The serious business of making games

Warren Specter wanted to make a Disney game for himself, the rare adult with an obsession with Mickey Mouse and other things Disney. From an interview

I remember when I told my Mom I was working for Disney, her response wasn’t “What?” It was “It’s about time.” That’s a quote! So there’s that, and when I was in college I was an animation freak. I wrote and published so many articles about Warner Bros cartoons and Disney cartoons and Max Fleischer cartoons. When I got the grad school I wrote my masters thesis on Warner Bros cartoons and how cartoon characters develop over time. The first thing I did in the table-top game world was Toon, the cartoon role-playing game. The second thing I did at TSR when I got there was the Bullwinkle and Rocky party role-playing game.

As you say, kids and their parents have other ideas.

This is disappointing to hear.

At this point if you’re boycotting certain companies because you don’t like their practices, you may as well boycott them all. Every one of them has assholes and racists and toxic shitheads in them. You can’t win that fight. They’re everywhere.

True, but then if consumers gave it a go anyway the result would be Americans consuming less, so yeah for them?

Fun story: I was one of the three people in the room when we pitched Epic Mickey to Specter back in the days of Buena Vista Interactive. He had actually come in to talk about something else, and me and my boss, the head of biz dev at the time, kinda looked at each other and said “should we show him the Epic Mickey concept?” That was a fun day.

If these were physical goods, maybe, but they’re largely digital. Consumption doesn’t have the same impact as when you are buying tons of say fast food or televisions or whatever.

True enough, it just made me think in general if Americans took upon themselves to boycott stuff it would hardly be a bad thing given how much over consumption they do.

Re: EA acquisition of Codemasters.

MCV interviews CEOs of both companies. An interesting read, though obviously everything they say has to be taken with a grain of salt, but still. (Plus they talk in marketing speak only and it’s painful to read).

He repeatedly says we’re not acquisitive yet in the last week two different series I play have been bought by EA: F1 and Super Mega Baseball.

I’ll be surprised if either benefits from this, and for someone saying repeatedly he’s not acquisitive, Wilson sure is acquiring a lot recently. Word not meaning what you think it means.

oh man - I really wish that would have panned out like the initial sketches suggested it would be. Looked incredible!

There’s no doubt that EA’s marketing might will help both companies reach more people with those games. They’ve been out of the hair of Respawn for the most part. They even let them make that Medal of Honor VR game that seemed to land with a massive thud. I wouldn’t be so sure they aren’t going to just let these folks do their thing but help them via streamlining and marketing.

EA is not the same company post-The Great Battlefront II Loot Box Debacle. (StarWarsgate?) That’s not to say they’re perfect, but they’re also a little less predatory with a lot of the stuff gamers hate. Apex Legends with its tight gameplay and battle pass/cosmetic-only purchasing opened their eyes too.

Not sure what to make of this.

Well, it’s certainly gone well for Amazon so far. ;)

I mean they don’t need to make games, they can just license 3rd parties, people seem generally happy with Game Pass and that’s basically been the story there with no new Microsoft published games in like the past 8 months or more.

True, I’m simply not the target audience so I just find it amusing to think I’d ever look to netflix for a game.

But are they going to stream those games?

I thought Netflix was already doing video games. Didn’t they put some Telltale stuff on their service?

There are some basic ‘choose your own adventure’ type games on Netflix. Black Mirror Bandersnatch, You vs Wild, a Minecraft one.

I mean these aren’t full video games in the console, or even mobile, gaming sense. But branching narrative structures.

Do they play differently from the versions of the games you can get on Steam, or console?

These are Netflix created exclusive items, as far as I am aware there is nowhere else to experience these.

But they’re literally mostly watch a video, then choose a thing which goes to the next video segment. You vs Wild, for example, Bear Grylls might be traveling and reach a cliff. You then choose ‘follow the river’ or ‘scale the cliff’ and it plays out.