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Jay Cohen answers 10 Questions from the Academy


Introducing 10 Questions from the Academy: A weekly feature from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences wherein significant figures in the video game industry provide their input on past trends, current events, and future challenges and goals for the entertainment software community.
Jay Cohen is a member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences where he serves as chairman of its board directors. Cohen left Ubisoft earlier this year, after serving as the company's North American vice president of publishing, and now works for Jerry Bruckheimer Games.

AIAS: How do you measure success?
Jay Cohen: Review scores and unit sales!

What's your favorite part of game development?
Sitting around the table and seeing a spark of an idea ignite into creative wildfire that rallies the team to go the extra mile. Then, seeing that idea implemented into the game and having it actually work as imagined!

How do you want to be remembered?
As an active and caring contributor committed to the promotion and advancement of the video games industry.

What game are you most jealous of?
Rock Band. Only in my wildest dreams could I imagine ripping up a guitar solo like that in real life! I would love to be able to create a project that delivers that same feeling to the player in future projects.

What's the one problem of game development you wish you could instantly solve?
Having a secret handbook that knows exactly when hardware transitions will occur and the precise specifications when they do. Short of having that notebook, we'll just focus on great story, characters, and controls.

On a practical basis, what's the one thing you're going to tackle next?
Adding more hours to a day. And then more days, weeks, months to concepting and pre-production.

Tell us one of your recent professional insights.
You don't know what you don't know. Who knew that social networking games and iPhone apps would explode the way they have?

Are games important?
They are the most important entertainment medium of the near and long term future. Games combine the best of audio, visual, and interactive technology and drive progress and improvement within each discipline like no other medium.

What's the biggest challenge you see facing the industry?
"Finding" our audience...there are so many platforms available in the home, at the office, on your mobile device, on the web, that it's becoming a huge challenge to stay connected with your audience and find them where they are when they are.

Finally, when you look at the future is there one great big trend that effects everyone?
Merely that games are ubiquitous.

10 Questions from the Academy is reprinted with permission from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and appears on Joystiq every week. Read the archives here.

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