David Reeves vs. The World • Page 2

Sony! Capcom! 3D! Brain chips!

Eurogamer: How much investment is Capcom putting into developing games with motion-sensing functionality?

David Reeves: It's difficult to say because actually, adapting and adopting to those is not that big of a deal. It's rather like making games compatible for a joystick or something, it's a matter of coding. It's the same with the coding necessary to make 3D - I don't want to say it's simple, but someone like Mick Hocking from Sony...

Eurogamer: I suspect he's working on brain chips.

David Reeves: He's not. But when he showed me Motorstorm 18 months ago he made it look easy to make it 3D. It was quite amazing.

Eurogamer: Which one would you ask Santa for?

David Reeves: Fortunately the first-parties sent me one of each, which I've donated to the company.

Eurogamer: Which is better?

David Reeves: Both.

Eurogamer: Both are better? That's grammatically impossible.

David Reeves: Both. They are really quite different.

Eurogamer: Yeah, one's about going like that [waggles right arm] and one's about going like that [waggles both arms].

David Reeves: Kinect is probably more cerebral, in a way. You have to think about what you're doing and look at the mirror image.

Eurogamer: Sony's still pushing 3D as the next big thing, saying it's the future of gaming...

David Reeves: So is Nintendo...

Eurogamer: Sure, but the 3DS doesn't require the telly and the glasses. I still don't know anyone who's got a 3D telly. Is it really going to take off?

David Reeves: Yes. I think we'll look back in five years time and everyone will be getting 3D TVs.

They will develop technology where you don't need all of it. It exists - you can have a 3D TV without the glasses, there's a system, it's all done with holograms - but it's phenomenally expensive. But that will come down, just as Blu-ray and plasma and LCD screens did.

Eurogamer: Do people want it? Having a sharper image to look at is one thing; having an image which makes your brain work differently is another... I find it quite hard to play 3D games. They make me feel a bit ill.

David Reeves: I do too, I have to say. When I played WipEout in 3D I did feel a bit queasy, but the second or third time I played it... It's like anything, you get seasick very quickly but when you go on the boat for a couple of days, you get sick going back to land.

Good marketeers don't ask people what they want - they give it to them. They kind of push it on them. And then people realise, 'Wow, yeah, I really like this,' and they adopt it.

'Do you want a flat-screen TV?' Many people said, 'No, I don't.'

So I think yes, in five years' time, you'll look back and 3D... It won't be the norm, but we'll be at the point where we were with flat-screen TVs maybe two years ago.

Eurogamer: How do you see the big three - the Wii, 360 and PS3 - growing over the next 12 months?

David Reeves: The PS3 will grow massively, especially outside the frontline markets in Europe. Xbox 360 will continue to grow and Wii, unfortunately, I see coming down - as it is now, quite rapidly.

Unless they come up with some really good, innovative software with a very strong IP, I think they're going to struggle. It's the life cycle, isn't it?

Eurogamer: It's the circle of life.

David Reeves: Yes. What goes around comes around.

Eurogamer: What about Capcom over the next year? Are you going to stick to your hardcore guns, or are we going to see Street Fighter vs. Sporty Party Family Fun Time for the Wii?

David Reeves: You might see Street Fighter vs. Others but it won't be funky people... It won't be vs. Cheryl Cole or anything.

Eurogamer: Street Fighter vs. Cheryl Cole would be amazing! I can guarantee you, right now, that would get 10/10 on Eurogamer.

David Reeves: I don't think Capcom would do it but you never know what user-generated content could turn up. I'm not speculating, I've no idea, but some people would say, 'Wouldn't it be good to play Cheryl Cole against, you know...'

Eurogamer: Blanka!

Leo Tan PR Man: Cheryl Cole would win.

David Reeves: I don't think Capcom have any plans to do that. They're going to stay within the boundaries of what they know.

Eurogamer: I'm sure you're a regular listener of the award-losing podcast. This year we made up some Tokyo Game Show awards and Capcom won best conference and best publisher. How honoured were you when you heard that?

David Reeves: We had the best party at the Kill Bill cafe, so I think we should definitely get the award for that. All right, I think we're out of time.

Eurogamer: One last thing - I've interviewed you a few times over the years and you've always been one of my favourite people to talk to, partly because you usually come up with some amazing metaphors. We've had armadillos, tsunamis, tanks, planes and automobiles... You've actually been quite restrained in this interview. You've changed, David. Has Capcom changed you?

David Reeves: I think I used a metaphor at the London Games Festival about a roulette table.

Eurogamer: Aha! This sounds like a new one!

David Reeves: Didn't you hear about this? Someone asked me how we choose which games to do. And I said look, you know, although I was a rocket scientist this is not rocket science, really. You have your roulette table and your roulette wheel, and you have a number of chips.

Eurogamer: I'm liking this already.

David Reeves: And these chips are the games. You put your chips on the black and the red and the numbers. You know 3DS is going to come out because Nintendo has announced it. So OK, you put a few chips down. That's a pretty good bet.

Then it's a pretty sure bet Sony will have to follow with whatever next-generation portable. So OK, you put some chips on that.

By the same token, PS3 and Xbox 360 are still selling a lot of product - look at Call of Duty. So next year, you've got to make sure you're on the static consoles as well. So you've already used most of your chips up.

Then someone says to you, 'Well, what about digital?' and you say, 'Ah, I've got a few chips left, I'll put them on the digital side, we'll invest a little bit in that direction.' Then you've probably got just that little bit left to try and find something which is totally different.

When it comes down to it, I think that's the way most games companies work. The key is you've got to think it through, where you put those chips.

You can end up rather like a seven year-old boy's soccer match, in that they all run after the same ball, which was Wii.

Eurogamer: Aha, this is a classic! It's one of your greatest hits!

David Reeves: But the ball is over here, and there's no seven year-old, apart from one little boy, probably, who manages to score.

I was a soccer coach once and I always used to tell them, 'Stand in position.' I used to shout at them. They started to win and the parents, instead of berating me about why their little boy or girl were not on the team, would say, 'They're starting to win!'

But they started to say they wanted their boy in this position or that position, they wanted him to score goals.

I'm digressing. But the smart companies know when to wait for the ball to come to them. What is going to be big next year and the year after - not what is happening right now. I think some companies are shrewd and they get it right. Some get it horribly wrong. I'm not going to tell you which ones, because you know better than I do.

Eurogamer: So basically, you're saying operating within the contemporary videogames landscape is like playing football against an armadillo on a roulette table in a tank during a tsunami?

David Reeves: It's a bit like that, yes.

David Reeves is chief operating officer of Capcom Europe. Street Fighter vs. Cheryl Cole will be being beamed into people's eyes via brain chips by Richard Leadbetter from 2015.

Comments (32)

Comments for this article are now closed, but please feel free to continue chatting on the forum!