XCom: Enemy Unknown Lead Designer Jake Solomon recently pulled a less-than-subtle undercover stint at his local game store.
Do you know who Jake Solomon is? More to the point, would you recognize him if he walked up to you in the street? For most of us, the answer is "no." We might know the name as belonging to the guy at the head of the new XCom game, but I doubt any of us could pick him out of a lineup.
Confident in his lack of any actual fame, Solomon did what a lot of game developers do when their project winds down: he went looking for a new job. He found one, at least temporarily, at Power Gamer in Glen Burnie, Maryland, where he suited up in an XCom t-shirt and did his best to pimp the product. And make no mistake, his best was pretty good. Even if I didn't have a pre-existing interest in XCom, there's no doubt in my mind that I'd buy it from him.
Like RPGs? XCom! Like shooters! XCom! Don't like aliens? XCom - because you get to shoot aliens! The secret of success in retail is flexibility and Solomon has it cooking big-time. My only concern is that he seems to be pushing the Xbox 360 version of the game - he actually tells one customer that they don't make this sort of game for consoles very often - and the response is tepid at best. Even worse, despite all the excitement over an XCom rebirth in our little corner of the world, none of these people appear to have even heard of it.
"Your soldiers, they die, and none of that fake videogame bullshit, when your guys in this game die they're gone for good... your soldiers are out there dying from decisions you've made, you're crying, you feel terrible about yourself... sound like a good time?" Yes, I would definitely buy a videogame from this man.
XCom: Enemy Unknown comes out on October 9 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.