Editor’s note: John Gaudiosi is a national journalist who has been covering the video game business for more than a decade. He writes the Gaming Guru blog for WRAL.com. In addition to blogging for WRAL.com, he also writes about gaming for Wired Magazine, The Washington Post, Xbox.com and Yahoo! Games.
SAN DIEGO – Videogames are everywhere at Comic-Con.
There are over 60 games, most of them fresh E3 builds, spread throughout the huge halls. Many game companies, including Sony, Capcom, Konami, Sierra, Sony Online Entertainment, NcSoft, Blizzard, LucasArts and THQ had their own booths set up.
Triangle-based game maker Epic Games was represented at the Gamer University booth, where Unreal Tournament 3 was playable on high-end Alienware PCs.
Unlike the old E3, which was so loud you coundln’t even think, the crowded floors of Comic-Con are relatively quiet. They’re also a lot more colorful, thanks to the array of Star Wars costumes, 300 garb, Pirates of the Caribbean and videogame characters roaming the halls – and these are the attendees – not the models paid to be there in costume. Comic-Con is a great place for gamers to get some hands-on time with titles that they can only read about at E3.
Most of the games on the show floor won’t ship until this fall, so it’s a nice way to get a taste for what’s coming to your favorite console or portable.
The game publishers focused on the types of titles that comic book fans would like…which is basically everything LucasArts makes (i.e. Star Wars, LEGO Star Wars and the just announced LEGO Indiana Jones), THQ’s new Conan next gen and PSP game, anything Yu Gi Oh!, Devil May Cry 4, Lost Planet, FEAR Files, Hellboy, Lair, Folklore, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, and MMO games like World of Warcraft, Tabula Rasa and Pirates of the Burning Sea, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.
There were plenty of games outside of the actual game publisher booths,
including at the big companies like Marvel Comics, Best Buy and Warner Bros.
There were even several panels devoted to games at the show, including one today on Marvel videogames. And gamers got plenty of Resident Evil: Extinction love from Sony Pictures, which is hitting theaters September 21. That film had props at the Capcom booth, a motorcycle at Sony Pictures’ booth and a full panel with cast members upstairs.
One game movie that wasn’t at the show was Hitman, based on Eidos’ hit franchise. 20th Century Fox actually didn’t have any presence of theatrical products at the show. And for some strange reason, EA wasn’t there. I couldn’t even find The Simpsons Game, which I know doesn’t ship until the fall, but this game is definitely geared for the Con’s audience.
One of the coolest things I saw at the show, besides Beowulf (the Ubisoft game and the movie), was Iron Man (the Sega game and the Paramount movie). Director Jon Favreau was on hand to introduce the first footage of the movie and Marvel had the game at its booth.
Paramount also brought out JJ Abrams to announce that Spock of old (Leonard Nimoy) and new (Zachary Quintos) will be together in the new Star Trek movie, which opens Christmas 2008.
And that same two-hour press conference featured a live satellite feed of Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone and Karen Allen from the set of Indiana Jones 4. LucasArts has two Indy games for next summer, one an original next gen game that doesn’t tie into the film and the second a LEGO Indy game that likely will tie into the movie in some capacity.
It was my first Con, but it likely won’t be my last. I love the city of San Diego, especially the historic Gaslamp District where my Solamar Hotel is located (the same place Sony had us a few months back to show all of their PS3, PS2 and PSP games before E3). Everything is walking distance and there are tons of shops, restaurants and even a mall. And the convention center is right on the water. It’s just a beautiful place, which makes your time outside of the cavernous halls as much fun as the time inside.