Bobby Kotick Wants to Charge You for Cutscenes

by VGChartz Staff, posted on 16 September 2010 / 3,275 Views

I hope this was taken out of context.

Bobby Kotick, head honcho at Activision and all-around hated dude, talking about StarCraft II's beautifully pre-rendered cutscenes at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference in California:

"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 and a direct relationship - and say to them, 'Would you like to have the StarCraft movie?'... and say we have this great hour and a half of linear video that we'd like to make available to you at a $30 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... There will be a time when we capitalise on the relationship that we have with our audience and deliver them something that is really extraordinary and let them consume it directly through us instead of through theatrical distribution."

Cutscenes are so pretty that Bobby thinks we'll pay to see them in movie form.  The sad thing is that he's probably right.  Know anyone that's paid for the Red Vs. Blue DVD despite having already downloaded all the episodes for free from Rooster Teeth?

Of course you do.


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49 Comments

almcchesney (on 17 September 2010)

i hope this is out of context, if not go fuck off kotick.


Chrizum (on 17 September 2010)

The funniest thing is that he thinks people will pay $30 for a cutscene, while even the best and most popular movies aren't even $15.


Crystalchild (on 17 September 2010)

i want to charge bobby cotick for stupiddity.


Teo (on 17 September 2010)

Only SE can pull out a good CGI movie from the video game industry.


Cueil (on 17 September 2010)

I'm thinking you people are thinking much lower level then he is... he's talking about selling actual movies/shows to you about the game you are playing... 1 hour to 1.5 hours at 20 dollars sounds about right if the video is of good quality and entertaining.


shinyuhadouken (on 17 September 2010)

man fuck this guy. i hope he gets hit by a bus.


mike_intellivision (on 17 September 2010)

I'd like to know how he plans on getting people to pay $20-$30 in a theater. He appears to be confusing DVD prices with movie tix prices. Mike from Morgantown


Alby_da_Wolf (on 17 September 2010)

Kotick = Scrooge confirmed?


bmmb1 (on 17 September 2010)

IMO people are either misunderstanding him on purpose since they;re blinded by their hate or they are just reading the title of the item and maybe a sentence or two inside. Quite obviously (at least to me) what he means is that the cutscenes are of such high quality, that if Activision created an hour and a half of original content based on WoW or Starcraft then it would sell great.


RuskiSnajper (on 17 September 2010)

in 5 years , there will be no more activision


RVDondaPC (on 17 September 2010)

Any game that I'd care to watch all the cutscenes, I wouldn't bother to play if they were removed.


Mojo (on 17 September 2010)

To be fair, even though I think this is a really boring idea, I don't think he is suggesting that he would actually remove cut scenes from games and sell them to gamers separately, but only edit them into a movie after the game's release. Nothing wrong with this idea, but I can't imagine who would want to pay for this crap.


tooto123 (on 17 September 2010)

fuck him


Mojo (on 17 September 2010)

Cut scenes are easily the most boring aspect of any video game. Why on earth would anybody want to pay anything additional for them?


indodude (on 16 September 2010)

@A Bad Clown iseewhatyoudidthere.jpg


patapon (on 16 September 2010)

Do you think Mr. Kotick keeps the souls of people who sold him their souls in a jar on his mantle or deep within the crevices of his ass?


A Bad Clown (on 16 September 2010)

Hey, no one had problems when Konami and Sony did this...


heruamon (on 16 September 2010)

I jsut think it's funny that he's trying to turn Activision-Blizzard into a media company...Thy are having problems at the development level, and he's thinking about expanding into movies...Maybe he shold be focused on games other than COD.


binary solo (on 16 September 2010)

"and say we have this great hour and a half of linear video that we'd like to make available to you at a $30 or $20 price point, you'd have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever." Utter crap. Or at least I hope that many people wouldn't pay that much for something they already have. I'd pay $5 for the run together cutscenes of my absolute favourite games, but that's it. Of course with teknologiez these days you can do you ownvideo capture of the cutscenes and get your Starcraft II movie for free. And post it on Youtube for about 2 days until it gets taken down for copyright reasons, but by which time thousands of people will have downloaded it themselves.


geman777 (on 16 September 2010)

First... If you have the ability to generate content why wouldn't you try to sell it? I think that taking cut scenes and plopping them together is a half assed idea, which I am sure would not be the final product he would ever attempt to sell. But if he created an hour and a half of original content based on WoW or Starcraft much like the Final Fantasy movies then I am sure it would sell. Not only would I consider buying it online, but if it hit a movie theater I would pay to go see it there. Obviously the company is full of talented artists and animators in addition to the fact that most of the characters have already have the basic rendering down. It wouldn't be hard for him to put a team on attempting to make a movie and it would take a considerable amount of less time than making a game, plus it would bring brand awareness to his IP. His only responsibility is to his shareholders and his employees, if he can generate more revenue for his company its good for everyone who has a stake in the company and that includes the employees.


LordTheNightKnight (on 16 September 2010)

Red Vs Blue are not cut scenes. They are far better, which is why some think it's worth paying money for.


kain_kusanagi (on 16 September 2010)

I don't get why everyone is pissed about this. It's not like he's threatening to withhold cutscenes from games so he can force you to pay separately for it. All he's saying is that people love the cutscenes in games like StarCraft 2 and he'd like to sell it to people interested as a movie. What's wrong with that? You don't have to buy it if you don't want to and you can still watch it in your game the way you have before. All this would do is give fans the option to watch cutscenes in a movie style outside of the game, if they are interested..


bannedagain (on 16 September 2010)

wow, this douche bag needs to go. Someone just find a way to leave him stranded on a island. WIth out of control apes that love to mate with new species other then there own. I can't stand this guy and I don't buy any of his products anymore. hopefully this continues to grow and I think it will. if he keeps coming out and bashing the community that supports him I think at some point things will change and not in his favor. Go f your self bobby Look at his face, you just want to punch his teeth down his throat. sh@t eating grin like, yea I'm f'ing so many gamer and I hate you all. I hate video games and hopefully can destroy the video game industry in one sweep. Bobby I think you should tongue punch my f@rt box.


oniyide (on 16 September 2010)

at least this guy is up front about his greediness I could respect that, not much else


bigalthethird (on 16 September 2010)

avery, you make some reasonable arguments but I think you're blinded by a basic lack of understanding of rudimentary economic facts. That said, can you name some major companies that you have some trust in and brand loyalty towards?


Tridrakious (on 16 September 2010)

I'm glad that consumers are still winning. Look at Guitar Hero. They massacred that franchise and consumers stopped buying, turning it into the mess it is now. Go ahead Kotick, but I believe that you won't win this. I've already stopped buying your products and I know of several others who have as well.


averyblund (on 16 September 2010)

It's really shocking that society hasn't devolved into anarchy with the number of straight up corporate shills hiding behind their misinformed anti-self interest. No wonder that these so called "analyst" types have destroyed more than a few economies recently. Thats what happens when you have a laissez faire attitude in which the big company has the right to shove whatever they want down our collective throats. It's a gross misunderstanding of the reason corporate charters are granted by the PEOPLE to these entities. That said this is just greedy, not evil, but stupid. But to make it sound like it isn't a douchebaggy move is still pretty astounding. And to defend it with the argument that trying to bilk the customer is good business is fundamentally flawed to anybody who realizes that building trust and brand loyalty has ALWAYS been the key to long term success. But try telling that to the here one day, gone the next bean-counter CEO types who have short term stock gains and golden parachutes on their minds is damn near impossible.


SecondWar (on 16 September 2010)

'Films' arent even that expensive in a cinema. And I use the term 'film' loosely as in-game cutscenes =/= a film


Euphoria14 (on 16 September 2010)

Next up: "Thank you for purchasing Final Fantasy XV. We appreciate your $60 investment and support for our titles and would like to extend our $29.99 offer to you right now that will give your games cutscenes as well as gameplay. This is your best opportunity to get the absolute best out of your Final Fantasy XV experience."


ocnkng (on 16 September 2010)

This is just a semi serious sales pitch that he made up just to look good before all the big honchos of wall street. Coz obviously they have the real money and key to his success. In seriousness, if you consider this idea, its absolute crap. I mean an actual movie needs an enormous amount of editing and other post processing before it becomes worth viewing.


thelifatree (on 16 September 2010)

It's not particularly a bad thing. I mean, it's not hurting anyone... if you don't want it don't buy it. Or watch the in game ones. I mean Music Artists release collections of their music videos, greatest hits etc. There's nothing inherently bad about it like many people are making out to be. If there's a market for people wanting to pay for Starcraft CG videos... then by all means sell it to them.


famousringo (on 16 September 2010)

I would love to have the choice of buying the game for $40 or the game plus its crappy CG movies for $60. I know which one I would choose 9 times out of 10.


richardhutnik (on 16 September 2010)

I meant there to just put all the cutscenes together, without adding anything and expecting to sell them, is stupid. However, add more and transforming it into a film, has potential.


bigalthethird (on 16 September 2010)

Thanks dude! To be fair, I do the same thing Pachter does for a living, although I'm much earlier in my career than him and don't know as much. But I say this because I have very strong feelings about economics, morality, greed, Capitalism, etc. Bottom line - if the customer is *willing* to pay for something, and it's an elastic thing, the seller has the absolute right to charge as much as customer demand will allow for. If it's something inelastic, like food or gasoline, then there need to be some slight restrictions in place - let's be honest, if all gas companies charged $30/gallon, we'd still be paying it. We wouldn't drive as much, but we'd pay it. So there need to be some checks and balances in extreme cases like that. But idiotically charging a couple of bucks for a semi-requisite component of a video game? If people want to pay it and it increases your bottom line, feel free. It's just that nobody would pay it.


richardhutnik (on 16 September 2010)

Wow, I am in a bit of a whirlwind on what to think here. In corporate speak, I see that him saying that ends up getting a bunch of nods from executives as brilliant. As just a repackage of cut scenes, it is stupid. HOWEVER, is there talk of adding even more cut scenes and repackaging it as a feature length film? I do see that definitely would add potential. You could flesh the story out more and add more details. Keep the cut scene engine for the entire production and you do possibly have something.


EL_PATRAS (on 16 September 2010)

What bigalthethird said. Couldn't be more accurate


Hephaestos (on 16 September 2010)

I hope he means making just a movie and not a movie based on game content only.....


bigalthethird (on 16 September 2010)

Let's back up the trolley a little bit here. Greed is not an inherently evil thing. Businesses need to make as much money as possible - that's the definition of 'business.' If this dude thinks he can make more money from the consumer by charging for these micro-transactions, then more power to him! However, my feeling is that he is wrong. Not only will few people pay $20 to see a few hours of cutscenes, but less people overall will buy the game - knowing they're not getting the full product. So you lose overall sales on the game, and don't make it up with this 'cutscene' fee. The system likely wouldn't work, and more likely won't happen anytime soon. So don't get worried just yet. However, greed is not a bad thing. Nearly all of us are 'greedy' to some extent. It's just a pejorative term for someone who 'wants to have more money than they do now.' Greed *can* be a bad thing, and it can *lead* to evil (when pursued using immoral/illegal tactics), but there's nothing morally wrong with this dude's idea. It's just a stupid idea.


Beuli2 (on 16 September 2010)

Someone one is going straight to hell with so much greed.


theprof00 (on 16 September 2010)

This is the craziest shit I've read all day/ Things like this is why the original starcraft/warcraft; ie WARHAMMER and it's movies are such good rivals. Because on one hand you have people trying to short change you every step of the way, and on the other side you have a company trying to deliver its vision and artistry.


ale666 (on 16 September 2010)

lol this guy is insane. Personally if they take out all the movies they do me a favour as most of them are crap which i watch once and eventually skip them entierly . As far as paying for them ahahahahahaha


heruamon (on 16 September 2010)

Yeah...I use to try to understand where Kotick is coming from, but the guy is nuts. So let me get this right....you want to charge me for CUTSCENES...are you nuts? If Activisions wants to make movies, I have no problem with that, jsut so long as they don't try to charge me game prices for movies.


jack100 (on 16 September 2010)

hYpnochronic makes a good solid point.


hYpnochronic (on 16 September 2010)

@elticker ~ I'm fairly sure it's not "the casuals" who are buying this crap. It's the same people who pay $150 for special edition games with stupid figurines. It's the same people who buy every rip-off piece of DLC that has no real value. It's the ones who say "Boycott Activision! I'll never buy MW2 without dedicated servers!!" and then when it comes out they are the first ones in line with a hand full of bills. These are not the "casuals". "Casuals", as they are pejoratively called, are the all too common scapegoat these days.


CChaos (on 16 September 2010)

Man, is there any lengths that this guy will not go to to make a buck? Dear lord, he's like the poster child for ideas that makes his entire fan base want to take a tire iron to his knees. Yet people keep buying the games that his company puts out and smiles as he spoon feeds them his crap. Truly amazing.


elticker (on 16 September 2010)

dam he tops every comment he makes with another, dam i feel sry for hardcore gamers like me who are going to get f****d over because casuals will buy that crap which will make moer developers do it making you pay more for teh campaign thank god i have never bought an activision game in my life


Vetteman94 (on 16 September 2010)

OMG will this guy ever shut up about how he is going to try and screw over his customers even more in the future? Its like a game to him on how much more of a douchebag he can become by opening his mouth. Problem is he keeps topping his high score


westplay (on 16 September 2010)

I'll have to start taking pills in order to be able to handle these wonderful ideas @%^&*#$%^


Salnax (on 16 September 2010)

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