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Posts Tagged ‘Warren Spector’

Warren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program

May 13th, 2013 No comments
Warren Spector, Blizzard COO lead University of Texas game program
Developer Warren Spector and Blizzard Entertainment COO Paul Sams will help oversee a new gaming academy being put into place at the University of Texas at Austin. The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, named after co-founders Wofford Denius, Sams and his wife, will begin in 2014 with only 20 spots for students, and will award a postbaccalaureate certificate rather than a graduate degree, which the school says will help it remain industry-focused.

Spector, the creator of Deus Ex and the Disney Epic Mickey series, will put together the curriculum, which will include a 12-month intensive program where students will make a game themselves. Students selected for admission will also get a tuition waiver and a $10,000 stipend for fees and housing expenses. The program will begin next fall.

Continue reading Warren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program

JoystiqWarren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 13 May 2013 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program

May 13th, 2013 No comments
Warren Spector, Blizzard COO lead University of Texas game program
Developer Warren Spector and Blizzard Entertainment COO Paul Sams will help oversee a new gaming academy being put into place at the University of Texas at Austin. The Denius-Sams Gaming Academy, named after co-founders Wofford Denius, Sams and his wife, will begin in 2014 with only 20 spots for students, and will award a postbaccalaureate certificate rather than a graduate degree, which the school says will help it remain industry-focused.

Spector, the creator of Deus Ex and the Disney Epic Mickey series, will put together the curriculum, which will include a 12-month intensive program where students will make a game themselves. Students selected for admission will also get a tuition waiver and a $10,000 stipend for fees and housing expenses. The program will begin next fall.

Continue reading Warren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program

JoystiqWarren Spector, Blizzard COO to lead University of Texas game program originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 13 May 2013 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Closure for Spector: ‘Junction Point had a good eight year run’

April 5th, 2013 No comments
In an interview with GI.biz, Warren Spector says he has no regrets in the decision to sell his Junction Point studio to Disney in 2007. "Being part of Disney had its ups and downs - what doesn't? - but the last seven years gave me the very best experiences of my professional Life. Seriously. The very, very best. The opposite is true, too, but let's not go there. I want to remember only the good times."

As for the studio's eventual closure and uneven commercial success, Spector had this to say: "I don't really understand it, but it is what it is. Junction Point had a good eight year run. We built a great team. We worked on a bunch of cool stuff, even if a lot of it didn't see the light of day (Sleeping Giants... Ninja Gold... some other stuff I can't talk about). And we shipped two triple-A titles which, Metacritic notwithstanding, sold better than any games I've ever worked on and about which I received more - and more heartfelt - fan mail than I've ever received. I'm good with all that."

Spector founded Junction Point Studios in 2005. It's best known for producing two Epic Mickey games, the most recent release selling 529,000 copies in the US according to NDP data released in late-January 2013. On the same day the aforementioned sales figures were revealed, Disney shuttered the studio.

JoystiqClosure for Spector: 'Junction Point had a good eight year run' originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 05 Apr 2013 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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D.I.C.E. 2013 – Warren Spector Talks Aging With Gaming

February 7th, 2013 No comments

By Kevin Kelly

At 57.33 years old, according to him, Warren Spector has seen a lot of chaos in 35 years of video game development, which is was seeking to impart on some of the younger developers at D.I.C.E. Although on looking around when taking the stage, he wondered if he wasn’t seeing them because “they couldn’t afford to come out here.”

But before he began the core of his discussion, he addressed the elephant in the room to a degree. “As many of you may have heard, my studio Junction Point is not around any longer.” He didn’t use this opportunity to lambast Disney, but instead said that he was proud to work with a great team of people, and to be able to visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World as a contributor and not just a spectator, which is the amount of gracious commentary you would expect from the always classy Spector.

He briefly waxed poetic about how far the industry has come, and how much things have change, remembering the days of worrying about K in terms of memory, only having one color to work with, and the fact that “beeps and boops were the best we could do.” Now he wants to hand over his three and a half decades of wisdom, to new developers.

“One of the prerogatives of age is that I get to say whatever I want,” Spector said, before going on to say that he loved David Cage’s talk from the first day of D.I.C.E. following that up with, “I agree with everything you said, disagree with every solution you proposed for it.” Hopefully they can get these two guys on stage at some point to debate the future of the industry, while the rest of us grab popcorn and imagine David Jaffe’s reaction to both of them.

He explained that with age, his own gaming experience has changed, and that what he wants out of gaming has changed as well. While he said that some games shouldn’t have been made at all, while an image from Lollipop Chainsaw hit the screen, he did say that some of the most powerful, recent gaming experiences he has had have been with “Heavy Rain” and “The Walking Dead.”

Age has had a lot to do with his changing view, pointing out that the 40s were a fantastic time for him, as you had the benefit of experience, while retaining the energy of youth. But when he got to 50, he found that he didn’t care about blasters and broadswords any more. He also noticed that his energy level had dropped, meaning that he had no time to waste. “You start caring about passion over analytics.”

While he has focused on a specific type of game for most of his development history, games with high commitment and high skill, that changed when he began working for Disney, and he noted that his laser focus on one specific type of game, meant that he wasn’t able to focus on other types of games at all. “You need to be learning constantly … and when you’re an older developer you need to be sharing more.” So while he definitely has the benefit of age and experience, he’s still open learning new things. Hopefully this will help steer whatever course he takes next. Anyone want to wager that he might tackle the mobile game arena?

He said that when the Disney announcement came down about the studio, one of the people he worked with asked him why he didn’t just retire. Thankfully, Spector has far too much creativity and passion to just retire. He wants to be at D.I.C.E. 2043, hopping around on bionic legs and using nano-augmented eyes. He closed out with a shot of his LinkedIn page, noting (humorously), that he’s looking for work.

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D.I.C.E. 2013 - Conquering TV's Social Space With Ouya
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Warren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech

February 7th, 2013 No comments
Warren Spector says he'll and we'll survive the current industry chaos
The recently unemployed Warren Spector, former head of Disney's shuttered Junction Point Studio, dialed back the panic today at DICE. He's looking toward the future, and the industry's direction overall. The "57.33"-year-old legend (he hates that term) took the long view in his speech about an aging industry, having lived through many "sky is falling" scenarios.

"I have seen so much chaos in the last 35 years," said Spector. "This may seem like an especially chaotic time, a uniquely tumultuous time, but really not so much. A lot of us here lived through when the 'end of arcades' meant the end of games, when the 'end of Atari' meant the end of games, when the PC supplanted the Apple II as the primary gaming platform - that was the end of games."

He went on: "We've lived through a lot of changes and we'll live through whatever changes we have to deal with now. Chaos is where we live as video game developers. If you can't deal with that, go work in a bank ... no, wait, don't work in a bank. Go work somewhere else."

Continue reading Warren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech

JoystiqWarren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 07 Feb 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech

February 7th, 2013 No comments
Warren Spector says he'll and we'll survive the current industry chaos
The recently unemployed Warren Spector, former head of Disney's shuttered Junction Point Studio, dialed back the panic today at DICE. He's looking toward the future, and the industry's direction overall. The "57.33"-year-old legend (he hates that term) took the long view in his speech about an aging industry, having lived through many "sky is falling" scenarios.

"I have seen so much chaos in the last 35 years," said Spector. "This may seem like an especially chaotic time, a uniquely tumultuous time, but really not so much. A lot of us here lived through when the 'end of arcades' meant the end of games, when the 'end of Atari' meant the end of games, when the PC supplanted the Apple II as the primary gaming platform - that was the end of games."

He went on: "We've lived through a lot of changes and we'll live through whatever changes we have to deal with now. Chaos is where we live as video game developers. If you can't deal with that, go work in a bank ... no, wait, don't work in a bank. Go work somewhere else."

Continue reading Warren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech

JoystiqWarren Spector dials back the panic in DICE speech originally appeared on Joystiq on Thu, 07 Feb 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees

January 30th, 2013 No comments
Separate from the closure of Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios, the developers of the Epic Mickey series, 50 more employees reportedly lost their jobs at Disney Interactive yesterday, according to the LA Times. The paper's source is "a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter publicly."

Disney Interactive Studios endured huge layoffs across 2011, including the closure of Split/Second developer Black Rock. We've reached out to Disney Interactive Studios for comment on today's report.

We learned yesterday Epic Mickey 2 sold 529,000 copies in the US during 2012, with that return on investment certainly sealing the deal on Junction Point's closure. Since then, Epic Mickey creator and Junction Point founder Warren Spector posted a public goodbye to his studio on Facebook, which we've printed in full after the break.

Spector was effusive in his farewell to Junction Point, saying he's rarely worked with a "team more dedicated or harder working." While he noted the games "polarized" critics and fans, Spector said he's never been part of anything as deeply touching as his Epic Mickey series.

Will the man behind Deus Ex be back? "Let just say, now it's time to move to the next adventure," Spector wrote. "I honestly don't know what that will be yet, so don't ask."

Continue reading Report: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees

JoystiqReport: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees

January 30th, 2013 No comments
Separate from the closure of Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios, the developers of the Epic Mickey series, 50 more employees reportedly lost their jobs at Disney Interactive yesterday, according to the LA Times. The paper's source is "a knowledgeable person not authorized to discuss the matter publicly."

Disney Interactive Studios endured huge layoffs across 2011, including the closure of Split/Second developer Black Rock. We've reached out to Disney Interactive Studios for comment on today's report.

We learned yesterday Epic Mickey 2 sold 529,000 copies in the US during 2012, with that return on investment certainly sealing the deal on Junction Point's closure. Since then, Epic Mickey creator and Junction Point founder Warren Spector posted a public goodbye to his studio on Facebook, which we've printed in full after the break.

Spector was effusive in his farewell to Junction Point, saying he's rarely worked with a "team more dedicated or harder working." While he noted the games "polarized" critics and fans, Spector said he's never been part of anything as deeply touching as his Epic Mickey series.

Will the man behind Deus Ex be back? "Let just say, now it's time to move to the next adventure," Spector wrote. "I honestly don't know what that will be yet, so don't ask."

Continue reading Report: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees

JoystiqReport: Disney video game division lays off 50 employees originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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‘Epic Mickey’ Studio Junction Point Is No More

January 29th, 2013 No comments

The Warren Spector-led studio behind "Epic Mickey" joins the long list of game developers that couldn't survive a rough 2012.

Junction Point, the eight-year-old Austin, TX studio founded by Warren Spector and Art Min has closed its doors according to an official statement from parent company Disney.

It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.

"Epic Mickey 2," the multiplatform pairing of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit wasn't the hit that Disney and Junction Point Studios hoped it would be. After amassing Metacritic scores around the low-to-mid 60's, Disney decided to pull the plug on the developer, whose only other title at this point was 2010's much better received "Epic Mickey."

You have to wonder how much of the closure was down to poor sales of the sequel and how much involved Disney's increasing squeamishness about the console space. When they acquired LucasArts, Disney was very clear that they wanted to focus their efforts on mobile and social gaming, particularly in light of high-profile failures like the combat raceer "Split/Second."

Spector, a lifelong Disney fan (and something of an expert on the company's characters and history) looks to no longer have a place with the Mouse House. In an official statement, a Disney spokesman said "he will not be staying with Disney."

[Source: Eurogamer]

Related posts:

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Rise From Your Grave: Crytek USA Opens New Studio With Ex-Vigil Devs

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Follow @MTVMultiplayer on Twitter and be sure to "like" us on Facebook for the best geek news about comics, toys, gaming and more! And don’t forget to follow our video gaming and TV writer @TheCharlesWebb.

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‘Epic Mickey’ Studio Junction Point Is No More

January 29th, 2013 No comments

The Warren Spector-led studio behind "Epic Mickey" joins the long list of game developers that couldn't survive a rough 2012.

Junction Point, the eight-year-old Austin, TX studio founded by Warren Spector and Art Min has closed its doors according to an official statement from parent company Disney.

It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We're extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.

"Epic Mickey 2," the multiplatform pairing of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit wasn't the hit that Disney and Junction Point Studios hoped it would be. After amassing Metacritic scores around the low-to-mid 60's, Disney decided to pull the plug on the developer, whose only other title at this point was 2010's much better received "Epic Mickey."

You have to wonder how much of the closure was down to poor sales of the sequel and how much involved Disney's increasing squeamishness about the console space. When they acquired LucasArts, Disney was very clear that they wanted to focus their efforts on mobile and social gaming, particularly in light of high-profile failures like the combat raceer "Split/Second."

Spector, a lifelong Disney fan (and something of an expert on the company's characters and history) looks to no longer have a place with the Mouse House. In an official statement, a Disney spokesman said "he will not be staying with Disney."

[Source: Eurogamer]

Related posts:

Game Stick Docking Station And Final Design Revealed
Rise From Your Grave: Crytek USA Opens New Studio With Ex-Vigil Devs

--

Follow @MTVMultiplayer on Twitter and be sure to "like" us on Facebook for the best geek news about comics, toys, gaming and more! And don’t forget to follow our video gaming and TV writer @TheCharlesWebb.

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