I love video game conferences and trade shows. I could say it's because I can't wait to see exciting new games announced or to hear the collected wisdom of industry luminaries, but that would be a lie. I just love to rubberneck the various disasters and laugh at all the bizarre things that happen. While the Game Developer's Conference lacks the over-the-top insanity of E3, it always gifts me with a few gossip-ready tidbits. This year's GDC discovered a new species, the Jerkfish, and featured an unusual party crasher.
GDC: Jerks and Imposters
GDC has been giving more attention to independent games of late, which brings out some decidedly non-corporate personalities. This can be a good thing when fun indie-minded developers like Tim Schafer and the Bastion crew are about, but every community has its bad apples. Fez developer Phil Fish proved himself to be one of those bad apples when, during a panel, an earnest Japanese game developer asked for advice and opinion on modern Japanese games. Fish replied with "your games just suck" and continued to make disparaging statements about Japanese games via Twitter when people called him out for being a jerk. Not classy, man. Fez isn't even out yet, and I'm already uninterested in giving this man any money if that's how he treats his fellow professionals.
Far more amusing is the story of an unusual party crasher who joined a party dedicated to Lollipop Chainsaw. Japanese game development celebrity Suda 51 (Killer7, No More Heroes, Lollipop Chainsaw) was in attendance, taking interviews with reporters. When a bearded man wandered into one of these interviews, everyone involved thought he was there in an official capacity. The gentleman listened thoughtfully to the interview for about ten minutes, stroking his beard, before somebody realized that he was actually a homeless man who had crashed the party. It just goes to show, you can get away with quite a bit if you act like you belong somewhere.
One thing's for sure: If I had to choose between hanging out with Phil Fish and the Suda 51 interview imposter, I'd pick the homeless guy any day. I bet he'd be less of a jerk and would have some interesting stories to tell.
Industry Rumor Smackdown
Wednesday's gaming news included a widely-circulated picture that was supposedly captured from Play.com. It showed four upcoming games for the Vita, including Monster Hunter Portable 3, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Nights, Tales of Innocence R, and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. Despite being picked up by several major news sites, three of the four images were fakes. Only Monster Hunter Portable 3 is real. D'oh!
There have also been quite a few rumors that Valve is working on creating its own consolized version of a PC, dubbed the "Steambox" by the rumor mill. The speculation was fueled by several interviews with Valve boss Gabe Newell, who has spoken about an interest in working on a hardware project. There's certainly an interest in a console-style PC gaming box out there, since it would help provide hardware standards and allow users to avoid some of the pitfalls of PC ownership.
Musings about the rumored Steambox became big enough the Newell finally spoke out on the matter, confirming that while Valve is always working on test boxes for its projects and is considering putting out hardware in the future, there won't be any Steamboxes coming out any time soon. Sorry, Steam enthusiasts.
February Game Sales
February's NPD game sales charts are in, and 2012's hardware and software sales were stronger in February than they were in January. They're still down quite a bit from last year at this time however, which the NPD group blames on February 2012's crop of games being less popular than last year's.
The top five best-selling games of February 2012 were Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Final Fantasy XIII-2, UFC Undisputed 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and Just Dance 3. Reckoning seems to have done quite well for a new franchise, holding its own against a raft of sequels. The best-selling Vita game was unsurprisingly Uncharted: Golden Abyss, which made it into the top twenty best-selling games.
Date: March 9, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*