Okami, Oblivion top GDCA award noms; Schafer to host[ps2] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [wii] [psp]
This week, the full list of nominations for the always high quality Game Developers Choice Awards, hosted every year during Game Developers Conference by the International Game Developers Association, was revealed. Dominating the list of nominees with four nods each were Clover Studio's Okami (PS2) and Bethesda Softworks' The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (X360, PC). The former was commended for Character Design, Game Design, and Visual Arts, and the latter for Game Design, Visual Arts, and Writing, while both games took nods for Best Game.
Strikingly unlike the AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, which perennially snub titles from non-member publishers, the GDCA honors any game that receives enough nominations from its voting body, which includes professionals from throughout the games industry. Notably, Capcom, whose games have been absent from the AIAS awards for several years, tied with Nintendo for second most total GDCA nominations; each publisher garnered five. Capcom's non-Okami nod was in Technology for Dead Rising (X360). Nintendo's five were split between Wii Sports (Wii) and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GCN, Wii), each of which is up for Best Game, making Nintendo the only publisher to have two titles in the running for the show's top honor. The top performing publisher was Microsoft, which saw developers Rare and Epic take three nods each for Viva Pinata (X360) and Gears of War (X360); the latter title is up for Best Game.
The other games to receive multiple nods were Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes (PC), Sony Computer Entertainment's LocoRoco (PSP), Rockstar Vancouver's Bully (PS2), and Square Enix's Final Fantasy XII (PS2), each with two nominations. Despite strong critical and commercial success in the portable segment last year, LocoRoco was the only portable game to make the list, though Daxter (PSP) developer Ready at Dawn was recognized in the New Studio category alongside fellow newcomers such as Iron Lore Entertainment for Titan Quest (PC) and Naked Sky Entertainment for RoboBlitz (X360, PC).
The Game Developers Choice Awards will be presented during this year's Game Developers Conference at San Francisco's Moscone Center on March 7 at 6:30pm. Hosting the ceremony will be Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer, whose studio last year achieved four nominations and two wins for its excellent game Psychonauts (PS2, Xbox, PC). Mega64 and DJ Chris (by whom the IGDA likely means MC Chris) will be providing entertainment.
GTA: Vice City Stories to be told on PS2[ps2] [psp]
Last year, Rockster Leeds' Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories was released a PSP exclusive, following up on the studio's prior PSP game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. Liberty City Stories was eventually released on PlayStation 2 as well, though shortly before its release Rockstar representatives indicated that there were no such plans in the works for the second game in the spinoff series.
Today, the publisher officially confirmed via a very brief press release that, as many have suspected, Vice City Stories is indeed coming to PlayStation 2 after all--and soon. The game will be on North American store shelves on March 6, 2007, to follow in Europe three days later.
ATVI to up Nintendo output, take Downhill Jam to PS2[ps2] [ps3] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [wii] [ds] [psp] [gba]
After announcing record financial results today, publisher Activision held a followup conference call during which company executives discussed the announced figures as well as spoke on the company's plans for the near future. Chairman and CEO Bobby Kotick congratulated the company on its performance on next-gen (ie, current-gen) platforms, noting that Activision was the only company to be within the top three publishers on all three current home consoles. Kotick went on to speak more specifically on Wii, noting that the company plans to strengthen its output on that platform as well as on Nintendo DS. "Activision recognized the Wii opportunity on, and we had one of the largest lineups at launch. In fiscal 08, we will double our product offerings on Wii and DS as we plan to be even more successful on these platforms," he said, adding, "To date, there has been strong consumer response to all three next-generation consoles, which truly are delivering new gaming experiences to broader, more diverse audiences than ever before."
Despite Activision's overall Wii performance, coming in at number two on the platform, Toys for Bob's Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam sold notably below Neversoft's main franchise entry Tony Hawk's Project 8 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Perhaps partially as a result, the company revealed that Downhill Jam will be released on PlayStation 2 in calendar Q2 2007. Also likely contributing to the decision was Activision's strong success on PlayStation 2, most significantly by way of the company's star performer, Harmonix's Guitar Hero II on PS2.
Activision noted that it expects PS2 sales to stay strong through 2007, matching calendar year sales for Wii and PS3 and coming in close to sales for Xbox 360. It also projects continued strong sales in the handheld sector.
Screenshots: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3, also X360, PC).
Artwork: Wario: Master of Disguise (NDS) character artwork.
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
The Three Stooges for the NES. "Hard as hell, but the soup game was fun! Who doesn't want to play as the Stooges? Plus the fake Ghostbusters opening was cute." (submitted by RevRaven)