The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

D.I.C.E. Summit and awards pick up steam

This year the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) will be hosting their ninth Annual Interactive Achievement Awards which will take place at the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, and Entertain) summit. This awards ceremony, which will b held at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada from February 8-10, can be considered the Screen Actors Guild Awards of the videogame industry.

The winners have been voted for by working members in the industry, meaning developers, business executives, and marketing agents based on artistic value, not gross sales or profit margins.

So for those disillusioned with the idea that the Spike TV Videogame Awards mean something, please shake that misconception from your mind.

Comedian Jay Mohr is hosting the event and will be lending his talents to a multitude of other film, television, and sports celebrities who will be presenting awards. This marks a first for the ceremony, and the AIAS took it one step further by actually including a formal red carpet and musical acts directly from videogames.

Never before has the Academy taken such a proactive step towards involving personalities from the other entertainment industries, such as music, movies, and television.

Surrounding the awards ceremony are keynote speakers, including game developer gurus such as Peter Molyneux (Founder, Lionhead Studios), David Jaffe (Game Director, Sony), and Gabe Newell (President and Founder, Valve Corporation). Speakers will be discuss various topics, from automobile design in videogames, to adapting game franchises to the silver screen, a practice that features a lackluster track record.

There will be a total of 35 awards handed out, including five overall awards, 13 genre awards, and 10 craft awards.

Leading the pack is Sony’s God of War, with an impressive 11 nominations, including overall game of the year, outstanding achievement in innovation, animation, and game design.

What comes as a surprise however is that neither Majesco’s Psychonauts nor Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 are nominees for any awards, despite the fact that both games received high appraisal from critics and gamers worldwide.

The AIAS released the statement, “Majesco and Capcom are not members, and chose the option not to be. According to the rules, you have to be a member for your game to be nominated. There was a write-in option, and Resident Evil 4 got written in, but Capcom chose not to play.”

The problem following Majesco, however, was that of unavailable funds necessary to become a member. On November 19, 2006, Majesco announced its earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter and year; to say the least, their numbers were abysmal.

Majesco saw a 50.7 percent decrease in total year net revenue from 2004’s $121.0 million to 2005’s $59.7 million. For a more focused view, this last fiscal fourth quarter they saw a net revenue $4.6 million compared to 2004’s $43.5 million.

Although two truly remarkable and worthy games are being left out of the running, this year’s awards, and D.I.C.E. summit as a whole, should still be highly successful.

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