Activision Publishing CEO Resigns

By Chris Faylor, Apr 28, 2010 8:10am PDT With Activision Blizzard embroiled in legal feuds bought on by the current and increasingly former makers of its lucrative Call of Duty franchise, Mike Griffith has resigned from his role as president and CEO of its Activision Publishing subsidiary.

Griffith's resignation, effective April 23, was revealed in filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The impetus behind his resignation was not specified, though he will stay on as vice-chairman of Activision Blizzard.

"Duties as Vice-Chairman of Activision Blizzard include participating in Board of Directors and Chairman of the Board meetings and other internal strategy sessions; providing counsel to Activision Blizzard's executive team; and providing services on key initiatives and projects, as requested by the CEO," explained the filing.

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    Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith, in the quarterly earnings call dated November 5, 2009, on the outrage from Modern Warfare 2 PC not having dedicated servers:

    "We're of course watching this very carefully and paying attention to it. But we're not overly concerned about it. We think one of the problems with our PC SKUs on this title in the past is that it has not been as friendly a consumer experience in terms of matchmaking and online play as the consoles have allowed it to be. Our solution here improves that consumer experience overall by a significant margin. So we think the benefits that we'll see are going to far outweigh any negatives that seem to be surfacing."

    It made sense from a money perspective back then, but it opened the door for EA to market Bad Company 2 PC against Modern Warfare 2 PC on feature merits (even though BC2 didn't have truly open dedicated servers; IIRC only rented servers can be ranked). And even though the angry segment of gamers was too small to matter in a market share perspective (and even though a lot of them bought MW2 PC anyway), it still left a negative mark on the reputations of Activision and Infinity Ward in the PC multiplayer FPS community, on which EA and Valve capitalized.

    I wish you well on your future endeavors, Mike.