How much Activision does it take to change a Blizzard?


You make a good argument for socialism. :)


That was indeed sarcasm. I really don’t think you’re a heartless bastard, but it’s harsh to see something like that after 800 people just got shown the door.

I am not actually anti-Capitalism, but I do question some of the long-term visions of these people in charge of these large companies because a lot of it seems short-term / temporary type decision making. 8% is not a small amount. Even healthy companies shed and hire, but hopefully in more transparent ways.

Usually the first ones we here from are going to be the angry and bitter ones, the people surprised even if they aren’t really surprised, Later there will be more an eventually we get those 20 page story bits on it.

No one wants to be laid off. I’ve been through it a few times, one was a organization decision, the other head on fire after months of seeing red on the books, no literally, our department did the profit reports and there just… wasn’t any… When these gaming companies do it though it just seems ick, like more than usual. Activision isn’t even the only company that did it recently. I swear there were a few more in the news.


Unfortunately, I can personally confirm that the packages were very reasonable. The outreach from the industry has been fantastic as well.


I agree, obviously developers who do the actual work are essential. Funnily enough though in Kotick’s case, from what I ever read about him he doesn’t seem to have the best reputation, generally for success of Activison’s games I saw other people credited (Zampella, West, guys from Blizzard like Morhaime or Kaplan).

My parents lived in it, in the nonscandinavian (which is actually capitalism with social net) version and so that is the last argument I would want to make, dammit :)

Good post. I don’t think capitalism is perfect, particularly with the publicly owned companies there can be perverse incentives and since it all depends on people in the end, and people can be assholes, results can be ugly. But I will always take capitalism (in as much as I can call it that when 62% of my monthly salary goes to government) that we have know, when we can freely start companies and prices are determined by supply and demand of people instead of ignorant central authorities, over the alternative.

The nice thing about capitalism is that if someone wants to work in a company where “workers own the means of production”, they are perfectly free to do that and there are such companies (in gaming, Motion Twin for example, outside gaming there is WinCo or Mondragon). No need for another system wide revolution that will lead to widespread violence and misery.


Of course, I was just joking, mostly. I lived too long in the shadow of the Wall in Germany (and had brief encounters on the opposite side of it) during the bad old days to have any illusions about Soviet-style socialism. I do have a strong affinity for “capitalism with a human face,” to twist a phrase; when private capital and public interest actually cooperate for the common good, you can really do a lot for all sides.

My only real point I suppose is that, while your description of our system is spot-on in terms of who has the power to hire and fire, and how the ethical framework of capitalism is very clear about how those lines of power work, I’ve never been totally reconciled to the idea that that is how it should work. In a society where employment is the key to health care and the ability to have even the most basic requirements for life, the power to terminate employment at will is perhaps a bit too much to trust to often arbitrary and self-interested parties.

Absolutely. Two things though. Supply and demand is an abstract concept. In actuality, without active regulation and monitoring, the market ends up being influenced by a host of forces old Adam Smith would have balked at, leading to something far from open or free. And, of course, being able to freely start a company depends a lot on a level playing field, something business is not well suited to provide but government can be (not all governments have to be ignorant, though goodness knows most attempts at central planning itself have been and probably always will be disastrous).


In the US, it’s normal to confuse communism with socialism? I mean, here in Europe, socialism is capitalism with a social safety net. Socialism isn’t anti-capitalism, communism is. I always find it a little worrisome that Americans seem to conflate the two, as if it’s either free-market, every-man-for-himself capitalism or bust.


Sometime it’s that. Sometimes it’s “democratic socialism”. Sometimes it’s anarcho-syndicalism. Sometimes it’s communism. It can be any of those and still call itself “socialism”. You’re as wrong as the people you are criticising.



Cheers. I was merely making the point that socialism isn’t the same as communism. I then pointed out that here, in Europe, socialism is capitalism with a social safety net. Communism is a more narrow political ideology than socialism is. I don’t think you actually disagree with me.

@forgeforsaken That’s perfect.


Sorry you were affected by the layoffs but happy that outreach has been strong.


I would like to think only the dogmatic and moronic get confused but that is untrue. Americans are quite ignorant of most other political and economic systems and tend to lump them all together. If it is not free-market it is evil communism regardless of the other possibilities that exist in the spectrum.


Well yes, but that’s a solid ~40% of the population, so it’s pretty normal.


Like “liberal” it’s a kneejerk reaction triggering slur for that forty percent who will have no desire to understand it


Sorry man that really sucks.


Also similar: South Vietnamese who escaped Communist Vietnam to the US/Canada elsewhere will forever hate communism, which also bleeds over into “socialism” which they also have a blind spot for even though they benefit from “democratic socialism” in western democracies.


@John_Doyle I’m very sorry you have to go through this, especially if you have to relocate. I hope things turn out strong for you and wish I could do something personally to help.


I’m sorry to hear that. I wish you well.


I am not american. I am from a country that until march 1990 was called “Czechoslovak Socialist Republic”. To me, capitalism with social net is capitalism. Socialism is what was attempted in my country as a way to get to communism that resulted in lot of the bullshit that always results whenever it is attempted.


This is a fantastic point. One of my old bosses was born in South Vietnam and she is of the same opinion, that socialism is close to communism and thus bad. Her living in the US has nothing to do with that as most of her opinion of the situation is through her experience in Vietnam.


Fire Bobby Kotick!

(Although he’s the symptom and not the cause of the disease.)