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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday April 17 2009 £3.25

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

International Media Partner

Issue 533 Friday April 17 2009 £3.25

04 Easter joy

07 Fit and healthy

UK retail basks in the sales glory of a busy Bank Holiday Easter weekend

Nintendo’s Wii Fit breaks records as it hits No.1 after major new TV push

05 Cheerio, Mr Reeves

09 Game on

PlayStation’s European president retires from the platform holder

The MCV/Xbox 360 Gamesfives football tournament returns

14 Figuring it out

10 You’ll see Saw

GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA’s Q1 sales data is in – and we’ve got all the results

Konami UK is confident that gory movie adaptation will satisfy censors

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Hollywood boldly goes digital… Paramount follows Warner Bros’ downloadable Watchmen tie-in with online-only game of new Star Trek film by Tim Ingham HOLLYWOOD’S flirtation with online gaming is developing into a committed relationship – with Paramount the latest Tinseltown giant to bypass retail for a major movie tie-in. The studio has created a download-only game of its new Star Trek movie – disregarding the opportunity to release a boxed product spin-off of the huge cinema release. The title will appear on both Xbox Live and PSN – and spearheads the firm’s fresh online publishing strategy, which avoids traditional retail distribution. Paramount will also release online console games based on movies Top Gun, The Warriors and Days Of Thunder this year. “We’re not doing any retail at this point as a standalone publisher,” Paramount’s senior VP of video games John Kavanagh told MCV this week. The news follows Warner Bros’ digital-only release of its Watchmen game, which complemented the blockbuster’s release last month.

ENTERPRISING: Paramount’s John Kavanagh (right) says more digital movie games will follow Star Trek

Warner’s senior VP of production and development Samantha Ryan said that releasing the title over XBLA

that [Warner will] take to future films”. Paramount’s Kavanagh promised that the studio’s self-

We’re not going through retail as a publisher. We will consider doing big movie games ourselves online. John Kavanagh, Paramount

and PSN would stop it getting “lost” and “crammed in” at retail. She added that “it’s quite possible this is an approach

publishing plans would not reduce licensing opportunities for its third-party games distribution partners.

“We don’t have a strict percentage [of licensed properties], but we know our limits. Building an XBLA or PSN game is much less complicated than a triple-A retail title,” he commented. “Where we think it appropriate, we would consider doing a big movie franchise online ourselves, but we’re still very keen to keep working with our publishing partners.” The Star Trek game is due for release next month, and will cost around £10.

[OPINION] Chris Lewis, VP Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft “The breadth of opportunity at retail is not limitless. You can’t expect to get all of your titles racked and ranged anymore – real estate has a natural limiter in that regard. There’s no doubt that the online route is an option, and it’s another thing Xbox Live offers our publishing partners. It doesn’t detract from the importance of retail.”

…as retailers cling onto download dream UK RETAIL HAS told MCV that it wants to be a part of the digital revolution, following news that Amazon is selling Xbox Live Arcade game codes in the US. Key UK retailers have told MCV that they would be ‘very interested’ in selling digital games through their websites. However, Microsoft and Nintendo have told MCV they have no plans to bring similar offers to Europe.

“The Amazon programme is only in the US,” VP of

replicate it in Europe. But as an industry, we can’t stand still.

We are very interested in selling digital games codes. We hope Microsoft and others will make it happen. Igor Cipolletta, ShopTo

European marketing for Xbox David Gosen told MCV. “It’s a test programme at this stage, and we have no plans to

“Retail is the cornerstone of the video games business and will continue to be. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be

new business models. We’re just opening it up to a much broader audience.” Despite not bringing the promotion to Europe, UK head of Xbox Neil Thompson has told MCV that Microsoft is committed to making retailers “a part of the Xbox Live ecosystem”. A Sony spokesperson commented: “With regard to the Microsoft initiative, we have already done something similar in the

UK. When people bought the 160GB PS3 SKU it came with vouchers that enabled users to download PSN games.” Play.com’s CEO Stuart Rowe and GAME COO Terry Scicluna have both expressed a desire to work alongside digital companies. And ShopTo’s Igor Cipolletta said this week: “We hope that Microsoft and others will allow us to sell digital titles. We are very interested in offering it to our customers.”

PERSONNEL 23 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 33 HIGH STREET 34 CHARTS 36

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[LEADER] FAREWELL TO AN OLD FAVOURITE SO IT’S GOODBYE to David Reeves who, as we explain opposite, is retiring from SCEE at the end of the month. I’ve interviewed him four or five times, and he has always come across as one of the smartest management types you find high up in the hierarchy. Sure, in a PR sense, some of his comments might have seemed a bit ‘mad scientist’ – but the man’s got a PhD in chemical and astrophysics, so he’s entitled to as many Johnny Ball moments as he wants. He was instrumental in building the PlayStation business from its very debut, and is a straight talker. Journalists would be hard pressed to find someone at a similar level in the corporate machine with the same willingness to go off message. He knows when to give honest answers with no spin, and when to slip out a hype-building tease. These days, personalities like that are hard to come by. It’s going to be interesting to see how his replacement, Andrew House, helps PlayStation take the next step, and where Reeves might turn up next.

DIG THE NEW BREED As a familiar face ‘retires’, MCV yet again reports on a new breed of publisher emerging against the backdrop of this so-called recession. The EAs and THQs of this world might be staring down the barrel of an Excel spreadsheet with little red numbers in the squares – but this new wave of publishers can see an opportunity for growth in games. It includes companies usually alien to our business, like Paramount, and reinvigorated brands, such as, Majesco. South Peak, Bethesda and Codemasters probably fall under the banner, too. These businesses are run as if they are privatelyowned even when some of them have big investors or corporate parents. And they are proving themselves to be more agile and quicker to respond than the big beasts who eat up market share in the quarterly reports, like those you’ll find on page 14.

AND FINALLY, SOMEONE GETS IT Unless you watch nothing but the BBC, you couldn’t switch on the TV over Easter without seeing a few game ads. Proof, if you ever needed it, that Easter is very much our ‘second Christmas’ – as our report to the right shows. Most telling wasn’t the blanket coverage of the lovely Louise Redknapp and her promotion of Wii Fit, but furniture emporium Harvey’s use of DS-loving families as the face of its new sofa campaign. All done without Nintendo, and motivated, the chain tells us, by the desire to ‘show real people in real homes’. After March’s outrage over an ad that linked sitting on a sofa holding games hardware to death, it’s refreshing to see someone in advertising external to games judge the influence of this industry for what it is, rather than make up stuff about what it isn’t. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

UK retail reports Easter 29 per cent week-on-week sales rise driven by Nintendo DS and Wii by Christopher Dring UK VIDEO game retailers enjoyed a bumper Easter last weekend, with software value up 29 per cent over the previous week. The growth occurred despite the lack of a major blockbuster release, with sales driven by the recently launched DSi and aided by intense price cutting online and on the High Street.

ChartTrack’s Dorian Bloch added: “It was a very good Easter. Sales over the previous week were 30 per cent up in terms of volume and 29 per cent in value. The growth was driven by Wii and DS, with Wii sales up 45 per cent.” “It’s difficult to compare to last year, as Easter was much earlier and coincided with the end of the quarter, when publishers tend to release more

The hero format for Play.com was the Nintendo DS, with a phenomenal value growth of 200 per cent. Richard Chapple, Play

“Play.com’s Easter Sale started with a bang when it went live on Monday March 23rd,” explained Play’s head of marketing Richard Chapple. “Overall volume growth for us was 60 per cent year-onyear, and games had very strong growth in value too. However the hero format for us was DS with a phenomenal growth of 200 per cent year-onyear in value.”

titles. This year’s big titles, such as Resident Evil 5, Dawn of War, Street Fighter IV and Killzone 2, were released a long time before Easter.” Special offers over Easter included Tesco taking VAT off selected chart titles, while Gamestation reduced certain new games by 50 per cent. And as a reaction to the software bundling that was taking place on the High Street,

Morrisons cut £20 off the price of Wii and DSi hardware. “We had a great response to our press ad on the Wii and DSi hardware, which helped uplift chart and back catalogue sales over the Easter period,” said Morrison’s gaming buyer Jon Biggs. A HMV spokesperson added: “It was a very busy Easter for us, especially as our sale was on, so there were strong traffic numbers in the High Street and shopping centres. Games was a key driver for us, and it was great having DSi help to lead the way.”

DS DOMINATION: Nintendo’s handheld was the key sales driver over the Easter period

LittleBigPlanet price plummets THE PRICE of acclaimed PS3 title LittleBigPlanet has tumbled to around £10, six months after it was released. The Media Moleculedeveloped title has an SRP of £44.99, but can be found at online retailers – including DVD.co.uk – for £10.89, while Play and Amazon have the title on sale for £12.99. The aggressive discounting has even seen the game dip below the price of its official strategy guide. However, Sony feels the reduced cost can make the product more attractive to new customers. “In general the retail environment is very tough at

present, but the positive consequence is that when consumers are feeling the need to monitor their spending there are still some attractive deals to be had if people shop around,” said a Sony spokesperson. “It is commonly accepted that in times of economic hardship, people value their entertainment. And the multiple hours of entertainment value represented in a video game can makes games a more attractive purchase, especially at a discounted price.”

LittleBigPlanet was greeted to positive press when it was released last year, achieving a Metacritic average of 95. And Sony revealed earlier this month that the game has reached two million global users. LittleBigPlanet also makes revenue through DLC, with new costumes and add-ons made available on a weekly basis. LittleBigPlanet has since become a new franchise for Sony, with a PSP version due later this year. Sony: 020 7859 5000

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sales bonanza

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

 Leading stores slash prices to boost interest

THE SIMS 3 PC EA

Reeves leaves SCEE, replaced by House SCEE PRESIDENT David Reeves has announced his plans to retire from Sony at the end of the month. His successor will be Sony marketing boss and former SCEA man Andrew House. Reeves leaves after almost 15 years helping build the PlayStation brand across the launches of the PSone, PS2, PSP and PS3. He joined SCEE in 1995. Reeves commented: “It has been a wonderful ride with PlayStation. I want to thank all of those people who have supported SCEE and me personally in the past 14 years; you have been magnificent. Good luck to everybody at SCEE and everybody who continues to support us.”

House takes over on May 1st. He joined the firm in 1990, working in Sony Japan’s communications team for five years. In 1995 he was assigned to SCEI’s marketing division, becoming marketing VP at SCEA a year later. By 2000 he also ran SCEA’s Third Party Relations and Developer Support divisions. He then took the CMO role in 2005. “I’m delighted to return to the PlayStation fold and excited to take on this new challenge,” said House. “I believe there is huge potential for further growth of our business in the Europe countries, particularly in the area of networked entertainment.”

Majesco goes direct in Europe THOUGHT the DS and Wii markets couldn’t get more competitive? Think again. MCV can reveal that the firm responsible for ‘discovering’ Cooking Mama will soon start publishing its own titles in the UK and Europe. Majesco Europe is readying over ten games that it plans to sell direct to British retailers, with the first title – a tie-in to Ben Stiller movie Night at the Museum 2 – out in May. Its American parent had published Cooking Mama in North America before licensing it to 505 Games over here – and now wants to look after its mass-market titles itself.

DUTTON: Majesco Europe boss will bring over ten titles to the UK this year

“We’ve got the best ever line up of games in our portfolio in terms of breadth, quality and potential,” European MD Jason Dutton told MCV. “We felt it was time for us to be responsible for those titles.

We’ve worked with a number of good partners but we’ve always wanted to be in charge of our own destiny.” While a number of its titles are on DS and Wii, Majesco also has 360 and digital

products in the pipeline – with more to be announced at E3. And with a UK distributor in place (which will be announced shortly), the company is now looking to find European partners also. Dutton added: “For the same reasons as going direct in the UK, we will be going direct to market throughout Europe – working with different distribution and publishing partners in each territory. “We are currently talking to a number of interested parties and actively encourage other interested distributors to get in touch as soon as possible.” Majesco: 0117 373 6151

2. RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA 360 ..................................................ATARI

3. inFAMOUS PS3 ..................................................SONY

4. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ

5. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ..................................................ATARI

6. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2: DRAGON 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS

7. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED 360 ....................................................THQ

8. GHOSTBUSTERS 360 ..................................................ATARI

9. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3..................................................EIDOS

10. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI Week ending April 11th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£31.8m 35

30

25

20

15

10

5

£24.6m

£24.8m

£31.8m

1,058,242 Units

1,116,196 Units

1,306,014 Units

Week Ending April 3rd

Week Ending April 11th

0 Week Ending March 28th

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

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GfK-ChartTrack: ‘We want digital chart this year’ UK sales monitor in discussions with ‘all relevant parties’  Group keen to organise finalised data before 2010 by Tim Ingham SALES monitor GfKChartTrack has revealed to MCV that it hopes to set up a chart of UK digital downloads by the end of this year. The company said it was in ‘active discussions’ with a number of leading providers of downloadable digital content with a view to inking a deal

to getting their data. A lot of publishers see it as ever more important to have those digital sales tracked, alongside retail boxed model. “It’s down to negotiations now. Some companies in the space want it more than others – some are worried about releasing data that clarifies their whole position in the market.

We’re talking to all of the digital download retailers. I would hope that a chart will be ready by year end. Dorian Bloch, GfK-ChartTrack

over the next few months. MCV understands that the body is currently in negotiations with Steam, IGN/Direct2Drive, GDi, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony with a view to gathering data on UK downloads. GfK-ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch told MCV: “We’re talking to all digital download retailers with a view

BLOCH: The GfK-ChartTrack exec says US download providers must offer data before a digital chart becomes a possibility

other people we have to get on board,” he said. “But we met a lot of people at GDC last month – and we expect to meet a lot more at the Develop Conference and even at E3.” GfK-ChartTrack this month began releasing its weekly All Formats chart on a Monday morning. The firm previously made the data publicly available on a Tuesday afternoon. “We already had the fastest video games chart in the world – but we wanted to make it available for publishers’ Monday morning meetings,” added Bloch.

“I would hope that it will happen before the year end.” GfK-ChartTrack is having more luck negotiating with potential partners in the UK than the US – where many of the major download retailers are based. “We have the goodwill of our local publishing publishing community, but across the Atlantic there’s a whole set of

GfK-ChartTrack: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585

‘Games offer more exposure than TV’ ASSOCIATING brands and products with video games can offer companies more brand awareness amongst consumers than advertising on TV. That’s according to Marketing Week associate editor Ruth Mortimer in an opinion piece on MCVUK.com today (Thursday, April 16th). Mortimer’s piece follows a recent TV ad campaign for Harvey’s furniture, depicting families sitting on sofas playing on Nintendo DS. “The DS and Wii are very much family-focused consoles,” said Mortimer. “In some ways, the Wii has helped rehabilitate the reputation of computer games

and made them something for the whole family to do together. By showing Nintendo products in ads, Harvey’s is trying to promote the idea that it is the right place to come for

brand more exposure than television advertising.” Commenting on the furniture TV ad, Harvey’s marketing communications manager Karen Broderick said:

In this day and age, the top video games offer brands more exposure than television advertising.

Ruth Mortimer, Marketing Week

furniture, which fits with the way that modern families live their lives. “Brands can also benefit from appearing in games. In this day and age, the top computer games can give a

“At Harveys we design our furniture to be used by real people in real homes. It is therefore important that we reflect this in our advertising and as such depict people using our furniture in their home in

MORTIMER: Marketing Week journo has noticed games’ value increasing for advertisers

the way families of today live.” A Nintendo spokesperson added: “We did not know that the Harvey’s ad was going to feature DS consoles and we

had nothing to do with it. But it clearly shows how video games and Nintendo DS really is becoming a part of people’s everyday lives.”

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HOTLIST

Wii Fit chart triumph fuelled by new celebrity endorsed ads Easter campaign starring ‘new mum’ Louise Redknapp has lucrative impact on consumers by Christopher Dring A NEW female-targeted ad campaign helped Wii Fit claim its eleventh GfK-ChartTrack All Formats No.1 this week – a new Nintendo record. The TV promotion features Louise Redknapp and is run in partnership with iVillage – a website which women can visit to find out more about healthy eating, getting back in shape after giving birth, and the importance of daily exercise. “Wii Fit reaches a whole new demographic of potential gamers – primarily older females – that hasn’t been accessed before,” explained senior product manager for Wii Rob Lowe. “We have used five different types of TV creative to appeal to various different audiences over the last year, along with sampling campaigns at health shows, Women’s Institute meetings and Head Office foyers. It has been a huge and

Out Now Wii Monkey Mischief is the furriest and craziest party-style game you will ever play! When the lights go out at the zoo, complete mayhem ensues! From escaping their cages, to performing crazy stunts and tricks on other zoo animals, you will travel across the zoo, competing against your friends in comical mini-games to cause the most mischief!

This is our first completely female-targeted campaign. Louise Redknapp has been a great advocate for Wii Fit. Rob Lowe, Nintendo

varied campaign that has continued to run throughout the last year, ever since its launch in April 2008.” “This is our first ever completely female-targeted

campaign, and we are also focusing on new mothers trying to get back into a healthy routine. Louise Redknapp genuinely loves Wii Fit, and was a great advocate

for the product – we simply captured this on camera. “We also really wanted to find a central hub where women could find out about Wii Fit within a comfortable environment – and iVillage is perfect. So far the campaign has worked very well.”  To find out more on the growth of Wii Fit and the self-improvement sector, head to page 17 Nintendo: 01753 483700

Out Now PS2, PS3, X360, PC, NDS, Wii Save Earth as only a Monster can! Based on the DreamWorks Animation 3D Film, the Monsters vs. Aliens videogame puts the fate of the planet in players' hands, saving the world as only a monster can! Escape from a secret monster prison, battle inside a gaint robot, take down Gallaxhar's huge spaceship, and much more!

Capcom shines in 2009’s first quarter JAPANESE hardware and software firms ruled the UK software market in Q1 2009. According to the latest quarterly data supplied by GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA, Capcom was the star publisher, with its PS3/360 games Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV the only 2009 releases to make into the period’s All Formats Top 10. Resident Evil 5 was the best selling 360 title in Q1 – beating Microsoft's first party big hope Halo Wars. The results saw Capcom jump back into the UK’s top tenselling publisher list. The firm told MCV that its success came down to good

timing and dodging the manic Q4 2008 sales season. "We’ve seen a lot of good quality high profile games get missed over the Christmas period just simply down to the

IV and Resident Evil 5, put a stake in the ground and built a campaign of awareness and purchase intent around it." Capcom's efforts secured it a huge chunk of market share

A lot of games suffered from the Christmas rush. We went out early this year instead. Michael Pattison, Capcom

fact that consumers only have so much disposable income to spend on video games," explained Michael Pattison, senior marketing director. "We went out early with a street date for Street Fighter

for the period – 4.9 per cent of the market's sales throughout the three months in value terms. It still sat behind heavyweights such as Electronic Arts and Activision, but these firms’ sales share

predominantly came from titles released in 2008. Elsewhere, Nintendo unsurprisingly scored a huge chunk of market share, as the number one publishing company and label in both unit and value terms. Its success of course had a knock-on effect for those publishing games on its hardware formats. Wii and DS formats accounted for almost half the software sold in the country – 45 per cent – during the three months to the end of March.  A full run down of the ELSPA/ChartTrack charts and market share for Q1 2009 can be found on page 14

Out 1st May 2009 X360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PSP, PC Uncage Wolverine’s brutal, tragic past and discover how the ultimate weapon was created. Unleash the razor sharp adamantium claws, feral instincts and mutant regeneration power of the world’s fiercest hero.

Activision.com

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Sega serves up extensive marketing campaign as Virtua Tennis returns Publisher puts full marketing weight behind leading sports franchise to complement impending tennis buzz

SEGA IS lining up a comprehensive marketing campaign over the summer as its renowned franchise Virtua Tennis returns to shelves. Virtua Tennis 2009 will arrive on May 29th, and offers gamers a range of new features not seen in previous editions of the game, including new perspectives, enhanced online features and Wii MotionPlus support. “Virtua Tennis is the No.1 tennis franchise in video games, both critically and through sales,” said Sega’s product manager Ben Payne. “We expect our unrivalled fanbase and heritage to drive strong sales across the four different SKUs. It is the musthave tennis title for home consoles, and we’re confident it’ll do well.”

entire unique userbase – not just tennis fans.” Sega has planned a strong three-week TV campaign for the game’s release, focusing on 20-second and 30-second spots appearing on a range of sports and men’s lifestyle channels. A thorough triple-A in-store channel marketing campaign

Launching a little over a month before this year’s Wimbledon, Sega has tailored its marketing efforts to take advantage of the inevitable rising public interest in the sport that surrounds the annual event. The focus will be on a long-running online campaign.

by James Batchelor

Sega’s top tennis franchise returns on May 29th

We expect our unrivalled fanbase and heritage to drive strong sales across the four SKUs of Virtua Tennis 2009. Ben Payne, Sega

“We’ve teamed up with Eurogamer to have wideranging channel and homepage activity both at launch and during a certain UK-based tennis tournament in South West London at the end of June,” said Payne. “We’ve also teamed up with Sky Sports to give a strong offering to their

will offer a variety of POS items to retailers, while an outdoor campaign will support the online and TV ads. “Retailers can expect both casual and hardcore gamers relinquishing cold hard cash in exchange for a superb, value for money sports sim,” added Payne. Sega: 020 8995 3399

Gamestation snaps up local youth award HIGH STREET retailer Gamestation has won the Rathbone North West Employer of the Year Award. The firm’s Leigh and Chorley stores claimed the

most to help young people progress. “We’re delighted that our stores in Leigh and Chorley have won Rathbone’s North West Employer of the Year

Everyone at Gamestation is committed to being positive and active within their local communities. Lee Mayers, Store Manager

award, following work with the youth charity in enabling youngsters to gain a taste of the workplace. The award is designed to recognise the company that has done the

Award,” said Leigh store manager Lee Mayers. “Everyone at Gamestation is committed to being positive and active within their local community, and we make sure

that we do whatever we can to help give young people the tools they need to succeed. We’re really proud of our partnership with Rathbone and will continue to work closely with them in the future.” Rathbone regional director for the North Jan Pennington added: “The kinds of young people Rathbone works with have had to endure problems such as bullying and low selfesteem and so finding work can be difficult enough for them. “But now they are competing against vastly experienced people who have recently been made redundant. Gamestation is not prepared to let these youngsters become a

AWARD WINNERS: Leigh Gamestation manager Lee Mayers (right) and Rathbone trainee Kirstie Bradshaw (left) win regional accolade

forgotten generation and it is our hope that other employers follow their lead.” As regional winners, Gamestation will be short-listed for the Rathbone National

Achievers Awards in June. Rathbone is a voluntary youth organisation, which provides opportunities in education, training and employment. G’station: 020 7067 1597

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Industry soccer tournament returns to North London Gamesfives to take place at Barnet Powerleague, North London on Friday June 12th TEAMS from all over the industry will battle it out once again in this summer’s games industry five-a-side tournament. The Xbox 360 Gamesfives will take place at Barnet Powerleague in North London on Friday June 12th.

“Hopefully this year will be as competitive as ever and another great day out for everyone to enjoy.” The tournament is open to all companies across the industry, including retailers, distributors, media and publishers.

Xbox are very excited about hosting another adrenalinepumped industry five-a-side tournament with MCV. Sam Leigh, Microsoft

Entry to the tournament is free, plus there is a free bar and a variety of prizes, medals and trophies on offer for the best teams and players. “Xbox are very excited about hosting another adrenaline pumped industry five-a-side tournament with MCV,” commented Microsoft’s Sam Leigh.

There are strict rules, however, to ensure that teams only use players from within their own organisations. The event lasts all day and is heavily publicised in MCV through to the tournament and beyond. Teams from across the industry can register now by pointing their browser at www.gamesfives360.co.uk.

DRING: Erstwhile staff writer is promoted to MCV deputy editor

daily basis,” said MCV’s managing editor Lisa Foster. “Chris’ promotion is well deserved and further strengthens the MCV team.” www.mcvuk.com

[IN BRIEF] EDGE: The online arm of Future’s multiformat magazine has a new editorial staff, after the previous team – headed by Colin Campbell – left the firm. Alex Wiltshire, previously deputy editor, has been made Edge Online’s editor. Tom Ivan, a regular contributor to Edge Online and its predecessor, NextGen.biz, has taken the role of news editor. XBOX 360: Microsoft has altered the terms and conditions of its three-year Xbox 360 warranty scheme to include problems related to the common E74 error. NINTENDO: The Japanese giant will launch its motionenhancing Wii MotionPlus peripheral in Europe on June 12th – six weeks before the arrival of Wii Sports Resort on July 24th.

“The Xbox team do a fantastic job with this event every year. It is a brilliant way of bringing a sense of community to the industry, but with a competitive edge,” commented MCV publisher

and Intent Media managing director Stuart Dinsey. Prizes include a £1,500 charity donation for the winning team, plus an Xbox 360 for each team member. www.gamesfives360.co.uk

MCV promotes Dring... ...as Develop expands AFTER EIGHTEEN months as staff writer, Chris Dring has been promoted to deputy editor of MCV. Dring, who is responsible for writing a wide range of content in the leading weekly B2B title including news, features and product coverage – plus providing support for MCVuk.com – takes the new role from May 1st. He will report to MCV's associate editor Tim Ingham and the games department’s editor-in-chief Michael French. “In just a short space of time Chris has become not just an invaluable member of the MCV team, but also popular and liked amongst the retailers and publishers he talks to on a

Sponsored by

MCV’S SISTER magazine Develop has appointed former Edge writer Rob Crossley as online editor. Crossley was UK online editor for the Future magazine’s Edge Online. He has also written for the likes of GamesTM, Retro Gamer and PlayStation: The Official Magazine. He joins Intent Media as part of a widening of Develop’s remit to include coverage online of the games development sector in North America and other territories around the world. “We are delighted to welcome Rob onboard,” commented editor-in-chief Michael French. “Develop

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: The publisher’s free-roaming action title Prototype will be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on June 5th in Europe. KONAMI: The Japanese publisher has lifted the lid on its plans for the upcoming Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, PSP and mobile phones. Alongside the Champions League, the game will now also boast the Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup) licence.

CROSSLEY: New Develop hire

continues to go from strength to strength in both its print and online incarnations – adding Rob to the team will further support our ambitions to make it a truly global brand.” www.developmag.com

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NEWS

Konami confident Saw will be rated Publisher says it will make sure that its adult game isn’t embroiled in same legal battle as Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 by Tim Ingham KONAMI has told MCV that it is confident horror movie tie-in Saw will not fall foul of the censors when it is released in the autumn. The game takes place inside the corridors of an abandoned asylum that has been taken

we will ensure that the game has the appropriate rating. He added: “The market is becoming ever broader and there is plenty of room for games aimed at adults as well as more family-orientated fare.” Rockstar was caught in an epic eight-month court battle with the BBFC over the release

The market is becoming ever broader and there is plenty of room for games aimed at adults, as well as families. Peter Stone, Konami UK

over by the movie’s torturous protagonist Jigsaw – and ‘tests’ players with puzzle solving. When asked if the game risked facing the same strife with censors as Rockstar’s Manhunt 2, Konami UK general manager Peter Stone told MCV: “Saw is definitely aimed at an adult audience and

Konami’s video game iteration of Saw will arrive in the autumn

experience in horror games, stretching back to Silent Hill on PSOne and as recently as Silent Hill Homecoming in recent months. We have also released quite a number of games tied-in with movies over the years, so all-in-all we don't really see Saw as any great departure or change of strategy.”

of Manhunt 2, after the ratings body refused to classify the game. It was eventually cleared for release in March last year after Rockstar took the case to the High Court. Stone added: “Konami prides itself on releasing games across a broad spectrum of genres and we have a long

Konami: 0208987 5730

EEK W E H T F O N CAMPAIG OLVERINE W : S IN IG R O N X-ME CINEMA

e blockbuster of th ie ov m or aj m t The firs and is reen next month sc g bi e th ts hi year and ect of a huge PR already the subj ision . However, Activ marketing push n to mpaign of its ow ca a s ha rd za liz e-in… B -looking game ti ve si es pr im s it t suppor

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Activision Blizzard is set to capitalise on the X-men Origins: Wolverine film, with video game trailers that will be shown alongside the movie. The publisher has also extended its cinema media coverage to include other summer blockbusters, including the upcoming Star Trek movie. The campaign is aimed at broadening the game’s appeal. ONLINE AND PRINT X-men Origins: Wolverine began production before the film was even in the works, and Activision is keen to deliver the message that the game is of high quality and does not rely on the movie to sell it. The firm’s specialist print campaign for Wolverine is already

underway, and will complement its online media push. The online launch initiatives will grow closer to the Wolverine movie launch, and will be integrated with Activision’s PR activity to increase exposure. RETAIL Activision Blizzard has multiple support programmes planned for retail, as well as a variety of POS, including posters, standees and cubes. “As Wolverine is aiming to break the mould for a superhero game, we are keen to promote the title ahead of launch so have been working with retail to secure a number of support programmes,” Activision’s marketing director David Tyler told MCV. “Media expectations are for Wolverine

to be a Top 10 largest grossing box office hit of the year. We’re activating more programming as we get closer to the Wolverine movie launch to fully capitalise on the excitement around the total franchise.”

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Q1: THE OFFICIAL STATS

2009: The story so TOTAL SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (UNITS) 1

Nintendo .................................................................................13.9

2 Electronic Arts ......................................................................12.6 3 Ubisoft ......................................................................................9.9 4 Activision Blizzard.................................................................8.5 5 Sega............................................................................................6.1 6 Microsoft ..................................................................................5.3 7 THQ............................................................................................4.7 8 Sony ..........................................................................................4.6 9 Take 2.........................................................................................4.1 10 Capcom.....................................................................................3.3 WII FIT, WII PLAY and Mario Kart Wii continue to sell by the bucketload, along with Professor Layton and Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training – so it’s little surprise to see Nintendo become the top seller of Q1. Compared to the same period last year, the Japanese firm has swapped places with EA, whilst Activision, Microsoft and Capcom have all moved up the table.

TOTAL SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (VALUE) 1

Nintendo .................................................................................15.7

2 Electronic Arts......................................................................12.6 3 Activision Blizzard.................................................................9.5 4 Microsoft .................................................................................8.9 5 Ubisoft .....................................................................................8.2 6 Sega..........................................................................................5.5 7 Capcom....................................................................................4.9 8 Sony..........................................................................................4.9 9 THQ...........................................................................................3.9 10 Symantec.................................................................................3.5 NINTENDO TOPS the value table, smashing its share from Q1 last year – up from 11.5 per cent to over 15 per cent. EA has seen its share drop by over four per cent in that time, whilst Activision Blizzard’s results have grown by 2.7 per cent. Sega, Ubisoft, Microsoft and THQ have all lost over one per cent of share comparatively, whilst Capcom jumps into the Top 10.

INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHART Wii

PLAYSTATION 3

XBOX 360

PC (ALL PRICES)

1

1

1

1

Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

Killzone 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

Football Manager 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

2 Mario Kart Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

2 Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

2 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard

2 Empire: Total War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

3 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games . . . . . Sega

3 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard

3 Halo Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft

3 Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II . . . . . . THQ

4 Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . . Activision Blizzard

4 Street Fighter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

4 FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4 WOW: Lich King . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard

5 Animal Crossing: To The City . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

5 FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

5 Gears of War 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft

5 C&C: Red Alert 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

6 Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party . . . . . . Ubisoft

6 LittleBigPlanet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

6 Street Fighter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

6 The Sims 2: Double Deluxe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

7 Sonic Unleashed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

7 Need For Speed: Undercover. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

7 Need For Speed: Undercover. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

7 Grand Theft Auto IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Take 2

8 Shaun White Snowboarding. . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft

8 Resistance 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

8 Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . . Activision Blizzard

8 World of Warcraft. . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard

9 The House of the Dead: Overkill . . . . . . . . . . Sega

9 Grand Theft Auto IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Take 2

9 Left 4 Dead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

9 Spore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

10 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard

10 Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft

10 COD 4: Modern Warfare. . . . . Activision Blizzard

10 COD: World at War. . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard

SEGA’S MARIO AND SONIC is still riding high in its

SONY EMULATES Nintendo’s Q1 domination of its

RESIDENT EVIL 5 goes one better on Xbox 360

A SIMILAR STORY to Q1 last year takes hold, with

third calendar year on sale – but drops down on last

own system, as Killzone outsells all others on PS3.

than it does on PS3, taking the No.1 position in the

the latest iteration in the Football Manager series

year’s No.1 position. Two first party titles, Wii Fit and

Its other big first party release, LittleBigPlanet,

top ten of Q1 sellers on the console. The highest

becoming the biggest-seller of the quarter.

Mario Kart Wii, dominate the list – two of three Nintendo titles in the Top Ten. Sega, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft share the other spots.

continues to do well despite being released last

first-party release is Microsoft’s Halo Wars in third

Elsewhere, EA and Activision Blizzard both enjoy a

year. Capcom is the other standout performer, with

place, whilst the firm’s Gears Of War 2 claims a

trio of titles in the Top Ten, but neither firm can

two titles in the Top Ten.

respectable fifth position.

dislodge Sega from the top two positions.

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Q1: THE OFFICIAL STATS

far

The ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack data for the first quarter of the year is in – and the industry’s not in bad shape. Tim Ingham analyses the UK’s software sales figures for the first three months of 2009...

TOTAL SOFTWARE BY LABEL (UNITS) 1

Nintendo.....................................................................................13.8

2 EA Games....................................................................................8.2 3 Sega..............................................................................................5.8 4 Microsoft......................................................................................5.2 5 Activision.....................................................................................5.0 6 Ubisoft..........................................................................................4.6 7 Sony..............................................................................................3.8 8 EA Sports.....................................................................................3.7 9 Games For Everyone.................................................................3.6 10 Capcom ........................................................................................3.3 EVEN COMBINED, the might of EA Sports and EA Games can’t undo the enormity of Nintendo’s percentage share of software sales. Sega holds onto third spot, as it did in Q1 2008 – but loses 2.6 per cent share year-on-year. Ubisoft’s Games For Everyone range climbs to ninth, after securing tenth spot last year with 2.7 per cent share.

TOTAL SOFTWARE BY LABEL (VALUE) 1

Nintendo.....................................................................................15.5

2 Microsoft .....................................................................................8.9 3 EA Games .....................................................................................8.1 4 Activision.....................................................................................6.2 5 Sega..............................................................................................5.4 6 Capcom ........................................................................................4.9 7 Ubisoft..........................................................................................4.6 8 Sony..............................................................................................4.4 9 EA Sports ....................................................................................4.2 10 Norton ..........................................................................................3.5 NINTENDO MAINTAINS the Q1 dominance it enjoyed in 2008 – but with an even more impressive result. It has seen its value share grow by over four per cent in the year. Microsoft overtakes both Sega and EA Games to take second spot – with year-on-year growth of 2.5 per cent. Capcom’s release of Resident

Evil 5 and Street Fighter 4 in the quarter sees it claim sixth spot.

DS

PSP

PS2

ALL FORMATS TOP 10

1

1

1

1

Professor Layton & the Curious VillageNintendo

FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

Wii Fit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

2 Dr Kawashima's Brain Training . . . . . . . Nintendo

2 Need For Speed: Undercover. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

2 Ben 10: Alien Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P

2 COD: World at War . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard

3 Mario Kart DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

3 Football Manager 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

3 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard

3 FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4 New Super Mario Bros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

4 Ben 10: Alien Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P

4 Need for Speed: Undercover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4 Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

5 More Brain Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

5 Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

5 Tomb Raider: Underworld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eidos

5 Wii Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

6 Mystery Case Files: Millionheir . . . . . . . Nintendo

6 Lego Batman: The Video Game . . . Warner Bros

6 Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

6 Professor Layton Curious Village. . . Nintendo

7 100 Classic Book Collection . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

7 Midnight Club: L.A. Remix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Take 2

7 Lego Batman: The Videogame . . . . Warner Bros

7 Mario Kart Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

8 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games . . . . . Sega

8 WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 . . . . . . . . . . THQ

8 WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 . . . . . . . . . . THQ

8 Need For Speed: Undercover . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

9 42 All-Time Classics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

9 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed . . . . . LucasArts

9 Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . . Activision Blizzard

9 Street Fighter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom

10 Big Brain Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

10 Resistance: Retribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

10 Persona 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix

10 Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games . . Sega

THE STAGGERING supremacy of Nintendo titles on

PSP’S POSITION as a console for ‘geezers’ and

PLAYSTATION 2’S continuing popularity with kids is

WITH over 15 per cent of all cash taken by software

DS continues, taking nine of the Top Ten positions

youngsters comes up trumps for firms such as EA

evident in the best-selling software of Q1. FIFA 09

in Q1 in the bag, it’s little surprise that Nintendo has

in Q1 this year. In the equivalent quarter last year,

– which claims the two biggest sellers in Q1 with

leads, with D3P’s Ben 10: Alien Force claiming an

the biggest presence in the All Formats best-sellers

the firm claimed seven positions – only challenged

FIFA and Need For Speed. D3P, Warner Bros and LucasArts all enjoy high-flying positions with games that don’t make the Top Ten lists on other formats.

impressive second spot. Square’s Enix’s Persona 4

list. Capcom also has a healthy representation of

claims tenth spot – appealing to PS2’s more

two, rewarding its decision to break with the

significant Japan-savvy audience.

traditional seasonality of games releases.

by 505 Games and Sega. The latter’s Mario & Sonic

At The Olympic Games reappears this year.

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MCV 17/04/09 17

SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

Getting better & better The self-improvement market exploded in 2008, thanks to the successful launch of titles such as Wii Fit and Cooking Guide. James Batchelor takes a look at where the sector is heading in 2009…

GAMING has gone through many changes over the years, but 2008 was most definitely when the selfimprovement and non-gaming software genre came into its own. Although traditional titles continued to break new ground and fare well commercially, any advances made were comparatively small to those made in the self-improvement market. The successful launch of games such as Wii Fit and Cooking Guide and the introduction of more practical products like Atari and Ubisoft’s driving theory test titles has expanded the scope of the genre. Meanwhile, the

continually strong sales of the Brain Training series inspired a significant increase in similar, less conventional games hitting the shelves. As we enter 2009, this growth shows

We are always trying to find new ways of enriching people’s lives and making people smile. Rob Lowe, Nintendo no sign of slowing. Wii Fit has consistently ridden high in the charts and the likes of recent releases My Fitness Coach and Mind Your Language have contributed in their own way to the impressive

roster of self-improvement titles that are already available. Each subsequent release proves that the demand for such products – arguably started in 2006 with the original Brain Training’s release – is hardly temporary. SHINING EXAMPLES

Having already helped to pioneer and establish this genre, Nintendo is keen to further explore the possibilities of such titles, catering to their new audience. “We are always trying to find new ways of enriching people’s lives and making people smile – and games such

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

as Wii Fit, Brain Training and Cooking Guide certainly seem to do just that,” says Nintendo’s senior product manager for Wii Rob Lowe. “We’re glad that third-party publishers are also seeing success on our formats, and hope that we can all continue to find new and innovative ways to make people enjoy Wii and DS even more.” FINDING MOTIVATION

‘Self-improvement behind the scenes is the key as well’ Self-improvement isn’t just relevant to marketing best-selling software – it’s instrumental to producing it too, says Lis Welsh...

IN THESE difficult times of recession, when all around us companies are having to make cutbacks in staff and overheads and at the same workloads have increased due to the focus on sales and profitability, we have to ask ourselves how we can maintain levels of service and continue with the high delivery levels expected of us within this marketplace.

that which the person being mentored needs to develop. Hopefully they will emulate and learn from them. People need to be challenged and pushed to achieve and do things that take them out of their comfort zone. With the right advice and support they should come on in leaps and bounds. Don’t dwell on the screw-ups, praise their achievements. Provide coaching and feedback.

“Companies need to develop their people. Not everyone can be a superstar but everyone has greater potential inside them and can accomplish many things when given a real challenge.” It is at times like these that we need competent, well trained, experienced and reliable staff to see us through these difficult times – courage to make decisions also helps. Probably one of our industry’s greatest challenges is to rectify the under-development of its young managerial and professional staff. In my experience there is a wealth of untapped potential and when nurtured and challenged can be brought to its full potential. You don’t have to enlist in expensive training programmes or go off on ‘team building’ exercises during your own time. You simply allocate mentors to your developing talent. Choose high profile achievers within your business that have the opposite set of skills to

Companies need to develop their people. Not everyone can be a superstar but everyone has greater potential inside them and can accomplish many things when given a real challenge, the right encouragement and the support they need to succeed. Those companies that introduce ‘development’ into the foundations of their organisation will attract more talent. Hold onto it longer and perform better in the long run.

CONTACT Lis Welsh Search and Selections Tel No.: 01858 545355 Email: lis@liswelsh.co.uk

More and more publishers are viewing these titles as viable investments, but to drive the market forward, we need to understand the reason for the growth we’ve seen so far. “There is increasing pressure about looking good, being healthy, and generally being – or at least looking – happy,” explains Ubisoft’s UK brand manager Ombeline Wallon. “In the past few years, technology in video games has evolved so much that consoles have pretty much become part of everyday lives for a wide range of people, and this really became obvious in 2008.” Slitherine’s marketing director Marco Minoli adds: “I think it’s mainly down

Atari’s UK product manager Lauren Bradley points to the additional psychological benefits of these games, describing how the medium of video games frees such concepts from the pressure inherent to traditional methods for looking after your body. “It’s a much less committal way to access new forms of self-improvement, as you don’t have the same pressures or fear of failure,” she says. “Games are, on the whole, non-prescriptive and can be taken at your own pace, which is much less scary. You can be more honest with the information you give and your results as it can be private.” RECESSION-PROOF

The industry seems to be optimistic about the sector’s foreseeable future, with the general consensus that selfimprovement is a genre here to stay. Remarkably, it shows a particularly positive attitude towards the financial viability of this market. “It can be argued that self-improvement software – particularly on Nintendo formats – could be susceptible to a

More mainstream consumers are enjoying these games because they are interesting and relevant to their lives Jim Scott, Oxygen Games

to a dramatic shift towards a completely new target audience willing to have a completely different gaming experience. “New elements like social interaction, self-improvement and personal knowledge are now an integral part of our vocabulary and we need to look at our products from different angles – not solely from a pure entertainment point of view.” While this new audience is important, the fact that the mainstream appeal of video games has expanded so rapidly over the last few years is also key to the genre’s success, making it easier for publishers to raise awareness of these titles among non-gamers. “More mainstream consumers are enjoying these games because they are interesting and relevant to them and their lives,” says Oxygen Games’ CEO Jim Scott. “The games are advertised in the same places as other household brands that dominate the cereals, vitamins and yogurts sectors, as well as awareness being spread through word of mouth.”

reduction in family household income and confidence in the future,” says Midas’ head of sales Sam Collins. “To date, the figures suggest otherwise. It looks like the Wii is no more affected than other consoles.” “There is no reason that the selfimprovement category will be hit any more than other areas,” adds 505 Games’ senior brand manager Alex Price. “In fact, in a climate like this people may be more inclined to try selfimprovement titles.” The Stationery Office’s marketing executive Laura Searle reports that her company – which specialises in driving theory test software – has seen resilient and steady sales so far this year, proving the economic downturn has not put off learners from gaining an advantage in learning to drive. If anything, the recession makes it more important for them to study hard and pass first time, as failing and booking the test again can be a costly process.

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

FOCUS ON: FITNESS

FOCUS ON: DRIVING

FOCUS ON: EDUCATION

Undoubtedly the major success story of 2008, Wii Fit raised the bar for all self-improvement titles that followed. Not only has it inspired publishers to explore new ideas – its concept expanded in the likes of Ubisoft’s My Fitness Coach – it also stands as a shining example of how to get those concepts to appeal to a mass market audience. “Wii Fit was a brave move into new territory for Nintendo,” says 505 Games’ Alex Price. “What it proved beyond any doubt was that consumers were not only interested in this type of content but were open to using their consoles in a new way.”

Driving theory software may have only made its handheld debut last year, and has yet to appear on consoles, but such titles have been available on the PC for many years. The Stationery Office currently publishes the only official software from the Driving Standards Agency. While this range obviously appeals to anyone learning how to drive, the firm’s Laura Searle is keen to point out it has been refined to serve another audience. “The DSA portfolio of products provides essential source material for driving and riding instructors who require the official materials to both become

While the industry is divided over whether or not current self-improvement areas, such as fitness and brain trainers, have been fully explored, several companies agree that educational titles are the natural extension of the current non-gaming boom. “Languages and indeed education have been under-exploited but the DS could lend itself to that kind of learning, with the advantages of interactivity and sounds – as has been shown on PC – as well as the portability,” says Ubisoft’s Ombeline Wallon. Lightning Fish’s CEO Simon Prytherch predicts the “integration of learning, fun and exploration as

“Wii Fit raised the bar for all self-improvment titles that followed it, inspiring publishers to explore new ideas and promote them to the mass market.”

“Driving theory software not only appeals to students and anyone else wishing to learn how to drive, they also serve the needs of instructors and trainers.”

“It is perfectly feasible that the DS could be used as a study aid for those taking exams, as well as catering for those who seek less formal qualifications.”

“It shows you can be bold,” adds Ubisoft’s Ombeline Wallon. “There is definitely the opportunity to widen the audience and engage with it if you have an innovative product that is in line with people’s interests.” Slitherine’s Marco Minoli likens Wii Fit to Guitar Hero as a successful demonstration of “creating a new device and linking it in a perfect way to a new console”. “It is all about believing in an idea and marketing it properly to that specific target audience,” he explains. “Opening new roads to explore requires courage and dedication to invest and dare to try new avenues. We should probably learn that good ideas work if they have solid ground to grow on.”

an official instructor or trainer and to ensure they are consistently up-to-date with rules of the road and testing procedures throughout their career,” she says. Avanquest has also recently released its first driving theory title, Pass Your Theory Driving Test DS, which the company has shown can be an example of how self-improvement can be connected with the real life skills – and this isn’t restricted to driving. “Publishers may also look to additional practical incentives to help push products, such as free lesson books with language software, similar to the free driving lesson worth up to £26 given away with our title,” says Avanquest’s European games director Simon Reynolds.

a great way of teaching new subjects” could see significant growth in the long term. 505 Games’ Alex Price observes that it is perfectly feasible that the DS could be used as a study aid for those taking exams such as GSCEs. The market could even cater for those seeking less formal qualifications. “Many people want to learn a new skill, but are often discouraged by having to read textbooks or attend classes,” says Avanquest’s Simon Reynolds. “This type of software removes the hassle and is more convenient due to the portability of the DS, allowing consumers to learn on the go.” While educational titles have been released in the past, the recent expansion in the gaming demographic could see the area truly take off.

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

Similarly, Scott believes consumers will look upon games as great value for money, particularly those that are beneficial to the player, so the selfimprovement genre could stand to fare better than others. PLATFORM CHANGE

While the Wii and DS is set to continue its domination of the market, publishers are keen to see other platforms entering the fold. Development studio Lightning Fish is already working on bringing such titles to these audiences, although it recognises the challenges that need to overcome “Sony, Microsoft and other platform holders need to develop new and nonintrusive ways of interacting with their titles,” says the studio’s CEO Simon Prytherch. “It is essential to bring not only self-improvement titles, but games in general to a much wider audience.” “The Xbox 360 and PS3 have their strengths,” adds Wallon. “As their userbase widens, so does the range of

interests and passions of these users. We could see demand for self-improvement games on these platforms too.” Bradley agrees that the technology of those platforms is good enough but states that “it’s more of an attitude shift that needs to happen” before the genre can really appeal to these audiences. “Until the other platforms have penetrated the casual, female and family audiences, such titles are not going to be commercially viable on those formats,” warns Price. “With current demographics on the other platforms, a move onto these ones is not likely in the immediate future, although I wouldn’t rule it out over the next year or so.” NEW FRONTIERS

Self-improvement games and the success of key titles in 2008 has captured the imagination and attention of publishers across the board. Many are now looking to push it further. “Perhaps it will become increasingly led from a marketing perspective,”

suggests Bradley. “Games may be developed in conjunction with brands that are already well known, such as our What’s Cooking with Jamie Oliver. “The gameplay will be underpinned by the brand’s values and ideals, and will simply be part of a bigger picture.

daily self-improvement regime is flagging, you’ll get support from your fellow users.” But overall, the consensus is that the market stands to undergo selfimprovement of its own. PlayV’s interim managing director Luiz Ferreira believes

It’s a brand new market in itself and it has been successfully because it has been properly pioneered. Marco Minoli, Slitherine

We know this has worked in the past for celebrity-endorsed fitness DVDs.” Several firms concur that marketing and online strategies will be key to the sector’s ongoing growth. Focus Multimedia’s PR and marketing manager Grant Hughes says: “These titles lend themselves perfectly to social networking. Future titles could encourage online competition and interaction with other users. If your

that “only the surface has been scratched in the genre so far”. “It’s a brand new market in itself and it has been successful because it has been properly pioneered,” adds Minoli. So it is clear that the industry captured such a new audience that it needs to maintain their interest. Selfimprovement games have become so popular that publishers cannot afford to neglect them.

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Sponsored by WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/04/09 23

PERSONNEL

Marchant bolsters Ubisoft’s PR team Former EA exec named specialist PR manager  Richards joins Shorewood.blueprint  Realtime Worlds hires two UBISOFT  LOUISE MARCHANT has joined Ubisoft’s UK team as specialist PR manager after leaving Electronic Arts earlier this year. Marchant was previously a member of EA’s UK PR team, where she handled high-profile franchises such as Need For Speed, Rock Band and Burnout. She will now work with a range of Ubisoft’s properties and report to PR manager STEFANO PETRULLO. “We’re delighted to welcome Louise,” said Ubisoft’s head of communications LIDIA RUMLEY.

SHOREWOOD  CHRISTIAN RICHARDS has joined Shorewood.blueprint as part of its special packaging sales drive. Richards has been named sales manager and will be responsible for developing the firm’s special packaging client base in the UK and mainland Europe. Shorewood.blueprint director JOHN WHITE said: “The appointment of Christian is part of our ongoing drive to recruit senior people from within the industry to ensure that our services and facilities across the UK and Europe are

MARCHANT: The former EA PR has joined Ubisoft

“Her varied PR background and fantastic reputation put her in the perfect position to create and execute winning specialist

press PR campaigns for forthcoming games such as Splinter Cell Conviction and Call Of Juarez 2.”

first class for both existing and new customers.” REALTIME WORLDS  The games developer has recruited two new members to its operations team. WILL LEVERETT has been named director of customer service. He has worked in the online games industry for 11 years having previously served at the likes of Electronic Arts, Origin Systems and NCsoft, working on popular MMOs. Fellow former NCsoft employee PATRICK BAYS takes on the role of manager of game operations.

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

BLOOMING AT RETAIL 505 Games hit Mama series goes green in this gardening-inspired release

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ALSO THIS WEEK... PUNCH-OUT!! P28 Nintendo’s classic boxing series finally returns in this Wii update PDC DARTS 2009 P30 Last year’s hit darts title returns for a new season on Wii and DS ROCK BAND 2 P32 EA distributes this popular music brand into the UK on Wii this month HIGH STREET P34 Easter sales round-up, interview with N1 Games and a Mansfield price check in this week’s High Street

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RETAILBIZ: GARDENING MAMA 26 MCV 17/04/09

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The multi-million selling Cooking Mama franchise gets its first spin-off next month in Gardening Mama for Nintendo DS, offering a new take on the popular series… by Christopher Dring 505 GAMES’ Cooking Mama series has been a phenomenal success. As of January last year it had sold 2.6 million copies worldwide, and that was before the release of Cooking Mama: World Kitchen on Wii. However, with four games to her name, Mama has decided it’s time to step out of the kitchen and into the flower bed, in 505 Games’ Gardening Mama for Nintendo DS. “Mama’s turning over a new leaf,” explains the game’s brand manager Rowan Tafler. “Mama is always a sure-seller and we have high expectations for this exciting extension to the Mama range. This is an entirely new adventure for the brand – she’s moving out of the kitchen and into

“Players can do everything from digging the flower beds to watering the plants and spraying away bugs,” continues Tafler. “With 28 different plants to grow, players will return again and again to Mama’s garden. Four-player wireless multiplayer ensures that they’ll never get lonely. “You can even put your own personal stamp on your garden. Choose the flowers for the right beds, relax on a swing seat or find the perfect spot for a gnome. How about sprucing up your toolbox with new trowels, spades and watering cans? Did someone say Mama needs a new apron?” MAMA LOVE

The Cooking Mama series has been a big hit for 505 Games, especially in the

Mama has been a tremendous success since its launch, with sales exceeding 1.3 million units in the UK alone. Rowan Tafler, 505 Games

the garden for the very first time. Gardening Mama brings the same sense of fun to gardening that made her famous with cooking. “Through our success with Cooking Mama, we have broadened the target age range beyond kids to parents and gifters – we definitely see Gardening Mama following this trend.” GARDEN FORCE

In the game, players use the stylus to dig soil, as well as plant and harvest flowers and vegetables. The better the garden looks the more extras the gamer will unlock, from rare plants, fruit and vegetables, to ornamental objects including benches, flower pots, gnomes and swings. There are over 28 different plants to unlock and grow in the title, with plenty of mini games to play, and gamers can even turn their crops into special extras, including strawberry jam and Jack o’lanterns. On top of that, the game features several four-player multiplayer modes, with the opportunity to trade produce with friends.

UK where it has been a mainstay in the DS charts. And now the publisher hopes the success can transfer from the kitchen into the garden. “Mama has been a tremendous success for 505 Games since its original launch. Sales to date have exceeded 1.3 million units in the UK alone – outside of Nintendo’s first party titles, Cooking Mama has been the biggest-selling DS title ever,” concludes Tafler. “As ever, kids aged six to 12 will love the title but parents and gifters won’t be able to resist Mama’s charms. “With such affection for the brand, retailers can expect a great reception for the game. “Mama has proven herself to be evergreen and we’re sure that Gardening Mama will continue her fabulous success.” RELEASED: MAY 1 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: COOKING MAMA LTD PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

MAMA RETURNS: The Cooking Mama series is the most popular third party DS franchise in the UK

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MCV 17/04/09 27

SEEDS OF FUN: Gardening Mama features loads of mini-games that are sure to delight both casual gamers and Mama fanatics.

MAMA MARKETING Off the back of 505 Games’ recent Cooking Mama advertising campaign comes its Gardening Mama promotion. The emphasis of the campaign is a three-week TV push. The television ads will run for 20 seconds and will appear on key children’s channels, including Nick, CiTV, Nick Toons, Boomerang and Cartoon Network. The firm is also running an integrated online campaign on key children websites, such as on Disney’s web portal. The firm also has a dedicated micro website on Nick.co.uk. Finally, 505 Games promises trade support for the title, with a special promotion running with catalogue retailer Argos.

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RETAILBIZ: PUNCH-OUT!! 28 MCV 17/04/09

Nintendo kicks off the summer on Wii with the return of veteran fighting franchise, Punch Out, complete with new motion controls...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

memorable brawlers and addictive gameplay. Even with the technological limitations of the NES, the boxing title required good reflexes if players wanted to be triumphant in the ring. Now, Nintendo brings the series upto-date with Punch-Out!! for Wii. The game is the first in the franchise to be

by James Batchelor

ONE OF NINTENDO’S greatest assets is its back catalogue. Few publishers can compete with the wealth of franchises and intellectual properties that Nintendo has released over the past few decades. Many of the platform holder’s series are still with This will be a full triple-A us, most notably the likes of launch as you would expect Mario, Zelda and Metroid. from such a long-standing But others have yet to Nintendo franchise. receive a more modern update, being still virgins to Rob Lowe, Nintendo the third dimension. After more than 15 years, one such franchise shown in full 3D and, as can be has been rescued from the realms of expected, boasts motion-sensitive nostalgic memory and brought back to the controls using the Wii Remote. The shelves once more: Punch-Out!! publisher is confident that, despite the Debuting during the 1980s, the lack of a new Punch-Out!! for more original Punch-Out!! soon gathered an than a decade, the Wii version is going impressive fanbase thanks to its to be a big hit come May.

“Punch-Out!! is our biggest Wii launch so far in 2009 and we see it as an important title that will appeal to both gamers and families in a similar manner to Mario Kart Wii,” says Nintendo’s senior product manager for Wii Rob Lowe. “It has a great pedigree with the previous titles on the NES and SNES, and this heritage is faithfully carried across to the Wii version, along with a host of new functions.” One look at the screenshots and artwork shows that Nintendo has family in mind with this title. While a large element of the game’s appeal will be to adults with fond childhood memories of the original, today’s younger gamers will find it just as enjoyable thanks to the cel-shaded cartoon style that is perfect in keeping with the first games.

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MCV 17/04/09 29

FAMILIAR FACES: Punch-Out!!’s classic roster of quirky characters are back on Wii

FIGHT RECORD The Punch-Out!! series stretches back to Nintendo’s video game origins, working its way from arcade cabinets to the NES and SNES. Punch-Out!! (1984) The first in the series was an arcade game that never made it beyond Japan and North America. Super Punch-Out!! (1985) The follow-up to Punch-Out!! was also an arcade game and featured the ability to duck. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (1987) The first in the series to hit home consoles. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was a combination of the two arcade games and featured Mike Tyson as an officially licensed character. Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream (1990) A re-release of the original NES game. The game was produced after Nintendo’s licence to use Mike Tyson as a character expired. Super Punch-Out!! (1995) The last Punch-Out!! to reach European shelves. It was an updated console version of the second arcade game, and served as a sequel to the NES editions. The Punch-Out!! games have also appeared as hidden extras in Animal Crossing and are available on the Virtual Console.

However, the biggest selling point will be the control schemes. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk can be used as players’ fists, allowing them to physically knock their opponents out of the competition in a manner similar to the popular boxing game in Wii Sports. Alternatively, retro gamers can enjoy the original control system by turning the Wii Remote on its side and using it like a classic NES controller, where the emphasis is on quick reflexes rather than strong motions. Fans of the original games will also be pleased to see the a roster full of familiar faces, including Little Mac, Glass Joe, King Hippo and Doc Louis. All characters make their 3D debut and have been re-imagined for the latest Punch-Out!!, each boasting hilarious animations and detailed back stories. “Punch-Out!! has colourful cartoon cel-shaded graphics full of character and

humour, as well as superb gameplay involving split-second reactions, and recognising your opponents’ weaknesses and patterns,” adds Lowe

RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NEXT LEVEL GAMES PRICE: TBC

COLOURFUL GAMING: Punch-Out!! boasts an attractive cel-shaded art style and full 3D graphics

REACHING OUT

DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH

Given Punch-Out!!’s lengthy absence and the colossal audience of new gamers Nintendo has picked up since the SNES version, the company is keen to raise awareness of the game before it hits shelves. Marketing initiatives have been planned to not only introduce new gamers and the expanded audience to the franchise, but also to call back fans of the original games. The focus of the game’s marketing will be on a full TV campaign, currently planned to air around Punch-Out!!’s launch. Ads will run alongside familybased TV shows, particularly targeting fathers and sons by showing a dad playing Punch-Out!! with his son.

CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

There will also be a full range of point-of-sale materials and trade marketing support for retailers. A bigscreen Punch-Out!! sampling tour has also been organised, as well as a PR campaign that will feature some legendary names from boxing history, who will be settling old scores in a round of Punch-Out!! Lowe concludes: “This will be a full triple-A launch as you’d expect from such a long-standing Nintendo series. Hopefully, we will be looking at a No.1 position in the Wii charts when the game is released.”

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RETAILBIZ: PDC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP DARTS 2009 30 MCV 17/04/09

Oxygen’s PDC darts series enjoyed its most successful year so far in 2008, and now the franchise is back with a new focus on Nintendo’s DS and Wii hardware…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by Christopher Dring DARTS HAS always been the greatest of all sports. Not only does it make for surprisingly addictive television, it’s also the one of the few pursuits that practically encourages the eating of crisps and the drinking of beer during the breaks. And darts is fast becoming bigger than ever, with its own superstar in Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and rising viewing figures for the game’s various tournaments. “Darts as a sport has also gained in popularity, with a wider appeal than ever before,” says Oxygen Games’ product manager Oliver Birch. “This is due mainly to Sky Sports coverage of the all-year round PDC tournaments and the increased character profiles of the pros

themselves, such as Phil Taylor and James ‘The Machine’ Wade. “Darts is now the most watched sport on Sky, second only to football, and so we will be capitalising on the fact that darts is enjoyed by a mainstream audience and the fact that game is released in the same week as the Whyte

We will be capitalising on the fact that darts is enjoyed by a wide, mainstream audience. Oliver Birch, Oxygen Games & McKay Premier League Darts Final at the end of May.” Oxygen is responsible for bringing the action of darts to the video game scene, and last year enjoyed huge success with PDC Darts 2008. The Wii edition was a particularly big success, and Oxygen is once again focusing on Nintendo formats.

“Oxygen Games has brought The Professional Darts Corporation competition into fan’s homes since 2006, with last year’s version performing exceptionally well across the board,” adds Birch. “This year we have focused primarily on the Nintendo audience by releasing on both Wii and DS. “With this in mind it won’t be a surprise that we have ‘double top’ hopes in targeting the broader audience that buy games for these popular consoles.”

HITTING THE TARGET

PDC World Champions Darts 2009 will be this year’s definitive darts game. The title boasts 18 PDC professionals, including Phil Taylor and James Wade, real-world tournament locations, commentary from Sid Waddell, Russ

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MCV 17/04/09 31

PDC World Championship Darts 2009 promises to be the most accurate dart game ever given its use of the unique DS and Wii interfaces

MARKETING BULLSEYE

Bray and Bruce Spendley, and realistic AI and player likeness. The games also boasts ‘as-seen-on-TV’ elements, with replays, fly-bys, and walkins, an in-depth career mode based around the seven major PDC competitions, a custom character creator and multiplayer for up to eight players. “This game is, ‘The closest thing to throwing a real dart,’ as described by Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor and he should know as he has won the PDC World Championships 14 times,” says Birch. “The 2009 version of the Wii game is now more accurate when throwing the dart than ever before and targeting with the Wii Remote is more intuitive and

even easier to pick up. We have RELEASED: MAY 29 worked with the developers FORMATS: DS, WII Rebellion to make the game PUBLISHER: OXYGEN GAMES accessible to all ages in this respect, DEVELOPER: REBELLION with a bull’s eye focus on recreating PRICE: DS: £29.99; WII: £39.99 the PDC tournament atmosphere.” DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT & GEM PDC Darts 2009 is sure to be one CONTACT: 0121 625 3388/01279 822 800 of Oxygen’s biggest games of the year. Last year’s title was a huge success Darts has always been always an over a sustained period of time, evergreen title selling consistently remaining in the charts for months on around the clock,” concludes Birch. end. And the firm is backing the game “Working closely with the PDC will a full marketing push too (see and their sponsorship partners allows Marketing Bullseye, right), to ensure us to communicate continuously with that it will fly off shelves. a number of audiences maintaining “As we have found with previous good visibility for the product for a versions, PDC World Championship sustained period.”

Oxygen’s marketing campaign for PDC Darts 2009 is a big one, with a heavy focus on television. The firm’s main TV promotion will run across music, lifestyle and family programmes, in addition to its four-week campaign that will run across the Sky Sports channels. The company is also demoing the Wii version on Sky Sports show Soccer AM, and has secured PR support from presenter and former ladies’ darts champion Helen Chamberlain. In terms of PR, a broad mix of coverage for the game will appear in sports and lifestyle magazines, lads mags, and in red top newspapers. Oxygen is also running promotional giveaways with the darts online communities. Finally, Oxygen has booked a radio campaign, with three dart ‘180’ on-air promotions using darts sound effects and real life scoring commentary from the game. These promotions will appear on regional stations and on TalkSport. “For this year we have planned our biggest and most far reaching campaign to date,” explains Oxygen Games’ product manager Oliver Birch. “We have built a campaign that targets the core darts and sports fans, securing support from the PDC and the PDC’s master of promotion himself, Barry Hearn. We will have a presence at all PDC UK events attended by over 500,000 people, plus heavy TV support throughout the remaining Premier League darts matches.”

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RETAILBIZ: ROCK BAND 2 32 MCV 17/04/09

EA’s rhythm action blockbuster Rock Band 2 finally completes its immigration to European shelves with the release of the PS3, PS2 and Wii versions…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor THE ORIGINAL ROCK BAND did a sterling job of building on Guitar Hero’s success before it, introducing the ability to play multiple instruments to the UK market for the first time in history. Now Rock Band 2 looks set to take that success to the next level – with a host of new tracks and features to get would-be superstars reaching for their wallet. After a slow roll out that started with the 360 version last year, then March’s release of the PS2 and PS3 versions, it now arrives on Wii, too. For the most part, both retailers and consumers will know exactly what to expect with Rock Band 2. Retaining the popular formula of the original, the title allows gamers to play through a wide variety of rock and pop tunes. They can either take up the axe as the band’s guitar or bass player, rock out on the drums, or provide the vocals with the microphone. The single player modes continue to offer both hardcore and casual appeal, enticing the former with an addictive scoring mechanism and amusing the latter with its ‘pick up and play’ nature. But it is the multiplayer where the game comes into its own. Up to four gamers can team up and form a complete band, working together as

RELEASED: OUT NOW/APRIL 24 FORMATS: PS3, PS2, XBOX 360 (OUT NOW), WII (APRIL 24) PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: HARMONIX PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

they try to perform each song as best as they can. Should one player perform poorly, the in-game crowd will boo them from the stage, and the remaining rockers need to build up their score to get the band back on track. STRIKE UP THE BAND

The PS3 version is identical to the Xbox 360 version, boasting all the features Microsoft’s consumers have been enjoying since November. They and the

The game’s compatibility with the array of guitar and instrument peripherals ensures plenty of add-on sale and bundle options for retail. PS2 edition are not only compatible with the original Rock Band instruments, they also work with the controllers made for Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero: World Tour. The Wii version is remarkably similar to those available on its more techonologically superior rivals. Unlike the original Rock Band on Wii, Rock Band 2 features everything available in the Xbox 360 and PS3 editions, including the ‘World Tour’ mode and character customisation systems – features that were noticeably absent in the last game. More importantly, the focus on multiplayer is maintained with the

online modes, including Battle Of The Bands, which pits two teams of up to four players against each other over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The online mode is pitched as being just as impressive and enjoyable as it is on the more powerful machines. Wii owners will also be pleased to know they will be treated to the same wealth of downloadable content the 360 and PS3 enjoys. The entire Rock Band DLC catalogue will be available, allowing gamers to download songs and stream them from the SD card. The PS2 edition is a more limited version, but still as appealing as ever. Due to the console’s limitations, there is no DLC or online multiplayer available. However, there will be online leaderboards, enabling players to compare their scores with other PS2 owners from around the world. Rock Band 2 for the PS3, PS2 and Wii is poised to capitalise on the Easter period, which has always been a strong time for games sales. Not only will it capture the attention of those who have been waiting for the latest Rock Band game or have only been tempted by them in the past, it will also serve to satisfy players who are growing weary of previous rhythm action games and need a new collection of songs to reignite their interest.

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MCV 17/04/09 33

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Music and movies dominate Spring It’s movie tie-in season, with games based on X-men, Ghostbusters, Hannah Montana and Riddick due, while fans of music games can look forward to SingStar Pop Edition, Rock Band 2 and Nintendo’s Rhythm Paradise... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PS3

Music

Sony

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

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

Simulation Action/Adventure Strategy Puzzle Action Simulation Action RPG Simulation FPS Simulation Adventure RPG/Action Puzzle Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Action Racing Strategy Simulation Music Puzzle

Activision Blizzard Atari THQ Kalypso Media Koei Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Kalypso Media Rising Star Games 505 Games 505 Games Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Nordcurrent Capcom Nintendo Activision Blizzard EA Focus Multimedia

0121 625 3388 0121 506 9590 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01889 570156 01889 570156 01889 570156 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01889 570156

Centresoft Advantage Advantage Advantage Open Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Centresoft Advantage Advantage Open Opn Open Trilogy Centresoft Koch Centresoft Centresoft Open

DS PC PC

Quiz RPG Simulation

JoWood JoWood JoWood

01273 202 220 01273 202 220 01273 202 220

Lace Lace Lace

Wii / DS / PSP Wii / PS3 DS PSP

Adventure Music RPG Action

Black Bean Activision Blizzard Konami Koei

0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 01462 476 130

Koch Centresoft Open Open

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

Music Simulation Puzzle Simulation Sports Music Lifestyle Strategy Action Action Racing

Disney Interactive JoWood Konami JoWood Playlogic Nintendo Deep Silver JoWood Playlogic Activision Blizzard Zoo Digital

0121 625 3388 01273 202 220 020 8987 5730 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800

Centresoft Lace Open Lace Centresoft Koch Koch Lace Centresoft Centresoft Gem

DS Wii PC

Puzzle Kids Action

Ubisoft Blast Mastertronic

0845 456 6400 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242

Trilogy Mastertronic Open

APRIL 22nd SingStar Pop Edition

APRIL 24th Animal Planet: Emergency Vets The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Company Of Heroes: Anthology Crazy Machines Complete Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 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 Gobliiins 4 Little King's Story Mind, Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book Mind, Body & Soul: MinDStorm II Mindscape's Brain Trainer: Think Positive! Mindscape's Maths Trainer Mindscape's Smarter Brain Trainer Minon: Everyday Hero Moto GP New Play Control! Pikmin 2 Pimp My Ride 2 Rock Band 2 Rubik's Challenge

APRIL 27th Drivers Ed Gothic 3 Gold Edition Guild 2 Platinum Edition

APRIL MISC Diabolik: The Original Sin Guitar Hero III Legends Of Rock (solus) Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Accelerator Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

MAY 1st Hannah Montana: The Movie Game Life Signs Marbles! Balance Challenge Pet Pals Pool Hall Pro Rhythm Paradise Russell Grant's Astrology The History Pack Vertigo X-Men Origins: Wolverine Yamaha Supercross

MAY 8th Aqua Panic Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Devil May Cry 3 (Sold Out)

MUSTSTOCK ......................RHYTHM PARADISE

MUSTSTOCK .........X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

Released: May 1st Format: DS Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985

Released: May 1st Format: PSP, DS, Wii, PC, PS2, PS3, 360, Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Backed by pop sensation Beyonce, Rhythm Paradise is Nintendo’s latest key DS product. The title was the seventh biggest selling game of 2008 in Japan, shifting over 1.5 million copies. Now Rhythm Paradise is making its way to UK shelves next month.

The first major blockbuster movie of the year gets its video game tie-in from Activision. XMen Origins: Wolverine boasts a two year development cycle, impressive visuals, high quality gameplay and is backed by a full cinema, press and online marketing campaign.

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Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

RESIDENT EVIL 5 FORMAT: 360

2

NEW

3

4

WII FIT Wii

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360

WARNER NINTENDO

4

2

RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3

5

3

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360

6

NEW

7

5

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS

CAPCOM THQ

WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE PS3

WARNER ROCKSTAR

8

11

FIFA 09 360

9

RE

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS

NINTENDO

10

RE

MARIO KART Wii

NINTENDO

11

13

WHEELMAN 360

12

9

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA PS3

THQ

13

12

SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION 360

SEGA

EA

MIDWAY/UBISOFT

14

16

HALO WARS 360

15

10

C&C3: RED ALERT 3 ULTIMATE COLLECTION PS3

16

RE

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS

17

RE

MADWORLD Wii

MICROSOFT EA DISNEY SEGA

18

18

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR PC

SEGA

19

7

SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT Wii

SEGA

20

8

KILLZONE 2 PS3

SONY

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.

WARNERS’ WANTED HEADS TO TOP OF THE INDIE CHARTS THE RELEASE of Warner Bros’ Wanted: Weapons Of Fate has dealt a blow to the ongoing success of Capcom’s Resident Evil 5. While both the 360 and PS3 versions of the survival horror blockbuster have sat side by side at the top of the Indie charts since their release, Wanted’s debut at No.2 has pushed the PS3 edition down to No.4. The PS3 iteration of Wanted was outsold by both versions of Resident Evil 5, but still seized a place in the Top 10. Warner Bros’ movie-licensed game is the only new entry to feature in the Top 20 this week.

“Layton – often bundled with the DSi – has seen strong sales, due in no small part to the new handheld’s launch.” Elsewhere, DS sales have been reasonably strong, due in no small part to the launch of the DSi. While GTA: Chinatown Wars slipped a few places, Professor Layton – often bundled with the DSi – returned to the charts and leapt into to the Top 10. Also faring well was Disney’s Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force, driven by the release of the new handheld. A combination of Wanted’s debut and a wealth of re-entries, including Mario Kart Wii and MadWorld, pushed a number of titles down the chart. Most notably, Sonic And The Black Knight and Killzone 2 both plummeted 12 places. Despite none of its titles making it to the Top 10 this week, Sega boasts the biggest publisher presence with the most games in the Indie Charts. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

this week’s Frontline report, MCV speaks to Sam FROM THE FRONTLINE For Seamann from N1 Games… What makes your store unique? We have a much more personal customer service. We do care about our customers, we give them advice on the products they look to purchase instead of just taking their money. We’re very honest with our customers, and rely on that honesty to encourage them to come back to us. What are the challenges you face as an indie? Apart from the supermarkets, it’s the pricing. We can’t match the likes of GAME. We’ve tried to buy from different suppliers, shopping around for lower costs, even looking online, on eBay. We try to do our best to compete with the High Street, but it’s difficult.

What products are you looking forward to over the summer? Fight Night is going to do extremely well – we already have big demand for that one. Other games that should sell well are things like The Godfather, Riddick, Batman – anything bearing a licence that appeals to people. What is currently selling well? Capcom’s latest games – Resident Evil has been performing well, as has Street Fighter IV. Everyone’s been particularly asking for the Mad Catz joystick – that’s selling extremely well, despite the stock problems. On day one, we had limited stock, and when we contacted Mad Catz to resupply us, they had little to no stock left.

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

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

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PRICE CHECK

Ninja Blade

Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant on the Plume

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins

Lux Pain

360, Microsoft

PS3, Warner

DS, Square Enix

Wii, Ubisoft

DS, Rising Star

IN STORE: MANSFIELD £39.99

£34.99

N/A

£34.99

N/A

£37.71

£34.71

N/A

N/A

N/A

£44.99

£34.99

£29.99

£39.99

£24.99

£39.99

£39.99

£29.99

£34.99

N/A

£39.99

£29.99

£17.99

£24.99

£24.99

£33.86

£29.96

£17.99

£24.99

£24.99

£32.99

£29.99

£22.99

£26.99

£22.99

£28.99

£28.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

ONLINE

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

The spring sale includes a range of impressive savings, such as £17.99 for Prince Of Persia, Fable II and Tomb Raider Underworld, or £12.99 for LittleBigPlanet.

Several games are now half price, including House Of The Dead: Overkill for £17.49, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for £14.99 and £12.49 for Sonic Unleashed.

MARGIN MAKER

The latest HMV sale sees a wide range of reductions, such as 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand for £26.99, and the Wii and DS version of Bolt for £15.99.

From dance mats to the Wii Balance Board, developers have been experimenting with ways to make gaming much more active for over a decade. However, any of their products are only ever compatible with specific games, so the more traditional titles still require nothing more energetic that assuming an slouched position. jOG changes this. This innovative peripheral plugs into the controller and is clipped to the player’s waist. Using special motion-sensing techonology, it measures their steps and translates that into in-game movement. So, rather than simply holding a stick forward to move around a level, gamers have to jog on the spot.

Available for Wii and PS2, jOG has been made compatible with a range of games, including Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Mario Strikers. Re:creation: 0118 973 9871

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OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3 4 2 7 6 8 11 5 10

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ LEG0 BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

THIS WEEK

[3]

[4]

TITLE

WII FIT FORMAT: WII

LAST WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5

1 3 4 5

RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

SONY

6 7 8 9 10

8 7 6

WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 ACTION PACK LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX

THQ

[5]

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA D3P SEGA EA

KONAMI UBISOFT WARNER BROS ROCKSTAR

PUBLISHER

NEW

THE GODFATHER II 360, PS3, PC

3

9

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

4

2

RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360

5

3

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

6

5

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

EA SEGA CAPCOM EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

7

7

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

8

14

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO NINTENDO

9

12

MARIO KART WII Wii

10

6

STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3

11

8

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

12

4

THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3

CAPCOM

MIDWAY/UBISOFT

13

18

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS

14

20

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

15

13

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

16

11

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

2K PLAY UBISOFT

D3P

NINTENDO

17

16

TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3

18

22

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS DISNEY

19

10

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS

20

15

WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360, PS3

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

2

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

1 RE

1

DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P

FIFA 09

9

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

4 3 2 7 6 8 10 9 11

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION UBISOFT MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

ROCKSTAR WARNER BROS

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA SPORE EA TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. UBISOFT

NEW

1 3 4 6 5 8 12 7

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA

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MCV 17/04/09 37

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

34

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY WII

UBISOFT

22

17

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

23

RE

MONSTERS VS ALIENS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

ROCKSTAR

24

21

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3

25

32

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

THQ

26

31

DISNEY’S BOLT PS3, PS2, 360, DS, Wii

19

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

28

23

KILLZONE 2 PS3

29

35

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS

NINTENDO

30

30

MARIO KART DS DS

NINTENDO

31

26

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 WII, PS3, 360

32

37

SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii

33

25

PUZZLER COLLECTION DS

DISNEY UBISOFT SONY

KONAMI SEGA UBISOFT

34

RE

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

35

33

SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2

THQ

36

24

SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3

SEGA

37

RE

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

38

RE

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

39

40

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP

38

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WARNER BROS

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

SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT Wii

2 3 4 6 10 7 14 5 8

EA

SEGA SEGA

Proving that Easter is primarily a childrenorientated sales period, the other re-entries included Lego Batman and Kung Fu Panda, as well as the official tie-in for recent kids’ film, Monsters Vs Aliens. James Batchelor

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

THE GODFATHER II

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

RESIDENT EVIL 5 STREET FIGHTER IV KILLZONE 2 THE WHEELMAN TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE FIFA ‘09 WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

CAPCOM CAPCOM SONY MIDWAY/UBISOFT UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA WARNER BROS THQ

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER DEVELOPER: BIG FISH GAMES PUBLISHER: FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT SOLD OUT WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT

PUBLISHER

1

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES MARIO KART WII RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL MADWORLD ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY

3 2 5 4 8 11 7 6 12

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

such as Need For Speed: Undercover.

1 1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 8

WEEK ENDING 11/03/09

LUCASARTS

27

40

Elsewhere, Easter sales and retail promotions have prompted the return of several 2008 hits,

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SEGA NINTENDO UBISOFT SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD D3P SEGA SEGA NINTENDO

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

THE GODFATHER II

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

RESIDENT EVIL 5 THE WHEELMAN CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE STREET FIGHTER IV TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

1 2 3 7 6 5 4 10 9

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

EA’S THE GODFATHER II fas failed to overthrow Wii Fit, which continues its domination over the ELSPA GfK-ChartTrack All Formats charts, and racks up its 11th week at No.1 The sequel to the Mario Puzo-inspired crime sim topped the charts for Xbox 360 and PS3, but the PC version was absent from its respective Top 10. However, The Godfather II was the only new release that managed to enter this week’s Top 40.

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA CAPCOM MIDWAY/UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARNER BROS CAPCOM UBISOFT ROCKSTAR

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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

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

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

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

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

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

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

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

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

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

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

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

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

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

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ok

In association with

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

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

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

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

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

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

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

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

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

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

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

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com

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

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

LEGAL SERVICES

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

U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

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

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

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

Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 – 0 www.dtp-entertainment.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 40 MCV 17/04/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

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

ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE

Stenholm 1, 9400,

66 Hughes Street, Mile End,

Norresundby, Denmark

South Australia 5031

Phone: +45 70277640

Tel: +61 8823 41355

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

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

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

POLAND

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

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

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

HUNGARY

Poland

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

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

Gateway Distribution ApS

Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

Tel: +6139573.9203

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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

AUSTRIA

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

Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

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

BELGIUM

FRANCE

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

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

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

Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96

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

MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

Cardinal Gracious Road,

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,

Chakala, Andheri East,

08034, Barcelona, Spain,

Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Tel: +91 22 28203319

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Fax: +91 22 28203334

www.planetadeagostini.net

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

ISRAEL

v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -

ITALY INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex

GAMEWORLD

France

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia

INDIA

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

BENELUX

CYPRUS

Email: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl

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

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

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

ICELAND THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA.

Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

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

GERMANY

Lisbon, Portugal

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

Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0

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

Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

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

RUSSIA

Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

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

NETHERLANDS

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

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

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

Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg

SERBIA

Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD

Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

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

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

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

tel. +357 22 666612

email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

www.greatgames.com.cy

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany

COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45

NORWAY

11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo

mail:games@computerland.rs

Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy

website:www.computerland.rs

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/04/09 41

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

JAPAN

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

DREAMGEAR, LLC

SOUTH AFRICA

20001 S. Western Ave.

Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg

Torrance, CA 90501

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

Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577

SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

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

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St.

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

#2 North Hills, CA. 91343

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

Tel: +1 818 920 9393

Barcelona, Spain,

info@usgamesdist.com

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

www.usgamesdist.com

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

AUSTRALIA

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

VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50

PLUTO GAMES

Web: www.virginplay.es

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

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

www.pluto-games.com

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

Tel: +971 4261 8111

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

Fax: +971 4261 8112

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

SWEDEN

Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia

Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka

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

Panvision....................................................Stockholm

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

SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg

SWITZERLAND

SONY’S PlayStation 3 has finally beaten the Wii in the country’s monthly hardware charts, after a couple of years of domination by Nintendo’s mass-market format. Famitsu reports that March sales of Sony’s machine hit 146,948, way ahead of Wii’s 99,335 units sold. Xbox 360 lagged behind both with 43,172 unit sales. Triple-A releases such as Sega’s Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 (Yakuza 3) and Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 were big successes for Sony’s console in March. Elsewhere, esteemed Japanese games designer Yu Suzuki has retired from his role as R&D creative officer at publisher Sega to assume a position at the company’s AM Plus division. Suzuki has produced many of Sega’s best loved titles, with a portfolio that includes the likes of Space Harrier, Out Run, Virtua Fighter, Virtua Cop and fan-favourite Shenmue.

ITALY

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

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

UNITED STATES

NEW DATA from market research body OzToys has revealed that the Australian games market grew by an impressive 47.8 per cent year-on-year in 2008, hitting a total value of AUS $1.96 bn. In 2006, by comparison, the total Australian video game market was worth AUS $928m. Unit sales grew by 43.1 per cent as Aussie gamers spent over AUS $1bn on software alone. The price of the average game in the territory was also up to AUS $52.64 in 2008, compared to AUS $49.64 the year before. Wii Fit was the best selling individual game of the year, though it was all about Nintendo in the annual charts, with Wii Play, Mario Kart Wii and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games claiming second, third and fourth spots respectively. ITALIAN GAMES and media organisation AIOMI (the Italian Association for the Interactive Multimedia – Movement for the Videogame Culture) has confirmed that the country’s Videogame Developers Conference, billed as ‘the one and only National Congress dedicated to the Italian game developers’ will return in October. The IVDC 2009 will be held in the Main Conference Room of the IULM University in Milan, running from October 8th to 9th. Italy is a nascent area for games development, and this conference is seen as a way to help promote the country’s talent.

BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

USA

Nintendo has confirmed that the DSi has sold 300,000 units in North America in its first two days and a further 300,000 in the whole of Europe. The machine shipped 92,000 in the UK market alone.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 DVD Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060

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

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

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

LONG OR SHORT TERM STORAGE, WAREHOUSEING AND FULFILMENT CONTAINER & PALLET HANDLING FACILITIES FOR SHIPPING FROM BULK RIGHT DOWN TO INDIVIDUAL DISPATCH DIRECT TO END USERS UK, EUROPEAN & WORLDWIDE DELIVERY

MERONCOURT EUROPE SERVICES Letchworth, Herts, SG6 1JF Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 Email: ian.dunbar@meroncourt.com

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

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

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY APRIL 24th

MCV AWARDS WINNERS Find out who emerged victorious from this year’s Awards ceremony, as MCV brings you a full report on the biggest night in the games industry calendar, which rewards the most deserving companies and the attending representatives for industry excellence.

TERRITORY REPORT: CHINA AND ASIA The Far East boasts 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. FRIDAY MAY 8th

LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL Good localisation is key as publishers look to expand their reach into emerging markets. MCV talks to the leading QA and localisation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector. FRIDAY MAY 15th

TOP 20 INDEPENDENTS Despite the fact it might have shrunk in size historicall,y independent retail remains an important part of the sector in the UK, with chains such as Grainger Games and CHIPS continuing to grow in the face of economic uncertainty. MCV gives a run-down of the 20 best outlets in the sector.

GUIDE TO GAMES RETAIL BUYERS We look at the leading retailers’ games buyers, profiling the key players in this sector of the industry. This ultimate guide will give publishers everything they need to know about those who play this crucial role in bringing games to shelves. Every important person making the buying decisions for every games outlet in the ever-changing retail landscape. FRIDAY MAY 22nd

TERRITORY REPORT: AFRICA With civilization spread thinly around this gargantuan continent, largely found on the northern and southern coasts, Africa may seem an unlikely territory for gaming. MCV details the major players and retailers in this region, as well as the unique processes by which games are published and released there.

E3 SPECIAL It is quite simply the biggest event in the games industry’s calendar, and as the official International Media Partner for the event, we bring you a complete guide to this year’s E3 Expo. MCV looks at how the organisers have improved the 2009 event over its predecessors, and offers a round-up of what to expect from the industry’s major companies, including publishers and developers. FRIDAY MAY 29th

DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL MCV takes an in-depth look at the big issues involved in the alwaysimportant distribution sector. We speak to the major players about the future of the supply chain, and how they will be tackling the challenges ahead for the distribution side of the games trade.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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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 Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000

Distributors of CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-Ram, Micro-SD, and lots, lots more...

X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories

Broadsword Interactive. . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1970 626299

UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999

Denki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.denki.co.uk

European Sales: ......01189 215 916

Lightning Fish Games . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 817 666

sales@dvdtech.com

nDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44(0) 1252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821

DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

Rebellion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862

TOOLS Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00 (1) 925 417 1785 bluegfx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 467 200 Natural Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1865 250575

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 486 6466

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

Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660

DISC REPAIR

High Score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 738 337 Ian Livingstone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 421 491 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 Philips amBX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Specialmove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 141 585 6491 Tsunami Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1480 210 621

COURSES 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 jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

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

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

DISC REPAIR

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

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

RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com

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

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION

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

MAY LONDON MCM EXPO Saturday, May 23rd – Sunday, May 24th London, Excel www.londonexpo.com

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

JUNE E3 Tuesday, June 2nd – Thursday, June 4th LA Convention Center, LA www.e3expo.com MCV & XBOX 360 GAMES 5S Friday, June 12th Barnet, London www.gamesfives360.co.uk GAME ON! LONDON Saturday, June 20th – Sunday, June 21st London, Olympia Exhibition Centre www.gameonlondon.co.uk

JULY

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 execs.

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION

DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Brighton www.developmag.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com

AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

XBOX 360/MCV PUB QUIZ Thursday, May 21st Sway Bar, Holborn dave.roberts @intentmedia.co.uk The Xbox 360/MCV Pub Quiz is now firmly established as one of the industry’s favourite nights out. Taking place every three months at the swanky Sway Bar in Holborn, it brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games.

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MCV FORUM

Frank Herman RIP The tributes to the much-loved industry veteran have continued to pour in this week. Here, MCV prints just some of the letters of goodwill we have received since the sad death of ‘Uncle Frank’... I HAVE too many good memories of Frank, but one stands out. We had sold some products to a German company and we were having trouble getting paid. After much legal shenanigans Frank, who was working for GT at the time, called a meeting to ‘resolve’ the issue. So Roger Large and I went to the Old School House offices to meet with Frank and John Kellas who was running the German office. We arrived on time, but John was late in on his flight. Our case was watertight and we were 100 per cent in the right. I kept telling Roger that we would go all the way and win. But I hadn’t banked on Frank’s negotiation ability. He was visibly annoyed that his man was late and that he knew we were right and GT had no case. So he called John Pirie RIP into his office and started having a go at John for no apparent reason. He sat us down and told Roger and I that he was prepared to negotiate. I thought he was joking. He said he would give us half the money, no questions asked. My reaction was bombastic to say the least. He then reached into his pocket pulled out his wallet, thrust a ton into my hand and told us to pop off for lunch on him and come back an hour later, having considered his offer and agree that it was fair. So we did. It was a lovely lunch in the Potting Shed round the corner. I told Roger that we were not negotiating and he agreed. Back an hour later, Frank said he would give us 75 per cent of the disputed amount and we could walk away with a cheque there and then. Before I told him where to stick it, Roger put his hand out

DONATIONS Frank was an active supporter of the Habad Children’s Aid Society (reg. charity number: 1126069). Well wishers are invited to make a cheque donation to treasurer Harry Daniel at: Habad, 95 High Street, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7DB, or email: harry@pinnick.co.uk. Alternatively, donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org).

I WAS SO sorry to hear about Frank’s passing. He was the perfect gentleman and truly great company. Paul Patterson, Former head of Ocean

to Frank and said ‘done’ and they shook on it. Frank looked me in the eye and said “Young Andy, I like your spirit, but

for me and became as close as a real uncle. I looked up to him in every way and always enjoyed our meetings.

A special man in every way tie at half mast, always with a smile. I loved him so much. Shalom, Uncle. Andy Payne, ELSPA

there is never a need to fight. Just remember Uncle Frank owes you one.” True to his word from that day on Uncle Frank looked out

We would never know when he was coming in – he would phone the receptionist when he was on his way. The café order was always a bacon

sandwich without butter (“It plays havoc with my weight, son”) and always smoking those confounded cigars. Tie at half-mast, always with a smile and plenty of chutzpah, the only thing that annoyed him was his beloved Tottenham Hotspur. Having had Sir Alan clean his car as a boy, Frank was a one-off. A special man in every way, I loved him so much. Shalom, Uncle. Andy Payne, Chairman, ELSPA

FRANK HERMAN was, and still is, an inspiration to all who were fortunate to have been touched by his presence. The world would be a much better place if there were more like him. As his business partner for many years I was constantly surprised by his concern for humanity, his business acumen and the fine relationships that he was able to build with his many employees. He will be sorely missed. Martin Alper, Co-Founder, (Original) Mastertronic I still remember having to stand before Uncle Frank to beg for my expenses back at Virgin Mastertronic. Success was touch and go. Having left (and feeling good) with my £15 for tube fares and the odd burger, it sank in that Frank had just taught me my first lesson in profit and loss. We’ll miss you Frank. Ray Maguire, Managing Director, PlayStation UK

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Off The Record

This week, we catch up with Sega’s benevolent runners, stalk a prominent industry media type and compare ELSPA to a Mitchell brother from EastEnders...

PIC OF THE WEEK The fit folk at Sega have a team consisting of four members of the marketing and HR divisions running in this year’s London Marathon on April 26th. The SEGA Team, or ‘Takin’ AGES’ have registered in support of an amazing charity – Children with Leukaemia. Pictured here, we present the energised souls involved: (Clockwise from bottom left) Matt Eyre, Gary Knight, Ben Harrison and Julian Davidson. The team inform us that their training is going to plan with many runs in and around Kew and Richmond taking place most lunch hours and of course the long training runs occurring during the weekend. With your support they hope to raise £10,000 for this fantastic charity. If you’d like to show your support for the Sega team and Children with Leukaemia, contributions can be made by visiting: https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/segamarathonteam

SPOTTED! Those curmudgeons complaining that Google Maps’ Street View service is an invasion of their privacy simply don’t understand its benefits to the light-hearted back page of a weekly business magazine for a specific entertainment industry. The fools! In the first of what we hope will be many ‘spotted!’ moments right here in Off The Record, a keen-eyed reader sent us this snap of a street in NW8, London, in which you can see the unmistakeable stegosaurus cut of veteran journo Steve Boxer. It’s like legal stalking!

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MCV 17/04/09 49

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

IN GOOD REPAIR The BBC isn’t in the habit of giving people free ads, but the Watchdog team offered UK firm Total Disc Repair something close to an exclusive product placement last week. Following up a piece on Xbox 360s leaving consumers with scratched discs, former-Wheel-Of-Fortune-spinner-turned-seriousjournalist Nicky Campbell focused on the company’s gamerepairing technology. As our pictures show, the firm couldn’t have hoped for more publicity. We bet the phones haven’t stopped ringing…

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

LOOK WHO’S BACK… It’s been rumoured on the internet for weeks – and now it’s time for MCV to present… the hallowed return of Industry Lookalikes! This week, a cheeky scamp at ELSPA has emailed in to point out the uncanny likeness between Simon Sauntson from the publishers’ body and Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) from EastEnders. We wonder if, like Phil, Simon wheezes menacingly after climbing a flight of stairs. Or has ever been embroiled in a News Of The World dogging scandal.

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

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Readers’

lives

es us an insight into Another leading industry exec giv de. This week it’s their existence away from the tra r HMV and Square Enix sales boss and forme Andromeda exec Doug Bone…

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET?

What is this “away from work” of which you speak...?

Mike Sherlock is definitely a ‘pranker’ of biblical proportions. He even overheard me telling somebody this recently, but misheard. The trade think some of my forecasts are hysterical, but to give credit where due, Mike’s the one who writes my material, I just deliver the punchlines.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME?

WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?

If forced at gunpoint, I’d go with Super Street Fighter II: Turbo (classic game balance and characterisation), Rocky II (“Win…”) and album, well, obviously, The Lost Boys soundtrack (with a title track performed by Scousers, you can’t go wrong). There you go, I managed to spread my answers across the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Beat that for versatility. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? There have been so many great perks, parties, privileges and people over the years, it’s impossible to pinpoint one. I do remember at HMV, Darren Newnham and I being pulled in as ringers to a Fox Video Star Wars quiz, on the grounds that we were totally into it and expected to help the HMV Video team cruise to victory. We came seventh out of eight teams. We were both off sick the next day.

In both cases, probably Sylvester Stallone – rough upbringing, but knew what he wanted, worked hard for it and made it happen. I did eventually get a body like his, unfortunately it was from Copland and my six-pack looked more like a Lurpak. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’? The present days still have their moments, but being a young buyer in the middle of a fast growing industry had its fair share of perks and thankfully I had the metabolism back then to get away with it. The late ‘90s boom period was so much fun in that you could make decisions based on knowing your market and that sadly neglected commodity, instinct. These days, it requires 23 signatures, 14 spreadsheets and a partridge in a pear tree.

“I miss the days when you could make forecasts using that neglected commodity, instinct...” WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? I did have a chuckle at our PR Manager’s (Alex Huhtala) expenses

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when he got back from a recent trip to Japan. He was really thrilled that I spotted one of his receipts was for a shop called ‘Kiddyland’. I haven’t asked him about it, but I’ve promised him it’ll go no further.

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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.

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

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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MCV533 APRIL 17TH 2009