Two depressing news items today, so I’ll just tuck them into the same post.

    First up, how’s everyone’s favorite Activision/Blizzard CEO getting paid lately? (I strongly caution you about clicking this link. Do not do it with a drink in your mouth unless you have sort of image blocker running on your browser.)

    Despite Activision’s rate of growth slowing compared to 2011, Kotick’s personal compensation rose exponentially. His base salary doubled, jumping up to $2 million. This was then bolstered by $2.5 million in bonus pay and another $4.4 million from Activision Blizzard’s annual incentive plan. The vast bulk of his earnings, to the tune of nearly $56 million, came from stock awards Kotick picked up in 2012.

    …Update: Activision has explained to us that approximately $55.9 million of Kotick’s reported earnings – which, as we note below, comes in the form of stock – is actually a 5-year performance-based figure, rather than a single year guaranteed sum. The number was reported on the filing because 2012 is the year in which the agreement was made. Kotick made roughly $8.33 million in actual pay last year…

    Elsewhere, some virtual wrist slapping about Diablo 3 exploits:

    Providing an environment where all players can enjoy Diablo III in the spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, which is why we monitor the game for exploitative activity. Through applying hotfixes and patches, we aim to improve the game and keep it as bug-free as possible; however, sometimes bugs will occur and some players will be eager to reproduce them for different reasons.

    We would like to remind you that using bugs for personal gain is viewed as exploitative activity. Accounts found to be participating in dishonest behaviour, such as exploiting bugs, may be investigated and subjected to disciplinary actions in line with our Diablo III exploitation policy.

    So to sum up: zero punishment, but a mildly-worded blue post on the EU forums days after the exploit was hotfixed. Let that be a lesson to everyone who gained 50 paragon levels killing Mongrels while AFK. I bet you’re really sorry now!

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