Last week, the VGAs came and went, in a flurry of awards and game announcements. While the general opinion is out on whether people love the VGAs, or just love to hate it, it’s undeniable how much attention it garners. We were there last Saturday, chatting with some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry, rubbing elbows with everyone from Felicia Day to BioWare’s Dr. Ray Mazuka, as well as celebrities like Tony Hawk and Dominic Monaghan. Check out below for some of the things they had to say on the VGAs and more as they walk the red carpet.
“It’s great! this is the third time we’ve been nominated for this particular award, and it’s been a great ride,” Gerard Marino, composer for God of War 3 on being nominated for best original score, which lost out to Red Dead Redemption.
“It’s really fun to come to these things, as not only does it honor last year’s video games, but it also introduces you to what you’re going to see next year. As a fan, I have a really great time.” -Felicia Day nominated for best human female voice acting on the VGAs. When asked about the voice over process, she has to say that “It was definitely different. I didn’t realize what it was going to be like. I got the script, and it was huge. It was like 700 lines. When you are are used to getting a 90 page script, I started getting heart palpitations! It was only eight hours to record everything. It made me respect professional voice actors, that’s for sure.”
Ali Hillis, voice actress for Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII and Liara T’soni in Mass Effect, was there on the red carpet with best female voice nominee, Jennifer Hale. Hillis, who was sporting a l’Cie mark on her chest, had this to say about the VGAs: “The thing that’s different, which is the best thing about voice over, is you get to play anything. I’m here supporting my friend Jennifer Hale. I’m with her! She’s nominated for best actress in a game, best human voice. Three of my games–Final Fantasy XIII, Mass Effect 2, and Starcraft 2–are nominated, and I’m hoping everything gets a piece of the pie.”
Jennifer Hale, nominated for best female vocal performance, shines on the red carpet next to Ali Hillis.
James C. Burns, the voice actor for Black Ops’ character Franck Wood, was excited about the fan response to the game. “Having this game blow up like this is phenomenal.” He continued saying that”I have a lot of friends who are serious gamers, and to have you buddy call you at 3 am looking for answers, ‘God, I’m dying in this level how do I get past it.’ they think I have all the trick. I do have a lot of tricks, but I’m a terrible gamer. Just to be able to talk about the game is fun. Guys walking around dressed up like my character, yelling lines at me as Frank Woods. It’s fun to have that conversation with the public on that game.”
“It feels great. It means that video games are coming out as an art form and as something that is more mainstream and really accepted by everybody. It feels great to be here, and it feels great to be nominated,” said Marc Alexis Cote, Exotic Mission Director for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
The guys from Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior were on hand for the show. One thing they announced? A new female co-host!
Amy Hennig and her crew from Naughty Dog were quick to rattle off some names of games they thought were great this year. Red Dead Redemption, God of War 3, Limbo, Joe Danger, Black Ops, and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood were all titles they found enthralling.
Skateboarder and presenter Tony Hawk was on hand as well.
Dr. Ray Mazuka from Bioware was asked about how many fans of his games play the titles over and over again. “I love videogames, and I think they are an art form. I do the same thing. I’ve played a lot of the games nominated for game of the year, and I think they are all really worthy, and you can have hell of a good time playing it.”
But when it comes to Mass Effect and the games from Bioware, he thanks his team: “We have amazing people we get to work with every day across al of our teams, and I just did a circuit of all of our studios, and I just came away so proud of the people I get to work with everyday. They’re passionate, creative, smart, hard working, and it’s just an honor to work with them everyday.”
Blizzard’s VP of Product Development Frank Pearce was representing the company as it was up for numerous awards.
“It’s really exciting to be here for us. We’re not here every year, as we’re not nominated every year, I don’t think we ship enough products! Starcraft 2 received four nominations tonight, and that’s really exciting for us.”
He was also willing to talk a bit about his competition, saying “One thing that helps us out a lot is that at this point, we’ve been working on World of Warcraft content for over 10 years. Ten years worth of content is an immense amount of content, and anyone entering that space has to look at that amount of content invested in for 10 years.”
Indie darling Limbo went on to win Best Independent Game. PlayDead Games’ producer Maos Wibroe was on the carpet, chatting about his competition and the nominations in general.
“I think it’s been a great year for independent games, and I’m proud and honored to be in a year where we saw Super Meat Boy and Mincraft, I think it’s a strong field we are up against.”
G4’s and the Daily Show’s Olivia Munn
Criterion’s Creative Director Craig Sullivan was on hand for Need For Speed’s nomination. The experience was exciting for his team and he said being at the VGAs,
“It’s cool! We’ve won VGAs before, but it’s my first time here as Creative director, and it’s our first time with a Need for Speed title. I’m just sucking it in.”
Nathan Fillion was also at the event, although his quick pass through was almost as short as Firefly’s stint on television.
Lord of the Ring’s hobbit and Lost rocker Dominic Monaghan was also at the VGS striking some quick conversations with fans.
Love it or hate it, the VGAs are becoming more and more important to the industry, even as viewership is down. With game announcements, hosts such as Neil Patrick Harris, and oodles of celebrities and developers, there is always going to be a special amount of focus on what is becoming one of the most important awards show of the industry.