Q&A: Activision Blizzard's Bobby Kotick


The Holywood Reporter: How much does it cost to create a video game from scratch?

Bobby Kotick: Across every platform and geography and in multiple languages, you're looking at a $40 million-$50 million investment, then an equivalent amount of money, at a minimum,
in marketing.

THR: How many new games are successful?

Kotick: In order to be a success, you want to know a franchise is being built out of a product, that it will have a pathway to innovation for a long period of time, 20%-plus operating margins and a high return of invested capital. So if you use our definition of success, there are very few titles that reach that criteria.

THR: How many hours will the average consumer play "Guitar Hero" before he or she gets bored?

Kotick: I don't know. But one of the things that makes it so successful is that it has appeal in the household beyond the core gamer. You're not getting a single person playing it; different people are playing different instruments and different songs.

THR: Can you give me details of the "Guitar Hero" TV show?

Kotick: I wish I could.

THR: What about the "World of Warcraft" and "Call of Duty" movies?

Kotick: Look, these are enormous properties with incredible consumer appeal. We could drive 10 million or 20 million people into the theaters just among those who are enthusiastic about the franchises.

THR: What will be the hot topic at E3 this year?

Kotick: Physical interface, production values, multiplayer play. The products that you'll see this year from us and our competitors are really, for the first time, taking advantage of what the hardware can do.