Activision: Maybe Record Labels Should Pay Us

By Blake Ellison, Sep 26, 2008 10:52am PDT Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has once again come out swinging in his public shouting match with record labels including Warner Music, suggesting that maybe the publisher behind the Guitar Hero series deserves compensation for including songs from labels in the hit rhythm-music series.

"When you look at the impact [Guitar Hero] can have on an Aerosmith, Van Halen or Metallica, it's really significant," Kotick told the Wall Street Journal as relayed by Edge. "So much so that you sort of question whether or not, in the case of those kinds of products, you should be paying any money at all and whether it should be the reverse."

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Kotick also echoed a point recently made by games industry analyst Michael Pachter: Activision doesn't need any particular label, especially Warner. "We have lots of music to choose from, lots of artists to choose from," he said. Activision shares a parent company with Universal Music Group, the world's largest record label.

The executive went so far as to hint that the songs don't even matter at all. "The bulk of our consumers will tell you they're not purchasing the products based on the songs that are included," asserted Kotick. "They're purchasing based on how fun the songs are to play when they're playing them." He added, "A 12-year-old kid has no idea who Steven Tyler is or who Aerosmith is."

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