E3 2010: ‘Child of Eden’ producer says ‘Microsoft f–ked up big time’
(Update: After this article’s publication, the source insisted his comments were made strictly off the record and that I had quoted him out of context. Though I verbally identified myself as a journalist, displayed an ESA-issued “Media” badge and informed Mr. Mielke of a prior article I’d written based on his online comments, at the time of our brief conversation I did not ask permission to publish his quotes. Though he did not explicitly state the nature of his remarks, I remain in error for not explicitly clarifying my intent. I sincerely apologize for any difficulties this may have caused Mr. Mielke or his colleagues, many of whom are counted among the most esteemed game developers in the world.)
During the final day of E3 2010, my request to demo Child of Eden was shot down by an UbiSoft PR rep. Thankfully, I ran into one of the game’s producers, James Mielke, as I was leaving the convention center.
A friend and I related our disappointment with the Kinect software lineup and asked why Microsoft didn’t place more emphasis on Eden. His response was unusually direct.
“Yeah, Microsoft fucked up big time,” he said, sporting a knowing grin. “They had a chance to feature it for Kinect but decided to focus on family-friendly games like what’s on Wii. They weren’t expecting everyone to react so negatively. After we showed off our game at UbiSoft, the Microsoft people came to our booth like, ‘Oh, oh wow.’”
He mimed curiosity by pursing his lips and drumming fingers across his chin, then rolled his eyes.
I complained to him that all of Kinect’s other software is uninspiring, but noted that Eden alone would make it worth my money.
Mielke nodded. “Lots of people were saying that — except, you don’t even need Kinect to play it.”
As an aside, he also said that Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto usually spends just a moment or two looking at each game and rarely shares his thoughts. After demoing Eden, Miyamoto and Q?’s founder, former Sega veteran Tetsuya Mizuguchi, spoke with each other for a few moments. According to Mielke, the legendary creator of Zelda and Mario called Eden “game of the show.”
The former journalist and part-time DJ added: “[Eden] will be out before next year’s E3, probably like Spring 2011. It sounds like a long time but, for me, looking at it from the inside, that’s not long at all.”
While it may not be a long time in development terms, Eden is one game that simply cannot come out soon enough. In spite of Mielke’s rather frank criticism, Microsoft would be wise to begin coddling the geniuses at Q? from now until this game ships.
Xbox 360’s proprietors would be fools to continue ignoring the sales potential behind Eden. A high-dollar Kinect/Eden marketing campaign and any amount of bribery necessary to secure a game/hardware retail bundle seems to be the most logical solution.
Update amended from a prior version.