And how's working with EA?
Good, they're doing a great job. Just being nominated for E3 awards, never mind winning a bunch, was pretty impressive, so they clearly did a good job. Did you see they had a 'Burgerstorm' truck? They made all these burgers that were named after the different skill kills in Bulletstorm
. One of them was 'Gag Reflex'. It was really good, actually - tasty burger. So yeah, I think they're going to do a good job with the game. They're very much behind it and we're really excited for them. It's great that we have two really solid publisher relationships between Microsoft and EA. No developer could ask for better than that.
How was E3 for you this year? it seems like there was a lot of sparkle and a lot of excitement, but not a lot of new announcements. Do you think that the focus of E3's shifted?
I really enjoyed E3 this year. I thought it was a great show - super high-energy. Like I say, I'm so bullish on the industry as a whole, and it just kind of warms my heart how well we're doing, how much cool stuff there is at all different levels. I thought E3 was just fantastic. Everywhere I looked, somebody had something great to see.
I think part of the reason why people sometimes think, 'well, there wasn't so much new stuff' is strictly because companies are getting out ahead of E3 and announcing their products. There aren't a lot of big reveals at E3 and I think that's just the nature of the beast. You want to go to E3 to see the games you're interested in. Well, if you don't know about them you might miss it, if they announce it there. So, I think that's just marketing strategy but, to actually see the games that have been announced in the last six months and touch and feel them and play them, that's pretty valuable. So, I think that's really the important thing. Not so much, 'well, we have an important announcement here'. And I thought it was a great show. It just showed the industry has so much to offer.
Speaking of timing and games that have been announced in the last six months, Bulletstorm
and Gears 3
were both reasonably-recently announced, and I think a lot of people were maybe expecting Gears 3
for Christmas. Was releasing next year just a case of 'that's when it's ready', or was there an element of seeing April as the best time commercially?
I think there were just a lot of factors in that, and I think having more time is always a good thing. It means it'll be more polished, and we'll have more features and it'll be a better game.
I don't want to speculate on how the date was chosen, I just think that in the end hopefully it'll be the right date for it. I don't think you need to (release at) Christmas. It's a well-established franchise now and I think the people who love Gears
are going to want to come play Gears
, and I think it's actually kind of nice to have some time away from the big Christmas games. Because, I'm a shooter fan. I'm going to buy all of them. I'm gonna buy Killzone 3
, I'm going to buy Crysis 2
, I'm going to buy Halo Reach
, so I need some time to play these games! These are all coming out in fall and Christmas and Halo's earlier, so I think it's good to have a little space between them all. And I'm sure there's others I'm forgetting here, so apologies to the other games. I think it's OK to have that space.
I like to see the industry spread the releases around the year. I think Grand Theft Auto IV
certainly proved that a Spring release can be the biggest release in the way that a Call of Duty proves that a Fall release can be the biggest release. Hopefully we're getting away from bunching everything up at Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Christmas, I would love to have a big Christmas release. It did very well for us the first two times, I'm not against it. At the same time I'm happy that there's space and hopefully we'll do even better.
Thanks for your time!
Don't forget to read part 1 of our interview right here.