2009 certainly was a busy year for gaming. We’ve had curious console refreshes, boycotts of blockbuster games, and more peripheral-laden games than you can shake a stick at. We even got to shoot people in an airport. And what better way to celebrate the year that was 2009 than by looking at some of the more interesting things said by games industry folks. Here is your 2009, in quotes.
“We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.”
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco. While Kotick may not be all that popular among gamers—and quotes like this are a prime example why—it’s hard to argue with his business sense. Kotick has earned $37 million in stock options since the November launch of Modern Warfare 2.
“I don’t trust Valve.”
Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, revealing his misgivings about Valve and its digital distribution platform Steam. However, it seems that Pitchford is in the minority, as most of the developers we spoke to were actually in favor of using Steam as a way to sell their games.
“As for L4D2, things seemed balanced and ‘tight’ and did not feel like a rushed job. While we were visiting their offices, we personally witnessed what can only be called a small army of artists, coders, mappers hard at work, which explains the rapid transformations in artwork that we’ve all seen.”
Left 4 Dead 2 boycott leader Walking_Target after seeing the game in action. Some gamers were upset over the quick release of a sequel to last year’s co-op hit L4D, but after a free trip to Valve HQ, it seems that there’s no longer an issue.
Will New Super Mario Bros. Wii outsell Modern Warfare 2 this holiday season?
“On a single platform… absolutely. I say that unequivocally.”
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime claiming on GameTrailers TV that New Super Mario Bros. Wii will outsell Modern Warfare 2 over the holiday season. While there’s still some time, NSMBW has quite a bit of catching up to do. According to NPD data, NSMBW sold 1.4 million units in November, while MW2 sold 4.2 million on the Xbox 360 and 1.9 million on the PlayStation 3.
“We sold 26 copies. We weren’t necessarily expecting instant great success, but damn.”
Nick Marroni, owner of iPhone developer MEE, in a press release revealing the sales of the studio’s game iLikeCereal!! Marroni’s case is indicative of the iPhone gaming landscape at large, where the expectation for a low price point and the sheer number of titles in the app store makes it difficult for indie developers to achieve much success.
“The Beatles: Rock Band is nothing less than a cultural watershed, one that may prove only slightly less influential than the band’s famous appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1964.”
The New York Times’ Seth Schiesel, in his review of The Beatles: Rock Band. While critically acclaimed, The Beatles: Rock Band wasn’t quite the overwhelming hit it was expected to be. The 360 version of the game was only the fifth best selling title in September, behind games like Halo 3: ODST and Wii Sports Resort.
“Most snarky critics had their minds set before ever seeing/playing the game. I’m proud of what we created; it’s innovative, responsive & fun.”
Tony Hawk tweeting about the largely negative reception of Tony Hawk Ride. The highest rated version of the game, on the Nintendo Wii, currently holds an average score of 53 percent on Metacritic.
“The product is not euphemistic for me, nor is it a punchline, I did not purchase it to hate it, though I did purchase it—and at great cost. Even if I didn’t particularly like it, I thought, perhaps one of our sons may find some use for it, their minds untainted by the expectations engendered by three decades of electronic play. They can’t get penetrate the tutorial, though, so densely knit are the ambiguities of their infernal demon plank.”
Penny Arcade’s Jerry Holkins in response to Hawk’s dismissal of the negative reception of THR.
The PSP Go was released this year to much criticism from consumers and press alike.
“This new iteration of the platform is what would happen if a facepalm was turned into a piece of hardware.”
Our very own Gaming Editor Ben Kuchera in his review of the PSP Go. Though a nice looking piece of hardware, the Go is plagued by numerous issues—most of which stem from the handheld’s lack of a UMD drive—that have held it back from making much of an impact.
“I knew that I wanted to control my destiny, so I knew I needed revenues, right f***ing now. Like I needed revenues now. So I funded the company myself but I did every horrible thing in the book to… just to get revenues right away. I mean we gave our users poker chips if they downloaded this zwinky toolbar which was like, I dont know, I downloaded it once and couldn’t get rid of it. We did anything possible just to just get revenues so that we could grow and be a real business… so control your destiny. So that was a big lesson, controlling your business. So by the time we raised money we were profitable.”
Mark Pincus, CEO of social game developer Zynga. The developer behind popular Facebook games like FarmVille and Cafe World, it recently came to light that Zynga knowingly subjected players to “scammy” offers in an attempt to raise capital.
“Hey, if Activision liked it, then they should have put a ring on it. Oh great, now Beyonce is going to sue me too.”
The always funny Tim Schafer on the publishing controversy surrounding Brutal Legend. Originally set to be published by Activision, the game was dropped and eventually picked up by EA. Then Activision attempted to cash in on the game they passed on.
“You are completely reliant on IW.NET. There are no server lists. There are no dedicated servers.”
Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling on the PC version of Modern Warfare 2. The game irked a good deal of the PC gaming community after it was revealed that it wouldn’t support dedicated servers.
We leave the rest up to you: what quotes from the talking heads, pundits, analysts, and industry pros stand out in your head?