Activision Considers Selling Video Game Cutscenes

If Activision stripped all of the cutscenes from StarCraft II, pasted them together into one big movie and charged between 20 to 30 dollars for you to buy it, would you pay? Activision's Bobby Kotick thinks you would.

It's an absolutely crazy idea. Take the cutscenes normally spread out over the course of an entire game like StarCraft II, yank them from the game and package them as premium movie content for around half the price of the game itself. It's one of the silliest ideas I've heard in quite a while, yet Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick delivered it with a straight face yesterday during the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in California.

"If we were to take that hour, or hour and 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?'

I'd like to believe Blizzard's audience would collectively fall over laughing. That's not what Kotick believes. He believes that a publisher-distributed StarCraft II movie of this sort would crush opening weekend box office records.

"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 $US20 or $US30 price point,' you'd have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever."

Kotick went on to say that it's likely the company would be offering this sort of cutscene movie sometime in the next five years.

In the course of writing up this story, I'm pretty sure I've developed an uncontrollable facial tick. Is he serious, or perhaps a better question, is he right? Would you pay for a video game story without a video game?

Activision 'Likely' To Sell Game Cutscene Movies [IGN UK - Thanks nonentity!]


Comments

    Bobby Kotick is just like all of those other megalomaniac CEOs you've seen in movies, except he has his "How can we fleece these poor saps for all they've got" conversations during public conferences, rather than in the privacy of his own boardroom.

    ...Kotick can't be a real person. He has to be a troll - everything he says is infuriating in a "how can anyone-let alone the boss of Activision-be so stupid?!" kind of way.

    "take it out of the game" . . .

    Please please don't :/
    I know a lot of people aren't into cutscenes in games, and I know they are expensive to make, but they are still a big part of what I love about Blizzard games (and others).

    Yes, I would pay to go see a Starcraft movie, but it would need to be more than just cinematics strung together.

      I agree, one of the biggest parts of games that i love. Especially good story driven games. Could you imagine Arkum Asylum, The Darkness, the Uncharted games, or even the Yakuza series without the cutscenes.

      I think not.

    Another shining example of good ol bobby is the greediest asshole on the planet. Congratulations buddy.

    Hah.

    "No No, you've got Bobby all wrong. He's a Gamer at heart, but running Activision just doesnt give him time to play them anymore"

    Activision's PR Department must be smacking their heads against the table whenever Bobby opens his mouth. They're always trying to paint him as misunderstood....

    Then he comes out with shit like this. Makes me lol

    Bobby Kotick, just die, why won't you just die.

    Disaster: Day of Crisis did this, except it was included on the game disc, and we didn't pay extra for it. Oh, and it was originally designed so that it would work as a 90 minute film. To be honest, StarCraft 2's cut-scenes are not up to scratch for what makes a good film. Yes they are highly cinematic but they lack the depth and techniques employed when creating a real film.

    Bobby Kotick please fall into a hole.

    So, they want to offer half of the story of a video-game (which, lets face it, generally aren't known for their standout writing*) at a price three times that of a regular movie?

    I'll pass thank you.

    *Generally being the key word here.

    I dont see what the problem is with this. I wouldn't buy it, but its not anything new. Blizzard are already selling the starcraft 1 cutscenes on their store, it would only be logical to do the same with the excellent cutscenes they put together with starcraft 2.

    And also I dont think he is talking about removing them from the game, no one would be on board with that idea. Just making a collection of the cutscenes from the game.

      A couple of years ago, about the time WoW was first released, there was a complete dvd of Blizzard Cinematics available from the online shop. Unfortunately I missed out and it's since dissappeared.

      A dvd of all the cutscenes in SCII came with the collectors edition and, while I enjoy being able to watch them in a higher quality than my computer is capable of, there's not enough there without the game to warrant a movie ticket, let alone direct to dvd sales.

      If Blizzard gets the team which develop it's cutscenes to work on a stand-alone movie covering the storylines of the original and expansion, including the mission content, then I would pay.

        Yep. I got the WC2 collectors, which had the cinematics. I loved the disc for the absolutely beautiful cutscenes, but let's be honest here too, they mean nothing without the context of the game itself.

        "linear video" Oh, bobby kotick. I don't think so.

    Why in the hell would anybody pay 30 bucks for something they already own? Or, as somebody above said, three times the cost of a movie ticket for an hours worth of disjointed scenes?
    Now, if they made an ACTUAL starcraft movie, that might be a different story, but 30 bucks is still a ridiculous ask for online distribution. Jesus, Kotick. Record yourself for one day, just one day, and listen to yourself at the end of it.

    It wouldn't be a linear story. Cutscenes in games move the story along between levels, so you know the situation and the mission. Taking the game out and selling them as a stand alone product... It's like having a movie but skipping the climax portion of a film. For any good game the climax of any level should be something the player does.

    I wonder what the old time Blizzard guys think of this...

    I wouldn't buy it, but sadly as we've already seen from things like the Modern Warfare 2 DLC, people will buy anything.

    Now if bioware were to do this with something that generates a movie based on your in game actions, that I'd pay for.

    Outside of that, maybe something like 50 cents to a dollar for some of the more awesome cut scenes from games if they were high quality.

    The point of a cutscene is to set up the story of the game, to introduce the story, background, setting in a way that is difficult (or impossible) to do in-game.

    Removing cutscenes may hobble the game experience entirely, as players will have little to no emotional connection to the game's events unless that dramatic content is delivered along some other channel.

    Delivering it external to the game, and charging a premium for it, is just plain stupid. Will Activision reduce the cost of the actual game if they cut its content by taking out cutscenes? You can bet they wouldn't.

    They would have to change how they made a cutscene. They would need to make an entire movie and then cut parts out of it to paste between levels. Otherwise it would be extremely disjointed, changing locations places and missing bits of information that you gain while playing.

    Then again Kotick is just a wanker so it wouldn't surprise me if he thought people were willing to pay for a disjointed movie.

    If the profits were going somewhere, ANYWHERE else, I would pick it up purely as a collectors item.

    But no, I won't.

    I reckon Bioware could get away with making a machinima story, possibly with the mass effect 2 style interrupts so it could be a light interactive movie

    Bobby Kotick is a bloody fool. Either you care about Starcraft or you don't. If the former, you want to PLAY THE GAME. If the latter, you wouldn't give a crap about watching the cutscenes.

      If they continue what they did with Starcraft 2, you'll see all the best cutscenes in the trailers anyway.

    You needed this picture for the article: http://media1.gameinformer.com/imagefeed/featured/activision/kotickmain.jpg

    Just has that extra added "oh I want to stab you in the face" value!

    if blizzard were to make a feature length film in the same style as the cutscenes from the games, that film would be awesome. but shanking the same cutscenes out of the games themselves is baaad

    I'd pay US$20-30 for video (live, not animated) of Kotick being beaten to a bloody pulp with a baseball bat and then buried alive like Joe Pesci at the end of Casino but without the editing.

    I think we're well past the point that anyone can defend this man with the, 'He's just a business man trying to make money' arguement. He's the freaking antichrist of gaming, a man with no consideration for his customers other than how many different ways they can pay him, and even less consideration for the creative people who make the product.

    God I really hope games like Firefall are a huge success and bloated game giants like Activision dry up and fail. It's becoming abundantly clear that self managing small indie developers can create games as good as the major companies.

    Next they'll start charging us for demos..

      Dead Rising 2

      Sorry don't you remember GT5: prologue

    Halo 3 legendary edition had the cutscenes from all 3 games in a movie... it was great.
    I reckon I'd go in for something like this.

    Bobby Kotick's absolutely the worst thing to happen to Activision. Infinity Ward, Harmonix, now Blizzard.

    I have no doubt their revised, stricter EULAs and their dismantling of Kespa was approved (if not forced upon) by him.

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