In true rock ‘n roll fashion, the breakup of Guitar Hero developer Red Octane with their franchise and publisher Activision is creating some fallout. Three former Red Octane employees, who have gone on to found their own development house, are being named in a suit filed by Activision alleging "copyright infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, and more," spurred by the current rhythm-game project the three former Octaners are undertaking. That "and more" reminds me of marquees outside of venues on concert nights; under the headliners and the opening act, you also get "and more," which is actually just the young cousin of the stage manager who plays the theremin. Gamespot has the full story, and cracks no wise, right here.
I never thought I’d like the Def Jam games. My prejudice against thug posturing threatened to kick my ass if I even tried the games out. Now, mentally bruised but happy, I can say I’m a mild fan of the series, especially the sense of heft that rules the deep-enough fighting system. The upcoming release, Def Jam: Icon, now has a demo available on Xbox Live for those Gold subscribers interested. Silver members can expect it before too long. I haven’t tried it out, yet, but I plan on annoying the hell out of my wife with its soundtrack as soon as I get home from work.
Doug Lowenstein officially vacated his position as president of the ESA yesterday at the DICE summit, which means he’s no longer the man who serves as living nexus between gaming and politics. His exit speech, which reads more like a series of parting shots, has a few notable quotes, but I was struck by Gamespot’s particular coverage, which included the author’s quote: "A reliance on rumor and sloppy reporting were the elements of press coverage [Lowenstein] called out as needing to be rethought and upgraded." I thought that was especially pertinent, given that this story from The Onion is being passed around the various game journals, and is currently one of the top ten stories on Gametab.
Also from DICE and Gamespot comes this interesting story about the development of Will Wright’s Spore. Wright shared the stage and the speech with key members of his development team, showing off the steps taken all along the process to ensure that the "complex game is easy to play."
Throwing in my two cents alongside Russ’ story here. A long, long time ago, Drew McWeeny revealed an "exclusive" on TechTV/G4’s Screen Savers that Metal Gear Solid was being adapted into a film. Yeah, sorry Mr. Lowenstein; more rumors abound. For a while, nobody believed Uwe Boll that he was going to work on the film, so he kind of got tired and stopped saying he would. Now, Sony Pictures executive Yair Landau has been quoted by 1up as saying the film division is "working with the Metal Gear guys." Yeah. The Metal Gear franchise is one of my very favorites, but I’m awfully glad that there’s no forward progress at all being shown on this adaptation. Why do media have to cross-pollinate? You just end up with weird abominations, like green roses, or maybe donkeys.
In further Metal Gear non-news, Kotaku linked to this little beauty: Metal Giko Solid. It’s MGS, but rendered in ASCII art. As is the way of things, it has probably also been floating around the Internet for quite a while. It seems familiar to me, like the faint scent of the girl who used to punch me in kindergarten. Fun, nonetheless.
That’s it for my Friday. I invite any thoughts, tips, or criticisms at email@example.com. If you just want to tell me I’m not as cool as Russ, please have a heart; do you think I’m not confronted with that every single day of my life? My morning ritual goes something like this:
"Mirror, mirror on the wall