Kotick And Co. May Sell Game Scenes As Movies
Video games are closer to movies than ever before in terms of technology and cinematography, so perhaps it isn't a big stretch to see cut-scene collections in theaters.
During a Bank of America Merill Lynch Media, Communications, and Entertainment Conference, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick cited their latest hit, Starcraft II, which has already sold over 3 million copies. The slick movie cut-scenes in the game got a lot of attention, which prompted Kotick and Co. to think about producing full-length feature films. Said Kotick:
"If we were to go to our audience and say we have this great hour-and-a-half of linear video that we would like to make available to you at a $30 price point or $20 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. Now that may be in partnership with somebody; it may be alone. But there will be a time when we capitalize on the relationship that we have with our audience."
Kotick said Activision is poised to make the leap, as they could "bypass the expenses of standard distribution methods" and after purchasing it, "an extremely high percentage" of company followers would be willing to head to the theater and watch it again. Back in 2001, Sega launched a limited Japanese theatrical run of Shenmue based on various parts of the Dreamcast game. That movie was then included with the Xbox version of Shenmue II. Blizzard has also tried something similar, as they released a three-DVD set boasting cinematics from Starcraft, Starcraft: Brood War, Diablo II and Warcraft III.
Kotick apparently wants to tap into Hollywood; he also spoke about a vision he's had for several years...a vision that has now come true: the audience for video games would broaden to the point where it resembled the fan base of television and films. He mentioned the lip-syncing and facial animations we'll see in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops, saying it would be a "breakthrough" for the industry. In the end, he said "the ability to have characters with whom players could form an emotional connection - the same way they do with characters in movies - was a 'Holy Grail' in the industry." Well, that sounds about right.
9/15/2010 9:19:06 PM Ben Dutka