It's no secret I love video games. Check the gamerscore baby:
5 star reputation, over 35 thousand Gamerscore, and I've only had my Xbox 360 a little over a year. That's pretty impressive I might say. I've been playing games since the Atari 2600 days and I even worked in the video game industry from 2003 until I started here at Wizards.
Part of the reason I moved up to Seattle was because I knew with my background I could easily find a job in the industry. The Seattle area has many many gaming companies around here. Nintendo, Microsoft, WB Games Inc., and more. In recent years it's been harder for smaller companies to make a stand against these giants. That's where Uber Entertainment comes in.
*From the Uber web site:
"Uber Entertainment, Inc. is a privately held video game development company headquartered in beautiful downtown Kirkland, WA. Founded in March of 2008 by a veteran team of developers, Uber Entertainment is working on an amazing blend of awesome technology and innovative gameplay."
I cannot stress that second line enough. They were founded by veteran game developers. Bringing a group of people together that have already established themselves in the past puts you a step ahead of the rest.
I've been lucky enough to work with one of the Uber guys when he was a QA Lead at WB Games Inc. They released Monday Night Combat earlier this year and it's won plenty of awards, and has been praised by many media outlets.
Being an Xbox Live Arcade title I thought it would be perfect for some of us at Wizards to go head to head with Uber Entertainment in something I called:
MONDAY NIGHT MAGIC
WotC vs. Uber
*Imagine fireworks and lights and lasers and music here*
They have a great selling title on Xbox Live Arcade, WE have a bestselling title on Xbox Live Arcade! (Duels of the Planeswalkers is still #8 of all time best sellers!)
The stage was set, the two companies would go against each other at their own games. We here at Wizards may not have created Duels of the Planeswalkers, but we sure know how to play it!
Last night a group of us (including Magic Brand Manager Paul Levy) headed out to the Uber Offices in Kirkland for the 1st ever Monday Night Magic. Of course we never like to show up anywhere empty handed, so since we were going to be playing Magic: The Gathering over Xbox Live, we decided to bring them a little something they can actually get their hands on.
We showed up with some Scars of Mirrodin booster boxes, fat packs, intro packs, other bonus items, and some special tin lunchboxes that are unavailable to the public. After a few practice rounds, we were ready to begin. For those of you that don't know Monday Night Combat is a 3rd person class based shooter. It's the "sport of the future" as the athletes aren't playing for kills, but for money and sponsorships. It's DotA meets Team Fortress 2 with an adrenaline shot of bacon.
Long story short, while some of us are really good at video games, you can't beat the creators at their own game. I wouldn't call it a slaughter so much, but there was definite bloodshed.
Uber was nice enough to give us a sneak peek at some of the new stuff that is coming out in their upcoming FREE DLC later this year. For you fans of Monday Night Combat, you are going to be VERY, VERY happy with this DLC.
Once WotC finished getting whooped at Monday Night Combat, it was time to change gears. We decided rather than to start up Duels of the Planeswalkers on Xbox Live Arcade, that we'd run some sealed booster games with the Scars of Mirrodin boxes we gave them.
After asking Uber if they were REALLY sure they wanted to face us in paper sealed games, they agreed. They had no idea what they were in for.
We faced off in three 1v1 battles. By what seemed like a twist of fate, I was paired with my former lead, Logan. It seemed that that two men who organized Monday Night Magic, would also be the ones squaring off against each other.
WotC Customer Service Rep Rob Schuster quickly defeated Uber's Creative Director John Comes. Magic Brand Manager Paul Levy fell to Uber's Test Manager Dan Smith. I had already beat Logan in game 1, he had taken game 2. It was now down to the final game. A rough start for Logan had him falling in game 3, but not without putting up a fight. We had 3 epic games, and in the end Wizards of the Coast won the paper Magic portion of Monday Night Magic.
This was just the 1st in what I hope will be many Monday Night Magic get togethers in the future.
We had an absolute blast. Uber were great hosts, and even better sports. We got awesome Monday Night Combat shirts, and of course, some new additions for my desk toys:
Some amazing statues to remind me that I'm never going to be as awesome at that game as they are. But hey; we had fun; and that's what's important.
Want to play Monday Night Combat? Not only did I walk away with some statues, but I also got some codes for Monday Night Combat!
How can YOU get one?
Leave a comment below telling me what class you think you'd be good at! I'll choose a random winner later this week and PM them the code*!
*Code is for Xbox 360 ONLY. Requires an Xbox Live Gold Account to redeem