(1) - John Yan - Mario
John's Comment: Is there really any other pick you can make with the number 1 selection? Mario was a pretty easy choice here and with all the success it's had from the original Mario Bros. game to Paper Mario I know I can leverage the popularity of the character to generate great interest in my console.
Dan's Comment: You just can't go wrong with the Italian plumber in overalls. With no end in sight to how much Nintendo can wring from his frail little body, John simply made the right pick.
Chuck's Comment: No doubt that this is the #1 franchise of all time, Nintendo can slap Mario's name on anything and it will sell like hotcakes.
Ben's Comment: This was the clear #1 choice. With recent addition Super Paper Mario and upcoming Mario Galaxy, et. all, Johns got himself the best single place to start for any platform
(2) - Dan Keener - Pokémon
Dan's Comment: This was an easy pick with Mario off the board. Pokémon has been a major cash cow for many years, and with an additional 6+ million units world-wide of Pokémon Pearl and Diamond for the DS coming off retailers shelves in the first five days, demand is as strong as ever. In addition, Pokémon Battle Revolution will be hitting the Wii later on this year to open up a whole new segment, and who knows how many games will be ported via the Wii Shop Channel. Cha-Ching!
Chuck's Comment: This might be a bit of a stretch at the second pick but this is a pretty solid pick given how well these games sell even after the franchise seems to have jumped the shark
Cyril's Comment: Pokémon is definitely a top contender, had it not been snatched up I would have grabbed it myself (which is saying something since I've never actually played a Pokémon game). But regardless of what I think of the series there's no denying the fact that it's a popular franchise that just prints money for the Big N.
Ben's Comment: Personally i would have picked Pokémon as the Mr. Irrelevant of the draft (last pick, last round) and then never released a game from this horrifying series. But it prints money, supports special edition consoles, accessories, so it's smart from a business sense. Pikachu isn't quite the Godzilla of CCG's he used to be, so we'll have to see if this pans out as a smart pick.
(3) - Cyril Lachel - Grand Theft Auto
Cyril's Comment: For this first round I will have to take one of the most successful and controversial titles of all time.
John's Comment: If there's a franchise in the past few years that's really help sell consoles and put it's name in the media, it's Grand Theft Auto. I even enjoyed the very first game when it was a top down action computer game.
Dan's Comment: While Grand Theft Auto is one of most controversial and best Adult themed game franchise, I think Cyril will be sorry he passed on a couple of franchises that have churned out 20-40 million more in sales than GTA and it's troubled Parent Company and Distributor.
Ben's Comment: This would have been my #2 overall pick. It's the leader in the clubhouse of the drive fast, steal and kill people genre, and shows no sign of slowing down. There are all sorts of time periods, plotlines, etc. that have yet to be explored. Basically, until 18 year old college kids stop thinking it's cool to drive around on a moped firing uzi's at rival gang members, this franchise will sell like hotcakes and continue to be a relevant topic of heated debate, and quite lucrative.
(4) - Ben Berry - Warcraft
Ben's Comment: Just the MMO alone makes this the 400 lb gorilla in the room, that every other company is trying to knock off the top of the throne.
John's Comment: Warcraft is definitely one of Blizzard's best IP and you can't argue with how much money World of Warcraft churns out. Ben would get a nice steady revenue stream here with that and also can in turn release some new RTS games.
Dan's Comment: While I admire Ben's restraint from taking the Barbie franchise, he totally blew this pick at #4 overall. At best, Warcraft and its siblings were a second round pick that has been outsold by at least a dozen other franchises. The only saving grace may be the World of Warcraft online fees and merchandise that the WoW freaks will gladly pay instead of their utility bills.
Chuck's Comment: Making money is all this franchise does, especially given how much money that WoW brings in each month in user fees. There might be some cannibalization if they announce a Starcraft MMO but this is still one of the best games out there.
(5) - Rachel Steiner - Final Fantasy
John's Comment: I can't say I'm surprised about this pick as Rachel's a heavy RPG'r but you can't go wrong with Square Enix's monster IP. They had a few clunkers but overall the brand remains strong.
Dan's Comment: Now this is a first round pick if I ever saw one. A legitimate franchise that is an absolute steal at #5. With releases continuing to hit the aging PS2, in addition to the Xbox 360, PS3 and red-hot DS, this is a franchise that has a storied past and a extremely bright future.
Ben's Comment: If there is any game from the first round past it's prime, it's this one. Final Fantasy has been around forever, but this franchise will clearly never again see a new release eclipse the sales peak of a previous edition. Its a favorite of many folks on the older end of Gen X, and even some Gen Y folks, but this is a franchise that shouldn't be counted on to provide the installed base for a console.
(6) - Chuck Husemann - Madden
Chuck's Comment: Sure the franchise has waned over the years but Madden 07 was the #1 selling game last year and the franchise shows no sign of slowing down.
John's Comment: Madden dominates sports games and it's one of the few franchises that will sell and sell even if it just means a roster update and some minor changes. Perhaps Chuck would actually put some innovation in future titles or he could just ride the incoming wave of money every start of football season by making few changes.
Dan's Comment: A great pick at #6. While the series seemed to get stagnant after the competition was snuffed out by EA, the return to football by 2K and the yearly release of a new game will keep this franchise bringing in the dough.
Ben's Comment: This is a reliable seller, and can always be counted on to push product upon release. The downside is that the NFL exclusive license won't last forever, and that there will be increased competition in coming years. The upside is that they have a leg up on the competition in terms of developing for the Wii, where the true multiplayer capabilities of this game could change the way sports games are played with multiple people.
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