Activision CEO Bobby Kotick On How Wii Captivated The World


The Wii U may forever be remembered as Nintendo’s worst-selling console, but it will be hard to forget that, a generation before it, Wii had completely transformed the games industry.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick had the chance to reflect on products that he has had early access to, selecting those that have had the most impact on the world. After referencing the Macintosh and Toy Story, he shared that the Wii was his favourite example within the games industry.

Before Nintendo had revealed their ‘Revolution’ to the world, Kotick had been invited to the company’s headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. There, late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and creative fellow Shigeru Miyamoto invited Kotick to preview their concept for the console, passing him a Wii Remote and simply asking that he tried fishing.

“You see lots of experiences and have lots of experiences where you see something that is something beautiful or extraordinary or has great potential,” Kotick explained to Marketplace‘s Corner Office podcast. “This one, I was in Kyoto, and Mr. Iwata and Mr. Miyamoto – the two heads of Nintendo – said we want to show you something.

“And I went in this room, and this little table, and there was an old TV – a tube TV – and then there was a cardboard box and it had a little black box on it, and they had these two wands. He gave me one, he took one. And all I saw on the TV was a pond, just like a little pond with water. And he gave me the wand and said, ‘Go fishing’.

“And it didn’t take any thought, I just went like this, and all the sudden I saw the kerplop of the lure and the water splash, and I held the wand, and as I was holding it, the force feedback started, and I could feel the fish, and I pulled the fish out, and I thought this is going to completely transform video games because the idea that you have a physical experience.

“You know, it’s a very visceral experience. And the controller is something that you do have this unusual visceral relationship to, but this was something really different. I remember walking away thinking, this is gonna open up whole new opportunities for games and who they are going to be appealing to.”

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