Develop:28 days later – no interest from publishers

13 07 2006

DNA Films’ Andrew MacDonald discusses the crossover between movies and games
Several videogame publishers, including Sony and Electronic Arts, turned down the chance to make a videogame based on hit horror movie 28 Days Later, DNA Films producer Andrew MacDonald has revealed.
MacDonald said that his efforts at selling the license to 28 Days Later had been met with no interest from publishers.
According to MacDonald, none of the publishers he spoke to were interested in picking up the title – and while many independent developers were keen, they needed his firm to pay for the development costs of the game, a move which DNA Films was unprepared to make.

Ironically, Halo composer Marty O’Donnell – who was in the audience for the session – revealed that it was after watching 28 Days Later that Bungie chose to approach Alex Garland, the scriptwriter for the film, about the possibility of writing the Halo movie.

Garland was reportedly paid $1 million for his script for Halo – and MacDonald described him as the ideal writer for the job, revealing that Garland is a huge games fan who often buys several games each week.

A sequel to 28 Days Later, titled, 28 Weeks Later, is currently in production – and MacDonald is also presently working on a movie titled Sunshine, which is an original science-fiction film.

Despite his failure in attracting interest to the 28 Days Later game concept, MacDonald told the audience that he saw many parallels between the British game and film industries – most notably that they have both continued to thrive cre

Develop:Rain on Rein

13 07 2006

Epic Games VP talks tough on new distribution model
Epic Games vice president Mark Rein shocked delegates at the Develop Conference in Brighton today when he declared that episodic development models made little sense, saying he thought the concept was a “broken business model”.
During his keynote address entitled “Avoiding the pitfalls of the next generation” Rein – whose company develops the Unreal Engine 3 technology popular with next-gen developers – said that he’d heard plenty said about episodic content but very little that actually made sense.
“Customers are supposed to buy half a game… then wait six months for an episode?” he asked rhetorically.
“When I put a game down, I want to try a new one,” he said, before going on to claim that episodic games would “inevitably” recycle content, implying that gamers will be bored as a result.
He also felt that episodic games would fail at retail because “you can’t buy retail marketing with a wholesale price of $15” and “distribution without marketing is worthless”.
Rein’s controversial views are seemingly at odds with a lot of his fellow PC developers, including Valve whose Steam model is considered very successful, and his views prompted howls of derision from a number of delegates.

Develop:Mark gets more slatting

12 07 2006

After his “PC market is dead”, the audience says actually he is wrong:
The PC market is actually MMO, Casual Games not just High End Epic Games.
Games is not just Unreal.
Mark’s reply – who makes money in casual games ? the only money is actually in Stock – it is not real money.
Andrew Oliver says – PC’s are designed for business, and for light use. Give up on making harcore PC games.
Mark Rein – I’m not ready to give up on PC gaming.

Mark Rein

12 07 2006

Develop:Mark Rein

12 07 2006

Mark is currently on stage giving the develop Keynote.  Never seen a keynote giving such a personal rant, and never have I seen a keynote get so much heckling (mainly from Jason – IGDA – you go girl, and Andrew Oliver)
Mark says:’
* you can make next gen with a small team
* episodic content will not work – diminshing returns etc
* make sure you get royalties
* sell your IP ! 
* PC market is being killed by intel and dell – crappy machines, mean crappy games
* people buy laptops not hardcore games machines
* people will buy 360’s
* It’s all intel’s fault – they make crappy cards – most pc’s have no capabilities

Develop: Drinks on Sega

11 07 2006

SEGA Europe has announced that it’s to hold a drinks reception on Wednesday evening in Brighton, with attendees of the Develop conference invited along to sip a few free drinks.

While you’re there, of course, you can find out more about the firm’s UK studios – including the likes of Creative Assembly, Sports Interactive and the recently founded SEGA Driving Studio – and discuss the various exciting opportunities that exist at them.

The event will be taking place in The Regent Room at the De Vere Grand Hotel on Kings Road in Brighton, runs on Wednesday from 17.30 through to 20.30 – and is open to all developers attending the conference.

Develop:Mobile Highlight

11 07 2006

Mobile Games: An operator’s viewpoint
Tim Harrison, Vodafone, Tim Green, Mobile Entertainment
Lecture, 45 minutes · Tuesday, 11 July · 16:45-17:30

In this keynote Q&A Tim Green (executive editor of Mobile Entertainment) will quiz Tim Harrison (Head of Games Vodafone Group Services) on the state of the mobile games industry today and the outlook for the future.