Sunday, March 30, 2008

E3 2007 blogroll

Last summer, I was in Santa Monica, Cali., covering the E3 Media & Business Summit from Tuesday, July 9 through Friday, July 13. I’m loading my posts from the show here, for posterity, y’know?

Thursday, July 12, 1:00 p.m.

Now that the big console manufacturers have had their moments, it's time to find out what the game developers are up to.

On Wednesday afternoon, I crammed into a hotel ballroom with other media from around the world, for the press conferences for a few of the major video game publishers.

Electronic Arts led off with a presentation by Kathy Vrabeck, a veteran of the industry who was recently hired to head the new EA Casual Entertainment division.

Her division wants to "bring interactive entertainment truly to the masses," which is a sentiment that's been echoed by everyone here at E3.

EA has an interesting year ahead of them, as they have committed to getting off the sequel bandwagon by creating new gaming experiences and new franchises. In the biz these are called IP, for intellectual property.

In particular, EA has a couple of Wii titles that I'm very intrigued with: Boogie, a singing and dancing game with the Wii remote and nunchuk translating your body's grooving into on-screen action, and EA Playground, with the charm of Wii Sports and the attitude of Bratz, in which schoolyard games have been mashed up and reinvented for the fun of it.

Said Vrabeck of the EA Casual mandate: "Easy, quick to the fun and incredibly addicting."

More on EA's offerings later today after I have some meetings with them.

By far the best briefing of yesterday, though, was Activision, who had the foresight to enlist comedian Jamie Kennedy to host their press conference.

Although he came across as having had a few too many Red Bull and vodkas with lunch, he was funny and had an ease with the stage he was on that contrasted sharply with the many vice presidents of marketing that had been reading press releases from the podium.

Kennedy interviewed the developers of Activision's games on stage in a talk-show format, even bringing out special guests Tony Hawk (Tony Hawk Proving Ground) and Slash (Guitar Hero III), from Velvet Revolver and Guns n' Roses.

Activision, like Microsoft, know the benefit of celebrity.

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