The San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) celebrates our favorite genres of the entertainment industry, including comic, film, literary, art, cosplay, and of course, video games! Albeit video games don’t have a huge presence, there are still some really cool gaming specific panels I’ll be covering and speaking on this year.
Here’s the list of all the video game must-sees at SDCC 2015:
Street Fighter V
Thursday July 9, 2015 11:45am - 12:45pm Room 6BCF
Francis Mao (Capcom) and a panel of Capcom's Street Fighter experts share the latest news on Street Fighter V, the exciting, new entry in the world's greatest fighting game franchise coming out console exclusive to the PS4 and on PC in 2016! Ultra-special guest Yoshinori Ono (executive producer, Street Fighter franchise) returns to SDCC for another of his trademark special appearances. A must-see for any video game fighting fan. Hadoken!
Call of Duty Black Ops III
Thursday July 9, 2015 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 6BCF
Call of Duty invades Comic-Con for the reveal of Black Ops III's highly anticipated new Zombies Mode. Be on-hand as Zombies director Jason Blundell unveils Treyarch's new mind-bending tale of the undead. Attendees will also get an exclusive first look at the Zombies reveal trailer and receive limited edition Zombies memorabilia only available at Comic-Con.
Blizzard Entertainment Showcase
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:15pm - 3:15pm Room 6BCF
Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP story and franchise development) and a team of esteemed panelists reveal never-before-seen products and plans for 2015 and 2016. Talk to the designers, writers, and artists themselves, as the panelists dig into toys, books, collectibles, and more.
Gears of War
Thursday July 9, 2015 4:15pm - 5:15pm Room 6A
Reigniting the passion and fervor of Gears of War fans, Xbox and The Coalition take fans behind the scenes of one of their favorite franchises, reimagined and reloaded for Xbox One. The panel features Rod Fergusson (studio head, The Coalition), who will discuss not only the visual improvements but also what it takes to modernize an all-time fan favorite that is launching on Xbox One this summer. Also appearing from The Coalition: Peder Skude (senior game designer), Kyle Gaulin (cinematics director), and Ben Huyghe (former pro gamer/QA).
Hunt for Truth: The Trail of the Halo 5: Guardians Story
Friday July 10, 2015 10:15am - 11:15am Room 6BCF
Join 343 Industries and special guests as they examine the compelling and prolific storytelling in and around Halo 5: Guardians. The panel will bring new insight into the mysteries surrounding the Master Chief and build connections between the stories that have been told so far, and sneak peeks of the stories yet to be told in game and beyond.
Blue Marble Games (Improving Healthcare Outcomes, One Player at a Time)
Friday, 7/10/15, 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m., Room: 32AB
Games have a unique ability to engage and motivate players. Some games have been called a waste of time, but what if we could use games to monitor and improve our health? Blue Marble Game Company specializes in games to do just that. You will get an in-depth look from Bonnie Kennedy (PhD, OTR/L – Chief Science Officer), Jacob Black (Chief Production Officer), Paul Giovinco (Staff Artist), and Andrew Truman Neff (Software Engineer) as they divulge the challenges of building games as well as the complications and opportunities that arise when focusing on games for ADHD, Fall Prevention and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. Learn about game development and cognitive constructs, and where they overlap during this one-of-a-kind panel led by Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion; MMORPG.com). Games can literally change the world!
Bandai Namco Entertainment Fighting Games 2015
Friday July 10, 2015 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 25ABC
Katasuhiro Harada (Tekken series director) will discuss the artwork of Tekken 7 and the 20th anniversary of the series. In addition, producers from Rise of Incarnates will be on hand to talk about this exciting new 2v2 action title, developed by Steam. Moderated by fighting game community celebrity Mark Julio, a.k.a. Markman.
Assassins Creed Syndicate
Friday July 10, 2015 2:00pm - 3:00pm Room 6BCF
Panelists Paul Amos and Victoria Atkin, who play twin Master Assassins Jacob and Evie Frye, will give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it means to be a Master Assassin and a leader of a crime syndicate. Creative director Marc-Alexis Cote will set the scene of Industrial Revolution London and how this gritty new time period is turning the world of Assassin's Creed on its bloody ear. Director of the soon-to-be-released Universal film Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray, will lend his directorial expertise in the world premiere of an Assassin's Creed-inspired animated short.
Creating Multiplayer Worlds: Storytelling in MMOs and MOBAs
Friday July 10, 2015 3:00pm - 4:00pm Room 29AB
Game industry veterans James Waugh (director of story development, Blizzard), George Krstic (senior writer, Riot Games), and Leah Hoyer (director of narrative, ArenaNet) discuss their paths into game narrative, the challenges they face creating game story, and the strategies they use to allow players to explore their characters within great gameplay experiences.
From Console to Comics: The Art of Video Games
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm - 5:00pm Room 7AB
Your favorite video games have expanded beyond your screen and into comics. Dark Horse editor Dave Marshall and panelists Nick Thornborrow (BioWare's Dragon Age), Paul Tobin (The Witcher, Plants vs. Zombies), Christofer Emgård (DICE's Mirror's Edge) will discuss bringing some of gaming's most popular titles, including World of Warcraft, Halo, and more, to comics and art books.
The Synergy of Film and Video Games Collide!
Friday, 7/10/15, 4:30p.m. – 5:30p.m., Room: 8
The film and video game industries collide when it comes to battling it out for the top spot in consumer’s choice of entertainment. However, just where and how do these two genres intertwine and how will this synergy impact the future for these two industries? After all, today you’d be hard pressed not to find a video game without cinematics and incredibly filmic cutscenes, and films are drawing from games in similar ways. Join Genese Davis (The Holder’s Dominion; MMORPG.com), Sebastian Strzalkowski (Art Director – Daybreak Games), Eric Kieron Davis (Senior Producer for Film, Cinematics, Video Games), Cody Vaughan (Actor, Producer) and Osokwe Vasquez (Director, Producer) who will discuss this pivotal topic.
Marvel Heroes 2015
Friday July 10, 2015 6:00pm - 7:00pm Room 25ABC
Marvel Heroes just celebrated two years as one of the best free-to-play multiplayer PC gaming experiences, and it just keeps getting bigger and better (or, in some cases, smaller and better). See what Gazillion has in store for the rest of 2015 and beyond, including the game's landmark 50th playable character. Panelists include Gazillion's own David Brevik (CEO and creator of Diablo), Ryan Collins (creative designer/community manager), Bridget MacFarland (game designer), Andrew Hair (gameplay engineer), and Chris Baker (senior social media manager).
The Art and Stoy of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Saturday July 11, 2015 3:30pm - 4:30pm Room 24ABC
Meet the development team for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Elias Toufexis, the actor who plays Adam Jensen. Get an exclusive look at the game, as the team provides insight into the creativity, goals, and inspiration that shape both the art direction and story of Mankind Divided.
Lego Marvel’s Avengers: From Silver Screen to Video Game Console
Saturday July 11, 2015 4:15pm - 5:15pm Room 6A
Join Arthur Parsons (Game Director, TT Games), Matt Ellison (Producer, TT Games),Mike Jones (Executive Producer, Marvel Games), Bill Rosemann (Creative Director, Marvel Games) – and a special guest appearance by Marvel legend Stan Lee – as they present an inside look at LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, the first console videogame featuring characters and storylines from the critically-acclaimed film Marvel’s The Avengers and the blockbuster sequel Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, including a live game-play demonstration, reveals of enhanced character team-up abilities and power-up features, new artwork, the latest game trailer and more.
Evolution of an Icon in Rise of the Tomb Raider
Saturday July 11, 2015 5:00pm - 6:00pm Room 25ABC
Key leads from the award-winning Crystal Dynamics development team, Camilla Luddington (actress and voice of Lara Croft), Rhianna Pratchett (lead script writer), and others discuss the journey of one of the most iconic characters in entertainment history, Lara Croft, and offer an inside look into the story, performance, and technology bringing this multidimensional hero to life in her latest adventure Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Saturday July 11, 2015 7:30pm - 8:30pm Room 7AB
Are you a fan of role playing games and ever wondered what goes into making them? Join the award winning team at Obsidian Entertainment for a unique interactive experience where you, the audience get to participate in the process of creating part of the upcoming expansion for Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part II. Obsidian is going to make you, the audience part of the design process and walk you through what they do to create something in the game itself. This is a unique fun, opportunity for anyone who loves video games and wants to take a peek behind the curtain and help make the magic happen.
Cryptozoic Entertainment Games
Sunday July 12, 2015 4:00pm - 5:00pm Room 28DE
Adam Sblendorio (VP of creative) and Matt Hyra (lead game designer) will share their secrets on how a game is designed and developed from start to finish. There will be an amazing Q&A opportunity for aspiring game designers wanting to break into the business.
Growing Galaxies: The Star Citizen Story
Sunday July 12, 2015 4:00pm - 5:00pm Room 7AB
With a record-shattering $82 million in crowdfunding pledged, the Star Citizen team is creating an immersive experience that's unlike anything seen before. Meet the team that's been working to create this bold new science fiction universe- Chris Roberts (Wing Commander), Sandi Gardiner (VP, marketing), Ben Lesnick (community director), and Dave Haddock (lead writer) and get a first look at the big things that are in store for the project in 2016.
Which panels would you like to see? Are there panel topics you haven’t seen that you wish were covered? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Hope to see you at SDCC! If not in San Diego, join us for high-powered video game panels at various Comic-Cons and Entertainment Expos across the nation. Connect with me on Twitter and discover all the locations for 2015 and 2016.