comic-con_panelI had a blast at this year’s Comic-Con International. I took the entire work week off from my Mad Catz duties and decided to focus on having a good con. It was a good move on my end as usually my July month is filled with stress and planning for a number of events and shows. We just got back from EVO 2014 a few weeks ago so going into Comic-Con I was a bit excited just to see some friends that I only usually see/hang out with once a year.

This year I hosted another panel for Bandai Namco Games. Working closely with the TEKKEN Project Team and big boss Katsuhiro Harada is always an honor… This year was focused entirely on their upcoming free-to-play PC title, Rise of Incarnates and the forthcoming TEKKEN 7. Here is a link to the panel, just in case you missed it!

Other than the above responsibilities… My Comic-Con is just pure enjoyment now. I don’t care about the panels, the exclusives or any of that as much as I care about pleasing my team, loved ones and those I care about more. Thanks for letting happy flow, Comic-Con!

Don’t let this post make you think I’ve lost my geeky touch though. I can get shit done at Comic-Con like no other! Until next year! 😀

EVO_COMMENTARY_FINALSI had the honor of doing commentary (along with Aris from ATP) of the top 8 finals for TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 during this past weekend’s EVO 2014! Some of the best TEKKEN players from around the world gathered to battle for the title of EVO CHAMPION! Also! On Sunday right before the main event finals, my friend and boss man, Katsuhiro Harada took the stage to make an amazing reveal. TEKKEN 7 was announced at EVO 2014! Click below to check out all the action (in order)! Read More

photoMadonna anyone? Okay never mind, I think I’m too old. Anyways like a prayer… More work-related stuff coming that was announced by our partners at ATLUS recently! The Persona 4 – The Ultimax  Ultra Suplex Hold Arcade FightStick TE2 by Mad Catz is on it’s way to Japan (yes, Japan only for now)! This marks our (Mad Catz) first time working with ATLUS to collaborate on an official arcade stick release. I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been a fan of the Persona series since the original Revelations: Persona game on the original PlayStation. With how much the game has grown/changed (Persona 3 to Persona 4, notably) from an RPG to now a full fledged fighting game series, I am so happy that the series and it’s fanbase has really taken off to bigger and better things! I love Persona and fighting games, how could this go wrong? It didn’t. 🙂 Check the announcement blog post from the official Persona site below!

mark-julio-message-memeI’ve been a bit busy with work and travels so I haven’t had a chance to update my personal site as much as I would have liked to… However! I can’t pass on the opportunity to talk about a recent Facebook conversation turned internet meme that I just happened to be involved in. It was early morning on June 26th, someone on Facebook decided to message me (in a harassing sort of way) to get my attention. When I finally replied and asked them to stop, they took it to offense. Even though I had the best intentions in helping them, their last reply was so rude, funny and awesome at the same time… I just had to share it with the world. It quickly turned into something more. I was approached by a good man and company to see if we can turn something negative into a positive, and we’re doing just that. For more information on ‘Your behave is just f#ck’ shirt to benefit the fighting game community, click below!

markjulio01When I was in Singapore I sat down with a brilliant friend and journalist, Jonathan Toyad (formerly with GameSpot Asia) to discuss just how things happened the way they did with myself and Mad Catz… It was a thrilling moment of recollection and emotionally challenging to realize huge change that happened because of “luck.” Check out all the fun stuff and my version of the story below!


UPDATE: The comment contest is now over and all entries after 10:00 AM PST on May 28, 2014 are not eligible to win the prize! Thanks everyone (all 400+ of you) for your entries! The winning entries are pictured below (click thumbnails to view)! Congratulations to Evan & Lenn! Our panel of judges picked you as the winners!

markman23_contest_evan_winnermarkman23_contest_lenn_winnerAlright followers! I wanted to do a cool giveaway for Memorial Day weekend! I’ll keep this short and sweet. This contest is open worldwide, so don’t hesitate to enter! The TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 Arcade FightStick TE S+ was a VERY important project for me. It was the FIRST official TEKKEN stick I worked on for a community that I love with all my heart. That being said, I want to give away one of these to you! They’re no longer being made, so this is your chance to win!

CONTEST PRIZE: 1 TEKKEN TAG TOURNAMENT 2 Arcade FightStick TE S+ for PS3 and 1 Arcade FightStick Carrier (Messenger Bag) by Mad Catz

HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment below and tell me WHAT got you into fighting games? My coworkers will help pick the winner on Wednesday, May 28, 2014! (Make sure you scroll all the way down to find the comment/reply box)!

markman-1-622Last month at NCR 2014 I sat down with one of SRK’s newest writers, Paul ‘superfx’ Dziuba to just talk about everything going on in my world. We talked about a lot of things… About the fighting game community, about TEKKEN, time, balance and just life in general. I promise it’ll be an interesting read and ask that you check it out. Click below for the full interview!

I wanted to get this out there, especially before the anticipated re-release later this year. My favorite sneaker of all time is the Air Jordan XI that Michael Jordan wore in the 1996 All-Star Game, better known widely by it’s nickname the ‘Columbias.’  As a Michael Jordan fan, 1996 was a very key year. The year prior, MJ had come out of retirement towards the end of the 1995 season with the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls fell to the Orlando Magic in the playoffs, but MJ vowed to come back strong the following year and work off the rust. Long story short… The Chicago Bulls ended up winning their 4th NBA Championship and setting a record 72-10 season.

4d80cd44_JordanXI-2So why this sneaker? I think a lot of it has to do with the All-Star Game hype and everything leading up to it. The Bulls were already having a franchise best season and everyone was expecting them to take the crown. Michael Jordan was back in the best shape he’s ever been. My friends and I were really into basketball at the time, especially sneakers. At school we would gather around the latest Eastbay catalogs or go to the mall after school and check out the latest styles. When we weren’t talking about the game (basketball), we were playing it on Super Nintendo… Anyone remember EA’s Bulls VS Blazers & The NBA Playoffs? We were just INTO it. This was a rare time in my life. It was before I got into competitive fighting games, it was before i started collecting video games… and it was before I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.  After Michael Jordan retired, I just couldn’t enjoy the game of basketball as much as I used to. San Diego didn’t have a ‘home team’ and that’s when I started focusing more on school and life. Even when MJ returned for his brief stint with the Washington Wizards, it just wasn’t the same. I was a fan of #23, but not of the Wizards…

That didn’t stop me from reminiscing and appreciating the old days. Thankfully Nike and Jordan Brand started to retro (re-release) the Air Jordan XI again and in 2001 they brought back the ‘Columbias’ … I absolutely had to track down a pair. While I missed out on the release of them, I had to go to NIKETALK to acquire a pair from their forum marketplace. This was new to me. The internet proved to be a very useful place filled with knowledge and holding no bounds to race, color, creed or location. LOCATION. That was key. I ended up using my PayPal account and ‘copping’ a 10.5 pair of the 2001 Columbias from a NT member in New York. It was a smooth transaction and a week later I finally had my ‘holy grail’… But why stop there?! What could be next?

I kept seeing people talk about “one to rock, one to stock” … Shit. Me too! So I scoured the forum marketplace until I finally found another size 10.5 or 11 pair. This time the seller was from Sweden. Now that might not seem like a big deal nowadays, but back in 2001 when I was new to doing person to person transactions over the internet? It was crazy. Same story, different tune. A few weeks later I had my second pair and all was well in the world. I then took it upon myself to be more of a collector and actually pay attention more to the science and community behind sneaker collecting. This was back in the day when NIKETALK actually had a WEALTH of knowledge on the message boards… so much that you’d have to have a back-up account for when you’ve reached your daily viewing limit (LOL). Shoutouts to retrokid, snugglesmcduggles, flipjays, dependablejay, Method Man, kingcrux and all the other OG NT heads that used to share the knowledge. If it wasn’t for NT and eventually ISS/SC, I probably wouldn’t have been as appreciative as I am now.

COLUMBIA_MESHYou know what the crazy thing is? It was through that knowledge that I ended up finding out the minute and subtle differences between the retros, the OGs and all that. So when I saw and confirmed that the 2001 pairs of Columbias did not have the glorious icey blue tint to the sole, it kind of ticked me off a bit deep down inside. That blue tint that the original pairs had, I just had to have it… I eventually ended up getting a deadstock size 10.5 of the original 1996 pair. Thanks to my sister for copping those for me way back when I didn’t have a job. LOL. I don’t know if I clearly conveyed why this sneaker is my number one of all time, but I know that it is and you’ll just have to take my word for it.

It’s been over 13 years since the last release of this shoe. Some pictures have finally started surfacing and the hype is slowly but surely building for the holiday release. Am I ready? Yeah. I’m planning to get 4 pairs. Why 4? I plan on wearing these for the rest of my life. It’s nice to have one aspect of life thought out… I’m still figuring out the rest. I guess I should thank the sneaker game for that, heh.

AKIHABARAJune is when it starts to get busy. It starts off with a bang with the 2014 Electronics Entertainment Expo, better known as E3! One of the most wonderful times of the year where the gaming industry comes together to show off their big guns and set the pace for their year. I have the privilege of working in the game industry and I will be busting my ass off to prepare for E3 & beyond! I’ll need a little break though. Sometimes you NEED to take some time off and just enjoy life. That’s exactly what I’m doing after E3. Vacation destination? Tokyo and Singapore.

I’m no stranger to these faraway lands, quite the contrary. I’ve been there a few times each the past couple of years. I’ll be doing my usually GEEKMODE hunt of sneakers, arcade sticks, gaming goods and whatever else tickles my fancy. While in Singapore I’ll be representing Mad Catz and attending SEAM 2014 (South East Asia Majors), a major fighting game tournament for the surrounding countries. Stay tuned to my twitter & instagram for the latest pictures of food, cool stuff and whatever else I encounter.