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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 556 Friday September 25 2009 £3.25

04 Law unto ourselves

24 Grilled Fischer

Domestic trade calls for an emulation of France’s new draft anti-piracy law

We ask Nintendo’s European marketing boss all about the firm’s digital strategy

07 Codemasters looks forward

14 Sega aims high

UK publisher discusses ambition to record its ‘biggest year in history’

The publisher’s marketing and sales teams set sights on a Xmas No.1

09 Win the day

20 Self-improvement focus

Microsoft says Windows 7 can become the trade’s ‘new games platform’

MCV takes a special look at the healthy gaming and brain training sectors

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

November 10th: D-Day Retail set for massive windfall from Modern Warfare 2’s arrival  ‘Most eagerly-awaited game of all time’ to enjoy long tail sales  Heavy-duty marketing assault underway from Activision and developer Infinity Ward by Christopher Dring ACTIVISION WILL redefine what constitutes a blockbuster when Modern Warfare 2 lands in just a matter of weeks. The Call of Duty title is riding a wave of hype and mounting pre-orders. Many are now saying the third week of November could represent the most lucrative sales spike ever for a single game release. “Expectations are extremely high and rightly so,” Activision UK MD Andrew Brown told MCV. “The calibre of the team at developer Infinity Ward and the sheer quality of the game fuels a very positive momentum throughout the marketplace for everything we do in relation to Modern Warfare 2.” The November 10th release date was revealed back in March, but momentum has this month started to seriously snowball

towards the climactic launch. A forthright marketing push has helped drive excitement throughout the year according to David Tyler, Activision UK’s marketing director. “If you look at how we implemented the reveal in the UK earlier this year, we were keen to be original and aggressive with our marketing. “Infinity Ward dated Modern Warfare 2 so early because they know they are producing something very special. It was part of the strategy to actively lay claim on a certain date that we can get retail and consumers focused on and excited about.”

Expectations are high and rightly so. Infinity Ward’s calibre fuels very positive momentum in the market. Andrew Brown, Activision

Post-launch the game is poised to become a genuine long-term success like predecessor Call of Duty 4

which has maintained both a high chart position and its original RRP since release two years ago.

Said Brown: “Call of Duty’s back catalogue has continued to be a huge success story for us all year and has regularly delivered top ten placements in ChartTrack’s All Formats Chart despite competition against much newer titles that have launched. “Modern Warfare 2 will justify all of the excitement and expectations.”

ACTIVISION’S CALL TO ARMS

RETAIL BRACED FOR SALES BOOM

TO SUPPORT the release of Modern Warfare 2, Activision has been running a highprofile marketing campaign, which kicked off back in May. The firm has worked closely with developer Infinity Ward to drive the PR and marketing activity since then. “Infinity Ward’s track record of developing high quality games is pretty much unsurpassed,” said marketing director David Tyler.

THE HIGH STREET is reporting overwhelming demand for Modern Warfare 2. HMV’s exclusive Prestige Edition, which comes with a pair of night vision goggles, sold out in weeks. “Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of, if not the, most eagerly awaited games of all time,” said HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis (pictured). “Customer expectations are very high and we are confident this will lead to record sales

“The mindset the studio brings to the table is to drive the highest possible quality of standards across the whole process, be it the development process, the creation of marketing and PR assets, the showcasing of the game to the press or retail, the marketing programmes, in-store executions… you name it, the standards and expectations are set very,

numbers at launch. This will comfortably be the biggest game in the series.” Head of buying for third party at GAME and Gamestation, Kathryn Hinton added: “With the excitement around MW2, there comes an expectation that it’ll be the best ever in the series – and from everything we’ve seen, it’ll deliver.”

COD4 STILL GOING STRONG THE UK TRADE is thrilled by the continued success of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – and the sequel’s potential. The first Modern Warfare remains in the Top Ten of ChartTrack’s All Formats Charts. The game this week hit No.8 – 22 months after its original release. “Even if the Modern Warfare 2 sells the same as Call of Duty 4 it would be great,” says CHIPS’ joint MD Don McCabe. “Call of Duty games are still selling very well and at full price when many other products have fallen into the bargain bin. “Quality is the reason behind this success and Activision has helped COD 4 stay top of the charts with timely promotions and marketing activity.”

PERSONNEL 39 RETAIL BIZ 41 NEW RELEASES 52 HIGH STREET 54 CHARTS 56

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[LEADER] GO FOR DIGITAL GOLD We promised a raft of content on digital distribution in the run up to our London Games Conference, and so far we haven’t disappointed. This week’s WiiWare feature with Laurent Fischer (starting on page 24) should prove especially illuminating, given how the formerly online-agnostic Nintendo has made such a particular move into selling digital content. Brace yourselves, storekeepers: Fischer asserts that the interplay between online and physical retail means that digital gets to ‘premiere’ the riskier or more out-there ideas first. Bricks and mortar is just too hostile an environment for quirky content. He’s not wrong. Whether you have heard of Bonsai Barber or Super Meat Boy or not, these indie games wouldn’t have the word-of-mouth-driven affection amongst online-savvy gamers if locked in a traditional publishing and distribution deal. And next week the digital issue get even hotter with the arrival of Sony’s PSPgo. While the PSP3000 and UMD releases are still on the menu, the console’s arrival is an important, if quiet (Sony’s marketing is deliberately ‘targeted’ at older gamers) moment for the industry. There is appreciable retail scepticism towards the latest PlayStation, however. Consoles used to be sold at almost profit-less price points with the understanding that punters would roll back again and again to buy software, which is where the margins are. With the exception of consumers shelling out on the occasional carry case or peripheral, PSPgo completely changes the conversation with consumers. But bitch and moan all you like: you can’t fight the internet. Retailers need to find their place in the evolving market, or face having reduced power in the years ahead.

MODERN ART All is not lost for retail, though – for some time it will remain the arena for big budget releases, like the on-coming Modern Warfare 2 juggernaut. We all know that Activision and developer Infinity Ward expect it to be game of the year, and in 2009 there has been something new to say about the release every week. But talk all you want about the price, Activison has bent over backwards to make sure there is plenty of incentive for people to buy it. This has been key since its existence was teased out through a strict PR campaign guided by the developer behind the game. Right through to things like night vision goggles and special hardware bundles, it has become clear there are plenty of ways this is a rewarding release whether you are a retailer, format-holder, peripherals firm, the specialist press, Activision itself or a consumer. In fact, the game’s almost in a genre of its own; so expect rival publishers to try to turn their own ‘average’ franchises into mega-hits for retail in 2010 and beyond. Maybe there’s some hope for the High Street yet. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

‘UK requires anti-piracy Domestic trade calls on Government to copy French PM Sarkozy’s by Tim Ingham THE UK’S ANTI-PIRACY laws are feeble and place the entertainment retail sector in grave danger of further closures and economic damage. That was the opinion of some of the games industry’s most notable figures this week, as the domestic trade called on the Government to emulate France’s new legal clampdown on illegal downloaders. The French bill, passed into draft law last week, will see illegal downloaders of games, music and movies sent two warnings, first by email and then by recorded delivery. Following these cautions, the offender’s details will be passed to a judge – who has the power to cut off internet access and issue heavy fines or even prison sentences. The UK Government is working with internet service providers on plans to bring in a similar ‘three strikes’ approach – but has so far avoided mention of court action. “Nintendo applauds France for approving this legislation,” Nintendo’s European antipiracy boss Neil Boyd told

The UK video games industry has called for tougher anti-piracy laws like those backed in France by President Nicholas Sarkozy

MCV. “We hope that other Member States will see this as an example of a country attempting to significantly reduce illegal file sharing and recognising the important collaborative role that ISPs can play in doing so. “Rights holders, ISPs and consumers have a common interest in recognising that internet piracy is a serious problem with consequence for those who break the law.” HMV CEO Simon Fox added: “The impact of piracy

and illegal file sharing on content owners is well known, but there has been less attention given to the impact on retailers and indeed on the High Streets of the UK. It is difficult to believe that piracy and illegal P2P downloading did not contribute to the demise of national entertainment retailers such as Zavvi, Woolworths and Music Zone. The impact has been particularly pronounced for many hundreds of local independent stores.”

Sony targets iPhone fans with PSPgo SONY WILL court iPhone users and gadget fans when the PSPgo hits retail next week. The device, which only plays digital downloads, launches on October 1st priced £224.99 and will be promoted as part of a £6m warchest being spent on the handheld’s 2009 marketing. “The PSPgo is positioned differently to the PSP-3000, which this year was more focused at seven to 14-year-olds – reflecting the software lineup,” explained SCEE product manager Claire Backhouse. “The market for PSPgo is more

young lifestylers and people really into their technology “We’re being quite targeted with our marketing activity and have gone for a big outdoor

campaign to target commuters, and there is a heavy online component with lots of rich media formats and takeovers. “We’re targeting those who are already familiar with downloading content, such as iPhone users." PSPgo will be part of the wider ‘Whole World Is In Your Hands’ slogan used on this year’s PSP campaign. Promotion for the device also runs alongside a number of big campaigns to promote individual software titles such as GT PSP, LittleBigPlanet and Invizimals.

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law like France’ strongarm approach to illegal downloading

Xbox plans to rule Call of Duty sales

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 HALO 3: ODST 360 MICROSOFT

A THIRD WAY? NOT EVERY member of the industry is certain France’s heavy-handed treatment is the best route forward. Namco Bandai UK marketing manager David Miller told MCV: “As a publisher, the reflex action is to support the [French] legislation, but do we all really still believe that it’s either realistic or in the best interests of an industry (and a world for that matter) going through a genuine revolution? “I think we are becoming aware of two uncomfortable truths. Firstly, the upsurge of the infrastructure of piracy, fuelled by Moore’s Law, the ubiquity of broadband, the proliferation of peer-to-peer and torrents, increasing storage and general access and ease of use. And

He added: “We therefore support the active steps being taken by the French Government to crackdown on piracy and illegal file sharing, and would encourage the UK Government to press forward with similar legislation.” The new chairman of the Entertainment Retailers

secondly that Generation Y is growing up in a culture that just feels differently about media consumption. Is it right to criminalise young people for that? “The developers, publishers and service providers that can embrace the new economic paradigms and the opportunities presented by the digital revolution will thrive. And by that I mean free, freemium, ad-funded, microtransaction and subscription. The bottom line is that in the long-term, we will all be required to view the marketplace as an ecosystem where only some of the players exchange cash some of the time – rather than the old fashioned idea of just a buyer and a seller.”

Association Paul Quirk claimed that internet piracy ‘is bleeding our industry dry’. “Too often the debate over illegal filesharing is portrayed as an ideological battle, but for us this is a commercial matter,” he said. “Illegal file sharing is damaging our businesses on a daily basis.”

2. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES A new 360 bundle will arrive with Modern Warfare 2

PS3 ..........................................SONY

3. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................EA

MICROSOFT says it can lead the way in Modern Warfare 2 sales and is backing the release with extra marketing support. The news follows the announcement of the Modern Warfare 2 superelite Xbox 360 last week (pictured), which comes with a 250GB hard drive, two controllers and a copy of the game. Microsoft is convinced gamers will get the most enjoyment out of Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox. “We want to offer people the best possible Modern Warfare 2 experience,” said Microsoft’s senior regional director for Entertainment Neil Thompson. “We firmly believe that with Live services, the

4. FIFA 10 360 ..............................................EA

5. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI quality of the gaming experience on 360, and all the new ways we can get consumers engaged with the IP that Xbox is the best platform to experience this great game. I never use the word ‘own’, but it is ours to make the most of, and that’s what we intend to do. We firmly believe that 360 will be the lead sales platform for Modern Warfare 2. “We are working very hard with Activision to look at everything from consumer trials to in-store experiences to make the most of what will be a great launch.” Microsoft: 0870 601 0100

6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

7. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3 ..............................................EA

8. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY

9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

10. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3 ..............................................EA Week ending September 18th Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 54 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market…  This week’s UK software sales rose two per cent to £18 million, while unit sales rose 0.5 per cent to 791,790.  Sales were driven by EA’s Need For Speed: Shift, which hit shelves last week. As Guitar Hero 5, Dirt 2 and Batman: Arkham Asylum continue to perform strongly.

£18m

15

10

 Need For Speed: Shift performed strongest on PS3 with 52 per cent of the sales, while 360 accounted for 44 per cent.  Next week sales are set to benefit from the release of blockbusters Halo 3: ODST and Professor Layton & Pandora’s Box.

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

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE] 20

£18.7m

£17.6m

£18.0m

917,468 Units

787,853 Units

791,780 Units

5

Need For Speed: Shift debuted at No.1 this week

0

Week Ending September 5th Week Ending September 11th Week Ending September 18th

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Key speakers confirmed for LGC Microsoft’s Neil Thompson and PlayStation Home boss Pete Edwards sign up for October’s must-attend event

LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE PROGRAMME Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London 4:30pm Registration 5:05pm – Opening Address Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister

THE PROGRAMME for the London Games Conference has been announced, with an impressive and eclectic line-up of speakers, panellists and topics. Themes already emerging include how established firms are adapting to the emergence of digital distribution, and how specialist companies and new business models are rising up to challenge them. The event, which takes place at BAFTA in Piccadilly on Tuesday, October 27th, starts at 5pm with an opening address from Ed Vaizey, the shadow minister for culture, who will outline the Conservative Party’s plans for the industry. The conference proper then gets underway with a ‘big picture’ presentation from Nick Parker, one of the industry’s most respected analysts, outlining the current landscape

and projected growth for digital distribution. Other highlights include a session chaired by former Sony Computer Entertainment boss Phil Harrison looking at the decline and possible demise of physical media. There is also a panel headed by Edge editor Tony Mott in which the three hardware kings, Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, will all discuss their online gaming services and plans to expand them. Xbox UK boss Neil Thompson and the director of PlayStation Home Pete Edwards will both attend this discussion. Tickets, priced at £229, are selling fast. To secure your delegate place, please contact Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co. uk or call 01992 535647. Discounts are available for ELSPA and Tiga members.

for Culture The man who may well be the games industry’s next voice in government talks directly to the London Games Conference for the event’s opening speech. 5:10pm – The Future of Digital Distribution Nick Parker, Parker Consulting Where are we headed next? One of the games market’s most respected analysts outlines the current digital distribution landscape and offers up exclusive pointers to the future of the sector. 5:35pm: – Daddy, What’s a Disc? A panel discussion on the death of physical media and the business models that will replace them.

Host: Phil Harrison, Former president of Sony Worldwide Studios Panellists: Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and cofounder, Playfish; Mark Gerhard, CEO, Jagex; Thomas Bidaux, CEO, ICO Partners 6:10pm Coffee 6:30pm – The New Food Chain Video games will still be made, sold and distributed. But not like they have been. This panel discussion will look at the new lines of demarcation between development, retail, publishing and distribution. Host: Andy Payne, ELSPA Panellists: Charles Cecil, CEO, Revolution Software; Nick Pili, Network Director, SEGA; Gian Luzio, Product Director, The Hut; Rich Keen, Marketing Director, Direct2Drive

games sector’s invaluable sales charts (and holder of vast amounts of market data) talks on how digital distribution is the future of the PC games market – and makes a forceful case for a industry download chart. 7:20pm – Outside the Box Key figures from the market’s three established format holders discuss their roles in the brave new digital future. Host: Tony Mott, Edge Panellists: Pete Edwards, Director, PlayStation Home, SCE; Neil Thompson, Senior Regional Director, UK & Ireland, Microsoft; TBA, Nintendo 8:00pm Dinner and Networking

7:00pm – Charting the Progress of PC Downloads Dorian Bloch, GfK-ChartTrack The man behind the UK

Shoot and Monty Python licences up for grabs LICENSING AGENCIES handling the Monty Python and Shoot brands are looking to extend these properties into the video game space, MCV can reveal. Monty Python celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the agency PPC Enterprises is looking to create digital minigames based on the IP. Meanwhile, the Consumer Products Licensing Group is

looking to turn Shoot – the football magazine and annual – into two separate video games. “Shoot is the No.1 football annual every year and the magazine has a 40-year history,” said UK MD of CPLG Vickie O’Malley. “And the people that own it are doing a brand new website and a downloadable magazine, as well as a cool online service called ShootTube.

“We’re looking to licence this out in a two-tiered program, targeting adults with a retro angle and then children with more contemporary players. And so there’s potentially two video game deals that can be done here, with both the classic rights for older boys and men, and one for the younger gamer. And we are looking for new partners in that endeavour.”

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Interactive and LEGO have announced they will jointly-sponsor Brand Licensing Europe’s Interactive Game Zone to promote both LEGO Rock Band and Scribblenauts.  To read our full feature on the video game licensing sector and details of next week’s Brand Licensing Europe, turn to page 32.

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HOTLIST

Codemasters celebrates Dirt 2 being bigger than The Beatles Racer bests Rock Band for a second week, as firm looks to complete ‘best ever year’ by Tim Ingham CODEMASTERS BELIEVES it can pull off its best ever Q4 – after another impressive showing from racer Dirt 2 in this week’s All Formats chart. Following its No.1 success with Ashes 2009 earlier this year, Dirt 2 hit No.2 in the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack chart last week, ahead of The Beatles: Rock Band.

dedicating its biggest ever marketing campaign to the latter title. Codemasters MD Jeremy Wigmore told MCV: “We knew these products were going to be quality. Yes, Ashes 2009 came at the right time, but consumers aren’t stupid – they won’t buy something that’s a pile of poo. “It is nice being ahead of The Beatles with Dirt 2,

We knew these products were going to be quality. We’ve always had a gameplan. This is just the beginning. Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters

The racer stayed in the top five this week, taking the No.3 spot – again beating EA’s music title, as well as Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum and Bethesda’s Wet. The firm still has to release its official Formula One game on Wii and PSP and realistic shooter Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising on PS3, PC and 360 before Christmas –

X360, PS3, PSP, Wii, NDS, PC LucasArts follows up with a sequel to last year’s Clone Wars videogame. Structured in parallel to the show, the new action platformer will let the millions of Clone Wars fans fight alongside their family and friends and live out firsthand the heroic Clone Wars adventures.

especially when you consider the obvious media hype and marketing spend that has gone into this title due to the anniversary of them forming. “On Dirt 2, Operation Flashpoint and Formula One the quality shines through . Codemasters has been in the wilderness, but there has been a gameplan. These products are just the beginning of that.”

Out October 9th

Out October 23rd UK MD Jeremy Wigmore hints at future glory for Codemasters

Operation Flashpoint 2 is released on October 9th, followed by the arrival of Formula One in November. Codemasters: 01926 816 000

 Correction: MCV would like to clarify that the quote that was attributed to Jeremy Wigmore in the headline to this story in today's print edition of MCV was not a specific comment made by Mr Wigmore.

NDS, Wii, PS3, PS2, X360 Answer the call to Brawl and enter an alternative universe where good and evil fight for domination! Only you can decide the fate of the galaxy! With over 35 Bakugans, 8 exciting environments and over 250 unlockables are you ready to brawl?

Maclean: Industry is cold on new IP DEVELOPMENT LEGEND Archer Maclean has told MCV publishers have become reluctant to invest in new and innovative ideas. Maclean’s new futuristic racing title for Wii, Wheelspin, will be released through Bethesda in November. Discussing his future projects, he told MCV: “I’ve got one or two ideas I’m playing around with, but they’re not going to fit into any one genre. The problem with this is it’s very hard to get publishers to buy into new ideas.”

Maclean said that his earlier works such as Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker were ‘new ideas’ at the time and yet went on to define entire genres. He also said that so many genres have been created since the 1980s, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to devise IP that seems fresh. It also becomes harder for developers to avoid being ‘pigeonholed’. “Over the years, I’ve done shoot-‘em-ups, sporting simulations, puzzle games, fighters, racing games – so what’s left?”

ICON: Archer Maclean

Maclean also observed that the larger publishers carry too much weight in the games industry, preventing anyone

new and innovative from establishing themselves. “The market has become dominated by these massive brands at the moment and the trouble is it has become all about marketing and huge investments,” he said. “I honestly believe games that cost a lot of money still have to go a fair way to justify that investment. “Even when companies pour £15 to £20 million into their projects, there’s massive risk but not necessarily a massive reward.”

Out October 30th Wii, NDS As the newest member of Science Papa's renowned research team, explore chemistry, physics, paleontology and biology as you play over 40 experiments. Compete against rival scientists in heated competitions to win records, unlock new lab equipment, and become the world's most renown scientist!

Activision.com

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The Hut prepares £3m Q4 ad blitz Online retailer set to unleash its first ever promotional campaign – as it wins coveted Sunday Times accolade by Tim Ingham THE HUT Group is to promote its own website for the first time in its history with a £3 million campaign this Q4 – after being ranked No.1 in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 list last week.

Now The Hut is set to launch its first major abovethe-line promotional campaign in Q4, supporting TheHut.com, Zavvi.co.uk and its white label partners with a £3 million push. Commercial director Richard Chapple told MCV:

We have set an ambitious target of increasing last year’s turnover up to £90 million by the end of 2009. Richard Chapple, The Hut

Appearing for the third consecutive year, The Hut Group has seen sales grow 189 per cent a year from £997,000 in 2005 to £24m in 2008. The Sunday Times’ list ranks the fastest-expanding private technology companies in Britain by sales growth over a three-year period.

“This is the first time that the business has invested in abovethe-line promotional activities to this extent, with further growth levels to be delivered through CRM, affiliate and partner programmes. “We aim to be Europe’s biggest multi-channel retail and entertainment player so it’s

Exspect backs its charity range

PERIPHERALS SPECIALIST Exspect is optimistic that its charitable range of accessories can enjoy big sales in the runup to Christmas. The selection features iPod, laptop and gaming accessories, branded with designs from celebrity artists including Giorgio Armani, Paul Smith, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Ozzy Ozborne, Foo Fighters and Slash.

The range is part of a licensing partnership with the 21st Century Leaders Foundation and its Whatever It Takes campaign. Sales of the accessories will raise funds for poverty alleviation and environmental conservation projects within Mozambique.  For more on licensing, turn on over to page 32 for our Brand Licensing Europe special. Exspect: 020 7183 9666

Richard Chapple is looking to expand The Hut globally

great that we can use the financial investment on promotional activities to accomplish this.” Chapple added that the firm was keen to expand globally as well: “The Hut Group takes a proactive approach when it

comes to business so we have set an ambitious target of increasing last year’s turnover up to £90 million by the end of the year. “This is an incredibly exciting time for The Hut as we are close to securing a

multi-million pound investment which makes reaching our target achievable through a variety of new services, along with expanding the white label offering on a global level.” www.TheHutGroup.com

‘Trade must embrace outsourcing’ PUBLISHERS AND developers need to be more open to flexible workforces and better management according to a new production studio. Outsourcing and support firm Supermassive Games Europe said that contract work will become more prevalent as the industry tries to make the best of rising budgets. The firm, spun out of new Guildford-based developer Supermassive Games, was founded to give developers access to contract staff, plus offer consultancy and due diligence work for publishers and venture capitalists. “Production pitfalls have the tendency to de-rail even the most successful of projects, and it’s the increase in management bandwidth required to manage these things successfully that’s often overlooked,” the firm’s Alex Johnston told MCV.

Johnston feels rising budgets will make publishers outsource more

He said that it was more likely that publishers will turn to outsourcing firms to help support the production of its games as they embrace a more diverse way of dealing with bigger projects. “Any service that can bring a project in earlier is valuable to publishers and developers. For the projects we’ve worked

on we’ve been able to make a significant impact on the schedule – whether that be as a result of implementing better measures in planning, executing bespoke data analysis tools or simply providing extra resource so that the core team can focus on the creative aspects of the project.” www.supermassivegames.com

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Microsoft plots to take PC gaming to the ‘next level’ with Windows 7 Touch screen technology and better compatibility will drive game sales, says PC giant by Christopher Dring WINDOWS 7 will be the PC gaming platform of choice, Microsoft has told MCV. The firm is confident that a host of new technological upgrades – which includes DirectX 11 and multi-touch screens – will finally give consumers a reason to upgrade to a new operating system. “We believe Windows 7 is going to be the dominant PC gaming platform,” said director of consumer product management Parri Munsell. “If there is any hesitancy – perhaps we have people still on XP because they had issues with Vista – those days are over. Consumers will see a broad level of compatibility on Windows 7 from a gaming level right down to anything else that might do on their PC.

“We are convinced Windows 7 can take that to the next level. Especially when you look at things like multitouch and DirectX 11. “Microsoft will have a full campaign in place to advocate the benefits of Windows in the games space. We are here to stay and here to play.” As a part of Microsoft’s drive to improve Window 7’s performance, the company has ensured the biggest games from all around the world are compatible with the system. Meanwhile, the PC giant has already seen developers experiment with the first wave of multi-touch screens. “Windows 7 has touch built into its DNA,” adds Munsell. “Everything is touch enabled, whether you want to browse your desktop or surf the web. But now games developers are

Venom: 01763 272 927

[IN BRIEF] MICROSOFT: After 19 years at the company, Shane Kim has announced he will be retiring by the end of the year. Phil Spencer will replace him as corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. TAKE-TWO: The highly anticipated BioShock 2 will see a worldwide release on February 9th, 2010. It was originally due to arrive at retail this year. EA: The third instalment in Electronic Arts’ Skate series has been announced, due for release in May next year.

Microsoft’s Parri Munsell has big plans for games on Windows 7

taking advantage of this touch mechanic because it is built into Windows 7. “We are seeing more display manufacturers using multitouch. And as that ecosystem grows and more of those PCs

make their way into the home, we are finding developers, especially in the casual space, trying unique things.” Windows 7 launches on Tuesday October 22nd.

FOLLOWING ITS success with the Dora and Diego property, A4T has extended its Nickelodeon licence to include new teenage girls brand iCarly. The range is set to debut at retail towards the end of October and will include an official DS Lite/DSi Console & Accessory Jewellery Case, a Console & Accessory Vanity Case, a DS Lite/DSi Fashion Bundle and a DS Lite/DSi Fashion Play-Through Purse. With a series of new episodes due to air on Nickelodeon starting in October and the launch of the

SQUARE ENIX: Star Ocean: The Last Hope International, a PS3 version of the former Xbox 360-exclusive RPG, will be released on February 12th, 2010 in the UK. SONY: A Blu-ray edition of the previously downloadonly WipEout HD will hit shelves on October 16th.

Microsoft: 0870 601 0100

John Lewis teams More Nick for A4T games with fashion UK CHAIN John Lewis is looking to snare mainstream gamers with new DS accessories from leading fashion design firm Cath Kidston. Venom has created the products for the retailer, and the Cath Kidston DS Console Case has been selected by John Lewis as one of its ‘100 Top Gifts for Christmas’. “This is a cool product and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be a best seller,” said Venom’s Tom Hodge.

Sponsored by

new video game from Activision planned for November, consumer awareness of the iCarly brand is set to jump in the lead up to Christmas. A4T’s licence manager Angela Jones told MCV: “Over the last year we have recognised there was a potential gap appearing in the market for a brand like iCarly, to become ‘brand of choice’ for teen girls and we are confident that we have developed a niche product line up that will be in line with our thinking.” A4T: 01204 369 220

Nintendo: DSi will be available in three new colours: blue, light blue and red from October 23rd. Facebook will be preinstalled on the console.

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:

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NEWS

THQ signs deal with Animal Planet Three-month TV sponsorship deal in place to support World Of Zoo  Outdoor sampling tour also planned

THQ HAS prepared a huge long-term marketing push to support the launch of its newest IP, World of Zoo – including a sponsorship deal of popular documentary TV channel Animal Planet. The Wii, PC and DS game is due on November 6th, and allows players to create and manage their own zoo. It features educational facts from National Geographic. “World of Zoo is from the studio behind the seven-millionselling Zoo Tycoon series so we

know we have a great developer that really understands the market,” said head of marketing for UK and Europe Jon Rooke. The marketing campaign kicked off ten weeks before launch on September 1st with the release of the Animal Creator. This downloadable sample of the PC game allows consumers to create and share animals that can be used in the full version of World Of Zoo. That is accompanied by a three-month sponsorship of TV channel Animal Planet, which will run seven days a week from 6am to 6pm. Ads have

ROOKE: Zoo campaign will reach a wide audience

also been secured through online media and print media partnerships with the likes of National Geographic Kids. A big sampling campaign is also planned across UK zoos.

! e c n ´ ^c L ç i t e Po ie officialliaylly n n o R le p r u P f o A full rangoeducts with rhymes espiaecst licenced prd for the gaming enthus create

Print and online advertising will continue throughout October and November, complementing a kids’ TV campaign that will kick off during October half-term.

“With a robust four-month campaign, we are extremely confident the game will be top of all animals lovers’ lists this Christmas,” added Rooke. THQ: 01483 724500

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by James Batchelor

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LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2008-2009 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. and TM as indicated. All rights reserved. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’, ‘PSP’ and ‘ ’ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and ‘Games for Windows’ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

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MCV INTERVIEW JOHN CLARK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, SEGA UK

Sega’s UK superstars Sega showcased its upcoming games release slate at its annual Fast Forward event earlier this month. Christopher Dring speaks to UK MD John Clark and marketing director Amanda Farr on the growth of the software market, new IP and a congested first quarter… You’ve both had role changes and that shows that the big games can recently, how have you been still do the big numbers. Games like settling in? Batman: Arkham Asylum, UFC and John Clark: We’re both brand new in Prototype have done significant volume. our roles, although I’ve been at Sega for So the opportunities have been there three years and Amanda’s been involved but the games haven’t been out. We’re in the industry for some time. positive that the strength of Christmas We’ve been looking at the dynamics will show a year-on-year increase in the of the UK office and are putting more software market. focus on where we want Sega to be as a As for hardware, the price drops are collective in the longer term rather than welcome and we look forward to the just releasing game after game. new opportunities that should arise In 2003 Sega relaunched as a thirdthroughout the peak season. party multiformat publisher, and we finished that year as the 35th biggest Last year we talked about the publisher. Every single year, we’ve quantity of new IP you had coming invested more in product and more in out, and you’ve still got more to people, and we’re now in the top six. come. But there appears to be a We’ve released many games, and now little less next year. Are you being we’re looking at how we release those more cautious with new properties? games, how we do it more effectively, JC: We are being more measured in all how we streamline, how we of the markets we are working in. If you concentrate on the good games, the games that sell, There are only three games as well as concentrating on that can be Christmas the new innovative titles that will always be our life blood. number one: Call of Duty,

This year has had its ups and downs for the industry as a whole. What is Sega’s perspective? JC: Sega’s last financial year was our most successful yet. Throughout the summer our release schedule has been more streamlined than last year but we’ve had some good hits, especially in Virtua Tennis. The software market is tracking approximately 16 per cent down, but the collective release schedule has not had the weight of the previous year. Wii Sports Resort has performed really well

FIFA 10 or Mario and Sonic. John Clark, Sega look at Sonic, this year we’re releasing one Sonic title – Sega & Sonic AllStars Racing. Last year we released multiple Sonic titles. We’re not exercising caution, we’re just focusing deeper on more titles rather than on a broader range. Considering the incredible sales of Mario & Sonic, is the pressure on for you to repeat that success? JC: When you have a successful title or brand it generates its own pressure.

Whether it is Football Manager or Mario & Sonic; there is an audience that we will strive to reach. We know more about Mario & Sonic now. We know more about the customer of Mario & Sonic and their buying habits. This time we’re releasing Mario & Sonic on DS and Wii simultaneously, which we didn’t last time. So rather than pressure there is a selfgenerated realisation that we can deliver more. No one is saying ‘You sold 2.5 million on the last one, so do it again.’ We’re looking at the game and saying: ‘We can actually do this.’ We’re challenging ourselves to make the product bigger and drive it into consumer hands. The DS game this time around is better. The market is better.

Amanda Farr: This is a product the consumers want. And the game is better than ever. The marketing budget is bigger than before. We’re absolutely convinced this game can deliver. There’s no question about that.

Do you think it can be Christmas number one? AF: This has every chance of being Christmas number one but it’s not just about that Christmas week, it’s about how the game sells throughout the whole period and beyond, and we are very confident that it can do that. JC: There are three games that can be Christmas number one: Call of Duty, FIFA or Mario & Sonic. It’s as simple as that. The price cuts on PS3 and 360 could make that a slightly larger challenge, and Modern Warfare 2 will be huge. Will it be bigger than the last Modern Warfare? I think it probably will be. But we think we can do it because the last Mario & Sonic achieved a 30 per cent attach rate on Wii and on DS it got a seven per cent attach rate. And if we achieve even half of that, we’ll be in with a chance. Wii hardware sales are down, is this a worry for you? JC: The Wii has been the must-have Christmas toy for two years now, and was previously hard to come by. The

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MCV INTERVIEW AMANDA FARR, MARKETING DIRECTOR, SEGA UK for movie IP: Is the movie a brilliant movie? Is the game a brilliant game? And do they fit together well? And can they been brought to market together well? Planet 51 is very different to other movie projects. Ilion and Pyro Studios are practically in the same room. So these guys are one, they are together. You will never get better synergy, communication and cooperation. You’ve got a core team who understands games and movies and are responsible for both. You couldn’t ask for more.

Sega’s John Clark (left) and Amanda Farr (right) have big plans for the firm’s Q4 and Q1 software line-up

So are you happy with your upcoming release slate? JC: Our current line-up has to be our best ever. It is the best thought out with the best depth and the best content. AF: These games will also benefit from our strongest marketing support ever. The company is well structured to take advantage of these products. Added to the fact that advertising costs have gone down, we are implementing some great campaigns over the next six months.

console is now in full supply and its further into the lifecycle, but it’s still going to be really strong this Christmas.

AVP, is a core game, it’s an FPS, its high quality and based on a great license. So that stands alone. Napoleon is really clear. Total War is one of the biggest PC franchises of all time. And because of this consumers will purchase it. It’s another must-have.

AF: You’re talking about an incredible installed base that is continuing to grow. From a software perspective we are targeting more people than we did last Christmas. The All of our upcoming major titles are still selling in products will benefit from big numbers, and Mario & our strongest marketing Sonic falls into this category.

support ever.

You’ve got a strong Q1 line-up, with Bayonetta, Napoleon and Aliens vs. Predator. But there are lots of Q1 titles coming from other publishers too, is the first quarter a worry for you? JC: It seems to be the most congested Q1 there has ever been. However, by releasing titles that are must-have games in the chosen genre, we offer a great consumer proposition. Bayonetta will probably be the first new release in 2010, and our campaign will run throughout December. We are also expecting high scores, so it is a game that will be a must-have.

Amanda Farr, Sega Previously you talked about increasing 360 and PS3 market share – is that still the case? JC: Definitely, and Aliens vs. Predator represents our best chance because of the heritage of the FPS genre and the licence. But also Alpha Protocol and Bayonetta are part of our attempt to crack that market. We will keep trying. You’ve got Iron Man 2 and Planet 51 in the works. What have been the challenges in creating movie IP? JC: There are some key considerations

Sega booked a lot of TV advertising last year, but it appears you’ve taken that even further this time… AF: We evaluate every medium but it’s well known that the cost of TV advertising has decreased this year and there are fewer advertisers – we have benefited from that reduced cost. There is nothing else that can reach the sort of coverage that The X Factor and programmes like that can achieve. On the other hand, the number of commercial stations has increased and more households have multi-channel sets than before. This allows us to be really targeted with our TV activity. This year you will see us advertising across all of the media mix from the cinema campaign that we launched back in July for Mario & Sonic to the successful outdoor campaign that we ran for Virtua Tennis as well as specialist and mainstream print campaigns. It is also about how the different media work together. When people are watching TV, many are online at the same time. We strive to deliver integrated campaigns whether online, TV or in print. There is a focus on brand and product awareness, which is a call to action to drive our products forward.

COMING SOON… Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games DS, Wii October 16th The original Mario & Sonic sold 2.5 million units in the UK and the new one promises to be even better, with Balance Board support on Wii and a full adventure mode on DS. Sega is planning its biggest ever marketing campaign in support. Football Manager 2010 Mac, PC October 30th The king of the football management sim is back with a brand new interface and a host of other refinements and features. Expect this one to join The Sims 3 and Empire: Total War amongst the biggest PC games of the year. Alpha Protocol October 360, PS3 and PC Obsidian’s RPG spy thriller boasts an impressive storyline that changes depending on the actions you take. The game has racked up plenty of exposure in the specialist press, with a print, online and SMS text messaging campaign planned as well. Planet 51 November 6th Wii, DS, 360 and PS3 The animated movie – starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson – and its game tie-in are being made in the same building, which promises greater consistency between the two products. A large TV and cinema campaign is set to promote Planet 51’s release. Jambo Safari November Wii and DS Sega’s classic arcade title returns, with an African adventure for Wii and DS. Marketing for the game includes themed menus at Pizza Hut, print ads in kids’ media and activity on childrens’ TV channels. 2010 Sega’s impressive 2010 release slate kicks off in January with Bayonetta on PS3 and Xbox 360 and Vancouver 2010 on PS3, 360 and PC. In February the publisher is set to release Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing on PS3, 360, Wii and PC, Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll on Wii and Aliens vs. Predator on 360, PS3 and PC. Meanwhile in March the firm will launch PC title Napoleon: Total War. All that before the arrival of movie tie-in Iron Man 2 in the Spring.

23 OCTOBER 2009

www.borderlandsthegame.com

‘Stunning’ Videogamer.com

© 2009 Gearbox Software, LLC. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by 2K Games under license from Gearbox Software, LLC. Borderlands is a trademark of Gearbox Software and used under license. 2K Games and the 2K Games logo are trademarks of 2K Games in the U.S. and/or other countries. Gearbox Software and the Gearbox logo are registered trademarks of Gearbox Software, LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “PlayStation” and the “PS” Family logo are registered trademarks and “PS3” is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The PlayStation Network Logo is a service mark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other marks and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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IN MY OPINION…

Casting call Funnyman, author and former games journalist Danny Wallace is set to appear as a character in Ubisoft’s next Assassin’s Creed title. Here, writing exclusively for MCV, he explains how he got involved…

I STARTED MY career in the early ‘90s with work experience at Sega Power magazine. I went there basically saying, “I’ll do anything you like. I’ll alphabetise things that don’t need alphabetising, I’ll make tea for people who’ve already got tea.” And they said, “Alright, in you get.” Then one day a reviewer got ill, and I was asked if I’d like to try reviewing a game. I played the thing to death for about 48 hours, wrote the review, and was called into the editor’s office. I thought I was going to get the sack – but then they said “Do you want to do some more?” So I started writing for Total and Super Play and GamesMaster and all these other games mags.

Comedian Danny Wallace was photographed from every angle to digitally transport him into Assassin’s Creed II. It’s a stunt Ubisoft is using to promote the title

I was a massive gaming geek. Games have always been a big part of my life; I left them for a while, but now I’ve returned to playing them. When I was approached about being in a game many years later, I was certainly very interested. I’d done voice-overs before, but never as a character, and certainly never in a video game. I usually just get to say slogans like “Give your pizza a kick!’, but I slowly realised that I couldn’t really get away with that for the entire

game – see ‘Talent Hunt’] sent the script over. “This role could’ve been written for you, you’re perfect!” said Manab. I opened it up and it described the character as ‘a sad, nerdy, angry, lonely man’. Thanks, Manab. Without giving too much away, as my character is an expert on Renaissance Italy my lines included a lot of Italian names. I think I got away with the pronunciations though. I’ve met Italians before, and I like pizza and Pepperami (the finest Italian food). So I was well prepared.

I started my career working at Sega Power. Video games have always been a big part of my life. Danny Wallace

duration of a game. I’ve modeled the character of Shaun Hastings on the broadcaster Danny Wallace – he has a very similar voice. I was a little bit dubious when Ubisoft’s Manab Roy [responsible for getting Wallace in the

Also, the voice director had recordings of a particularly gruff-sounding Italian man pronouncing all the tricky words, so I was able to use that for reference. I was given quite a lot of freedom to improvise, which I hope helps to bring the character of Shaun to life. He has a slightly shorter temper now than he did in the original script, and is perhaps slightly more sarcastic. So if gamers like being belittled by a slightly nerdy man in glasses, Assassin’s Creed II is the game for them.

“We’re really happy that the decision has proven the right one. Danny has been brilliant to work with – his great wit, improvisation skills and understanding of games blew away the script writer and producer, and his enthusiasm to help out whenever and wherever he can has been amazing. At one point we had to record some last-minute pick-ups, and despite being in LA for a few days and then straight off to cover the Edinburgh Festival, he was willing to come directly from the station to the studio on his way home one evening. As a celebrity, he’s popular with media, very well respected for his books, radio

and TV work, and is a well-connected chap in terms of other celebs as well. “As for the marketing side of things, we’ve already had mainstream coverage dedicated to the announcement. Two low-key studio interview videos released on YouTube have received over 40,000 hits within a couple of weeks – and these are not even Danny Wallace fans.” Plus, with its interest piqued using non-games talent to boost both game content and the marketing, Ubisoft says that this is just the start of new ways to use celebrity-level exposure for its titles. Adds Roy: ”We will always keep an open mind to who we can involve in our games, and always try and involve talent that best reflects our games and brand values. And hopefully come release Danny will have proven a hit.”

TALENT HUNT USING CELEBRITIES like Danny Wallace in Assassin’s Creed II is a clever marketing stunt on Ubisoft’s part, putting a novel spin on using endorsements to score credibility. But it wouldn’t have happened if not for a chance meeting between former Ubisoft PR man Manab Roy (pictured) and the writer at the video games BAFTAs. A collaboration between the publisher’s UK team and its Montreal studio ensured Wallace was on board for a role in the sequel. Getting him in the game involved an audition and then two days of recording sessions in London with the Montreal voice director, plus a direct-patch to the studio so the the script writer and other people on the production team could help direct the performance. Wallace

also had to spend a day at a technicalphotoshoot in Islington to create the digital version of him. Getting Danny Wallace to take part served a dual function, explains Ubisoft’s Roy: “This was as much a marketing decision as it was a casting one. There had to be a solid marketing and PR justification for his involvement, but equally he had to be a good fit for the role. And, ideally for us in PR, he had to be the kind of celebrity who would enjoy the involvement and process, rather than see it as another source of income or a chore.

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TSO (The Stationery Office) is proud to be DSA’s official publishing partner. Prices, covers and publication dates are correct at time of going to press but may be subject to change without notice. The Stationery Office Limited is registered in England No. 3049649 at Clifton House, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2EJ *Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack Reference Chart August 2009. Listings based upon previous edition sales.

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

Rude Health The self-improvement market continues to go from strength-to-strength. James Batchelor speaks to publishers and developers on the growth of the sector and how brain training and fitness products may hold the key to a successful Christmas period…

TO SAY THE run-up to Christmas is fairly important to the games industry would be an understatement of criminal proportions. Every triple-A release from any genre will be battling it out for sales as wallets loosen and gift shopping begins. But while the specialist media and the hardcore gamers will be watching the likes of Call Of Duty and FIFA, the industry has also placed its faith in what once were unorthodox releases. As little as two years ago, the idea that a fitness game could be in with a chance at seizing the coveted Christmas number one spot would have been unthinkable, but today self-improvement

time of year enables retailers to offer their customers great gift ideas. This is demonstrated in the increase in volume of sales and revenue that we see during the busy Christmas period.” However, some companies disagree with the notion that Christmas is an ideal time for new product. While many of the major potential hits of 2009, such as BioShock 2 and Splinter Cell Conviction, have been pushed back to the first quarter of next year, so too have some smaller titles. Publishers like Slitherine are determined not to be drowned out in the busy holiday trading period. “We find there is no advantage in releasing products in the last part of the

Christmas is a great time to release self-improvement titles, which will be seen as a good gift for families. Ombelline Wallon, Ubisoft

and non-games titles are strong contenders in the closing quarter of the year, thanks in no small part to the success of Wii Fit and Brain Training. “Christmas is a good time to release self-improvement titles, both brain-based and fitness,” says Ubisoft brand manager Ombelline Wallon. “Brain-based titles will be seen as a good gift for Christmas, and as for fitness titles, people become more health-conscious as they try to look their best for their parties, dinners and family reunions. The advantage is this state of mind lasts until January when most of us try to detox after excesses of the Christmas period.” Avanquest sales director Steve Powell agrees: “Releasing these products at this

year for us,” says the firm’s marketing director Marco Minoli. “Retail is, of course, looking for the big blockbusters to fill the shelves and there are so many potentially big blockbusters that it is almost impossible to find the right trade support. “This is absolutely fine and within the rules of the game, and we realise our space is outside that crowded triple-A mass-market area. Choosing the right release date for your titles is one of the hardest jobs nowadays.” FOCUS ON FITNESS

Fitness games in particular stand to do well this Christmas. With Wii Fit Plus and EA Sports Active considered major releases for the quarter, even similar

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

titles from smaller companies have the potential to capture a wide audience. After all, as the season of plenty arrives, it brings with it an inherent self-conscious guilt at consumers’ inevitable excesses. “Although we promote the philosophy of keeping active for life all year long, it is still advantageous to capitalise on the fitness craze associated with New Year’s resolutions,” says EA Sports European marketing manager David Pekush. “It is our hope that consumers will decide to use EA Sports Active: More Workouts throughout the holiday season so they are ahead of the game and ready for the New Year.” Simon Prytherch, CEO of NewU developer Lightning Fish adds: “We are able to take advantage of both the Christmas gift buying period and also the peak in the health and fitness market that occurs during January and February.

“This gives us two boosts to sales at retail and will help NewU to continue to sell for the next six months and hopefully beyond. “A release prior to Christmas enables us to make the most of this by sustaining continuous marketing and PR campaigns that build up pre-Christmas and reach a high for New Year – hence covering peak buying times for video games and for fitness products.” As such, this is an area of the market publishers are focusing significant resources and effort on, seeking to capitalise on this fresh stream of revenue as the year comes to an end. Industry powerhouses such as Ubisoft and EA are as dedicated to their sweat-inducing titles as they are their more traditional releases, especially given the success of their previous products in this area. “The focus for us this year is on fitness,” says Wallon. “Both NewU and Your Shape are very important in our pre-Christmas line-up. This segment of

KEY SUCCESSES The likes of Brain Training and Wii Fit have rewritten the rulebook for games retail with their world-conquering sales, but Nintendo’s titles aren’t the only ones to have caused a stir in this growing market.  Wii Fit has surpassed global sales of 20 million global units.  The Brain Training series has sold more than 30 million units worldwide.  Ubisoft’s My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape has sold over 230,000 units since its release in January.

 EA Sports Active for Nintendo Wii, which hit shelves in May, shifted 600,000 units worldwide in its first two weeks on sale.  The Stationary Office’s Official DSA range has been consistently in the Top 10 of the ELSPA/ChartTrack PC Reference Chart.  Driving Test Success All Tests, which is published by Focus, has sold almost three million units since launch, and has outsold the likes of World Of Warcraft and The Sims 2 almost every week this year.

Officially Licenced

PSP™ GO is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment.

www.venomuk.com For more information contact your Venom account manager on 01763 284181 joe.hurry@venomuk.com, dan.miles@venomuk.com or david.davies@venomuk.com

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Games are about to get Horrid

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES

the market has become more crowded now. There is a lot more competition coming for Christmas from other publishers which is why we will be fully supporting these two titles to ensure that they stand out and achieve good results.” Pekush adds: “EA Sports Active has delivered on the promise of a better you and has received critical acclaim as the most effective interactive fitness product on the market. It has proven effect as a real fitness program rivalling programs within the segment and beyond, and More Workouts will continue this.” FOCUS ON DRIVING

Offering a more cerebral, but by no means less important, form of selfimprovement, driving theory titles continue to be a crucial source of sales

3NSYJSIT)8921NYJ

Based on the books by Francesca Simon, illustrated by Tony Ross and published by Orion Children’s Books and the television series produced by Novel Entertainment Ltd. ™ & © Novel Entertainment Limited 2009. Developed and Published by Asylum Entertainment Limited © 2009 Asylum Entertainment Limited All Rights Reserved. Horrid Henry © 2009 Novel Entertainment Limited under exclusive licence to Asylum Entertainment Limited. All Rights Reserved. Copyright © 2009 SouthPeak Interactive Corporation. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

latest driving theory software will be a big Christmas hit – and well they might, given the past success of previous editions. “Our updated Driving Test Success All Tests products will instantly become the best-selling product in the Focus range, knocking the previous version off its perch,” says Focus Multimedia’s PR and marketing manager Grant Hughes. “Driving Test Success is a gifting favourite amongst parents and grandparents. Retailers will always experience a boost in Driving Test Success sales in the run-up to Christmas. “Driving Test Success has outsold every other value-priced PC title, including big game franchises like World Of Warcraft and The Sims 2, every month since the start of the year. In

Having self-improvement products in our line-up is very important as we aim to have as broad a range as possible. Simon Powell, Avanquest

for numerous companies. As the true definition of an evergreen market, Christmas seems to be no different to any other time of year for aspiring drivers, but its abundance of gifting shoppers and proximity to September – a time when the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) updates its guidelines – makes it an ideal time to invest in stocking such learning aids. “Christmas is a key time when parents and family members are looking for gift ideas relevant to teenagers,” says The Stationary Office marketing exec Laura Searle. “The main focus of any 17year-old will tend to be passing their driving test, so this is an ideal opportunity for our official DSA publications. “The period is also a time for making those all important New Year’s resolutions – learning to drive being an obvious aspiration for many.” Focus Multimedia, also known for its wealth of bestselling casual titles, is particularly confident its

these uncertain times retailers appreciate the consistency that Driving Test Success All Tests 09/10 gives them throughout the year.” NEW YEAR, SAME VALUE

Looking beyond Christmas, publishers still tout the importance of these less traditional products, particularly the small players determined to hold their own in a competitive industry. The genre is still young and is considerably less restricted to a finite number of genres as the majority of video games are. As both developers and publishers continue to experiment with what compels consumers to purchase, new inspiration and source material is being discovered all the time. “Having self-improvement products as part of our line-up is very important as we aim to have as broad a range as possible that covers all categories,” says Avanquest’s Powell. “For example, genealogy is a more popular hobby than ever at the moment, so Family Tree Maker supports this

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SELF-IMPROVEMENT GAMES KEY RELEASES There are plenty of self-improvement and non-games software heading to shelves between now and the end of the year. These are just a few of those potential hits: All-in-One Driving Test 2009/2010 Edition Publisher: Avanquest Formats: PC/DS Released: October Brain College series Publisher: City Interactive Formats: DS Released: Various Driving Test Success All Tests 09/10 Publisher: Focus Multimedia Formats: PC Released: September 28th Driving Test Success All Tests 09/10 Deluxe Publisher: Focus Multimedia Formats: PC Released: September 28th EA Sports Active: More Workouts Publisher: EA Formats: Wii Released: Q4 TBC Easy Piano Publisher: Namco Bandai Formats: DS Released: November 20 Family Tree Maker 2010 Publisher: Avanquest Formats: PC Released: October 1st Music Publisher: Oxygen Formats: DS Released: October NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer Publisher: Ubisoft Formats: Wii Released: Out Now Puzzler World Publisher: Ubisoft Formats: DS Released: October Spellbound 2/Party Publisher: 505 Games Formats: Wii/DS Released: October Take A Break’s Puzzle Master Publisher: Ubisoft Formats: DS Released: November Wii Fit Plus Publisher: Nintendo Formats: Wii Released: Q4 TBC Your Shape Publisher: Ubisoft Formats: Wii Released: December

consumer interest. It also ties in with the current BBC TV programme, Who Do You Think You Are?” Even if a company finds an area that serves them well, there is no room in this industry for complacency. Publishers must constantly delve deeper into the self-improvement gold mine rather than settling for the shiny nuggets that offer themselves so freely near the top. Trying new things can yield even greater successes, and it’s a principle some companies have already taken to with gusto. “This genre has always been our space so we kind of know what to expect and we know where to go,” says Minoli. “That said, this year has been new for us in the sense that we’ve covered new areas with the Horrible Histories game, because it was our first game aimed at a kids’ audience and we certainly learned a lot from it. “We have also launched our first hardcore turn-based strategy game on DS and PSP, and it has proven that these games, if well packaged and well supported can definitely have a space in the market.” For developers, the self-improvement and non-games market still holds a world of new opportunities, not the least of which is their unusual longterm sales model. If they can capture the magic required to create a hit in this market, such titles can outsell their hardcore-targeted rivals and sustain smaller publishers for longer. Of course, such success is still dependent on capitalising on key seasonal opportunities such as Christmas. “Self-improvement titles have a long tail, but they need sales boosts to ensure chart placement and prominence at retail,” says Prytherch. “At the end of the day, this is what helps drive pre-orders.”

Play the hugely horrid role of Henry as you head off on your mischievous missions, wreaking havoc all around you!

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For sales enquiries please contact CentreSoft on: 0121 625 3883

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NINTENDO & DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION

‘Ware abouts Nintendo was once hugely resistant to anything online. Now it’s a major player in digital distribution. What changed? Will Freeman and Michael French find out…

READY TO WARE There are over 80 games due for release digitally on

WIIWARE SEPTEMBER UNO (Gameloft) Worms: Battle (Team 17) You, Me, and the Cubes (Nintendo) Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 2 (Telltale Games) Learning with the Pooyoos Episode 1 (Lexis Numerique)

WHETHER DOWN and out on its luck with the GameCube or riding high on the success of Wii, one thing that has never changed about Nintendo is it’s inability to compromise and insistence on doing things its own way. Back when when Sony and Microsoft embraced online gaming with the PS2 and original Xbox, Nintendo just wasn’t interested. It half-heartedly released a Broadband Network Adapter, while in Japan made a botched attempt at connecting the GBA to mobile networks; during the first part of the decade Nintendo didn’t want to play online. Things are different now, though. The phenomenal success of the DS and Wii dovetailed with the mass-market use of wireless broadband, making Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection service a given. Today both devices offer not just online play, but plenty of ways consumers can buy content digitally. The Wii Shop, accessed through the console dashboard, is now host to hundreds of games. These include retro releases, but more important are the new titles available via the WiiWare and DSiWare channels. Last week Nintendo threw the spotlight on its digital business, revealing that almost 100 more games – a mix of first-party and third-party creations – will be added to the two ‘channels over the next few months. (See ‘Ready to Ware’, right.)

OCTOBER LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias (Frontier) BIT.TRIP.VOID (Aksys) Max & The Magic Marker (Press Play) Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 3 (Telltale Games) Miffy's World (Pan Vision) Toribash (Nabi Studios) Cave Story (Nicalis) Shootanto Evolutionary Mayhem (Hudson Soft) Frogger (Konami) Tomena Sanner (Konami) Manic Monkey Mayhem (The Code Monkeys) Ghost Mansion Party (Gameloft) Dracula Undead Awakening (Chillingo)

NOVEMBER And Yet it Moves (Broken Rules) La Mulana (Nicalis) Military Madness: Nectaris (Hudson Soft) Ben 10 (Konami) Copter Crisis (Digital Leisure)

DECEMBER Night Sky (Nicalis) Zombie Panic in Wonderland (Akaoni Studio) Diner Dash (Hudson Soft) Fast Draw Showdown (Digital Leisure)

Q4 2009 Rage of the Gladiator (Ghostfire Games) Liight (Walljump Studios) Leed the Meerkats (Lapland Studios) TV Show King 2 (Gameloft) Furry Legends (Gamelion Studios) Hoopworld (Virtual Toys) Pearl Harbor: Episode 1 - Red Sun (Legendo Entertainment) Solitaire (GameOn) Blockout (Cosmigo) Art of Balance (Shin'en Multimedia)

Lost Winds 2 lands in October

Q1 2010 Super Meat Boy (Team Meat) B.C.Kid: Brink of Extinction (Hudson Soft) Bang Bang Racing (Playbox Games)

IN THE MIX

According to Nintendo, WiiWare is proof the company is willing to broaden the variety of content on its platforms. It doesn’t compete with its hugely lucrative retail business, instead providing things that the big budget boxed game business cannot. “For us this download model has nothing to do with the retail model,” Nintendo Europe’s marketing and PR boss Laurent Fishcher told us at the software showcase last week. “The retail model, with the packaged disk, is still the heart and core of Nintendo.”

Castlevania Re:Birth (Konami) Where's Waldo The Fantastic Journey (Ludia)

Nintendo Europe’s marketing boss Laurent Fischer says WiiWare and DSiWare releases have no negative impact on its busy physical goods business

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NINTENDO & DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION

Nintendo platforms in the next four months…

DSIWARE SEPTEMBER MySims Camera (EA) Sudoku (EA) Uno (Gameloft) Bomberman Blitz (Hudson)

OCTOBER Dracula Undead Awakening (Chillingo) Flight Control (Firemint) Castle of Magic (Gameloft) myNotebook: Red (Nnooo) myNotebook: Green (Nnooo) myNotebook: Blue (Nnooo) Pop Island (Odenis Studios) Combat of Giants: Dragons Bronze Edition (Ubisoft) A Little Bit of Brain Training: Arts Edition (Nintendo)

NOVEMBER Downtown Texas Hold 'Em (EA) High Stakes Texas Hold'em (Hudson Soft) Sudoku Sensei (Hudson Soft) Flashlight (Kasaa Solution)

DECEMBER Super Yum Yum (Mastertronic) Discolight (Kasaa Solution)

Q4 2009 The Traveller (Agenius Interactive) Alien Havoc (Creat Studios) Quick Pick (Dancing Dots) Ferryman Puzzle (Engine Software) Simply Sudoku (Engine Software) Simply Solitaire (Engine Software) Simply Mahjong (Engine Software) Extreme Hangman (Gamelion Studios) Miami Nights: Life in the Spotlight (Gameloft) Chess & Checkers (GameOn) Backgammon (GameOn) Globulos Party (GlobZ) Reflections (Konami) The Price is Right (Ludia) Hell's Kitchen VS (Ludia) Car Jack Streets (Tag Games) Spaceball: Revolution (Virtual Toys) VT Tennis 2010 (Virtual Toys)

Q1 2010 Where's Waldo: The Fantastic Journey (Ludia)

Popular iPhone game Flight Control is making the move to DSi

He added: “DSiWare and WiiWare such barriers, and in most cases the rule are just two additional components. is that if your game is ready, and you Something that is no direct competition would like to have it published as soon with the existing retail market.” as possible, it’s fine, and we do it that Fishcher pitches the platforms as a way. We are not trying to prevent people way for the industry to offer a broader, from working to their own agenda.” more eclectic product range. GETTING CONNECTED “The core point is that for a developer a DSiWare or WiiWare release The bigger barriers the industry should be concerned with, says Fischer, are is an entry point to distribute unusual ones outside the industry. Such as ideas that would have never been getting consumers to understand their launched at retail.” Nintendo devices are online-ready in the Developers of all sizes have embraced first place so they can buy digital content. the platform. In just over a year – Nintendo has made serious efforts to WiiWare was first unveiled in mid-2007 not only embrace online, but make but didn’t launch until spring 2008 – it hooking its devices up to Wi-Fi painless has proven to be a strong outlet for both and safe to minors. new upstart studios and established “For those of us who have been companies. There is minimal approval through that process know it is not so process and Nintendo has gone to great complex, but lots of people don’t know lengths to get as many indie developers that, or don’t think about it. Some on board as possible. people try and just don’t manage it.” It’s not without its critics, though – Hence the recent stampede to detail and in typical Nintendo fashion the almost 100 new games for WiiWare and format-holder won’t talk about what it says are discussions best locked behind an NDA. A DSiWare or WiiWare Developers have release is a way to distribute bemoaned restrictions on ideas that would have never file sizes; WiiWare games been launched at retail. were originally supposed to be under 40MB each, Laurent Fischer, Nintendo to draw a real distinction DSiWare, plus the introduction of an between digital games and a disc-based ‘Ambassador’ scheme that rewards ones. (That’s probably not a problem for gamers who convince friends to get retailers, however – whereas on PS3 and 360 such limitations have long been online with up to around £70 of Wii Shop credit. It’s a cunning way to use waived and exploited; EA for one is the digital cognoscenti to creater more experimenting with a number of Xbox active downloading consumers. Live-distributed games that are over “The point of that is that, if you 1GB in size each.) encounter a technical barrier, but have Other disgruntled devs have poured willing people in the community who scorn on Nintendo by claiming royalty know how to connect the Wii, then payouts don’t come until a minimum sales threshold is reached, or that the firm with an initiative like this your friends can help you overcome the barrier in manages the release schedule closely. the long-run,” Fischer explains. “Really, On the latter point Fischer says that we want to reward our audience for with so many mouths to feed amongst a helping attract their friends and family.” fast-growing base of supporting independent developers, publishers’ inWII FOR ALL house teams and its own studios, Fischer is adamant, too, that the successfully managing a digital widening of Nintendo’s remit to include distribution platform is a tough digital-only titles actually goes beyond a balancing act for any format-holder. neutral stance for retailers and in turn He insists the firm hasn’t been as benefits the sale of physical goods. prescriptive as some suggest: “The thing “At the end of the day, there are two is with all the developers and people working on this, everyone has their own ways that WiiWare and DSiWare offers benefits to retail,” he says. “The first is agenda. We don’t want to say ‘your that having more people being able to game is ready, but you have too wait six play games. We know from all our months for a better slot’. We don’t set

experience that what people enjoy on the services makes their appetites for playing games far bigger. That’s the first benefit to retail. “The other way is that WiiWare is a laboratory. What we know is that some of the games that are – you could say ‘tested’ through this platform – they may one day get access to the normal retail channels. That is because the developers have managed to polish their software through the WiiWare experience. That is going to provide sales to retailers. “Again, our core business is in the retail, and our other download services are complimentary. They just provide something that can’t exist alone in the retail system.” But with downloaded games such a widely accepted thing – Apple’s iPhone games market has thrived solely from digital, and Sony’s disc-less PSPgo is a huge statement of intent from that platform holder – the pressure is on Nintendo to keep attracting new talent, content and users. In typical Nintendo fashion, though, Fischer would rather pitch that potential battle as a great thing for market expansion: “Well I think we [and other download services] have a mutual goal that is to make sure we can always drive people to play; both people who already play and people who never have. As long as people find a way to access what we consider to be great fun, that’s what matters. We are confident that having these unique systems make for a very strong case for people to be interested in playing releases for our platforms.”

WANT MORE INFO ON DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION? The October 27th London Games Conference is the first event dedicated to the world of digital distribution. Taking place at BAFTA, Piccadilly, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and GfKChartTrack have already confirmed they will be presenting. It costs £229 to attend, with discounts available for ELSPA and Tiga members. To book your place, contact: Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

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THE BIG QUIZ

THE MCV once again teams up with the generous folks at Xbox 360 and fellow Pub Quiz sponsors to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a plentiful bounty of incredible prizes. Best of luck, folks... THE LATEST Xbox 360/MCV Industry Pub Quiz takes place this week (Thursday, September 24th) at the Sway Bar in London. As ever, the event is sponsored by the good folks at Xbox 360, with various Round Sponsors also chipping in to boost the booty. And, as ever, they’ve all agreed to match the prizes on offer on the night in this special print version, giving all MCV readers the chance to win an Xbox

Elite, a copy of Halo ODST and much, much more... This Tuesday (September 22nd) saw the launch of Halo 3 ODST. It is a prequel to Halo 3 and is seen by Microsoft and Bungie as a major part of the ongoing story. Xbox and Entertainment director Stephen McGill describes it as “an absolutely key title”. Players take the role of a rookie Orbital Drop Shock Trooper on a

1) WHO WON THIS YEAR’S US OPEN? A) ROGER FEDERER B) JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO C) ANDY MURRAY

THE BOOTY BANK Courtesy of Big Quiz sponsor Microsoft and eight round sponsors, one lucky winner will bag this lot…

mission to New Mombasa. He finds himself separated from his unit and overrun by Covenant forces. As well as this intense single-player mission, ODST also sees the return of the renowned Halo 3 multiplayer modes. The standard deathmatches are included, but there’s also a new cooperative Firefight mode in which four players work together against waves of enemies.

As you’d expect, the marketing that lead up to launch packed a punch, but look out for a second wave closer to Christmas as Microsoft looks to maximise the latest installment of a franchise that’s one of the biggest in entertainment generally – not just gaming. And now, read on and play the Xbox 360/MCV Big Quiz to be in with a chance of winning an Xbox Elite, complete with a copy of Halo 3 ODST.

2) WHO DID BARACK OBAMA RECENTLY CALL A JACKASS?

3) PATRICK SWAYZE FAMOUSLY STARRED IN A FILM CALLED:

A) KANYE WEST B) JOHNNY KNOXVILLE C) GORDON BROWN

A) DIRTY LAUNDRY B) DIRTY WINDSCREEN C) DIRTY DANCING

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THE BIG QUIZ

BIG QUIZ 4) HERE’S A TESTER: WHO WON THE LATEST SERIES OF BIG BROTHER? A) SOPHIE ‘DOGFACE’ READE B) BRIAN ‘SHITFACE’ COOPER C) ETHEL ‘COALFACE’ GIBBONS 5) THE WORLD HAS A NEW TALLEST MAN, SULTAN KOSEN. BUT, HOW TALL IS HE? A) 8’1” B) 18”1’ C) ABOUT AS TALL AS SPINAL TAP’S STONEHENGE 6) FIFA COVER STAR WAYNE ROONEY JOINED MANCHESTER UNITED FROM WHICH CLUB? A) TRANMERE B) EVERTON C) BOCA JUNIORS 7) PENELOPE CRUZ IS THE MUSE FOR WHICH ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR? A) PEDRO ALMODOVAR B) GUY RITCHIE C) KEN LOACH 8) WHEN WAS HALO: COMBAT EVOLVED RELEASED? A) 2000 B) 2001 C) 2011

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO THEBIGQUIZ@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

£50 Gift Voucher

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Digital Distribution & the Future of the European Games Market

Programme 5:00pm Welcome to London Games Conference Stuart Dinsey –

MD, Intent Media 5:05pm Opening Address Ed Vaizey –

Shadow Minister for Culture The man who may well be the games industry’s next voice in government talks directly to the market 5:10pm The Future of Digital Distribution

Nick Parker – Parker Consulting One of the games market’s most respected analysts outlines the current digital distribution landscape and offers up exclusive pointers to the future of the sector 5:35pm Daddy, What’s a Disc?

A discussion on the death of physical media and the business models that will rise up to replace them Chairman: Phil Harrison – Former president of SCE Worldwide Studios Panelists: Kristian Segerstrale – CEO and Co-Founder, Playfish Mark Gerhard – CEO, Jagex Thomas Bidaux – CEO, ICO Partners Coffee 6:30pm The New Food Chain

Games will still be made, sold and distributed. But not like they have

been. This session looks at the new lines of demarcation. Chairman: Andy Payne, ELSPA Panellists: Charles Cecil – CEO, Revolution Software Rich Keen – Marketing Director, Direct2Drive Nick Pili – Network Director, SEGA Gian Luzio – Product Director, The Hut 7:00pm Charting the Progress of PC Downloads

Dorian Bloch – GfK-ChartTrack The man behind the games industry’s charts (and holder of vast amounts of sales data) explains how digital distribution is the future of the PC market – and makes a forceful case for a download chart 7:20pm Outside the Box

Key figures from the market’s three established format holders discuss their roles in the brave new digital future Chairman: Tony Mott, Edge Panellists: Pete Edwards – Director, PlayStation Home, SCE Neil Thompson – Head of Xbox, UK & Ireland, Microsoft TBA – Senior Nintendo Exec

Tickets £229 Discount for ELSPA and TIGA members Email rob.baker@intentmedia.co.uk or phone Rob Baker on 01992 535646

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LICENSING IN VIDEO GAMES

Licence to sell From Batman to The Beatles, 2009 has been a big year for video game licences – but now more publishers than ever are looking to go the other way and licence out their own IP. Christopher Dring takes a closer look… HARMONIX’S The Beatles: Rock Band is the perfect example of what a good licence can bring to a video game. From the NME to the BBC, the game received more coverage than almost any other title this year, propelling it to fourth in the ChartTrack Top 40. And the product joins a plethora of fastselling licensed games in 2009, including Ashes Cricket, Transformers and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, licensed properties are expected to do the business this Christmas too, with the likes of FIFA 10 and Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games both certain to sell in the millions. And now the games industry is gearing up for Brand Licensing Europe, where publishers will try and sniff out the right property that can offer brand recognition, big sales and a longer shelf life. “Our focus at D3 has shifted towards the kids market with a focus on licensed products because the development lifecycle is shorter but the product lifecycle is infinitely longer,” says D3P’s marketing manager Suzanne Sutton. “Ben 10 provides solid gameplay designed for kids, but there’s no way we’d have sold three million units without the Ben 10 brand.” Blast product director Neil McKenna adds: “With Blast the intention was to offer something to parents who may not have an instinctive understanding of games. When they see Bob the Builder on the box, they know that the game is going to be child friendly. It would take years to build one’s own brand equity from scratch to that level.” It’s not just for the publishers either, with peripherals companies experimenting with licences, resulting in products such as Purple Ronnie DS cases of Fitness First Wii accessories. “When the brand is really strong and in a market where innovation is key, licences can play a significant part in

a video game in the days of hardcore PC and PSone gamers, nor would Peppa Pig be as successful on N64 as it is on Wii and DS.” Despite the rise in alternative licences, video game firms are being more discerning when it comes to traditional movie and TV IP, as Janet Woodward, head of licensing at Coolabi, explains: “Publishers are getting more selective and looking for longer term properties rather than the latest blockbuster movie – unless it’s a top franchise like Bond or Lord of the Rings.” Yet an even bigger change for the licensing industry is the quantity of publishers wanting to become licensors and grow their IP beyond the video game space. “There has been a definite change in publishers licensing out their own properties,” Casual games has made says E1 Entertainment alternative licences more licensing manager viable, such as Dr Kawashima Hannah Mungo. and Peppa Pig. “Gaming properties are Paul Comben, AT New Media becoming brands in their own right and are being licensed onto other products.” profile products and sales can be very Helen Howells, global brand director lucrative. But also because the at Target Entertainment Group which marketing campaigns games companies handles licensing for PlayStation IP, put behind their products can be agrees: “From a licensing point of view beneficial to the overall program.” gaming is a potentially lucrative area. A TWO-WAY STREET It’s the fastest growing entertainment Over the past three years there has been sector; it attracts an increasingly diverse significant changes in how the games demographic, and the fact that games industry approaches licensing. As games can be played any time and are not head further into the mainstream, dependent on TV or theatrical companies are beginning to experiment scheduling allows for a more flexible with unique licences that weren’t product rollout strategy.” considered appropriate in previous However, O’Malley feels publishers console generations. and developers still need to better “The expansion of the games market understand the licensing industry: – thanks to the increase in casual “Video game corporations need to get gamers – has made a larger number of their heads around licensing and how it licences viable,” comments Paul works and what it all means for their Comben, the co-founder of video game business,” she says. licensing specialists AT New Media. “You’ve got to have a philosophy on “For example, Dr Kawashima would how you want your licence to look or not have been able to lend his name to feel – because how something feels in a creating that essential point of difference,” says Venom’s marketing manager Tom Hodge. “A licence needs to appeal to a wide demographic. Thanks to Nintendo, licences no longer need to be game specific, which has opened up some exciting new opportunities.” Yet it’s not just the games industry that benefits from licensing products. Many licensors look to the games market as a means to extend the reach of a brand to a whole new audience. “When a video game licensor comes on board it is a turning point for the entire programme,” explains Vickie O’Malley, UK MD of the Copyright Promotions Licensing Group. “Video game partners are so important because games are high

game by nature might be quite different to how it feels when a publishing book or on a duvet cover. You have to take into account what is needed by those different marketplaces.” SHIFTING ATTITUDES

Traditionally video games companies pick up licences with global appeal such as one for a blockbuster movie. However, games companies are going increasingly local – and securing rights to IP specific to an individual region. “The video game market is bigger than Hollywood, but development costs are so high and America is so important to that market.” says Rob Corney, MD of agency Bulldog Licensing. “So your brand might be the strongest brand in international territories, but if it’s not hot in the US then the US publishers don’t want to touch it. The licensors want to work with the big publishers, but perhaps working with developers on a local basis could be the stronger route to market.”

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LICENSING IN VIDEO GAMES

SPORTING TIES

Publishers and developers will be visiting Brand Licensing Europe to see what’s on offer and to licence out their own IP

Find out more about the licensing sector plus a complete show guide to Brand Licensing Europe at our sister site: www.licensing.biz.

Another route to market for licensors is through the digital space. Although the games industry is growing, there are concerns that certain IP might not be able to break through the clutter at retail and instead are appearing on services such as Xbox Live Arcade or PlayStation Home. “We are currently looking at mediums such as Home or a more unique roll-out of mini-games for our Monty Python brand,” comments Mark Hurry, director of legal and commercial affairs at PPC Enterprises. “We see the interactive side of things outside of the traditional video game route becoming more prominent. An online approach allows you to tickle the market to see the reaction before positioning it for a mainstream release.” Indeed, the licensing world for games is very different to how it was ten years ago. Publishers are not just visiting Brand Licensing this year; they are showcasing their own IP. Properties that were once considered inappropriate for games are

being snapped up, and that’s not to mention the rise in digital, the increase in local licensing and the new trend of combining licences, such as with the upcoming Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and LEGO Rock Band. Yet in the face of all these changes, traditional licensing continues to thrive – and the quality of licensed software is on the rise. At the time of going to press the top four in the ChartTrack Top 40 are games built on licensing deals, and each one of them enjoyed a Metacritic rating of over 90. Comben concludes: “It is now a cliché to accuse a licensed game of having poor gameplay and hiding behind the licence to achieve sales. Consumers, retailers, developers and publishers all know that the gameplay has to be good to sell. It is understandable that developers want their original game ideas to be commissioned over external licensed IP, but licensed games are regarded as lower risk because of the greater predictability of public demand.”

If there’s one thing highlighted by the sales of Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Mario titles, it is that games don’t need an external licence to be successful. However, the same is not true of the sports genre. With the notable exception of Wii Sports, the biggest sports titles all boast licences of some description – something that has propelled EA to the top of the genre in terms of sales. “If you look at the top-selling entertainment games they are not all movie related, but if you look at the top selling sports games, they are all licensed,” says Chris Prothero, MD of CPLG Sport that handles the licence for the English football team. “That is the major difference for sports games.” Unlike properties such as Tomb Raider, video game sports brands rarely extend into other licensing areas. However, last year EA Sports signed up IMG Licensing to deliver EA Sports-branded products in to the market, yet Prothero is unconvinced this will be successful: “I liken it to the Premier League,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if it's the Barclay’s Premier League or the Carling Premier League, as long as the big teams are playing in it I will watch it. The same applies to EA Sports, I’m not convinced people buy these games because it has the EA Sports logo on it. So why would you buy an EA product that isn’t a computer game?”

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BRAND LICENSING SHOW GUIDE WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT BRAND LICENSING...

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262

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DP Cappucino Express

THE ESTIMATED worldwide retail sales of licensed interactive products in 2007 – the last year the full data was published – was $6.1 billion according to recent research. This was an increase of 8.9 per cent, the largest percentage increase of all licensing categories during that year. For games publishers and developers there is a unique double-sided benefit to participating in Brand Licensing Europe in that they could align with both the licensee and the licensor communities. The show is historically visited by licensees and retailers looking to do deals for the latest IP owned by TV companies, film studios, sports clubs and so on. One of the ways in which a licensee will assess a property’s likely success is its audience – both the volume and the demographic profile. So at Brand Licensing a developer would be able to meet the major film studios for example, and review their slated releases, promotional plans and to preview the film’s content to get a feel for what kind of game they could produce. The obvious benefit to a publisher is that their licensed product would then ride on the core product’s promotional coat-tails. Despite the economic downturn, studios are still spending vast sums on marketing their new releases. So far the following companies that have registered to attend the show: 2K Games, Activision, Big Ben, Capcom, Focus Multimedia, Gameloft, Glu, Hotgen, Koch, Konami, Media Molecule, Mindscape, Sega, Sony, Ubisoft, Warner Bros Interactive and Zoo. They are all from within the interactive entertainment sphere and recognise the potential of licensing to their business. The second benefit to games publishers getting involved in Brand Licensing Europe is licensing out their own IP. Many games companies are IP owners in their own right, and the characters and brands contained therein have a high level of consumer recognition, which makes them of course licensable. The obvious examples are Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario and Tomb Raider, all of which have established licensed merchandise programmes and therefore a non-core income stream. As games become increasingly expensive but at the same time reach more consumers, it will become of increasing importance for developers and publishers to adopt similar business models. With sales figures of games comparable to TV audience volumes, it is logical for licensees to look towards games IP for new business opportunities. Looking at this year’s show floor, LittleBigPlanet, Invizimals, EyePet, Assassin’s Creed, Rabbids, Imagine, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell and Petz are amongst those represented – either with their own stand or via a licensing agent. In addition, such is the power of games brands, that both the Nintendo and Atari identities will also be exhibited by licensing agents Performance Brands and Rocket Licensing respectively, which puts both brands into the same marketing sphere as the likes of Coca-Cola, Land Rover, Jelly Belly and so forth. For the first time ever, Brand Licensing Europe is specifically addressing the interactive entertainment industry in its Licensing Academy with a session called Gaming to Win in Licensing. Taking place from 14:30 to 15:15 on Thursday October 1st, the session is led by MCV itself. Jon Gibson, Event Manager, Brand Licensing Europe

5 6.5

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Licensing Academy

24IP Law Group..................................................... 259 4 Kids Entertainment Int .................................. 470 5 Seasons & Co...................................................... 493 A Aardman Animations............................................ 610 Alchemy..................................................................... 230 Al Jazeera Children's Channel & Baraem TV .......................................................... 545 Allsorts Licensing................................................. 450 Amelia Renfrew ...................................................... 593 Ann Edwards............................................................ 292 Annie Phillips.......................................................... 485 Art Ask Agency ...................................................... 710 Artisan Licensing .................................................. 587 Atlantyca................................................................... 246 B Bang On The Door ................................................ 360 BBC Worldwide Licensing .................................. 530 Bear League............................................................. 780 Berni Parker Designs .......................................... 680 Beverley Hills Polo Club Int ............................. 860 Big Bocca Productions ........................................ 320 BRB Internacional................................................. 349 Bright Group .......................................................... 495 Bright Ideas Design Company ......................... 830 Bruno Productions................................................ 669 Bulldog Licensing .................................................. 565 C Carte Blanche Greetings.................................... 650 Cathay Creative Co .............................................. 454 Celebrities Entertainment................................. 500 Chapman Entertainment.................................... 560 Characteristix.......................................................... 249 Charlie Chaplin....................................................... 588 Chorion ...................................................................... 540 Classic Media .......................................................... 440 Coolabi ....................................................................... 505 D DCD Publishing....................................................... 785 Detonator Licensing.............................................. 375 Dimensional Entertainment.............................. 496 Rachael Hale Photography (t/a Dissero Brands) ............................................ 340 Dorna Sports........................................................... 330 DRI Licensing ........................................................... 310 E E1 Entertainment................................................... 240 Eaglecrown Productions...................................... 233 Edebé Audiovisual Licensing............................. 752 Europacorp............................................................... 405 F Fitzroy Media.......................................................... 304 Five Dollar Shake.................................................. 486 Franklin Covey........................................................ 250 Fulanitos ................................................................... 600 Fun Crew ................................................................... 582 Funshine Productions.......................................... 288

3

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GRAND HALL ENTRANCE

Hip Designs .............................................................. 670 Historic Royal Palaces Enterprises ...............234 HIT Entertainment .............................................. 425 Hong Kong Trade Development Council............................................ 220 House and Home.................................................... 693 I Ignition Licensing ................................................... 130 I Love DIY.................................................................. 198 Imagine 8 ................................................................. 300 Interactive Game Zone......................................... 120 Intercontinental Licensing................................. 483 IONA Design Limited ........................................... 392 ITV Global Entertainment ................................. 430 J Jane Evans Licensing Consultant ................... 510 JAST Company........................................................ 715 J.P. Flag Co.............................................................. 345 John Faulkner Design.......................................... 295 John Wiley & Son ................................................. 620 K Kamhi World ............................................................ 592 Kanban Card and Paper & Loralie Designs...................................................................... 480 Kangaroo Island....................................................... 219 Kate Knight............................................................... 581 Kazachok ................................................................... 770 King Italy srl............................................................ 255 Kocca Europe............................................................ 415 L Last Lemon Productions .................................... 245 LazyTown Enterntainment ................................ 570 Lego Company........................................................ 404 LEMA Publishing ................................................... 835 Lemon Ribbon .......................................................... 581 Leonard Smith ........................................................ 282 License Global ......................................................... 823 Licensing.biz............................................................ 603 Licensing Global Network .................................. 820 Licensing Management International............235 Licensing Sourcebook ......................................... 850 LIMA UK..................................................................... 160 Lo Coco Licensing ................................................. 490 Ludorum.................................................................... 640 Lunartics................................................................... 280 M Manchester United Merchandising ................ 504 Marilyn Robertson ................................................ 685 Marvel Entertainment International ............455 Mary Evans Picture Library ............................. 585 Mattel Brands Consumer Products ...............399 Mediatoon Licensing.............................................. 681 Meiklejohn Graphics MGL................................... 592 MindSpark Interactive Network, Inc.............568 Mondo TV.................................................................. 424

G Gidget Worldwide.................................................... 515 Golden Goose........................................................... 370 Goochi Coo ............................................................... 290 Guide to the Licensing World ............................. 115

N NBA Europe ............................................................. 708 Nelvana Enterprises............................................. 548 Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products.............................................. 499 Nigel Quiney Publications.................................. 385 NMSI Trading .......................................................... 603 NPD.............................................................................. 773

H Halliwells ................................................................... 264 Hari Books................................................................ 498

P Palanchowk Handicraft & Sales....................... 497 Panini Licensing

(t/a The Licensing Machine) ............................. 760 Paper Island Licensing........................................ 604 Peapots...................................................................... 388 Performance Brands ............................................ 630 Pimra........................................................................... 267 Plus Licens AB....................................................... 589 PPC Enterprises..................................................... 740 Premium Factory ................................................... 359 Giochi Preziosi S.p.a............................................. 410 Promotions and Incentives ............................... 682 R Rainbow SPA ........................................................... 570 RDF Rights............................................................... 730 Red Kite Animation Ltd...................................... 755 Renault Merchandising ....................................... 660 Rocket Licensing ................................................... 604 Royal Air Force ....................................................... 775 Royal Navy................................................................ 778 Royal Horticultural Society ............................... 372 S Sanrio License ......................................................... 150 Santoro Licensing ........................................ 298/395 Science Photo Library......................................... 580 Smiley Company..................................................... 335 Softies & Cuties - Panighini .............................. 491 Sony Pictures Entertainment .......................... 599 Stark Industries..................................................... 455 Start Licensing....................................................... 350 Stephanie Dyment Design Company.............592 Synthesis Design and Manufacture ................ 591 T Taipei Computer Association............................ 263 Target Entertainment Group............................ 550 The Beanstalk Group ........................................... 525 The Bridgeman Art Library.............................. 590 The Comic Stripper .............................................. 398 The Licensing Company...................................... 420 The Natural History Museum........................... 352 The Partnership..................................................... 400 The Royal Opera House ...................................... 602 The Salon ................................................................. 840 The Toy Store ......................................................... 299 The UK Intellectual Property Office...............261 Tiny Idols.................................................................... 215 Toei Animation........................................................ 750 Tosh Licensing ........................................................ 790 Total Licensing........................................................ 302 ToyNews ................................................................... 603 Turner CN Enterprises ....................................... 460 TV Loonland UK .................................................... 205 Twentieth Century Fox Licensing ................. 445 U Ubisoft Entertainment......................................... 325 V Vicki Thomas Associates................................... 380 Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) ................ 110 Vipo Land.................................................................. 625 VIZ Media Europe .................................................. 762 Vooz Co....................................................................... 210 W Walker Books........................................................... 622 Warner Bros. Consumer Products.................. 799 Wizbit........................................................................... 671 Y Yvette Jordan ......................................................... 382

8&3UHVV$GSSLQVHUWLQGG



Start the Adventure Fortune hunter Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves for the PlayStation 3. This pulse-pounding third-person action adventure shooter is the long awaited follow up to 2007’s blockbuster PS3 exclusive - Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. Down on his luck, Drake is lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure seekers he had sought to leave behind. When a mysterious artefact propels Drake on an expedition to ďŹ nd the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, he ďŹ nds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a fugitive war criminal who is after more than just the fabled riches of the lost city. Caught in a web of deception and plunged into an increasingly deadly pursuit that tests the limits of his endurance, Drake will be forced to risk everything – but has his luck ďŹ nally run out?

BEST CONSOLE GAME

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Key Features: s Free-owing ‘traversal gunplay’ adds a unique vertical element to standard third-person shooting mechanics s Immersive action adventure epic featuring gun ďŹ ghts, melee combat, stealth, platform play and puzzle solving s A blockbuster gaming experience – over-the-top set pieces, compelling cinematics and high production values plunge you into the story, with massive gun ďŹ ghts and stunts while climbing, swinging and hanging from harrowing cliffs and rock faces

sĂĽĂĽĂĽ5PĂĽTOĂĽĂĽPLAYERSĂĽONLINEĂĽINĂĽĂĽVSĂĽĂĽCOMPETITIVEĂĽGAMEPLAYĂĽWHEREĂĽ you battle it out in ranked matches that include Team Death Match and Capture the Treasure sĂĽĂĽĂĽ#OOPERATIVEĂĽMULTIPLAYERĂĽMODESĂĽALLOWINGĂĽUPĂĽTOĂĽĂĽPLAYERSĂĽTOĂĽ progress through a variety of environments by working together to accomplish set objectives

8&3UHVV$GSSLQVHUWLQGG



Marketing highlights TV & Cinema

Print

- Premium advertising in September, with a teaser campaign, inviting viewers to go to our pre-order site www.uncharted2launch.com to view the full trailer in all it’s HD glory.

- National press campaign in specialist & lifestyle media (including The Sun, T3, and OfďŹ cial PlayStation Magazine)

- Extensive 16 – 34 male TV slots for October, including England World cup qualiďŹ ers - Sponsorship on SKY 1’s Friday Movie throughout October & November (including Days of Thunder, Mission Impossible, X-men). - Sponsorship of Discovery Channel’s Adventure & Survival programming (including Bear Grylls: Born Survivor and Quest into the Unknown) - Large Cinema campaign throughout October & November. All ads will be created using actual games footage.

Online - High impact, Large Format online ad units in high trafďŹ c, lifestyle sites - National competition for consumer’s chance to be a real life Action Hero and follow in the footsteps of Nathan Drake

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Š 2009 Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Created and developed by Naughty Dog, Inc. All rights reserved.

8&3UHVV$GSSLQVHUWLQGG



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Sponsored by WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 39

PERSONNEL

505 hires new comms manager Candice Meisels joins Cooking Mama publisher’s UK office  Datascope signs Dan Perrin to head new division 505 GAMES  The publisher has hired CANDICE MEISELS as European communications manager. Previously, Meisels worked as European associate PR manager for Disney Interactive Studios in Hammersmith, London. Prior to this she worked in Johannesburg, South Africa as PR manager for Megarom Interactive – one of the region’s leading video games importer and distributors. Megarom deal with Activision, Ubisoft, Take 2, Atari and NCSoft. 505 Games marketing boss ALISON MITCHELL said:

MEISELS: Former Disney PR joins 505 Games as comms boss

“We are thrilled that Candice has joined the team, and really feel her experience will help strengthen our media relationships both in the UK and throughout Europe.”

DATASCOPE  The recruitment firm has signed DAN PERRIN to head up the launch of its new Datascope Executive Search service. He joins Datascope after six years working on search assignments in IT outsourcing and consulting. Commenting on the launch, MD JULIEN HOFER said: “Datascope is keen to increase significantly the work we do in filling critical, senior positions. We’re responding to an increased appetite in our clients for filling such one-of-akind posts. Dan Perrin has the experience and drive to

for companies I could really identify with and to bring to the sector the very high level of service which I’ve been used to providing in the world of IT and consulting.”

Dan Perrin will head up Datascope’s new search service

spearhead a truly professional service in executive search.” Perrin added: “I made the switch over to working within the games industry to be able to work on interesting projects

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD  The publisher has appointed two new managers within its legal team. The first sees 14 year Activision veteran GEORGE L ROSE promoted into the newlycreated position of executive vice president and chief public policy officer. The second sees CHRISTOPHER B WALTHER succeeding Rose in his former chief legal officer role.

for your permanent and contract needs Strategic Product Manager - Online Games, Germany - Ref 11167

Senior HR Manager - AAA Games Studio, Germany - Ref 11149

A leading European independent game publisher and distributor, currently preparing for the worldwide launch of various online games.

Award winning studio working on a next gen AAA title. Our much valued client is looking for a Senior HR-Manager for their German based studio.

International PR Executive, Berkshire - Game Tools & Middleware Account Ref 11267 Manager, London - Ref 11261 Developer and publisher of top-line PC, console and handheld entertainment software. The role involves working with and for a multi-cultural team.

Technical & business understanding of T&M and games development required, as is travel mainly within Europe and on occasions to the Asia Pacific region.

Executive Producer - PC MMO, Scotland - Ref 11217 This is a fantastic opportunity for an Executive Producer to join a leading Scottish Developer currently developing multiple AAA action titles.

Senior Development Manager, Czech Republic - Ref 11194 The studio is currently at the final stages of completing two impressive AAA games with many more great titles planned for the future.

Games Product Manager, Amsterdam, Online / Free2Play Producer, Europe 6 months contract - Ref 11242 Ref 11246 Independent publisher of entertainment software for consoles, PCs, handhelds, mobile devices and other digital media.

Experienced Online Producer needed by one of Europe’s leading online publishers with a particular focus on Free2Play games.

we’ve got a lot to offer

OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com

Marvel, and all related characters and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and are used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. www.marvel.com. All rights reserved. Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark. Game © 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. ‘2’, PLAYSTATION, PlayStation, '7‘ and PSP are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All RIghts Reserved.

MUA2_PgAd2_UK-MCV.indd 1

activision.com

17/09/2009 09:42

49 MCV556_final:43 MCV462

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

CLONE WARS P52 The latest in Activision and LucasArts’ Star Wars franchise flies into retail NINJA GAIDEN SIGMA 2 P54 Tecmo Koei’s PS3-exclusive promises overthe-top action and very, very big swords MARIO & LUIGI RPG P55 Nintendo brings back everyone’s favourite siblings in Bowser’s Inside Story DARKSIDE CHRONICLES P56 Capcom’s latest addition to the Resident Evil family lands on Nintendo Wii BRUTAL LEGEND P57 EA’s hard rockin’ franchise - starring Jack Black - storms into retail ANGEL CAT SUGAR P58 The latest title from the creator of Hello Kitty arrives on DS

LAY OF THE ‘LANDS We preview 2K Games’ biggest game in Q4 P50

SPELLBOUND PARTY P59 505 Games sets consumers word challenges in this sequel for Wii and DS TMNT: SMASH-UP P59 The Turtles return in Ubisoft’s actionpacked brawler on Wii

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RETAILBIZ: BORDERLANDS 42 MCV 25/09/09

2K Games prepares to unleash Gearbox’s hugely ambitious action shooter…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

“Created by veteran developer Gearbox, we think that Borderlands can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any game – it’s slick, fast-paced, tremendously polished and incredibly stylish. “If you think of Diablo in a Mad Max-inspired world, from the perspective of a cutting-edge FPS,

by James Batchelor

BORDERLANDS is the newest IP from Gearbox Software, best known for the Brothers In Arms series and the upcoming Aliens Vs Predator. While the developer is renowned for its experience with first-person shooters, its latest title works hard to be much more, Borderlands can stand incorporating RPG shoulder-to-shoulder with elements and blurring any game. It’s fast-paced the lines between singleand multiplayer. and incredibly stylish. The game invites Simon Turner, 2K Games players to explore the harsh planet of Pandora in search of a then you’re close to imagining how legendary alien vault. compelling an experience Borderlands As they wander the vast open world, will be.” rendered in a striking cel-shaded style, BORDER CONTROL they soon learn about the depth of Since the surprise hit of Lego Star Wars, Borderlands’ mechanics, with plenty of several games have strived to imitate or features that publisher 2K Games is innovate its revolutionary drop-in, dropconfident will appear to fans of the genre. out co-operative gameplay that allowed a “Borderlands is an incredibly strong second player to leave or join the action offering for this Christmas,” says 2K’s at any time. Borderlands takes the UK marketing manager Simon Turner.

natural next step by catering for even larger groups. “It’s a unique offering due to its multiplayer features,” explains Turner. “Borderlands will allow drop-in, drop-out co-operative play for four players, which means that gamers can recruit friends at any point to help them take on trickier quests and bosses. “Borderlands will also be mode-agnostic – it won’t present a division between single and multiplayer. When you’re in the game, you can dial up friends – or foes – and engage in co-operative or even competitive play. “There will even be a single-combat mode where two players can issue a challenge and then duke it out on the spot. This mode will be ideal for settling disputes over who gets that explosive, round-spitting sniper rifle that dropped from a defeated boss.” Borderlands also draws a lot of inspiration from the ever-popular RPG

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RETAILBIZ: BORDERLANDS WWW.MCVUK.COM

Borderlands features RPG elements that offer gamers a deep play experience

MCV 25/09/09 43

genre. Players select one of four characters for their journey and expand their hero’s abilities and attributes as they progress. Not only does this boast the depth found in the likes of dedicated RPGs, it has also been incorporated into the weapons system. The game dynamically generates new weapons when players discover hidden areas or defeat particular enemies. While they may look similar, these firearms all feature different attributes, which are calculated randomly. One minute players will find a standard sniper rifle, the next they may earn one that fires explosive rounds. No two weapons are the same. “The added hook of RPG elements means that players will get to make meaningful and impactful choices about the way their character develops,” says Turner. “We think that Borderlands could create an entirely new genre of gaming – the Role-Playing Shooter.” If that weren’t enough, there is even vehicular combat, so the action never stops. Players will discover a variety of

buggies, bikes and cars that will help them cover more ground on the expansive plains of the frontier planet.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: XBOX 360/PS3/PC PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES DEVELOPER: GEARBOX SOFTWARE

WEAPON OF CHOICE

PRICE: VARIOUS

As a new IP, Borderlands might not have the instant draw of other, more established titles this Christmas, but 2K Games is confident the game will still be a strong seller. To ensure its success, the publisher is working hard to come up with some attention-grabbing promotional initiatives that will raise awareness of the game’s upcoming release. “2K will bring Borderlands to the public eye with an extensive marketing campaign, including a huge TV advertising campaign,” says Turner. “We’ll also have a presence in Champions League slots, so it’ll be hard for any gamer not to notice Borderlands will also be heavily featured in theatres this autumn across the leading sci-fi movies. “Specialist media attention for Borderlands has also spiked

DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 800

considerably over the last couple of months, and we are now looking to go big with extensive advertising across the leading online and print channels.” The TV campaign will be heavily weighted at launch, and will be shown across both terrestrial and satellite channels, including ITV, Channel 4, Sky Sports, Sky Movies and more. There will also be Borderlands ads in all of Future’s Official magazines at launch. Online advertising will take place across sites such as Eurogamer, IGN and Gamespot in the form of site takeovers and enhanced online creative. 2K Games will also give gamers the chance to get hands-on time with Borderlands at the UK’s leading consumer events this autumn.

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RETAILBIZ: STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS 44 MCV 25/09/09

The Star Wars universe expands yet further, with a video game adaptation of the latest Clone Wars TV show from the Activision and LucasArts stable... by James Batchelor AN EVEN LONGER time ago in an all-too-familiar galaxy, there was an epic conflict known only as the Clone Wars. With the Star Wars movie saga well and truly at an end, George Lucas has turned his attentions to exploring these hostilities – which are crucial to the universe’s lore. With a movie, TV series and Wii and DS outings released last year, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is off to a strong start. As the second series approaches on Cartoon Network, Activision is keen to keep fans happy this Christmas with the release of Republic Heroes, a brand new adventure coming to all platforms. “The Clone Wars is a massive brand worldwide which includes a hit TV series, toy line and video games,” says brand manager Simon Wells. “Built from the ground up to exactly resemble the TV series, The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes will tell an allnew story in the franchise. “The game will feature all new co-op gameplay and for the first time, players will be able to play as either Jedi or Clones. “They will even be able to commandeer droids. Expectations are quite high for this game and it’s a huge initiative for both LucasArts and Activision.” CLONE RANGERS

Like every other avenue of merchandising surrounding the brand, Republic Heroes does a great job of replicating the heavily stylised artistry of the movie and series. However, unlike standard toys and other paraphernalia, the game actually sets itself up as part of the ongoing storyline. Gamers will embark on a brand new adventure depicting the events that bridge the gap between the first two seasons of the TV show. Republic forces are scouring the galaxy to learn more about the mysterious bounty hunter Cad Bane and seeking to bring down the Skakoan super villain Kul Teska.

WWW.MCVUK.COM

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RETAILBIZ: STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 45

Players will take on the role of several familiar characters from the saga, including Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu and Obi-Wan Kenobi. They will also be able to play as clone troopers, such as Commander Cody and Captain Rex. These will take on the Separatist droids with heavy weapons and offer a fresh experience from donning the robes of a Jedi. Key to the game’s appeal is the online and offline drop-in/drop-out cooperative multiplayer, which allows fans to team up and progress through the main adventure together. Given the strength of the brand, the game’s overall quality and its multiplayer appeal, Activision is confident retailers will be pleased with its performance. “As the No.1 kids’ brand between the ages of six and 11, the Clone Wars franchise is consistently at the forefront of young boys’ minds,” adds Wells.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 9 FORMATS: 360/PS3/WII/DS/PSP/PC PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION DEVELOPER: LUCASARTS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Republic will be distributed at key times through this site as the campaign progresses. Print ads will promote the Augmented Reality through a variety of Future Publishing Magazines, including Jetix, Official Nintendo Magazine and Games Master. Traffic to the site will also be driven by ads on key children’s websites and bespoke promotions with Cartoon Network’s portal. A heavyweight TV campaign will run for three weeks, once again targeting six to 12 year-olds. Key promotions will be appear on Cartoon Network, the

This is a highly visible franchise within the boys’ market and will be a strong performer at retail. Simon Wells, Activision

“Retailers will see new releases from all key licensors: DVD releases from Warner Bros, toy ranges from Hasbro and Lego and, of course, the video game from LucasArts and Activision. “This is a highly visible franchise within the boys’ market and will see a strong performance at retail when the game launches on October 9th, continuing throughout the Christmas gifting period.” MARKETING FORCE

Nonetheless, Activision will be dedicating a significant amount of its marketing resources to promoting the game and raising awareness of its arrival. The centrepiece of the campaign will be an interactive Augmented Reality program, which will bring the universe to life through the official Join The Clone Wars website. This will be targeted at the key demographic of boys aged six to 12 years old, encouraging them to interact through their webcams and share content with friends. A series of messages from the

home of the TV series, playing on the channel’s strong association with the franchise. There will also be a variety of POS available to retailers, including posters, stockees and more.

Players will face classic Star Wars characters in Republic Heroes

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RETAILBIZ: NINJA GAIDEN SIGMA 2 46 MCV

25/09/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Tecmo Koei brings back one of the most popular action adventures of recent years – as a PlayStation 3 exclusive... by James Batchelor NINJA GAIDEN SIGMA 2 is the first PS3 exclusive in one of the most loved action series of recent years. Enhanced and remastered for its new platform, the game – based on the original Ninja Gaiden 2 – boasts more over-the-top action than ever before, with many features that make it worth the wait for Sony fans. The action follows the escapades of super ninja Ryu Hayabusa and his assortment of buxom companions, all of whom are capable of stunning acrobatic attacks. Players take on the role of these heroes for some good old hack-and-slash action as they continue their mission to rid the world of evil demons. The key addition to Sigma 2 – aside from the ability to make breasts jiggle with the Sixaxis controller – is the new co-operative multiplayer mode. Players can team up with a friend online or bring an AI-controlled ninja along for the ride as they work through the main story campaign as a team. Naturally, simply bringing in a second player doesn’t make the game any easier, but it opens some interesting new options. Fallen gamers will be able to call on their teammate for support and healing, with the second player able to revive them in the middle of a battle. The two will also be able to synchronising their maiming to unleash devastating combo attacks that will potentially wipe out anything in the area. As one of Tecmo Koei’s major IPs, the publisher has a lot of faith in Sigma 2 – and is confident it will dominate the PS3 market from now until the end of the year. “We have the strongest PS3 exclusive action game of the Christmas season backed by a heavyweight marketing RELEASED: OCTOBER 2 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: TECMO KOEI DEVELOPER: TEAM NINJA PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01462 476 130

campaign,” says VP will find itself of sales and marketing on many Will Curley. “We’re teenagers lists for Santa.” expecting great reviews and already have SPREADING SIGMA a lot of buzz among core gamers. We As could be expected, Tecmo Koei will want to be a core part of the PS3 Top Ten be advertising across most of the this Christmas as well as offering an specialist gaming magazines, but for the experience that will really drive the sales of the PS3 Slim.” Sales executive Abid We want to be part of the Gangat adds: “We expect Top Ten this Christmas and that with the amount of help drive sales of the new marketing and PR coverage already attained, PlayStation 3 Slim. the title will be a huge Abid Gangat, Tecmo Koei success for Tecmo Koei first time it will also be running ads in and will allow us to rival other, more more mainstream publications, mainstream titles. “We expect that the title will sell well including Nuts, Loaded and a range of red-top newspapers. and continue to sell high numbers in The firm has also arranged a takeover the lead up to Christmas. As the title has a PEGI 16+ rating, we expect that it of the MTV channels in September

throughout Europe, as well as securing coverage on Charlie Brooker’s upcoming TV show Gameswipe. There will be posters on the London Underground and on Piccadilly’s famous billboards, and the game will appear at the London MCM Expo in October. Finally, a range of POS will be available to retailers, including A2 and A3 posters and standees of the game’s hero. It’s a comprehensive campaign that should make Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 stand out during the crucial upcoming selling period. “Sigma 2 is the pinnacle of the action genre thus far so if stores are concerned with stocking triple-A action games then this is a must have,” says Curley. “We know we will deliver a successful and profitable launch for all out partners.”

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RETAILBIZ: MARIO & LUIGI WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 47

The king of the Koopas takes the lead in the latest DS adventure from Nintendo – which once again brings together the most famous pair of sibling plumbers in the history of video games… by James Batchelor ALL IS NOT well in the Mushroom Kingdom. A strange disease known as the blorbs is sweeping the land like a merciless cartoonish swine flu. The infected toads are swelling up like balloons – and Princess Peach has called on gaming’s foremost men of plumbing to find a cure. Sadly, Bowser has other plans, bursting into the castle in another illfated attempt to take over the kingdom. After finding himself on the receiving end of an arse-whupping, he is approached by the mischievous Fawful, the creator of the blorbs pandemic.

also controlling the latter as they explore the villain’s innards on the bottom screen. INNER CONFLICTS

As you would expect, the two parties are required to help each other in order to progress in their own endeavours. So, as Bowser attempts to pull heavy objects, Mario and Luigi must knock balls of energy into his arm muscles to boost his strength. Elsewhere, swallowing water as Bowser allows the brothers to swim to previously inaccessible areas. Of course, Bowser can still make things tougher for his ingested nemeses.

Bowser’s Inside Story has long been on the radar of UK gamers – so expect it to sell well when it arrives.

Fawful tricks Bowser into eating a strange mushroom and when the reptilian tyrant turns up at Peach’s castle once more, he inadvertently swallows Mario, Luigi, the Princess and everyone else in vicinity. It’s at this point he realises Fawful is the true villain and he sets off to seek revenge. So begins Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. The latest roleplaying escapade or the plumbing duo follows two storylines: the first revolving around Bowser’s quest for vengeance and the second around the Mario brothers’ search for a way out of their archenemy’s stomach. Players control both Bowser and the plumbers throughout the course of the game. They guide the former around the Mushroom Kingdom in search of Fawful on the top screen, while

With the power of Fawful’s mushroom still in effect, he can inhale other objects and creatures that then appear wherever the plumbers are inside him. So should players decide they don’t want to fight a particular foe as the slow-moving reptile, they can swallow them and pit

them against the more agile Mario and Luigi, triggering a battle scene. As with previous Mario & Luigi titles, battles are a mixture of turn-based and real-time. While attacks occur in the traditional turn-based manner that RPGs have clung to since the origins of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, players need to be alert at all times. When attacking, well-timed taps of each plumber’s respective button will improve both the damage dealt and the chances of achieving a critical hit. Likewise, a similar press of the right button when being attacked will reduce the damage the plumbers take. As they progress through the game, players will unlock new weapons and abilities for each character. Bowser’s natural fire-breathing skills will become more devastating and he will be

RELEASED: OCTOBER 9 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 270 985

able to command goombas, setting them alight and sending them forth to burn his enemies. The Mario brothers meanwhile will gain access to hammers, green shells and other familiar Nintendo weaponry, which can be used both in the battle scenes and to solve any puzzles they come across in Bowser’s body. Mario is not best known for his roleplaying antics but the Mario & Luigi series has always been well received among hardcore Nintendo fans. Reasons for this include the puzzles that have become particularly compelling in the franchise’s DS iterations, the accessible combat system and the self-deprecating humour that has carried across since Super Mario on the SNES. Announced at Nintendo’s Fall Media Conference in Tokyo last October, Bowser’s Inside Story has been on fans’ radars for a long time, so expect it to sell well when the game finally arrives on UK shelves.

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RETAILBIZ: RESIDENT EVIL: DARKSIDE CHRONICLES 48 MCV 25/09/09

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The follow up to Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles approaches, promising to deliver even more arcade zombie-blasting action from everyone’s favourite survival horror universe… by James Batchelor THE FOCUS of the Resident Evil series has never been on frantic gunplay. Sure, the protagonists’ only hope of survival has often been filling the undead with lead, but the crux of the games have always been on tension, exploration and horror. However, in 2007, The Umbrella Chronicles proved that trigger-happy action could find a place in the longrunning survival horror franchise. Shying away from the traditional thirdperson perspective previous Resi games were known for, Umbrella Chronicles instead took on the form of an arcadestyle first-person light gun-based shooter. It was a formula that proved to be popular, prompting the upcoming release of a sequel, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. Once again, fans of the series are invited to revisit familiar areas and storylines from previous Resident Evil

Chronicles but also expands upon the Resident Evil 2 storyline. Claire comes into play when gamers call in a friend for the two-player cooperative mode. This follows the same structure as the single-player campaign, with the added bonus of having some extra firepower at your side. However, a few twists have been added to give this mode a different dynamic. At certain points in the game, the sudden appearance of zombies and other monsters will stun or restrain one of the players and leave them unable to fire their weapon. For Darkside, the developer has listened carefully to feedback from the original Chronicles title. As a result, many of the game’s key mechanics have been tweaked and enhanced to raise the sequel above its predecessor and appease Resident Evil’s avid fans. The weapons and items system has been vastly improved. Not only can

The Darkside Chronicles is more accessible than its predessesor, controlled solely with the Wii remote.

titles. The action is also guided along an on-rails path, on which players’ sole responsibility is to fend off waves of walking cadavers. DOUBLE THE HORROR

As with Umbrella Chronicles, a key selling factor for Darkside is nostalgia. However unlike the first game, which featured relatively disconnected scenarios set across the entire length of the Resident Evil timeline, this focuses on a more specific period of time. Darkside Chronicles explores the events surrounding the Racoon City disaster, as depicted in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil: Code Veronica, with the former being one of the most popular games in the series. As can be expected, this means players will once again be quaking in the boots of Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, with others being unlocked as they progress through the game. Taking on the role of Leon in the single-player campaign, players experience an adventure that not only fills in plot holes left by Umbrella

healing herbs and other useful items now be banked and saved for later stages of the game, weapons can now be customised and upgraded. The Darkside Chronicles is also considerably more accessible than its predecessor. The game is only controlled with the Wii Remote, making it that much simpler for casual gamers, and the difficulty can be tweaked so that even inexperienced players can enjoy everything Darkside has to offer. The original Chronicles game was released to coincide with Nintendo’s Wii Zapper in 2007, but the sequel has gone one better. In addition to being fully compatible with the peripheral, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles will be the first third-party game to be bundled with the peripheral upon release. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 27 FORMATS: WII (SOLUS & GUN PACK) PUBLISHER: CAPCOM DEVELOPER: CAVIA PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

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RETAILBIZ: BRUTAL LEGEND WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 49

Electronic Arts joins forces with development guru Tim Schafer and US comedy kingpin Jack Black to bring the most original, star-studded and leather-clad action IP of the year to the UK marketplace… by James Batchelor ANYONE complaining that video games are becoming more than a little ‘samey’ need look no further than EA’s upcoming adventure title, Brutal Legend. This unorthodox action adventure comes straight from the imagination of notable games developer Tim Schafer. It tells the tale of Eddie Riggs, the world’s best roadie who, despite his deep love for heavy metal, feels somewhat out of place. While clearing up after a gig, an accident causes him to bleed onto his ornate belt buckle. This, in turn, kicks off an ancient curse, transporting him to a fantasy world inspired by the music he loves so dearly. Unfortunately, the world of rock has been enslaved by the evil emperor Doviculus and his demonic army, The Tainted Coil. Eddie soon finds himself joining forces with the human resistance, where he becomes the leader and is charged with saving this world from the villainous tyrant. The list of unique and quirky features for this title is near endless, not least its star-studded cast, with Jack Black lending his voice to the heroic Riggs. Electronic Arts is confident there will be something for everyone in Brutal Legend, be they fans of fantasy adventures or heavy metal aficionados. “The pedigree of Tim Schafer and everywhere, but that’s not to say the Double Fine team is undeniable,” other gamers won’t be just as satisfied says UK product manager Kevin by the adventure. Flynn. “Plus, we have the incredible Taking on a series of quests, players roster of voice talent including Jack fight back the hordes of demons Black, Ozzie Osbourne, Lemmy that have taken over this world with Kilmister and Rob Halford. the roadie’s massive broad axe, known “Then there’s the epic soundtrack as The Separator, and his cherished that accompanies this amazing metalguitar Clementine. inspired fantasy world. “There’s also the unique brand of comedy that runs We expect Brutal Legend will throughout the game, and capture the attention of core the fact we have such great gamers, whilst appealing to a access to Jack Black as a great ambassador for much wider demographic. getting those laughs across Kevin Flynn, EA to the right audience.” The latter has been infused with ROCKING YOUR WORLD magical powers in this world, and The game takes on an open world mastering the abilities of both the axe structure, allowing players to explore at and the instrument unlocks devastating their own pace. attacks for use in battle. Fans of the music that inspired it will There will also be sections where find countless references to notable Riggs can drive around in his heavy metal covers and lyrics customisable hot rod, the Deuce. Not

only is this great for exploring hard to reach areas, it also lends itself to vehicular combat. The Deuce can even be upgraded throughout the course of the game, as can The Separator and Clementine. Electronic Arts successfully launched two new IPs around this time last year in the form of Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space, so it will be drawing on its past experience to raise awareness of Brutal Legend’s arrival. Naturally, the superstar cast will go some way to achieving this, as well a soundtrack that rivals the latest Rock Band setlists, but major marketing initiatives are still in place to ensure the game’s success. Brutal Legend will be supported by a comprehensive above-the-line campaign that includes a TV ad featuring Jack Black as Eddie Riggs.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: XBOX 360/PS3 PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: DOUBLE FINE PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

The publisher will also be using engaging and interesting online solutions as well as print and POS. “Our expectations are that Brutal Legend will really capture the attention of core gamers and appeal to a much wider demographic at the same time,” says Flynn. “We think this is going to be one of the most interesting new IPs to hit the shelves this year.” “Retailers should expect one of the most fun action adventures of 2009. The open world is huge and with your axe and guitar, you get to play as Eddie Riggs and blaze a trail of destruction across the world all in the name of rock.”

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RETAILBIZ: ANGEL CAT SUGAR 50 MCV 25/09/09

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Rising Star Games readies the first video game in an adorable new franchise from the creator of worldwide phenomenon Hello Kitty – aimed squarely at parents that want to keep their kids happy… by James Batchelor HELLO KITTY has gone from being a small emblem on a purse to complete world domination – but now it’s time for another star to rise. Angel Cat Sugar – from Kitty’s creator Yuko Shimizu – is venturing beyond her traditional remit of merchandising and into the realms of video games, courtesy of Rising Star Games. “Considering the nature of the game and its target audience, we expect Angel Cat Sugar for DS to not only perform strongly from its release and during the Christmas period, but also to carry on with steady sales throughout 2010,” says product marketing assistant Yen Hau. “We expect this cat will have a very long tail. Angel Cat Sugar isn’t governed by the typical games lifecycle. It is a game that is targeted at pre-teens, those who many have just been bought their first DS by their parents. “It is not a group where graphics or storyline are defining features and as such, considering the age range, an enjoyable playing experience is essential. We feel that Angel Cat Sugar has exactly what it takes to be a success for this target audience, especially when Rising Star Games is confident that Angel Cat Sugar – from the creator of Hello Kitty – will be a hit with parents over Christmas you consider the strong ethical issues Star is gearing the marketing efforts your child this Christmas then Angel prevalent throughout the game and the “Interest has been extremely positive towards parents. Cat Sugar should be high on your addappeal to young parents.” so far with coverage slated for “Angel Cat Sugar is in a unique on sales list, especially considering its The release sees players taking on the several publications and many of the position in that it will probably be competitive RRP.” role of the titular feline, who is the national newspapers. parents who are the main purchasers The publisher has a comprehensive princess of Angel Land. Exploring her “With all these publications showing and not the eventual player,” says Hau. PR campaign already under way, which kingdom with her friends, Sugar spends genuine excitement for the brand, has been running for the her time seeking out it really has galvanised the feeling past month and will people with problems and here that this can and will be a success If you’re a parent buying a continue to do so until helping them with her in the UK. This coverage has a provided new DS for your child this November. The focus of this power to heal hurt feelings. us with a few months of ‘media blitz’ Christmas, Angel Cat Sugar campaign will be on while will do much more to inform will be high on your list. SWEET AS SUGAR children’s media as well as parents about the game and brand than There are also a variety of over both parenting and an advertisement can.” Yen Hau, Rising Star Games puzzles and mini-games to fashion sectors, promoting RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 enjoy centred around the young Angel’s “In this respect, retailers in the brand as much as the game itself. FORMATS: DS favourite pastimes, as well as secrets to traditional family sectors such as “The key here is to establish the brand PUBLISHER: RISING STAR discover in the forests and rivers of supermarkets should see a high uptake as an identity in its own right, to DEVELOPER: INLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT Angel Land. leading up to Christmas. introduce the UK market to this PRICE: £19.99 Most, if not all, activities will hold a “Of course, this doesn’t mean that phenomenon that is spreading across DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC valuable ethical lesson for young games retailers will not see any sales. If Europe and to reinforce the core ideals of CONTACT: 0845 234 4242 children, and as a result, Rising you’re a parent buying a new DS for both the brand and the game,” says Hau.

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RETAILBIZ: SPELLBOUND/TMNT SMASH UP WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 51

505 Games expands on its Spellbound series, bringing new casual and grammatical delights to both Wii and DS…

The heroes in a half shell celebrate their 25th anniversary in Ubisoft’s action-packed brawler…

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OCTOBER FORMATS: WII/DS

LONG BEFORE video games ever appeared, word games were a reliable source of entertainment. Ideal for people unwinding at the end of the day or seeking a more cerebral way to pass the morning commute, there are few distractions as enjoyable as the likes of crosswords and wordsearches. The DS is the perfect platform for software based on these puzzles, thanks to its handy portable nature and touch screen capability – complete with pen-like stylus. As a result, a number of word games have been brought to the handheld, including 505 Games’ Spellbound. The publisher now builds on this range with not one, but two new releases. HANDHELD TEASERS

Spellbound 2 for the DS is the sequel to the original title, once again challenging players with a range of spelling games. The game features a variety of new and improved singleplayer modes and a brand new look. Lone DS owners can enjoy the likes of Training, Championship and List Of Shame. These take place over the course of 100 levels spread over ten different stages. There are eight avatars to choose from, as well as a selection of mini-games to enjoy. All of these activities revolve around the 5,000 words in the game’s built-in

PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: SUPERSONIC STUDIO PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

dictionary, testing players on their ability to spell correctly. Trophies and other collectibles are unlocked as they master these words in each mode. There is also a range of multiplayer modes to enjoy with friends. FAMILY FUN

Spellbound Party brings the original DS game – and therefore the series – to the Wii for the first time, but with a twist. The puzzler takes on the form of a game show, with the challenges enhanced to suit a multiplayer session with friends and family. Players test their spelling skills across the four familiar modes: Training, Championship, List of Shame and the multiplayer-centric Party. All are presented in the traditional TV show style, with a charismatic host delivering the questions and instructions. The game’s difficulty has even been tweaked to make it accessible to the whole family. A handicapping system gives easier tests to younger players, allowing them to play in the same game as their parents.

IN 1984, an odd comic book was released that told the tale of four adolescent turtles that could talk like men, fight like ninjas and consume pizza like a housebound WoW player. A quarter of a century later and the amphibians with attitude have found their way onto toy shelves, consoles, handhelds and the big screen. For their latest adventure, Ubisoft’s TMNT Smash Up, the Turtles are tasked with doing what they do best: beating their enemies to within an inch of their life. Smash Up focuses on the intense and action-packed battles the franchise is known for, allowing fans to duke it out with a variety of familiar characters. Smash Up is the first Turtles game that is not directly tied to a comic, movie or TV series. Instead, the developers have teamed up with the franchise’s cocreator Peter Laird to write an original storyline for the main single-player campaign. The plot has been styled to match the comic books, and sees the Turtles battling to save New York from their various enemies. Notably, the game has been developed by Game Arts, a studio comprised of people who have previously worked on Nintendo’s own fighting title, Super Smash Bros Brawl. As a result, Wii owners can expect a free-for-all combat system that is just as accessible and yet satisfying as that first-party brawler.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 2 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: GAME ARTS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

This also means Smash Up places a noticeable emphasis on multiplayer. The game supports up to four players and allows them to test their skills against each other in a range of modes, including Tournament and Battle Royale. The multiplayer works both offline and online, and even features a range of mini-games to enjoy. TURTLE POWER

Players choose from a selection of classic TMNT heroes and villains, including Splinter, Shredder, April and the Turtles themselves. Each one has their own set of weapons and abilities, guaranteeing plenty of variety in every battle. As with Smash Bros, the game’s battle arenas are far from bland, with plenty of moving areas, destructible objects and other environmental hazards, such as hungry alligators leaping from the sewers. Catering to the long-time fans of the series, collecting shells during battles unlocks memorable moments and special content that commemorates TMNT’s 25-year history.

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 52 MCV 25/09/09

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Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Operations and Olympics storm UK Two highly anticipated sequels approach release: Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and Sega’s Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games. October also sees the release of Gran Turismo, Dead Space Extraction and more... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PSP

Racing

Sony

0121 6253388

Centresoft

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

Puzzle Adventure Mystery Action FPS Adventure Music Sports Simulation Imagine Action Puzzle Mini-games RPG RPG Arcade Kids Action

Ubisoft City Interactive City Interactive Ubisoft EA Disney Interactive Disney Interactive EA Mindscape Ubisoft Koei Ubisoft City Interactive Deep Silver Deep Silver Square Enix Ubisoft THQ

0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 01462 476 130 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 020 7324 5200 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585

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

PC

Sports

THQ

0121 506 9585

Advantage

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

Strategy Adventure Strategy RPG RPG Survival Horror FPS Mini-games Puzzle Action/Adventure FPS

Konami City Interactive Namco Bandai Square Enix Rising Star Games Playlogic Codemasters Ubisoft Warner Games EA City Interactive

0208 987 5706 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 020 7324 5200 01582 433700 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769

Open Trilogy Advantage Open Centresoft Koch Gem Trilogy Centresoft Advantage Trilogy

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

RPG Music Casual Action/Adventure Racing Platformer Quiz RPG/Fishing RPG Puzzle Sports Compilation Strategy

Ghostlight THQ Rising Star Games EA THQ THQ Mindscape Rising Star Games Namco Bandai Rising Star Games Sega Kalypso Media Kalypso Media

01376 555333 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585

Open Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Koch Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage

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

Action/Adventure Action

Activision Blizzard 2K Games

0121 625 3388 01279 822 800

Centresoft Gem

OCTOBER 1st Gran Turismo PSP

OCTOBER 2nd Amazing Adventures: The Forgotton Ruins Chronicles Of Mystery: Curse Of The Ancient Temple Chronicles Of Mystery: The Tree Of Life Combat Of Giants: Dragons Dead Space Extraction Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Disney Sing It!: Pop Hits FIFA 10 Groovy Chick: My Fashion World Imagine Party Planner Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Puzzler World Redneck Chicken Riot Risen Sacred 2: Ice & Blood Space Invaders Extreme 2 Tracy Beaker Up

OCTOBER 6th League Of Leagues

OCTOBER 9th Ant Nation Chronicles Of Mystery: The Tree Of Life Cities XL Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Luminous Arc 2 Obscure 2 Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising Peppa Pig Scribblenauts Spore Hero/Spore Hero Arena Wolfschanze 2

OCTOBER 16th Agarest: Generations Of War All Star Cheerleader 2 Angel Cat Sugar Brutal Legend Cars: Race O Rama Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter Family Fortunes Harvest Fishing Magna Karta 2 Mah-jongg Ancient Mayas Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Space Unlimited Collection Tropico 3

OCTOBER 23rd Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Borderlands

MUSTSTOCK ............OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 Released: October 9th Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Codemasters Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800

The sequel to acclaimed FPS Operation Flashpoint, Dragon Rising once again delivers the experience of modern military combat. An enhanced EGO engine ticks away beneath the gritty visuals, while a level of authenticity ensures hardcore shooter fans will be satisfied.

MUSTSTOCK ...............MARIO & SONIC: WINTER Released: October 16th Format: Wii, DS Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Following on from the success of the multi-million selling Beijing-inspired title, gaming’s greatest mascots team up once more for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Set at the 2010 Vancouver event, this features all new, fun mini-games.

take stuff, em th lp he So h. rt ea e av le to nt The Rabbids wa to the moon! heap it into a giant pile, and climb

Grab your trolley and collect anything ions. you can in over 40 hilarious miss

Drive crazy vehicles and wreak havoc in the human world!

www.rabbids.com Š 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Rabbids, Rabbids Go Home, Ubisoft, Ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

Laugh out loud with a friend who can help you in your quest.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 54 MCV 25/09/09

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Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ:

NEWS

REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...

88%

Need for Speed: Shift EA, 360

80%

76%

74%

71%

Soulcalibur: Destiny, PSP, Ubisoft

Champ Man 2010, PC, Eidos

Wet, 360, Bethesda

Mini Ninjas, PS3, Eidos

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

DEAL OF THE WEEK

250GB ‘MOVIE’ PS3 THIS CHRISTMAS? Retail sources suggest Sony will soon unveil a 250GB PS3 Slim SKU, with signs pointing to an assortment of high-capacity bundles being readied for Christmas. A leading entertainment retailer has backed up the rumours to MCV, adding that alongside the expected Uncharted 2 and Eyepet packs, the firm is also planning a high-capacity ‘movie bundle’. Included will be the rumoured 250GB PS3 Slim, Blu-Ray remote control, Blu-Ray movie and – possibly – Sony’s PlayTV attachment which turns PS3 into a fully-functional Freeview TV recorder. A spokesperson told MCV that Sony “does not comment on rumour and speculation”. ERA: FILESHARING IS “BLEEDING RETAIL DRY” The new chairman of the Entertainment Retailers Association Paul Quirk has

MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street... claimed that internet file-sharing “is bleeding our industry dry”. “Illegal filesharing is damaging our businesses, both physical and digital, on a daily basis, and the government needs to tackle it swiftly and decisively in order to protect jobs, businesses and investment,” Quirk told attendees at the recent ERA AGM. “Unless action is taken the filesharers will come for computer games, books – in fact anything which can be digitised – and what will be at stake will be not just the entertainment industry but huge swathes of the UK economy. We need action now.” PSP MINIS ‘WILL PROBABLY COME TO UMD’ The sub-100MB-sized PSP Minis may soon end up on store shelves as packaged UMD games, according to Sony. “A boxed package of multiple Minis games on a single UMD is a real possibility at a later stage,” said Sony Europe’s head of developer relations Zeno Colaco, in an interview with Develop.

FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ

MCV POLL

GAME is offering the chance to save £89.99 with an Xbox 360 Elite bundle that includes the console, Grand Theft Auto IV and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for £199.99.

WILL APPLE'S GAMING PUSH POSE A THREAT TO DS AND PSP? 48% YES

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 FORMAT: 360

2

NEW

3

1

DEVELOPER: CODEMASTERS PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 PS3

EIDOS

4

2

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3

5

3

WII SPORTS RESORT - WITH WII MOTION PLUS Wii

6

NEW

GUITAR HERO 5 SOLUS 360

7

NEW

THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND 360

8

7

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY LIMITED EDITION PSP

9

6

IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY 360

10

NEW

GUITAR HERO 5 SOLUS PS3

 Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com

CODEMASTERS

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360

EIDOS NINTENDO

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SQUARE ENIX 505 GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

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.

52% NO

MARGIN MAKER

EXPECT’S Drop ‘N’ Charge range offers an effortless charging solution to Wii and Xbox 360 owners. Users simply place the special battery pack in their Wii Remote or Xbox joypad and place the controller on the Drop ‘N’ Charge charging pad.

The device uses RF waves to transmit electrical current into the batteries, meaning there’s no need for gamers to remove silicon skins, MotionPlus add-ons or connect the controllers to a port. Exspect: 01282 684 871

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

THIS WEEK

Opinion is evenly divided on Apple’s potential to usurp DS and PSP with the iPod Touch, with only the slightest of majorities confident the traditional handhelds can hold their own.

54-55 MCV556_final

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12:13

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 55 Sponsored by

FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 HALO 3: ODST 360 MICROSOFT

2. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

PS3 ......................................................................SONY

FRONTLINE Nindie.com chats with Mike McGee from Derby’s Game Oasis… What makes your store unique compared to others on the High Street? We are one of only a couple of independent stores in Derby and the only one outside the city centre, making us a good choice for people who don’t want to go into town.

3. FIFA 10

PS3 ..........................................................................EA

4. FIFA 10

360 ..........................................................................EA

5. PES 2010

PS3....................................................................KONAMI

6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

7. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

PS3 ..........................................................................EA

8. GRAN TURISMO 5

PS3 ......................................................................SONY

9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

What is the one thing you would change about games retail? We would change the prices that we have to pay in relation to what we can sell software for. For example, if we had a DVD wholesale business and we went through the whole process, we’d produce the film, put it through the BBFC, get it manufactured and then sell it to the retailers at around £6.50 to £6.95. They would then sell it for anything from £20

to £35. There’s a big difference when you compare that example to the margins we get on games. How much of a threat do supermarkets pose to your store/site? Both online and supermarkets are a big threat to our store because of some of the crazy prices they offer. These are mostly on new releases. We can’t compete with them selling games for even less than they cost us to buy in.

What are the biggest challenges facing your store? The biggest challenge facing us now is our new website: www.gameoasis.co.uk. We need to make it viable and get visitors and customers to it. What has been performing well? The Nintendo stock has been performing well for us on both console and games on all formats. PS3 games are not performing to well on both new or pre-owned.

PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

10. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

PS3 ..........................................................................EA Week ending September 18th Source: SHOPTO.COM

PRICE CHECK

TOP 10

Guitar Hero 5 (Guitar bundle) PS3, Activision Blizzard

Mini Ninjas Wii, Eidos

Colin McRae: Dirt 2 PS3, Codemasters

N/A

N/A

£27.71

N/A

N/A

£179.99

£74.99

£34.99

£44.99

£44.99

N/A

£69.99

£24.99

£39.99

£39.99

£179.99

£74.99

£39.99

£39.99

£44.99

N/A

£64.99

£29.99

£37.99

£32.99

£174.95

£69.95

£24.95

£32.95

£29.95

£174.93

£69.93

£27.93

£34.93

£32.93

£169.99

£69.85

£27.99

£37.85

£27.85

The Beatles: Rock Band (Limited Edition) 360, EA

[PRE ORDERS]

Section 8 360, South Peak

IN STORE: STAFFORD

HALO 3: ODST 360 MICROSOFT

2. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

DS..................................................................NINTENDO

3. FIFA 10

PS3 ..........................................................................EA

4. EYEPET - WITH CAMERA AND MAGIC CARD

PS3 ......................................................................SONY

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

6. FIFA 10

360 ..........................................................................EA

7. WII FIT PLUS

WII ................................................................NINTENDO

8. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

PS3 ..........................................................................EA

9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

ONLINE

PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

10. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

PS3 ......................................................................SONY

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

Week ending September 18th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK

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

56-57 MCV556_final:54-55 MCV553

22/9/09

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 56

MCV 25/09/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS NINTENDO CLASSIC WORD GAMES UBISOFT SHERLOCK HOLMES: MUMMY DISNEY

2 3 6 9 5 7 4 8 RE

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD G-FORCE DISNEY HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS

2 3 4 7 8 5 6 10

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

FORMAT: 360, PS3, PSP, PC DEVELOPER: SLIGHTLY MAD STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA

LAST WEEK

2

1

GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3 ,Wii, PS2

3

2

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360, PS3 ,Wii, DS, PSP

CODEMASTERS

4

3

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3

EIDOS

5

6

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

6

NEW

WET 360, PS3

BETHESDA

[3]

[4]

TITLE

7

4

THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND 360, PS3, Wii

8

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

9

5

WII FIT Wii

10

11

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3

11

7

IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS 360, PS3, DS, PSP

12

12

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3

1 2 3 4 5

NEW

3 2

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MOTORSTORM: ARCTIC EDGE MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE SOULCALIBUR: BROKEN DESTINY

6 7 8 9 10

4 5 6 7 9

DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX

[5]

EA

NINTENDO EA 505 GAMES EA

13

9

MARIO KART WII Wii

14

13

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010 PC

EIDOS

15

15

MINI NINJAS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC

EIDOS

16

RE

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

17

10

ASHES CRICKET 2009 Wii, PS3, PC, 360

18

14

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

19

RE

20

19

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8

NINTENDO

CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

FAR CRY 2 360, PS3, PC

UBISOFT

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

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

THIS WEEK

DEVELOPER: BUDCAT CREATIONS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY

NEW

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

GUITAR HERO 5

NEW

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

WARNER BROS.

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010 DEVELOPER: BEAUTIFUL GAME STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EIDOS

EA

2

NEW

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

SONY

3

2

THE SIMS 3

CAPCOM

4

NEW

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

UBISOFT

5

NEW

BLOOD BOWL

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 CODEMASTERS RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY FIFA ‘09 EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA

6

3

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

7

NEW

8

4

9

NEW

10

7

EIDOS EA EA THQ SEGA

RESIDENT EVIL 5 WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

RED FACTION: GUERRILLA

THQ

WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II

THQ

56-57 MCV556_final:54-55 MCV553

22/9/09

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09

ELECTRONIC ARTS’ Need For Speed: Shift races to

a also strong week for debut titles in all individual

the top of the charts this week, besting last year’s

charts, expect for DS, with at least one Top 10 entry

entry Undercover, which debuted in fourth. The

in each. full price chart. The release of several previous

generated 44 per cent. The PC and PSP editions

console hits, such as Red Faction: Guerrilla, Resident

made up the remaining five per cent.

Evil 5 and Batman: Arkham Asylum prove there is still strong demand for hardcore PC titles. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

The only other entry to make it into the Top 10 was Bethesda’s Wet, which seized sixth place. It was

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

21

20

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

22

18

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

ROCKSTAR

23

24

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

24

31

HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, PS2 EA

25

26

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

26

33

SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2, PC SEGA

27

21

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD

28

28

KILLZONE 2 PS3

29

25

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

30

29

MARIO KART DS DS

31

27

THE SIMS 3 PC

32

31

G-FORCE 360, Wii, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP

33

36

SONIC UNLEASHED 360, PS3, Wii, PS2

34

17

WOLFENSTEIN 360, PS3, PC

35

16

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY PSP

36

NEW

SINGSTAR MOWTOWN PS3, PS2

37

NEW

NHL 10 360, PS3

38

30

WII PLAY Wii

39

40

HALO 3 360

40

32

MYSTERY STORIES DS

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 6 3 5 8

Most notably, new titles took over half of the PC

accounting for 52 per cent of sales, while Xbox 360

360, PS3, PC UBISOFT

SONY EA NINTENDO EA DISNEY SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SQUARE ENIX SONY EA NINTENDO MICROSOFT GSP/AVANQUEST

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

1

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM GUITAR HERO 5 WET IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4

2 1 3 NEW

5 6 4 10 7

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: SLIGHTLY MAD STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA

TITLE

WII SPORTS RESORT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GUITAR HERO 5 WII FIT MARIO KART WII THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND ASHES CRICKET 2009 TOY STORY MANIA EA SPORTS ACTIVE COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 MINI NINJAS

NEW

7 10 NEW

TITLE

PUBLISHER

WOW: BATTLE CHEST DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: EMERALD

GSP/AVANQUEST

MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST

FOCUS

HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON

FOCUS

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE

FOCUS

ESCAPE THE MUSEUM

GSP/AVANQUEST

NEW

ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON

MASTERTRONIC

7 10 9

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

MYSTERY CASE FILES: PRIME SUSPECTS

FOCUS

AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE LOST TOMB FOCUS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 GUITAR HERO 5 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM WET CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY

6 4 7 8 5

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA UBISOFT EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO NINTENDO EA CODEMASTERS DISNEY EA CODEMASTERS EIDOS

[FULL PRICE]

1 NEW

BETHESDA 505 GAMES

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

1 2 3

EIDOS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER

1 4 1 3 5 6

CODEMASTERS

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

PUBLISHER

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

game was most popular on PS3, with Sony’s format

WEEK ENDING 19/09/09

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: SLIGHTLY MAD STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EIDOS BETHESDA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA EA 505 GAMES

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

57

28,29 MCV552_final

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Page 1

YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES

sourcebook WWW.INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK

creative and promotional SErvices 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

Indigo Pearl Tel: +44 (0)20 8964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

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

AN.X Ltd. Tel: 020 7785 7156 www.anxagency.com

JR DESIGN Tel: +44 (0) 7824 506436 www.joeryandesign.co.uk

The Pixel Tel: 0800 043 1040 www.thepixel.com

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

Media Safari PR Tel: 01225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk

Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

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

More Creative Tel: 020 7561 6010 www.morecreative.co.uk

gaming accessorieS

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

Multiplay Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 1337 www.multiplay.co.uk

Gfk Chart-Track Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585 www.chart-track.com

Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz

Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

PMA Marketing Tel: 020 7483 0568 www.pmamarketing.com

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

RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Tel: +44 (0)20 8254 5300 www.rainbowproductions.co.uk

FEREF Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6330 www.feref.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com

FINK Creative Ltd Tel: 01480 302350 www.finkcreative.com

Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com

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

Shorewood.Blueprint Tel: 020 7183 9666 www.shorewood-blueprint.com

Freeform.London Tel: 020 7183 6664 www.freeformlondon.co.uk

Side Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 4800 www.side.com

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

SKYSKRAPER® Tel: +44 (0)20 7252 3288 www.skyskraper.net

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

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0) 1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com

AntiGrav Media Ltd Tel: 01932 454929 www.antigrav-media.co.uk Hubb Accessories Tel: 01642 204343 www.playwithhubb.com Logic3 plc Tel: 01923 471000 www.logic3.com Pebble Entertainment GmbH Tel: +49 (231) – 477 927 0 www.pebble-entertainment.com/en Pinpoint Consumer Elec. Tel: +44 (0) 1606 558 428 www.pinpointce.co.uk

international distribution ComputerLand doo Tel: +381 11 309 95 95 www.computerland.rs CURVEBALL LEISURE Tel: 01792 652521 www.thegamecollection.net Funtastic Tel: +61 3 9419 5444 www.funtastic.com.au GameStreamer, Inc. Tel: 001-813-527-0383 www.gamestreamer.net

LO

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS

28,29 MCV552_final

20/8/09

13:16

Page 2

In association with

Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com

LOCALISTATION QA AND TESTING

legal services

4-Real Intermedia GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 69809088 - 0 www.4-real.com

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

Harbottle & Lewis Tel: +44 (0)207 667 5000 www.harbottle.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com

Partnertrans Tel: +44 1753 247731 www.partnertrans.com

Marriott Harrison Tel: +44 (0)20 7209 2000 www.marriottharrison.co.uk

ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de

PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net

software development

Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com

Testronic Laboratories Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1753 653722 www.testroniclabs.com

Cenega Poland Sp.Zo.o Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

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

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229-9999 ext.312 www.enzyme.org

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

ChaYoWo Games Tel: +1 917.650.0010 www.chayowogames.com Crytek UK Tel: +44 115 949 0808 www.crytek.com Data Design Interactive Tel: +44 0 1384 44 79 00 www.datadesign.uk.com xaitment GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 6897-600 80-0 www.xaitment.com

manufacturing services Arvato digital services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

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

DISCHROMATICS LTD Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

MPO UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8956 2727 www.mpo-international.com

The Producers Limited Tel: 0845 234 2444 www.theproducers.co.uk

Multi Media Replication Ltd Tel: +44(0) 1264 336330 www.replication.com

Total Console Repair Ltd Tel: 08719 181 721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

uk distribution and logistics Discstribution Tel: + 44 (0) 845 4308735 www.discstribution.com EntaTech Tel: 0333 101 1000 www.entaonline.com Gem Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk Meroncourt Europe Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 www.trade.meroncourt.co.uk

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

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

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com/games

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

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

GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT: ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01992 535647

60-61 MCV556_final:Layout 1

21/9/09

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Page 1

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 60 MCV 25/09/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

ESTONIA

ISRAEL

RUSSIA

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

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

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

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

AUSTRIA

FINLAND

ITALY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

BELGIUM

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

FRANCE

Digital Bros spa................................................Milano

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

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

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

Newave Italia...................................................Firenze

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

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

BENELUX

NETHERLANDS

SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

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

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

45 rue Delizy,

Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

Favour Games..................................................Tilburg

mail:games@computerland.rs

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

website:www.computerland.rs

GAMEWORLD

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

NEW ZEALAND

SINGAPORE

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

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

GERMANY

NORWAY

SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPAIN

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

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

GREECE

POLAND

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

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

Centric ...............................................................Athens

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

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens

Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

EBS Benelux Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg The Netherlands

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

CYPRUS

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

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD

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

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

INDIA

tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: business@techland.pl

ICELAND

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

Web: www.techland.pl

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

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

VIRGIN PLAY

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

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

DENMARK

Web: www.virginplay.es

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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

Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

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

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 25/09/09 61

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

USA

UAE

ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se Website: www.gameoutlet.se

Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: marketing@alesayi.ae U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com

Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg

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

 Spawn Labs has developed a machine that allows consumers to play console games on PC. The Spawn HD-720 has an RRP of $199.95 and streams console games from Xbox 360, PS2, PS3 or GameCube to PC. Adapters for each console are also required and are priced at $29.99 each. The HD-720 is currently not compatible with Mac, and requires Windows XP, Vista or to run – as well as a bandwidth of between 500kbps and 1mbps for standard definition. The console is available to buy through Spawn Labs’ website.

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

TURKEY

Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112

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

UNITED STATES

 Sales analyst NPD has revealed that the North American video games market suffered yet another monthly decline in August – its sixth in as many months – though there are signs that the drops are abating. The market’s total value hit $908.72m throughout the month – 16 per cent down on the same period in 2008. Hardware sales were down 25 per cent and software sales down 15 per cent. For the year-to-date, current sales are 14 per cent behind where the market sat in September 2008. “The price cuts implemented on the PS3 and 360 hardware already made an impact on unit sales,” NPD’s Anita Frazier stated. “It will be interesting to see the full impact of the new price points on September sales. “The back four months of the year would have to be up 14 per cent in aggregate for 2009 to come in flat in comparison to 2008 sales.”

Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai

BASCO, INC.

 Toys R Us is to press ahead with plans to introduce pre-owned games trading at all of its US stores. Variety reports that Toys R Us will accept titles from 25 separate games systems spanning from modern machines like the Xbox 360 to older consoles such as the Atari 2600 – though all titles must have their original cases and artwork. However, flying in the face of established methodology, Toys R Us won’t offer the second hand titles to customers. Instead, the retailer will sell them off privately to third parties. Those who trade games receive in-store credit.

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

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 info@usgamesdist.com www.usgamesdist.com

JAPAN

 The Pokémon craze may be getting on a bit in modern gaming terms, but there’s no sign yet that ‘Pokéfever’ is abating with huge sales for Nintendo’s latest release in the franchise in Japan last week. Famitsu reports that DS pair Pokémon HeartGold and Pokémon SoulSilver sold an impressive 1,480,980 units combined in Japan last week in their first weekend on the market. Furthermore, there have been reports of stock shortages, meaning that the success could yet be replicated in the games’ second week of release.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games

www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

DISCSTRIBUTION +44 (0) 845 430 8735 Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts

DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com DISTRIBUTION

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

BDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688

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

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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY OCTOBER 2nd

LGC: WHY YOU NEED TO BE THERE We explain how your company stands to benefit from London Games Conference – the only UK event dedicated to the burning issue of digital distribution, and one of the most exciting networking opportunities around. Expect keynotes and discussions from leading industry figures on the hottest topics facing the trade.

MUSIC GENRE FOCUS This Christmas boasts a fascinating music line-up, including the likes of The Beatles: Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Band Hero, SingStar, Lips and LEGO Rock Band. We speak to the publishers and developers and offer a guide to where this market-leading genre is heading. FRIDAY OCTOBER 9th

GUIDE TO GMA WINNERS As the Games Media Awards come to an end, MCV offers a definitive rundown of the winners in every category. As well as in-depth coverage of the event, we also speak with the triumphant parties about their victory and the future of games media. FRIDAY OCTOBER 16th

FPS GENRE FOCUS With the Christmas charts likely to be dominated by the likes of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST, we take a look at how publishers can survive in this increasingly competitive genre. We also speak with leading companies about the key titles due to hit shelves throughout Q4, how they will stand out from their rivals and where the future of this popular genre is heading.

TERRITORY REPORT: JAPAN The Japanese games market is in upheaval, with software and hardware sales in decline and the country’s publishing superpowers looking to Europe for its profits. MCV takes an in-depth look at the territory and speaks to distributors, retailers and publishers on the future of Japan’s legendary games sector. FRIDAY OCTOBER 23rd

LGC: SHOW GUIDE As the London Games Conference approaches, MCV offers an exclusive in-depth guide to what you should expect from the much-anticipated event. We’ll provide a full rundown of the panels and speakers involved, and explore the key topics due to be discussed.

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL SPECIAL The 2009 London Games Festival is set to top every previous incarnation, with several events spread across both the week and the city. But don’t fret – MCV offers a complete breakdown of the festival’s schedule. FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th

30 UNDER 30 One of our most popular annual features makes its triumphant return. MCV provides the definitive round-up of the hottest up-and-coming talent that’s currently working within the UK video games industry. It will include promising young marketing managers, PR executives, journalists, retailers, games buyers, consultants and much more.

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 DISC REPAIR

DEVELOP DIRECTORY

STUDIOS NDreams. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS Blitz Games Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Crytek. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516 SERVICES 3D Creation Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 345 9551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Onteca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0151 709 0028 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 Testology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07919 523 036 Testronic Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1753 653 722 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 sam.robinson@intentmedia.co.uk.

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

GAMING ACCESSORIES

...bringing you all the right lines Nyko 360 Chargebase

SkipDr Premier Disk Cleaner Enigma DSi Necessity Kit

General enquiries:

01606 558 428

or email: enquires@pinpointce.co.uk Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group

PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . simonbrown@googlemail.com

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

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Insider’s | Guide

GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . wholesale@glsgames.com GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

This week MCV speaks to MPO Sales and Marketing Director Xavier d’Estais…

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

Can you give us a general impression of your company? MPO offers a range of solutions dedicated to the games market, video, music, covermount, and multimedia. The company was created 50 years ago and it has a strong international presence with three manufacturing sites, three logistics centres across the world, and one printing site. In our field, MPO is the European specialist in the home entertainment industry. Could you tell us about the goods and services you offer? MPO partners with a number of video games publishers in Europe. We offer a range of solutions: manufacturing of PC games, creation and printing of packaging, customised packing, packing for console games, repackaging, and European logistics and distribution.

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

Any exciting developments at the moment? This year we have developed our co-packing activity and invested in a new dedicated warehouse and automatic packaging lines. Many video games publishers trust us to carry out the packing of their Nintendo DS games. Moreover, we print inlay sleeves, booklets, leaflets and carton boxes in our in-house printing facility. We greatly reduce leadtime for them, provides opportunity to reduce the number of variants per SKU and reduce their global costs to launch a game. Any expansions planned? We already work with 15 publishers including five majors. Our aim is to encourage other major companies to benefit from the advantages that we offer.

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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…

SEPTEMBER TOKYO GAME SHOW Thursday, September 24th – Sunday, September 27th Makuhair Messe, Tokyo tgs.cesa.or.jp/english

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

BRAND LICENSING 2009 Wednesday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st Olympia, London www.brandlicensingeurope.com

LOCALISATION

Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing

For further information, please contact sales-tl@testroniclabs.com www.testroniclabs.com

OCTOBER HANDHELD LEARNING Monday, October 5th – Wednesday, October 7th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.handheldlearning2009.com MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk

GAMES MEDIA AWARDS Thursday, October 15th Jongleurs, Camden, London dave.roberts@intent media.co.uk Now in its third year the Games Media Awards returns to the Jongleurs Comedy Club in Camden and will once again hail the best brands and individuals from the specialist and mainstream sectors, both in print and online. Last year’s Games Media Awards saw wins for the ‘big three’ of Future, Imagine and Eurogamer, whilst there was also awards for FHM and The Guardian. The event is free to enter for the media.

EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net

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

ACGI 09 Tuesday, October 27th – Thursday, October 29h Dubna, Russia www.acogi.org

LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, London Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS Friday, October 30th London www.goldenjoystick.com

Taking place at BAFTA and focused on digital distribution, London Games Conference will be the biggest standalone UK event dedicated to the issue that is currently top of the industry’s agenda. Highlights include Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft discussing their online gaming strategies in a panel chaired by Edge editor Tony Mott and a session hosted by erstwhile Sony development director Phil Harrison discussing the demise of physical media.

NOVEMBER GAME ON! LONDON Saturday, November 14th – Sunday, November 15th Earls Court 2, London www.gameonlondon.com

DECEMBER MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk

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

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MCV FORUM

‘Do you know your ad rules?’ One agency boss says that the industry should look closely at new UK guidelines…

I ATTENDED last week’s Advice:am Video Games Seminar, hosted by the ASA and CAP, at their central London office. The event was in response to the Byron report and was part of CAP’s launch of a new Video Games and Films Advertising Help Note. As well as a few ASA/CAP experts, ELSPA’s own Michael Rawlinson presented some very

ELSPA codes, we felt it important to have the opportunity to hear first hand from experts within the system and to question them directly on the codes as they apply to our business. After all, we always do our best to deliver top quality, and legal, ads to our clients. The key thing that did come out of the day was the ‘context’ element.

What is strange is that so few agencies that focus on games clients decided to attent the Advice:am Games Seminar. Jon Sloan, ANX Agency

useful information on the systems for regulation of games ads, with case studies drawn from all industries, but with a focus on ads promoting games and movies. Even though we’re up to speed on the CAP, BCAP and

For instance, one really pertinent example of ‘context’ given was a poster ad for the 2008 Jon Avnet movie Righteous Kill. The image on the poster was pretty innocuous and the strapline said, ‘There’s nothing

wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot.’ Not too contentious given the subject matter. However, the company had placed it on the London Underground sites, including Stockwell tube, at the time of the de Menezes inquiry. So it ultimately failed the ‘likely to cause serious or widespread offence’ test. The audience was a mixed bag of lawyers, publishers and other interested parties, mostly digital agencies, oddly enough. What is stranger, though, is that so few other agencies, especially those that focus as we do on games clients, decided to attend. We even spoke to the creative services head of a large publisher, who said she’d notified all the agencies that she works with about it and yet they weren’t there. Now, I know that these guys may claim that they’re too busy

or already well informed about the regs but, come on, you’ve got to question the commitment of ‘games specialist’ agencies that choose not to attend such a relevant event. Jon Sloan, ANX Agency

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM

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PIC OF THE WEEK

As the EA marketing machine kicks into gear for FIFA 10, MCV takes a look behind the scenes of the publisher’s mammoth new ad for the game. Not only does Wayne Rooney revive his role as a supporter-slaying video games fan (above), but Arsenal, Man Utd and Everton stars actually seem to enjoy each other’s company (see below). Must have been filmed pre-season.

Off The Record

This week, MCV take a look behind the scenes of EA’s latest ad, and catches up with Warner and Koch Media at GAME’s annual conference...

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COMPETITION WIN OPERATION FLASHPOINT GOODIES

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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 Codemasters is offering five lucky MCV readers a special prize to celebrate the release of Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising next month. Up for grabs is a Operation Flashpoint t-shirt and a copy of the game on Xbox 360. Just answer this question: If this is Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising, what was the original Operation Flashpoint’s subtitle? A) Coleslaw Crisis B) Cold War Crisis C) Cold Meat Slices

BROS. IN ARMS

Send your answers to Flashpoint@intentmedia.co.uk

Warner Bros’ UK staff got stuck into the fancy dress theme at GAME’s annual conference last week – with spectacular results. Here we have Warner’s Rose Buahin with Gamestation’s Jonathan Towns and David Twells (main pic); Warner’s Phil Lamb giving us the evil eye; and Gamestation’s Dave Wilson with Warner’s Gary Wilson.

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

THE DENE MACHINE Continuing this week’s footballing theme, here we have industry PR and Italian stallion Dene Landucci, pictured with one of his heroes – World Cup winner Marco Tardelli. But Dene had more to thank the retired star for than just bringing home the silverware in 1982, as he explains:“1982 represented my first major football bet. I stuck £100 on Italy at the start of the tournament at 7/1. When they won in the Bernabeau I think I shouted louder than Tardelli – and half of Italia!”

U-SING, WE SING, THEY SING Koch Media turned plenty of heads with its promotion for U-Sing at the GAME conference last week, attracting plenty of industry types that love a bit of karaoke. Of course, they were just tempted over by the game – and IN NO WAY the ‘everyday gamers’ in pink braziers with teeth whiter than snow pictured above.

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS

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Win Win Win… MCV has teamed up with Activision to offer one lucky reader an Xbox 360 Arcade model with copy of Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox 360. For a chance to win answer the following question: In Modern Warfare, what is Captain John MacTavish’s nickname? A: Handwash B: Shampoo C: Soap Pleas send your answer to Warfare@intentmedia.co.uk

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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

Please address all enquiries to:

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk

Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk

Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk

Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk

US Editor: Colin Campbell Colin.Campbell@intentmedia.co.uk

Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk

Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley, Aaron Lee

Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647



FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Michael Canham Michael.Canham@intentmedia.co.uk

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

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

MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

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

SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.

www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision, Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

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MCV556 September 25th 2009