The AAA-Team

Activision’s Bobby Kotick is quoted as saying “[T]hat’s really our goal to have triple-A teams”

Really? That sure as heck doesn’t show much, lately. Actually, come to think of it, this is something that Activision’s traditionally been pretty poor at. Oh, it’s had some stars alright, but it hasn’t been able to hang on to them. Infinity Ward is a case-in-point.

Now, what with all the kerfuffle about possible wrongdoing among a couple of people at Infinity Ward, well… it doesn’t actually matter if there actually was any or not.

It’s a matter to be handled delicately, if AAA teams are your goal, and Infinity ward was most definitely one of those.

Instead, Activision tackled the matter with the delicacy of an artillery regiment trying to make a soufflé, by pounding the ingredients a half-mile downrange and hoping for a good result.

It seems that pretty much every member of Infinity Ward whose decisions contributed to the runaway success that is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been lost to Activision. In responding to a problem, real or imagined, they simply destroyed their triple-A team.

It’s a classic piece of stupid, and unfortunately far from their first.

Modern Warfare 2 is described as being the most highly anticipated game of all time.

If Activision manage to make a Modern Warfare 3, or another Call of Duty game, they won’t be able to hope for “highly anticipated”. The reality among their customers is more likely to be a cautious kind of dread.

Without some sort of miracle, they’d be lucky to make a fraction of what they managed for Modern Warfare 2.

For one reason or another, wiping out triple-A teams seems to be a recurring pattern for Activision, for about 24 years now that I can recall. It builds them or buys them, but simply cannot maintain them.

I wonder if Activision will ever be able to turn that around. Having goals is one thing. Making a credible attempt to achieve them is quite another.



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