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There can be only one master of the 18th Century world. Through political manoeuvring and military might, on land and sea, you must crush those who dare stand in your way. Out of the smoke of battlefields, out of the flames of naval bombardments, a new empire will be born...

New real-time 3D naval warfare takes Total War's unparalleled battle action to the high seas.

Brand new multiplayer component includes player rankings, leagues and ladders, and completely new gameplay modes. Staggering real-time seascapes, new advanced landscape and flora systems, and dynamic weather.

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 524 Friday February 13 2009 £3.25

04 Too much to handle Our Retail Advisory Board discusses the onslaught of Wii and DS releases

07 Tom Clancy returns Ubisoft lays out its first major ad blitz of the year for air combat title HAWX

15 Special focus: Japan MCV takes an in-depth look at one of the world’s standout territories

MCV previews Nintendo’s New Play Control! range

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Labels retreat from new IP Recession drives Sega, THQ, EA and more to shift focus to core brands – after publishers suffer Q3 losses by Tim Ingham RARE BREED: Some new IP succeeded in 2008 – but publishers are now backing away from untested franchises

THE WORLD’S biggest publishers have been forced into reducing investment in new IP – as recession-hit consumers and a crowded market strong-arm them into relying on established brands. THQ and EA have both blamed ‘unfocused’ product slates for contributing to their disappointing Q3 results – and pledged to concentrate more on well-known franchises in FY10. Sega has also told MCV that it plans to cut back on creating fresh property, as the economic slowdown punishes return on investment in new IP. “We concur with both EA and THQ that new IP is an absolute challenge to make

We’ll be joining EA and THQ in reducing our new IP ambitions over the next two to three years. Mike Hayes, Sega

work in the current marketplace,” Sega Europe president Mike Hayes told MCV. “Sega will be joining these companies and others in reducing our new IP ambitions over the next two to three

years. Brand extensions and further improved quality on sequels is the priority.” Excluding its Partners business, EA expects to publish 125 SKUs in FY10, compared with 145 in FY09.

CEO John Riccitiello said that the firm will “increase the hurdle rate for new titles”, admitting that “generally games with a ‘two’ on them sell better and with a lower R&D budget [than new IP]”. He said of Q3: “We depended on new IP in a year consumers were even more cautious with their dollars.” However, the firm won’t be backing away from new IP completely – with core titles such as Dante’s Inferno, BattleForge and Saboteur on the

horizon, as well as a handful of new EA Sports Active games. THQ CEO Brian Farrell offered a similar message. He said: “We are putting fewer core gamer titles into full production, concentrating our investments in our biggest franchise opportunities.” DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole told MCV: “Without an established fanbase it is extremely hard to justify a massive development budget for a new IP.”

[OPINION] Rod Cousens CEO, Codemasters “There is a view that franchises should be measured over a series – and that the return is realised in subsequent versions. That approach is hard to justify in the present climate.”

Ian Livingstone Creative Director, Eidos “Sequels and licensed titles clearly have an advantage over new IP. That doesn’t mean that new IP can’t be successful in this difficult market. But you need a really great game.”

Rob Cooper UK MD, Ubisoft “Whilst the current economic climate presents many challenges for both our industry and our consumers, we continue to believe in the importance of investing in new IP as part of our portfolio.”

Matt Carroll, Country Director, Disney Int. Studios “Disney’s strength in launching new gaming IP is that they are often tied to cross-media events with considerable exposure to a wider audience than the ‘traditional’ games market.”

NEW BRANDS: THE TRUTH EA earned commercial plaudits for new IP last year including Dead Space, Mirror’s Edge and Boom Blox – which are all due sequels. But none of the company’s previously unseen property made it into GfK-ChartTrack’s All Formats Top 50-selling games of 2008. Indeed, only five new intellectual properties entered the list, four of which appeared on Nintendo formats: Wii Fit (Nintendo), Big Beach Sports (THQ), Sega Superstar Tennis (Sega), Game Party (Midway) and LittleBigPlanet (Sony). Only Wii Fit appeared in the top 15.

LOGOS

CONSUMER GRUMBLES? Fears are growing that the ‘hardcore’ games audience will feel short-changed by a market flooded by sequels and brand extensions. Editor-in-chief of GamesTM Rick Porter told MCV: “For hardcore gamers, the lack of new ideas and the focus on sequels that near-guarantee profit is bound to be disappointing, but it’s a sign of the times. With a significant number of consumers now shunning new IP, like EA’s excellent Mirror’s Edge, there are now fewer and fewer reasons for developers and publishers to take the risk.”

PERSONNEL 38 RETAIL BIZ 43 NEW RELEASES 58 HIGH STREET 60 CHARTS 62

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NEWS

[LEADER] CARRY ON CARRIE? THANKS TO the wonder of YouTube, anyone who’d like to see a re-enactment of what has gone on at several games firms over the past decade can duly share all the long-lingering suspense by tapping in ‘Last Scene of Carrie’. Director Brian de Palma delivers us a classmate shuffling up to the grave of the film’s eponymous star. She kneels to lay a small wreath, only for Carrie’s arm to shoot up and make a grab. She’s alive! Or is she? This graphic metaphor was offered by EA chief exec John Riccitiello to MCV when considering the health of ‘lesser’ rivals. Seven years on, not a huge amount has changed. Acclaim crashed in 2004, but there is no shortage of players. The total number of developers and publishers has increased with global growth. One publisher boss, reflecting on a poor week in terms of losses and cuts, told me five rivals could go this year. He also thought it would be a good thing. Others will argue for diversity and competition, but one does wonder if a collapse or two is coming. After all, a comment under that YouTube clip could just as easily be about some suppliers as poor old Carrie White. “I knew it was going to happen, but was still shocked and surprised about it happening.” Welcome to the 2009 reality check.

CALIFORNICATION For us foreigners, E3 Expo is hoping to make a comeback this year. After two years of being a local event for local people (albeit the $21bn US market), international attendees are genuinely welcome once again. Sega expects to see its customers visit the LA Convention Center this year, whilst MCV returning as a partner shows that E3 is feeling less insular. Sure, you have to get accreditation and find the budget if you want to attend, but LA looks set to have all the big news once again this summer. Meanwhile, local events such as IDEF in Cannes, Gameplan in the UK and the Develop Conference in Brighton look well set for post-E3 reviews. So check your industry diaries closely before booking that villa in the Algarve this summer.

DS and Wii software Shelf space is squeezed as the ‘crazy’ Nintendo release line-up

by Christopher Dring A SLEW of Wii and DS software will fail to make it to store shelves as retailers are forced to be more selective with the games they stock, MCV can reveal. The news follows a Christmas that featured an unprecedented amount of new software for all formats, with publishers moving certain titles out of the key Q4 period in order to secure better exposure at retail. “We have taken a much stricter approach to our ranging as of late,” DSGi’s gaming trading manager David Poulter told MCV.

“Regardless of the number of titles available in the market, we are still seeing the majority of sales focused around a handful of key titles, many of which are evergreen sellers. As

range the most appropriate titles for Comet. “It did get a little crazy with the amount of releases going on but it’s clear which games are going to do well with our

It has not been necessary to stock all new releases and a number of titles have not made it into our range. David Poulter, DSGi

such, it has not been necessary to stock all new releases and a number of titles have not made it into our range.” Comet’s Debbie O’Neill added: “We had a very good buying plan allowing us to

demographic and which are obvious stars, and this helped when choosing the range.” CHIPS joint MD Don McCabe continued: “We are having to be very, very selective, especially on

SPRINTING TO SHELVES

MORE CONFERENCE, LESS CASH The London Games Conference will take place on Tuesday October 27th. Held at BAFTA, it will be run by Intent Media and supported by ELSPA. Late afternoon start, quality speakers, speed networking and a dinner. It is the perfect complement to other events at the London Games Festival. And at £229, it will be half the price of any previous all-industry seminars (and under £200 if you’re in ELSPA or TIGA). Another one for that diary then.

stuart.dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

LAST WEEK Sega announced it had secured the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic licence, and now MCV understands that the publisher will shortly unveil a Mario and Sonic video game tie-in. The original Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games sold an impressive two million copies in the UK.

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NEWS

swamps retail forces UK games trade to be more discerning

Codemasters savours The Times accolade Publisher boasts strong 2009 line-up

PICKY: (From left to right) Don McCabe, David Poulter, Debbie O’Neill, Jon Biggs and James Yelland are being selective with Wii and DS titles RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

Nintendo DS. DS software either flies off the shelves or just doesn’t sell at all, so you do need to have a good Nintendo games buyer.” Supermarkets have also had to adopt strict processes when it comes to choosing DS and Wii titles. “We have had to be very selective with new releases,” explained Morrsions’ gaming buyer Jon Biggs. “This inevitably means leaving out some new titles which could have done really well for us.”

Asda’s software buyer James Yelland added: “In a supermarket like ourselves, space is at a premium. “We simply do not have the capacity to house all the DS and Wii software that is on offer in the marketplace at the moment. However, with Full Price Charts, Value Charts and range space, we do our best to have all the top games available for our customers to purchase. “We also like to ensure Wii and DS software features heavily in the promotional activity that we run.”

CODEMASTERS is in buoyant mood after The Times named it in its list of the UK’s ‘top private equitybacked firms with the fastest growing profits.’ The Britsoft publisher was fifth in the ‘Buyout Track 100’ rankings – sponsored by Lloyds TSB – ahead of hair products firm GHD and London City Airport. The newspaper highlighted the company’s annual profit growth of 96 per cent – up from £9.1 million in 2006 to £34.9 million in 2008. Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens told MCV: “The standing in The Sunday Times rankings reflects investment in proprietary technology, world class studios, digital delivery, global content creation and the assembly of a highly talented and motivated workforce who benefit from the belief of highly supportive stakeholders.

“We are intent on building on this performance this year and be well placed to consider our options in preparation for an economic upturn. “This year Codemasters has a strong line-up, including Damnation, Fuel, Operation Flashpoint, Overlord 2, Minions, Jumpgate, Cricket, Dirt 2, Formula One and Dragonology. “The power and versatility of our Ego technology will be shown in our racing titles such as Dirt 2 and F1, but equally in the action segment with the release of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising. “We have made significant progress in our multi-site facilities and we’re completing construction of a 30,000 sq foot development studio. “We are not complacent, there is work to do but there is reason for optimism and that is hard to find presently.” Codemasters: 01926 814132

Sony pledges to ‘re-invigorate’ PSP in ‘09 ‘SIGNIFICANT’ NEW titles are heading to the PSP this year that will revitalise the format and attract new consumers, Sony has told MCV. Now over four years-old, the PSP has steadily established itself throughout the current generation, selling over 40 million units globally – 3.2m of them in the UK. But software sales have been less consistent. In GfKChartTrack’s monthly report for January, the format accounted for just 3.6 per cent of the UK software market in unit terms – a stark contrast to Japan, where 2008’s biggest title was PSP game Monster Hunter.

Speaking in an MCV analysis piece looking at the state of play for the Sony handheld, UK product manager Claire Backhouse

said that comparable titles are on the way over here – a number of them unannounced – that can help turn around the format’s current standing.

“This year we are also launching a host of significant PlayStation IPs on the PSP platform, the first being Resistance Retribution, which

will help drive sales,” Backhouse said. “It’s these core IPs that we believe will help broaden the appeal of PSP in the UK, and when coupled with the

existing functionality such as Go!View and Go!Cam, will make PSP a very attractive proposition. “Granted, perhaps there hasn’t been the volume of high profile PSP titles we would have liked to have seen on the platform. But, that said, we continue to focus heavily on software development. The fruits of this you’ll see later this year, with the release of a number of currently unannounced, yet significant franchises that will reinvigorate the current user base, as well as attracting a whole new audience.”  Our PSP feature can be found on 22.

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 KILLZONE 2 LIMITED ED BOX PS3 SONY

2. KILLZONE 2 PS3 ..................................................SONY

3. STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM

4. SOCOM: CONFRONTATION PS3 ..................................................SONY

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

6. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM

7. STREET FIGHTER IV 360 ..............................................CAPCOM

8. RACE PRO 360 ..................................................ATARI

9. HALO WARS: LIMITED EDITION 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

10. F.E.A.R. 2: PROJECT ORIGIN 360 ......................................WARNER BROS Week ending February 6th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£24.1m 35

30

25

20

15

10

5

£28.9m

£27.0m

£24.1m

1,353,433 Units

1,257,280 Units

989,242 Units

Week Ending January 23rd

Week Ending January 30th

Week Ending February 6th

0

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

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NEWS

Sonic goes casual with the Black Knight Publisher confident that Wii-exclusive title can become a bestseller amongst younger gaming audience by Tim Ingham SEGA IS hopeful that new Sonic title The Black Knight can attract a young crowd – after specifically designing the game to appeal to consumers who have no experience of the Sonic series. The title is released next month exclusively on Wii in a busy quarter for Sega – and the team behind the game is confident it can be a bestseller with kids.

approaching things from their point of view, thinking what they want to see.” However, Katano added that Sonic Team understood the strong loyalty older fans had of the protagonist, and stressed that they had respected the “tradition” the franchise commands. He added: “Sonic is kind of a cheeky, edgy character, and so we like seeing Sonic challenge new things all the time. The Wii is a big part of

It’s aimed at a younger, more casual audience. We’ve changed a lot of things. We had to think as children. Tetsu Katano, Sega

Speaking to MCV, the director of Sega’s Sonic Team studio in Japan, Tetsu Katano, said that his team had to “think like children” to ensure the game would appeal to youngsters who had no previous experience of Sonic. He said: “Sonic and the Black Knight is aimed at a younger, more casual audience. We’ve changed a lot of things, essentially. It’s thinking as children;

CASUALLY DONE: The Black Knight is the follow-up to Sega’s 2007 bestseller Sonic and the Secret Rings

it, because it appeals to a wider range of people who maybe have not played a Sonic game before.” Sonic and the Black Knight is a key release in a strong Q1 for Sega. The publisher also has MadWorld (Wii), Stormrise (PS3/360), and Empire: Total War (PC) due for release in March. It also releases Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection next Friday (360/PS3). Sega: 020 8995 3399

New publisher dances into console market A NEW European publisher is targeting mass-market Wii and PS2 consumers with a range of dancing games. Nordic Games Publishing will release Dance Party Pop Hits and Dance Party Club Hits for the Wii and PS2 on Friday, April 3rd. Both work with the various third-party dance peripherals available for the formats. The two games mark a major first for the company, and will feature a range of classic and

contemporary tracks for gamers to dance along to. Songs from artists such as Sam Sparro, Sugababes and Booty Luv are already signed up. “We are excited about launching out first titles under the Nordic Games Publishing banner,” said Nordic Games publishing director Pelle Lundborg. “There is a sense of achievement when the ship sets sail for the first time.” The two titles are just the first entries in the new Dance

LUNDBORG: Nordic Games boss says that the company’s Dance Party releases on Wii and PS2 will not be the last in the franchise

Party series, with the company set to publish future products under the same brand. The games hark back to the days when dance mat-based games were the most popular type of ‘rhythm action’ game. “With all the momentum moving towards guitars and drum kits, we feel it is time to bring back danced-based games, and at the same time do our bit for healthy gamers,” said Lundborg. He added that retail response to the two games has been “very positive” so far. NGP: +34 952 930 297

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NEWS

Ubisoft‘s year takes off with all-new Tom Clancy ad blitz

TRADE BULLETIN

Publisher unveils promotional campaign for HAWX – ‘the market’s No.1 air combat game’ by James Batchelor UBISOFT IS planning its biggest marketing assault of the year so far for upcoming release Tom Clancy’s HAWX. The publisher will be pulling out all the stops to ensure HAWX – which is released on March 6th – is as successful as previous Tom Clancy titles. “We have again partnered with LoveFilm to build on the very successful Rainbow Six

marketing to ensure it becomes what Brannelly calls “the No.1 air combat game on the market”. “TV is extremely important to installing a brand new IP these days,” he explained. “Expect to see the 20-second and 30-second creative across channels including Sky Sports, Dave, ITV2, EA and Bravo, with a total reach of 3.5 million men aged 16 to 34, on average viewing it 2.5 times.”

TV is incredibly important to installing a new IP these days. Our ads will reach 3.5 million men, 2.5 times each. Phi Brannelly, Ubisoft

Vegas campaigns we ran with previously,” Ubisoft’s senior brand manager Phil Brannelly told MCV. “This arrangement will target existing LoveFilm subscribers who own a console and engage with the previous campaigns’ database, delivering HAWX content to purchasers of Tom Clancy films and games.” Ubisoft will be putting particular emphasis on its TV

Out 20th February 2009 Wii

The first ever 2 in 1 Nerf blaster. Fire real Nerf darts or swap in the Wii remote to use in game. Wreak havoc and perfect your blasting skills or challenge friends to clashes.

Online will also be a key part of the campaign across lifestyle and specialist gaming sites. “We are heavily targeting our intended market across mainstream sites, including MSN, Sky, FHM and Empire for Tom Clancy film buffs from around launch,” added Brannelly. “In total, we are booking over eight million impressions of rich media adverts.”

OUT 13th MARCH 2009 PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2

It’s not only WHAT you know, but WHO you know! Challenge your friends with the original Trivial Pursuit game or find out how well you know them by betting on their answers to gain extra points.

WITH A BANG: Phil Brannelly (above) says that Ubisoft has spent big on TV ads for HAWX

Ubisoft: 01932 578000

London Games Conference emerges TRADE BODY ELSPA is supporting the new games industry conference set for the autumn. The London Games Conference will take place during the increasingly popular London Games Festival on Tuesday October 27th at BAFTA in Piccadilly. Organiser Intent Media, which publishes MCV, expects up to 200 delegates. It is also introducing a different concept to previous games seminars.

“LGC will start late afternoon and run into the evening. There will be several keynotes, but no filler. Delegates will be able to meet the speakers via speed networking mechanic and there will also be a dinner,” commented MCV managing editor Lisa Foster. “We have developed this event to tap into the need for a central B2B event during London Games Festival. But we are trying to ensure that we

avoid the pitfalls of previous UK conferences.” One key element of the London Games Conference is value, with the walk-up rate for the day being only £229. This is half the price of last year’s Games 3.0 conference. Members of the ELSPA and TIGA trade bodies will be able to gain a further discount, bringing the cost to under £200 per delegate.  For more information contact

OUT 20th MARCH 2009 Nintendo DS

The ultimate fun, quirky game that intertwines Puzzle and Platform genres. In this two-in-one adventure, guide explorer Henry Hatsworth through five exotic worlds, fight a variety of opponents, and venture through more than 30 levels, while taking on outrageous world-ending bosses.

Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

ea.com

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Industry heavyweights back Game Based Learning 2009 Bushnell, Livingstone and more to deliver key speeches  MCV reader discount unveiled

STRONG LINE-UP: (From left to right) Nolan Bushnell, Ian Livingstone, Chris Deering, Marco Minoli, Michael Rawlinson and Graham Brown-Martin will all appear at GBL

by Christopher Dring LEADING games industry figures have signed up to speak at next month’s Game Based Learning Conference. Capitalising on the success of the Handheld Learning Conference, Game Based Learning (GBL) will evaluate all aspects of games in education, and will feature speeches from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Eidos cofounder Ian Livingstone and Codemasters chairman Chris Deering. Slitherine director Marco Minoli and ELSPA MD

Michael Rawlinson are also set to contribute. “Having this dedicated event about video games, social media and learning means that the conference is

“The games that people are using as part of their everyday enjoyment are far from dumbing them down. They can enhance the educational experience.”

If we can integrate games into the curriculum, we can make education engage with children’s minds. Nolan Bushnell, Atari

entirely focused on this rapidly growing phenomenon,” explained conference director Graham Brown-Martin.

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell added: “If we can integrate games within learning across the curriculum

we can make education engage children’s minds.” MCV, Develop and CasualGaming.biz readers keen on attending GBL can enjoy an extra ten per cent off the early bird registration cost, which means a saving of £70 off the standard delegate registration fee. To receive the discount, simply use the code: intentgbl09 during registration. Game Based Learning will take place at The Brewery in London between Thursday March 19th – 22nd.

both chains and independents, taking over from Pinnacle. Sunflex’s hardware is available for the PC, Wii, DS, PS3, PS2 and 360. “For over a decade in mainland Europe the snakebye ranges, has become the brand

of choice for gaming enthusiasts, when purchasing top quality peripherals and accessories for the PC and console platforms,” commented Mike Steup, owner and MD of Sunflex Europe.

INDEPENDENT DVD sales and distribution firm Lace Digital Media Sales (LDMS) has announced plans to move into the games market – as it picks up the JoWood account in the UK. The firm specialises in helping global content owners, producers and DVD publishers release their product in the UK and Eire. It will now be responsible for handling all UK sales for Austria-

Matthew Allen, MD of Trilogy, added: “With their extensive back catalogue of innovative peripherals and accessories, we are thrilled to be partnering with Sunflex Europe. We look forward to distributing the Snakebyte, Zero G and Fanatec catalogue.”

based JoWood, which has recently released titles such as Gothic 3, Crazy Chicken and Sam and Max. Lace Group MD Adam Lacey said: “This is a very logical step and is a tremendous opportunity for our company. We have a sales and support infrastructure to manage new release and range product in the games business. “We have the contact base in place and already deal with the vast majority of games retailers through Sony DADC on a daily basis with our DVD product.”

www.sunflex-europe.com

Lace: 01273 202220

GBL: 020 7511 8773

Trilogy snaps up Sunflex account GERMAN PERIPHERAL manufacturer Sunflex has signed a three-year deal with distributor Trilogy to make its products available in the UK. Trilogy will handle distribution of existing and forthcoming accessories from Sunflex Europe’s Snakebyte, Zero G and Fanatec ranges to

Lace moves into games

GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT THERE

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NEWS

Sponsored by

EA quest to be ‘sports brand’ on track Publisher’s FIFA 09 marketing campaign nominated for duo of Sports Industry Awards

EA SPORTS has been nominated for two Sports Industry Awards – cementing the label’s mission to be recognised as a standalone ‘sports brand’. The label’s president Peter Moore told MCV last year that it was his aim to make EA Sports “the leading sports brand in the world”. And the brace of nominations for the firm’s Let’s FIFA 09 campaign – in the categories of Best Integrated Sports Marketing Award and Best TV Sport Commercial – has certainly

taken it one step closer. EA marketing director Stuart Lang told MCV: “This is the first time that a video games brand has made it into the Sports Industry Awards. It’s a cracking result. “Nominations like this acknowledge that the FIFA series is growing as a brand beyond gaming into an important lifestyle choice for football fans.” The Let’s FIFA 09 promotion included a groundbreaking four-minute TV spot on Sky Sports. England striker Wayne Rooney starred in the campaign. EA Sports is up against the

ON THE RADAR “As the market continues to evolve, so too do Square Enix, with a multi-platform [OPINION] line-up that offers more than the traditional RPG content. “To highlight a few, Chrono Trigger for DS launched last week. Quality of this level has not always been evident amidst the deluge of DS releases and the title will stand out. Disgaea 3 arrives on the 20th, bringing quality RPG gaming to PS3. And the original Disgaea is also on its way to DS. And at the end of February, we will release My Pet Shop, a new brand that will become the benchmark in its field for years to come. Doug Bone UK Sales Director



Print Edition

GET IN THERE: EA’s groundbreaking ‘Let’s FIFA 09’ campaign has won the publisher two Award nominations

[IN BRIEF] BAFTA: The nominations for the lauded awards ceremony – which takes place on March 10th – have been announced, with Call of Duty 4 leading the pack (with seventh nominations), followed by Grand Theft Auto IV (with six). To read the full list of shortlisted entrants, visit www.mcvuk.com.

likes of Adidas, Nike, EON and The FA for the pair of trophies. The results will be announced

on April 30th in front of 1,400 sports industry representatives. EA: 01483 463500

 

by Tim Ingham

WARNER: A strong performances by the firm's gaming division partially offset its overall loss in its Q3 financial report last week. The publisher also announced new strategy title LEGO Battles for DS.

This week’s publisher of focus is Square Enix, which has a long list of top RPGs arriving over the coming weeks…

CHRONO TRIGGER

STAR OCEAN: SECOND EVOLUTION

DRAGON QUEST: HEAVENLY BRIDE

Released: Out Now Formats: DS

Released: February 13th Formats: PSP

Released: February 20th Formats: DS

Currently the DS’ most critical acclaimed release (93 per cent on Metacritic), expect this cult classic to delight the RPG fantatics.

Sony’s PSP has housed some top Square Enix RPGs over the years, and the sequel to Star Ocean: First Departure is set to be another.

The re-make of the classic SNES RPG arrives on Nintendo DS, and is sure to appeal to the series’ ever-growing fanbase.

ROCKSTAR: The Red Dead franchise is set to return in the newly announced Red Dead Redemption, which will make use of Rockstar’s RAGE engine to create an open-world environment. EA: The publisher has revealed that FIFA 09 has sold a whopping 7.8 million units worldwide to date.

[ALSO COMING] THE LAST REMNANT Released: Spring Formats: PC

DISGAEA 3: ABSENCE OF JUSTICE

MY PET SHOP

Released: February 20th Formats: PS3

Released: February 27th Formats: DS

It enjoyed positive reviews in the US, and the third in the Nippon Ichi-developed series could well be the PS3’s most impressive RPG.

This casual pet title boasts a wideappeal beyond just the pre-teen market, and set to become a new Square Enix brand.



Digital Edition



RHAPSODY: MUSICAL ADVENTURE Released: Spring Formats: DS PERSONA4 Released: March 13th Formats: PS2

Mobile Edition

ACTIVISION: First details of Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen have emerged – the official video game adaptation of the highly anticipated summer blockbuster. The game will be released on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS and PSP.



CRYTEK: The European developer has announced that it has purchased the remaining assets of studio Free Radical Design, saving 43 jobs and potentially the Timesplitters franchise. CAPCOM: The Japanese publisher has confirmed the development of Dead Rising 2 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

Online Leader

CONTACT:

LESLEY.BLUMSON@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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NEWS ANALYSIS: MORRISONS’ VIDEO GAMES EXPANSION

BIGGS: Morrisons’ new games buyer will help evolve the supermarket’s entertainment offer

ANOTHER REASON TO SHOP AT MORRISONS As one major UK retailer calls it a day on video games, a host of others plot to capitalise on the gaming boom. Could Northern supermarket giant Morrisons be the next big video games retailer? Christopher Dring reports... SO WH SMITH saw fit to seriously downgrade its entertainment offer last week. Although hardly the biggest or most competitive games retailer, losing a further 557 High Street outlets on top of the 807 Woolworths stores (not to mention the 50-plus Zavvi shops), hardly sounds like good news for the industry. But despite the grim headlines, it really isn’t doom and gloom for video games retail. Just look at the Christmas results HMV and GAME posted, for instance, and the fact that The Entertainer, Best Buy, John Lewis, Next, Borders and other hopefuls are desperate for a piece of the games retail pie. Another major retailer that’s just pledged its allegiance to the gaming industry is none-other than supermarket giant, Morrisons. “Morrisons takes its whole portfolio seriously and whilst our primary focus remains as a food retailer we are constantly developing new and complementary ranges,” explained the firm’s new games buyer Jon Biggs. “All our new and re-fit stores have increased space for gaming which is internally recognised as a very important part of our non-food offer. “All entertainment is performing above plan, but gaming is outperforming DVD and music for us.” Morrisons made its intentions for video games clear when it temporarily slashed 50 per cent off all its chart

All our new and re-fit stores have increased games space, which is internally recognised as a very important part of our non-food offer. Jon Biggs, Morrisons

games in September last year. It was the sort of competitive move that kicked off a pre-Christmas supermarket price war, which was certainly something Smiths would never have done. And Biggs has since reiterated the firm’s commitment to competing aggressively during the year ahead. “Morrisons is built on a value proposition, it’s our heritage,” he said. “We always aim to give our customers value for money across the entire shopping basket, so we will always offer excellent value for money promotions. In a competitive environment this may mean strategically reducing prices.” Morrisons’ pre-Christmas gaming expansion hit a road block when supplier EUK went into administration. Yet as Zavvi collapsed, Smiths struggled, and the likes of Asda had to work overtime to ensure sufficient supply, the Bradfordbased food chain switched distributor to Music Box Leisure and pushed onwards. “Our future supply route lies with Music Box Leisure,” added Biggs. “We have been working with them for a number of years on our under chart, and it is their understanding of our business that has been a key factor in our ability to come through with our strongest Christmas ever. “We managed to have excellent availability over the Christmas period which led to some really strong sales figures. Poor availability across the retail sector will have undoubtedly been

a factor in our strong Christmas. My feeling is we definitely picked up some of the lost sales, not only from Woolworths and Zavvi, but also other retailers who suffered availability issues due to supply challenges.” With just over 375 stores across Britain, Morrisons isn’t quite the size of Smiths. But with a dedicated games buying team, expanded store space and competitive pricing plans, it could certainly have a much bigger impact. And while WH Smith can only see a bleak future for the entertainment sector, the team at Morrisons has very different expectations. “Gaming still has a way to go before saturation and the impact Nintendo has had on the market as a whole has opened up gaming to a previously alien audience,” said Biggs. “There is no longer a typical gamer; the industry has crossed age and gender.“ THE FUTURE’S BRIGHT “Gaming is by no means a new phenomenon but is still in its infancy,” he concluded. “We are only touching the capabilities of our current consoles, let alone what’s in the pipeline for the fourth generation. Casual gaming will continue its great momentum driven by DS and Wii, but with Sony and Microsoft eating into Nintendo’s market. “The overall economic climate may stifle growth, but on the whole the picture for gaming remains very positive.”

ADD-ON CONTENT. XBOX 360 CONSOLE, HARD DRIVE, GRAND THEFT AUTO IV GAME AND BROADBAND CONNECTION REQUIRED FOR DOWNLOAD. Š 2006-2009 Rockstar Games, Inc. Rockstar Games, Grand Theft Auto The Lost and Damned, the r logo, and the Grand Theft Auto The Lost and Damned logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All rights reserved.

-,)9<(9@ www.rockstargames.com/iv

www.rockstargames.com/lostanddamned

“Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre should bring the kind of mainstream shooter gameplay of which Wii owners have been starved ” - GAMES TM

Wreak your revenge with all-out action and deadly stealth across Nu Earth’s wide-open environments. Utilise your arsenal of intelligent weaponry to seek out, confuse and attack the deadly Nort enemy. Experience the killing machine that is Rogue Trooper with the immersive Wii RemoteTM and NunchukTM controllers. Become the ultimate Genetic Infantryman team with 4 way co-op on-screen multiplayer.

Launch date: Friday 20th February 2009. For all sales enquires, please contact Ubisoft UK www.roguetrooper.com Exclusive to Published by Reef Entertainment Ltd 2008 all rights reserved. Reef Entertainment is a trademark of Reef Entertainment Limited. Reef Entertainment is a registered trademark used under license. © and ™ Rebellion 2008. All rights reserved. Rogue Trooper is a registered trademark of Rebellion Limited used under license by Reef Entertainment. Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. Uses Bink Video. Copyright © 1997-2008 by RADGame Tools, Inc. All other Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Production of the whole or any part of the contents without permission is prohibited.

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FOCUS ON JAPAN: 2008 SALES FIGURES

Eastern Promise The Japanese games market may have shrunk during 2008, but there was still some key success stories. MCV takes a closer look at the figures... JAPAN WASN’T quite the land of the rising sales during 2008, in fact, as reported last week, the overall games market shrunk by over 15 per cent. The fall was down to a year-on-year 23.5 per cent drop in hardware sales and a 7.9 per cent decrease in software sales. In spite of this, it was yet another glorious year for the handheld market. Although the DS declined in terms of hardware and software sales, it still shifted four million units, with the DSi performing strongly towards the tail end of the year (accounting for 1.2 million DS sales alone). Also, although DS software sales fell 25.3 per cent during 2008, it was still well ahead of its nearest rival the Wii, which sold 13.8 million units of software compared to 28.2 million on the DS. However, the PSP was the year’s hardware success story, which saw a year-on-year sales growth of 17 per cent, and was only narrowly behind the DS with 3.5 million units sold. It was also a PSP title that topped the yearly software charts,

with Capcom’s Monster Hunter 2nd G selling just fewer than 2.5 million copies. Monster Hunter was a big hit for Capcom – but it was also the only nonDS and Wii game in the Top Ten. As you can expect, Nintendo-published software has dominated the software with eight of its games in the Top Ten, including Pokémon Platinum, Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii. It’s also worth noting that Nintendo’s rise has brought with it series which sell massive not just in the company’s homeland, but are powerhouse hits around the world. Some of Japan’s biggest selling games (Wii Fit, Mario Kart etc.) were also huge successes in the West. In fact, more Japanese publishers are now looking to bring their titles to a Western audience – we have profiled two such publishers over the following three pages.

2008 Hardware Sales (Volume) 2008 Total Sales Volume (Estimated)

Hardware

2007 Total Sales Volume (Est.)

Nintendo DS Lite

2,749,712

7,130,228

Nintendo DSi

1,280,092

PlayStation Portable

3,543,171

3,022,659

Wii

2,908,342

3,629,361

PlayStation 3

991,303

1,206,347

PlayStation 2

480,664

816,419

Xbox 360

317,859

257,841

Others

9,575

93,273

Total

12,280,718

16,156,128

2008 Software Sales Volume 2008 Total Sales Volume (Estimated)

2007 Total Sales Volume (Est.)

Nintendo DS

28,260,498

39,130,595

PlayStation Portable

9,745,758

6,750,169

Wii

13,802,220

11,665,679

PlayStation 3

5,155,082

2,951,390

PlayStation 2

7,111,971

13,262,872

Xbox 360

1,770,034

1,480,551

Others

210,100

612,905

Total

66,055,663

75,854,161

Hardware

Software Top 10 Ranking Platform

Title

Publisher Capcom

1

PSP

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

2

DS

Pokemon Platinum

Nintendo

3

Wii

Wii Fit

Nintendo

4

Wii

Mario Kart Wii

Nintendo

5

Wii

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Nintendo

6

DS

Rhythm Heaven

Nintendo

7

DS

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Square Enix

8

Wii

Animal Crossing: City Folk

Nintendo

9

DS

Kirby Super Star Ultra

Nintendo

10

Wii

Wii Sports

Nintendo

Monster Hunter was the only non-DS or Wii title in the Top Ten, which was populated by Nintendo-published titles.

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FOCUS ON JAPAN: RISING STAR GAMES

Land of the Rising Star Rising Star Games is looking to strengthen it name in the UK market as ‘the home of Japanese games’ with a key Q1 line up. James Batchelor finds out more...

JAPANESE art and entertainment has firm’s logo, which it says is a reflection already carved out a significant place in of the company’s revitalised philosophy. Western pop culture. From more “This is not about giving Rising Star a mainstream offerings like Lost in new brand identity,” says head of brand Translation and Tarantino’s Kill Bill Simon Alty. through to entertainment brands such as “This is a very clear message, Manga and Tokyopop, the style unique delivered with a bold approach.” to Japan’s forms of entertainment are a Martin Defries, Rising Star’s managing strong alternative to entrenched director and COO, believes that these Western themes. Today, these are now thought of as cool and Our clear focus has led to a mass market rather than complete reinvention. We’re cult – something Rising looking to change attitudes Star Games is taking full and trends in the industry. advantage of. Martin Defries, Rising Star So far, the firm’s Eastern parent Marvelous Entertainment has ensured it has a rich bank of authentic Japanese recent changes have helped to truly software to draw from. Rising Star has define the Rising Star name. spent the last four years cultivating a “All aspects of the Rising Star niche Western audience that takes business have been realigned to reflect pleasure in the best Japan has to offer. the true nature of the brand,” he Brands such as Harvest Moon and No explains. “Rising Star Games sit at the More Heroes have underpinned this heart of the Japanese cultural business. But now, as the publisher communities across the world. We are a seeks to expand, it has chosen to focus relatively small brand with a big on the heritage of its products rather attitude, and our clear focus has seen a than diluting its range. reinvention of all aspects of our To that end, the Rising Star brand is business. We’re looking to change undergoing a makeover this year attitudes and trends within the industry designed to enhance its established to reflect the demands of a consumer brand rather than create a new one. hungry for more authentic content.” The most immediately recognisable The campaign logo perfectly change is the addition of a traditional represents the company’s change in Japanese house-style pentagon to the ethos. While it remains true to itself and

its loyal fanbase (retaining the familiar red star), enclosing this symbol in a Japanese-style house sums up the new slogan, ‘The home of Japanese games’. “There are brands out there, such as Manga and Tokyopop, that have done for DVDs and books what we are about to do for the Japanese gaming space,” Alty explains. “It’s important that we are seen to ‘own’ Japanese games in the west. That’s our clear purpose. That’s our single-minded proposition. It’s clear, it’s simple, and it’s us.” So what brought about this need for change? The company has already seen considerable success in its first four years of trading, particularly with its additions to the long-running Harvest Moon series and the critically acclaimed No More Heroes. However, changes in its current market focus, the Wii and DS, have prompted this bout of introspection. “Nintendo’s blue ocean has become a red ocean in the third-party space’ says Defries. “It’s now full of hundreds of products, full of ‘me too’-isms, updates, add-ons and sequels. It’s become an extremely challenging market with everybody wanting a slice.” The division on Nintendo’s platforms between core and casual gamers has given Rising Star pause for thought,

STRONG START Rising Star is set to bring a variety of titles to retail in Q1...

XG BLAST! (DS, Out Now)

RUNE FACTORY (DS, February 13th)

POPULOUS DS (DS, February 27th)

LUX PAIN (DS, March 27th)

LITTLE KING’S STORY (Wii, March 27th)

A hardcore arena-based 2D shoot-‘em-up certain to satisfy fans of the genre with its intense gameplay and wealth of challenges.

A Harvest Moon spin-off with role-playing game elements, making for an adventure that can please fans of both gameplay style.

The iconic simulation series makes its handheld debut. Hopes are high that the game will stand out from the busy DS crowd.

A surreal mystery title in which players must save the residents of a small town from a malevolent parasitic entity.

Gamers are granted control over a fledgling kingdom and its inhabitants – and must expand to form a fully-fledged empire.

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FOCUS ON JAPAN: RISING STAR GAMES STAR’S STRIKER Martin De Fries, Rising Star Games COO, discusses the company’s future…

highlighting the importance of standing out in an over-saturated market. “As a brand and publishing entity, we’ve really spent a lot of time thinking about this, and we need both recognition and credibility about what we do,” says Defries. “We think we have that. The products we have are good. We have a desire for them from the consumers. We just need to get them to market, and we need to get them to a market that is broader than the one we’re reaching at the moment.” To achieve this, Rising Star will not only be promoting its future titles under this fresh brand, but will also be marketing them together as a range with appeal to everyone with a taste for Japanese culture. The new campaign logo will be present throughout, while

the accompanying artwork for the company’s promotional materials will draw inspiration from the products’ homeland. RISING STAR... ON THE RISE

Through a focused and intense four-tier approach to the market, and bucking recent trends with a significant marketing spend, the company will focus on a six-month programme of advocate creation (high profile and community), partnerships (vertical markets and retail), multi SKU presentation and a programme designed to encourage consumers to search by genre rather than format. Advertisements with the range’s pack shots will feature cute, Japanese characters, either against a

faded background based on famous Japanese artwork or arranged around a Sushi bar. By playing up to instantly recognisable conventions that the public associate with Japan, Rising Star Games strengthens the connection between its products and the Land of the Rising Sun – and has a real chance to fully establish itself as the ‘home of Japanese Games’.

What are your aims for Rising Star? What position in the UK market would you like to achieve? Our goals are clear: when you see any game carrying our star logo, you think ‘authentic Japanese games’. It is not our intention to compete with or recreate ourselves as EA or Ubisoft. Rising Star Games has a clear and distinct style and product offering that appeals both to our core fanbase as well as breaking out and providing genuine cult appeal to a wider market. We believe that we are perfectly placed for a ‘market challenger’ approach, at a perfect time for the industry. A leader must set tone,

“It is not our intention to compete with EA or Ubisoft. Rising Star Games has a clear and distinct style.” keep systems moving and not disrupt the status quo. A challenger can be bold, set new agendas and offer exciting alternatives. This passion and energy will reach the consumer through marketing initiatives with one clear branded message. Tell us about your Q1 line-up. How does it relates to the new brand strategy? The Q1 line up is significant in many ways and is the physical culmination of all our planning. They are a representation that whilst our brand story is important it is of course the products themselves that create that story. With Rune Factory providing a new brand extension for Harvest Moon; a Japanese re-imagining of the classic Populous; true anime style storytelling in Lux Pain; classic retro from XG Blast and the first genuine new franchise break through of 2009 in Little King Story this is not a marketing spin – this is a genuine statement of intent backed by great product.

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FOCUS ON JAPAN: INTERVIEW MASANORI WAKE, HUDSON SOFT

‘Soft

touch

From Bomberman to Sports Island, Hudson has always been a leader in the family gaming space, but has now reaffirmed its commitment to bringing home-grown Japanese titles to the West. Christopher Dring speaks to Hudson’s Masanori Wake on the iPhone, digital downloads, and the firm’s new European focus…

Hudson is now publishing its games through Konami. Can you tell us how this came about? Hudson Soft is one of the Konami group’s companies, and Hudson and Konami Digital Entertainment GmbH are affiliated corporations. Konami has long been active as a publisher in Europe, but was separate from Hudson’s products and didn’t have commercial relations with Hudson. Therefore, Hudson sold its games on a title-by-title basis to European publishers. However, in accordance with the reinforcing of global business since the year before last, Hudson started to work with Konami as its main publisher in Europe.

How important is Europe to Hudson? Are you hoping to increase your Western focus? Europe is an important opportunity for Hudson. European marketing shows a great deal of similarity to the Japanese sector, with growth in games aimed at family users – a target demographic that Hudson has always had strong links to. As such, Europe seems to have a lot in common with Hudson’s specialised genre of choice, so we will be looking to expand our presence by focusing on Europe in the coming years.

What’s been the highlight and the most disappointing aspect of your last year? 2008 was a good year for Hudson. We are very happy that Sports Island has been succeeding with sales well over our expectations. As such Sports Island has been 2008’s highlight, and a considerable hit.

What are the key products for you in 2009? Hudson’s key products for 2009 are Job Island: Hard Working People and Sports Island 2 for Wii. We expect both titles will have good sales in line with those of Sports Island.

WAKE: The Hudson Soft exec says that the firm plans to expand its European business

You’ve pumped a lot of money into digital products, especially for WiiWare. How profitable has this been for you? With WiiWare, Hudson initially planned to release one piece of content per month. However, we maybe crossed too

You’ve announced some titles for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Do you see it as a rival to the DS? As a way to exploit new marketing, I think it’s very important. I think the iPod Touch and iPhone will help replace lower carrier business in the Japanese mobile sector. However, Europe seems to have a lot in the new format won’t become a major common with Hudson’s genre competitor to the DS. of choice. We’re looking at This is partly down to expanding our presence. the price and because Masanori Wake, Hudson Soft maintenance costs are expensive. many genres too quickly, and the Additionally, users must arrange Wi-Fi development cost has been piling up. connection for iPod Touch themselves, The majority of titles are at a break-even because it is intended as an audio player position, but we know we can do better. originally. In my opinion, digital products cannot replace boxed products. You own some big franchises such However, there are products that as Bomberman. But is the creation come into existence exclusively for of new IP important to you? the digital market. Digital is a good We would like to increase our sales and thing, but will need to coexist alongside profits every year. To achieve our goal, boxed releases. new IP is absolutely vital. We plan to

introduce an original IP product into the European market every year. Are you confident in your plans for 2009 considering the current economic climate? How are you deadling with the so-called economic slowdown? I am confident in Hudson’s plans for 2009, because we always take matters for the following fiscal year into consideration. Then, we implement a variety of measures for them. In the current depressed global market, gaming is not one of the basic necessities of life. However, gaming is already well-established in worldwide culture, and is a key part of people’s entertainment needs. On the other hand, in a depressed economy, people want more for their money. If a lot of people can play games for long time, most people feel gaming can be an economical amusement. I therefore believe the gaming industry has means to buck the market trend.

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BEST GRAPHICS TECHNOLOGY

For stock orders please call Clair Radford at Centresoft on 0121 625 2893.

© 2008 Disney. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO. Release dates, product names, and/or visuals shown are of product currently in development and may be subject to change.

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WHAT NEXT FOR THE PSP?

Hardware sales for the PSP have always been steady – and Sony is launching new coloured white, silver and red units this year

Does PSP need an WITHOUT doubt, the headline story of this generation has been the rise of the Nintendo DS and Wii. But many forget that the latest hardware cycle was kickstarted not just by Nintendo’s handheld but Sony’s too. In the age of Brain Training and the iPhone it’s easy to dismiss the PSP platform on the basis of its flaws. Yes, it has a proprietary disc format which is only used by games after being given the cold shoulder by Hollywood. And arguably, while its games include good titles from strong franchises it doesn’t have a ‘must-own’ headline game. Plus, publisher support has fallen. Yet as a hardware platform it’s a huge success, selling over 40m units globally. Its form factor has been incrementally improved to a device that now boasts a built-in TV-out and microphone with GPS and camera add-ons. It even offers unique video download services. But still, the software sales story is very different – and inconsistent – around the world. Contrast the data on pages 15 and 26, for instance: last month, PSP accounted for just 3.6 per cent of the UK software market in unit terms, whereas in Japan a PSP game was 2008’s biggest title.

It’s against this backdrop that in 2009 a number of publishers are releasing key titles that they hope will drive the format’s software market – and perhaps reverse the fortunes of the device. FIRST PORT OF CALL

Koei is one such publisher. Its Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce kicks off a range of titles out later this year hoping to lead a resurgence on the platform. Others include Monster Hunter (Capcom), Phantasy Star Portable (Sega) and Final Fantasy Dissida (Square Enix). “There’s no secret that retailers are seeing less and less PSP product coming through,” says Will Curley, Koei’s European sales and marketing chief. “But I know internally from our own teams, and also amongst other publishers, there are big budget PSP titles coming.” Curley says that when touting the firm’s new titles to retailers and the press he’s been keenly pushing the idea that the latest wave of software represent the next step for PSP. He explains: “In many ways all these titles represent the next-gen of PSP. That’s the message we are trying to get out there, both around our game

We have to get the message out there that quality exclusive titles are available for the PSP with more on the way as well. Will Curley, Koei

Strikeforce and also about the content from other publishers in general.” Retailers, he adds, are hungry and receptive for something new to sell to those buying the PSP hardware, too. “All of them have said to me that they want more products and exclusives – because games like Crisis Core were big sellers for them in ‘08,” Curley says. “No one’s ever complaining that they are struggling to sell the hardware – it has been a consistent success, but in software terms we have to get the message out there that quality exclusive titles are available and still to come as well.” Part of that is a message to be delivered in tandem with Sony, he says, but adds it is also the responsibility of publishers, too. “We are talking about changing the perception of the PSP, so it has to be our muscle as a publisher.” STATION MASTERS

Of course, the best company to ask about the future of the PSP is Sony – and the format holder is certainly confident that the format can hold its own in 2009. “Our strategy this year will see us running a continuation of the Whole World Campaign which focuses on the

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WHAT NEXT FOR THE PSP?

SOS? many benefits PSP brings to consumers lives,” Claire Backhouse, the PSP’s UK product manager explains. Sony is keenly pushing the fact that the hardware provides players with a variety of different functions. Sony is using sites such as YouTube and Bebo plus a new dedicated PSP site www.yourwholeworld.co.uk to get this message out there in 2009. More new colours of hardware are on the way too. But hardware has never really been the problem for the PSP – speak to retailers and they are positive about the machine, which has managed to sell over 3.2m in the UK since launch. It’s software sales which have slowed down. Is it possible that the multifunction of the hardware distracts users from playing (and buying) games? “I think consumers are very savvy when it comes to technology and what they are using their PSPs for,” says Backhouse, adding that for consumers the PSP proposition is gaming along with many other functions. “Whilst gaming is still the top function, consumers appreciate the high quality of the screen and see the PSP as a perfect device for watching movies,

While the DS dominates the handheld market and the iPhone is stepping up to challenge it, what of Sony’s PSP? The handheld is over four years old and has sold over 40m units globally, but publisher support has waned. However, some are fighting its corner, as Michael French reports… create smaller games with lower investment, but added revenue.” So what else can be done to build the PSP market further? With the format being such a key driver in Japan, is it possible for it to become as big a force in the UK and Europe? Or are there cultural differences that simply

doing well in the UK: “There are slight cultural differences between different countries, that are reflected in the popularity of different software genres. However, RPGs loved in Japan can still appeal in our markets.” Sony’s focus will remain on titles relevant to the territory, however: “This year we are also launching a host of significant PlayStation The release of unannounced IPs on the PSP, the first yet significant franchises will being Resistance Retribution, re-invigorate current users which will help drive sales. and attract a new audience. It’s these core IPs that we Claire Backhouse, SCEE believe will help broaden the appeal of PSP in the UK, and explain why titles like Monster Hunter when coupled with functionality such as and Dynasty Warriors can be huge hits Go!View and Go!Cam, make the format over there but not over here? a very attractive proposition.” Backhouse is confident that the Backhouse adds: “Granted, perhaps CULTURE CLASH format can become a huge force – and there hasn’t been the volume of high However, she suggests that digital hints that Sony has plans to improve the profile PSP titles we would have liked downloads are a decent way to combat format’s standing further in 2009. to have seen on the platform. But we this, tempting consumers away from “The PSP can become a huge continue to focus heavily on software downloading games illegally for free to force in the UK and Europe, but most development. The fruits of that you will obtaining games digitally, legally, but at likely not through games that are see later this year, with the release of a competitive prices. popular in Japan,” she says, adding that number of currently unannounced, yet Says Backhouse: “The PSP store Sony will continue to release key firstsignificant franchises that will reaccessible on the PSN is a great asset to party games for the format. But that invigorate the current user base, as well PlayStation, as it allow developers to doesn’t stop those ‘big in Japan’ titles as attracting a whole new audience.” TV shows and viewing other content. This is highlighted by the success of the Go!View service we launched in conjunction with Sky. Additionally, listening to music, taking photos and video with the Go!Cam, or browsing the web and communication via Skype has also proven to be popular.” One thing which has impacted PSP software sales has been piracy, she adds. “Some of the slowdown in software sales can also be attributed to piracy, unfortunately. This is always a challenge for any platform owner, due to the rise of illegal download sites on the net,” says Backhouse.

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ON SALE

20 FEBRU

2009

“The professional’s choice of racing game” “Closer to the reality of driving a racing car than any game before.” 8 out of 10 Official Xbox Magazine

www.atari.com/racepro © SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. RACE PRO is a trademark of SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. All rights reserved. Used under authorization by SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. Manufactured and Marketed by Atari Europe SASU. Atari and the Atari logo are trademarks owned by Atari Interactive, Inc. Aston Martin Racing is a trademark used under license from Aston Martin Lagonda Limited. Trademarks, design patents and copyrights are used with the approval of the owner AUDI AG. The BMW logo, the BMW name and the model designations Z4 and M3 are trademarks of BMW AG and are used under license. Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette C6-R, all related Emblems, and vehicle body designs are General motors Trademarks used under license to SimBin Studios AB. Dodge is a trademark of Chrysler LLC. Dodge Viper and its trade dress are used under license by SimBin © Chrysler LLC 2008. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners and used under license.

Jump in.

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Marketing Highlights include: • 12-month PR campaign red-lining around launch • Presence at key consumer shows including Top Gear Live • Advertising and advertorial campaign across leading Xbox and motoring magazines

For Sales information, contact: Nationals / Atari UK Sales: Indies / Advantage:

020 8222 9700 0121 506 9592

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UK SALES ANALYSIS: JANUARY

New Year’s cheer Despite fears over the economic climate, Janauary 2009’s games sales figures were up 37 per cent in unit terms and 21 per cent in value over the same period in 2008. Michael French looks over the monthly GfK-ChartTrack data to see what games offered the big gains for our booming sector… THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

[SOURCE]

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 5 4 6 7 8 9

SALES SHARE BY FORMAT

UNITS

NINTENDO WII NINTENDO DS XBOX 360 PC PLAYSTATION 3 PLAYSTATION 2 PSP APPLE MAC OTHERS

24.3% 20.4% 19.0% 15.6% 12.5% 4.1% 3.6% 0.1% 0.0%

The Wii has made it three months on the trot as the biggest software format in the UK, while the DS has scored second place in that time, too. The Nintendo console’s ascent seems to have mostly eaten into the 360’s software share; in November the split was 22.2 per cent Wii and 22.1 per cent 360. Presumably, the big driver has been post-Christmas sales of back catalogue Wii games bought by those who got the console as a gift.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 1 3 5 4 6 8 7 9 16

SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY ELECTRONIC ARTS NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT UBISOFT SEGA THQ SONY TAKE 2 SYMANTEC

VALUE

15.3% 14.8% 12.6% 9% 9% 5.2% 3.7% 3.6% 3.6% 3.4%

EA topples Nintendo in the post-Christmas sales (the data on these pages covers December 28th to January 24th). Most telling is that EA’s success is driven by its non-Nintendo format titles (as the format-specific charts below attest). As usual, Nintendo rules the full price and budget Wii charts and most of the DS top ten. Yet EA’s recent strategy shift towards Wii products could make for a very different story over the coming months.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 2 3 6 4 7 6 8 9

SALES SHARE BY FORMAT

VALUE

NINTENDO WII XBOX 360 NINTENDO DS PC PLAYSTATION 3 PSP PLAYSTATION 2 APPLE MAC OTHERS

24.6% 22.2% 17.3% 15.4% 14.9% 2.6% 2.6% 0.3% 0.0%

There’s a different story when you look at format share by value. Yes, Nintendo rules here, too – but in just a few months its share has grown by over four per cent (in November it had 20.7 per cent). Over the same period, Xbox is down 5.6 per cent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the format is generating less on a monthly basis than it was pre-Christmas – just that the software spree sparked by its harware price cut may have subsided.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 1 4 3 5 8 6 9 7 17

SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY ELECTRONIC ARTS NINTENDO UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA MICROSOFT THQ TAKE 2 SONY SYMANTEC

UNITS

14.1% 13.2% 10.8% 10.4% 5.9% 5.5% 5.1% 4.4% 3.7% 2.7%

In a unit basis, publisher market share is quite different (once you get down the list past the reign of EA and Nintendo). Ubisoft, THQ and Take 2 all claim larger chunks of the pie, primarily thanks to their Wii and DS offerings – both publishers have titles and/or franchises which sell in large quantities at lower price points. As we revealed last week this is an area more are keen to target – such as Activision’s new Fun4All brand.

INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHARTS: JANUARY 2009 NINTENDO Wii (FULL PRICE)

NINTENDO Wii (BUDGET PRICE)

NINTENDO DS

XBOX 360 (FULL PRICE)

1. Wii Fit (Nintendo) 2. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) 3. Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games (Sega) 4. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision) 5. Rayman Raving Rabbids TV (Ubisoft) 6. Animal Crossing (Nintendo) 7. Sonic Unleashed (Sega) 8. Shaun White Snowboarding (Ubisoft) 9. LEGO Batman (Warner Bros.) 10. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (EA)

1. Wii Play (Nintendo) 2. Carnival: Funfair Games (2K) 3. Big Beach Sports (THQ) 4. Big Brain Academy (Nintendo) 5. Guitar Hero III: Legends (Activision) 6. WallE (THQ) 7. More Game Party (Midway) 8. Sports Island (Konami) 9. Guinness World Records (Warner Bros.) 10. LEGO Star Wars Complete (LucasArts)

1. Brain Training (Nintendo) 2. 100 Classic Book Collection (Nintendo) 3. More Brain Training (Nintendo) 4. New Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo) 5. Mario Kart DS (Nintendo) 6. 43 All-Time Classics (Nintendo) 7. Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games (Sega) 8. Nintendogs: Lab & Friends (Nintendo) 9. Imagine: Teacher (Ubisoft) 10. Big Brain Academy (Nintendo)

1. Call of Duty: World at War (Activision) 2. Gears of War 2 (Microsoft) 3. FIFA 09 (EA) 4. Need For Speed: Undercover (EA) 5. Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) 6. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision) 7. The Lord of the Rings: Conquest (EA) 8. Quantum of Solace (Activision Blizzard) 9. Call of Duty 4 (Activision Blizzard) 10. Fable II (Microsoft)

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UK SALES ANALYSIS: JANUARY ALL FORMATS TOP 50: JANUARY

While Wii Fit ruled the recent weeks’ All Formats charts, and FIFA 09 was the Xmas No.1, Activision Blizzard’s latest Call of Duty was the biggest seller in January. The franchise continues to grow and grow, with previous title Modern Warfare steaing a comfortable No.14. Even though it has only been out for just over three months, World at War has almost matched its predecessor in terms of unit sales. That bodes well for the still unannounced, but nevertheless expected Modern Warfare 2.

Need For Speed: Undercover has managed to maintain consistent sales after Christmas to secure third place in the January chart. Although this is possibly one of the last times you’ll see the brand so high up in the listings. EA’s recent announcement that it was splitting the brand into three titles – a free PC game, a hardcore console sim and dedicated Wii versions – spells good news for the life of the franchise, but perhaps means an end to the juggernaut single-brand strategy that has made the series so prominent over the last five years. Fallout 3 continues to hold a decent chart position. The PS3 version sold better than the 360 and PC iterations in January, driven by new console owners and a bargain price point of £24.99 at a number of retailers. PlayStation 3 exclusive LittleBigPlanet also continues to sell well. Its place at No.23 might not suggest FIFA-worrying sales, but it is the best-selling new IP game on this listing.

Nintendo’s 100 Classic Book Collection racks up a respectable No.24 in the month’s Top 50. Another installment in the Touch Generations line, this will no doubt become a regular fixture on these charts like the various Brain titles and enduring sellers like 42 All-Time Classics. The game also made it to number two on the Nintendo DS’ dedicated chart (below).

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Call of Duty: World at War 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS.................Activision Blizzard FIFA 09 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, DS, PC.....................................................Electronic Arts Need For Speed: Undercover 360, PS3, PSP, PS2, Wii, DS, PC..........Electronic Arts Wii Fit Wii............................................................................................................................Nintendo Guitar Hero: World Tour Wii, 360, PS3, PS2......................................Activision Blizzard Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Wii...................................................................Sega Mario Kart Wii Wii...........................................................................................................Nintendo Far Cry 2 360, PS3, PC .....................................................................................................Ubisoft Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training DS........................................................................Nintendo Quantum of Solace 360, PS3, Wii, PC .....................................................Activision Blizard Gears of War 2 360.......................................................................................................Microsoft Fallout 3 PS3, 360, PC ..................................................................................................Bethesda Tomb Raider: Underworld 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC .............................................Eidos LEGO Batman: The Videogame Wii, DS, 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC.........Warner Bros. Sonic Unleashed Wii, 360, PS3...........................................................................................Sega Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC..........................................Konami Prince of Persia 360, PS3, PC........................................................................................Ubisoft The Lord of the Rings: Conquest 360, PS3, PC, DS .............................Electronic Arts Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 360, PS3, PC, Mac......................Activision Blizzard Shaun White Snowboading Wii, 360, PS3, PSP, DS, PC........................................Ubisoft Grand Theft Auto IV PS3, 360, PC............................................................Rockstar Games Football Manager 2009 PC, PSP.....................................................................................Sega LittleBigPlanet PS3................................................................................................................Sony 100 Classic Book Collection DS...............................................................................Nintendo Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party Wii, DS.............................................................Ubisoft More Brain Training From Dr Kawashima DS..................................................Nintendo New Super Mario Bros. DS.........................................................................................Nintendo WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2009 PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP....................................THQ Mario Kart DS DS ...........................................................................................................Nintendo Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Wii, PS2, 360, PSP, PS2.............................Electronic Arts Midnight Club: Los Angeles 360, PS3......................................................Rockstar Games Saints Row 2 360, PS3, ........................................................................................................THQ Left 4 Dead 360, PC ...........................................................................................Electronic Arts Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Wii, 360, PS3, DS, PSP, PS2...................LucasArts Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City Wii .......................................................Nintendo Resistance 2 PS3.....................................................................................................................Sony Skate 2 360, PS3..................................................................................................Electronic Arts Fable II 360 .......................................................................................................................Microsoft MySims Kingdom DS, Wii..................................................................................Electronic Arts 42 All-Time Classics DS.............................................................................................Nintendo Nintendogs: Lab & Friends DS .................................................................................Nintendo Tom Clancy’s EndWar 360, PS3, PSP, DS .................................................................Ubisoft Imagine: Teacher DS..........................................................................................................Ubisoft Big Brain Academy DS .................................................................................................Nintendo Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe 360, PS3.............................................................Midway Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS..................................................Nintendo Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 PC, 360.......................................Electronic Arts Dead Space 360, PS3, PC..................................................................................Electronic Arts Wii Music Wii......................................................................................................................Nintendo Lips 360 .................................................................................................................................Micrsoft

PLAYSTATION 2 (FULL PRICE)

PLAYSTATION 3

SONY PSP (FULL PRICE)

PC (ALL PRICES)

1. FIFA 09 (EA) 2. Need For Speed: Undercover (EA) 3. Call of Duty: World at War (Activision) 4. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (Konami) 5. LEGO Batman (Warner Bros.) 6. Tomb Raider: Underworld (Eidos) 7. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 (THQ) 8. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision) 9. Sing It: High School Musical (Disney) 10. Star Wars: Force Unleased (LucasArts)

1. Call of Duty: World at War (Activision) 2. FIFA 09 (EA) 3. LittleBigPlanet (Sony) 4. Need For Speed: Undercover (EA) 5. Fallout 3 (Bethesda) 6. Resistance 2 (Sony) 7. Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) 8. Prince of Persia (Ubisoft) 9. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar Games) 10. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision)

1. FIFA 09 (EA) 2. Need For Speed: Undercover (EA) 3. Football Manager 2009 (Sega) 4. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (Konami) 5. LEGO Batman (Warner Bros.) 6. Star Wars: Force Unleased (LucasArts) 7. Midnight Club: L.A. Remix (Rockstar) 8. WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 (THQ) 9. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 (EA) 10. Manhunt 2 (Rockstar Games)

1. Football Manager 2009 (Sega) 2. C&C: Red Alert 3 (EA) 3. WoW: Lich King (Activision Blizzard) 4. The Sims 2: Double Deluxe (EA) 5. Call of Duty: World at War (Activision) 6. Spore (EA) 7. World of Warcraft (Activision Blizzard) 8. Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar Games) 9. Fallout 3 (Bethesda) 10. The Sims 2: Apartment Life (EA)

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IGN “...it’s definitely one of the best Harvest Moon games we’ve played. Simply put, this is the Harvest Moon experience you’ve been waiting for.”

Out February 13th

For national account enquiries, please contact Mastertronic on 0845 234 4242

For independent sales, please contact Advantage Distribution on 0121 506 9585

www.risingstargames.com

© 2008 Marvelous Entertainment Inc. Licensed to and published by Rising Star Games Ltd. The trademark of ""Harvest Moon"" is registered by Natsume Inc.

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MARKETING ACTIVITY s%XTENSIVE0RINT!DVERTISING s/NLINE s4RADE-ARKETING THROUGHOUT&EBRUARYAND-ARCH

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PROFILE: CHANNEL ADVANTAGE

Three for all IT’S EASY FOR many of us to forget the important role that non-core companies in the games industry play. The people pressing the discs, writing the manuals or designing the POS for every release are, in their own way, unsung heroes who ensure new releases make it out to shelves – and sell. Channel Advantage is one of the companies of this ilk. Despite a dip in profile over the past year, the company – which specialises in retail marketing – has reformed its games offer in the past 12 months into the dedicated games agency CG3. CG3 encompasses the firm’s threepronged approach to games retail – hence the name – taking Channel Advantage’s core elements of in-store work, audits and events to specifically serve the needs of games publishers and retailers. This dedicated games solution provides a field solution for publishers including marketing teams, ad hoc work and tactical operations.

CG3 is here to help publishers and retailers achieve the best possible result. Auditing will be more in demand in future. Tony Hall, CG3

GAINING AN ADVANTAGE

“We wanted to offer clients a more dedicated solution,” explains Tony Hall, MD of Channel Advantage. “CG3 is a fresh approach. It better represents the

FOCUSED ON SUCCESS: CG3’s Jonathan Dunnett (left) and Tony Hall (right)

Channel Advantage has restructured its trade marketing offer into CG3, a dedicated games agency. Michael French speaks to the team involved…

three services we offer to the industry. It’s a so much more complete solution and is geared directly towards what publishers want, and exploits the fact we are very experienced in all aspects of retail marketing.” With all that in mind, a boom area for the company over the last six months has been work on shopping centre tours, which have been a popular marketing route amongst publishers as they look to demonstrate products to consumers. It’s especially relevant given the rise of the Wii, Guitar Hero and DS. MALL & MIGHTY

Client manager Jonathan Dunnett explains that CG3 organises the staff to man the stands and trains them in how the products – all of which helps encourage additional sales. “The great thing about these events is that they are close to the point of purchase,” he says. “And the footfall that shopping centres get is phenomenal – that kind of activity really puts products in front of people.” Key partners Activision and Disney have benefitted greatly, with their massmarket and family-focused products put in front of consumer eyeballs during the busy Q3 and Q4 shopping seasons.

But other partners have been taking advantage of CG3’s other offer – specifically auditing, which harnesses Channel Advantage’s squad of reps to check in-store marketing, uploading data live via PDAs; they can even deliver missing POS by hand. “CG3 is here to help publishers and retailers achieve the best possible results,” says Dunnett. “I think auditing will become more in demand going forward as publishers look to make sure that their in-store marketing spend has paid off.” He adds that CG3 can be especially useful during a period for retail when spending on staff – compounded by the economic climate – is at a minimum: “Given the pressures on retail you can imagine how valuable this interface is for chains and publishers.” A key word regularly used by the CG3 team is ‘tactical’ – part of the pitch for the new agency is that publishers can select what parts of the service they need and tailor their plans accordingly. “The tactical approach has aligned us much closer with publishers,” says Dunnett. “We have a much better service now and one which can bring real benefit to the market.”

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2009 FORECAST: THE YEAR’S BESTSELLERS

Top of the

pops In this research piece, Lutz Muller asks leading games retailers from around the world about their predictions for this year’s best-selling games… FOR THIS 2009 video game forecast (see right), I have asked my contacts at Gamestop US and Germany, as well as at the GAME Group, Target, ToysRUs and Wal-Mart, to rank this year’s video games for me, in terms of predicted sales. I need to add here that the input from my German friends favoured PC games over others given the German predilection for this. The ranking does not reflect a judgment on the artistic merits of these games – but rather a pure focus on likely sales potential. Given that the voters were retail buyers, it is likely to assume that they will have had an eye on the size of the orders they are likely to place for each title – and this could have, of course, influenced them. In the full list of titles given (91 in total – 50 are presented here and the full list can be found online at Mcvuk.com) it’s perhaps not too surprising that Electronic Arts is clearly the leader both in terms of total games as well as in their overall weight, followed relatively closely by Activision and Sony. Given the strength of the two companies, Nintendo and Take Two are astonishingly low on the totem pole, but then so is Microsoft – which lends credence to the rumours that this heavyweight company is currently hunting for an acquisition. This ranking is further validated by what my friends at WalMart tell me. A number of the games released this month and featured in the list are doing exceptionally well with this retailer – Afro Samurai, F.E.A.R. 2, The Godfather 2, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Halo Wars, Killzone 2 and Street Fighter IV were mentioned in particular.

LUTZ MULLER’S PREDICTED CHART Rank Title

Publisher

Consoles

1

Halo 3 Recon [ODST]

MS

2

Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

TakeTwo

DS

3

Warhammer 40000 Dawn of War

THQ

PC

4

God of War 3

Sony

PS3

5

Halo Wars

MS

360

6

Guitar Hero: Metallica

Activision

PS3

7

Killzone 2

Sony

PS3

8

Resident Evil 5

Capcom

360

9

Star Craft 2: Wings of Liberty

Activision

10

Diablo III

Activision

11

Heavy Rain

Sony

12

Madden NFL 2010

EA

13

World Of Warcraft: Dungeon Companion

Activision

PC

14

Wii Sports Resort

Nintendo

WII

15

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Activision

16

Harry Potter & the Half Blood Price

EA

17

Street Fighter IV

Capcom

360, PS3

18

Final Fantasy XIII Agito

Square Enix

360, PS3

19

Bioshock 2: Sea of Dreams

Take Two

20

Brutal Legend

EA

21

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Lucas

22

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Activision

23

Red Faction Guerilla

THQ

360, PC, PS3

24

Infamous

Sony

PS3

25

MadWorld

Sega

26

Wolfenstein

Activision

27

Trivial Pursuit

EA

WII, 360, PC, PS3

28

Tom Clancy HAWX

Ubisoft

WII, 360, PC, PS3

29

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins

Ubisoft

WII

30

Splatterhouse

Namco

360, PS3

31

Assassin’s Creed 2

Ubisoft

32

Bionic Commando

Capcom

33

Darksiders: Wrath of War

THQ

34

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride

Square Enix

35

Alien Colonial Marines

Sega

36

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

Square Enix

37

Ghostbusters

Atari

38

The Godfather II

EA

360, PC, PS3

39

Batman: Akham Asylum

Warner

360, PC, PS3

40

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Codemasters

360, PC, PS3

41

Saboteur

EA

360, PS3, PC

42

Skate 2

EA

360, PS3

43

Sonic and the Black Knight

Sega

WII

44

The Conduit

Sega

WII

45

The Sims 3

EA

PC

46

Dante’s Inferno

EA

360, PS3

47

Dead Rising: Chop ‘til you drop

Capcom

48

Dragon Age: Origins

EA

49

Eledes: The Adventures of Kay

Konami

DS

50

House of Dead: Overkill

Sega

WII

360

PC PC PS3

WII, 360, PS2, PSP, DS

360, PS3

WII, 360, PC, PS3, PS2

360 360, PS3 PC 360, PS2

WII 360, PC, PS3

TBC WII, 360, PS3, PC 360, PS3 DS 360, PC, PS3 WII, DS WII

WII 360, PS3, DS

PROFILE: LUTZ MULLER Lutz Muller is a Swiss analyst who has lived on five continents. In the US he was CEO for four manufacturing companies, including two in the toy industry. Since 2002 he has provided competitive intelligence on the toy and video games market to manufacturers and financial institutions coast-to-coast. www.klosterstrading.com

20.02.2009 www.streetÄghter.com ©CAPCOM U.S.A., INC. 2008, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. “2”, “PLAYSTATION” and “PS3” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

Exclusive Capcom Distribution Partner. Contact the Centresoft Capcom Team. Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 121 625 3818

Š 2009 Electronic Arts Inc, EA, the EA logo, SimAnimals, and the SimAnimals logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. NINTENDO DS, Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

6/2/09 09:36:50

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OUT NOW! RUN THE WILD! In SimAnimals™ you can touch, move and play with a forest full of wild animals. Take control and show nature how it’s done!

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PERSONNEL

Tim Clark steps up at OPM Two new recruits join Future’s flagship PlayStation mag  SouthPeak appoints Burman and Smith to PR team FUTURE  Several changes have been made to the team behind the UK’s Official PlayStation Magazine. TIM CLARK has been promoted from editor to editorin-chief and will now oversee both the magazine and the upcoming Official PlayStation Magazine digital magazine that will be available exclusively through PlayStation Network. The UK digital magazine follows the launch of Future’s monthly ‘e-publication’ Qore on PSN in the US. Two new recruits have also joined Future’s UK digimag team, as part of the reshuffle,

CLARK: Steps up to become Editor-In-Chief of OPM

with DAVID BODDINGTON taking on the role of content producer and JAMES JARVIS named as assistant product.

SOUTHPEAK  SouthPeak has announced two additions to its PR team in the UK. VICTORIA SMITH has joined as PR and marketing executive. She has previously worked at Codemasters for three years, where she was the licensing executive on the motorsports titles including Race Driver and Colin McRae. ROB BURMAN has started as European PR manager, after previously working at 505 Games and Codemasters as the UK PR manager. He will now be responsible for driving awareness for SouthPeak’s growing catalogue of titles.

Music Box Leisure is one of the largest independent distributors of Audio, Video and Games supplying some of the UK's largest Retailers. It supplies a range of major supermarkets as well as motorway service stations and ferries. Music Box Leisure sources products from the major music and film companies and creates multi-buy ranges which are tailored to the retailers' requirements and do not follow exclusively either the chart or budget route. This is a real exciting time to join this highly successful and expanding distributor that can offer true career growth.

Games Buyers – All levels Location – North West England

Salary - Dependant on position and experience

Their continued success and the growth of the games market place has meant that MBL is looking to grow their games buying division and they have opportunities at all levels for Buyers with experience in the games market. Experience Required It is essential that you have experience in the games buying market with a supplier or retail organisation, this ideally will be in all formats Hardware, Software and Accessories but any candidates with a successful career history in any of the disciplines will be considered. Skills Required You will be dealing with some of the major blue chip supermarkets and retailers in the country so it is essential that you have a professional and highly commercial approach with excellent analytical, negotiation, communication skills and proven time management.

Entertainment Returns Coordinator Location – North West England

Salary - Excellent dependant on experience

Due to MBL winning a new major contract they are looking to add a returns coordinator to their Supply Chain Division. This is a high profile and autonomous position for the right individual to make a big impact on the bottom line for the business. The position will involve managing the whole return cycle of CD, DVD and Games from the customer to the publisher where appropriate. You will be liaising with the in-house buying, merchandising and supply chain teams as well as the retail customers and the individual publishers. Experience Required You will have experience in the entertainment environment in any or all of the entertainment areas within a buying, merchandising or supply capacity and have a good understanding of the returns policy and process involved with this. Experience can be gained within a retail, distributor or publisher environment. Skills Required This area can have a large impact on the profitability of the business and requires an individual that can manage the process under their own autonomy. You will have excellent analytical, communication and negotiation skills and have the drive and desire to make a real difference.

If you have the skills and attributes and wish to apply for any of the positions please send your CV with covering letter to their recruitment partners:

Contact: Lance Lloyd

Recall Consultants Ltd 173a Ashley Road, Hale, Cheshire, WA15 9SD Telephone: 0161 926 46 40 email: lance.lloyd@kcmb.co.uk Any applications sent directly to MBL will be forwarded on to Recall Consultants Ltd.

DENKI: ‘No.1 fan’ Thompson with the firm’s creative director Gary Penn

DENKI  DAVID THOMSON has joined development studio Denki, filling the unusual role of ‘number one fan’. Essentially filling a position similar to that of PR manager, Thomson’s responsibilities will

include raising awareness of Denki’s titles. He said: “Denki’s commited to creating a new generation of original games. I want the world to know all about them and to understand why The Denki Difference is so important.”

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WITH THIS ISSUE... MCV takes an exclusive peek at Nintendo’s New Play Control! range, including Mario Power Tennis

ALSO THIS WEEK... MY PET SHOP P46 Square Enix takes the plunge into the casual sector on DS CEVILLE P48 Kalypso Media releases a smart 3D point-and-click adventure to PC POPULOUS P49 Rising Star Games re-invents Peter Molyneux’s classic god sim on DS LET’S PLAY P50 Koch’s Deep Silver label launches its own kids’ range for DS

RESIDENT EVIL 5

SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING P51 One of the eeriest series in living memory returns on PC, PS3 and 360

The wait is over for the latest installment in Capcom’s bloodthirsty series.

FAMILY SKI & SNOWBOARD P54 Atari brings a sequel to last year’s Family Ski to UK retail

Pages 44-45

OUT 27TH FeBRuARy ON NINTENDO DS

ULTIMATE MD COLLECTION P55 Over 40 classic Sega games get reinvented in High Definition

SO Many PeTs. SO MuCh Fun.

Tel: 01279 822 822 Email: sales@gem.co.uk

Tel: 020 8664 3456 Email: mail@creativedistribution.co.uk

Tel/Fax: 0121 625 3818 Email: tomm@centresoft.co.uk

Email: sales@trilogy-uk.com

www.mYpeTShOpgame.COm PUBLISHED BY

© TAITO CORPORATION 2007, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

DEVELOPED BY

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RETAILBIZ: RESIDENT EVIL 5 44 MCV 13/02/09

Resident Evil returns for its first 360 and PS3 outing, and is guaranteed to sell by the bucketload when it arrives next month. James Batchelor needs to ration his ammo…

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RESIDENT EVIL 5 is gaming’s answer to the various Hollywood zombie blockbusters. For every George A Romero movie, there’s a Resident Evil game – be it a canonical instalment in the series, or a spin-off exploring a world ravaged by bioterrorism and the failed experiments of the evil Umbrella Corporation. The series has gathered an impressive fanbase over the years, with each game announcement sparking storyline theories and each new trailer triggering mass excitement as familiar faces return. Each release has been met with both critical and commercial success, so it’s safe to say any future titles in the series won’t have a hard time finding an audience. To date, the series has sold more than 34 million copies worldwide since the original Resident Evil debuted in 1996. March sees the arrival of the longawaited fifth entry in the series – sixth if you count the prequel Resident Evil Zero. (yes, this is the kind of franchise

that doesn’t just spawn sequels but also prequels). As the first true Resident Evil title to be released since 2005 – and the first to be released on the 360 and PS3 – the hype surrounding this title cannot be understated. Also notable for being the first in the series to be released simultaneously across multiple platforms, Resident Evil 5 potentially has

Resident Evil 5 arguably has a larger amount of pre-release hype than any of its predecessors. a larger pre-release following than any of its predecessors. Set after the events of Resident Evil 4, this new instalment marks the return of lead character and fan favourite Chris Redfield, the protagonist from the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Now a member of the Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance, Redfield spends his days globetrotting as he deals with threats of

bioterrorism, hoping to put his days of zombie-battling behind him. On his latest assignment, he is tasked with travelling to Africa to investigate a biological agent that has been transforming the local residents and wildlife into mindless, psychotic creatures – in other words, slavering zombies. As the situation escalates out of control, Redfield soon finds himself fighting for survival once more as he tries to uncover who is behind the plot to unleash this deadly virus. Players aren’t alone this time, as the Resident Evil formula shifts towards a more cooperative dynamic. Redfield is accompanied on his mission by his new partner Sheva Alomar, a trained field agent assigned to support and assist him. While players only have direct control over Chris, they can issue commands to Sheva on the fly. Their partner will then pick up items, provide covering fire or help them shift large objects, and if gamers find themselves close to death,

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RETAILBIZ: RESIDENT EVIL 5 WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sheva will be able to heal them automatically. They will also be able to perform co-op manoeuvres such as assisted jumps, allowing Sheva to scout ahead while Chris covers her. TAG TEAM

The dynamic also lends itself to a fullblown co-operative mode, where two players can work together through the main campaign, fighting off the maddened locals side by side. Teamwork will be key and players will need to use every tactic that Chris and Sheva show in the single-player mode. There will even be sections where they are forced to split up, allowing them to test their skills and reflexes against the zombie hordes as they try to regroup with their partner. The co-operative mode will be available offline for players in the same room and, in a major first for the series, online as well. Gamers from around the globe will be able to team up and take on the entirety of Resident Evil 5 in the first online multiplayer mode from a main entry in the long-running franchise.

MCV 13/02/09 45

That’s not to say the game will be easy going if you call in a human partner. The enemy AI has been enhanced from previous versions, making them faster, deadlier, and more intelligent. They react to the players’ tactics, so if one player takes on a crowd of infected Africans head-on while the other provides covering fire from the rooftops, some of the creatures will turn their attentions to the second player, firing at them from a distance. The superior AI and online multiplayer functions are just some of the improvements the current generation hardware has been able to give the Resident Evil series. While its predecessors are famed for their graphical sheen, Resident Evil 5 easily surpasses their efforts, making the horror even more realistic than before. The choice to set this game in daylight makes it stand out from the crowd, both against earlier Resident Evil games and rival titles, as no place becomes safe under the scorching African sun. Improved lighting effects, such as harsh light and deepest shadow,

RELEASED: MARCH 13 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: CAPCOM DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

make the game a visual feast, while the well-directed cutscenes maintain the series’ cinematic flair. RESIDENT AT RETAIL

Success for Resident Evil 5 at retail is guaranteed. Even without direct marketing, the hype surrounding the game is phenomenal, thanks in part to the success of Resident Evil 4 on GameCube, PS2 and Wii. More than a million gamers have already downloaded the PS3 and 360 demo, desperate for a taste of the thriller, and Capcom confidently believes the additions of the co-operative multiplayer mode, not to mention the hardware boost inherent to a new generation of consoles, will make Resident Evil 5 as revolutionary as its predecessors.

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RETAILBIZ: MY PET SHOP 46 MCV 13/02/09

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CUTE: My Pet Shop’s cast of characters will appeal to young DS owners

Stepping away from its standard fare of hardcore RPGs, Square Enix is to try its hands at the casual gaming phenomenon. Christopher Dring takes his DS for a walk...

BACK IN 1996 the Tamagotchi took over the world. Selling in excess of 70 million devices globally, the Tamagotchi brought the concept of the virtual pet to masses, and soon enough canny video game publishers would capitalise on this growing market. Even today, a good 12 years later, titles such as Nintendogs continue to sell in their millions. And now RPG specialist Square Enix is getting in on the act with its new casual DS title, My Pet Shop. “There is more than one feature that makes My Pet Shop stand out in a busy genre, although the defining feature has to be the animals themselves – both in

MY PET MARKETING Square Enix is determined to turn My Pet Shop into another established brand. So the publisher is hoping to entice gamers with a big advertising and PR push around launch, with sustained promotion throughout the year too. The initial launch campaign will include:

PR The publisher tells MCV that it is expecting 90 per cent and 4/5 review scores to appear around the game’s launch. Editorial on the game will also appear in key kids’ media including Animals and You, All About Animals, Sky Kids and Girl Talk.

Print The launch campaign will kick off with advertising across key kids’ media, with the majority of it arriving around the game’s release.

Online Square Enix’s online campaign will begin at launch and appear across highly targeted kids’ sites. The firm also has a dedicated website, www.mypetshopgame.com, which according to the publisher is ‘an activity destination in its own right’. The portal will appeal to casual consumers with games, competitions and download activities.

TV Square has programme sponsorship and promotional spots running on PopGirl, and competitions running across a number of kids’ channels.

terms of quantity and variety,” says Square Enix’s Charlotte Frazcek. “My Pet Shop offers over 40 different animals to care for, and in total over 120

including Chihuahuas, Siamese cats and lop-eared rabbits – it also includes other animals that gamers wouldn’t usually encounter such as pandas, pigs and penguins. “The game also includes a strong storyline Retailers can expect the title which accompanies the to start off strongly, and ‘collect and care for’ enjoy increased momentum gameplay, offering players over the coming months. the chance to enjoy My Doug Bone, Square Enix Pet Shop on more than one level. variations can be found throughout the “With Taito behind the development game. We know from other successes in of My Pet Shop, the beautifully crafted this market that the audience loves characters and the world they inhabit, household pets such as dogs, cats and and the subsequent quality of gameplay rabbits, and although My Pet Shop on offer, has to be highlighted as another offers many varieties of these – key feature.

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“The core audience is predominately girls aged six and up, but based on media feedback and more than of the few of us getting in to it, we can expect some older fans too.” TALK OF THE TOWN

Aimed at young girls, which is a new target for Square Enix, players must try and build up the best pet shop in Green Town by finding and caring for various animals, and become a vital member of the Green Town community. Also, the harder the player works and the more care they show to the animals, the more money they will receive – which can be

MCV 13/02/09 47

spent on fashion accessories for the pets. The game also boasts adorable visuals, the chance to enter a variety of competitions, and players can even share pets with friends over the DS Wireless Connection. My Pet Shop is certain to have the impulse-buy factor, with its credit crunch friendly price tag. But it is also bursting at the seams with features, animals and ideas, which the firm feels makes its game the best in the genre, and could make it the virtual pet title to own in 2009. “We see My Pet Shop achieving excellent sales throughout the year,

driven by not only the impulse purchase price-point, but also some incredible word of mouth,” adds Square Enix sales director Doug Bone. “The title is genuinely a strong video game in its own right and stands above equivalent titles in the genre. “Retailers can expect the title to open strongly, and then enjoy increased momentum over the coming months, as My Pet Shop becomes a leading title in the sector.” GOING CASUAL

Square Enix is hoping to create its first big casual brand with My Pet Shop, and will do battle with leaders in the sector such as Ubisoft’s Imagine range and Nintendo’s hugely successful first-party

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: TAITO PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM, CENTRESOFT, CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION, TRILOGY CONTACT: 020 7324 5200

releases. And the publisher is already embarking on a big marketing push in support of the title (see My Pet Marketing, left). Retailers can expect that eager customers will be very keen to get their paws on this on come the end of the month.

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RETAILBIZ: CEVILLE 48 MCV 13/02/09

Kalypso presents a pointand-click adventure as the forces of evil are overthrown by ‘an even more evil force of evil’. James Batchelor equips his rubber chicken with the pulley in the middle...

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KALYPSO HAS granted its own rule. Along their journey, gamers either development studio Realmforge Studios control Ceville, Lilly or Ambrosius. the chance to keep the point-and-click Sometimes they will have control over genre alive with the upcoming release of one character directly, while other times Ceville, a fantasy adventure with more they must direct them as a team. than a few amusing twists. While the game is a point-and-click The game takes place in Faeryanis, a adventure, the world has been rendered seemingly typical fairy-tale realm that is in full 3D, in a charming art style that ruled by the evil tyrant Ceville, who not only makes it stand out from similar persecutes his people and generally titles, but also gives an instant sense of makes their life a misery. As a result, the game’s tone: one of imaginative Ceville’s right-hand man Basilius leads a fantasy and cheeky humour. The revolution, seeking to claim the throne environments players are required to for himself. However, he has an even worse agenda We expect Ceville will be a in store for the kingdom. strong, constant seller in line Ceville is the only one with other quality PC titles who knows about his former ally’s plans. Now, that continue to sell well. he sets off on a quest to Andy Johnson, Kalypso search the realm for a way to defeat the evil of Basilius – and explore offer a good level of variety as replace it with his own, slightly tamer they scour the length and breadth of brand of evil. Ceville’s lands, visiting medieval towns “Players worldwide will enjoy the and villages, beaches and beautiful personality of Ceville,” says Kalypso’s countryside. commercial director Andy Johnson. “We As with any title in the genre, Ceville hope that the loveable and evil main sees players pick up a variety of objects character and the humorous fantasy that will be key to solving the game’s setting create a memorable and unqiue puzzles. From the more practical game experience.” examples of spades, hammers and Players guide the disgraced tyrant and compasses, to oddities such as a cocktail, his companions throughout the adventure, a bunch of grapes and a rat, all of the solving puzzles and dealing with colourful items serve both a meaningful and characters as they seek to restore Ceville's hilarious purpose.

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: KALYPSO DEVELOPER: REALMFORGE STUDIOS PRICE:£29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

The simple nature of the gameplay and controls means that Ceville has a much wider appeal than most current PC titles. This charming point-and-click adventure will not only entertain and engage veterans of the genre, but also the more casual gamers looking for a lighthearted fantasy that requires brain rather than brawn. Johnson adds: “We expect Ceville will be a strong, constant seller, rather than a massive day one hit, in line with other quality PC titles that continue to sell well for a long period of time. “Our PR and marketing plans are substantial, including print advertising and a comprehensive online campaign. We will also be running competitions online and through magazines, with a minimum of three months continuous marketing activity. “We are really looking forward to the release of Ceville, and will continue to support it with consumer and trade marketing through its life cycle.”

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RETAILBIZ: POPULOUS DS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 13/02/09 49

The original god sim returns to shelves as Populous makes its handheld debut on the DS. James Batchelor prepares to do some mighty smiting... IT’S AN ALMOST worrying trait of humanity, but we love to have control. The more the better, in fact. Part of the reason gaming has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment – gradually overtaking films, books and music – is because it gives consumers a level of control that’s unavailable anywhere else. In most cases that control is restricted to a single object, be it the main character or some form of vehicle, but occasionally games will put players in charge of more. Several franchises have become phenomenally successful by giving players this level of power, from The Sims series to Sid Meier’s Civilization. However, it’s doubtful these properties would have achieved the sales they boast if not for the pioneering influence of Populous. POPULOUSITY CONTEST

Universally agreed to be the first true ‘god simulator’, this 1989 Bullfrog title saw gamers taking on the role of one of five elemental gods as they battled with rival deities to shape the world in their own image. By levelling the land to create suitable building locations, attending to the populace and, of course, sabotaging your enemy’s efforts with some well-placed

original state at the end of the ‘80s, but also enticed audiences with its sequels and spin-offs over the next ten years. Then, inexplicable obscurity. Populous was relegated to the cobwebby recesses of nostalgia and fond memories, with no further releases planned. Now, 20 years after the original created a genre that has given us the likes of Spore and Black & White, Rising Star Games brings Populous back to shelves, not only marking the series’ return but also its handheld debut.

It’s the perfect time to release Populous DS now, on the 20th anniversary of its original release Yen Hau, Rising Star

natural disasters, you gather worshippers. The god that gathers the most believers to their cause by the end of the round stands a better chance as the followers of the two nations meet in a final battle for supremacy. Triumph here earns players the right to progress to the next round, tackling a new foe and manipulating a brand new world. It’s a simple premise that appeals to a wider demographic, although the game’s intricacies offer enough depth to satisfy the more cerebral of players. The formula not only proved to be popular in its

Veterans will once again be able to test their omnipotent mettle against other gods, either controlled by the AI or by other players, while newcomers to the franchise will be able to discover why the game is such a revered classic on a platform they’re more familiar with. Rising Star’s product marketing assistant Yen Hau explains why a new Populous is needed: “Populous hasn’t seen a new retail iteration since Populous: The Beginning on the PS2 in 1999, a full 10 years ago. It is the perfect time to release Populous

DS now, as this year is the 20th anniversary of its original release. STYLUS ICON

“The truth of the matter is that because of the way the original played – on a PC with a mouse and keyboard – the DS is the only console capable of successfully delivering this gameplay method. The other factor that coincides very nicely with this release is the current trend for releasing updates of older franchises.” The DS version remains true to the original, but makes the game even more accessible with the touch screen controls. The action is spread across two screens, giving players a better view of their world and followers, and even the handheld’s wireless capabilities have been taken into account. A new multiplayer mode allows gamers to battle their friends, frantically building up their own civilisation while hindering their foes with the power of earthquakes and other catastrophes. It also means the classic title can be experienced on the move, making it more convenient for fans of the original whose lives are considerably busier now. Preserving the gameplay of the original, Populous DS brings enough new additions and enhancements to lure veterans back while enabling brand new audiences to experience the game for themselves.

The DS’ two screens are used to provide a detailed view of the area while also giving a simplified outlook for manipulation

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: GENKI PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

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RETAILBIZ: LET’S PLAY 50 MCV 13/02/09

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Koch readies its newest range of DS titles, appealing to younger gamers with a selection of games perfectly suited to today’s casual market. James Batchelor chooses his profession…

OVER THE PAST few years, the world’s gaming demographic has changed dramatically. The market share held by reclusive teenagers has diminished rapidly as girls of all ages enter the fold, seeking a gaming experience more practical and more creative than simply killing things in a variety of gruesome ways. Ubisoft’s Imagine series has led the way for third parties, helping to create a new market for the bestselling DS. Now Deep Silver is set to try its hand at catering for this audience with the upcoming wave of Let’s Play games. GAMES FOR BOYS & GIRLS

With seven titles already announced, the Let’s Play range covers a good selection of interest for both boys and girls. The first four titles are set to arrive on February 27th, while the others are currently slated for a Q2 release. For boys, the fun starts with Let’s Play: Firemen, which puts them in the role of a rookie on his journey to becoming chief of a local fire station. To achieve this, players must complete missions in which they put out fires and save injured or trapped people. Every

successful job earns them more responsibility in their department. The DS controls are put to good use as gamers drive to the danger zone through the busy city traffic, operate equipment such as fire hoses and breathing apparatus, and put up support ladders with the stylus. Girls can look forward to Let’s Play: Fashion Designer, which tunes in to every young diva’s dreams of creating

Let’s Play: Schools sees gamers take on the role of a teacher on her first day at school. As well as educating their pupils with well-structured lessons and activites, they have to manage their interactions with the children, endeavouring to become one of the friendliest, coolest teachers at the school. They can aid pupils’ development by testing their dance skills, helping them with puzzles and encouraging them to be creative when drawing and cutting out pictures. With seven titles announced, This responsibility also Deep Silver’s Let’s Play applies outside the classroom, in the range cleverly caters for both playground and even in the boys and girls. school canteen. Those with a nurturing nature will also enjoy Let’s Play: Mums, the perfect outfit. They must design where players work as a babysitter to their own accessories and outfits in attend to babies and infants. order to rise from humble beginnings in Every aspect of this job appears in the a small boutique to becoming a worldgame, as gamers are tasked with renowned chain. feeding, bathing and entertaining their Once they’re satisfied with their children – even washing their clothes creations, wannabe designers can show when they’ve finished playing. them off to the global community by Let’s Play: Shops puts players straight organising fashion sessions and shows. at the top as they become the manager Alternatively, they can take a more of their very own shop. business-orientated approach, earning They have the option of running one money to open stores in locales such as of three stores, including a bakery, florist New York, Paris and Milan. and grocer. Activities and mini-games

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27/Q2 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER DEVELOPER: DEEP SILVER PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

will vary depending on the shop type they choose. However, all three avenues of retail requires players to maintain their business’ profitability. This can be achieved by ensuring that their products are prepared, their stock organised and the shop is kept clean. They will even have to get hands-on and serve customers from the till. ANIMAL HOSPITAL

For those with a love of animals, Let’s Play: Pet Hospitals encourages aspiring vets to tend to a range of animals, from guinea pigs to horses. After treating their injuries and nursing them back to full health, gamers must find them a happy home with the right owners – just the ticket for lovers of furry critters. Offering a professional, efficient service earns better fees, which can be spent on improving the hospital. A similar title, Let’s Play: Doctors, has been confirmed for Q2.

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RETAILBIZ: SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING WWW.MCVUK.COM

Hot rubbery nurses, leg monsters and a pantwettingly terrifying man called Pyramid Head: looks like Silent Hill is back. Ed Fear is on hand with the towels...

MCV 13/02/09 51

THE CRUSHING despair of how long means that attacking the otherworld’s it is until the next holiday. The cold various horrific denizens will now be bitter stab as winter reaches its peak. much more fluid and visceral than in The ghastly sight of that Christmas previous titles – don’t expect any credit card bill. awkward fumbling here. Forget October 31st – February is the MONSTER MASH true month of horror. So it’s somewhat Story-wise, the story once again takes fitting that this February also marks this place in the sinister town of Silent Hill – year’s focal point for horror games. In although, importantly, it follows Silent addition to a certain other high profile Hill 4’s example by broadening the shitrelease (see page 44 and 45), it’s also storm to the surrounding town of the time that Silent Hill – the horror connoisseur’s choice of spooks – once again casts Homecoming takes steps to its thick fog and ashen address its predecessors’ precipitation over the fighting system – don’t gaming world. And while it might have been a few expect any fumbling here. years since the last nonhandheld outing of the Shepherd’s Glen. Key locations from the game, that doesn’t mean that the town previous games will of course feature, has remained still in the interim. however, tied in as they are with the Developed by American outfit Double town’s sinister secrets. It follows war Helix under the supervision of Konami veteran Alex Shepherd as he returns and series producer Akira Yamaoka, home only to discover his little brother Homecoming takes steps to combat its missing. He sets out to find him, but predecessors’ clunky fighting system, along the way must battle with his own taking lessons (and the over-thedemons as he slowly loses his grip on shoulder viewpoint) from genrereality. Not to mention all the while redefiner Resident Evil 4. That focus

Expect lots of wonky camera angles, grainy visions of disturbia and crackling static as all hell starts to break loose

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: PS3, 360, PC PUBLISHER: KONAMI DEVELOPER: DOUBLE HELIX PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 8987 5730

discovering further bloody episodes of Silent Hill’s history, such as the source of the evil that enshrouds Toluca Lake, around which the titular town was built long ago. As the first chapter of the saga to be released on nextgeneration consoles, expect new levels of terror as their power is used to render the flesh-and-gristle inhabitants of the town’s darker side in even more disgusting detail. All of that is accompanied with an original soundtrack composed by series composer Akira Yamaoka to keep the audio pounding, clanging and generally unsettling players like the good old days of Silent Hill. Although, given what’s gone on in that town, it’s likely there never have been any good days...

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54 MCV524_final

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RETAILBIZ: FAMILY SKI & SNOWBOARD 54 MCV 13/02/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27TH FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

The sequel to 2008’s Wii Balance Board-propelled ski racer drifts onto retail shelves this month. Christopher Dring hits the slopes…

ONE OF THE first games to make use of Nintendo’s innovative Balance Board, Family Ski has sold 1.3 million units worldwide since it hit shelves in the summer of 2008. It was a good year for snow-based sports games, with Ubisoft announcing last month that it has sold through 2.3 million copies of its Shaun White Snowboard. And with the UK still reeling from last week’s snow storms, Atari is optimistic that Family Ski & Snowboard can be an even bigger hit. “Family Ski & Snowboard is the follow-up to Family Ski from Namco Bandai, and features snowboarding for the first time using the Wii Balance Board and Wii Remote,” says Atari’s head of PR Lee Kirton. “The game also gives you 7,000 vertical metres to play with across two huge mountains. This is most certainly a big game in terms of content, and you'll be able to ski and snowboard in a completely open environment with fully interactive scenery.” Family Ski & Snowboard allows gamers to either make use of the Wii

PISTE: Family Ski & Snowboard maintains its predecessor’s freeform structure, allowing gamers to explore the moutains at their leisure

Remote or Balance Board to play, and has improved controls over last year’s effort. Along with better mechanics, the sequel also features huge new over-thetop aerial tricks, half pipes, rails, massive drops and even avalanches. The game also features a plethora of challenges and courses, including

is certain to appeal to Wii enthusiasts. The title also boasts impressive cartoon visuals, which can be enjoyed during a ski-lift to the top of one of the game’s mammoth mountains. On top of the title’s impressive new features and visuals, publisher Atari has set aside significant marketing spend in order to appeal to Nintendo’s core fan base. This is certainly a big game in “We’ve got a four week terms of content, and you’ll TV campaign across be able to ski and snowboard terrestrial and satellite in an open enviornment. stations,” continues Kirton. “We’re also running a Lee Kirton, Atari nationwide road show with intense half-pipe courses and skiproduct sampling, competitions and technique challenges, with more relaxed other events, which will be backed by activities such as ski school, board school, heavyweight regional media promotion. slaloms, and even animal search and On top of that, we also have a huge rescue missions. The title also boasts a mass media PR campaign and major full competitive and free-skiing fourretail support.” player multiplayer mode, which is ideal Family Ski & Snowboard looks perfect for all the family. for Wii’s dedicated fanbase that are on As well as making use of the various the look-out for a new fun-packed racer. Wii control methods, the game allows Make sure to catch Family Ski on the gamers to use their Mii character, which slopes come the end of the month.

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RETAILBIZ: SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 13/02/09 55

THE BIG 40

Sega’s most comprehensive retro games collection to date gets the HD treatment on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Christopher Dring dusts off the Mega Drive and indulges in some true gaming gems... ONE OF THE gaming tragedies of the Considering the success of Sega’s In spite of the multiple ways gamers can 21st century was the day Sega announced get their hands on classic Mega Drive other compilations, the Ultimate it was to leave the hardware race. Collection could prove to be a big seller titles, Sega hasn’t held back in Despite the fact that both the Sega this month. The games on offer are truly producing a bumper new collection for Saturn and the Sega Dreamcast were impressive (see ‘The Big 40’), including Xbox 360 and PS3. fine machines, with equally impressive multiple Sonic, Phantasy Star and Streets HIGH-DEF REBOOT software, the firm was unable to reof Rage games. And there are many hours The Sega Mega Drive Ultimate create the success it enjoyed with its of gaming to be had from each title. Collection features 40 titles, more than world-beating Mega Drive system. The Sega is also targeting its die-hard fan any other Sega compilation before it. machine sold an impressive 29 million base with a big online and print marketing consoles worldwide, while push throughout February. the machine’s biggest Website takeovers are On the publisher’s Facebook software seller, Sonic the planned for Eurogamer, group, the Ultimate Collection Hedgehog 2, managed to while further MPUs, leaders was voted the most anticipated shift over six million copies. and web advertising are The format’s catalogue of scheduled for Computer Sega game ahead of Empire: quality software has proven and Video Games, IGN, Total War and MadWorld. to be timeless in its popularity. Gorilla Nation, Games Gamers are also no longer required to Sega has already managed to dip into it Radar and more. In print, features and unlock any of the games as all are with its critically acclaimed and top adverts are being lined up in Retro Gamer, available to play from the off. That said, selling Sega Mega Drive Collection, Edge and Games TM. which was released in 2007 for PS2 and there’s still a wealth of great hidden ULTIMATE SALES content, including interviews with the PSP. And that’s not to mention the Sega The Sega collections have always been original game developers and 360 Classics Collection, Sonic Mega ideal for nostalgic fans and new gamers achievements and PS3 trophies. Collection and the Sonic Gems who missed out on them the first time But perhaps the most exciting Collection, which were also big hits. around. And on the publisher’s Facebook element of the Ultimate Mega Drive It’s not just Sega that has benefited group, the Ultimate Collection was voted Collection is the fact that all the games from the cult and nostalgic popularity of the most anticipated Sega game ahead have been converted to vivid hithe Mega Drive either. Blaze released its of the likes of Empire: Total War and definition visuals, which will certainly portable Mega Drive handheld last year, MadWorld. Plus, with plenty of other excite die-hard Sega fanatics. The set which featured 20 titles. And the games back catalogue titles in Sega’s repertoire, also allows for two-player gaming with have proven to be a big success on the expect these games to keep on coming. compatible titles. Wii’s Virtual Console too.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle Alien Storm Altered Beast Beyond Oasis Bonanza Bros. Columns Comix Zone Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine Dynamite Headdy Ecco the Dolphin Ecco II: The Tides of Time E-SWAT Fatal Labyrinth Flicky Gain Ground Golden Axe I Golden Axe II Golden Axe III Kid Chameleon Phantasy Star II Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Ristar Shining in the Darkness Shining Force Shining Force 2 Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Sonic 3D Blast Sonic and Knuckles Sonic Spinball Sonic The Hedgehog Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Sonic The Hedgehog 3 Streets of Rage Streets of Rage 2 Streets of Rage 3 Super Thunder Blade Vectorman Vectorman 2 RELEASED: FEBRUARY 20 FORMATS: PS3, 360 PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: BACKBONE ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

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RETAILBIZ: HELLO POCOYO! 56 MCV 13/02/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

STARS: Hello Pocoyo! will feature all the familiar faces from the cartoon series, with players taking on the role of narrator

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: V2 PLAY DEVELOPER: ZINKIA PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

PlayV prepares to release the officially-licensed Hello Pocoyo! for DS, entertaining and educating the youngest gamers with its friendly, familiar characters. James Batchelor confesses to watching an episode or two...

WHILE THE mass media and the general grants him a range of new abilities. Whilst public seem to be all too keen to shout experimenting with the pencil’s mystical from the rooftops about the evils of video powers, he accidentally makes his friends games, few seem to focus on the benefits disappear, so gamers must help him they can offer. This is gradually changing. retrieve them by completing Hello Thanks largely to the various fitness and Pocoyo!’s various mini-games and puzzles. self-improvement titles available today, These activities offer plenty of variety, the concept of educational games has covering several areas of a child’s been around for several decades. development, such as hand-to-eye coEdutainment titles have been present ordination to simple rhythm. Whether on retailers’ shelves since long before assisted by their parents or playing games entered the third dimension. alone, youngsters will be set tasks These titles usually bear the licences of familiar Pocoyo is well-known to any characters or children’s parent with children under entertainment – in fact, even Mario has appeared five, boasting hundreds of in a number of these thousands of viewers. types of games. Now a new character enters the edutainment scene, one that ranging from colouring in to dance will be familiar to the current generation competitions, all in a context similar to of toddlers, in order to make his new Pocoyo’s televised outings. game more appealing. Hello Pocoyo! is Naturally, just as the mini-games will based on the official Pocoyo licence, a make use of all of a child’s skills, Hello character that has proven to highly Pocoyo! makes full use of the DS. So in popular with today’s infants over the last addition to the touch screen and stylus, four years. This fun-loving little boy the microphone is also utilised as tots inspires children with his limitless blow into it to keep Pato in the air with curiosity and his misadventures provide his umbrella, call Loula to dig up treasure, an entertaining narrative from which or make the sound of a racing car to young ones can learn. encourage Pocoyo to move faster. The game features a brand new This functionality can even be used to adventure for the mischievous scamp as motivate and direct characters throughout Pocoyo discovers a magical pencil that the challenges, placing the player in the

SCRIBBLES: Pocoyo’s magic pencil leads to all kinds of mayhem, providing plenty of varied activities to help young gamers develop

narrator’s role from the cartoons, voiced on TV by Stephen Fry. Keeping Pocoyo and his friends happy will mean they respond quicker to fans’ calls, helping them to complete each activity. Success unlocks items that can help Pocoyo explore new areas and access new mini-games. KIDS KNOW BEST

The Pocoyo universe is well-known to any parent with children under the age of five, having aired every week on CiTV since 2005 and is regularly rated as one of the Top 10 pre-school TV programmes. Hundreds of thousands of viewers tune in regularly, proving how big the potential audience is for this forthcoming title. While this level of familiarity is certain to help, PlayV is still pushing the game with a dedicated marketing campaign to raise awareness. Hello Pocoyo! will feature alongside its TV counterpart around the game’s release, having earned full marks in a CiTV review. It will also be advertised on Sky Kids throughout February. Finally, print ads will appear in Titan Magazine’s ‘Tots’ range, including Fifi And The Flowertots, Roary The Racing Car, and the official magazines for Lazytown and Noddy.

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RETAILBIZ: MR. BEAN & FUNCHUK WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 13/02/09 57

COLOURFUL: Logic 3’s Funchuks bring a bit of variety to Nintendo’s Wii

The much-loved rubber-faced man-child crash lands on Nintendo Wii. Christopher Dring grabs a paint pot and a hand grenade...

Logic 3’s re-designed nunchuks are designed to add a bit of colour to Nintendo’s ever-popular Wii. Christopher Dring takes a closer look...

IT SEEMS that nearly everybody loves Mr. Bean. The original TV show has been sold to over 200 different territories, with merchandise available in more than 45 of them. The TV show has also spawned an equally successful cartoon series and two hit Hollywood movies as well. In fact, the 2007 feature film Mr. Bean’s Holiday reached $220 million at the Box Office, with distribution in over 60 countries. And with a legion of Bean fans eager to see more of the silent loon, Blast’s latest platformer, Mr Bean’s Wacky World of Wii, is sure to get consumers excited. “Mr Bean is one of the best known and most lovable comedy characters and is popular with children of all ages,” says Mastertronic’s head of marketing Kirsty Payne. “The Mr. Bean DS game has sold extremely well for us and featured regularly in the ChartTrack Top 40

WHEN THE WII was first unveiled back in 2005, Nintendo showed the world a series of different coloured consoles. Along with the now iconic sleek white design, Nintendo displayed black, green, red, silver and even yellow systems, complete with matching Wii Remotes. Nearly four years later and Nintendo’s multi-coloured line-up appears no closer to launch. However, for those gamers after a bit of colour to add to their Wii hardware then Logic 3’s new Funchuk range could be right up their street. The Funchuk is based on Nintendo’s impressive Nunchuk. It boasts the usual Z and C buttons, as well as the eight-way analogue stick. It also features the accelerometers for motionbased gameplay. Although the shape is slightly different, it has still been ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in gamers’ hand, and is

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: Wii PUBLISHER: BLAST DEVELOPER: BLAST PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242

Nintendo DS Chart. The Wii version is brand new and combines a strong brand with excellent and varied gameplay.” BEAN TO BE WILD

In Wacky World of Wii, gamers tackle 12 levels, with over 20 mini-games designed for two-player multiplayer fun. Using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck to control the accident-prone Bean, gamers fight off enemies with a variety of chuckle-inducing ‘weapons’, including fly spray, a saucepan or rotten eggs. They even hunt for treasure, catch frogs with a net, and do battle in a fairground-style shooting range.

RELEASED: NOW FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: LOGIC 3 DEVELOPER: LOGIC 3 PRICE: £14.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01923 471 000

compatible with all Wii games that make use of the Nunchuk. FUNCHUCK FOR ALL

However, what separates the Funchuks from Nintendo’s original is the variety of colours available. The controller comes in black, red, green, yellow, orange and white. The success of Wii Remote skins goes to show how keen gamers are to add colour, while DS sales tend to spike whenever a new coloured SKU hits the market. Funchuks could well become the ideal alternatives to Nintendo’s first party design.

58 MCV524_final:43 MCV467

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 58 MCV 13/02/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Sony and Reef ready the big guns Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre is set to bring a touch of glamorous stealth shooting to Wii this month, as Sony lines up Killzone 2 – the biggest first-party release of PS3’s year so far. Ladies and gentlemen, grab your weapons... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

Action Military Air Combat Action Action Edutainment Edutainment RTS RPG RPG Action RPG RPG Racing Kids Racing Action Compilation Fighting Life-simulation Self-Improvement Sports Action

THQ Ghostlight V.2 Play Kalypso Media Midas Midas THQ Square Enix Square Enix Konami V.2 Play Konami Capcom Blast Atari Reef Entertainment Sega Capcom EA Nintendo RTL South Peak

0121 506 9585 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9590 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 020 8309 3600

Advantage Open Centresoft Advantage Open Open Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Open Centresoft Open Centresoft Mastertronic Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Koch Pinnacle

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

Action Platform Survival Horror RTS RTS Sports FPS Action Puzzle Strategy Platformer Imagine FPS Simulation Simulation Simulation Simulation Sports RTS Action Sports FPS Pets Sports Strategy RTS Horror Action Action RTS Action

Zoo Digital Ignition Entertainment Mastertronic Mastertronic Mastertronic Mastertronic 505 Games Capcom THQ Microsoft V.2 Play Ubisoft Sony Deep Silver Deep Silver Deep Silver Deep Silver Mastertronic 505 Games Ignition Entertainment Mastertronic 505 Games Capcom Mastertronic Rising Star Games Mastertronic Konami Disney Interactive 505 Games Ubisoft Ignition Entertainment

01279 822 800 01344 451507 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01279 822 822 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 01344 451507 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 01582 433700 0845 234 4242 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 456 6400 01344 451507

Gem Skream Open Open Open Open Advantage Centresoft Advantage Gem Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Koch Koch Koch Koch Open Advantage Skream Open Advantage Centresoft Open Mastertronic Mastertronic Open Centresoft Advantage Trilogy Skream

FEBRUARY 20th 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand Allied Ace Pilots B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad Ceville Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Dawn Of War 2 Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice Dragon Quest: The Hand Of The Heavenly Bride Eledees: Adventures Of Kai And Zero Lola and Virginia Lost In Blue: Shipwrecked MotoGP Wii Mr Bean Race Pro Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection Street Fighter IV The Sims 3 Walk With Me! Do You Know Your Walking Routine? Winter Sports 2009: The Next Challenge X-Blades

FEBRUARY 27th Army Men: Soldiers Of Misfortune Boing! Docomodake Clive Barker's Undying (Sold Out) Command & Conquer Red Alert (Sold Out) Command & Conquer Renegade (Sold Out) Cricket 2004 Cryostasis Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop Dropcast (Valusoft) Halo Wars Hello Pocoyo Imagine Ballet Dancer Killzone 2 Let's Play: Fashion Designer Let's Play: Firemen Let's Play: Pet Hospitals Let's Play: Schools Madden NFL 2006 (Sold Out) Men Of War Metal Slug 7 NBA Live 06 Necrovision Neopets Puzzle Adventure NHL 2006 (Sold Out) Populous Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (Sold Out) Silent Hill Homecoming Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals The Destiny Of Zorro Tom Clancy's EndWar Tornado

MUSTSTOCK ..................ROGUE TROOPER: QZM

MUSTSTOCK ..................................KILLZONE 2

Released: FEBRURY 20 Format: WII Publisher: REEF/UBISOFT Distributor: TRILOGY Contact: 0845 456 6400

Released: FEBRUARY 27 Format: PS3 Publisher: SONY Distributor: GUERRILLA Contact: 0121 625 3388

Reef boss Peter Rezon has told MCV that he believes Rogue Trooper: Quartz Zone Massacre will be “the best shooter on Wii”. We’ll have to wait and see to if he’s right – but the game’s mix of tactics, firepower and stealth add up to a winner.

The fanboy frenzy that Killzone 2 has already kicked off online is a good indication of the buzz surrounding the title – and it’s almost in retail’s grasp. Hype for this one began life as long ago as E3 2005. Sony has backed the release with a £2 million marketing spend in the UK.

MCV Awards Ad 2009_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 60 MCV 13/02/09

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INDIE CHARTS TRANSFORMED AS OLDER TITLES RETURN MORE THAN half of the positions in this week’s Indie Charts are taken by re-entries, as a total of 12 older titles replace the more recent blockbusters. The highest re-entry is the evergreen Wii Play, which sees another sales boost push it all the way up to No.2. Slightly further down, Nintendo’s 2006 DS platformer New Super Mario Bros takes the No.6 spot, while the Xbox 360 version of FIFA 09 rises to No.10. These are the only other returning titles to make it into the Top 10. Nine of the bottom ten positions in this week’s Top 20 are all taken by re-entries. Titles range from recent releases such as Guitar Hero: World Tour and World Of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King to considerably older games, including Total Overdose, More Touchmaster and Cooking Mama 2.

“Nine of the bottom ten positions in this week’s Top 20 are all taken by re-entries, including recent releases and considerably older games.” Nintendo sees a trio of returning titles as popular titles 42 All-Time Classics, Mario Kart DS and Mario Party DS take up positions No.13 to No.15. Wrath Of The Lich King is also accompanied by its sister title World Of Warcraft: Battlechest, which contains the original game and the first expansion, The Burning Crusade. Changes to the chart see Wii Fit rise from No.5 to No.1, mirroring its own success in the mainstream charts. Elsewhere, the PS2 version of Tomb Raider: Underworld falls several places to No.20. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

week’s frontline interviewee is Julian Slater of FROM THE FRONTLINE This Macclesfield’s local indie Bits ‘N’ Pieces... What makes your store unique? As the only indie store in the town, we are able to offer a much more customerfriendly atmosphere than a GAME or GameStation. I am quite picky with my staff and encourage them to chat to customers, not to sell to them. Plus, we can offer much better trade-in deals on games and hardware. We have quite a loyal customer base as some of our oldest customers now have kids who are coming into the store. What challenges is your store facing at the moment? The same challenges facing many retailers at the moment, with the credit crunch and recession looming. It’s a delicate balance of stock holding

and not over-spending. With the upcoming year again being mostly software driven with the exception of the DSi (which we’re very excited about), I think we can be happy in the fact that at least some margins can be maintained. Is any console/game performing below expectation at the moment? The big shock at the moment is the sales of new PS3 hardware, which are doing virtually nothing after the big push over Christmas. I’m not sure if this is down to people’s attitude towards spending almost £300 on a new machine or the lack of quality titles that have been released so far. I am hoping Killzone 2, Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV will provide a resurgence of PS3 sales.

ble at a l i a v All A

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

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Let’s face it – the standard guitar controllers available today are a little bland. For a genre that aspires to make players feel like rock stars, there’s something contradictory about handing them an uninspiring lump of plastic. dreamGEAR’s Warbeast changes that. Compatible with Guitar Hero, Rock Band and the upcoming Rock Revolution, this stylish controller bears the distinctive design of veteran heavy metal guitar makers B.C. Rich. The Warbeast works wirelessly, features a removable neck and is made of lightweight materials for added portability. It includes an extended strum bar, a more responsive whammy

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bar and a Star Power button to give players even more control, improving their chances of getting the ultimate high score. Additional faceplates will also be sold, allowing gamers to customise their axe to their hearts’ content. dreamGEAR: +1 310 222 5522

62,63 MCV524_final:46-47 MCV405

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 62 MCV 13/02/09

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

1 2 3 5 4 6 8 20 NEW

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FIFA ‘09 EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES EA

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

WII FIT FORMAT: WII

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

2

3

[3]

[4]

PUBLISHER

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI LEGO BATMAN WARNER BROS. LEGO INDIANA JONES LUCASARTS STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII SQUARE ENIX WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 2009 EA

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

[5]

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

TITLE

PUBLISHER

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

EA

3

2

4

NEW

COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC

5

4

PROFESSOR LAYTON DS

NINTENDO

6

6

MARIO KART WII Wii

NINTENDO

7

7

WII PLAY WII

NINTENDO

8

5

SKATE 2 360, PS3

9

12

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

10

13

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS

NINTENDO

EA SEGA

PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

11

14

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

12

15

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

13

10

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

14

11

LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST 360, PS3, PC

EA

15

29

LEFT 4 DEAD 360, PS3, PC

EA

16

9

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

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

17

8

MY FITNESS COACH WII

18

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

19

20

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC

20

17

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

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO 2K PLAY

18

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

FIFA ‘09

RE

1

DEVELOPER: BUZZ MONKEY PUBLISHER: EIDOS

1 3 2 5 6 4 7 9 8

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD

2 3 5 4 6 7 8 9 11

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

PROFESSOR LAYTON NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA SIMANIMALS EA CHRONO TRIGGER SQUARE ENIX

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

UBISOFT ROCKSTAR SEGA LUCASARTS

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA FOOTBALL MANAGER LIVE SEGA THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA CSI: NEW YORK UBISOFT CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SPORE EA FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA

3 2 4 7 5 6 8 9 10

EA

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 13/02/09 63

WII FIT HOLDS firm at the top for the fourth week

slips further, with sales down 20 per cent week-on-

running. Despite its grip on the charts, the game

week. It’s bad news for the Activision shooter,

hasn’t seen much of a decline in week-on-week sales

though – it’s still at third, the lowest the title has

– which is usually the case for long-running chart

been in the chart since its launch 13 weeks ago.

toppers. Instead, Wii Fit sales were down just two

Most impressive, however, is Mystery Case Files: Millionheir. The new DS title – which presumably sold thanks to its similarity to Professor Layton – is the only new release in Top 40, making it to No.4. Michael French

Same can’t be said elsewhere, though. While FIFA 09 rises up to second place, week-on-week sales are still down 12 per cent. Call of Duty: World at War

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

21

22

NEW

23

16

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

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

WARNER BROS.

SIMANIMALS DS, WII

EA

SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, 360, Wii, PC UBISOFT

24

22

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

SONY

25

25

SONIC UNLEASHED 360, Wii, PS3, PS2

SEGA

26

24

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

27

30

MARIO KART DS DS

NINTENDO

28

32

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS

NINTENDO

19

GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS

30

23

COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

360, PS3, Wii, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

31

37

RESISTANCE 2 PS3

32

33

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

33

28

FALLOUT 3 PS3, 360, PC

34

RE

SAINTS ROW 2 PC, 360, PS3

THQ

35

39

BIG BEACH SPORTS WII

2K

SONY THQ BETHESDA

36

31

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

37

34

FABLE II 360

38

27

BIG BRAIN ACADEMY: WII DEGREE WII

39

26

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

40

36

LEGO STAR WARS SAGA DS, PS3, 360, WII

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO MICROSOFT NINTENDO MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

TITLE

PUBLISHER

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS SETTLERS: HERITAGE OF KINGS FOCUS PEPPA PIG: ACTIVITY PACK GSP/AVANQUEST C&C: THE FIRST DECADE EA ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC BEJEWELED 2 FOCUS

RE

19 18

PUBLISHER

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FIFA ‘09 LITTLEBIGPLANET RESISTANCE 2 SKATE 2 LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST GRAND THEFT AUTO IV NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE

2 3 5 4 6 8 7 10 11

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA SONY SONY EA EA ROCKSTAR EA ACTIVISSION BLIZZARD ACTIVISSION BLIZZARD

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER

1

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SIMANIMALS GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING SONIC UNLEASHED ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY RAYMAN RAVIN’ RABBIDS TV PARTY FAMILY SKI

2 3 11 5 4 7 6 8 11

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

1 3 4 2 13 12 10

TITLE

KONAMI

29

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO SEGA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT SEGA NINTENDO UBISOFT NINTENDO

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SKATE 2 FIFA ‘09 LEFT 4 DEAD FABLE II LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST GEARS OF WAR 2 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR SAINTS ROW 2 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE

1 3 7 6 4 5 9 16 10

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

per cent.

WEEK ENDING 07/02/09

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA EA MICROSOFT EA MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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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 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21

DISTRIBUTION

LOCALISATION Absolute Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0141 220 5600 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 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

IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

DISTRIBUTION

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

CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.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 FEBRUARY 20th

GAMES MEDIA FOCUS With the release of the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s 2008 statistics, MCV takes a look at the UK’s games media, highlighting the highs and lows of the year. We also look to see what trends are emerging as print battles to keep up in an increasingly online-focused world.

MOVIES IN VIDEO GAMES As the stars take a stroll down the red carpet for the 2009 Oscars, we deliver a full round-up of the Hollywood-infused games heading to retail this year, from adaptations of the summer’s blockbusters to original projects under familiar licences. With more and more companies employing Tinseltown talent to improve their titles, has the line between games and movies vanished? FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27th

TERRITORY REPORT: EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE On the other side of our continent, the Eastern and Central areas are home to unique cultures of their own. Where there are people, there are gamers, and MCV investigates how they are supplied, speaking with the major retailers and publishers in these regions to find out how different things are for those on the other side of Europe. FRIDAY MARCH 6th

MCV AWARDS FINALISTS SUPPLEMENT Prepare for the MCV Awards with this comprehensive guide to the potential winners. Get the lowdown on each of the finalists for every category, as we explore each nominee’s history and their chances at securing victory when the awards are finally handed out on the evening of April 23rd. FRIDAY MARCH 13th

DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION MCV takes a look at the process between the end of a game’s development and its release, whereby the discs are protected against piracy and replicated ready for distribution. We speak to the key players in this sector in order to shed some light on this crucial, but often overlooked, segment of the industry. FRIDAY MARCH 27th

TERRITORY REPORT: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Australia is regularly in the gaming press, with many of the biggest adult games having to be edited before they can be released Down Under due to the lack of an ‘18’ certificate. MCV investigates the state of the Australian and New Zealand video game markets, speaking to suppliers, key industry personnel and analysts. FRIDAY APRIL 3rd

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL The digital game sector has never been more popular. 2008 saw the release of downloadable titles like Braid and Lost Winds, while highly anticipated DLC for Fallout 3 and GTA IV are on the way. MCV takes a closer look at this ever-expanding sector, and speaks to all the key service providers.

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 .........................................................01753 247731 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

This week, MCV speaks to specialist law firm Sheridans’ Tahir Basheer…

ABSOLUTE QUALITY . . . . . . +44 (0)141 220 5600 . . . . . www.absolutequality.co.uk LOCALISATION

Tell us about Sheridans. With over 50 years’ experience, we are one of the most respected law firms in the UK, providing advice to the leisure, media and entertainment industries. We also advise businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs on all aspects of the law. Today, games are being licensed across different media and formats, so we are well placed to ensure our games clients benefit. Could you tell us about your services? We combine a commercial approach with depth of experience across all areas of leisure and entertainment, challenging business conventions, protecting value and exploiting new revenue opportunities. Industry-specific teams work alongside operational specialists in employment, litigation, commercial and property law to provide clients with a robust,

PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

joined-up approach, underpinned by an unrivalled wealth of experience. Tell us something we didn’t know about Sheridans. We are contributors to a number of entertainment charities. The most notable is Nordoff Robbins, which is the UK’s leading independent provider of music therapy services offering over 30,000 music therapy sessions to children and adults each year. Any new developments happening at your company? We have just taken on Morris Bentata as a new partner to help grow the firm’s sports practice. As part of his role he will work across Sheridans’ portfolio of computer games developer and publisher clients, and will help to develop our company’s sports-related games opportunities.

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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 With TDR, you’ve a tried and tested way to increase your disc repair business and generate extra turnover and profit as a result. Call or visit our website to Venmill Buffer find out more. from £1595

01202 489 500

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

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

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

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Industry Pub Quiz to the PC Retail Awards, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

FEBRUARY 2009 D.I.C.E. SUMMIT Wednesday, February 18th Friday, February 20th Las Vegas, USA www.dicesummit.org

MARCH BAFTA 09 Tuesday, March 10th Park Lane Hilton, London www.bafta.org/awards/video-games GAME BASED LEARNING Thursday, March 19th Friday, March 20th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.gamebasedlearning2009.com PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk GDC 09 Monday, March 23rd – Friday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.com

APRIL

MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, February 19th Sway Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk The MCV/Xbox 360 Pub Quiz gives 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.

MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, April 10th Monday, April 13th Stoneleigh Park, Southampton www.mfestival.com.

JUNE E3 Tuesday, June 2nd – Thursday, June 4th LA Convention Centre, LA www.e3expo.com

JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Saturday, July 16th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com

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

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 70 MCV 13/02/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

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

Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt

ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE

Stenholm 1, 9400,

66 Hughes Street, Mile End,

Norresundby, Denmark

South Australia 5031

Phone: +45 70277640

Tel: +61 8823 41355

Fax: +45 70277650 email: sales@entertainment-trading.com Web www.entertainment-trading.com

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd,

Gateway Distribution ApS

Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

Tel: +6139573.9203

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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

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

NORWAY

GREECE

Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen

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

HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest

1042 Budapest, Arpad UT 112, Hungary Tel: +36 1 369 2686

MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

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

ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn

Fax: +36 1 272 0109

Poland

Email: bzsolt@576.hu

Email: business@techland.pl

Web: www.576.hu

Web: www.techland.pl Tel: +48 71 341 76 95

ICELAND

Fax: +48 71 343 98 96

PORTUGAL

INDIA

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

TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw,

Sena ................................................................Reykavik

Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

NEW ZEALAND

COMGAME 576 LTD

THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA.

AUSTRIA

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

ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira TM

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

BELGIUM

FRANCE

Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles

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

CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont

MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road, Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.

BENELUX

Tel: +91 22 28203319

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex

Fax: +91 22 28203334

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

GAMEWORLD

France

v.2 PLAY. LDA

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

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

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

ITALY GERMANY

Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano

Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

RUSSIA

Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno

DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD

Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10

tel. +357 22 666612

email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

www.greatgames.com.cy

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

Hamburg, Germany

Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

NETHERLANDS Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

AKELLA 12/1 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya st., 127015, Moscow, Russia Phone: +7 (495) 363-4612 Fax: +7 (495) 363-4615 http://en.akella.com

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 13/02/09 71

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...

Hitzona.............................................................Moscow

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

Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow

TURKEY

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

ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

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

UNITED STATES

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

BASCO, INC.

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

VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000

SPAIN

Fax: 1-718-228-4401

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

Email: sales@bascodistribution.com

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Web: www.bascodistribution.com

SPORTY: Planeta DeAgostini’s Farell discusses the upcoming PC Fit

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

INTERNATIONALSPOTLIGHT FRIENDWARE

DREAMGEAR, LLC

Marques de Monteagudo 18,

20001 S. Western Ave.

28028 Madrid, Spain`

Torrance, CA 90501

email: juan.bustamante@friendware.es

Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111

www.friendware.es

Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain,

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

16700 Schoenborn St.

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

#2 North Hills, CA. 91343

www.planetadeagostini.net

Tel: +1 818 920 9393 info@usgamesdist.com www.usgamesdist.com

VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,

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

28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

PLUTO GAMES

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

PO Box 10705, Office 103-104

JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo

Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE.

Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111

SWEDEN

Fax: +971 4261 8112

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

Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai

SWITZERLAND

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

MCV speaks to Ramón Farell of distributor and publisher Planeta DeAgostini Interactive… Could you tell us a bit about Planeta DeAgostini? The Interactive Division of the Planeta DeAgostini’s Group was established in 1998 with the intention of producing and distributing the Group’s contents on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM formats. Later on, it obtained foreign licences for localisation and distribution in the Spanish market. Nowadays, the division is made up of 14 people with our central HQ in Barcelona. We distribute more than 100 products (including educational, culture, PC games, and console games), with national and international partners such as Empire, Midas, Ghostlight, Blast, Nordcurrent, DTP, Oxygen, Crimsow Cow, Mastertronic, and Mindscape. Planeta DeAgostini Interactive has previous successful experiences with PC Spanish products. We have released a range of popular games, such as PC Futbol (football manager), Sombras de Guerra (based in the Spanish Civil War) and Brain Games (mental trainer). How successful have you been? Our division is among the top five best-selling PC game companies in the Spanish market, according to GfK data. Over the last four years we have also increased operations in console games distribution. Our goal, in two years time, is to consolidate and maintain the growth, while also developing our own video game projects, above all for PC.

How are you hoping to succeed in the PC software space? Our mission for PC products is to fulfill the new needs and tastes of the market, which is the key for maintaining success. We want to reach a wide audience with products that are good value for money but still offer great entertainment. Following that aim, we are about to release PC Fit, a software that combines exercise and fun. What is PC Fit? Why do you think it will be a success? PC Fit is a PC video game that offers sport and entertainment, and its main feature is being able to reach everyone that has a PC or laptop. This title includes a dance mat with USB connection and eight points of sensitive pressure, and has a very attractive retail price of just €39.95. It is compatible with both the standard keyboard and mouse combination or with the specially-created dance mat. Nowadays, with the hectic life we have, some people almost don’t have enough time to do sports or regular exercise. But it is a matter of fact that the body requires some physical motion in order to maintain energy and youth as long as possble.

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI Barcelona, Spain Telephone: +34 93 492 08 89 URL: www.planetadeagostini.es

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

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

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

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

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

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

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

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

Intent Media Tel: 01992 535647 www.intentmedia.co.uk

Root Tel: 0207 739 2277 www.thisisroot.co.uk Sarsen Software Tel: +44 (0)845 8679685 www.sarsensoft.co.uk

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

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

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

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

The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com

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

RECRUITMENT

Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0) 1225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk

Aardvark Swift Recruitment Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

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

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

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

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

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

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

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

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

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

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ok

In association with

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

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

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

Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com

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

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

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

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

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com

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

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

LEGAL SERVICES

Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com

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

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz 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

Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 0 www.dtp-entertainment.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

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

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

Scratch Busters Tel: 01992 535701 www.scratchbusters.co.uk

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

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

THQ Asia Pacific Tel: +613 9573 9200 www.thq-games.com/au Virgin PLAY Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 www.v2play.com

GBL_MCV print adver_v2

21/1/09

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Page 1

19th-20th March The Brewery, Barbican, London

Video Games, Social Media and Learning. learn through play, 99% of boys and ❛97%People of girls age 12-17 play video games ❜

Among the speakers

BBC FACTUAL ENTERTAINMENT

The power of collaboration between the games industry and the world of education has the potential not only to raise the bar but to move the game industry into an area that is more financially secure LORD DAVID PUTTNUM

integrate games within learning across the curriculum ❛ If we can we can make education the proper competition for our children’s minds ❜

2009

NOLAN BUSHNELL, FATHER OF THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY

Tom Watson MP Minister for Transformational Government

Our best teachers can look at children ❛ playing games and can draw out of it a whole lot of learning outcomes and that’s what’s happening. ❜

Nolan Bushnell Father of the video game industry Ian Livingstone Co-founder of Eidos

PROFESSOR STEPHEN HEPPELL

Do not miss the opportunity to attend the inaugural Game Based Learning Conference being held in London at The Brewery, EC1 on March 19th-20th.

Game Based Learning Conference 2009

Here you will join other thought leaders, policy makers, innovators, key practitioners, developers and publishers from the worlds of education, entertainment software and consumer electronics in a vital conversation about how video games and social media are having a profound impact on the quality of learning and teaching practice whilst creating a whole new marketplace.

www.GameBasedLearning2009.com

Terry Deary Author, Horrible Histories Derek Robertson Learning & Teaching Scotland Sean Dromgoole CEO, Some Research

10%

Sponsorship and exhibition enquiries please contact Isabel Fernandes on +44 20 7511 8773 or isabel@handheldlearning.co.uk

Associates

Alice Taylor Commissioning Editor, Education, Channel 4

special reader

Register now at

Media sponsors

Chris Deering Chairman of Codemasters

discount

use code: intentgbl09

Trade sponsor

Official airline carrier

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MCV 13/02/09 75

FORUM

WHS: The reaction

Readers of MCVuk.com react to last week’s cover story on WH Smith’s withdrawal from games retail…

“As an indie retailer, I don’t find this news a surprise or the further rise of non-specialists threat. But I am sceptical about the notion that other stores are widening their remit to include “I didn’t even know that they sold games in the first gaming goods permanently. I think Morrrisons, Borders and the place. The market is competitive and retailers should like will just see it as a fad – a way to catch casual customers stick to their core business rather than trying to put with games that are currently ‘in fashion’. their fingers in different pies, only to get burnt.” “I worry that it means publishers will switch to serving this audience only. Nintendo is lucky in that games like Mario Kart “WH Smith charge too much for their games and only ever can be enjoyed by all, but other publishers make support the market leader in most branches – PS2 in the last titles which just serve new kid and nongeneration and now Wii. They can’t compete and they’re gaming adult groups. What will happen lucky not to be in the same position as Woolworths.” “This is the to these ranges if consumers quickly e th of g in get bored of them? And what if “This is a shame given Smith’s history selling beginn r he publishers divert resources to make games – they were the only place other than Dixons ot an e end. Do I se games for a market whose where you could get Spectrum and C64 tapes! But s situation th or lw oo W oversaturation makes it unviable?” it’s not exactly a loss in today’s market, though.” “Wait – WH Smith sold games?”

coming on?”

“As many of us have said, this is a shame given Smith’s history in the market as a games retailer – say what you want about it now, but it used to be a force comparable to GAME. Of course, things have changed now. Take my local shopping centre – in Lakeside you used to be able to buy games in four or five shops, GAME, Thatz, Woolies and Smiths. Now it’s GAME, Thatz, HMV, Waterstones… how long until the shop that sells cookery equipment starts offering Nintendo’s Cooking Guide and Cooking Mama?”

FROM THE FORUM

“The local Oxfam has a better selection of current titles – WH Smith will certainly not be missed for games purchases. They should stick with what they are good at: newspapers and magazines, books and stationery.” “My local Smiths in Newport hasn’t sold new games since just after Christmas. They’re now selling off all stock, unboxed, for £2 a go. It’s a shame as sometimes they had a good range.”

www.mcvuk.com/forum

Is the games industry getting boring? ALL THE interesting and funny people are leaving the games industry. Maybe I just don’t get to hear about them but it seems that all the amusing little deals that used to get done years ago have fallen by the wayside in favour of a more corporate way of life.

I remember when a major peripheral deal was done in a greasy spoon café in Alperton between a grey importer and a ‘major name’ in peripherals back in the early Nineties. I remember a distributor who eventually became a major player and

‘jack of all trades’-type driving his estate car down to a well known distributor at the time with £100,00 and filling it up with grey import stock. I also remember a ‘bigshot’ joystick manufacturer going absolutely bananas because one of his sales guys had

fucked off with a disk full of business contacts in a blaze of glory. Nothing interesting happens anymore. Well, not since the Acclaim days anyway – and if we talk about that, we will all be sleeping with the fishes. Steve O’Brien

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WHAT WERE THEY

PIC OF THE

THINKING!?

WEEK

The unbelievable truth is that someone, somewhere thought these visionary gems were going to end up being a classic:

What a man. One week, he’s discussing the ribtickling merits of expelling methane in the direction of industry stalwarts; the next he’s getting cuddles from Lara Croft. Ian Livingstone. A hero amongst men.

No.10: Jumper: Griffin’s Story YEAR: 2008 FORMAT: PS2, Wii, Xbox 360

OFF THE RECORD

If you thought these stains upon the industry’s schedule were the exclusive preserve of yesteryear, think again. The now defunct Brash fastracked this movie adaptation through development last year and, boy, it showed. The handling as off-balance as a smacked-up wombat, and the story was less believable than an OJ Simpson defence plea. But it was the animation that took the biscuit, especially the ‘Samuel L Jackson’ avatar; which looked far more like eponymous ‘80s sitcom hero Desmond.

This week, Sega serenade us with some beautiful karaoke action as D3P shamelessley shows off some ‘e-flesh’ to promote its new title. And as couples cuddle up for Valentines, the ELSPA Chairman tells it how it is... BLOODY RIDICULOUS? And it’s over to D3P for Off The Record’s arbitrary ‘picture to offend feminist MCV readers’ section. This rather gratuitous image is being used to promote upcoming title Onechanbare. Our design team has spared this innocent flower’s blushes by splashing the MCV logo in the happiest place its ever been here. With the exception of your boss’ hands, obviously.

LOVE THY INDUSTRY If you’re settling down for a romantic meal with a loved one instead of going two-player on Mario Kart this Valentine’s Day, your relationship could be doomed. A new study by US retailer Game Crazy found that 80 per cent of couples would love to play with their partner – with Dr. Diana Kirschner, ‘relationship expert’ and author of Love in 90 Days concluding: “The couples that play together stay together!” Yeah, maybe. But what about grey-skinned singletons with an unhealthy onanism obsession, hey? Exactly. Still the last repressed minority.

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MCV 13/02/09 77

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

Readers’

lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

I tend to relax in work. It’s my social and home life which is full of deadlines, late nights, early mornings, endless travel, hustle, bustle and stress. Work is actually a welcome respite and provides a framework for order and joy. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Tough one obviously given there are so many – favourite game is Guitar Hero, favourite film is Lawrence of Arabia or Glengarry Glen Ross and favourite abum is Tommy by The Who or Sandinista by The Clash. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? Fondest memory of working in the industry was with Roger Large at Milia, before we worked out that apart from the sunshine the show was a total waste of time. Rog was working the floor in his ‘Tin Men’ style so I decided to help by getting a few ‘leads’ for him. The key qualification was that the 'lead' needed to speak little or no English and have the dress sense of Forrest Gump. Once I introduced the ‘lead’ to an unsuspecting Rog, I would get behind the ‘lead’ but stay in Roger’s eye line. Staring at him until his face broke satiated my immature sense of humour no end, it made Roger laugh as well. We ended each evening in Cannes in the same French-only speaking bar. We had a blinding night watching England lose to France in the Five Nations, but had imbibed ourselves with local culture and charmed our fellow drinkers with our fluent French. Forgetting to pay the

Bored of reading about fiscal quarters, declining profitability and earnings calls? Well you’re in luck. Welcome to the area of the magazine where industry kings stop talking shop. ELSPA chairman Andy Payne spills the beans...

bill was the best thing we ever did as it meant when we returned the next evening to settle up we were treated like kings. The owner, who was 6’ 4” and played rugby for Toulouse, became our instant friend and seemingly could understand mine and Roger’s fluent French perfectly. C’est magnifique!

MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... LISA MORGAN, GAME

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? Martin DeFries, pipped by Paul Patterson, pipped by Paul Millar, pipped by Garry Williams, pipped by Simon Jeffery, pipped by Nick Alexander, pipped by Roy Campbell, pipped by Roger Large, pipped by Dermot Stapleton who is just edged out by Jon Oldham. Possibly the funniest man on the planet. Then there is the funniest person on the planet – Kirsty Hewitt aka, Mrs P. I have no idea where she gets it from, but she is funny all day, every day. WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY? Personally, it was my granddad who was a no nonsense East Ender who ran his own business – think Sir Alan Sugar and you will get the picture. Professionally, it was Frank Herman, who used to have Siralan clean his car as a lad. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’? They are a constant. They are now. The last time I can remember was December 18th,

TIM ELLIS, HMV

GIAN LUZIO, PLAY

“I relax at work. It’s my ho me life that’s full of deadlines, late night s, travel and hustle and bustle.” 2008, in The Cross Keys, Endell St, London. Great to see so many friends in a boozer having fun, with no ‘show’ or ‘launch’ and no company expenses on show. Just honest. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? On a ‘trade mission’ in Seville with aforementioned Jon Oldham. We hired a car and drove into town to find a hotel which we had booked over the phone. We stopped to ask directions, which is always a risk. Needless to say the poor bloke who gave us directions spoke no English, and then proceeded to speak for about five mins. I remember something about traffic lights, a church and a bull ring. One hour later we were still lost, so I got out of

the car and hailed a cab. Jon followed me to the hotel which had underground parking. We could not get out of that either – every sign made us go round in circles and we felt trapped in an Escher-like world. We used the hotel as our base for the trip and got lost each and every time we came out of it, even getting the old bill to drive us home one morning after we had been walking around for hours aimlessly. When we left Seville, Lisbonbound, we did not bother with maps or indeed have any idea really where we were going. Once we hit the Algarve, we decided to phone England and get Jon’s wife to get the map out and direct us accordingly. It was a miracle that we actually got to Lisbon in time to see England lose against France. Again. This time at football. Happy days.

PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

DAVID POULTER, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

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W IN

F & IV M E A CO RI P O IE PO S W OF ER P TE IKM N IN N IS

To celebrate the launch of the New Play Control! brand, Nintendo is offering you the chance to win five copies of Pikmin and Mario Power Tennis. To get your name in the hat, simply tell us:

When was Pikmin first released? A) 1902 B) 2002 C) 3002 Please send your best guess to

playcontrol@intentmedia.co.uk 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

Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk

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, Will Freeman

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



FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Assistant Finance Manager: Michael Canham

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.

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MCV524 February 13th