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Special: The Game Industry's Xmas Cards Exposed

Game publishers/developers create some awesome custom Xmas cards, and Gamasutra has teamed with sister weblog GameSetWatch to scan and present some of the best ones for the 2007 holiday season - from BioWare through Double Fine to Naughty Dog and Ninja Th

Simon Carless, Blogger

December 24, 2007

4 Min Read

Game publishers/developers create some awesome custom Xmas cards, and following on from last year's set scanned in for sister blog GameSetWatch, Gamasutra is reprinting multiple cards presenting some of this year's card highlights. A reminder - these cards are scanned in by us from physical cards sent to all of us in the CMP Game Group offices - special thanks to GDC exec director Jamil Moledina, Game Developer senior editor Brandon Sheffield, and Gamasutra features editor Christian Nutt. [UPDATE: Final set of cards added.]

PopCap's card came with a set of three notebooks with embossed PopCap game characters on them, and a little Xmas-y company factsheet which revealed the firm has managed 50% growth per year every year for the past four years.

Another 'reveal'-styled Final Fantasy card from Square Enix this year, and this time, it looks like a snowman... before opening the card reveals that the eyes are actually from a super-kawaii Chocobo.

The folks from Marvelous Interactive (Harvest Moon) sent over this distinctly Japanese-styled card celebrating Santa's skydiving prowess. Reborn!

From Naughty Dog, the stars of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune take the opportunity to wish us a happy holiday season - further displaying that Magnum P.I.-ish vibe.

BioWare's Xmas card features completely awesome custom Mass Effect art (both Santa-themed and super-deformed!), and a catchy 'Jingle Bells'-pastiche Xmas poem within which starts 'Mass Effect, Mass Effect, Shepard's on his way, He's out spreading Christmas cheer throughout the mass relays'.

Good ol' Ninja Theory have their special Heavenly Sword-themed Xmas card - which I think they've used before, since the old-style PS3 design and 'boomerang' controller sneak into the design.

Koei aren't afraid to plug Dynasty Warriors 6 in their card, with the perennial Japanese history borrowers suggesting that 'heavier armor' is the answer to your holiday chill-related issues.

Over at Sony Computer Entertainment America, they've paid someone to carve the PlayStation controller button insignias onto a snow bank, in marvellous holiday stylings. (OK, it's probably a Photoshop trick of the mind, but close enough.)

You might know D3 Publisher of America from Puzzle Quest, of course - not to mention Earth Defense Force and their Japanese parent's Simple 2000 series. In this case, a simple play on their logo makes up their Xmas greetings card.

Finally, last year's Double Fine card was really darn cool, and the Psychonauts and Brutal Legend creators have again come up with something neat, with the double-headed 'Fine mascot riding a sleigh hotrod, and some cunning prose.

Nintendo's Xmas card features a snowflake-specked version of Super Mario Galaxy iconography - and is flecked with glitter, whcih is particularly fetching.

Now, here's the ironic card inclusion. This card is not personalized in any way to the company who sent it. But... that's because it's from 'game development ninjas' Tose, of course.

This card from Ubisoft is available in a couple of other places too, and only just fits on the scanner - but showcases a massive range of Ubi characters, all the way from Rayman to the 'Imagine' casual game series.

A group card from NIS America, this one features some art from the much-awaited Disgaea 3, as well as lots of signatures from key folks at the Japanese-headquartered, SRPG-happy firm.


The final card is from the folks at Free Radical, and all four page reveal a rich tapestry of l33t gaming puns on the holiday season - along with a spoof disclaimer that channels Assassin's Creed. A fine end to the series, we believe - happy Christmas to all. [EDITOR'S NOTE: For those looking for more holiday cards, ComputerAndVideoGames.com have posted over 10 scanned cards from this year, including neat Rare, Konami, and Blizzard ones. In addition, Kotaku has 7 more cards posted, with some interesting Namco Bandai, Petroglyph, and Lionhead digital/physical cards. Oh, and there's Valve's ApertureScience.com online card, of course.]

About the Author(s)

Simon Carless


Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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