Led Zeppelin turned down Bobby Kotick

Activision CEO admits publisher "couldn't do a deal with them"

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has admitted that Led Zeppelin refused to sign away their rights to a Guitar Hero game.

Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has previously revealed the band's disdain for games that don't teach players anything "significant" about music.

He said last year: "You think of the drum part that John Bonham did on Led Zeppelin's first track on the first album, Good Times Bad Times. How many drummers in the world can play that part, let alone on Christmas morning?"

Now Kotick has shone more light on Activision's desire to get the band to sign up for Guitar Hero. Speaking to Forbes, Kotick said getting a Zeppelin-themed game was the "number one thing" fans wanted from Activision, but the firm couldn't deliver.


"In the case of Guitar Hero, we did the research and it was very clear people didn't want more 80s heavy metal music," he said. "But what they wanted was very difficult for us to get from the music companies.

"I'll give you an example: The number one thing that our audiences wanted in Guitar Hero was Led Zeppelin. But we couldn't get Led Zeppelin to consent to give us the rights. And there were a lot of instances of that, a whole host of artists who just didn't want to give rights to Guitar Hero, and it was hard to get around that. And then there were other things... we put things out there that were not ready for prime time and that today actually would resonate very well with audiences."

Kotick also sharing some of his hottest business tips with Forbes - and admitting a few corporate lessons on the way.

When asked "How do you find the time to be innovative yourself, and encourage yourself to look at things in a different way?", Kotick admitted promoting staff into positions that they weren't equipped for - something he hopes to remedy in future.

And when asked if there was a "common failing" he saw managers make, Kotick said it was falling for the "instituational imperative".

He explained: "There's been a whole history of these, and the most profound I think was in 1999 when everybody said the era of the console video game is no longer going to exist, the internet is going to take over all video gaming, and consoles won't be successful in any way, shape or form, and they're going to disappear and everything is going to be digitally distributed. At the time you had many companies in our category that basically embraced that... you just see it time and time again."

A little dig at EA's failings with the EA Store there, perhaps? It's come back as Origin, you know Bobby...

[ SOURCE: Forbes ]