As we rapidly approach the Feast of Consumerism and Coveting that is The Baby Jesus? birthday SPOnG decided to ask the great and the good of the UK?s Games Industry a few questions about the last year in videogames. We wanted to know what the marketing execs and journos favourite games of 2005 were. We also wanted to know their thoughts on the year which is drawing to a close and to find out a little more about their hopes and fears for the games industry in the 2006 year since the birth of Baby Jesus (this is at least according to the Baby Jesus Magic Trick and Being Excellent to Each Other Fanclub (Earth Branch) If you haven?t a clue what we?re banging on about check out the news at http://news.spong.com/detail/news.asp?prid=9405 )
The answers were in turns stunningly predictable and pleasingly random. Here?s a selection from SPOnG?s definitive poll:
1. What was your favourite game of the year and why?
Garry Williams (Business Development Manager, Sold Out/Mastertronic): Phantom Mansion on Mobile - Because it is one of the very few good mobile games.
Richard Eddy (Head of Communications, Codemasters): Lego Star Wars - just loved how much FUN it was (and generally for being an idea that shouldn't have worked but did thanks to some wonderful game design).
Nick Gillet (The Guardian): Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath - quirky, subtle and involving, the staggeringly wonderful single player experience should be virtually
compulsory for anyone with an Xbox.
Leo Tan (Barrington Harvey PR): A tough one, but really it has to be PGR3. I have the TVR Sagaris in every colour. It's like actual sex with the road, via the medium of amazing cars.
Simon Byron (Barrington Harvey PR): King Kong, Xbox. I've not gone "woah" so frequently at a screen since the Pamela Anderson /Tommy Lee home video.
Paul Benjamin (Marketing Manager, Xplosiv): I Loved Warioware DS but God Of War just edges it for me, just a real slick piece of software that really pushed the PS2 to its limit, plus it was great fun and really reminded me why I love games and this industry so much.
2. What is you most anticipated game for 2006 and why?
Paul Benjamin: Shadow of Colossus - if it is half as good as Ico it will be
the game of the year, despite all the hype and talk of the power of PS3 and
360, its the games that matter.
Garry Williams: The New Tomb Raider - To see if it carries an Eidos logo or Midway one!!
Nick Gillet: Zelda: Twilight Princess - the unalloyed joy of playing through a
Zelda game for the first time is still unmatched in videogames. More
is all that matters.
Simon Byron: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Xbox 360. It's been a long time since I've totally succumbed to an RPG, but this looks like it could rekindle my love of the genre. And of beards.
Leo Tan: Virtua Fighter 5. The sequel to the greatest video game of all time.
Monastic training regimes begin in May, I reckon. Maybe a trip to Japan
to see it in its native environment. My girlfriend will leave me and I
probably won't notice.
Richard Eddy: Tomb Raider - hoping she can be brought back to life...
3. Who would you vote for as Industry Person of the Year 2005 and why?
Paul Benjamin: Roger Bennett - all the best sir, you have served this industry proud.
Richard Eddy: Roger Bennett, director general, ELSPA: For unswerving dedication to presenting the games industry in a hugely positive fashion and introducing superb initiatives that benefits gamers, the industry and people's perception of it. Plus, when an anti-gaming story breaks, for having the balls and a statesman-like approach in high-pressure television interviews to be our champion. Oh, and for being my games-industry 'Dad', of course.
Simon Byron: I would vote for Dave Roberts, Intent Media, because he's industry person of the year 2005 in my eyes.
Nick Gillet: Jack Thompson. If this is the most vociferous nay-sayer gaming has to
worry about, 2006 should be a good year.
Garry Williams: Jayne Cavanagh - biggest deal of 2005 and possibly an encore in 2006.
4. What is your top new years resolution ? work-related or not?
Simon Byron: Not to die during the half marathon I've agreed to run in April 2006. I fully expect to see resolution craved on my headstone.
Leo Tan: All platinum?s in PGR3.
Paul Benjamin: To invent a channel that plays Lost 24-7, keeping the missus
busy so I can play games, watch movies and get home drunk without getting
Nick Gillet: Must - try - more - mobile - games. The test phones sit there
gathering dust before eventually supplying several hours of gut-
twisting frustration. So easy to ignore them completely...
Richard Eddy: Quit the ciggies. Again.
Garry Williams: Not to try to be different, just to be good. To be good is different
5. What do you plan to be doing at 2pm on Xmas day?
Paul Benjamin: Drinking my 10th glass of wine and making a total disaster
of the Christmas dinner, followed by a very competitive Singstar competition
with mates, that could end in violence.
Simon Byron: Helping the homeless. Seriously.
Leo Tan: Swearing at the Cone Challenge target scores.
Nick Gillet: Stuffing my fat face with dead poultry
Richard Eddy: The goose will be coming out of the over, the roasties and Yorkshires will be going in, I'll be sweating about getting it all ready while glugging down more champagne (chef's prerogative).
Garry Williams: Returning swaying from the pub for Christmas Turkey.
Merry Christmas one and all and have one on us,