Interviews// Mark Rein, Epic Games VP

Posted 4 Jul 2008 17:17 by
Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2
SPOnG: You were talking about the 'long tail' in your presentation. Is that something you're experiencing with your games? Do they keep selling and do you feel that content you've put in with that in mind is driving those (potential) sales?

Mark Rein: Absolutely. I think... like our Unreal Tournament games - I like to say they're not a sprint, they're a marathon. It's not about just how the game sells in the first month or two, but about keeping things going, keeping things fresh, keeping people interested, bringing new players in. We're doing this million dollar Intel, 'Make Something Unreal' mod contest, and I think that's going to bring more notoriety to the game and bring more people to check it out.

Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2
We have the mods on PlayStation 3 ? I just saw Official PlayStation Magazine over here in the UK did a big feature about some of the UT mods, so every time people talk about that kind of stuff, that's great. We want to work more closely with Sony and do more to bring the mods to the forefront, so we're working on some cool stuff there. That also helps, you elongate the life of the game, you keep people playing it. All that stuff helps.

SPOnG: Do you ever see a subscription model for post-launch content being brought in with your shooters?

Mark Rein: Who knows? Clearly on the PC, the business model needs some help there, and obviously piracy becomes an issue for games that don't have a subscription component where you can make sure you've authenticated the user every time they're playing. So, you could see that happening down the road.

Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2
Mark Rein: I'll say it though, I'm not a huge fan of making you tether your game just to see that it's you playing, but who knows? There could also be some huge benefits to that down the road.

You see that with MMOs and they're the real long-tail games out there. It's partially because you're persistent, you're long and you're a particular avatar in that world. Could that kind of thing happen to games like Unreal? Sure, but it's certainly not something we're working on right now.

You never say never in this business. That's basically the bottom line. It's certainly not what we're trying to do these days, but who knows?

SPOnG: What's this movie in production using the Unreal engine? (During his earlier presentation Rein said, ?We actually have a Hollywood studio making a real movie using UE3.?)

Mark Rein: (Shrugs to indicate 'I'm not saying').

SPOnG: There's been a fair amount of bickering between platform holders recently ? particularly over GTA IV sales figures. How do you feel about that? Do you think it hurts the industry?

Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2
Mark Rein: I don't... Do Coke and Pepsi bicker among each other? I'm sure they do, right? Do Ford and GM or Aston Martin and... I don't know. What's another British car maker? There aren't any left, are there? Jaguar? Aren't they part of the same company? Do they bicker among each other? Yeah, I...

SPOnG: Do they do it in public, though?

Mark Rein: Whatever. That's, you know... they're competitors! I think the more they compete, the better it is for all of us.

SPOnG: Thanks a lot for your time.
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