Electronic Arts’ acquisition of social games developer Playfish, as well as their $750 million acquisition of PopCap, hasn’t gone unnoticed by Activision.
Bobby Kotick, president of Activision, told Forbes that,
“Facebook, with 750 million users, clearly has enough of a platform. The challenge always is, can you deliver a shareholder return by investing in said platform? And, in the case of Facebook, we think we can.”
He went on to say:
“But the skills that are required to do social games on a Facebook platform include analytical skills that are different than what we have in our business intelligence unit today. So we’ve had to go out and find people who have these unique kinds of skills. So you have to find people who have the characteristics of being able to develop systems to analyze gameplay or game behavior.
At the end of the day, a lot of these games [on Facebook] are resource managament games, which were very popular 15 years ago. So we’ve been able to draw some people who had experience with research management games with the company or other companies and bring them back in and assess whether or not they really are the analytical minded people that you need to do this.”
Judging from Kotick’s other comments in the interview, there’s a good chance that Activision is interested in having people — hired either internally or otherwise — coordinate a social games initiative.