Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has spoken about retro games and remakes, which has been an area of success for the company in recent years. In an interview with GamesBeat, Kotick shared some high-level thoughts on the company’s strategy, and he also singled out one franchise in particular that could be ripe for a remake: Pitfall.
“For us, it’s much more about, is it the right idea?” Kotick said about Activision Blizzard’s approach to remakes. “Are we going to be able to execute against that nostalgic audience in a way where it’s going to actually resonate with both the original fans but also new fans?”
Kotick said Activision Blizzard is uniquely positioned because it has a catalog of franchises going back to 1980. One of these franchises is Pitfall, which hasn’t seen a new release in years. Kotick estimated that Pitfall, as a franchise, has reached 100 million players. So there is an opportunity for a remake to have success if executed properly, he said.
“We’re fortunate, we have a library that goes back to 1980. So if you look at the hundreds of titles we have in the library, for us, being able to go back into the library and take something that hasn’t been worked on for years and years but has a loyal following, you look at Pitfall as a great example,” he said. “My guess is probably 100 million people have played Pitfall since the original in 1980. I think there would be a lot of enthusiasm for a new Pitfall. So going back and looking at those nostalgic titles as a source of inspiration is one way we think about opportunity.”
Kotick stopped short of announcing any specific plans for a Pitfall remake, but given these comments, it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s announced one day.
In the same interview, Kotick spoke about the importance of making new IP as well. He said Activision Blizard has enjoyed more success than other publishers in this area. Part of the reason for this success is because Activision Blizzard is financially disciplined and will only bring out a new IP if it believes it can be a success, even if it’s costly.
“We’ve probably had an unusual level of success. But we also have the flexibility of not releasing something until it’s great,” he said. “And so if you have the financial wherewithal and the discipline to say, ‘We’re not going to release a new intellectual property until we know it’s really ready for its audience, and can find an audience, that’s a luxury and a privilege that we have and we use.”
One of Activision Blizzard’s next big remakes is Diablo II: Resurrected, which launches this year. And while you might have to wait for some time to play a new Pitfall, the original arcade version of the game was added to the Barracks section of Black Ops Cold War’s menu in the Season 3 update. It was previously playable through an Easter Egg in the game’s campaign.
In the same interview, Kotick spoke about how he believes a Ready Player One-like Metaverse is going to happen, and potentially in the next 10 years.
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