THQ's (THQI) two next-generation titles were both new franchises, but that doesn't mean they were exactly original. The Outfit, for instance, is yet another World War II genre game. And Saint's Row looked like a poor man's version of Grand Theft Auto.
That's not to say that there's nothing new under the sun. Activision, for instance, showed its upcoming The Movies title. The game is like a combination of The Sims and Adobe Systems' (ADBE - Get Report) Premiere video-editing program set at a movie studio. The object of the game is to become the top-ranked studio by developing successful money-earning strategies and reputation for enhancing movies. Along the way, you have to manage moody stars, temperamental directors and marketing budgets. And, you get to develop your own movies, using thousands of preset scenes, costumes and characters. At the end of the process, you can export a final clip that you can send out to friends.
The game, which will launch this fall on the PC, is pretty amazing in its complexity. It remains to be seen, though, how many aspiring fantasy movie moguls are out there.
My final executive meeting of the day was with Atari (ATAR) CEO James Caparro, whose chief job is to reverse the fortunes of the struggling publisher. Among the highlights of our conversation: