Games Biz Stuff

Tuesday is officially the worst day of the week, the weekend just gone is a distant memory and the next one is to far away to think about, its dark, dull and raining, motivation to write an inspirational PS3 story is at a low ebb.  It’s at times like this when we have to do what every staff writer does and resort to their trusty cut and paste skills, so here’s a quick roundup of some pretty minor stories floating around that aren’t really too worthy of a full post. I’m hoping the whole post will add up to more than the sum of its parts, it won’t but I’m hoping anyway.

First up, on the day of the BAFTA video games awards, gamesindustry.biz have been talking to Sony Computer Entertainment UK boss Ray Maguire. He has been speaking about how it is time for the industry to get full behind the academy and support it in putting out a strong positive message to the mainstream audience. He went on to say “I feel that if you take film and TV, and you look at what surrounds them in terms of the awards, you see the glamour, It gets media coverage – the consumers, the media, the public look at that and see an environment they want to be associated with. They’d love to go to those awards – it’s entertainment, and it’s special.

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“We, on the other hand, have many internal awards but they’re not facing the consumer. In a time when it’s tough out there, what we really need is the consumers to look at the games industry and see that it’s all about art, creativity, innovation and great entertainment. We need to be proud of what we do, and we need to be proud of it in front of consumers.” I have to say I agree with him, especially as there are so many stories which only show gaming in a negative, solitary & anti-social way.   Call of Duty 4 is featuring heavily in the nominations, so my top tips are Space Invaders, Pong and I’ve got Skool Daze down as the surprise of the night.

Even more than a strong PlayStation showing I’m looking forward to Jonathan Ross attending dressed as Parappa the Rappa.

Next up, gamesindustry.biz are reporting that Killzone 2’s lead level designer Neil Alphonso has jumped ship and left Guerrilla Games to join Splash Damage to work on a new triple A title for Bethesda.  Hopefully he’ll be able to show them how not to churn out buggy PS3 games.  Now in none GamesIndBiz news, MCV are reporting that PC exclusive Empire Total War has knocked Killzone 2 off the top of the ELSPA Gfk-ChartTrack UK all formats chart with a sales drop of 58%, the rest of the top 5 is completed by Wii Fit, H.A.W.X. & Halo Wars.

And finally,the debate over the UK governments Change4Life recent ad campaign has continued to rage. Over at MCV they are reporting on the backlash to the ad campaign from industry insiders including Future – the publishers of OPM, Atari, Konami, Codemasters, Sega the ELSPA & trade body TIGA. Even Sony are reportedly considering their legal options as the controller used looks extraodinarily like a PS3 controller. The latest is that the backers of the campaign are surprised by the industry reaction, and are now saying that the ad doesn’t say not to play games.

My two cents is that to much of anything is bad for you (yes even gaming), but perhaps the government should consider that it highly unlikely the youngsters are going to get involved in underage binge drinking, youth crime or even stabbed whilst playing a bit of LittleBigPlanet safe at home, and if in the past 12 years they had done more to combat this then parents would be willing to let their kids go outside, move around and make the Change4Life. I’ll sign off now because I can feel the rage growing, and a news roundup is turning in to a rant, so I’m going to have a 10 minute blast on the rather fantastic Flower to calm down.

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