Adam Creighton's logo Adam Creighton
Other Blogs:
American McGee
Beautiful Pixels
Hideo Kojima
Hitachi Wasabe's Xbox 360

Xbox 360 Marketplace Updates: (

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Adam Creighton, Computer and Video Gaming (Subscribe)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upcoming Gamebryo titles

I mentioned I work for Emergent Game Technologies, the company behind the Gamebryo game engine.

I'm pretty proud of our tech being foundational in somewhere around 200 titles. There are also 100 or so additional titles in development.

Which got me to thinking: Which titles built on Gamebryo are coming out soon?

The trick is finding titles I can actually mention. We're very protective of our licensees (people in our own office often don't know what titles are being worked on, since we keep that info need-to-know).

So, with the help of Reid at work (a top-notch Technical Account Manager at EGT), I've got a list of Gamebryo titles that have shipped or are coming out in 2008. These titles have been mentioned in some form or fashion in the media. If they haven't crossed a press barrier of some sort, they aren't here.

And EGT doesn't make games -- so these are other folks' properties, and they retain all the rights, licenses, etc.

And this is list isn't a commitment for shipping in 2008. Production schedules can and do change, blah blah blah.

Here are a buncha titles that have licensed Gamebryo, and have shipped or should be shipping in 2008:


Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

GLN: Breaking 4000

All right, this installment of Gaming Last Night (GLN) recaps me, playing Dragonball Z: Burst Limit, and ...

(... wait for it ...)

... breaking 4000 on my Xbox 360 Gamercard.

Which is ... dunno ...

Well, it's something, isn't it?

Might be more impressive if I hadn't bought my first 360 on launch night. Or if I still had my first 360 (sniff, I'll miss you, One-eyed Pete; HAL is so pissy). Or if I was a Gamerscore Whore (luv ya, Ryu!), and my numbers were cresting seventy thousand.

As it is, it's an excuse to post and get snarky.

Like I need an excuse.


Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Game industry needs to step up

I'm writing this post, knowing it's going to piss people off.

I'm writing it for at least a couple of reasons.

The first is to generate discussion -- about what I think are pretty important topics.

The second is because I've written (here and here, and plan to write) several topics that have needed to point back to a post like this; by writing this post, in the future I can link to here from "the game industry could learn from" type statements, and not derail future discussions.

To be fair, I'm relatively new to the game industry -- six months after a 3-year directed effort to get into this market (I'll write about that some other time), and since I'm on the middleware side, I'm a bit distanced from "core" game development and publishing. I'm also arguably not yet Part of the Club -- but I think that puts me in a unique space to comment on these topics.

And I'm a fan. I'm a consumer, I fought to get into this space, and I recognize the huge potential for this market.

Also, I'm wicked impressed with the creativity, innovation, and intelligence in the games industry. I just think the industry needs to recognize its relatively small size, vertical market maturity, and learn lessons from other vertical markets.

These are generalities, of course -- it doesn't apply to everyone, and companies like Microsoft, for example -- who have enterprise, consumer, and brand maturity -- are arguably going to be more mature in the games space.

Relative size:

The game industry is pretty small. Numbers put it between 6-8,000. Dell, as one company, has more than that. Now, think Cisco, IBM, Boeing, 3M, etc.

That makes for a very small talent and experience pool. On the upside, that should make for a more accessible group of folks -- if you're in the club (see above); but on the downside, it can make for an insular, elitist culture, too. I'm not saying it is; saying it could be. On second thought, I've experienced it quite a bit, so let's say it is.

Relative accomplishment:

I've talked about what film accomplished in its first 20 years, versus what video games accomplished in nearly twice that -- and video games had a more mature technology base from which to start. Not pretty.

There's a lifetime video game vet in Austin I keep encouraging to publish his verbal rant about the elevation of film versus his frustration with his industry's "myopic, uninformed braggadocio". It is a brilliant, informed, very articulate call to arms (and call to accountability) for the games industry.

And, because he's a respected lifetime vet, he could say say the same things I'm saying, but people might actually listen. Maybe.

Relative Professionalism:

OK, maybe. Because brass tacks, the downside of a very small, insular professional pool can be a lack of professionalism.

(This may sting; I hope it does.)

This exhibits itself in different ways. On the upside, I think the games industry is less constrained and more gutsy than a lot of other technical markets. Because of the nature of the deliverables, political correctness and "appropriateness" (as a generality) don't have the same gating powers as they would for say, Cisco or IBM. That leads to some hilarious, open fare (a la Battlefield: Bad Company or Red v. Blue).

But I have been treated with less regard in the games industry than any other part of the technology sector.

I've mentioned I spent a focused 3-year effort to get into the games industry. That's because I got great, focused advice from vets in the industry located with me in Austin who told me because of "the arrogance of the industry", I would need to take longer and additional steps to get closer to a parity title in the games industry.

I was an enterprise technical director in the financial services market. When I went to leave, I turned down executive-level positions in that market and other tech markets.

For video game companies, I was literally offered unpaid internships and associate producer positions at a fifth of my salary -- from people who knew my background and then-current compensation.

As I was getting coached by some top-tier folks to get into the industry, they had concerns about how I would get in and how I would do -- not about me, but about the industry "not acknowledging the skills and process maturity you bring that we so desperately need."

I had one interviewer tell me, "I'm not worried about you being able to do the job -- I'm concerned you'll run screaming when you see how f***ed up we are as an industry" (verbatim, I still have it written down from the interview).

I had a recruiter (one of the people on that side of the house I respect most in the game industry) who was beyond frustrated with the lack of response he would get on my behalf: "Don't they get that if they don't get people like you, they will fail?" (not me -- "people like" me -- I'm confident in my abilities, but I'm no Neo for the games industry; there is no Neo for the industry).

Another example would be on the biz dev front. While that's not part of my current job, per se, it is a part of how I'm wired as a person. I get far fewer responses from within the games industry when I tickle people about potential, exciting unthought-of business opps than I did before joining the games industry (as a matter of fact, I just realized the responsiveness I've had has been from companies outside of the game industry).

Hell, I'm also a professional actor, and I find that market more open, accessible, and collaborative (even on the stereotypical LA in-club side) than the games industry.

Learning from Other Industries:

I have not arrived. Neither has any industry. But the games industry could learn a lot from other industries -- and even more if it would acknowledge it could.

Going back to that guy's "run screaming" concern -- if I hear "enterprise" in the context of gaming any more, I am going to run rampant with NERF weaponry, shattering monitors left and right (as an aside, I want this when it launches this year).

I lived, breathed, and managed enterprise (where "n-tier" is not "2") for years: with its defined business and development processes and certifications; data wharehousing; business intelligence software; solutions that have thin and thick clients--> load balancing --> Web server --> application server --> database server --> distributed across 4 data centers on 4 continents.

Think you know clients and servers? Are you able to get mainframe / assembly-level responsiveness equivalent to an authentication check assess available funds do a business rules decision tree do fraud detection tolerance in a worldwide round trip in under 2 seconds? With 6,000 round trips running concurrently each second?

Think you know .NET and MS-SQL? Does Microsoft come to you to figure out how you got that kind of performance from their products? I'm pretty sure that's at least a bar -- and it's being met in other markets.

Think the games industry knows how to eke the most out of a license? No, but the toy industry does (think Hasbro, and their brilliance of growing addressable market through increased IP "expressions".)

Think you know how to be niche vertical player, come back from the business dead, and become a brand powerhouse to rival a media conglomerate like Warner Bros.? No, but Marvel does (they also know how to genuinely do community implementations).


Obviously, I haven't arrived (and this post may set me back a bit), there's a lot of growth to be had, and I'm looking forward to working with folks who get that.

It sounds high-horse, but I genuinely want to enable creative brilliance to see the light of day, and block the stupid stuff -- from every direction -- that gets in the way of that.

Mheh. I expect tomorrow to be interesting for me.


Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Video game criticism that matters

Here's a decent article (and part of a series) on more mature video game criticism: "Zarathustran Analytics in Video Games, Part 9: Flaws in Criticism Today".

You should read the article (and the series), but -- in essence -- it's a call for the importance of meaningful critical review of games as genuine feedback to the teams that make them, as opposed to the "this is fun" / "this sucks" or review scores model that is endemic to the review world today.

(As an aside, does anyone else find it ironic that versions of numerical scores are used to grade non-numerical, creative experiences)?

I do think a model that creates -- in essence -- post mortem input to creative teams is far more useful for driving the games industry forward in a meaningful way than the aggregate Metacritic scores currently used by publishers, and (unfortunately) sometimes used to penalize creativity.

I think there's probably some middle(ish) ground between the prevailing system, and ivory tower(ish) critiques like "Repressed Homoeroticism in R-Type" (no disrespect meant, but I'm looking for a subset of enabling criticism that helps development teams, as opposed to "just" cultural implication assessments).

I do have a pet peeve, though: historical pop culture memory gaps.

While I appreciate references to Lester Bangs and Alan Moore, why reference Enders Game, as opposed to Kobayashi Maru? Or perhaps more appropriately (given this particular article), why use Mirrors Edge, rather than precursor (and dead-on candidate for the particular point being made) Breakdown? (Admittedly, I'm perhaps overly a fan of Breakdown, and think that team did something gutsy and innovative and didn't get its due props.)

But those are nits compared to my overall appreciation of this article and its sentiment.

Check it out for yourself.

Labels: , , ,

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gamebryo 2.5 ships!

Gamebryo 2.5 has shipped -- the newest version of Emergent Game Technologies's game engine and tools (check out the new Terrain System), and my first release since joining the company as Senior Product Manager for the product.

I'm very impressed with the people who made this happen, proud of this release, and wicked stoked for the technology and culture foundation it's built for even bigger stuff coming down the pipe. And I'm a little bruised from the all-out NERF-fueled real-world celebratory team deathmatch that may or may not have involved an alcohol haze for some or many of the participants.

I'm in the throws of physical and digital shipping, forum announcements, and related activities, but expect to see more noise out and about if you're in the industry.

Labels: , ,

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Insomniac Games moving to NC

Insomniac Games, geniui behind things like Ratchet & Clank and Resistance: Fall of Man, are moving to Raleigh-Durham Studio by January 2009.

Why am I excited? I'm now in the Triangle, and this brings and will attract top-tier gaming talent to the Triangle.

Labels: ,

Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sony adds subscription

Remember how Sony said the difference between them and Microsoft was Microsoft charges for Xbox Live, but Sony would be free?

Sony just introduced Qore, a "a highly interactive, monthly lifestyle gaming program covering the world inside PLAYSTATION", and "will feature exclusive news, developer interviews, in-depth game previews and behind-the-scenes looks at PlayStation games and special access to game demos, special beta invitations, game add-ons and other downloadable game-related content."

Qore is either $2.99 per monthly episode, or $24.99 for a yearly subscription of 13 episodes (Que?).

So, to review: For half the price of an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can get once-a-month episodes.

But remember, PS3 online is still free!

(For what it's worth, the content does sound cool.)


Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

$100 when you buy a PS3

Best new deal this week may be the $100 Blu-ray gift card you get if you buy a PS3 at Wal-Mart. It's the 40Gb version, but someone let me know if get this if you buy an 80Gb Motorstorm backwards-compatible bundle -- that would be doubly (quantuply?) sweet.

For value-add schwag when buying new releases Tuesday or Wednesday, looks like Circuit City is the place -- Incredible Hulk ($10 gift card), Ninja Gaiden II (RYU Wall Graphix), Kung Fu Panda (plush toy, and the game only at $50), The Bourne Conspiracy (Bourne Identity DVD), and LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (unlockable Belloq character, a T-Shirt, and the game only at $50).

Check out Cheap Ass Gamer for more of this week's deals.


Share: Digg! |! | Reddit! | TinyUrl | Twitter

Contact Adam

     Contribute to 0 comment(s)  |  Review 0 comment(s)

SOURCES:,,,, IGN, GameInformer, Official XBox Magazine, CNN,, and others.

View Adam Creighton's profile on LinkedIn

(More from ...)

(More from ...)

(More from ...)

(More from ...)

(More from ...)

Powered by Blogger