Showing posts from May, 2010

Raising the Bar: Death of Mediocrity Edition

I went to see Eric Lewis, aka ELEW, a couple nights ago and just like the clip above, he gave it everything he had. He beat the shit out of the piano and by the time he was done, I could not imagine there was anything left in the guy. Eric's career is blowing up right now - search him and you will see - and he deserves it. Quality rises to the top, even if it takes a while. He and I joked about his years of work leading to his "overnight success."

That day I read more about the death the media. Newspapers and magazines are failing, network television is down, film attendance down, all the rest and I could not help but think about the parallels to game sales. These media are not failing, the bar is being raised. With all the choices consumers will not accept mediocrity. Consumers who are assaulted by media from computers, televisions and phones do not want more of the same. So much is free that we must provide value to get their time or dollars. Newspapers t…

J Allard: Class Act Edition

There are far to many "role models" in the world and too few people to really admire. Every sports figure or actor is inevitably held up as a role model and they never fail to disappoint. While their effort to get to their position is admirable, the likelihood of emulating their role is slightly smaller than winning the supper lotto - twice. In the bright glow of these superstars we miss the ordinary guy who makes an ordinary gesture extraordinary. The guy you can really be if you just try hard enough. You have to be born Superman, but anyone can be Batman.

Anyone who has spent time with J Allard knows he is not an ordinary guy, but the act of leaving employment is pretty ordinary these days and exit emails are not often inspiring love letters worthy of publication next to Steve Jobs' famous commencement speech. Actually, I've never seen one. Many compare J to Jobs and in an alternate world where he sat a couple seats high in the organization he may have been …

Transmedia:Not Just Talking About It Edition

Hollywood and gaming's hot buzzword is "Transmedia." The Producers Guild of America recently defined a credit for Transmedia Producer, MIT has a program devoted to it and in a possible sign of jumping the shark, there is even a "bootcamp" for you to pay USD 1,000 to listen to the underlying theory.

But while all these people are concerning themselves with theory, analysis and concern over credits - one of them even includes Prince of Persia in his bio - one guy is just doing it. Jordan Mechner created, designed, produced (and even programmed the first Prince of Persia) video game, received story credit on the film for writing the first draft of the movie script and wrote the completely sold out Prince of Persia graphic novel. This could be seen as another case of measuring success by finding work outside the game business, but Jordan is still working in games. His success lies in his ability not only to create franchise IP that can exist independent of a…

Battle Royale for the Living Room: Google v. Microsoft Edition

A few days after the Googletv announcement and the press is still looking at this is a battle of Apple v. Google. It is certainly a lot of fun to watch the snipes go back and forth between the two companies but their battle is WWE - only entertainment. The real battle for the living room is between Microsoft and Google and Apple does not even have a horse in the race. Despite their clear market dominance on the set top, Microsoft continues to maintain a stealth position relative to mainstream press.

I recently spoke with a senior executive at Microsoft - real Microsoft not the game guys - and he was talking about their competition. He said they accept losing out to Apple because Apple makes cool pieces of hardware and that is just not what Microsoft does. However, those Google guys are a different story. Google is a bunch of engineers with the same drive, the same intellect and the same strategic goal of world domination. They are scary. The guy was proven right today when G…

AAA Games are DEAD?: Not Dead Yet Edition

You thought I was going to write about West and Zampella. If I did, I would probably say something positive, like “it is great the guys were recognized and like Activision's hire of the Visceral guys without a specific team or project in mind, EA is putting its money where its mouth is and truly recognizing talent.” If I were to say something negative I would say “this was EA's tat for Activision's tit in hiring the Visceral guys and we are all merely pawns in a giant pissing match between two over grown adolescent companies.” I could also reference Activision's complaint, and if true, wonder what kind of numb nuts representative would fly his client up to meet with a competitor while the client is still employed and in line to receive a very large bonus? But everyone else is talking about these things and its been analyzed and interpreted by more people in more directions and than an Allan Greenspan speech. While it is always fun to provide commentary on the wi…