We're not quite through editing all the interviews shot during E3 in Los Angeles, but we're far enough along that I feel I can pick my personal favourites. Ones that out of several dozens stand out from the crowd for one reason or another.
PlayStation - SCEE president Jim Ryan
I've interviewed SCEE president Jim Ryan on more than one occasion. Typically we meet in a hotel room, either during E3 or during Gamescom - and our chats typically cover all things PlayStation from a European perspective. Ryan is the kind of executive who's not afraid to share an opinion or two outside of the PR framework which ensures interesting conversations. Walking into the hotel room for the appointment at the J.W. Marriott at LA Live Ryan shouts out "Here comes trouble!" as I enter the room with my trusted camera man Lasse in tow. Sadly we didn't have a camera on during the pre-interview banter, but the interview nevertheless turned out great. Certainly one of the more memorable interviews we did during E3.
Batman: Arkham Knight - producer Dax Ginn
Watching Rocksteady Studios' Dax Ginn work his magic behind the scenes during the madness that is E3 is pure bliss. His schedule is stacked with interviews and he always seem to be able to squeeze in just one more interview even if the schedule is full. In the very narrow hallway behind Warner Bros. booth we sat back for a bit to watch his dance while waiting for our turn. Unluck some developers (noone mentioned) Ginn always manages to turn in on for the camera, no matter his level of stress or exhaustion.
Tales from the Borderlands - senior director of marketing Richard Iggo
This one could be memorable simply because it was the last interview we did during E3. In the most intimate and smallest of halls - Concourse we were squeezed into the last demo session for Tales from the Borderlands and afterwards had a chat with Richard Iggo. Telltale are certainly the big fish in the little pond in the Concourse hall, and their set up was delightful. During the interview the last few visitors at the Telltale booth opened up frosty beers and while we wouldn't think of drinking on the job we knew we were mere minutes away. Still there was plenty of interest covered in the interview and the demo really got us amped for Telltale's next series.
Mortal Kombat X - creative director Ed Boon'
Ed Boon is an industry legend and naturally it's a highlight to speak to him. From a behind the scenes point of view it was also a relief that the interview happened at all as there was all kinds of confusion going on behind the scenes as we showed up for the interview (on time for once).
Kingdom Hearts - co-director Tai Yusue
Japanese game directors who are comfortable speaking in English are a rare occurence. Many a interview has been ruined by a poor translation, and it has even happened to me that the developer had to intervene and correct the translator. Walking into the session for Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix I feared it would be a group session (not the case) an interview with a group of people and translators (which while workable is far from ideal and requires a lot of extra editing work). Turned out I was alone and Tai Yusue was perfectly comfortable being interviewed in English and even said some things on Kingdom Hearts III.
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age - game director David Adams
Without even going into the current stories surrounding Crytek (failure to pay wages, etc) the interview with David Adams was interesting as I hadn't fully grasped that their game was going to be free-to-play. Having seen half a presentation (I was pulled out for the interview) prior to talking to Adams, I obviously didn't get the full message prior to meeting up with the former Vigil general manager, and there was some honest surprise sprinkled on top of our talk.
Below - co-founder Nathan Vella
One of the hottest indie properties at E3 was without a doubt Capybara Games' Below. Halldor tried to see it at the Media Indie Exchange evening, but took a left when he needed to take a right (or was it the other way around?) and missed it all together among the 30 or so titles showcased at the event. We tried to walk by the Below station in the IndieCade booth several times during the following days and finally we were able to snag this chat with Capy's Nathan Vella. Turned out to be well worth the trouble.
Elite: Dangerous - producer Adam Woods
Most of our interviews at E3 are pre-arranged and booked weeks if not months ahead of the show. Others are more spontaneous. Openings in the schedule, stopping by an "indie area" or a lounge, perhaps attending an evening event. We didn't have an appointment with Frontier Developments to see Elite: Dangerous, but we dropped by and as luck would have were quickly given a tour of the game by producer Adam Woods who then talked to us on video. Great talk and one of my most memorable game demos of the show.
Civilization: Beyond Earth - lead producer Lena Brenk
Being a Civ addict and a big fan of the old Alpha Centauri it was enlightening to probe lead producer Lena Brenk about the next chapter in Sid Meier's fantastic series. Nothing really out of the ordinary surrounded this interview - it was simply a memorable conversation.
BattleCry - creative director Viktor Andonov
I attended Bethesda's pre-E3 event where BattleCry was first shown and talked to design director Lucas Davis about the gameplay fundamentals. As we were offered an interview with creative director Viktor Andonov at E3 is zoomed in on the universe and aesthetics of the game resulting in a focused chat that I really enjoyed.
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