The list of speakers presenting sessions at E3 2005 has been updated with some interesting names: game director Hironobu Sakaguchi, film writer-director John Milius, and Xbox Japan general manager Yoshihiro Maruyama. Also added to the schedule were Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Innovation Officer of Starcom; Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan; Will Wright, game director at Maxis; and two sessions on in-game advertising.
Sakaguchi and Maruyama will be onstage together, along with N'Gai Croal of Newsweek, apparently on the subject of Japanese support for the next-generation Xbox from both a developer and a manufacturer point of view. Sakaguchi's company Mistwalker recently announced their support for the next-generation system, currently codenamed Xenon.
Knowledgeable sources have told Gamasutra that in the Sakaguchi session, assets from upcoming Mistwalker-developed next-generation Xbox games will be shown. It is not known if that means actual gameplay running off an next-gen Xbox debug unit or from video.
The talk should also shed some light as to how Maruyama recruited Mistwalker, as well as Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Q? Entertainment and Yoshiki Okamoto's Game Republic.
John Milius, screenwriter and director of films such as Red Dawn and Apocalypse Now, is the latest addition to the "Better Characters, Better Stories" panel, which already included Toby Gard, creator of the Tomb Raider
franchise; Tim Schafer, director of Psychonauts
; and Joe Staten, Bungie's cinematics director for Halo 2
. Milius was recently brought onto EA's Medal of Honor: European Assault
as the scriptwriter.