Update: Bloomberg reports that the bulk of these reports earnings are actually spread over five years. His annual take for 2012 was actually $8.33 million instead of $64.9 million: "The bulk of the increase for Kotick came in stock awards valued at $55.9 million, based on regulatory reporting rules, that were tied to a new employment agreement signed in March 2012, according to a filing yesterday by the video-game software company. While vesting stretches over five years, the awards are reported in the year of the grant. Kotick, 50, received $8.33 million in total compensation last year, filings show."
Original article: $100 million a month from World of Warcraft, $1 billion from Call of Duty, $720 million from Diablo 3, and half a billion from Skylanders, plus all the oh-so-sweet stock options from Activision Blizzard has netted Bobby “Icebreaker” Kotick $64.9 million dollars in 2012.
As noted in an article by IGN, Kotick was the second highest paid CEO in the U.S., just behind Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison.
Nicknamed “Money Sacks” by former Activision employees, Kotick accrued $55.9 million in stock options alone over the course of five years, according to Bloomberg.
It's not startling that someone like Kotick makes that much money. Vivendi Universal, however, the parent company of Activision Blizzard, wanted to sell the gaming brand for about $8.1 billion. That's not a bad price to get hold of some of the most lucrative brands in all of gaming. However, there were no bidders and despite having World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Skylanders and Diablo on the table, no other parent company found it necessary to step into the Activision Blizzard waters.
There is a stinging fear amongst investors that Activision's high-horse money making may not last for the long term and if World of Warcraft or Call of Duty start to wane then the company may not be able to recover.
Regardless of naysayers and pessimists, Kotick got to take $64.9 million to the bank while the rest of us can only scoff and pout at the golden yacht with the diamond encrusted toilet. It's funny how people like that can buy their way out of criticism.