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Friday, Feb 23, 2024

Valley Presence Strong at E3 Gaming Convention

Insomniac Games brought to the E3 video and computer gaming trade expo the latest installment of the ?atchet and Clank?franchise, a game subtitled ? Crack in Time.?p>Accompanying the game were some Insomniac designers to keep watch on visitors and how they played the game. It was an impromptu test of the game that was repeated throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center as the major gaming companies provided previews of new titles and equipment for buyers, designers, industry professionals, journalists, and game enthusiasts. After two years as a scaled back, invite-only show, E3 returned to its pre-2007 incarnation albeit one still maintaining a cover as a business event and reflecting perhaps the current stagnant economy. The game company booths were less ostentatious and over the top; the game audio less deafening; and the booth babes – the young women enticing the mostly male crowd to pick up a gaming controller- less scantily clad. Companies from the greater Valley region were well represented among the more than 100 exhibitors set up in two halls in the convention center for the convention that ends June 4. The gaming divisions of Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Walt Disney Co. used the show to promote new games featuring characters and story lines from popular movies. THQ Inc. in Agoura Hills had an elaborate display set up to test out ?ed Faction: Guerrilla,?a new game with characters from the animated film ?ars,?and some of its fighting category titles. Nearby to THQ was Ignition Entertainment, a Glendale-based game publisher previewing new games ?uramasa: The Demon Blade,??he King of Fighters XII,?and ?amurai Showdown?made by independent design studios. ?uramasa?is a 2D animation single-player fighting game with a look inspired by Japanese wood carvings. ?ighters?is now in its 15th year and has a strong cult following. A recent tournament drew 100 players to a club in Hollywood where they played for nearly seven hours. Ignition has design studios in Florida and Japan and is building up its capacity to create its own titles, said Minh Tran, an associate brand manager. Creating their own games makes it easier to handle the intellectual property involved, meeting deadlines and making games for multiple platforms, Tran said. ?t? more profitable than working with a licensed title,?Tran said. The ?atchet and Clank?game is the fourth title Burbank-based Insomniac has made for the Playstation 3 console. When the company made its first Playstation game, it just wanted to make one that worked with the platform, while with the fourth the designers had learned to do a lot more with the look of the game with water effects and self-shadows, said Bryan Intihar, community manager for Insomniac. ?hen you start adding these up it makes a big affect,?Intihar said. While the game publisher received the most attention there were support businesses from the Valley attending the convention as well. These include distributors, marketers, and disc repairers. Emergent Game Technologies is a Calabasas company that makes software used to develop the games. Its Gamebryo Lightspeed software was a new product being promoted at E3. The company attends the convention to see what games come out of its software and to talk with the game developers about their future plans and how Emergent can assist them, said marketing director Erin Dwyer.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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