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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday October 9 2009 £3.25

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 558 Friday October 9 2009 £3.25

04 Place your bets... MCV reveals the first odds for Christmas No.1 – with Modern Warfare out in front

16 Thinking outside the ‘box Microsoft’s Neil Thompson discusses the firm’s megabucks Q4 ad campaign

WITH THIS

25 September charts

We take a look at Nintendo’s sequel to the mega-selling Wii Fit

We reveal publisher sales charts and games sales for last month

ISSUE

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Could retail ruin Christmas? FIFA 10 discounting ‘unnecessary and worrying’ says trade  Does UK need European-style RRP restrictions? by Tim Ingham THE PROSPERITY of the entire UK trade has been placed in danger by the supermarket price cutting that led to FIFA 10 going on sale for £25 last weekend.

Konami UK boss Peter Stone told MCV: “It appears that FIFA has been used as a spearhead in a fresh marketshare battle between the supermarkets, and this can only lead to similar retaliation with other key titles. It is our

The unnecessary FIFA pricecutting will only lead to similar retaliation on other key titles this Christmas. Peter Stone, Konami

That’s according to leading publishers and retailers, who have hit out at “unnecessary and worrying” discounting. Top trade execs have even asked if the UK needs to adopt a French-style law, where Government restricts in-store price slashing. Tesco led the way on FIFA 10, selling the title – which broke sales records this week to hit No.1 in the All Formats Chart – for just £24.97.

A head buyer at a top UK national entertainment retail chain added: “The relentless discounting policies of the supermarkets have done so much to devalue products that were once considered highly aspirational, including DVDs and CDs. “The industry has to guard against the same being done to games – once the public has an expectation of significantly lower prices, there won't be any going back.”

FIFA 10 smashed sales records in its opening weekend – but was heavily discounted by Tesco, Asda and Morrisons

ANOTHER VIEW

understanding that retail sets these prices, and they are unnecessary and worrying.” Bethesda CEO Sean Brennan added: “Clearly no publisher likes its brand to be devalued like this. I suspect it only moves market share around rather than generates additional sales. The alternative is something like the French model where the state dictates minimum retail pricing in video games.”

Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens says that, in some instances, supermarket priceslashing doesn’t have to work against the industry: “It is free market forces at work and it is a matter for retailers to make decisions which they consider to be beneficial to their business. There could be a view that in doing so it highlights a reduction in retail trade margin requirements going forward, thereby benefiting the content providers. In the final analysis, the consumer wins and if that means more software is sold then how good is that?”

Finally… Change4Life embraces games by Tim Ingham FIRST IT SAID video games caused premature death. Then it casually dismissed publishers’ fury. And, in a final insult, it admitted that it had accepted over £200 million from other industries – without ever consulting our trade. But today the Government’s Change4Life campaign has finally reached out to the UK video games business – seven

months after it told parents that the industry’s products were killing their kids. Nintendo UK has announced a breakthrough partnership with the Department of Health to support the antiobesity campaign. Nintendo will support the initiative with its marketing campaign for Wii Fit Plus, released on October 30th. The Change4Life logo will be featured across TV advertising,

online, PR and in-store point of sale – which will include the distribution of leaflets.

This will be followed by a New Year campaign from Nintendo, which will tap into

key Change4Life messages: how families can can get ‘up and about’ and get ‘60 active minutes each day’. General manager of Nintendo UK David Yarnton said: “As pioneers of the exergaming phenomenon we’re thrilled to be the first in the industry to partner with Change4Life and use our unique position to talk to families about the role active computer games can play in

people’s lives, helping to support such an influential movement.” MCV believes that Nintendo will become the industry’s first member of Business4Life: the funding body that has pledged a £200 million in-kind contribution to Change4Life. Members include CocaCola, Cadbury’s, Mars, Nestle and PepsiCo, as well as BSkyB, Channel 4, five, ITV, Virgin Media and Viacom.

PERSONNEL 34 RETAIL BIZ 39 NEW RELEASES 50 HIGH STREET 52 CHARTS 54

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[LEADER] HAVE SUPERMARKETS GONE TOO FAR? FIFA is probably the only game that’s cheaper at launch than it is six months after release. The price cutting on the title is an annual ritual. But £25 is a terrifying new low. How long will it be before the title is given away free with a pack of loo roll? It makes you wonder how the likes of HMV and GAME can hope to compete. Of course I bought my copy from Tesco. I’d have been a fool not too. Don’t shoot the messenger – loads of the getting-on-for-a-million other purchasers of the game will surely have done the same. (Worth pointing out here that I’d have paid another tenner – and I bet so would the vast majority of the new game’s recordbreaking audience. I’m certain EA’s incredible development, sales and PR achievement would have existed regardless of supermarket naughtiness). But the legacy of FIFA 10’s release isn’t all bad for the specialists. Loss-leading activities may boost market share, but it’s hardly an ideal way to build a successful video games business. Also, the difference in cost between supermarkets and specialists is often minimal. This was an unsustainable one-off. For example, at launch Halo 3: ODST was cheaper at GAME than it was at Tesco. And the supermarkets are far from perfect. On the day I picked up FIFA 10, Tesco had a poster outside with the incorrect price on it. They had no copies of the game on shelves and instead placed them all in a FSDU hidden away amongst the magazine section. You simply wouldn’t get that sloppiness at HMV, Blockbuster, GAME or Gamestation. Nevertheless, ‘losing’ the FIFA launch weekend to the grocers will come as a significant blow to those looking to boost their sales in what has been a slow year – while publishers are seeing their triple-A titles devalue before their very eyes. Who knows what might happen come the release of Pro Evolution Soccer, Assassin’s Creed or Modern Warfare 2? It’s particularly interesting to see Pete Stone, boss of PES-publishing Konami, pleading for supermarkets to stop the price slashing on this week’s cover. Despite conspiracy theories from indie stores and specialists littering MCVUK.com’s comments board this week , it appears – to a certain extent - the publishers really are on their side.

Modern Warfare vs. Assassin’s Bookies name Activision, Ubisoft and EA as favourites to snatch by Christopher Dring ONLINE betting giant Paddy Power has backed Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed II and FIFA 10 as mostly likely to snatch this year’s Christmas No.1, MCV can reveal. Activision’s modern-day first person shooter is the runaway favourite to top the charts with odds of 13/8, while Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II has odds of 9/4. Both titles also went to head-to-head for Christmas No.1 in 2007, with Ubisoft’s adventure coming out on top. Last year FIFA 09 took the top position over the Christmas week, but the title is third favourite in Paddy Power’s listings with odds of 6/1. A Paddy Power spokesperson told MCV: “When the full weight of Activision's marketing machine kicks into gear we’re in no doubt that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will enjoy the lion's share of the games market this December.” Halo 3: ODST, Guitar Hero 5, Need For Speed: Shift, Wii Fit Plus and, New Super Mario Bros. Wii all make Paddy Power’s listing. However, the likes of Uncharted 2, The

ODD NUMBERS Paddy Power’s odds for the number one Christmas game this year make for interesting reading – with the big guns unsurprisingly out in front… Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ................................................................13/8 Assassin’s Creed II ...........................................................................................9/4 FIFA 10...................................................................................................................6/1 Halo 3: ODST .....................................................................................................10/1 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games .......................................12/1 Wii Fit Plus .........................................................................................................14/1 New Super Mario Bros Wii ............................................................................18/1 Need For Speed: Shift ....................................................................................18/1 Planet 51: The Game ......................................................................................20/1 James Cameron's Avatar: The Game ......................................................25/1 PES 2010............................................................................................................25/1 Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues...............................33/1 Left4Dead 2.......................................................................................................33/1 Guitar Hero 5 ....................................................................................................33/1 The Saboteur.....................................................................................................40/1 Ghostbusters: The Video Game .................................................................40/1 Tekken 6..............................................................................................................50/1 Rogue Warrior...................................................................................................66/1 Brutal Legend ...................................................................................................80/1 Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time ...........................................................80/1 Saw: The Video Game....................................................................................80/1 WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2010 ..............................................................100/1 Rabbids Go Home...........................................................................................100/1

PLAYSTATION GOES ON TOUR

IT’S ABOUT TIME... It’s great to see Nintendo being welcomed by Change4Life – even if it means the firm has had to stump up for the privilege. Anyone who cares about the industry would agree that MCV’s front page from earlier in the year – which revealed junk food and TV companies were bankrolling anti-obesity ads that attacked games – was a real kick in the nuts. All credit to Nintendo for not just sitting around and moaning about the fact that games had been left out in the cold; but actually picking up the phone and opening dialogue. It’s a prime example of how this industry has grown up in the last few years. Out with the self-obsession; in with proactive solutions. Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

SONY HAS kicked off a big tour of UK shopping centres to help promote the PlayStation brands to shoppers in the run up to Christmas. The PlayStation House (pictured) demonstrates the various functions of both PS3 and PSP in a lifestyle setting. It debuted last week in Glasgow and will move on to Bluewater, Kent (October 10th to 18th), Bullring, Birmingham (October 24th to November 1st), The Arndale Centre, Manchester (November 14th to 22nd) Metro Centre, Gateshead (November 25th to December 2nd) and Westfield, London (December 5th to 13th).

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Creed for Xmas No.1 this year’s coveted Christmas top spot

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and DJ Hero miss out. Publishers are already talking up their chances of securing the Christmas No.1 spot, with

“The price cuts on the other consoles could make that a slightly larger challenge for us, and Modern Warfare 2 will be huge. Will it be bigger than the

We’re in no doubt that Modern Warfare 2 will enjoy the lion's share of the games market this December. Paddy Power spokesperson

Sega hopeful its Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (12/1) can pull off an upset. “There are only three games that can be Christmas No.1. Call of Duty, FIFA or Mario & Sonic. It is as simple as that,” said Sega UK’s MD John Clark.

last Modern Warfare? I think it probably will be. But we think it’s achievable because the last Mario & Sonic achieved a 30 per cent attach rate on Wii and a DS attach rate of seven per cent. If we achieve even half of that, we’ll be in with a chance.”

Online platforms must be open, says 7Digital 360, WII AND PlayStation 3’s online platforms should be made accesible to thirdparty services like Steam, says 7Digital. The music download specialist is eyeing a move into the games sector after HMV bought 50 per cent of the firm for £7.7m. And only last week the company rolled out its music store into the US and launched a music platform on BlackBerry. It is also working on a video offer for HMV and an e-book service for sister chain Waterstones. “Games is something I’m very personally interested in,” 7Digital CEO Ben Drury told MCV. “It’s something we are looking at, but we’re not working on it right now because we’ve got a lot of to do on music and video and books. “But games are not far from my thoughts.” However, Drury is concerned about the console market and believes platform holders need to open up their platforms to allow for innovative new digital applications.

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES SONY PS3

2. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI

3. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DRURY’S OUT: 7Digital’s boss is eyeing video games

“Games is very interesting,” he added. “It is a tough one for digital because consoles are essentially shut – third parties are limited to PCs, iPhones and BlackBerrys. “I worry about the console market. It will be hard for innovation to happen while they are all controlled by Microsoft or Sony. It will be a really brave decision to open these platforms up, but if they do it, it will pay dividends.”  Drury’s comments comes ahead of the October 27th London Games Conference, the first event to throw the spotlight on digital distribution. Contact Rob. Baker@intentmedia.co.uk for more details.

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

5. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360 ..................................MICROSOFT

6. FORZA 3: LIMITED EDITION 360 ..................................MICROSOFT

7. BRUTAL LEGEND 360 ..............................................EA

8. RATCHET & CLANK: TIME PS3 ..........................................SONY

9. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ............................NAMCO BANDAI

10. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY Week ending October 2nd Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 53 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market…  This week’s UK software sales leapt up to 45 per cent to 40.9 million, while units also rose dramatically – up 43 per cent to 1,569,441. It is the highest weekly figure since the turn of the year when sales hit £69.7 million.  FIFA 10 sparked the sales surge. It’s the biggest All Formats No.1 since GTA IV’s launch last year. Sales were also aided by the continued success of Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box Halo 3: ODST and recent hardware price cuts.  Next week sales could dip, with just a handful of new titles. However, from October 16th releases start to ramp up with Uncharted 2, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Brutal Legend scheduled for launch.

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]

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

50

Week Ending October 2nd 2009

£40.9m

40

30

20

10

FIFA 10 rocketed to the top of the charts this week thanks in part to aggressive price promotions

0

£18.0m

£27.8m

£40.9m

791,790 Units

1,082,362 Units

1,412,497 Units

Week Ending September 18th Week Ending September 25th

Week Ending October 2nd

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WRC team planning to take pole position from Dirt 2 Black Bean and developer Milestone ready to take on Colin McRae title after scoring official rally licence by Christopher Dring PUBLISHER Black Bean plans to revamp the World Rally Championship licence into a new annual games franchise, MCV can reveal. And the firm has set its sights on challenging

“We have a lot of respect for the team at Codemasters and Dirt 2 is a fantastic game,” Simone Bechini, the deputy general manager of WRC developer Milestone, explained to MCV. “But for sure, we will do our best to match and possibly

We will do our best to match and possibly beat Dirt 2. The racing genre is very well populated, but WRC is unique. Simone Bechini, Milestone

Codemasters’ recent success with fellow racer Dirt 2. Black Bean has signed up the licence on an initial three year deal, with the first game set to arrive on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in Spring next year. Dirt 2 has been a regular fixture in the weekly charts since its launch last month.

beat that game. The racing genre is very well populated with great franchises. But WRC is very unique.” Publisher Black Bean is already looking ahead to future titles, as the real-life World Rally Championship grows its audience in the years ahead according to international

Black Bean says its WRC title can challenge established racing franchises

communications manager Francesca Tognoni: “We like to see this as the beginning of a long friendship between WRC and Black Bean. We will use the WRC to help guarantee to

our suppliers and retail partners that there will be strong marketing activity for this game. We are helped by the overwhelming support of the WRC and their sponsors.

There will be a strong campaign on this title.” Sony published the official WRC games until 2005. Black Bean: 07500 862 830

Byron takes PR mainstream iPod classic hits DS THE PR AGENCY handling the next series of Doctor Who has set its sights on games – by hiring former Simon Byron to head up its new division. London-based Premier Public Relations officially opens its video games division this week, run by former Barrington Harvey director Byron. The 60strong agency recent ran campaigns for the likes of Slumdog Millionaire, 24, and Ashes to Ashes. It most recently won the account the series of five of Doctor Who. and celebrity clients include Daniel Craig and Kate Winslet. “Games PR agencies have traditionally come in two flavours: those that know

Premier PR has picked Byron to head up its new games division

games, but lack the mainstream experience to really push them beyond the gaming press – or larger agencies who can’t tell a PS3 from a 360,” said Byron. John Reiss, chairman of Premier, added: “As leaders in

the field of entertainment PR, we are perfectly placed to bring games into the mainstream. The appointment of Simon sends a clear message that we intend to be the best in this area.” Premier: 020 7292 8330

ONE OF gamers’ favourite iPod puzzle titles is making its way to DSiWare via UK publisher Mastertronic. Super Yum Yum Puzzle will be released on the service in December. The series has won many plaudits on iPhone and iPod Touch. The Guardian called it ‘cute, brightly coloured and a delightful way to waste time’, whilst Pocket Gamer has branded it the ‘most imaginative puzzle game of the year’. Mastertronic’s update will feature 48 levels with exclusive DSi features. Ian Masters from developer AirPlay said: “We are delighted to be working with

Mastertronic to bring an enhanced version of this great puzzle game to a totally new audience. Not only does Super Yum Yum have a great pedigree but we firmly believe we have created one of the best DSiWare games available on the platform.” Mastertronic: 020 7502 4450

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Sony gets behind ‘PSP’s Pokemon’ Youth oriented campaign to back release of innovative camera game Invizimals by Tim Ingham A MONSTER-HUNTING game billed as Sony’s first challenger to Nintendo’s Pokemon range is being backed with a wide-ranging marketing campaign by the platform holder. Invizimals will be released by SCEE next month, and, in a unique development, will

A web campaign will also run between October 12th and December 16th. “With Disney XD and Nickelodeon we have a heavy online campaign – including mini sites on each of these running until the end of the year,” said Sony product manager Claire Backhouse. “Kids will be able to engage with the brand, monster hunt,

Invizimals will be the talk of the school yard and the most requested Christmas PSP game this year. Claire Backhouse, Sony

utilise the official PSP Camera to show up ‘invisible’ creatures. The game was devised by Spanish studio Novarama. Sony is backing the title with impressive TV promotion, featuring 30-second ads on channels including Nickelodeon and Disney XD, whilst the game will sponsor Cartoon Network’s hit show Ben 10 for six weeks in the lead up to Christmas.

The title uses the PSP camera to show creatures hidden in the real world

sign up and watch reviews and trailers of Invizimals all online – in a safe environment that parents feel comfortable with.” Advertorials will run in childrens’ press throughout December, including titles such as Marvel Heroes, Spectacular Spider-man, Scooby-Doo, Ben 10 and Toxic. Sony is also preparing a cinema campaign that will run around key family movies on show at Christmas.

“I really believe the depth of this marketing campaign will ensure that Invizimals is the talk of the school yard

and the most requested Christmas PSP game this year,” added Backhouse. Sony: 020 7859 5000

Majesco to release Scholastic titles SCHOLASTIC Interactive's line-up of games will finally hit European shores via publisher Majesco, MCV can reveal. The deal will see Goosebumps HorrorLand on Wii and DS and Ultimate I-Spy for Wii hit European shelves before the end of October. Majesco MD Jason Dutton explained: "We’re really excited about bringing these two quality titles to Europe. Ultimate I-Spy is a family brand with huge visibility and Goosebumps HorrorLand will be in place to scare the pants off of consumers in time for Halloween."

Scholastic Interactive SVP Alan Waldman added: “I-Spy and Goosebumps have always had global appeal so we’re delighted to work with Majesco to bring these games to fans in Europe.” Both titles were released in the US last year and were developed by UK-based studio Gusto Games. MCV revealed back in February that Scholastic was on the hunt for partners to help it grow into Europe. Scholastic is one of the world’s biggest children’s book publishers, famed for its Goosebumps franchise and for

activision.com

publishing the Harry Potter books in the US. The firm also owns a production company which has made a series of TV programmes including The Baby-Sitters Club. Majesco: 0117 373 6151

© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BAKUGAN, BATTLE BRAWLERS, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks and copyrights of Spin Master Ltd. and Sega Toys. NELVANA is a trademark of Nelvana Limited. CORUS is a trademark of Corus Entertainment Inc. Used under license by Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Game developed by NOWPRODUCTION Co., Ltd. ‘2’ and ‘PlayStation’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks 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. Bakugan ™ 2008 Spin Master LTD & Sega Toys.

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DJ Hero set to put industry in a spin Retail should make room for hands-on demos, says Activision – as publisher sets sights on expanding music market by Tim Ingham ACTIVISION believes that DJ Hero can help grow the music game genre – by attracting consumers that have never before played Guitar Hero or Rock Band. The firm’s global publishing boss Mike Griffith admitted in August that the music category

The game will bring more music-lovers into stores – some of which may not have bought a music game before. Ian McClellan, Activision

was ‘significantly down’ yearon-year – but pointed to Europe as an area in which it could still expand. The firm believes DJ Hero can appeal to a different kind of consumer to its Guitar Hero franchise – as well as its core userbase.

Disney picks Roy for PR SHORTLY AFTER ending his eight year stint at Ubisoft, Manab Roy has re-emerged as head of UK PR at Disney Interactive Studios. He will be looking after the label’s growing roster throughout the specialist media sector as well as managing Disney’s agency, Kazoo, in the mainstream arena. Roy’s role at Ubisoft involved a similarly wide-ranging brief. UK marketing manager Keely Brenner commented: “We are so excited about Manab joining our team. He brings with him a wealth of experience from Ubisoft and we look forward to utilising his talents here at DIS.” Disney: 0208 222 1413

“This game will grow the category, so retail should expect this title to bring even more music-lovers into their stores – some of which may not have bought a music game before,” adds McClellan. “Again, the investment behind this title will be at the level that they have come to expect from the Hero franchise. We believe trial is going to be very important. We are planning some heavyweight ways to introduce people to DJ Hero.” The title is released on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PS2 on October 30th.

“With the kind of diversity DJ Hero offers, we expect it to appeal to people who may not have yet discovered the Hero franchise,” senior brand manager at Activision Ian McClellan explained to MCV. “The key is that the music – which comprises of over 90 mashups that are unique to DJ Hero – is still very accessible.”

Activision has created a new turntable peripheral for the game, which has already enjoyed heavy television promotion. Unique mixes included on the disc come from acts such as the Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Justice and Beastie Boys.

Activision: 020 3060 1000

CLEVER DECK: McClellan says DJ Hero and its turntable peripheral will attract new consumers to games

Exspect offers kit for iPhone users EXSPECT HAS backed Apple’s claims that iPhone should be regarded as a fully fledged ‘games console’ – by creating a full range of products for the device. The Gem-owned peripherals firm has released its Gaming Grip, the EX108 – compatible with both the iPod Touch 2G and the iPhone 3G – and a lineup of iPhone slip cases: the EX044, 053, 054 and 055. The Gaming Grip is designed to ‘provide an experience similar to that of a dedicated mobile games console, and is equally effective for games played in landscape or portrait’. “Exspect has built its reputation in the iPod sector on high quality, well designed, well fitting, well packaged

products at the right price point,” said Exspect MD Neil Meredith. “With the launch of the iPhone 3GS, an option of networks, the availability of pay as you go, along with reducing the cost of the iPhone 3G has seen a steep demand

on both hardware as well as the demand for high quality form fitting products.” Apple's marketing vice president Phil Schiller said at an iPod presentation in September: “When DS and PSP came out, they

Exspect’s gaming grip underlines how the platform is a serious contender in games

seemed so cool. But once you play a game on the iPod Touch, you think, ‘Hey, these things aren't so cool any more’.” Exspect: 020 7183 9666

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BBC Four puts kibosh on regular games TV content Digital channel rules out fuller games shows, despite positive response to Gameswipe by Michael French BBC FOUR HAS told MCV that it is unlikely to increase its focus on video games – despite heavy praise for its ‘Electric Dreams’ season of shows. Last week the digital and satellite only channel kickstarted its run of technologyfocused programming, including Gameswipe – a oneoff games special by former PC Zone writer and The Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker – and a dramatisation of the life of ZX Spectrum inventor Sir Clive Sinclair.

CODEMASTERS: The Wii and DS versions of anticipated racer F1 2009 will be released in the UK on November 20th.

EA: Rock Band 2 will finally arrive on Wii this month. The game is priced at £29.99. CAPCOM: The publisher is set to release Super Street Fighter IV on Xbox 360 and PS3 in Spring next year.

BBC Four Spokesperson

Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe (main) was an hour-long games special; a drama based on Clive Sinclair’s life also aired (inset)

outperformed his other shows News Wipe and Screenwipe. But don’t hold your breath expecting similar content in future, the channel told us.

“We were delighted with the response both to Gameswipe and ‘Electric Dreams’,” a spokesperson from the commissioning team said. “In Charlie Brooker you have an original, savagely funny view of the world and also an expert knowledge of games and gamers. People who have no interest in the

subject trust him to introduce them to what it's all about and enthusiasts trust him to have something well-observed and truthful to say. “Games are unlikely to be a regular feature of BBC Four but we'll almost certainly return to the subject at some point.” www.bbc.co.uk

A4T launches Lonsdale keep fit range A4T IS TO launch a new fitness peripheral range for Nintendo Wii, which carries the official licence for iconic British sports brand Lonsdale. The firm says the products will work with all exercise games released on Wii. The line-up will include branded dumbbells and a height

[IN BRIEF]

NINTENDO: The publisher has revealed key release dates for Q4. New Super Mario Bros will arrive at UK stores on November 20th, Wii Fit Plus is scheduled for October 30th, while The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is due to hit DS on December 11th.

Games are unlikely to be a regular feature of BBC Four but we'll certainly return to the subject at some point.

Gameswipe drew over 300,000 views – a generous share of BBC Four’s average 8m viewers a week, and which Brooker said

Sponsored by

stepper, which is compatible with the Wii Balance Board. Both products are adjustable, so that consumers can customise their own exercise routine. The firm will also launch Lonsdale boxing gloves that are compatible with all Wii boxing games. In addition, a Wii workout kit contains a bundle of A4T fitness products, including a skipping rope. “Some time ago we identified the Wii keep fit genre

as an area where we really could make a difference,” said A4T’s Bill Stirling. “The games were becoming more complex and are now genuinely competing to attract the serious as well as the casual keep fit gamer. “Because of this we saw a real opportunity to encourage more male participation in the arena. “The Lonsdale brand is very familiar to anyone who has worked out at their local gym across the UK and Europe. “The two key products in our new range will appeal to anyone, no matter their

current fitness levels, due to the built-in variable adjustment features. We firmly believe that we have a range of products which will suit just about anyone wishing to train in conjunction with their Wii console – male or female.” The Lonsdale range will be marketed in consumer press titles in the lead up to Christmas under the strap line: ‘Get Serious – Get Fit’. A4T: 01204 369 220

GAME: Children’s Hospices UK has signed a new fundraising partnership with GAME Group. The agreement will see GAME and Gamestation stores raising money over the next two years for the UK’s network of 41 children's hospices. ZATTIKKA: The ambitious new social games firm has secured funding from the founders of web services Skype and Kazaa. WAL-MART: The US supermarket giant has begun selling pre-owned games for the first time. It follows a trial of used games kiosks at the retailer.

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HMV opens 12 temporary UK outlets for Christmas Bluewater to get additional store to deal with seasonal demand  Video games a ‘key part’ of new roll-out by Tim Ingham HMV WILL open 12 new temporary stores across the UK this month – with games playing a ‘key role’ in their layout. The multiple entertainment retailer is anticipating increased

open a store at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. The temporary stores add to the 250 branches already established in the UK, with a further 20 operating in Ireland. The new outlets will remain open until January 2010.

The range will mainly focus on chart and new releases, and games will be a key part of this offer. Mark Bowles, HMV

demand over the Christmas period – particularly from releases including Activision’s Modern Warfare 2, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II and EA’s FIFA 10. The sites are still being finalised, but MCV understands that a deal has been struck to

Property director at HMV & Waterstone’s Mark Bowles told MCV: “The sites are likely to be made up of a mix of locations. There will be a few where HMV is currently trading, with the units effectively acting as ‘spillover’ locations to help cater to the massive surge in

HMV is targeting key sites such as Bluewater to cope with demand in the upcoming busy trading season

gifting demand that we see at this time of year. There will also be a number of additional stores will be targeting ‘greenfield’ locations where HMV does not currently operate. “It’s not something we’ve tried before, but with property management companies keen to make unused retail space

available to major brands at relatively favourable terms during the run up to Christmas, we felt it was an opportunity that we should explore. The range will focus mainly on chart and new releases and key gifting titles rather than catalogue, and games will, of course, be a key part of this offer.”

GAME COO Terry Scicluna told MCV last week that the specialist retailer would not be setting up any temporary stores of its own this Q4. However, the firm is currently taking on over 1,000 temporary employees to deal with demand.

place on TV, beginning around launch and running up to Christmas. The activity includes 60, 30 and 20-second ads during Champions League football games, as well as on Channel 4, Five and all major satellite channels.

360 dashboard. Those who buy this edition will also be designated as VIP members, and will be able to download VIPonly car designs. Joining the special edition is a super-elite Xbox 360 bundle, with a 250GB hard drive.

RADIO Microsoft has set up a radio promotion with Absolute Radio’s breakfast show.

PRINT A full print advertising campaign has already kicked off, with Microsoft targeting specialist gaming magazines, as well as a range of men’s lifestyle and motoring publications. “We have a wide array of marketing around Forza 3,” explained Microsoft’s Xbox product marketing UK executive Laura Disney. “We are targeting the game to many audiences, from those who love to play racing titles to more casual consumers.”

HMV: 01628 818 300

WEEK E H T F O N G I A CAMP SPORT 3 FORZA MOTOR TELEVISION

Forza 3 is Microsoft’s biggest release of the Christmas season, and the platform holder is putting considerable promotional weight behind the title…

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

The main aspect of Microsoft’s Forza 3 campaign is set to take

IN-STORE A full range of POS goods will be available from launch, with pre-order materials already available. Alongside this, Microsoft is readying a limited edition pack, which features a 2GB memory stick, a keyring and a theme for the Xbox

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NEW GAMES AD GUIDELINES

It’s in the game The Advertising Standards Association has released new official CAP guidelines for video games firms. Here, MCV provides a summary of the changes…

CONTENT AND CONTEXT

AGE-RATED PRODUCTS

TIME OF BROADCAST

‘A medium’s content and context should be considered when placing an ad. Information, such as reader and audience profiles and surrounding editorial content, should be taken into account when considering which images to use.’

‘Ads should be suitable for the medium in which (and, if relevant, the time at which) they appear. An agerating given to a product by the BBFC or PEGI does not necessarily reflect the suitability of an ad for that product.’

‘The content of an ad should be carefully considered before deciding when it should be broadcast. It should not be assumed that, because an ad will be broadcast after 9.00pm, ‘anything goes’.’

REALISM OF VIOLENCE

USE OF MEDIA

VIOLENT ACTS

‘The ASA has upheld complaints about violence in ads in which the content involves realistic human characters involved in brutal or sustained violence. Violence depicted in some ads could be deemed totally unacceptable, regardless of when they are broadcast.’

‘Care should be taken in untargeted media such as posters. The ASA would, for example, take a dim view on ads containing violence if they appeared near a school or where children were likely to see them. Events in the news should be considered sensitively.’

‘Even if an ad does not show a violent act, care should be given when implying that a violent act has taken place. The ASA upheld complaints about a poster that showed a gagged female character suggesting that she was being held against her will.’

GUNS AND WEAPONS

USE OF NUDITY

USE OF EXPLICIT SEXUAL IMAGES AND INNUENDO

‘Careful consideration should be given to how guns and weapons are depicted in ads. The use of realistic-looking human characters being shot or injured should be used with extreme caution. The ASA has upheld complaints about the depiction of guns in ads for films.’

‘The gratuitous use of nudity can cause widespread offence. Some nudity is considered acceptable if it is directly relevant to the product, such as toiletries or lingerie. But it is likely to be considered unacceptable if the images are graphic.’

‘Special care should be taken when selecting a medium for placing an ad that includes sexual images, allusions to sexual intercourse or innuendo.’

CONDONING OR GLORIFYING VIOLENCE

THE DEPICTION OF FIGHTING

‘Ad content, including text or voiceovers, that could glorify violence should be avoided.’ The ASA upheld a complaint against an Eidos poster that boasted about a title’s ‘gritty’ and ‘nasty’ tone using an image of a woman being held hostage.

‘Video games and films may involve fighting, which might be reflected in ads. Game content (either as real gameplay or simulated), or film content, depicting scenes of graphic or realistic violence should be used with caution.’

DIRECT OR IMPLIED VIOLENCE

SHOCKING IMAGES

‘Care should be taken with radio ads that contain direct or implied violence. Although without visual images, the sounds of people in pain, fear or suffering can distress listeners, especially children.’

REFERENCES TO DRUGS ‘Care should be taken when referencing drugs in ads. If images of drugs are directly relevant to the content of the product being advertised, extreme caution should be exercised to avoid being socially irresponsible or condoning drug use.’

‘The use of shocking images in any medium to draw attention to a product should be avoided. The ASA upheld a complaint about violence in a [Midway] video game ad that, although tongue-in-cheek, glorified violence and was likely to cause fear and distress.’

USE OF NON-GAME FOOTAGE ‘Care should be taken to avoid misleading consumers if an ad includes images that are not representative of gameplay. The ASA upheld complaints about a 2006 Activision ad with content that did not feature in the games themselves.’

Good luck to everyone at the Games Media Awards from

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© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BAKUGAN, BATTLE BRAWLERS, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks and copyrights of Spin Master Ltd. and Sega Toys. NELVANA is a trademark of Nelvana Limited. CORUS is a trademark of Corus Entertainment Inc. Used under license by Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Game developed by NOWPRODUCTION Co., Ltd. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks 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. Bakugan ™ 2008 Spin Master LTD & Sega Toys.

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X markets the Box As PS3 gains traction and Nintendo prepares its bumper Ant and Dec-backed marketing blitz, Microsoft is keen not to be forgotten with the impending arrival SkyTV, Forza and Lips. Christopher Dring speaks to UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson on the platform holder’s Christmas marketing plans…

THOMPSON: The Xbox boss says Microsoft’s Q4 campaign will steal the limelight this Christmas

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MCV INTERVIEW: NEIL THOMPSON, SENIOR DIRECTOR, NORTHERN EUROPE, MICROSOFT

FACING THE MUSIC A major part of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 activity this Q4 revolves around outdoor events called Xbox Reverb – a series of gigs organised by the Xbox community. The first one took place last month with the band Danananakroyd in Birmingham, with two others scheduled, involving bands Pulled Apart by Horses and Esser. “We are really now starting our big, brand push into music,” explains Xbox marketing manager Alex Weller. “Xbox Reverb is about connecting really exciting bands in the UK with music fans who can collaborate and co-create a series of gigs through social media and our Xbox 360 brand. “So we have a range of music events and as these communities build we are presented with the opportunity to talk to music fans about our exciting offer in music, from the range of music games through to LastFM, as well as all the other technology available on Xbox 360. “This is running already, and will continue throughout Q4 and into next year as well.”

What is the focus of Microsoft’s Where possible we try to roll out across Xbox marketing campaign this Q4? Europe as many synergies as we can. So Our first wave of TV work is set to hit if we have TV work that we can run across all of Europe. And for the UK across multiple countries we will try to specifically we are focusing on widening do that – if it makes sense for the people’s awareness of the broader consumers markets. Having said that, entertainment offering on Xbox 360. So we are doing work around Sky that is we are going to have activity on the unique to the UK. But we try to music proposition on the platform, the optimise with Europe where we can streaming movie services you can and reflect local cultures wherever experience and – uniquely for the UK – possible as well. the new Sky service that people will be able to access. Is there a particular theme or slogan This is part of our programme to for this campaign? educate people today that already have No, not really. We’re trying to offer and enjoy Xbox 360s on the consumer choice and let consumers experiences coming to the LIVE service define what services are ideal for then. and how they are going to get more out And when we put slogans or headlines of the purchase they have made – and to it, we instantly define it. So what then to broaden out to new consumers we’re trying to do is offer a broad range this Christmas and to encourage them of activity and let consumers choose to enjoy the services and the traditional what they want to engage with. games we have to offer. Aligned to that we have We look at the services we a whole host of digital marketing activity, which have and promote them. We is a combination of digital, don’t build our business on social connections and other people’s strategies. real-life social connections Neil Thompson, Microsoft around something called Xbox Reverb (see ‘Facing the Music’, left). Last year’s campaign went for the What we are trying to build on now mainstream consumers. Is that is the broader entertainment offerings something you’re still going after? and social connections, and empower For the mainstream a lot of our TV consumers to choose the sort of services entertainment activity will target them. they want on the platform. And that is We certainly want to attract people to what a lot of our peak selling efforts will the platform that will enjoy all the be around. But of course this will experiences Xbox has to offer. obviously be aligned with all the great But we are spending a lot of time and stuff we’ve got around gaming, such as energy focusing on the gaming the launches for Modern Warfare 2, community as well; ensuring our Forza 3 and Lips. We are trying to bring customers who have been with us a really rounded campaign to the during the entire Xbox journey are market that consumers and retailers can getting the best experiences. This is get really excited about. why we are doing so much with the core titles we are releasing and third Will outdoor events like Xbox parties are launching as well. We’re in Reverb continue to dominate the fortunate – or perhaps unfortunate – Microsoft’s marketing activity? position of trying to attract many varied We do a lot of what we call trial and social different audiences. connection work – offline and online – and we will continue to co-ordinate these Nintendo relies on the populist social experiences. We do think that route – this year with Ant and Dec. people having a direct connection with Is this something you’re looking the brand through events is an important compete with? part of the overall marketing strategy. No. We look at the services we have, and ask how we optimise and make This is part of a Europe-wide people aware of them and we focus on campaign. How have you been that. We don’t build our business on working with the continent on this? other people’s strategies.

What are the key games that will make up your marketing assault? The big one for us is obviously Forza 3, which we will be taking on TV, online and all over the place. It’s the game we think will be the premier driving experience game for novices and enthusiasts alike. So that’s going to be a big one for us and obviously Lips. What we are going to do around Lips is an extension of what we did last year. So from a first party perspective those are the main titles, but we are working hard with Activision around Modern Warfare 2. We’ve done a lot of work with The Beatles: Rock Band recently and DJ Hero is another game we are going to be focusing on. We are supporting and getting behind the key titles that we think will offer broad experiences. Lips had a slow for you start last year. What are your expectations for it this year? We were actually exceptionally happy with Lips last year. It was a new franchise and it was a new genre for us. It was a successful product, which is why we’re extending the brand further this year with Lips Number One Hits. We have high expectations for it. As our audience grows, these sort of experiences are what consumers want and we think it’s going to be a real success.

And will there be any focus on the value elements of Xbox? When we talk to people about the services we hope everyone understands that we are the best value platform on the market and the platform that’s doing the most innovation. It is not just a good purchase for Christmas, it is a good purchase for the future as well. Is there a particular number of new Xbox owners you are looking to capture this quarter? There is. I have built a certain amount of product that I will now have to go and sell. We are very bullish about the success we can achieve over the next quarter. We will make sure supply to retail is there to meet that demand, and we are very confident in the quality of marketing campaign, as well as the quality of the games and the services we have coming to the platform.

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MCV INTERVIEW: ANDREW BROWN, DAVID TYLER & ROY STACKHOUSE UK MD, MARKETING DIRECTOR & SALES DIRECTOR, ACTIVISION

‘Vision of the future Activision is now the world’s biggest video games publisher. Christopher Dring speaks to the firm’s top brass on the evolution and future of Activision Blizzard…

The Activision of today is very different to how it was three or four years ago. How has that transformation come about? Andrew Brown: I arrived in 2006 and apart from the building I can’t recognise anything. We’ve grown in scale massively. In Europe we do more business now than we did globally in 2006. That’s the scale of it. In terms of products, back at that time Guitar Hero was only starting to emerge. Call of Duty was a brand that was solid but wasn’t punching the weight that it is these days. I think it was quite controversial when we started to get a balance of employees who were gaming experts and also people who come from other

industries where they could bring a different perspective. That has driven a different approach. For example, it’s still part of the industry mindset – and still part of ours to some

are selling a brand that’s as respected as the likes of the iPhone or Harley Davidson. If you watch TV now, you’ll see Guitar Hero in the TV shows, the sitcoms and the advertisements. That’s the We have staff from a level of the brand mixture of backgrounds, and awareness, and you can’t it works well. We are fast do anything with a brand moving and entrepreneurial. like that unless you manage it properly over a long David Tyler, Activision period of time. After that degree – that we’ve got to sell as we had the merger with Blizzard, and much as we can as quickly as that brought another group of people in possible. And I think everyone in the with another group of skills that we didn’t industry suffers from that mentality. But have previously. So we’ve ended up with what we said in 2006 was ‘How can we a very strong and well-balanced team. manage this in a more consistent way?’. Things like Guitar Hero have forced us David Tyler: We do have a mix of to take a new approach – because we backgrounds and expertise from FMCG

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MCV INTERVIEW: ANDREW BROWN, DAVID TYLER & ROY STACKHOUSE UK MD, MARKETING DIRECTOR & SALES DIRECTOR, ACTIVISION DT: A lot of our senior leadership team in the US, for example our CFO Thomas Tippl and our chief customer officer Brian Hodous are both ex-FMCG. So this helps puts certain approaches and business mindset at the heart of the organisation. Roy Stackhouse: A key indicator is how retail responds to how we do business now. They are responding very pro-actively to the way we put the consumer and the retailer at the heart of our decision-making. Can you give examples to what things retail responds to for Activision? RS: If you look at our Q4 slate, it’s unbelievably exciting, it is probably the best line-up since I’ve been here. It’s in music, FPS, RPG and action/adventure. We have a solid line-up across all platforms. We bring products to the market that consumers want, and that’s key to retail. We don’t bring me-too products to the

and traditional gaming, and that works well for us. And we’ve got to try and find that balance point from all of the maturity that FMCG models can bring, but at the same time recognising that we are a gaming company. So we want to be faster moving, able to make quick decisions and be entrepreneurial. Is the industry is getting smarter about how to manage products, or is that an Activision advantage? AB: I think the entire industry is collectively learning. You see approaches you admire from your rivals all the time. We are all finding ways to enhance as we’ve all got the same objective. So I don’t think anyone’s not moved on since 2006. I do think we’ve got some advantages, and we’ve exploited them really well.

From left to right: Andrew Brown, David Tyler and Roy Stackhouse have high hopes for the release of DJ Hero (below)

You’ve got some new IP coming, such as DJ Hero, Singularity and Blur. Can we look forward to these properties sticking around? Andrew Brown: I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about DJ Hero. The music genre is a big area of growth in the UK. If you look at it as a percentage of the market, music in the UK was smaller than it was in the US. So this told us that there was opportunity to grow it. And it’s growing like crazy at the moment, and we have more than 40 per cent share of the music market at the moment. It is going to be huge, I think. Our volume prediction is immense. As for the new IP part of question, bringing new properties to the market is very, very risky and difficult. One of the trends in the market is the big gets bigger and the small get smaller, and actually getting new IP to cut through and become a true franchise is not that straightforward. But we do believe in the

Retailers are responding very proactively to the way we put consumers and the High Street at the heart of our decision-making. Roy Stackhouse, Activision

market, or we certainly try not to. We bring innovation. We don’t just give retail a product and say: ‘There you go, go away and sell it.’ We try and position the whole package – this is the consumer we’re going for, this is how we’re going to market it, this is going to be the strategy and development behind it. And this is what retail is responding to. We are nine months into the year and the market is down. Have you noticed? DT: The market is down 15 per cent so far year-on-year so things have been tough for everyone. We’re seeing some dynamics emerging on certain platforms that weren’t really a factor last year. The recent price adjustments on next-gen consoles is all good news for us and the breadth and depth of our portfolio has undoubtedly played in our favour so far in 2009. One of the market dynamics we do benefit from is that the big are getting bigger, so the established franchises like Call of Duty and Hero will help.

products we are looking to bring to market, they really are added value and different, and will survive and prosper with continual sequels. There must be a pressure on you to maintain those brands? AB: You can’t always imagine where the industry is going to go or how your franchises will evolve. It is such a changing environment. Not everything succeeds and lives forever. So you’ve got to pick the ones that really matter and work on them. If you look at some of the things we all saw at E3 and how the industry might evolve in the next two to three years, you can imagine how your franchises might be reflected in that new technology. But it won’t look anything like today. Tony Hawk and DJ Hero both have £100+ price tags. Are you concerned those prices might act as a deterrent to customers? AB: The question I think is what represents value for money. And at the end of the day, there is a spectrum of

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MCV INTERVIEW: ANDREW BROWN, DAVID TYLER & ROY STACKHOUSE UK MD, MARKETING DIRECTOR & SALES DIRECTOR, ACTIVISION what people can afford and what people are prepared to spend. Those 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. 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. And we don’t always sell as much as we like and not everything is the biggest hit. 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. In that respect, we are always trying to get the right balance. Look at Guitar Hero, we have sold a lot of relatively higherend products.

that certain entertainment mediums are doing well. For example cinema consumption is up year-on-year – people are going to the cinema more despite the economy. And it is similar in some instances with video games. Some high ticket items, such as Guitar Hero, continue to perform well because they offers hours of entertainment and represent an entertainment occasion that several people can enjoy together. AB: There’s not anything in life that’s not price elastic. If it’s free everybody will have it, if it’s more expensive less

I guess the industry has been quite afraid to address issues about price… AB: Something is only worth what people are prepared to pay for it. We need to be careful as an industry, because it is a narrow perspective that certain things fall within certain brackets. If you look at a hardware platform, how much does that cost? You pay that because it seems like value for money. It is all about value. It is wrong to think we work within train lines and can’t step out of it.

Do special editions and peripherals provide logistical challenges? AB: Yes. It’s not a muscle we thought we’d need to develop three years ago. We’ve had to learn a huge number of lessons on the logistics side, as have our retail partners. We’ve tried to be flexible

Bringing new properties to the market is very risky. In games, the big get bigger and the small get smaller. Andrew Brown, Activision

people will buy it. Price at retail moves up and down all the time depending on how successful a product is or isn’t. You’re also preparing some collectors’ packs such as the Modern Warfare 2 Prestige edition and the DJ Hero Renegade pack. Why create these special sets? RS: It is one of the learnings we’ve had from Blizzard. One of the eye-openers for me is when we had the midnight opening for Wrath of the Lich King. You suddenly saw how the gamers live and breathe their games. They want

DT: In regards to the economic climate, what we’re observing is

something they can own so they can become more a part of the franchise. And collectors’ editions allow them to do that and often means a great deal to them. It is like becoming a fan of the football team. ‘That’s my game, that’s my franchise.’ So when a game comes out first, I want it first and I want to have all the collectors’ editions.’

and find ways to make it work for everybody. But there’s no hiding the fact that moving larger boxes and more SKUs about can be difficult. Now we’re in a place where it is a lot more straightforward. Yet even without the big boxes, there are logistical challenges. If you add together how much product goes through retail in the last quarter of the year, with how the market is growing, logistics is probably the biggest challenge in the industry. A lot of other publishers have moved their products into Q1, as

CHRISTMAS CRACKERS

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS RH

BAKUGAN: BATTLE BRAWLERS

CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2

DJ HERO

Formats: NDS, PC, PSP, PS3, Wii, 360 Released: Out Now

Formats: Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, Wii, DS Released: October 23rd

Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Released: November 10th

Formats: 360, Wii, PS3, PS2 Released: October 30th

The Star Wars cartoon series has been a major hit on Cartoon Network and this game tie-in boasts a storyline set between series one and two.

The TV and toy franchise gets a video game tie-in that comes with an accessory specifically for fans and owners of the board game.

Infinity Ward’s epic FPS is on course to be the biggest video game of the year. A Wii edition of the original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will also hit shelves.

Developed by Freestyle Games, DJ Hero comes with a turntable controller and is designed to attract new music fans to games.

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MCV INTERVIEW: ANDREW BROWN, DAVID TYLER & ROY STACKHOUSE UK MD, MARKETING DIRECTOR & SALES DIRECTOR, ACTIVISION you’ve done with Singularity and Blur. What’s happening there? AB: I think there are a lot of benefits for everyone. Having an industry that relies so heavily on just a few weeks of the year is not what anyone would want. You would want a more consistent base of sell-through. If we can develop a more balanced year as an industry, and if that started by having a bigger Q1 – providing it doesn’t have a negative impact on Q4 – then that’s good. It has so many benefits, from cash flow to logistics to giving a more consistent year. Everybody looks to their quarters, and if

example, we actually have a very big international share on that product. And that’s because there’s overlap between UK and US consumers. There are still areas where we feel we can do a lot more. For example, DJ Hero is developed in the UK, it is well attuned for the UK consumers and is part of an investment by Activision to make sure we do very well in this part of the world. Equally, our racing game is being

The breadth and depth of our portfolio has undoubtedly played to our favour so far this year. David Tyler, Activision

your quarters were more balanced it would do a lot for all of us. It’ll help everybody’s growth. Activision CEO Mike Griffiths has said Europe is ‘under-developed’ for the company. What’s being done to address that? AB: We are the second biggest market for Activision in the world. So a disproportionately large amount of pressure falls on the UK. In terms of consumers, I think we are closer to the US than most other territories in Europe. Therefore over time we have developed very well our global share of the business. If we take Call of Duty as an

when the game justifies it. Everyone is seeking early engagement for their titles. We’ve always wanted to engage as early as possible for appropriate titles with our core audience. 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. That’s something they do in the movie industry, too… DT: Exactly, and it helps everyone, including other publishers and first parties who can then make their own decisions around how to optimise launch timings on their own products.

developed across here, and the racing genre is bigger here than it is in the US in terms of percentage of the market, and it is all part of driving a balanced global business.

RS: And 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.

You set the date for your games really early this year. Is that a major change for you? It seems all the publishers these days are teasing on Twitter or leaking something… DT: Yeah, we have observed that this year. Assassin’s Creed II ran a TV reveal earlier in the year and more publishers are starting to take that approach

BAND HERO

LEGO INDIANA JONES 2

TONY HAWK: RIDE

Formats: PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 Released: November 6th

Formats: DS, PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 Released: November TBC

Formats: Wii, PS3, 360 Released: December 4th

Featuring pop hits from the likes of Taylor Swift and Janet Jackson, Band Hero is designed to appeal to a wider audience than the Guitar Hero series.

The LEGO series has been an evergreen seller for LucasArts and the latest in the LEGO Indiana Jones series is set to continue that tradition.

The Hawk franchise has been in need of revamp and this new entry is set to do just that, with an advanced skateboard peripheral.

AND THE REST… Clone Wars isn’t the only Star Wars game for Christmas, with Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron arriving on DS and PSP this Autumn. Activision is also continuing its Wii and DS casual ranges, with titles including Arcade Zone, Science Papa and Mountains Sports hitting shelves on October 30th, while Animal Planet: Vet Life, Barbie and the Three Musketeers, iCarly, and Rapala We Fish arrive a week later. Finally for 2009, Activision will release Madagascar Kartz on PS3, Wii, Xbox 360 and DS on November 6th. 2010 promises to be yet another bumper year, with new titles in the World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty franchises, as well as the release of anticipated new IP Blur and Singularity.

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! W EFT NOCES L OK PLA BO 40

LY ON

Platinum sponsors

Gold sponsors

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

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

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

in association with

Media Partner

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

Delegates so far: 1C Publishing • 505 Games • AN.X • Antigrav Media • Arete Research • Arvato Digital Services • Barrington Harvey • Bastion • Beacon Multimedia • Black Rock Studios • Blitz Games Studios • CD Team • CD-Media • ChartTrack • Classic Media • David Reeves Consulting • Direct2Drive • Disney Interactive Studios • Doublesix • e4e/AQ • Edge • Eiconic Games • Eidos Interactive • Electronic Arts • ELSPA • Entertainment Retailers Association • Exient • Focus Multimedia • Game • Game Domain International • GameStreamer • Gem • GOG • ICO Partners • iGAME Family • Incomm Europe • ISIS EP • Jagex • Koch Media • Konami Digital Entertainment • Live Social • Maclay Murray & Spens • Marriott Harrison • Maverick Media • Metaboli • Microsoft • NC Soft • Nexway • Nick Parker Consulting • Nintendo • NLGD Foundation • Nokia • Nordic Games Publishing • OGPlanet • Olswang Solicitors • OPM Response • Orange • Osborne Clark • Playfish • PlayReplay • Power Play • Relentless Software • Revolution Software • Sony Computer Entertainment • Sega • Shadow Minister for Culture • Sitel • SkyTV • Soccer Matrix • TC Associates • Team 17 Software • Testronic Labs • The Hut • Virtual Air Guitar Company • Warner Brothers • Winning Moves UK • XPlace • Zattikka • Zavvi.com…

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UK MONTHLY CHARTS: SEPTEMBER

EA ends summer on top The mega-publisher had a pleasing September, as it jumped back up the publisher tables – in a month that also saw success for Microsoft, Ubisoft and Eidos...

SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (UNITS)

[SOURCE]

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 1 3 17 4 11 5 6 8 7

  –       

EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.6 NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.9 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.3 EIDOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.9 UBISOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.6 MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.3 CODEMASTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.3 SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4 SONY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 THQ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

EA’s share of units actually drops month-on-month in September, down from 16.1 per cent in August. However, a bumper month for the industry means it climbed one place to No.1. Meanwhile Eidos leaps 13 places, up to 7.9 per cent of share from just 1.2 the month before. SOFTWARE BY COMPANY (VALUE)   –       

3 4 2 1 5 6 7 8

    – – – –

XBOX 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32.2 PS3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.7 NINTENDO DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.6 NINTENDO WII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.0 PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.9 PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.7 PS2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.9 XBOX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0

SOFTWARE BY FORMATS (VALUE)

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

2 1 3 21 11 4 5 8 6 7

LAST WEEK

Xbox 360 enjoys a whopping 13.7 per cent jump in share of software unit sales compared to August, suggesting it benefitted heavily from Microsoft’s price cut. Elsewhere, PS3 sees a respectable monthly gain of 4.5 per cent, whilst Wii suffers a huge 12.8 per cent decline.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SOFTWARE BY FORMATS (UNITS) THIS WEEK

EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.3 NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.8 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.2 EIDOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.9 MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.7 CODEMASTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.9 UBISOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.3 SONY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.4 SEGA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 THQ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1

EA trumps this chart, too, as the success of Need For Speed boosts its revenues. Eidos also jumps, but other successes include Microsoft, which grows its value share by almost 10 per cent on August, thanks to Halo: ODST’s extraordinary day one sales.

THIS WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9

LAST WEEK

2 3 1 4 5 6 7 8

   – – – – 

XBOX 360. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37.7 PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.7 NINTENDO WII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.6 NINTENDO DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.6 PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.8 PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.1 PS2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.6 OTHERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0

Xbox 360 also enjoys a rise in value share, up 16.5 per cent on August. PS3 also rises month-on-month, up from 20.1 per cent. But good news for Sony and Microsoft doesn’t mask troubling dips for Wii: the format lost almost half its market share (14.5) during September.

INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHARTS PS2

PS3

PSP

XBOX360

1

1

1

1

COD: WORLD AT WAR.............ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM...............................EIDOS

DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY..............................SQUARE

HALO 3: ODST ..................................................MICROSOFT

2 TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN...ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT.............................................EA

2 MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE.....CAPCOM

2 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM...............................EIDOS

3 GUITAR HERO 5.........................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

3 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2..........................CODEMASTERS

3 SOULCALIBUR: BROKEN DESTINY.............UBISOFT

3 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT.............................................EA

4 G-FORCE .......................................................................DISNEY

4 GUITAR HERO 5.........................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

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

4 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2..........................CODEMASTERS

5 SINGSTAR MOTOWN ..................................................SONY

5 COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER...........................EA

5 GUITAR HERO 5.........................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

6 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE .................................................D3P

6 IL2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY........505 GAMES

6 RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION................................SONY

6 COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

7 HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE..............EA

7 COD: WORLD AT WAR.............ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE .................................................D3P

7 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND .......................................EA

8 NFS: UNDERCOVER..........................................................EA

8 FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4.................................................EA

8 HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE..............EA

8 FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4.................................................EA

9 GH: WORLD TOUR .....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9 CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD ......UBISOFT

9 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT..........................................EAS

9 WOLFENSTEIN ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

10 INDIANA JONE: STAFF OF KINGS.......LUCASARTS

10 WOLFENSTEIN ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9 LEGO BATMAN ..........................................WARNER BROS.

10 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 .....................................EA

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ALL FORMATS TOP 50

1

1

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, PC

2

HALO 3: ODST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360

3

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3, XB360, PC, PSP

4

WII SPORTS RESORT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII

5

GUITAR HERO 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND PANDORA'S BOX . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS

XB360, WII, PS3, PS2

7

COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CODEMASTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, WII, PSP, DS

8

WII FIT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII

9

ASHES CRICKET 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CODEMASTERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII, PS3, XB360, PC

10 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELECTRONIC ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, WII, PS3 11

CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, PC, XB360, DS, PC

12

MARIO KART WII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII

13

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, WII

14 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS3, XB360, PS2, WII, DS, PC

15 WOLFENSTEIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 IL2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

2

XB360, PS3, PC

PS3, XB360, PSP, DS, PSP

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELECTRONIC ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

XB360, PS3

18 LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE . . . . . . . WII, DS, XB360, PSP, PS3, PS2, PC 19 WET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BETHESDA SOFTWORKS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3 20 21

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS3, XB360

The first five games in September’s All Formats Top 50 (from top to bottom): Arkham Asyum, Halo: ODST, Need For Speed: Shift, Wii Sports Resort and Guitar Hero 5

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ROCKSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, PC

22 HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS, WI, PSP, XB360, PS3, PS2, PC

3

23 FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3, PSP, DS, XB360, PS2, WII, XB360, PC 24 PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

DS

25 WII PLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII 26 DR KAWASHIMA'S BRAIN TRAINING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

DS

27 THE SIMS 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PC

28 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS3, XB360, WII, PS3, PS2, PC

29 DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SQUARE ENIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PSP 30 G-FORCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DISNEY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS, WII, PS2, XB360, PSP, PS3 31

QUANTUM OF SOLACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3, XB360, PS2, WII, PC, DS

32 MARIO KART DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 MINI NINJAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

DS

4

PS3, XB360, DS, WII ,PC

34 CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PC 35 SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

XB360, WII, PS3, DS, PS2

36 FALLOUT 3: GAME ADD-ON PACK #2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BETHESDA SOFTWORKS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 ASSASSIN'S CREED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD. . . . . . . . . . . .

XB360, PC

PS3, XB360, PC, PS3, DS

PS3, XB360, WII, PS2, PSP, PC, WII

39 MYSTERY STORIES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GSP/AVANQUEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 FAR CRY 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

DS, PC

pS3, XB360, PC

41 KILLZONE 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SONY COMPUTER ENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS3

42 SONIC UNLEASHED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII, PS2, XB360, PS3

5

43 CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2KPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS, WII 44 LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LUCASARTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII, DS, PS3, XB360 45 HALO 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360 46 LITTLEBIGPLANET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SONY COMPUTER ENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

PS3

DS, WII, PSP, PS2

48 MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . XB360, PS3, WII, DS 49 EA SPORTS ACTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ELECTRONIC ARTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

WII

50 POKEMON PLATINUM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS

INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHARTS WII

DS

PC - FULL PRICE

PC - BUDGET PRICE

1 WII SPORTS RESORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

1 PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA. . . . . . NINTENDO

1 THE SIMS 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA GAMES

1 WOW: BATTLE CHEST . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2 WII FIT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

2 PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS. . . . . . . NINTENDO

2 CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010 . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS

2 JEWEL QUEST: EMERALD TEAR GSP/AVANQUEST

3 MARIO KART WII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

3 DR KAWASHIMA'S BRAIN TRAINING . . NINTENDO

3 AION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCSOFT

3 MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST . . FOCUS

4 ASHES CRICKET 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . CODEMASTERS

4 MARIO KART DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

4 CHAMPIONS ONLINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ATARI

4 HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON. . . . . . . . . . . FOCUS

5 GUITAR HERO 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5 POKEMON PLATINUM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

5 WOW: LICH KING . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5 FALLOUT 3: GAME ADD-ON PACK #2 BETHESDA

6 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

6 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

6 EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA

6 MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE . . . FOCUS

7 EA SPORTS ACTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

7 MYSTERY STORIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GSP/AVANQUEST

7 WOLFENSTEIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

7 ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 . . . . MASTERTRONIC

8 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

8 SHERLOCK HOLMES: MUMMY. . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT

8 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS

8 WORLD OF WARCRAFT . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9 ANIMAL CROSSING: TO THE CITY . . . . NINTENDO

9 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

9 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA

9 MYSTERY CASE FILES: SUSPECTS . . . . . . . FOCUS

10 MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES . SEGA

10 CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE. DISNEY

10 WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II . . . THQ

10 AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB . . . . FOCUS

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MCV INTERVIEW RICH KEEN, MARKETING DIRECTOR, DIRECT2DRIVE

The Direct approach Steam isn’t the only digital download platform enjoying the benefits of the online boom – IGN’s Direct2Drive service is seeing record growth. Tim Ingham speaks to marketing boss Rich Keen… How is Direct2Drive performing compared to previous years? September was the fifth anniversary of Direct2Drive globally. We’ve been established in the UK as a separate entity for two years. We ran a whole series of promotions here, where we gave away a load of titles for under £5. That for us was quite a big push. We mainly did deals with triple-A publishers, who have really been pro-active during our negotiations. The fact that these publishers wanted to be involved in the £5 deal demonstrates just how much they want to support us. We’ve seen huge growth in the last three months. A lot of that is down to big games coming through, as well as having more resources in the UK to focus on the promotions. But downloading a game isn’t scary – consumers are realising that, and considering us alongside shopping at Play.com or Amazon or GAME. What about growth? Year-on-year revenue is up from fiscal year ’08 to fiscal year ’09 by over 300 per cent. Traffic growth from August last year to August this year was up 240 per cent. We’re seeing incredible growth as new users come to the site month-onmonth. Our community feedback is almost instant – it really keeps you on your toes. If a major new game comes on and attracts gamers, we know that 20 per cent of them will go on to buy an indie game from us. We see that as hugely positive. There’s real added value there. Play.com or a bricks and mortar retailer can’t stock all the products we can. The wealth of content we have engenders a much more engaged and active user base than at High Street retail. How is your relationship with publishers? Do you still meet any resistance from the publishers to use you over High Street? Yes and no. No in the sense that no one comes to us and says they don’t want to

invest in digital distribution. Publishers have always understood the added value we offer, but they haven’t always worked out how to best leverage their own resources to make the most of it. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from the way the music industry ignored digital for so long. There’s never been any negativity per se, but publishers have wanted to protect heir bricks and mortar retail relationship. The only publishers we’ve met any resistance from are publishers that have their own digital distribution resource. That’s pretty much resolved now with the exception of Blizzard, whose whole

comparable to brick and mortar retail in some regards, is a virgin market. Look at Steam for example. Steam jumped in and harnessed the power of a very, very loyal community and continues to. But in terms of our growth, we’re now considered equal to them in terms of positioning and awareness of our retail. Between us, Metaboli and very big bricks and mortar retailers, in 12 months’ time there won’t be any dominant players. Everyone – from retailers to publishers to developers – is looking at how we can make digital distribution more transparent and help customers, publishers and developers

We have a lot of respect for Steam. But we don’t think they’re insurmountable. We can attract a wider audience. Rich Keen, Direct2Drive

business is built around their own platform. Interestingly, Direct2Drive in the US is the only distribution platform to carry World Of Warcraft games outside of Blizzard’s own portals. How competitive is the digital distribution marketplace? The fish are feeding, so it’s pretty competitive – everyone’s trying to get in there. I don’t think the market’s developed to the stage where you ‘own’ a customer. We have a certain loyal proportion of our userbase, but there’s also a large proportion that are transient and attracted to our offers as and when they come on. Online customers are very price driven, but once they’re on our site, we do our best to keep them there. Do you think the industry can avoid having one dominant online player like iTunes? I think that’s already the case. Digital distribution of games, although

understand it better. It represents potential huge growth. We don’t want to restrict it and we don’t want to build any monopolies. Can you really catch Steam up? The perception and credibility that Steam carries will continue to do well for them. It’s got a dedicated community. Anyone who’s interested in games has either been on Steam, knows of Steam or has played a Valve game. As a business, we have a lot of respect for Steam. We talk to them as and when we can at a high level. But we don’t feel they’re insurmountable in terms of size and scale of their business, but it’s us looking at what we can do with our userbase. Their community is very loyal, but there’s a core focus on them. Our growth will really come from customers who are new to digital distribution – who don’t know what Steam is and who don’t know how to install a client. We get quite a few customers coming

back because they don’t understand Steam. They don’t want to activate a client to play a game like The Sims 3. We feel we’ll slowly move apart in future, as an online platform that isn’t client-based has the greatest potential to attract an online audience. How far away are we from an official digital chart – either here or in the US? We can see it happening, and we’ve been discussing it with several different groups. From our perspective, it’s one of the most positive things that could happen to add validity to the digital marketplace. In terms of the digital industry, it would demonstrate how successful we feel our platform is. But it’s also important for consumers. They need to understand just how commonplace digital games are. As soon as you see other people are doing something, it makes you more comfortable doing so. The obstacle for retailers to submit data, I believe, is confidence. One of the big negative comments we get when discussing a digital chart with others, is that retailers don’t want to release their market share. They don’t understand how the process would work. But there’s no need for that secrecy – it’s a group figure we think people are interesting in, across all portals, not individual sales data. You only need to look at PC game sales to see how important it is. We believe that if you add digital sales onto PC, you wouldn’t see a sharp decline; you’d see flat sales or even slight growth. That’s great for the industry. We’re very keen on the idea. But it needs all the players to come to the table, which means killing some of the scepticism that exists. When will the tipping point come for the chart? Surely we can’t go without one for much longer? When download titles become so prevalent over Xbox Live and PSN that

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MCV INTERVIEW RICH KEEN, MARKETING DIRECTOR, DIRECT2DRIVE

there’s digital-only releases – which there have been already – that’s when we’ll know it’s transcended PC and people will have to start standing up and shouting about it. In the games industry world that we live, we know there’s demand for it already. Everyone wants to know where we are in terms of those statistics. But in terms of a tipping point of when a digital chart becomes 100 per cent necessary, it will be when new digital releases massively affect week one sales on console. Do you have any plans to bring your service to Xbox Live or PSN? For Direct2Drive, as we only retail on PC, both services are not really a natural fit. But we benefit from being part of a much wider community as part of the IGN entertainment network, which has a presence on PSN and Xbox Live. We harness that IGN community and bring it into Direct2Drive. Although it’s not clear how we can best use XBL and PSN to do that, it’s something we’ll keep an eye on. But there’s nothing we’re specifically focusing on. The most popular digital download service is not you or Steam – it’s bitTorrent piracy. How can you turn a previously illegitimate user into a paid-up customer? We believe that illegal downloads are mainly driven by ease of access. Sure, there’s a cost element – it’s nice to get something for free – but getting a game off these things is not as easy as ripping a music file. You need to work quite hard. Once the ability to purchase a PC game online legitimately is very simple, it will have a huge effect. We allow people a sense of ownership, where you can re-download for free. There’s always going to be an element that’s going to look to syndicate and buy pirated material, but we feel that’s going to reduce once customers feel that they’re getting a problem-free user experience and quality customer experience elsewhere.

FIND OUT MORE AT THE LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE KEEN ON SCREEN: Direct2Drive’s marketing boss says the firm wants to help create an offical digital chart

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 535 647. Tickets cost £229, with discounts available for ELSPA and Tiga members.

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videos ™ hnology h official it w s it oxler tec h V 0 h it •3 w n cognitio n vocal re io is c e r P • y of difficult nes • 3 levels micropho 2 h it w s r playe plays • Up to 2 yer game la nents ip lt u m or your oppo r fo s p a • 7 single e: set tr attle Mod B e iv s lu c gain • Ex mances a r fo r e p r you ® ophone • Listen to ech micr it g o L h it patible w • Fully com

more information : www.u-sing-thegame.com s

sales@mindscape.co.uk © 2009 Mindscape. All rights reserved. ©2009 Universal Music Online. All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo & Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

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Games are about to get Horrid

32 MCV 09/10/09

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RETAIL PROFILE

The Hut stuff The Hut Group’s ascent to become the UK’s leading white label retailer to video games has been nothing short of astronomical. Tim Ingham reports… WITH ALL THE respect in the world, it’s not the most glamourous name the industry’s ever seen. The Hut. It conjures images of a bunch of schoolboys, heading up one of the country’s biggest online service providers in a garden shed – on old, taped together PCs, buzzing and bleeping through a 56KB modem. Of course, it’s this honest charm that has helped the company score some of the most sought after online retail accounts in the business – but nothing could be further from the truth. With two thriving etail brands – TheHut.com and Zavvi.com – and a white label ecommerce service for major retailers including Asda, Woolworths, Argos, Tesco and WHSmith, last year saw the company generate an impressive turnover of £24 million. And prove to all that’s it’s one of the most effective outfits in the space. As part of an aggressive expansion drive The Hut Group has recruited a number of industry heavyweights (see Yet More New Blood). These include

3NSYJSIT)8921NYJ

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

From left to right, founders John Gallemore and Matthew Moulding with Gian Luzio and Richard Chapple

“This is the first time that the business has invested in above the line promotional activities to this extent,” he says. “We aim to be Europe’s biggest multi-channel retail and entertainment player so it’s great that we can use promotional activities to accomplish this. “We have set an ambitious target of increasing last year’s turnover up to £90

We aim to grow every segment of our entertainment offering, including gaming hardware such as PSPgo. Gian Luzio, The Hut

operations director Simon Parker and recent recruits from Play.com Richard Chapple as commercial director and Gian Luzio as product director. Its credentials were sealed last month, when the firm emerged the victor in The Sunday Times’ Tech Track 100, a comprehensive listing of the 100 fasted growing British tech firms. As reported in MCV (25/09), The Hut Group will launch its first major promotional campaign in Q4, supporting The Hut, Zavvi and white label partners. Chapple is set to direct this activity, which is backed by a £3 million budget.

million by the end of the year. This is an incredibly exciting time for us as we are close to securing a multi-million pound investment which makes reaching our target achievable through a variety of new services, along with expanding the white label offering on a global level.” Gian Luzio was brought on board earlier in the year following a seven year stint at Play.com to expand and strengthen product development for launches across The Hut and Zavvi “We’re increasing our product mix,” he says. “By working closely with our buying team, we have launched a

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MCV 09/10/09 33

OUT 30 OCTOBER

YET MORE NEW BLOOD… The Hut Group has ambitious plans for its operations and distribution and has appointed Simon Parker as operations director to improve customer experience and delivery. Parker says: “We’re making dramatic improvements and plan to open a UK warehouse in the immediate future. The Hut Group is investing in new systems that will be key in providing excellent delivery services to our customers. This also enables us to be the only UK online retailer to offer a next day delivery

number of categories, including clothing, health and beauty, and gift and gadgets, across the two sites. “We have clearly identified our target markets for each brand, so have tailored our offering to suit the demographics. For instance, we know that our Zavvi customers love gaming and fall in the 18 to 35 age bracket, so we offer the latest pre-orders on the key games titles that are really exciting the market. We’re aiming to grow every segment of our entertainment offering including the sale of gaming hardware such as the newly launched PS3 Slim and PSPgo. “TheHut.com has a broader appeal for the family market so we’re developing this as an online department store, which will include extended product categories, such as toys, homeware and garden furniture, as well as a strong selection of entertainment products,” continues Luzio.

service, which is something customers require, particularly in the Christmas season.” Parker has a huge amount of experience in operational efficiencies and joins The Hut Group from Centresoft, where he spent six years managing the warehouse team. Parker will also be looking at further warehouses in mainland Europe and the US as the international expansion continues with more major retail partners choosing to work with The Hut Group.

The company also plans to enhance content across its etail and white label sites. The content team has rolled out a number of changes designed to enhance performance and return from the major search engines. Another new launch is customer review functionality being added across key sites by the end of Q3, which is designed to increase engagement from consumers. “We have recently added trailers across the sites for entertainment products and we’re the first online retailer to offer visitors the opportunity to view a catwalk video for lingerie,” adds Chapple. “The team is also working on a digital strategy for later in the year, which aims to provide music and game downloads for site visitors.” The Hut Group has certainly come a long way since it was established in 2004 and does not look like it plans to slow down anytime soon.

www.horridhenry.me For sales enquiries please contact CentreSoft on: 0121 625 3883

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Sponsored by 34 MCV 09/10/09

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PERSONNEL

Shorewood recruits product boss Packaging and design firm hires development manager Robin Taylor  1UP’s Garnett Lee joins GameFly Media SHOREWOOD.BLUEPRINT  ROBIN TAYLOR has joined packaging and design firm Shorewood.Blueprint as product development manager. Taylor previously spent six years working at AGI media on several award-winning products. He started his career as a graphic designer, developing an in-depth knowledge of design in digital, screen and litho printing. Taylor will be based at Shorewood.Blueprint’s UK design and development centre, where he will be responsible for creating highly specialised packaging solutions.

Robin Taylor joins Shorewood

“Robin is a great addition to our team and supports our strategy to build our creative and product development centre to service our European clients,” said Shorewood director JOHN WHITE.

GAMEFLY  1UP Radio Network creator GARNETT LEE has left his position of executive producer and editor at 1UP Network for the role of editorial director at games rental firm Gamefly. He will now be in charge of all GameFly Media properties, such as Shacknews.com, Fileshack.com, Ponged.com and Gameanswers.com. Lee has been involved with popular podcasts such as Listen Up and 1UP Yours. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and

events, and brings more than ten years of editorial experience to GameFly. “I am delighted to join GameFly and look forward to making the GameFly Media site top-tier destinations for video game content,” said Lee. “Shaping and delivering high quality and entertaining video game content is what I love to do, and GameFly’s commitment to growing this aspect of its business is tremendously exciting for me.” A2M  JAMIE LEECE has joined development studio Artificial Mind & Movement as

senior vice-president of business development. Leece is an industry veteran who was most recently president and founder of Rainmaker Games, which worked with prestigious clients such as MTV Games. He has previously held positions at LucasArts, Interplay and Take-Two’s Gotham Games and has helped publish games such as Max Payne, Duke Nukem, Halo and Conflict: Desert Storm. A2M’s partners include Atari, Warner Bros, THQ, Take Two, Activision Blizzard, Sony, Majesco, Ubisoft and Eidos.

for your permanent and contract needs Senior Games Artist - Top London Studio - Ref 11193

UI Programmer - Award Winning Studio, South East - Ref 11210

This role of Senior Artist is for an established AAA music franchise and you will be working with the art director and lead artist.

Our client are looking for self-motivated and enthusiastic people with a talent and passion for making the best games.

Lead Games Animator, East Anglia Ref 11300

Studio Manager - Successful Developer, Midlands - Ref 11306

AAA Studio based in East Anglia are seeking a Lead Excellent opportunity for an experienced Studio Animator. Your management responsibilites will include Manager to work with this talented development house Principal/Senior/Junior Animators. on genre defining cross-platform titles.

European Language Games Testers, South East

Senior Games Designer - Exclusive to OPM, South East - Ref 11083

Our client are looking for professional, flexible and You will create an imaginative, new and different enthusiastic native speakers that have a keen interest in experience and craft innovative game play experiences Gaming and Translation. with flair.

we’ve got a lot to offer

Kim, Jon, Nadja and Catherine are making appearances at the London Games Festival this year. If you are attending and are looking for staff or simply want to put a face to a name, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!

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

THE FUTURE BEGINS 30.10.09

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THE FUTURE BEGINS 30.10.09

FGOL@=J=NGDMLAGFAKAFQGMJ@9F<K&QGM9J=L@=E9KL=JG>1+EAP=KL@9LKH9FKH9;=9F<LAE=& K;J9L;@9F<EAPL@=EMKA;G>B9Q%R$=EAF=E$<9>LHMFC$:DGF<A=$JA@9FF9$:=9KLA=:GQK$:=FFQ:=F9KKA9F<EGJ=& L9C=;GFLJGDG>L@=@=9JL$KGMD9F<;AJ;MALJQG>L@=H9JLQ& 9;;=HLQGMJ<=KLAFQ9L<B@=JG&;GE&

activision.com

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THE COOLEST THING YOU’LL EVER DO ON YOUR CONSOLE... AWARDED 92%

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

HANGIN’ TOUGH... Sony’s Uncharted returns – assisted by some P40 stunning reviews...

WITH THIS ISSUE We take a special look at Nintendo’s Style Boutique and new Wii Sports game...

PRO EVO SOCCER 2010 P42 Konami’s big football hope hits retail – looking better than ever FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 P44 Another big hitter in the soccer world, Sports Interactive’s sim returns A BOY AND HIS BLOB P45 Majesco revives a NES classic with a sequel designed from the ground up for Wii U-SING P45 Koch Media brings Mindscape’s karaoke game to Nintendo Wii HANNAH MONTANA P46 Disney’s series based on Miley Cyrus’s alter ego comes to PSP for the first time DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS P47 Mass Effect developer Bioware brings its dungeon-based RPG to retail TROPIC 3 P48 Kalypso Media releases its Cold War-era strategy title on Xbox 360 and PC 101-IN-1 PARTY MEGAMIX P48 Nordcurrent releases one of the biggest mini-games collections that Wii’s ever seen NEW RELEASES P50 MCV provides a rundown of all the games waiting to be placed on your shelves HIGH STREET P52 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, and check your prices

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RETAILBIZ: UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES 40 MCV 09/10/09

The most highly anticipated PS3 release of the season is upon us, as Nathan Drake returns on his latest globetrotting adventure…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Retail’, right), Sony is working very closely with its key retail partners to drive pre-orders and sales for Uncharted 2. Lynch explains the emphasis will be on both the blockbuster nature of the game and encouraging consumers to reserve their copy early. “We’re created some great POS formats which illustrate the ‘action hero’ aspect of the game,” he says. “As well as this, Uncharted 2 will be part of our PlayStation tour of large shopping centres in the lead-up to Christmas. “We’ve also teamed up with some online and High Street retailers for a comprehensive pre-order campaign where we’ve given each one a different Uncharted 2 pre-order bonus. Pre-order

by James Batchelor

THE ORIGINAL Uncharted was a triumph for original first-party IP on the PS3, garnering both critical and commercial success – and all but ensuring a sequel would appear some day. Two years on, and that sequel is mere days away. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves sees the return of everyday treasure hunter-turned-action-hero Nathan Drake, this time on the trail of Marco Polo’s lost fleet and the legendary kingdom of Shangri-La. Anticipation for this title among PS3 owners is at an all-time high, and Sony is confident that Among Thieves will live up to their expectations. “After the runaway success of Uncharted: The demand for Uncharted 2 Drake’s Fortune in 2007, has reach such high levels, in terms of sales, critical we’re talking to retail about acclaim and positive community feedback, possible midnight launches. we’re expecting big Phil Lynch, Sony things from Uncharted 2: numbers are becoming more and more Among Thieves,” says product manager important – both for retail to get a Phil Lynch. barometer of the consumer level of “Uncharted is one of those rare demand and, of course, for consumers games that comes along every now and to see how well a title is performing prethen where it manages to engage and launch. They add credibility and buzz to entertain anyone from an avid gamer to the release. someone who’s just getting into gaming “The demand for the game is such as an alternative type of entertainment. that we’re talking to some of our retail “With this in mind the market for partners for potential midnight openings Uncharted 2 is huge, especially with at launch.” lots of new entrants to the PS3 with the In addition to the brand new single successful release of the new slimline model. We feel that Uncharted 2 will be player adventure, Uncharted 2 boasts a treasure trove of new content and one of our biggest ever releases.” features that set it apart from TREASURED PARTNERS the original. As part of the extensive marketing The most notable is the introduction campaign (see ‘Charting The Course To of a multiplayer mode, something that

Unlike its predessesor, Uncharted 2 offers consumers muti-player competitive modes

Sony is rather proud of – and which brings a different experience to the fledgling series. Multiplayer modes are available in both competitive and cooperative varieties, and have already been beta tested by eager gamers to positive acclaim. UNEXPLORED TERRITORY

The standard co-operative setting features special environments designed specifically for two-player mayhem, while Gold Rush and Survival modes provide added variety. Meanwhile, the competitive modes will be familiar to fans of online skirmishes, with the likes of Team Deathmatch, Elimination, King Of The Hill and Plunder to choose from. The success of Uncharted and the expected triumph of Among Thieves has set up the property as a strong franchise for Sony to further explore in the years to come. Lynch believes it is inevitable that the series will return in the future. “Uncharted is now an established brand in the gaming market and Naughty Dog have managed to develop a new, contemporary and credible hero in Nathan Drake,” he says. “With this in mind, Uncharted 2 is of huge importance to our line-up now and in the future. “In terms of the style and tone, the game is inherently PlayStation, it’s a technical and graphical showcase of the power of the PlayStation 3 and the fluid, accessible gameplay and storyline mean that Uncharted 2 is a perfect storm in terms of an exclusive IP for our platform.”

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RETAILBIZ: UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 41

RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SONY DEVELOPER: NAUGHTY DOG PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

CHARTING THE ROUTE TO RETAIL As the biggest PS3 release of the season, Uncharted 2 will benefit from an extensive marketing campaign that will directly target the game’s primary audience. “With Uncharted 2, the main objective is to get consumers excited about the ‘laugh in the face of danger’ gameplay and the mindblowing production values,” explains product manager Phil Lynch. “With this in mind, we’ve weighted the advertising campaign heavily towards visual, broadcast media.”  Online ads will run across Gamespot and Eurogamer, driving traffic towards various pre-order bonus web pages.  10-second video ads will appear on key sites, ending on cliffhanger moments and directing users to the official pre-order site, where they’ll find the full HD trailer.  TV ads will run across various channels. The spots will be 30 seconds long and have been taken directly from PS3 footage – an industry first.  Similar ads will be running in cinemas for one month before key films aimed at the 16 to 34-year-old male audience.

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RETAILBIZ: PES 2010 42 MCV 09/10/09

Konami’s renowned football series returns, with numerous improvements, as Konami seeks to fend off rival footy titles…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor

players and integrates the Europa Cup and Champions League campaigns into the game. The AI has been upgraded, making players on the field much more intelligent, now displaying individual play characteristics rather than following the rules set by team formation. Even

THE ANNUAL battle of the football titles truly picks up momentum this month with the return of Konami’s bestselling Pro Evolution Soccer. Of course, the Japanese publisher has been working hard to make sure its newest footy offering tops its PES 2010 is a strong, refined predecessors, but also outdoes rival titles. product that will sell and sell. Arriving on October The game looks breathtaking. 23rd, PES 2010 is the latest The animation is stunning. instalment in the longJon Murphy, Konami running series – and one that the European PES team leader Jon the animations have been overhauled, Muphy describes as “by far the most now flowing into one another for a accomplished to date”. seasmless experience. The game has been completely MOVING THE GOALPOSTS overhauled, improved and generally As with every edition of Pro Evolution polished to within an inch of its life – Soccer, the pressure is on Konami to not just by the development team, but match, if not better, the competition and by fans and players themselves. the publisher is confident that its PLEASING THE CROWDS attention to the fans’ desires has helped PES Productions, the Tokyo-based studio to accomplish this. behind the series, took into account “PES 2010 comes with a massive hundreds of comments and suggestions weight of expectation,” says Murphy. from thousands of consumers – both “For the last year, we have worked hardcore and casual – and, along with extremely closely with the PES fanbase press feedback, used them to help shape to determine what the key factors they and create the best PES game so far. want from their game are. “We needed to hear what the fanbase “These have been submitted to Japan, wanted from the game – and, yes, this where the team has been incredibly has been addressed,” Murphy explains. responsive and produced a game “The devil is in the detail and the PES that returns to the PES series’ community as really helped us simulation origins, while adding a appreciate that.” wealth of new additions. Initial Key improvements include the responses from those who have seen enhanced Master League system, which PES 2010 have been extremely positive now includes more managerial elements and the new game marks a stunning to make the mode more flexible for return to form for the series.”

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 (360, PS3, PC) NOVEMBER 5 (PS2, PSP) NOVEMBER 19 (WII) FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PS2, PC, PSP PUBLISHER: KONAMI DEVELOPER: PES PRODUCTIONS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 0208 987 5706

With that in mind, Konami has prepared a substantial marketing campaign to raise awareness of the series’ latest achievements and drive sales in the process (see ‘Pre-Match Plans’, right). Given the time and dedication PES 2010 has received, the publisher is more than confident it will not only uphold the legacy of its franchise but also take football gaming to new heights. “PES 2010 is a strong, refined product that will sell and sell,” Murphy says. “It is an incredibly strong football title, with good brand recognition – and very high production values. The photo-realistic visuals and stunning animation work showcase a game that looks breathtaking, while the gameplay is stronger than ever, with a more realistic pace and total control. “PES is one of those games that, once sampled, grabs you like no other. It will be backed up by a farranging marketing and PR campaign, and will enjoy an extremely high profile at launch and beyond.”

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RETAILBIZ: PES 2010 WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 43

PRE-MATCH PLANS PES 2010 is a huge product for Konami, for the industry and for the franchise. The development team has done its job by delivering the best game yet and now the marketing team is about to weigh in with a suitably impressive campaign across a wide variety of media: PRINT An extensive campaign will span the key specialist titles (including OPM and OXM), football and mainstream press, and national press, including wraps and takeover pages at launch with Sport, Shortlist and Metro. Reviews will appear extensively before and after launch, with initial response from all sectors universally positive. Konami is also working very closely with Liverpool and Manchester United in promotions of the game, and PES 2010 continues the publisherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s close relationship with the FA as the official game of the England team. TV An ad showcasing pack stars Lionel Messi and Fernando Torres has been created. It also features the winners of the pan-European PES Star campaign, wherein diehard fans of the PES series will appear in the ad, celebrating their part in making PES moments of genius. It will run from October 21st to November 15th, hitting Channel 4, ITV, E4 Sky Sports and other channels. It will be seen by 8.6 million 16 to 34-year-olds. POS Posters, over-sized boxes and standees of the two cover stars are available. OUTDOOR Hoardings are in place at Premiership grounds and have been since the season started. A poster and bus campaign is also planned to support retail through December. ONLINE Konami has arranged takeovers and MPUs for Eurogamer, IGN, Gamespot, CVG and Gamesradar from October 12th to 30th. Konami claims that the campaign will deliver 4.2 million impressions to 1.1 million individuals. RADIO A strong campaign will feature on Kerrang and Kiss from October 7th to October 23rd, plus campaigns and promotions with individual presenters, inlcuding Jez Welhan.

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RETAILBIZ: FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 44 MCV 09/10/09

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Sports Interactive’s marriage-wrecking soccer strategy sim returns to rule PC this Christmas… by Tim Ingham YEAH, YEAH, we’ve all heard the sob stories. “Football Manager ruined my relationship.” “I almost lost my job I was so addicted.” “I took a train to Manchester, but got so engrossed in my PSP version, I ended up in Preston and had to get a lift back with a bloke who looked like a ginger Keith Chegwin. He inappropriately touched my forearm on four occasions.” Okay, so that last one may be a little anecdotal. Point is, we all know Football Manager’s as moreish as cracksprinkled Pringles. We’re over it. And this year’s edition really promises to sort the men from the boys.

into where their team is going wrong, or right. And a new match analysis tool lets players see where shots, passes, crosses, headers, tackles, fouls and interceptions have been made on the field for all players on the pitch. In addition, Football Manager 2010 features a brand new user interface, with both a light and dark skin to choose from as part of a vibrant new look. The side bar navigation of previous years has been replaced by an intuitive tab system at the top of the screen, making Football Manager’s famed depth easier to handle. “Our expectations for Football Manager never change,” Sega senior product manager Ben Payne tells MCV. “We want to deliver a game that is well received both by reviewers and fans as

Retailers should expect strong sales. This is the best games that Sports Interactive has ever made. Ben Payne, Sega

Football Manager 2010 is set to be the most accessible title in the series yet, after Sports Interactive overhauled the entire presentation in the game. Other new editions include the introduction of touchline ‘shouts’ and quick tactic changes for instantly altering your team’s playing style during the match. Feedback from matches has been improved to give the user better insight RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

well as selling through well for all our retail partners. This year Football Manager challenges our fans to ‘Make History’. “Retailers should expect strong pre-orders already, which will obviously increase strongly between now and launch, as well as good in-store sales in the opening weeks. “Football Manager 2010 is the best game Sports Interactive has ever made.”

MARKETING THE MANAGER Sega’s promotional campaign for FM 2010 is designed to boost the biggest PC release this Q4:

highly against our audience timed for both pre-order and day-one sales.”

PRINT The title will appear in the national press at launch. Sega’s Ben Payne says it can reach the game’s “primary audience” with this “call to arms”.

TRADE/POS Sega has secured a retailer-specific channel marketing plan for the game. “There won’t be a bigger PC launch campaign between now and Christmas across retail,” claims Payne.

TV/MEDIA “Sega will be delivering a strong TV campaign for FM10,” says Payne. “As well as spots in live football we’ll be in other key programming that indexes

ONLINE The firm is partnering with Sky Sports and Football 365 to reach nearly four million unique users over a sixweek period.

TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW Football Manager 2010 will have to go some way to outperform its predecessor. FM 2009 is the most successful in the Football Manager series to date, clocking up 22 weeks at No.1 in the UK (PC charts) and selling in excess of one million copies worldwide, as well as being voted the second best video game of all time in a recent Radio 1 poll.

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RETAILBIZ: U-SING & A BOY AND HIS BLOB WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 45

Koch Media brings Wii’s first real challenger to the SingStar crown to the UK retail market...

Majesco rejuvenates a classic NES title with a brand new sequel developed specifically for Wii…

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: WII (SOLUS AND MICROPHONE PACK)

THE LIKES OF SingStar and Lips have seen the karaoke genre take off on PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360, but the market has yet to be truly sated on Wii. Given the console’s position as the best-selling hardware of this generation, its popularity with the family demographic and penchant for party games, this is long overdue to change. Mindscape’s U-Sing seeks to dominate the singing sector by delivering a fun and accessible crooning experience to Wii owners everywhere. Arriving on October 30th, the game allows them to team up with or compete against another family member or friend and sing along to a variety of classic and contemporary tunes. U-SING WHEN YOU’RE WINNNG

Obviously, no game of this type is worth its salt if its setlist isn’t packed with enjoyable and popular tracks, and U-Sing is by no means lacking in this area. There are over 30 songs to choose from here, all of which are sung by the original artists and feature the official music videos, played behind the words as they appear on screen. And all of the artists will be recognisable to gamers of any age, thanks to Mindscape’s Partnership with Universal Music. The roster of stars includes the likes of Duffy, Gloria

PUBLISHER: MINDSCAPE DEVELOPER: MINDSCAPE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

Gaynor, Mika, The Saturdays, Snow Patrol, Lionel Richie and Coldplay, ensuring there’s something for everyone. Also catering to wannabe popstars, the game features three different difficulty levels and judges performance accordingly. This way, those that are convinced they have a stunning voice will have to work harder for that high score, while more casual players won’t be punished for simply having fun. Songs can be sung as solos or duets depending on how many people are taking part in the shenanigans. If players have trouble choosing which individual track they wish to attempt, there is even the option to work through a medley of tunes, mixing a random selection of anthems together for a fresh challenge. The party doesn’t have to stop when everyone is too knackered or embarrassed to take up the mic. The Jukebox option allows Wii owners to sit back and enjoy the videos and songs stored on the disc. Alternatively, they can listen to previous recordings of their own performances.

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 FORMATS: WII

THE LATEST retro IP to re-enter the games market, A Boy and his Blob for Wii continues the story begun by the NES original back in 1989. This fresh adventure will not only appease fans of the original but also introduce new generations to this timeless property – and Majesco is more than a little excited about its upcoming release. “Our expectations for this game are simply huge,” says Majesco’s international marketing manager John Merchant. “Everybody who sees this game, from press and consumers to die hard fans of the original, falls in love with it immediately. A Boy and his Blob will be Majesco’s biggest release to date.” BLOB THE BUILDER

Six years after the original game, nobody believes the Boy’s story of his fight against the Evil Emperor to save Blobolonia. As he tries to move on with his life, a spaceship crashes near his home, piloted by his former companion Blobert. It transpires that the Evil Emperor has been hiding out on Earth and preparing to enslave humanity – and only the Boy and his Blob can stop him. So begins this platforming adventure. Holding true to the orignal, the game boasts the retro charm of an old school platformer but is fully rendered in 3D. Once again, players collect different coloured jellybeans and feed them to

PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: WAYFORWARD PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Blobert, transforming him into different devices that aid their progress, such as ladders, trampolines and bombs. “Extensive PR for Boy and his Blob began before E3 and will continue aggressively right up until launch,” says Merchant. “The game has generated a phenomenal amount of coverage, particularly in specialist print and online outlets who have universally lavished praise on what is undoubtedly one of Wii’s key titles this Christmas. “We’re currently follwing this up with an equally aggressive PR strategy targeting mainstream, lifestyle and kids media, both online and in print, gaining an equally enthusiastic reception from those outlets.” Majesco has also prepared a highly visible TV campaign so consumers can see the game in motion during both the launch and post-launch windows. Merchant reports the publisher is also spending more with retailers than ever before, with prime store positioning and other POS activity to drive sales. He adds: “This is a wonderful, unique product that’s drop dead gorgeous to look at, extremely gripping and fun to play.”

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RETAILBIZ: HANNAH MONTANA: ROCK OUT... 46 MCV 09/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: DISNEY

Disney’s seemingly universally-loved starlet makes her way to PSP for the first time – in a family karaoke title perfect for the Christmas market…

DEVELOPER: PAGE 44 PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 2893

by Tim Ingham

clamouring to get their hands on her latest karaoke game – and the special edition Lilac Purple PSP bundle put together with Sony. “This is the first ever Hannah Montana game for the PSP so we think

IF YOU THOUGHT the only thing that spurs-sporting cod-country warbler Billy Ray Cyrus had given to the world was line dancing musical virus Achy Breaky Heart, you need to get with the programme, sister. The girly colour of the Lilac Forgive us our valley Purple PSP will be a great tiegirl patter but, just like in with the release of the every teen girl from here Hannah Montana game. to Minnesota, MCV is like, tooootally, obsessed with Burcin Ergin, Disney Hannah Montana – not only one of the hottest properties in it will be very well received by Hannah entertainment, but also the inconceivable fans,” explains Disney marketing manager product of grizzly Mr. Cyrus’s loins. for the UK and Ireland Burcin Ergin. The clue’s all in the alias, of course. “The game will allow them to design a For Hannah Montana, read Miley Cyrus custom concert in each city they visit and – very much a superstar in her own rock the stage as they perform 11 hit right. And with massive pop hits in both songs, including three new tracks.” guises, it’s little wonder Disney is Rock Out The Show sees players help confident that young girls will be Hannah Montana on her tour as they

travel to seven locations around the world and customise outfits, design stages and more. Players add their flair to performances by creating unique routines for each song with the ‘Rockstar Moment’ maker by customising dance moves, lighting and special effects. Consumers will also be able to style the band members and the back-up dancers with amazing fashions, hair-styles and accessories. “The game will be available with the new Lilac Purple PSP3000 bundle as well as being sold separately,” adds Burgin. “We think the girly colour of the PSP will be a great tie in with the Hannah Montana product. It’s also a great opportunity for girls with a PSP in their household to be able to play a Hannah game.”

MONTANA TO CLIMB… … the charts, that is. And it’s little wonder, with this promotional campaign from Disney and Sony for both the standalone and game and the PSP 3000 bundle: TV Airtime on teen girls’ programs on Turner, Nickelodeon, CITV and GMTV2 as well as competitions on The Disney Channel. Press Advertorials booked in girls’ magazines including Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Bliss, Mizz, Shout and more. Online Girls’ sites including Stardoll, Disney, MSN Messenger and Google targeted via display and integrated advertising.

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RETAILBIZ: DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 47

BioWare returns to the realms of dungeons in an original fantasy adventure billed as the spiritual successor to the studio’s biggest hit… by James Batchelor BEFORE pairing up alien lesbians in Mass Effect and wielding oversized lightsabers in Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare was known as the master of storytelling in a somewhat different genre. Now the developer swaps blasters for broadswords in a return to the market that made it famous: The fantasy RPG. Dragon Age: Origins is a proudly traditional medieval dungeon crawler, in which players are given command over a party of heroes and pitted against monsters of varying size and ferocity on an epic journey to save the world. Billed as the spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate, the game is aimed at appeasing fans of BioWare’s earlier masterpieces and spins a tale of lust, violence and betrayal. Gamers take on the role of the newest recruit in the Grey Wardens, an ancient order of guardians charged with defending the lands of the game’s world. When the Wardens are betrayed by a trusted general during a critical battle, the player is sent to hunt down the traitor and bring him to justice. As with BioWare’s greatest games, the outcome of this journey is far from predetermined. Crucial choices they make along the way will dictate the course of the game. So, while certain characters and quests may be the key to achieving their goal, they may turn out to be diversions from the correct path – if that’s the path players want to take. Such choices are rife throughout the game, with adventurers given control over the fates of many. At key points they will have to make decisions on complex issues such as murder, genocide and the possession or sacrifice of innocent children.

KNOW YOUR ROOTS

Interestingly, one of the very first choices they make not only alters the player’s experience, but also their character. Origins focuses on the Warden recruit’s background, which

will affect how he or she approaches her quest. There are six origin stories to choose from and each one offers a different storyline to follow.

unique to them. Few Dragon Age players will have the same character, since the decisions they make affect their Warden’s morality and personality, with different upgrades and options becoming available depending on which Bioware claims that Dragon routes they take. Age boasts over 80 hours of With their character gameplay – double the size of established, gamers travel its very own Mass Effect. through dozens of diverse environments, from ancient ruins and dank The origin story they choose will also caves to quaint villages and rolling affect the development of their plains. BioWare confidently claims that character. Like almost any RPG, players Dragon Age boasts over 80 hours of are given free reign with how their gameplay – double the size and scope of character develop, customising their its previous big hit Mass Effect. skills and abilities as they level up. Along their journey they interact with However in Dragon Age, it is easier a multitude of complex characters, some for gamers to create heroes completely of whom can join their party and offer

support in battle. Each potential companion has their own backstory that can be explored, potentially making this one of the deepest RPG adventures released to date. Some characters have even been voiced by familiar stars such as Tim Curry and Star Trek: Voyager’s Kathryn Mulgrew. A Collector’s Edition will also be available. Within the special steel case, Dragon Age: Origins will be accompanied by a cloth map of the game’s world, a Making of DVD, a digital version of the soundtrack, game trailers, wallpapers, strategy tips, concept art and more. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 FORMATS: 360/PS3/PC PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: BIOWARE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

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RETAILBIZ: TROPICO 3/101 IN 1 48 MCV 09/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Kalypso Media brings a fresh strategy title to market, based around the Cold War era...

Nordcurrent readies one of the biggest mini-game collections available on Nintendo’s Wii...

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 (PC) NOVEMBER 13 (360)

DESPITE hits such as Command and Conquer and the chart-topping Empire: Total War proving there is still a high level of demand for strategy titles, support for the genre is more than a little lacking. Fortunately, Kalypso has the answer in the form of Tropico 3. Set during the Cold War, players become the President of a Caribbean island, which they can transform into a vacation paradise, a police station or a modern industrial nation. Giving the game an added level of depth, wannabe tyrants must defend their every decision to their people. They can wander the streets of their island in order to intimidate political opponents and give speeches to win over the public. TROP TIL YOU DROP

“The Tropico 3 brand is a great IP, which we are excited to have secured,” says Kalypso MD Andrew Johnson. “The game will be the biggest project Kalypso has realised so far in its short history and we are focusing on achieving a worldwide PC hit with this brand.

FORMATS: XBOX 360, PC PUBLISHER: KALYPSO DEVELOPER: HAEMIMONT GAMES PRICE: £39.99 (XBOX 360) £29.99 (PC) DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

“Looking at the pre-orders through the major online retailers, we are looking at a Top Ten title at release. Tropico 3 is a well-known and respected strategy title and our challenge was to ensure we kept true to the game’s heritage for fans of the brand but offer a fun and innovative challenge for new gamers.” Kalypso is working hard to see Tropico realise its full potential, with an extensive marketing campaign driving sales around the game’s release. A pre-awareness campaign is already in progress, with ads appearing in key specialist PC and Xbox 360 publications throughout September and October, with additional advertising is planned for November and beyond.

RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: WII

MINI-GAME collections have come in all sizes on Wii, but now Nordcurrent is rolling out one of the biggest to ever hit the format. As the title suggests, 101-In-1 Party Megamix Wii contains more than 100 such challenges, ensuring plenty of variety for Wii owners this Christmas. As the publisher explains, this title is just the latest entry in the 101-In-1 series and given the success of the previous game, hopes are high for the new Wii version. “This is a brand new title in our 101In-1 Megamix series that we started in 2008 with a 101-In-1 Explosive Megamix for Nintendo DS,” says head of publishing Alexander Bravve. ROOM FOR 101

“With the Wii game, we are expecting to outperform its DS predecessor. It is a brand new fun party game for all ages, supporting up to four players. It has an eye-catching cover, with a quality game inside, with a collection of 101 mini-games in different genres from racing to cooking. We believe this is the

PUBLISHER: NORDCURRENT DEVELOPER: IVOLGAMUS PRICE: TBC DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

perfect recipe for success, and ideal as a Christmas gift.” Mini-games are arranged across eight different TV stations, with players working through a series of activities designed to emulate the style of TV shows. Naturally, each mini-game makes full use of the Wii’s unique motion-sensitive abilities and cater for up to four players, making 101-In-1 perfect for a family party or a night in with friends. “Retailers can expect steady sellthrough numbers,” says Bravve. “We are planning an extensive marketing campaign for 101-In-1 Party Megamix Wii. It will cover national and regional press, lifestyle, specialist and kids magazines, online press, radio, Christmas gifts catalogues, and so on. There will be competitions, previews, reviews, advertisements, so our audience will be well aware of this title.”

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RETAILBIZ: NFS NITRO & SHAUN THE SHEEP WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 49

EA continues to rejuvenate the Need For Speed franchise with Nitro on Wii and DS…

Aardman Animations’ most profitable export gets another gaming outing from D3P...

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 20 FORMATS: WII, DS

SHYING away from the serious simulation of September’s Shift, Need For Speed: Nitro focuses on accessible fun and takes a more light-hearted approach to street racing. It’s a new venture for the long-running racing series and one that Electronic Arts is keen to bring to the public. “We are very excited about the Need For Speed franchise coming to the Nintendo platforms with something built especially for Wii and DS from the ground up,” says product manager Kevin Flynn. “We hope this will offer Nintendo platform owners a great arcade racing experience.” The underlying Need For Speed ethos is still present. Players are tasked with mastering the art of drifting and outwitting rival racers in order to reach the finish line. Gamers can customise their ride to get the best performance out of it, but in Nitro these options go beyond tinkering with engines. Players can create their own unique art style for their car’s livery in order to truly stand out from their competitors. In an interesting twist, this colour scheme is then transferred to the landscape as they best their opponents. So, when you overtake another racer, the surrounding area is splashed with your colours. “Nitro runs at 60fps on the Wii, which is a great achievement from the

PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA MONTREAL PRICE: £39.99 (WII) / £29.99 (DS) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

team in Montreal who have become known for their innovation on Nintendo,” Flynn adds. “The ability to create your own signature colour and impose your style on the world as you race is a great feature.” ONE NITRO STAND

As the most significant departure from the Need For Speeds of old, the publisher is working hard to raise awareness of Nitro’s unique features, not only to differentiate it from the recently released Shift but also to attract consumers that are new to the franchise. “Retailers and Need For Speed fans should expect a fast, fun and nitrofuelled arcade racing experience with a unique visual style,” says Flynn. “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 and we’ll be looking to build on the massive boost in Need For Speed franchise awareness following the recent strong release of Shift.”

RELEASED: OCTOBER 23 FORMATS: DS

ACHIEVING what Feathers McGraw never could, the adorable Shaun The Sheep has long since cast off the shackles of being a Wallace & Gromit ‘bit part’. Now the woolly hero returns to the video game sector in D3Publisher’s Shaun The Sheep: Off His Head. “This is the second game based on the award winning series from Aardman, capturing the same great sheep humour with an all new brilliant storyline,” says PR and marketing manager Suzanne Sutton. “A favourite amongst both kids and adults, Off His Head has a universal appeal and an instantly recognisable and trusted brand providing good fun. With the original Shaun The Sheep still selling through at retail, we’re confident Off His Head will prove to be yet another evergreen title.” WOOLY THINKING

Players take on the role of the titular sheep as he searches the farm and the surrounding countryside for the Farmer’s toupee. The adventure is broken up into six missions, with plenty of challenges that will satisfy fans of Shaun’s TV show. Catering for younger players, the game’s map has now been made

PUBLISHER: D3PUBLISHER DEVELOPER: D3PUBLISHER PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

easier to navigate and helpful mission notes ensure they’re never stuck or confused. There is even a light combat mechanic that enables Shaun to confront some of the more mischievous characters found throughout the farm. Progressing through this story mode unlocks new content. Young gamers can the enjoy nine brand new mini-games and the Colouring Book mode, with 16 pages featuring Shaun and other familiar characters. “Shaun The Sheep is an instantly recognisable and trusted franchise amongst kids and adults,” says Sutton. “With a comprehensive marketing and PR campaign timed to release, retailers can expect Shaun The Sheep: Off His Head to be a hit with parents, grandparents and the family market from launch and into the Christmas period.” D3P will be using a range of online social media and community management, maximising marketing opportunites through its partners at Aardman where possible with mixture of trailers, banners, links, competitions and viral games.

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 50 MCV 09/10/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Brutal games approach UK shelves TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Action/Adventure Action Casual Simulation Action/Adventure Quiz Racing Action Music Horror Music Action Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Sports Action FPS Action Simulation Fighting

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

0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 01376 555 333 0845 234 4242 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 0870 027 0985 020 8987 5730 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0117 373 6151 01376 555 333 0121 506 9585

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

XBOX 360

Action

Rockstar

01279 822 800

Gem

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

Mini-games RPG Action Mini-games Puzzle Quiz Simulation Racing Quiz Mystery Adventure Action RPG Simulation FPS

Nordcurrent Ghostlight Midas Activision Blizzard S.A.D Mindscape 505 Games THQ Mindscape Ubisoft Ubisoft Namco Bandai JoWood Sega City Interactive

0845 362 7769 01376 555333 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

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

OCTOBER 16th Angel Cat Sugar Brutal Legend Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition 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 Ninja Captains Space Unlimited Collection Tracy Beaker Tropico 3 Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

OCTOBER 23rd Bakugan: Battle Brawlers Borderlands Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies Constellation Professional 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: 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

OCTOBER 29th Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City

OCTOBER 30th 101-in-1 Party Megamix Wii Agarest: Generations Of War Allied Ace Pilots Arcade Zone Around The World In 80 Days Beat The Intro Big Catch Bass Fishing 2 Cars: Race O Rama Countdown CSI: Deadly Intent Dolphin Island 2: Underwater Adventure Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo Dungeon Lord - The Orb and the Oracle Football Manager 2010 FPS 3

MUSTSTOCK ............................BRUTAL LEGEND Released: October 16 Format: 360, PS3 Publisher: Electronic Arts Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Tim Schaferâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest adventure takes place in a fantasy world inspired by heavy metal. Brutal Legend pits players as roadie Eddie Riggs, voiced by Jack Black, as he seeks to save this world from evil. Features an iconic metal soundtrack and a myriad of stars.

MUSTSTOCK ............................DRAWN TO LIFE Released: October 16 Format: Wii, DS Publisher: THQ Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

The innovative platformer from the folks at 5th Cell returns to DS and ventures onto Wii for the first time. Once again, players are required to draw their own hero, as well as other objects and creatures, which are then brought to life and integrated into the game world.

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 51

Electronic Arts’ Brutal Legend nears release, but it faces off against stiff competition from the likes of Borderlands, Mario & Sonic, Forza and Drawn To Life. As October progresses, even more hard-hitters battle for sales, including offerings from Grand Theft Auto, Pro Evolution Soccer and Football Manager... TITLE

Go Play Circus Star Go Play City Sports Horrid Henry Mountain Sports Playmobil: Circus Rage Of The Dead Science Papa Tekken 6 Terrorist Takedown 3 U-Sing We Sing X3 Gold

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

Mini-games Mini-games Mini-games Sports Action/Adventure Action Mini-games Beat-'em-up FPS Music Music Action

Majesco Majesco South Peak Activision Blizzard Mindscape City Interactive Activision Blizzard Namco Bandai City Interactive Mindscape Nordic Games Deep Silver

0117 373 6151 0117 373 6151 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985

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

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

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

Sega Sony City Interactive Sony First Class Simulations First Class Simulations Excalibur Publishing Excalibur Publishing Oxygen City Interactive Oxygen Kalypso Media 505 Games City Interactive D3Publisher

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

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

PS2 / PSP

Sports

Konami

020 8987 5730

Open

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

Platformer Music Simulation Mystery Adventure Adventure Action Adventure RPG Mini-games Action Casual Mini-games Mini-games Mini-games Imagine Casual Casual Casual Mini-games Simulation Racing Adventure Mini-games Action/Adventure Adventure

Majesco THQ Activision Blizzard City Interactive City Interactive Activision Blizzard City Interactive Disney Interactive EA Warner Games Atari Ubisoft EA Mindscape Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Zushi Zushi Zushi Ubisoft Deep Silver Activision Blizzard Zushi Ubisoft Sega Ubisoft

0117 373 6151 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

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

OCTOBER TBC Alpha Protocol Buzz!: Quiz World Chicken Riot EyePet Flight Deck 6 Flying Scotsman Forklift Simulator Fritz 12 Music Pirate Hunter Safar'Wii Sins Of A Solar Empire Expansion Pack Spellbound 2 Street Racer Europe The Secret Saturdays: Beasts Of The 5th Sun

NOVEMBER 5th Pro Evolution Soccer 2010

NOVEMBER 6th A Boy And His Blob All Star Cheerleader 2 Animal Planet: Vet Life Art Of Murder: Cards Of Destiny Art Of Murder: Cards Of Destiny Barbie and the Three Musketeers Combat Wings Disney's A Christmas Carol Dragon Age: Origins Game Party 3 Ghostbusters: The Video Game Girls Life Makeover Hasbro Family Game Night Volume 2 I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here iCarly Imagine Wildlife Keeper Jig-a-Pix: Pets Jig-a-Pix: Wild World Jig-a-Pix: Wonderful World Knockout Party Let's Play: Flight Attendant Madagascar: Kartz North American Hunting Extraganza Peppa Pig Planet 51 Rabbids Go Home

MUSTSTOCK ...............................BORDERLANDS Released: October 23 Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: 2K Games Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822 800

Borderlands is Gearbox’s sci-fi role-playing shooter where up to four players can explore a rugged frontier planet and battle for supremacy. The game carries across several RPG mechanics, including a dynamic weapon generator that ensures no two guns are the same.

MUSTSTOCK ................GTA: CHINATOWN WARS Released: October 23 Format: PSP Publisher: Rockstar Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822 800

The DS smash hit comes to PSP with additional missions, enhanced graphics and hours of new music. Players once again raise hell in Liberty City as they seek a traitor among the triads, presented in a fixed perspective reminiscent of the original GTA.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 52 MCV 09/10/09

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...

98%

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Sony, PS3

92%

91%

88%

82%

FIFA 10, 360, EA

Mario & Luigi RPG 3, DS, Nintendo

Ninja Gaiden Sigma, PS3, Koei

Dead Space Extraction,

Wii, EA

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

DEAL OF THE WEEK

IS NINTENDO'S NEW WII BUNDLE ENOUGH TO COMPETE WITH 360 AND PS3?

TITLE/FORMAT

The majority of voters in the latest MCV online survey seem to be unconvinced that Nintendo’s reorganised hardware SKU, now incorporating Wii Sports Resort and MotionPlus, will affect the Wii’s standing against its more powerful rivals.

61% NO

PUBLISHER

HALO 3: ODST FORMAT: 360

DEVELOPER: BUNGIE PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT

2

NEW

3

1

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360

EA

25%

4

2

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3

EA

YES

5

4

WET 360

6

NEW

7

6

8

NEW

9

7

10

NEW

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND PANDORA’S BOX DS

NINTENDO

BETHESDA

MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 360 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360 MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 PS3 WET PS3

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BETHESDA

AION: THE TOWER OF ETERNITY PC

NCSOFT

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.

15% LET’S WAIT AND SEE

MARGIN MAKER

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

 Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com The device uses RF waves to transmit electrical current into the batteries meaning there’s no need for gamers to remove silicon skins, MotionPlus add-ons or connect the controllers to a port. Exspect: 01782 748 732

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

1

DIRECT2DRIVE CELEBRATES ITS 5TH BIRTHDAY Digital download portal Direct2Drive is celebrating its fifth birthday by offering a number of high-profile PC titles for just £5 in a limited-time five-week promotion. Each week throughout the period carries a specific theme, with categories to date including ‘strategy’, ‘action’, ‘MMO’ and ‘indie games’. The final week kicked off on Monday, and features games from Electronic Arts.

MCV POLL

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK

GAME GETS BEHIND CHILDREN’S HOSPICE CHARITY Children’s Hospices UK has signed a new fundraising partnership with GAME Group. The agreement will see GAME and

Gamestation stores raising money over the next two years for the UK’s network of 41 children's hospices. All funds raised will go towards teenage activity weekends at hospices across the country. “We are incredibly proud to be supporting Children’s Hospices UK and we are confident that with the support of our teams and customers we can do our very best to help raise funds to enhance the lives of young people who rely on the vital services that children’s hospices provide,” commented GAME Group CEO Lisa Morgan.

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

GAME customers can save just under £90 when they purchase a PS3 Slim, Need For Speed: Shift, Tiger Woods 10, Fight Night Round 4 and Casino Royale on Blu-ray for £299.99.

THIS WEEK

UK RETAIL SALES REMAIN FLAT IN SEPTEMBER The latest figures from business lobby organisation CBI show retail sales figures for September were relatively unchanged when compared to the same period a year before, a trend that is expected to continue in October. In the CBI Distributive Trades Survey, 39 per cent of retailers said sales volumes rose when compared to September 2008, while 36 per cent claimed they fell, according to Retail Week. Asda COO Andy Clarke commented: “After such a difficult summer, it is encouraging to see signs that conditions in the retail sector are stabilising. However, with unemployment rising, wage growth low, and consumers building up their savings, spending is likely to remain subdued for some time.”

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

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 09/10/09 53 Sponsored by

FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 FIFA 10 360 EA

2. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

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

3. PES 2010

FRONTLINE Nindie.com speaks to Zoe Renwick from Grainger’s new Billingham branch How has the market been for you so far this year? Better than we expected. We have managed to trade strongly since we opened. And we are very pleased with the amount of customers who return on a regular basis.

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

4. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

6. OPERATION FLASHPOINT

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

7. GRAN TURISMO 5

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

8. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3

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

9. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3: LIMITED ED.

What makes your store unique? We are lucky, in that we are the only dedicated games store in the area. Our competition is a supermarket, so we are unique in that respect. What has been performing well? What has been underperforming? It is difficult to say if anything has been underperforming. It seems most recent

releases have been selling well. We trade very strongly on our pre-owned stock, offering the best value to our customers.

helped us immensely. Our challenge is to maintain our profile and grow the Grainger Games brand in the area.

What are the biggest challenges facing your store? The Grainger Games brand was not well known in Billingham, so we had to push hard to get our name known. We launched the store at the same time as a local shopping centre had its official opening. Press coverage was very good, which

How much of a threat do supermarkets pose to your store? Our only competition in the area is a supermarket. We believe that our product range, knowledge and customer service is far superior. We think that most gamers recognise that as a specialist retailer, we offer a much better service.

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

10. OPERATION FLASHPOINT

PS3 ..........................................................CODEMASTERS

PRICE CHECK

Week ending October 2nd Source: SHOPTO.COM

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

Halo 3: ODST 360, Microsoft

Professor Layton: Pandora DS, Nintendo

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 PS3, Activision

MySims Agents Wii, EA

Aion PC, NcSoft

IN STORE: WOLVERHAMPTON

FIFA 10 PS3 EA

2. FIFA 10

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

£34.99

£29.99

£39.99

£29.99

N/A

£34.99

£32.99

£44.99

£39.99

£39.99

£34.99

£32.99

£49.99

N/A

£39.99

£32.71

£24.71

£37.71

N/A

N/A

£29.99

£24.99

£37.99

£29.99

£29.99

£29.85

£24.85

£37.98

£29.99

£29.85

£29.36

£26.97

£37.96

£29.99

£28.04

£29.73

£27.73

£38.73

N/A

£44.99

3. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

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

4. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

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

6. WII FIT PLUS

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

7. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

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

8. FIFA 10

PS2 ..........................................................................EA

9. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3

ONLINE

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

10. SCRIBBLENAUTS

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

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

Week ending October 2nd Source: AMAZON.CO.UK

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

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 54 MCV 09/10/09

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Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MYSIMS AGENTS PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING MARIO KART DS CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE POKÉMON PLATINUM G-FORCE NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. SHERLOCK HOLMES: MUMMY

4 2 3 5 11 8 16 7 6

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO

2

2

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO

DISNEY

3

1

HAL3: ODST 360

4

3

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

5

5

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

6

4

GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3 ,Wii, PS2

NINTENDO DISNEY

[FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER

SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA G-FORCE DISNEY HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

PUBLISHER

1

FIFA 10

2 3 4 5

1 2 3

GRAN TURISMO DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MOTORSTORM: ARCTIC EDGE

4 6 9 5 7

MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION FIFA ‘09 SOULCALIBUR: BROKEN DESTINY

6 7 8 9 10

NEW

[4]

[5]

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

NINTENDO

[3]

TITLE

FORMAT: PS3, 360, DS, PSP, WII, PS2

LAST WEEK

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

THIS WEEK

1

PSP

[2]

FIFA 10

DISNEY

FIFA 10

1 2 3 4 5 7 6 8 9

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

TITLE

PUBLISHER

7

16

MYSIMS: AGENTS Wii, DS

8

8

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

9

12

MARIO KART WII Wii

10

6

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3

11

10

WII FIT Wii

12

NEW

MICROSOFT EA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA CODEMASTERS NINTENDO EIDOS NINTENDO

GRAN TURISMO PSP

SONY

13

7

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

14

9

WET 360, PS3

15

18

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

16

15

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

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BETHESDA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

17

24

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, PS3, Wii

18

20

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

19

RE

KILLZONE 2 PS3

20

23

COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, Wii, PS3, DS

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

SONY EA

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

AION

EA 505 GAMES

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NCSOFT PUBLISHER: NCSOFT

SONY

2

3

THE SIMS 3

SQUARE ENIX

2

3

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010

EA

4

NEW

SONY

5

6

WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

CAPCOM

6

9

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

D3P

7

4

BLOOD BOWL

SONY

8

NEW

EA

9

5

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT

UBISOFT

10

7

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

FIFA 10

RISEN

EA EIDOS EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA THQ KOCH MEDIA EA EIDOS

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MCV 09/10/09 55

week is EA’s FIFA 10. The latest in the franchise enjoyed 48 per cent more sales than its predecessor over the launch weekend – with Xbox 360 accounting for 48 per cent of the sales and PS3 generating 46 per cent.

Layton holds onto second place, while Halo 3: ODST drops 75 per cent in sales and into third place. But it’s good news for Nintendo’s Wii

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

13

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND 360, PS3, Wii

EA

22

21

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

23

33

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

24

17

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

25

28

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

26

NEW

27

19

MINI NINJAS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC

EIDOS

28

RE

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

DISNEY

29

NEW

30

14

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

31

RE

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

32

RE

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

33

29

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

NINJA GAIDEN: SIGMA 2, PS3

ROCKSTAR

TECMO KOEI EUROPE

RISEN PC, XBOX 360

KOCH MEDIA

34

35

MARIO KART DS DS

35

RE

WOLFENSTEIN PC, PS3, 360

SONY LUCASARTS NINTENDO NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

36

31

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

37

22

ASHES CRICKET 2009 Wii, PS3, PC, 360

CODEMASTERS

38

38

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

39

RE

SAINTS ROW 2 PC, PS3, 360

40

26

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THQ EA

TITLE

PUBLISHER

WOW: BATTLE CHEST DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

6 2 8

ESCAPE THE MUSEUM ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON

MASTERTRONIC

MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST

GSP/AVANQUEST FOCUS

RE

ADVENTURE CHRONICLES: TREASURE

GSP/AVANQUEST

RE

BRAIN COLLEGE: LOST ISLAND

GSP/AVANQUEST

14 3 20

BEJEWELED TWIST

RE

BRAIN COLLEGE: BLOOD TIES

HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON AGE OF EMPIRES III

TITLE

FOCUS FOCUS MICROSOFT CITY INTERACTIVE

PUBLISHER

1

FIFA 10

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM NINJA GAIDEN: SIGMA 2 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 WET MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 GUITAR HERO 5 IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

1 2 NEW

5 3 4 6 7 8

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FIFA 10 MARIO KART WII WII FIT GUITAR HERO 5 MYSIMS AGENTS TOY STORY MANIA ASHES CRICKET 2009 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

HALO 3: ODST NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT GUITAR HERO 5 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 WET RISEN CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE

9

BETHESDA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 505 GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

EA NINTENDO NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA DISNEY CODEMASTERS EA EA

[FULL PRICE]

1 NEW

CODEMASTERS

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

FIFA 10

1 2 4 7 6 3 5

TECMO KOEI EUROPE

PUBLISHER

WII SPORTS RESORT

3 2 4 8 6 5 14 7

EA EIDOS

[FULL PRICE]

1 NEW

WEEK ENDING 03/10/09

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

Sports Resort, which benefited from the new Wii hardware bundle. The game increased 33 per cent in sales and holds onto fifth position. Also new to the charts this week is Gran Turismo on PSP, which could only manage 12th place. However the real success of the title is unknown – the game is available for free to all PSPgo customers and downloadable on PSN. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

THE UNDISPUTED champion of the charts this

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA MICROSOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS EIDOS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BETHESDA KOCH MEDIA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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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

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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

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

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For further online advertising information please contact

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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 23rd

LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE 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 the various speakers involved, and we will explore the background of 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, to help you get the most from the UK’s biggest celebration of the games industry.

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: 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. 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

LGC REVIEW MCV reports back from the first London Games Conference, providing you with an in-depth guide to the results of every panel. We interview the renowned speakers and key attendess, getting their thoughts on the matters discussed, from the future of digital distribution to the current online plans of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.

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.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR 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.

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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

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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

Insider’s | Guide

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

This week’s interviewee is 4-Real Intermedia’s Michael Buss…

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What services does 4-Real Intermedia provide? 4-Real is a full-service games localisation agency, providing first-class translations as well as audio-recordings for the games industry. In order to guarantee excellent translations, our large in-house team of translators and copy editors thoroughly translates and checks all text before it is delivered or processed. Sound recordings are performed at our in-house recording studios by experienced directors and sound engineers in close co-operation with our translation team. What are your hopes for Christmas/Q4? For 4-Real, the Christmas season usually begins in spring as we then start working on products that will be released in Q4. At least as far as we can tell, it will be a pretty exciting

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

Christmas season with a lot of great games. Tell us something we didn’t know about 4-Real. 4-Real was founded 10 years ago and since then we have localised over 700 games. What is the best thing about your job? Diversity and creativity. There are so many genres in games that it never gets boring to work on projects. We work on games for kids, sports games, adventures, action games as well as gigantic MMOs – you name it. So whether a game needs only text translation or accurate synchronization of complex cinematic sequences, every project is a new and exciting challenge. The quality of the localisation is an crucial element for the success of any game.

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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 MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.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

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

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

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.

GAMEHORIZON: BEST OF BRITISH Wednesday, October 28th Kings Place, London events.gamehorizon.net GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS Friday, October 30th London www.goldenjoystick.com

NOVEMBER DEVELOP LIVERPOOL Thursday, November 5th Arena/Conference Centre, Liverpool develop-conference.com/liverpool NEON DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL Thursday, November 12th Sunday, November 15th Dundee, Scotland www.northofnortheast.com SPIN Friday, November 13th Tuesday, November 17th Montreal, Canada www.spinmtl.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

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

MCV/XBOX 360 INDUSTRY PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk Taking place every three months or so at the rather swanky Sway Bar in Holborn, it brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games. It’s also a very smart networking event, with buyers and publishers, editors and agencies all rubbing shoulders at the bar.

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67 MCV558_final:47 MCV443

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MCV 09/10/09 67

MAILBOX

‘Supermarket greed will kill UK games industry’

News that supermarkets were offering FIFA 10 for £25 last weekend triggered a heated debate on MCVUK.com…

These prices are absolutely ridiculous. Something needs to be done to stop supermarkets doing price drops like this. It just harms independents who have a legitimate interest in games rather than a passing interest in dragging the parents of the kids into their stores to get them to do some grocery shopping while they are there. Anthony Sewell

Yes, Anthony. Something does need to be done. Games need to cost less generally. An RRP of £49.99 is absolutely ridiculous. The game developers and publishers simply need to decrease their greed levels. Mike

I don’t think there’s any harm in it. Games like FIFA and Call of Duty are supermarket favourites and sell well all year. These prices are only temporary – they’ll have a very limited number of copies. It’s better than £55, which is ludicrous. Plus, the price of bread and milk is rising so I���m all for saving money at the checkout! Daniel Clancy

Walcott, Rooney and Lampard might be cheering, but indies were up in arms over the decision by supermakets to drop FIFA 10’s price

We have sold all our FIFA 10 at £39.99 today. Anybody who bought the game from us will get a good trade-in price; anybody who bought from Tesco and co. will get a much lower trade-in price. All year we have been ordering a lot less new games and keeping just enough on the shelves. Preowned is where we indies make our money and we as a

Whilst the marketing concepts at play here intrigue me greatly, the fact that it is happening is hardly bothering my indie head. This has now caused Amazon to price-match them (yes, Amazon are selling it for £24.97 on PS3 and 360, too). The bargain hunters will always be bargain hunters. They use comparison sites and forums to find the cheapest prices. Indies rely primarily on return customers, customers that trust you to stock and deliver. Supermarkets are not in our arena and never will be.

company look at new games as just a way of getting more preowned games. It’s not going to change, no matter how much we shout about it. Cover your pre-orders with the main distributors and then pop down to Tesco and pick a few cheaper copies on release day if you need more stock.

Adam

Games Direct

Some of you indies simply don’t get it. What right do you have to dictate where I should or should not choose to get my games from? What if I don’t want to trade in any games? Or don’t have games to trade? What if I wanted to buy it new, but had to pay more from your turgid little outlet than I would from Tesco because you’d bought up all the copies?

Bargain hunters will always be bargain hunters. They use comparison sites and forums to find the cheapest prices. MCVUK.com commenter

If I wanted to exchange some games at your shop I’m free to do so. But that’s my decision. Not yours. I honestly hope your business folds and you lose everything.

Simon Cleft

Never thought I’d be siding with GAME but I’d rather buy from them than Asda and

Tesco. I would pick an indie but I don’t know any in Leeds. Also, how much do people want to save £10? I live in the city centre so going to Asda at midnight isn’t on the cards. And I know if I it was possible I’d have been caught in a massive queue. By the sound of these comments there might not have been any left or staff forgot to put them out. £40 is fine by me. Love FIFA and will play it all year! Throw in my 800 GAME Reward Card points and I guess it is even a bit lower.

remaining resellers. They will have no money to pay the developers of your beloved games and ultimately destroy your past time. So well done to all those bargain hunters out there – when it all goes belly up, maybe you will realise you were cutting off your nose to spite your face. A specialist store manager

Paul Rayment

If the public perceives the price of a game to be unreasonable at anything more than £25 then they simply won’t buy the game until it drops. If the publishers can’t make money because the supermarkets killed off all their other retailers before moving on to the next product, they will be forced then to drop their cost price to the supermarkets and

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PIC OF THE

WEEK Between rounding up the psychos of Gotham City and supping tea with Alfred, it’s nice to see that Batman only reads the most prestigious literature. Here we have everyone’s favourite violent vigilante taking in MCV at the Brand Licensing show last week. He’s also signed up to our daily news service, you know. If you want his email address, you’ll have to ask very nicely...

Off The Record

This week, the Caped Crusader catches up on his industry news, GAME hires some Oompa Loompas – as one of its own flings herself out of a plane...

DID WE OVERDO THE TAN? GAME’s East Midlands team believe they’ve found the perfect way to get noticed for the Christmas period – dressing up as Oompa Loompas. Only thing is, we’re not quite sure how authentic their efforts are. Yes, they may be a little tall – that’s a given. But, more importantly, we don’t remember the movie’s little fellas tucking in to Smirnoff Ice and Becks lager – as our motley crew are here at GAME’s annual conference. Oh, and if you’re wondering where Willy Wonka is, he’s holding the camera.

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MCV 09/10/09 69

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

SKY HIGH... GAME Lichfield store manager Zara Clohessy and her staff are becoming Off The Record regulars these days. If they’re not dressing up as superheros (below) to promote games, they’re doing very brave things for charity: This time, Zarah and employees Matt Scandrett and Dan Harris jumped 13,000ft out of a plane to raise £1,400 for Childrens Hospices. They’re quite clearly mad. But in a good way.

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

A MARVEL-OUS JOURNEY... London became a little safer last week, thanks to the arrival of the Marvel Ultimate Alliance to the Big Smoke – to celebrate the release of Activision’s game. Of course, these are just normal guys dressed up. The only real hero here is the boy in blue – keeping the Capital’s streets safe, day-in-day-out. Ah, sod it, even he’s pretending they’re real. Let’s go crazy! Watch out Tube-based evil doers! The most uncomfortable crime team in history is on to you!

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S

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OMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION

Nintendo is offering up a very healthy prize of five copies of Wii Fit Plus. If you’re feeling lucky, just answer the following question:

For all you fashionistas out there, here’s the chance to win five copies of Style Boutique. To put your extremely trendy hat in the ring, simply answer the following question:

Which lovely pair will be part of the Wii Fit Plus marketing campaign?

With which High Street clothes shop has Nintendo teamed up for a big Style Boutique competition?

A) Ant and Dec B) Ren and Stimpy C) Captain and Tennile

A) New Wave B) New Shoes C) New Look

Send your answer to wiifitplus@intentmedia.co.uk

Send your answer to styleboutique@intentmedia.co.uk

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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Please address all enquiries to:

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

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.

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ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

2/10/09

Friday October 9 2009 £3.25

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MCV558 October 9th 2009