Activision’s Eric Hirshberg: Turning games into brands and other non-douche moves (exclusive interview)

Eric Hirshberg was an experiment when Activision Blizzard’s chief executive hired Hirshberg as CEO of the Activision Publishing division about 18 months ago. Hirshberg was an art-school graduate who rose through the ranks of the creative side of advertising and eventually became CEO of billion-dollar ad agency Deutsch LA. Most video game CEOs rise through the ranks of finance or game development. But Hirshberg was a lot more comfortable with a paint brush in his hands than a spreadsheet. But under Hirshberg, Activision Publishing has launched some of its most successful games in history, including Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. At the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Hirshberg talked about the experiment of an advertising creative person rising to the top of one of the world’s biggest video game companies.