May 29, 2009 4:00 PM |
[In the final ever instalment of 'Bell, Game, and Candle', a GameSetWatch-exclusive column by writer Alex Litel, he follows up the the NSFW Reggie Fils-Aime E3 keynote to provide a sneak peek of other important bombshells to be revealed at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles next week.]
E3 2009 scoops? Sure, I've got plenty of them. Here's what's really being announced at the LA Convention Center (or thereabouts!) in just a few short days:
Star Wars: Chewbacca Origins: A Bar-Mitzvah and A Baptism: Even though I’m not a fan of Star Wars, I have seen all of the movies, and I’m pretty sure last year’s hit game Star Wars: Chewbacca Origins contradicted everything I had remembered about the films. And as many of you know, it turns out that Chewbacca was a typical kid growing up in Cincinnati in the early 1970s that accidentally tripped into his neighbor’s time machine and ended up in the past in a far-off galaxy.
This downloadable expansion episode tells the story of the half-Jewish/half-Christian twelve-year-old Chewy attempting to manage and deal with having both a Baptism and a Bar Mitzvah to prepare for. The content, which is dated for September, will be a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360 until early next year.
Dude Casual: The astounding success of Ubisoft’s girl-targeted brands such as Imagine got Tony Key, the company’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, asking himself, “How do you replicate this sort of success with typically non-gaming males?” Even though brands such as Prince of Persia and Tom Clancy have been successful, Key did not feel they those brands attracted the 17-36 male demo in the same that the extended family of the Frat Pack has.
Thus, the solution: the French game giant will put $50 million behind a encompassing branding initiative and multiyear campaign called “Dude Casual.” Starting with the late June release of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, the company will take to the cinemas and nontraditional venues with new spokesperson Zach Galifianakis, who has reportedly never played a video game, in attempts to lure an expanded male market to their products.
In addition, Ubi optioned the rights to Todd Phillips’ crass Vegas comedy The Hangover, and has put Frédérick Raynal’s team in Montpellier on the project, which is planned for release in summer 2011.
Wii Sports: The Movie Game: Based on Steven Soderbergh’s holiday 2010 3D adventure-comedy-fantasy-musical tentpole based on the historic smash game, little is known about this adaptation from the soon-to-be Apple Games Japan other than it will be announced at the Apple keynote and it delves beyond the filmic lore of the Stephen Gaghan-penned film.
Helghan: Sony will issue an apology for the branding of Killzone, calling it “a condescending, insulting mark that perpetuates the assumption that gamers are perennial asocial virgins.” Execs at the company realized the name was completely generic as well as something that no one would ever admit to playing in a non-gamerly social situation. The company will re-release revised versions of all of the games in the Guerrilla-developed sci-fi shooter series with Helghan in place of Killzone and a new multimillion dollar ad campaign.
Sony has also dropped plans to release Team Ico’s next project as A Game Featuring A Big Fucking Giant Flying Muskrat.
Buzzword Fetish: Blue-chip interactive entertainment innovator Activision-BIizzard’s top-shelf go-to UK-based automotive gaming whiz corp Bizarre Creations blitzkriegs with Buzzword Fetish, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to their top-line car metropolis Project Gotham Racing. But really sets this high-speed racing championship is the revolutionary and evolutionary procedurally generated prog game 3.0 Facebook-influenced avant social story experience, which will unveiled in full at E3.
Peter Molyneux’s Mystery Box: Microsoft is showing nothing than a very vague trailer for this product, which they hope rides on the buzz of the recently reignited portable gaming platform rumors and makes people think that this is the subject of those rumors. But inside sources at Microsoft and Lionhead have confirmed to me that the Mystery Box is simply a semi-hollow Rubik’s Cube that, once solved, opens up to reveal an assortment of knick-knacks and tchotchkes.
BioShock: The Movie: It turns out the budgetary concerns thing was a cover story for a production chief at Universal actually playing BioShock and finding it to be “an incoherent, inaccessible and insultingly pointless jumble of pop philosophy.” And deciding that it was too much of a risk, even if “Verbinski is fresh off two awful but genuine blockbusters.”
However, Universal was not too inclined to pay the penalty fee, so they went on the hunt for a far more economical director. And they arrived at Michel Gondry and Kerry Conran. The former recently expressed interested in making a film of the video game where “you waggle the dancing and racing babies”; the latter wants someone to greenlight his “dense and sophisticated sophomore project.” So, Universal lied to both of them.
Take-Two will make the new co-director announcement at E3. The film is presently budgeted at $395, plus a Michaels gift certificate Gondry got for his birthday. Principles will be whomever Universal can successfully blackmail.
Play: For this ambitious and cerebral WiiWare title, Majesco has teamed up New Yorker pop sociologist Malcolm Gladwell to find out why gamers enjoy video games and why non-gamers do not enjoy video games. This experiential holiday release will have players utilizing their Wii Balance Board, Wii Speak, Wii MotionPlus, Nunchuck and Wiimote in order to find those answers.
Categories: Column: Bell Game And Candle