Any chance of id products being on Steam in the future?
TW: Well, we have our catalog...
You have your catalog on there, but in terms of newer games - Activision put some of that stuff up there, but EA often goes for the EA Link thing; but also, Valve is working with EA Partners, so it's kind of a big weird soup.
JC: Right now, we are looking at it - for Rage - as the consoles are the most important "legs" that this project is on. It's definitely shipping on PC as well, and we would be willing to entertain different distribution notions on that, but we would probably leave that up to EA's decision on thereabout.
They're the publisher, and they're going to pick out the best way to get this out to the most number of people; and when EA decides that they think that it's going to be better to cut some deal for electronic distribution, and possibly avoid retailers, or whatever, we'll probably take their advice on that.
Any comment on that? Probably not?
DD: No, I mean, before I would've said, "Just leave it at the no," but what I think we'd say is: game players are getting their games from a variety of sources - from retail, electronic distribution - and EA is committed to being on every viable platform and means of distribution, so that we could get their great game out into as many hands as possible.
So I don't think there's any preconceived "yes" or "no" on any platform, or any method of distribution. Obviously we're developing our own, and we're trying to make that experience as great as possible for game players; we do Direct2Drive, we do other partners, and I don't think that there's any viable entity that we just immediately say "no" to.
There have been reports of some developers being dissatisfied or uneasy about the Activision/Vivendi merger, and I'm wondering if you guys had any misgivings about that in any way.
JC: Not specifically; I mean, we have our set of internal issues with Activision, which we're not just going to all air, but we don't have any burned bridges with Activision either. They're still publishing Wolfenstein for us, there... It's certainly a big shake-up in the industry.
And there's probably going to be the various consolidation things that happen, and I'm sure it's going to spawn lots of other new studios, as other people decide they don't want to be part of this big thing; jump off and do their thing, or their studio gets axed and they go form something else... So it's hard to say exactly what the impact on the industry is.
I'm sure it's actually putting EA on notice to some degree; they've lost their "number one" by a certain however-you-choose-to-count-it metric, and that probably is beneficial for them, by getting a fire lit and going on that...
Well also, gamers have a new whipping boy at this point.
DD: Well, I think the other thing, too, is - you know, not that I would go out of my way to defend Activision, but - I would hope that, moreso than Activision losing this business, EA won this business, and I like to think that that's the approach that we take to all of these things. We're not trying to beat Activision; we're trying to be the best publisher we can possibly be, so that we're attractive to companies like id.
And, you know, with a property like Rage, that is so premiere, and so highly anticipated - and anything they've ever done internally has been great, flat-out great, and customers love it - I think it's more an issue of we were highly attracted to id, we were highly attracted to a new IP from id, and we really reached out and tried to win the business by the services that we were offering, and the commitment that we were making to id.
Hopefully, that's the way I would characterize it, moreso than "Activision did a bad job and they left." I don't think that's fair to Activision, much like if a partner left us and went with Activision, they wouldn't say, "Oh, EA screwed it all up, and that's why we left." So, I think it just demonstrates our commitment to the developers, and we're very happy that we won this business.