(above) Ryan McCaffrey - Senior Editor at Official Xbox Magazine - www.oxmonline.com
Hello Xbox Resource! I am Tate Steinlage (SteinlageT), and I recently had the honor to do an interview with the Senior Editor over at Official Xbox Magazine, Ryan McCaffrey. This interview was done via email, in which he answered many questions about this years games, Kinect, and more. Ryan's answers will be in italics for your reading pleasure. Click to read on with Xbox Resource's first interview!
Hello Ryan, it is great to have you for Xbox Resourceís first interview. Thank you so much for agreeing to do this.
1) We know you were at E3 and if our readers listened to the Official Xbox Magazine podcast (E3 podcast), you would know that you loved Rock Band 3. Besides Rock Band 3, what game are you most looking forward to, and why?
-The list is a mile long at this point. Iím lucky enough to get to be around Xbox games at work, and I still donít have time to get to them all. Vanquish is very quietly looking very hot. Rage looks like idís most amazing game in years. Fable III is one Iím already a fan of, but theyíve got me hook, line, and sinker this time because they have a Boxer breed option for your dog (I have a Boxer in real life). And, of course, the biggie is Halo: Reach.
2) To say that this year has been a big year for the Xbox is an understatement, but with all the releases so far in 2010, what has been your favorite, and why?
-Iím a longtime Splinter Cell fan, so seeing Conviction finally come out felt really good, but overall Iíd have to say that on the Xbox 360 side, Red Dead Redemption has been the most fun to play with. And on Xbox Live Arcade, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuckís Revenge made me really happy when I played it.
3) When Kinect was shown at E3, and the launch games were also unveiled, a lot of 360 gamers said that it wasnít for them because of the lack of ďhard-core games.Ē With the $150 dollar price tag, how do you see Kinect doing?
-All it takes is one incredible game for this thing to take off Ė the ďkiller app,Ē as the old phrase goes. I donít think weíve seen that game yet, though Dance Central seems to come closest so far. Milo & Kate could be it next year, because itís something completely different that couldnít be done with a gamepad.
4) As Kinect is released and we see how it does, where do you see Kinect standing in a year-or-two? Do you see games like Call of Duty, Halo, and Gears of War utilizing Kinectís capabilities?
-Not in any kind of game-changing way. Those are established franchises that are making hundreds of millions of dollars in their current iterations. I donít expect their creators and publishers to radically change them with Kinect and risk alienating the millions of people in their respective built-in fanbases. The risk is not worth the reward. As for where Kinect stands in a year or two? Well, thatís up to the game developers to wow us with new experiences. If they can do that, people will buy it.
5) With the exciting unveiling of the new Xbox 360 (Xbox 360 S) and Kinect, do you feel the need of a new console in a few years?
-In a few years, yeah I think Iíll be ready, personally. I donít know if the market will. How will the economy be? Will third-party publishers who are currently making tons of money selling games on the Xbox 360 be willing to accept a new console that soon? Eventually, of course, itís going to happen. But the situation is much different now than itís ever been in the videogame business.
6) What game do you believe will become a hit, which has been flying under the radar thus far, and why?
-I think Vanquish could be a game that the Xbox 360 crowd eats up. Itís got this slick ďNinja Gaiden meets HaloĒ feel to it, and I could definitely see that resonating with the Xbox audience.
7) You are around games a lot, work with great people, and seem to have a lot of fun. In your mind, what is the best part about your job?
-The best part is that I get paid to be doing something Iíd be doing anyway, which is probably an ultimate dream for many people, myself included. Sure, we have to make a magazine every four weeks, and thatís real work, but I get to make that magazine about Xbox games, which means thereís always something new and fun going on every day.
8) I know our website writers and some of our readers are big game writers and want to make it more than a hobby. What advice would you give to young writers trying to turn game writing into a career?
-Write, write, write. And get published. It doesnít matter what you write about or where you publish it. Put it on a blog, a fansite, whatever. Just get your name out there and practice your craft. Youíre going to need to prove you can do it if you want to do this for a living, so having clips out there you can point to puts you at a distinct advantage over other candidates.
9) A lot of our writers and readers were wondering how many hours you have been putting into Monkey Island 2: SE? Ha ha, we all know you love the series!
-I finished it, of course! Just a few more Achievements to collectÖ
Well Ryan, thank you so much for answering our questions and agreeing to do this interview. It is great having you for Xbox Resourceís first interview. Well Xbox Resource I hope you enjoyed our first interview and please stay tuned as we have Andy Bauman (OXM's Podcast techie) on deck! I am Tate Steinlage (SteinlageT) with OXMís Ryan McCaffrey signing off.