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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday October 2 2009 £3.25

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THE HAS COME TO Wii Screenshots

FEATURES COMPETE IN A VARIETY OF WINTER SPORTS Get ready to compete in authentic Olympic Winter Games events, as well as plenty of fun-ďŹ lled Dream events from the worlds of Mario and Sonic. CHOOSE YOUR FAVOURITE CHARACTER Play as your favourite character from the worlds of Mario and Sonic, including some fresh new faces, such as Donkey Kong and Metal Sonic, or take them all on with your very own Mii™. EXPERIENCE THE ACTION Simulate real-life movements with easy-to-use controls on the Wii Balance Board, Wii Remote ™/Nunchuk ™ or enjoy a variety of events with your friends with a single Nintendo DS Game Card. ENJOY Wii MULTIPLAYER FUN Challenge your friends to individual events or compete as a team in an entire Olympic competition in ‘Festival Mode’, where you’ll ďŹ nd new ‘Boss’ competitions against unique Mario and Sonic characters. ALL NEW DS EXCLUSIVE ‘ADVENTURE TOURS’ It’s your chance to save the 2010 Winter Games in this new in-depth story mode ďŹ lled with diverse missions and boss encounters, in addition to the single and multiplayer Olympic Winter Games sporting experience!

DS Screenshots

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 557 Friday October 2 2009 £3.25

04 The price is right Activision breaks its silence over the controversial £55 RRP for Modern Warfare 2

07 Steam won’t share Valve explains why an official download chart is easier said than done

29 Britain’s got talent We check in with Codemasters boss Jeremy Wigmore to discuss Xmas plans

WITH THIS ISSUE Your in-depth guide to one of the biggest games this Q4

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

‘Pre-owned will keep growing’ GAME anticipates yet more growth for trade-ins, as sector generates 25% of H1 sales  Firm trials US-style kiosks by Tim Ingham PRE-OWNED SALES could account for close to a third of GAME’s revenue in 12 months’ time – as the firm looks forward to another year of double-digit growth for its trade-in business. In alarming news for publishers, pre-owned generated 25.7 per cent of the firm’s revenues in a tough H1 2009 – up 12.3 per cent year-on-year.

We suggest you'll see similar trade-in growth next year. Pre-owned makes significantly better margins than new. Lisa Morgan, GAME

GAME CEO Lisa Morgan told MCV this week that GAME enjoys “significantly better margins” from pre-owned sales than from new games. Last Wednesday, the GAME Group posted a 60 per cent year-on-year drop in profits for the six months to July 31st. New income for the period fell from £35.5 million to £14.5 million.

but admitted that the retailer would never deliberately limit trade-ins to please publishers. “It’s not up to us to restrict the way in which our customers buy,” she added. For the full year ended January 31st, 2009, pre-owned revenues made up 18 per cent of GAME Group’s overall sales, up to £353 million from the previous year’s £257 million.  Turn to page 29 for our Q&A with Lisa Morgan and GAME COO Terry Scicluna

The company said the fall was in line with company expectations, following a record year in 2008. Overall sales dipped seven per cent, down to £690.8 million. Despite the downward trend, pre-owned sales leapt to £177 million in the period – representing impressive growth on the £157.8 million taken in H1 2008. Morgan said she hoped to see similar growth next year.

KEEN ON KIOSKS

When asked if GAME expected another 12 per cent rise in pre-owned sales in H1 2010, she added: “I can’t give guidance, but we would suggest you’ll continue to see the same kind of trend. Preowned makes significantly better margins than new.” Morgan added that GAME expected pre-owned’s impact on sales to “soften” during Q4,

MORGAN: GAME CEO says the Q4 boom will “soften” the impact that pre-owned will have on FY2009

In further evidence that GAME is looking to ramp up its pre-owned offering, MCV can reveal that the retailer is trialling USstyle kiosks that could allow customers to rent, buy and even trade-in video games. GAME CEO Lisa Morgan told MCV that trial kiosks were now in certain UK stores. Such kiosks have taken off in the US, with Best Buy and Walmart already testing them. Last month, Blockbuster said that it may be forced to close up to 960 US outlets by the end of next year – but that it plans to have 10,000 Blockbuster Express kiosks open in the same time. “The kiosks represent the best chance for big box stores to gain share of used games without managing the logistical challenges,” said Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.

Centresoft secures Best Buy Europe account by Andrew Wooden BEST BUY EUROPE has strengthened its UK launch plans by appointing Centresoft to exclusively handle all gaming products, MCV can reveal. The deal includes PC games as well as all console software and hardware – except Microsoft first party products,

which are handled in the UK by Gem. It is understood the deal does not incorporate other types of software, such as antivirus and utility programmes. The first Best Buy megastores are due to hit the UK in the early part of next year. The European division that will oversee them is

Best Buy’s first UK megastores will open in early 2010

jointly owned by The Carphone Warehouse, which has been ramping up its interests in the PC space over the last year with an increased emphasis on computer and technology retailing within its existing network of stores. The move is widely expected to cause a stir amongst the UK technology

retail market, due to Best Buy's dominance in the US and the sheer economic weight it can put behind its growing European operation. Best Buy recently reported Second Quarter Revenues of $11 billion – a 12 per cent increase, and has subsequently increased its fiscal outlook for next year.

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

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NEWS

[LEADER] SOMEONE HAD TO MENTION IT... Quiet at the back. Come on now. Yes, I’m looking at you, EA, THQ and Activision. And would somebody please tell David Braben to stop gesticulating so wildly? GAME’s admission that pre-owned sales (sock!) offer better margins than new releases and are (pow!) set to grow beyond providing a quarter of its revenues has no doubt gone down about as well with ELSPA’s members as a Christmas Card from the BBFC. For years, the retail-publishing alliance have abided by the pact that ‘trade-ins’ is an unmentionable phrase – a linguistic A-bomb best avoided at all costs. Rather than spoil the harmony of their Special Relationship, this pressing, divisive topic has been buried under platitudes, profit sharing and prettylooking special editions. But now the genie is very much out of the bottle. And he’s holding a plastic Tesco bag full of last year’s Top Ten. We now know for sure that pre-owned is in the ascendancy at GAME. But is this really such a shock, disgruntled suppliers? Above all else (and, yes, this includes you, platform holders) GAME has a duty to its shareholders. And its investors don’t want subtlety or face-saving. They want positive numbers – and they want them now. In last week’s half-year results, where overall profits nosedived – in no small part due to publishers’ increasing love affair with online – GAME had little choice but to finally sing about its trade-in success. Anything to give its stockholders cheer. As the economic slowdown and aging console cycle combine with web distribution to threaten traditional revenue streams, GAME’s previously hush-hush pre-owned business has become the jewel in its crown; something to proudly wave in front of its investors, rather than shunt under the carpet when Microsoft comes knocking. Lisa Morgan puts it particularly eloquently in this week’s issue: “When you’re an operation the size of ours, it’s important to drive to be as profitable as you possibly can be.” Quite. And however much you want to keep a smile on the face of your publishing partners, that ultimately means looking after No.1.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY Can a machine really do a specialist’s job? For a company that proudly invests in the expertise of its staff, what are we to make of GAME’s decision to trial US-style kiosks in its stores? Perhaps the clue lies in MCV’s second cover story this week. As giant North American chains such as Best Buy lay the groundwork for an all-out UK invasion, our own retail royalty seems to be getting to grips with the tricks of our Yankee neighbours. Two years after it shocked the world by acquiring Gamestation, GAME once again has a cut-throat competitor to keep an eye on. Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk

Activision breaks silence Super publisher reassures retail over controversy surrounding Call by Christopher Dring GIANT PUBLISHER Activision has defended its decision to slap a £55 RRP on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, insisting the game justifies the price tag. Some retailers had previously expressed concern to MCV over the effect the price – which is £5 more expensive than regular Xbox 360 and PS3 titles – would have on cash-strapped consumers over the Christmas period (MCV 17/07). And Activision is set to launch a series of premiumpriced products this Christmas, including DJ Hero and Tony Hawk: Ride, both of which come with peripherals and cost around £100. However, the firm finally broke its silence on these controversial price points this week, reassuring the trade it was confident that consumers will pay premium prices for these games – and still feel they were getting bang for their buck. “The question is what represents value for money,” Activision’s UK

BROWN: The Activision boss believes that prices of its upcoming video games offer ‘value for money’ over other entertainment products

505 spends big on Mama THE COOKING Mama phenomenon returns next month for its first proper crack at the Christmas market, backed by the biggest marketing push so far for the franchise. As well as the peak season release date, it is also the first time a Cooking Mama game has ever benefited from a simultaneous worldwide release, and PAL publisher 505 is determined to make the most of the opportunity. Marketing director Alison Mitchell told MCV: “It has

taken a huge effort to ensure that all three versions (US, Europe, Japan) of Cooking Mama 3 are available for the Christmas period simultaneously. Cooking Mama Ltd are obviously aware of the commercial significance of a Christmas launch for Mama and saw the launch of this new iteration as a chance to take Mama to the next level in terms of awareness and sales.”

Cooking Mama 3 hits the DS on November 13th. It has more recipes and mini games than any of the previous titles, plus, just as opportunities for the real thing are washed out, a Barbeque option. Mitchell continued: “Cooking Mama 3 represents the biggest ever opportunity for 505 Games given the seasonality of the release.”

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on price decisions Xbox reveals Q4 Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s £54.99 RRP managing director Andrew Brown told MCV. “At the end of the day, there is a spectrum of what people can afford and what people are prepared to spend. These things are key. “Is what I am buying supplying me sufficient value for money and can I afford it? If so then I will buy it.

retail changes all the time depending on how successful a product is or isn’t. I think there is a lot of controversy over I don’t know what.” Brown’s comments echo similar opinions from fellow publisher bosses, whose products are feeling the pinch from tough exchange rates and record development costs.

MICROSOFT is bullish that it can face off threats from Wii and PS3 with its multi-million dollar marketing blitz this Q4. The platform holder will focus its activity on the Xbox 360’s broader services, including ondemand HD movies, LastFM radio and Sky TV (promo pictured).

with our third-parties, we’re also doing a lot around core titles. “So we’re in the fortunate – or perhaps unfortunate – position of trying to attract many varied different audiences.” The activity will lead on TV, with 30, 20 and 10 second spots booked on digital and terrestrial

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY

2. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................EA

3. FIFA 10 360 ..............................................EA

4. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

Does the product supply sufficient value for money? Can consumers afford it? If so, then they will buy it.

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

6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

Andrew Brown, Activision

“This is an industry where things cost a lot to develop and it’s a risky business. We talk about building franchises; it is very expensive to do this from every respect. What we are finding is that for the right products, if you look at the time someone will spend playing something and compare it to something else, people are saying it’s worth it. “There’s nothing in life that isnt not price elastic. Price at

marketing assault

[PRE ORDERS]

One figurehead at a publisher’s UK HQ added: “If you look at the amount it costs to see a movie at the cinema or play a DVD, you watch it once and you’re done. A £55 game is far better value for money.” Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 10th. MCV revealed last week that it will be backed by a heavy-duty marketing push. Activision: 020 3060 1000

PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD But these will be joined by large campaigns for Forza 3, Lips and a range of third party titles. “Our next wave of TV work will hit across Europe from October 2nd and we’re focusing on the music and movie propositions of Xbox 360, and uniquely for the UK, the new Sky TV service,” Neil Thompson, senior regional director for Northern Europe told MCV. “What we try to do is attract the mainstream onto the platform but, along

television. This will then be joined by an extensive outdoor music programme called Xbox Reverb, which is set to run throughout Christmas and into 2010. “We are now starting our big, brand push into music,” added Xbox marketing manager Alex Weller. “Xbox Reverb is about connecting with music fans who can collaborate and cocreate a series of gigs through social media and our Xbox 360 brand.” Microsoft: 0870 601 0100

7. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY

8. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA DS......................................NINTENDO

9. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 360 ..............................CODEMASTERS

10. RATCHET AND CLANK: TIME PS3 ..........................................SONY Week ending September 25th Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 61 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market…  The UK video games market’s weekly sales shot up 54 per cent to £27.8 million – its highest weekly figure since Easter. Unit sales also rose 34 per cent to 1,082,362.  The results were driven by this week’s new No. 1 and 2, Halo 3: ODST and Nintendo’s Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box. Other new entrees this week included Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 at No. 7 and NCSoft’s Aion, which landed at No. 11.  Halo 3: ODST had an entire week to build up sales having hit shelves on Tuesday, but still sold 64 per cent of its week one sell-through on Day 1. Last week’s No. 1 Need For Speed: Shift also impacted sales with a seven per cent uplift over the previous week.

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

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE] 30

£27.8m

25 20 15 10

£17.6m

£18.0m

£27.8m

787,853 Units

791,790 Units

1,082,362 Units

5 Microsoft’s Halo: ODST leapt to the top of the UK All Formats chart in its debut week on sale

0

Week Ending September 18th Week Ending September 25th

Week Ending October 2nd

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Rockstar: Chinatown Wars is the must-have PSP Christmas game Publisher confident latest handheld Grand Theft Auto will outsell both rivals and predecessors this season by James Batchelor GTA: CHINATOWN WARS stands to be the strongest title in the PSP’s Christmas line-up, according to Rockstar. The game is a reworked edition of the DS version, which was released this March. It hits shelves on

PSP has a UK install base of 3.5 million owners, and a large proportion of those are fans of Grand Theft Auto. Neil Stephen, Rockstar

October 23rd, and will be competing with the likes of Gran Turismo, LittleBigPlanet, Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines and Rockstar’s own Beaterator in the run-up to Christmas – but the firm is still confident the game will hold its own. “We see Chinatown Wars as the must-have PSP game this

established audience that will be all too eager for Chinatown Wars’ arrival. “There is a massive install base for the PSP in the UK that is fast approaching 3.5 million owners,” he said. “A large proportion of this audience are fans of GTA since we are the best-selling franchise on the console. As a result, we are targeting this userbase as directly as possible.” The publisher has organised a heavyweight national phone kiosk ad campaign to promote the game, as well as a radio campaign set to reach more than three million listeners. Chinatown Wars will also sponsor the launch of South Park Studios’ UK online portal, with the popular cartoon’s audience expected to generate high levels of traffic. Rockstar has also arranged traditional print, online and trade advertising.

Christmas for mature gamers,” Rockstar’s general manager Neil Stephen told MCV. “The GTA series has an extremely strong heritage on the PSP and we are extremely proud that Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories are the two best-selling titles in the platform’s history.

“With Chinatown Wars we are bringing one of the most critically acclaimed handheld gaming experiences of all time to an established GTA fanbase on PSP.” Stephen also dismissed the notion that the PSP market is dwindling, confident that the platform already has a well

Chinatown Wars PSP is set to outperform the City Stories games

Rockstar: 020 7751 2565

London Games Conference sponsors announced COMPANIES from a variety of sectors, including online retailer Zavvi.com (now part of The Hut group) and digital distributor Direct2Drive, have

digital distribution with speakers and panelists from leading manufacturers, publishers and developers. The Platinum Sponsors are Zavvi.com and

We are delighted to be involved in the LGC as it gives us the opportunity to shape the industry’s future. Gian Luzio, The Hut

stepped forward as platinum sponsors of the forthcoming London Games Conference. Taking place at BAFTA in London from 4:30pm on Tuesday October 27th, LGC is focusing on the challenge of

Direct2Drive, with the Gold Sponsors consisting of Team 17, PowerPlay, Game Streamer and CD Team. The Hut’s product director Gian Luzio told MCV: “We are delighted to be involved in the

London Games Conference as it gives us the opportunity to share ideas and shape the future of the games industry as it continues to evolve and push the boundaries of technology. “We’re bringing Zavvi back as a leading entertainment retailer and we will be launching a full online entertainment retail experience with digital products available from all formats such as films, books music and games. “Digital downloads are part of the future of online retail and complement the physical product retail experience that Zavvi.com offers. “This conference will give us the chance to discuss all the

Platinum Sponsor

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

current developments with the key people in our industry.” The conference will open with a speech from Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey. It will feature exclusive research plus sessions looking at the decline of physical media, the shifting boundaries and balance of power within development, publishing and retail, plus the proprietary online gaming networks of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. The event will be followed by dinner and networking opportunities at BAFTA.  Tickets for the event are £229. Please contact Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or phone 01992 535647

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Steam: We can’t release digital data Online giant prevents download chart dream  Sales stats are ‘not ours to give away’ by Tim Ingham DIGITAL DOWNLOAD market leader Steam has told MCV that it will not release its sales data to chart companies – and that an official downloads ranking is not important. It is rumoured that parent company Valve’s secrecy over sales data is the final obstacle for companies such as GfKChartTrack and NPD to set up an official downloads chart for the trade. Valve business development boss Jason Holtman told MCV this week that the company was not at liberty to publicly release sales data from its publishing partners. “The data we aggregate to publishers is not as simple as feeding retail numbers into a database, and it’s not ours to share – the data belongs to publishers,” said Holtman. “A lot of the people calling for that kind of chart already have lots of good data on their games. So I know that while some think this would be great, but we have several partners who say: ‘Well, I have all my data already.’”

Steam remains tightlipped on sales figures

The data we aggregate to publishers is not as simple as retail sales, and isn’t ours to share. Jason Holtman, Valve

The news comes after leading industry figures from companies including Bethesda, Codemasters and ELSPA called for an industry-wide digital chart in MCV (‘Publishers are

ready for download chart’, MCV 31/7) – managed by GfK-ChartTrack. Over 880 games are available on Steam, which holds over 20 million user accounts.

Publishers that use the service include EA, THQ, Activision, Ubisoft and 2K Games. “For publishers in this space, having a third party tell them how well their games sold – that isn’t as important [as it is in the retail world]. Because the ones that use us can log on and see their sales figures, up to date, within the last five minutes.”  For the full interview with Holtman, turn to page 35

Will NFS Shift boost Nitro? ELECTRONIC ARTS will be using the recent chart success of Need For Speed: Shift to help drive sales of the upcoming Nitro for Wii and DS. Shift was the first of three titles designed to rejuvenate the Need For Speed series and debuted at No.1 in the ELSPA GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Charts after its release on September 18th. “We are looking to build on the massive boost in awareness of the Need For Speed franchise that has followed the strong release of Shift,” said product manager Kevin Flynn.

Need For Speed: Nitro will reinvigorate the series on Wii and DS

“We are very excited about the Need For Speed franchise coming to Nintendo platforms with something built especially for Wii and DS from the ground up. We hope this will offer

Nintendo platform owners a great arcade racing experience.” Nitro is due to arrive on November 20th, and offers a more accessible racing game where players use the Wii’s

motion controls to steer their cars and customise the vehicle’s appearance with colourful paint jobs. “Nitro runs at 60fps on the Wii, which is a fantastic achievement from the team in Montreal, who have become known for their innovation on Nintendo platforms,” he said. “Marketing will be heavily led by online, and we are looking at print and broadcast opportunities. We are also investing in some interesting PR initiatives.” Electronic Arts: 01483 463 000

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activision.com

© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark and DJ Hero is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. Patents Pending. ‘2’ , ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo. 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. ACTIVISION AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS ACTIVISION GAME ONLY IN COMBINATION WITH CONTROLLERS PROVIDED BY ACTIVISION OR OTHER AUTHORIZED CONTROLLERS. ACTIVISION ALSO AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS CONTROLLER ONLY WITH AN ACTIVISION GAME PRODUCT OR OTHER AUTHORIZED PRODUCT. ANY OTHER USE IS PROHIBITED AND NO OTHER LICENSE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS GRANTED.

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Sega plots Q4 success with FM 2010 Latest edition of the hugely popular management series will benefit from wide-ranging marketing push by James Batchelor PUBLISHER SEGA has predicted that the upcoming Football Manager 2010 will be the biggest PC release of Q4. The game is the latest in the long-running Sports Interactive

Retailers should expect strong pre-orders and good in-store sales in the title’s opening weeks. Ben Payne, Sega

franchise and is due for release on PC on October 30th. And in anticipation of its arrival, Sega has prepared an extensive marketing campaign to support the game. “Football Manager 2010 is the best game Sports Interactive has ever made,” Sega product manager Ben Payne told MCV. “Retailers should expect strong pre-

Manager successes, instead working hard to raise the bar with the latest version. “Our expectations for Football Manager never change,” Payne said. “We want to deliver a game that is well-received both by reviewers and fans as well as selling through well for all of our partners at retail.”

System 3 goes digital on PSP this week SYSTEM 3 has released three digitial titles for PSP to coincide with this week’s PSPgo launch. Impossible Mission, Gottlieb Pinball Classics and Super Fruitfall are now all available to download from the PlayStation Network. System 3 COO Mark Cale said: “Obviously there is going to be a huge groundswell of interest in the new PSPgo over the next few weeks and we will be part of it. Impossible Mission, Gottlieb Pinball and Super Fruitfall proved to be

The publisher is pouring significant resources into raising awareness for the game. “There won’t be a bigger PC launch campaign between now and Christmas across retail,” Payne confidently claimed. Marketing includes an extensive retailer-specific promotional push. Ads and coverage in national press around the game’s launch targeting the primary audience are planned. There will also be a widespread TV campaign, with spots running during live football matches and other key programming. Ads will initially be focused on pre-orders, before driving sales in the weeks after launch. Football Manager 2010 will also be partnering with Sky Sports and Football 365 online to reach an estimated four million unique users over the course of six weeks.

orders already, which will obviously increase between now and launch – as well as good in-store sales in the title’s opening weeks.” Payne said that Sega has not become complacent in the wake of previous Football

The likes of Impossible Mission will hit the PlayStation Store

exceptionally popular when first launched as boxed copies for the PSP and I am confident they will be even more popular this time around now that they are available for a new download-savvy audience.” System 3: 020 7491 4441

Sega has high hopes for the latest Football Manager release on PC

Sega: 020 8995 3399

PlayV signs new Euro partner PLAYV HAS announced a new partnership with German publisher S.A.D that will see the UK distributor handle the company’s titles when they are released on UK shores. The first titles to be included in the new deal are S.A.D’s PurpleHills range, a selection of casual games that have become popular in German-speaking territories. In Germany over 200 games have been released on PC under S.A.D publishing

label since it was launched in 2003. “This is a fantastic opportunity for PlayV,” said UK general manager Luiz Ferreira. “The PurpleHills

brand is a well-respected and recognised label in Germany. “We are looking forward to releasing these titles here in the UK and believe that

they offer the casual gamer something new, but at the same time something that is recognisable to them and easy for them to pick up and play, but very difficult to put down afterwards.” PlayV will be releasing the Nintendo DS versions of such PurpleHills games later this year, including Around The World In 80 Days on October 30th and Titanic Mystery on November 7th. Additional titles will be release on PC in Q1 2010. PlayV: 01582 436040

To take part in the UK's biggest sampling event, contact David Lilley david@eurogamer.net

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Sponsored by

New Hannah Montana PSP pack on the way from Disney and Sony Game giants join forces  New bundle will grow handheld’s younger teen audience by James Batchelor DISNEY and Sony are working together on a new Lilac PSP bundle for the next Hannah Montana game. The package includes Sony’s new Lilac PSP-3000 and a copy of Disney’s upcoming Hannah Montana: Rock Out

Claire Backhouse, Sony

The Show, due for release on October 23rd. The products will be marketed separately, but the campaigns will raise awareness of the bundle in order to drive sales among girl gamers and fans of Hannah Montana.

NINTENDO: The trade cost for the Wii has today been reduced, reversing the effects of the machine’s price hike in March. A new hardware bundle will also be launched, including the console, a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk, the MotionPlus hardware add-on and copies of Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.

“We think the girly colour of the PSP will be a great tie-in with Hannah Montana,” Disney marketing manager Burcin Ergin told MCV. “This is the first ever Hannah Montana game for

With teen advertorials in press and online, and Hannah Montana TV spots, we think this product will be a big hit.

PSP so we think it will be very well received by Hannah fans.” Sony’s PSP product manager Claire Backhouse added: “We are really excited about the new colour and have a strong campaign focused on young teens to support the launch.

“With teen advertorials in press and online and Hannah Montana TV spots, we think it will be a big hit.” Disney’s marketing plans include coverage on teen girls’ TV programmes across a range of channels such as Turner, Nickelodeon, CITV and GMTV2, as well as competitions on The Disney Channel.

There will also be advertorials in girls’ magazines, including Bliss, Mizz, Shout and the official Hannah Montana and High School Musical magazines. This year Sony has worked closely with third parties to promote PSP. In June it paired with Capcom to support the launch of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.

this week, and will visit the Conservative Party gathering in Blackpool next week. Health Secretary Alan Johnson booked to see ELSPA in Brighton, alongside Tom Watson MP – who last month applauded the body’s lobbying campaign to see the PEGI system installed in UK law. “The fact that the country’s Home Secretary wants to come and see what the industry has to offer is clearly great news,” ELSPA director general Mike Rawlinson told MCV. “We put on a minor fringe event last year at the Labour conference and we only

managed to get half a dozen MPs along. This year’s response is proving to be a good litmus test of just how far the industry and ELSPA has come in 12 months.” ELSPA’s Annual General Meeting takes place on Friday, October 23rd at BAFTA, 192 Piccadilly, London. All members are invited to the meeting.  To read our full interview with ELSPA’s Mike Rawlinson and Andy Payne, turn over to page 26.

SONY: The PS3 Slim has sold more than one million units around the world since launching at the start of September. UBISOFT: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction is due to arrive on UK shelves on February 26th, 2010. CAPCOM: Resident Evil 5 is being reworked for a Director’s Cut edition that will support Sony’s upcoming PS3 motion controller. The game is due to release alongside the new controller in spring 2010.

Sony: 020 7859 5000

ELSPA entertains top politicians ELSPA HAS told MCV that its visits to the party conferences of the UK’s three biggest political parties is “a litmus test on how far the industry has come”. The publishers’ body attended the Liberal Democrats conference in Bournemouth last week, and showed off video games including Wii Sports Resort to MPs, Lords and MEPs. Figures that visited ELSPA’s stand included Nick Clegg MP, Don Foster MP and former party leader Paddy Ashdown. ELSPA also attended the Labour conference in Brighton

[IN BRIEF]

ACTIVISION: Tony Hawk: Ride has slipped by a few weeks from it original date of November 20th. It will now arrive in the UK on December 4th.

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NEWS

Plants Vs. Zombies shuffles to UK retail Focus Multimedia brings Popcap’s award-winning online casual game to shelves this week, priced at £9.78 by Christopher Dring THE CRITICALLY acclaimed Plants Vs. Zombies will hit retail shelves on Friday October 2nd, MCV can reveal. The tower defence game, which pits various plants

also enjoyed rave reviews across the board, earning an 88 Metacritic rating and a nine out of ten score from Edge Magazine. The game was also backed by a huge online marketing campaign by PopCap, which

We know from our experience with Bejeweled that a game’s downloadable sales will translate into retail success.

Craig Johnson, Focus Multimedia

against an army of zombies, launched as a digital download in May this year for PC, Mac and iPhone. It is Popcap’s fastest-selling title of all time, and has

included a music video that has been watched over one million times on YouTube. The UK retail release is being handled by Focus Multimedia and will cost just £9.78 – cheaper

than the game’s digital price of £14.95. “We’re delighted to team up with PopCap Games again and bring Plants Vs. Zombies to UK retail in time for Halloween,” said Focus Multimedia’s managing director Craig Johnson. “The amazing response this game has received from critics is unprecedented. Plants Vs. Zombies truly appeals to both casual and hardcore gamers, generating record sales online. We know from our experience with the Bejeweled franchise that a game’s downloadable sales success will translate into retail

sales success. You could say that Plants Vs. Zombies is a dead cert to become the best-

selling PC casual game in Q4.” PopCap has become one of the casual gaming sector’s biggest developers. Their games have been downloaded over one billion times worldwide, and the firm’s range includes Bejeweled and Zuma, which have sold 40 million units between them. Budget specialists Focus Multimedia is the firm tasked with delivering PopCap’s titles to retail. Most recently the publisher launched the popular Peggle Nights in August. Focus: 01889 570 156

EEK W E H T F O N G I CAMPA HPOINT S A L F N IO T A R OPE

Codemasters’ hardcore first-person shooter sneaks onto store shelves, backed by bumper marketing support…

RELEASED: OCTOBER 9 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS DEVELOPER: CODEMASTERS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 0127 982 2800

Cinema Operation Flashpoint hits cinemas with a two-month nationwide 30-second campaign called ‘Sound of War’. The promotion is set to reach 3.5 million male gamers. Print Codemasters has booked ads in the specialist games press, covering PC, 360 and PS3 formats. The firm has also secured exclusive features and reviews in Official Xbox 360 Magazine, Official PlayStation and PC Zone – including full front cover and a promotional bag. Press previews have also been glowing, with PSM3 stating: “Operation Flashpoint’s realism is set to redefine your

expectations of first-person shooters. War has never been so cerebral.” Online The online initiative kicked off in mid-September and will run until November, targeting 25 million impressions. Codies has targeted websites including hardcore gaming networks and

the usual specialist portals, as well as more mainstream sites. The title is also set to have a presence on PSN and Xbox 360 Dashboard. Outdoor A six-sheet poster campaign has been launched across to London. Codemasters has also prepared a full range of POS including cubes and standees.

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MODERN WARFARE 2: SPECIAL FOCUS

Modern

classic Over the past six years Infinity Ward has delivered some of the most compelling and successful first person shooters of all time – and expectations are sky high for the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Christopher Dring takes a closer look at the series and what we can expect come November 10th…

IN TERMS of impact Modern Warfare 2 is already the biggest game of the year. The title’s November 10th release has become an event in the industry’s calendar. It has secured more magazine front covers than any other product this year, publishers have delayed titles out of its launch window, pre-orders are at an all-time high and not a week goes by without a Call of Duty story stealing headlines in the video games media. Indeed, Activision’s Call of Duty series has come a long, long way since its 2003 debut. Infinity Ward – the studio behind the franchise – was formed in 2002 by former members of 2015, which developed the acclaimed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault for EA. One year later and Call of Duty hit shelves. At first made exclusively for PC, the game enjoyed big review scores and a true rival to EA’s dominant war franchise series was born. Since that time Call of Duty has gone from strength-to-strength. But it was 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that took the franchise to new heights. The game arrived in a cluster of highprofile FPS releases, including BioShock, Halo 3 and The Orange Box, yet still managed to shift 13 million units worldwide. The critics worshipped the game (it has a

Metacritic rating of 94), and the title boasts celebrity fans including Verne Troyer, Will Arnett and Chris Moyles. It didn’t end with its release either. Modern Warfare’s astronomical success has seen it remain in the UK ChartTrack Top Ten almost two years since it was first released, becoming one of this console generation’s defining video games. And Infinity Ward is now regarded in the same light as Rockstar, Kojima Productions and Valve.

It is this success that has seen the hype for Modern Warfare 2 go through the roof. “Expectations are extremely high and rightly so,” says Activision’s UK marketing director David Tyler. “The calibre of the team at Infinity Ward and the sheer quality of the game fuels a very positive acknowledgement

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[OPINION]

MODERN WARFARE 2: SPECIAL FOCUS

NEIL THOMPSON, Senior Regional Director, Northern Europe, Entertainment & Devices Division, Microsoft Corporation

I saw Modern Warfare 2 at E3 – it looked amazing then, and it is looking even better now. Activison has done a wonderful job of building this IP, and the quality of the previous versions speak for themselves. So we have very high expectations on what this will do at Christmas. For people who like this genre of game it will be an incredible experience. Overall, I am very bullish about the content coming out on the platform this Christmas. We have really exciting

look at everything from consumer trials to instore experiences to make the most of what will be a great launch. So Modern Warfare 2 is inherent in our marketing strategy. We always use the best third party publishing content in these marketing plans, as they are our partners in driving the platform forwards. So we will be supporting it very heavily for all of what we do and partner with Activision in making sure 360 is involved in what they are doing as well.

“I never use the word ‘own’ for any game, but we firmly believe that Xbox 360 will be the lead platform for Modern Warfare 2 in terms of sales.” content across loads of genres and Modern Warfare certainly hits that core shooter type experience. We obviously work very closely with all the publishers on the platform, and we obviously recognise that Modern Warfare 2 is going to be a key franchise on our console and in the market in general. With the special console SKU, it was something we were keen to work with Activision on and strengthen what is already a great partnership with them. We are working very hard with Activision to

We certainly want to explain to people that we offer the best possible Modern Warfare 2 experience. We firmly believe that with Live services, the quality of the gaming experience on Xbox 360, and all the new innovative ways we can get the engaged with the IP, that Xbox 360 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 platform for Modern Warfare 2 in terms of sales.

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throughout the marketplace of everything we do in relation to Modern Warfare 2. “We work very closely with our Global Brand Team in the US and sometimes with the studio directly to construct marketing, trade and PR programmes that are as hard-hitting as we can make them.” Indeed, Infinity Ward’s involvement in Modern Warfare 2 extends beyond just the creation of the game. The studio has been hands-on with everything, from asset creation to PR and marketing, and the team’s community manager Robert Bowling has been responsible for revealing tantalising details about the project via emerging platforms like Twitter. “Infinity Ward’s track record of developing high quality games is pretty much unsurpassed,” continues Tyler. “The mindset it 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, very high. It’s this attention to detail and unrelenting focus on being the best that drives success on this scale.” CALLED TO DUTY

Activision’s monster marketing machine for Modern Warfare 2 kicked off in May with a reveal during the Champions League Final, but the game’s release date was set even earlier in March. And Activision feels this early date has been key to a successful marketing campaign. “Everyone is seeking early engagement for their titles,” says Tyler.

RUNNING AWAY WITH IT: Activision is releasing a range of special editions and bundles to maximise Modern Warfare 2 sales this Christmas

“We’ve always wanted to engage as early as possible for appropriate titles with our core audience. Of course there are often some valid constraints on being able to achieve this, but it is our preferred approach. “The reason Infinity Ward dated Modern Warfare 2 so early is that they knew they were producing something very special and it was part of the strategy to actively lay claim on a certain date that we can get retail and consumers focused in on.”

Activision’s UK senior sales director Roy Stackhouse adds: “It really helps from a retail perspective. One of the biggest criticisms from retail is that a date can come so late that it’s difficult – unless you’re a games specialist – to react. “To have a date set so far out and to know what the strategy is great for everybody involved – from building the product, to getting the in-store right, to talking to the consumer.” Modern Warfare 2 has become more than just another game launch. On

WARTIME LEGACY 2003 Call of Duty PC, N-Gage Infinity Ward’s opening WWII effort achieved huge critical acclaim upon releases, with a Metacritic rating of 91 per cent. Originally released on PC, the game is getting a HD facelift this Christmas and will be available to download from PSN or Xbox Live Arcade. An N-Gage edition was also made available.

2004 Call of Duty: United Offensive PC Following the success of the original PC Call of Duty title, an expansion pack was released onto the market. Developed by Gray Matter Interactive – which was acquired by Activision in 2002 – the much-anticipated update featured extra single player levels and multiplayer maps.

2005 Call of Duty: Finest Hour PS2, GameCube and Xbox

The Call Of Duty franchise arrived on consoles in the same year as the expansion for PC. Developed by Californian studio Spark Unlimited – made up of exMedal Of Honor developers – the game featured a different storyline to the original COD game.

Call of Duty 2 Xbox 360, PC Infinity Ward’s sequel continued the WWII focus. It was released on PC, as well as being an Xbox 360 launch title. A different version developed by Treyarch was also released on Xbox, PS2 and GameCube entitled Call of Duty 2: Big Red One.

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MODERN WARFARE 2: SPECIAL FOCUS

November 10th consumers can choose from a series of special edition sets, or they can pick up Microsoft’s limited edition super-elite bundle, which includes a Modern Warfare 2-branded console, a 250GB hard drive and a copy of the game. And for real hardcore gamers, MadCatz has developed a range of console peripherals design especially for the game. And all of this followed Infinity Ward’s reveal of the Prestige Edition, a

2006 Call of Duty 3 Xbox 360, PS2, Wii and PS3 The third in the series stepped away from the PC, only being released on home console formats – including the curious new Nintendo Wii. It stuck with the WWII theme and was made by Big Red One developers Treyarch.

Infinity Ward’s track record of developing high quality games is pretty much unsurpassed by anyone. David Tyler, Activision

special-issue set that comes with a pair of night vision goggles, which sold out at HMV within weeks. “That edition is for people who are really fans of a franchise and spend a lot of time playing it,” says Activision’s UK MD Andrew Brown. “Modern Warfare is their pastime, it’s their hobby, so there is a demand for something a bit unique and different – be it more content or something they can put besides them while they are playing. If you’ve got a hobby

2007

Call of Duty: Roads to Victory PSP Arriving in March ‘07, Roads to Victory is the only COD to appear on Sony’s PSP platform. The title was developed by Amaze Entertainment and concentrated on the WWII battle for the liberation of Paris, known as The Normandy Breakout.

you enhance that by buying something you enjoy.” Stackhouse continues: “We were blown away by the night vision goggles, we really were. We never expected the marketplace to react the way it did.” Activision is well prepared for an allout assault on the Christmas market. The game looks stunning, the response from the press has been overwhelmingly positive and retail couldn’t be more excited. November 10th can’t come soon enough for everyone involved.

2008 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare DS, Xbox 360, PC, PS3

The game that took the franchise into the big time. Infinity Ward brought the series into the modern day and enjoyed huge critical acclaim. The game sold over 13 million. A Wii version is being developed by Treyarch and hits in November

Call of Duty: World at War PC, PS3, Wii, Mobile, Xbox 360, DS, Wii, PS2 Another ELSPA/GfKChartTrack All Formats No.1, Treyarch returned the franchise to WWII but this time focuses on the Pacific Theatre and Eastern Front. The game has sold 11 million copies worldwide.

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THE BIGGEST GAME Igor Cipolletta CEO, ShopTo

FOR THE vast majority of people, the response to Modern Warfare 2 has been an overwhelmingly positive one. We base this on our customer contact and the number of pre-orders we have for the steelbook hardened edition. Many people may not be aware but at the start of the project for COD4 it was deemed as being a risky move to produce a game in the modern era when the vast majority of best sellers in the FPS franchise were either futuristic shooters or WW2 based. The immense success of COD4 – which is still a good seller nearly two years after launch and recently reentered the charts – shows both the quality of the product and the willingness of the consumer to support something that at the time was seen as not the norm. We at ShopTo fully expect that COD MW2 will outsell COD4, even with an increased retail price. Having watched various teasers and short videos on YouTube and the like, you can tell that Infinity Ward hasn't simply rehashed COD4 in another fictitious country: It has instead added to the franchise and no doubt taken on board a large amount of customer feedback to enhance the experience for everyone. Doubtless having a two-year window between releases also ensures a consistency in the final product rather than a rushed rehash. We are very much looking forward to being able to supply our customers with one of – if not actually – the most hotly anticipated games of the year.

Don McCabe, Joint MD, CHIPS

WE’VE HAD a nice steady take-up of Modern Warfare 2, and it has helped that Activision has done such a good job marketing it. I’m sure the game will sell very well, and will be Christmas No.1 – no doubt about that. Even if Modern Warfare 2 sells the same as Call of Duty 4 it would be great. 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 and it has a really great multiplayer game. And Activision has helped it stay to of the charts with timely promotions and marketing activity.

James Yelland, Games Buyer, Asda

EARLY RESPONSE has been fantastic towards MW2, it is currently topping our preorder chart both in store and online – it's certainly the most anticipated release of the quarter. I'm expecting MW2 to eclipse Call of Duty 4 in terms of sales. Looking at the pre-order numbers alone it's safe to assume it's going to do that. From what I've seen at E3 and in follow up sessions with Activision, the quality of the gameplay is undeniable. It's the ‘must have’ game of 2009.

Tim Clark, Editor-In-Chief, Official PlayStation Magazine

Rick Porter Editor-In-Chief, Imagine Publishing

FROM WHAT I’ve seen so far they’ve really blown out the cinematic element of it in the sense that the setpieces are more spectacular than ever. I don’t think there’s a shooter team anywhere, which has as good an understanding of what the players want as Infinity Ward do. Which, specifically, is firing guns that feel like the wrath of God and the chance to play through the kind gloriously macho shootouts that Jerry Bruckheimer would deem ‘excessively shooty‘. Is it okay to admit that I’m secretly hoping the new Special Forces mode will have a thinly veiled homage to the Iranian Embassy siege? It’s pointless to predict that MW2 will be better than COD4 without having seen more of it, because the first game had so many special moments – All Ghillied Up, the nuke, that ending – which will be hard to top. But I think what you can say given the strength of the development team is that it will look amazing, feel even tighter than before, and be packed with surprises. More than enough to earn my money.

PERSONALLY, I like to champion risk takers and those pushing ahead with fresh IP – and I’m generally a cynic when it comes to safe sequels and yearly updates. So another war FPS hitting the shelves really shouldn’t excite me, but I’m genuinely looking forward to getting my hands on Modern Warfare 2 – that’s the power of the brand and the Infinity Ward moniker at work, and few gamers could honestly say they don’t want to play. The name has become so synonymous with quality that anyone who enjoys video games knows that there is something here for them. The hype is huge in this case, and I’ve seen many titles crumble under the weight of expectation that’s been built on top of them, but I’d say that both Activision Blizzard and the Infinity Ward teams are too savvy to let this excitement grow beyond what can be achieved. Modern Warfare 2 will struggle to deliver completely on the insurmountable hype, but in my opinion few will come away truly disappointed.

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MODERN WARFARE 2: SPECIAL FOCUS

OF ALL TIME? Tricia Brennan, Commercial Director, GAME Group WE’RE VERY excited about the Modern Warfare 2 limited edition console because we know customers will love it. It’s great value, and of course a fantastic game. The console will help customers to maximize the live experience and the fact it is branded makes it a must for all Infinity Ward fans We are delighted that through our partnership with Microsoft, we have been able to secure such a fantastic exclusive for our customers. We are starting our pre-order campaign this week so we recommend fans order early to avoid disappointment.

Jon Hicks, Editor, Official Xbox Magazine I SAW it at E3 and it looked every bit the blockbuster action experience. I hesitate to say that it can live up to the hype, because by the time launch rolls around the internet will probably be claiming that it cures baldness and enables you to see the face of God. But it does look truly immense, and from what I’ve seen I don’t think anybody who buys it will be disappointed. Infinity Ward has proven it knows how to create an amazing singleplayer game and multiplayer that’s apparently impossible to quit; this looks like more of the same with the spectacle turned up to 11. It’s coming out around a Halo title, which is a powerful force on Xbox, but ODST’s earlier release means that most gamers will be able to get both. I’m expecting Modern Warfare 2 to be the biggest seller on next-gen formats this Christmas, and obviously, I’m hoping that the timed exclusivity on the map pack means a few more people pick it up on Xbox.

The UK industry gives its verdict on the potential of Modern Warfare 2...

Kathryn Hinton, Head of Buying, Third Party for GAME Group THE LEVEL of excitement for MW2 from GAME and Gamestation customers has been building steadily. With our very exciting exclusive, we’re sure that by November, the interest and excitement around this title will make sure that it’s a serious contender for game of the year. 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. We hope that customers feel that it meets their expectations and that they love this game. We’ll do everything we can to make this game a success for Infinity Ward, Activision, our stores and our customers.

Tim Ellis, Head of Games, HMV

CALL OF DUTY: Modern Warfare 2 is one of, if not the, most eagerly awaited games of all time. Customer expectations are very high and we are confident this will lead to record sales numbers at launch. This will comfortably be the biggest game in the series.

Jon Biggs, Games buyer, Morrisons

MORRISONS do not have a pre-order service in store or online at present. That said our staff are constantly being questioned about the title in store. It’s clear there is massive interest in the title from our customers Given the vibe around the game, I would expect it to top Call of Duty 4.

Azeem Sadiq, Category Buyer for Gaming, Comet EARLY feedback from our stores and customers is positive and this momentum will continue to build. Our expectations are high and no doubt it will give its hugely popular predecessor a run for its money.

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20 november 09

“In a word, instabuy”

“The most anticipated game of the year”

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MCV INTERVIEW JEREMY WIGMORE, GENERAL MANAGER, CODEMASTERS

The best of

British

After the success of Ashes 2009 and Dirt 2, UK publisher Codemasters could be set to record its ‘best ever year’. Tim Ingham grills GM Jeremy Wigmore…

How compared to your expectations has Dirt 2 performed? Our expectations and where we ended up was pretty much close to the mark. But with all the hype that surrounded The Beatles: Rock Band and the fact that Guitar Hero took a huge a slice of revenue out of the market in Dirt’s opening week, we were obviously very pleased it stood tall. It is nice being ahead of The Beatles, especially when you consider the media hype and marketing spend that went into the title due to the 09/09/09 anniversary.

got a lot of realism in there. We’ve already seen a couple of review scores that show a really positive reaction. Over Q4 there’s a couple of big FPS titles it will go up against – not least Modern Warfare 2. Can it still find the audience it deserves? Yes, so long as the audience is prepared to open their minds. As far as we’re concerned, the way we’ve positioned the game, so long as people look for something different, Flashpoint is the place they’ll end up.

Are you expecting Dirt 2 to hang around the Top Ten for a while yet? I certainly hope so. The indications are that there’s obviously competition coming down the tube, which we’re more than aware of. But we’ve always had confidence in Dirt, because of the review scores and the reaction of people that have played it. We were at Gamestation’s conference recently and the buyers there all saw it as a really great product. Once people get it in their hands and realise the enormity and quality of it, we’re convinced we’ll have a consistent sell through.

Is it your biggest ever marketing campaign? Across Dirt 2 and Flashpoint, the breadth of what we’re doing in terms of online,

Have you seen similar optimism for Operation Flashpoint? When you put a product in some of the harshest critics outside of the press – store managers at GAME and Gamestation – and they say that they’re really surprised by it, it’s hard not to be optimistic. Everyone knows that in the FPS genre, there is a little title that’s on the horizon from Activision, but the comments we’ve had consistently coming back over Flashpoint have all talked about just how good it’s looking, and that it is something different. We’ve

People said the racing genre was dying a few years ago. How has that turned around – and how can F1 benefit? When I first I saw F1 2009 on screen I was genuinely gobsmacked at the quality the developers have achieved on the Wii. We’ve tried to make it more sexy and realistic. The night scene in Singapore is a part no-one’s been able to put in an F1 game before. The most recent exposure it had was at the GAME conference, and the store managers there were astounded by the

look and feel. It looks sensational. For a Wii product, it’s top drawer. Have you been helped by fascinating real-life sports seasons more than anything else when it comes to Ashes Cricket 2009 and F1? For the first time in my years in this industry, things have slotted into place. With The Ashes, we would have liked to have been out before the first test, but the way it went, we came out after the second test – when a massive amount of interest had been created. At the end of the day, we still have to make the consumer aware that the products are there, but the timing has worked very nicely. Again, with the Formula One

For a Wii game, the sheer quality of F1 2009 is gobsmacking. It looks and feels absolutely sensational. Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters

TV, cinema, in-store is far bigger than anything Codemasters has done recently.

season, we’ve got a Brit involved [in the real world Championship) – it’s just not the Brit everyone expected to be involved. It’s bubbling away to a nice end of season competition. It’s a refreshing change to have products that release around an event, rather than releasing a product a couple of years after an event – which in my previous incarnations happened all too often. Path of Neo coming out three years after everyone was fed up with The Matrix when I was at Atari – those sort of things spring to mind.

out of Codemasters have been that we have a line-up of products that were being developed under our control, either by us or under the watchful eye of our producers and teams. We knew these products were going to show quality. Yes, The Ashes came at the right time, but consumers aren’t stupid – they won’t buy something that’s a pile of poo. On Dirt 2, Flashpoint and F1 the quality shines through. Codemasters has been in the wilderness, but there has always been a gameplan. These products are just the beginning of that.

Did Ashes kick off a momentum that can give you a best-ever year? For a long time now, the noises coming

Codemasters hasn’t been a name synonymous with success in the sporting genre in recent years. Has

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MCV INTERVIEW JEREMY WIGMORE, GENERAL MANAGER, CODEMASTERS

TWO BIG HOPES FOR Q4 Following the chart success that Codemasters enjoyed with its last two releases – Dirt 2 and Ashes Cricket 2009 – the publisher is now lining up another duo of sure-fire hits for retail before Christmas: WIGMORE: The Codemasters boss says retail has reacted well to the firm’s Q4 line-up

Ashes 2009 made you take a second look at that area? What that some people don’t remember

limited in its shelf life to a certain extent. Whether we take that on board and look at other ‘secondary’ sports,

We’re now proving to retail that the claims we made about the quality of these games were all true. Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters

is that we did Brian Lara. Having created that cricket game, we knew what we were doing with Ashes. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would want to get involved in the football genre these days. Cricket does lend itself to a good game if you do it properly, but it’s

that’s a wider development decision that I’m sure we’ll consider. But it’s difficult to know what [sport] to do. You have a real chance of having four top five, maybe even top three, titles at a very competitive time.

Maybe if someone said Codemasters could do that last year it would have raised eyebrows. What’s the key difference? There are many people working behind the scenes at Codemasters who have had the belief and conviction in what they have been doing; like anything, there have been a few frustrations along the way. But we’re now proving to retail that the claims we made about the quality of these products were true. 12 months ago, people would have been saying: “What are Codemasters doing?” But from a retail perspective, having shown them the line-up, they’re now saying it’s great. The proof is in the pudding – the games themselves.

OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING Released: October 9th PS3, Xbox 360, PC The second in the Operation Flashpoint series promises the most realistic representation of conflict scenarios ever seen. The game challenges players to survive the maelstrom of military combat in a new and contemporary warzone, and is backed by Codemasters’ biggest ever marketing campaign. F1: 2009 Released: November TBC Wii, PSP Shaping up to be the best looking racer on Wii, Codemasters first foray into Formula One racing promises all of the licences and big names a fan could want. The title will deliver a full recreation of the current Formula One season, including, for the first time in a F1 title, the stunning Singapore night race. All-new 360 and PS3 F1 games are due next year.

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TRADE UPDATE

On with the show ELSPA’s director general Michael Rawlinson has his eye on a busy month for the industry – as October offers a number of high profile events for the trade and consumers alike...

ELSPA is backing the Eurogamer Expo consumer show (pictured), as well as the digitally-focused London Games Conference

OCTOBER’S A very busy month in the conference season. ELSPA has its AGM on October 23rd, which is always a very important date in the calendar for us – but that’s just for starters! As London Games Festival approaches, the following week will offer two key gaming events for the industry – and we’re expecting more yet. The first is London Games Conference, which Intent Media is running. This covers the very important topic of digital downloads – which is a trend that’s really coming to the fore in 2009. Publishers, suppliers, retailers – all sectors of the industry, really – need to get to grips with it. We need to work out how we’re going to measure and promote it properly and generally capitalise on something so vital to the games industry of tomorrow. It’s going to be a very

important debate and a vital event for the UK. The second event that same week is the Eurogamer Expo, where we’ll see the best of games coming into the market, and consumers getting their first taste of the

design, whether it be Rockstar with the GTA series, Media Molecule’s Little Big Planet or Eidos’ Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider adventures. The list of really great UK video game brands that have taken on the world is endless – and I think

The fact that the Home Secretary wants to come and see what the games industry has to offer is great news. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA

very latest in gaming just ahead of the Christmas rush. During the London Design Festival last month I heard Sir John Sorrell interviewed, saying Britain is a world leader in design. He highlighted a number of areas: Apple and Jaguar, as well as clothing designs like Paul Smith and many others. Of course, in video games we’ve got our own superstars of

that fits very nicely indeed with the fact that Britain is at the heart of the design world. But our AGM and the LGF events are just some of October’s line-up. We’re in the middle of the political party conference season and this year we are attending all three. We visited the Liberal Democrats’ conference in Bournemouth. Almost 70 LibDem MPs and Lords and

MEPs visited our stand to take our Wii Sports’ Ski Jump Challenge – and we proved a real hit. We spoke to Nick Clegg, Don Foster, Paddy Ashdown and others from across the party. We’re hoping for similar success at the Labour and Conservative conferences. I’m already booked to see Labour’s Alan Johnson and Tom Watson next. The fact that the country’s Home Secretary wants to come and see what the industry has to offer is clearly great news. We put on a minor fringe event last year at the Labour conference and then we only managed to get half a dozen MPs along. This year’s response is proving to be a good litmus test of just how far the industry and ELSPA has come in 12 months. But it is the years ahead that count – and we are working to ensure the association can serve its members better than ever before.

ELSPA NEWS UK CHARTS: Microsoft’s Halo 3: ODST has jumped straight to the top of the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack All Formats chart, with 64 per cent of the game’s opening week sales coming in its first day on retail shelves. It can boast the twelfth biggestselling opening week for a single-format game. Another impressive debut week was recorded by Nintendo’s Professor Layton And Pandora’s Box, which took the second spot in the chart. LGC: Speakers have been announced for the London Games Conference, which takes place on Tuesday, October 27th – and is fully supported by ELSPA. Shadow Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey will give the opening address at the event, which focuses on the hotly debated topic of digital distribution and its impact on the games trade. Other speakers will include industry analyst Nick Parker, UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson and the director of PlayStation Home Pete Edwards. ELSPA’s own chairman Andy Payne will head up a panel called ‘The New Food Chain’, which will explore new lines of demarcation between development, retail, publishing and distribution. GOVERNMENT: ELSPA’s fight to have PEGI instated by law has been singled out by a prominent Labour MP as one of the ‘greatest lobbying campaigns of all time’. Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East, has nominated the campaign to be included in Public Affairs Magazine’s prestigious Top 50 Best Ever Campaigns. In an open letter, Mr Watson wrote to Public Affairs: ‘I have been deeply impressed with the video games industry’s recent engagement with Government. They played a blinder.’ ACGI: Russia is set to swear in its first official games industry body. The National Russian Association of Game Industry will be unveiled at new trade show the AllRussian Conference later this month.

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TRADE UPDATE

Another year wiser ELSPA chairman Andy Payne looks forward to the body’s vital AGM later this month...

FULL LIST OF MEMBERS 505 Games Activision Blizzard

ONE YEAR on from the collapse of Leman Brothers and the world has certainly changed. Universally tough trading conditions have challenged all businesses – not least us in the games industry – and household names such as Woolworths have gone forever. Most games companies have had to take direct action in order to survive. Staff cuts have been seen everywhere and conventional wisdom as to how businesses should be structured has been challenged across all fronts. It has been a year of great uncertainty and here at ELSPA we have also had to make overhead cuts in line with the industry that we both serve and represent. Not least we said goodbye to our director general Paul Jackson in February and I was delighted to see Michael Rawlinson promoted to that position. Paul left a great legacy, one which saw ELSPA further mature and gain more credibility for the UK industry within the dual corridors of power – namely Westminster and Whitehall. Following the publication of the Byron Report in 2008, ELSPA and its members set

Avanquest Software CD Team CDV Software Capcom CentreSoft Codemasters D3Publisher of Europe Disney Interactive Studios Eidos Electronic Arts Fidelity Investment Services Focus Multimedia Fox Point Capital Management Frontier Future Publishing GAME Group Gamebridge Hasbro Intent Media Intuit Kingdon Capital Management Koch Media Koei Konami Lago SRL Lovells LucasArts Majesco Europe Manches Mastertronic Microsoft Midas Interactive Namco Bandai Games Europe NCSoft Europe Nintendo UK

STANDING PROUD: ELSPA Chairman Andy Payne says that the UK video games industry has much to celebrate at the organisation’s AGM – and much to discuss about the year ahead

a very different landscape: One where potentially we could have had to contend

Members who would like to sit on ELSPA’s Board should nominate themselves. It’s enormously rewarding. Andy Payne, ELSPA

to work with the UK Government and Parliament alike to ensure that the people of the UK had an age ratings system which delivered robust protection for children. Let there be no doubt that the delivery of the PEGI system of classification as the age rating system in the UK was a significant victory for the industry and the British people. It was also a significant victory for diplomacy. Without the major investment of time, money and exemplary leadership on ELSPA’s – part backed up by ISFE – we would be looking at

with 30 different age rating systems and their associated logistics, timings and cost implications. We applaud the UK Government for listening and acting for the good of the people, not only in the UK but in the wider European context, and we will ensure we deliver a system that is comprehensive and continues to evolve to meet the challenges of the future. In June we saw the publication of the Digital Britain report by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This

was a major body of work and one which will have ramifications for us all as business people and consumers. However, when the interim report was published in January 2009, there was little or no mention of the games industry. Thanks to significant input, lobbying and a concerted joint approach by ELSPA and Tiga, the UK Government now realises the importance of our industry to the digital creative knowledge economy. ELSPA and Tiga have at last both taken their seat at that table along with other more established creative industries such as film, television and music. This coming year promises to deliver further challenges. I would like to thank the current board for their invaluable input and hard work over the last two years. It has quite simply been amazing. For those members who would like a crack at sitting on the Board, please contact Michael and nominate

yourself for election. There is a time commitment, but in my experience it is enormously worthwhile and rewarding. I would like to invite all ELSPA members to the AGM, which will be held at BAFTA, 192 Piccadilly, London, on Friday October 23 at 2pm. ELSPA is there for its members and above all it is there to listen, get consensus, formulate a plan of action and then act and get the results that we need. If nothing else, I can promise you that.

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MCV INTERVIEW LISA MORGAN & TERRY SCICLUNA, CEO & COO, GAME GROUP

Second hand knowledge Pre-owned sales made up a quarter of GAME Group’s revenues for the first half of the year. But what does that mean for the future of the company – and the wider industry? Tim Ingham asks the firm’s top brass… You said last week that your H1 results, for the six months to July 31st, were in line with expectations, but profit was down 60% year-on-year. Why has it been such a tough trading period? Lisa Morgan: We were up against incredibly tough comparatives. Last year, GAME Group and the industry saw a record first half with the likes of Mario Kart, Wii Fit and GTA IV driving significant levels of hardware. We always knew we were going to be up against some tough comps and that we were going to see some negative decline. On top of that, consider the overall hardware impact – i.e. slightly lower revenue, with slightly lower retail prices – and you can understand why our like-for-likes have been cut. Will there be ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ this year? LM: Like-for-like comparisons should soften a little bit now [before the end of the year]. The hardware price drop [on 360 and PS3] happened a couple of weeks ago, which saw some good

closely with publishing partners. The buying team here have done a great job of securing some great offers and promotions for our customers this Christmas. In your H1 fiscal results, you said that pre-owned sales rose to £177m, accounting for a quarter of revenue. Are you expecting this to grow even further in the next 12 months? LM: A 12 per cent increase in preowned sales was pleasing for us, but I think we have to put into the context of the year as a whole. We’re a very seasonal business. Traditionally, you would see a higher dissipation of preowned in the first half compared to the second. We certainly hope that [preowned’s impact] will be better year-onyear, but we expect will be softer in the second half of 2009. Would you expect similar year-onyear growth in H1 2010? LM: One would hope so. One thing we’re seeing now is the take-up of trade-ins as a means for consumers to

We would hope we’ll see similar year-on-year growth for pre-owned sales in the first half of 2010. Lisa Morgan, GAME

impact. In terms of whether we will be at the same overall levels as last year [in H2], I think it’s going to be a tough ask given the price difference on hardware. Can anything stimulate your Q4 sales to match those of 2008? LM: I don’t want to appear negative, because we’re actually very positive. At the end of the day, we had a record year last year. We enjoyed it at the time, but now it’s about returning to a more normal, seasonal year. I think we’ve got a really strong line-up of product in the final quarter. In terms of GAME’s activity, we’re going to be working

get access to new games. They’re using their old games as currency to get their hands on new games. There is a trend there and hopefully that will translate through to sales. It’s certainly playing a key part in driving new titles right now. Just to clarify, you’d expect somewhere in the region of another 12 per cent growth in your H1 preowned revenues next year? LM: That’s guidance, and we can’t give guidance. Obviously I couldn’t do that. We would suggest that you’d continue to see the same kind of trend. Going back to that point about pre-owned vs.

GAME CEO Lisa Morgan is still confident in the firm’s new games business, despite impressive growth in pre-owned sales

new, one thing that’s key to us is that pre-owned makes significantly better margins. When you’re an operation the size of ours, it’s important to drive to be as profitable as you possibly can be. We’re investing in new stores, e-commerce and further initiatives to grow the industry. If I were a publisher, I’d be tempted to ask if you will put a cap on the percentage of your sales that preowned may eventually take up… LM: It’s not up to us to restrict the way in which our customers buy. It’s about

us putting an offer in front of them. The one thing I will say is that we’re absolutely committed to new [releases]. We have full aspirations to maximise both hardware and new software, and I think all of our partners know that. It’s just about ensuring we have the right offer for our customers and letting them make the choices. One thing we’re seeing in the US are kiosks selling pre-owned games. Do you have any plans to introduce this into the UK?

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MCV INTERVIEW LISA MORGAN & TERRY SCICLUNA, CEO & COO, GAME GROUP LM: We have some trials running at the moment. Where are they running? LM: I don’t have the specifics to hand. Are they in the UK? LM: Yes. We are a business that trials lots of different initiatives for our customers and sees how they respond. Are they in-store, in concessions or in shopping centres? LM: It’s an in-store initiative we’re looking at right now. Do you have any concerns that PSPgo and future digital-only consoles will damage the pre-owned side of the business? LM: As I said earlier, we’re absolutely focused on driving new hardware and software. PSPgo is a new piece of hardware in our market, we’re the specialist – and we absolutely want to be serving our customers with this. We don’t see PSPgo as a threat; we see it as an opportunity. Dutch retailer NedGame has refused to stock the console. Why have you decided to welcome it with open arms? LM: I can’t really comment on where other people are with their discussions. We’re a specialist retailer and our customers want it. Like everyone else we negotiate with our suppliers. TS: If the customers want a product and we’re a specialist, we should absolutely embrace that product, stock it and deliver it. Do you have concerns about a discless future for consoles? If fellow systems ‘did a PSPgo’, how would it affect GAME? LM: We want to be in a position where we’re looking after our customers’, gaming needs. We recognise that the market is changing, and we recognise that the time of that change is relatively slow right now. It’s important we understand our customers and how they are evolving so that we can adjust our offer accordingly. Our Reward Card allows us to capture a lot of information about our customers, and we’ll be learning as we go.

COO Terry Scicluna says the integration of Gamestation staff into GAME’s Basingstoke office has ‘delighted’ management

How can GAME tap into consumers’ hunger for digital content? LM: We interface with our customers through every journey of every purchase. Whether it be through top up cards or unique arrangements, we think there’s a role for us to play.

are some really good titles, but I still it is going to be fairly tough [for the market]. Last year was a blockbuster

If the customer wants a product like PSPgo, as the specialist, we should embrace it, stock it and deliver it.

Q1 2010 is looking like a ‘mini Q4’, with lots of major titles delayed. How timely is that boost at a traditionally quiet time? Terry Scicluna: I think there’s definitely going to be some good momentum coming out of Christmas. As Lisa mentioned, we’ve lined up some fantastic exclusives across some of the biggest titles. The ‘only at GAME’ or ‘only at Gamestation’ approach this year is looking fantastic. We’ve got the 250GB Modern Warfare 2 360 package, as well as the Limited Edition game. We’ll be working closely with our customers – using our Reward Card database – as well as publishers and manufacturers to bring these exclusives to life. Coming up to Christmas, there

Terry Scicluna, GAME year, and we’re still up against some pretty strong comparatives. You said in your results that you were looking to open 50 or 60 stores this year. Where will they be? LM: We’ll be concentrating those stores in two markets – Spain and Australia. Spain because it’s the second largest market in Europe for us, and Australia where we’re continuing to drive sales and pick up scale. Will any of those stores be branded Gamestation? We recently reported that you’d opened a trial Gamestation store in Spain… LM: That depends on where we are within the maturity of the market and whether the consumers respond well to

it. In Spain we’ve got a trial of three stores right now. It’s important for us to let those stores trade through Christmas and see how they perform. Will you be opening any temporary stores to deal with extra demand this Christmas? TS: No. After we had temporary stores last year, we recognised the need to increase floor space across our store portfolio. Throughout the year we’ve been looking at that, but to set up the right stores in the right place. In Croydon, for example, we’ve created a much bigger store – where last year we had a temporary outlet. We’ve also put much more efficiencies – including more tills into the stores – so that we can cope with the Christmas peak. In addition, we’re employing 1,100 people over the Christmas period as temporary labour.

How has the integration of Gamestation’s York office into GAME’s Basingstoke HQ played out? TS: We’ve been delighted. We’ve absolutely got one business with two brands now.

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MCV INTERVIEW JASON HOLTMAN, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, VALVE

Steam Rising One of the leaders in digital distribution for games is the Steam service from independent developer Valve, creator of Half-Life and Left4Dead. Michael French speaks to director of business development Jason Holtman about the interplay between physical and digital – and the contentious issue of a download chart… What impact has Steam had on the wider games industry? The biggest impact we have had is connecting a lot of people and making games a service. It’s not just that we can sell things digitally – that’s something folk have done for a long time. Steam gives gamers the features they wanted, such as friends lists, multiplayer and auto-updating – that’s how it started back in 2002, as a solution for CounterStrike. It’s stayed true to its roots in that respect. But in time we’ve improved it as a service by adding in Steamworks, which is our platform for third parties to add downloadable content and have better stat tracking. In that sense, we have solved a lot of headaches for publishers and developers.

distribution lets people experience things they otherwise might not have had the chance to. And they can reach a lot of people too, that’s a major thing digital distribution brings – Steam is in 21 languages and we are all over the world. We’ve got content servers in places like Greenland, and what that means is that all of a sudden you can reach a wide audience in the right language and get to places that it’s really hard to get to if you are relying on a box, or a marketing plan, or a holiday. So the tendrils are very wide. Who is the average Steam user? Is it a core PC user? There is definitely a broader mix of consumer – if you had asked me two or

We think people making PC games should go to as many channels as they can – it is good for digital downloads. Jason Holtman, Valve

Today Steam has over 20 million registered users – and by that we mean players who actually own something. There are a lot more Steam clients out there, as there are a huge number of people who also use it just to watch movies or play demos. Did you expect it to get that big? What does that kind of scale offer? We hoped it would, certainly. It was built to make sure we could keep scaling up. For some smaller companies and individuals – such as indie developers – it really has changed the rules as they have received exposure they wouldn’t have had before, or chances they would not have had before, as it’s less risky. There are games here that simply would not exist if they were packaged in a $50 box. Look at games like Rag-Doll Kung Fu, Audiosurf or World of Goo – digital

three years ago I would have said it was definitely a core gamer. But if you look now, it’s clear the average Steam user is just someone who plays on their PC – because we have a mix of content, ranging from SimBin’s racers, Sega’s Empire: Total War, the indie titles I mentioned, some key MMOs, and casual games. Steam is now used by all the major publishers – but that wasn’t always the case. What won them over? Did they want to get into the space those indie developers were exploiting? It takes time. So at first major publishers for us were Strategy First, Activision and 2K Games. Since then, it’s been a gradual process of companies getting ready with their catalogue for the digital space – and some move first and some move second. One of the things that won people over was that, as our

Valve’s Jason Holtman is confident that the digital sector does not cannibalise retail sales and that video games will not suffer the same fate as the music industry

customer base grew and we expanded into more languages, there was more data on how the digital market is a success. A few years ago digital was seen as this force that could put people in the industry out of business. From your point of view, when did that change? I think that as the various publishers and developers in the video games

industry came online and started experimenting, they realised that the myth of cannibalisation is not true. You are right; when people first came to digital they thought that if there was only 100 units you could sell and you sold 20 of them digitally then you’d only be selling 80 at retail. But that just has not happened. It’s absolutely additive. It means you can just go ahead and sell more.

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MCV INTERVIEW JASON HOLTMAN, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, VALVE Think of it like Amazon and how it works with local booksellers – people use both. You might browse online to look at a new book, but they don’t always buy it – they might pick it up when they are next out and about. So consumers flow between both digital and physical products – they don’t replace each other. Plus, the feedback loop and connection to your consumer – something we provide with our Steamworks service – has changed completely. Thanks to online, publishers now have an ongoing relationship with their customers. They can tweak and change games based on player behaviour to make them more appealing – and more commercially successful. But digital distribution did disrupt the retail landscape for music. Are there any lessons to learn there? I don’t think you can draw parallels that closely between games and any other medium. Games are their own thing and are played and consumed differently to music. They are also at their own price point. Are we going to suffer the way the music industry has? No, because we don’t sell or make things that can be cut into 99 cent increments. I think some of the bugbears that are out there about music and digital distribution just don’t apply to games – and publishers that are experimenting in this place are learning that. There is a call for an official digital chart here in the UK – and the US’s NPD group has said it will do the same. What’s Steam’s view on that? You’d have to contribute data to help make it happen... We already share our charts to show what is selling the best. The data we aggregate to publishers, however, is not as simple as feeding retail numbers into a database, and it’s not ours to share – the data belongs to the publishers. A lot of the people calling for that kind of chart already have lots of good data on their games. So I know that some think this would be great, but we have partners who say: “Well, I have all my data already.”

Perhaps they want to see other publishers’ data too? It very well could be that. But we don’t see the need for that information being so strong. For retail that’s a great way to see the market with all the data piled up in one place. But for us its very difficult to aggregate that data – which says a lot of interesting things about the digital market. It proves that the needs of digital and physical are not the same. For publishers in this space, having a third party tell them how well their games sold – that isn’t as important. Because the ones that use us can log on and see their sales figures, up to date within the last five minutes. If the call for that did grow stronger, and publishers asked you to work with the likes of Direct2Drive and Metaboli to form that global downloads chart, would you do it? We have those conversations about sharing data a lot – but I don’t think the conversation is as easy as that. But those conversations, and people wanting data and business information about the market, are always ongoing. It just isn’t as simple as ‘let’s just publish all the data’. What is your view on the competition? Digital is growing more than ever, and now publishers like Electronic Arts are opening things like the EA Store for downloads. Doesn’t that create a level of conflict? They should open their own stores. The way we approach digital distribution is this: We think that the people making PC games should go to as many channels as they can. And reach as many people as they can. If a publisher or developer wants to build something and reach people Steam cannot, then they should – it’s good for digital. Everyone in the games industry wants to get their game out to as many possible people as they can – and if they want to reach 20 million people, then they also come to Steam as well as working with everybody else.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AT THE

LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE The rise of digital distribution, and the changing attitudes towards selling content online, is the main focus of the London Games Conference... 4:30pm Registration 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 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 co-founder, 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 7:00pm Charting the Progress of PC Downloads Dorian Bloch, GfK-ChartTrack The man behind the UK games sector’s invaluable sales charts (and holder of vast amounts of market data) talks about 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

Taking place on October 27th at BAFTA, Piccadilly, this is the first event of its kind. Big name speakers from across the industry are already signed up. To make sure you have a place, contact Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647. Tickets cost £229, with discounts available for ELSPA and Tiga members.

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PERSONNEL

Double appointment for Namco UK White and Fitzsimmons recruited  Meroncourt hires trade account manager  Datascope appoints Perrin NAMCO BANDAI  KATE WHITE has joined Namco Bandai as product manager. White has previously worked at THQ and Vivendi, and also boasts several years’ experience from her time at the London and New York offices of Guinness World Records. Also joining Namco is MARLENE FITZSIMMONS, formerly of D3Publisher, who takes up the role of PR and marketing executive. Marketing director DAVID MILLER said: “Reflecting our ambition to become a top publisher in the UK and Europe, I am delighted to welcome Kat

White is one of the newest faces at Namco Bandai Partners UK

and Marlene to the team. Both Kate and Marlene has several years experience of marketing entertainment and games properties and will be a key part of our expansion plans.”

DATASCOPE  DAN PERRIN has joined the recruitment firm, taking the newly created role of head of senior search and selection. Perrin’s appointment coincides with the creation of Datascope Executive Search, for which he works to expand the company’s ability to find suitable candidates to fill the higher-ranking positions in the games industry. He already has plenty of experience in this area, having has spent six years working on similar high-level executive

search assignments in the IT outsourcing and change consulting sectors. “I made the switch over to working within the games industry to be able to work on interesting projects for companies I could really identify with, and to bring the sector the very high level of service that I’ve been used to providing in the world of IT and consulting,” Perrin said. “My background has taught me that recruitment consultants working on senior roles need to add far more value to their clients than simply sending CVs and

arranging interviews, especially in the current climate.” MERONCOURT  The peripherals specialist and distributor has hired LAURA WILSON as its new trade account manager. She has years of experience in retail sales and customer care, and will be responsible for winning new accounts, among other duties. “We see the appointment of Laura as a key part of our strategy for expansion,” said sales director STEVE WALSH.

PROMOTE YOUR JOB TO OVER 60,000 PEOPLE PER WEEK MCV print and online offer: • Quarter page Recruitment advert • Exclusive Job of the Week on MCVuk.com • Full Job listing on Jobs Board • Promoted via Email Newsflashes

ONLY £750

Contact Rob Baker for more information T: 01992 535647 E: Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

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Invizimals is a completely new and unique game for the PSP. There are invisible creatures everywhere â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and only the PSPâ&#x201E;˘ can see them! Using the PSP and camera, kids can track down the mysterious Invizimals, lay down their trap and capture as many of them as possible. The game features a strong single and multiplayer campaign. Kids can play on their own and help scientist Keni defeat the evil Axel Kaminsky. Or they can battle and trade Invizimals with their friends. Invizimals uses all elements of PSP technology from capturing monsters in the real world with the camera to blowing on the microphone to create a snowstorm whilst battling! All of these unique and exciting elements come together to give you an active, totally unique game, making Invizimals the must have Kids game for Xmas. The standard version of the game comes including the trap and camera so kids have everything they need to monster hunt! There will also be a solus versions of the game available for those current Go!Cam owners and a bundle with Black PSP and the game for non PSP owners.

YOUR HUNT. YOUR BATTLES. YOUR CREATURES. YOUR WHOLE WORLD IN YOUR HANDS

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TITLE

Invizimalsâ&#x201E;˘

DEVELOPER

XDev Studio Europe/Novarama

AGE RATING

FORMAT

PSPâ&#x201E;˘ (PlayStationÂŽPortable)

PLAYERS

GENRE

Monster Hunting

RELEASE DATE

7+ PEGI Target Market 7-12 Years

November.2009

Key Features: Â&#x2122; Use the PSPâ&#x201E;˘ Camera to hunt down invisible animals and capture them Â&#x2122; Battle your Invizimals against each other or enjoy multiplayer ďŹ ghts with friends Â&#x2122;Learn new attacks to power up and evolve your Invizimals Â&#x2122; Trade Invizimals with your friends

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Marketing Highlights

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Invizimalsâ&#x201E;˘ Š2009 Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Developed by Novarama Technology S.L.. Invizimals is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. All rights reserved.

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WITH THIS ISSUE An in-depth look at the latest in Konami’s ever-popular Pro Evolution Soccer series

FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 P46 Microsoft’s premier racing franchise is back and more accessible than ever ACTIVISION RANGE P48 iCarly, Barbie, Madgascar and host of others join Activision’s casual line-up GTA: CHINATOWN WARS P50 Rockstar’s acclaimed DS game gets the PSP treatment, with enhanced features SPORE HERO P51 An action adventure based on EA’s hit PC franchise evolves on Wii and DS ROCCAT RANGE P51 Roccat looks to re-promote its PC accessories range ahead of Christmas WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 P52 THQ prepares to follow its UFC success with the latest in its WWE series DRAWN TO LIFE 2 P53 The refreshing draw ‘em up returns for a second outing and makes its debut on Wii FAMILY PARTY OUTDOOR FUN P53 Over 30 fun mini-games make up D3 Publisher’s latest Wii release FALLOUT 3: GOTY P54 Bethesda’s 2008 award-winning hit gets re-released with all five pieces of DLC

WAHOO! Mario and Sonic are back together once again – this time tearing up the slopes at the Winter Olympics... P44

HORRID HENRY P54 The popular book and cartoon series enters the video game space BAKUGAN P55 The worldwide toy and cartoon craze hits consoles courtesy of Activision

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RETAILBIZ: MARIO & SONIC AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS 44 MCV 02/10/09

Sega’s 2007 retail smash returns, swapping Beijing for Vancouver and introducing a brand new range of events for the whole family to enjoy…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Set during next year’s Vancouver event, the title sees gaming’s favourite mascots competing once more, and arrives on retail shelves just in time

is a whole new Mario & Sonic experience. It’s bigger and better than TO CALL Mario & Sonic At The ever, and we’re confident that Olympic Games a success is to call consumers will agree that this is a great Mount Everest a bit tall. game and a perfect The game has sold more Christmas gaming gift.” The Winter Olympic version is than ten million units A change of season a whole new Mario & Sonic around the world, driven means a change in line-up, experience. It’s back bigger by its combination of with a brand new range of loveable iconic characters events for players to and better than ever. and fun, accessible miniparticipate in. Jo Fawell, Sega games that delighted entire Gone are the running families the world over. to dominate the gifting period for a circuits and swimming pools of A sequel, it could be argued, was second time. Sega is, understandably, the original, heralding the arrival of inevitable. Sure enough, MCV revealed rather optimistic. ice rinks, snowy mountain passes a snow-covered follow-up back in “The first Mario & Sonic Olympic and toboggan runs. February in the form of Mario & Sonic title has sold over two million units in Every winter sport imaginable is At The Olympic Winter Games. the UK alone,” says marketing manager available, including the likes of skiing, Needless to say, this is going to be big. Jo Fawell. “The Winter Olympic version skating, luge, bobsleigh and more. by James Batchelor

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RETAILBIZ: MARIO & SONIC AT THE WINTER OLYMPICS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 45

MARKETING CHAMPIONS MARIO & SONIC is Sega’s biggest release of the Christmas season, and given the success of the original, the firm is keen to let everyone know, with a mammoth marketing campaign: TV Millions of pounds have been invested in a four-month TV campaign ads running alongside key programmes such as X Factor. 90second ads will takeover five kids’ channels on the game’s launch day. Sega estimates that 93 per cent of housewives and 88 per cent of kids will see the advert 11 times each, while 80 per cent of 16 to 34 year-old adults will see the advert eight times each.

Cinema A five-month campaign will see 30second ads running before family and children’s blockbusters. This will rack up eight million admissions over the duration of the campaign.

There are even new dream events, bringing a little video game charm to an otherwise serious sporting event, with examples including the Dream Snowball Fight. SNOW BUSINESS

Another new aspect is a more immersive approach to controls. Once again, the game will make the most of the Wii’s motion sensitive controls and the DS’s stylus precision, but now the console version will be compatible with the Balance Board. Families will find themselves leaning back and forth to control snowboards and skiis, and even lie down with their chest on the board to navigate the twisting course of the skeleton event.

As with the original, the emphasis will be on multiplayer and both the Wii and DS versions will cater for up to four players in all events – a feature that is certain to be popular over the upcoming holiday season. “Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games has moved on in terms of gameplay experience from the original in so many ways,” says Fawell. “The use of the Balance Board and more intuitive controls add a whole new depth of gameplay. “More fun dream events have been added, new characters and mini-games have also been included. The multiplayer events have more cooperative and competitive play using both balance board and Wii Remote.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: WII/DS

Print Over the course of six months, Sega has secured five front covers on various specialist and consumer publications, supported by three months of print advertising. Mario & Sonic is already receiving positive reviews, with Official Nintendo Magazine awarding Gold awards and scores of over 90 per cent to both Wii and DS versions.

PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SEGA PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

“A new mode on the Wii allows players to experience a Winter Olympic campaign from the opening ceremony until the close of the event. “The DS has an all-new adventure mode that allows players not only a solus gaming experience by wi-fi play with up to four players from one game cartridge. Therefore we are confident the game offers a new Mario & Sonic experience for players.”

Online There will be ads running across key specialist and lifestyle sites for four weeks, incorporating dedicated interactive creatives and takeovers. Trade Sega has prepared its biggest retail marketing campaign to date. Spanning a whopping eight months, this will include in-store activites, set to run from launch through to February 2010. There will be a full range of premium POS available and pre-order incentives running across retail, which will be supported by competitions and online features in the months after launch. The company has also arranged in-store events across 40 retail outlets.

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RETAILBIZ: FORZA 3 46 MCV 02/10/09

The highly anticipated third instalment in Microsoft’s realistic racing series finally arrives, delivering more petrol-fuelled thrills than ever before…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

“There is a huge and extremely active Forza community who are eagerly awaiting the game and with the assists added by Turn 10, the game can now be enjoyed by a whole new audience of car and racing fans. Forza Motorsport 3 is about inspiring people’s car passion.”

by James Batchelor

FOR MANY people cars have become more than a mode of transportation. For some they are an obsession, as owners lovingly tweak and tune their engines to get the best performance out of every crucial piece concealed under the bonnet, and it is these people that have UNDER THE HOOD always flocked to Microsoft’s Forza Obviously, the cars are the stars here Motorsport titles. and there are plenty of vehicles for Like many of the most realistic racers gamers to choose from. Microsoft has available, the Forza series has always secured the rights to use 400 of the indulged in a car fanatic’s devotion to world’s greatest, sleekest and fastest cars digital automobiles, allowing them to from over 50 leading manufacturers. not only get their hands on some of the Players can get their hands on world’s hottest vehicles, but also to everything from the likes of the new completely customise them. Forza Audi R8 V10, to the classic Ford GT or Motorsport 3 holds true to this, and the Nissan 370Z. expands on the success of its predecessor to take the franchise to new heights. There is a huge and For the third instalment, extremely active Forza Microsoft has aimed to make Forza more accessible community who are eagerly while still satisfying the awaiting this new game. hardcore racing fans. For Laura Disney, Microsoft more casual players, a number of gameplay assists have been All of these vehicles can be introduced to allow gamers of any completely customised, with players ability to simply pick up and play, able to upgrade and tune every engine including auto-braking, auto-tuning and part to their heart’s desire. The a rewind feature to get them back on customisation tools themselves have the track after wrecking their car. been improved, making it easier to The season play mode also helps gamers to get their favourite cars newcomers to the series, pulling data running the way they want them to. from the cars, tracks and events they As with previous Forza games, there perform best in and creating a schedule is even an in-depth livery editor that of upcoming challenges based on the allows gamers to completely reskin any gamer’s strengths. Online multiplayer car and then use these redesigned racers can also be tailored to each player’s on the track. Once again, players will be needs with the new game rules editor able to share their creations via Xbox that lets them define racing parameters Live but crucially these can be sold to before they begin. other Forza owners for in-game credits. “Forza Motorsport 3 is the latest in “Forza 3 has many defining the hit racing simulation franchise,” says experiences and features for racing fans Microsoft’s Xbox product marketing UK and newcomers,” says Disney. executive Laura Disney. “We are “It has amazing graphics and physics extremely pleased with the great work that rival any racing game and boasts Turn 10 have done to improve on what the largest creative online community. was already an amazing game.

Forza Motorsport 3 boasts the same impressive visuals and controls as its predecessors

CALL OF THE OPEN ROAD As one of Microsoft’s biggest releases this season, the platform holder is putting considerable promotional weight behind Forza 3. The key focus of the marketing campaign is to expand the series’ audience, inviting as many people as possible into the Forza fold. “We have a wide array of marketing around the Forza Motorsport 3

franchise to many audiences, from those who love to play racing titles to more causal consumers,” says Microsoft’s Xbox product marketing UK executive Laura Disney. “We will have a full range of POS instore and we have also had a pre-order POS available for several weeks.” Microsoft has arranged a large print campaign targeting gamers through

specalist magazines, as well as men’s lifestyle and motoring publications, and a radio promotion has been set up with Absolute Radio’s breakfast show. A heavyweight television campaign will see 60-, 30- and 20-second ads running during Champions League football games. These spots will also appear on Channel 4, Five and all major satellite channels.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT DEVELOPER: TURN 10 PRICE: £49.99 (STANDARD EDITION) £54.99 (LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION) DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822800

“It has both thrilling and approachable gameplay. Turn 10 have improved on all the features Forza fans love but introduced multiple assists enabling anyone to play and enjoy. The game experience can be made as deep or simple as consumers want.” A collector’s edition will also be available, which will include a copy of the game, a Forza keyring, a 2GB USB memory stick and a theme for the Xbox 360 dashboard. Consumers who buy this edition will also be designated as VIP members, and will be able to download VIP-only car designs in the future. And joining this set is a super-elite Xbox 360 bundle, with a 250GB hard drive – all of which will be backed by a bumper marketing push (see ‘Call Of The Open Road’).

Developer Turn 10 has made changes to Forza Motorsport 3 in order to attract the more casual user

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RETAILBIZ: FORZA 3 WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 47

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RETAILBIZ: ACTIVISION CASUAL RANGE 48 MCV 02/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

CASUAL RANGE The publishing giant unleashes a variety of value titles, bringing more family friendly delights to younger gamers at affordable prices… LIKE ALL MAJOR publishers, there’s more to Activision Blizzard than costly triple-A hits like Call Of Duty and Guitar Hero. The company also caters for gamers with lower budgets and wider interests through smaller titles and its Fun4All label. With the gifting season upon us, Activision has prepared a brand new line-up of such games, catering for the widest audience possible and providing plenty of potential impulse purchases in the run-up to Christmas. “We have a great selection of family friendly titles coming out at the end of

October and early November,” says senior brand manager Scott Wood. “On October 30th, we have three new additions to our family-friendly Fun4All range: Science Papa, Arcade Zone and Mountain Sports. All three titles meet Activision’s requirements to engage as many consumers as posssible with fun and social activities. “Meanwhile on November 6th, we have five new titles, which all offer a deep and immersive experience for the gamer: Madagascar Kartz, iCarly, Barbie and the Three Musketeers, Animal Planet: Pet Life and Rapala We Fish.”

ARCADE ZONE ANIMAL PLANET: PET LIFE

BARBIE AND THE THREE MUSKETEERS

ICARLY

Animal lovers are invited to experience the world of a veterinarian through a range of mini-games and challenges. Take care of a variety of virtual pets and ensure they recover from whatever ails them, either using the Wii Remote or DS stylus, in order to become the best vet around.

A more traditional mini-game collection, Arcade Zone provides more familiar challenges for Wii owners. The line-up includes such family favourites as Basketball Hoops and Air Hockey, all of which utilise the console’s motion controls. Each event can either be played in single-player mode, as gamers try to beat their high scores, or multiplayer with friends and family.

The official video game adaptation of Barbie’s recent DVD movie in which the blonde icon plays Corinne, a young country girl with dreams of becoming a Musketeer. Girls get to take on the role of Barbie as she journeys to Paris, undergoes the trials of a wannabe Musketeer and battles to save the Prince of France.

Based on the hit Nickelodeon property, iCarly invites fans to join Carly, Sam, Freddie and the other characters from the popular TV series. Through numerous frantic mini-games, gamers create show skits that can be put together to form iCarly webisodes using the innovative iCreate mode, where they can change props, settings, transitions and more.

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6

FORMATS: WII, DS

FORMATS: WII

FORMATS: WII

FORMATS: WII, DS

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DEVELOPER: SILVERBIRCH STUDIOS

DEVELOPER: ACTIVISION

DEVELOPER: WAYFORWARD

DEVELOPER: ACTIVSION

PRICE: VARIOUS

PRICE: TBC

PRICE: TBC

PRICE: VARIOUS

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CONTACT:0121 625 3388

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

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RETAILBIZ: ACTIVISION CASUAL RANGE WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 49

With titles aimed at every concieveable demographic, Activision has all bases covered with its upcoming casual range and is sure to rack up strong sales.

MADAGASCAR KARTZ

MOUNTAIN SPORTS

SCIENCE PAPA RAPALA WE FISH The newest instalment in the Rapala fishing series, this title has been exclusively designed for Wii and takes the concept of video game fishing in a brand new direction. Players still use the Remote as a rod and try to land the biggest fish, but this time they do so while racing around in their fishing boat.

Aimed at younger gamers, this makes science fun and challenges them to become the world’s most famous scientist. As the newest member of Science Papa’s renowned research team, players explore chemistry, physics, palaeontology and biology as they play over 40 mini-games. They can also compete against rival scientists in heated competitions to win records and unlock new lab equipment.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30

FORMATS: WII

FORMATS: WII

FORMATS: WII, DS

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DEVELOPER: SIDHE/VIRTUOS

DEVELOPER: ACTIVISION

DEVELOPER: POLYGON MAGIC

DEVELOPER: ACTIVISION

PRICE: VARIOUS

PRICE: TBC

PRICE: TBC

PRICE: VARIOUS

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Activision serves up a fresh dose of Madagascar in this kart racer based on the popular DreamWorks films. Choose from any of the familiar characters and tear up tracks set in the films’ locations. The game features the same humour as the movies, ensuring it will be great fun for the whole family.

Giving families the chance to enjoy a range of winter sports, this title brings popular events away from the mountains and into living rooms everywhere. Mini-games range from high-energy sports such as skiing, snowboarding and toboganning to more skill-based activities such as biathlon and curling. With plenty of multiplayer otions on all events, this is sure to be popular with families.

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PS3

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RETAILBIZ: GTA: CHINATOWN WARS 50 MCV 02/10/09

The highly acclaimed DS outing for gaming’s most popular crime sim makes the journey to PSP…

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“With Chinatown Wars, we are bringing one of the most critically acclaimed handheld experiences of all time to an established GTA fanbase on PSP. We have also fully enhanced the game and added a bunch of new exclusive content including extra narrative story missions and hours of additional music.” Universally acclaimed by the press, the game is an ideal purchase for fans of the old school GTAs. Despite being set

by James Batchelor

WHILE THE GRAND Theft Auto series has become available on most platforms, even its earliest iterations were synonymous with PlayStation formats. So it came as no surprise when Rockstar announced the formerly DSexclusive Chinatown Wars was heading to PSP. The publisher is confident that the game can recreate the success it met on Nintendo’s handheld. “We see Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars as The GTA series has a strong the must-have PSP game heritage on PSP. Chinatown this Christmas for mature gamers,” says general Wars is the format’s mustmanager Neil Stephen. have game this Christmas. “The GTA series has an Neil Stephen, Rockstar extremely strong heritage on the PSP. We in the same iteration of Liberty City as are extremely proud GTA IV, it drops the 2008 smash hit’s that Liberty City gritty atmosphere and revisits the more Stories and Vice fun and almost cartoony nature of the City Stories are series’ origins. the two bestShunning the 3D worlds of the City selling titles Stories titles, the game opts for a more in the rigid pseudo top-down perspective and platform’s much more basic graphics. history. “The beauty of Chinatown Wars is how much fun it is

and, like every GTA game, it is the sum of the parts and the multitude of activities that make the game addictive and compelling,” says Stephen. “Chinatown Wars has also been specifically designed for portable gaming and as a result it is very arcadey, with an epic story campaign and hours of surprises and distractions spread across the biggest world we have ever created on a handheld platform.” GRAND PROSPECTS

While the GTA name alone is enough to grab the attention of hardcore gamers, Rockstar is keen to ensure everyone knows the series has returned to PSP, introducing Chinatown Wars to a new audience. “There is a massive installed base for the PSP in the UK that is fast approaching 3.5 million owners,” Stephen says. “A large proportion of this audience are fans of GTA, since we are the best-selling franchise on the console. As a result, we are targeting this userbase as directly as possible.” Rockstar has arranged advertising across a range of traditional and more unusual outlets, not the least of which is a heavyweight national phone kiosk ad campaign, which will run in high traffic areas and as close to games retailers as possible. There will also be a nationwide radio campaign that is set to reach an audience of nearly three million people and the firm has also secured plenty of support for Sony to boost the game’s launch. There will be a multiple insertion lifestyle print campaign, supported by a strong online campaign across casual and gaming websites, featuring rich media banner ads, pre-roll, website reskins and takeovers. Online advertising also includes sponsorship of the UK version of South Park Studios, a portal which archives the popular show’s episodes. Rockstar is also utilising several retail databases to target the PSP audience directly, and has designed a range of POS that should dominate PSP store space.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: ROCKSTAR GAMES DEVELOPER: ROCKSTAR LEEDS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 822

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RETAILBIZ: SPORE HERO/ROCCAT WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 51

EA takes one of its growing franchises to the next level – appealing to Wii and DS’s casual fans... by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: WII/DS

WHILE WILL Wright’s earlier brainchild The Sims was content with simple expansions, his 2008 hit Spore offered far more interesting possibilities. In the latest entry to the series, creature creation is given new context. Spore Hero marks the franchise’s return to DS and debut on Wii. Shying away from the realms of simulation, the game takes the form of an action adventure where gamers play a single creature rather than commanding an entire species. “Spore Hero gives Nintendo players the opportunity to experience the rich and creative world that is Spore, whilst maintaining the key elements that underpin the Spore values from PC and Mac versions,” says product manager William Graham. SPORE, BLIMEY

“Both titles boast all of the creativity you expect from the Spore franchise with an experience tailored and created specifically for Wii and DS.” As you would expect, the creature creation tools from the original Spore return, giving players complete control over the appearance and behaviour of their bestial hero. While DS owners will be able to use the stylus to effortlessly cycle through options, Wii gamers will

PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS

Meroncourt readies the latest range of its Roccat products for PC gamers this Christmas…

DEVELOPER: EA MONTREAL PRICE: £39.99 (WII), £29.99 (DS)

by James Batchelor RELEASED: OUT NOW

DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

get their hands on the enhanced controls designed around Nintendo’s patented Remote. Once created, they must set off on a quest to save the world, using the Wii’s motion controls to spit poison, fire spikes and bite enemies. Once they’ve finished the main single-player campaign, a multiplayer arena allows players to pit their monster against a that of a friend. “Spore Hero delivers the unparalleled creative freedom of Spore in a story-driven action adventure created exclusively for the Nintendo Wii,” explains Graham. “Set in a rich and vibrant 3D world, Spore Hero empowers you to become the hero as you embark on an epic quest to fight to save your creature’s new homeworld from destruction.” Marketing will see ads across a range of media, including trade, online, print and PR. These will feature an emphasis on EA’s Director for the Day competition, which will allow one lucky winner to create the voice over and script for the final TV spot.

UK DISTRIBUTOR Meroncourt will be populating PC shelves with its range of Roccat gaming peripherals this Christmas, providing a dedicated audience with the specially crafted equipment they need in order to maintain their in-game prowess. “Roccat is a key part of our forward strategy, Meroncourt is well known as the major supplier of high end PC gaming in the UK and Roccat will certainly be a major player in this field within the next 12 months,” says Meroncourt sales director Steve Walsh. Key products include the Roccat Apuri, a four-port USB hub that also doubles as a cable tidy, and Kave’s gaming headset, boasting 5.1 surround sound and detachable microphone. There is also the Tusko flatscreen monitor bag, for safe and secure storage and transportation, and updated versions of the label’s Kone mouse and Valo keyboard, which feature customisable hot keys. All of these products boast the familiar sleek black design and blue illumination, and have been tailored to meet the needs of hardcore PC gamers. “We have huge expectations for Roccat and high-end PC gaming is a

FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ROCCAT DEVELOPER: MERONCOURT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: MERONCOURT CONTACT: 01462 680 060

growth market so combined with that and taking market share from other brands, we expect phenomenal growth,” says Walsh. “For this Christmas period we have at least five new products and a complete range from mice, mouse pads, headsets, keyboards and accessories. Roccat will be a one-top shop for gamers.” ‘COURT IN THE ACT

Meroncourt is working hard to raise awareness of all of its Roccat products in the line-up with a wide-ranging marketing campaign – which covers both those scheduled for release by the end of the year and those already adorning shelves. “There will be lots of exposure in the trade press and lots of end user press as well,” says Walsh. “For October alone, we will have Roccat products featured in four of the top UK end user gaming press publications.”

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RETAILBIZ: SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 52 MCV 02/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

THQ’s market-leading wrestling series returns, this time encouraging players to take control of the action… by James Batchelor OCTOBER BRINGS the latest entry in THQ’s best-selling WWE series, but SmackDown Vs Raw 2010 is far from your usual annual update. Developer Yuke’s has introduced some interesting new options that allow fans of the sport to feel closer to the action, while still boasting the detailed gamplay the series is known for. As a result, THQ has taken a much more mysterious approach with the game’s unveiling. Rather than bombarding fans with information over the summer at key events such as E3, instead the publisher has teased its audience over a longer period of time – finally revealing the game at premier wrestling showcase Summerslam in August. It’s a technique that has created more hype for 2010 than any of the WWE games before it. “We are very excited about the release of Smackdown Vs Raw 2010 this year,” says product marketing manager Mark Cook. “Following our game reveal at Summerslam, we’ve exceeded all expectations and anticipate a champion year for WWE. “This year will see a strong swing towards the next generation formats, where exciting game innovations set this title apart from other sports titles. The community is incredibly hyped about the release already and along with the strong pre-orders received to date, we fully expect good consumer retention amongst SmackDown Vs Raw gamers, mixed with significant headway into the 1.4 million WWE fans in the UK.” SMACK BANG

Once again, players take to the ring wearing the lycra Y-fronts and other ridiculous costumes of well-known wrestlers such as Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Undertaker and John Cena. The full roster of WWE is here, with all of their moves recreated perfectly, allowing fans to play any match they can imagine. RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: 360/PS3/WII/DS/PSP/PS2 PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: YUKE’S PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

Naturally, the customisation features WWE match to entire seasons, and then return, only this time the Create-Ashare them with the online community.” Wrestler concept has been expanded. As As THQ’s biggest title of the well as allowing players to customise Christmas season, the publisher has their superstars, moves, and entrances, prepared an extensive marketing they can even define their plots and the campaign to drive sales. Promotions season storyline itself. have already begun with a two-phase “This year is all about empowering the audience, Following our game reveal at so we’re giving the fans the Summerslam, we’re ability to take full control of anticipating a champion year the WWE universe and then share it with the WWE for Smackdown vs. Raw. community,” says Cook. Mark Cook, THQ “To enable this, WWE SmackDown Vs Raw 2010 includes a print campaign kicking off after the large variety of creation tools that allow game’s reveal as Summerslam, the player to tailor every aspect of their prompting ads to run across specialist gameplay experience. and lifestyle press. “What really stands out among these Sponsorship of WWE TV has also great new features is the story designer begun, kicking off two month before and online sharing functions. Fans can launch with teasing TV spots and now script and create anything from one running fully fledged ads. The publisher

is also running several activities in conjunction with the WWE UK tour on November 11th. Online ads have been running across key wrestling and gaming sites, starting after Summerslam and running up to launch. These ads have been designed to drive pre-orders, as has the full range of POS made available to retailers. “Key retail partners have already gone live with both online and in-store activity,” says Cook. “Pre-orders are already coming in strong and showing a significant increase year-on-year. “The WWE brand is still growing significantly both in the UK and US, with a noticeable increase following last March’s spectacular Wrestlemania XIII showpiece. With a very strong product offering, we fully expect this year’s release to replicate this success.”

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RETAILBIZ: DRAWN TO LIFE/FAMILY PARTY WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 53

THQ’s innovative platformer returns, with DS and Wii owners designing their own heroes… by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: WII, DS

FOR THE FOLLOW up to 5th Cell’s innovative 2007 platformer, THQ has expanded the scope of Drawn To Life to not only entertain handheld owners but now console gamers as well. Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter marks the series’ first outing on a home platform and looks set to build on the success of the original. “Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter allows players to create their own hero using advanced drawing tools,” says product manager Elizabeth Blackman. “Then they play as their created character in an action adventure set in a world they customise as they play. “The game is all about creativity and players will get to create everything from their character, weapons and equipment right through to the levels they play. It even allows gamers to draw directly into the game world, creating much needed platforms and bridges for their hero to cross.” LIFE AND SOUL

The central concept of creativity has been carried across to the game’s marketing in the form of the Your Hero promotion. This has seen fans designing their own heroes in a

The second Family Party brings more mini-game delights to the Wii – just in time for Christmas… by James Batchelor RELEASED: OUT NOW

PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: 5TH CELL (DS) PLANET MOON (WII) PRICE: £34.99 (WII) / £29.99 (DS) DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

national competition that will see the winning designs used as billboards closer to launch. The Your Hero initiative is being supported by print and online advertising, coverage in regional and national press, social networking, broadcast TV sponsorship and more. Closer to launch, the campaign will focus on the game itself, with ads also running from half term onwards to engage the gift buying audience. “Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter is one of THQ’s key pillar releases for Christmas 2009,” says Blackman. “The Drawn To Life brand has already sold over two million copies worldwide. “Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter is set to further expand upon that sales success with new and improved gameplay features for the DS version and franchise’s first ever appearance on Wii. THQ is extremely excited about the potential of the Drawn To Life brand.”

D3P’S LATEST mini-game collection for Wii, Family Party: Outdoor Fun, offers one of the widest variety of activities available on the format, taking inspiration from such diverse areas as martial arts, team sports, individual athletics and challenging brain games. The game also boasts a fun multiplayer mode, where up to four players can take part in each challenge to compete for high scores and medals. As a result, the publisher is confident the title has everything it needs to outsell the original Family Party. “Family Party: Outdoor Fun offers family entertainment at really great value,” says D3P PR and marketing manager Suzanne Sutton. “The original stacked up over 250,000 units worldwide last year so we’re confident sales will build right up until Christmas and beyond. PARTY TIME

“With over 30 new party games you can play with up to four of your family and friends, it’s a great addition to any family evening. Launching in time to keep the kids entertained this October break at a very competitive price point, parents are sure to love it.”

FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: D3PUBLISHER DEVELOPER: TAMSOFT PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

D3P has a comprehensive trade marketing plan to ensure Family Party: Outdoor Fun has a strong presence in stores, hoping to attract a large share of Christmas and half-term consumers. This will be supported by a dedicated PR campaign, which has arranged for plenty of coverage to appear at launch in key family, women and lifestyle magazines, as well as national and regional press and numerous Christmas gift guides. “With a comprehensive trade marketing campaign behind the launch, retailers can expect Outdoor Fun to be a hit with parents and the family market from launch and into the Christmas period,” says Panter. “Thanks to having such a competitive RRP and in-store visibility, we can expect a high level of impulse purchases which, judging by last year’s sales patterns, should give us an evergreen lifecycle.”

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RETAILBIZ: FALLOUT 3 GOTY/HORRID HENRY 54 MCV 02/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Bethesda provides consumers with the complete version of its award-winning RPG, Fallout 3… by James Batchelor BETHESDA’S Fallout 3 was one of the biggest retail successes of last year and has remained in the mindset of gamers thanks to the regular release of DLC that expands on the adventure. And now for those who missed out Bethesda is set to release the Fallout 3: Game Of The Year edition – complete with original game and all the extra content released so far. “The new edition offers the complete Fallout 3 experience all in one box at a great price,” says European PR manager Alistair Hatch. “Fallout 3 offered hours upon hours of gameplay and the five DLC episodes including in the Game Of The Year box have not only added to that, but also increased the level cap and added new enemies, new locations, new missions and new perks.” EXPANDED EXPERIENCE

Players new to Fallout will be able to discover the compelling gameplay, which sees them exploring a postapocalyptic world where it’s every man for himself. They can go out of their way to help the other surviving

RELEASED: OCTOBER 16

Based on the children’s cartoon, South Peak puts gamers in control of the troublesome Horrid Henry… by James Batchelor

FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: BETHESDA DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PRICE: £39.99 (XBOX 360, PS3) £29.99 (PC) DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

members of the human race or become feared by all they encounter. If they finish the colossal main game, they can fight in the historical battles of Operation Anchorage, take on the slavers from The Pitt, relive the ending as it was truly intended in Broken Steel, explore the swamps of Point Lookout or encounter aliens in Mothership Zeta. “What made Fallout 3 so enjoyable for so many fans was the fact that it offers everyone a different experience depending on the decisions they make in the game,” says Hatch. “The Game Of The Year edition expands that universe and allows players to play beyond the original ending of Fallout 3. “We have high expectations for Fallout 3: Game Of The Year edition. We have experience of releasing Game Of The Year editions with good success.”

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: WII, DS, PC

HORRID HENRY steps away from the multi-million selling book series and successful TV show that has made him a hit and ventures into games. It’s a hot property that will be familiar to countless Wii and DS owners, and one South Peak is confident will result in strong sales for them this Autumn. “Bringing such a well-known household name to DS and Wii for the first time is fantastic,” says European marketing director Ed Blincoe. “The buzz among Horrid Henry fans has already started and we know that a lot of children are looking forward to the game. So, with such an exceptional brand behind it we’re expecting some very strong sales for all SKUs.” CHEEKY ANTICS

In Missions Of Mischief, young gamers take on the role of the titular terror and are tasked with playing as many pranks as possible on the other familiar characters, including the likes of Moody Margaret, Perfect Peter and Henry’s teacher Miss Battle-Axe.

PUBLISHER: SOUTH PEAK DEVELOPER: ASYLUM ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £19.99 - £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

To accomplish this, players have access to plenty of Henry’s trademark tools, including supersoakers, spiders and stink bombs. However, the only way to progress to the next challenge is to successfully pull off the prank without being caught by mum and dad. In terms of marketing, South Peak is running a three-week TV spot campaign with a series of 20- and 10second ads at launch across CiTV, Nickelodeon, Disney XD and Cartoon Network, among others. This will be supported by an online campaign across major kids websites, and a consumer PR campaign is underway with competitions giving away goodie bags, consoles and games. Finally, the firm has one of its strongest trade marketing campaigns in place with POS featuring Henry’s cheeky face.

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RETAILBIZ: BAKUGAN: BATTLE BRAWLERS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 55

The monster-battling TV series and toy line makes its debut on consoles, inviting fans to take part in the adventure for the first time… by James Batchelor SINCE THE advent of Pokemon, companies have filled children’s heads with dreams of tameable, friendly monsters – and the adventure of travelling the land in search of worthy opponents. The latest franchise to step into this particular arena now makes the transition to video games, in the form of Activision’s Bakugan: Battle Brawlers. Based on the hit anime show, not to mention the subsequent toy lines and trading cards, Bakugan is set in a world where children befriend and train huge, vicious monsters, and enter them into combat tournaments for glory. It’s a hugely popular property, with the Spin Master-developed card game establishing itself as one of the most popular new toy properties in Q4 last year and gathering more than 55 million fans throughout the world. As such, Activision is confident the first video game in the franchise will be a strong seller when it hits shelves. discovers never-before-seen Bakugan “Bakugan is our key kids’ title for the called Leonidas, the creature asks to Christmas period and we have high stay with Rikku until he can find a way expectations around it performance,” back to his own world. says brand manager Natalie Giles. “The The two work together to help each title offers kids a chance to immerse other realise their dreams. As they themselves into the Bakugan world and progress, players can collect up to 40 it really does take them to a level beyond the cartoon Players are fully immersed and toy series.” into the world of Bakugan. Whereas most titles like Unlike most kids’ games, this this simply recycle plotlines from cartoon is an in-depth experience. series and allow players to Natalie Giles, Activision create key battles, Battle Brawlers actually sends fans on their different Bakugan and hundreds of special own adventure. The game boasts a power-up cards, some of which make brand new storyline, created by the their first appearance in Battle Brawlers. writers of the original anime show They also encounter characters and specifically for the game. monsters from the TV series. Players take on the role of new “Unlike most kids’ games, Bakugan character Rikku, a young boy with offers a more in-depth experience,” says dreams of finding his own Bakugan and Giles. “The ability to be able to joining in the tournaments. When he customise your character and interact

with key characters from the cartoon allows the player to be fully immersed into the Bakugan world in a truly unique experience.” The brand is popular enough to catch a few young eyes this Christmas shopping season, but Activision is still determined to let every Bakugan fan know the game is coming. The company has prepared an extensive marketing campaign to raise awareness of Battle Brawlers. “We have a highly targeted two-week TV campaign in place, which will run the week before and after launch,” Giles says. “Channels such as Cartoon Network and Action Stations will allow us to reach our core target audience of boys between the ages of six and 12 years old in an engaging environment. “The TV campaign will be supported with a strong three-week online

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: 360/PS3/WII/DS/PS2 PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: NOW PRODUCTIONS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

campaign. This will focus on sites such as Swapitshop and Bin Weevils that offer a highly interactive environment – which is key to our plans as we understand the importance of kids interacting with our campaign and becoming fully immersed into the brand. “Our above-the-line plans will be supported by a heavyweight consumer PR campaign which will include targeted coverage across kids’ and lifestyle press. We are also offering a limited Bakugan toy with the DS SKU, which will appeal to any Bakugan fan. The Bakugan toy is only available with the DS Collector’s Edition so expect high demand.”

Immediate opportunities in games: Production Licensing Finance HR

Account Management Marketing Sales PR

Please apply to amanda@opmjobs.com or call 01206 214417

OPM Response Ltd Tel:+44(0)1206 214421 www.opmjobs.com

LGC DPS:Layout 1

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in association with

Media Partner

Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London Registration: 4.30pm Conference: 5:00pm – 8:00pm Networking and dinner: 8:00pm – Midnight

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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 Rob Lowe – Senior Product Manager, Nintendo UK

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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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 58 MCV 02/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

October’s Heroes to dominate retail TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

Sports Strategy Strategy Strategy/Action Mystery Adventure Strategy Music Strategy Strategy RPG RPG RPG Action/Adventure Sports Survival Horror FPS Mini-games Action/Adventure Puzzle Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Casual FPS

THQ Mastertronic Konami Mastertronic Oxygen City Interactive Namco Bandai Disney Interactive Mastertronic Koei Square Enix Rising Star Games Nintendo Mastertronic EA Playlogic Codemasters Ubisoft Warner Games Warner Games EA Activision Blizzard Mastertronic City Interactive

0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 0208 987 5706 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 01462 476 130 020 7324 5200 01582 433700 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0845 362 7769

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

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

Music Casual Action/Adventure Racing Platformer Survival Horror RPG/Fishing Simulation RPG Puzzle Sports Sports Compilation Strategy Action/Adventure

THQ Rising Star Games EA THQ THQ Majesco Rising Star Games EA Namco Bandai Rising Star Games Sega EA Kalypso Media Kalypso Media Sony

0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0117 373 6151 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388

Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Open Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Centresoft

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

Action/Adventure Action Casual Simulation Quiz Mystery Action/Adventure Quiz Racing Action Music Horror Music Action Action/Adventure

Activision Blizzard 2K Games Midas Just Flight Mindscape Ubisoft Playlogic Mindscape Microsoft Rockstar Disney Interactive Rising Star Games Microsoft THQ Mindscape

0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 01376 555 333 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01279 822800 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 01582 433700 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985

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

OCTOBER 9th League Of Leagues Ancient Wars Sparta Ant Nation Battlestations Midway Cate West: The Vanishing Files Chronicles Of Mystery: The Tree Of Life Cities XL Disney Sing It!: Pop Hits Faces Of War Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Luminous Arc 2 Mario & Luigi RPG: Bowser's Inside Story National Geographic Safari Adventures Africa NBA Live 10 Obscure 2 Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising Peppa Pig Scooby Doo: First Frights Scribblenauts Spore Hero/Spore Hero Arena Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Party Edition Wolfschanze 2

OCTOBER 16th All Star Cheerleader 2 Angel Cat Sugar Brutal Legend Cars: Race O Rama Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter Goosebumps Horrorland Harvest Fishing Littlest Pet Shop Friends Magna Karta 2 Mah-jongg Ancient Mayas Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games NBA Live 10 Space Unlimited Collection Tropico 3 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

OCTOBER 23rd Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Borderlands Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies Constellation Professional Countdown CSI: Deadly Intent Fairytale Fights Family Fortunes Forza 3 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Hannah Montana: Rock Out The Show Ju-on: The Grudge Lips: Number One Hits Marvel Super Hero Squad Playmobil: Circus

MUSTSTOCK ..............STAR WARS: CLONE WARS Released: October 9 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Bridging the gap between the first two seasons of the cartoon series, Republic Heroes invites Star Wars fans to the frontlines as they battle bounty hunters, Sith Lords and droid armies. Players can take on the role of the hallowed Jedi or lock and load as clone troopers.

MUSTSTOCK .......................MARIO & LUIGI RPG Released: October 9 Format: DS Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985

Gaming’s most iconic plumbers are forced to work with their arch-nemesis – from inside his body. Bowser’s Inside Story sees players controlling Mario, Luigi and the king of the Koopas as they seek to save the Mushroom Kingdom from a terrible disease.

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 59

Jedis, clone troopers, plumbers, familiar cartoon characters, treasure hunters, soldiers and roadies. All of them lead the October release schedule with a wealth of massive titles, including Star Wars, Kingdom Hearts, Mario & Luigi, Scribblenauts, Brutal Legend, Uncharted and more all approaching shelves over the coming weeks... TITLE

Playmobil: Knight Playmobil: Pirates Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 Sniper: Southern Strike Terrorist Takedown 3: Operation Crossfire Ultimate I Spy World Cup Of Pool WWE SmackDown Vs RAW 2010

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Sports Action FPS Action Simulation Fighting

Mindscape Mindscape Konami City Interactive City Interactive Majesco Midas THQ

0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 020 8987 5730 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0117 373 6151 01376 555 333 0121 506 9585

Koch Koch Open Trilogy Trilogy Open Open Advantage

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

RPG Action Mini-games Puzzle Simulation Quiz Simulation RPG Simulation FPS Mini-games Mini-games Action Mini-games Simulation Simulation Sports Action Mini-games FPS Puzzle Music Music Action

Ghostlight Midas Activision Blizzard S.A.D Deep Silver Mindscape 505 Games JoWood Sega City Interactive Majesco Majesco Rockstar South Peak Deep Silver Deep Silver Activision Blizzard City Interactive Activision Blizzard City Interactive Warner Games Mindscape Nordic Games Deep Silver

01376 555333 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0117 373 6151 0117 373 6151 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985

Open Open Centresoft PlayV Koch Koch Advantage Lace Centresoft Trilogy Open Open Gem Centresoft Koch Koch Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Koch Centresoft Koch

PS3 Wii DS Wii PS3 PC PC PC PC DS DS PC Wii Wii / PC PC DS PC PS2 / Wii / DS / PSP

Casual FPS Adventure Action Simulation Simulation Simulation Simulation Chess Casual Music FPS Adventure Casual Strategy Puzzle Racing Action/Adventure

Sony City Interactive Ubisoft Namco Bandai Sony First Class Simulations First Class Simulations Excalibur Publishing Excalibur Publishing Ubisoft Oxygen City Interactive Oxygen Ubisoft Kalypso Media 505 Games City Interactive D3Publisher

0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01869 338833 01869 338833 01869 338833 01869 338833 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388

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

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

RPG Action Action/Adventure Sports

EA Atari Sega Konami

0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730

Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Open

OCTOBER 30th Agarest: Generations Of War Allied Ace Pilots Arcade Zone Around The World In 80 Days Ballerina Beat The Intro Big Catch Bass Fishing 2 Dungeon Lord - The Orb and the Oracle Football Manager 2010 FPS 3 Go Play Circus Star Go Play City Sports Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City Horrid Henry Let's Play: Flight Attendant Let's Play: Journalists Mountain Sports Rage Of The Dead Science Papa Terrorist Takedown 3 Touchmaster 3 U-Sing We Sing X3 Gold

OCTOBER TBC Buzz!: Quiz World Chicken Riot Dolphin Island 2: Underwater Adventure Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo EyePet Flight Deck 6 Flying Scotsman Forklift Simulator Fritz 12 Girls Life Makeover Music Pirate Hunter Safar'Wii Scrabble 2009 Sins Of A Solar Empire Expansion Pack Spellbound 2 Street Racer Europe The Secret Saturdays: Beasts Of The 5th Sun

NOVEMBER 5th Dragon Age: Origins Ghostbusters: The Video Game Planet 51 Pro Evolution Soccer 2010

MUSTSTOCK ............................SCRIBBLENAUTS Released: October 9 Format: DS Publisher: Warner Bros Distributor: Centersoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Warner Bros’ innovative puzzler gives players the ability to come up with any solution they can imagine for each of the game’s teasers. Thousands of words can be used to summon objects, creatures and random oddities in a game that makes experimentation fun.

MUSTSTOCK .........................KINGDOM HEARTS Released: October 9 Format: DS Publisher: Square Enix Distributor: Open Contact: 020 7324 5200

The DS-exclusive prequel to Kingdom Hearts II, 358/2 Days explores the origins of Roxas and the mysterious Organization XIII. Once again, gamers explore vibrant worlds as the characters of Final Fantasy and Disney join forces to battle evil.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 60 MCV 02/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ:

NEWS

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

85%

Halo 3: ODST, Microsoft, 360

83%

74%

72%

70%

NFS: Shift, PS3, EA

Blood Bowl, PC, THQ

Mini Ninjas, PS3, Eidos

Spectrobes: Origins, Wii, Disney

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

DEAL OF THE WEEK

DO GAME AND CONSOLE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS NEED CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT? The vast majority of participants in the latest MCV online survey believe there’s no need for publishers to enlist the likes of Ant and Dec for their promotional campaign.

84% NO

PUBLISHER

1

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

2

NEW

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3

3

4

4

NEW

5

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA EA

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 WET 360

BETHESDA

5

WII SPORTS RESORT - WITH WII MOTION PLUS Wii

NINTENDO

6

1

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 PS3

7

NEW

WET PS3

CODEMASTERS BETHESDA

8

3

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360

9

2

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 PS3

10

6

GUITAR HERO 5 SOLUS 360

16%

EIDOS

EIDOS CODEMASTERS 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.

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

YES

MARGIN MAKER

This officially licensed Automobili Lamborghini DS Lite sport set brings sports car fans a classy way to store and protect their DS Lite or DSi. The bundle features a rigid storage case with Lamborghini logo, made from high quality materials.

Also included is a car adapter and table charging stand for the handheld, a branded keychain that stores two game cartridges, protection film for both screens and a retractable metal stlylus. Antigrav: 01932 454929

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

TITLE/FORMAT

FORMAT: 360

MODERN WARFARE 2 VETERAN EDITION ANNOUNCED GAME.co.uk is exclusively selling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Veteran Edition for Xbox 360 and PS3. The set includes the previously announced ‘hardened edition’ of the game, which comes with an artbook, a digital code to download the original Call of Duty, and a SteelBook case, as well as a unique gift box and a Captain ‘Soap’ MacTavish ultra-premium ARTFX statue. The statue stands 12 inches tall, and depicts MacTavish in snow camouflag gear, as seen in the Cliffhanger mission of the upcoming game. The Veteran Edition is available exclusively to GAME reward card customers and retails for £119.99. GAME has also obtained the exclusive rights to sell the Modern Warfare 2 Limited Edition super-elite Xbox 360, which features a branded console and the game.

MCV POLL

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK

AMAZON DEBUTS OWN BRAND ELECTRONICS Amazon has launched a portfolio of low price consumer electronic accessories under its own AmazonBasics brand. The range currently includes audio video cables and blank DVD media, with more accessories and items to be added over the next few months.

The AmazonBasics brand is currently only available in the US but the company plans to introduce it to international sites over the coming months.

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

Gamers can save £130 on Play.com’s Xbox 360 bundle, which include an Elite console, official wireless network adaptor, a year’s Xbox Live subscription, 4200 Microsoft points, Gears Of War 2 and Halo 3.

THIS WEEK

GAMEON LONDON CANCELLED November’s GameOn London consumer video games expo has been cancelled. The show, which was announced earlier this year amidst fanfare around a collaboration with HMV, has been called off for a variety of reasons according to the organiser Creative Games Media. A statement from the firm said: “GameOn London for November has been cancelled. The economic climate of 2009 and short timeline with which the new GameOn London management team took over has proven too challenging to launch a mass-market consumer gaming event of the magnitude and quality that the UK market merits.”

MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...

60,61 MCV557_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 61 Sponsored by

FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY 2. FIFA 10

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

3. FIFA 10

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

4. PES 2010

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

FRONTLINE This week, Nindie.com speaks to Voodoo Console’s Jo Freeman… What makes your store unique? We have two stores and our unique edge is to provide a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, where our customers feel comfortable to approach us. We also make a point of being on first name terms with our customers making it more intimate. We strive to provide the customer with what they want at an affordable price.

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

7. GRAN TURISMO 5

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

8. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

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

9. OPERATION FLASHPOINT

What are the biggest challenges facing your store? Our biggest challenge is to convince people that supporting independents on the High Street – instead of supermarkets and online retailers – will actually mean town centres have a chance of survival.

What has been performing well? In these difficult financial times, consumers are looking for cheap games, but with the quality still so pre-owned games have sold better along with new titles we can provide offers on. How has the market been for you so far this year? It’s been tough. We’ve had to provide cheaper games whilst maintaining quality by coming up with offers and bundles. We

do feel proud, though, that we are now in our tenth year of trading, something I consider to be an achievement in today’s challenging market. What is the one thing you would change about games retail? I would change the fact that games are not released during the summer months or at least decent saleable games. We need good quality games being released all year round.

360 ..........................................................CODEMASTERS

10. RATCHET AND CLANK: CRACK IN TIME PS3 ......................................................................SONY Week ending September 25th Source: SHOPTO.COM

PRICE CHECK

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

NFS: Shift 360, EA

WET PS3, Bethesda

Toy Story Mania Wii, Disney

Motorstorm: Artic Edge PSP, Sony

Blood Bowl PC, THQ

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

IN STORE: HARLOW

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2. NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

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

3. FIFA 10

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

4. FIFA 10

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

5. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

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

6. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

PC ........................................................................SEGA

7. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2

360 ..................................................................UBISOFT

8. PES 2010

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

9. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2

ONLINE

PS3 ..................................................................UBISOFT

10. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3

360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

Week ending September 25th Source: PLAY.COM

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

62,63 MCV557_final:54-55 MCV553

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 62 MCV 02/10/09

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 11

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MYSIMS AGENTS EA MARIO KART DS NINTENDO SHERLOCK HOLMES: MUMMY DISNEY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY

2 1 NEW

3 10 6 7 4 5

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

THIS WEEK

COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P G-FORCE DISNEY NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS

DEVELOPER: SONY PUBLISHER: SONY

TITLE

[4]

[5]

[FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER

1

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY

2 3 4 5

2 3 4 8

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MOTORSTORM: ARCTIC EDGE MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE FIFA ‘09

6 7 8 9 10

9 5 6 7 10

DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX

LAST WEEK

2

PUBLISHER

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

[FULL PRICE]

1

PSP

[2]

[3]

SINGSTAR MOTOWN

3 1 4 8 5 7 6 9 10

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

NEW

HALO 3: ODST FORMAT: 360

DEVELOPER: BUNGIE PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT

TITLE

PUBLISHER

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO

3

1

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC

4

2

GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3 ,Wii, PS2

5

5

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

6

4

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3

7

NEW

MARVEL UA2 360, Wii, PS3, DS, PSP, PS2

8

3

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

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO EIDOS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS

9

6

WET 360, PS3

BETHESDA

10

9

WII FIT Wii

NINTENDO

11

NEW

AION PC

12

13

MARIO KART WII Wii

NCSOFT NINTENDO

13

7

THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND 360, PS3, Wii

14

16

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

15

18

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

16

NEW

MYSIMS: AGENTS Wii, DS

EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

17

38

WII PLAY Wii

18

23

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

19

15

MINI NINJAS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC

20

11

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

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO

EIDOS 505 GAMES

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

AION

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NCSOFT PUBLISHER: NCSOFT

EA

2

1

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010

SONY

3

3

THE SIMS 3

CAPCOM

4

5

BLOOD BOWL

EA

5

4

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P SOULCALIBUR: BROKEN DESTINY UBISOFT COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 CODEMASTERS RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA

6

8

WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

7

2

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

8

7

RESIDENT EVIL 5

9

6

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

SEGA

10

10

WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II

THQ

EIDOS EA THQ EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EIDOS CAPCOM

62,63 MCV557_final:54-55 MCV553

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/10/09 63

success of its predecessor and takes the top spot in its first week on sale. The game sold 64 per cent of its allocated week one sell-through in the first 24 hours. Also performing well in its first week is Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, which debuts at No.2. The sequel to last year’s hit DS title has already reached one place higher than Professor Layton

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

22

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

22

17

ASHES CRICKET 2009 Wii, PS3, PC, 360

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber ROCKSTAR CODEMASTERS

23

10

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3

24

8

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

25

19

FAR CRY 2 360, PS3, PC

26

12

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3

27

14

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010 PC

28

20

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

29

21

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

30

25

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

31

24

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

32

RE

MADDEN NFL 10 360, PS3, Wii

33

RE

LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS

34

36

EA

EA EIDOS WARNER BROS. NINTENDO

EA

SONY

35

30

36

RE

37

33

SONIC UNLEASHED 360, PS3, Wii, PS2

38

26

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

39

29

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

40

MARIO KART DS DS

31

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA

EA

THE SIMS 3 PC

PC CD-ROM 3 4 2 8 6 5 7 9 10

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM WET MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 GUITAR HERO 5 IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR GRAND THEFT AUTO 4 FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4

3 5 NEW

2 4 6 11 14 10

WEEK ENDING 26/09/09

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

UBISOFT

SINGSTAR MOWTOWN PS3, PS2

GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR DS

and the Curious Village. Interestingly, Curious Village saw a 36 per cent rise in sales this week, climbing five places to No.18. Both Professor Layton titles take up the top two spots in the single format DS chart this week. The only other new entry in the All Formats Top Ten is Activision’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 at No.7. NCSoft’s Aion just misses out at No.11. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

EA

WII

[FULL PRICE]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

1

WII SPORTS RESORT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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

3 4 2 6 7 5 NEW

8 9

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

WOW: BATTLE CHEST DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST

FOCUS

HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON

FOCUS

JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: EMERALD

GSP/AVANQUEST

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

ESCAPE THE MUSEUM

GSP/AVANQUEST

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON MYSTERY CASE FILES: PRIME SUSPECTS

FOCUS MASTERTRONIC FOCUS

AMAZING ADVENTURES OF THE LOST TOMB FOCUS

PUBLISHER

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 GUITAR HERO 5 WET BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4

1 3 5 4 2 7 6 8

NINTENDO NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS DISNEY EA EA EA CODEMASTERS

[FULL PRICE]

HALO 3: ODST

NEW

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

MICROSOFT’S HALO 3: ODST follows on from the

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: BUNGIE PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BETHESDA EIDOS CODEMASTERS EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

64,65 MCV557_final

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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: +44 (0)1225 471 202 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

64,65 MCV557_final

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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

66,67 MCV5567_final:Layout 1

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 66 MCV 02/10/09

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 02/10/09 67

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

AUSTRALIA

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

 Left 4 Dead 2 has been refused classification in Australia, banning it from release. The Australian Classification Board stated the upcoming EA and Valve title had failed to comply with the current guidelines for a maximum rating of MA 15+. ‘The game contains realistic, frenetic and unrelenting violence which is inflicted upon ‘the infected’ who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently,’ read the official ruling.

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

PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104

JAPAN

A deal has been struck between Japanese publisher Square Enix and growing casual games force Disney Interactive that will see the RPG specialist bring Disney’s upcoming range of digital games to Japan. The first product to make the long trip to the Far East will be a DS title based on Disney’s Lilo and Stitch brand.

USA

Blockbuster has stated that it may be forced to close up to 960 outlets by the end of next year – a fifth of its overall store count. However, the firm confirmed that it still plans to have 10,000 Blockbuster Express kiosks open in the same time. It currently has just 500 of the machines dotted around the US.

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

The recommended retail price of the Xbox 360 Elite console has been cut by AUS $100 down under. The high-end version of Microsoft’s console will now retail for AUS $449 in all stores throughout the territory. The Arcade’s RRP will remain at AUS $299, while the last units of Pro will maintain their AUS $399 price point.

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

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

 In a surprise move, Microsoft has effectively cut another $50 off the price of its high-end 360 Elite – though the deal is only set to run for a limited period. Any consumers who buy Microsoft’s 120GB machine by October 5th will be able to send off for a $50 rebate from the platform holder, effectively bringing the machine’s RRP down to $249.

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

CHINA

Web giant Shanda is to sell off a 22 per cent share in its online gaming unit next week, as part of an IPO estimated to be worth $725 million. Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, the parent company of Shanda Games, has agreed to a Nasdaqlisted initial public offering set to price next week. Shanda produces popular MMO Legend of Mir and also operates NCsoft’s Aion in China – the world's largest internet market with more than 300 million users.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

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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

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...bringing you all the right lines

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

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GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621

SkipDr Premier Disk Cleaner Enigma DSi Necessity Kit

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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 DISTRIBUTION

STORE FITTINGS Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . 01733 239001

For further online advertising information please contact

Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call

01992 535647

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

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY 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, recognised as the leading players in their respective fields. 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, including a full program of the planned sessions, 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 from video game concerts and publisher exhibitions to awards ceremonies and the London Games Conference. 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. Will you make it onto this year’s list? FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6th

TERRITORY REPORT: MIDDLE EAST Inbetween the tax havens and highly sought-after oil fields are some of the world’s most interesting emerging markets. In the latest of our territory reports, MCV takes a in-depth look at the major retailers and distributors across the various territories and speak to key players about how the various difficulties in bringing the latest titles to shelves in this region.

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

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.

STUDIOS 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

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

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 Ian Livingstone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01483 421491

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

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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. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

DISC REPAIR

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

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STORE FITTINGS

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

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WWW.MCVUK.COM For further online advertising information please contact

Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 BDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688

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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…

OCTOBER HANDHELD LEARNING Monday, October 5th – Wednesday, October 7th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.handheldlearning2009.com

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

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 EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net GAMECITY SQUARED Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st Nottingham www.gamecity.org

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.

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

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

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

NOVEMBER DEVELOP LIVERPOOL Thursday, November 5th Arena/Conference Centre, Liverpool develop-conference.com/liverpool

DECEMBER MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk GAME CONNECTION EUROPE Tuesday, December 8th – Thursday, December 10th Lyon, France www.game-connection.com

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

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

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MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR CASUAL GAMES TITLES

JUNE 2009

STATS Unique Users: 41,219 Page Views: 70,648 June 2009, Google Analytics

For more information contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk

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MCV 02/10/09 75

MAILBOX

Viva La France! One Northern retailer, sick of witnessing piracy stifle his sales, puts his hands together for our Gallic cousins…

I NEVER THOUGHT I’d applaud the French for anything, but they’re right on the money with their new ‘three strikes’ anti-piracy law. We all know the extent of piracy. It’s no longer something we just see in the headlines every now and then – it’s something we hear our own friends discussing when we’re down the pub. And surely it should have never have reached this stage. The problem is the term: piracy. It’s a nice, soft word, isn’t it? To me, it brings to mind mischievous young scamps who pinch apples or something, and basically sounds like the sort of thing you get a slap on the wrists for at best. Let’s not forget what piracy actually is: it’s theft. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. Piracy is theft, and these file-sharers are stealing games. They might as well walk into my shop, clear off the shelves into a big bag marked ‘swag’ and give me the finger as they stroll out. Shouldn’t such people be punished?

The French law is surely the only way to do it. It’s all well and good telling people how wrong illegal downloads are (though you’d think the word ‘illegal’ was a clue), but if you’re not going to do anything to back it up, you may as well not bother. In fact, you might as well start posting direct links to the best torrenting sites, sit back and wait for more publishers and retailers to go bankrupt.

We’ve got the technology. My more tech-savvy employees tell me it’s possible to track the IP of illegal file-sharers, so why aren’t we bringing these people to book? Britain needs to follow France’s example and start making policies on this problem – less discussion, more decisions. We need to nip this in the bud now. Like I said, it should never have reached the stage where piracy is commonplace enough to discuss openly. Back

File-sharing has become too for people to realise how much it affects our industry we need to stop this now. ‘North East retailer’

The point is, we need to act. It’s no good sitting around discussing whether or not the technology used for torrenting is technically illegal, or if there are ways we can offer a similar service legally. If the customers have worked out how to get their games for free, ahead of the release date, they’re not going to start paying for legal copies, are they?

You don’t let a bank robber knock over two more before you cart him off to jail, so why should piracy be any different? That said, I understand why they’re doing it. If Little Johnny is downloading games on the family PC, it’s not fair to cut off Mum or Dad. I just wish I could be there to see the kid’s face when his parents confront him about the written warning. ‘North East retailer’

in the days of early video piracy, you kept it reasonably quiet if you got your hands of a film that wasn’t out yet. Nowadays, file-sharing has become too widespread for people to realise how serious it is, and how much it affects our industry – we need to stop this before it spreads further. Personally, I think three warnings is a little too lenient.

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM

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68 MCV 02/10/09

1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

THE SUN

Off The Record

2

SAINBURY’S

3

We take a look back at last week’s MCV and Xbox 360 Industry Pub Quiz, where The Sun reigned supreme – followed by Sainsbury’s and Turner Media...

TURNER MEDIA

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MCV 02/10/09 69

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

4 IGN

9 SEGA

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

5 AMAZON

10 MICROSOFT

RESULTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

THE SUN ....................................63 SAINSBURY’S ...........................................61 TURNER MEDIA ......................................60 IGN .............................................................59 AMAZON...................................................57 D3P ............................................................56 FUTURE PUBLISHING............................55 UBISOFT ...................................................54 SEGA .........................................................50 MICROSOFT .............................................49 EA ..............................................................48 KOCH MEDIA ...........................................44 SHOPTO.NET ...........................................42 GLS GAMES .............................................38 XOMY.........................................................32

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

11 EA

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

12 KOCH MEDIA AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

6 D3P

13 SHOPTO.NET

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

7 FUTURE PUBLISHING

14 GLS GAMES

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S

8 UBISOFT

15 XOMY

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OMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION To celebrate the launch of PES 2010, Konami is giving five of you the chance to win a copy on the format of your choice. To get your name in the hat, simply answer the following question:

Q. What is Lionel Messi’s nickname? A. The Flea B. The Elephant C: The Zebra Send your answer to

pes@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,

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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Window Clings

â&#x20AC;¢ MULTI-MILLION POUND 4 MONTH TV CAMPAIGN WITH EVENT SPOTS SUCH AS X FACTOR â&#x20AC;¢ 90 SECOND TAKE OVER OF FIVE KIDS TV CHANNELS ON LAUNCH DAY â&#x20AC;¢ OVER 90% OF TARGET MARKET WILL SEE THE ADVERT MORE THAN 10 TIMES

CINEMA â&#x20AC;¢ 5 MONTH CINEMA CAMPAIGN IN FAMILY AND CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BLOCKBUSTER FILMS â&#x20AC;¢ DELIVERING OVER 8 MILLION ADMISSIONS OVER THE DURATION OF THE CAMPAIGN

PR

Wobblers

â&#x20AC;¢ FAR REACHING 6 MONTH SPECIALIST AND CONSUMER CAMPAIGN DELIVERING 5 FRONT COVERS

ONLINE â&#x20AC;¢ 4 WEEK ONLINE CAMPAIGN ON SPECIALIST AND LIFESTYLE SITES

Cubes

â&#x20AC;¢ DEDICATED CREATIVES AND TAKEOVERS

PRINT â&#x20AC;¢ BROAD PRINT CAMPAIGN IN SPECIALIST AND LIFESTYLE MEDIA

OUTDOOR â&#x20AC;¢ ADVERTISING WITH THE UK'S LARGEST SHOPPING MALLS â&#x20AC;¢ ESTIMATED 14 MILLION FOOTFALL

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FSDU

Standee



â&#x20AC;&#x153; Th e W i i a n d t h e D S â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s b e s t p a r t y g a m e j u s t g o t c o o l e r.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153; This has got

C h r i s t m a s n u m b e r 1 a l l o v e r i t , f o l k s .â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153; T h e o r i g i n a l M a r i o & S o n i c w a s g o o d s t u f f, b u t t h i s l o o k s l i k e i t â&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll l z i p p a s t i t .â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153; G e t your t he rmal undies on and g e t r e a d y f or t he c o ole s t game of t he ye ar!â&#x20AC;?

Published by TM IOC. Copyright Š 2009 International Olympic Committee (â&#x20AC;&#x153;IOCâ&#x20AC;?). All rights reserved. SUPER MARIO characters Š NINTENDO. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Wii and Nintendo DS are trademarks of Nintendo. SONIC THE HEDGEHOG characters Š SEGA. SEGA, the SEGA logo and Sonic The Hedgehog are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation.

062:*B0&9B:5$3B8.B9LQGG

www.sega.co.uk




MCV557 October 2nd 2009