An Admirable Attempt To Explain Why Gamers 'Love' Company Executives

It's one of the strangest things I've ever seen in this job, especially when you consider so many gamers spend so much of their time loathing the companies they represent. But when it comes to the actual men and women running giant video game publishers, there's a lot of love in the house.

We saw this most recently with Sony boss Kaz Hirai in the lead up to the reveal of the PS4, but it's been going on for a very long time, even back to our own, uh, special relationships with J Allard and Phil Harrison. Nintendo's executives normally come in for especially fond treatment.

There's no single, logical explanation for this gif-based Stockholm Syndrome, but Leigh Alexander over on Gamasutra does a good job at singling out some of the less logical ones, which include personification, a need for "mascots" and, obviously, the fact many hardcore gaming fans are just a little bit crazy.

Cult of personality: Why do fans love video game execs? [Gamasutra]


    Two words. Bobby Kotick.

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    Its understandable when we talk about publishers like EA and Activision and because they are the dominant publishers there is a lot to hate. We are a passionate and vocal breed that only want the best from our beloved franchises.

      Please don't say franchises :/

        Agreed. A franchise is when someone opens a shop, and gets stuff from a big chain (like McDonalds or Subway), to make it happen. Said someone still owns the shop, but it has the trappings of the entire chain.

        If you must refer to a set of video games with the same / similar characters, refer to it as an intellectual property.

    I don't really see the behaviour as any different to (for example) sports fans. There's a tonne of parallels.

    What about Gabe Newell? He's got a legion of fans despite being (I feel) rather dull. Certainly, he is a business genius, but he doesn't really warrant the fandom.

      I think the Gaben phenomenon is more about Valve than him - people just gravitate to Gaben because he's a figurehead they can latch on to. Everybody loves Valve. Especially when we're constantly reminded of what a cool place it is to work, and the games they produce.

      Personally I agree, I've seen some of Gaben's (interviews/panels, etc) he comes across as a very uninteresting individual. Then again maybe he's just an introvert like so many of us! He does seem to have a sense of humor which trickles through at times.

      That being said, some of his business stuff is pretty interesting. He's a very talented business man, good at spotting opportunities and capitalising.

      I don't always agree with Gaben though, I'm fairly sure he's got a fair bit of resentment towards Microsoft lurking in his heart that feels like it comes through at times.

      Last edited 28/02/13 12:04 pm

        I find him incredibly interesting, though I can see how his sensible representation of Valve could be boring. The thing I've found with Gabe Newell is, you really don't see what he's getting at unless you hear his entire presentations - though, if he puts' you to sleep, that could be a trial :)

        Like John Carmack & Steve Wozniak - who cannot help themselves in talking in pure engineering terms :P

          Yeah I agree - he will never win any public speaking awards, but always worth listening to.

      I'd describe myself as a Gabe fan. I realise he boring, but I also think he's a visionary. Everything he says is worth hearing - unlike Kotick or Cliff B.

        Oh I agree he's a great leader and business-person, but I still don't think that warrants all the attention he gets, lol.

          The stuff he's been talking about lately is pretty amazing though. Steam as a free market economy where we decide the real world value of add-ons and user-generated content on the fly, through supply, demand and scarcity - all built into the system (Steam). So what it amounts to on a basic level is that if you build AAA content that is in high demand. You will actually be able to make real world money on your creations! :D

    When execs interact with the community and are open, receptive and responsive, how is it weird to like or respect them? ie, Gabe Newell. When you put yourself on a pedestal or treat the gaming community with utter disdain like Bobby Kotick, then your name is valued less than the paper you've just wiped your diarrhetic arse with-- ie, just like Bobby Kotick.

    ...of course, it helps to be batshit crazy like Satoru Iwata!

    Last edited 28/02/13 11:27 am

    Pretty much because they're the face of the company. It can go the other way too. Just look at Todd Howard and John Ricitiello or however its spelt. People like to photoshop those novelty disguise glasses onto Howard and mock him and give Ricitiello names like John Rigatoni, John Raviolini, etc.

    That Kaz gif is brilliant.

      It's been 24hrs and he's still going :P

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