I wonder if Hollywood has learned its lesson when it comes to treating video-game stories with the proper respect. Let's find out, shall we?
Director David O. Russell lifts the lid on some of the story details for the upcoming Uncharted movie. Speaking with the L.A. Times on the set of his new movie The Fighter, Russell said his plans are to expand the plot to accommodate the extended family of protagonist Nathan Drake (who will be played by Mark Wahlberg). "This idea really turns me on that there's a family that's a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities…[a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice," he said. Russell also mentioned that he's halfway done with the script, calling the movie's progress "a locomotive." Great. Another entry in the shaky game-to-movie genre that strays from the game's story. Where have I heard that one before?
The industry needs to be further educated on the downloadable games market for it to evolve, says Arthur Houtman, chief executive officer of Vanguard Entertainment Group (Greed Corp). "I feel it's a little bit stagnant where we are with the consoles, and even the console market," Houtman said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. "I know that the manufacturers are trying to figure out where to go from here, and so I can only imagine that they need to evolve a little bit into that space. They are trying to figure it out — but I think one of the big things is the education of the industry." He went on to encourage developers to explore more diverse pricing options for their games instead of routinely marking them with an 800 or 1200 Microsoft Points price. Of course, more diverse gameplay could also help, but that's probably just crazy journalist talk.
Microsoft hails 2010 as "one of our biggest years ever." Speaking to an audience at the Credit Suisse Group Technology Conference, Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Division CEO Dennis Durkin credited Xbox Live subscriptions and the recently launched Kinect for the company's fiscal growth. "Of our 25 million members, about half of them are subscribers for the business and pay us about $60 a year for that," he said. "[Kinect] was an amazing launch, amazing momentum, and it's something we're very, very excited about, still very committed to our 5 million number for the holiday, well on path for that." It would appear that Microsoft's knack for stellar subscriber numbers is still alive and kicking.
Kristian Segerstråle, founder of social gaming developer Playfish, says the best is yet to come for the genre. "I don't believe we've seen the Super Mario or the Halo of this platform yet," he said to CNBC. "We've barely scratched the surface of what's possible." Segerstråle also warned that "companies without franchises will be in an increasingly precarious position," saying, "The winner overall — the company that's going to be remembered for forging this market — will be the one that creates a truly inspirational product for social interaction, competition, cooperation and exchange across a lot of platforms." As long as I'm not assaulted with a cheap knockoff of FarmVille's purple cows every time I log onto Facebook, things should be fine.
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