Admit it you love secrets and the world is full of them. Even the video game industry has a tendency to keep secrets. So why not indulge in your love and check out these five secrets from the video game industry.
5: The original name of the Xbox
Back in 1998, four Microsoft engineers from the DirectX team got together to conjure up a console that could rival Sony's upcoming Playstation 2 console. The group took apart a couple Dell laptop computers and ultimately created a prototype Windows based video game system. The four named the prototype DirectX Box after the DirectX graphics technology the system used.
After getting support from Microsoft's head of game publishing the DirectX Box went into development. During the development phase the name was shortened to Xbox. The marketing department didn't like the shortened name and thought it would be unpopular with the consumers. In an attempt to show just how unpopular the name would be the marketing department gave their focus groups a list of possible names with Xbox included on the list. Contrary to what they believed Xbox was far preferred over any of the other suggested names and thus Xbox became the official name.
4: The other Far Cry 3
According to Far Cry 3's original narrative director, Raphael van Lierop, the original Far Cry 3 was a very different game than the drug tinged, paranoia filled game we've been shown as of late.
Before van Lierop left Ubisoft Montreal, he was told by the company that they wanted Far Cry 3 to basically be a reboot of the franchise. In order to give Ubisoft what they wanted, van Lierop teamed up with God of War writer Marianne Krawczyk and LOST writer Jesse Alexander to create a mature storyline with elements of LOST in it. Ultimately van Lierop envisioned this game to be LOST meets The Constant Gardener (van Lierop's favorite book).
On top of that, Ubisoft also wanted to implement a transmedia strategy for Far Cry 3. Their plan was to make multiple short films that would complement the game story, similar to what they did with Assassin's Creed ( e.g. Assassin's Creed Embers).
3: Why Final Fantasy is called Final Fantasy
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Apparently there are two different stories as to how Final Fantasy got its name. According to Wired, one story is that Square Enix thought that the game would be their last as they were going bankrupt. The second story is that director Hironobu Sakaguchi was going leave Square Enix and this would be his final game before he left to return to college.
Wired interviewed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu who confirmed that both stories are indeed true. He then clarified that the real reason as to why the game is called Final Fantasy is because Square Enix was going bankrupt and the designers thought it would be their last game.
2: The audience Pac-Man was meant to target
In the Golden Age of video games Pac-Man was king, it didn't matter who you were anybody could enjoy a game of Pac-Man. Even now Pac-Man is one of the most memorable classic video game characters of all time. That is why it is surprising that a game as seemingly gender-neutral as Pac-Man was actually a game specifically targeted toward women.
In 1980, programmer Toru Iwantani took a risk and decided to come up with the idea to create a game targeted toward women and couples. This was a much welcomed change of focus in an industry focused almost completely on males at the time. Unfortunately although his heart was in the right place, his brain wasn't as Iwantani knew nothing about women.
To learn more about women Iwantani did “research” by eavesdropping on women at local coffee shops. He eventually came to the conclusion that women mostly talk about men, fashion, food they weren't eating, and how much they wanted to eat that food. Keep in mind this is around the time when bulimia became very common. In the end he decided that to appeal to women he would have to appeal to their destructive eating disorders which is the reason why Pac-Man is always eating pellets.
1: There was a Halo game created for the Nintendo DS
Back in January 2007, IGN editor-in-chief Matt Casamassina claimed he played a version of Halo on the Nintendo DS. To support his claim he recorded gameplay footage of the early-development version of Halo DS on October 2, 2007. A couple days later a Bungie employee explained that it was an unsolicited pitch to Nintendo that was never taken on. If you'd like to see to footage click on this YouTube link Halo DS.