Poking and Prodding – A History of Video Game Exploitation

In late 2008, Bobby Kotick – the CEO of Activision Blizzard – was quoted as saying the following after his company decided not to make sequel follow ups on certain intellectual properties they acquired: “With respect to the franchises that don’t have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of over time becoming $100 million plus franchises, that’s a strategy that has worked very well for us.” This caused an uproar in the gaming community – using the word “exploit” in your strategy for games was not something you want consumers to get wind of. But Kotick’s vision of “exploiting” yearly franchises was something that would be pretty regular in the years to come – not just for Activision but for other companies. Running games into the ground while they’re popular and milking every last cent out of the consumer before throwing the IP onto the trash heap and moving on was profitable for the big names.

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