Ever since gaming content distribution has moved online in a significant way, I’ve wondered privately why video game studios haven’t taken full advantage of this by capitalizing on their audiences with video content. Since it’s ridiculously hard these days to get a video game movie produced, why don’t video game studios take this development into their own hands?
With great looking game assets and competent studio directors, there’s no reason someone like Konami, Bungie or Naughty Dog couldn’t take their popular franchises and create an in-game graphics movie out of the cut scenes, extending their stories or telling side stories. At a proper price point, this would be cheaper than producing a movie, and much cheaper than going to a movie for consumers. I imagine a 90 minute Uncharted movie would sell millions online, but I could be naive about this.
Well, we appear to be inching in a slightly different direction, if Activision CEO Bobby Kotick’s latest comments are to be taken at face value. You see, Kotick thinks that if Blizzard took the cut scenes from the already released Starcraft II and put them all together at once, gamers would pay up to $20 or $30 for them. Say what, Bobby Kotick? Check the jump for the quote.
If we were to take that hour, or hour an a half, and take it out of the game and we were to go to our audiences, who we have their credit card information a direct relationship, and say to them ‘Would you like to have the StarCraft movie?…
My guess is unlike film studios that are really stuck with a model that goes through theatrical distribution and takes a signification amount of the profit away, if we were to go to an audience and say ‘We have this great hour and a half of linear video that we’d like to make available to you at a $20 or $30 price point,’ you’d have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever…
Within the next five years, you are likely to see us do that. It might be in a partnership with somebody or alone, but there will be a time where we’ll capitalize on the relationship we have with our audience; deliver them something that is really extraordinary and let them consume it directly through us instead of theatrical distribution.
While I agree with Kotick’s presupposition that going directly to the consumer would be much more beneficial than a theatrical release, the method seems a bit flawed. For one, gamers paying $60 for a video game would probably rather have those cut scenes (which they’ve already paid for) edited together as a feature already on the disc, which Metroid: Other M and a few others have done in the past. I can easily see gamers paying money for new content like that, but not for already released content, and certainly not for that much money. As a gamer, I expect $20 to $30 to fetch me about 10 hours of gameplay easily, not a 90 minute long cut scene. Heck, Valve has already released minutes of content about the Team Fortress 2 universe, and all of that was for free.
Also, it’s curious that he mentions they might do this with a partner. I wonder if Bungie would be game, seeing as how these two are now in cahoots? Just a thought.
Anyway, what do you guys think about these ideas? What do you think of Kotick’s plan to release already released content, and what do you think of an alternate method of delivering original content in the same way? Go!
Source – IGN UK