If yesterday evening you missed the documentary How Videogames Changed the World, hosted by Charlie Brooker on Channel 4, it’s no big deal, because C4 has been so kind to upload it on its YouTube channel, full-lenght.
In a recent interview with Famitsu, the famous japanese video games website, Sega Sammy’s Chief Operating Officer, Naoya Tsurumi, explained a bit more what are the company’s plan for the future of ATLUS, given the recent acquisition of its mother company Index Corp by SEGA.
Being a gamer and a Japan-lover is very common, but let’s talk straight, it’s always been a bit of a pain in the ass, especially if you own a Nintendo console.
And now that we’re basically in a new generation of gaming systems, the Wii U is the only home console keeping the region-lock for its games. We’re not here to state how cool are Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for allowing you play import games, but to try to understand the reasons behind Nintendo region policy on both Wii U and 3DS (that unlike its predecessor is NOT region-free either).
And we’re here again to write about Yu Suzuki. This time is not a supposed Shenmue 3 release or some other not-veryfied small talk rumor, BUT it is Shenmue related.
First of all, if you’re wondering who Nolan Bushnell is, please change blog, because here we’re talking about a man that made history.
So well, who wants to hear the Atari‘s dad answering some questions? Apparently he attended to an Italian video games convention in Milan a couple of weeks ago, and some collector guys (probably the same from this video) had the chance to ask him few questions. It’s a quick one, so enjoy!
Shawn “Solo” Fonteno, Ned Luke, and Steven Ogg are Franklin, Michael, and Trevor, the three main characters from smash hit Grand Theft Auto V. Apart from being ridiculously similar to their digital counterparts, they got plenty of things to say, and thanks to QG we got a wonderful full interview. Enjoy.
GQ: This game is an enormous hit. What does hearing something like $1 billion in sales mean to you?
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): A billion dollars, dude? I don’t even know how many zeros are in a billion dollars, man. [Laughs] Just to be tied to it with my likeness and my voice, that’s something that’ll go down in history with me. My grandchildren and my great grandchildren will see that. It’s like a historical moment for me, so it’s a good feeling.
Steven Ogg (Trevor): Yeah, it’s pretty wild. I’m not a gamer and I’m not into that world, so I don’t know much about it. Obviously, doing it for three years I got to learn more about it, and I understand how huge it could be, but honestly it wasn’t until the release that I really got it. Even before the financial end of it, which I can’t grasp, seeing trucks in Tokyo with my face on them or the billboards in Brooklyn that were being hand-painted with Trevor’s face. That’s when the magnitude of this game started to sink in. It is a global thing.
GQ: Ned, your son is eleven years old. Did he flip out when you told him you were going to be in Grand Theft Auto V?
Ned Luke (Michael): He’s not going to play the game until he’s in college. [Laughs]
GQ: But I’m sure he’s heard of it. He knows it’s a big deal.
Ned Luke (Michael): Yeah, he knows it. All his buddies have it. I let him do a few missions with the sound off. [Laughs] But, yeah, he’s so thrilled. He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever.
GQ: Steven, what about your son?
Steven Ogg (Trevor): No, no. We’ve got copies of it and he wants to play it, but he’s just too young. The funny thing is, I’m from western Canada and my nephew is old enough to play it and he now has street cred. I’m like, “Really? Street cred in Alberta? What the fuck is that? What does that get you? A great Alberta Beef Burger or a twelve pack of maple donuts?” [Laughs]
GQ: Shawn, in your TMZ interview you mentioned that Franklin is you and you are Franklin. How do you guys relate to each other?
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): [Laughs] We relate tremendously, man. I feel like changing my name to Franklin. Everything he’s doing, I’ve done it. I don’t want to put myself out there on blast, but I’ve done it. I’m an ex-gang member. I’m an ex-thief. I’m an ex-car stealer. I’ve done it. I know what it feels like to be on both sides of the gun, go to jail, et cetera. We’re tied together forever.
GQ: What about you, Steven? You’re not crazy, right? You’re not totally Trevor, are you?
Steven Ogg (Trevor): I like to call it a crazy little thing called… acting. [Laughs] It’s one of those forgotten arts in this culture. There’s a lot of talk nowadays about how “acting is you, you are who you are” but no, it’s acting. That’s my job. That’s what I do for a living. I’m an actor. [Laughs]
GQ: Were there any concerns about working on game that’s gotten some criticism about its violence and treatment of women?
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): Nah, not at all. It has to be treated the same way as the movies. Scarface. Boardwalk Empire. You see all the same stuff that’s happening in these games in comic books and TV shows. It’s just a script. We’re having fun. They have to treat this the same as they treat the movies.
Ned Luke (Michael): GTA is what it is. Anybody that expects anything different is fooling themselves. I love women. I’m crazy about them. I have a beautiful wife, who’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, and I teach my son to respect women and other people’s position in the world, whatever it is.…People are always looking for something to hate on. If this is something for them to target and hate on, that’s their thing. I look at it as satire.
GQ: Is there a stigma attached when you do voice work for video games versus film or TV work?
Steven Ogg (Trevor): I want to take “voice acting” and send it up to space.…this was a motion capture performance. This was not me sitting in my underwear in a booth watching some character that was like Trevor and saying my lines. No. That was me up there in my motion capture suit with the camera directly in my face and the light in my eyes. It’s a huge thing. It’s not just voice acting. You put three years of your life into something like this and you certainly, if nothing else, want the recognition of what you’ve done—it is an entire performance that has been “captured”—your body, your face, and your voice. It wasn’t just three years of talking into a microphone. It was three years of shooting a movie that was motion captured.
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): It was totally different. Acting in front of the camera for film is totally different from acting in a big studio where you don’t where something is at and you have to imagine that it’s right there. You have to figure it out while they’re building stuff that looks like stuff, so it’s a totally different thing. You have to feel and visualize everything that you’re acting. It’s night and day.
Ned Luke (Michael): Yeah, we’re actors. We’re not just “voice actors”. Steven Ogg is one of the most brilliant actors I’ve ever seen in my life.…For me, acting is acting. I don’t care if you’re just doing voice or live action or motion capture or what. Acting is acting.
GQ: Have you gotten a chance to play the game yourselves yet?
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): Honestly, I just sat back and was tripping off of what was going on with the sales and how it was radiating through the pop culture and everywhere around the globe first. Then I finally sat down and started playing it, so now I’m halfway through it. It’s so interesting that I can’t put it down. It’ll be three in the morning and my wife is telling me to put it down. [Laughs] It’s so addictive.
Steven Ogg (Trevor): That’s actually a special little anecdote. When we were trying to put in GTAV, much less play it, we put it in the Xbox 360 and I was like, “Oh, this is such a beautiful moment.” There we are, my son and I, sitting there and we can’t figure out this fucking thing. [Laughs]
Okay, we’ve got 2.7 gigabytes, gigabang, gigawhatever. [Steven slips into full on Trevor mode] What the fuck is this?! Okay there’s two discs. Put this one in first. Okay. What the fuck? Where to load it? I don’t know. Load it onto here. Manage storage. Fuck! I just want to see the opening. I’m going to cover his face and ears if it starts with Trevor jumping on a skull screaming, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”—he’s not going to hear that…but he’s so excited, he just wants to see the opening (or anything).
So I pick up the Bat phone and I call Rod [Edge – the director]. We FaceTime so he can help me figure this out. It was such a great scene. I’m in the country house with my son and we’re FaceTime-ing with the director of the game and his son, who’s an actual gamer, and we’re getting instruction on how to start the game. I’d show him the screen and he’d walk me through it. It was such a beautiful moment.[Laughs]
GQ: Do you think the success of the game will lead to more TV and film work for you?
Ned Luke (Michael): I hope so. [Laughs] I think that’s the goal of everything you do. Stanislavski said, “Love art in yourself, and not yourself in art,” and for me, that’s what acting is. It’s the only thing I want to do. I love it. I’ve been in this game for thirty years and nobody knows who I am. You have really hard times and you have really good years and you have years that you can’t feed your family and you have to sell cars. I gotta tell you, stealing cars is a hell of a lot more fun than selling them! [Laughs]
GQ: How has your life changed since the game’s release?
Shawn Fonteno (Franklin): [Laughs] I’m turning into a star, man! People are reaching out to me and are really appreciative of what I gave to the game. I feel good that I can make people happy with what they see in Franklin. I’m getting a lot of compliments and I’m loving it.
Ned Luke (Michael): This has reawakened my imagination like nothing I’ve ever done before. Doing this game has made me a better actor than I ever was. You’ve got to understand, I was a bitter dude coming off four years of being out of the business. I went back to my hometown so my son could experience where I came from. You’re at my age and you don’t have a series or good representation, and then to come out and get into this? You better believe I’m recharged.
GQ: Steven, is it harder or easier to play someone completely off the rails like Trevor?
Steven Ogg (Trevor): It’s certainly fun because you just get to be nuts. The thing about Trevor, this character that I so love to play, is that he kind of represents the gaming world and this idea of pure escapism. He gets to be that guy who gets to say whatever he wants, to do whatever he wants, to fuck whatever he wants. Everyone has that fantasy, right? Trevor just does it. It’s very liberating. So, to play that, you basically have an impulse, you feel it, and you try it. There’s someone there to help you with when to pull back or let you know what doesn’t work, but it’s very freeing. I also love that people are recognizing his sense of humor. That was Trevor for me. Walk that line. Bring in the fucking intensity. Bring in the violence. But also, through that, find a sense of humor and allow people to laugh at it. When you do that, it sends that message that you’re not taking yourself too seriously. It’s a little wink. Three years of getting to do that? Yes, please!
GQ: In that same vein, Ned, did you feel like you had a lot more creative freedom and input working on GTAV as opposed to the film and TV work you’ve done?
Ned Luke (Michael): That might be the thing I’m most proud of on this deal—I was given so much freedom to become the guy. That’s a testament to all the guys that worked on the game. They’re so confident and have so little ego about what they’re doing. They want the game to be the best that it can be, same as me. It was the most fun I’ve ever had. It was like going back to acting class, being able to be so free and not locked in. I’m just thankful for the faith and trust they had in me to do it. And that I didn’t overdo it and piss them off and have them fire me. [Laughs]
Well there’s nothing much to say, a part that if you’re a Street Fighter fan you MUST watch this feature-lenght, 1 hour documentary made by Capcom, called I Am Street Fighter, exploring 25 years of the greatest fighting franchise ever. If you’re not a SF fan, well, you should watch it anyway.
Filmed by Area 5, the video was originally included as part of the quite expensive Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set and this is the first time it’s been made officially available to the public by Capcom itself.
Be sure not to be interrupted in the next hour or so and enjoy.
So, let’s recap a bit. Firstly a former SOJ (see: SEGA of Japan) employee revealed a very old console prototype, called SEGA Pluto, that basically is just a Saturn with internet connection, but there are no other known unites around, so we assume it’s pretty rare. Than another guy (pictured above), after seeing all the news about the Pluto, realized that he got one in his collection (what a lucky guy!). So only two of them in the entire world, still pretty rare.
This second chap then decided to put his long-forgotten-fresh-discovered SEGA Pluto prototype up on a eBay auction, but the auction finished at $15.5k with reserve price not met. Such a shame! Is that possible that the guy is so greedy not to accept more than $15k for an old console?
SEGA Nerds guys reached Roger Vega (this is the name of the young man) to ask some question about the auction. So here we go!
Hard words said by the father of the survival horror genre Shinji Mikami (you know, the creator of the original Resident Evil saga), that after officially announcing his new project, The Evil Within, published by Bethesda, had a little talk with IGN guys. Here’s what he said:
“For me, personally, why I came back to survival horror is that survival horror as a genre is becoming all action now. There aren’t any real survival horror games in the world right now. That is the biggest motivation for me. Having the player pick up the controller and being genuinely able to say ‘Wow, I haven’t played a game this scary in ages!’, that is what we are after. That is the main thing we are focused on”
We really hope that Mikami will deliver us a splendid old-school survival horror, but till 2014 we can just wait and cross our fingers!
Do you remember when a couple of month ago we told you about a very interesting documentary about collecting arcade cabinets called The Space Invaders: In Search Of Lost Time? Good, because the movie is finally out and you can grab it on Amazon Video on Demand.
We are not here to talk about moral or something, but those guys really put a lot of effort on making this movie, so if you want to watch it, please avoid torrents.
Just in case, here’s the trailer.