Categories
Games Personal

Senior Manager, Esports

Back in May I was very happy to note that it had been four years since I started working in the games industry, and that month also marked the start of a process that has led to today, which is my first day in a brand new role: Senior Manager, Esports.

Yes, I’m still at Ubisoft, and still based in Montreal, but after about three and a half years with the company (going from Production Coordinator to Project Manager to this) and close to three years on the same team, this marks a big turning point for me, and it’s a role I’m incredibly excited to take on.

Another big change is that although I’ll continue to be based in Montreal, I’ll now be reporting directly to our NCSA (a designation that refers to the Americas) Director of Esports in San Francisco. I’m also excited that the person in question is Che Chou, who joined us in January, after years at Blizzard, 343 Industries, and Microsoft (here’s an interview he did with Polygon back in May). Also important for me is that I initially know him from his years in games media, and especially The 1UP Show, a web series about games I used to watch avidly and admiringly.

(Also, this is now the third 1UP Show alum I’ll have worked with, following Mark Macdonald and James Mielke.)

What does the role entail? I won’t be organizing or running events — we already have amazing people doing that — but instead will be working with Che on growing our esports activities at Ubisoft, and working with productions on making that happen. It may sound like it’s a big change from what I’ve been doing so far, but it actually builds nicely on the various roles I’ve had so far within Ubi, and my interactions with all of our teams. It also means I’ll get to travel a bit more, which I’m excited about.

So yeah, electronic sports, here we go!

Categories
Games Music

We Are

Eden was my favorite PixelJunk game, and not only am I quite looking forward to playing the follow-up Baiyon is working on called Eden Obscura, he’s also just released a new record, We Are, teaming up with plenty of musicians also working in the gaming space. My buddy James interviews him for Rolling Stone.

Categories
Events Games

A 5th of BitSummit

And another BitSummit has come and gone in Kyoto. As with last year, I’m quite sad I couldn’t be there, and seeing so many of my friends (through social media) have a blast — during and after hours — was a pain. But I am happy to see that it looks like it’s been the biggest edition so far, and I am looking forward to catching up on what happened on the main stage through the Twitch archives (I think everything was streamed). Big ups to the gang for putting on what is one of the most exciting developments in indie gaming in Japan in recent years, and I’m sure we’re going to see them coming in strong again for the next edition. The photo above (tweeted by Jeremy Parish) is of the opening speech by James Mielke, the event’s founder and creative director.

Categories
Games

An Interview with George Kamitani

James is at it again with yet another great interview for Glixel with one of Japan’s top game creators, this time Vanillaware‘s George Kamitani. Reading it, I’m suddenly in the mood to play Dragon’s Crown and Muramasa on my Vita again.

Categories
Games

Interview with Fumito Ueda

I’m currently enjoying my time with The Last Guardian — I’m playing it slowly, about an hour every day — and so let me point you to another great interview by James Mielke for Glixel (he’s been racking them up of late), this time with the game’s director, Fumito Ueda.

Categories
Events Games

A 5th of BitSummit

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Some very good news indeed, as we learn through Famitsu that a 5th edition of Japan’s premiere indie game event, the Kyoto-based BitSummit, is officially happening. Not only that, but instead of a sweaty July date, they’ve decided to move up the event a bit to May (it will be held on the 20th and 21st). So happy to see my buddies James Mielke (on one of the iPad screens) and Ben Judd in this photo, as I know they’re going to rock another awesome event. If you’d like to take part as an exhibitor, you’ll find the details on the official site.

Categories
Games

An Interview with Hironobu Sakaguchi

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James continues his cavalcade of interviews with notable Japanese game creators, this time with this long talk with Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy et al.) for Glixel.

Categories
Games

An Interview with Tomonobu Itagaki

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Even though I know he’s working hard on a new project that hasn’t been announced yet, it’s been great to see my buddy James Mielke get back to a bit of games writing (on Glixel and Polygon), and his latest piece is this feature interview with legendary game creator Tomonobu Itagaki (Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive) over at Polygon. It’s a super fun read, with Itagaki being his usual “straight” self, and it’s quite interesting to hear him talk about Devil’s Third, a game that you would think would be down and out, but isn’t.

Categories
Anime Film Games

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

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Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV isn’t a game, but rather a CG-animated movie that acts as an intro to the world that will be depicted in the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game. My buddy James Mielke just reviewed the film for Rolling Stone (as part of its Glixel initiative, which will culminate in a proper game coverage offshoot site sometime this fall), and as you’ll read, he didn’t much care for it.