MCV526 February 27th
The market for computer and video games
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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES 04 Online boom Issue 526 Friday February 27 2009 £3.25 18 DSi profiled Nintendo explains exactly why it thinks the new DS will excite the market Play.com CEO Stuart Rowe on why his site is beating bricks and mortar stores 07 Olympic champions Sega reveals ambitious targets for latest Mario & Sonic sporting title 20 Codemasters comeback Jeremy Wigmore and Alex Bertie on their hopes for Codemasters in 2009 22 ELSPA’s new boss Michael Rawlinson details his plans as the new trade association chief 25 Enta the market PC and peripheral specialist Enta outlines its new gaming strategy INCORPORATING EVERY BUYER G EVERY BRANCH G EVERY INDIE G EVERY WEEK Microsoft stores will launch across Europe Platform-holder plans to open stores in ‘major cities around the world’ to sell its software and hardware by Andrew Wooden & Michael French RETAIL STORES owned and operated by Microsoft are on the way to major European cities such as London – and the format-holder has confirmed to MCV it will be selling Xbox 360 games, hardware and PC titles through the new outlets. Last week, the firm announced plans to open a slew of its own official stores headed by David Porter, a 25year veteran of Wal-Mart. A Microsoft spokesperson told MCV that the product range at the stores “certainly will include Microsoft’s own software and hardware”. The move mirrors rival Apple’s retail play during 2001 – the firm responsible for iPod has experience stores in a few major cities around the world. “Our main objective is to change the buying experience for consumers around the world – to show and demonstrate Microsoft’s key consumer products in a deeper relationships will benefit: “The partnerships we have today with retailers around the world will continue to be an important focus area for the company and will benefit from these efforts. One of the goals of opening Microsoft stores is How the new Microsoft retail stores could look over 200 stores worldwide, 20 of them in the UK. Nintendo has owned stores in Times Square, New York and Japan. Sony, meanwhile, operates a number of Sony Centres around the world. “Porter and his newly created retail stores team will drive the planning and timing of store locations,” our Redmond-based source added. “Our target is a small number of high profile and more meaningful way, making it more simple and easy for consumers to purchase PCs and devices that truly meet their specific needs.” While the move is sure to ruffle some retail feathers, Microsoft says its trade “ Our main objective is to change the buying experience for consumers around the world. Microsoft spokesperson to better engage with consumers and gain a better understanding of the consumer PC and device purchase experience. We expect to apply these learnings across our existing retail relationships as well as in our own stores.” ” Finalists unveiled for MCV Awards 2009 NEARLY 40 different companies will fight it out for the big prizes at the UK games industry’s trade awards in April. Electronic Arts leads the way with seven finalist slots, whilst HMV, Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo boast five each. GAME, Ubisoft and CHIPS have a chance in four categories each. New names are featured too, such as The Hut, Lovefilm, Bethesda, Gameplayer, Rising Star, D3P, Media Molecule and Music Box Leisure. Most awards are based on teams, apart from the MCV Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition, which rewards an individual for service to the games retail sector. The RAB Finalists this year are Darren Bowen (Ubisoft), Andy Yates (Nintendo), John Clark (Sega), Mark Howsen (Sony Computer Entertainment) and Jonathan Grimes (Microsoft). “The MCV Awards continue to be fought over by an exciting mix of large and small GAME took home one of the key awards in 2008. Who will be victorious this year? companies, established players and newcomers,” said MCV publisher Stuart Dinsey. “The winners will be decided by a 100-strong Judging Panel, so there is all to play for on the night.” The 2009 MCV Industry Excellence Awards take place on Thursday April 23rd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. For a full list of Finalists, turn to pages 13 to 15. I For tickets contact Kathryn.Humphrey@bhpr.co.uk PERSONNEL 30 RETAIL BIZ 31 NEW RELEASES 41 HIGH STREET 42 CHARTS 44 4 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM NEWS [LEADER] PRIDE & PERSPIRATION So here we go then, it’s two months until the seventh MCV Industry Excellence Awards and the Finalists have been named. Not everyone will be happy but, thankfully, that’s not one of the criteria anyway. The Finalists stage is a hardnosed business, with Team MCV picking out special cases for special praise. Then we let the Judging Panel decide winners. And there’s a hundred judges to moan at. We even publish their names, but only after they have voted. So all above board. Anyway, congratulations to the 38 Finalists that will take their seats with pride, and perhaps a little perspiration, on Thursday April 23rd. Enjoy the moment, you deserve it. Whether GAME or Gameplayer, Disney or D3P, Media Molecule or Music Box Leisure, the important thing is to enjoy the success of being a Finalist in such a competitive market. And should the prize elude you, some polite applause and heavy drinking should ease the pain. We’re beating bricks Online giant’s CEO says it beats traditional retail in the customer by Michael French STUART ROWE, the CEO of Play.com, has told MCV that his site is leaving gamers more satisfied than bricks and mortar stores – and says he has the research to prove it. Play.com was this week named as the best retailer in the UK, according to the National Consumer Satisfaction Index, placing it above both ecommerce rivals like Amazon service. Everything we do we is a ‘sense check’ – not just seeing if something is a good commercial thing to do, but if it works for customers and is a good experience.” PLAY BY THE RULES The secret to Play.com’s activity has been a willingness to try strategies that go against market trends, he added. “We do tend to try things that are quite contrary to RETAIL VISION Given the collapse of Woolies and Zavvi, it is clear the landscape of games retail is changing rapidly. But there was evolution anyway. In the past two years, MCV has seen a widening of its retail universe – with many significant, or potentially significant, new accounts signing up to our magazine, daily email news service and trade events. Despite erosion of the indie sector and the disappearance of two entertainment chains, the total number of buyers or stores that MCV reaches has not actually reduced. And the market overall has enjoyed explosive growth. As well as the traditional game retail names, think Aldi, Blockbuster, Borders, ELC (Mothercare), The Entertainer, Marks & Spencer, Next, Waterstones and more. These are some of the ‘marginals’ that have already increased their games interest or are thinking about it. Plus many new online players. Sainsburys, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and more are ramping up, whilst even the Gamestation and GAME empire will open 20 new stores this year. And guess what we find in the Retail category of the MCV Awards? Yep, some new names, like Lovefilm, Gameplayer, Shopto.Net, The Hut and Gameseek. Seems to me that there is an abundance of retail opportunity if you look in the right places. “ Online retailers are producing a much higher customer service level than that which you get in traditional retail. Stuart Rowe, Play.com plus the likes of Waitrose, Tesco and John Lewis. “The overlying message is that online retailers are producing a much higher customer service level than that which you get in bricks and mortar,” he told MCV after the results were announced. “Within a shop you can find staff who might not be very helpful – or you just might not find what you are looking for. “We have an overriding philosophy about customer what other people think is the norm. We were one of the first to put forward the idea of free postage and packing. We realised it’s much more transparent for the customer – they want that. “Our after sales support is very strong, too, with a call centre that operates 24 hours a day – the number is at the bottom of the page and isn’t hidden away. We want people to feel that they are completely supported,” he explained. ” …as ShopTo predicts by Christopher Dring SHOPTO.NET is expecting a deluge of new independent rivals in the online sector after the e-tailer enjoyed its biggest ever year during 2008. The company’s sales were up 113 per cent during 2008 compared with the previous year, with a 253 per cent yearon-year increase for December. CEO Igor Cipolletta told MCV that he hopes that ShopTo will become the main destination for gamers looking to buy games online. “2009 promises to be a key year in the growth of ShopTo games consumer increase above and beyond anything that is already in place,” he explained to MCV. PEOPLE POWER Our Retail Advisory Board has rightly given awards in the past two years to Margaret Pearson and Paul Donnelly for their service to games retail. So the quintet up for consideration this year should feel proud that they were picked out. Not by us, but by the leading games retailers in the UK. Take a bow Darren Bowen (Ubisoft), Andy Yates (Nintendo), John Clark (Sega), Mark Howsen (Sony Computer Entertainment) and Jonathan Grimes (Microsoft). May the best man win. But let’s have some women in there next year. email@example.com “ We are fast becoming the number one website of choice for gamers because of our service and commitment. Igor Cipolletta, ShopTo as we have many exciting ideas lined up which will see our commitment levels to the “We are fast becoming the number one website of choice for gamers because of our ” WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 5 NEWS and mortar, says Play… service stakes G New study shows that leading retail brands are being left behind PLAY.COM LOOKING TO DIGITAL DISITRIBUTION NEXT? Play.com CEO Stuart Rowe also told MCV that the site “certainly could” look to digital distribution of games and other entertainment content in future as it keeps evolving its business. He said: “We are constantly busy with our business development team and thinking of new ways to grow our offer and keep customers happy and engaged.” [PRE ORDERS] TOP 10 KILLZONE 2 LIMITED ED BOX PS3 SONY 2. KILLZONE 2 PS3 ..................................................SONY 3. RESIDENT EVIL 5 He added: “Play.com is also a more elegant site. We aren’t covered in links or external advertising like others – we really want people to focus on our availability and that we are stocking the things people want.” This is crucial when it comes to attracting new consumers as the gaming market broadens, said Rowe. He continued: “We’ve always wanted it to be easy to buy what you want– especially important when it comes to consumers who might be new shopping for games online.” GROWTH FOR GAMES A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD: Play.com’s CEO Rowe says online retailers beat bricks and mortar stores in terms of customer service And you can expect online retail to steal away more market share, he added – and that’s in games as well as Play.com’s other entertainment and electrical goods offerings. “We’re still very positive about the future of online retail,” said Rowe. “It’s almost like we are only at the beginning of the story even though we have been around for 10 years. In time online will account for a huge share of the retail market as it comes to be relied on much more. “Games is a very important part of our business and we are very committed to it. We’ve seen huge growth in that category over a number of years and we continue to be very committed to what still has a bright future. “Personally I still believe that £35 is extremely good value for money. Tell me where else in the leisure or entertainment industry you can get multiple hours of entertainment for such a relatively small amount of investment.” PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM 4. SOCOM: CONFRONTATION PS3 ..................................................SONY 5. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM 6. HALO WARS: LIMITED EDITION 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT 7. ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES 360 ..................................................SEGA 8. THE SIMS 3 PC ........................................................EA 9. HALO WARS 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT 10. RESIDENT EVIL 5: STEELBOOK EDITION 360 ..............................................CAPCOM Week ending February 20th Source: SHOPTO.COM [MARKET VALUE] £30.8m 35 30 25 online boom unique service and commitment. “I do see other independents trying to break into online retail as the High Street is a very tough place at the moment and limits you to a certain demographic. Online reaches a far wider audience but you have to be prepared to satisfy demand with your service.” But Cipolletta is confident in face of the prospect of increased competition, pointing to unique services the firm offers, including stock checking via text and compensation if a preordered game fails to arrive on time. “Our knowledge of the industry from previous organisations gives us a great advantage and one we draw from a lot. I think this gives us a great advantage over new and existing companies.” ShopTo: 0800 612 6504 20 15 10 £24.1m 989,242 Units £27.5m 1,153,741 Units £30.8m 1,281,934 Units 5 HAPPY SHOPPER: ShopTo.net CEO Cipolletta is very pleased with the site’s increasing relevance for gamers 0 Week Ending February 6th Week Ending February 13th Week Ending February 20th Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media 6 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM NEWS Big push planned for Little King Rising Star’s Japanese RPG will debut in Europe first G Road shows planned to drive consumer awareness by James Batchelor NEW WII RPG Little King’s Story arrival on April 24th is a rare thing – a Japanesedeveloped game that launches in Europe before being released in its home territory. Dubbed by the publisher as ‘one of the first new IPs of 2009’ the game is now being backed up with an extensive media campaign. Rising Star takes to fully localise a title for separate European languages. “For Marvellous Entertainment to place such a strong faith in both the European market and Rising Star Games in particular demonstrates how important this is in the scheme of things.” Rising Star hopes the game’s broad appeal ensures a target audience of ‘potentially anyone who owns a Wii’. promoting Little King’s Story after this event is a possibility. To reach the mass audience, we are also planning several product demonstration days to non-specialist press. “Then there are the in-store campaigns, in which we plan to include both national and indie retailers.” Hau said: “We have planned a number of activities which we feel will effectively get the Little King’s Story message across and reinforce Rising Star as the ‘Home of Japanese Games’.” Rising Star Games: 01582 433700 ROYAL RELEASE: Little King’s Story is released on April 24th Games says the decision to release the game in the West first is a show of the faith by the game’s developers. “For a title developed in Japan, this really highlights the growing importance of Europe to the gaming industry,” Rising Star’s product marketing assistant Yen Hau told MCV. “It is a massive step to take considering the usual time it “ The release of this game in Europe highlights the importance of the local market to the industry. Yen Hau, Rising Star Games Hau said: “Along with the usual blitz over print and online advertising, we will also run a number of road shows, which will continue past the release date in mid-April and culminate with our attendance at the London MCM Expo in May. “The road shows are planned to continue past May so the opportunity to continue ” EA ADDS NERF TO WII ARSENAL Ascaron picks Advantage ADVANTAGE HAS been signed up by Ascaron to handle its 2009 games portfolio. The publisher was another to have lost a partner following Pinnacle’s collapse last year. Sales of its forthcoming titles to selected retail partners will now be handled by Advantage, starting with King’s Bounty: The Legend, which was released earlier this month. “We are delighted to be working with Ascaron as the company’s range of titles for 2009 will appeal to a wide audience from hardcore to casual gamers,” said Advantage general manager Max Butler. “Its range of titles not only complements our own expertise to handle our wide portfolio of multiformat titles, making them an excellent partner of choice. “The gaming market has undoubtedly changed in recent years, becoming more diverse and at times more complex, and we have selected a partner that is able to adapt willingly and competitively. We look forward to a successful partnership over the coming months.” The next titles to be released under this agreement include Moto Racer DS on April 3rd, plus Hearts Of Iron 3 and Majesty 2. Advantage: 0121 506 9585 Ascaron games are now handled by Advantage Think the Wii has enough peripheral based games? Not so, says EA and Hasbro. The two have collaborated for an official NERF-branded controller holster to go with the new NERF NStrike game for the Wii. The Switch Shot Ex-3 blaster – complete with foam bullets – serves as both a shell for the Wii Remote and a fully functional NERF gun. A game and gun bundle retails at £34.99, but retailers can also sell additional blasters for £12.99 each, allowing for an enhanced multiplayer experience. And real-life NERF battles, naturally. EA: 01932 450 000 credentials and experience in gaming distribution, but also presents some new and exciting opportunities for vendors all over the UK.” Ascaron’s managing director Roger Swindells added: “Advantage Distribution has demonstrated the necessary WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 7 NEWS Sega UK targets over 2m sales for new Mario and Sonic game Heavy marketing and a nine-month PR campaign planned for Winter Olympics tie-in by Christopher Dring A MAMMOTH promotional campaign for the heavyweight Mario and Sonic sequel is already underway by publisher Sega, MCV can reveal. Unlike its predecessor, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will enjoy a simultaneous DS and Wii release this Christmas. who enjoyed playing Mario and Sonic at the Beijing Olympics,” Sega Europe North MD Alan Pritchard told MCV. “In addition, the combined Wii and DS install base could be 18 million by the time Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is released, so there is a huge number of households and consumers that we need to reach. TRADE BULLETIN OUT 20th MARCH 2009 Nintendo DS “ We are very confident that we and our retail partners are set for another successful launch. Alan Pritchard, Sega Join the EA SPORTS™ Football Academy to build and prove your knowledge of the world’s most popular sport, in a unique fun packed interactive football game that covers all areas of the game on and off the pitch. EA SPORTS™ Football Academy features a wide variety of action packed mini games that will test all areas of the game, and entertain the whole family. Your performance in the mini games will be assessed via your Football IQ rating, so you can really see who has the best football brain. And Sega is optimistic the game can follow in the footsteps of the original, which was 2008’s fifth biggest selling game in the UK, with 2.2 million units sold. “We now have nine months to build the PR, hype and awareness, which gives us plenty of time to communicate to the two million consumers “We have seen fantastic attach rates on the current releases, with 32 per cent on Wii and six per cent on DS. And this gives us great confidence that we and our retail partners are set for another successful launch.” Brand manager Jo Fawell added: “Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is ” GOING FOR GOLD: Sega expects that its sequel to the first, bestselling Mario and Sonic title will be a major hit later this year OUT 20TH MARCH 2009 Nintendo DS a completely original game, with new events and controls. We also have a simultaneous release on Wii and DS formats. So the title will be supported heavily in media channels and we have some very exciting plans in bringing the title to market.” Sega: 020 8995 3399 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. ‘Wii market is full of white noise’ Codemasters kicks off new strategy for Nintendo, ruling out ‘cheap, crappy ports’ NEW WII titles are on the way from Codemasters – and the publisher promises that its games will be quality titles for the console, not cash-ins. The UK publisher is planning to release Overlord Dark Legend and Colin McRae DIRT 2 on the format this year, confirming to MCV that it is also preparing more for the format, too, with an emphasis on quality titles. “It has been bewildering watching what other publishers are doing on Wii,” marketing VP Alex Bertie told MCV. “Codemasters has taken a more cautious strategy on Wii – we’ve looked at what our core strengths are as a developer and publisher. “The idea has been not to make cheap, crappy ports. DIRT on Wii, for instance, is sports’ genre that everyone else is obsessed with – the shelves are cluttered with those games. What you’ll see from us is quality games for gamers built for the Wii.” product. Sure, the cartoon might be drawn slightly differently, or the puzzle game might have circles instead of squares, but those games just become white noise – they aren’t aimed at gamers." Codemasters: 01962 814 132 OUT 10TH APRIL 2009 Xbox 360, PS3, PC-DVD “ We’re not planning to compete in this ‘big head sports’ genre. Our games are quality titles built for the Wii. Alex Bertie, Codemasters I Read the full Codemasters interview on pages 20 to 21. not Mario Kart. Overlord 2 is a gamer’s game. “We’re not planning to compete in this ‘big head MD Jeremy Wigmore added: "There’s only a number of times you can go to a retailer with a mass-market DS or Wii ” On the eve of the Cuban revolution, a major mob meeting in Havana takes a bloody turn. The Don of your family is killed, and you must take the reigns and lead your battered organization. Build up your arsenal, forge alliances, and make whatever deals you need to as you fight off attacks and strike back at your rivals. There’ll be a price on your head and a target on your back, but don’t take it personally. After all, it’s only business. ea.com 8 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM NEWS Enta grows its games offer Specialist distributor to expand presence in gaming by bolstering software range by James Batchelor PC HARDWARE and peripherals distributor Enta has told MCV it plans to move into games software in a bid to grow its business. Speaking in an interview with MCV, Enta boss Jon Atherton said that he wants to improve the firm’s standing in the games market. “We have several discussions in place. Specifically, games The distributor represents peripherals manufacturers such as Saitek and Mad Catz, and has already established itself within the PC market. Now, it is looking to pick up additional leisure brands. “Enthusiast sectors will still be very strong, as those end users have got money to spend,” Atherton said of his hopes for retail this year. “With some of the best games coming out, they still Nick deal fuels Wrappz growth WRAPPZ HAS secured the licence to produce designs based on Nickelodeon properties SpongeBob and iCarly – and now plans to grow its skin supplying operation across Europe. The firm has already created designs for iPods and laptops, and will extend this to Wii in the future. “The feeling of securing this licence is on par with my son Alfie being born, as this “ We have discussions in place, and games software is a focus at present. Jon Atherton, Enta ENTA PRIZE: Atherton has faith in the games industry’s strength software at present is a focus, along with unique products which could complement the reseller,” he said. want the best graphics cards and memory. I don’t think that will suffer too badly.” Atherton also claimed games ” retailers are becoming a danger to themselves as they try to counter the growing influence of supermarkets in the video games space. “I think that some smaller gamers retailers have suffered – and will continue to suffer – because they try to compete with the supermarkets on new release games. And they will always struggle to price match those retail behemoths.” Enta: 0870 777 4224 I The full interview can be found on page 25. Wrappz has set its sights on introducing its designs in countries across Europe creates a whole new baby for Undercover to manage and we can’t wait to get started,” said Wrappz’ sales director Alex Knowlden. The firm has set its sights on introducing its designs in countries throughout Europe. “Our expansion will see us setting up offices in Spain and France and aiming to cover the rest of Europe by 2010,” continued Knowlden. “The UK team continues to grow and we will be taking on more sales staff backed up by new account managers to complete our service.” Wrappz: 020 8462 9146 New Nordic office for Koch Media KOCH MEDIA has launched a new Nordic office to better refine its operations in the region. The firm has hired industry veteran Martin Sirc to oversee the business. The Nordic sales and marketing office will be directly supported by Koch’s UK office. It will work to open key accounts in the territory, as well as focusing on the distributor’s publishing label Deep Silver. Sirc has been named general manager Nordic for his years of experience in leading sales and marketing campaign for companies such as Maxell, Commodore and Escom. He “Koch has had tremendous growth over the recent years and the fact that it now covers the entire value chain from “ The Nordic market is one of strategic importance to us and we have the right man to lead us in the region. Craig McNicol, Koch was also responsible for establishing Atari’s Nordic office in 1998. development to distribution makes it one of the most exciting companies in the ” entertainment industry today,” said Sirc. “Nordic is a challenging territory but has a great potential for Koch and it’s a privilege to take the lead in the establishment of the Nordic businesses unit.” Koch Media’s managing director Craig McNicol said: “The Nordic market is one of strategic importance to us. We will initially support our own products, and we have the right man to achieve this.” Koch: 0870 027 0985 GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT THERE WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 9 NEWS Sponsored by Spanish publisher targets UK with PC rival to Wii Fit Planeta DeAgostini Interactive to recreate its success across Europe with casual PC titles by Christopher Dring A PUBLISHER FROM continental Europe is on the hunt for new international partners to release its casual video game line-up. Spanish Planeta DeAgostini Interactive primarily focuses on PC software, and enjoyed pre-Christmas success in its local market with its Wii Fit rival, PC Fit. Now it wants to repeat the success in other European countries. “After having high sales results in Spain, we think that our casual products, such as PC Fit, are suitable for other countries,” Planeta DeAgostini the best-sellers in Spain at Christmas. Our division is among the top five best-selling PC game companies in the Spanish market, according to GfK data.” The company, in time, plans to move into developing its own PC titles too. He added: “PC Fit is a computer game that offers sport and entertainment, and can be played by anyone who has a PC or laptop. This title includes a dance mat with USB connection and has a very attractive retail price.” The firm is also responsible for PC Futbol and Brain Games. Planeta DeAgostini: +34 93 492 08 89 [IN BRIEF] DISNEY: The successful Spectrobes franchise is set to make its Wii debut this autumn with Spectrobes: Origins. The game will feature a new storyline with a series of flashbacks set before the DS games. EA: Dead Space has been announced for Wii, with Dead Space: Extraction taking the form of a prequel to the original title, released last November. EA will also be reviving American McGee’s Alice with a new title based on the original 2000 release currently in development for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. CAPCOM: Capcom has confirmed that it is working on a sequel to Lost Planet, revealing the game’s existence with a video released through Xbox Live. While the first game was eventually ported to PC and PS3, it has not been confirmed what format Lost Planet 2 will appear on. IMAGINE: The magazine publisher’s new games site, NowGamer.com, has launched, boasting a highly customisable front page and news feeds, as well as years of archived content from Imagine magazines such as Retro Gamer. CODEMASTERS: Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising have been confirmed, and will be released alongside the PC version this summer. SONY: The company has confirmed it will be releasing Wireless SingStar microphones for PS2 and PS3 on March 20th. Interactive director Ramón Farell told MCV. “Therefore, we are actively seeking international partners to distribute them, and of course in the UK. PC Fit was one of Sunflex goes online with Interactive Ideas GERMAN PERIPHERALS distributor Sunflex has named Interactive Ideas as its online distributor. The company will now market and distribute Sunflex’s products to online retailers throughout the UK. “With an innovative range of peripherals and accessories for the PC and home console platforms, Sunflex’s massive back catalogue sets them apart from their competitors,” said Interactive Ideas’ managing director Mike Trup. “As we continue to expand the Sunflex Europe business into the UK, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Interactive Ideas,” added Sunflex’s owner and managing director Mike Steup. “With their tremendous reputation and excellent relationships with online retailers, Interactive Ideas will help Sunflex to target this market by expanding the availability of our products.” Interactive Ideas: 0208 805 1000 NINTENDO SCOOPS ASDA AWARD Nintendo won the award for Branded Supplier of the Year at the annual Asda IGD conference last week. UK GM David Yarnton (centre) collected the award from Asda chief merchandising officer Darren Blackhurst (left) and Asda’s director of marketing communications Katherine Paterson (right). The award was in recognition of the platform holder’s ‘great work’ in transforming the look of 150 Asda stores, and helping the supermarket’s games offer perform ahead of the market during 2008. I Print Edition I Digital Edition I Mobile Edition I Online Leader CONTACT: LESLEY.BLUMSON@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK 10 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM NEWS EEK IGN OF THE W CAMPA Sony’s epic first person shooter lands on PS3 today (February 27th) and the firm has been supporting the title with a mammoth £2 million ad blitz… KILLZONE 2 TV A 30-second ad kicks off this week and will feature 100 per cent in-game footage. The advertisements will appear during premium slots for the 18 to 34 year-old male, on channels including Sky, Channel 4, ITV, Bravo, Dave and around specific events such as Champions League and relevant TV shows. The TV campaign will be joined by an epic cinema campaign. PRINT Throughout February Sony has had double page and single page executions running in a variety of publications. The print publications will again use in-game images. ONLINE As well as traditional online promotion, Sony has created a special webgame for Firefox and Internet Explorer users. The game can be downloaded and played with up to three friends. OUTDOOR The firm has embarked on a nationwide sampling tour, which allows consumers to go hands-on with the title. IN-STORE Cubes, banners, CDU units, Tier 2 Units, posters and FSDU units will be available to use in store. PR Hype has been building in the press for some time, and the game has received rave critical reviews. It currently has a 92 per cent on Metacritic from 52 reviews. Scores included 90 from both OPSM and Eurogamer. RELEASED: FEBRUARY 27 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SONY DEVELOPER: GUERRILLA GAMES PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388 an apology: Our advert in the last issue of MCV contained an error which confused Xbox World 360 with 360. It is 360 which has -1.2% growth since June 06. Please see the correct graph below. Apologies to all concerned – 360 Gamer XBOX 360 SECTOR GROWTH SINCE JUNE 2006 ABC AUDIT Equivalent to over 26,000 copies sold per month Editorial Enquiries: Simon Phillips (07968 894949 or email firstname.lastname@example.org) To Advertise: Rob Cox (01202 606390 or email email@example.com) ABC: 18,073 13 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM [SPONSORS] Pre-drinks Reception Partner Pre-drinks Reception Partner Retail Category Partner Countdown RETAIL AWARDS RETAIL INNOVATION The first of four new prizes for the 2009 awards. The following finalists have made the grade thanks to above-the-line marketing, clever in-store merchandising, PR and events or direct marketing… HMV Gamerbase HMV Re/Play Play.com Live The Final Games Publisher Awards Partner Event Partner Drinks Reception Partner Video Partner April 23rd will see the great and the good of the UK games industry, from retail and distribution to sales and marketing, gather together at The Brewery, London to find out who are this year’s winners of the prestigious MCV Industry Excellence Awards. Here Lisa Foster provides a guide to those in the running… LoveFilm rental CHIPS accessories STORE MANAGER For the first time, we are rewarding individuals running key UK stores. Sales performance, product knowledge, customer service and merchandising are all considered. And the finalists are… Rupert Banning-Lover HMV Birmingham Fort Richard Pascoe, CHIPS Hereford Martin Tuckwood, Asda Derby Mike Barnes/Pearl Robinson GAME Oxford Street Gary Noakes, Gameplayer HIGH STREET RETAILER Another new award, settling the question as to who is the best bricks and mortar games retailer. Criteria such as customer service, range, and merchandising are key. Which of these will take the prize home on the night? HMV GAME Gamestation CHIPS Asda STAR STORE Recognising the team behind an independent’s success or the staff within a chain’s individual outlet. Sales performance, plus commitment and service to customers is considered. This year’s finalists are… GAME Oxford Street HMV Liverpool One Gamestation, Birmingham New Street CHIPS Dudley Asda Derby ONLINE RETAILER This award takes into consideration customer service and delivery, product knowledge and range, commitment to street dates, marketing and sales growth. This year’s finalists are… Game.co.uk Shopto.net Play.com Amazon Gameseek The Hut 14 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM PEOPLE AND INDUSTRY AWARDS SALES TEAM Acknowledging the team which has the hard task of selling. But it’s not all about sales, it’s about after-sales service, customer care as well as overall commercial performance. This year’s finalists are… Activision Blizzard Sega EA Ubisoft Microsoft Nintendo SALES TRIUMPH Whether an original software title, niche sequel, or even a ‘quirky’ new game that attained surprise hit status, the award will celebrate the over-achiever that made headlines last year. The finalists are… FFVII: Crisis Core (Square Enix) Imagine range (Ubisoft) Fallout 3 (Bethesda) Cooking Mama 2 (505 Games) Carnival Games (2K) Ben 10 (D3P) GAMES PUBLISHER These finalists are based on the top selling publishers by sales last year. But which one of them provided the best product quality, trade relations, customer service, innovation and marketing agility? Nintendo EA Ubisoft Microsoft Sega Activision DEVELOPMENT TEAM The UK continues to be a hub of creative talent and this accolade rewards the top UK studio, regardless of international ownership. This year’s finalists have given gamers wonderful experiences, and they are… Lionhead Blackrock Studios Codemasters Rockstar North Media Molecule DISTRIBUTION TEAM It may not be the most glam sector, but distributors saw plenty of activity in 2008, with publishers switching partners, new forces emerging, and even some high-profile closures, sadly. This year’s finalists are… Koch Gem Centresoft Advantage Music Box Leisure This is a special award voted for by the MCV Retail Advisory Board, who represent the leading games retailers in the UK marketplace. Finalists are chosen based on their attitude, enthusiasm and performance, and was won last year by Gem’s Paul Donnelly. The 2009 finalists are… RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD Darren Bowen, Ubisoft Andy Yates, Nintendo John Clark, Sega Mark Howsen, SCE UK Jonathan Grimes, Microsoft MEMBERS LISA MORGAN DUNCAN CROSS MARTYN GIBBS, DON MCCABE TIM ELLIS GIAN LUZIO CAROLINE AUSTEN JON BIGGS DEBBIE O’NEILL GRAHAM CHAMBERS DAVID POULTER IGOR CIPOLLETTA ANTHONY STOCKER STEPHEN STALEY WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 15 PR & MARKETING AWARDS NEW GAME BRAND Quality IP continues to roll out to both critical acclaim and commercial success. This award acknowledges innovation, creativity and the potential to grow into long-term franchises. The finalists are… GRID (Codemasters) Pure (Disney Interactive Studios) Dead Space (EA) Professor Layton (Nintendo) Little Big Planet (SCE) PR TEAM The industry’s PR efforts continue to rise to the challenge of a wider and deeper market – things were no different in 2008 as the gaming demographic continued to expand. This year’s finalists are… EA Microsoft Capcom Nintendo/Red Sony Ubisoft GAME CAMPAIGN This award considers the effective communication of the product or brand, creativity and execution, influence on sales and campaign impact versus the budgets available. Finalists this year are… Guitar Hero World Tour (Activision Blizzard) GTA IV (Rockstar) FIFA (EA) Fallout 3 (Bethesda) Wii Fit (Nintendo) COD: World at War (Activision Blizzard) MARKETING TEAM Another fiercely contested category, this award recognises the creativity of a marketing department, taking into account budgets available. Nintendo won last year – can these finalists beat it this year? EA Microsoft Activision Blizzard Sega Nintendo MARKETING INNOVATION Yes, the games industry is good at marketing. But which company tried new tactics or attempted something different – and succeeded? This award finds out. The finalists for this new award are… FIFA 09 TV ad (EA) ‘All Singing, All Dancing, All Disney’ campaign (DIS) Rising Star ‘Home of Japanese Games’ New Xbox Experience (Microsoft) Sony Community (Sony) GRAND PRIX TICKETS & SPONSORSHIP This year’s MCV Industry Excellence Awards take place on Thursday April 23rd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. Up to 600 games industry executives attend this prestigious event. Guests are advised to purchase tickets or tables early, as this event is always a sell-out. AWARD Last but not least is the Grand Prix. Nothing about this award will be revealed until on the night of April 23rd. Our highest accolade, this prize rewards any UK-based brand or company which has enjoyed commercial and critical success, while also showing the highest level of support at trade level. CONTACT JODIE.HOLDWAY@BHPR.CO.UK. FOR A WIDE RANGE OF SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES, CONTACT SIMON.HARVEY@BHPR.CO.UK. 18 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM NINTENDO DSi [UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL] Just what features and specifications make this, in Nintendo’s words, ‘the most personal games machine out there’? MCV explains all… DSi candy Nintendo’s DSi hits retail on April 3rd. According to the format holder, its release can grow the industry even further. But how? Michael French speaks to Nintendo UK GM David Yarnton to find out… INCLUDING THE Game Boy and its various iterations, from the 1989 Game Boy through the GBA right up to the DS Lite, the Nintendo DSi is the tenth upgrade for the format-holder’s line of domineering games handhelds. But that doesn’t mean this latest version, which hits the UK in April, is not significant. If anything, it’s probably second only to the introduction of the first DS and its touch screen in 2004. This is best described as DS 2.0, with a number of key upgrades that represent a serious step forward for the device’s potential according to Nintendo’s UK general manager David Yarnton. “The first DS was seen as quite radical thanks to its touch screen,” he reminds MCV. “At that time, we were that we can help developers further expand the types of games they make for the device,” says Yarnton. Almost every element has been upgraded, with the new device intended to be versatile for users and developers, Yarnton adds. “There are lots of functions in here which won’t necessarily be used for their original function – developers will be able to try different things. The best designers come at these things from different angles, so there’s loads of scope. “For consumers the customisation element is very important – you can tailor the menus and make it your DS. We’re trying to make it much more personal for people. It’s probably the most personal games machine out there.” BETTER SOUND The device has enhanced sound and volume quality for those using either headphones or playing with audio for all to hear. Users can also use the DSi as a music playback device – although it supports AAC files rather than MP3s. The DSi Sound software (for more details see ‘Built-in Microphone’) lets players edit and manipulate their music files. IMPROVED INTERNET FUNCTIONS Via the DSi Shop – accessed over wi-fi – users can download both games and non-games software. Examples given by Nintendo include a web browser, an application which enables users to make animated cartoons or minimovies, or a new download-exclusive Wario Ware title. Games can be stored in on-board 256MB flash memory. Users can personalise the device dashboard to show their favourite apps at-a-glance. changing the gaming interface for a richer games experience and opening up more possibilities for developers. The move from the DS to the DS Lite after that was basically cosmetic. At first glance, the DSi doesn’t look much different, but under the skin it represents a much bigger step change than the change to the Lite. “We have lots of excellent enhancements including two cameras, beefed up sound, and an SD card slot. Underneath the skin it’s a real leap-frog.” TIME FOR A CHANGE “ “The DSi’s functions open the platform up to more consumers – it gives the DS format unlimited potential.” David Yarnton The reasons for these tweaks come for a number of reasons. While Nintendo commissioned the new device as far back as late 2006, the eventual impetus for the revamp came to satisfy both gamers and the industry “The changes firstly came about through consumer feedback, but also so The whole package will help fuel an even wider userbase for the DS format, he says. While the Lite and DSi will stay on the market at their differing prices for now – “We’ll let the market decide,” says Yarnton, when asked if the Lite will be phased out – the camera and other functions will win over the remaining DS sceptics out there. “We expect some people will upgrade, but we also anticipate that we’ll win over people who were still undecided on DS – the extra features will help convince them. There’s an extra incentive.” He adds: “With the DSi we see multiple consumer types for it. As with everything now, we look at our target market being five to 85, offering different things for different people. The functions of the device really open the platform up to more consumers – it gives the DS format unlimited potential.” ” POWER BUTTON HAS MOVED A tiny change, but all important says Nintendo. Consumer research showed that gamers wanted this not outside on the edge of the device, as it was on the Lite, says Yarnton, but inside as it was on the original DS. It also serves a slightly different function than before – instead of just switching it on and off, hit this while a game is loaded and you are taken back to the device’s dashboard, meaning users don’t have to reset it to change games or access the installed software. THINNER FORM-FACTOR When closed, the DSi is 12 per cent thinner than the already-dinky DS Lite, and weighs a few grams less as well. That means, much like the longer stylus, it’s a perfect opportunity for sales of new carry cases, skins and the like too. EVEN THE STYLUS IS BIGGER Like to boast about length? The DSi’s stylus is about half a centimetre longer than the DS Lite’s. Better stock up on some third-party spares to sell, then. WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 19 NINTENDO DSi TWO CAMERAS Cameras are mounted both on the outside lid (not pictured) and here, visible when the DSi is open. On board DSi Camera software comes loaded with special effects and image editing functions. Although not of the highest quality, users can still share their snaps over wi-fi or save them onto the SD card and upload them to their PC or Wii. Celebrating Creative Excellence MOTION-SENSING The cameras are also able to detect facial features and flailing limbs – Nintendo says this means developers can make motion-sensing titles by using the lenses as input devices. Pong Pioneer Nolan Bushnell to receive Academy Fellowship! BIGGER SCREENS The twin screens are both now 3.25 inches in size (as opposed to the DS Lite’s 3 inch display) and are bigger and brighter. Last chance to buy tickets! BUILT-IN MICROPHONE As with the other DS handhelds, the onboard mic can be used in gameplay (and has already been used in a variety of ways). The Nintendo DSi Sound software – installed on all DSi units – lets players change the pitch, speed and even apply effects to sound files that are recorded with the mic or played back on the console. SD CARD SLOT The storage space on the device is expandable with SD cards so players can save photos or use the device to play back AAC music files (but not MP3). Yet another opportunity the DSi represents for retailers to see incremental add-on sales from pocket money friendly and widely-available (and thus competitively priced) memory add-ons, as they have with the Wii, PSP and PS3. Just two weeks remain for ﬁnal bookings at this year’s GAME British Academy Video Games Awards 2009, to be held Tuesday 10 March – don’t miss out! GAME gamer Dara O’Briain A FASTER PROCESSOR To make sure the new media functions such as photos and music playback work, Nintendo has put a speedier CPU under the hood. It still plays titles for the DS’ established back catalogue of 1,000 games, but these added functions do mean there will be DSi-exclusive games on the way. firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7292 5839 www.bafta.org/games Dara O’Briain IT’S BLACK AND WHITE And read all over if you’ve got Nintendo’s 100 Classic Books playing on there, ho ho ho. In seriousness, it’s available in Europe in black or white. US colours are black or blue. The chances of Nintendo deciding to release different coloured versions in the lifespan of the device – as it has with every other handheld it has ever made – are very high. But that’s probably jumping the gun a little. 10 MARCH 2009 L O N D O N H I LT O N PA R K L A N E BAFTA is a registered charity 20 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV INTERVIEW JEREMY WIGMORE & ALEX BERTIE, CODEMASTERS ‘Masters The New Codemasters is heading into 2009 with a strong new UK management team, and an even stronger line-up of new products. Michael French speaks to UK GM Jeremy Wigmore and marketing VP Alex Bertie about their plans for the year ahead… MASTERFUL: UK GM Jeremy Wigmore and marketing VP Alex Bertie say the Codemasters 2009 lineup will excite retailers and consumers You’re both relatively new to Codemasters. How does it compare to your previous roles? Jeremy Wigmore: Coming from old Atari to this, it was quite eye-opening. In a good way. The product line-up is Euro-centric, that’s very encouraging. There is a lot of UK-made stuff that will sell. And we know that, as it’s now the second largest market in the world, that can also be a good indicator of global performance. Alex Bertie: What was most exciting for me is that Codemasters is a global business focused around development – it feels like we are more part of the developer than we are just a publisher. JW: But Codemasters had lacked a regular communication with retail, that’s one thing I’ve found coming in. We’re looking now to have a much closer working relationship. What some other publishers forget is that the people who sell the games, the people on the shopfloor at the frontline “ You mention placing a bigger emphasis on the development talent. Does that influence your approach to marketing? AB: I’ve always been a very studio-focused We’re looking to have a much person. You must work closer working relationship hand in glove with with retail. We want to excite developers because of the people with our quality titles. investment required. Jeremy Wigmore Understanding what a product is and being AB: And because we are a British close to the developer is an developer a lot of the sensitivities we incredibly important part of have are of this market. That makes us getting that right. much more commercially relevant than The challenge with some of our bigger competitors, who global brand teams in tend to approach things from either a the past, in my very Japanese or North American point experience, is that you of view with their products or strategy. end up with an ivory That’s a really important thing for us, tower – and you forget especially in terms of games like Colin details, the budget, you McRae DIRT, for instance. That includes don’t talk to developers, you of our business, are passionate about games. About good games. And the thing for us to do is make them our evangelists, have them on side and talking about our games. The quality of Codemasters products is exceptionally, uniquely high – so we’re planning to exploit that that fact. some touches which I think, if the game was developed in North America, it just wouldn’t have. don’t talk to retailers, you don’t talk to consumers. That approach in effect is ‘marketing as a consultancy business’ – and that is not what we are about. JW: And that approach is far too frustrating. It leaves you out of touch with the sharp end of the business. That could go some way to explain why some larger publishers have been laying off staff this year… JW: In my previous role the publisher was effectively a distributor – we bought products at cost of goods. There was no flexibility in the way we did business. There we had that proverbial ivory tower Alex mentions, which created a total disconnect between the game being made, its values, and how it sat with the business. With the products Codemasters has it is vital to make sure the people that making those games are connected with the commercial front end. ” WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 21 MCV INTERVIEW Great Performance, Great Value... So what are the key Codemasters releases this year? AB: We’ve still got some unannounced titles to reveal, but the announced key games so far are: FUEL in May, Operation Flashpoint 2 later in the summer, new games in the Overlord series for both 360/PS3 and Wii/DS, a new MMO Jumpgate, and of course DIRT 2 which will hit 360/PS3/PC, plus Wii/DS and PSP. You mention Wii there. But Codemasters has been focusing on next-gen mainly. Is that changing? AB: You can’t ignore Wii, but it’s bewildering watching what other try new revenue stream in the previous years. What we have now is a mix of product that is much more powerful and palatable to both us and people outside the company. The company is famed for its racing games – and you’ve a number of them due this year. How will you differentiate between them? AB: Most important is that we have racing games with very distinct identities. FUEL is an open world racer. DIRT is a rally game full of authenticity which also captures the driving lifestyle. JW: The one thing that everyone knows about Codemasters is the development publishers are doing. Codemasters has taken a more cautious strategy on Wii which has been the right thing to do. We are not going to make cheap, crappy ports. DIRT on Wii, for instance, is not Mario Kart. Overlord 2 is a gamer’s game. We’re not planning to compete in this ‘big head sports arena’ that everyone is obsessed with – the shelves are cluttered with those games. What you’ll see from us is quality games for gamers built for the Wii. JW: That’s where we can excite retail further. There’s only a number of times I think you can go to a retailer with a DS or Wii game which is that type of mass-market product. Those games just become white noise. A number of Codemasters’ 2008 releases were American-made externally-developed games, but the new line is all European. Does that signify a bigger strategy shift? AB: We’re always going to have a mix of internal or external product. It doesn’t make sense for a company of our size to build up a vast development organisation and only focus on those games. We have some great partnerships with external teams as well – but that’s always about finding the right cultural fit as well. JW: We’ve had some product to get through that was very much ways to “ Our British sensitivities make us much more commercially relevant than some of our bigger competitors. Alex Bertie quality of its racing games. That’s never been in doubt, and I think that will win out for each game. And of course there is Formula One. What can you tell us about it? AB: Our game is an opportunity to bring F1 back on multiple platforms to a broader marketplace. Our vision for F1 is about making it exciting again as a video game property. We can’t talk about how we will do that yet, but we have big plans that will not just be one huge game later this year, but a phased approach over a number of years. There’s a great alignment of ethos there that a UK studio is working on the game of a sport whose current champ is a young ambitious British driver. There’s been regular talk of a Codemasters sale or float. Is that influencing your 2009 plans? JW: Yes, there’s been a lot of corporate chatter. But this team’s focus is a sensible approach to profitability and revenue. That has become more pertinent given what is going on across the High Street. I’ve seen too many people get lost up the corporate arse and forget what they are supposed to be doing. Our responsibility lies with our products. Because if the games don’t stand up, the sales won’t – and what Codemasters stands for means nothing. ” Win 4500 Enta Reward Points when you buy Microsoft Hardware from Entatech Just some of the things you can claim with your Enta Rewards Points... iPod Touch 32GB Tandem Sky Dive Tom Tom Sat Nav Ferrari or Porsche Driving 3230 points 2785 points 3085 points 2828 points entaonline.com 24/7 product information, sales tool and ecommerce facility xpressplatforms.com Our B2B2C Web Shop, White label and XML offerings entarewards.com Get rewarded for buying online, register free now or buy online to earn more points! 22 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM ELSPA’S FIGUREHEAD Mike’s new mission Last week, we revealed that Michael Rawlinson had taken over as the new director general of ELSPA. Here, he sets out the six key areas he wants to engage with during his time in office… 1) POLITICAL RELATIONSHIPS I really want to build on the successes we have had in a number of key areas. One of those in particular is in a political field. That’s not just in Westminster, but in a political sense, with all of the political stakeholders we work with. We have to ensure that we get the support that this industry deserves and needs. We’ve already had some success in that area and I want to build on that so ELSPA is known the first port of call for anybody that wants to know what this needs industry needs and can offer. 2) ECONOMIC SECURITY It’s vital that we establish the current and future economic importance of this industry. We posted brilliant growth figures for the end of 2008, but there are serious challenges going forward with the recession – and highlighting where profitability resides within this industry. “Some companies are going to do very well, others are going to struggle. We need the policyholders to understand that behind those big growth numbers is not always a rosy picture. The problems within retail actually contract the opportunities for our members to get their product into the hands of consumers. The credit crunch plays a big part in that. 3) MEDIA COVERAGE RAWLINSON: New ELSPA chief says he’s keen to improve industry’s relationship with the media JACKSON’S VIEW Former Director General Paul Jackson has now moved into an advisory role at ELSPA: From a media and public perception, we have really come a long way – obviously thanks to Nintendo and their hardware in particular. I want to continue to build on that, to make sure that the UK media reports on this industry in a balanced way and does not sensationalise us in its reporting as it has in the past. 4) INDUSTRY EVENTS bigger and better, and enjoy more recognition in the national eye. And there will be new activities we haven’t even thought of yet coming in the future. 5) FIGHTING CRIME closely with our European Trade association ISFE to work on strategies and policies in line with this. 6) AGE RATINGS Events like the London Games Festival and Edinburgh Interactive Festival have been very important to us and I want to continue to build on those to get the right tone and message for our industry out there. We can help these events get IP protection continues to be an issue. We had a very successful crime unit in ELSPA for many years working with physical product on a national level. Our job now is to broaden our liaison and strategic partnerships with other organisations around the world to tackle online piracy. We’re working very I want to see PEGI adopted as the system that supports the legal classification for games in this country. I hope we will succeed in persuading the Government on that issue. Sadly, that decision is not in my hands. But I can help ensure that we continue to work tirelessly in ensuring the Government has all the information in order to make the right decision over age ratings. “The key for me in this whole thing was successful planning and that we’ve been able to promote from within is my own personal feather in my cap. I couldn’t be more pleased. Michael’s ready to step up to the plate and I think he’s going to be a fabulous director general. “I’ve been involved with ELSPA since 1992. I’m heavily involved in the industry. I love video games, always have, and I still feel I’ve got a lot to give. At the end of the day, I want to keep busy, but I haven’t got anything to announce [in relation to new jobs within the industry] at the moment.” Sony DADC WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 25 DISTRIBUTOR FOCUS: JON ATHERTON, ENTA ENTA THE DRAGON The PC market specialist is keen to increase its presence in games – and is looking to pick up more leisure brands in the future. Lisa Foster grills boss Jon Atherton... ATHERTON: ENTA boss says games software is a key priority for the firm Enta’s origins are in the business/ non-games IT sector. What has led you to look at the more leisureorientated games market? Well, that’s not strictly true. We have been selling PC-based enthusiast gaming for several years with brands such as Saitek, Mad Catz, Shuttle and Corsair. In addition, our sister company Entanet is also well respected in the hosting space. In terms of the vendors and suppliers you represent, which are most relevant to the games business right now? Specifically for the indies I would say Saitek and Mad Catz peripherals, with Shuttle being a unique small form factor PC offering. What are your general thoughts about the UK games market? How does it compare to the PC/IT channel, in your opinion? There are obviously some general similarities as far as retailers are concerned. Smaller independents in both markets have to fight hard to compete with the larger chains and online retailers. And all retailers are expecting to feel the pinch this year, given the current economic climate. I guess that one area where PC/IT retailers excel is in diversifying their product and service offerings in order to “ Indies have to fight hard with larger chains and supermarkets in games – just as they do in the PC market. Jon Atherton, ENTA ” avoid competing directly with the larger stores. I think that some smaller games retailers have suffered – and will continue to suffer – because they try to compete with the likes of the supermarkets on new release games. And they will always struggle to price match those retail behemoths. By offering products such as – dare I say it – high end peripherals and specialist gaming PCs, they can set themselves apart. Are you looking at expanding this range of more leisure products? We have several discussions in place, specifically games software at present is a focus and unique products which could complement the reseller. 26 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM DISTRIBUTOR FOCUS: JON ATHERTON, ENTA ENTA THE OFFICE: The firm’s distinctive HQ is a fusion of East meets West There are a good number of strong distributors in the PC/IT sector, while the games industry only has a handful of key disties. With that in mind, how tough will it be for Enta to establish itself in this market? We are aware of the key distributors and they all seem to be servicing a need with relatively no complaints. In many cases we will be unable to compete with them as the relationships are already in place. But from initial enquiries we have certain product lines, product categories we can/will make a statement on. We will be product specific in our approach, rather than offering our 7,000 SKUs. you are looking to establish at some point in the future? I have product managers already in place on many of the brands I have highlighted to offer technical, sales and marketing expertise. How have the recent economic struggles affected Enta over the last year – and have you had to readjust your business? People have been more cautious in buying stock, because they realise there’s going to be a lot of deals out there – as does the general public. So we’ve seen a downturn in that, but thankfully we’ve that type of thing, is still vital to the dayto-day running of a business. Those vitals are still going to be required during 2009. Are you concerned about 2009? Yes, but I’d say that retailers and distributors need to be looking at alternative products to uphold the margin and revenue for 2009. Just doing the ‘same old, same old’ is not going to help your business. What area do you think will be the most hit in the industry? Enthusiast sectors will still be very strong; those end users have got money to spend. And with some of the best gaming titles coming out over the next few months, they still want the best graphics cards and memory. I don’t think that will suffer too badly. Any further gaps in your portfolio that you’re looking to plug? Yes, but it’s all about whether we can make money out of it. Laptops and PCs are always a bone of contention for a traditional component distie. We all know that in terms of units, notebooks grow each month and desktops fall. But a distie/resellers won’t make a lot of money selling a branded notebook. If you focus on just selling notebooks, you’re not going to survive. EAST MEETS WEST: WHAT IS ENTA? Enta Group was founded back in 1990 by Jason Tsai with the company name actually created from fusing the words ‘England’ and ‘Taiwan’. The company has grown year-on-year, and now commands over £120 million in annual revenues and employs over 200 staff. Its 90,000 square foot headquarters in Telford is also home to several hundred Koi Carp, which according to Chinese culture, are a symbol of strength and success. From your experience We can make a real in the PC/IT sector statement in games on what do you think you certain product lines. We will can bring to this be product specific. market that maybe it hasn’t seen before? Jon Atherton, ENTA We offer a broad range of products which are margin rich for the taken on a number of products over the independent. Within our own sector we last 12 to18 months to complement our have been highly successful in existing, more IT-focused range. introducing specific bundles, promoting and protecting where we can margin for Some believe that the PC and IT the independent over the etailer/High market is more resilient to the Street brand. I would also hope a number recession. Do you think there’s any of your gaming customers are open to truth in that? looking at possibly new products which I do. People aren’t suddenly going to are a success within the PC/IT channel. give up their internet connection. What they will do is perhaps delay upgrading Do you have a dedicated games their PC or notebook. But obviously team at Enta? Or is this something backup, data security, server hosting, all “ ” sourcebo YEAR-ROUND PRINT & ONLINE PROMOTION FOR ALL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICE COMPANIES ACCESS SOURCEBOOK ONLINE AT: WWW.INTENTMEDIA Game Frontier Tel: 0870 420 2424 www.gamefrontier.com Root Tel: 0207 739 2277 www.thisisroot.co.uk Sarsen Software Tel: +44 (0)845 8679685 www.sarsensoft.co.uk CREATIVE AND PROMOTIONAL SERVICES 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net Gem Creative Tel: 01279 822800 www.gem.co.uk an.x Tel: 0207 785 7156 www.anxagency.com Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com Side UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 4800 www.side.com Ark VFX Tel: 0114 268 4999 www.arkvfx.net Head First Tel: 0161 228 6699 www.head-first.co.uk Skyscraper Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 5308 www.skyskraper.net Barrington Harvey Tel: +44 (0)1462 456780 www.barringtonharvey.co.uk IGA Worldwide Tel: +44 (0)20 7250 4340 www.igaworldwide.com Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0)1483 414415 www.studioco2.com Bastion Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 7600 www.bastion.co.uk Indigo Pearl Tel: 0208 964 4545 www.indigopearl.com The Audio Guys Tel: +44 (0) 1926 813546 www.theaudioguys.co.uk Candy Lab Tel: +44 (0)20 7031 0888 www.candylab.co.uk infinite Field Marketing Solutions Tel: 01793 829196 www.infinitefms.com The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com Dilute Recordings Tel: +44 (0)1483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com Intent Media Tel: 01992 535647 www.intentmedia.co.uk Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0) 1225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com DKPM Tel: 0845 111 0312 www.dkpm.co.uk RECRUITMENT Aardvark Swift Recruitment Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.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 ok Specialmove Consultancy Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com In association with .CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK Orange Studio Tel: +39 051 588 04 50 www.orangestudio.it Serco Games Research Tel: 020 74216487 www.sercogamesresearch.com Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com MANUFACTURING SERVICES UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com Arvato Digital Services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Creative North Studios Tel: +44 (0)1484 487904 www.creativenorth.co.uk Scaleform Tel: +1 301 446 3200 www.scaleform.com Dischromatics Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk LEGAL SERVICES BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com Sheridans Tel: 0207 079 0103 www.sheridans.co.uk U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com 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 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 LOCALISATION, QA AND TESTING 4-Real Intermedia Tel: +49 (0)69 80 90 88-0 www.4-real.com Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com 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 – 0 www.dtp-entertainment.com Meroncourt Tel: +44 (0)1462 680060 http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk Babel Tel: 01273 764 100 www.babelmedia.com Pinnacle Software Tel: 020 8309 3934 www.pinnacle-software.co.uk Entertainment Trading Tel: +45 70277640 www.entertainment-trading.com Cenega Service Team Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com PlayV Email: email@example.com www.playv.co.uk Funtastic Tel: 61 3 9535 5888 www.funtastic.com.au Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229 9999 ext. 312 www.enzyme.org Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com Scratch Busters Tel: 01992 535701 www.scratchbusters.co.uk THQ Asia Pacific Tel: +613 9573 9200 www.thq-games.com/au Virgin PLAY Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 www.v2play.com Sponsored by 30 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM PERSONNEL Bradley boosts Atari’s UK team New product manager hired for key titles G Blower joins Nordic Games G VG247 expands editorial team NORDIC GAMES I NIK BLOWER has been appointed as international sales manager at growing Swedish publisher, Nordic Games. Blower is a games industry veteran with over 15 years experience at companies such as Ocean, Infogrames, 3DO and Big Ben Interactive UK. “Nordic Games has a sensible and exciting long term plan which is very appealing to me, and something I want to be a part of,” said Blower. “I will be securing UK retail and European distribution, building our profile and creating a solid foundation on which we can build.” Nordic Games’ publishing director PELLE LUNDBORG said: “Nik’s experience in games publishing makes him important to the team.” VG247 I News site VG247 has added STEPHANY NUNNELEY to its ranks as American associate editor. She has previously served as news editor for Ziff Davis’ Gaming Today. Nunneley’s appointment is part of the site’s rebranding. “Adding Stephany to our staff is a huge step for us,” said VG247’s editor Patrick Garratt. “We believe the hire will make a dramatic difference to both the site’s perception and traffic.” MIND CANDY I ED RELF has been named as the studio’s new head of global marketing. Relf has more than a decade of experience with companies such as MicroProse, Hasbro Interactive, Virgin Interactive, Warhammer Online and Codemasters Online. He will be responsible for helping the studio to grow its social online game Moshi Monsters. ATARI I LAURA BRADLEY has been appointed as UK product manager at Atari. She previously worked at ad agency Cogent Elliot, where she was responsible for accounts with luxury brands such as Land Rover. Her responsibilities at Atari will include all UK marketing activity across the publisher’s 2009 line-up, including Tekken 6, The Witcher and the highlyanticipated Ghostbusters. RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES G PRICE CHECK G CHARTS G NEW RELEASES SONIC BOOM Sega’s gaming icon returns to Wii for another adventure Pages 32-33 ALSO THIS WEEK... MADWORLD P34 Sega’s adult Wii action game is set to rip it up at retail next month GTA: CHINATOWN WARS P36 Rockstar Games’ iconic franchise makes its debut on Nintendo DS EAT LEAD P38 Fictional gaming legend Matt Hazard shoots up on next-gen consoles JOB ISLAND P39 Quirky job-based mini-game collection comes courtesy of Hudson FASHION DESIGNER P39 505 Games targets girl gamers with this clothing-inspired DS game THE CHASE P40 Atari’s inventive platform title is available to buy now ETERNAL SONATA P40 The acclaimed and beautiful 360 RPG makes its way to Sony’s PS3 HIGH STREET P42 More price check and frontline action in this week’s High Street OUT 27TH FeBRuARy ON NINTENDO DS SO Many PeTs. SO MuCh Fun. www.mYpeTShOpgame.COm PUBLISHED BY DEVELOPED BY Tel: 01279 822 822 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 8664 3456 Email: email@example.com © 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. Tel/Fax: 0121 625 3818 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com RETAILBIZ: SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT 32 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM Sega’s latest Wii-exclusive Sonic sees one of gaming’s greatest heroes land in the colourful world of King Arthur’s Camelot. Christopher Dring collapses under the weight of his own armour… SONIC THE HEDGEHOG is a gaming legend. He first sped onto the scene back in 1991, and has never looked like slowing down. Last year alone the blue hedgehog appeared in four big-selling titles, including the DS edition of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, the acclaimed DS RPG Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and the multi-platform Sonic Unleashed. The latest in the popular franchise, Sonic and the Black Knight, is a follow-up to the 2007 Wii hit Sonic and the Secret Rings, a game that received positive critical reviews on release and has sold more than 2.1 million copies worldwide. “We have high hopes for Sonic’s next foray into the storybook genre as the previous Sonic title of this nature, Sonic and the Secret Rings, was a great success,” enthuses brand manager Jo Fawell. RELEASED: MARCH 13 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SONIC TEAM PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388 “ The sword-based gameplay is unique to the Sonic series, and is reminiscent of other popular swash-buckling titles such as Nintendo’s Zelda and Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia. However, the game doesn’t sacrifice the new combat for speed, with there being no need to slow down in order to use the weaponry. Much like the first Sonic storybook game, The Black Knight is a gorgeous looking Wii title. It’s also on course to enjoy similar Sonic is at home and critical praise, with performs well on Wii, and this Nintendo Power already title has been specifically awarding the title an developed for the console. 8/10 score and stating: ‘If you’re looking for an Jo Fawell, Sega engaging, unique, wellHaving been propelled to Camelot by polished take on the world’s most the granddaughter of Merlin, Sonic famous hedgehog, Sonic and the Black comes up against fearsome knights and Knight delivers.’ other bizarre creatures, whilst also The game is also a perfect fit for the having to scale castle walls and be fired Wii audience. The fast-paced colourful across moats. gameplay is ideal for families, with a The game, which can be enjoyed by four-player multiplayer mode available up to four players, makes the most of so that everyone can get involved. Sonic the Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls. has also been a big seller on the Wii, not Players level-up as they progress, gaining just with Sonic and the Secret Rings but access to special attacks and powers that also the Olympic tie-in Mario and Sonic are geared to fit their preferred style of at the Olympic Games, which has sold gameplay, all building towards a in excess of ten million units showdown with a mysterious villain worldwide, with 2.2 million games sold in the UK alone. who threatens the existence of Camelot. “We know that Sonic games are at home and perform well on the Nintendo Wii and this title has been specifically developed for the console.” Indeed, The Black Knight has been created with Wii gamers in mind, and the speedy hedgehog must use his lightning speed and quick sword combos, executed by the player using the Wii Remote, to battle his medieval foes. ” To accompany the new release, Sega has a big marketing push in the works. A three-week TV campaign is planned, targeting housewives and kids with 30, 20 and 10 second spots across Channel 4, E4, MTV, CITV, and Trouble, and around key programmes such as T4, Ben 10 and The Simpsons. In terms of online promotion, the firm has booked site takeovers, leaders and trailers on Nick, Monkey Slum and Cartoon Network. There will also be a three week TV and web sponsorship on Jetix, with advertisement, competitions and dedicated mini-games. This will be backed up by a twomonth specialist and children’s lifestyle print campaign, as well as a strong instore push to begin at launch. EASTER TREAT “Sonic and the Black Knight offers a different kind of Sonic gameplay by the mixing of traditional platforming speed with frenetic multiplayer swordplay implemented through the Wii Remote and Nunchuck,” concludes Fawell. “These elements of gameplay, coupled with the story set within the Arthurian Legend, makes the game a great consumer offering for Easter.” RETAILBIZ: SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 33 SUPER SONIC THE BLUE WARRIOR: Sonic’s latest Wii adventure boasts superb visuals and fast nonstop gameplay Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the biggest video game franchises in the world. The blue hedgehog has appeared in almost 200 games since he first sped onto the scene in 1991, and Sonic titles have sold in excess of 50 million units as of 2008. The character has also spawned multiple successful animated series including The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and the anime, Sonic X. Sega’s mascot is also the star of several long-running comic books, including Sonic the Comic. And that’s not to mention the novels, adventure books, clothes, toys, lampshades, CDs and other such merchandise. Sonic is a huge icon for the video games industry. He was voted the most popular game character in the UK last year, with 24 per cent of the vote (compared to Mario’s 21 per cent). A class of gene was even named after the character, and Sonic also showed up in two episodes of The Simpsons. RETAILBIZ: MADWORLD 34 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM The super-violent and beautifully stylised MadWorld is released next month. MCV’s Christopher Dring grabs his chainsaw… THE WII hardcore audience has been counting down the days until Sega’s MadWorld crashes, slashes and explodes onto retail shelves. The new game looks utterly gorgeous, with a pen-and-ink style reminiscent of graphic novels – including Frank Miller’s award-winning Sin City. The game is almost entirely in black and white, with the occasional (or we should say regular) splash of red as the blood spills. But MadWorld is not a case of style over substance, as developer Platinum Games has worked hard at creating a fun and adult video game experience. “The first main concept was to make a fun game for the Wii,” says MadWorld producer Atsushi Inaba. “We wanted to make a game with impact, action and entertainment, and also a game that is very different from the existing games on the console.” Players take the role of Jack, a man caught up in the murderous world of Death Watch, a deadly game dreamt up by outlawed terrorist group, The Organizers. Gamers must fight hand-tohand as well as use an array of weapons that can be found scattered around the various environments. RELEASED: MARCH 20 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: PLATINUM GAMES PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388 “ As well as the ultimate quest to survive and uncover the secret behind Death Watch, MadWorld features a series of challenges that can be played as standalone mini-games, and with up to four players. MATURE PLEASURES The action is intense and adds up to a The game has garnered much press proper hardcore gaming experience, attention, particularly for being an adult the like of which has rarely been title on Nintendo’s typically familyenjoyed on Wii. orientated Wii. However, Platinum And it’s worth remembering that the Games is confident that the lack of adult few adult games that have been released games on the console will benefit on the console have gone on to post big MadWorld’s retail performance. sales numbers, including Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 and The Wii is the world’s most Ubisoft’s Red Steel. Sega will be popular console. We’re giving supporting the game its audience something that with a wide-reaching they have been missing. marketing campaign, Atsushi Inaba, Platinum Games which focuses around advertising on “The Wii is currently the most terrestrial and satellite TV. popular console in the world, but there MadWorld will also receive cinema are not many games for the console promotion around the release of the tailored to adult gamers,” adds Inaba. Watchmen movie, as well as the usual “So we thought an adult game gives print and online advertising. this audience something it has been In terms of PR, Sega will target the missing. Plus the Wii has also allowed gaming community with multiple us to create a fantastic control system, trailers. The title will also see several which is great fun to use. features and brand activation stunts “We expect to have some criticism, ahead of launch. In 2008 alone the but at the end of the day we are creating game notched up 30 pages of press a game that is suitable only for a mature coverage, including features in Edge and audience. Some people may take offence Official Nintendo Magazine. but you just can’t please everyone. If the buzz online is any indicator, “I hope that gamers will appreciate MadWorld is set to be yet another hit the game as a form of entertainment for Sega. The game is over-the-top and and not focus on the irreverent extreme in every sense, and is destined violent content.” to be a landmark title for Wii. Being a Wii game, MadWorld makes full use of the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, and encourages gamers to kill in a clinical and creative way to rack up big point scores. ” DISTINCTIVE: MadWorld’s black and white visual style differentiates the title from other offerings RETAILBIZ: MADWORLD WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 35 PLATINUM SUCCESS The team behind MadWorld is new Japanese-based studio Platinum Games. The developer is made up of key members from Capcom’s Clover Studio, a team famous for such classics as Viewtiful Joe, God Hand and Okami. The studio is currently working on four games for Sega, including MadWorld, PS3 and 360 action title Bayonetta and DS RPG Infinite Space. The fourth title, which will be directed by legendary games developer Shinji Mikami (famous for Resident Evil and Devil May Cry), is yet to be revealed. The studio behind Madworld is working on four games for Sega, including a DS RPG. MadWorld is the first game to come from Platinum Games, and the studio will continue to produce new IP in order to find the next big hit and help grow the games industry. “Our vision has always been to create new IPs,” says Platinum Games’ executive director Atsushi Inaba. “The best way for a developer to make a mark in the industry and secure its future is by creating new and successful IPs. It’s a very hard process but if you succeed, the rewards are massive. “To keep the games industry innovative and growing we really have to be creating popular new IPs, so we as a studio work very hard to make sure our new properties have everything they need to be a success. Industries that innovate and produce something new will always survive in the global marketplace.” RETAILBIZ: GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS 36 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM The phenomenal Grand Theft Auto series makes its debut on DS, marking one of many firsts with GTA: Chinatown Wars. James Batchelor jacks a car and pops a cop… ROCKSTAR IS to be commended for world of the Triad gangs in Liberty City many things: staggering sales figures, and obviously the nature of having an creative accomplishment, and critical interactive touch screen adds a whole renown. Perhaps more impressively, it new element to the gameplay. has single-handedly transformed three “Essentially, we were able to do things words from being a serious criminal in Chinatown Wars that wouldn’t be term to one of the biggest sources of possible for a GTA game on any other excitement in the games industry: format, whether it be whistling into the Grand Theft Auto. DS microphone to hail a taxi or using After last year’s GTA IV, you could be forgiven We will apply our expertise in for thinking Chinatown marketing to excite fans, who Wars will have less of an impact but, if anything, have been starved of such Rockstar’s debut on the compelling content on DS. DS is shaping up to be Neil Stephen, Rockstar Games just as momentous an event. Not only does it hold true to the touch screen to assemble a sniper everything fans know and love about rifle. All in all, it is a massive game that GTA, it also brings enough new ideas to provides a unique experience unlike help advance the franchise. anything we have done in a GTA game “Firstly, I’ll point out that GTA: before and unlike anything that has Chinatown Wars is not a port of any come out on the DS.” other GTA game,” Neil Stephen, Rockstar Making full use of the handheld’s Games’ general manager tells MCV. “It functionality is sure to win over the has been built from the ground up and hardcore DS owners, who are growing maximised for the DS. There is a brand increasingly tired of unambitious titles new story that takes in the intriguing that make minimal use of the hardware. “ ” The game has the scope, quality and final polish of a triple-A release, something decidedly lacking on a platform oversaturated by considerably more casual titles. More importantly, it will allows GTA’s followers to become far more connected with the world than ever before, where every cab hailed, every lock pick, every car hotwired is an achievement through their own efforts rather than a simple button press. Chinatown Wars will even appeal to any GTA veterans who felt alienated by the last console release. Shedding the gritty, serious tones of GTA IV, this is Grand Theft Auto back to its best, with over-the-top action and outlandish characters, all wrapped in a intriguing story of betrayal and revenge. “We are bringing a truly unique game to the DS that marks a major departure from most of the other successful titles available to date,” says Stephen. “We will apply Rockstar’s expertise in marketing to excite and enthuse the Nintendo fanboys as well as our loyal RETAILBIZ: GRAND THEFT AUTO: CHINATOWN WARS WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 37 GANGSTERS: Once again, Grand Theft Auto rolls out an entire cast of memorable characters who will make Chinatown Wars’ story even more compelling fanbase, who have been largely starved of such compelling content on the DS. We hope that a more sophisticated and mature creative to that normally seen on the platform will give it excellent standout in the market across all media.” BIG TROUBLE FOR LITTLE CHINA As can be expected from a GTA title, excitement surrounding Chinatown Wars’ upcoming release has been matched with some controversy. Even without the drug dealing minigame pounced upon by the tabloids, the content of a GTA game on a platform commonly associated with a younger audience has been a cause of concern for public watchdogs. But the BBFC has issued the game an ‘18’ certificate, proving that Rockstar has, of course, once again made a game for adult players. “An ‘18’ rated game is certainly nothing new to us and we have always been very careful and responsible about how we market to and target our audience and we will continue with that approach for this release,” Stephen says. EXPLOSIVE: Players will be pleased to see the game takes GTA back to its over-the-top roots. “The assumption from a lot of people is that the DS is only for kids, but in setting up for this campaign we did quite a bit of research into the DS market and there are actually a large number of 18+ DS owners who we believe are crying out for a game like Chinatown Wars. “All in all, we think there is a really healthy market there and through our marketing campaign, we will make them all aware that Chinatown Wars is a must-have title come March 20th.” The remarkable evergreen quality of the DS, defying the traditional cycle set out by its predecessors, means that launching a game of this scope this late in the handheld’s life is unlikely to affect its sales. In fact, Stephen believes releasing close to the launch of the revamped DSi will more than likely benefit GTA: Chinatown Wars. “The launch of a new piece of hardware into the DS family will garner a new level of buzz and get some more hype going for the system,” he says. “I think anyone releasing high profile titles on the DS will definitely benefit from RELEASED: MARCH 20 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: ROCKSTAR GAMES DEVELOPER: ROCKSTAR GAMES PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 800 that. We also think there is the potential to attracts lots of new owners into the market, particularly from our fans who may have played out Grand Theft Auto titles on the PSP.” GANSTERS’ PARADISE Stephen is also keen to emphasise how important Chinatown Wars is to Rockstar. “This is one of our biggest releases for 2009. It is the full Grand Theft Auto experience build and enhanced for the DS with levels of interactivity and innovation that we feel take the franchise to new and exciting places. “It is also one of the biggest DS games ever created, as well as an incredible fun and addictive game to play. We definitely have high hopes for the title and expect it to do very well.” RETAILBIZ: EAT LEAD 38 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM D3P launches its new adult action franchise, complete with fake history, hilarious video game parodies and celebrity voice-overs. Christopher Dring makes a long-overdue comeback… RELEASED: MARCH 6 FORMATS: 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: D3 PUBLISHER DEVELOPER: VICIOUS CYCLE SOFTWARE PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388 D3 PUBLISHER has been nothing but inventive with the launch of its new third person action shooter, Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard. The game’s plot stars Hazard, a retired video game action star who has been given the chance to prove once and for all he is the king of shooters – thanks to ‘publisher’ Marathon Megasoft. But it soon transpires this is not just a game, as Hazard is forced to battle Marathon’s legion of video game characters in order to avoid his fictional career being ‘Game Over’ forever. This make-believe world has extended to D3P’s marketing and PR, with Matt Hazard’s entire ‘back catalogue’ listed on the game’s website (titles include A Fistful of Hazard, Haz-Matt Carts, You Only Live 1317 Times and Choking Hazard) – there’s even a ‘retro’ Hazard digital download game on the way. And the publisher hopes this kind of humour will give the game a reach beyond just the action/shooter fan base. “Vicious Cycle is a developer that we own, and they’re constantly coming up to us with great ideas as they are so creative,” explains D3P associate producer Joe Fletcher. “And this was one of their amazing ideas that just hasn’t been done before. “We’ve got a couple of different target demographics. We’re going for the core gamer with all the nostalgia that’s in the game. We’re paying “ We genuinely believe Eat Lead will be a big success. The humour could really propel this off shelves. Joe Fletcher, D3P homage to gaming, everything from 8Bit action to early ‘80s 3D games, and right up to the more-recent water and paintball-based blasters. “But we’re also trying to hook players in that might not usually play these games, but are interested in the humour. There are a lot of people who wouldn’t play a first-person shooter because it’s too complex, too difficult. With a bit of humour it becomes a lot more accessible to your not-quite gamer.” The game doesn’t just parody the Duke Nukems of the world either. Everything from Final Fantasy to Mario gets a look in. And D3P has improved the game’s humour by securing top voice talent. “Will Arnet brings a lot of character to the game,” continues Fletcher. “His role on Arrested Development is very different to Matt Hazard, but he is able to become the character very, very well and he brings a lot of humour to it. Matt Hazard is a unique, post-modern take on the third person shooter, and D3P has made full use of the web to support it, with fake fansites and Facebook groups in honour of the character. Couple this with the fun gameplay and bizarre humour, and the game could be a real cult hit. “We genuinely believe Eat Lead will be a big success,” concludes Fletcher. “It’s not something that has just been jammed into the market. The sheer fact that it’s so different, along with the humour factor, makes us optimistic that this game could really propel off shelves.” ” RETAILBIZ: JOB ISLAND & FASHION DESIGNER WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 39 As unemployment rates rise, Konami’s Job Island sees players save the world – by working hard in their careers. James Batchelor files his CV… EMPLOYMENT is something of a sensitive issue at the moment, so kudos must go to Konami for releasing a game that makes light of the rigours of working from day to day in Job Island: Hard Working People. Following on from the successful Sports Island, this title features a more economically-aware storyline than your typical mini-game collection. A series of meteors are heading to Earth, and the only way to prevent mankind’s complete annihilation is to raise money to build a machine capable of stopping them. “Job Island is another example of Hudson’s cleverness with the Wii format,” explains Voltage PR’s Steve Merrett. “It transfers the sub-game basis to a mad-cap scenario wherein players try their hand at different jobs in an attempt to raise cash. “In terms of variety, it crams a number of different game styles in there, from matching body-building stances, through to making sushi.” VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE RELEASED: MARCH 13 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: KONAMI DEVELOPER: HUDSON PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 8987 5730 The sequel to the bestselling Fashion Designer: Style Icon is approaching the catwalk. James Batchelor practises posing… MANY YOUNG GIRLS boast a tenacious creative spark that grown women struggle to recreate. From scribbling new designs to making their own by ripping up their mum’s discarded dresses, many aspiring fashion divas dream of creating the latest looks and setting trends. The likes of Fashion Designer: Style Icon allow them to realise those dreams, encouraging their creativity with a range of digital tools and activities. Having racked up impressive sales, 505 Games now seeks to expand this franchise with the forthcoming release of Fashion Designer: High Fashion. Once again, players take on the role of a young fashion designer working to gain fame and fortune by creating clothing to suit the tastes of fashion experts and other satoriallyhungry customers. DESIGN FOR LIFE RELEASED: MARCH 13 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: CREATIVE PATTERNS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9590 There are over 50 jobs available, ranging from the simple (pizza chef, make-up artist) to the adventurous (stunt car driver, action hero) and even the downright bizarre (haunted house monster). Each job forms the basis of a mini-game that will earn players money, which can then be spent on unique items for themselves or donated towards humanity’s salvation. The humorous nature of the game’s premise and mini-games, as well as its charming characters, positions the game perfectly for the Wii demographic. “Hudson has created an intuitive control system where anyone can pick up and play the game,” says Merrett. Konami is supporting the game with print ads in key kids’, specialist and national publications, whilst online will be focused around banners and ads on major gaming portals. TV spots will appear on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon. “Retailers can expect a good solid performer from a publisher and developer with an unrivalled reputation within the Wii sector,” Merrett concludes. “Hudson specialises in good, fun, accessible titles, and Job Island: Hard Working People has the variety and challenges that make it the perfect accompaniment for a good night in with friends and family.” The biggest addition, however, is the new 3D tool. This not only enables players to cut, sew and iron their outfits in 3D, it also allows them to see what they look like on the models. They can even view their creations properly with the 360-degree rotation. Missions are also more varied this time around. Girls will be tasked with tailoring challenges, such as creating hats, handbags and accessories, and even more unorthodox activities like performing emergency surgery on a moth-infested teddy bear. 505 Games will be putting some considerable marketing weight behind the title, with advertising secured online, in print and on TV. There will be targeted press reviews, competitions and features across a range of kids’ publications, as well as ads and advertorials in the likes of the Top Of The Pops and Girl Talk magazines. A three-week online campaign will focus on key children’s websites, such as Disney, My Kinda Place and Girlsgogames. TV spots will also run for three weeks starting on March 27th, with 20-second ads targeting kids’ channels including CiTV, Nickelodeon and Pop Girl. RETAILBIZ: THE CHASE: FELIX MEETS FELICITY & ETERNAL SONATA 40 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM Atari turns Cupid with its novel spin on the conventions of platform gaming. Even Will Freeman takes an affectionate glance... IT’S EASY to deride gaming’s distinctly macho obsession with violence and competition. But since Mario set out to rescue the Princess in Donkey Kong, numerous protagonists have been motivated by far more amorous desires. In the rose-scented wake of Valentine’s Day, Atari’s contribution to gaming’s more romantic back-catalogue comes in the form of DS exclusive The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity, which offers virtual Lotharios a chance to pursue the affections of the titular heartthrobs. Erring far from the niche genre of dating sims, The Chase instead offers an innovative platform game that asks players to draw their own scenery elements using the DS stylus. This aids their rush against the clock in an attempt to arrive for a series of allimportant dates on time. LOVE IS IN THE AIR RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: RAZORBACK DEVELOPMENTS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 The epic 360 RPG arrives on PlayStation 3 with extra content to boot. Ed Fear enters the land of make believe… WHEN AMBITIOUS RPG Eternal Sonata hit the Xbox 360 in 2007, it was widely praised as an innovative title that played with conventions by partially basing itself on the real world – well, very liberally, anyway. The game revolves around world-renowned Polish composer/pianist/musical genius Chopin. Seriously. The game sees Chopin in the last few hours of his life, drifting between a real and imaginary world in a quest that sees him discover ‘the light that shines in each of us’. Of course, the imaginary world is where developer Tri-Crescendo’s creativity gets its blank canvas, daubing luscious meadows and colourful cities in colours that you might have forgotten existed in games these days. The PS3 version boasts the same gorgeous hi-def cel-shaded visuals as its 360 counterpart, but adds in two playable characters, plus the ability to customise your characters’ clothes, should you so wish. New dungeons are added to make the adventure RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: TRI-CRESCENDO PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 01215 069590 Assuming the role of either Felix or Felicity, players step into a free form and decidedly abstract game world filled with suspended walkways, slopes, ramps and obstacles that lend The Chase a unique style that is bound to distinguish the title at retail and drive sales. Designed with the increasingly diverse range of DS owners in mind, Atari’s charmingly atypical platformer provides a relatively sizeable chunk of gameplay, with over 40 locations and vast spectrum of difficulty levels. In combining a friendly, cheery presentation with a design aesthetic that screams indie cool, The Chase will easily court the affections of both the hardcore and novice casual gaming crowds. Developer Razorback has created an optimistic alternative to the conventions that have become the staples of the DS release schedule, without having to rely on sensationalist content, and its efforts in that regard are likely to be rewarded by healthy sales. With romance lingering in the air and the DS customer base beginning to expect innovation as a standard, The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity should attract plenty of affectionate glances at retail. The game’s well-timed release should ensure its endearing theme will appeal to a wide range of DS owners. The use of the DS functionality also makes it stand out from more half-hearted efforts at shaking up the platforming market. longer, and additional cutscenes help to elaborate on the already wellrecieved story. FEEDING THE MARKET Untouched is the battle system, which combines both turn-based gameplay and free-roaming action, and changes as the game progresses, keeping any potential boredom strictly at bay. While the RPG market remains a niche one, for sure, it is also one with a loyal following that is always willing to pay out for a new experience. And with a significant helping of innovation and graphics that are still astonishing to this day, there’s every chance it could pick up a large part of the RPGstarved PS3 audience. RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 41 Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more RE5 and Clancy boost retail The highly anticipated duo of Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 and Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s HAWX lead the line-up for March, along with other long-awaited titles such as Empire: Total War and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars... TITLE FORMAT GENRE PUBLISHER TELEPHONE DISTRIBUTOR MARCH 4th Empire: Total War PC DS PS3 / XBOX 360 DS DS DS PS3 Wii PSP DS / Wii DS DS PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC DS DS PC DS DS DS / Wii Wii PC / DS / PSP XBOX 360 / PS2 / PS3 / Wii DS DS PS2 / Wii / DS / PSP Wii DS DS / PC PS2 / Wii / PC / DS / PSP PS3 / XBOX 360 XBOX 360 / PS2 Wii PS3 Wii DS DS PC Wii / PC Wii Wii / DS Wii / DS PC PC PC PC PC PC DS RTS RPG Action/Adventure Action Action Action Action Sports Puzzle Puzzle Sports Mini Game Action RPG Action Adventure RTS RPG Fashion Action RPG RTS Action Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Racing Simulation Action Puzzle/RPG Sports Survival Horror FPS First Person Shooter FPS Platform RPG Card games RTS Mini-games Beat-'em-up Racing Chess Simulation Action RPG Simulation FPS Simulation Action Sega V.2 Play 505 Games South Peak THQ Gammick Konami Nintendo Sony Deep Silver Ubisoft THQ Ubisoft Playlogic Sega Disney Interactive THQ Konami 505 Games Ubisoft Konami Slitherine Activision Blizzard V.2 Play V.2 Play Activision Blizzard Deep Silver 505 Games D3Publisher V.2 Play Capcom Activision Blizzard Midas Sony Sega Konami Midas Ubisoft Zoo Digital Konami Zoo Digital Deep Silver Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Rockstar 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 020 8987 5730 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 020 8987 5730 0121 506 9585 0845 456 6400 020 8987 5730 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 01376 555333 0845 456 6400 01279 822 800 020 8987 5730 01279 822 800 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Advantage Koch Open Koch Centresoft Koch Trilogy Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Open Advantage Trilogy Open Koch Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Open Centresoft Centresoft Open Open Trilogy Gem Open Gem Koch Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Gem MARCH 6th Away: Shuffle Dungeon Battle Fantasia Big Bang Mini Elements of Destruction Elite Forces Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots (Platinum) New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis Patapon 2 Professor Heinz Wolff's Gravity Sam Power: Footballer SpongeBob SquarePants: Frantic Fry Cook Tom Clancy's HAWX MARCH 13th Age Of Pirates: City Of Abandoned Ships Bleach: Dark Souls Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force Company Of Heroes: Tales Of Valor Enchanted Folk And The School Of Wizardry Fashion Designer: High Fashion Grey's Anatomy Job Island: Hard Working People Military Commander: Europe At War Millennium Series Championship Paintball 2009 Mind Your Language: Learn Japanese Mind Your Language: Learn Spanish Monster Jam Urban Assault My Animal Centre Pop Town Puzzle Quest: Galactrix Real Madrid: The Game Resident Evil 5 Secret Service Skyscraper SOCOM: Confrontation Sonic and the Black Knight Suikoden: Tierkreis The Big Deal World In Conflict Complete MARCH 20th Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree Castlevania: Judgement Chrysler Classic Racing Fritz Chess Games For Laptop: Chris Sawyer's Locomotion Games For Laptop: Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Games For Laptop: Neverwinter Nights & Expansions Games For Laptop: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 & Expansions Games For Laptop: Tactical Ops Games For Laptop: Tycoon City New York Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars MUSTSTOCK ..........................RESIDENT EVIL 5 Released: March 13th Format: Xbox 360, PS3 Publisher: Capcom Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388 Easily the most hotly-tipped release of this quarter, Resident Evil 5 can’t come soon enough for the hordes of rabid consumers that will be queuing up outside stores upon the game’s release. Not unlike the ravenous zombies featured in the game, then. MUSTSTOCK ...................TOM CLANCY’S HAWX Released: March 6th Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Trilogy Contact: 0845 456 6400 HAWX marks a new direction for the Tom Clancy series, leaving the limits of the battlefield below and embracing the freedom of the skies. Billed as ‘GRAW-in-the-air’, the game offers a wider appeal than that of similar titles, enticing newcomers and veterans alike. RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 42 MCV 27/02/09 Sponsored by WWW.MCVUK.COM INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK LAST WEEK TITLE/FORMAT PUBLISHER 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 F.E.A.R 2: PR0JECT ORIGIN FORMAT: 360 2 MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL WII F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN PS3 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR 360 MARIO KART WII Wii CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR PS3 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2 F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN PC DESTROY ALL HUMANS; PATH OF THE FURON 360 SKATE 2 360 PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC WII FIT WII SHELLSHOCK 2: BLOOD TRAILS PS2 DESTROY ALL HUMANS; PATH OF THE FURON PS3 MORTAL KOMBAT VS DC UNIVERSE 360 BURNOUT PARADISE: THE ULTIMATE BOX PS3 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DS WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING PC Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347. NEW RELEASES REIGNITE INDIE SALES A CLUTCH of new releases have swamped the indie charts this week, proving that consumers are still being tempted into stores to buy the latest and greatest the games industry has to offer. From F.E.A.R. 2 at No.1 down to Ben 10 at No.19, there are a total of nine new titles in the Indie Top 20. Other new big hits for the week include Destroy All Humans, Shellshock 2: Blood Trails and House of the Dead. Interestingly, Destroy All Humans: Path of the Furon and shooter Shellshock’s performance are a stark contrast to their results in the wider Gfk-ChartTrack charts from last week, where both games failed to make an impression – underlining views that indies attract more of a dedicated, ‘hardcore’ custom. DEVELOPER: MONOLITH PUBLISHER: WARNER BROS. NINTENDO SEGA WARNER BROS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD D3P WARNER BROS THQ EA NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO EIDOS THQ MIDWAY EA D3P ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NEW NEW 3 6 5 NEW NEW NEW 8 4 7 1 NEW NEW RE “Consumers are ﬁnally being tempted into stores to buy new releases, not back catalogue games.” In comparison to last week’s indie charts, it’s clear that consumers have welcomed all those new games with open arms, and turned away from the presumably bargain-priced older re-entries that were selling well at indies in early February. In fact, aside from evergreen games like Mario Kart and Nintendo’s other offerings – plus Call of Duty, of course – most of the list on the left consists of titles that have hit retail in 2009, a good sign of a healthy software market, especially when the big selling games are diverse. Just contrast the 18rated F.E.A.R. 2 with the big kids’ brand Ben 10. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk 12 NEW RE with Andy Harris FROM THE FRONTLINE This week MCV chews the cud Peterborough… of indie store Seventh Heaven in What challenges are you facing at the moment? The supermarkets are affecting us quite badly. Day one pricing is pathetic. If a customer buys the game here for £40 and then sees it for £28 when they do their weekly shopping, they’re not going to come back to us. We’re selling new titles at more or less the best price we can, and still knocking a tenner off the suggested retail price, but people won’t come back. They think we’re robbing them, even though we’re making nothing. We have the same problem when it comes to competing with the online retailers as well – we just can’t compete on price. A lot of people I know have stopped buying from indies or any shop because they can get the stuff online, delivered before the release date and for a lot less than we pay for it. We’ve even thought about buying stuff from online sites because it’s cheaper than our usual sources. Has anything been selling below expectations this year? Most of the new releases on DS and Wii. We totally agree with industry sentiment about there being too many titles on those formats, and a lot of them being rubbish. What are your plans for 2009? Try and keep going. We’ve been here 17 years now, and I’d like to see 20. TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. e at ailabl All Av For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251 RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM Sponsored by MCV 27/02/09 43 Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM PRICE CHECK F.E.A.R. 2: Project origin PS3, Warner House of the Dead: Overkill Wii, Sega Destroy All Humans: Furon 360, THQ Disney’s Bolt PS2, Disney Hotel for Dogs DS, 505 Games IN STORE: STAINES £38.99 £34.99 £34.99 £34.99 £34.92 £34.99 £34.99 £34.99 N/A £37.99 £34.99 £37.99 N/A N/A N/A £14.99 N/A N/A N/A £14.99 ONLINE £29.99 £31.97 £29.99 £32.99 £29.99 £29.97 £29.99 £28.99 £29.99 £32.97 £34.99 £28.89 £24.99 £24.97 £14.99 £24.99 N/A N/A £14.99 N/A RETAIL PROMOTIONS MARGIN MAKER The return of Street Fighter has revived the competitive instincts of the beat ‘em up community. Once again, players are keen to assert their quick reflexes and arthritisinducing skills against their friends and even other gamers from around the world with Street Fighter IV’s online mode. To be the best, you need the best equipment, and Mad Catz’ official Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick: Tournament Edition fits the bill. As the pinnacle of arcadestyle joysticks, this dedicated peripheral perfectly recreates This PSP bundle includes the Slim & Lite version of the handheld, Ratchet & Clank and three UMD movies (Ice Age, Robots and Chicken Run) all for £119.99. For £179.99, Nintendo and zombie fans alike can pick up a Wii bundled with Sega’s latest horror shooter release, The House Of The Dead: Overkill. Fans of Street Fighter can save a massive £49.99 when they buy a Street Fighter IV and 80Gb PlayStation 3 console bundle for £289.99 from Play.com. the feeling of controlling the game from the original cabinets. The fact that the FightStick features the buttons, joystick and other components from renowned arcade manufacturer Sanwa Denshi, the creator of the Street Fighter IV cabinet, ensures an authentic fighting experience. Mad Catz: 01908 336538 RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 44 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK  [FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER [ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES] TITLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3 1 4 5 21 14 8 6 7 PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO DISNEY’S BOLT DISNEY BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA TOP 40ALL  1 THIS WEEK STREET FIGHTER IV FORMAT: 360, PS3 DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM LAST WEEK TITLE WII FIT Wii PUBLISHER NINTENDO THQ D3P EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA NINTENDO NINTENDO WARNER BROS. NINTENDO DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS ATARI ROCKSTAR SEGA 2 3 4 5 6 1 NEW WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II PC BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC 13 5 4 NEW PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK 7 SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3 MARIO KART WII Wii WII PLAY Wii F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN 360, PS3, PC PROFESSOR LAYTON DS DISNEY’S BOLT PS3, PS2, 360, DS, Wii RACE PRO 360 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL Wii GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR [FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER 8 6 7 2 9 40 NEW TITLE  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9 11 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P FIFA ‘09 EA TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES EA 14 15 12 10 17 18 8 PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER MY FITNESS COACH Wii SEGA 2K PLAY EA  18 19 20 DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 UBISOFT PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK [FULL PRICE] TITLE PUBLISHER PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK [FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER TITLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 4 3 7 5 8 9 6 10 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P FIFA 09 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 LEGO BATMAN WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 STAR OCEAN: SECOND EVOLUTION LEGO INDIANA JONES EA EA SEGA 2K KONAMI WARNER BROS. THQ SQUARE ENIX LUCASARTS \  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 7 6 4 11 5 8 WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II DEVELOPER: RELIC PUBLISHER: THQ FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA SPORE EA GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 45 [ANALYSIS] STREET FIGHTER IV brings an end to Wii Fit’s previously unstoppable reign at the top of the charts. The brawler debuts at No.1 as the urge for gaming overruled the country’s desire to improve their fitness. Given the quantity and quality of this week’s new releases, the current chart feels like the true start to 2009, with Dawn Of War II, Race Pro and That’s not to say the post-Christmas fitness boom has been subdued. Continually strong sales saw Wii Fit hold on to the No.2 spot, while it’s Ubisoft rival My Fitness Coach appeared at No.20. Overall, the All Formats Charts showed a good level of variety this week, with a healthy range of genres and publishers throughout the Top 40. James Batchelor WEEK ENDING 21/02/09 50 Cent all securing positions within the Top 40. FORMATS Highest New Entry Highest Top 40 Climber [FULL PRICE] TITLE PUBLISHER THIS LAST WEEK WEEK 1 THQ STREET FIGHTER IV DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR LITTLEBIGPLANET F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE GRAND THEFT AUTO IV RESISTANCE 2 50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY WARNER BROS. EA ACTIVISSION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR SONY THQ 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 25 NEW COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND 360, PS3 LEGO BATMAN DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS LEFT 4 DEAD 360, PS3, PC MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS MARIO KART DS DS 19 16 11 3 28 20 23 24 29 30 33 34 22 26 RE WARNER BROS. NINTENDO EA NINTENDO NINTENDO 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEW 2 3 1 4 6 7 5 NEW TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 EIDOS LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC PRO EVO 2009 PS3, PS2, PSP, PC, 360 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3 SONIC UNLEASHED 360, Wii, PS3, PS2 PUZZLER COLLECTION DS LUCASARTS SEGA KONAMI NINTENDO SONY SEGA UBISOFT WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK [FULL PRICE] TITLE PUBLISHER 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2 3 4 11 7 5 25 14 6 WII FIT DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO MARIO KART WII THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR DISNEY’S BOLT WII MUSIC SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING NINTENDO SEGA SEGA D3P NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DISNEY NINTENDO UBISOFT SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, 360, Wii, PC UBISOFT ANIMAL CROSSING: GO TO THE CITY Wii SKATE 2 360, PS3 LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST 360, PS3, PC NINTENDO EA EA 21 27 39 QUANTUM OF SOLACE PC, PS3, PS2, DS, 360, Wii ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK [BUDGET PRICE] PUBLISHER XBOX 360 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK [FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER TITLE TITLE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3 2 RE WORLD OF WARCRAFT DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA BEJEWELED 2 FOCUS THE ORANGE BOX EA MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC SETTLERS: HERITAGE OF KINGS FOCUS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEW NEW STREET FIGHTER IV DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM RACE PRO SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN GRAND THEFT AUTO IV FIFA ‘09 LEFT 4 DEAD 50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ATARI SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR EA EA THQ ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NEW 8 [SOURCE] 15 5 4 7 13 10 3 1 5 4 2 WARNER BROS. (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack PS3 TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR 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 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 LOCALISATION Absolute Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0141 220 5600 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507 217 Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . . . . 01733 239001 DISC REPAIR TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 Perfect Play. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 RTI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252 191 STORE FITTINGS AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com DISTRIBUTION For further online advertising information please contact Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN ONLINE PRESENCE WWW.MCVUK.COM GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk 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 MARCH 6th 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 13th 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 of securing victory when the awards are finally handed out on the evening of April 23rd at the Brewery, London. 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 20th PRE-OWNED SPECIAL As the global economy continues to suffer, retailers and consumers are increasingly turning to the pre-owned market to increase margins and save the pennies. MCV provides a series of features on the pros and cons of the often controversial second-hand video game sector. 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 LostWinds, while highly anticipated DLC for Fallout 3 and GTA IV has been made available in recent weeks. MCV takes a closer look at this ever-expanding sector, and speaks to all the key service providers. FRIDAY APRIL 10th TERRITORY REPORT: CHINA AND ASIA The Far East contains several unique markets that do things very differently to the rest of the world. Publishers and platform holders alike have to jump through completely different hoops to see their products released here. We look at how the territory’s video games industry works and what opportunities it offers. FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION 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 Blitz Games Studios..............+44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive ..........+44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki.............................................www.denki.co.uk Fuse Games.......................email@example.com nDreams ................................+44(0) 1252 375754 Realtime Worlds ...................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Rebellion..............................+44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games ...............firstname.lastname@example.org 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 SERVICES 3D Creation Studio ..............+44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel................................+44 (0) 207 486 6466 Air Studios ...........................+44 (0) 207 794 0660 GAMEINDUSTRYJOBS.eu..........+31 3110 7504580 Ian Livingstone .....................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Partnertrans .........................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 Philips amBX....................................www.ambx.com Razorback ...............................www.razorback.co.uk Testronic Labs .......................+44 (0)1753 653 722 Tsunami Music .....................+44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking ............+44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES Goldsmiths.............................+44 (0)20 70785052 University of Hull ..................+44 (0) 1482 465 951 To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION DISTRIBUTION IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Insider’s | Guide TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS This week MCV speaks to CyberSports creative director Steve Marshall... What was the highlight of 2008 for you? Seeing our concept for a massively multiplayer football world being realised. Watching 20 people run around our first division pitch is simply awesome. Football Superstars is my very first gaming baby and it’s great to see our community adopt it with such passion. What are your targets for the next 12 months? I am looking forward to seeing Football Superstars grow, watch our community mature and see the enhancements planned find their way to the game. It is going to be an exciting ride and I can’t wait to share the journey with everyone. What are you most looking forward to in 2009? I really am looking forward to seeing the growth of our playermanaged clubs. I have always hoped to see the best performing club filled by an all-female team. What would you like to change within the industry? It’s sad to see great ideas dropped and money wasted due to a disconnection between the visionary/developer or community. I would like to see greater focus from all parties involved in any development project. Not just focusing on the money. Do you have any plans for expansion/any new developments? I am looking forward to working on the next sports game from CyberSports. We have proven that our unique approach to sports simulation works incredibly well and have many ideas for introducing other sports to the world. The hard part will be deciding which to do next. RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com LOCALISATION PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION DISC REPAIR TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION 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 UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com DISC REPAIR www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN ONLINE PRESENCE HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTICAL DISC REPAIR SYSTEMS Eco Senior Fully Automatic Repair System Eco Smart Entry Level Repair System For further online advertising information please contact Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers 50 disc Automatic Repair System Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com Eco Master www.rtico.com RTIemail@example.com High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252191 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.rtico.com 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… 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 GDC 09 Monday, March 23rd – Friday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.com MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Thursday, April 23rd The Brewery, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk The biggest night in the games industry calendar returns to the Brewery and will feature awards split across three categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential industry event that gives credit to the industry's most deserving APRIL 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 Thuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19th Sunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com MCV's sister publication holds its prestigious awards for the PC retail industry. With all the categories from the 2008 event – and the addition of the new Industry Achievement award – the 2009 ceremony is set to be the social event of the year for anyone involved in the PC retail sector, and a well deserved celebration for the nominees. TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 52 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre DENMARK Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo POLAND CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE 66 Hughes Street, Mile End, South Australia 5031 Tel: +61 8823 41355 Stenholm 1, 9400, Norresundby, Denmark Phone: +45 70277640 Fax: +45 70277650 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.entertainment-trading.com GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw, Poland Email: email@example.com Web: www.techland.pl HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96 THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA. Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004 Web: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +6139573.9203 GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) email@example.com www.gatewaydistribution.dk INDIA TM PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road, PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 firstname.lastname@example.org www.planetadeagostini.net Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW AUSTRIA Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA. Tel: +91 22 28203319 Fax: +91 22 28203334 email: email@example.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku BELGIUM Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont FRANCE EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg ISRAEL Hed-Arzi......................................................Or-Yehuda v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 - BENELUX INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex ITALY Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5 GAMEWORLD Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: firstname.lastname@example.org France Email purchase: email@example.com Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55 RUSSIA 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 CYPRUS Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia GERMANY DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 / Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0 Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10 email: email@example.com Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 53 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... INTERNATIONAL NEWS SERBIA SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96 mail:firstname.lastname@example.org website:www.computerland.rs SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID Web: www.bascodistribution.com Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid DREAMGEAR, LLC 20001 S. Western Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 ITALY NEW INDEPENDENT game development studio Geniaware has opened in Italy. The studio boasts cutting-edge technology and an ever-expanding international team that prides itself on the team’s skills and passion for gaming. The firm has been set up with the aim of creating multi-platform software, and also features an internal artificial intelligence department. “I would like our talented team to be inspired by the brainwave of Leonardo da Vinci, a man with unlimited curiosity and who was able to provide clever inventions,” Geniaware managing director Daniele Spadaccini told MCV. “I’m using this reference just to stress the focus of our challenge: to create critically and commercially successful games for a wide audience.” Geniaware’s first title will target the mass-market, and will be an original game for multiple platforms. The firm has stated the game will involve ‘real innovative gameplay’ and will include highend, ‘state-of-the-art’ graphics The developer has also teamed up with Emergent Game Technologies in a technology partnership, in order to become a big player in the development space. The studio will be using Emergent’s Gamebryo for its upcoming game productions. “We decided to work with Gamebryo as we believe that being able to use well-proven leadingedge technologies since day one will enable us to limit development risks as well as save time,” continued Spadaccini. “That time will be dedicated to the gameplay and simulation sides of our product in order to push its longevity and quality to the next level. Emergent has gained a huge reputation as a middleware solution and both our companies aim at building a long-term and mutually profitable relationship.” Geniaware chose Gamebryo because of its modular toolset and framwork that allows developers to build games for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. “Geniaware’s product concept is very exciting. They need a technology as flexible as Gamebryo for the game they are building,” said Emergent’s vice president of sales and marketing Katie Morgan. “We believe they have the makings of a great game franchise and we are happy to support their future success.” FRIENDWARE Marques de Monteagudo 18, 28028 Madrid, Spain` email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.friendware.es Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: email@example.com U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 firstname.lastname@example.org www.planetadeagostini.net #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 email@example.com www.usgamesdist.com UAE Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE. www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112 DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK 54 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV FORUM The great Pirate debate Last week MCVuk.com reported that the owners of notorious BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay are currently engaged in a fierce legal battle that could see the site shut down. Here’s what readers of our site had to say… “What the Big Companies trying to sue Pirate Bay don’t seem to realise is that their assumption is that they’ve lost millions of pounds worth of revenue is wrong. Well, I think I speak for the majority of people who download when I say that, just because you download a file – be it music, video or a game – it doesn’t mean you would have gone out and paid for it in the first place!” “If a thief robs a shop in London then sells the goods to a person in Manchester and posts them to that person, then would we prosecute the Royal Mail for being a provider of the service that allows the illegal activity to happen?” “Why not sue the internet providers? They’re the ones giving people access to download illegal software and not doing anything to monitor and stop it.” “If big companies didn’t keep spending £80m on stars like Robbie Williams for technically what was one very bad album, they would have been £80m better off. The companies need to look at the acts they sign and ask for some of that lost revenue back.” “Regardless of overpaid stars, if you don’t pay for the item you download, you are stealing. There’s no argument. You are stealing other people’s property. The reason we have to stuff Simons Cowell’s Pop Idol and other rubbish on TV is because real bands don’t see the point in making real music anymore. Time to get some morals, people: stealing is stealing; downloading without payment is stealing! If you can’t afford it, save up and buy it and enjoy having a product that’s real on your shelf.” “Just because I’ve downloaded it doesn’t mean I would buy it? Are you for real? So basically by your rules I can steal whatever I want if I wasn’t going to buy it anyway? Makes me laugh when people think it’s okay to abide by whichever laws they fancy.” “[sarcasm]We should just switch off the internet, that’ll stop all the illegal downloading too.[/sarcasm] Because let’s face it, without the internet PB wouldn’t exist, so it must be the internet’s fault for encouraging the illegal distribution in the first place, mustn’t it?” “Blah blah, ‘wouldn’t buy it anyway’. Isn’t that true of any thief? Do you think it would wash with the court if you had knicked someone’s car? Just because these films, games and songs are easily replicated by anyone doesn’t make it alright to steal it. And, actually, a large number of people that download illegally would buy it anyway – they are downloading it because they want it – and doing so by this means is for “Back in 2006 I went to the PS3 launch at the Bullring in Birmingham. Head guys from Sony were showing all the ins and outs of the new PS3, explaining to retailers the tech side of the machine so we could understand it. When it came to question time, up pops a monkey and asks ‘Will it play copied games and DVDs?’. You could just see the Sony guy’s head drop. Millions spent on the PS3 and all this monkey wanted to do was crack his software! If someone broke in to his house and nicked his PC he wouldn’t like stealing!” “There is a reason it is called piracy and not theft. If you steal someone’s car or PC you deprive the original owner of the use of said item. If you pirate a game or CD you deprive no one of anything – they still retain the original. So no harm done?” “For what it is worth, I support the The Pirate Bay. I consider its actions, even its name, to be civil disobedience via a high tech form – but civil disobedience nonetheless. The entire IPR system has been twisted and distorted to serve the special interests of very few at the expense of creators and society as a whole for far too long, and people have had enough of the abuse and are fighting back against a system that has been corrupted. Contrary to some opinions, copyright is not a guarantee nor birthright. It is a special, supposedly short-term privilege granted to some as ‘incentive’ to be more creative and nothing more. It seems to me that the original intent and purpose of the privilege got lost somewhere in the halls of Congress and special interest lunches and donations.” “Want to know what harms developers more than piracy? Pre-owned.” It’s not the corporate twats that suffer, either – it’s the ordinary people working for ordinary wages. “ some reason socially acceptable and easy thanks to sites like The Pirate Bay. It’s not the ‘corporate twats’ that suffer either. It’s all the ordinary people working in these industries for ordinary wages. They are the ones you’re hurting by stealing their hard work. They are the ones who lose their jobs in cut-backs because the revenues aren’t as expected. And the fact that people feel it’s alright to steal this stuff is part of the reason it’s not cheaper.” ” LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone: MOBILE.MCVUK.COM CONGRATULATIONS TO DENNIS PUBLISHING ON THEIR VICTORY IN THE LATEST XBOX 360 & MCV PUB QUIZ STREET, 61-65 GREAT QUEEN 2B 5BZ LBORN, LONDON, WC HO QUIZ DATES: May 21st, September 24th and December 3rd Book now to avoid disappointment Contact Orlaith on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 535646 ROUND SPONSORS 56 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM SCORECARD 1) DENNIS PUBLISHING ...52 WINNERS 2) KOCH MEDIA .........................49 3) MICROSOFT ...........................49 4) FUTURE PUBLISHING .........48 5) TURNER..................................47 6) HMV.........................................47 7) SAINSBURYS.........................46 8) AMAZON ................................45 9) FEREF .....................................45 10) AGI MEDIA .............................45 11) UBISOFT .................................43 12) 505 GAMES ...........................42 13) MAVERICK..............................42 14) SHOPTO.NET .........................34 1) DENNIS PUBLISHING FUTURE QUIZ DATES: Thursday, May 21st Thursday, September 24th Thursday, December 3rd OFF THE RECORD 2) KOCH MEDIA 3) MICROSOFT FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: email@example.com or call 01992 535646 4) FUTURE PUBLISHING This week, we take a look back at the Xbox 360 MCV Pub Quiz – which last week took place at London’s Sway Bar. Then, over the page, Koch’s Craig McNicol reveals his scatological sense of humour… WWW.MCVUK.COM MCV 27/02/09 57 RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... 7) SAINSBURYS 11) UBISOFT LISA MORGAN, GAME DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION 8) AMAZON 12) 505 GAMES DON MCCABE, CHIPS TIM ELLIS, HMV 5) TURNER 9) FEREF 13) MAVERICK GIAN LUZIO, PLAY CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT JON BIGGS, MORRISONS 6) HMV 10) AGI MEDIA 14) SHOPTO.NET DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET 15 teams made it along to our latest Xbox 360 MCV Pub Quiz last week, which took place at a new venue, Holborn’s Sway Bar. Dennis Publishing triumphed on the night, beating reigning champs HMV and Sainsbury’s (who drew last time). Part of the evening celebrated last weekend’s Oscars, with a round of questions dedicated to the Academy Awards and Scene It! on hand for those who just couldn’t get enough of testing their knowledge. GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON DAVID POULTER, DSGI IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK 58 MCV 27/02/09 WWW.MCVUK.COM lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? A 1966 VW camper van that is always in need of tweaking, and a good film. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Game: International Soccer on Commodore 64. Film: Leaving Las Vegas. As for albums, there’s too many to mention – live music is my passion. See you at a festival this year… WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY? My CEO, Klemens. Not said sycophantically but through respect at calm management over many years.W WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? The early days for me were 1995, when life was simpler, the internet was a rocket scientist’s hobby and you could sell what is now available for free for about £40. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? Staying in Hong Kong recently with the family. Picture the scene: beautiful hotel, family bliss scene. But, the wife left our seven month old son on the floor nappyless only to double take a few minutes later as he had emptied his bowels on the carpet. Upon returning from the bathroom I was met Readers’ WATCH IDIOT CELEBRITY Hero are Off The Record bread and butter. tar e ying Gui Pictures of celebs pla McPartlin that the gam simpleton TV host Ant someone needs to tell Sun with a guitar But in The s. He’s seen here posing single. “I might doesn’t use real guitar ile promoting his charity said, prove his rock cred wh controller to e advice from him,” he bell, try and get som give Robbie Williams a twice. but t just lost on him once, proving that irony isn’ This week Koch Media’s MD Craig McNicol answers our questions about his life outside of the games industry… “Life was simpler in 1995, when you could sell what is now available for free for about £40.” with my nine year old daughter being sick also on the carpet at the sight of it. Well if you couldn't laugh you would cry. WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? Peter Kay. Legend. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’? The mid-Nineties. EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk 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 G ADVERTISING: 01992 535647 G FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Assistant Finance Manager: Michael Canham Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk Advertising Executive: Rob baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk 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 Please address all enquiries to: MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA. Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688 SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade titles for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes PC Retail for retailers and suppliers to the computer trade, Develop Magazine for games programmers, producers and artists, ToyNews for all sectors of the toy industry and Mobile Entertainment. 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 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated. Intent has also recently launched BikeBiz and MI Pro. www.intentmedia.co.uk ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008 ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS United Kingdom £150 l Europe £175 l Rest of the World £250 To order your subscription via Visa, Mastercard, Switch or AMEX or to make changes to your subscription details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01580 883848. MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source “AFRO SAMURAI IS LOOKING STYLISED AND UNIQUE, NOT TO MENTION A GOREFEST LIKE NO OTHER.” Gamesmaster Innovative gameplay system where the music affects the enemy AI and the tone of the gameplay Striking artistic style and soundtrack true to the original Manga series Elegantly violent balance between stylistic combat and acrobatic platforming with the ability to dynamically slice and dismember enemies with ease MARKETING HIGHLIGHTS • Massive nationwide PR campaign across specialist, lifestyle and vertical press • Heavyweight print advertising campaign • Cross promotion with Manga movie and DVD releases • Music promotions featuring RZA soundtrack 27th MARCH 2009 WWW.AFROSAMURAI.EU FOR SALES INFORMATION, CONTACT: NATIONALS – ATARI UK SALES: 020 8222 9700 INDIES – ADVANTAGE: 0121 5069592 AFRO SAMURAI ® & © 2006 TAKASHI OKAZAKI, GONZO / SAMURAI PROJECT. PROGRAM © 2009 NAMCO BANDAI GAMES AMERICA INC.