Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Hey ya’ll!

Well after about a month long break, I’ve found my way back to the blog. Promised I would; I always do. Nice to be back!

So what’s been going on with everyone?

As for me, I didn’t make it to E3 this year, so nothing to report. It was the first E3 since its inception that I missed and you know, given how far E3 has fallen, I didn’t/don’t have any regrets about sitting this one out.

I just didn’t see the need to go this time around. I had no meetings to attend, no press conferences to participate in, and no desire to walk a show floor that- if the majority of reports are to be believed- has become pathetic, sad, and- when you consider the massive size of the gaming industry- just a bit embarrassing.

I am very happy to hear rumors that next year’s E3 could be a public affair (finally!) and may grow in size from it’s current microscopic state. I was never one of the people calling for a scaling back of E3 and if returns to its glory days in scope, size, and decibel level, you won’t catch me complaining one bit.

But even if it doesn’t, this year’s San Diego Comic Con soothed the sting of E3’s decline by offering up not only movies, tv, comic books, graphic novels, amazing costumes, and fellow geeks…but also games! Lots and lots and LOTS of games! And not just games that are practically finished and coming out in the next 2 months (as has been the case with previous Comic Cons) but early PLAYABLE builds of games that are still 6-12 months from shipping! It felt like a mini-E3 with Prince of Persia, Dead Space, Ghostbusters, DarkVoid, Darksider: Wraith of War, Street Fighter 4, DC Universe Online, Battlefield: Heroes, and Crysis 2 all there and all in playable form (just to name a few).

I also had some fantastic meetings about all kinds of cool, creative things that are in the hopper (hope to be able to share soon, but some very exciting stuff going on!), hung out with dear, old friends, went to a bunch of great panels, ran into a lot of game biz folks, and just enjoyed being around people who love pop culture at least as much as- and in many cases way more than- I do. It was super crowded but for some reason, this year, I just didn’t care. I was having too much fun.

Some highlights:

Went to a great MARVEL panel where all the keys from all divisions of Marvel were represented (film, comics, video, new media). Even stood in line to ask a question to Joey Da Q (Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics) and Dan Buckley (Marvel Comics Publisher) about digital comics. I didn’t love the answer I got because it shows that Marvel is still too beholden to the dinosaur that is physical comic book stores and not doing enough to force the medium onto the internet (where it really belongs). But it was still great.

Sat on the balcony of the convention center with some great, old college friends. We were shooting the shit, catching up when I hear the GOD OF WAR theme blasting from somewhere in the distance. I’m like, “What the hell?!?! That’s GOD OF WAR!!!...huh?!?!” Turns out VIDEO GAMES LIVE was happening about 200 yards away at an outdoor venue! What a cool/odd/strange/magical experience to hear music from a game you directed BLASTING in the background...it's like life had given me my very own soundtrack!!! Err, or something... :)

The massive, sold out crowds kept me from hitting some of the panels I wanted to see. I was really bummed to miss out on the sci-fi channel’s GHOST HUNTERS panel. I love that show and the two leads from the series were at the con and on the panel, gabbing about the show, real life hauntings, doing a Q/A, etc. Ah well, next year!

Ironically, I could not get into a panel called HOW TO BREAK INTO THE VIDEO GAME BUSINESS because it was sold out.

And I thought it was funny that both Warren Spector and I could not get into the GEARS OF WAR 2/FABLE 2 panel because the line was too long! It was cool tho. I’ve met Warren a few times in the past, but never had much time to really talk to him. So this turned out to be a nice opportunity to hang out and chat with him for a good 10-15 minutes. What a cool guy! I’m such a fan and can’t wait to hear about his new game (and yes, I tried, but I could not get him to tell me what it was!!!)

Here are some pictures of my 4 days at the con. Yep, 4 days! Never been that long before but, like I said, it was really fun this year and I enjoyed the hell out of it! I took my oldest daughter on Sunday and it was a blast watching her take in a bit of the world that her dad is so passionate about. She got her picture taken with Mega Man and with two dirty apes from THE PLANET OF THE APES who picked her up and held her in between them for the photo. And then we went to watch a full length prequel to THE LITTLE MERMAID that Disney was showing for Kids Day at the con. I loved it! I actually teared up a few times…but the songs were pretty terrible (except for one).

Here's the FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILM LAND panel with Forrey J Ackerman, himself! He's the very old, kind of frail man in the pic above. He's 92 and talks real slow, but he's still got a strong spirit, that's for sure! When I bumped into Warren Specter later, he told me he was at the same panel and showed me some stuff Forrey had signed for him. It was very cool. If you have no clue who Forrest Ackerman is, shame on you. Do a google or wiki him. You will not be sorry. Ah heck, I'll do the work for you! Don't say I never gave ya nothin'! Here: FORREST J. ACKERMAN

Best thing I saw at the con! With any luck, this will become a piece of pop culture history and be used- unofficially- in the campaign. It's so cool!

Death Race had a bunch of cars outside, in a parking lot across from the con. It was for interviews they were shooting with0 the film cast. I took a bunch more pics but they kind of all looked the same and these above are the best ones. Maybe one day we'll get to make our little car combat IP into a flick! There is some motion on it, but you know how that goes. We'll have to just wait and see.

Custom Vaders! I think this was for a contest or something...I don't think they are actually doing toys based off these designs...are they?!?

My man! Been LOVING MGS4 these days...still not finished :) So good to see a great, ultra detailed figure of old snake.

If you look closely, you can just make out a GOD OF WAR action figure between figures for IRON MAN and PLANET TERROR...how amazing to walk around the comic con floor and see stuff that you've had a big hand in creating represented among other pieces of great pop culture. It really makes you feel proud!

Best costume at the show! And if you don't know who this guy is...man...ok, I'll do a little more work for ya :)...STRETCH ARMSTRONG!

Great display of the new Indy figures from all four films. Each movie was represented with little action scenes from the films, including the heroes rushing out of the Holy Grail temple at the end of Crusade. Check out the Grail Knight hidden in the shadows...and young Indy (via River Phoenix) in the upper left. There was even a little translucent alien sitting in a chair from Crystal Skull.

Genius! Probably only funny if you've ever driven the LA/San Diego 405/5 route...I don't think they use this sign anywhere else, do they?

Tommy Tallarico (and fellow Spidey fanatic...check the backpack!), me, and Craig Allen, CEO of Spark Entertainment (they of Turning Point fame, the game with the great high concept...and they of the other very cool high concept game: Legendary!)

Mickey D's action figures. Had ones almost just like this when I was a kid. Got a pic of me playing with them when I was like, 5 or something. I will try to dig up the pic and post it for comparison.

Marvel's super cool, very cute SUPER HERO SQUAD IP. Cool little figures...not as cool as mini marvels, but cool nevertheless.

Me and Mortal Kombat king Ed Boon! Ed and I met ages ago to discuss a Midway/Sony collaboration of a Twisted Metal arcade game...but this was back in like 96 or something and nothing- clearly- ever came from it. It didn't matter tho, I was just getting a thrill riding around in a car and having lunch with a dude who was key in creating one of my fave series of all time. And yeah, the DC/MK universe mix still seems a bit odd, even after seeing the great trailers for the title. But the game LOOKS fantastic and seems like it plays like tons of fun! I can not wait for it.

Finally, the Marvel: Your Universe panel, from my vantage point waaaay in the back. So cool to see Joe Quesada and his newly svelte figure. This guy is the J Allard of comics. And if you don't know what I'm talking about...aw, hell...google it your own damn self :)

So that was my trip down to the con!

Oh and here’s some stuff that I bought while I was there:

There's my stash. Man, I love my Indy Mighty Mugg! I'm trying not to buy as much stuff these days as I don't want to clutter my office. But I tend to get one office thing per year, just as a souvenir, assuming I can find something that really speaks to me. This year it was Indy Muggs! And man, check out those old Believe it or Not! comics! God, I love those! And I love the smell of the things, circa 1971!!! I could just sit and sniff those all day long :) Hell, what am I saying...I do!!!

Ok, nice to be back to updates. I’ll chat with ya'll later in the week.



Eduardo Rebouças said...

ComicCon seemed awesome this year, Dave. Glad to see you back to blogging!

From what I heard, both big comic publishers held great panels.

Now, did you hear about GhostBusters the Game being in danger of being cancelled? That's the reason people are commenting the panel was called off, because Activision would put its efforts into their selling franchises like... *drumroll* Spyro! Ice Age! and Prototype! Ok, Prototype isn't even out, and the Ice Age games weren't that bad, but dropping Ghostbusters and possibly Riddick for those series? Don't they have enough money to put out all of those?

Also, did you check out Mega Man 9? Heard it made lots of noise there too...

Anyway, I was shocked to see the picture you took showing the action figure display. Those prices are so cheap in comparison to the same figures being sold at a comic shop in Sao Paulo! The God of War figurine costs about 100 dollars here, and those LOST ones are around 80. I loved the quality of the God of War one when I saw it in person, but thought that it was too expensive. Now I have confirmation. That's pretty sad.

Rex said...

You know that pic of Ed Boon and you its kind of legendary. Why? Because I am a fan of old school Mortal Kombat and Twisted Metal / God of war... what could've been awesome a collaboration of you 2 guys... Merging the ideas of MOrtal Kombat 2&3 with Twisted Metal 1&2. THey did a kart race in armageddon. But doing a twisted metal style game with the traditional mortal kombat characters... the freeze, the spear the morph as car weapons.. thats brutal. Many possibilities. Glad you had fun overthere Dave. There is going to be a Game expo this 22nd of august here in Puerto Rico and I am going to exhibit a retro consoles showcase along with a retro room with some old school games. Ill do a blog about it. Nice to see you back. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Awesome!! Boon and Jaffe? My idols in one picture! As sick as this sounds, this is going in my stash.

Twisted Metal versus Mortal Kombat! Woooo!! That would be great. Or at least have Kratos and Sweet Tooth unlockable in MK... I'm just fan-boy-queefing, though.

Anyways, although I do not know the exact details to your "moving comics away from the shops and into the internet" argument, I'm afraid I have to disagree only because-->

if we fade away physical comics (or even head in that direction) we will take away the business from shops, which is the only place left where geeks can socialize.

Comic book shops have been around for so long for those boys (and rarely girls) that didn't quite fit in with the rest of the world, found a place to be at the comic book shops and/or arcades.

Now with arcades becoming extinct, comic book shops are the only place for the unsocialable are allowed to be social.

Sure, the kids smell funny, but they need friends, too.

David Jaffe said...

Comics cost way too much to make as physical 3 dollar pamphlets. It's nuts they expect people to pay that much. Taking it to TPB/Graphic Novel and the net for the monthly series is the only thing that makes any sense.

Xbla and PSN should be selling comics on their services, so should the major comic sites, so should itunes. Comics are fantastic and with the net/digital distribution, they no longer need to be stuck selling 80,000 copies a month. It's insane and someone in the comic biz needs to take a chance and just go for it.

This change will not come from Marvel or DC. It needs to come from a publisher with nothing to lose and with a few new cool ideas that you can ONLY get on the net.

In 10 years, I can't imagine pamphlet comics will still be around....can you?!?


ps. as for social aspects of comic stores, sure, I agree. But come on, that's no reason to run an entire business into the ground, is it?

Rex said...

About comics, you are right, but still I think some people will want to have a physical comic on their hands. Is the same thing with music, some people jsut donwlaod whole albums to their Ipod but still some other people rather have the actual album on their hands and appreciate the art work.

For instance yeah, I have some albums digitally but I still collect Vinyl records, some bands release their stuff in vinyl, I think is more of a nostalgic thing, and its true they could've save thousands selling digital copies instead of printed stuff, but there will alwasy be a purist audience... and records are freaking old but still around.

Yeah I think comics will be around 10 years around, collectors will have them around, and some people might buy it on stores too. Is easier to take a comic book to the crapping throne than a laptop (trust me on this one). Also its easier to read on print than digital.

In my opnion they just need to reduce the amount of prints to see the demand and jsut keep reducing until it reaches the demanding number, just for the sake of saving money or just not creating many copies on something that might end up on a garbage pile like all those atari games in new mexico.

But this is a theme I always discussed about music, its interesting to look it at a comic point of view. Yeah many of my old archie comic books are blurred out and yellow. So its its areally debatable theme on other perspectives. With many pros and cons.

Anonymous said...

I thought the PSN does sell comics. I downloaded a preview for one. I think it is called Deadspace.

Also, Activision supposedly canceled a lot more then just Ghostbusters. The new Vigilante 8, Brutal Legend, and a bunch of others were supposedly axed as well.

Rex said...

Here is some info about Ghostbusters and Brutal Legend... they said they just dont have a publisher.


Anonymous said...


- David, I definitely agree with fading out comic books -- but still keeping graphic novels. As much as I love them, the way the stories are being told lately, it requires you to "stay tuned" for 12 issues to get through ONE full story arc. That's ridiculous. Back in the 60-80's, you can get a full "episode" in one issue. This is no longer the case.

Comic books/pamplets do not have the same kind of respect they used to.

- I also like rex's idea where they reduce the amount of comics that are made and follow through a bit with supply/demand. It's sick and painful to see comic book/pamplets in magazine sections in Barnes and Noble or Borders, where they just sit there, getting bent, and ripped to shreads for months on in, and no one will ever buy/read them because they we now wait until they arrive in graphic novel form.

- My one argument against online comics, though, is that I really do not wish to read everything on a screen. Unfortunately, I work infront of a computer screen all day, everyday-- the last thing I want to do is look at another screen.


I would make it so that you could:

- Subscribe online per run (6-12 digital versions of comic books/pamplets)

- You receive a monthly e-mail with a PDF of the latest issue/pamplet.

- The subscription fees will of course be a lot cheaper since you will not have to waste paper.

- At the end of your subscription, you can opt for an extra 5-10 bucks to receive a printed version of the run in graphic novel format.

- If you come in the middle of a run, then they will e-mail you all the previous comics to fill you in.

Anonymous said...

The above suggestion, of course, isn't taking budget into consideration.

Now thinking about the artists, writers, inkers, etc. -- the less money the run/subscription costs, the less money the creative team makes.

With the loads of cash that the company will be saving on paper and printing, they will be able to pay the creative team the same or more of what they are making now.

Unknown said...

David, thank you so much for posting about Comic-Con. It really is a dream of mine to go there. I can't because no one I know likes comics, games, or movies enough to drive down to San Diego. Anyway I was wondering if your excited about the Watchmen movie? Watchmen for me is tied with Spider-man as my favorite comic of all time. But ya, thanks a lot for posting the pics. Maybe I could run away next summer and document my trip to Comic-Con, the Meca for all geeks.

Rex said...

Davis thats totally true... working in front ofa computer al lday (like myself also) it would suck to go home and relax reading a comic.. on a screen! Yeah there will always be good to have a print option, unless they comeup with a bendable type of book where the pages are screens and it conencts wireless to um a computer or something that has the original downloaded file.. its digital but it could look as print. I know it sounds crazy... but people thought going to the moon was crazy... oh well maybe is because I am hungry right now and have a bag of TOSTITOS next to me which I can't open until my boss's last day party at the conference room at 5pm!

Sadeq said...

Nice to have you back David. Hoping to get some news about your upcoming game soon.

Also, what demo impressed you the most from all the games you tried at the CON?

Anonymous said...


Only one question... Why physically turn a page to a different screen? The screens are supposed to change... Unless its one bendable screen that changes when you bend it...


I went to Sao Paulo recently on a business trip. Things in Brazil are so expensive-- I nearly crapped my pants. 1000 bucks for game systems?? That's insane.

Rob Shock said...

Sorry, David. I have to call you out on something. That's not Stretch Armstrong, that's Plastic Man.

Anyhow, glad to see you back. You know, in the most of my life that I lived in San Diego, never did I get to go to a Comic Con. I hope to fix that situation in the near future.

David Jaffe said...

rob- click the link dude :) All will be revealed! :)


Rob Shock said...

Doh, looks like I fell into a trap. :X

Rex said...

Davis: That makes sense. Needs more brainstorming though, but yeah its true!... Although probably someone already done it, and got well payed for it! Or way underpayed!

Marc Alva said...

i saw you near the ps3 booth in the little Big Planet side. that was a fun game, is it true that something God Of War related is coming with the LBP pre-order?

grasshopper said...

Glad your back bloggin Dave. I still cant get into that MK/DC thing, they say fatalities are still in there. I'm going to find it a bit odd seeing Batman or Supermans limbs being yanked off. Love the Indy thing ya got there...I'm jealous :)

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back on the blog. I really hate it cause I haven't found a video of the Marvel panels. I even have been talking to a guy at Marvel and they are acting like they may not post the videos. I really don't understand the idea about this. You would think they would do what they could to promote their products and that would include posting these videos.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Dave. I'm glad to see that you had a blast at ComicCon. I have never gotten to go to any big event like that.

Sounds like you had a blast too. Oh and welcome back too. Was kind of boring with no blogs to read.

Mikee said...

Glad to see you blogging again Jaffe! I just picked up Twisted Metal: Head On and I found it to be a short but sweet game. I was watching the behind the scenes videos and I think that your completely right. Twisted Metal 2 was the best! Memories oh Memories. I also think it was a little on the easier side (compared to previous titles). Well keep up the blogging, the posts are interesting reads! (maybe even a v-blog soon?)


Anonymous said...

After playing God Of War for the first time last year, I bought that God Of War action figure along with Kratos in Golden Fleece Armour. Hope III is as good as I and II.

Exophrine said...

Hey David! Glad to see you back on board with the blogging. Your blog is one of my top blogs to read. It's so interesting to hear from someone who argues quite well, and speaks their mind so proficiently.

Nice pic with Ed Boon (frickin' *LEGEND*...along with John Tobias, of course, know your history ;)) and, to a lesser extent, Tommy Tallarico. Now that I read about an almost MK/TM crossover, I can only imagine what could've been. I can sort of see it, but as with all ideas, I'll need to see the finished product to be blown away.

I have a T-shirt from VIDEO GAMES LIVE's 2005 World Tour. I got it for free because they never came to my town, but I was also lucky enough to get a program from the tour signed by the composer of Earthworm Jim himself! (talking about Mr Tallarico for those who don't know)

Anyway, nice DEATH RACE pics, man! Take some notes on that, you never know, heh. I really recommend that you and Campbell get as involved in a TM film though, should it ever happen. It's your baby.

I've never seen any GoW action figures before. I've seen a t-shirt on Amazon.com before, but never toys. I hope to one day see some advanced figures with the blades of chaos in action ala McFarlane's Spwn figures, heh. I'd drop some serious cash for that!

Anonymous said...

Since there's no way to contact you via mail Mr. Jaffe, I'd like to ask you a question here... Will you be present at Games Convention 2008? :)

Anonymous said...

im going to go see Death Race JUST because it reminds me a bit of twisted metal, thats just how big of a fan i am... i know it probably wont be anything like it, but the appeal of cars with guns running each other over just has this TM fanatic all worked up
oh also one more note, that old snake you commented on? i got that for FREE for winning a Metal gear solid contest on this website! lol, it was amazing

you the man david

Anonymous said...

Sure looked fun! Dave, I have a question, I heard that the creators of Death Race plan on renaming it "Twisted Metal." They need to get permission from Sony first. Is this true?

Anonymous said...

Have you approached or been approached by any comic higher ups to do a video game? Frankly after playing both God of Wars, you have proved you know what you are doing and that you are successful financially. Additionally, I really agreed with your rant about the comic book based games a couple posts ago.

I'd really like to see what David Jaffe could do with an X-Men franchise...

Thx ahead of time for responding.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

lol...I just got an email from a friend on the west coast who went to comiccon. What's funny was none of the stuff in your pics are the stuff in his. Seems like there was a lot to take in and it all depended on your intrests.

He did get a few shots and video from the games, mostly SOCOM CA because we've played the original a LOT.

Glad you came back and shared, thanks


Exophrine said...

Hey, I just noticed.

David, you see the two spikes coming from the front of the car in those DEATH RACE pics? I think that's an homage to the original DEATH RACE 2000!!! Remember Sylvester Stallone's car? If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend seeing it. It's an awesome movie. One of the greatest B-movies ever made, IMO.

Exophrine said...

Hey, I just noticed.

David, you see the two spikes coming from the front of the car in those DEATH RACE pics? I think that's an homage to the original DEATH RACE 2000!!! Remember Sylvester Stallone's car? If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend seeing it. It's an awesome movie. One of the greatest B-movies ever made, IMO.

Exophrine said...

Hey David, I just noticed, in your DEATH RACE pics...

You see the two spikes coming out from the front of it? I think that's a little homage to the original DEATH RACE 2000 from 1975!!! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's got a young David Carradine (Bill from KILL BILL) and a young Sylvester Stallone. The homage, I think, is to Stallone's car from the original movie! It's one of the best B-movies ever made, IMO.

Anonymous said...

wish i was around thos cars :),

you and ed lol i made a group merging them in to one on Myspace :) i guess a vison from 2 years ago.

what do you think of MK vs DC?

and have you played Alone in the Dark 5 and Soul Calibur 4? what are your thougts on it?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jaffe doesn't give a damn about your opinions and your pointless questions. He'll never answer them.
Thank you.

Exophrine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Exophrine said...

^ hey press officer...

Do me a favor and read David Jaffe's past blogs. Go on and prove yourself wrong. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

I'm here for about a year. I saw many questions unanswered, David answers only to those he wants to. He doesn't have the time to do this? I doubt it. Answering a simple question would take less than one minute. There were also many Qs on chat during the Round Table. None was answered. There's no other way to contact him. I think he feel like some kind of celebrity now and really doesn't care about people... they will buy his games anyway, right? Answering a question hardly give him any profits.

Exophrine said...

^ So you got a stick up your ass about this, eh?


There's no point in telling someone who spends a good portion of their time at a place only to complain about every little thing and incriminate the good name of the host whom which they don't know personally themselves...how to think. I mean, the existence is kind sad when you think about it, isn't it? When will it be enough? What's it gonna take to satisfy that person?

David Jaffe's not a celebrity. He's not on a high horse. He's not this guy who's posing and trying to be cool, although his award-winning work does seem to be very well-received and even considered, well, good to say the least...and some of it has stood the test of time, and it continues to bring joy to people. He's just a guy who's trying to be a good game developer and a good dad. Leave him alone, jeez.

I guess it really does mean you've made it when someone tries to take you down.

Unknown said...

I understand that David Jaffe doesn't want to answer every questions. 1.) this is his blog, where he does what he wants and he writes what and when he wants to. Its not a Q & A session. And 2) He's busy, he has a job, kids, and he needs to play he games too. I'm just happy David can blog for our enjoyment.

Joel said...

"Ironically, I could not get into a panel called HOW TO BREAK INTO THE VIDEO GAME BUSINESS because it was sold out."


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