Editor: Jonathan Bester
Photography: Darryl Linington
Resident Evil has been a franchise that has etched itself into the hearts and minds of many a gamer over the years. Not only through its gripping storytelling, but also in its ability to keep you on your toes through a unique suspense experience. Resident Evil 6 brings these elements back, and combines it with the fast paced action of Resident Evil 4 and 5. But I am not here to review the game today. I am here to tell you about the awesome Launch Event held for it at Microsoft South Africa in Bryanston recently. So let’s get to it!
Microsoft South Africa and Ster-Kinekor Entertainment recently joined forces to bring a launch event to not only the press, but to the general public as well. They did so by means of invites and various competitions run by the gaming publications across South Africa.
We arrived at the venue way ahead of schedule, partly due to us trying to avoid traffic, what with the highways towards Randburg being particularly busy heading towards five ‘o clock in the afternoon. As we arrived we were greeted by Graeme Selvan, the new PR Manager of Xbox in South Africa, who showed us to their recreational area. We lounged around there, with other guests gradually arriving, and socialising until the official start of the event.
Press and members of the public convened in a conference hall where we were greeted by the Microsoft team who informed us what to expect. We all shuffled into the presentation room and were prepared to be blown away by gameplay that had never been; however, there was a slight technical glitch, which consisted of rampant wires and technology that just felt the need to be difficult. With a short delay the presentation kicked off. We were also shown the amazing Co-Op play from Chris Redfield’s storyline, which as previously mentioned is very fast past and action packed.
After the demonstration was over, we were let loose and allowed to play the game for ourselves. This journalist managed to get in some Co-Op time with the Leon S. Kennedy campaign and I have found that the game is seriously fun and gripping. The story for Leon S. Kennedy for the uninitiated hearkens back to the days of suspense filled horror from the original trilogy and this has been welcomed by many a fan.
When we were finished trying out the game, we proceeded to mingle with other guests and we discussed various topics, including Resident Evil 6, other games, along with the upcoming rAge Expo
Upon conclusion of the event’s proceedings, I caught up with Graeme Selvan for a one-on-one interview which covers both the Resident Evil 6 launch event as well as talking about his new dream job, working for Microsoft South Africa as the PR Manager for Xbox.
Jonathan Bester: So…Microsoft…Dream Job…Tell Us about that.
Graeme Selvan: It’s been pretty exciting…I worked in gaming on the press side before…so it’s quite nice working on the opposite side of the fence. There’s a lot of loopholes here, a lot of legal stuff…a lot of paperwork we have to go through, but at the same time, I am a gamer, and I wanna get stuff out there, and I want Xbox to grow. I am passionate about Xbox and I’m going to work hard and make sure that we deliver. Also we’d like to engage with the community. We want people to feel like they are a part of Xbox. We don’t want them to feel disconnected from us. We’re not some big scary company, we’re gamers who want to engage with you. That’s my aim, to be more in the public eye.
Jonathan Bester: And would you like to share a bit more with us of what your plans are in the coming months.
Graeme Selvan: We are doing a big Halo Tournament, which is going to be revealed next week Tuesday. Basically we’re going to cater for lone wolf players as well as clan based teams. It has never been done in the world. Also it is exclusive to South Africa and it’s quite rare, so the gamers will have that. We will be sending the winners of both the lone wolf and clan based teams to GamesCom 2013 in Germany – all expenses paid. We are also currently in talks with the FPB (Film and Publications Board) to try and alleviate the growing problem of games not hitting our local Xbox Live Marketplace, so I am making it one of my priorities and so far it is going pretty good. My main goal is to connect to the community in an effort to get to know the press and the gamers, hence involving them in an event such as this one.
Jonathan Bester: Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for anyone who wants to go into this line of work?
Graeme Selvan: Just persevere…never give up. When I worked at MSN before it wasn’t part of my job role to create a game web site. They didn’t want it or need it. So what I did was, after hours, I literally went home at night and I built my own gaming channel, so it wasn’t during office hours and I gave them a product. In 3 months it became the third biggest gaming site and it gained a massive audience and it is still continuing to this day. That led to where I am now. So persevere, work at it, and focus on your skills. Also, don’t be afraid to confront people. I got a hold of MSN via Twitter and that’s how I got my job. I got a hold of them on Twitter and I told them they need to hire me, I have the skills, I can offer your company my skills, amazing programs, I can write, I love Xbox, I’m passionate about it, and that’s how I got the job. I persevered and I reached for a dream. I did it, and it happened. And I’m here. You just have to stick at it.
We just want to thank Graeme for his time, and extend our thanks to both Microsoft and Xbox South Africa, along with Ster-Kinekor Entertainment for having us at this prestigious launch event. It was a very memorable experience and we look forward to see what you guys have in store for us next!