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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday December 19 2008 £3.25

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 518 Friday December 19 2008 £3.25

This Week’s MCV:

39 HMV’s view

ELSPA Chairman Andy Payne is Guest Editor for the last issue of 2008

The entertainment retailer’s CEO Simon Fox talks exclusivly to MCV

12 In the GAME

25 Say what?

The specialist’s CEO Lisa Morgan speaks to our Guest Editor on the state of the market and retail in general

Trade members say the silliest things... in the year’s best quotes

34 The Hut on the up

17 Review of the year Payne looks back at the highs and lows

The online retailer explains the secrets to a successful year

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

LAST LEGS: Woolworths’ empty shelves offer a stark warning to a UK trade previously reliant on EUK

Anarchy in the EUK SPECIAL REPORT: How the sudden death of an industry fixture has created huge problems for the UK trade by Michael French THE COLLAPSE of EUK and Woolworths has left the trade reeling this week, with publishers and retailers fighting to ensure the market doesn’t buckle as the hectic Christmas sales period hits its peak. EUK administrator Deloitte’s decision to wind up the operation last week – and the imminent post-Christmas closure of Woolworths stores across the country – has thrown up one nightmare after another for the industry. These problems include:  The loss of a major games High Street force following the collapse of Woolies, which

according to data provided to MCV, was the third-largest games retailer in the UK;  A double-threat for Zavvi, which is fighting to survive as games suppliers demand upfront cash terms – and which already owes EUK a significant amount of cash;  The scramble to forge new deals to get stock into EUK’s old retail partners, as suppliers and stores hastily form direct relationships;  Possible pitfalls for the wider entertainment market, with DVD set for slowdown following EUK’s evaporation. And with Woolworths fast becoming a lost cause, rival games retailers are stepping

into the void left by the muchloved entertainment specialist – albeit reluctantly. “Woolworths has been part of the market for as many years as I can remember. It is sad to

“As far as the wider games industry is concerned, it’s witnessed a number of changes to retail over the years but our priority remains the same – to ensure there’s a strong

The severity of the EUK situation varies: It depends on the terms publishers had before they went under. Publisher Sales Boss

see the demise of such a longstanding British High Street institution,” GAME CEO Lisa Morgan told MCV as part of an end-of-year interview.

specialist presence in the market, giving a leading service to our customers and launching new products to the best of our ability.”

Meanwhile publishers are scrambling to organise suitable relationships with EUK’s former retail base. One major supplier’s sales boss even told us: “I worry about other publishers. The severity of their situation all depends on the terms they had with EUK before they went under.” Over the next five pages we lay the situation bare – from EUK’s legacy on the High Street and how its retail partners are reacting, through to what effect the loss of Woolworths means for our market and how it impacts other sectors like music, books and video.

IN THIS

PAGE 4 & 5

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ISSUE

Publishers and retailers lock horns as EUK fallout threatens Xmas

MCV investigates what Woolworths’ collapse means for the trade’s future

The other sectors served by EUK give us their opinion on the firm’s death

How are EUK’s former retail partners meeting consumer demand?

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ANARCHY IN THE EUK: TRADE REACTION

[LEADER] IT WILL ALL BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS THE HISTORY of the world is one of steady evolution peppered with truly epic moments that herald massive change. From the storming of the Bastille, to the King of England being expelled from Parliament, to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, or more recently the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, the effect of these actions is truly life changing. On September 15th this year a bank which many ordinary people with ordinary bank accounts had never heard of went bust – and all our lives changed. In our own little games industry oasis, most of us had looked forward to 2008 as a year of growth and prosperity. The opportunities afforded by the DS and the Wii offered a rich seam of potential profit without the development risk seen on the ‘heavier’ formats. Pink pony and trap games were the key to

Some of the best ever games were released this year, but even committed gamers have too much to choose from.

profit. Even the Queen was hooked on the Wii and poor old Wills was desperate to find time to play the one his gran had bought him for Christmas. Maybe less time in Boujis would have helped. But that was at the head of the year, and the perfect storm was yet to hit us all. Oh yes and games revenue overtook music revenue at retail… and retailers’ profits were on the up, up, up. So the market swelled and swelled and became bloated and ugly. Too many DS and Wii products surely ‘alpha exponents of mainly beta potential’? Falllout from the feast saw companies go into freefall, making the oasis into a ghetto. We were melting down along with the rest of the world. And not everything is down to a plethora of ‘me too’ products and slack practice. We have seen some of the best ever games release this year on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360, but there is so much content, that even the most committed games addict has simply got too much to choose from. Add in the fact that prices fall quicker than the Christmas decorations after Twelfth Night and you have a market in crisis. Mix in the simple fact that most game makers see retail and distributors as the equivalent of the Russians in World War II and there is much confusion everywhere. The future is digital delivery – or is it? Old business models and spreadsheets are being torn up on a daily basis (are you listening, format holders?). If there is a New World Order, no one is certain what it is. Kick out the jams, motherfuckers. It’s time to start again. Andy Payne Guest Editor, ELSPA Chairman & Mastertronic MD

EUK legacy looms Zavvi pleads with nervous publishers to keep the games coming by Tim Ingham SUPPLIERS BURNT by EUK’s demise disagree over whether to feed Zavvi with Christmas stock that will help it pay off its huge debts. MCV understands that some of the UK’s largest publishers have reclaimed stock from EUK administrator Deloitte and are now trading direct with individual Zavvi stores – after the retailer called emergency

sitting in EUK warehouses – ignoring the option of dealing with Zavvi direct. One huge publisher – in with a realistic chance of claiming the Christmas No.1 spot – told MCV: “We’ve picked up all the stock we had left in EUK’s warehouses. Because they were paying cash for product in their last few weeks, most of it went into retail without touching the sides, thankfully.

We’re doing very limited trading with Zavvi. But they should be fine for Christmas. Strife will come in January. Publisher source

meetings to thrash out cashpayment terms. Others are even trading stock on a limited basis with the retailer through third-party distributors. However, some leading suppliers are fearful of putting too much stock into Zavvi after being stung by EUK’s collapse. Many have opted to leave units

“We’re doing very limited trading with Zavvi. But they should be fine for Christmas. The industry has pumped so many new releases in over the last month or so, they won’t run out of titles to fill up the shelves. “The strife will come in January – when their ability to generate cash dries up.”

However, another publisher – with a flagship title that also has an outside bet on the Christmas top spot – told us: “We had an approach from Zavvi several weeks ago, but we’re not trading direct. Zavvi have got stock of titles we’ve sent out that should see them though Christmas. Certain

and reconcile the few accountants left “It’s a bit of a tragedy. Ultimately, we weren’t able to distance ourselves from Woolworths in time. The rest of the group dragged down a profitable, well-run company in EUK with some real blue-chip clients. It just feels so unnecessary. The risk-adverse

attitude of the banks was the final nail in the coffin – we don’t yet know what the knock-on impact will be to customers. “The outstanding debts may well lead to other people losing their jobs – which makes for a very nervous climate out there.”

INSIDE EUK MCV contacted a respected EUK insider, made redundant in the job cuts last week. He said: “[EUK administrator] Deloitte still has several distribution centres full of entertainment product – something’s got to happen to all of that. “The plan for the company is now to wrap the business up

ASDA FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS Asda has claimed that it is buying entertainment stock at the same rate as it did before EUK – its exclusive supplier – went into administration. Asda general manager for music, video and gaming Ferghal Gara told MCV: “It’s business as normal at Asda this Christmas thanks to the contingency plans we put in place. I am confident to

say that we are now back to the levels we were before EUK went into administration. We’ve

worked round the clock to make sure customers aren’t disappointed in the lead up to Christmas.”

Tesco has also boasted of a strong outlook in the face of losing a wholesale partner. Despite previously having its book stocks supplied by EUK, a spokesperson told MCV: “While our books and some online fulfilment have up to now been supplied by Entertainment UK we do have our own supply chain for music, DVD and games, meaning we are able to cover any potential shortfall.”

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large over frantic market  Struggling entertainment retailer relying on supply to pay off crippling debt

EUK’s operation is effectively closing down – but it still possesses millions of pounds of entertainment goods

EUK: THE INDUSTRY RESPONDS Matthew Allen, MD, Trilogy Distribution “Clearly the loss of EUK will have a short term impact on the industry as a whole. We have had a number of conversations with the retailers. Some will want to go direct. However some are looking for a wholesaler to sit in the middle – and that is not something that Trilogy does. We are working to support all retailers, including the indies as the demise of Woolworths should represent opportunities for the existing channel.’ Don McCabe, Joint MD, CHIPS “It’s not nice. Real people are going to lose jobs and money. Zavvi are fighting for their lives, whereas the supermarkets’ ability to screw the market with price cuts has been reduced. There maybe less price cutting going forward as retailers seek profitability instead of market share.” Steve O’Brien, Founder, Action Replay “Everyone’s getting twitchy with credit, and it’s having a knock-on effect throughout the industry – from the tiny independent to the national chains. The indie sector, by the nature of its size, is less of a risk to the credit insurers and as a result are less likely to have their credit pulled.” David Poulter, Trading Manager – Imaging & Gaming, DSGi “Managing our stock independently means we have not had any of the issues associated with EUK in recent weeks. We have been able to manage good stock levels on the whole, particularly around Xbox and PS3. This has allowed us to run more TV deals and bigger promotions this peak season than ever before.”

MUSICBOX – AN UNLIKELY SAVIOUR? MCV understands that some major publishers have turned to minor Lancashire distributor MusicBox to sell in product to EUK’s former partners – particularly Morrisons. The company was not able to comment when contacted by MCV.

branches are out of stock, but rather than getting my hands dirty, I’d prefer to stand back and see what happens.” And the sales boss of one of the UK’s top ten publishers told MCV that he was even hopeful that EUK may continue trading to some degree with Zavvi – clearing the stock his firm still has sat in the fallen distributor’s warehouses. He said: “EUK still has a skeleton staff, despite laying off 700 people. [Deloitte] might yet give EUK the choice to buy the stock in their warehouse off us. If they do, I’d guess that Zavvi would be the main beneficiary – along with WH Smith and Sainsbury’s. The rest of EUK’s old partners seem to be more sorted. “I worry about other publishers, though. It all depends on the terms they had with EUK before they went under.” A Zavvi spokesperson told MCV that the firm had enough capital to deal with all UK publishers direct and on cash terms over Christmas.

ERA: ‘HAVE FAITH IN ZAVVI’ Director General of the Entertainment Retail Association Kim Bayley has urged publishers to offer a show of strength to Zavvi in testing times – or risk creating difficulties for the New Year. Zavvi reportedly owes EUK – which collapsed into administration last month – around £100m, and is relying on Christmas sales to raise the money.

Bayley told MCV: “If the suppliers start to tighten their belts it would be tragic. There is an element of fear in the supply industry, and that helped push Woolworths to the point of no return. It’s sensible for publishers to allow other retailers to perform better by maintaining supportive supply. Not doing so actually represents a threat to suppliers themselves.”

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 KILLZONE 2 PS3 SONY

2. RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM

3. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM

4. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3........................................SQUARE ENIX

5. ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES 360 ..................................................SEGA

6. ALAN WAKE 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

7. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ....................................NAMCO BANDAI

8. HALO WARS 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

9. RACE PRO 360 ..................................................ATARI

10. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..................................................SONY Week ending December 13th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£94.4m 90 80 70 60 50 40

EUK AND ZAVVI’S SPECIAL BOND

30

Zavvi’s ties to EUK go beyond a mere distributor/client relationship. In February last year, MCV broke the news that Virgin Megastore (now Zavvi) had cut its games buying team – moving the operation over to EUK.

20

However, the majority of the Virgin games staff found a new home at EUK. That only left a handful of individuals at the retail chain’s in-house team – who are now frantically dealing with the UK’s huge publishing community.

£82.2m

£90.6m

£94.38m

3,487,443 Units

3,602,790 Units

4,248,904 Units

Week Ending November 28th

Week Ending December 6th

Week Ending December 13th

10 0

Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media

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ANARCHY IN THE EUK: THE FALL OF A GIANT

BRIEF HISTORY OF WOOLWORTHS 1909 – English branch of F W Woolworth & Co Ltd founded in Liverpool by Frank Woolworth 1960s – First big out of town stores opened, called Woolco

Woolworths’ demise robs UK of third largest games retailer New study shows that death of chain could have colossal impact on fellow stores

1982 – British Woolworths acquired by Paternoster Stores, which went on to become Kingfisher. Woolco sold off 2000 – First Big W out of town stores opened in Glasgow, Stockton, Bradford and Redruth 2001, Aug 28th – Woolworths demerges from Kingfisher and begins trading as a listed company on the London Stock Exchange. A sale and leaseback deal for 182 stores is struck in return for £614m in cash, though annual lease bill reaches £160m as a result

AN INDUSTRY REMEMBERS David Reeves President, SCEE

2004 – Some Big W stores sold off to the likes of Asda and Tesco 2006, Sept – Argos-competing Big Red Book launched 2006, Dec – CEO Trevor BishJones blames the PS3 delay and limited stock of Nintendo’s new Wii console for his firm’s profits warning 2008, Jan – Woolies shares fall 20 per cent following a trading statement, which show a total value loss of £250m since its demerger from Kingfisher 2008, June 19th – CEO Trevor Bish-Jones is asked to step down by the Board following like-forlike sales decline of 2.2 per cent and four years of declining sales 2008, Aug 17th – Woolies reports group losses of £100m 2008, Oct 17th – Retail and operations director Simon Turner quits his post 2008, Nov 19th – Hilco plans to buy retail arm of Woolworths for just £1 2008, Nov 26th – Woolworths enters administration, shares suspended 2008, Dec 5th – 450 head office and support staff sacked, though the chain enjoys its greatest single day of takings ever as its nationally publicised clearance sale begins 2008, Dec 11th – Administrators Deloitte announce the beginning of Woolworths’ closing down sale

by Ben Parfitt THE UK FACES losing its third biggest video games retailer in the wake of the Woolworths collapse, representing an annual market value of £137 million, MCV understands. Figures from market analyst firm TNS Global show that sales of video games at Woolworths accounted for 8.2 per cent of the total UK market for the week ending November

duo will be the two main beneficiaries of Woolworths’ demise – though fellow chains Argos, HMV, Amazon, Asda and Tesco are also set to benefit. TNS said: “In the console games market, GAME and Gamestation look to be the key winners of Woolworths’ demise in 2009 based on buyers’ current residual spend. “Given the high female percentage of Woolworths’ customers, it might also be expected that Tesco, ASDA

Woolworths has been an institution… but it found it difficult to compete with supermarkets and specialists. Kim Bayley, ERA

9th 2008 – slightly down from the 8.5 per cent slice it captured in the 52 weeks ending October 14th 2007. Only GAME and Gamestation were worth more to the UK market in the last 12 months, with GAME capturing a 21.8 per cent share (down from 27.9 per cent a year before) and Gamestation 10.6 per cent (up from 10.4 per cent in previous year). Furthermore, TNS predicts that the specialist High Street

and Argos could expect to make gains as these retailers’ customers have similar demographics. Woolworths’ console games market share is traditionally highest in July and September each year, making this the key time for retailers to attempt to lure exWoolworths shoppers.” Kim Bayley, director general of the Entertainment Retailers Association, also offered her assessment on the chain: “Woolworths has been a

“I feel very sorry for people working in Woolworths as they have been magnificent for us in the UK, and have helped us a lot. I guess it's not the management I feel sorry for, but the employees – Woolworths has been absolutely great and they've always promoted us. I’m just sorry they have been a victim. I hope someone buys them and that there aren’t any other retailers that suffer.” Matthew Allen MD, Trilogy “Clearly it is very sad when such an established company goes into administration with the potential of 30,000 people losing their jobs, especially at this time of year. However it is clear that something was not, and had not been working for quite sometime.”

way. In addition to the likely human consequences, and the possible demise of a great British tradition, there is also the concern about possible loss of space for the games category in front of the High Street shopper and consumer.” Lisa Morgan CEO, GAME “It is sad to see the demise of such a longstanding British High Street institution. As far as the wider games industry is concerned, it’s witnessed a number of changes to retail over the years but our priority remains the same – to ensure there’s a strong specialist presence in the market.” Don McCabe Joint MD, CHIPS

“It’s an enormous shame to see a corner-stone of British retailing headed this

“It’s a real shame for the people who are going to lose jobs, especially in the current climate. I’ve always admired Woolworths, though as a company it has been mismanaged. Woolworths was what we would call a ‘good’ retailer – they didn’t slash prices. They were a responsible retailer in an irresponsible market.”

historic institution – it filled a gap between the supermarkets and entertainment specialists for years. It’s a real shame that it’s gone. Having said that, it’s demise was the most expected of the High Street. It found it

increasingly difficult to compete with the supermarkets’ value chart at one end, and the power of the specialists at the other.” ERA estimated Woolworths’ UK games market share at seven per cent.

Andrew Brown UK MD, Activision

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ANARCHY IN THE EUK: THE BIGGER PICTURE TRADE BULLETIN

OUT 16th JANUARY 2009 PS3, PC-DVD, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS

Books and music safe, but EUK death could spell doom for DVD

The Lord of the Rings Conquest allows players to play through a campaign on both ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ sides of the battles, solo, online and in co-op multiplayer, tackling objectives the way they want.

Distributor collapse could spur video market slowdown  CDs and books resilient by Michael French GAMES OF COURSE were not the only market to suffer a dent when EUK hit breaking point – the wholesaler also served its retail partners with CDs, DVDs and books. But those markets, potentially with the exception of video, have been resilient in the face of EUK’s evaporation.

explained The Bookseller’s editor in chief Niell Denny. “The EUK situation has not had a massive impact – the market it is still solid,” he told MCV, citing proactive book publishers as key to the book trade’s resilience and flexibility. “Definitely the publishers were on top of it early on. The fact that they negotiated with Deloitte in a single voice helped a great deal.”

become a problem for music stores, although the knock-on effects at the likes of Zavvi has. “It hasn’t affected the majority of retailers as they've managed to make other distribution arrangements. And the supermarkets only tend to stock a selection of Top Ten CDs,” explained Ben Cardew, Music Week’s news editor. “However, it’s Zavvi that’s really struggling and when you

PAGE-TURNING SAGA

In the book trade, publisher intervention saved the situation from leaving the hundreds of independent retailers served by Bertrams, the book distributor owned by EUK, without books. The Publisher’s Association bought together a group of its industry’s biggest distributors to buy stock back from EUK at 70 per cent cost. There is still some £10m worth of books still in the EUK system, however, and while publishers will be able to eventually claim that back, they might not get it until after Christmas, at which time the value of items like annuals could be lost entirely. But £10m of stock in an industry worth around £70m a week during Christmas trading period, isn’t a huge amount,

Surviving retailers and distributors may benefit however overall DVD volume sales to consumers will fall. Richard Cooper, Screen Digest

“And so far we haven’t seen any gaps on shelves – that’s a good thing, too.” SOUNDING OUT

A similar story is being told in the music sector where, despite national press stories of frantic missions to stop trucks full of CDs making deliveries at EUK HQ, Music Week says the trade is in good health. With big releases from Take That and Britney Spears doing ‘extremely well’, it’s clear that the supply of stock hasn’t

consider that they are one of the biggest music retailers – it is quite a blow to them.” Plus physical distribution is today less relevant for music given the prevalence of downloads. And when owning a physical copy is a priority, consumers are happy to just shop elsewhere when they can’t find their CDs at EUKsupplied stores, Cardew added. “You would expect sales of this Christmas’s big CDs to be affected, but in fact Take That and Britney Spears’ latest did

extremely well – with consumers shopping online.” SCREENS AND SCREAMS

It’s a different story in the video market, however. EUK supplied one in every four DVDs sold in the UK and it was the wholesaler’s buying strategies which enabled the intense price competition seen in the video market of late. According to Screen Digest video analyst Richard Cooper, the firm’s disappearance “will further change the face of the UK video market, potentially leading to the closure of more retailers and forcing more direct relationships between the studios and the UK’s most aggressive retailers”. And once EUK’s operation is dismantled, prices will rise and consumer spending will slow, he said. Added Cooper: “We are likely to see a rash of very low priced promotions from retailers keen to boost Q4. Later on availability of promotional stock is likely to suffer and average prices will increase. Surviving retailers and distributors may benefit through the potential improvement in margin. However overall DVD volume sales to consumers will fall.”

OUT 23rd JANUARY 2009 Wii and Nintendo DS

Venture into the wild world of animals like never before. Embrace all the adventure, fun, and mischief that await you in the vast forest. Make your wild animals happy and maintain a forest that lets them flourish as you venture further into the forest than you’ve ever been before! Engage wild animals, experience life in the forest, and let your creativity run wild in SimAnimals™.

OUT 23rd JANUARY 2009 PS3 and Xbox 360

It’s been 5 long years since your “mysterious” disappearance from the skate scene, and in your absence things most definitely have changed. A megacorporation has changed the face of city - now it’s up to you to fight back and help re-build the skate scene in New San Vanelona.

ea.com

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ANARCHY IN THE EUK: THE RETAIL PARTNERS

The fallout on the High Street EUK served around a third of the UK games market. But how are its former partners dealing with its demise? OF ALL THE retailers shrouded in speculation since EUK went into administration, Zavvi has faced the most troubling coverage. Reports in national newspapers suggest that it owes EUK over £100 million, whilst it has shut down its website, citing the inability “to fully guarantee the supply of DVD, music and games products to our customers.” However, the firm has fought back. First of all, it began dealing with suppliers direct on December 2nd to ensure a steady supply of goods. This week, it admitted setting up a separate bank account for revenues from shoppers who have bought store vouchers. “[Zavvi owners] Simon [Douglas] and Steve’s [Peckham] reputation is very important to them, so there has been a trust fund set up to protect customers,” a spokesperson told MCV. “All the income from vouchers has been set aside to guarantee that if anything was to happen to us, customers wouldn’t be out of pocket.” The store made a dramatic

We’re trading fine except on our website and stock isn’t a problem. We’ve even got Wii Fit in stock. Zavvi spokesperson

move on price this week, slicing the Xbox 360 price to under £100 – which could just as much be a show of strength as it could an act of desperation. “We’re trading fine except on our website and stock isn’t a problem,” added the rep. “We’ve

even got Wii Fit in stock.” MCV understands that Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin is the guarantor of the arrangement between EUK and Zavvi, despite publicly selling his share in the business when it changed its name from Virgin Megastore.

How the rest are faring...

ASDA

SAINSBURY’S

WH SMITH

MORRISONS

One of the first retailers to announce it was no longer relying on EUK was supermarket giant Asda. The firm is currently using its own distribution network and is working directly with suppliers to ensure a regular supply of stock. The firm insists that last week’s news regarding EUK winding down “has not impacted on what customers see in-store.”

Sainsbury’s, who according to the national press owe EUK £21 million, has also bypassed the distributor. A Sainsbury’s spokesperson told MCV: “We have contingencies in place and availability in-store is good. In terms of the big December releases such as the new Take That CD, we have managed to secure stock.”

The newsagent chain primarily stocks the Top Ten DVDs, CDs, and games. So the impact of EUK’s demise will be particulary noticable here. The firm told MCV in a statement: “We are working with administrators Deloitte, and currently have a good supply of products in all our stores.”

Much like Asda and Sainsbury’s, Morrisons has also made alternative distribution plans, and reassures customers that there’s no stock issues. The firm said in a statement: “We have made alternative supply arrangements to ensure that we have availability for our customers. We don’t foresee any significant availability issues.”

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NEWS

HMV: ‘We will introduce the gaming sector to millions of new consumers’ Gamerbase and Re/Play are ‘the last pieces of the jigasaw’ in HMV’s specialist games offer, claims CEO by Christopher Dring

“We’ve thought of ourselves as being a specialist for a while now, but given our move into pre-owned and the acquisition of Gamerbase, I hope this will be seen as the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ of a full, comprehensive

HMV COULD introduce gaming to ‘millions’ of new consumers, as the chain puts the finishing touches to its specialist games offer.

It’s important that publishers see us as a specialist because of the potential that HMV can offer in expanding the market. Simon Fox, HMV

At least that’s according to HMV Group CEO and UK and Ireland MD Simon Fox, who is delighted following the successful acquisition of Gamerbase and the launch of the firm’s pre-owned range: Re/Play.

and compelling games offer, and that everyone else will view us as a specialist from now on,” Fox told MCV. “It’s important that publishers and distributors see us as a specialist because of the potential that HMV can

offer them in expanding the market. Consumers no longer buy CDs, DVDs and games in isolation – the chances are that the same customers will want access to all three. So, we’re in a unique position to open up the market to millions of

customers from all backgrounds.” Fox also responded to criticisms over its pre-owned offer, insisting publishers have been ‘broadly supportive’ and that the range can be beneficial for everybody.

“I firmly believe Re/Play will open the market to the wider customer-base, and that we will all benefit in the long-term.”  The full interview with HMV’s Simon Fox can be found on pages 39 and 40. HMV: 020 7432 2000

The Hut wins £5m investment boost THE HUT has received £5 million after winning Bank Of Scotland’s Entrepreneur Of The Year award. The annual award winner also receives mentoring from the UK’s top businessmen and entrepreneurs. CEO Matthew Moulding said: “Winning the award feels very special. Starting from an idea on a piece of paper and then within four and a half

years winning Entrepreneur Of The Year is like a corporate fairytale. “It’s great recognition for the team, who have worked hard in delivering the sales growth in the last few years. “We currently operate in ten categories and are looking to increase this to 17,” he said. “We are planning to enter new categories both organically and by acquisition.

“Increasing the number of sales partnerships is also important for us and so we will look to further invest in high calibre staff to provide the platform necessary to handle a greater number of partner sites,” he added.  Check out our interview with The Hut’s head of marketing Caroline Austen on page 34.

“With this investment we will look to expand the categories we work in.” Matthew Moulding, The Hut Group

The Hut: 0870 240 8956

GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT THERE

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MCV 19/12/08 11

NEWS

Sponsored by

Sega goes Live in January New Football Manager to launch at £29.99  High Street is key to FM Live success by Christopher Dring FOLLOWING the huge sales of Football Manager 2009, Sega will launch its first MMO – Football Manager Live – on January 29th. The game will receive a full retail launch – with the boxed product featuring four months’ subscription for £29.99. And Sports Interactive’s MD Miles Jacobson is confident this latest title can target an alternative audience to this year’s big selling FM release. “Football Manager Live is a very different game to Football Manager – imagine a cross between Football Manager, fantasy league, eBay and social networking and you’ll be just about there,” he told MCV. “We’re targeting a slightly more mass market audience than with the Football Manager series. If FM is The

[IN BRIEF] NINTENDO: The platform holder revealed its Q1 2009 line-up, including Walk With Me! Do You Know Your Walking Routine? and the first in the New Play Control! series, which are reworked GameCube titles for Wii. Mario Power Tennis and Pikmin are the inaugural offerings.

We’re continuing to talk to retailers regarding the possibilities for future FM Live packages.

Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive

Times’ sports section, then FM Live is the Daily Mirror’s sports section, and is the perfect game for the lapsed FM gamer who doesn’t have the time to put into FM Live’s older brother anymore.”

Jacobson also stated that Football Manager Live will be under ‘constant development’, and that Sports Interactive and Sega is keen to work with retail on future game bundles and promotions.

“The initial boxed copy is an exclusive package for retail,” continued Jacobson. “There are lots of possibilities for new packages in the long term, and Sega will continue talking to retailers from across the spectrum to find out what is working for them, and what could work for them in the future – which is the beauty of a constantly evolving game such as Football Manager Live.” Sega: 020 8995 3399

Square Enix enters girls games market PUBLISHER Square Enix has announced its first move into the girls’ gaming market with Taito’s My Pet Shop, which will be released in Q1 next year on the DS format. The release represents Square Enix’s first move into the pre-teens market in the West. The publisher has more of a history with casual games in the East, and even has a



casual games label in Japan – DS: Style. John Yamamoto, president and CEO of Square Enix said: “My Pet Shop is our first game

Print Edition



to be launched solely at a younger gaming audience. There is a huge appetite for good quality games that younger gamers can relate to.

Digital Edition



EA: The team behind Dead Space is working on a new project based on literary classic Dante’s Inferno. It was also announced that the publisher had signed former Vivendi title, Brutal Legend. 505 GAMES: The publisher has announced a partnership with Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps to bring swimming games to consoles and iPhone. The first title is due to arrive in spring 2010. SYSTEM 3: The Ferrari Challenge publisher has signed a new deal with Netherlands-based driving seat manufacturer Playseats to promote its new PS3 title, Supercar Challenge.

“With its engaging storyline and enjoyable gameplay elements, we’re optimistic My Pet Shop will be well received over here.” Players have to ‘help run the best pet shop that Green Town has ever seen’. The title features over 40 different animals, including dogs, pigs, pandas and bears.

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION: New distributor, Gateway, has opened in the UK. The firm can be reached by phone on: 01279 408 665. SQUARE ENIX: The DS version of renowned SNES classic Chrono Trigger was given a UK release date of February 6th.

Square Enix: 020 7324 5223

Mobile Edition

ROCKSTAR: The DS exclusive Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, will be released in the UK on March 20th next year.



Online Leader

See you in 2009

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MCV INTERVIEW ANDY PAYNE, CHAIRMAN, ELSPA & LISA MORGAN, CEO, GAME

When Andy

met Lisa… The man charged with heading up the UK’s publishers’ body must have a few things to ask retail, right? So who better to answer Andy Payne’s queries than the CEO of our biggest specialist. Let the fireworks commence...

2008 has been a really mixed year for all of us. What have been your highlights – and what has not been so great? It started off with an amazing first half – with over 50 per cent increase in Group sales and 80 per cent growth online. We saw phenomenal launches of Wii Fit, Mario Kart and GTA:IV and, of course, clearance from the Competition Commission for the Gamestation deal. In the second half we appointed a new COO, entered the Czech Republic and signed a concessions deal with Borders in the UK. But we have all also seen a massive change in the global economy, leading to a lot of uncertainty for retailers. What changes have you seen this year and what are you looking out for next year? We’ve seen the mass market appeal for video games further increase and this

has strengthened our family offering and specialist, to properly showcase some of number of changes to retail over the range. Microsoft has further accelerated the excellent titles that are coming years but our priority remains the same this trend with the Xbox 360 now at a through. – to ensure there’s a strong specialist really affordable price, accompanied by presence in the market, giving a leading some great new mass market games. We With the demise of Woolies do you service to our customers and launching have seen truly innovative products think the High Street will ever be new products to the best of our ability. across the board, which are proving the same – and do you see this as a popular on a global scale. The PC is an enigma, a We were pleased to open traditional steady seller Woolworths has been part of our 600th store outside and format transition the market for as long as I can the UK this year, which ‘agnostic’ – but do you means that nearly half our think it has legs as a remember. It’s sad to see the business is now outside retail format? demise of a British institution. the UK. For as long as publishers Lisa Morgan Next year, we are bring quality products to looking forward to the arrival of the the market, we certainly see PC as a new Nintendo DSi. I think customers good or bad thing for the games key part of out retail offer. will certainly be watching their finances industry as a whole? so it would be great to see a price drop Woolworths has been part of the market We have all read a lot about your for the PS3. I also think we would all for as many years as I can remember. It overseas expansion but how have like to see the launch of high quality is sad to see the demise of such a you found the experience in releases spread throughout the year, longstanding British High Street Australia and France – possibly two alleviating some of the final quarter institution. As far as the wider games countries a mile away in cultural congestion and enabling us, as a industry is concerned, it’s witnessed a terms from the UK?

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MCV 19/12/08 13

MCV INTERVIEW ANDY PAYNE, CHAIRMAN, ELSPA & LISA MORGAN, CEO, GAME

As guest editor of this week’s MCV, Andy Payne grills GAME’s CEO Lisa Morgan... over a gin & tonic or two

In every country we have the same brand, customer focus and product offer. It’s fascinating to take these basics and work with the local teams to create a local offer that maximises the opportunity in each market. Cultures and habits vary but the passion and dedication of our teams is the same – they’re committed to driving the best specialist offer in their market and driving success for the wider Group. Do you think GAME and Gamestation will widen their portfolio and maybe sell games related merchandise in the future? We already sell games-related merchandise like t-shirts in both our brands and offer additional products like BluRay discs and iPods in Gamestation. As specialists, video games will always be our core focus but we will look for opportunities to ensure that we are giving our customers what they want.

Do you think that there will ever be a PS4 and Xbox 720 or do you think that the days of closed formats are coming to an end? We have to assume that there will be new consoles, to build on the success of the existing machines. The video games market is a huge industry and console hardware has always formed an essential part of this. Customers always look forward to the next machine and we would certainly hope to see new iterations of consoles coming to market in the future. But we still believe there is plenty of life left in the current formats, as the industry statistics are showing. Much has been made of the onset of digital distribution of games – when do you think this will be a significant part of the overall GAME business? We recognise that it’s growing but

future growth depends on a number of key factors: broadband capacity which can efficiently handle huge file sizes in a timely manner and customers wanting to participate and buy their products in this way. We already offer a download service powered by Metaboli but this is still a very small part of our overall business. However, as this market develops, I can guarantee that we remain committed to giving our customers what they want and will watch, learn and respond accordingly as digital distribution develops. How does a busy person like you actually relax and what are your plans for Christmas? Time out of work is incredibly precious. I relax by spending time at home with my family and riding my horse. Christmas will be a family occasion with my husband and two stepdaughters. We’ll cook a huge meal, over-indulge

and enjoy some great home entertainment… This year with a 3:1 female to male ratio, my bet’s on Mamma Mia, followed by SingStar: Abba! What games do you like playing and what is on your DS or PSP right now? I’m a typical family gamer and really enjoy some of the fun interactive products that are available now across all of the different formats. In my opinion, the best DS game at the moment is Professor Layton – it’s addictive. If you could have three wishes for 2009 what would they be?  A brighter outlook in the global economy  An even stronger video games market  And maybe the release of Singstar: Take That…?!

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Thank you for your continued support Last orders for pre-Christmas delivery are 3pm on Tuesday 23rd December 2008 Gem will re-open on Friday 2nd January 2009

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2008: A REVIEW

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From a revitalised Atari to EA’s hostile bid for Take 2; from SCi’s struggles to those of Woolworths; and from Metallica to Boris Johnson. It sure has been one hell of a year. MCV’s guest editor Andy Payne takes a look back...

A year in

games

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2008: A REVIEW

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NE U J

The Entire Team at

Wishes All of our Customers A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

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ER B EM C DE

Merry Christmas ELSPA - Protecting, Promoting and Providing for our membersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interests 505 Games, Activision Blizzard, Atari UK, Avanquest Software Publishing, Brash Entertainment, Capcom Eurosoft CD Team, Centresoft, Codemasters, D3Publisher of Europe, Disney Interactive Studios, Eidos / Sales Curve Interactive Electronic Arts, Empire Interactive Europe, Fidelity Investment Services, Focus Multimedia Fox Point Capital Management LLC, Future Publishing, GAME Stores Group, Gamebridge, Hasbro, Intentmedia, Intuit Kingdon Capital Management, Koch Media, Koei, Konami Digital Entertainment, Lago SRL, Lovells, LucasArts Majesco Europe, Manches LLP, Mastertronic, Microsoft, Midas Interactive Entertainment, Midway Games Namco Bandai Games, NCSoft Europe, Nintendo UK, Nordic Games Publishing AB, Oxygen Interactive Rising Star Games, Roxio Incorporated, Saitek, Sega Europe, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Sony DADC Square Enix, Take2 Interactive Software Europe, The Game Factory, The Stationery Office THQ International, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Ubisoft, Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment Europe Zenimax Europe / Bethesda Softworks Europe and Zoo Digital Publishing

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MCV’S XMAS QUIZ

Quiz of the

year How closely have you been reading MCV in 2008? Our quiz looking back at key events from the year will see if you’ve been paying attention…

1. Who bought upstart publisher Gamecock in October? 2. How many times did Microsoft officially drop the price of the Xbox 360 this year? 3. Which UK developer produced PS3’s key 2008 title LittleBigPlanet? 4. Which PC game’s release was greeted with over 15,000 midnight openings at retailers around this world earlier this year?

13. How much did private investor Mark Thomas pay for the majority of Midway when he bought the publisher in November?

5. What’s the name of the new DS product that effectively turns handhelds into an ebook reader?

14. Which American retailer did Carphone Warehouse team up with earlier this year?

6. What was the total market value for the UK games industry in 2007?

15. A PR stunt for which game brought part of North London to a standstill in September?

7. In which month did PlayStation 3 pass the 1m sales mark in the UK?

16. Bethesda spent £2.5m on marketing for this key Q4 release. What was it?

8. EA made its first bid to buy Take Two on February 24th. But how many offers did it end up making for the firm in total during 2008?

17. Which EA label was incorporated into its The Sims division following the departure of Kathy Vrabeck?

9. How much cash did GTA IV generate at retail in its first week of release?

18. GAME’s Lisa Morgan instructed store managers to buy cut-price 360s from which supermarket?

10. Which Britsoft publisher snapped up the Formula One licence earlier this year?

19. What is the name of the new German trade fair that has arrived to challenge Leipzig Game Convetion?

11. What French retailer was bought by GameStop? 20. What is name of HMV’s new pre-owned label? 12. How many stores does GameStation now operate in the UK?

Want the answers? Turn the page

To all our clients, partners and friends, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Troopers Yard • Bancroft • Hitchin • Hertfordshire • SG5 1JW T: +44 (0) 1462 456780 • F: +44 (0) 1462 456781 • www.bhpress.co.uk

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MCV’S XMAS QUIZ: THE ANSWERS

..and the answers 1. SouthPeak Interactive 2. Twice (in March and September respectively)

6. $3.4bn

14. Best Buy

7. February

15. Mercenaries 2

8. Five

16. Fallout 3

9. $500m

17. EA Casual Entertainment

3. Media Molecule 10. Codemasters 4. World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King

18. Sainsbury’s 11. Micromania 19. Gamescom 12. 250

5. 100 Classic Book Collection

20. Re/Play 13. $100,000

CHRISTMAS OPENING TIMES Open as usual until December 23rd CLOSED DECEMBER 24TH-26TH Limited opening until New Year Open as usual January 2nd

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2008: QUOTES OF THE YEAR “When she saw William playing a game after lunch she thought the Nintendo looked tremendous fun and begged to join in. She played a simple ten-pin bowling game and by all accounts was a natural.” A Sandringham insider tells The People that Her Majesty is quite a fan of Wii. 07/01/08

“We are pleased that the progress made across the Group through this year is expected to lead to an improvement in profitability, including Woolworths Retail returning to profit.”

"I am a gamer myself, and I really wanted to create a video game that I could play with my kids." Stephen Spielberg sticks up for the industry ahead of Boom Blox’ release. 06/02/08

“Capello has put an outright ban on the ‘PlayStation culture’ that he saw as plaguing the national team.” The Daily Mail blames video games for affecting the England football team’s form. 07/02/08

Woolworths CEO Trevor Bish-Jones shows misplaced optimism. 16/01/08

“The growing availability of these R4 products is certainly alarming. It is the responsibility of the trade to ensure these products don’t hit the shelves.” UK sales director of Square Enix Doug Bone hits out at the thriving R4 trade. 10/07/08

“This game shouldn’t be allowed to be sold, even to adults… You witness truly ghastly scenes of torture and death.” Anne Diamond’s now legendary review of Resident Evil 4 (and other titles) appears in the Daily Mail. 28/03/08

“I am very worried about video and computer games. No one wants censorship or an interfering State. But the industry has some responsibility to society and needs to exercise that.” Gordon Brown sends chills through the trade. 14/01/2008

“Unlike the TV-hating parents, I refuse to buy [my kids] portable gaming consoles, Xboxes, GameCubes, PS2s. These are Satan's Sudoku, crack cocaine of the brain.” The Times’ Janice Turner loses the plot. 21/01/08

“The expectation is that our GTA stock will sell out within a couple of hours of hitting the salesfloor.” Asda UK’s Andy McFie forecasts madness for GTA’s first full weekend. 02/05/08

“If you don’t like any violent content in your entertainment, then I apologise because I do.” Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser laughs in the face of GTA IV’s detractors. 02/05/08

"I hate E3 like this. Either we need to go back to the old E3, or we'll have to have our own private events."

A typically relaxed Phil Harrison joins Atari. 03/03/08

“We have to make child digital safety a priority. If you are under 18, you should not be able to buy an ‘18’ game and if you are under 12, you should not be able to buy a ‘12’ game.” Tanya Byron heralds in her new recommendations. 27/03/08

“Grand Theft Auto is gonna break all records. Now, it isn’t intended for kids.”

Say

The NME’s David Quantick makes friends in the industry. 04/12/08

“This is the perfect time to join Infogrames and help shape the future of Atari – one of the industry’s legendary brands.”

GAME CEO Lisa Morgan gives an early warning of the storm to come. 29/04/08

Soon-to-be President Elect Barack Obama takes time out of campaigning to give props to GTA. 01/05/08

“Games are not rock 'n' roll, they're metal – aggressive, loud, violent and scared of women.”

EA’s John Riccitiello gives his blunt verdict on this year’s show. 21/07/08

“We don’t feel a price war is in the interests of anyone.”

“Our Nintendo had taken the guise of a small but toxic drug which, little by little, was poisoning my children.” The Daily Mail’s Rosie Millard’s stunningly depressing views appear in the paper. 07/05/08

“The big message of this Review is that the public needs to understand that this is not a cynical industry turning people into psychopaths and just making as much money as possible.” Tanya Byron addresses ELSPA members. 03/04/08

“I don’t want to be controversial, but I think you’ve been too nice to us.” Sony Europe boss David Reeves to Tanya Byron. 08/04/08

‘Video game has spoof perv site’ The Sun makes the most out of GTA IV’s ingame ‘padeophile website’ gag. 16/06/08

“There are fewer retailers with fewer store fronts being serviced by fewer publishers. There are more people coming into a narrower space.” Pinnacle MD Peter Sleeman recognises the troubles facing the trade early on. 24/06/08

“The event is virtually useless for retail and for investors." Motormouth analyst Michael Pachter deflates the E3 hype. 10/07/08

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2008: QUOTES OF THE YEAR “E3 2008 had all the atmosphere of a large hospital corridor.” Sega US boss Simon Jeffery adds his voice to the chorus of E3 disdain. 24/07/08

“Gaming is something I've been interested in for a while.” Jamie Oliver on his own game with Atari. 07/08/08

“Our games business will be bigger than our DVD business within the next six to 12 months.” Asda UK’s general manager of entertainment Fergal Gara tells MCV where the company’s focus lies. 07/08/08

“Our bid for Take Two was a waste of ink – primarily in the New York Post.” John Riccitiello sneers at the ‘saga’, which saw EA make five separate attempts to buy up the Rockstar parent. 15/10/08

“We all love our Nintendo DS’s, whether racing with Mario Kart on the tour bus or looking after our Nintendogs in the studio at the end of a hectic day.” ‘Girls Aloud’ make a statement in unison after signing up to be the face of Nintendo. 20/10/08

what? “We’ve seen some research that says 60 per cent of people who bought a Wii Fit play it once and don’t play it again.” Microsoft’s European marketing boss – and former Nintendo UK boss – David Gosen offers a cheeky putdown to his rival’s all-conquering system. 10/08/08

“No more company Ferraris!” Gizmondo boss Carl Freer explains what he’ll do differently when bringing the aborted handheld back to market. 25/09/08

“Price cuts in an industry which shines above the gloom can only be the strategy of those concerned that their mode of delivery to the consumer is facing threats, and they are doing their best to accelerate their own demise.” Codemasters’ CEO Rod Cousens notices that the High Street price wars are starting to kick off. 26/09/08

es the David Gardner tak 02/08 reigns at Atari. 15/

“I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out.”

“The PS2 market has been virtually killed overnight. Retail just doesn’t have the space.” Mastertronic boss Andy Payne adds to the voices in MCV waving a tearful goodbye to PlayStation 2 from UK shelves. 14/11/08

Paul McCartney discusses the merits of a The Beatles game – as MCV confirms its existence. 30/10/08

“Strenuous efforts over recent weeks to keep these companies going have unfortunately failed.”

More people than ever have chipped in with insightful, foolish and plain bizarre views on the industry this year. Let us remind you of the best 2008 had to offer…

“EUK is telling publishers that everybody else is being flexible but we know damn well it’s not the case, because we all talk to each other. We’re waiting for the timebomb to explode, and we can’t diffuse it.” An anonymous UK publisher boss predicts the grisly future in MCV. 02/10/08

“This enhances the credibility of our games offer… by providing a strong value proposition to our customers.” HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis announces the firm’s entry into the trade-in market. 20/10/08

“Ghostbusters is coming from Atari, and is about a year away.” Actor Dan Aykroyd lets the truth slip about the game Activision dropped. 14/10/08

“Those devices that young people have… PlayStations or PSPs, something of that kind… When people play these things, they can shoot people; they can kill people… they can rape women.” MP Keith Vaz gets his ill-informed knickers in a twist in the lead up to the Byron Review. 03/03/08

g Atari. “We’re rebootin bring My vision is to ade the coin-op arc ugh back home thro the web.”

Neville Kahn of Deloitte announces the bad news that Woolworths – and subsidiary EUK – have plunged into administration. 27/11/08

“Unfortunately the company has been affected by the sudden and steep downturn in the UK economy.” Another casualty emerges, as BDO Store Hayward makes a statement confirming that it has taken Pinnacle into administration.

“We remain cautious about the outlook for retail given the background of a weakening consumer economy.” The rhetoric from Woolworths begins to show a pessimistic side – this time from chairman Richard North. 29/07/08

“The November 14th week is shaping up to be one of the biggest launch weeks ever.” ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch speaks about the week that saw over 100 separate SKUs released. 11/11/08

“The iPod Touch is the future of gaming. Our competitors are scrambling.” Apple’s Greg Joswiack calls out the DS and PSP as rivals – as he explicitly decribes the iPod as a gaming device. 14/11/08

04/12/08

“We have changed the perception of Activision and I must thank my wonderful team for all their hard work.” Activision boss Joerg Trouvain waves goodbye to the publisher he turned around. 12/12/08

“Most of the people who hate us are people it is truly an honour to be hated by – reactionary creeps with strange agendas, and the Daily Mail.” Rockstar’s Sam Houser echoes his brother’s loathing for those who attack GTA IV. 14/08/08

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DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

Christmas opening times As the hectic Christmas period reaches its climax, MCV provides you with a comprehensive run-down on the opening times of the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading video games and peripheral distributors... Dec 19th

Dec 20th

Dec 22nd

Dec 23rd

Dec 24th

Dec 25/26th

Dec 29th

Dec 30th

Dec 31st

Jan 31st

Jan 2nd

Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

9am-6pm

9am-1pm

9am-6pm

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

Closed

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

Closed

Closed

9am-5.30pm

AntiGrav Contact: 01785 816858

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

Closed

Closed

As Usual

As Usual

Until 4pm

Closed

Closed

Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

9am-6pm

9am-1pm

9am-6pm

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

Closed

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

Closed

Closed

9am-5.30pm

Keyne Contact: 0870 121 6051

9am-6pm

9am-6pm

9am-6pm

9am-6pm

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Gem Contact: 01279 822 822

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

Closed

9am-5.30pm

Trilogy Contact: 0845 456 6400

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

8am-1pm

Closed

As Usual

As Usual

8am-1pm

Closed

Closed

Meroncourt Contact: 01462 680080

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

Until 1pm

Closed

10am-4pm

10am-4pm

10am-4pm

Closed

As Usual

Interactive Ideas Contact: 020 8805 1000

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

Closed

Closed

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

Closed

As Usual

Ideal Soware Contact: 01767 689 720

TBC

TBC

TBC

TBC

TBC

Closed

TBC

TBC

TBC

Closed

TBC

Creative Distribution Contact: 0208 664 3456

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

8.30am-2pm

Closed

As Usual

As Usual

8.30am-2pm

Closed

As Usual

Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985

As Usual

As Usual

As Usual

9am-5.30pm

9am-1pm

Closed

9am-5.30pm

9am-5.30pm

9am-1pm

Closed

As Usual

Skream Contact: 01344 451507

TBC

TBC

TBC

TBC

TBC

Closed

TBC

TBC

TBC

Closed

TBC

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COMPANY PROFILE: THE HUT

The rise of The Hut The rising star in the online retail space is entertainment specialist TheHut.com, which is also responsible for Phones 4U and Asda’s online games stores. Christopher Dring speaks to head of marketing Caroline Austen… Could you tell us how TheHut.com started up? TheHut.com was formed in 2004 by Matthew Moulding and John Gallemore. They recognised the opportunity in online retailing and created the business on the back of that. As well as our retail site we also run a white label business.

RISING STARS: Marketing manager Caroline Austen has seen TheHut.com grow signifcantly over the last four years

How does your video games offer perform in comparison to the other products you stock, such as DVDs and music? Video games is the biggest growth area in our business: sales are up over 350 per cent year-on-year. It has grown to be over 40 per cent of our business during 2008. We are constantly looking at ways we can improve our video games offering, both in range and content, as this will continue to be of major importance to us over the next couple of years. You recently launched video game retail sites with Phones 4U and Dial-a-Phone, how are these sites run? We run Games4U and Click-a-Game like all of our other white label sites. We deal with the site maintenance, the ordering and the back end, whilst Phones 4U market and promote the site. Our white label service is a key part of our business and we’ve been producing a number of these websites for some time now – including the one for Asda Entertainment. Working with Phones 4U is a big deal for The Hut. It is always fantastic to work with such an established retail brand. How do you feel video games has performed for you this Christmas? Games have been a key seller this Christmas. With the current state of the economy we know that customers will be looking for even better value when shopping for gifts. TheHut.com is superbly placed to provide that value to the customer.

What are the biggest challenges in developing an online business? One of the greatest challenges for any online business is to ensure that there is a constant high level of brand awareness. Customers can be fickle and the trick for any organisation like ours is to continue developing the brand without overspending on marketing budgets. Another key challenge is to constantly improve the website, making it easier for customers to find and purchase products. We use web analytics and optimisation testing to ensure we are providing customers with the products they are looking for. We are currently working towards a major change for the site, so keep an eye out over the coming months. It also goes without saying that customers expect unsurpassed quality in terms of delivery and customer service, so we are constantly monitoring and developing our capabilities in this area. You boast very competitive prices. How do you manage such an offer? We continuously look for ways to streamline our business in all departments to reduce costs. All these savings are passed onto the customer, plus of course, we have the advantage of not having the massive overheads of High Street shops to consider.

What are the biggest challenges in developing a name for yourself on the internet? High Street brands and supermarket chains have embraced the internet over the last few years and now aggressively compete in the online arena. These brands are gaining market share from the major online players, so it’s paramount that we increase our service levels and value proposition in order to be one step ahead in acquiring new customers and retaining our existing ones. TheHut.com offers additional value through initiatives such as exclusive discounts, voucher codes and advance notice of offers in our newsletter. We also use online alerts via Twitter for people who want to know about our latest offers instantly.

Video games is the biggest growth area for TheHut.com, with sales up 350 per cent yearon-year. Caroline Austen, The Hut

What do you view as the future of online retail (particularly regarding gaming)? Rich content, interactive features and user generated content will become more prevalent, with an increased focus on satisfying customer needs. Do you foresee a time when digital downloads take over from traditional retail? Buying games online is incredibly popular and we foresee that this market will continue to grow, even with the rise in demand for game downloads. Whether these will ever reach the same level of popularity as music downloads is difficult to call.

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MCV 19/12/08 39

MCV INTERVIEW SIMON FOX, HMV, GROUP CEO AND UK AND IRELAND MD

HMV’s top dog In its half-year financial report last week, HMV revealed its games offer is continuing to perform in the face of economic uncertainty. Christopher Dring gets closer with HMV’s UK and Ireland MD and Group CEO Simon Fox…

How has 2008 been for HMV in terms of sales and customer satisfaction? As our results over the past six months show, our trading has been decent considering everything going on with the economy, and we’ve been holding our own against the competition. Games have helped drive this trading performance. This is in part due to the stream of quality releases that have been coming out, but it also reflects HMV’s own substantial investment in the format. Games and technology products now account for just under a quarter of all our sales, putting it roughly on a par with music turnover, and I suspect it won’t be long before video games start to edge away.

Are you confident HMV can beat the current economic slow-down? All retailers are finding the economic environment challenging to say the least. Clearly no company can be immune to such pressures, although I’m hopeful that the entertainment sector is

Games and technology now account for just under a quarter of all our sales, putting it roughly on a par with our music turnover. well placed in being able to withstand the worst effects of the downturn. I believe consumers realise that products such as CDs, DVDs and games offer tremendous value, especially as prices have come down in recent years.

Do you foresee a time where you will scale back your DVD and music business in favour of games? It’s a fact that demand for recorded music, at least in physical form, is declining. However, the recent launch of our MP3 service means that our digital business is finally in a position to grow – so music will continue to be important to HMV in some shape of form for years to come. Ask any member of staff, and they’ll tell you that music is in our DNA. DVD accounts for about 45 per cent of our sales, and while it’s fair to say the market has matured in recent years, Blu-Ray offers the opportunity to reenergise it.

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MCV INTERVIEW SIMON FOX, HMV, GROUP CEO AND UK AND IRELAND MD However, bit-by-bit, games are moving out of the bedroom and into the living room – which represents an opportunity for us given the reach that we have. Fortunately we’ve been able to grow our games proposition without undermining the integrity of our core music and DVD offers. Games sales are set to pull away from those of music, but it will take quite a while longer for the same to be true for DVD. Following your recent acquisition of Gamerbase and the move into preowned, are you now ready to compete with the likes of GAME? The short answer is yes, though we still have a little way to go to match them on share and market penetration. We’ve actually thought of ourselves as being a games specialists for a while now, but given our recent move into pre-owned

store operation and IT just right so that Re/Play fits in smoothly into our wider product offer – especially in the run-up to Christmas, when there are so many people coming into our stores. We’ve also needed to bring our partners along on this journey, and to support the offer with a compelling marketing communication to make it stand out in the marketplace. Have you encountered much opposition with Re/Play? Not as much as some reports suggest. Of course, it was met with a bit of a mixed response in some quarters, but we made a point of keeping our key partners up to speed and involved. I’d say they’ve been broadly supportive, as they understand it was something we had to do – especially as our key rivals already have a pre-owned offer.

A pre-owned range is something we had to do – especially as our key competitiors already have a similar offer.

and the Gamerbase acquisition, I hope this will be seen as the ‘last piece of the jigsaw’ of a comprehensive and compelling games offer. It’s particularly important that publishers and distributors see us as a specialist, as I want them to appreciate the potential that HMV can offer them in expanding the market. Consumers no longer buy CDs, DVDs and games in isolation – the chances are that the same customers will want access to all three. We’re in a unique position to open up the games market to the millions of customers of all backgrounds. However, while our offer has a universal dimension to it, it’s implemented in a specialist way. What has been the biggest challenge in your Re/Play range? I’m proud of how we have developed and implemented our pre-owned offer. All parts of the business have contributed in some way. It’s been a great company effort, especially at a time when there is so much else going on. Obviously, there have been many things we’ve had to think about, but the key challenge has been to get the in

I’d say to any doubters that I firmly believe Re/Play will help open the market to the wider customer-base that comes into our stores, and that we all stand to benefit in the long-term. The recent price cutting has been quite severe. What are your thoughts on this situation? I’d caution everyone against the vicious price deflation that we have seen in other entertainment sectors. Once you start on a downward spiral it’s hard to stop it, particularly as it feeds consumer expectations who just keep wanting premium products for less. You just end up devaluing it in the eyes of consumers and undermining the aspiration that rightly exists around purchasing it. Finally, how do you visualise the future of the gaming industry? We have an optimistic view of the gaming industry and its future prospects. We feel the market can continue to grow as it increasingly connects to a wider, more mainstream audience, especially as publishers have shown they are capable of delivering even more amazing product and content.

INSPIRATIONAL MARKETING HMV’s growing commitment to games has seen it spend an increasing amount of time and money on unique marketing incentives, including its huge Re/Play push, the ‘My Inspirations’ marketing campaign and specific game launches. “Games are already benefiting from significantly increased marketing investment – they’re now integrated as a key part of our customer engagement and advertising,” says HMV Group CEO and UK and Ireland MD Simon Fox.

“We’re keen to connect with gamers on a more emotional level, with ‘My Inspirations’ ads with Hideo Kojima and Will Wright.” “I know we’re especially keen to connect with gamers on a more emotional level, as we have done with music and DVD, and we’ve already run quite a few cool ads to this end, including ‘My Inspirations’ with Hideo Kojima and Will Wright. We’ve also started running brand ads for games, such as the one we ran after the launch of Metal Gear Solid 4 at our Oxford Circus flagship store. In that we featured fans who attended the Metal Gear Solid event in Metro and Games TM.” “Of course, our stores are really well suited for staging official games launches and events that can generate extensive publicity for the Industry. Aside from our Metal Gear Solid event, I’m sure few people will have missed the recent World of Warcraft midnight launch in Oxford Street.”

Game and Software ©2008 D3PUBLISHER. Certain elements ©2008 Tamsoft. Family Party: 30 Great Games is a trademark or registered trademark of D3Publisher, Inc. and used under license. D3PUBLISHER and its logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of D3Publisher, Inc. Developed by Tamsoft. Tamsoft and its logo are trademarks of Tamsoft All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners. Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

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GMA WINNERS: DAVE COOK, THE SCOTSMAN

Cooking up a storm The Scotsman’s Dave Cook emerged triumphant at October’s GMA awards, winning Best Regional Columnist. Christopher Dring speaks to the man flying the flag for the Scottish gaming press… Were your surprised by your win? I really was. I’ve only been writing my column for just over a year now, and it isn’t the most noticeable section in The Scotsman, sitting buried under the weekend crossword and next to a ‘funny internet links’ info panel. I never once thought that it would even get nominated for a GMA, so it was definitely a welcome surprise and by far the highlight of my year. Why do you feel your column has been such a hit? Gaming in Scotland is becoming more prominent. In the summer, Video Games Live made its debut north of the border and the Edinburgh Interactive Festival enjoyed another successful year. It’s taken a while, but gaming is something everyday people want to read about in Scotland, whether they want to know what game they should buy come pay day or if they are unsure what games their child will like. I try to distance myself from using too much jargon and get across if the game is worth your hard-earned cash or not. I’m so grateful that people picked up on this and voted for me. What have been your biggest influences? I probably read games magazines more than I did books when I was young, which is probably a very bad thing, but I knew games journalism is what I what I wanted to do early on. GamesTM played a big part too. Since issue one, I was hooked on it and I really tapped into their style and enjoyed the way they were as nuts about retro games as I am. While influential, I feel bad for my old university lecturers who were tired of me submitting a games-related article or review every essay. Sorry guys! What has been the highlight of your career so far? A few years ago, myself and a few local games journalists worked at a culture magazine called The Skinny. We all got a bit fed up with the lack of gaming press up here, as there are tons of

SCOTLAND’S FINEST: GMA winner Cook has seen the Scottish games sector become more prominent this year

stories going unreported. You have Interactive Tayside, Dare To Be Digital and the slew of Dundee developers all getting exposure in England, but up here it’s a rare thing. Recognising this gap in the market, we got together in July this year and launched Square-Go magazine, where I am now features editor. To know we created that from scratch is probably my biggest achievement so far. How important do you feel newspapers are for the future of the games industry? I think they definitely will be important, but in what capacity I am not too sure. I learned the hard way that you can’t simply pitch to an editor that they really should be running a games section somewhere. I tried that once and found it’s very hard to get people to come round to your way of thinking when

It’s taken a while, but gaming is now something everyday people in Scotland want to read about.

you’re pitching something they don’t understand. I think more news articles on topical subjects would be a good start. How would you like to see the national press evolve in terms of its treatment of video games? I’ve pitched to many papers in Scotland and nine times out of ten the reply is: ‘Nice story, but where’s the human interest angle?’ I often feel that the Scottish press tends to run with a gaming story with a negative human interest slant, such as demonising a violent game. However, if the stigma surrounding games took a back seat, then we would see some truly valuable gaming features in papers. Why not run a piece on game design university courses or Government proposals to give developers a tax break for example?

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44 MCV518_final:46 MCV515

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Sponsored by 44 MCV 19/12/08

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PERSONNEL

Fable II talent joins Splash Damage Richard Ham to work on studio’s Bethesda project  Former Midway VP of marketing joins Capcom US SPLASH DAMAGE  RICHARD HAM has joined Splash Damage as creative director to lead the design team working on an unannounced project for Bethesda Softworks. Ham was previously the lead designer on Fable II and creative lead on Syphon Filter. Splash Damage’s owner and studio director PAUL WEDGWOOD said: “We have spent months searching for the right person to lead Splash Damage’s new title creatively, and Richard is an exact fit.”

HAM: Bringing his talent to UK studio Splash Damage

“I’m really exited to be at Splash Damage,” said Ham. “When I met the team and saw what they were working on, I knew I had to be part of it.”

ZOË MODE  The British studio has hired DYLAN BEALE as senior producer, who will head up the company’s forthcoming titles. Beale, who previously worked on Rogue Ops, said: “Joining Zoë Mode is a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m really excited to be a part of such a talented team of developers.” Zoë Mode’s studio head NICK RODRIQUEZ said: “Dylan is an invaluable addition to our development team. Dylan combines exceptional capability with excellent communication and management skills, all of

which are required to ensure that new projects are kicked off smoothly.”

perception of Activision and I must thank my wonderful team for all their hard work.”

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD  The third-party giant is seeking a replacement for president of European publishing, JOERG TROUVAIN. The exec announced last week he will be returning home in March after two years spent orchestrating the company’s turnaround. Speaking to MCV, Trouvain said: “We have changed the

CAPCOM  Former Midway US vice president of marketing MONA HAMILTON has taken up the same position for Capcom in North America. Capcom’s COO and head of consumer software publishing in the Americas and Europe, Mark Beaumont said: “Mona and I have worked together successfully in the past. I’m pleased to welcome her management style and marketing perspective to Capcom.”

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

ALSO THIS WEEK... 100 CLASSIC BOOKS P48 Nintendo rounds off 2008 with a sure-fire post-Christmas DS hit

SPEED FREAKS Atari kicks off 2009 in style with this thrilling new racer. Page 46

NEW RELEASES P50 2009’s first quarter line-up is revealed in this week’s new releases HIGH STREET P52 A Lincoln Price Check and Simon Gough from Media Entertainment in this week’s High Street

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RETAILBIZ: RACE PRO 46 MCV 19/12/08

Atari kicks off the New Year with Race Pro, a racing simulation that raises the bar for the genre on Xbox 360. James Batchelor securely fastens his seatbelt…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

AS WE REPORTED last week, Atari has an impressive line-up. Next year, the company is deploying a fantastic array of licences, long-running franchises and new IPs across almost every platform and genre, which should prove to make 2009 a hugely profitable year for the publisher. First on the roster is Race Pro, which has been given the unenviable responsibility of creating the first impression of the 2009 Atari. This racing simulation game is due to arrive on the Xbox 360 in January, and will impress fans of the genre with the attention to detail and effort invested in recreating the thrills of tearing up the track. The emphasis here is on the sheer quality of the experience Race Pro offers. Atari has been touting the talents of developer SimBin as

a major selling point for the game, referring to its previous work in the racing space as proof of its abilities. Crucially, Race Pro doubles as a first move on the console market for SimBin, as this is the developer’s first venture away from PC and its debut project on

It’s something completely different. Play with a wheel and it actually feels like you’re in a race car. Lee Kirton, Atari the Xbox 360. With a quality development team in place, Atari is keen to promote the authenticity of the cars, the tracks, the handling to hardcore fans of professional racing. “Race Pro is the closest you’ll get to real racing,” says Atari’s head of PR Lee Kirton. “Our team SimBin have

previously worked on the world renowned GTR series. Race Pro holds the official WTCC, Formula 3000 and Format BMW licence and contains over 350 cars and real life tracks, designed to give the player the true feeling of what it’s like to handle a real race car. “It’s something completely different and will really challenge the Xbox 360 racing fans. Play it with a Microsoft wheel and it actually feels like you’re in a race car.” Covering all aspects of the world of professional racing, the game ushers players into the driving seat of a wide variety of vehicles, from 200 to over 1000 horse power as they compete in numerous competitions. As with the best racing games, Race Pro features a wealth of indepth

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RETAILBIZ: RACE PRO WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/12/08 47

SPEED DEMONS As a crucial title for Atari, Race Pro has been the subject of an exhaustive ongoing marketing campaign. The game has already been demonstrated in both single- and multiplayer forms at a number of car shows throughout the year, including Trax, Donny and Top Gear Live (MPH). An advertising campaign will run in January, working to raise awareness of the game among both Xbox 360

fans and racing enthusiasts. Atari has been working closely with Fast Car and Redline, and will be running a specialist and online campaign on C&VG, Gamesradar, Official Xbox Magazine and Xbox World. The UK PR campaign began eight months ago, with plenty of press coverage in the form of previews, online videos and exclusives across a range of publications.

ON TRACK: SimBin’s Lizard physics engine ensures that every race feels realistic

options allowing players to customise their ride, tweaking everything from gear rations and downforce to brake bias. There are 350 car models available from 48 notable manufacturers, including Aston Martin, Saleen and Audi, all rendered to faithfully represent their real-world counterparts. The handling has been fine-tuned for each one based on real life data collected from the cars themselves, so no machine feels the same when you’re behind the wheel. Even the sounds effects have been recorded from the track. The sensation of getting to grips with each vehicle is bolstered by the game’s Lizard physics engine, a toolset created by SimBin to bring a greater degree of realism to Race Pro. The game boasts improved track deformation when compared to the

HERE IN MY CAR: There are hundreds of cars available, all of which are modelled on some of the finest and fastest cars in the world

developer’s previous titles, for example, ensuring no lap is the same as players have a direct effect on the terrain as the race progresses – literally tearing up the track. Finding and mastering their control over the right car will be essential if players wish to triumph in the range of championships on offer, either individually or in the game’s career mode. These take place on 13 stunning real-life tracks set around the world, including Macau, Porto, Pau, Laguna Seca and Road America. All are officially licensed and include the World Touring Car Championship, as well as Formula 3000 and Formula BMW, guaranteeing appealing content to fans of those competitions. Success in these earns credits, which can be spent on unlocking additional cars and tracks. As with all Xbox 360 games worth

RELEASED: JANUARY 2009 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: SIMBIN PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

their salt, a comprehensive multiplayer mode is available here. Players with access to Xbox Live can take part in races catering for up to 12 drivers, using any of the cars and tracks found in the single-player game. However, the interesting addition is the Hot Seat mode, which allows multiple players to race competitively or co-operatively offline. Taking it in turns to drive a car, either working through a race together or competing for the best time, this highly customisable mode allows gamers to define the number of laps, the skill of their opponents and the time between switching drivers.

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RETAILBIZ: 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION 48 MCV 19/12/08

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x

LITERARY DELIGHTS: ALL 100 CLASSIC BOOKS Little Women, Louisa May Alcott Emma, Jane Austen Mansfield Park, Jane Austen Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen Persuasion, Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe Lorna Doone, R.D. Blackmore Agnes Grey, Anne Brontë The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë The Professor, Charlotte Brontë Shirley, Charlotte Brontë Villette, Charlotte Brontë

Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan Little Lord Fauntleroy, Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins The Adventures of Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle The Casebook or Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad What Katy Did, Susan Coolidge

Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens Bleak House, Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens David Copperfield, Charles Dickens Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Hard Times, Charles Dickens Martin Chuzzlewit, Charles Dickens The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas Adam Bede, George Elliot Middlemarch, George Elliot The Mill on the Floss, George Elliot King Solomon’s Mines, Henry Rider Haggard Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy The Mayor of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy Tess of the D’Urbevilles, Thomas Hardy Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo Les Miserables, Victor Hugo The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Canon, Washington Irving Westward Ho!, Charles Kingsley

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RETAILBIZ: 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/12/08 49

The final release of the year turns the Nintendo DS into an ‘e-reader’, with classic books from Dickens, Austen, Doyle and Shakespeare. MCV settles down with Nintendo’s 100 Classic Book Collection…

AFTER GETTING the nation physically fitter earlier in the year, Nintendo is set to work on the mind with its nifty new DS title, 100 Classic Book Collection. The new game turns the DS into an electronic reader, complete with 100 texts built-in, including great novels such as Treasure Island, Wuthering Heights, and Moby Dick (Literary Delights left). The game also features authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare – and there are even ten more to download via Wi-Fi. “Through the Nintendo DS and Wii it is our aim to continue to expand the video game audience,” says senior DS product manager James Honeywell. A NEW CHAPTER

With games like 100 Classic Book Collection, we hope to establish games as a more valid recreational pursuit. James Honeywell, Nintendo

” Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux The Call of the Wild, Jack London White Fang, Jack London Moby Dick, Herman Melville Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allen Poe Ivanhoe, Sir Walter Scott Rob Roy, Sir Walter Scott Waverley, Sir Walter Scott Black Beauty, Anna Sewell All’s Well That Ends Well, William Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare As You Like It, William Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare

“We hope that through the introduction of new innovative titles like Brain Training, Wii Fit and 100 Classic Book Collection, to offer new experiences that people find compelling and establish video games as a more valid recreational pursuit. We would never make claims that our products can specifically make your fitter or smarter in isolation. It’s more about achieving a balanced lifestyle as our products are designed to complement and be used alongside other areas of people’s lives, hopefully making people smile and enriching their lives.” In 100 Classic Book Collection readers must hold the DS as if it was a book, and simply turn the page by pressing the touch screen. Consumers can also search their library by author, title and even mood. “We have a very broad range of titles from many different authors which we hope will offer something to everyone,” continues Honeywell. “Every title included is a classic that many people will have heard of but probably won’t have read. We hope that by bringing this wide selection of titles together in one convenient package, that people will be encouraged to try something new. With

Hamlet, William Shakespeare Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare King Henry V, William Shakespeare King Lear, William Shakespeare King Richard III, William Shakespeare Love’s Labour’s Lost, William Shakespeare Macbeth, William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare Othello, William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare The Tempest, William Shakespeare

RELEASED: DECEMBER 26 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: GENIUS SONORITY PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 08700 270 985

100 unabridged books in nine different genres there will be something for everyone and every mood, regardless of whether you are relaxing on holiday or reading a book on your daily commute.” The 100 Classic Book Collection could well turn out to be a landmark release in many ways, confirming the transition of video gaming from the moral majority’s bette noire to the UK’s fastest-growing, most-respected and downright-good-for-you pastimes. It’s also something that incorporates as broad a spectrum of activities and genres, coupled with an audience that varies from pre-schoolers to pensioners. Indeed, with such mass appeal Nintendo intends to run a typically mass market advertising campaign in support. BOOKISH MARKETING

“Our marketing will be focussed on TV to communicate with a mass market audience, starting strongly a few days before Christmas to ensure awareness is high before people visit stores on Boxing Day,” concludes Honeywell. “We will be running TV ads right across Christmas Day when viewing figures will be extremely high, backed up with extensive activity in-store that will grab people’s attention. We haven’t launched a game on Boxing Day before, but taking advantage of the huge viewing figures and natural sales opportunity will hopefully make this software do well. Beyond this three-week burst of activity we will be planning other long-term promotional activity through the coming year to help prolong sales.”

Timon of Athens, William Shakespeare Titus Andronicus, William Shakespeare Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare The Winter’s Tale, William Shakespeare Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray Barchester Towers, Anthony Trollope Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain Round the World in Eighty Days, Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne

The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde And available for download through Wi-Fi Connection…

What Katy Did At School, Susan Coolidge Silas Marner, George Elliot Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell The Aspern Papers, Henry James The Turn of the Screw, Henry James The Water Babies, Charles Kingsley The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare The Black Arrow, Robert Louis Stevenson

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 50 MCV 19/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

February

F.E.A.R

Warner Brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; supernatural FPS returns on 360, PC and PS3 in a hectic February of triple-A releases, which includes The Sims 3, Street Fighter IV, Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop and the highly anticipated Halo Wars... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

DS PC PC / PS3 / XBOX 360

Coach Sandbox Action

Ubisoft THQ EA

0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388

Trilogy Advantage Centresoft

Wii DS / PC / Wii XBOX 360 / PS3

Fitness Pets Skating

Ubisoft Capcom EA

0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft

XBOX 360 / PS3 DS XBOX 360 / PS3 DS / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 DS Wii Wii PC DS Wii / PC / DS DS DS Wii Wii Wii DS Wii PC

Action RTS Action/ Adventure Action Platformer Edutainment Edutainment RTS Fishing Children's Kids RPG RPG Action/Platform First Person Shooter RPG Party Game Action

THQ THQ 505 Games Disney Interactive Konami Midas Midas Sega Rising Star Games 505 Games Blast Konami Konami Blast Midas Konami 505 Games City Interactive

0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9590 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 020 8995 3399 01582 433700 0121 506 9590 08452 344242 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 020 8987 5730 0121 506 9590 020 8309 3600

Advantage Advantage Advantage Centresoft Open Open Open Centresoft Mastertronic Advantage Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Open Open Advantage Open

PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS DS DS DS DS Wii DS

Action Action Action Horror Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Petz Petz

Capcom THQ THQ Warner Bros. V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play Ubisoft Ubisoft

0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400

Centresoft Advantage Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Trilogy

DS PC DS Wii PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC Wii

Action Action RPG Racing Fighting Racing Life-simulation Sports

V.2 Play Kalypso Media V.2 Play Capcom Capcom Midas EA Midas

0121 625 3388 020 8309 3600 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01376 555 300 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333

Centresoft Pinnacle Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Open Centresoft Open

Wii XBOX 360

Action Strategy

Capcom Microsoft

0121 625 3388 01279 822 822

Centresoft Gem

JANUARY 16th My Chinese Coach Saints Row 2 The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

JANUARY 23rd My Fitness Coach Neopets Puzzle Adventure Skate 2

FEBRUARY 6th 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand Age Of Empires: Mythologies Battle Fantasia Bolt Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Empire: Total War Harvest Fishing Hotel for Dogs Johnny Bravo Lost In Blue 3 Lost In Blue: Shipwrecked Mr. Bean's Wacky World Of Wii Skyscraper Time Hollow We Cheer Motor Max

FEBRUARY 13th Bionic Commando Deadly Creatures Destory All Humans: Path Of The Furon F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin Mind Your Language: Learn English Mind Your Language: Learn French Mind Your Language: Learn German Mind Your Language: Learn Japanese Mind Your Language: Learn Spanish Petz: Monkey Madness Petz: My Kitty Family

FEBRUARY 20th B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad Ceville Lola and Virginia MotoGP Wii Street Fighter IV Super Speed Machines The Sims 3 World Cup of Pool

FEBRUARY 27th Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Halo Wars

MUSTSTOCK ...........F.E.A.R 2 PROJECT ORIGIN Released: February 13th Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Warner Bros. Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Following its huge success back in 2005, the popular F.E.A.R franchise returns. Developed by Monolith, the game boasts a terrifying story, smart AI that uses the environment against you, enhanced graphics and a robust multiplayer mode.

MUSTSTOCK ..................................HALO WARS Released: February 27th Format: 360 Publisher: Microsoft Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822822

Halo Wars is set to cap off a February filled with huge titles. The game has already gained a lot of press coverage and is to be the swansong for acclaimed developer Ensemble. Boasting gorgeous visuals and impressive RTS gameplay, expect Halo Wars to explode off shelves.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 52 MCV 19/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FORMAT: XBOX 360

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2

1

RESISTANCE 2 PS3

3

RE

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS

4

12

WII PLAY WII

5

7

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR PS3

6

3

7

NEW

SONY

NINTENDO

6

MARIO KART WII WII

9

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER PS3

10

NEW

11

11

GEARS OF WAR 2 360 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 360

RE NEW

PRINCE OF PERSIA PS3

UBISOFT

ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY WII

18

WII MUSIC WII

5

LEFT 4 DEAD 360

16

14

DR. KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

17

8

FOOTBALL MANAGER PC

NEW

4

20

RE

EA

MICROSOFT

14

18

HAVING LOST out on the top spot last week to Sony’s Resistance 2, Call Of Duty: World At War returns to No. 1 in the Indie Charts. Resistance falls one place, holding on to a respectable second position with just half a per cent of the week’s total sales separating the two top titles. Below them, the highest re-entry highlights what has been a successful week for Nintendo’s software. Professor Layton and the Curious Village leaps back into the Top 20, coming in at No. 3, followed by Wii Play at No. 4, which rises eight places this

NINTENDO

15

19

EA UBISOFT

8

12

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360 PRINCE OF PERSIA 360

9

13

NINTENDO

WORLD AT WAR FIGHTS BACK

KONAMI SQUARE ENIX NINTENDO EA NINTENDO SEGA

POKÉMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA DS TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD 360 MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO EIDOS NINTENDO

Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.

“New releases fared better at Indies than through the multiples, with Prince of Persia arriving in seventh place.” week. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 also re-enters the chart in 12th place, while the return of More Brain Training rounds up the top tiers, returning at No. 20. New releases enjoyed more success at independents than they did at the multiples this week, with the long-awaited Prince Of Persia debuting as high as seventh place, with Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City following at No. 13. Pokémon Ranger: Shadows Of Almia, which has yet to breach the Top 30 in the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack All Formats chart, makes its indie debut in 18th place. A number of triple-A titles slipped in chart positions this week, with the 360 version of Left 4 Dead slipping ten places to No. 5 and Tomb Raider: Underworld falling from No. 4 to 19th position. james.batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

speaks to Simon Gough of Hampshire’s Media FROM THE FRONTLINE MCV Entertainment for the latest news from the frontline… What makes your store unique? We’re adaptable to change. We’ve introduced a rental service and a loyalty scheme. We’ve also gone out to our competitors for best stock prices rather than distributors, which is something a number of indies are doing. What’s been selling well lately? Anything to do with Nintendo. Professor Layton, Wii Fit, etc. have been particularly sought after because of the good bundles we’ve been offering. What hasn’t performed so well? PSP has died a death; absolutely atrocious sales of the system and its software. Midnight Club: LA also performed poorly as did MotorStorm 2.

Have you noticed any changes in your customer base? Mums and dads are coming back as the supermarkets don’t have all the stock they need. Supermarkets only stock the Top Ten titles, whereas we have the Top 60, so the parents come to us. Also, we can be more helpful to them, as we’re experts in this field, with better product knowledge than some checkout boy. Which company supplies the best POS? I would say the best POS comes from Activision and Centresoft. They provide us with inlays – which are invaluable – large boxes, cubes, FSDUs, all sorts. It’s very pleasing and it is good for business. However, if you ask any indie, they’d rather have lower trade prices.

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/12/08 53 Sponsored by

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

PRICE CHECK LINCOLN

Prince of Persia

Animal Crossing: City (with Wii Speak)

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

LEGO Batman

Golden Balls

360, Ubisoft

Wii, Nintendo

PS3, Sony

Wii, Warner Bros.

DS, Mindscape

£39.14

£58.71

£39.14

£32.29

£19.56

£39.14

£49.99

£34.98

£24.98

£19.56

£27.99

£49.71

£34.71

£24.71

£17.71

£39.99

£59.99

£37.99

£24.99

£19.99

£34.73

£53.93

£32.73

£17.73

£14.73

£34.91

£59.91

£32.71

£17.91

£14.91

£34.95

£54.95

£32.95

£17.95

£14.95

£34.95

£54.95

£32.95

£17.95

£14.95

IN STORE

ONLINE

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

MARGIN MAKER

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

For £293.61, Argos customers can pick up an 80 GB PS3 and receive Sony’s big three releases (Resistance 2, MotorStorm: Pacific Rift, and LittleBigPlanet) for free.

The supermarket is offering a free game from a selection that includes Fallout 3, Mirror’s Edge and Tomb Raider with every 60 GB Xbox 360 purchased for £169.71.

Animal Crossing is currently only £19.14 to anyone trading in one of four games: Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii Music, Mario Kart Wii or MySims Kingdom.

Blaze expands its range of Wii accessories with the launch of its Classic Wii Controller. Designed to work with Virtual Console, WiiWare and GameCube games played through the Wii, this controller is modelled on Nintendo’s official version. Undercutting its first party rival with an affordable RRP of £14.99, Blaze’s Classic Wii

Controller features a sleek, ergonomic design that has been built with comfort in mind. It boasts all of the standard controls, including dual analogue sticks, shoulder buttons and four face buttons. The controller has a high quality finish making it both durable and responsive. Blaze: 01302 325225

54,55 MCV518_final:46-47 MCV405

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 54 MCV 19/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3 2 6 5 8 4 9 7 12

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO DISNEY

NINTENDO

2

2

MARIO KART WII Wii

NINTENDO

3

3

FIFA ’09 DS, PS2, PC, 360, PS3, Wii, PSP

4

5

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

5

4

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

6

7

FALLOUT 3 PS3, 360, PC

BETHESDA

UBISOFT UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ QUANTUM OF SOLACE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LEGO INDIANA JONES LUCASARTS STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS GUITAR HERO III ACTIVSION BLIZZARD

FIFA ‘09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER LEGO BATMAN FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LEGO INDIANA JONES WALL  E

RE

[4]

TITLE

[5]

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA EA WARNER BROS. SEGA KONAMI THQ ROCKSTAR LUCASARTS LUCASARTS THQ

NINTENDO EA DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

EA

7

9

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

8

WII FIT Wii

NINTENDO

9

10

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

10

6

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 EIDOS

PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

11

13

LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP

12

33

SONIC UNLEASHED 360, Wii, PS3, PS2

13

27

QUANTUM OF SOLACE PS2, PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

14

11

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

15

12

LEGO BATMAN DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

16

29

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

17

15

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

18

14

WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009

LUCASARTS SEGA

SEGA

WARNER BROS. SONY MICROSOFT DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

THQ

19

17

FAR CRY 2 PC, PS3, 360

UBISOFT

20

30

PRINCE OF PERSIA 360, PS3, PC

UBISOFT

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER

8

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10

[3]

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

TITLE

FORMAT: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

LAST WEEK

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 THIS WEEK

1

PSP

[2]

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

NINTENDO

FIFA 09

2 4 3 5 6 9 8 7 11

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDOGS: LABRADOR & FRIENDS COOKING GUIDE: WHAT TO EAT? HSM 3: SENIOR YEAR MARIO KART DS BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. IMAGINE: TEACHER PUZZLER COLLECTION

[ENTERTAINMENT - FALL PRICES]

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA SPORE EA LEFT 4 DEAD EA FAR CRY 2 UBISOFT THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA

4 3 2 5 6 7 8 9 11

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/12/08 55

AS CHRISTMAS approaches, the battle for No.1 is closely contested between the usual EA candidates

Need For Speed and FIFA, and even the surprise

ten places to No.20, and Sonic Unleashed leaping 21 places to No.12, partly due to an ongoing price

At War remains the favourite to win. Maintaining its hold on the chart top spot for the fifth week running, the World War II shooter looks set to follow the success of its predecessor, COD4: Modern Warfare.

discount at GameStation.

PS3 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

21

24

KUNG FU PANDA PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, DS

22

28

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

23

26

ANIMAL CROSSING: TO THE CITY Wii

NINTENDO

24

16

PRO EVO 2009 PS3, PS2, PSP, PC, 360

25

RE

RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY Wii, DS UBISOFT

26

20

RESISTANCE 2 PS3

27

18

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

28

32

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC

29

23

NINTENDOGS: LAB & FRIENDS DS

30

36

MIRROR’S EDGE PS3, 360, PC

31

21

WII MUSIC Wii

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

KONAMI

SEGA NINTENDO EA NINTENDO

32

COOKING GUIDE: DECIDE WHAT TO EAT DS UBISOFT

33

35

SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING

34

34

SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS PS3, 360, PS2, DS, Wii

SEGA

35

38

WALL  E DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP

THQ

36

40

SINGSTAR ABBA PS3, PS2

37

RE

38

25

39

RE

DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, 360, Wii, PC UBISOFT

SONY

THE FORCE UNLEASHED DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP LUCASARTS GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Wii, DS LIPS 360

37

This week sees four re-entries, including Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party at No.25, Cooking Guide at No.32 and Star Wars: Force Unleashed at No.37. Christopher Dring

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

LITTLEBIGPLANET

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT AWAR RESISTANCE 2 FIFA ‘09 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER FALLOUT 3 PRINCE OF PERSIA TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD MOTORSTORM: PACIFIC RIFT WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009

1 2 4 5 7 9 6 8 11

DEVELOPER: MEDIA MOLECULE PUBLISHER: SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY EA EA BETHESDA UBISOFT EIDOS SONY THQ

SONY 2K PLAY

RE

40

WEEK ENDING 13/12/08

return of Mario Kart Wii – but Call Of Duty : World

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

Elsewhere in the Top 40, last week’s new entries have gained momentum, with Prince Of Persia up

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

[ANALYSIS]

WARNER BROS. MICROSOFT

HSM3: SENIOR YEAR DANCE PC, PS2, Wii, 360

DISNEY

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

MARIO KART WII

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII PLAY WII FIT ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES WII MUSIC GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS SONIC UNLEASHED CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES

3 2 5 9 7 4 6 14 8

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO UBISOFT SEGA NINTENDO WARNER BROS. SEGA 2K GAMES .

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

THE SIMS: MANSION & GARDEN

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

VIRTUA FIGHTER GRABIT WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BUMPER BRAIN PUZZLE PACK UWISH GAMES SUDOKU CLASSIC GREENSTREET SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY CITY INTERACTIVE RACER PACK UWISH GAMES SPORE: CREEPY & CUTE PARTS PACK EA WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DOGZ 4 FOCUS MULTIMEDIA

2 4 3 6 9 5 8 16 7

DEVELOPER: MAXIS PUBLISHER: EA

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

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TITLE

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GEARS OF WAR 2 FALLOUT 3 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERGROUND FAR CRY 2 LIPS FIFA ‘09 TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD PRINCE OF PERSIA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

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PC CD-ROM

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . 020 8664 3456 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Keyne Distribution . . . . . . . . . 0870 1216051 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 Music Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 234 4112 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . 087 19 18 17 21

LOCALISATION Absolute Quality . . . . . . . . . 0141 220 5600 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . +49 (0)2104 172660 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507 217 DISC REPAIR TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 Perfect Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252 191

Gem Creative Get your message out Gem Creative offer retail specific design and production support including trade & consumer advertising campaigns, Point of Sale, marketing collateral, repackaging, bundling and concept solutions.

Contact Neil Handa Gem Distribution Ltd St George House Parkway Harlow Business Park Harlow Essex CM19 5QF 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk POS

Packaging

Publishing

One integrated solution Flyers

Brochures

Trade PR

Media Buying

GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

DISTRIBUTION

WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com

IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

Keyne Distribution "Looking for a new reliable supplier! Look no further!"  Software and hardware distributor  All top platform new releases in stock  Flexible next day delivery to the UK and most European destinations  Over 500 different products in stock at all times  Terms of trading will be 30 days on insured Customers  Shipping is by Customers account, or on our UPS - Fedex or DHL account.  The fastest growing independent distributor in the United Kingdom

Tel: 0870 1216051 Fax: 0870 1216053 Email: phil@keynedistribution.co.uk Unit C105, MKTWO Business Centre, 1-6 Barton Road, Water Eaton Ind Est, Milton Keynes, MK2 3HU

CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk

KEYNE DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . . 0870 1216051. . . . . . . phil@keynedistribution.co.uk

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY JANUARY 9th

50 THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2009 Let’s face it, the post-Christmas hangover that we call New Year can be a touch depressing, but there’s no need to be a miserable old sod – there’s plenty coming up. To prove it MCV will list 50 things to look forward to in 2009. If you’ve got any suggestions, let us know. FRIDAY JANUARY 16th

GAMES RECRUITMENT SPECIAL AND SALARY GUIDE It’s that time of the year when the job market picks up after the Christmas and New Year lull, and employees think about their careers. MCV’s Recruitment Special takes a look at the sector and dispells those money myths with our detailed games salary guide. FRIDAY JANUARY 23rd

TERRITORY REPORT: SCANDINAVIA AND BENELUX It’s time to cast aside those cliches and take a closer look at the gaming landscape of Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. How has the rise of gaming affected these nations, and are there any gaps in the markets for publishers and retailers? MCV investigates the state of play and potential of these diverse countries.

GFK CHARTTRACK YEAR REVIEW The figures are in. But what was the biggest game of the year? Which formats flourished while others floundered? And which games bucked expectations to become the bestselling games of the year? MCV takes a close look at the GFK ChartTrack statistics and provides the ultimate summary of the sales bonanza 2008 provided to the games industry. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6th

MCV AWARDS PREVIEW We take a look forward to the biggest night in the trade’s calendar – the only awards voted by the industry, for the industry. This year’s event, which takes place on Thursday, April 23rd, features new awards categories to reward teamwork, staff and innovation in publishing, distribution and retail sectors. The venue for the bash is The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.

IN-GAME ADVERTISING MCV investigates one of the most lucrative and misunderstood sectors in the modern industry. With expert advice and case studies from the leading companies in the sector, we’ll take a look at the state of play, both in terms of online and boxed games – and discuss where the market is expected to move in the future. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27th

TERRITORY REPORT: EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE On the other side of our home continent, the Eastern and Central areas are home to unique cultures of their own. But where there are people, there are gamers, and MCV investigates how they are supplied.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month. STUDIOS 7 Seas Technologies ......................................www.7seastech.com Atomic Planet...........................................+44 (0) 1642 871 100 Blitz Games Studios..................................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive ..............................+44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki ................................................................www.denki.co.uk Fuse Games ..........................................careers@fusegames.com Oxygen ....................................................+44 (0) 1933 446437 Realtime Worlds.......................................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Rebellion .................................................+44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games...................................jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio.......................................+44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS bluegfx ....................................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Epic Games ....................................................+1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle ...............................................00 (1) 925 417 1785 Natural Motion ..........................................+44 (0)1865 250575

ONLINE PRESENCE £450 PER MONTH SITE WIDE BUTTON Size: 300x100 pixels File type: Animated Flash swf or animated gif

£550 PER MONTH TOP 4 BUTTON PLUS EMAIL NEWSFLASH Size: 140x120 pixels File type: Static jpeg or animated gif

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio ..................................+44 (0) 151 236 9992 Absolute Quality .......................................+44 (0)141 220 5600 Air Studios ...............................................+44 (0) 207 794 0660 GAMEINDUSTRYJOBS.eu .............................+31 3110 7504580 High Score...............................................+44 (0) 1295 738 337 Partnertrans .............................................+49 (0) 2104 172 660 Philips amBX .......................................................www.ambx.com Testronic Labs ...........................................+44 (0)1753 653 722 Tsunami Sounds.......................................+44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking ................................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

DISTRIBUTION

For further online advertising information please contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647

MCVUK.COM March ‘08 Page Views 471,735 Sessions served 304,870 Unique Visitors 215,754

Feb ‘08 404,964 242,537 163,712

www.mcvuk.com MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk

MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

Insider’s | Guide

TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk LOCALISATION

In this week’s Insider’s Guide, MCV speaks to sales director of skin specialist Wrappz Alex Knowlden… Could you tell us about the services Wrappz offer? Wrappz offers a complete and tailored solution for gaming peripherals for the corporate and retail marketplace using specialised material and printing techniques. ABSOLUTE QUALITY . . . . . . +44 (0)141 220 5600 . . . . . www.absolutequality.co.uk LOCALISATION

What are the latest developments on-going at Wrappz at the moment? We are currently developing skins for Guitar Hero and Wii Fit and will also be offering this on our personalised software option online in the New Year. Do you have many expansion plans for 2009? Our expansion plans see us setting up offices in Spain and France and aiming to cover the rest of Europe by the end of 2010. The UK team continue to grow and we will be taking on more sales staff backed up

PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . +49 (0)2104 172660. . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

by new account managers to complete our service offering. What’s the best thing about your job? The best thing about my job is going on all the Keeley Hazell photo shoots for our official Keeley Hazell products. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Do you have any amusing office party stories to share with MCV readers? Last year at our Christmas party we were at a private event in London’s West End and I was introduced to Daniel Craig. Trying not to be too star struck, I shook his hand and asked if I could buy him a drink. He replied: “I am ok – it’s a free bar,” so I curled up in ball of embarrassment and carried on drinking my beer.

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION

DISC REPAIR

PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.co.uk DISC REPAIR

We’ll make sure your disc repair is up to scratch All the disc repair options you need, from entry level machines to state-of-the-art electronic systems. Call or visit our website to find out more.

Disc-Go-Devil Devilishly good and only £666

TDR OneStep just £1295

01202 489 500

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

STORE FITTINGS

DISC REPAIR

HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTICAL DISC REPAIR SYSTEMS Eco Senior Fully Automatic Repair System

Eco Smart

Entry Level Repair System

Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers Eco Master

50 disc Automatic Repair System

AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk

www.rtico.com RTI-inbox@rtiuk.co.uk

High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System

RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252191 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.rtico.com

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR

DISC-GO-DEVIL Only

£666 Plus VAT

DIARY DATES ‘08 From the MCV Industry Pub Quiz to the PC Retail Awards, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

JANUARY CES INTERNATIONAL 2009 Thursday, January 8thJanuary 10th Las Vegas, USA www.CESweb.org BETT 2009 Wednesday, January 14thSaturday, January 17th Olympia, London www.bettshow.com

MARCH BAFTA 09 Tuesday March 10th Park Lane Hilton, London www.bafta.org/awards/video-games PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk

HELL OF A PRICE FOR A WICKED MACHINE. Introducing the new Disc-Go-Devil - a stunning price-performance breakthrough in disc repair. O O O O

O

One-stage, fully automated repair Simple to use Small and robust History function for accurate monitoring of usage 30 day money-back guarantee and 1 year warranty as standard

GDC 09 Monday, March 23rdFriday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.com

E3 Tuesday, June 2ndThursday, June 4th LA Convention Centre, LA www.e3expo.com GAMEHORIZON CONFERENCE Thursday, June 23rd-24th The Sage, Newcastle, UK www.gamehorizonconference.com

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14thThursday, July 16th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com

AUGUST

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk/devil

TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

The MCV/Xbox 360 Pub Quiz provides retailers, suppliers and the media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local pub. There will be thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night as well as loads of topnotch booze and food.

JUNE

JULY

01202 489 500

MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, February 19th AKA Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk

GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19thSunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Thursday, April 23rd The Brewery, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk The biggest night in the games industry calendar returns to the Brewery and will feature awards split across three categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential industry event.

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 62 MCV 19/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

FINLAND

All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre

Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku

GAMEWORLD Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

AFA INTERACTIVE

COMGAME 576 LTD

FRANCE EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg

1042 Budapest, Arpad UT 112,

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

Hungary

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Tel: +36 1 369 2686 Fax: +36 1 272 0109

66 Hughes Street, Mile End, South Australia 5031 Tel: +61 8823 41355

Email: bzsolt@576.hu

CYPRUS Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia

Web: www.576.hu

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex France

GOODTONES QVS Australia email: paulelliot@qvsoftware.com.au Web: www.qvsoftware.com.au Tel: 61 2 9748 2555

GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

INDIA

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612

TM

GERMANY

www.greatgames.com.cy

MILESTONE INTERACTIVE

DENMARK

SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road,

DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA. Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004 Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com Tel: +6139573.9203

Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303

ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS Stenholm 1, 9400, Norresundby, Denmark Phone: +45 70277640 Fax: +45 70277650

Hamburg, Germany Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0 Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10 email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA. Tel: +91 22 28203319 Fax: +91 22 28203334 email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

email: sales@entertainment-trading.com

ISRAEL

Web www.entertainment-trading.com Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW

Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach

Hed-Arzi......................................................Or-Yehuda

Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg

AUSTRIA

Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt

Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann

Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate

Gateway Distribution ApS

Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

BELGIUM Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont

ITALY

+45 7026 0870 (DK) dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens

Digital Bros spa................................................Milano Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

BENELUX

ESTONIA

HUNGARY

NETHERLANDS

Contact Data......................................................Breda

Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn

Antec .............................................................Budapest

Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/12/08 63

The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...

Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –

NEW ZEALAND

INTERACTIVE

DREAMGEAR, LLC

Lisbon, Portugal

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,

20001 S. Western Ave.

Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0

Barcelona, Spain,

Torrance, CA 90501

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111

Gamewizz..........................................................Albany

Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI

Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -

RUSSIA

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Fax: 310-222-5577

www.planetadeagostini.net

Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

AKELLA 12/1 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya st.,

POLAND

127015, Moscow, Russia

CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw

Phone: +7 (495) 363-4612 Fax: +7 (495) 363-4615

VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.

Tel: +34 91 789 35 50

16700 Schoenborn St.

Web: www.virginplay.es

#2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393

http://en.akella.com

Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow

TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o.

Soft Club..........................................................Moscow

Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw,

Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

Poland Email: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96

SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore

SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg

PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

info@usgamesdist.com

Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas

www.usgamesdist.com

JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

UAE SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg

SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs

Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg

Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza

PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE.

TURKEY

SPAIN

Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai

www.pluto-games.com

ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul

Tel: +971 4261 8111

Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

Fax: +971 4261 8112

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid

UNITED STATES Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI

NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai

INTERACTIVE

BASCO, INC.

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,

VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR

Barcelona, Spain,

FRIENDWARE

Tel: 1-917-627-3000

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Marques de Monteagudo 18,

Fax: 1-718-228-4401

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

28028 Madrid, Spain

Email: sales@bascodistribution.com

www.planetadeagostini.net

email: juan.bustamante@friendware.es

Web: www.bascodistribution.com

Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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sourcebo YEAR-ROUND PRINT & ONLINE PROMOTION FOR ALL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICE COMPANIES

ACCESS SOURCEBOOK ONLINE AT: WWW.INTENTMEDIA

CREATIVE AND PROMOTIONAL SERVICES 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

an.x Tel: 0207 785 7156 www.anxagency.com

Ark VFX Tel: 0114 268 4999 www.arkvfx.net

Barrington Harvey Tel: +44 (0)1462 456780 www.barringtonharvey.co.uk

Bastion Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 7600 www.bastion.co.uk

Candy Lab Tel: +44 (0)20 7031 0888 www.candylab.co.uk

Dilute Recordings Tel: +44 (0)1483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

DKPM Tel: 0845 111 0312 www.dkpm.co.uk

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

Eye-D Creative Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 1440 www.eye-dcreative.co.uk

Feref Tel: +44 (0) 20 7292 6300 www.feref.com

Fluid Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fluidesign.co.uk

Game Frontier Tel: 0870 420 2424 www.gamefrontier.com

Sarsen Software Tel: +44 (0)845 8679685 www.sarsensoft.co.uk

Gem Creative Tel: 01279 822800 www.gem.co.uk

Side UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 4800 www.side.com

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

Skyscraper Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 5308 www.skyskraper.net

Head First Tel: 0161 228 6699 www.head-first.co.uk

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0)1483 414415 www.studioco2.com

IGA Worldwide Tel: +44 (0)20 7250 4340 www.igaworldwide.com

The Audio Guys Tel: +44 (0) 1926 813546 www.theaudioguys.co.uk

Indigo Pearl Tel: 0208 964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com

infinite Field Marketing Solutions Tel: 01793 829196 www.infinitefms.com

Ă&#x153;ber Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

RECRUITMENT Intent Media Tel: 01992 535647 www.intentmedia.co.uk Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com

Peppermint P Tel: +44 (0)207 240 2645 www.peppermintp.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

Rocketbox Tel: +49-511-8984384 www.rocketbox.de

Root Tel: 0207 739 2277 www.thisisroot.co.uk

Aardvark Swift Recruitment Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

Datascope Recruitment Tel: +44 (0)20 758 06018 www.datascope.co.uk

Game Options Tel: +44 (0)1382 731909 www.gameops.co.uk

Lis Welsh Search and Selection Tel: +44 (0)1858 545355 www.liswelsh.co.uk

Specialmove Consultancy Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com

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ok

In association with

Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com

.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com

Serco Games Research Tel: 020 74216487 www.sercogamesresearch.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com

Creative North Studios Tel: +44 (0)1484 487904 www.creativenorth.co.uk

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com Sheridans Tel: 0207 079 0103 www.sheridans.co.uk

LOCALISATION, QA AND TESTING 4-Real Intermedia Tel: +49 (0)69 80 90 88-0 www.4-real.com

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com Gem Distribution Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk

Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com Meroncourt Tel: +44 (0)1462 680060 http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk Babel Tel: 01273 764 100 www.babelmedia.com

Cenega Service Team Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229 9999 ext. 312 www.enzyme.org Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com

Orange Studio Tel: +39 051 588 04 50 www.orangestudio.it

Arvato Digital Services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

Dischromatics Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Scaleform Tel: +1 301 446 3200 www.scaleform.com

LEGAL SERVICES

MANUFACTURING SERVICES

Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AFA Interactive Tel: +618 8234 1355 www.afainteractive.com.au

dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 0 www.dtp-entertainment.com

Pinnacle Software Tel: 020 8309 3934 www.pinnacle-software.co.uk

Entertainment Trading Tel: +45 70277640 www.entertainment-trading.com

PlayV Email: dhope@playv.co.uk www.playv.co.uk

Funtastic Tel: 61 3 9535 5888 www.funtastic.com.au

Scratch Busters Tel: 01992 535701 www.scratchbusters.co.uk Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com

THQ Asia Pacific Tel: +613 9573 9200 www.thq-games.com/au

Virgin PLAY Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 www.v2play.com

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67 MCV518_final:47 MCV443

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MCV 19/12/08 67

MCV FORUM JOIN THE DEBATE AT MCVUK.COM/FORUM

Happy New Year? As the year draws to a close, some of the UK’s top publishing bosses tell us about their biggest ‘hopes and challenges’ for the video games industry in 2009…

Matt Carroll,

Country Director, Disney Interactive Studios

Andrew Brown,

UK MD, Activision

Martin DeFries,

MD & COO, Rising Star Games

Rod Cousens,

CEO, Codemasters

Mike Hayes, European CEO, Sega

What is your biggest hope for the games industry in 2009?

What do you think will be the trade’s biggest challenge?

“That we ‘game’ our way out of the recession and we continue to bring happiness and smiles to a world in need of good times. And for the early part of the year, that ELSPA wins their proposal for The Byron Review to keep ratings with PEGI.”

“Overcoming temptation for short term results in the face of longer lasting business development to maximise value for the industry as a whole.”

“That in-home entertainment (and of course video games) prove to be resistent to the economic down turn. As long as demand continues to grow, the market will eventually adjust to the bad news of retail closures.”

“Retail to maintain the right balance between share ambitions and their percentage margin. Keeping the category attractive for investment means maintaining an attractive value chain. The pressure will also be on publishers who have potentially grown their ranges ahead of the market growth and need to ensure that they react in the right way to maintain value on the platforms.”

“That the clutter of 'me too' products vanishes and makes way for some great original DS and Wii products – ours!”

“Trading our way out of a consumer perception that games can be bought only as part of a ‘deal’ or a ‘chart’. Bah humbug!!”

“The hope would be for continued high growth on all formats, supported by a business model which provides for success levels to enable innovation, thereby continuing to attract consumers interest and expanding the reach. Within this, developers, retailers and publishers establish a framework to co-exist and further build the industry. It can be done – if they work together! Another hope is the escalation of emerging markets.”

“High on the list for most companies will be credit risk management and being cash generative in these times. That aside, it could well be the evolving integration of box and online content from which all constituent parts can benefit. And to look at development budgets that reflect market realities.”

“Well, naturally that we all continue to grow and prosper. However it is noticeable in 2008 that separate to the financial turmoil there has been a remarkable ‘over-supply’ of quality titles on all platforms. Many have not performed as strongly as perhaps anticipated. This has, in part, led to some significant price discounting in the UK, so happy days for the consumer. But whether we, as an industry, can thrive with high development costs at one end, and deep discounting at the other has to be cause for consideration. If we can manage the equilibrium of these two forces successfully next year then 2009 will be a successful one for all concerned.”

“Trying to put genuine value back into the business for the sake of theirs and our bottom lines.”

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Pssst… Which well known High Street independent retailer decided to sell one of his stores on auction website eBay?

on bids Ad guru Ryan Fergus uary ‘08 Jan , ure Fut to l wel fare launch of ce in celebration of the h store feels The For ‘08 ber CHIPS’ Middlesbroug tem Sep , The Force Unleashed LucasArts’ Star Wars:

This week’s MCV edi tor Andy P perhaps giving his opi nion on t

OFF THE RECORD Konami’s Pete Stone gets the photoshop treatment in honour of MGS4, June ‘08

s a fright at the Sega’s Ben Payne get event in Amsterdam Condemned 2 launch

What a year, filled with huge game launches, major award ceremonies, charitable exploits, celebrities and general drunken behaviour. MCV provides a rundown of some of this year’s Off The Record highlights...

The Grainger boys get frisky at the MCV Awards, April ‘08

The industry’s finest go golfing in the aid of charity, Ma y ‘08

Pssst… Which Ubisoft brand manager got ‘lost’ in Zimbabwe after his mobile, pants and passport went walkies back in February?

A host of cos players descended upon the Mil lennium Bridge in Lon break the ‘largest gat don to hering of game charac ters’ world record, Mar ch ‘08

b tipsily toasts yet Warner’s own Phil Lam Joysticks, October ‘08 another glorious Golden

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MCV 19/12/08 69

Midway in Vegas, Apr il ‘08 Andy Payne makes me rry with bumbling toff Boris Johnson, n on the London May or’s 2007 anti-gaming Telegraph article

Cooper and Ubisoft boss Rob Gem’s Paul Donnelly il ‘08 Apr , rds awa V MC the to share a gag en route

BEST OF 2008 the PES Michael Darbo wins Industry Cup, June ‘08

s drunk and Doron Garfunkel get tember ‘08 dresses as a lady, Sep

estation 250th ‘Rockyoke’ at the Gam ber ‘08 store opening, Novem Comedian Ricky Gro ver cuddles up with PSM3’s Nathan Irvine, GMAs October ‘08

The glamorous D3P lad ies do the naughty and nice routine at Golden Joy sticks, October ‘08

A snazzily dressed hobo promotes MCV sister publication Develop at the Games Developer Conference in February

Gamestation’s Anne Dow ning proves she’s still got it at a Capcom event, August ‘08

touch tipsy at the The Future boys get a s in October ard Aw dia Me es Gam

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On December 10th, the cream of London’s development scene gathered at the AKA Bar for the inaugural Develop Quiz, with Zoë Mode emerging victorious...

THE FINAL SCORES

WINNER: Zoë Mode London Zoë Mode was last week toasting its success as it emerged victorious at the Develop Pub Quiz. The London-based outfit beat 20 others to take the top position, where it tied with business affairs consultancy firm Sarassin. That left the final verdict in the hands of the assembled industry crowd following a sing-off on Microsoft’s karaoke sim Lips, with the attendees voting almost unanimously for Zoë Mode London’s epic performance.

Sponsors

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Round Sponsor

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EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk

Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk

Please address all enquiries to:

Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Advertising Executive: Rob baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

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Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk

MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.

Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: Chris Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Owain Bennallack

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk



1. 2. 3. 3. 5. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 11. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Zoë Mode London ........................60 Sarassin ....................................................60 Curve Studios ..........................................55 OPM Response ........................................55 Microsoft...................................................54 Firefly Studios .........................................54 Peppermint P ...........................................53 amBX Team A ..........................................52 AirPlay.......................................................50 Splash Damage .......................................49 Sheridans .................................................48 Bad Management ...................................48 Perforce.....................................................47 Air Edel......................................................45 Big Head Games......................................44 Amiqus ......................................................43 Mediatonic .................................................41 High Score Productions ........................40 BlueGFX.....................................................38 amBX Team B...........................................33 Zeus Technology .....................................32

FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Finance Assistant: Zarah Aslam

Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688

Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA

MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2007, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 9,086. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS United Kingdom £150 l Europe £175 l Rest of the World £250 To order your subscription via Visa, Mastercard, Switch or AMEX or to make changes to your subscription details, contact mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com or call 01580 883848.

SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade titles for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes PC Retail for retailers and suppliers to the computer trade, Develop Magazine for games programmers, producers and artists, ToyNews for all sectors of the toy industry and Mobile Entertainment.

Intent has also recently launched BikeBiz and MI Pro. www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source

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MCV518 December 19th