Bobby Kotick (Getty Images)Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, is one of the most polarizing figures in gaming.
Investors love his focus on keeping the financials steady. Analysts respect his straight-talking, no-hold-barred attitude. But thanks to what many perceive as a thirst to milk every repetitive drop out of a handful of franchises, gamers aren't exactly big fans, repeatedly tearing him apart in forums and even going so far as to deface his pictures online by, for instance, adding horns to them.
Kotick has a favor to ask, though. Say what you will about him, but could you lay off on the photo desecration? It's hurting his love life.
"Think about what it's like for my dating life when the first picture that comes up is me as the Devil," the recently divorced Kotick told The New York Times. "You see all this chatter and you realize that they game the search results. These super-sophisticated 19-year-olds are smarter than our expensive P.R. firm."
The extensive profile of Kotick (which is must-read material for anyone with even a passing interest in the video game space) touches on all aspects of his personality, from his personal life to his dogged pursuit of his goals. It even touches on his playful side: Kotick once snuck past security guards and jokingly put the mayor of Los Angeles in a headlock.
Of course, no talk with Kotick is complete without discussing the incident that earned him such notoriety in the forums: The abrupt, controversial dismissal of the co-founders of Infinity Ward, the game development studio that brought Call of Duty to the masses.
It created a schism in the gaming world, but Kotick says he'd do it again without hesitation.
"You find out two executives are planning to break their contracts, keep the money you gave them and steal 40 employees. What do you do? You fire them," he said.