There's a lot of talk about "casual" and "hardcore" gaming right now. But I feel that people get awfully granular about it. They sort of say it's either Bejeweled or Halo.
PM: That's right. (laughs) There's no middle ground at all between Bejeweled and Halo, and no one mentions about The Sims, or World of Warcraft, or, you know, those are pretty cool games that are marrying the two together. No, you're right, there's this total dichotomy that seems to be there.
Now I would love... I think that winding forward 10 years... You know, I think you can already see that games are being made that are making inroads in that, but unfortunately, they're not quite as obvious. Maybe they are, when you think about it. Wii Sports is a huge step to bring casual gamers and hardcore players together.
What do you think about Nintendo? I see a DS sitting on the table. I'm assuming, since you're mow an MGS studio, that's not for demo purposes. What do you think about Nintendo right now?
PM: I think that they're a very cool company. I think they've done a phenomenal job of saying to people that this is what the next generation is about. I think, for me, they haven't expanded on that tremendously. As wonderful as Mario Galaxy is, I just don't see the people who play Wii Sports playing Mario Galaxy.
And you'll see that reflected in sales numbers in Japan, I think. You can't get bigger than Mario in America, but if you look at Japan, Wii Fit hit a million before it did, and it came out a month later.
PM: Yeah. So I think they've done a stellar job of introducing a piece of hardware, and introducing it as a self-contained toy. Wii Sports, that's it. It's brought out every Christmas -- in my house, it was brought out again at Christmas, and a lot of people pack it away again. And it's actually about finding that sweet spot that links those two arcs together.
Whereas -- I don't know, is Call of Duty 4 on the Wii...? I was trying to think of a really good example of, you know, something that someone who's playing Wii Sports would never, ever play.
Well there is a Call of Duty. There is the Medal of Honor game that came out this fall. And, that's true. And, it's difficult, because I think that publishers -- well, they're kind of struggling in a lot of ways, and one of the reasons... I was talking to a guy from Pogo.com, which is EA's casual games portal, and...
PM: You see, the fascinating thing with those sites... I've not been onto Pogo -- this could be the exception -- what I've noticed when I look at those sites, because I find them to be absolutely fascinating. Big Fish, and Reflexive, and Pogo, and all those first came out, I went on them and I thought -- in fact, there's one of the games that really inspired me for a feature in Fable 2. That was a game called Peggle, and how exciting it was. Such a simple game, but it was so much excitement.
And I was really looking at those sites, and they're running into the same problem that we've got. It's that now, you've gone to those sites now, and all the games are the same. They've just got different wrappers. I mean, they had the first -- they had this first findy-collecty game, where you have to spot things, and swap treasure, and it was brilliant. I really enjoyed it. But now they've got 50 of those, and they're all the same.
And then they've got, you know, the bouncy bouncy... like, Arkanoid revamps. They've got a hundred of those, and they're all the same. And then they've got the Bejeweled clone, where, you know, you've got to match four things in a row, not three things in a row.
And you start thinking, "Wait a second -- where has all that inventiveness gone? When they first launched, it was all there." So there's a whole microcosm of what is happening in our bigger industry -- where we struggle to actually find the new stuff to actually get excited about.