Thursday’s Xbox showcase included some big games that I can’t wait to play. But if you tuned it right when the action started you might have missed the best part of the show: a series of fun pop-up facts and trivia about various Xbox-owned studios.
On January 18, Xbox posted its latest Developer Direct, showing off gameplay from a few big titles coming to Xbox and PC later this year and letting the people making these games talk about them in detail. (Hey, Geoff, take note.) It was a solid showcase and that new Indiana Jones game looks wonderful. But perhaps my favorite part of the event happened before all the trailers and gameplay. During a countdown before the Developer Direct started, Xbox flashed numerous fun facts about studios like MachineGames, Oxide, and Obsidian Entertainment.
I didn’t see a lot of people talking about these neat little pieces of trivia, so I wanted to take a moment and highlight some of them so we can all enjoy them after the fact. I love stuff like this. I also loved Pop-Up Video on VH1 back in the day. Anyway, to the facts!
Obsidian started in an attic
“Founded in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment initially operated from studio head Feargus Urquhart’s attic. This space, though limited in size, accommodated up to seven team members throughout the pivotal early stages of the studio’s development.”
Hellblade’s star was originally a video editor
“Before taking on the role of Senua, Melina Juergens was a video editor at Ninja Theory. After standing in for initial tests, the team realized she was perfect for the role.”
An exec at MachineGames almost bought a parrot
“In the 1990s, MachineGames executive producer, Jerk Gustafsson, won a bet and wanted to use the money to buy a parrot. A friend convinced him to buy a computer instead, which kickstarted his career in gaming. He never did end up getting that parrot.”
The audio director at Oxide Games has ridden camels
“Oxide games’ audio director, Michael Curran, gained office-wide fame for his glorious camel-riding exploits while on a trip abroad to record sounds for Ara: History Untold.”
Senua’s outfit in Hellblade II is handcrafted
“To maintain historical accuracy, ninja theory had an expert designer hand craft Senua’s costume using materials and methods accurate to the setting of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II”
MachineGames was almost called Tungsten Division
“MachineGames was nearly called ‘Tungsten Division.’ They liked the name so much that after they landed on MachineGames as the official studio name, they kept ‘Tungsten’ as the codename for their first project, Wolfenstein: The New Order.”
Oxide Games has a seltzer drinking problem
“Every month, Oxide Games maintains a studio scoreboard tracking every seltzer consumed, in a contest to determine which flavor reigns supreme. Ginger usually wins.”
Obsidian’s Pillars of Eternity set a record
“Upon the completion of its Kickstarter fundraising campaign, Pillars of Eternity achieved a notable milestone, becoming the highest-funded video game on the platform at that time.”
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