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Guitar Pop Corn...

Voila le roman fleuve de l'année, alors, on recapitule pour les deux trois du fond qui dorment ^_^
Harmonix a créé le jeu Guitar Hero, publié par Red Octane, pour le plus grand bohneur de l'éditeur puisque le jeu fut un succès retentissant. Red Octane est Harmonix se sont littéralement retrouvé du statut de "petit acteur" à celui de "je-suis-assis-sur-une-montagne-d'or" du jour au lendemain.
Et ça, ça aiguise les appétits bien sur !
Dans la foulée, évidemment, MTV, qui a envie depuis longtemps de prendre une part du marché du jeu, décide de racheter Harmonix. C'est vrai que c'est plutot le candidat idéal pour eux.
Mais de l'autre coté, Red Octane se fait lui racheter par Activision. Rachat logique, vu que c'est Red Octane qui possède les droits sur la licence Guitar Hero.
S'en suit inévitablement ce qui doit arriver, puisque le créateur d'origine ne peut plus faire la suite de GH, tandis que Activision est contraint de filer la production à un autre studio.
C'est donc comme ça qu'est né Rock Band, fils sprituel de GH, mais publié par EA.
EA versus Activision. Mon petit doigt me dit que c'est un pattern que l'on va voir se répéter souvent en 2008... 
Jusqu'ici, business as usual. GHIII et Rock Band sortent aux US en même temps, chacun avec son ensemble de périphériques dédiés.
Seulement, les joueurs aimeraient bien pouvoir utiliser la même guitare pour les deux jeux. Logique après tout, çaprend de la place et ça fait la même chose!
Et c'est là que la guerre reprend de plus belle. Harmonix fait un patch pour pouvoir utiliser la guitare de GH avec Rock Band, mais Sony ne peut pas mettre le patch à disposition du publique, puisque Activision demande une compensation financière!
It seems GamingToday was right on the money about Activision’s true motivations behind the problems with releasing a patch to allow Guitar Hero III guitar controllers to be used with Rock Band.

“Unfortunately for Rock Band users, Harmonix has been unwilling to discuss an agreement that will allow us to provide that option in a manner that maintains the high standards people have come to expect from Activision,” company spokesperson Maryanne Lataif told The Boston Globe.“We believe we should be compensated for the use of our technology,” she said.


Harmonix, which claims to have already created a patch to allow controller compatibility, says that it only wants what’s best for gamers.


“We are really and truly not looking at this from the financial standpoint,” said company spokeswoman Spencer Saltonstall. “We are looking at this from the consumer standpoint.”


She adds that there are 7,000 Chinese workers assembling guitar controllers for Rock Band at this moment and consumers can expect them to be on shelves next month.


Ironically the Xbox 360 version of the game which is compatible with the Guitar Hero III controller has only sold 68,000 copies. The PS3 version of Rock Band has sold over 247,000 copies.


“I think they’re all sods,” PS3 RockBand owner Tom Bramwell told GamesIndustry.biz sister site Eurogamer.net.


“The irony is that I only bought the Guitar Hero III PS3 controller so I could use it with Rock Band instead of the Fender Stratocaster bundled with the Harmonix game itself. In other words, I extended my custom with Activision in order to do a thing it is now prohibiting out of a desire to prevent itself losing my custom.”

 [ FileFront ]
Bref, c'est la foire d'empoigne! Au moins, les relations publiques des deux sociétés vont pouvoir justifier leurs salaires ^_^


DNF: Back with a vengeance ?

Aaaah, ce bon vieux Duke, ce roi de la finesse et de la répartie intelligente... ^_^




Hard Pitch...

Tout les projets ont la même origine: une idée qui trotte dans la tête de quelqu'un. Et comme on ne va rarement très loin tout seul, il faut très vite pouvoir présenter son idée aux autres. 
On appelle ça l'art du pitch, et c'est vraiment pas simple ^_^
Gamespot revient sur cette difficulté à laquelle sont naturellement confrontés la plupart des designers de jeu:
The pitch process can be a harrowing, grueling ordeal or a perfunctory rubber stamp session, and there's no hard rule of thumb for determining which it will be for any given game...

"Katamari Damacy was turned down once, the first time," creator Keita Takahashi told GameSpot. "That's the only game I've ever pitched that was turned down. I think the idea was rejected because it's hard to propose something brand new; as a concept or a game or whatever, that's always going to be difficult. For Katamari especially, it looks so different from everything about a 'normal' title, so I think that was one of the key reasons."

Will Wright actually teamed up twice with Broderbund to publish his seminal metropolitan management title SimCity. However, in its original incarnation as a Commodore 64 title, Wright couldn't get the publisher interested in SimCity's innovative open-ended structure amid a market stuffed with shoot-'em-ups.


According to Wright, "They kept saying, 'Where's the ending? When do you win or lose?' And they wanted to have an election where you got kicked out of office or not. And I was like, 'No, it's even more fun if you're doing it badly.' And they just parked it. They decided they weren't going to release it."


Ron Gilbert says his reputation means he can get a meeting with just about anybody, but it stops helping--and can even hurt his chances--once the pitch starts. At least, that's the experience he's had in pitching his latest project to roughly 15 different publishers over the last three-and-a-half years.


"One of the problems I've definitely had pitching stuff is that my name is so firmly associated with adventure games," Gilbert said. "You would mention the words 'adventure game' in a meeting and the meeting was over at that point. They just had no interest in anything that was adventure gaming at all. So even though a big chunk of the game is adventure game-like, I never said those words. I had to spend the first 15 or 20 minutes explaining that I'm not making an adventure game, and that was the beginning of every single meeting it seemed like."

[ Gamespot


Steam present...

Adding an option that is sure to never be used by grandma, Valve's Steam service now offers gift purchasing functionality. The concept is pretty simple -- once again, not for grandma -- a customer simply purchases a game off the Steam service and then has the option to gift it to someone else. The recipient of the gift receives an e-card which holds their hand (virtually) through the Steam download process.
 [ Joystiq ]
Ca n'est bien sur pas une idée nouvelle, la plupart des jeux en ligne permettent d'offrir des items, et ce de Second Life à WoW. Mais jusqu'a présent, les plateformes de distributions en ligne ne l'avaient pas fait.
Une extension sur le PSN ou le XboxLive de ce concept auraient sans doute pas mal de succès... 


Mini Wizard Me !


Intel qui fait du pied...

On en parlait il y a pas si longtemps sur le ton de la rumeur, l'idée qu'Intel voudrait revenir sur le segment des consoles de jeu vidéo.


C'est vrai que suite à une série d'acquisition toutes plus louches que les autres, beaucoup de monde y pense. Mais il semble qu'Intel ne fait pas qui penser tout les matins en se rasant ! ^_^


Intel (INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the two biggest suppliers of computer chips, have managed to cram four so-called processing cores onto their products. That's the equivalent of strapping four PCs together and jamming them into the space of a large envelope—and not much thicker.


But the chipmakers don't expect to stop there. They plan to have dozens of processors on silicon chips within a decade. Marshalling all that power could open doors to new ways of interacting with machines.


Intel has talked to console video game makers about using chips that can perform in excess of 1 trillion calculations per second (BusinessWeek.com, 2/12/07) in future products that use cameras to track body motion to control the action, instead of using buttons or joysticks.


"We imagine some future generation of [Nintendo's] Wii won't have hand controllers," says Justin Rattner, Intel's chief technology officer. "You just set up the cameras around the room and wave your hand like you're playing tennis." Intel missed out on supplying chips for the current generation of game systems, and is trying to gain a foothold there.


[ BusinessWeek





November Rush: Final

Rooh, ça en fait du chiffre ça, en un mois !!!


1) Call of Duty 4 (360) - 1.57 million
2) Super Mario Galaxy - 1.12 million
3) Assassin's Creed (360) - 980,000
4) Guitar Hero III (PS2) - 967,000
5) Wii Play (incl Wii Remote) - 564,000
6) Mass Effect - 473,000
7) Call of Duty 4 (PS3) - 444,000
8) Guitar Hero III (Wii) - 426,000
9) Halo 3 - 387,000
10) Assassin's Creed (PS3) - 377,000


[ Kotaku

Les 5 tendances de l'année 2007

C'est l'époque de l'année qui veut ça: tout le monde fait des listes. Ce coup ci, c'est gamasutra qui liste les tendances de l'année 2007 dans l'industrie ^_^
5. Consolidation

...the consolidations of 2007 were extremely significant -- chiefly BioWare and Pandemic being folded into Electronic Arts, and the announcement of Activision and Blizzard's merger. There were others, of course, and of no less significance to the players involved, no doubt.

4. Catering to the Wii Audience

Developers are focusing on creating games for the system that take advantage of its controls and its audience -- which may be less interested in the sort of games that developers are used to making and publishers are used to selling.


3. The Rise of the Shooter

If 2007 could be said to belong to any one genre, it's got to be the shooter, and it doesn't seem like this trend is ending anytime soon. Since Gears of War launched late last year and began to define the Xbox 360 experience, through to Halo 3's massive sales this year, we've experienced a boom in the genre.

Call of Duty 4 is another staggering success for the genre, one so huge it seems to have blotted out the light from the latest Medal of Honor...

2. Indies Going Major

While the PlayStation Network can't offer the same breadth of popular content as Xbox Live Arcade, it has two of the most significant games released to the console download market this year: Everyday Shooter and flOw.

Both originated outside of the game development mainstream and gained big audiences based on their quality. ...
The evolution of student indie Narbacular Drop into one of this year's most-praised titles, Portal, is nothing short of heartwarming, really.


1. Mainstreaming of Handhelds

Barring an absolute miracle, the Nintendo DS will be the bestselling console of the year in the U.S. Its sales in Japan and Europe are also astounding. Many discount the PSP by comparison, but Sony's handheld is the first credible competitor to Nintendo's unbroken chain of successes, and was Sony's bestselling hardware platform this November.
But more importantly, the mainstreaming of the handheld is catching on. The Brain Age games aren't showing signs of fading; other Touch Generations-style games have begun to make their impression on western audiences; Disney is, according to its general manager Graham Hopper, the number two handheld publisher through September 2007 (and what's more mainstream than Disney?)
[ Gamasutra


Hype: Ami ou ennemi...

La hype, c'est une arme à double tranchant. C'en est presque devenu un lieu commun, mais l'année 2007 restera définitivement l'année de la hype. Des promesses plus grosses que les yeux, des reviews très critique!
Mais ça fait des années que ça dure en fait...
Un nom: Daïkatana. 
Mr Biffo revient sur la hype, les bons, et surtout les mauvais aspects de la surmédiatisation de l'industrie. 

We’re all guilty of falling for hype. It’s the same as the crowd buying into the Emperor’s new clothes; none of us want to look stupid by saying we can see the big guy’s floppy manparts, and none of us want to look as if we’re missing out on something really great.


We all buy the new iPod because, well, Johnny Neighbour has one, not because we need it to improve our lives.


Presumably because it wobbles on an economic knife-edge most of the time, the games industry drives one of the biggest hypemobiles on the entertainment superhighway. I can’t think of a film or a music release that has ever been subject to the same level of sustained, pre-release hysteria as the biggest games releases are treated to.


Consequently, the big games are so forcibly rammed down our oesophagus that I end up resenting them. And I end up resenting them because I’m an idiot, and tend to end up buying them.


[ Edge


Des sous !!!

Dans le monde anglosaxon, on a l'habitude de dire qu'il n'y a que deux choses de sur dans la vie; la mort et l'inspecteur des impôts.


Et en parlant d'impôts, ça fait un bail que les développeurs de jeux réclament des allègements des leurs... Et ils ont obtenus ce qu'ils voulaient, on dirait...


The European Commission has approved film industry tax breaks to the video game industry. The request was made by the French government and the program will offer a 20% rebate to games that have a "criteria of quality, originality and contribute to cultural diversity."


It is estimated that half of the games created in Europe this year would have qualified for the rebate. There's obviously some easy French jokes that could be tossed in here, but let's build bridges, shall we?

Governments recognizing games as "culture" and supporting the industry with tax incentives is an issue that's popping up with developers all over the world. Canada is kind to developers, while Australian developers (last time we heard) continue to fight for tax breaks in their country where the film industry actually gets a 40% tax rebate.


The countries which cut the costs, promote the industry and look yummy to developers already strapped for cash.


[ Joystiq ]




JCVD: "Pour moi, le corps à corps, c'est over!"


Raph Koster on getting real...

Raph a publié les slides de sa dernière présentation, et elle est particulièrement intéressante. Il met en perspective ce que notre industrie est en train de devenir, en douce parfois...