News Bits – 9/27

News Bits - 9/27

News Bits - 9/27

Hawkins keynotes CTIA… Miyamoto in NY… Ratchet
& Clank go mobile… Namco’s mobile pool… True
Crime draws cop ire…  MK Monk viral campaign…  Redman’s True Crime… Playlogic appoints CFO… Games for
Change Conference details…

EA founder and Digital Chocolate CEO,
Trip Hawkins has been added to the keynote lineup for the CTIA event.
He will speak today at the Moscone Center in San
Francisco. Trip replaces keynoter Joel Katz, Co-Managing Shareholder of
Greenberg Taurig, who was unable to attend the CTIA event at the last
minute for personal reasons. 

On
Sunday, more than 1,500 fans signed up at the Nintendo World Center to
meet Shigeru Miyamoto. The legendary game designer signed
t-shirts, current and classic videogames and consoles. He also shared
his Jack Russell Nintendog breed and shared his trainer information
wirelessly with his Nintendo DS.

Marking
the first time a PlayStation brand exclusive property has gone to the
mobile space, Ratchet & Clank will arrive with a new game this
October. The project has been the first collaboration between SCEA,
which own the brand and Sony Pictures Digital, which handles most of
Sony Corp.’s wireless entertainment efforts. Historically, separate
divisions of Sony have not leveraged each others’ properties (or played
nicely together). It’s good to see things changing.

Chat
functionality is the cornerstone of Namco’s new Pool Pro Online
wireless game. It’s the first head-to-head, multiplayer pool game on
Sprint. Unfortunately, while voice chat would seem logical for a
‘mobile phone’ game, the chat takes the form of "a predefined list that
changes depending upon the player’s game situation." 
According to the NY
Daily News, NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly lambasted Activision’s True
Crime: NYC, "I think it disrespects all police officers and it’s done
in extremely poor taste as well…It’s totally inappropriate. It’s a
tough job, a dangerous job, and this undermines what police officers
try to do…I’m saddened that even some former members of the department
are linked to that video game." The technical advisor on the game was
retired Detective Bill Clark (who has also acted in a similar capacity
for TV’s NYPD Blue).

Production company Maverick has released the first sequence
in its Shaolin Monks viral campaign. While viral campaigns are
typically subtle, the video of a buttoned-up business meeting where
disagreements end with hearts being ripped out and heads being severed
is anything but.

Just as Snoop Dogg did
for the first True Crime, Redman will contribute two original tracks
for the game and be an unlockable hidden character. "As an East Coast
artist who paid his dues performing in the clubs of New York City,
Redman’s inspired rhymes bring the gritty realism of the city to life
in our game," Activision worldwide executive of music, Tim Riley said.
"His bold lyrics and hard-edged funk beats capture the vibes of the
city from Washington Heights to Harlem and all the way down to Battery
Park."

Jan Willem
Kohne will assume the role of CFO of Dutch publisher, Playlogic
on October 1. Kohne was previously executive director Operations with
Bank Oyens & Van Eeghen (Amsterdam, The Netherlands).  He
replaces Leo van de Voort, who will remain with Playlogic as a
financial consultant until mid-2006. Kohne will be responsible for the
finance department as well as overseeing all necessary SBO compliance
for the company’s Nasdaq listing.

While
some would paint the games industry as a heartless, soulless,
remorseless business, Games for Change seeks to achieve "social change
through digital games." Its conference will be held October 21 and 22
at the City University in NYC.  For full details of speakers and
sessions, see the conference web site.