['Bell, Game, and Candle' is a regular GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Alex Litel, discussing stuff that happens - or doesn't happen - in the game business. This time, he is here with his own year-end round-up.]

Here is my contribution to the reflective canon, a look back at the best in things said in press releases in this fine year.

Over the past few days, I have scoured through more than 1,500 press releases, and I am certain that I have found the very best of the best.

Also, I should probably note I have excluded Mark Jacobs, as his contributions are so far and beyond anyone else that his inclusion would simply turn this into a countdown. In his absence, the top quote will be awarded an award with his namesake.

(Really, including statements like "We want any and all interested players to be able to join the ranks of Order and Destruction, regardless of location or language. The battle between Realms can only get better as more warriors join the fight for the Age of Reckoning." or "In three days the real battle begins -- we have declared September 18th the 'Day of Reckoning,' and WAR will soon be upon us!" would make things unfair.)

The Mark Jacobs Award for Corporate Communicative Achievement

“The game All Star Cheer Squad was designed with the growing number of girls on Wii and Nintendo DS in mind. We strived to deliver an authentic cheer experience for those players and believe this partnership with CoverGirl is a unique opportunity to do just that. The CoverGirl brand and its spokespeople are instantly recognizable among our target demographic and will further immerse players in the competitive cheerleading world.”
Jim Huntley, director of global brand management, THQ

Expressing approval of indoctrinating imperfection into malleable minds without inciting even the slightest indignation in the blogosphere is nothing short of top-flight cunning. If I could give this award to more than one person, I would give it to all the those in the industry—seemingly universally male—who have used their empiricism to speak on the interests of young girls. But I cannot, so I honor the sheer epitome.

Read on for the next, uhh, 49 quotes:

2. “Any band that can go from 'Don't Want to Miss A Thing' (Aerosmith's #1 smash hit) to the ass-kicking 'Sweet Emotion' to the cheekiness of 'Love in an Elevator,' to the classic ballad 'Dream On' shows why Activision chose us to headline this game based on the diversity of the Aerosmith catalog. Not only is songwriting a bitch, but then it goes and has puppies.”
Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

3. “This is the first time Pitchfork Media has partnered with a videogame publisher, which is exciting since we share the same dedicated passion for highlighting new artists and being involved in independent music. We've always respected their impeccable taste and no-holds-barred voice in the music industry because it complements our approach to games - we both want to push our respective industries further by supporting independent substance over mainstream smoke.”
Tim Rosa, director of brand and lifestyle marketing at 2K Sports

4. “Our goal was to create an entertaining game that also embraces the rich history of Dairy Queen and its place within the community.”
Brian Kirkvold, Executive Producer for GameMill Entertainment

5. “This is not just another run-of-the-mill, licensed Hollywood knock-off. Wheelman features revolutionary new game design mechanics like cinematic super moves and vehicular combat. Once you experience Wheelman's Vehicle Melee, you'll never want to play another driving game without it!”
Matt Booty, president and CEO, Midway

6. “Interscope has the perfect roster of gaming rock and rap artists to provide the playlist for this year’s show.”
Casey Patterson, executive producer and senior vice president of Spike TV talent development & studio relations

7. “As marketers, we’re always looking for inventive ways to keep the brand cool and relevant with our audience.”
Vinay Sharma, senior brand manager, Capri Sun

8. “No other game has over 250 feature changes and additions focused on improving core gameplay.”
David Rutter, Producer of FIFA Soccer 09 on the PLAYSTATION 3 system and Xbox 360

9. “What surprised me about Deadly Creatures is how it looks...like watching a movie. The scorpion and tarantula are like two actors meeting up for a gun fight.”
Billy Bob Thornton

10. “His experience in portraying tormented characters on-screen translates incredibly well to the tortured character of Hayden Tenno in Dark Sector, a true anti-hero who makes no excuses for his actions. The combination of his voice talent and the compelling storyline of Dark Sector will offer a truly immersive experience for players.”
Peter Andrew, vice president of product development, D3PA

11. “The game gets players jamming through the decades of rock 'n' roll alongside era-defining artists such as Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, R.E.M. and Queen.”
Dusty Welch, SVP and Head of Publishing for Guitar Hero Franchise at RedOctane

12. “Activision's brands are at the forefront of entertainment and popular culture today, and this opportunity is a perfect match for my creative philosophy and approach, which is to truly engage and inspire consumers in new ways delivering compelling content which people actively engage in – mirroring the success of Activision's core business today.”
Brad Jakeman, Chief Creative Officer, Activision

13. “Blood on the Sand has non-stop action and exclusive music tracks from me and the G-Unit that you won't find anywhere else. Plus our fans will be able to play together with online co-op, and maybe even join me or one of the G-Unit online.”
50 Cent

14. “What would Monster Jam fans do if they could unleash the raw power of the world's biggest and baddest monster trucks in an urban setting, however they liked? Monster Jam: Urban Assault is our attempt to answer this question. We are confident Monster Jam fans and all gamers will enjoy doing things like crushing a NYC cab or smashing through one of London's famous double-decker buses.”
Dave Oxford, Activision

15. “‘You’re in the Movies’ gets you off the couch and into a rich, interactive movie experience for movie lovers everywhere, exclusively for Xbox 360. Xbox LIVE is home to the best movie games, more than 400 high-definition movies available for download, and with the New Xbox Experience, Xbox LIVE now offers thousands of instantly watchable films from Netflix, including over 300 in high definition.”
John Schappert, corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Services Business at Microsoft Corp

16. “Madden NFL Football and Brett Favre are sports icons who have set the standard and revolutionized their positions within their respective genres.”
Madden NFL Executive Producer Dale Jackson

17.“We know that Guitar Hero fans love David Cook and David Archuleta too. So, for us, these ads were about delivering two fan-favorites in a fun and memorable way. And with a creative director like Brett [Ratner], it was a perfect match that could be made only in Hollywood.”
Robert Kotick, Chairman and CEO, Activision

18. “Our relationship with EA has been instrumental in bringing the Nissan brand to a passionate and unique audience. By launching the all-new 2009 Nissan Z(R) first through Need for Speed Undercover, we also gain the spirit and energy that EA gamers experience so strongly. Together with EA, we have truly integrated the all-new 370Z in the overall game experience in a meaningful, multi-layered and profound way.”
Christian Meunier, Vice President, Nissan Marketing

19. “As part of the LITTLEST PET SHOP game development process, we conducted extensive focus group testing, which tapped the insights of more than 1,000 young girls. The feedback was loud and clear -- girls want games that better suit their interests and gameplay styles. We're truly excited to deliver LITTLEST PET SHOP to this demographic as we know that it will meet girls' wishes and demands on so many fronts from the rich graphics and animations that bring the pets to life to the exciting adventures and mini-games that will keep them exploring, collecting, nurturing and playing for hours.”
Chip Lange, General Manager and Vice President of EA Casual Entertainment

20. “Working with the PS3 System Software, R&D and game development teams at Sony Computer Entertainment, we made a great effort to develop the most compelling headset for the PS3 community and are excited to bring it to market with the launch of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Confrontation. With the new headset, we were able to implement new game features such as proximity chat which utilizes high quality voice chat play back within the game in full surround sound with reverb and sound occlusion to match all of the sound effects and VO in the game; providing players with the most immersive voice chat experience seen in any game title.”
Seth Luisi, director of development, SCEA

21. “To our team the original game was just a tease, the appetizer to the ‘Gears of War’ characters and new style of gameplay. We were so amped to get to the next chapter, and dig deeper into the universe of this franchise. ‘Gears of War 2’ is an even bigger, better, and more badass experience than the first game, and we can’t wait to get it in the hands of eager gamers this November.”
Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer for Epic Games

22. “Gamers have come to expect a certain level of realism in video games and by collaborating with key brands in the industry we're able to deliver with Guitar Hero World Tour. With the most advanced wireless instrument controllers, the in-game likeness of multiple multi-platinum recording artists and authentic on-stage gear, the game offers the ultimate rock and roll experience.”
Dave Anderson, Head of Business Development for Activision

23. “The cops and robbers mode will thrust players into adrenaline-pumping battles as they utilize the Heroic Driving Engine to deliver or prevent the delivery of the package to the safe house.”
Bill Harrison, Executive Producer at Black Box

24. “Imagine being rushed by an eight-foot tall, nine hundred pound grizzly bear. You are not thinking about stuffing the bear and placing it in your mountain cabin. Your only instinct is avoiding death.”
Dave Oxford, Activision

25. “We were looking for a left-of-center band to connect with a great soundtrack opportunity, and From First To Last is the ideal act to showcase in this game. Add in their new album, their upcoming Warped Tour appearances and a few surprises still to come, and you've a 360 degree partnership that totally 'gets it'. Simply put, we've matched the new with the new like never before. The dual impact of FaceBreaker and FFTL is going to be undeniable.”
Steve Schnur, worldwide executive of music and marketing at Electronic Arts

26. “The popularity of music rhythm games is at an all time high, but to date the games have primarily featured hard core metal, classic and alternative rock music. With popular songs from today’s top pop artists, PopStar Guitar is a game the whole family can enjoy. We’ve also created a dynamic new air guitar game play experience with our AirG peripheral for the Wii, allowing players to have a blast as they unleash their inner pop star.”
Steve Grossman, chief executive officer of XS Games

27. “I was stoked when EA committed to putting our etnies Goofy vs. Regular event in their new game! GvR is one the best skate contests of the year and has created some of the most hype and friction over the past 5 years.”
Don Brown, senior vice president of marketing for Sole Technology and goofy footed skateboarder

28. “As an artist, Wyclef Jean is a great match for the PlayStation brand, and SCEA is excited about working with him on this music video because it showcases our platforms in an organic way that's relevant to our audience.”
Peter Dille, senior vice president, marketing and PLAYSTATION®Network, SCEA

29. “Ubisoft Montreal and I have worked together for over two years to create something I would be proud to put my name on. I feel like we’ve captured the true essence of the action sports lifestyle and brought it to players around the world.”
Shaun White

30. “Players will get the chance to reap the spoils of war this summer as they annihilate the enemy and search for gold in the dark, character-driven, single player storyline while returning Battlefield fans will love the intense and vehicle-heavy multiplayer.”
Karl-Magnus Troedsson, Senior Producer for Battlefield: Bad Company

31. “For Go, Diego, Go!: Safari Rescue, we've created an entirely new interactive experience for preschoolers that is only possible on the Wii. Nickelodeon's intensive study of how two through six-year-olds experience the new technologies offered by the Wii helped us create an all-new play pattern that extends beyond current games. Physical activity is an integral part of the fun and the new title is perfectly suited for the younger gamer.”
Steve Lux, Vice President of Business Development for 2K Play

32. “My Horse and Me is a great success story for Atari as it brought something special to equestrian gamers with its realistic depiction of the horse riding lifestyle. We are taking the realism and entertainment of the original game even further with the sequel. Our goal is to establish My Horse and Me 2 as the leading equestrian gaming brand and give players the most authentic and entertaining way to enjoy the horse riding lifestyle in a game.”
Cyril Voiron, VP Brand Management, Worldwide Publishing, Atari

33. “God of War is one of the biggest PlayStation franchises, and with its portable premiere on PSP just around the corner, we wanted to offer something special that would appeal to both loyal God of War fans and non-owners who want to enjoy PSP’s multi-functionality. This bundle delivers great value, starting with the ‘Deep Red’ PSP – one of the most highly sought-after colors based on our consumer research – and the Kratos silkscreen. We’re also showcasing the diverse entertainment experience PSP offers, centered on a UMD game in God of War: Chains of Olympus that’s every bit as impressive as its console sequels, a free download of the award-winning Syphon Filter: Combat Ops, and a box office hit movie in Superbad.”
Scott A. Steinberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, SCEA

34. “The Ener-G games will not only satisfy parents, but they also give tween girls a new outlet through which they can express their creativity and love for sports.”
Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft North America

35. “We are excited that Eco-Creatures now joins the ranks of Cooking Mama, Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends and Cake Mania as a phenomenal game launching with the support of a great demo available through the Nintendo kiosk program. We are confident that anyone who tries Eco-Creatures will be compelled to pick up the full version once it ships and help save the world from ecological disaster.”
Gui Karyo, Executive Vice President of Operations, Majesco

36. “Set on a vast oil-rich island, located off the eastern coast of Russia, north of Japan, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising’s fiction occurs during a time of tension between Russia and China over the island’s disputed ownership. The game will open as Chinese forces launch an offensive and, referencing the title, as the dragon rises over the island, players will find themselves in a situation that is set to flare up into a flashpoint like never before.”
Andrew Wafer, Brand Manager for Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising, at Codemasters

37. “Need for Speed Undercover features a deep and engaging story of spectacular Hollywood-style live-action that will transport players into the fictional world of the Tri-City Bay Area. Working with talent the caliber of Maggie Q allows us to deliver an unparalleled level of storytelling that will keep players engaged in between 180-mile an hour races.”
Bill Harrison, Need for Speed Undercover Executive Producer

38. “This is a new and highly innovative use of dynamic in-game advertising and really demonstrates the creativity and marketing power of this medium.”
Cory Van Arsdale, CEO of Massive

39. “Mama has become a certifiable icon since her original introduction in Cooking Mama DS. Her first brand offshoot captures those features that made the Cooking Mama series a best seller--an innovative concept, full Touch Screen control, approachable gameplay for everyone and, of course, a charismatic mentor who pushes you in her own endearing way to give a gold medal performance every time.”
Jesse Sutton, Chief Executive Officer, Majesco

40. “We created a very deep piece of fiction for the game and really pushed the boundaries on the violence, gore and psychological terror needed to produce a high quality horror entertainment product. We think that people will love the universe that we created and have a lot of fun with strategic dismemberment.”
Glen Schofield, Executive Producer on Dead Space

41. “Our goal was to create the ultimate digital game closet of favorite board games that would rally families to gather, play and make memories together. Hasbro Family Game Night is a video game that people can gift with pride and is sure to become a family tradition right alongside tossing the football after the big holiday meal.”
Chip Lange, EA Hasbro Vice President and General Manager

42. “Xbox LIVE is the world’s fastest-growing online social network on TV.”
John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment LIVE, Software and Services Business at Microsoft

43. “We are excited to inject the marketplace with Haze and its Nectar-driven twist on the classic shooter genre. Today, gamers everywhere can fight the good fight as they get their hands on the next big PLAYSTATION 3 system exclusive shooter.”
Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft

44. “This has always been a game with global underground credibility, and our responsibility is to always take its music to the next level. For FIFA Street 3 we've created a soundtrack that digs deep into hardcore electronic culture, bringing together the genre's most radical breakthrough artists from more than a dozen countries. It's more than just the world sound of the streets; it's the sound of FIFA Street.”
Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Music Marketing at EA

45. “Although an incredibly successful PC genre, the hunt and find adventure category has yet to be introduced on Wii. Escape the Museum's online success coupled with category opportunity and an attractive price point make this an ideal title to bring to market.”
Liz Buckley, Director of Marketing, Majesco

46. “Sonic and the Black Knight is a stunning adventure into an epic land and story that no gamer can resist. Gamers will experience all the excitement of mastering a sword and true knighthood, as well as the classic, speedy, 2D/3D gaming action that Sonic is famous for.”
Sean Ratcliffe, Vice President of Marketing, SEGA of America

47. “Bangai-O Spirits was named Best DS Shooter of E3 2008 by IGN.com, and was nominated for Best Nintendo DS Game of E3 2008 by GameTrailers.com. This is a high quality game.”
Bill Anker, vice president of business and licensing, D3Publisher

48. “The fundamental link between video games and music, namely the emphasis on creative spirit, is something that cannot be ignored. By developing this contest, with Korn and our partners at GameTrailers, we have found a way to let amateurs try their hand at playing producer, and really bring their passion for both industries to light. We’re looking forward to seeing the submissions and anticipate having to make a tough decision in declaring a winner.”
Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ubisoft

49. “There is a rich history to the Civil War, especially in terms of covert military tactics. American warfare in the 1860's was brutal yet surprisingly sophisticated, so it was essential for us to capture this duality.”
Dave Oxford, Activision

50. “We're already deep in development on Project RedLime and the team at EA is giving us the time we need to perfect our vision. We're excited to bring a new perspective and gameplay innovation to this beloved fiction.”
Johan Kristiansson, CEO of Starbreeze Studios

Disagree with any of my choices? Anything I overlooked? Please opine in the comments.

[Alex Litel can be reached at [email protected] and occasionally found at alexlitel.blogspot.com. His intent is to celebrate, not mock.]