As you may have heard, this past week was our epic CAPTIVATE08 press event. Held in the Palms â€’ hotel + casinoâ€’s â€œ Sky Villa â€ (aka the 20k/night suite detailed here ), CAPTIVATE is where we show off our latest and greatest inventions to an elite group of press from around the world. Well, elite press, andâ€¦ you . This year we were proud to invite 5 specially selected members of our Capcom Community to join us in Vegas, where they got all-access passes to our darkest secrets. After threatening them with zombie dismemberment if they leaked stuff early, Iâ€’m happy to report that they all turned out to be fun, delightfully-scented, supremely well-informed, and just overall cool. Basically our idea with community is to treat them likeâ€¦ gaspâ€¦ real people who love Capcom as much as we do, and as people who occasionally even have non-idiotic ideas. Beyond that, we just want to have as much fun as possible, and I think this week was a big success.
Team Community flew in from around the country on Wednesday afternoon and began drifting up to the Sky Villa, but did not all unite to form Capcom Unity Voltron until later that evening at our â€œ welcome to Vegas reception .â€ The crowd at the reception included designers and producers from our major teams, as well as superstars like Keiji Inafune , MMA champion Cung Le (more on that later!), and a bunch of filthy marketing creeps. Ace Attorney superfan Melanie got to hear insider dirt on the crazy English voice recording sessions for Phoenix Wright from the voices themselves, and Capcom VPs like Nique Fajors and Christian Svensson stopped by to chat them up, as well as producers including Ono-san (Street Fighter IV) and Ben Judd (Bionic Commando and BC Rearmed). Of course Ben Judd overstayed his welcome at the Community table and had to be bounced, but after the reception it was back to the Sky Villa, where our SFIV machines (among many other great games) were in full effect until the wee, wee hours of the morning. The presentations began bright and early the next morning, so it was time to chug some aspirin and pay attention. Youâ€’ll hear more details about what we saw there tomorrow (like watching Dark Void in full effect, and Kawata-san playing through some truly scary RE5 scenarios), but after that wrapped, we hit lunch, and while the suckers from the press were filing their little reports, we headed over to the â€œ Star Trek Experience .â€ Wellâ€¦ probably the less said about that, the better. â€œThe Experienceâ€ has a lot of grade-A memorabilia, but the rides were a bit, how do you sayâ€¦ sucky? The Star Trek-themed cafÃ© was also closed, which was a weaksauce ending, but we were able to laugh about it, and Travis kept talking all things Capcom right on through the whole thing. Thatâ€’s the love! After the Star Trek experience we got dragged back to the boring old Sky Villa filled with top secret new games, but we werenâ€’t forced to stay for long, because we had to run back downstairs to catch our ride over to the gun range. Why put a bunch of community fans and press at the controls of some serious firepower? Because who else is going to shoot up those Capcom zombie practice targets ?
After a surprisingly brief safety briefing, they turned us all loose on a variety of full-auto submachine guns. I got stuck with the nearly un-aimable full-auto Glock 9mm machine pistol. As it turns out, something that explodes by firing 20 rounds in 3 seconds and only weighs about 3 ounces is, well, a bit hard to steer. Thatâ€’s my defense for my shamefully wide target spread, anyway. It could also be that I just suck, but everybody else trying to ride the wild Glock pony reported similar trouble. Team Community did a little better and saved face. After dinner at Little Buddha , we headed up to Moon nightclub. In addition to the open bar and balcony overlooking the Playboy Clubâ€’s go-go dancers , the club has about the best view of Vegas in town and a retractable roof. Why does the roof retract? Because itâ€’s awesome. Friday also meant more aspirin and more presentations about everything happening with our new games, but it also had an hour for a special meeting between â€œthe Capcom Stalkerâ€ Shawn Baxter and RE5 super-producer Takeuchi-san. Their discussions were top secret, but they involved two translators, an orange, a box of mysterious stuff from Kinkos, and the most terrifying ringtone Iâ€’ve ever heard. After the Friday presentations ended, everyone ate and settled back down for their last chance to play the new games. The day only ended when we finally had to shut down the SFIV machines to load them on the truck. As Chris went around turning off their power, community and gaming editors alike literally stood there with their mouths open, hoping somehow fate would intervene to keep the machines on (which were occupied like literally every minute of the week). Even after the power was off, a few kept standing around hoping somehow this would change via some kind of Christmas miracle. It was so funny I had to laugh out loud. Theyâ€’ll get plenty of time to play more, but for the moment, theyâ€’ll just have to wait like everybody else.
After some tears (okay, nobody cried, though there were some hugs), we said our goodbyes and packed off team Community to the airport. As a Capcom fan turned employee myself, I just want to give them the experience I wish I could have had, and I think this weekend was a big success. It was really great finally meeting them in person and having them there, and I think they did a great job representing fans from a lot of different Capcom franchises to the press and to everyone at Capcom. Shoutouts are owed to a lot of people at Capcom as wellâ€”instead of a handshake and fake smile for a few publicity shots, they truly gave our community the real experience, and the community guys (and girl) were getting enthusiastically grilled for their thoughts by the dev teams every time I turned around. Click here to check out the first of our gigantic deluge of CAPTIVATE08 pics! Favorite quote of the weekend: Melanie to Ben Judd: “It was nice meeting you.” Ben Judd: “Yes. Yes it was.” Melanie: “â€¦” Travis also had some reservations about Ben: