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Activision CEO On Turning The Modern Warfare 3 Leak Into An Opportunity

In one of the biggest leaks of the year and possibly of all time, Kotaku dropped some serious knowledge on the Internet back in May of 2011. This wasn’t just a minor spoiler like “get ready to go to Russia!” Instead, this was the whole Modern Warfare 3 sausage.

What gamers all over the world got that day well ahead of the November 8th release date was information on the game’s story, multiplayer modes, art assets, and more. As you can probably imagine, Activision, publisher and owner of the game’s developer Infinity Ward, was not happy about this.

However, they managed to turn it around and made it an opportunity that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. During Creativity and Ad Age’s Creativity and Technology event at CES this year, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg (Bobby Kotick is CEO of Activision Blizzard) spoke out about how they managed to put a positive spin on an otherwise disastrous event.

His main point was that the fans did nothing wrong and that the company was presented with a choice: they could either harp on the leak and have everyone in the frame of mind that Activision is just another company that can’t keep its assets under control or they could keep rolling with the fact that everyone was buzzing about their game six months ahead of schedule and drum up additional interest. Hirshberg’s end goal was to be able to answer one question: if this leak hadn’t happened, then what couldn’t they have accomplished? It’s a simple but powerful question to turn that leak around.

Source: Ad Age

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  • Jon Aguglia

    I completely agree with this, and I think that it only hurts companies to stay in the dark so long about what they are creating.  

    Reasons why they should inform consumers about upcoming games in more detail are vast, including possible feedback that they wouldn’t get otherwise.  This could help major flops that we see often enough in the gaming industry.  Companies that don’t inform consumers about games don’t get the best sales and sometimes it makes it impossible to sell the game when they didn’t have that vital feedback in the process.  Another is that the whole “mystery” aspect of games is really a buzzkill, if I am going to drop a good portion of a $100 bill I want to know what exactly I am spending it on, which is why I usually wait a week or two after releases to purchase games.  The benefits of knowing details of the games majorly outweigh the momentary feeling of suspense I have during the development phases.

    I think that if these companies involved consumers more in their projects that the industry could only gain more business, and we would all have better games to play! 

    • There’s a good read on Kotaku about Valve taking that development silence to the extreme.

      http://kotaku.com/5876994/hey-valve-whats-going-on-eh

      • Jon Aguglia

        That was a fantastic article, bringing out some of the major flaws in development, great discussion on that piece as well.

      • Jon Aguglia

        That was a fantastic article, bringing out some of the major flaws in development, great discussion on that piece as well.

        • Agreed! Oddly enough, even though the article originated from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I found the comments on Kotaku more interesting, especially the indirectly related ones, like the thread on Valve nostalgia.

        • Agreed! Oddly enough, even though the article originated from Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I found the comments on Kotaku more interesting, especially the indirectly related ones, like the thread on Valve nostalgia.

      • Jon Aguglia

        That was a fantastic article, bringing out some of the major flaws in development, great discussion on that piece as well.

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