Greetings, everyone, and welcome to my blog. Most of you probably found me because of the recent news about the resurrection of Matt Hazard by “D3 Publisher” and all the coverage that has come out as a result.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ralph Tokey, and I was part of the team that brought you all of those great Matt Hazard games – from beginning to end.
I started out as a Marketing Intern – essentially photocopying sales sheets and spreading them out at big arcades to get people excited for “The Adventures of Matt in Hazard Land.” Eventually I worked my way up to Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Marathon Software, directing a global team that drove the sales success of Matt Hazard products.
We were the guys that broke new ground for associated licensed goods , putting out industry classics like the Hazard “My First Extra Stabby Battle Knife” for the toddler fans , Hazard-Blocker Blu Shades, Matt’s Crash n’ Crunch Cereal, Matt Hazard “Playground Enforcer” Rubber Mallet and one ill-advised latex license that I no longer discuss.
At that time, a guy like me was an integral part of the team. Marketing helped decide design decisions and even sometimes determined which game would be made.
Needless to say, I was pretty surprised when a friend of mine who works at a major video game site that rhymes with “FameSplot” (yes, I still have some of my old-school contacts and those guys are older than the friggin’ hills) was at PAX and sent this picture to me, taken at the booth of “D3 Publisher” which sound kind of made up, honestly:
You can clearly see in the picture some of my old Matt Hazard game boxes and then one at the end with a big question mark – representing whatever it is they are making now.
Here’s an Interesting Fact: Did you know that back in the late 80s, the same artists that did video game boxes also sometimes designed layouts for adult VHS packaging? It’s true. The guy that did Fistful also won several awards for his work on several porno series.
Knowing today’s game industry, the new game will be some kind of “me-too” combination of Halo, Wii Sports and Guitar Hero. “It can’t miss!”
My “FameSplot” friend also sent along this email distributed by D3 during Penny Arcade Expo:
Marathon Software Hero Matt Hazard Spills All
Matt Hazard, the star of the 80’s classic videogame The Adventures of Matt in Hazard Land and many other blockbuster games, is back in action in an all new next-gen title coming to stores next year. Matt Hazard is most remembered for his rippling muscles and his love for the children.
I’m sure some of this stuff sounds dated and weird to those of you born AFTER these games came out, but at the time, being known for “rippling muscles and loving kids” is what sold games! I have the market research and sales records to prove it.
It gets worse though… these guys at IGN think it’s some sort of fake marketing campaign. Those guys are off their rocker since they were called SNOWBALL.
Just to be clear about this new game and ME:
>> Am I involved in the new game at all? No – not one bit.
>> Did anyone call me to ask my opinion or permission? No. I found out about it when the picture hit my inbox!
>> Did anyone ask me what Matt Hazard is all about before they started? No. Presumably they have all the old scripts, but I don’t know for sure.
I expect my “FameSplot” buddy or those IGN guys or maybe the 411mania guys will be asking me for an interview soon to talk about MH and all the stuff that went down at Marathon Software.
I’ve also contacted the D3 public relations guy about this, but to my dismay all I get is an “out of office.” He must be living it up showing off Matt Hazard and to all his media friends in some trendy Hollywood hotel doing a junket or on a worldwide tour.
If I’m honest, I miss hob-knobbing with all the gaming people – although back in the day, we relied more on elicit substances and woman of questionable morals. Private planes pre-stocked with available women ALWAYS greeted OUR dev teams for their trips to E3.
Today’s game PR guys are a bunch of pussies. Period.
This blog is where I intend to uncover the REAL Matt Hazard, and provide a PROPER REINTRODUCTION for gamers through some of my archived artwork, storylines and interviews with some of my old buddies from Marathon.
So stay tuned.
– R. Tokey