Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
It looks like you're new. Click here to learn more.

Tagged Edge

EDGE: 5 Ways to Jumpstart Atari

Much like a stolen car, Atari has been gutted and sold for its parts over the years. It has changed ownership numerous times since its formation in 1972 and was recently delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange amid near-financial ruin. It’s embattled, confused, and has few prospects other than its recognizable name. So how can the world’s first videogame publisher turn itself around? Here are five common sense ways:

Continue reading at Edge…

Edge: Top 10 taglines in video games

Videogames have seen their share of forgettable taglines over the years. In 1993, Atari challenged prospective buyers to “Do the math” when considering an upgrade to their not-quite 64-bit console, the Jaguar. Gamers “did the math,” weren’t impressed, and decided to wait another year or so before upgrading to a PlayStation. Similarly, Nintendo told gamers to “Get N, or get out!” while promoting their third-generation console, the Nintendo 64- to which most people “got out” when compared to unit sales of Sony’s competing system.

But the industry has also seen its share of amusing, intelligent and effective taglines. Here are Next-Gen’s top 10 pics:

Continue reading at Edge…

Edge: Activision says Guitar Hero Still Relevant

Next Generation sat down with Activision Senior Vice President of Marketing Will Kassoy on Friday to discuss Guitar Hero, EA’s competing Rock Band, and casual games for Wii.

“There was a lot of unmet demand due to controller shortage with the release of the first Guitar Hero,” Kassoy said when asked about the franchise’s massive success. “As a result, we invested heavily in ramping up production of Guitar Hero II to meet demand.”

Activision, the number two independent game publisher, says the series is one of the fastest growing brands of all time. The company is currently preparing to release the third installment this fall next to EA’s Rock Band, a game that some are calling the “Guitar Hero killer.”

Continue reading at Edge…

Edge: Graphical Improvements Coming to Halo 3

Since Microsoft launched the beta for Halo 3 two weeks ago, some have murmured that the graphics are a bit, well, uninspiring, especially in comparison to Gears of War. Next-Gen spoke to Bungie about this perception.

Bungie’s Frank O’Connor talked about the public’s reception to the beta and any changes in the game in the months between now and launch on September 25. He said, “Well to be honest, we’ve seen them [the graphics] praised too. Multiplayer is by necessity a more sterile iteration of our graphical style and will always be tuned for performance and elegance rather than jamming the screen full of pixels. We think that the final aesthetic look of our game will be judged at launch in September and in part based on the more intense single player spaces. We’re also focused on maintaining the Halo character and atmosphere in our visual design – we’re competing with ourselves, and not simply trying to match the aesthetic of other games. We think that folks will be happy with Halo 3’s graphical polish come September.”

Continue reading at Edge…

Edge: Why are there so many World War II games?

Out of all the period games that could be made, a lopsided majority end up being about World War II. In the 2006 calendar year alone, a whopping 23 World War II-themed games (including special editions) were released at an average of two titles per month. Unthinkable? There’s a reason.

“Throughout history, one of the most incredible tests, is the test of a soldier,” says Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford. “From shield and spear to tanks and battleships, war and soldiering is one of the most interesting human experiences. Thus, it is one of the strongest human fantasies.”

If being a soldier then is what Pitchford calls a “core fantasy” of gamers, what better backdrop for a soldier than World War II?

Continue reading at Edge…

Why video game dialogue is so cheesy

Those who know me well know I like video games. I don’t get to play them as much as I’d like to, but I do have the opportunity to write about them as a freelancer. So why is video game dialogue so cheesy? Why do I get embarrassed sometimes when my wife comes in the room only to find me suffering garbage line reading and poor scripts to get to the action? This is something of a pet-peeve for me as a hobbyist and something I recently wrote a feature on. From the article:

“The once fledgling video game industry with its minuscule budgets forced early game makers to wear several different hats, including storytelling ones even if they didn’t have prior experience. “When video games began, particularly on the PC, they were made by one, two, and three-person teams,” says Newsweek’s N’Gai Croal, a vocal proponent against amateur game dialogue. “Very few of these people had professional writing experience.”

As gaming grew to more than $14 billion a year, its storytelling failed to grow up with it. You can read the full article on Edge.