Activision Wants to Sell Gaming Cut Scenes as Movies

Starcraft 2Get your popcorn ready. Bobby Kotick’s got a bright idea for you.

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

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10 thoughts on “Activision Wants to Sell Gaming Cut Scenes as Movies”

  1. I saw this earlier and I am utterly appalled at the infamous Bobby Kotick once again. The guy just doesn’t understand the customer. At all. Whatsoever.

  2. So… repeat cutscenes already released in the game… but all sewn together… for 30$? Uhm, no? Can’t frap users just record the cutscenes, and paste them together? Reapeating cutscenes is a stupid idea imho.

    However, Valve, in their 7day interview on PC Gamer, said that they would also like to make a movie. This movie would be in-game, and a whole movie, not cutscenes from the game already. Think Meet The Team, but on a bigger scale. I would love to see that instead.

  3. he doesn’t see a reason to. Bobby Kotick isn’t thinking of this as a reasonable idea as much as another way to get money. can you really have much faith in the CEO of a company that overprices DLC and doesn’t treat its employees fairly because people forget and they can then pull the same crap all over again. remember when people said there was no chance they’d buy black ops after activision screwed over infinity ward? don’t hear from them much any more. the few who were actually serious are irrelevant compared to the people who went back on their word as soon as someone said ‘explosive crossbow.’

    rant complete.

  4. I’ve already payed for it, I can go into the directory and watch the videos of most games as it is. I’m not gonna pay extra. But yes, I’ve always wondered why they didn’t release prerendered shorts/full movies in anticipation of or as a side-story to a game.

  5. Kotick, shut the fuck up. You’re a dumbass. The cutscenes are part of the game. The narrative is as much a part of the game if it’s worth selling separately. I refuse to have to shell out extra money to experience a full game. This could really wound games by separating the interactivity from what would become just extra bits of movie. Cutscenes keep a game’s narrative moving forward, but having them as separate would just act as a movie version of the game, like making a TV-series for a game series. Stop trying to rip us off. I’d be more than happy to watch movies or Meet The Team-esque movies that expand a game’s story, but don’t remove the game’s story. It’s there for a reason.

  6. Yeah he is just looking for another way to squeeze every penny out. I wouldn’t pay $30 for Starcraft 2 cutscenes, even if I didn’t have the game as well. They wouldn’t make as much sense and wouldn’t be as logical as a movie. I might pay $10 or less for a full movie of less say Starcraft as an example. Where the whole movie is animated like the cutscenes, but would actually be movie length and make sense.

    DVD’s here in Australia cost between $20-30 brand new, there is no way that I’d pay $30 for 50 minutes of cutscenes or how ever long the SC2 cutscenes accumulate to.

  7. Problem is, cut scenes don’t tell all the story in most games and Kotick would know this if he ever played one.

    Even in cut scene heavy games there are plot points that develop in-game, so just stringing all the cut-scenes together would be useless.

  8. Exactly Anthony.

    Kotick SHOULD know this if he ever played one.

    The whole idea is silly anyway. I was reading in some other forums and somebody said that even though everyone is expressing hate towards the idea he thought that later everyone still would buy it, he argued that gamers are sheep. He used the example that everyone who said they’d boycott MW2 actually still ended up buying the game, but you can’t compare this to MW2. MW2 is still a full game even if it is broken. No one needs to buy cutscenes for games they already own.

  9. The games that do this do it for free but Kotick tries to make it cost money. What next? I was going to throw out a few sarcastic suggestions there, but if Kotick’s scam-radar got wind of it… The tisk is too great.

    On another note: He’s still not exactly trying to make Activision a likeable company in the eyes of gamers is he? Not that he gives a shit.

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