I love NFL and NBA drafts. It's such a thrill to see your team pick from a pool of players that could eventually lead your team to the promise land. At least one team will find a player in the late rounds that blossoms into an impact player while there's always that one player picked early that becomes a bust. As I was watching the NFL draft two weeks ago, I thought what it would be like if all the intellectual properties were up for draft. How would they go? Which IP would turn out to be a steal in the late rounds? Which IP would be picked too early? With that, the staff at Gaming Nexus decided to hold their own mock draft of intellectual properties.
Here's how it worked. A random order was picked through http://www.random.org
from the six staff members participating. The draft order is a snake draft whereby the order that people picked were reverse every other round. We went through six rounds for a total of 36 picks. Here's how it went down. The draft order was as follows:
1. John Yan
2. Dan Keener
3. Cyril Lachel
4. Ben Berry
5. Rachel Steiner
6. Chuck Husemann
So let's get started with the first pick...Round 1
(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.Round 2
(7) - Chuck Husemann - Halo
Chuck's Comment: I know the franchise is a bit young but this is THE franchise from the Xbox and the game already has 4 million pre-orders. The franchise is finally evolving with the Halo Wars RTS next year.
John's Comment: While I like the Halo IP, I think this was a little high. Not that I have anything against the IP. Atleast they are branching out with an RTS and the highly anticipated Halo 3.
Dan's Comment: This may have been a bit of a reach at #7, but with the amount of fanboys installed and the massive groundswell of games, merchandise and downloadable content, this franchise has only shown the tip of the iceberg.
(8) - Rachel Steiner - Dragon Quest/Warrior
Chuck's Comment: Sleeper pick but solid.
Dan's Comment: I missed many of the Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior series so I am lacking in first hand experience. However, I know this franchise sold a staggering 40+ million units worldwide which is good enough for me.
(9) - Ben Berry - Guitar Hero
Cyril's Comment: Guitar Hero would have seemed like the perfect pick six months ago, but now that Rock Band is on the way and Harmonix is no longer developing the sequels it seems like a risky pick-up.
Dan's Comment: HA HA HA HA While Guitar Hero certainly has picked up steam as a franchise, it is still a "niche" product for those that cannot afford the substantial costs of the game and bundled controller. Guitar Hero would have been a worthy franchise as a mid round sleeper, but as the ninth overall pick in this draft (and for the second round in a row) Ben has left millions of existing and future sales and dollars on the floor.
Chuck's Comment: A bit of a stretch as the franchise has been sold to Activision and the original developer is working on a newer, cooler game with EA;
(10) - Cyril Lachel - Tony Hawk
Cyril's Comment: I will choose Tony Hawk, if only because the games hit all of the platforms and always sell.
John's Comment: I've liked the first few Tony Hawk games but haven't gotten into the last couple. You can't deny the popularity of the series though and Cyril's got two very popular IPs so far in the first two rounds.
Dan's Comment: I like the series, but I'm not sure it was worthy of a 2nd round pick. How many times can you remake a skateboarding game? While Activision has been squeezing the heck out of this franchise lately, the last two offerings (American Wasteland and Project 8) have been underwhelming at best. I think Tony is getting close to retirement.
Chuck's Comment: Outside of Madden this is one of the top sports franchises of all times. With a massive overhaul this year the folks at Neversoft has breathed some new life into the franchise.
(11) - Dan Keener - Legend of Zelda
Dan's Comment: I didn't think this would get any easier than #2 overall, but with the amount of scrubs being reached for (You would think the Bengals were making some of these picks), I was left with a bounty of choices. The decision was a little more difficult, as the #3 overall video game sales leader in "The Sims" was sitting their ripe for the picking. However, I went with the single best title for the Wii in The Legend of Zelda franchise. While many have critiqued some of those already drafted as being stale or weakening, this franchise is incredibly strong with endless possibilities (including the rumored spin-off for Tingle) involving ports to the Wii Channel, new Wii games and anything on the DS.
John's Comment: Here's a pick I think should have went higher, perhaps in Ben's spot. Zelda's another huge Nintendo IP that is arguably the second most popular character for them. Good pickup by Dan.
(12) - John Yan - Metal Gear Solid
John's Comment: Solid Snake is big in both Japan and the US. It's one of the few games that I know can move consoles as well.
Ben's Comment: This is a decent pick for the end of the 2nd round, but like a few others picked so far, i wonder just how much more can be squeezed from this turnip. I see some of the franchises continue to push out episodes that are either inferior to previous entries with better graphics thanks to the higher end consoles, or simply more of the same. It has pushed product, but with the clear emphasis on new types of gaming, how many frnachises whose best days may be behind them will be supported?
Dan's Comment: A solid pick of an aging franchise (Look at Snake in the upcoming release!) at this spot. While Metal Gear may be slowing winding down, it appears that the PS3 and PSP will still showcase a few more versions of this game before it is put down for good. Frankly, its past history alone warrants the pick.Round 3
(13) - John Yan
- Star Wars
John's Comment: While the last few games are hit or misses, you can still generate good revenue with the IP
. A new Tie Fighter game or Jedi Knight game would be best sellers.. Star Wars Online needs a revamping however.. but you do get some quality titles in the Knights of the Old Republic series.
Ben's Comment: Best pick by far of any made following Mario, especially to see it in the 3rd round. With the rumored KOTOR MMO
, I can't even imagine the possibilities of this franchise. And all of this before we even see spinoffs
from the new TV show.
Dan's Comment: A great pick…in Round four. Definitely a reach here, especially considering the movie franchise that feeds this monster is all but dormant (until the next "boxed set"). Yes there are some new releases in the pipes with groundbreaking physics, but several other choices made more sense.
Chuck's Comment: This is why you never share your draft picks with people.
(14) - Dan Keener - The Sims
Dan's Comment: I'm absolutely stunned that the #3 all-time selling video game franchise is still on the board at this juncture. Not only have The Sims franchise been a behemoth for many years, but it is spreading its wings with "The Sims Life Stories" (optimized for laptop play) recently released, "The Sims 3" due out in 2009-2010 as well as "MySims
" coming out as an exclusive for the Wii
. Nothing like taking a power player into the console world.
John's Comment: To be honest I didn't really even consider The Sims. If there's one franchise that loves to milk their IP
, it's The Sims.
Chuck's Comment: While not popular with hardcore gamers this franchise is always bringing in the money. EA has managed to milk this franchise for everything it's wroth and it is still going strong.
(15) - Cyril Lachel
- Gran Turismo
Cyril's Comment: Although it has hit some snags recently, I would have to go with the reliable Gran Turismo
Dan's Comment: An absolute steal this late in the draft, especially for a top 10 all-time sales leader. With a new game on the way for the next-gen, the premier racing series will continue to grow and be profitable.
John's Comment: Gran Turismo's
still a hot property for Sony and the racing mechanics are top notch. I like the pick at number 15.
(16) - Ben Berry - DC Comics
Ben's Comment: Yes, there still hasn't been a good video game based off a movie not named star wars. But we're talking about some of the most powerful characters with the strongest fanbases
in the world, going back longer than any video console. Bats and Sups both have new movies already in production, and Smallville
, the cartoon shows, and just characters from the comics have their own possibilities as well.
John's Comment: This is another pick from Ben that I'm surprised he made. I can't really think of many good DC games and the recent Justice League Heroes was another in a line of underachieving superhero games.
Dan's Comment: With a somewhat shady pick, Ben takes the entire DC Comics collection of games. After further review, it was determined most of these games stink, so no protest was issued.
Chuck's Comment: DC Comics? Really?? There isn't one really good Batman or Superman game out there.
(17) - Rachel Steiner - Bemani
Rachel's Comment: From DDR
, from Guitar Freaks to Drummania
John's Comment: Rachel's change from RPG
gives her a vast library of rhythm games. I think she made an ok
choice in the third round here and gives her plenty of musical games to build.
Dan's Comment: A decent pick, but maybe a bit high to take a flyer
on this commercial arcade fixture. By adding this mix of interactive games (including the crown jewel in DDR
) to her portfolio, Rachel is appealing to many different game players. However, the main problem is that most of these commercial hulks don’t fit in your living room too well, and only DDR
have really become home video game mainstays on multiple platforms. As a result, it appears this franchise is closer to a fad than a lifestyle.
Chuck's Comment: Great pick, especially with the rise in exercise games as part of school curriculums
(18) - Chuck Husemann
- Ratchet and Clank
Chuck's Comment: With the #6 pick of the third round I'm picking the Ratchet and Clank franchise. This may be a bit of a stretch but the game is a solid earner and the screenshots for the next gen iteration are amazing.
Dan's Comment: Chuck makes another solid pick in the draft by grabbing a Rachet
and Clank franchise that keeps on producing for Sony. A PSP
release and a PS3 release in 2007 show the continued appeal and future possibilities.
Cyril's Comment: While Ratchet & Clank is a solid franchise (one of my personal favorite's on the PlayStation platforms), I worry that Sony has asked too much of the series. Since its inception in 2002 Sony has released six versions of the game (not including the two cell phone titles), that's six games in five years. I worry that at this rate Sony is going to burn out the franchise and we'll be left with another mascot that has been overused.Th first three rounds are done and here's how it's shaping up so far:
- Metal Gear
- Star Wars
- The Sims
- Grand Theft Auto
- Tony Hawk
- Gran Turismo
- Guitar Hero
- DC Comics
- Final Fantasy
- Dragon Warrior/Quest
- Ratchet and Clank
And here's the picks in order.
||Grand Theft Auto
||DC Comic Games
||Ratchet and Clank
Check out the final three rounds of the draft here