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Activision Publishing CEO not interested in “morphing games into movies”

Thursday, 24th October 2013 04:47 GMT By Ewan Miller

Eric Hirshberg, the CEO of Activision Publishing, is a strong believer in games doing “what games do best” and doesn’t share the “strange desire to morph games into movies or have them behave more like movies”. He sat down with Edge for a chat about what the next generation of consoles means for Activision, check out some choice quotes after the break.

Asked by Edge whether we might see a romantic comedy from the next generation of Activision games, Hirshberg explained that while he wouldn’t rule out some kind of genre innovation, he believed in games focusing on “transportive” experiences.

“However, I think there’s something to do with allowing different media to do what each media does well. When I think of games as an art form, they start with being transportive. Because they’re interactive, because you are more involved in the experience than in any other form of entertainment, it all starts with being transported. And obviously a natural place to want to transport people is into an experience they can’t have in their everyday lives. Sometimes that’s driving a fast car, sometimes that’s being a professional athlete, sometimes that’s being a rock star, sometimes that’s being a hero or going into a fantastical future”

He then spoke against the forced transposition of one experience into the other medium and urged developers to utilise the strengths of games as interactive experiences.

“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. I think that’s something that movies and TV do well. There’s this strange desire to morph games into movies or have them behave more like movies; I don’t share that desire. Games are wonderful as they are and do different things better than other forms of media.”

Speaking about Activision’s plans for the next generation of consoles, Hirshberg argued that the new consoles improved social and multidevice integration would lead to greater innovation in games, rather than simply increased horsepower.

Thanks, Edge.

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7 Comments

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  1. DSB

    Sad reading. It’s almost like he’s publicly declaring creative bankruptcy.

    I had fun being a carpenter, miner, logger, mason and only occasionally a monster hunter in Minecraft, Eric.

    Manual labor and shit.

    And I’m pretty sure part of what made it awesome is that I’m dude-with-gun or dude-with-Lambo in virtually every other game.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. ddtd

    @1 – Not sure where you got that from this article, unless you’re citing something from the whole interview from Edge.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Old MacDonald

    It’s not really surprising that he isn’t interested in story-driven experiences, because those aren’t so easily monetized. It is much easier when you have games with fast cars you can buy, songs you can buy, og heros who you can upgrade for real world money.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. DSB

    @2 “Sometimes that’s driving a fast car, sometimes that’s being a professional athlete, sometimes that’s being a rock star, sometimes that’s being a hero or going into a fantastical future”

    It seems pretty clear that his idea of what games are supposed to be is limited to exaggerated boyhood fantasies. Or at least those are the only examples he could offer in this case.

    And if that is how the executives think, then we have a pretty good explanation as to why games, at least in the most mainstream sense, continue to be a dedicated B-medium that the rest of the world just kinda shrugs at.

    Games are capable of a lot more than just letting you be a world beating badass. It’s just mindnumbing to pretend that that’s all there is.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Blue Oni

    @4″It seems pretty clear that his idea of what games are supposed to be is limited to exaggerated boyhood fantasies. Or at least those are the only examples he could offer in this case.”

    No he didn’t say or implied anything like that it’s just your imagination.Games don’t have to copy movies and be linear cinematic experiences full of cutscenes,pretendious characterization/stories,QTEs and have multimillion actors in order to be something more than “boyhood fantasies”.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. bradk825

    Activision is not without its storytelling abilities. Even to this day I have fond memories of Battlezone ;-) Working together with the Russians, who saw that coming?

    #6 6 months ago
  7. DSB

    @5 But they do need to be more than driving a fast car, being a professional athlete, a rockstar or a hero, or going into a fantastical future.

    Again, his best examples of what games could be. Whether he is implying that that’s all or not, that is nevertheless all he could come up with.

    #7 6 months ago