Brian Hodous, Bus Ad ’85, appreciates the powerful pull of gaming.
When you visited Hodous in his Marquette residence hall, you probably didn’t find him furiously tapping away at a video game controller. That came later.
Today he is chief customer officer for industry heavyweight Activision Blizzard. The company produces some of the most popular titles in interactive entertainment, including Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Skylanders, Destiny and Diablo.
Hodous calls gamers some of the most passionate consumers in any industry. “Our community feels like the games are their own,” he says. “If you meet a gamer on the street wearing a Call of Duty shirt, boy, you’d better have some time on your hands.”
The team Hodous leads handles everything from manufacturing to marketing and distribution, globally. When he joined the company in 2006, annual revenue was about $1 billion. Through a combination with Vivendi Games and organic growth, revenue has grown to about $5 billion. Hodous says the credit goes to the company’s employees. “It’s not a machine that stamps out packages that find their way to your kitchen cabinets,” he says. “It’s all about our talented studios making the intellectual property.”
Hodous came to Marquette to pursue a degree in dentistry. He switched to marketing and management and met the woman who became his wife, Michele (McGuire) Hodous, Sp ’85. Both were athletes — he a wrestler and she a sprinter — but they didn’t hit it off until they sat next to each other in a class. “We had a class called Jesuit Marriage,” he says. “You can’t make that stuff up. Thirty years later, we still have a strong Christian marriage, so we must have learned something.” — Chris Jenkins