Category Archives: GC 2008
Fri, Sep 26, 2008 | 11:02 BST
Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce has said the monster-developer’s merger with Activision is “cool” from a business perspective and has affected each side’s money men rather than their game-creators.
“I think from a corporate family perspective it’s cool, right? The leadership of Activision has a lot of experience in the industry,” he told VG247.
“You know, there’s definitely lots of opportunities for us to learn from them and them to learn from us. They also recognise the value of what we’ve achieved and how we’ve achieved it, and they don’t want to impose anything on us, so it’s really up to us to figure if or how we want to leverage their experience, and up to them to determine if or how they want to leverage our experience.”
Pearce added that games like StarCraft II had been unaffected by the merger, with development continuing as planned.
“The StarCraft II team operates pretty independently and autonomously, and nothing related to the Activision merger really affected that,” he said.
“The type of folks at Blizzard that are affected by the merger are people working in finance, human resources and stuff like that. Development teams aren’t affected, really.”
Pearce was speaking at Games Convention in Germany. There’s still no date on StarCraft II.
Mon, Sep 22, 2008 | 08:44 BST
Speaking in a Games Convention presentation, Quantic Dream boss David Cage confirmed that the Heavy Rain scenario shown at the event – with a journalist being chased through a house by a taxidermist murderer – hasn’t got anything to do with the thriller’s main story arc.
“It’s really a bonus scene,” said Cage. “It’s not part of the main plot.”
The level showed a woman investigating a series of appearances by breaking into a house and finding a room upstairs full of dead, stuffed ladies. Normal, average day.
Cage said the scene is likely to be included on the title’s retail version, however.
“It will probably be on the game [disc], yeah,” he added. “As a bonus scene.”
Heavy Rain’s been pegged by SCEE president David Reeves as PS3’s “most important title for next year”, and certainly did a good job of knocking out the crowds in Germany last month.
No date, though.
Wed, Sep 17, 2008 | 14:53 BST
Speaking to EG, WipEout HD director Tony Buckley has expressed frustration at the game failing a routine epilepsy test.
Not passing resulted in the racer being delayed.
“[It was] frustrating more than anything, because it’s quite subjective the whole test,” he said.
“But we certainly weren’t going to take it lightly. We had to think long and hard about how we approached it, because there were ways and means of doing it, but in the end we managed to actually solve any issues without any detriment to the game.
“That was our worry, that the game would suddenly look poorer as a result of it, but no, it’s all gone really well.”
More through there.
Wed, Sep 17, 2008 | 14:18 BST
Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida has told VG247 that Sony looked at Microsoft’s choice to make Xbox 360′s hard drive optional and decided against it in an effort to be able to provide “seamless gameplay” and solid digital distribution.
“It’s one of the things we really supported when the hardware specification was decided for PS3,” he said when asked if having increased hard drive space made a difference to PS3′s development plans.
“Like Microsoft did, we could have had an optional hard drive and settled for cheaper combinations of hardware, but if we had done that – from a [development] standpoint – we cannot rely on every consumer to have a hard drive.
“So that really helps us to focus on [the fact that] every consumer has a hard drive. Now we can cache data so that gameplay is seamless.”
Yoshida pointed at one game specifically that relies on PS3′s hard drive to cut down on loading times.
“One example is the Uncharted game we did last year,” he said. “You don’t this, but the game is constantly caching the data in the hard drive so that you don’t have to wait for loading.”
The exec also pointed out that a compulsory hard drive was important for the firm’s PSN plans.
“Also having the space for consumers to download stuff allows us to create games only for digital distribution that are a couple of gigabytes in size,” he added.
Yoshida was speaking at Games Convention last month.
Fri, Sep 12, 2008 | 13:48 BST
Speaking to IGN at Games Convention, Sony Worldwide Studio boss Shuhei Yoshida’s admitted he’s not happy at the lack of PSP games on the horizon.
“Yeah, it’s really, really disappointing and it’s a lost opportunity for the third-parties,” he said.
“They should look at what the PSP can do for their titles and the potential for the business that their IP has.”
Leading from the front is the way forward, said the exec.
“We have to show by examples,” he added. “What’s happening in Japan is interesting – because of the massive success of Monster Hunter, Japanese publishers realise, ‘here’s a resource’.
“Lots of people are playing PSP in groups of fours and when you go to Japan it’s hard to find a train or a bar where you don’t see some people playing a PSP. So other publishers in Japan are seeing these consumers, and thinking, ‘Wow, we can make games for those consumers’.”
Loads more through there.
Fri, Sep 12, 2008 | 12:03 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, Quantic Dream boss David Cage said a single walk through of top drawer PS3 thriller Heavy Rain is likely to take no more than 12 hours.
“We’re still in the middle of production, so I can’t really tell you the exact time of the game, but we’re targeting a game between eight and 12 hours in gameplay for one walk through,” he said.
Seen for the first time in Germany last month, the game showed what appeared to be unparalleled plot-branching, a fact, Cage said, likely to keep the hardcore coming back for much more.
“It’s impossible in one walk through to see everything there is to see,” he added.
“And that’s going to be OK. For most gamers, they’re going to play it once, and really enjoy it and have a great journey, but some hardcore gamers will want to come back and see everything, and all possible options.”
Heavy Rain has been branded PS3′s “most important title for next year” by SCEE boss David Reeves.
Thu, Sep 11, 2008 | 11:28 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce said that Diablo III’s requirements from the major Battle.Net upgrade currently being worked on at the firm will be specific to the game itself.
“Diablo III will have its own unique needs in terms of what Battle.Net provides,” he said.
Pearce also revealed that the team working on the new Battle.Net is a separate division within Blizzard.
“The Battle.Net team is actually a separate group of engineers working on that functionality,” he added. “So, they’re working with the StarCraft II team and they’ll be working pretty integrally with the Diablo III team as well.”
Wed, Sep 10, 2008 | 20:35 BST
We thought we imagined this at the time, but Quantic Dream’s David Cage did definitely confirm at Games Convention that if you get the main character killed, you carry on playing the game’s central plot.
The protagonist is the girl showed in the SCEE press conference at the show (pictured), a journalist investigating some disappearances.
“I can’t really tell you too much about what the story’s about or how it’s going to work with the characters, all I can tell you that your character – the main character – can die, and the story will continue,” said Cage in a back-room demo the day after the conference.
“You can continue to play, without this character, of course.”
Cage was asked if this meant the player would move into a side-story if the leading character died.
“No, no,” he said. “It’s one big story.”
The thriller was the star of Games Convention, showing what looked to be a vaguely adult product. Fancy.
Tue, Sep 09, 2008 | 10:06 BST
Just because Blizzard isn’t screaming about another million milestone for World of Warcraft every ten minutes doesn’t mean the subs numbers have stopped rising: they’re still going up, Blizzard told us at Games Convention.
“It’s actually still growing,” said Wrath of the Lich King lead designer Tom Chilton. “It’s certainly not in a reverse trend, or anything like that.”
While the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, the MMO’s next expansion, Chilton reckons the game will experience another boost.
“I do expect that with the launch of Lich King [it will] probably affect the subscription numbers,” he said.
World of Warcraft hit 10 million subscribers in January this year.
There’s no date on Lich King’s release as yet.
Tue, Sep 09, 2008 | 09:44 BST
It’s all happening. Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said that Jack Tretton’s claim that 2008 would be the “year of PlayStation 3″ is coming to fruition.
“All the things are now coming together in terms of the right hardware, cost and pricing, and we are increasing our hard disc space as we are increasing the content we’re offering through the network and the big titles we’re working on, coming out this Christmas,” he said. “All that is coming together this year.”
And, obviously, next year’s plans are continuing apace.
“I definitely hope so,” said the dev chief when we asked if he believed 2009 would be another “PS3 year.”
“We are feeling very comfortable about the momentum we have on all PlayStation platforms, and especially the way things are going in Europe. It’s very, very encouraging.”
Yoshida wouldn’t be drawn on unannounced product for 2009, but assured there’s plenty we haven’t seen yet.
“That’s not to say we’re not working on product for next year,” he added. “We have some titles that we have announced this year for release next year, like Heavy Rain and MAG, our big 256-player online title.
“Also there are some titles that we are targeting to launch next year that we have not announced yet. We still have a lot to come.”
Sony stole the show in Germany this year with SKU announcements for both PS3 and PSP and a first showing of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain.
Mon, Sep 08, 2008 | 12:53 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, Wrath of the Lich King lead designer Tom Chilton confirmed that plans are already in place to introduce further landmasses to the MMO, despite the fact the latest expansion is yet to launch.
“We actually already have ideas on how we’re going to expand on that in the future,” Chilton told us when asked if more land was going to be added to the game.
“Certainly, [a lot of] the major landmasses that we talked about heavily in previous WarCraft game have already come to fruition, although there are still areas of the game that we’ve talked about and set up story-wise that we haven’t revealed yet. So there’s definitely more to go.”
Wrath of the Link King will introduce the continent of Northrend to the game.
No date as yet.
Fri, Sep 05, 2008 | 20:57 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, Far Cry 2 narrative head confirmed that losing your NPC buddies in fire-fights means not being able to see all the game’s missions.
“That buddy, Joseph, he’s still around,” said Redding after Joseph came and rescued him from the bush after taking hits.
“He’s out there autonomously fighting guys, and the thing of it is that even though that’s a very useful tool for me to have – a guy like that that’s able to look after these things and keep the heat off me – the reality is that it puts him in danger. He’s now in jeopardy, and he could be killed.
“That’s the price you pay for having buddies. When I unlock a buddy like that and then use him, either by getting involved in one of his missions… or by allowing him to come and rescue me, there’s always a risk that he could be killed. If he’s killed, he’s gone forever and the content associated with that character is no long available to me. So for example, any side quests that he’d be able to give me are no longer available.”
So be careful out there, African mercenary types. You wouldn’t want to miss anything.
Far Cry 2′s now confirmed for an October 24 release.
Fri, Sep 05, 2008 | 09:46 BST
Bethesda’s Peter Hines has admitted that showing RPGs like Fallout 3 at tradeshows like E3 and Games Convention can be a frustrating business.
“Sometimes, yeah,” he told VG247, when asked if showing such a large game to people in such a short space of time was problematic.
“We had a lot of discussions about E3. Todd Howard and I sat and talked about what to show… Anything we do is just one thing, and we’re not about, ‘Here’s one quest.’ It’s more about, ‘What do you want to do?’ Do you just want to run around and shoot stuff and combat’s fun for you [then that's fine]. Our games are about not forcing you to do anything, and having a demo that makes you do that cuts against it.
“To your point, it does make it a bit like, ‘Well, what are you doing at E3?’ versus, ‘What are you doing at Leipzig?’ Go do what you want. If you played it at E3, go in a different direction this time. That’s what we do well.”
Fallout 3 did come under some fire after E3, where journalists were allowed to play the game for 30 minutes.
“You play the game and you see what you think,” Hines said previously on the matter.
“At E3 we let people play the game for a half hour, and if in a half hour you can make up your mind one way or the other, OK. I don’t really get into judging the rightness or wrongness of it. I just give people a chance to play it and they draw their own conclusions.”
Fallout 3 launches in both the US and Europe at the end of October.
Thu, Sep 04, 2008 | 14:21 BST
Peter Hines has described Fallout 3′s open-world gameplay as “organised chaos,” saying the player is free to do what he or she likes but can always be easily sucked back into the post apocalyptic RPG’s main quest.
“It’s sort of like organised chaos,” the Bethesda man told VG247 at Games Convention.
“In order for the player to be able to go wherever they want, they have to know they can get back to whatever it is that they wanted to be doing, or were supposed to be doing, which for most folks is the main quest.
“By making sure they know where to go next to get into that they feel much more free say, ‘Yeah, I’m just going to go over here and see what this is,’ and they get sucked into that for an hour and it’s fun, and then they go back into where they were before.”
The game’s out on October 28 in the States and October 31 in the US.
Thu, Sep 04, 2008 | 10:57 BST
Far Cry 2 narrative chap Patrick Redding confirmed to VG247 at Games Convention that predatory animals may be added to the game after it launches.
“We’re definitely talking about the types of predatory animals we might include at some point, and we’re going to investigate that,” he said.
“But I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.”
There was not other detail, and it’s feasible the addition may come with a sequel as opposed to being added to FC2 with DLC. For the record, you’re not going to find crocodiles and lions roaming around in the shooter’s depiction of Africa at launch.
“We don’t have any predatory animals,” we were told. “We made a decision early on that because the AI requirements for doing an open world game were fairly challenging just with the human enemies, we wanted to have animals but we focused mainly on grazing animals, on quadrupeds like goats and livestock.”
Far Cry 2′s out for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 before the end of the year.
Wed, Sep 03, 2008 | 20:24 BST
We were mailed about this last night but couldn’t open it, for some reason. SCEE won awards at GC08 for Best PS3 Game (LBP), Best PSP Game (Resistance: Retribution) and Best Innovation (PlayTV).
And that’s it. Read more on ThreeSpeech.
Wed, Sep 03, 2008 | 16:28 BST
Sony’s released the video of Heavy Rain shown in the firm’s Games Convention press conference last month.
It’s all direct feed, and very lovely. This is exactly the same footage shown to the press, which is a montage of gameplay from one of the thriller’s 60 “scenes.”
You can read our impressions of the behind closed doors demo given to journalists at the show here.
Game’s out next year. Watch the trailer after the break.
Wed, Sep 03, 2008 | 09:30 BST
Bethesda’s Peter Hines reckons Games Convention’s just as important as E3 for games like Fallout 3. He told us so in Germany.
“It’s hugely important to ‘do well’ here… to get a lot of people to see it and get excited about it,” he said.
“It’s just as important as E3 was. E3 was important for a different reason because it has the distinction of being first. That sort of sets the tone going forward for ‘how did you do?’ We had… many hundreds of people come through and play the game.”
E3 hasn’t had the best year, and Hines certainly isn’t the first to say E3′s dominance is well over.
Let’s hope gamescom can pick up where Games Convention left off, eh?
Tue, Sep 02, 2008 | 10:42 BST
Speaking to VG247 at Games Convention, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King lead designer Tom Chilton said that the impending increase to level 80 in the expansion is necessary to provide a content for all.
“Ultimately, increasing the level cap is about giving players more of the content they’ve come to love,” he said.
“A lot of the players out there are very casual and the core experience for them is going through new zones, going on quests, levelling up, getting abilities, talents, etc. So if we’re going to deliver new content for everybody, for all of our player-base, that that, in the large part, has to be part of the formula.”
There’s still no date on Lich King’s release, but Chilton did also say at GC that the level cap in the beta was to be raised to 80 “very soon.”
Tue, Sep 02, 2008 | 06:39 BST
There’s a good demo of LittleBigPlanet’s Dancer’s Court level on GameReactor, filmed at Games Convention last month. Expect hype for the game to hit turbo mode over September, especially if Sony itself is to be believed. Looks good: can’t help thinking it looks like a multiplayer platformer though, if you know what we mean.
Take a look.