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Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

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Posted June 15, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly




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 Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Activision staged a massive event last night at the Staples Center, borrowing it briefly from the Lakers who are clinging to the hopes of another NBA title. But before the hoops return, they needed the place for one night to hold what I'm calling they're "We're Made Out Of Money!" show. We went to this event expecting to be told about some of Activision's highly anticipated titles. Instead, we got a full-fledged concert. And very little game information. 

We expected to possibly hear about some new titles, or hear about a new partnership, or at the very least find out about Activision's plans to take over the world. But we got none of that as they trotted out musical star after musical star. There was one new title announced, Tony Hawk: Shred, and you can get the details on that, and the cavalcade of talent in the rest of the story.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

The evening opened with a performance by Z-Trip, who was backed by gameplay videos from DJ Hero 2. He whipped the crowd into a mild frenzy, right into an all-female dance troupe performing Lady Gaga's "Just Dance." That crowd frenzy thenturned into a dull roar by the time Deadmaus took the stage and DJed a few sets. 

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Deadmaus gave way to David Guetta, who was extremely happy to be there. The entire time, the only hint that there was a video game company involved was a massive Activision banner over the stage, and occasional DJ Hero 2 graphics on the screen. The game is coming in October 2010, and they really wanted you to understand that there's a lot of music involved here. Especially as Usher took the stage next.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Usher played a few songs, and then we finally got a hint of another video game besides the sequelized DJ. Scenes from a new skating game played on the monitors: it's cel-shaded, features disintegrating environments (think Split/Second) that you can skate across, and even a skating, fat cop. A gaggle of top pro skaters took the stage, made a mild jump up a ramp, and then gathered on the stage. Tony Hawk came out and announced Tony Hawk: Shred ... and then skated offstage. That was it. One of the biggest legends in skating, and he's onstage for about 60 seconds. According to Tony, there was a huge ramp overhanging the stage, but they had some safety issues with it. Safety? For a skating game? Come on!

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

That was the only real surprise of the evening, which wasn't really a surprise since Activision had confirmed the game back in April, and we knew it uses the same board controller from Tony Hawk's last ill-fated outing. It looks like it might be a slightly newer board, or else we were just looking at a new color scheme for the old board.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Up next was a semi-gag reel for Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock as some of the rockers from the game performed "Bohemian Rhapsody" onscreen along with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan on main vocals from the stage. Truly bizarre, especially when the onscreen lyrics got out of synch. Warriors of Rock will be out in September this year.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Next up was a double powerhouse of rock and roll as Jane's Addiction took the stage to perform a few songs, and were also followed up by Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell singing "Black Hole Sun". Honestly, I've wanted to see Jane's Addiction since I was in high school, but the levels for Perry Farrell's vocals were a bit low, and he couldn't be heard that well. Consarnit. 

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Next was a performance on what had to be a 100-foot tall stripper pole, and a musical number by N.E.R.D. along with Rhea, leading in to some new gameplay footage from True Crime: Hong Kong, which quite frankly looked stuttery and a bit lackluster. If you squinted your eyes you could pretend it was a new John Woo / Chow Yun-Fat film. The game is out Fall 2010.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3

Finally, they capped things off with a performance from Eminem himself, who was joined onstage by Rhianna and a looming image from Call of Duty: Black Ops. Flashpots went off, fire erupted from the sides of the stage, and that's all she wrote. Then Bobby Kotick strode out in a suit made entirely of diamonds and told everyone to look forward to his rule as Emperor of Everything, and thanked everyone who downloaded all of the CoD:MW2 DLC map packs, because that had paid for the entire event.

Okay, that very last part didn't really happen, but I expected it. In fact, I had braced myself for it. Activision must have spent close to 10 million dollars on last night's event, but with minimal emphasis put on the games, I'm not sure exactly what they bought themselves except possibly a very enjoyable evening for a lot of people.

Activision Hosts Spectacular, Expensive Event At E3
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