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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 573 Friday February 5 2010 £3.25

04 iPad doubts

15 An endless cycle

UK games retailers offer their opinion on Apple’s new handheld device

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony discuss the benefits of a longer console lifecycle

06 In good Company

10 Piracy protection

EA on why its modern day FPS Bad Company 2 will be a retail smash hit

We take a closer look at EA and Ubisoft’s attempts at beating PC piracy

08 Mini games, big plans

12 Little Green men

Casual games specialist Miniclip.com reveals its plans for Wii and DS

Green Man Gaming’s Gian Luzio and Paul Sulyok talk digital distribution

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Publishers warn: We’re not out of the woods yet

Square spends millions to fulfil fantasy

But UK industry bosses are cautiously optimistic following end of the recession

MILLIONS OF POUNDS will be spent on the marketing campaign for Final Fantasy XIII, MCV understands. The publisher plans to make the game’s launch “a true event” with a heavyweight TV campaign that will kick off on March 1st and run through Easter and into April, including spots during football matches. “We aim to make Final Fantasy XIII not only the biggest game release, but one of the biggest entertainment releases of Q1,” said UK product manager Grant Tasker. Square Enix has also arranged its biggest ever investment in video-ondemand media, and expects its national bus-side advertising to reach an estimated 75 per cent of the UK’s population. Final Fantasy XIII will hit 360 and PS3 on March 9th.

by Christopher Dring THE UK MAY be out of the recession – but publisher bosses are mindful of a slow recovery for video games. UK GDP rose just 0.1 per cent during Q4 2009, and industry heads are wary of the prospect of a ‘double dip recession’ – where the UK economy re-enters a downturn. This caution is further backed up by GfK Chart-Track figures that show game sales for January are significantly down compared to the same period the year before. “I’m delighted that we have seen the green shoots, although I suspect we should wait before ordering the champagne,” said Activision UK MD Andrew Brown. “2010 will still be a challenging year for the industry and I expect not only consumers, but also retailers and publishers will take a cautious approach. Some of

INDUSTRY HOPEFUL: Defries (left), Cousens (Middle) and Brown (right) expect a prosperous year

the trends are likely to continue for a while, such as the big getting bigger and vice versa. Overall I remain optimistic.”

for two successive three month periods, but a recovery is merely one three month period. Double-dip recession

2010 will be a challenging year. I expect consumers, retailers and publishers will take a cautious approach. Andrew Brown, Activision

Rising Star MD Martin Defries added: “I’m not booking the holiday yet. A recession is when GDP figures are negative

will be the zeitgeist expression of choice for a while yet.” Meanwhile, Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens feels the

games industry should be optimistic for the year ahead. “There needs to be a culture of optimism and aspiration as a motivational stimulus,” he said. “Digital revenues are growing and providing more opportunity if games design is adapted to take advantage of it. “The business model should change and the constituent parts of the industry should work together to make sure it is economically viable, being mindful that a revolutionary shift is happening.”

by James Batchelor

‘Motion sensor and 3D will widen PS3 appeal’ by Michael French SONY HAS told MCV that new PS3 interface technologies will broaden the console’s audience. Speaking to us as part of an in-depth look at the longer hardware cycle, SCE Worldwide Studios VP Michael Denny said the PS3 motion controller and the console’s new 3D content will attract non-gamers. “New technology – such as our PS3 controller blending of

motion-sensing and vision tech, and 3D games – offer us an opportunity to re-engage with the consumer and showcase the innovation that takes place in our industry,” he said. “Both of those technologies are launching this year, at a time where PS3 is going strong. Those technologies will cause people to look at the industry in a different light, cause debate and give us even more scope for new experiences.”

SCE studio boss Michael Denny says PS3 3D and motion sensing will grow its user-base

Denny said that Sony devs are at work on titles based on new and existing IP that utilise either 3D or motion-sensing. He added: “We believe these new experiences will excite the PlayStation fan, whilst also creating new interest with people who may never have thought about gaming.”  Turn to page 15 for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft's views on the extended lifecycle of current generation consoles

PERSONNEL 20 RETAIL BIZ 21 NEW RELEASES 27 HIGH STREET 28 CHARTS 30

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NEWS

[LEADER] ANOTHER DIGITAL CONUNDRUM IT MIGHT NOT seem directly relevant to games – and it’s not something splashed across our front page this week – but I found the recent squabble between Amazon and book publisher MacMillan an interesting, if brief, argument we could take heed of. In short: Amazon briefly removed MacMillan books from sale when the publisher told the retailer to stop dropping the prices of its products on digital book reader the Kindle. The resultant stand-off didn’t last long, but it highlighted a key issue around the control over pricing for digital products. It’s not an issue this industry has had to face yet, but I believe it will be very soon. There’s already been a lot of talk this year about how the industry’s end-of-year figures don’t tell the full story, and that significant digital revenues go uncounted by the figures released by ELSPA and NPD. I’m not convinced that this is a watertight assertion just yet – sometimes the above comment comes from those with a slightly vested interest – but there is definitely a vast amount of potential in the download space. And yet, anecdotally at least, the core digital distribution market for PC games is still rigidly locked, with fixed prices the norm giving consumers no reason to shop around or bargain-hunt – one of the core forces that keeps commerce ticking over. If the digital world is going to take over, then the industry needs to be as prepared to experiment with concepts such as flexible pricing models as it is to talk up the power of free-to-play games and bargainpriced apps for iPhone.

LOSING YOUR APP-ETITE SPEAKING OF WHICH, we almost didn’t run the iPad story to the right, so widespread and mind-numbing has the coverage for Apple’s latest device been. MCV didn’t want to be part of the cooing chorus marveling at what is a device for an untested sector. But the reservation some specialist retailers have towards it, and excitement amongst others, is interesting, if not that surprising. I’m not personally sure that comparisons to Sony’s PSPgo hold water. While both platforms are held up by a digital distribution backbone, they aren’t aimed at the same people. iPad is arguably an assault on the home console market – its games are run on a big, sexy screen and are to be played not on the move but while sat down for a stretch. The bigger question is that if it takes off, will it eat into the time consumers otherwise dedicate to games on laptops, Wii, 360 and PS3 – and maybe even DS and PSP? I think it will. That’s if it takes off. However tablet devices are an untested sector. And while the new device will run all the old apps through the universal SDK, until the iPad is actually on the market it’s an unknown quantity – something the industry will have to keep watch on over the coming months. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Retail divided Entertainment retail and supermarkets excited by Apple’s new by Christopher Dring UK GAMES retailers have mixed feelings towards Apple’s new iPad. The device was revealed last week after months of speculation and is due for launch early next month. Senior execs at Gameloft and EA presented new games for the device at its unveiling. Already, some UK retailers

would definitely be excited about stocking this.” Morrison’s gaming buyer Jon Biggs added: “The iPad has promising potential across business, communication and entertainment and of course it’s part of what could possible be the most iconic family of products over the last ten years. “In terms of gaming it seems to hit a sweet spot of having a massive screen whilst retaining

Despite the successes of the iPhone, the majority of gamers still prefer to purchase a physical product. Igor Cipoletta, ShopTo

have confirmed plans to stock the device – with the likes of GAME for one already promoting its upcoming release online. “It’s always great to see another format hit the market where publishers and developers can create new content for consumers,” The Hut’s product marketing manager Sarah Jasper told MCV. “When and if stock becomes available, The Hut Group

a large degree of portability due to its slim profile. It might not fit in your pocket but in the car or on the train it will deliver not only gaming but a raft of other features, which will make it a popular choice.” Gaming is a major part of iPad’s proposition following the popularity of games on iPod Touch and iPhone. At the time of writing, the top four grossing games on the Apple App Store are all major

video game brands – Grand Theft Auto, Rock Band, Broken Sword and Call of Duty. However, specialist retailers are cautious over the machine due to its digital-only nature – and slow sales of the last download-only console, PSPgo.

Scratch’ goes bust UK DISC REPAIR specialist Scratchbusters has gone into liquidation, MCV can confirm. The firm’s main business was selling its repair machines to the trade, who could then restore traded in titles or even offer disc repair services to the public. The news comes just days after the company told us that it was hoping to expand its operations into other sectors within the games market. “The previously played market is booming,”

Scratchbusters managing director Stanley Edwards told MCV last week, days before the company’s closure. “2009 was a good year. We purchased additional equipment last year, and we

Scratchbusters has also said it was hoping to fill a gap left behind by the Trilogy buy-out last year by offering distribution to small and mid-size publishers. Scratchbusters had been running for five years.

now operate an 18 hours a day operation – and that’s just for the disc repair side of the business.”

Insolvency firm Bond Partners is handling the liquidation. Bond Partners: 0870 850 6007

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over iPad potential machine, but specialists are cautious following slow sales for Sony’s comparable PSP

FOOL’S GOLD? Apple says the iPad represents a ‘gold rush’ for app developers, but specialist retailers see no profit for themselves in the device

IPAD: THE FACTS  Apple iPad is a computercum-iPod Touch. It has functions for e-reading, photos, email, gaming, web browsing, video and music.  The machine comes in WiFi and 3G variations. WiFi models are due to arrive in March, while the 3G editions are set to appear in April. The devices come in three sizes: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB.  The entry-level model is set to retail at $499 (£308), the 32GB version will cost $599 (£370) and the high-

end 64GB edition will cost $699 (£433).  Those wanting to add mobile internet access via a 3G mobile connection will need to add $130 (£80) on top. Therefore, the most expensive SKU – the 64GB model with 3G – will cost a total of $829 (£512).  The machine boasts a 9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS display, multi-touch and up to ten hours’ battery life. Add-ons such as keyboards are also planned for release.

“We do not see the iPad as the kind of product that we would welcome for our core customers,” said ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta. “Once the unit is sold, we would have no further customer interaction or sales opportunities.

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 BIOSHOCK 2

“We still feel that, despite the relative successes of the iPhone and iPod Touch, the majority of gamers still prefer to purchase a physical product, that they can trade in or sell once finished with. “We were correct in our assumption that PSPgo would be a sales flop, both in terms of its price and in its method of delivery. The majority of the gaming community definitely doesn’t share the developers’ thoughts on downloads.” Grainger Games is also not convinced the iPad is ideal for their customers. “After looking into the Apple iPad we can see that it is a great bit of kit, but it is not something that we will look to stock at this point,” said commercial director Chris Harwood. “Being an Apple product we have no doubt that it will sell well – it just does not fit our brand proposition at this point in time. Our expectations would be that this product will undergo a number of iterations until it becomes more massmarket. Perhaps then, with more gaming support, we would look to stock it.”

360 2K GAMES

2. BIOSHOCK 2 PS3 ....................................2K GAMES

3. HEAVY RAIN PS3 ..........................................SONY

4. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX

5. ALIEN VS PREDATOR 360 ..........................................SEGA

6. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX

7. BIOSHOCK 2: WITH LITTLE SISTER 360 ....................................2K GAMES

8. DANTE’S INFERNO PS3 ..............................................EA

9. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..........................................SONY

10. BIOSHOCK 2: WITH LITTLE SISTER PS3 ....................................2K GAMES Week ending January 30th Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 29 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market…  UK games software sales jumped 22 per cent this week, up to £22.8 million, while unit sales rose 11 per cent to 1,021,224  Mass Effect 2 was the key sales driver, comfortably taking No.1 in the Top 40. The game’s launch sales were double that of the original Mass Effect on 360 and are three times higher for PC. The market was also boosted by the release of Sony’s MAG – which managed fourth place in the charts – and an increase in sales for Ubisoft’s Just Dance.  Dante’s Inferno, The Princess and the Frog, Star Trek Online and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles all follow next week. But the big launch is BioShock 2 which hits on Tuesday, February 9th.

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]

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

25

Week Ending January 30th 2010

£22.8m

20

15

10

5

Mass Effect leapt to No.1 in the charts after three days

0

£22.9m

£18.6m

£22.8m

1,021,329 Units

829,704 Units

1,021,224 Units

Week Ending January 16th

Week Ending January 23rd

Week Ending January 30th

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Pre-order boom for Battlefield Marketing blitz planned for popular franchise’s latest release  EA plans to take on rival online shooters by Christopher Dring HYPE FOR Battlefield: Bad Company 2 has reached an alltime high, with EA reporting huge pre-orders for the shooter. The game is the sequel to the 2008 multiplayer hit and will arrive on March 5th on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It’s also the first Battlefield title

is high right now, especially within the Battlefield fan-base.” He added: “While the first iteration may have lacked the polish in single player that the multiplayer did so well, this is addressed for Bad Company 2 for a rounded experience that will appeal to the mainstream consumer. The multiplayer is going to be a

Both public and retail awareness for Bad Company 2 is high – especially within the Battlefield fan base. Will Graham, EA

since last year’s hugely popular downloadable game, Battlefield 1943. “We have significant preorders already, driven in part by the amazing assets released by the developer DICE in recent months,” product manager Will Graham told MCV. “Both public and retail awareness for Bad Company 2

step forward, even for DICE, and will prove they are leading the way in defining online shooter warfare. We genuinely believe there isn’t a developer out there that competes with DICE in this space, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is going to cement that.” EA’s PR campaign for Bad Company 2 is already well

NO BAD FEELINGS: There’s good buzz at retail for Battlefield Bad Company 2, according to EA

underway, with a demo released for Xbox Live last month. The publisher is also working on a monster marketing push for the game’s launch next month.

The firm promises a ‘substantial’ TV campaign that will target the typical 16 to 34 year-old male gaming audience. This will be accompanied by print and

online advertising in the core gaming publications ahead of launch, with mainstream press coverage planned for the game’s release. EA: 01483 463000

New product manager for SCEE Gem starts February SONY COMPUTER Entertainment UK has hired Ian Vinten as its new senior product manager. Vinten joins the firm following a stint at media agency MediaCom, where he managed the EA account. Prior to MediaCom he worked for film publicity firm Cameo Productions and at media agency PHD. “I’m thrilled to be joining Sony Computer Entertainment UK at such an exciting time,” Vinten told MCV. “PlayStation 3 and PSP are going from strength-to-strength and we’ve got a brilliant software line-up. 2010 will be a great year for PlayStation

Frenzy price cutting

NEW BLOOD: Vinten joins Sony from MediaCom

and I’m looking forward to being part of that.” Vinten joins the firm as PS3 console sales reached three million units in the UK. The platform holder launched its new online FPS MAG last week, and is set to

release Heavy Rain next month, God of War III in March and Gran Turismo 5 later in the year. The Sony motion controller is also due to launch in the fourth quarter. Sony: 020 7859 5000

GEM HAS launched this year’s February Frenzy, its month-long promotion of product offers for customers. The initiative is the UK distributor’s annual sales event, now in its third year, and sees some of Gem’s biggest partners reduce their key products for its retail clients. Vendors involved this year include Microsoft, Ubisoft, TakeTwo Interactive, Codemasters, Zushi and Logitech.

Each company has been allocated one or two days during which they will promote their offers for reduced product stock. Some deals will be exclusively available on Gem’s dedicated February Frenzy website at gem.co.uk/februaryfrenzy. The promotion kicked off this week and will continue every weekday until Friday February 26th. Gem: 01279 822800

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Napoleon prepares chart invasion Latest instalment in Sega’s evergreen PC strategy franchise Total War arrives at retail on February 26th by James Batchelor SEGA EXPECTS its next strategy game Napoleon: Total War to outperform last year’s best-selling instalment Empire: Total War. The new entry in the acclaimed PC strategy game series follows the life and times of its namesake, Napoleon Bonaparte, and refines the land and naval battle mechanics which debuted in last year’s release.

live up to this legacy of chart succeses. “For Napoleon, Creative Assembly has built upon the incredible quality of Empire to deliver an even more involving and historic experience and as such we are confident of its success,” said Sega senior product manager Ben Walker. Sega is also confident of Napoleon’s long-term potential, with the RTS likely to recreate the ongoing chart dominance of its predecessor.

Creative Assembly has built upon the incredible quality of Empire to deliver an even more involving experience. Ben Walker, Sega

Released in March 2009, Empire debuted at No.1 in the All Formats chart and became the first PC-exclusive title to top the charts since Sega’s own Football Manager 2008. The publisher expects Napoleon to

PRETTY IN PINK: The new pink DSi hardware and software bundle can increase the appeal of the device

The publisher attributed this expected success to the series’ devoted followers and Napoleon’s improvements over previous releases. Walker added: “The consistent quality of the

CHART CONQUERER: Sega reckons the latest Total War can follow in its predecessor’s steps to No.1

franchise has created a dedicated fanbase, which will once again be drawn by the

incredible depth and strategy offered in this critically acclaimed series.”

Napoleon: Total War hits retail on February 26th. Sega: 020 8995 3399

Nintendo shows retail some love with Valentine’s DS kit NINTENDO will be releasing a new DSi SKU in time for Valentine’s Day. The pink DSi is due to arrive as part of a new bundle and will be released across Europe on February 12th. The new version adds to the range of colours already available for DSi, including black, white, red, light blue and metallic blue. Nintendo’s junior product manager Zoe Cooper told MCV the creation of this new SKU was prompted in part by strong public demand. “Both retailers and a large portion of our female user base

have been asking for DSi in pink ever since we launched the original black and white DSi consoles,” she said. “We saw great success with the launch of the pink DS and DS Lite, and would hope that the pink DSi will see similar retail success.” Each pink DSi will come bundled with a free copy of Nintendo Presents: Style Boutique. The game was released on October 30th last year and has sold more than 100,000 units in the UK. Style Boutique challenges players to establish, maintain and expand a fashion boutique

and is key title in Nintendo’s efforts to engage with a wider female audience. Cooper added: “It was really important to make sure the right software is included so people are encouraged to make further purchases.” The release of the pink DSi follows a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness of the online functionality of Nintendo’s handheld, such as browsing the internet and downloading DSi Ware. It also precedes the upcoming release of the larger Nintendo DSi XL on March 5th. Nintendo: 01753 483700

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Casual giant eyes consoles Popular web portal Miniclip.com planning to release online mini-games as new boxed product for Wii and DS by James Batchelor THE TEAM BEHIND popular casual portal Miniclip.com are turning their best online games into console titles. The site has more than 550 games and an audience of over 50 million users per month.

maximum exposure for our games in all key territories.” Miniclip believes its quirky IPs are perfect for retailers and is maximising all possible opportunities to get its minigames to wider audiences. The company plans to accomplish this via both boxed

Helping publishers release titles based on our successful IP can lead to profitable games. Rob Small, Miniclip.com

As part of a partnership with South Peak, the company will be releasing a number of its titles via retail. The deal kicks off with Wii and DS game Miniclip’s Sushi Go-Round next month. “We’ve enjoyed working with South Peak and anticipate the continuation of this relationship on further titles,” Miniclip CEO Rob Small told MCV. “Their strong distribution capabilities ensure we get the

product and online games compatible with a Wii and PS3 web browsers. “We often see traditional developers devote an increasing portion of their resources to their titles and risk it all on having a possible hit,” said Small on the challenge of going up against triple-A console titles. “It is abundantly clear to us that partnering with games publishers such as South Peak and helping them release titles

Sushi Go-Round is just one of 550 games that stand to become hits on Wii and DS

based on our successful IP can lead to fun and profitable crossplatform games. “We also have a suite of free Wii-enabled games on the site and we have seen a massive increase in users who want to access these games on the Wii. “This increased demand confirms to us the value of

releasing further games for these casual consoles.” Miniclip’s Sushi Go-Round is due for release on March 5th, with an iPhone version to follow shortly after. Small believes the popularity of this title makes it an ideal retail debut for Miniclip: “Sushi Go-Round has been

played many millions of times on Miniclip.com,” he said. “We want to let our users play their favourite games on all platforms so it makes perfect sense for us to bring the game to Wii and DS.” www.miniclip.com

Lace Mamba targets 360, PS3 market THE NEWLY-FORMED Lace Mamba Group plans to be a major 360 and PS3 games publisher by Q1 2011. PC specialist Mamba merged with distributor Lace last month,

PS3,” said Lace Mamba MD Adam Lacey. “We have a 360 product coming in May, and we hope to add a few more before the end of the year.

We have the funds ready and we want to be on current generation platforms in a big way by next year. Adam Lacey, Lace Mamba

and is already working on its first products for DS and Wii. The firm is shortly set to reveal its first Xbox 360 product, which will be released in May. “We know we need a presence on Xbox 360 and

“We have been speaking to a few licence holders on some products, with some very famous brands. “We hope to get the video game rights to these and develop them ourselves. We

are also looking to develop our own IP. “We want to be on current generation platforms in a big way by Q1 2011. “The advantage we have is that a lot of publishers have overspent over the past three to four months, so can’t move that quickly into that space. We have the funds ready. We just need to choose the right product and genre.” As well as moving onto new games platforms, Lace Mamba Group is set to launch a digital downloads site dedicated to adventure PC titles next month.

Meanwhile, the company has also expressed interest in establishing its own games development studio. “At the moment we’ve got a lot of products coming out in Q1 and Q2, but once we have those launched we can see where the market is, and perhaps look at creating our own development studio,” added Lacey. “We were looking at it in 2009, but went down the outsource route instead. It is something we’re going to look into, but probably not until the end of the year.” www.mambagames.co.uk

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UPlay service to give Ubi titles a High Street boost Publisher expects dedicated online service will increase sales of its core releases by James Batchelor UBISOFT PLANS to integrate its online service UPlay into all of its major 2010 releases, the firm has told MCV. The system allows Ubisoft’s customers to unlock extra content and functionality

constant development both ingame and on the online interface,” said UK marketing director Murray Pannell. “The essence of UPlay is to give the consumer more than just a boxed game and DLC. “It’s massively important for Ubisoft because it interacts with

UPlay is massively important for us. It benefits everyone, from Ubisoft to retailers. Murray Pannell, Ubisoft

across the publisher’s key Xbox 360, PS3 and PC games. The firm claims the service will help to boost its titles at retail, with a core community expected to improve sales. “UPlay will be implemented in most key titles this year, with

gamers as they progress through a title, encouraging them to play, unlock more and ultimately share their experiences. “The more a consumer enjoys and completes one of our games, the more likely they are to buy another. So it

Splinter Cell Conviction will make full use of the UPlay service

benefits everyone, from Ubisoft to the gamers and retailers.” In addition to increasing the number of titles compatible with the service, Ubisoft will be developing the many facets of UPlay, such as the UPlay Shop. Pannell added: “We’re really excited about developing the

UPlay online service to deliver more rich content and more community services. It will add real value to our consumer across multiple games.” Future UPlay-compatible titles include Splinter Cell: Conviction and R.U.S.E. Ubisoft: 01932 578000

FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: REBELLION PRICE: £29.99 - £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3817

NAMCO BANDAI: Under a new European distribution agreement with Bethesda, Namco Bandai will distribute Fallout: New Vegas in several key European territories as well as Australia and New Zealand. The game is due for release later this year. ROCKSTAR: GTA: Episodes From Liberty City will hit PS3 and PC on March 30th. The former Xbox 360 exclusive will be available at retail and through PSN and Games For Windows Live. UBISOFT: Red Steel 2 will be released for Wii on March 26th. A MotionPlus-bundled SKU will also be available.

TOR ALIENS VS PREDA

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19

NINTENDO: The company’s profits for the nine months ending December 31st, 2009 fell by 9.4 per cent to YEN 192.6 billion. More than 17.05 million Wii units were sold during the year, in addition to 23.35 million DS units. Software sales came in at 157 million units. MICROSOFT: Over 5.2 million Xbox 360 consoles were sold in the quarter ending December 31st – 13 per cent less than the same period in the previous year. Operating profit at Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices division soared to $375 million, almost tripling the $130 million from Q4 2008.

EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM Sega launches a full assault on retail to entice fans and newcomers in the run-up to AVP’s release…

Sponsored by

THQ: Metro 2033 will arrive on March 19th.

TV/MEDIA There will be a three-week TV campaign across satellite and terrestrial channels. A special promotion will run on Channel 4 and Film4 in the form of a three-minute ‘mini-sode’ ad slot during Predator and Aliens. The publisher has also arranged a two-month cinema campaign. ONLINE High impact site takeovers and launch zones have been arranged on key websites. This will take a dual-phase approach: first promoting the demo and then focusing on the upcoming launch.

PRINT A print campaign will see both ads and editorial appear in specialist and lifestyle publications. A 12month PR campaign has secured eight front covers including coverage in

GamesMaster, PSM3, Official Xbox Magazine, 360 Gamer. OUTDOOR AVP was showcased at the Eurogamer Expo and the SFX Weekender.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: PC PIRACY

EA’s Mass Effect 2 introduces a new online hub which offers DLC only available to paying consumers

A NEW WAR ON PIRACY As illegal copies threaten the new blockbusters, EA and Ubisoft have unveiled opposing initiatives to thwart piracy. James Batchelor looks at the latest approaches to a long-running problem… NO MATTER what lengths publishers and platform holders go to when protecting their titles from illegal duplication, the proponents of piracy almost always find a workaround. From cracked and downloadable PC titles to the DS R4 cards, it’s an issue that has dogged the industry for decades and is unlikely to disappear in the near future. And yet publishers continue to find new ways to hinder pirates with an admirable determination. Within the last two weeks alone, publishing giants EA and Ubisoft both announced new initiatives that try to lessen the impact piracy has on the revenue made by their latest big hits. THE FRENCH CONNECTION Ubisoft’s is the most heavy-handed method of the two. The firm announced last week that future PC titles will require players to have a constant connection to the internet. Under this new system, the French publisher’s games will regularly verify themselves with the firm’s servers to confirm that a legitimately purchased version is being played. It’s a clear statement of how seriously Ubisoft takes piracy – and its black and white view on it – vetting every single copy to effectively shut out any pirates. Interestingly, the company is also using this initiative to reaffirm its commitment to consumers as well as its shareholders. Ubi’s piracy prevention system also requires users to upload game settings and save files to the server and this can be accessed from multiple PCs. It’s just one of the incentives Ubisoft has announced that asks players to seek their games through official channels – be it the High Street, online retailers or digital distribution. The publisher is also avoiding oftencontroversial Digital Rights

Management, which limits the number of times gamers may install a title on their machine. In the past – most famously with 2008’s Spore – strict DRM limits have arguably led to a surge in piracy as angry consumers look to circumvent this inadversely limiting copy-protection method. Despite this, Ubisoft’s announcement has still been met with criticism among the core PC gaming audience, with concerns arising that gamers could be locked out from their purchases should their web connection fail. The publisher has responded with a statement defending its decision to employ the ‘always connected’ policy, but since no further details have been given, it’s currently unclear whether consumers’ grievances will be answered. “We know this choice is controversial but we feel is justified by the gameplay advantages offered by the system and because most PCs are already connected to the internet. This platform offers protection against piracy – an important business element for Ubisoft and for the PC market in general as piracy has an important impact on this sector,” said a statement from the firm. “Any initiative that allows us to lower the impact of piracy on our PC games will also allow us to concentrate further effort on the creation and expansion of our intellectual properties for the PC.”

GUIDING THE MASSES Meanwhile, Electronic Arts has taken a different approach. Days before the release of Mass Effect 2, the publisher announced that all DLC for the game will only be available through The Cerberus Network, a downloadable hub for both free and paid-for content.

Only those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 – either via digital distribution or as a boxed product – are able to use The Cerberus Network, and the hub is activated by a unique activation code, with one code per legitimate copy of the game. In this way, EA is able to channel all DLC purchases through a single, controlled interface. While this method does not provide as concrete a defence against pirated copies as Ubisoft’s constant server verification, it boasts a double-barrelled

We know this choice is controversial – but we feel it is justified by the gameplay advantages offered. Ubisoft statement on its new anti-piracy measures effect by dissuading consumers from playing illegal or pre-owned copies – the latter another ongoing quandary for games retailers and publishers. More importantly, EA’s system does hold merit as a form of deterrent. DLC is, as we know, more and more prominent in today’s blockbuster releases, with exclusive content deals – such as that of GTA IV’s Episodes – proving to be a major selling point. By preventing those with illegal copies from accessing this content, it encourages would-be pirates to purchase their games legitimately, in order to guarantee access to the full experience. But that’s not all, EA is allowing consumers to buy codes for The Cerberus Network, accommodating for those that haven’t bought new editions of Mass Effect 2. Should those with pirated copies purchase these codes, the publisher will – to an extent –

minimise its losses, effectively finding a way to monetise pirates. The publisher has already taken the same position on previous titles, with key DLC only available to those who bought new copies of Dragon Age: Origins. It is in no way an ideal solution, but one that at least prevents pirates from enjoying the fruits of developers’ labours for free. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT The new policies of both Ubiosft and EA are in stark contrast. Ubisoft will establish a concrete defence against piracy, a barrier that declares zero tolerance, and one that presumably will apply to all titles. By comparison, EA is seeking to protect key content for its biggest titles in a way that enables them to coax pirate gamers into purchasing the very experiences they hoped to steal. Only time will tell if it is effective, or if DLC proves to be a strong enough incentive to deter gamers away from illegal copies and towards retail. It is interesting that for all their differences, the two systems hold one thing in common. The main focus of anti-piracy initiatives is usually to punish the perpetrators – most notably, France’s ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law that disconnects those who illegally download content. Conversely, the effect of both Ubisoft’s ‘always connected’ policy and EA’s code-restricted DLC channel are two-fold. Not only do they both punish pirates, and introduce different ways to ‘convert’ those pirates, they also try to reward those who legitimately purchase their games. It could prove to be a crucial mindset-change in the ongoing battle against piracy.

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MCV INTERVIEW GIAN LUZIO & PAUL SULYOK, GREEN MAN GAMING

Time to go

Green? Green Man Gaming wants to revolutionise digital downloads and bring it into the mainstream. But the idea of trading in digital product is ludicrous, right? Christopher Dring speaks to managing director Paul Sulyok and COO Gian Luzio to find out more...

IT HASN’T EVEN gone live yet, but Green Man Gaming has already got the games industry talking. The digital retailer arrives in March and lets consumers worldwide tradeback their digital product for money off their next purchase. It’s a proposition that has split opinion. Some believe the service could be revolutionary, while others accuse it of being nothing more than a glorified rental service. But COO Gian Luzio is confident Green Man can prove the sceptics wrong, and believes that a trade-in offer will encourage consumers to buy more impulsively. “The inability for consumers to monetise their games collection has been holding the digital market back,” he says. “Publishers want to sell as many games as possible, but they don’t just want to sell the big triple-A games, they want to sell back catalogue titles too. Yet if customers have to spend £40 a game then they are going to be cautious and probably just go for the triple-A release. We believe that letting customers monetise their digital games will encourage catalogue sales and impulse purchases.” The sytem works likes this: If users want to trade back their download, Green Man Gaming will deactivate that user’s game code. Once done, that code will then be made available again at a ‘pre-owned’ price. This is the element that attracted the most criticism. Sceptics point out that whether the code is new or used makes no difference to the end user. There’s no tatty box, dogeared manual or scratched disc to deter a digital downloader from buying second hand. Therefore, is this not just a way for Green Man Gaming to sell digital product for less? And what’s in it for the publishers?

RETAIL FACTOR: COO Gian Luzio plans to partner Green Man Gaming with a variety of online retailers

“Pre-owned is pretty good for the consumer and encourages them to buy the latest releases,” adds Luzio. “So publishers do get some small benefit from the current retail preowned market, as it monetises games and helps customers buy the next one.” MD Paul Sulyok continues: “What we are proposing is something where everyone benefits. Every single time that game is re-traded, for zero cost to the publisher, they will get royalties.”

Green Man Gaming plans to revolutionise the ecommerce market for digital downloads

THE CONSUMER CHALLENGE

But attracting the publishers isn’t Green Man Gaming’s biggest challenge. The retailer has already got a series of companies on-board, from small indie studios to publishing behemoths. And the firm expects to have 2,000 games available on its website by the end of the year. Instead, the real challenge for Green Man is bringing in the customer. Last week Valve revealed that its PC distribution platform Steam now has 25 million members, a number the distributor has built up over years in business. So how can Green Man Gaming hope to compete? “The goal is to reach the bigger PC audience,” says Luzio. “We want people to play games, we want them to feel comfortable making their purchase, and

the audience and grow the PC market.” Sulyok agrees: “You have to take your hat off to Steam. They have done a great job pioneering the digital market. “Our approach is slightly more open. We have multiple partners, across traditional retail outlets and nontraditional retail. Our objective, with Gian We know that there is going taking the lead, is to grow to be sceptics about Green the digital market, and to Man Gaming, and that we’ll think slightly out of the need to do some educating. box – which I think we’ve Gian Luzio, Green Man Gaming done well so far.” Indeed, Green Man we want them to feel that they haven’t Gaming’s other big plan is to sell digital wasted money as that product still has product through online retailers. But some value. this is hardly a new idea, with a wealth “Steam is a fantastic platform. They of white label packages already on the have carved a market for themselves. market – not least Gamestreamer and Obviously some of the products we sell Metaboli. But this is why Luzio joined will be similar, but we aim to increase the team late last year.

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MCV INTERVIEW GIAN LUZIO & PAUL SULYOK, GREEN MAN GAMING

During his seven-year stint at Play.com, Luzio helped the online retailer become a market leader in games – with the firm picking up three MCV Awards and two Golden Joystick awards in the process. He enjoyed similar success during a stint at The Hut Group last year. So Luzio has views on online retail – and he feels the current white label model does not work. “We are not offering a white label solution,” says Luzio. “We are offering to integrate digital product seamlessly into their current retail proposition and pay royalties in perpetuity on game sales. “I come from a retail background, and I’ve seen a number of different digital platforms, but I’ve never been excited enough by them to implement their proposition. “This is because they offer very little to the consumer.

“Retailers are great at selling games “With our service, things such as money off something else in that store – and expanding the audience, but they bonuses, discounts, promotions, crosssuch as a T-shirt or iPod. don’t just want to sell one product to a promotions and so on, remain within But for all the promise, Green Man customer and wash their hands with the partner’s shop. Customers can buy Gaming has yet to announce its that relationship. With our system, they their groceries, or a book, or a t-shirt publishing, development or retail will keep in contact with that customer and get their digital download at the partners. The website hasn’t even gone and keep the revenue going. same time.” live yet, and industry commenters on “A white label solution is MCVUK.com remain a bolt-on. A retailer signs up unconvinced that the Our approach is slightly more and then they wash their trade-in concept can open than Steam. We will hands with it. We don’t attract a wider PC have multiple partners want that to be the case consumer base. across retail outlets. with our service.” “We know there are Paul Sulyok, Green Man Gaming Sulyok adds: “Our going to be sceptics and partners set us a challenge that we’re going to have where they wanted to retain the A closer integration of physical online to do some educating,” concludes Luzio. customer on their site through their retail and digital could turn out to be “And we know we need to go from checkout. They did not want a white more attractive than Green Man zero customers to loads very quickly – label service where customers have to Gaming’s headling-grabbing trade-in I’m very conscious of that. We need all drop off their website and go on a concept. Luzio also didn’t rule out the the content providers on-board and then totally different site – albeit with a bit of possibility of users trading in their games we need to hit the ground running their branding. at one of these retailers and getting when we launch.”

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A LONGER CONSOLE CYCLE All three consoles are growing their share of the market – and arguably none have reached the half-way point in their lifecycle

The generation game With new peripherals and controllers on the horizon instead of new consoles, the lifecycle for current machines is longer than ever. Is that a good thing for the trade? Michael French speaks to Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft to find out…

IN THE MIDDLE of last year, make these new add-ons commercially Microsoft’s game software boss Phil viable for all. Spencer offered a telling quote about the GENERATION KILL direction of the games industry to MCV. But hold on a minute – without the It wasn’t about motion controllers or introduction of new consoles the entire new online services – it was about the value chain misses out on a traditional market forces that are allowing those money-making highlight, doesn’t it? things to appear: “Do we need a new console? I don’t think The games industry has we need one right now.” While the industry moved on and as a result saw a relatively quick does not rely so much on new switch from Xbox, hardware launches. GameCube and PS2 to Michael Denny, 360, Wii and PS3, this SCE Worldwide Studios generation is shaping up Retailers lose out on the midnight to be quite different. The other formatlaunch and ‘coming soon’ tease that holders agree with Microsoft: we don’t whips a core of consumers into action need new consoles, even through around a set date – most software traditionally this is the point in the cycle launches pale in comparison. when they start to talk about them and Developers miss out on the spec them out to developers. generational merry-go-round of courting And with more diverse interface from the format-holders and publishers, technology on the way – Project Natal, when independents for one are often Wii Vitality Sensor and PS3’s motion roped in to provide launch titles and controller – this all makes complete pitch all kinds of prototypes. sense: the longer cycle is needed to

Publishers don’t feel the benefit, either; there’s no new wave of marketing support from the first-parties which whips up excitement to sell third-party software. Meanwhile format-holders have lost that useful crutch to re-engage consumers and the industry with something new to talk about. And consumers suffer, because as hardware generations increase game content arguably gets more familiar – new IP is scarcer and more populist titles prevalent. At least, that’s the thinking when it comes to the downside of a longer cycle. Formatholders reject that idea, however. It’s not a challenge at all, they say – it’s an opportunity. “The games industry has moved on significantly and as a result does not rely so much on new hardware launches,” says Michael Denny, VP of Sony Worldwide Studios. “Of course new hardware causes a large spike in consumer interest, but so does the

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A LONGER CONSOLE CYCLE launch of new, exciting games. Modern Warfare 2 didn’t need new hardware to break all the records.” While there is some curiosity as to what ‘next-gen’ might mean now that we have what was once considered next generation so freely around us, Denny argues that the extension of the cycle builds more creative potential. “Of course people want to see what next generation games look like, but history shows that games improve the further into a lifecycle you go – and with growing installed bases, demand and excitement grows as well,” he says. “2009 was a great year for games, especially in the home console market

Lowe, Nintendo’s senior product Microsoft also says the longer manager for Wii. generation is a good thing for retailers, “Having said that: we strongly believe publishers and developers. that there is still huge potential for both “We are always looking for ways to Wii and DS to continue to bring in new enhance our current generation gamers and change rejecters’ hardware offerings, and the extended perceptions, and that this There is still huge potential will continue to help grow for both Wii and DS to bring the UK gaming industry in 2010. In the past some in new gamers and change areas of the industry have rejecters’ perceptions. waited for, and almost Rob Lowe, Nintendo expected, a change of cycle every five years as a way of reconsole lifecycle gives us and our energising the industry and restarting partners tremendous opportunities to be interest in it. This current life cycle more creative, whether through appears to be shaping up differently – software, cutting-edge services over

when they are driving the industry forward as much as the platform holders.” Lewis agrees: “New console launches and add-on hardware can certainly generate interest and excitement, but we are seeing that software is an equal draw for consumers. As the blockbuster launch of Modern Warfare 2 demonstrated, software is getting to the point where it can almost match the launch of a new console for sheer excitement.” Adds Denny: “The success we saw with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

CONSOLE KINGS: From left to right – key format-holder execs Michael Denny (Sony), Chris Lewis (Xbox) and Rob Lowe (Nintend) say a longer cycle is good for the industry

where there were no new hardware launches. 2010 is shaping up to be an equally exciting year for games with both new and innovative experiences coming to the market and the expansion of a number of existing franchises.” GROWING THE MARKET

and what has gone before shouldn’t be expected to be repeated again. “The benefit of hardware remaining relevant for longer is the fact that it gives more developers a chance to get the very best and most out of current generation systems, rather than the cycle changing just as people have become used to maximising a console’s performance and abilities.

Expansion is a key thing for all three format-holders, especially when it comes to pushing our New console launches can seemingly long-in-thecertainly generate interest tooth current platforms to new audiences. and excitement, but software “Our continuous is an equal draw. challenge is to expand Chris Lewis, Xbox the gaming audience and increase the social acceptance of “For retail, new hardware obviously video games to a level that is currently drives people into stores and without enjoyed by the likes of television and new hardware it will be up to film – this is a long term goal and we developers and publishers to create will probably go through various interesting, new and disruptive titles to hardware lifecycles before Nintendo, drive people to store instead – and of and the wider industry, gain that course retail needs to fully support them level of acceptance,” explains Rob in order to realise this.”

Xbox Live or innovations like Project Natal,” says Chris Lewis, European Xbox boss. “This brings huge opportunities for developers and publishers alike.” SOFT’ FOCUS

The longer console cycle creates a bigger market for big software hits – levelling the field between platform and publisher, say the format-holders. Lewis, Denny and Lowe all point to recent big sellers they think were only been possible with the focus and stability a longer cycle provides. “Launches such as Wii Fit, Professor Layton, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and of course Modern Warfare 2 all show that a software launch can sometimes eclipse even a hardware launch in terms of scale and money generated at the tills,” says Lowe. “Therefore there really isn’t any way that publishers are missing out

shows that if you bring out a great game, it will generate excitement and revenue.” So as the generational cycle extends and consoles consolidate their places in the home – rather than live on borrowed time until the next model comes out – the pressure on formatholders eases up. And instead the impetus for them is in delivering innovations that provide new reasons to interact with a console – rather than bleed it for all its quick worth and move onto the next. On 360, Lewis doesn’t just point to things like Natal, but also extra services on Xbox such as the recent additions of Facebook, Twitter and Zune video services as well as the upcoming launch of Game Room – which effectively repackages retro games for a new audience – as key examples of this. On PS3, Sony is similarly looking to new territories – and Denny says the firm sees it as its duty to seek them out

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A LONGER CONSOLE CYCLE

[AN ANALYSTS’ VIEW] “THIS CYCLE WILL BE ENTIRELY DIFFERENT” Nick Parker explains why this current generation of consoles is unlike no other…

SHOCK OF THE NEW: A longer console cycle has allowed Sony to invest in new avenues for PS3 games, such as 3D technology

for the rest of the industry: “It is up to us to keep pushing the boundaries, whether by creating new experiences, reinventing existing franchises or offering new technology such as motion controlled games and 3D titles.” All of which creates ‘formats within formats’ for developers to target. Denny adds that the longer cycle has specifically allowed Sony’s development teams “to be more focused on ensuring that we utilise the full potential of the consoles we have”. He says: “It is our challenge to continue to improve our games by pushing the boundaries of what is possible. The longer the lifecycle, the more opportunities we have to do that. On PS2, eight years into its lifecycle, we launched God of War II, arguably the best-looking game on the platform. That progress is only possible with time. That is what makes PlayStation 3 so exciting. We are only three years into its lifecycle.” Nintendo has also experienced early benefits from a longer cycle. The installed base of Wii and DS are reaching so far uncharted territory in the UK for the games industry – both are the fastest selling consoles in their respective fields, DS is now the best ever selling console in the UK. “It is a huge opportunity for publishers to publish games that can

appeal to various different demographics that move beyond the traditional ‘Male, 16 to 34’ gamer,” says Lowe. “Our targeting for Wii and DS has always been everyone aged five to 95, and we are almost at a stage where our installed base reflects this broad targeting. We hope that other publishers and retailers see this as an opportunity to really take a mass-market approach and realise that a good quality title

Motion sensing and 3D technologies will cause people to look at the games industry in a different light. Michael Denny, SCE Worldwide Studios backed up with a robust marketing campaign can sell to any audience that’s appropriate. Wii and DS both have such a broad installed base that success in any genre is possible.” THE NEW WAVE

But back to the original question about the industry losing out with no new machines on the horizon. Can the alternative – that is, new areas such as motion sensors and 3D tech, both of which have come about due to the longer generation – really refresh a format? Can they create as much excitement as an entirely new console? Nintendo has proven that the answer is yes – with the right kit, at least: “As

long as those add-ons are offering something new and innovative then by all means that can re-energise a format, or even bring in new users to it,” says Lowe, pointing to the proven success of the Balance Board and Wii Motion Plus. Nintendo’s next innovative peripheral, the Wii Vitality Sensor, is due later this year. Sony’s Denny certainly thinks similar new interface add-ons can help relaunch established consoles and introduce them to new users. “New technology – such as our new PS3 controller blending of motion sensing and vision technology, and 3D gaming – offer us an opportunity to reengage with the consumer and showcase the wonderful innovation that takes place throughout our industry,” he says. “Both of those technologies are launching this year, at a time where PS3 is going strong. Those technologies will cause people to look at the games industry in a different light, cause debate and give us even more scope for new experiences. Our dev teams are having great fun creating new experiences with both new IPs and existing IPs. We believe these experiences will excite the current PlayStation fan, whilst also creating new interest with people who may never have thought about gaming.”

I don’t think that there will be any challenges for the games industry if we don’t see major new hardware releases for some time for the following reasons:  The industry has moved on from a cyclical pattern to a smoother line of growth because of the introduction of a new direct to consumer value chain emerging through online games which devs/publishers can exploit as well.  The next-gen console may be an entirely different format recognising the growth in digital distribution, which in turn will be about bite-size gaming experiences rather than huge day one sales and marketing activities. This will negate the need for major console launches to rejuvenate a declining market.  We are only three years into the current cycle with all manufacturers on board at the same time. Historically, the third, fourth and fifth years are the best in terms of sales (and getting the most out of the console architecture) so until 2011 is out of the way, the industry should not be thinking about new arrivals.  Publishers can concentrate all of a studio’s efforts on known SDKs rather than having to tool up for a new breed. We must believe that this cycle will be entirely different – longer than previous cycles but new technologies creating new revenue drivers in the online space exist today and will totally change the old games industry eco-system. Of course, new add-on hardware, as long as it creates real benefits for users, will assist sales. Motion capture could slow down the inevitable decline but, if it works, it will be around for years to come, whatever the console – it will be part of the revolution of gaming experience rather than a shot in the arm to temporarily help out a tired generation of consoles. As for the vast majority of consumers, they get the most excitement out of the games they play rather than the launch of a new console (look at the raft of exciting titles which held up PS2 in its latter years or what Donkey Kong Country did for SNES in 1994 when the console was on its last legs). It is only the geeky early adopters (and journalists) who work themselves up into a frothy mess when a new console is announced. Remember, the best games during a console’s lifecycle are not at the beginning but in the mid to end. So even if a new console is launched in 2013 don’t expect the quality of games to improve overnight.

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PERSONNEL

Tecmo Koei bolsters marketing team Euro office adds two  Hurley fronts Bigben UK  Kalypso hires Kroll  Fenna in at Uber  Downing joins Sega TECMO KOEI  The Japanese publisher has hired NEIL SCHOFIELD as sales and marketing executive for Tecmo Koei Europe. Schofield joins the firm from Warner Bros Home Entertainment. He will look after the UK and export accounts for TKE. Meanwhile, MASA HAYASHI has moved from Koei Japan to Tecmo Koei Europe as product manager. Masa’s new role will involve driving Tecmo Koei’s growth in the Western market. “Neil and Masa’s appointment to our team

Schofield (left) and Hayashi (right) will bolster Tecmo Koei’s Western operations

strengthens Tecmo Koei’s determination to become a major gaming company in the West,” said VP of sales and marketing WILL CURLEY. “The company continues to grow month-on-month, and with two new game-savvy members of staff, we see 2010 as being one of the company’s best yet.”

BIGBEN  The French publisher and peripherals outfit has hired ANN HURLEY to handle sales and marketing in the UK. Hurley joins the firm following 20 years working in the industry, including stints at US Gold, 2020 Logistics, Focus Multimedia and Europress. KALYPSO  MARIO KROLL has joined Kalypso US as director of business development and publishing.

Kroll has worked in the games industry since 1995, holding senior roles at Cdv Software Entertainment USA and, most recently, Vogster Entertainment.

to have her join at such an exciting time,” said Uber MD RICHARD BENJAMIN. “With Mel’s wealth of agency experience, she is no doubt going to be an invaluable asset to the agency.”

UBER AGENCY  The creative specialists has hired MEL FENNA to its account management team. Fenna will assist the account directors on some of the larger industry accounts, including Sega, BAFTA and Activision. “Mel is a fantastic addition to the Uber family and it’s great

SEGA  ANNA DOWNING has joined Sega as UK senior product manager. She signs up following a lengthy stint at GAME and Gamestation, where she held the position of product marketing manager. She has also worked at HMV in a marketing role.

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

SUPER MONKEY BALL P24 Step & Roll brings the Wii Balance Board to the puzzle series for the first time MAKING HISTORY II P25 Mamba Games prepares the most authentic and comprehensive World War II RTS

KART ATTACK Sonic swaps his trainers for tyres as he and a multitude of iconic Sega characters join forces for this colourful racing title

P22

GHOST PIRATES OF VOOJU P25 The creative mind behind Curse Of Monkey Island unleashes new piratey goodness NEW RELEASES P27 MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming releases in the UK CHARTS P30 The full rundown of this week’s GfKChartTrack charts – including single formats

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RETAILBIZ: SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING 22 MCV 05/02/10

Sega delves into its back catalogue for a unique take on kart racing, appealing to both Sega fanatics and casual gamers alike…

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by James Batchelor

Racing, with recognisable faces from almost every property the publisher has making an appearance. As the name suggests, the star of the show is Sonic, with the likes of Tails, Amy and Dr. Eggman also joining from that universe. Long-time Sega fans will also recognise the likes of Super Monkey

MARIO KART has dominated the lighthearted racing genre since its inception on the Super Nintendo. Pretenders to the throne have come and gone but, more often than not, they lack the roster of familiar characters required to offer the same charm found in the plumber’s The premise of Sonic and racing outings. Surely Sega, with a legacy Sega All-Stars Racing is that spans decades and a instantly familiar to anyone, diverse portfolio of popular from experienced gamers to game stars, could prove to be the non-gaming crowd. the publisher that drops a banana skin on Mario Kart’s victory lap? Ball’s AiAi, Samba De Amigo’s Amigo, February 26th will present us Space Channel 5’s Ulala and even Ryo with the answer in the form of Hazuki – not seen since Shenmue II. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. Additionally, some versions will have Following on from the success their own specific racers. Wii owners will of Sega Superstars Tennis, this sees be able to play as their Miis, while Xbox the publisher take a variety of 360 gamers will be able to play as their familiar characters out of its back Avatars. The 360 version will also allow catalogue and put them in the consumers to control Banjo and Kazooie, driving seat. who have appeared in kart racers It is these Sega icons that are before, including 1997’s N64 hit Diddy truly going to sell All-Stars Kong Racing and Banjo-Pilot on GBA.

Each character has its own range of vehicles to choose from, inspired by their standalone outings. Players will be able to jump into the driving seat of sports cars, bikes, planes, a Super Monkey Ball, a giant banana and even Ryo’s forklift truck. Like all titles in this genre, gameplay is simple and accessible. Players choose their character and race around a track in a chaotic battle to cross the finishing line first. In this case, circuits are inspired by familiar locales from a multitude of Sega titles old and new, from Sonic’s Green Hill Zone to the House Of The Dead mansion. Every vehicle will have its own special manoeuvres that help the character overtake their rivals, while a bizarre arsenal of weaponry enables them to knock the competition off the tracks. Pick-ups include missiles, mines and other weapons, and each of the Sega

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RETAILBIZ: SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/02/10 23

START YOUR ENGINES

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 26 FORMATS: 360, PS3, DS, WII, PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SUMO DIGITAL PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

stars can use their own specific All-Stars Moves to deliver more devastating attacks. MULTIPLAYER MAYHEM

Naturally, a game such as this shines as a multiplayer offering. Sonic & Sega AllStars Racing boasts a healthy range of

multiplayer modes that will cater to family or friends who enjoy a spot of competitive mad-cap karting. The splitscreen mode allows up to four players locally, while the online multiplayer supports up to eight players for much greater chaos. Single players

will also have plenty to choose from thanks to the inclusion of Single Race, Grand Prix, Time Trial and various mission modes. The premise of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is instantly familiar to anyone, from experienced gamers to non-gaming parents and grandparents, thus increasing its appeal beyond that of typical core gamers and Sega fans. Kart racing games have always been popular and a combination of the familyfriendly appeal of the visual style, the extensive marketing campaign (see ‘Start Your Engines’) and Sega’s roster of iconic characters means All-Stars Racing is sure to perform well when it races on to the High Street.

As one of Sega’s major releases this quarter, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing will be the subject of a comprehensive marketing campaign, promoting the game to its broad target audience as well as calling to veteran Sega fans.  There will be a two-week national TV campaign with 20-second ads running on various channels, including Channel 4, Five, ITV2, 4Music, E4, CITV, POP, Nickelodeon, MTV, Dave, FX, Comedy Central and Sky 1.  The TV drive is supported by a three-week dedicated promotion with Cartoon Network. The game will be the focus of a dedicated online site, with game editorial and trailers, as well as 40-second spots running on the company’s satellite channels.  Online, there will be a three-week advertising campaign featuring homepage takeovers and dedicated creatives on key websites.  A one-month print campaign will see advertorials appearing across a range of specialist and children’s publications.  All of the above will be supported by a five-month specialist and consumer PR campaign raising awareness of the game’s arrival.

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RETAILBIZ: SUPER MONKEY BALL: STEP & ROLL 24 MCV 05/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

The level-tilting puzzle series returns on Wii, with Balance Board compatability designed to make Step & Roll the most accessible Monkey Ball yet… by James Batchelor SEGA’S SUPER MONKEY BALL series has always been popular amongst hardcore gamers given the skill required to survive some of its puzzles. Yet, as the gaming demographic continues to grow, the publisher is looking to expand the series’ appeal amongst a much wider audience. Cue Step & Roll, the new Wii entry to the long-running franchise. Far from simply shoehorning new puzzles and mini-games onto a disc, the key hook for this title is Wii Balance Board compatibility, allowing gamers to control the game with their entire body for the first time. It’s a premise that should suit Super Monkey Ball perfectly, with similar mechanics already seen in Wii Fit’s challenges and Konami’s Marbles! Balance Challenge. Not only should it make the action more immersive, it could also make solving each puzzle a much more active process, perfect for anyone starting to tire of the Wii’s various Yoga and fitness titles. SUPER MODES

However, Sega is keen to point out that mini-game mode built for up to four there is more to Step & Roll than a new players – and that’s before you’ve even control mechanic. The game is packed stepped onto the Balance Board.” with new content that should keep Balance Board controls should help to veteran Monkey Ball fans satisfied for entice newcomers to the series, which months, while gently easing newcomers could make this game the best-selling into the series’ worldtilting ways. Our last Super Monkey Ball “Super Monkey Ball on Wii sold 250,000 units has a very strong and was popular, so we have heritage and with every title the quality just gets great hopes for Step & Roll. better,” says PR and Kate Billingham, Sega marketing executive Kate Billingham. Monkey Ball so far. And while Sega is “In Step & Roll we have a whopping vying for this new audience, it hasn’t 70 new puzzle levels, with seven forgotten about the franchise’s core fans. different worlds to explore. “We think Super Monkey Ball: Step “We have two new game modes: & Roll is the most accessible title yet,” Marathon Mode and Mirror Image continues Billingham. Mode, which provide extra challenges “The Balance Board element fits to long-time Monkey Ball fans. We also perfectly with the rolling gameplay have 21 mini-games, lots of bonus mechanic and really brings the content, a co-operative mode and a collection of puzzles to life.

“If you’d rather sit it out and use the Wii Remote, that’s fine too – all modes and missions are compatible with both. So if you’re a long-time Super Monkey Ball fan or a newcomer to the series, there’s something to suit you.” Sega has drawn up a marketing campaign to effectively communicate how enjoyable Super Monkey Ball games can be to a wider audience. The marketing will primarily be focused towards children, with competitions, puzzles and ads running in various kids print publications. The publisher has also arranged for a dedicated online campaign to run through popular kids’ networking website Bin Weevils, where consumers will be able to take part in treasure hunts and launch parties – a partnership that Sega expects will generate over four million impressions.

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 12 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SEGA STUDIOS JAPAN PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Finally, the firm will be targeting its core fans with community-dedicated challenges running across social networking sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook. “Our last Super Monkey Ball Wii release, Banana Blitz, sold through over 250,000 units and proved popular with old and new fans alike, so we have great hopes for Step & Roll,” adds Billingham. “This is the first time any game in the series has utilised the Balance Board, which opens up a whole new way to play. It’s going to broaden the reach of Super Monkey Ball games even further, and that can only be a good thing.”

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RETAILBIZ: MAKING HISTORY II/GHOST PIRATES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/02/10 25

Mamba Games mobilises a World War II strategy game that goes beyond commanding the battles… by James Batchelor

RELEASED: MARCH 26 FORMATS: PC

MOST STRATEGY games seem content to focus on the combat. Players are put in command of armies, given their objectives and generally have to focus on nothing more than conquest. The Making History series takes a different approach, with its second instalment – The War Of The World – due to hit shelves in March. Developed in collaboration with historian Niall Ferguson, the game invites gamers to discover the true scope of World War II. Players are required to manage everything from the factories and shipyards on the home front to the infantry and artillery on the frontlines as they wage war across Europe. Making History II works to teach them how key economics can be to a nation’s war efforts, teaching them to constantly monitor production, consumption, trade and wealth. In order to take full advantage of the resources at the disposal, gamers will have to customise the development of key cities and regions in their territories. This level of depth also carries across to military units. There will also be key decisions forced upon them that will affect their standing with other political factions, both at home and abroad.

The creative mind behind Curse Of Monkey Island sets sail for another swashbuckling adventure… by James Batchelor

PUBLISHER: MAMBA GAMES DEVELOPER: MUZZY LANE PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

It’s not all resource management, of course. Wannabe generals will have to orchestrate attacks on key enemy regions, as well as leading air missions against a range of industrial and military targets. WAR WITH THE WORLD

Making History II also boasts a comprehensive multiplayer mode. The developer has drawn inspiration from social networking sites for the built-in communication tools, allowing players to set up their own personal user pages, create friends lists and message other gamers directly. Mamba Games will be promoting Making History II with ads in key gaming magazines and supporting competitions. There will also be competitions and banners on Strategy Informer. Head of UK sales Glenn Hayes added: “The support from retail has been fantastic so we hope that the sell-through performance is as good as the feedback we have been receiving.”

SOME OF THE most popular point and click adventures ever released are the Monkey Island games. Their tongue-in-cheek humour, oddball characters and light-hearted storyline set them apart from the dark mysteries that dominate the genre. Ghost Pirates Of Vooju Island continues this tradition – and as a further selling point to fans of Guybrush’s adventures, the game has been designed by Bill Tiller, who was instrumental in the development of The Curse Of Monkey Island. “With the name Bill Tiller on the box, we are hoping to gain a high chart position,” says Mamba Games’ head of UK sales Glenn Hayes. “We have good support from retail and hopefully with good store presence consumers will love the packaging and characters, and buy it.” A PIRATE’S AFTERLIFE

The action follows three unlikely heroes: a Vooju priest Papa Doc, hapless ship’s cook Blue Belly and hot-headed buccaneer Jane Starling. All three have been cursed by the evil Queen Zimbi, transformed into spirits, and it’s up to players to help them return to their human forms.

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 19 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: MAMBA GAMES DEVELOPER: AUTUMN MOON PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

As ghosts, they are limited in how they can interact with the rest of the world, but their newfound transparency does have some advantages. Each character now has a range of new magical power, and players will have to master these in order to solve the fiendish puzzles that lie ahead. Gamers can switch between the trio on the fly, enabling them to combine the three ghosts’ unique powers. Doc, Belly and Starling can also communicate with each other over long-distances, so players can solve multiple puzzles across the game’s various colourful locales. As they progress, they will meet a variety of spooky but hilarious characters, maintaining the comical nature of the Monkey Island games it draws its inspiration from while still standing out from similar titles. Ghost Pirates will be marketed with ads and competitions in key gaming magazines and specialist adventure games websites.

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Page 1

SO LD

On ly i ndi vid ual sea ts a nd spo nso rsh ip p ack age sa vai lab le

OU T

ALL TAB LES

MCVAwards2010_kids_final:Layout 1

Tune in to the best in the business RETAIL Star Store Online Retailer Independent Retailer (under 30 stores) High Street Chain Supermarket

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY UK Development Team Distribution Team Sales Triumph Sales Team Games Publisher

PR & MARKETING Peripherals & Accessories Brand Game Creative (single ad execution - any media) PR Team Trade Marketing Team New Game Brand Game Campaign Marketing Team

SPECIAL AWARDS MCV Retail Advisory Board: Special Recognition Grand Prix Retail Partner

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™

ONLY INDIVIDUAL SEATS AND SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AVAILABLE Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535646

27 MCV573_FINAL:43 MCV467

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/02/10 27

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

BioShock returns to High Street The eagerly awaited BioShock 2 is just days away, inviting gamers back to Rapture. The 2K Games title is not the only hot title due out soon, with Aliens Vs Predator, Heavy Rain, Battlefield, Half-Minute Hero and more on the horizon... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PC / PS3 / XBOX 360

FPS

2K Games

01279 822 800

Gem

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

Puzzle Simulation Fighting Action Simulation Action/RPG Music Music Casual/Adventure Action/Adventure RPG Simulation RPG Puzzle Strategy

Rising Star Games 505 Games Zen United Sega Excalibur Publishing Rising Star Games Disney Interactive Konami Mamba Games Activision Blizzard Sega Zushi Square Enix Sega Excalibur Publishing

0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01869 338833 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0208 987 5706 01273 202220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 01869 338833

Mastertronic Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Open Mastertronic Centresoft Open Lace Centresoft Centresoft Gem Open Centresoft Open

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

Mystery Action Adventure RPG Action Mini-games Casual/Adventure Strategy Music Imagine Racing Strategy Survival Horror Fighting

Capcom Sega City Interactive Excalibur Publishing Tecmo Koei D3Publisher Mamba Games Kalypso Media Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Zushi Mamba Games Capcom South Peak

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 01869 338833 01462 476 130 0208 222 9700 01273 202220 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01279 822800 01273 202220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Open Open Namco Bandai Lace Advantage Centresoft Gem/Trilogy Gem Lace Centresoft Centresoft

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

Adventure Strategy Simulation Adventure Music Puzzle/RPG Strategy Action Sports Racing Action Action

Zushi Ubisoft First Class Simulations Sony Microsoft Ubisoft Sega Namco Bandai South Peak Sega Tecmo Koei Rising Star Games

01279 822800 01279 822800 01869 338833 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130 0845 234 4242

Gem Gem/Trilogy Open Centresoft Gem Gem/Trilogy Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Open Mastertronic

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

Casual Action Puzzle FPS Action Simulation Casual Puzzle

S.A.D Disney Interactive S.A.D EA Zushi First Class Simulations S.A.D City Interactive

01582 436043 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01869 338833 01582 436043 01279 822800

PlayV Centresoft PlayV Centresoft Gem Open PlayV Gem/Trilogy

FEBRUARY 9th BioShock 2

FEBRUARY 12th Animal Kororo Big Catch Bass Fishing 2 BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Bleach: The Third Phantom Driving Simulator Half-Minute Hero Jonas Karaoke Revolution Memento Mori Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Phantasy Star Zero Reel Fishing: Anglers Dream Star Ocean: The Last Hope International Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Theatre Of War: Afrika Corps

FEBRUARY 19th Ace Attorney: Miles Edgeworth Investigates Aliens vs Predator Art Of Murder Blood Of Europe Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Family Party: Winter Fun Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island Grand Ages Rome: Gold Edition Guitar Hero: Van Halen Imagine Journalist Indianapolis 500 Evolution Making History 2: War Of The World Resident Evil 5 (Platinum/Classics) TNA! Impact: Cross The Line

FEBRUARY 26th Adventures To Go Anno 1404 Venice Add-on Discover Arabia Heavy Rain Lips: Party Classics Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes Napoleon: Total War Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Sled Shred Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Undead Knights Way of the Samurai 3

MARCH 5th Alabama Smith: Escape From Pompeii Alice In Wonderland Around The World In 80 Days Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Defendin De Penguin Discover Great Britain Gourmania Jewels Of Sahara

MUSTSTOCK ...................................BIOSHOCK 2 Released: February 9 Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: 2K Games Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800

The biggest game of the month finally arrives. Players don the diving suit of the first Big Daddy and search the sunken ruins of Rapture for the fiend that has been kidnapping young girls from the surface. The game features new power-ups and the series’ first multiplayer mode.

MUSTSTOCK .....................HALF-MINUTE HERO Released: February 12 Format: PSP Publisher: Rising Star Distributor: Mastertronic Contact: 0845 234 4242

An innovative take on the RPG genre, this 8-bit inspired adventue challenges players to save the world in quickfire chunks of 30 seconds. The game swaps lengthy statmanagement for ‘pick up and play’ action and should appeal to RPG fans everywhere.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 28 MCV 05/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

POLL WAS SONY RIGHT TO DELAY THE LAUNCH OF THE PS3 MOTION CONTROLLER?

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

96%

Mass Effect 2 360 EA

Yes

48% No

34% Not Sure

18%

90%

84%

No More Heroes 2 Wii Rising Star

Half-Minute Hero PSP Rising Star

78%

74%

MAG PS3 Sony

The Saboteur PC EA

Sony’s recently announced that the PS3 Motion Controller has been delayed until an autumn release. This pushes the unnamed peripheral away from its original March date and much closer to the launch of Natal. Not only will it now have to compete with Microsoft’s new hardware, it will also battle with any other products vying for consumers’ attention this Christmas. Despite this, 48 per cent of participants in the latest MCV online survey believe Sony was right to delay the controller.

Given how little is already known about the hardware, the added time will allow the platform holder to refine the device and present a strong launch line-up. Over a third are convinced the delay will have a negative impact on the Motion Controller’s potential, presumably due to competition with Natal. Just under 20 per cent are undecided either way.  Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com

MARGIN MAKER

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1

2

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1 2

3

4

5

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY FORMAT: 360 5

3

9

4

RE

DEVELOPER: EA MONTREAL PUBLISHER: EA

ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY PS3 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 FIFA 10 360

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

5

4

BAYONETTA 360

SEGA

6

3

DARKSIDERS PS3

THQ

7

2

DARKSIDERS 360

8

7

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3

9

10

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

10

8

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii

THQ

The Mionix Naos 5000 positions itself as one of the most comfortable gaming mice available, thanks to an innovative weight tuning system. This allows gamers to tweak the mouse’s weight distribution, making it easier to grip and move around the desk. It features a good ergonomic design that offers support for all five fingers and a rubber coating that ensures the device

won’t slip out of the user’s hands during heating gaming sessions. The 5000 also boasts high precision thanks to its 5040dpi laser sensor and Surface Quality Analyser Tool that measures the tracking quality on a certain surface. Gamers can further customise this with three dpi values that can be switched between on the fly. Meroncourt: 01462 680 060

DEAL OF THE WEEK

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA NINTENDO

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.

Consumers that pre-order any three titles at GAME – including Aliens vs Predator, BioShock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Final Fantasy XIII – before the end of February will also receive money off vouchers worth £15 for their next purchase.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/02/10 29 Sponsored by

PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Dark Void 360, Capcom

Left 4 Dead 2 360, EA

Darksiders PS3, THQ

Dead Space Extraction Wii, EA

Resident Evil: Darkside Wii, Capcom

TOP 10 BIOSHOCK 2 360 2K GAMES

IN STORE: ROMFORD N/A

N/A

N/A

£14.00

£22.87

£34.99

N/A

£39.99

£29.99

£24.99

2. BIOSHOCK 2

£29.71

£39.71

£37.71

N/A

£29.71

3. FINAL FANTASY XIII

£34.99

£42.99

£42.99

£29.99

£34.99

4. HEAVY RAIN

PS3 ................................................................2K GAMES PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX PS3 ......................................................................SONY

5. FINAL FANTASY XIII: COLLECTORS ED

PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX

6. GOD OF WAR III

ONLINE

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

£29.99

£39.99

£39.99

£14.99

£29.99

£29.99

£39.99

£27.99

£17.98

£19.98

£28.73

£37.73

£34.73

£14.73

£27.73

£28.89

£39.98

£33.89

N/A

£27.89

7. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

360 ......................................................................SEGA

8. DANTE’S INFERNO

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

9. BIOSHOCK 2: LIMITED EDITION

360 ................................................................2K GAMES

10. POKÉMON SOULSILVER

DS..................................................................NINTENDO Week ending January 29th Source: SHOPTO.COM

FROM THE FRONTLINE

“Are games really worth what they’re being priced at?”

This week, MCV speaks to Kingkonsole’s Mark Husband How good have your holiday sales been over? Not as good as last year, or the year before. Call Of Duty sold very well, obviously, but I think that was the only real success. The thing is, we’re quite small on games – we focus on trade-ins, and we don’t sell many new games, so it’s difficult to judge how well the latest releases perform. What is the biggest challenge you face? Trying to get new customers. The only way to do this is to advertise – we’ve been advertising the store online, and with flyers around our local area. What would you change about games retail? Reduce the retail prices of new games. I just think they’re overpriced for what they are. Some games come out at £40 to £50 and within a week they’re down by £10 to £20 because they’re not selling too well. But obviously the popular games hold their value. At the end of the day, are they really worth what they’re being priced at?

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PC EA 2. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

360 ......................................................................SEGA

3. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

360 ......................................................................SEGA

4. FINAL FANTASY XIII

PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX

5. BIOSHOCK 2

360 ................................................................2K GAMES

6. BIOSHOCK 2: LIMITED ED.

360 ................................................................2K GAMES

7. GRAN TURISMO 5

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

8. THE SIMS: DESIGN & HIGH TECH STUFF PC ............................................................................EA

9. ALIENS VS PREDATOR What are your hopes for 2010? Expansion. We’re almost definitely moving to a bigger retail outlet in our town centre.

PS3 ......................................................................SEGA

10. HEAVY RAIN

PS3 ......................................................................SONY Week ending January 29th Source: PLAY.COM

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 30 MCV 05/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS.

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS NINTENDO NINTENDO: CROSSWORD COLLECTION NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO

2 3 4 5 7 8 6 11 10

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

1

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

[2]

1

PUBLISHER

FORMAT: XBOX 360, PC

DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

2

1

JUST DANCE Wii

3

2

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS

4

NEW

5

5

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

3

6

WII FIT PLUS Wii

NINTENDO

7

6

FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP

8

7

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii

9

4

ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360, PS3, PSP

10

8

JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

MASS EFFECT 2

[3]

TITLE

PUBLISHER UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

MAG PS3

SONY

EA NINTENDO EA

1

WII SPORTS RESORT

11

9

ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

12

10

MARIO KART WII Wii

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII NINTENDO MARIO KART WII NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER GAMES SEGA JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR UBISOFT TATSUNOKO VS CAPCOM: ALL-STARS CAPCOM YOUR SHAPE UBISOFT F1 2009 CODEMASTERS MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA FIFA 10 EA

13

16

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

14

13

FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360

15

12

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii

SEGA

16

15

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

SEGA

17

17

BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC

18

11

DARKSIDERS 360, PS3

2 3 4 6 NEW

6 7 8 13

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

JUST DANCE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII FIT PLUS NINTENDO WII PLAY NINTENDO EA SPORTS ACTIVE EA MONOPOLY EA SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL NINTENDO THE BIGGEST LOSER THQ CARS: RACE-O-RAMA THQ MY FITNESS COACH: GET IN SHAPE UBISOFT ASHES CRICKET 2009 CODEMASTERS

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT

[5]

MICROSOFT

2K GAMES THQ

19

18

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

20

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

ROCKSTAR

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

WARNER BROS

20

PC CD-ROM

[FBUDGET PRICE]

1 2 3 4 5 14 7 9 6 11

[4]

UBISOFT NINTENDO

1

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

MASS EFFECT 2 DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA

2

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

3

2

THE SIMS 3

4

3

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

5

4

THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES

6

5

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

7

6

WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

8

7

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS

9

8

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

ROCKSTAR

10

11

FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION

BETHESDA

SEGA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ELECTRONIC ARTS

30,31 MCV573_final:52-53 MCV572

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/02/10 31

MASS EFFECT 2 has conquered the All Formats

online-only FPS MAG – took fourth place in the

Ubisoft’s Just Dance but also outperforming its

Top 40, and topped the PS3 Top 10.

than twelfth in the All Formats Top 40 and only reached No.2 in the Xbox 360 and PC charts. Its sequel has taken No.1 in all three and has already sold more than two million copies worldwide.

PS3 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest New Entry

19

PES 2010 360, PS3, PC

22

26

OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC

23

23

UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3

24

22

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS

25

14

BAYONETTA 360, PS3

KONAMI CODEMASTERS SONY NINTENDO

26

28

WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP

24

GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360

28

35

PURE 360, PS3, PC

DISNEY

25

30

21

UP 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP

31

RE

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC

32

29

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

33

39

ASSASSIN’S CREED PS3, 360, PC

34

30

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP

35

34

SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE 360, PS3

P2 GAMES/UBISOFT THQ EA CODEMASTERS DISNEY EA SEGA

36

36

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

37

31

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

38

RE

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PC

39

RE

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

LUCASARTS

40

32

LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP

LUCASARTS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

ASSASSIN’S CREED

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WOW: BATTLE CHEST

1 8 5 3

EA

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PUBLISHER: FOCUS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

THE MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL PORTAL GSP/AVANQUEST SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY

CITY INTERACTIVE

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010

EIDOS

NEW

HIDDEN MYSTERIES: TITANIC

7 6 11 9

MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER WORLD OF WARCRAFT TRAPPED: THE ABDUCTION THE SIMS 2

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

MAG

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES ASSASSIN’S CREED II FIFA 10 ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY DARKSIDERS JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR BAYONETTA RATCHET & CLANK: A CRACK IN TIME

1 4 3 5 2 6 7 9 8

DEVELOPER: ZIPPER INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: ASONY

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY UBISOFT EA EA THQ UBISOFT SEGA SONY

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

GSP/AVANQUEST FOCUS

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GSP/AVANQUEST ELECTRONIC ARTS

PUBLISHER

1

LITTLEBIGPLANET

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FIFA 10 GRAN TURISMO ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES GTA: CHINATOWN WARS FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME YU-GI-OH! GX TAG FORCE 4 DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010

2 3 4 8 7 5 6 RE

10

DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

[FULL PRICE]

THQ ROCKSTAR

29

PC CD-ROM

Duty: Modern Warfare 2 falls to No.3. The game has not slipped out of the Top 3 in the twelve weeks since its release. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

SEGA

27

PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS

drop in sales, while Activision Blizzard’s Call Of

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA SONY UBISOFT ROCKSTAR SEGA UBISOFT KONAMI SQUARE ENIX KONAMI

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

MASS EFFECT 2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY ASSASSIN’S CREED II FIFA 10 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR BORDERLANDS DARKSIDERS

1 3 2 4 6 7 9 10 5

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

The original Mass Effect never placed higher

L FORMATS

WEEK ENDING 30/01/10

Just Dance slips to second after a 16 per cent

2007 predecessor.

21

The only other new entry this week – Sony’s

Chart in its opening week, not only dethroning

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT EA UBISOFT EA ROCKSTAR UBISOFT 2K GAMES THQ

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 32 MCV 05/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

FRANCE

ISRAEL

SINGAPORE

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

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

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

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

AUSTRIA

ITALY

SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

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

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

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

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

BELGIUM

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

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

45 rue Delizy,

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

SPAIN

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

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

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

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

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

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

BENELUX

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

NETHERLANDS

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

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

EBS-Benelux...........................................Bunschoten Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel

GAMEWORLD

SUPREME FACTORY

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

439 avenue de la Gare

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Email : xavier@supremefactory.com Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160

EBS Benelux

GERMANY

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

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

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

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

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

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

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas

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

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

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

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

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

3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

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

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

The Netherlands

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

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

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

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

GREECE

www.planetadeagostini.net

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

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

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

NORWAY

Lorentzweg 1

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

POLAND

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

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

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

CYPRUS Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia

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

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

DENMARK

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

INDIA

PO Box 5083

E-mail: business@techland.pl

S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden

Web: www.techland.pl

Phone: +46 54 854750

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10

Fax: +46 54 854759

Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se

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

RUSSIA

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

SERBIA

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

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

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

UNITED STATES

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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

SWITZERLAND

Gateway Distribution ApS +45 7026 0870 (DK)

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

Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk

Website: www.gameoutlet.se

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

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB

54-426 Wroclaw, Poland

COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

BASCO, INC.

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

Tel: 1-917-627-3000

mail:games@computerland.rs

Fax: 1-718-228-4401

website:www.computerland.rs

Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...

MCV 05/02/10 33

INTERNATIONAL NEWS INDIA

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

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

PLUTO GAMES

EMERGING market India is on the verge of welcoming its first dedicted national chain of video games retailer with the opening of the interestingly titled ‘Games The Shop’ in Mumbai. The owners plan to open an additional 15 stores over the coming year, all of which will stock both modern formats such as Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii as well as handheld and older consoles like the PS2. Other promised in-store features include demo pods, specialist advisors, JAPAN and both chart and discount titles. “The store will give the customers unmatched value proposition,” Games The Shop’s director Anand Khemani stated in a press release. “Our vision is a step forward to delight customers with international standards of product range, service, quality and shopping experience. “Unparalleled in India, it will be the gaming destination store for families, gamers and all. Games The Shop is all set to create new industry benchmarks in the game specialist retail space and the biggest beneficiary shall be the end customer – after all he remains ‘the king’.”

PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112

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

USA

SALES OF 2009’s New Super Mario Bros Wii have now hit 4.2m in North America – surpassing the 4.1m sales of 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy. NSMB Wii hit this milestone in just 45 days on the market. It even managed to outsell the mighty Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in the US through December.  GDC 2010 organisers have announced the first keynote for the event will be Sid Meier, famed creator of the Civilization series. Meier, who has spent over 25 years in the industry, will deliver a talk called ‘The Psychology of Game Design (Everything You Know is Wrong)’, in which he’ll discuss how games need to be targeted towards the psychology of the player, rather than base themselves on existing real-world models. The keynote takes place on Friday March 12th, with the conference

AUSTRALIA

itself running from Tuesday March 9th to March 13th at the Moscone Centre in San Franscisco. “It’s an honor to have Sid Meier, a true pioneer in game development, share his decades’ worth of insight at the 2010 Game Developers Conference,” said Meggan Scavio, GDC Event Director. FROM February 25th, Japanese consumers will be able to get their hands on a brand new range of budget Wii software, Nintendo of Japan has confirmed. The Minna no Osusume Collection – or the Everyone’s Recommendation Collection – will retail for YEN 2,800 (£19). Each title will be branded up with either bronze, silver, gold or platinum badges that are designed to represent that game’s ‘rating’. Eight titles will be included in the initial offer, including Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Dragon Ball Z Sparking! Meteor and Family Ski. SOUTH AUSTRALIAN anti-games attorney general Michael Atkinson has been receiving death threats from disgruntled gamers. The threats were issued in the wake of the Australian government’s announcement that it has finally opened up the debate on violent games, and paving the way for a possible R18+ rating to be created. Atkinson maintains that violent games should continue to be banned in the territory. “It’s unlikely I’ll change my stance anytime soon considering the last death threat I received was pushed under my door at 2am, presumably by someone who doesn’t like my stance on R18+,” he stated. “It was like something out of a Hollywood film – letters cut from magazine headlines arranged together on a page. I receive abusive emails from anonymous senders on a daily basis.”

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

DISC REPAIR Elm-Digitalia UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 643 6021 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562 Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 The Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21

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

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

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

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

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

GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 RETAIL SERVICES Complete Epos Solutions Ltd . . . . . . . 01543 370002 STORE FITTINGS AMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 UK Shopfitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . simonbrown@googlemail.com DISC REPAIR

DISTRIBUTION

ELM-DIGITALIA UK. . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.elmdigitalia.co.uk

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

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19th 2010

GAMES MEDIA FOCUS MCV analyses the latest statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, looking at the highs and lows for the games media’s biggest players. We speak to leading figures from the industry about the changes the sector has been through, the challenges print and online publications face, and their predictions for the rest of 2010. FRIDAY FEBURARY 26th 2010

RUSSIAN TERRITORY REPORT Despite being one of the largest countries on the planet, Russia’s games industry is still in an ongoing state of development. In the latest of our Territory Reports, we speak to the major players in this region about how the games industry is driven and maintained, while also looking at the key problems these companies face.

GENRE FOCUS: RTS After last year’s strong line-up of real-time strategy titles, including Empire: Total War, Halo Wars and Dawn Of War II, we look at what 2010 holds for the genre. We offer a glimpse of the hottest upcoming RTS games, including Command & Conquer 4, Napoleon: Total War, Starcraft 2 and Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising. We speak to the publishers behind these titles. We also discuss the future of the genre and the challenges that face new strategy releases. FRIDAY MARCH 5th 2010

QA & LOCALISATION As the emerging markets of the world continue to develop, growing ever closer to the likes of Europe, the US and Japan, localisation becomes increasingly important to publishers hoping to release the next global hit. MCV talks to leading QA and localisation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector and the biggest advances seen in the last year. FRIDAY MARCH 19th 2010

GDC REVIEW We offer an in-depth rundown of the various revelations that will inevitably emerge from the first major gaming event of the year. With motion controllers and more on the way from all three platform holders and numerous unannounced projects in the works, all eyes with be on this year’s Game Developers Conference.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TERRITORY REPORT Australia has regularly made the headlines in recent months, with many of the biggest adult games having to be edited before they can be released Down Under due to the region’s lack of an ‘18’ certificate. MCV investigates the state of the Australian and New Zealand games markets, speaking to suppliers, key industry personnel and analysts. FRIDAY MARCH 26th 2010

DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION MCV takes a look at the process between the end of a game’s development and its release. We speak to the key players in the duplication and copy protection sector in order to shed some light on this cruical but often overlooked segment of the industry.

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

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

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

STUDIOS Epic Games ...................................................+1 919 870 1516 nDreams...........................................................01252 375754 Razorback ...........................................www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds ...............................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games.......................jobs@stainlessgames.com

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

TOOLS Blitz Games Studios ......................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx ..............................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Crytek ........................................................+49 69219 77660 Dolby...........................................................(0) 1793 842 922

SERVICES amBX UK Ltd. ...............................................www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone..................................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Imagination Studios..............................+46 (0) 18-106930 CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk

Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 DISTRIBUTION

Partnertrans.......................................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 TC Associates.................................+44 (0) 7768 883 808 Testronic Labs ..................................+44 (0) 1753 653 722 Universally Speaking .......................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 Xaitment............................................+49 6897 - 600 80-0

COURSES University of Hull.............................+44 (0) 1482 465 951

The Producers offer a full supply chain management service covering manufacturing, warehousing, fulfilment and distribution Save money - Pay in £ not € - Flexible Inventory

To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

Contact Rob Gross on: +44 (0)7774 672891 – rob.gross@theproducers.co.uk

THE PRODUCERS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 . . . . . . . . . . . www.theproducers.co.uk

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

RETAIL SERVICES

GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . wholesale@glsgames.com

COMPLETE EPOS SOLUTIONS LTD . . . . 01543 370 002. . . . . . . . www.ggepos.com

DISTRIBUTION

STORE FITTINGS

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

AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

UK SHOPFITTERS

TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

UK SHOPFITTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 . . . . . . . . . www.ukshopfitters.com

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LOCALISATION

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our Games Developer Conference, here are all the essential industry dates to put in your diary…

FEBRUARY CASUAL CONNECT EUROPE Wednesday, February 10th – Friday, February 12th Hamburg Congress Centre, Germany europe.casualconnect.org DICE SUMMIT 2010 Wednesday, February 17th – Friday, February 19th Red Rock Casino, Las Vegas, US www.dicesummit.org MIDLANDS MCM EXPO 2010 Saturday, February 20th – Sunday, February 21st Telford International Centre www.mcmexpo.org

MARCH GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com

JUNE

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London kathryn.humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk The biggest night in the UK games industry’s calendar returns to The Brewery in 2010, and will once again feature awards split across three main categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential games industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.

E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com

DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 July 14th Brighton, UK www.develop-online.net CASUAL CONNECT SEATTLE Tuesday, July 20th – Thursday, July 22nd Benaroya Hall, Seattle, US seattle.casualconnect.org

AUGUST GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 18th Sunday, August 22nd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.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

JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com

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

GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com

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

The biggest developer event in the world brings together the development community to connect, share techniques and showcase the hottest upcoming technology. This year’s GDC will no doubt follow convention with a heaving line-up of talks by industry luminaries, networking opportunities thanks to the packed roster of sponsored parties and a massive expo floor that covers both the Moscone North and West halls.

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

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Co-Sponsor

Co-Sponsor

th 2010 4 H C R A M DAT E THURSDAY ORN) VENUE SWAY BAR (HOLB C IT Y LONDON

TEAMS SIGNED UP SO FAR INCLUDE…

Bad Management

Last quiz winners: Waterfront Games

TEAM ENTRY £195 - ONLY FOUR PLACES LEFT! FIRST PLACE TROPHY, £2000 AD CREDIT IN DEVELOP, CHAMPAGNE* SECOND PLACE LUNCH & INTERVIEW WITH THE DEVELOP TEAM, CHAMPAGNE* THIRD PLACE CHAMPAGNE* * bottle of champagne for each member of the team - 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams

FOR INFORMATION ON BOOKING YOUR PLACE. PLEASE CONTACT: kathryn.humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or call +44 (0)1992 535 647 FOR INFO ON EXTENSIVE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. PLEASE CONTACT: kathryn.humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or call +44 (0)1992 535 647

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Off The Record

This week, finger athletes hit London, the Duchess of Cornwall battles an OAP and Wii Fit chalks up another victory...

FINGER-CLICKING GOOD As part of Zattikka’s ongoing efforts to bring its casual hit Finger Frenzy World to wider audiences, the company last week held a launch party in London’s Vibe Bar to promote the new Blackberry version. Attendees were welcomed by Hez, the game’s official advocate (pictured right, pointing at himself) and promotional girls The Fingerettes (Zattika’s term, not ours). They were then invited to take on the game’s key challenge: how fast can you type the alphabet? Winners of this heated arthritis-inducing tournament were awarded a golden, finger-shaped award, with separate prizes given to competitors on iPhone (5.615 seconds), Blackberry (6.364 seconds) and laptop (3.153s). Of course here at MCV, we reckon we could get a time of 2.741 seconds (give or take a few milliseconds) – but we’re too busy typing actual words. Take that, ‘Hez’.

[September 16th, 2005]

FROM THE ARCHIVE We flash back to an older issue of MCV... NEWS A survey by MCV nominates Ubisoft’s King Kong as the favourite for the Christmas No.1 slot. It wasn’t – EA’s Need For Speed was... State of Play, a huge consumer event due to take place at Birmingham’s NEC in October, is cancelled... I-Play COO David Gosen (once of Nintendo and now of Microsoft) warns console manufacturers that the biggest handheld gaming platform will be the mobile phone. Yeah, right. PEOPLE: Phil Harrison is to head up the newly formed Sony Worldwide Studios... Mark Allen joins Activision as PR manager...

AND FINALLY Gizmondo boss Carl Freer announces a range of new models and predicts nothing but sunshine and lollipops for the handheld brand. This should maybe have appeared in the actual news bit. But we couldn’t, we just couldn’t.

[CHARTS] ALL FORMATS Rainbow Six: Lockdown ..Ubisoft PLAYSTATION 2 Brian Lara Cricket.Codemasters XBOX Rainbow Six: Lockdown ..Ubisoft PC Dungeon Siege II...........Microsoft DS Super Mario 64 .............Nintendo

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MCV 05/02/10 41

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

CAMILLA PARKER BOWLS After Prince William earned a spot in Off The Record a couple of weeks ago with his Remote-waggling antics Down Under, now step-mum Camilla has been spotted having a bash at the Wii. This photo from The Telegraph shows the Duchess Of Cornwell playing Wii Sports’ Bowling during a visit to a Swindon nursing home, where she was challenged to a match by a 73-year-old man. While the paper reports that she won this presumably epic battle, it’s safe to assume the pensioner didn’t make it easy for her. Note the look of sheer confusion and horror on her face, and a stance considerably less confident that that of Prince William two weeks ago.

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

SARAH JASPER, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

A SPACE ODDITY Over 10 million discs have been repaired using Total Disc Repair’s Disc-Go-Mech 6 machine in the UK – and the company has even provided some entertaining photoshoppery to prove it. As you can clearly see, if you stacked these discs on top of one another, they would reach a height of 12km, reaching into the Earth’s stratosphere. That’s assuming the stack didn’t fall over first.

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S

PHIL MOORE, GRAINGER GAMES

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OFF THE RECORD

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“It was a bigger iPod Touch. There were no surprises for me.” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata tells The New York Times how unimpressed he was with the unveiling of Apple’s new iPad. FROM FAT TO WII FAT Wii Fit does it again, snatching another victory from the likes of Rosemary Conly and Weight Watchers. According to News Of The World, 38 year-old Lara Roberts dropped a whopping eight stone within a year thanks to a strict daily routine of hour-long workouts on Nintendo’s bestselling fitness title. Having started piling on the weight after the birth of her second daughter, Lara ditched the snacking and bought Wii Fit because she was too embarrassed to join a gym or go jogging. As the before and after photos show, it’s an impressive accomplishment. That said, it’s probably a safe bet that Wii Fit had less to do with her weight loss than her decision to stop having a fry up almost every day – a form of comfort eating she admits she dropped to help her workouts. Her success story will apparently be shown during next month’s BBC3 documentary I’m Hotter Than My Daughter, in which she will be coupled with her 15 year-old daughter. We’ll leave that one well alone. “I feel like I’ve been reborn,” she told the tabloid. “As far as I’m concerned the Wii Fit saved my life. And the best thing is the improvement in my sex life.” Er, good to know.

BOOK SMARTS Congratulations are in order for An.x Agency’s creative director Andi Ewington, who recently had his first graphic novel published. Released by Com.x Comics, Ewington’s Forty-Five tells the tale of journalist James Stanley who is eagerly anticipating the birth of his child, who may or may not bear superpowers. To prepare himself for this, he sets out to interview 45 super-powered individuals around the world. Naturally, shady organisations and battles against evil make this tougher than he plans. New printed stock has been made available and is available at all good comic shops and Amazon. Ewington’s even been doing the rounds recently with public appearances and book signings across the country, including one at Forbidden Planet London this week. Well done, sir.

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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

Please address all enquiries to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk



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

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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.

www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source

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MCV573 Feruary 5th 2010