Evening Reading

By Brian Leahy, Sep 15, 2010 5:00pm PDT Tokyo Game Show is about to kick-off for real. Stay tuned for news from Microsoft and Sony, both holding their press conferences later tonight (tomorrow morning in Japan).

Third party publishers have already made some announcements, however, which can be found under this handy TGS 2010 keyword.

What do you think of Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry reboot? Definitely looks... different. Gaming News o'the Day

Links from Morning Discussion

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  • Some gems from Bobby Kotick at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference and the Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference:

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/103508-Black-Ops-to-Serve-as-Template-for-Future-Call-of-Duty-Games

    According to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, Treyarch's upcoming Cold War shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops is a roadmap to what the next five years worth of Call of Duty games will be like. Speaking at the Deutsche Bank 2010 Technology Conference, Kotick said that Black Ops showed off both the visual style of future games, and how they stories and characters would be put together. Future releases would improve on the quality, and the games would become more cinematic, with more in-depth and "real" plots. He also said that Move and Kinect would allow the integration of motion and voice controls, bringing big changes to the gameplay.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30441/Kotick_Activision_Focusing_On_Higher_Margins_More_Online.php

    "We're better focused on figuring out how to expand the operating profit right now than chasing the revenue growth that's only going to contribute 20 percent operating margins. But the business over the next five to ten years will continue to grow... Today, probably 65 percent of our operating profit comes from online or online-related sources," he said. "As we see more televisions that have microprocessors that have an internet connection where we can get direct to the consumer, you'll continue to see the operating margins expand."

    http://www.psxextreme.com/ps3-news/7786.html

    "If we were to go to our audience and say we have this great hour-and-a-half of linear video that we would like to make available to you at a $30 price point or $20 price point, you'd have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever. Within the next five years, you are likely to see us do that. Now that may be in partnership with somebody; it may be alone. But there will be a time when we capitalize on the relationship that we have with our audience."

    I fully realize that these two conferences have an intended audience of corporate bigwigs who flew in by private jet and investors dialing in via their CrackBerry, but I always cringe at these statements that seem to imply that publishers have zero interest in making a good game, and don't ever practice hindsight at community backlash. The Call of Duty franchise is going to be five years of Treyarch games with Jesse Stern story writing, Hans Zimmer music, Limp Bizkit / Eminem / Linkin Park promo videos, and Kinect and Playstation Move controls. Now I know how the Steel Battalion fans feel from last night's news.

    "Everything you thought might be true... IS true!" -- Jake Rodkin, Idle Thumbs 43 (September 18, 2009, after Bobby Koticks "taking all the fun out of making video games" quote)