Activision wants to sell cutscenes?
The Darth Vader of the video game industry Bobby Kotick from Activision Blizzard has had another idea which is sure to spark a lot of irate comments on websites everywhere. He’s keen on packaging in-game cut-scenes into a single linear narrative – and selling it to fans as a separate $30 movie. The idea first popped into Kotick’s head when he saw the quality of cut-scenes in Blizzard’s StarCraft II.
“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?'” he told the America Merrill Lynch Media, comms and Entertainment conference. 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. If we were to deliver a film digitally this way, I’d say an extremely high percentage would then go to the theatre and watch it again.”
Darth Kotick isn’t the first person to think of this idea. Earlier this year, RockStar produced a feature-length movie using Red Dead Redemption and released it both online and on TV, but it was free… The important question is: If Activision did this and you didn’t want the cutscenes, would the game alone be $30?