Activision Blizzard boss Kotick says perpetuating IP is best way to keep gamers engaged

Activision Blizzard boss Kotick says perpetuating IP is best way to keep gamers engaged

The CEO of games publishing giant Activision Blizzard says having franchises that you can keep on rolling for years is the way to keep your audience engaged.

Speaking at CNBC's Evolve conference - as reported by Gamasutra - the exec said that the trick is to ensure that you have existing IP that people know about and are engaged with while also introducing new franchises.

“Unleash your inner rock star, or unleash your inner soldier, or unleash your inner wizard," he said.

"So those are constructs that will last forever, and I think that they are very enduring ideals. And then we have to create new content that keeps people engaged,” says Kotick. “So we perpetuate our franchises, then we selectively introduce new ones. And then if there are categories of business that we don’t think we have the skills to be able to create a game around, we may do an acquisition. But those are rare.”

Kotick also said that the rise of mobile games has brought in a huge new audience. Activision Blizzard bought Candy Crush giant King in 2015 for $5.9bn.

“Up until very recently, five years ago, to play video games, you had to spend $300 for a PlayStation or an Xbox or $1,000 for a personal computer,” Kotick explains. “And when games became available on phones, the market exploded, and the audience size went from a few hundred million to billions of potential consumers.”

“So if you think about, though, where the growth is going to come from, it’s every region, every geography, getting those games onto mobile, making sure that the communities -- the social connections that are happening between players are extraordinary. And those social connections are deepening engagement.”

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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