Activision on "strange desire" for games to morph into movies

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says "I don't share that desire" about making games behave more like films.

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is not terribly thrilled about the idea of games borrowing from movies to the point where they play out like films.

In a new interview with Edge, Hirshberg was asked if Activision would ever consider making a game outside of the boundaries of typical genres, like a romantic comedy game.

"There's this strange desire to morph games into movies or have them behave more like movies; I don't share that desire," Hirshberg said. "Games are wonderful as they are and do different things better than other forms of media."

He explained that what makes games so alluring is that they are interactive and allow for a sort of digital tourism, where players can be transported to a universe and become a hero or a sports star.

"I think this is inherently what games do best and so I'd expect that to be the basis of games for a long time to come. I don’t know if romantic comedy fits that model," Hirshberg said. "I think that's something that movies and TV do well."

Activision will release Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii U on November 5. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will follow in November.

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Discussion

89 comments
Wolfkcing
Wolfkcing

Yes. But if someone makes a movie like game, makes a lot of money off it and people really enjoy it, good for them. Just cause it doesn't appeal to you or me doesn't mean it simply should not exist.

fillup0
fillup0

Call of Duty is a game which is a shooting gallery split up by cinematic sequences. It also happens to be the best selling Activision game.

So how can Eric claim that he doesn't want games to be like movies when his companies most well known game is essentially a movie?

bernard978
bernard978

"Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is not terribly thrilled about the idea of games borrowing from movies to the point where they play out like films."

Half their CoD singleplayer campaigns since CoD5 are nothing but cut scenes. Hirshberg is such a tool.

GetafixOz
GetafixOz

Its basically why Beyond Two Souls doesn't interest me.

gamequiche
gamequiche

Seems like there are two subjects going on here.  I prefer tactical games, but I would rather play a GOOD romantic comedy game than a BAD tactical game.  I would rather watch a movie or play a video game, and not do both at the same time. 

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

That's how you know Cod does not take itself serious enough.

jakerscythe
jakerscythe

Because if you don't follow the herd, you have "strange desires", right? Innovation is a new paint job every year, right?

Ehggsz
Ehggsz

Somehow, It seems Activision is contradicting what they've stated before about "risk taking" and how they are wiling to do so.  I just get that feeling...

A "romantic comedy" video game seems like an outside-of-the-box type of concept.  We know Activision won't have the balls to try it.  Oh, wait guys, Skylanders.  We'll have to be reminded of that again.  That interview should be coming tomorrow.

As for cinematic, movie-like games, they're all around us since the moment we were able to have 3D models in-game.

Chronologo
Chronologo

You want games that play like movies?? Go get a Sega CD, do you want a romantic comedy "game"?? Look for that awful piece of crap called "Plumbers don't wear ties"

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

That's ironic considering the Call of Duty campaigns (BO2 to a lesser extent though, will have to see what they do with Ghosts)

ACMC85
ACMC85

Best thing ever said from Activision. This man deserves a raise just for this, I know he's the CEO and already gets paid a lot. But, he clearly is one of the more intelligent ones there and understands not everything needs to be a movie.

hystavito
hystavito

I said this before and I'll say it again, FMV games :).  Why aren't those referred to as being more, trying to be meaningful, etc. ?

Hurvl
Hurvl

Wow, something Activision and I can agree on! And we both share the first name he and I, though I spell mine as Erik. Games are games, they don't need to copy other cultural forms. Games can be all of them at once and its own characteristic things, like interactivity as well as greater immersion by controlling a character.

Ubisoft sure seem to think that they can convert their games into actual movies, though. They've got no less than 6 franchises planned for the movie theaters

noirtenshin
noirtenshin

WAT? Do we not have a romantic comedy with the fish (AI)? And the dog as our best friend (that help us chase the fish when we lose all hope)? 

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I thought from the title this might have been about the run of videogame-to-movie adaptations being led by EA and Ubisoft. I was terrified I might actually be on the brink of agreeing with someone from Activision. Thank god they didn't let me down. :-L

Once again I find myself exasperated by Activision's b.s. I can't think of a single game that I'd consider a romantic comedy anyway (so that seems like a dumb example), but I can think of a series of games that remind me of some dumb action movies that are all full of big, flashy set-pieces and 'hoorah'-ing meat-heads.

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

Well they are just too fucking lazy/cheap to program a system whereby it takes skill and effort to make the character do the movie like action sequences in free control mode.

TwilightPhoenix
TwilightPhoenix

I agree with something someone at Activision said?  ...who are you and what have you done with the real Activision?

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

Well said Mr. Hirshberg, if only you actually applied this line of thinking to your own games. It sounds pretty silly for somebody from Activision to say this. Call of Duty is notorious for constantly taking control away from the player and forcing you to do nothing but *watch*. That sounds an awful lot like a game trying to be too much like a movie, yeah? It is an awful trend, but the funny thing is Activision with the CoD series is one of the most guilty of it.

deathstream
deathstream

First thing I've heard from Activision that I agree with in a long time.  Paging Mr. Cage.

cornbredx
cornbredx

Funny that someone with Activision would say that as COD clearly apes terrible yet hugely popular action films.

Also not surprising that they would be short sighted.

Only thing I agree with is that games should not try to be movies. This does not mean they cannot benefit from learning something from each other.

Kamina85
Kamina85

Yes, limiting the medium, that's always good, right? Maybe somebody should have called Ron Howard years ago and told him TV comedies aren't meant to have an ongoing plot so Arrested Development never came out. Maybe somebody should have called Bruce Timm and Paul Dini and told them cartoons aren't meant to be anything but toy commercials so they would never make Batman TAS. Anymore "great" limitations we want to throw out?

Case in point, do NOT tell creative artists what they can or cannot do. It's hard enough to create something unique these days anyway, any form of unnecessarily imposing limitation is a hindrance to creativity.

Oh, and hey Activision, by your logic I'll throw this at you: I don't think games are meant to be manipulative means to get parents to buy tons of compatible figures for the game! (drops microphone and leaves)

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

This article made me cancel my Destiny preorder since now it's clear that it won't have an interesting story.

mrcharrio
mrcharrio

Yeah I want less Gameplay and more long movie scenes between chapters. Aren't a few games like this already?

Glad they're not going that way more so but some seem like interactive movies themselves, Ghostbusters was kinda like that.
Was a wonderful game but felt like a movie.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

Shut the fuck up guy at Activision.You don't deserve to have an opinion about this subject.Fuck you and your meaningless shooters and fish AI that run away from you when you move towards them ! I rarely buy Activision games because even now I can't think of a single Activision game with a good story.

Of course you don't want games to become something meaningfull because you want to keep making games for people with the attention span of a monkey who can't pay attention even for a second to a story and probably skip all the cutscenes anyway.You just want meaningless gameplay and explosions.

Mature players want something more from a game.We're tired of the same old "go shoot this guy because I said so" games.Keep making your games for 12 year olds while I buy games more suited for my age.

ryancyc
ryancyc

Not really saying much, since they clearly don't plan on morphing their games into anything.

mori70
mori70

It must have been so hard for him to keep a straight face while saying these words

Mrod1212
Mrod1212

A romantic comedy game...with explosions!

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Dudes, there should really be a video game adaptation of Wedding Crashers. Just think about it: you pick your character - Frankenstein's Monster or Justin Bieber with a broken nose - and crash different weddings. You get missions like how many times you can shout the word "shout", how many naked chicks you can throw on a bed, and if you fail you get to spend time with More Cowbell at a funeral. And all of that from an Oculus Rift compatible first person view.

Best. Game. Ever.

red_city
red_city

@PlatinumPaladin He's talking about the Beyond Two Souls/Heavy Rain type of games, that want to just play you a movie, and drop you into exciting set pieces such as preparing dinner, or going to a school dance.

The question about a "Romantic Comedy" game, was about if he'd consider doing something such as that, in the vain of those types of games.

Maybe read the article next time.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@TwilightPhoenix The real Activision is off making more heavily linear cinematic-cutscene-laden action-movie-copying CoD games.

deathstream
deathstream

@Lambchopzin 

Not even close to what he is talking about.  There is a huge difference between COD, which has gameplay and Beyond: Two Souls, or even Uncharted 3 which is more cutscene than game.

deathstream
deathstream

@Kamina85 I think you meant "drops microphone and runs away because he knows that there are valid holes to be poked in the argument".

topeira
topeira

@mori70 yup. with COD, which is the most scripted linear cinematic shooter out there.
the company that has the most privilege to say everything he said is bethesda. maybe take2 as well. 

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Mrod1212 "Press X to not get dumped over hilarious misunderstanding"

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@xsonicchaos I vote for The Internship video game because I'd rather cheat and punch that fake british prick. And also the indian guy.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

@red_city I read the article, asshole. Word for word. Maybe if you actually read my comment it'd be apparent. There was not one mention of Beyond, Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream or David Cage. They were the games that sprung to mind while reading the article, but I wouldn't exactly qualify them as romantic comedies. My point was why would the interviewer ask if he'd do a romantic comedy game when no one has done one? Struck me as a bit of a sarcastic question to ask of the most unadventurous publishers in the industry.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@DarkSaber2k With the amount of cut scenes in CoD, you'd think he sounds like a hypocrite. Then again, we'd find other reasons to call him a hypocrite and worse things, if this one thing didn't make him one.

Lambchopzin
Lambchopzin

@deathstream @Lambchopzin Have you played a Call of Duty single player campaign recently? Besides, Beyond Two Souls has plenty of gameplay. If you say otherwise my guess is that you just haven't played it yet. I'm not a huge fan of the game myself, but it certainly has gameplay.