such an engaged fan base that keeps you honest and keeps you focused on the right things. There’s no success in this business without delivering for gamers."

If Activision is serious about repairing its reputation, curbing the flame worthy quotes and stopping the studio bloodletting would be a good place to start. Hirshberg was one of the figures behind Sony's super successful Kevin Butler campaign, so it's also possible that Activision may try to advertise its way out of the doghouse.

[Source: Industry Gamers]