Black Ops > Modern Warfare?
While not revealing exactly how much they have spent on it, Supreme Monarch Kotick said during the Activision Blizzard Q2 earnings call that Call of Duty Black Ops represents the publisher’s biggest investment ever in a single game. Blizzard’s boss Mike Morhaime is even calling Black Ops “one of the best products we’ve ever created.” And the COO Thomas Tippl said in a conference call that of the more than five-thousand applications received for positions that will work on COD, they have hired sixty people, with the intention of investing even more resources into the series following the release of Black Ops. Why all this hoopla regarding the upcoming Treyarch production? It might have something to do with the staggering number of pre-orders for the game, and while they have not revealed exactly how many that is, their community manager Josh Olin has stated that it is “out-pacing all other COD pre-orders to date.” The Exalted Ruler Kotick went on to ensure that he gets money from all sides, stating that “the product has incredibly broad appeal, but it also has a whole host of functions that will be unique to the core consumer.” Tippl adds in that the game will be released on more platforms than ever before, and in late July it was announced that North American markets will be seeing two different editions of the game. So whether Black Ops lives up to the hype is yet to be seen, but one thing is assured: Activision will make their money from casual gamers and fan whores alike.
Much Opening His Mouth
This week was definitely the week of Kotick blabbering on and on. At the same Q2 earnings call that he spoke of Call of Duty, he also spoke on behalf of the Blizzard side of the company. While COD may be the biggest investment they have made, an undetailed new IP in also going to be an “enormous” investment. The Blizzard IP is indeed going to be an MMO, but with the recent release of StarCraft II, the rumors of a StarCraft MMO have been mostly dispelled, leaving everyone scratching their heads as to what Blizzard is planning. It was originally announced in 2007, but as Kotick put it “we haven’t given a lot of visibility” to this game. Ignoring his inability to haz teh English, he goes on to cockblock the curious masses by stating that it will take “long amounts of time” and “lots of capable talent,” meaning that the fledgling development needs to be able to stave off the effects of delays and the all-too-common layoffs. He likened the game to the announcement made a few weeks ago about another very large, very nondescript Bungie IP, which is also going to take lots of time and money, but the two will be “very good examples [of] from the ground up original ideas.”
Too Much Open Mouth, Reflexive Foot Noms
In his life’s mission to amass as much wealth as possible through the most selfish means imaginable, Bobby Kotick has said a lot of stupid things. This week, his company has invoked the wrath of estrogen in an interview with former Activision employees that stated they were told to “lose the chick” from several games that featured female protagonists because they “don’t sell.” The game True Crime: Hong Kong was originally titled Black Lotus and followed an Asian female assassin, which the unidentified source says was based on Lucy Liu’s characters played in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill. But when pitched to the higher-ups, they pulled the plug on the original concept and reformed it with a male lead and the True Crime name. A look at Activision’s productions shows that the only games they have featuring a female lead are the branded characters like Barbie or Dora the Explorer. Of course, the company vehemently denies any sexism, stating that they use “market research in order to better understand [what] gamers are looking for” and that they are no worse than other corporations that do the same kinds of research. The internet’s predictable reaction was to write many disheartening articles about “how to get your girlfriend to game,” presumably hoping that they would then read of Activision’s treachery and use their ovarian superpowers to create another Boing-Boing Bayonetta game for when said girlfriend is not around.
Wait, Where Did Bobby Go?!
Just when you thought everyone else was quietly submitting to the will of Kotick, the internet is rocked by the arrival of Square-Enix director Tetsuya Nomura to the wild world of Twats. After joining Twitter on Wednesday at the order of his superiors, Nomura begrudgingly posted about how, at 5:00 AM, he was still awake from the previous night. The Twat promises that a new trailer for The 3rd Birthday will be posted on the official site some time this month, and in a strange twist, Nomura decided to take a picture of the script and post it up. While it is rather vague, the page of the script details a scene presumably towards the beginning of the game, with heroine Aya Brea in some kind of jail cell while a man named Hyde offers her a different room, advising her to value her life more. While this may be vague and frustrating to die-hard fans (like me) who have been anticipating this game for the past ten years, Nomura decided to be a miserable cocktease even further. While he would confirm nothing, he does say that if there is to be another addition to the series, fans will not have to wait a decade for it, and that this theoretical game would be an HD version. But what if you cannot wait any longer for your mitochondrial fix? Nomura also states on his Twat that in anticipation of The 3rd Birthday, he is pushing for a re-release of Parasite Eve 1 and 2 on PSN, so with any luck, you can soon relive your days of masturbation and pseudo-science.