Kotick Itching to Sell Cutscenes As Films

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Kotick Itching to Sell Cutscenes As Films



Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has laid out plans to package the in-game cinematics from games like StarCraft and sell them as movies.

Cinematics are of such high quality today, especially those created by developers like Blizzard in the recent StarCraft II [http://www.amazon.com/Starcraft-II-Wings-Liberty-Pc/dp/B000ZKA0J6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1284618634&sr=8-1], that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick thinks they should become more than pieces of a game. If gamers are spending an hour watching these computer-generated scenes while playing, why not remove them from the game and charge for viewing privileges?

That's exactly what Kotick plans to do at Activision within the next five years. At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference this week he detailed his plans to monetize cutscenes that can be sold as movies.

Speaking about these cutscenes, Kotick said: "If we were to take that hour, or hour and a half, take it out of the game, and we were to go to our audiences for whom we have their credit card information as well as a direct relationship and ask, 'Would you like to have the StarCraft [http://www.amazon.com/StarCraft-Battle-Chest-Pc/dp/B00001IVRD/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1284618634&sr=8-2] movie?', my guess is that ... you'd have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever."

He guesses that such a product could be priced at around $20 to $30, but any pricing at this point is pure speculation. "Within the next five years, you are likely to see us do that," he added. These "movies" would be distributed online directly to consumers from Activision.

Kotick calls the people that would purchase such a product "enthusiast consumers," because they're willing to watch cinematics again even though they might have already beaten a copy of the game they're from. This really isn't all that new of an idea, aside from the digital distribution aspect of it, as Blizzard released a cutscene collection on DVD called the Blizzard Collection [http://www.amazon.com/Blizzard-Entertainment-Collection-Warcraft-Starcraft-Pc/dp/B00006SG4T/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1284616572&sr=8-7] in 2002 long before Kotick was associated with the developer.

That price range seems really high, considering that an entire game costs $50 or $60, but this is a business that would likely provide extra revenue to any company that has fans on the level of World of Warcraft [http://www.amazon.com/World-Warcraft-Cataclysm-Pc/dp/B002I0HKIU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1284618645&sr=8-2] and StarCraft. It's not like gamers would have to buy these scenes if they didn't want to, but rest assured, plenty would.

Source: Gamasutra [http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30305/Kotick_Hints_At_DirectToConsumer_Video_Game_Movies.php]

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Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
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That seems lazy and an excuse for money grabbing. I could watch the cutscenes on Youtube if I wanted to. Also, the gaps where the gameplay was will be around.

Blizzard did this before? Oh... well... Blizzard like money too.

Calumon: I like cake and money. Can I have a money cake?
 

Lucifron

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Dec 21, 2009
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Jack and Calumon said:
That seems lazy and an excuse for money grabbing.
There is nothing seemingly about it. I can't believe that he keeps pulling shit like this! FUCK!
 

Suskie

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Nov 9, 2009
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Biggest opening weekend of any film ever? This movie geek begs to wholeheartedly disagree with this stupid comment.
 

Evilsanta

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Apr 12, 2010
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Jack and Calumon said:
That seems lazy and an excuse for money grabbing. I could watch the cutscenes on Youtube if I wanted to. Also, the gaps where the gameplay was will be around.

Blizzard did this before? Oh... well... Blizzard like money too.

Calumon: I like cake and money. Can I have a money cake?
Everybody loves money...Especilly Kotick i could bet he drinks money smoothies for breakfest.

And as you stated you could just watch the cutscenes on Youtube but then again Ýoutube could get a scary mail from Activision lawyer and would be forced to take em down.

Ohh...Did your last title really breack the Escapist?
 

TheBluesader

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Mar 9, 2008
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Bobby Kotick has come up with a new and creative way to squeeze more money out of video games? WHERE AM I? MARS???

Seriously. Next he'll want to charge an extra $15 for the "high-quality" game soundtrack. If you don't pay, every game will just be midi music and Nintendo bleeps.

...The fact that that last thing I said would be awesome has nothing whatsoever to do with my point. PAY ATTENTION, GUYS.
 

Tears of Blood

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Jul 7, 2009
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No.

I would rather not see this happen, really. What do you do when you have a part of the game that isn't a cutscene, but you lose control of your character and things happen? Does that get included?

Also, I would hate to see anyone give away their precious money for something like this, especially to a company such as ACTIVISION. =_=

Oh, and, if this DOES happen? You know what the next step will be? You guessed it, exclusive in-game content for purchasing the cutscene compilation! WEE! Then even I would be tempted to buy the damn thing.

Fuck that.
 

TheComedown

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Aug 24, 2009
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This proves how out of touch Kotick is, completely removing the game play from a games story is removing half the story and most of the experience. What a tosser. Should remove the ko and just call him Tick, all he wants is blood. Didn't he come out recently stating that he actually likes games or something? This proves he doesn't have a clue about them.
 

Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
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Evilsanta said:
Jack and Calumon said:
That seems lazy and an excuse for money grabbing. I could watch the cutscenes on Youtube if I wanted to. Also, the gaps where the gameplay was will be around.

Blizzard did this before? Oh... well... Blizzard like money too.

Calumon: I like cake and money. Can I have a money cake?
Everybody loves money...Especilly Kotick i could bet he drinks money smoothies for breakfest.

And as you stated you could just watch the cutscenes on Youtube but then again Ýoutube could get a scary mail from Activision lawyer and would be forced to take em down.

Ohh...Did your last title really breack the Escapist?
Unfortunately, yes. I set it to some Japanese Characters which wasn't supported by the titles coding, causing it to become numbers displaying an error. This caused the entire bar separating User from post to be stretched along quite a bit. I changed it as soon as I noticed.

Calumon: Yeah, kinda our bad. We reported it so it's not that bad.
 

lapan

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Jan 23, 2009
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So, the games itself will not have cutscenes anymore and whoever wants to watch them has to pay? I myself do not like this and wouldnt buy such uncomplette games. Though i know many people who just dislike cutscenes in general and will probably like their new cutscene-less games.
 

hazabaza1

Want Skyrim. Want. Do want.
Nov 26, 2008
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Well, at least we won't ever get a game and then have to pay to see the cutscenes that didn't come with the game.
Right?
...Right?
 

Banana Phone Man

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May 19, 2009
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So now they are trying to sell cutscenes that are probably already in games. If you did not buy the games then you most likely have no interest in the cut scenes and if you buy the game it's not like you need to see them all again. What a pointless, greedy idea. It actually made me a little angry on the inside.
 

Mortons4ck

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Jan 12, 2010
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Bobby Kotick said:
"For starters, our virtual characters don't have agents, they don't have managers, they don't have lawyers."
But voice actors do, Bobby. And they will probably start demanding a larger chunk of the cut if you do this.

Not only is this starting to crossover into tie-orphans-to-the-railroad-tracks evil, the plan is about as well thought out as an underpants gnome scheme.