IPhone Developer Talks Difficulty In AAA Games

Ben Murch, who worked on Burnout Paradise and Bodycount, is familiar with the AAA development process and wasn’t fond of it. He help found Rodeo Games to make iPhone games and he revealed the reason why he chose a small studio.

“It’s down to a lot of people wanting more creativity in the games they’re making,” said Murch. “When I was working at Criterion it felt like it was a great big team, and I wanted to have more in the decision-making. On Burnout it felt a lot more like you were a cog in the machine. There were the big guys at the top and they were making the decisions. To be fair, that’s absolutely fine, because when you go to work and you’re an artist, you can’t really expect to be making calls on design and those sorts of elements. Otherwise it would just be an absolute mess. So you need people to just go to work and do their jobs.

“Whereas during Bodycount, we were all getting into the . . . We feel like we’ve got something more to add here. Almost like, why aren’t we running the show Which is a bit of an egotistical thing to say, he said. “Quitting then starting up this, there’s definitely an element of just having all the power in your hands and being able to do whatever you like and not having to run through a million meetings to make a decision on something.”

As for why Rodeo ended up targeting the App Store instead of Xbox Live Arcade, he said, “Doing things like the Xbox Live Arcade stuff never seemed like something we’d be able to go into and make a good living for ourselves,” he explained. “It’s a hard submission process, and it’s hard just getting your game into the queue. We looked at that a couple of years ago, and it seemed almost impossible to make any headway into that kind of market, whereas all the Apple stuff is ultra developer friendly.”

Source: Eurogamer

Microsoft Pledges To ‘Really Deliver’ On Kinect

The Kinect has really done well for Microsoft, selling millions worldwide, but some have said the software line up for the device is a bit soft. Microsoft U.K.’s GM for sales and marketing Neil Thompson, however, says that they’re looking to improve that in 2011.

“We’re constantly looking at what we’re doing as a platform,” he said. “I think people are excited about Kinect, that’s what we’re focusing on and that’s what you’re going to see us really deliver on as we go through this calendar year, both in terms of what we’re doing with that platform and the different types of gaming experiences that we’re bringing to market.”

“With Kinect Sports winning [the BAFTA for] Best Family Game, you could argue Xbox is moving to a broader audience in terms of its market appeal,” he said. “And as the install base grows, more publishers will seek success because the range of consumers we’re attracting to the platform is becoming more diverse every day. I think people will see that success and love it.”

Source: MCV

Firefox 4 Available Now

Mozilla has released Firefox 4 in response to growing competition from Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It is designed to have a simpler interface, better security features and an improve navigation bar.

“Mozilla is very proud of Firefox 4, created by our community of thousands of volunteers worldwide,” Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla. “It truly is the browser for tomorrow’s Web. The Internet has become the most important connection mechanism in our society, which is why we’ve focused on making users’ Web experience as fast, modern, safe and intuitive as possible.”

Source: PC Magazine

3DS Will Reach All Audiences, Says Ubisoft

Console launches are famously dominated by the most hardcore gamers. Still, Ubisoft believes that the 3DS will reach a larger, mainstream audience and there advertising scheme reflects that.

“Instinctively, it s easy to assume that the hardcore gamer will be the early adopter to new hardware, and inevitably this will be the case to some extent,” said Murray Pannell, U.K. marketing manager of Ubisoft. “But when you consider that millions of consumers have already bought into the DS console family, it s not difficult to believe that the broader audiences will come quickly to the new 3DS. As such, our PR and marketing approach will reflect the fact that we need to cater for all audiences both core and mainstream.”

“There is always an expectation that first party will spend large, but in the case of 3DS I genuinely believe that Nintendo will be focusing on ensuring that the overall 3DS platform is a success,” he added. “So assuming that does happen, then it makes the job of attaching more of our games to the install base so much easier.”

Source: MCV

Duke Nukem Forever Delay Not Marketing Stunt

The delay of Duke Nukem Forever was handled in a tongue-in-cheek fashion by the developers at Gearbox Software. However, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford would like the world to know that this wasn’t some last minute marketing stunt designed to exploit the reputation of the famously delayed title.

“No trick – we believed May when we announced it,” said Pitchford. “There is always uncertainty and we use experience and trends to help us be predictive. We are not perfect when it comes to predicting uncertain outcomes, but we are perfect at being committed to our goals and working relentlessly towards them.

“I think we may have been able to force May, but we think that would’ve introduced risks that would not have served gamers who have waited as long as we have to finally play Duke Nukem Forever. We are driven by fans who are as anxious for the game to finally be released as we are,” he insisted. “The continued support of our fans does miracles for our morale and that drives quality and performance. It’s for the fans that I am confident this slight schedule adjustment is the right thing to do.

Source: Eurogamer

Resident Evil 4 Confirmed For Digital Release

Rumors were recently circulating that Capcom would be releasing Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica in HD. Capcom has confirmed those rumors, saying it will be releasing them in Fall 2011 as part of the 15 year anniversary of the franchise.

The releases will be coming to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network and not to retail. The Resident Evil franchise has sold over 45 million copies since 1996.

Halo Composer Talks Potential Movie

Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell has worked on all five Bungie Halo games, composing some of the more popular scores of the past decade. With Bungie off of the franchise he’s not likely to work on Halo again, unless he gets the call for a potential Halo movie.

“I would love to score the Halo movie. No doubt about it. I think that would be great, said O’Donnell. “I would be surprised. I feel like, knowing Hollywood just a little bit, they would most likely say, ‘We have to have a tried and true Hollywood composer’ and ‘These themes are appropriate for games but not appropriate for movies.’ Or something like that. That’s sort of what I’m expecting. I have a hard time believing that they wouldn’t hint at some theme that I wrote at some point in the movie. But I would certainly answer the phone if somebody called – Spielberg or whoever it might be.”

“And – I might be wrong about this – but I think in the general public, in the populous, the respect for music for games has risen to a really nice, high level. I think Hollywood is sort of an insular place and their friends hire their friends and people that they’re comfortable with. If they’re spending $200 million dollars on some giant blockbuster film, you’re going to get a big name person usually. The exception to that rule I think is when Brad Bird hired Michael Giacchino to do The Incredibles. Michael had done a lot of TV work and some game work. Brad, I think, is one of those spectacularly cool, creative ‘unHollywood’ guys.”

Source: IndustryGamer