Since Bobby Kotick first laid the groundwork for Activision Blizzard in 1983 at the University of Michigan, it has evolved over the decades, taking on new studios and expanding to become one of the largest, most successful companies in the video game industry. “I always felt like I would be more in control of my destiny if I were the publisher and the developer,” Kotick has said about his motivations for merging Activision with Blizzard in 2008.
While many may only associate the video game holding company with the extremely popular Call of Duty franchise, where worldwide consumer spending exceeded $1 billion, it’s responsible for many cherished games.
Bobby Kotick’s Best-Loved Activision Games
Activision has lasted this long in the competitive gaming industry because they develop and publish great games that keep players coming back, eager for more. According to Bobby Kotick, “If I have learned anything over the years, you have to constantly be working to make sure that you have an environment in which people feel excited to be there and do their best work.”
Here is our selection of the five best-loved games from Bobby Kotick’s Activision:
- Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
“With the new ancient Japanese and samurai-focused story, world, and character, plus strict focus on a parry and posture system, the hype was at an all-time high for this game from a studio that was finally getting the recognition it always deserved,” says Jesse Lennox, a gaming insider.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
“The modern setting was a breath of fresh air, and at the time wasn’t nearly as saturated and allowed for far more interesting and varied gameplay when not limited to the weapons and technology of the 1940s. Multiplayer was an even bigger smash hit,” says Lennox.
- Guitar Hero 5
“This was the absolute highest level of mainstream success any rhythm games ever reached, and [they] haven’t matched it since then,” says Lennox. “What was revolutionary was the control method. Instead of just hitting buttons on your controller in time to the song, you now held a peripheral guitar-shaped controller with buttons for frets that mimicked the motions of playing a real guitar.”
- Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
Lennox says, “The title, a very clever double entendre, refers to a new time-based mechanic added to the core platforming. This game is as tough as nails, perhaps the hardest in the series, and so satisfying and rewarding. The new mechanics feel right at home for the classic series, and the presentation and direction could probably fool most people into thinking it was made by the original team.”
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
“The quality of these games has held up surprisingly well,” says Lennox. “Skateboarding itself wasn’t that popular of a sport at the time, but everyone who touched these games became addicted to the high-flying tricks, insane grinding, and completing level-based objectives that were all set to the perfect licensed soundtrack for the era. Even today, many people associate those early-2000s songs with Tony Hawk more than anything else.”
How Cellphones Have Changed Gaming
Arcades are a part of American pop culture history. Between 1978 to 1982, they were the hottest hangouts, with approximately 13,000 popping up to appease an entire generation armed with endless quarters to drop in video games. According to a 1982 issue of Time magazine, the most popular video game machines were making at least $400 a week in quarters.
By the next decade, things had drastically changed. From Atari to Sega and Nintendo 64, suddenly gamers realized they could get their fix from the comfort of home. And then, during the 2000s, computers and cellphones suddenly became basic necessities, and the gaming industry noticed. Today, cellphones are the most popular way to play video games. Mobile games account for 45% of all games downloaded. Mobile is one of Activision’s most successful platforms for the Call of Duty franchise and Warzone, the free-to-play battle royale game.