I can, at any given moment, tell you how long before BioShock Infinite releases in months, hours, and minutes. I keep that figure in my head at all times.
No lie, people in the gaming industry get to see and play some of the coolest, most anticipated games long before anyone else does, but generally speaking, that really only applies to the games they’re working on. Unless their desk is in the same building as the development team — and sometimes not even then — they have to sit around and wait just like everybody else.
So we polled a few famous names in the game industry and asked what they were waiting for. Specifically, we asked this: Aside from any project you’re involved in, what game are you looking forward to the most in 2013 and why?
Edmund McMillen, Team Meat (Super Meat Boy, Mew-Genics)
I’m most looking forward to playing The Witness. I was part of beta testing early on and actually asked to no longer be a part because I really wanted to experience the game how it was meant to be played.
Andy Gavin, author (Untimed) and retired cofounder, Naughty Dog (Jak and Daxter)
The Last of Us. I’m not personally involved, but call me twisted — the idea of a teen girl in a postapocalyptic world is pretty cool. And I’m not just talking sticking a girl in there gratuitously; Naughty Dog can be counted on to write a good story and actually deal with the visceral/emotional experience.
Dan “Shoe” Hsu, editor-in-chief, GamesBeat
BioShock Infinite, no doubt. Anyone who picks anything else for 2013 is simply crazy — don’t listen to any of the nonsense coming out of their mouths, ever. The original BioShock is one of the best games of all time, and I can’t wait to be immersed in another imaginative, dreamy (or nightmarish) world by the same developers.
Randy Pitchford, CEO, Gearbox Software (Borderlands 2, Aliens: Colonial Marines)
In just a few days, Ni no Kuni comes out, and I can’t wait! [Hey, Randy, it's out! --Ed.]
Jenova Chen, cofounder, Thatgamecompany (Journey)
I’m mostly looking forward to Grand Theft Auto V. I’ve seen some online in-game footage that really makes me fantasize about the things you can do in the game. I hope it delivers the fantasy.
Yoshinori Ono, producer, Capcom (Street Fighter IV)
I would have to go with Pikmin 3 for the Wii U! There hasn’t been a new release for this series in a while, so even if there aren’t many changes since the previous iteration, I am definitely looking forward to playing it. Nintendo must have some innovative ways to utilize the Wii U GamePad up their sleeves as well, so that is another thing I will be watching out for.
Ted Price, president and CEO, Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank, Fuse)
OK, it’s hard not to say “Fuse” because I’ve been living and breathing that game for a long time, like many other Insomniacs. However, if you twist my arm really hard, I’m going to say The Last of Us. I’ve loved everything that Naughty Dog has done, and The Last of Us looks spectacular.
Dean Takahashi, lead writer, GamesBeat
I’m split between BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us. I’m making an assumption by saying I’ll get to play these in 2013, but I’m betting on it. I’m thirsty for the kind of originality I’ve seen in the BioShock Infinite previews. It looks like the right combination of action, horror, story, artistry, and originality that I want to play. The Last of Us also seems very interesting because it amps up all of those things and has a dramatic intensity that I’ve come to love in Naughty Dog games.
Bill Trinen, translator, Nintendo
The game I’m most looking forward to that’s not coming from Nintendo is probably Disney Infinity. We’re big Disney and Pixar fans at my house, from the parks to the characters, the movies, and Oswald the Rabbit and the Epic Mickey games. So I expect Disney Infinity will be the kind of game that will bring the family together and that we’ll play together for hours on end.
Dylan Cuthbert, founder, Q-Games (PixelJunk)
I think it would have to be “Last of Us.” I know Naughty Dog are going to give us an incredible experience of a story, and I want to see how they differentiate it from Uncharted.
Maxime Béland, creative director, Ubisoft (Splinter Cell: Blacklist)
It’s hard to ignore any Grand Theft Auto game. I’m curious to see where they bring it, especially gameplay-wise and open world-wise. From a pure game design standpoint, GTA’s brilliant. It’s the best expression of freedom in games. You can do so many different things, and the GTA games are like, ‘I wonder if I can do this,” and then ‘Oh, fuck, I can! Yes!’ They’re fun to play and good to study.