The DeanBeat: Will your game company survive the zombie apocalypse?

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show in Los Angeles was full of glitzy press conferences (like Ubisoft’s, pictured above). So many big companies were acting like it was business as usual. They showed games that were the third or fourth in the series on the same generation of game consoles. One very well-known game developer came up to me and said, “I wonder if any of this is going to matter. There is so much change happening in the industry that is going to make this all irrelevant.”

Sony’s free-to-play online shooter Planetside 2 will pack 2,000 players in an arena (interview)

First-person shooter games have become a multibillion-dollar market. But no one has really succeeded in the massively multiplayer online space with high-end hardcore shooters. Sony Online Entertainment hopes to change that with the upcoming launch of Planetside 2. John Smedley, head of SOE, believes that the game will set a new bar for online shooters, with more than 2,000 people fighting together in the same region. He also believes that the free-to-play business model for the game will attract a much larger audience than is typical for an MMO. Smedley also feels that Sony Online learned some important lessons from last year’s hacker attack, which brought down the company’s network of games for weeks. We caught up with Smedley at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game conference in Los Angeles. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.