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Game Company Christmas Cards

GameSetPics: 2009 Game Company Xmas Cards - WB to Namco

December 25, 2009 12:00 PM |

After the first and second parts were posted pre-Xmas, we're finishing up (for now!) our round-up of the most fun game publisher and developer 2009 Christmas cards we got into the offices of GDC, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra.

Reminder: our full Xmas card archives, including cards from 2006, 2007, and 2009, are available on GameSetWatch. We took a break in 2008, but the C&VG folks, the Joystiq chaps, and the GamerTell guys were on the ball last year.

[UPDATE 2: There's still a GamerTell gallery with 2009 cards, but Kotaku just posted a bunch of 2009 holiday cards they got, including some we don't have up - thanks, Stephen and Kotaku folks. Also, Crispy Gamer rounded up a number of the electronic cards, and 1UP has photos of their cards.]

In any case, here's the third and final Xmas set for 2009 - we'll round up stragglers and Japanese New Year cards in the, uh, New Year:

  

The Warner Bros. holiday card showcases their move into games with a bunch of their franchise characters, including those from Batman, F.E.A.R., Scribblenauts and the Lego games, hanging out and playing a cute retro game featuring... themselves? Blimey.

GameSetPics: 2009 Game Company Xmas Cards - Denki To Hudson

December 24, 2009 12:00 PM |

After yesterday's start, we're continuing to round up the most fun game publisher and developer 2009 Christmas cards we got into the offices of GDC, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra. Why? We think scanning them and making them available online is a neat Xmas-y thing to do. And we're pretty much game nerds, so we love the custom artwork.

Reminder: our full Xmas card archives, including cards from 2006, 2007, and 2009, are available on GameSetWatch. We took a break in 2008, but the C&VG folks, the Joystiq chaps, and the GamerTell guys were on the ball last year. This year, there's a a GamerTell gallery, but please comment or ping us if you know of other outlets showcasing cards, or have some you've scanned yourself.

In any case, let's get straight on with this second (of three) sets of Christmas cards from various friends and colleagues throughout the world:

  

The fine folks at Scottish indie developer Denki, currently making the wordgame-tastic Quarrel for Xbox Live Arcade, went for a special card featuring one of the in-game characters (we discover when opening the card!) peering through a Christmas tree, with bonus Scrabble-y holiday greeting writing.

GameSetPics: 2009 Game Company Xmas Cards - Twisted Pixel To Rare

December 23, 2009 10:00 AM |

Well, it's that time of year again where video game companies send out their Christmas cards - some of them very cool, actually - and so here at GameSetWatch, we thought we'd break out the scanner and bring back a holiday tradition - neat game developer Xmas card scanning! (It's nice to showcase the often-custom artwork to the world, especially if it arrives in physical form and isn't posted online anywhere.)

The alert among you may recall that GSW did just this in 2006 and 2007 - lots of cool cards there, and links to other people scanning them. But we skipped it in 2008, partly because we were too freakin' busy - but also because there were lots of other outlets, including C&VG, the folks at Joystiq, and the GamerTell guys on the case.

This year, it seems to have been a lot quieter on the scanning front, but I did find a GamerTell gallery with a number of neat Xmas cards in it. (Comment or ping us if you know of other outlets showcasing cards, or have some you've scanned yourself.)

Anyhow, having pooled the GDC, Game Developer magazine and Gamasutra office's cards for this good cause, we'll be showcasing some of the best cards we got across multiple posts today, tomorrow, and Xmas day. Here goes:

  

The awesome Austin, TX-based indie studio Twisted Pixel, creators of The Maw and 'Splosion Man, sent along this card, complete with 'Season's Meatings' salutations and Splosion Man himself handing out all kinds of slabs of raw flesh for the holidays. Also, if you're going to put hilarious gurning employees and Die Hard references on the back of your card, don't expect us not to scan it, yay:

GameSetPics: Game Company New Year's Cards (With Bonus Xmas Leftovers!)

January 7, 2008 8:00 AM |

You thought we'd finished the game company Christmas card posting, right? Well, almost - and we've now compiled them all into one special blog category so you can check out 2007 and 2006's developer/publisher greeting cards together here on GSW.

But there's some final goodness to cap things off, since Japanese developers are wont (along with the rest of their country) to send out cheery New Year's postcards, and we managed to receive a smattering of them here. In addition, there were a couple of delayed Western Xmas cards that didn't come until close to or after the holidays that we thought we'd showcase - cos they were cute.

Again - these cards are compiled from everyone in the CMP Game Group offices - special thanks to GDC exec director Jamil Moledina, event co-ordinator Stephanie Tang, Game Developer senior editor Brandon Sheffield, and Gamasutra features editor Christian Nutt for letting me take their cards home to scan.

Here goes:

You probably know CyberConnect2 from their work creating the .Hack series of PlayStation 2 single-player RPGs that played on the whole 'online world' thing in a neat way. Their New Year's card has some absolutely delightful Engrish on it - "The abyss also peeps into here when it peeps into the abyss", indeed.

The folks at NanaOn-Sha, headed by Masaya Matsuura, have been making awesome rhythm games since the original PaRappa The Rapper in 1996. Ahead of a reuniting with Rodney Greenblat to make a new Wii rhythm game in 2008 (great idea, Majesco!), here's their trippy New Year's card.

Tokyo-based game services company 8-4, headed by John Ricciardi and Hiroko Minamoto, are one of the 'secret' bridges between Western and Eastern gaming, doing localization, consulting, and liaison on a whole bunch of neat projects - I interviewed them last year about their views of the market. Here's their card, designed by Rez/Space Channel 5 concept designer Jake Kazdal - more on him soon!

We've talked about Kyoto-based Q-Games a bit recently - founded by Starfox veteran Dylan Cuthbert, they do the PixelJunk series, and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff for the hardware guys, including the recently discussed Gaia screensaver for the PS3. Anyhow, here's their extremely cute New Year's card.

Getting on to the Western firms now, this actually came as a postcard inside a Christmas card from Torpex, developers of the upcoming Schizoid for XBLA - but it looks a bit like a Japanese New Year's card, so it's a neat bridge into the leftover Xmas cards, innit? (Both Torpex and PixelJunk folks are talking at the Indie Game Summit at GDC this year, btw.)

Couldn't leave this one out - Insomniac's card has a totally adorable illustration of a snowglobe with a leering fish grabbing hold of little toy versions of Ratchet & Clank. There may be some other R&C mythology I'm missing out on here, but whatever, it's a pretty smart card.

Finally, those Guitar Hero IP-owning reprobates at Red Octane sent over a card with a pretty stylish guitar, snowflake, Red Octane logo mash-up buried in it - a bit like last year's Sony card in some ways, only a bit more rock and roll. Huzzah.

GameSetWatch 2007 Game Company Xmas Card Countdown: Nintendo To Free Radical

December 24, 2007 4:01 PM |

Finishing up the series - here's the first and the second set of holiday greetings - this is the final set of publisher/developer Xmas cards we received in time for the 2007 holiday season at our offices here in slightly chilly San Francisco.

These cards are compiled from everyone in the CMP Game Group offices - special thanks to GDC exec director Jamil Moledina, Game Developer senior editor Brandon Sheffield, and Gamasutra features editor Christian Nutt for letting me take their cards home to scan. [Also, former Gamasutra and current Joystiq editor Jason Dobson posted a few other cards on his Flickr account, for those wanting more.]

Here goes:

Nintendo's Xmas card features a snowflake-specked version of Super Mario Galaxy iconography - and is flecked with glitter, whcih is particularly fetching.

Now, here's the ironic card inclusion. This card is not personalized in any way to the company who sent it. But... that's because it's from 'game development ninjas' Tose, of course. Haw haw.

This card from Ubisoft is available in a couple of other places too, and only just fits on the scanner - but showcases a massive range of Ubi characters, all the way from Rayman to the 'Imagine' casual game series.

A group card from NIS America, this one features some art from the much-awaited Disgaea 3, as well as lots of signatures from key folks at the Japanese-headquartered, SRPG-happy firm.

   
   

The final card is from the folks at Free Radical, and all four page reveal a rich tapestry of l33t gaming puns on the holiday season - along with a spoof disclaimer that channels Assassin's Creed, somebody mentioned to us. A fine end to the series, we believe - happy Christmas to all.

GameSetWatch's 2007 Game Company Xmas Card Countdown: Ninja Theory To Double Fine

December 24, 2007 8:00 AM |

Continuing from the first in the series, it's time to rummage around some more of the neat game publisher/developer Xmas cards we received in time for the 2007 holiday season at the offices of Gamasutra, Game Developer magazine, GDC, and, heh... GameSetWatch.

A reminder - these cards are compiled from everyone in the CMP Game Group offices - special thanks to GDC exec director Jamil Moledina, Game Developer senior editor Brandon Sheffield, and Gamasutra features editor Christian Nutt for letting me take their cards home to scan.

Good ol' Ninja Theory have their special Heavenly Sword-themed Xmas card - which I think they've used before, since the old-style PS3 design and 'boomerang' controller sneak into the design. Fun.



Koei aren't afraid to plug Dynasty Warriors 6 in their card, with the perennial Japanese history borrowers suggesting that 'heavier armor' is the answer to your holiday chill-related issues.

Over at Sony Computer Entertainment America, they've paid someone to carve the PlayStation controller button insignias onto a snow bank, in marvellous holiday stylings. (OK, it's probably a Photoshop trick of the mind, but close enough.)


You might know D3 Publisher of America from Puzzle Quest, of course - not to mention Earth Defense Force and their Japanese parent's Simple 2000 series. In this case, a simple play on their logo makes up their Xmas greetings card.

Finally, last year's Double Fine card was really darn cool, and the Psychonauts and Brutal Legend creators have again come up with something neeto, with the double-headed 'Fine mascot riding a sleigh hotrod, and some cunning prose. Bravo, Sirs. Final Xmas card compilation coming soon...

GameSetWatch's 2007 Game Company Xmas Card Countdown: PopCap To BioWare

December 23, 2007 4:00 PM |

Well, we're making this a yearly event now - following 2006's game company Christmas card gallery, GSW has got its trusty scanner out and is posting all the neat Xmas greeting cards we collectively got from our friends in the game biz.

Firstly, let's give a shout-out to the other sites who've started this job - in particular, the UK chaps at ComputerAndVideoGames.com have posted over 10 scanned cards from this year, including neat Rare, Konami, and Blizzard ones. In addition, Kotaku has 7 more cards posted, with some awesome Namco Bandai, Petroglyph, and Lionhead digital/physical cards. Oh, and there's Valve's ApertureScience.com online card, of course.

These cards are compiled from everyone in the CMP Game Group offices - special thanks to GDC exec director Jamil Moledina, Game Developer senior editor Brandon Sheffield, and Gamasutra features editor Christian Nutt for letting me take their cards home to scan.

Between us, we have over 15 specially designed game firm Xmas cards not posted online by C&VG and Kotaku yet this holiday season, so we'll be putting them out in three posts, and compiling them all into one big megapost after that. Fun! Let's go:

PopCap's card came with some really cute set of three notebooks with embossed PopCap game characters on them, and a little Xmas-y company factsheet which revealed the firm has managed 50% growth per year _every year_ for the past few years. Good lord, casual games megaton.

   

Another 'reveal'-styled Final Fantasy card from Square Enix this year, and this time, it looks like a snowman... before opening the card reveals that the eyes are actually from a super-kawaii Chocobo. Aw!

The folks from Marvelous Interactive (Harvest Moon) sent over this distinctly Japanese-styled card celebrating Santa's skydiving prowess. Reborn!

From Naughty Dog, the stars of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune take the opportunity to wish us a happy holiday season - further displaying some of that Magnum P.I.-ish vibe that makes me grin.

   
   

The crown jewel of this particular set, BioWare's Xmas card features completely awesome custom Mass Effect art (both Santa-themed and super-deformed!), and a catchy 'Jingle Bells'-pastiche Xmas poem within which starts 'Mass Effect, Mass Effect, Shepard's on his way, He's out spreading Christmas cheer throughout the mass relays'. More cards soon!

GameSetPics: Sony Xmas Origami Wallpaper

December 24, 2006 11:01 AM |

When we ran the game company Xmas card post a couple of days back, a commenter asked for the Sony origami paper (which depicts PlayStation and crossbar music/game/photo logos arranged into a snowflake pattern!), so we're happy to oblige here at GSW.

I went ahead and scanned three of those, and they're below in 1024x768 and 1600x1200 wallpaper sizes - you can resize to fit your desktop, of course, and it's probably tileable, but I didn't have the necessary skillz to mess with that. Here we are:

[1024x768] [1600x1200]

[1024x768] [1600x1200]

[1024x768] [1600x1200]

Actually, there were four different sheets of origami paper included in total with the card, plus instructions regarding making some fun (but non Sony-themed!) origami out of them. But three should be enough for you reprobates - and apologies for slight artifacting, I'm using an ancient version of Photoshop which has slightly awful compression. (Thanks again to Jamil @ GDC for letting us borrow these.)

GameSetPics: Game Company Xmas Cards

December 22, 2006 7:20 PM |

OK, so one of the coolest things about the game industry around Xmas time is the specially designed holiday cards, and it turns out that, between us in the CMP Game Group offices (since we run Game Developer, Gamasutra, and Game Developers Conference in our various departments), we get a lot of the particularly neat ones.

So we've taken it upon ourselves to scan in some of our personal favorites, and present them here for the entire Internet* (*or our friends who read GameSetWatch, anyhow) to see. Many thanks to Brandon Sheffield @ Game Developer and especially Jamil Moledina at Game Developers Conference for lending us their cards for the scanning process.

Cards are in alphabetical order, so we're not 'playing favorites' - here goes:

DoubleFine's card has a) totally cute artwork, and b) an extremely funny Tim Schafer-authored poem inside about how they can't talk about their next game. 'All the elves signed NDAs', indeed!

Eidos and its Crystal Dynamics office went for a fake game box, complete with exciting blockbuster info on the Xmas season, and group pictures of their offices.

Just a quick shout out for Koei, who unfortunately didn't put Gundam Musou on their Xmas card, but nonetheless showed off a wintry Dynasty Warriors character.

Namco Bandai's card is adorable because it has Pac-Man in a Santa outfit - nuff said, really. The bottom half of the card actually folds out to give you a closer look at the Tamagotchi village (Bandai's contribution) in the background.

   

One of two Nintendo holiday cards, with a simple keyhole type design featuring Wii players laughing it up.

The other Nintendo card has an inevitable 'Wii = We' pun on it. It's very wide, too!

The NIS Xmas card, for all you import fans - apparently the characters are from 'Soul Cradle (working title)'.

Red Octane's card weaves guitars (from its Guitar Hero franchise) and the company icon into a snowflake-style tableau.

Oddly enough, Sony's Xmas card also plays with geometric designs and Sony logos in a rather fetching fashion.

This origami paper came with one of Sony's Xmas mailing, so we thought we'd include it as a bonus.

   

Finally, Square Enix's card draws comparisons between December and, aha, Final Fantasy XII, for a very pure, wintry end to our round-up. This is just a selection of the cards out there, and we're going to try to add a few others from our various remote editors _and_ link to other people who are going to scan in their own cards.

[UPDATE - we added the Sony Xmas origami design in wallpaper-able sizes, at least!]