Issuu on Google+

GHWT_COD5_MCVcover.indd 2

30/10/08 17:35:40


:?I@JKD8J)''/

ROCK OUT ON THE GUITAR CONTROLLER OR ADD A DRUM KIT CONTROLLER AND A MIC

FOR THE BAND EXPERIENCE. COMING 14TH NOVEMBER 2008

WIRELESS DRUMKIT CONTROLLER: Drum like a pro, with: Quiet surfaces so you can hear the music Pressure-sensitive pads allow creation of a wide range of sounds Authentic arrangement of the pads to mimic an actual drum set with raised cymbals

s s s WIRELESS GUITAR CONTROLLER: Re-designed for the ultimate playing experience, including: Neck slider for nailing the most intense solos Dedicated star power button and re-designed controls for improved gameplay Interchangeable faceplates for customising your look * Compatible with all Guitar Hero® games.

s s s s

WIRED MICROPHONE: Compose, record, edit, and share your own music online. Download and play community-created content for free! **

s

Sing along using the mic and infuse your own style into the music

Rock out solo, with another guitarist or with a band. Kick it up with 4 vs. 4 Battle of the Bands play. **

>l`kXi?\ifžNfic[KfliŸ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%>l`kXi?\if#8Zk`m`j`feXe[I\[FZkXe\Xi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%GXk\ekjG\e[`e^%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ%D`Zifjf]k#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\ kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j%N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%8Zk`m`j`fedXb\jef^lXiXek\\ji\^Xi[`e^k_\XmX`cXY`c`kpf]fec`e\gcXp#Xe[dXpdf[`]pfi[`jZfek`el\fec`e\j\im`Z\`e`kj [`jZi\k`fen`k_flkefk`Z\#`eZcl[`e^]fi\oXdgc\#Z\Xj`e^fec`e\j\im`Z\]fi\Zfefd`Zi\Xjfej[l\kfXc`d`k\[eldY\if]gcXp\ijZfek`el`e^kfdXb\lj\f]k_\j\im`Z\fm\ik`d\%

GHWT_COD5_MCVcover.indd 3

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

30/10/08 17:36:39


3 MCV512_final

4/11/08

13:27

Page 1

THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 512 Friday November 7 2008 £3.25

4 Judgement Day Next Friday is shaping up to be the biggest release day in history. MCV investigates

7 Next up for games The clothes retailer tells all about its Xmas games blitz – and plans for 2009

18 Germany at war

WITH THIS ISSUE...

Both sides of the territory’s trade show battle tell their story

Your essential guide to Nintendo’s new Animal Crossing game on Wii

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

Trust Tomy?

INCORPORATING

World’s newest publishing goliath sure hopes you do – as it looks to woo European retail with massive investment in games...

by Tim Ingham JAPANESE toy giant Tomy is looking to snatch market share from the biggest games suppliers in Europe – as it splashes the cash on its new standalone video games publishing business. The age-old family company has revealed its full publishing strategy to MCV, speaking candidly about its ambitions to muscle in on the world’s most lucrative industry. The firm – which already distributes its Naruto games in Europe through Nintendo – will release its first games under the Tomy label in the territory early next year. But its plans don’t stop there. Tomy has exclusively told MCV that its ambitions in the sector include:

Tomy’s biggest current toy brands – and prime contenders for the games treatment – include (clockwise from top left): Pop-Up Pirate, Screwball Scramble, Guitar Rockstar, I-SOBOT and Cella Fashion

It is a natural step for Tomy to extend its family-friendly properties to console. Thomas Nagai, Tomy

 Raiding its 50-year IP catalogue to quickly help it dominate the family-friendly, casual marketplace;  Bringing boxed games to Xbox 360 and PS3, as well as Wii, DS and digital distribution;  Relying on its own Japanese development team to remain self-sufficient and maximise profit;  Creating must-have hardware accessories for Nintendo platforms. “We’ve tried to take products that do well as toys

and take that into the gaming sphere, tapping into our 50 years of toy development,” Tomy Europe’s business development director Thomas Nagai told MCV. “In Europe specifically, we’re known as a toy manufacturer, so we’re really going to leverage our presence in the video games industry. “Our Japan HQ is investing more and more in new IP and video games. It is a natural step for Tomy in Europe to extend family-friendly toy properties

onto the next generation of video game systems. We are one of the few companies who can do this.” Tomy’s self-publishing initiative kicks off with Lovely Lisa for DS and Penny Racers Party: Turbo-Q Speedway for Wii early next year.

However, Tomy won’t be the only one to benefit from its wealth of IP. The firm told MCV that, on certain future titles, it will outsource both development and distribution duties. In 2005, Tomy merged with fellow Japanese toy firm Takara,

which became known in the mid-’90s for porting SNK Neo Geo games such as Fatal Fury to Nintendo and Sega consoles. Takara also owns the rights to toys such as Transformers and BeyBlade – which are both distributed internationally by Hasbro.

THE KING IS DEAD

The UK industry has tearfully laid the PlayStation 2’s body to rest this week, with key figures telling MCV the system has ‘virtually died overnight’.  Turn to page 41 for the full story.

PERSONNEL 48 RETAIL BIZ 51 NEW RELEASES 68 HIGH STREET 70 CHARTS 72


4,5 MCV512_final:2-3 MCV461

4/11/08

13:39

Page 1

4 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

[LEADER] RUBBER BULLETS ONE MINUTE the games industry is bouncing like a recession-busting Super Ball, glancing off obstacles without losing any velocity. The next we’re stuck in the same gloopy economic reality as everyone else. Or are we? The thing no one knows yet, of course, is whether reports of job cuts at EA and THQ’s studios are indicative of wider market challenges or just natural realignment for a couple of companies. Realignment happens, EA has done it many times very successfully. But when EA’s share price falls 20 per cent and suppliers complain that it’s hard to get commitment from retail on anything that ain’t True Triple A (that’s TTA to you, I’ve just invented it), then we all have to be a little circumspect. This Christmas, people may not be able to pay their mortgages or fill their petrol tanks, but they’ll still buy three Xbox shooters, two new controllers and a PSP in a pear tree, right? Let’s hope so.

Will we get stuck in the economic gloop with everyone else?

HYPER-ACTIVISION

In one guise or another, Activision has been around for all 26 of the previous Golden Joysticks, but I doubt it has had many more satisfying afternoons than last Friday at the Park Lane Hilton. Of course, it is the games that brought no fewer than six prizes. But, given the mess that previous management was making, huge congratulations must go to the current Activision organisation. The UK team has done a brilliant job making the most of those brilliant games. As 856,000 Future readers would no doubt say… Respect.

ACADEMY REWARD When media storms can scandalise a daft track choice on a PS3 game, it is unsurprising that some of the industry’s more notable moments sometimes get obscured. You know, like gaining huge popularity across all ages and sexes throughout the country. Others run the risk of missing out on any acknowledgement – such as EuroGamer Expo’s neat handing over of all ticket sales to GamesAid, or the raising of over £1m for the Paddington Academy. Through the work of what was the Entertainment Software Charity (ESC), driven largely by Rod Cousens and Ray Maguire, the games industry has delivered exactly what it promised three years ago. And if this industry is to be held in regard by Government, which looks pretty important right now, then it needs to keep its promises. More cash will be raised with Codemasters and Sony teaming up for a limited edition of Colin McRae DiRT on PS3. Big news? For the kids at the Academy, absolutely. stuart.dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

Retailers ready for High Street braced for new games avalanche on November 14th  by Christopher Dring RETAILERS are facing what could be the biggest release day in industry history next Friday – having hardly had chance to catch breath since the release of Gears of War 2 and LittleBigPlanet. World of Warcraft, Mirror’s Edge, Football Manager and Call of Duty are all amongst next week’s line-up, and ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch admitted to MCV that these games could completely transform the Top 40 – from top to bottom. “The November 14th week is shaping up to be one of the biggest launch weeks ever,” said Bloch. “Actually, from now until mid-December we seem to be putting 40-50 SKUs on our system week in, week out. The big difference with this week is that the titles coming out all have the potential to enter the Top 40.” Retailers, including Currys and Zavvi, have already been clearing masses of shelf space in preparation for the new release blitz. And leading High Street chains have told MCV that although they would rather see releases more evenly spaced throughout the year, the games market is now wide enough to cope with such a quantity of new software. “The amount of releases reflects the range of customers that, now want to play games,” enthused GAME product manager Alex Vines. “There’s no doubt that lots of customers want to buy games at Christmas, but 2008 has also shown how the market can enjoy massive releases away from the Q4 period.” Zavvi’s head of games Patrick Kelly added: “Overall Zavvi would prefer the release schedule to be more evenly spread over the course of the year. However, we are very excited about the line-up on November 14th as the quality

REMEMBER, REMEMBER THE 14th OF NOVEMBER... All Star Cheerleader. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ Alone in the Dark: Inferno . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari Armoured Core 4 Answers . . . . . . . . PS3, 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts . . . . . 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft Bob the Builder: Festival of Fun . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blast COD: World at War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii, PS3, 360,PC,DS. . . Acti Blizz COD: World at War Final Fronts . . . . PS2 . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard Casper Scare School: Capers . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blast Clever Kids: Dino Land . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas Clever Kids: Pony World . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas Deal or No Deal: Banker Is Back . . . . DS, Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Disney Think Fast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Dungeon Maker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . Rising Star Games EyeToy Play: Hero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony EyeToy Play: Pom Pom . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony Facebreaker K.O. Party . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA Flower Sun and Rain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . Rising Star Games Football Manager 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . PC, PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega Golden Ball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS, Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape Guitar Hero: Decades. . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS. . . . . . . . . . . Activison Blizzard Guitar Hero: World Tour (Bundle) . . PS3, 360, Wii Activision Blizzard HSM 3: Senior Year DANCE . . . . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney


4,5 MCV512_final:2-3 MCV461

4/11/08

13:39

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 5

NEWS

‘biggest ever launch week’ SingStar, Call of Duty, Wii Music, World of Warcraft and more to transform Top 40 and diverse range of titles suits our wide customer base.” There are concerns that certain titles may suffer due to the quantity of new releases, however. CHIPS’ Don McCabe feels it is “inevitable” that some games won’t reach their full sales potential. Yet

14th, there is a big window of opportunity for all titles to perform. Expectations are high and we’ve dedicated extra space in-store for the biggest release day of 2008.” Play.com’s head of games Gian Luzio said November’s line-up caps what has been a

Expectations are high and we have dedicated extra space in-store for the biggest release day of 2008. Andy McFie, Asda

Asda’s Andy McFie told MCV that there is still plenty of time for these games to sell: “There is a danger of some games suffering, however, with six weeks of the key trading period left after the

stellar year for the industry: “The amount of good quality titles coming out that day is fantastic, as it gives consumers real choice. It just goes to show how this year will be the best ever for games.”

OPINION: THE CHRISTMAS CONTENDERS David Tyler, Marketing Manager, Activision Blizzard

Imagine Champion Rider . . . . . . . . . . DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft Imagine Dream Wedding . . . . . . . . . . DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft Kung Fu Panda: Legendary Warrior DS, Wii . . . . . . Activision Blizzard The Legend of Kage 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix Lola and Virginia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V.2 Play Mirror’s Edge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PC, PS3, 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA My Farm Around The World . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari My Horse and Me 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari PopStar Guitar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midway Rayman R. Rabbids: TV Party . . . . . . Wii, DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft Scene It? Box Office Smash . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft Sea Monsters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital Shaun White Snowboarding . . . . . . . PC, PS3, 360, Wii . . . . . . . Ubisoft Shaun White: Road Trip . . . . . . . . . . . Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft The Sims 2: Mansion and Garden. . . PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA SingStar Vol. 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony SingStar ABBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3, PS2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony Star Wars Clone Wars: Jedi. . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LucasArts Star Wars Clone Wars: Duels . . . . . . . Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LucasArts Tamagotchi: Cornershop 3. . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari Wii Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo World of Warcraft: Lich King . . . . . . . PC . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard WSC Real 08: Snooker Champs . . . . Wii . . . . . . . . . . . Blade Interactive

“I’d say that Call of Duty: World at War is a strong contender for the Christmas No. 1 spot. We’ve had an incredible response to the Beta and scored our first 10 out of 10 review in PSW Magazine. There are some good titles launching this Q4, but we’ve built an enormous fanbase for the Call of Duty franchise and Treyarch have spent two years pulling out all the stops. There are a lot of titles launching on November 14th, but this is good for the industry, as it drives the marketplace in the lead up to Christmas. What’s great is the enormous genre and platform diversity – from the multi-platform Call of Duty, to sports titles such as Shaun White Snowboarding. There are strong kids launches as well with The Clone Wars and Kung Fu Panda.” Jon Rosenblatt, Marketing Manager, Ubisoft “We have high expectations for Shaun White and Rayman. Shaun White is our first foray into extreme sports and the feedback from our consumers has been phenomenal.

As for Rayman, this is undoubtedly the best game within the series, and has the added bonus of utilising the Wii Balance Board – a fact that’s really attracted mainstream press and consumer interest. There’s a £1m campaign behind this title and we hope for this to be the ide]]al Christmas party game. November has always been a critical month for every publisher. The sales and marketing team here have been preparing for this quarter for some time. We have great games alongside highly competitive media spends in place. All we can do is focus on our business plan.” Ben Payne, Product Manager, Sega

“Football Manager 2008 sold nearly 100,000 units last year in its opening weekend, and this year, we have the PSP version coming out the same day. In terms of marketing, we are already on TV, add to that strong, radio, online, mobile, print and newspaper press, as well as the podcast, blogs, YouTube activity and the demo, potential FM fans will not be able to escape the game. We’re confident that FM 09 will do very well on launch.”

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3 SONY

2. GEARS OF WAR 2 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

3. COD: WORLD AT WAR 360 ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

4. COD: WORLD AT WAR PS3 ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC ....................................................SEGA

6. GEARS OF WAR 2: LIMITED ED 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

7. MOTORSTORM 2: PACIFIC RIFT PS3 ..................................................SONY

8. LEFT 4 DEAD 360 ......................................................EA

9. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360 ....................................................THQ

10. WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH PC ..............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Week ending October 31st Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£47.3m 40

30

20

10

£36.1m

£41.8m

£47.3m

1,440,713 Units

1,614,665 Units

1,869,095 Units

Week Ending October 17th

Week Ending October 24th

Week Ending October 31st

0

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


6,7 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

12:43

Page 1

6 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

Traffic light ratings are the ‘correct answer’, says ELSPA Concerns over the content of video games and child safety answered with fresh, colourful PEGI symbols by Michael French NEW, clearer PEGI-designed games content labels are the best resolution to the ratings row sparked by the Byron Review, ELSPA has told MCV. Last week the trade association unveiled a ‘traffic light’ system that could be implemented on future titles.

The graphic we have released is not necessarily the final solution but it’s indicative of the direction we are moving in. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA

The symbols provide a colour-coded guide to target ages and game content. They will be provided as part of the materials submitted to the Government when it closes its post-Byron Review consultation period on November 20th.

“One of the elements in the Byron Review was a lack of understanding around age ratings. PEGI has looked at that and is working on a proposal to introduce the new system along with the ratings.” The new symbols also prove ELSPA is proactively offering input into the Government’s consultation period on the Review’s proposals, he said: “The industry is grateful for Tanya Byron’s recommendations in the context of child safety. “We will be making a submission on behalf of our members which sets out a clear position as to what we believe is the correct answer to the question of child safety, in the context of age ratings of content sold. As Byron suggested, this also provides a guide to the content of games including whether or not you can interact with other players.”

PEGI has put together the designs – which take inspiration from guides recently introduced to food packaging – to address Dr Tanya Byron’s concerns over issues surrounding games and child safety. The symbols could be seen on titles released across Europe alongside the alreadyestablished PEGI age ratings.

“The graphic we have released is not necessarily the final solution but it’s indicative of the direction we are moving in – and a way to introduce the traffic light concept,” explained ELSPA general manager Michael Rawlinson.

RAWLINSON: ELSPA will submit the new traffic light system to the Government

ELSPA: 020 7534 0580

Wii Fit in Q4 stock boost New pre-owned boss FOLLOWING news that Nintendo is working overtime to ensure there is enough Wii and DS stock this Christmas, the platform holder has told MCV it has also upped European shipments of its smash hit Wii Fit. Wii Fit was released back in August and has been a regular sell-out at retail. Leading outlets have tipped the title to be a major seller this quarter, with new shipments of the title, along with DS and Wii units, set to arrive every week in the run-up to Christmas day. “We are making every effort to ensure that the production of Wii Fit matches the demand,” said a Nintendo

signs up with GAME

KEEPING FIT: Nintendo has increased Wii Fit shipments for Q4

spokesperson. “We have increased our shipment of Wii Fit into Europe this Christmas to help meet demand. “In terms of when the stock will hit retailers, it won’t just

suddenly arrive all in one go. Wii Fit deliveries and shipments have, are and will continue to be made weekly into the UK market.” Nintendo: 01753 483700

GAME has secured the services of retail veteran John Devon, who has signed up as product director. Devon joins the firm from Amazon, where he worked as DVD trading director. He has also held roles at Virgin, Woolworths and WH Smiths. At GAME, Devon will be responsible for buying in the pre-owned and merchandising space, and will report to

GAME MD Tricia Brennan. “John’s track record in developing strong relationships with suppliers across the DVD industry shows what an asset he will be to GAME, where he will focus on strengthening our partnerships and our customer offer, taking GAME to the next level,” commented Brennan. GAME: 01256 784000


6,7 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

12:43

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 7

NEWS

TRADE BULLETIN

Games’ Next big retailer? Clothing specialist ramps up product offering for Christmas and beyond with new deals by Tim Ingham FORGET GAME, HMV or Asda: The retailer that increases its market share by the greatest margin over the next year could be High Street clothes store Next. The company began selling games in July last year, through its catalogue and online. And after a successful 18months, the firm has told MCV that it is now ready to ramp up its commitment to the category for Christmas and beyond – and has pledged to fight for a bigger share of the industry’s most sought after stock.

OUT 21st NOVEMBER PC-DVD and Mac

This Parts Pack includes over 100 new creature building components and animations themed in two distinct styles: cute/cartoon and scary/monster. Similar to The Sims 2 Stuff Pack series, the Parts pack adds new content aimed at creative users who want to further customize their creatures, and make the scariest monsters or cutest critters possible.

NEXT LEVEL: Next hopes to build strong relationships with suppliers

We want to build relationships with our suppliers and publishers to take our game offer to the next level. Jon Biddle, Next

MCV understands the company is even considering bringing games in-store in 2009. “Gaming is a very important part of Next’s product offering,” said the chain’s buyer Jon

Biddle. “It has become the biggest area in our Electricals & Leisure division and has lots of potential to grow.” Alongside Biddle, Next has recruited Steve Martin as

buying manager and David Grange as merchandiser. The trio have increased coverage of games in the Christmas Directory, implemented email promotions and introduced sales charts to Next’s website. The chain has seen particular success with Nintendo products, and has told MCV that it will fight to get as much stock from the platform holder as possible.

“We are always looking at new ways to drive our categories forward and are always looking for promotional offers and deals to benefit our customers and put Next on the gaming map,” added Biddle. “Going forward we will be looking to build relationships with our suppliers and publishers in order to take the category to the next level.” Next: 0844 844 8888

Dancing On Ice skids into view GHOSTLIGHT has snapped up celebrated ITV licence Dancing On Ice for an official Wii and DS tie-in. The title is already in development and will be released in Q1 next year. This news comes as ITV prepares to air the fourth series of the hit show, which in terms of viewing figures was one of the top three programmes in the UK last year. The show reached a weekly audience of nine million viewers, peaking at an impressive 14 million – surpassing rival programmes such as The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice and EastEnders.

The official Dancing On Ice game will allow players to pair up with professional skaters from the show. Their performance will be scored by

the official judging panel. Players will practise routines, enter skate-offs and compete for the coveted title of Dancing On Ice Champion.

Commercial brand director for ITV Global Entertainment Gustavo Antonioni said: “This is a truly unique proposition which will engage

the entire family. The concept combines fast-paced, competitive fun alongside interactive dress-up options to personalise your character.

“Dancing On Ice is one of the world’s most successful TV exports and the game is another superb example in how we’re providing our audience with high quality engaging brand extensions.” Head of development at Ghostlight Stephen Morgan added: “The Dancing On Ice show consistently attracts millions of viewers from the same demographic profile as our DS and Wii target audience. The strength of the licence coupled with high quality gameplay is an exciting prospect and guaranteed to establish Dancing On Ice as a leading video game in 2009”.

OUT 21st NOVEMBER PS2 and Wii

Hasbro Family Game Night features classic and party game modes of family favourites such as CONNECT FOUR, BATTLESHIP, YAHTZEE, BOGGLE, SORRY! and the all new, SORRY! Sliders.

OUT 21st NOVEMBER PC DVD

Design impressive estates and meticulous gardens for your Sims with three all-new styles. With a host of new architectural and landscaping items to choose from, your Sims homes will look more stunning than ever!

Ghostlight: 01279 858000

ea.com


8,9 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

11:28

Page 1

8 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

Gamestation’s Fat Chris returns in bumper new festive campaign Specialist High Street chain pushes ‘gaming for less’ with extensive TV, online and print marketing campaign by Christopher Dring

“We have two months of below-the-line activity in our stores planned, with new Christmas creatives, and an integrated media campaign focusing on pushing our brand and value message through TV, press and online.” The firm has also hinted that big deals – similar to last

GAMESTATION’S festive mascot Fat Chris is set for another Christmas comeback, as the retailer pushes its new ‘gaming for less’ message. The firm’s Yuletide promotional blitz will include extensive in-store promotional

We’ll continue to offer great value to our customers, both in-store and online in the run up to Christmas. Emma Kitching, Gamestation

activities, as well as TV, press and online advertising. “This year Gamestation will be launching a high impact marketing campaign aimed at delivering ‘gaming for less’ to all of our customers, with the help of our old friend, Fat Chris,” Emma Kitching, Gamestation’s head of marketing, told MCV.

year’s half price offer on new releases – could be making a return this December. “We will continue to offer great value to our customers both in-store and online in the run-up to Christmas, with something for everyone,” added Kitching. “Everyone at Gamestation is working very hard to deliver

CHRISTMAS MARKETING: Fat Chris will once again spearhead Gamestation’s Q4 advertising campaign

gaming for less this Christmas, and we’ve spent months working with our partners throughout the gaming industry to plan and implement our entire

Christmas offer. From our high profile marketing campaign with Fat Chris and all the preparation both in-store and behind the scenes, customers will see that Gamestation is

fully geared up for a very busy Christmas period.”  For MCV’s full Q&A with Gamestation, turn to page 28 Gamestation: 0845 345 0335

Microïds in search for new partners LEADING European publisher Microïds has told MCV that it is in negotiations with key publishers and distributors about bringing its IP to the UK market. Microïds began life in 1984, and is best known for the development of adventure titles Still Life and Syberia. The firm has also secured the rights to IP from the nowbankrupt Cryo Interactive, and Microïds CEO Roch Roustan hopes to bring these titles – alongside Microïds’ own legacy catalogue – into the UK. “We’re trying to find a distributor or a publisher to

handle our upcoming titles and back catalogue in the UK,” said CEO Roch Roustan. “We’re currently in discussion with key distributors, but no deal has been done yet. “The adventure market is very different because the life of these games are much longer than other genres, and so our back catalogue is still selling. So when we look for a distributor, yes we want to sell our new games through them – but we also want to sell in big quantities of our impressive back catalogue.” In addition, Microïds has been making waves in the

digital space, but Roustan does not see the sector replacing its retail business just yet. “Some of our back catalogue can’t be found at retail, so we distribute games through digital channels,” he explained. “Digital sales are growing every year, and we’re still selling games we released as far back as 1997. “Our digital business currently accounts for about five to ten per cent of our sales. Maybe in four or five years we’ll have more digital sales than retail sales.” ROUSTAN: The CEO is aiming to bring Microïds titles to the UK

Microïds: 0033 1 46 01 54 01


8,9 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

11:28

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 9

NEWS

Sponsored by

Pinnacle lands huge kids’ licence PINNACLE Software will single-handedly release the official video game of hugely popular kids’ TV licence Peppa Pig later this month – and will back up the release with a sixfigure marketing spend. Peppa Pig: The Game will premier on DS on November 28th. It will retail at £19.99, with a Wii version of the title to follow next year. The Peppa Pig brand has generated over a million DVD sales and also shifted over one million Ladybird books. The game features a cast of characters from the TV show, which appears on Five. These appear across a series of 11 mini-games. Pinnacle Software will be supporting the release with an extensive six-figure marketing campaign. This will feature TV and print advertising, as well as advertorials in children’s and women’s magazines, numerous in-store promotions, plus a dedicated PR campaign covering TV, online, national and regional newspapers, radio and magazines. Pinnacle Software MD Peter Sleeman said: “I am delighted to be working with such a high profile and well-known children’s brand. Contender Entertainment Group have succeeded in making Peppa Pig a household family name through TV programmes, DVDs, toys, clothing and a host of other merchandise. “It was a logical progression for Peppa Pig to finally have her own computer game and we are proud to continue the success of this licence by releasing on both the Nintendo DS and Wii formats.” Pinnacle: 0208 309 3600

[IN BRIEF] EA: The eagerly anticipated Rock Band 2 will be arriving in the UK on November 21st. The MTV and Harmonix title will be priced at £49.99 with a standalone SKU available to UK retail at the beginning of December. BLUESIDE: Developer Blueside has revealed that its Princess and Knight title will be exclusively available on the Nintendo DS. The RPG action game will take full advantage of the DS stylus in this fantasy title.

Midway’s PopStar plays into the music market Publisher predicts Wii title PopStar Guitar will be a hit at retail genre was a logical step for Midway, according to Minter: “Looking at how successful MIDWAY believes the spacethe music genre has become saving qualities of its new and the unique opportunity music game give it a major that PopStar Guitar offered us advantage over rival titles. we thought that the product PopStar Guitar, which was a perfect fit for Midway. releases November 14th on “The product has huge gift Wii. And the fact that it potential due to the fact doesn’t include any bulky everything you need is peripherals – instead coming in included in a standard Wii the box box – will be a Had we made a product that which is no godsend to bigger than a overstocked needed a large bulky standard Wii retailers, Midway peripheral then retail would box. It doesn’t has told MCV. have been less enthusiastic. require any “PopStar Aidan Minter, Midway other Guitar offers up a peripheral or guitar-like music add on and the AirG one million copies worldwide experience without the need makes it totally unique.” which has meant retail has for a guitar peripheral. The PopStar Guitar will be been very receptive to our AirG, which is included in the marketed through music TV catalogue of Wii titles. box, simply snaps on to the channels including 4 Music, “This product also Wii remote and Smash Hits and Magic TV as offers a pop music slant turns it into a part of a four week-long over the more darker, guitar,” Midway’s promotion. Promotion will also edgier rock music senior European appear in the women’s lifestyle products already out.” brand manager press and online. The move into the Aidan Minter increasingly popular enthused to MCV. Midway: 0207 382 7720

by Jonathon Harker

“I think had we approached the market with a product that needed a large bulky peripheral then retail would have been less enthusiastic about it.” The publisher is hoping that PopStar Guitar will follow in the successful footsteps of its other Wii games. Minter added: “GameParty has sold

LGF: Last week’s London Games Festival managed to crack the record for hosting the largest gathering of people dressed as video game characters. At an event based in the MCM Expo at Excel at the start of the London Games Festival, a total of 342 game fans surpassed the official Guinness World Record. IGNITION: The developer and publisher is bringing King of Fighters ’98 Ultimate Match to the PS2 later this year. The title will feature an impressive 64 fighters and classic two-dimensional fighting action. VALVE: Awareness for Valve’s forthcoming Left4Dead will be boosted by a zombie photo contest. The competition, which launched last week, forms part of a $10 million global marketing campaign for the title, which is releasing on 360 and PC.

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


10 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

11:25

Page 1

10 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

The Hut plots games expansion to capitalise on market growth Online retailer delighted as games category grows 350 per cent  Value offerings critical to sales success by Christopher Dring FLEDGLING online retailer The Hut has seen its games business grow 350 per cent this year – and the firm has told MCV that gaming is now of ‘major importance’ to the company’s future.

over 40 per cent of our business during 2008. “We are constantly looking at ways we can improve our games offering, both in range and content, as this will continue to be of major importance over the next couple of years.”

Video games is the biggest growth area in our business, with sales up over 350 per cent year-on-year. Caroline Austen, The Hut

The Hut was set up in 2004 by Matthew Moulding and John Gallemore to sell books, DVDs, CDs and video games – and the retailer has become notorious for aggressive price promotions and a high-level of customer service. “Video games is the biggest growth area in our business, with sales up over 350 per cent year-on-year,” enthused head of marketing Caroline Austen. “It has grown to be

She continued: “It’s a fact that both High Street brands and supermarket chains have really embraced the internet over the last few years and now aggressively compete in the online arena. “These brands really are gaining market share from the major online players, so it is now paramount that we increase our service levels and value proposition in order to be one step ahead.

GAMING GROWTH: Online retailer The Hut has seen its games offering go from strength to strength

“TheHut.com offers additional value through initiatives such as exclusive discounts and voucher codes.

“It also goes without saying that customers expect unsurpassed quality in terms of delivery and service, so we are

constantly monitoring and developing our capabilities in this area.” The Hut: 08702 408 956

Industry recruiters buck economic trend GAMES recruitment is weathering the current economic storm, the industry’s job firms told MCV this week. Despite the world seemingly headed for an economic recession, three of the trade’s top UK recruiters revealed that they’ve not seen any downturn in the industry’s demand for new personnel. “If anything it’s got busier, particularly for this time of the year,” OPM Response’s MD Kim Adcock told MCV. “There are people out there signing new games, there are new markets to go into and there’s

lots of different genres too, so recruitment in games is still very much a growing industry.”

has remained very good,” he said. “It was been our most successful six-month period

There are new games, new markets and lots of different genres, so it’s still very much a growing industry. Kim Adcock, OPM

Handle Recruitment’s head of sales, marketing and HR Dominic Warman also believes gaming is bearing up under the economic strain. “The market

ever up until September this year, and we’ve been going for 30 years.” He added: “We’ve found that the number of sales roles

we’ve recruited for has increased particularly, which reflects what is happening in the DVD and music markets that we also deal in. “Some of our film contracts have switched permanent contracts to temporary contracts, but we’ve not seen that happen in gaming.” Aardvark Swift director Ian Goodall told MCV that he believes gaming’s continued success sets it apart from the economic troubles: “To be honest, the games industry is almost in its own little bubble. Changes within the industry –

like new platforms – have more of an affect on recruitment. At the moment the economic situation isn’t really having an impact on recruitment in the industry.” But these job firms did sound a note of caution – indicating that salaries are becoming tighter and employee relocation is more difficult due to a troubled mortgage market. One firm also felt that if the tough economic situation proved to be a long-term phenomenon, the situation could eventually impact on the games trade.


Project1

24/10/08

12:15

Page 1


Project1

24/10/08

12:15

Page 2


14 MCV512_final:4-5 MCV430

4/11/08

11:27

Page 1

14 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

ELSPA’s new warning to modders Trade body cautions retailers that it will ‘make example’ of dodgy retailing – as shamed Mr Modchips returns by Jonathon Harker ELSPA has warned retailers considering whether to make a quick buck selling ‘modded’ consoles that its vigilant antipiracy team is keener than ever to make an example of law-breaking stores. The news comes as a businessman convicted of console chipping in 2007

ELSPA continues to minimise the impact of piracy. We have a simple mantra: ‘Stop chipping, stop piracy’. John Hillier, ELSPA

announces he is back in business – a year after being found guilty of running his last illegitimate operation, which netted him £1 million. Mr Modchips, aka Neil Higgs, was convicted at the Crown Court for chipping offences in October last year. He became the second person

from large suppliers of chips and so on, does send out a strong deterrent message, especially if and when there is an application for forfeiture of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act. “Defendants have to prove they have acquired all their goods or property legitimately during the previous six years and not just any criminal gain arising from the chipping charges. Conviction for chipping offences can really open a can of worms for the criminal.” Hillier warned that piracy is still a pressing problem for the industry: “ELSPA’s IP Crime Unit continues to work on behalf of its members to minimise the impact of commercial piracy in all forms, online and offline. Whether it is exponential or not is unclear. But what is clear is that the IPCU continues to see results through the increased resources it has for fighting criminals working online.”

in the UK to be found guilty for the crime, after being busted by a joint operation between ELSPA and Bristol City Council’s Trading Standards. This week, ELSPA told MCV that it has made four further ‘chipping’ raids since that case – and that the fight against piracy is more important than ever, with the number of cases on the rise.

“The number of chipping cases has increased because ELSPA has been actively encouraging and supplying evidence to enforcement agencies as a matter of priority. We have a simple mantra: ‘Stop chipping, Stop piracy’,” John Hillier, ELSPA’s IP crime unit manager told MCV.

HILLIER: ELSPA’ crime boss has warned retailers to stay above board

“We at ELSPA certainly believe that the full publication of results of successful high profile court cases and seizures

ELSPA: 0207 534 0580

EEK W E H T F O N CAMPAIG

2009 W A R S V N W DO WWE SMACK

This week, wrestling fans will finally be able to get their mitts on the latest iteration of the big and muscly series Smackdown vs Raw. THQ is backing its bodyslammin’ franchise with a punchy campaign…

In the nine short years since the franchise was first launched, the Smackdown vs Raw series has shifted more than a whopping 37 million units worldwide. With impressive figures like that THQ could have been content to let the game sell itself, but needless to say the publisher has a big campaign in place with major marketing and PR activity before and after the wrestling title’s release: MARKETING  A heavyweight four-week TV campaign will cover terrestrial and satellite channels;  The title will also sponsor all WWE TV programming on

both Sky Sports and Sky One;  A three-month print campaign will hit specialist and lifestyle magazines;  A huge online campaign will support the title;  The title will also be the official sponsor of the Survivor Series Tour in November.

PR  A specialist gaming media onslaught will include multiple front covers, an exclusive review programme and online initiatives;  The mainstream media sector will be targeted via featuredriven editorial, along with competitions and reviews.

 In September, THQ held the European Superstar Challenge event in Madrid, where WWE superstars met to get involved in a spot of fisticuffs. The huge event proved a massive success and has been a key coverage driver in both the specialist gaming press and also in men’s and lifestyle media. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 7 FORMAT: DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: YUKE’S (DS – TOSE) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9590



MCV_DPS_MEdge.indd 1

28/10/08 16:08:09


14.11.08 THERE’S NO LOOKING BACK “The Future of PS3 starts here”

mirrorsedge.com © 2008 EA Digital Illusions CE AB. Mirror’s Edge and the DICE logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. All Rights Reserved. EA and the EA logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. “PlayStation”, “PLAYSTATION” and “ ” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

MCV_DPS_MEdge.indd 2

28/10/08 16:08:31


18,19 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

13:29

Page 1

18 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

GERMAN TRADE SHOWS OLIVER P. KUHRT, KOELNMESSE “THE NEW date for Gamescom in August is much more convenient, especially for the trade. We’ve decided on the new timing after internal discussions with the industry and the members of the BIU. A good number of people had a problem with the September date, so we have simply moved it. It is merely an accident that we clash with Leipzig as no other dates were available. Nobody wanted to create problems with Leipzig. Of course it now looks like we wanted to act against Leipzig, but this is not the case. Because we are here, absolutely sure that there will be no show in Leipzig any more – if you put it on the same day or six months later there will be no one there. The video games industry has decided to move to

Cologne. There is not more space for another show in Germany. Gamescom will be a huge, huge show – we already have our partners here checking out all the space we have for their stands. All the members of the BIU are backing Cologne – they represent over 80 per cent of the market. They are the premieres of the games industry and development. For the trade, the developer conference has been an important addition to Gamescom’s programme for us, and we were very keen to attract Frank Sliwka [former Games Convention Developers Conference organiser] to join us. Although to be honest, he didn’t need much convincing, because like everyone else he knew that the train was running in the direction of Cologne.

A tale of two As we revealed last week, plans are afoot for August 2009 to see two games industry consumer and trade going head-to-head. Michael French speaks to organisers from both Leipziger Messe and Koelmesse, as they

WOLFGAN MARZIN, LEIPZIGER MESSE “LEIPZIG has been an established event for the last eight years. To me, Gamescom’s decision to move its date to the same time as ours proves that it is the right date. With Cologne there is always these adjustments, be it to dates or figures. This is not the last adjustment they will make and I don’t think it’s professional to keep changing the details. Our focus now is simply on the preparation for our next show. Leipzig is the competent and reliable partner for the games community. Gamescom’s first show is ‘a vision’ – their show hasn’t happened yet, it only exists as a brand. It says it has the support of the German games industry. But who is this? Sure, important companies, but just the German subsidiaries of them.

Games Convention, however, is an international event open to the British, Americans and people around the world. The BIU is just a German association with 13 members – we had over 500 exhibitors at GC 2008. They claim to have 80 per cent, but this is just for the German market. We are very confident. We have international support and many organisations around the world are backing us. We still know that we have to prove that it will be a great event in 2009 – and we are working on that very closely. The consumer element for Games Convention is also very important for us. According to our research 95 per cent of 2008’s attendees said that they preferred Leipzig over any other place.


18,19 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

13:29

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

I am absolutely sure that in two or three months time Leipzig will announce that it is to withdraw its show from the market – because nobody is going to be there. There is no chance to do something next to Gamescom because the entire industry

MCV 07/11/08 19

they can print as many folders, application forms and brochures as they like, but I am sure they will give up in a few months’ time. The mood in favour of Gamescom has definitely changed in the last two or three months. The surprising thing for

Everyone is convinced that a show in Cologne is the right decision for the trade.

has committed itself to come to Cologne. You have to accept that the industry has decided to move elsewhere – it makes no sense to do something parallel to the event. You’d be throwing money out of the window otherwise;

me is that people thought it would be a tsunami given there are two shows, but the reaction has actually been quite smooth. Everyone is convinced that a show in Cologne is the right decision for the trade.”

cities events in Germany, with Cologne and Leipzig expos argue the case for their respective shows…

So we could move Games Convention to another city but no one really wants us to do that. Leipzig has plenty of affordable hotels for the thousands that come here every year and good transport links. We have links to Germany’s two international airports in

we have championed and hold a good show. I would never make the kind of claims Koelnmesse has about Leipzig – it will be the market that will decide what happens to the trade shows. For us, this is not a fight between

I am sure that the best concept will survive and that the best concept is Games Convention.

Frankfurt and Berlin as good as those with Cologne. We know that we will always have to work hard, but I see Games Convention on the market for the next five years. We have already proved that

shows – we will just prove once again that Games Convention is the best show in Europe. I am sure that the best concept will survive and that the best concept is Games Convention.”

IPHONE DEVELOPMENT — COMMENCING FEB 2009 OPEN DAY, SUNDAY 30TH NOVEMBER LONDON CAMPUS OTHER COURSES AVAILABLE:

GAME DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT 3D ANIMATION GRAPHIC DESIGN GAME AUDIO PRODUCTION WEB DESIGN + DEVELOPMENT

020 7833 0578 WWW.QANTM.COM


About

the ga__m__e_____

___________ ____________

__

it’s TV! e world, now th ed ad v in ey ery First th over almost ev en k ta e av h s talent The Rabbid c to movies to si u m m o fr , channel the ad breaks. shows and even week of play through a l ’l u o y e, d es o In Story M wacky challeng ew n g in g n ri b day of over television, each a compilation in ts en em v o ne m of skill and insa . 50 mini games e u will then hav o y p -o o C in ote layers and 8 ntrol of the “rem co With up to 4 p p ee k d an s d your frien __________ to challenge _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ possible. _ trol” as long as ____________ n _ _ co _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ oard™ _ _ Wii Balance B e th f o se u e ith u you can play w d with its uniq at n th A e am g t m rs p nce the fi 17:00 t ou will experie o Y p k c e a at J ig Little Bs.igRabbids trapped in lottery balls nllavecting your bum! game maze co y - THE party a rt a h g P Load of ball u V ro T th s id ay b g Rab nce their w Rayman Ravin a scrolling bou ! this Christmas big money.

ember v o N 2 1 y a d Fri

18:00pm f Weedestned with weeds? Learn Garden o fe vanced ow. Garden in s using ad Gardening sh most ferociou e th en ev n to take o . your Wii-mote chemicals and

19:00pm lops eir articipate in th p s id Top of ths.eUF b ab R r u p to fo aving

hits. W Rocking Band cs and the latest si as , cl p o p f o s to drum, guitar e m ti own version in s k u h s and nun-c their Wii-mote ocals. keyboard and v

on a m r o f _t_i_____ n _ i _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___________

Marketing ____

____________

take ia strategy is to ed m e th , V T gn. take over 19:30pm ovative campai As the Rabbids n in + m 1 £ le a h Id ome h easily bored judges and over media space wit StrictlystC wing omplete wit pting the TV vie g in u C in rr . p te ee in k te , n at g co n ed o t m n al Tale dance s. TV spots ai bid contestants during ad break sing their * Multiple ce u n ie es d v o au m y il ce m top tunes. Rab dan of the target fa Travolta-esque eek? w is ding the th t u o time with the d te o ramming inclu l be v g il ro w p o y h il W m s. fa er key Wii controll * Ad Spots in X-Factor. to m p 0 in the run up :0 1 1 V 2 IT n o V restlingabbid fighters take to the * Sponsorship of CIT Rabbid W R cra. Amateur Christmas. nt pro-wrestlers ia aign g e Big men in ly th g in id o ” online camp ile av h ID w B t, B u A o R it e A tl at , K ring to b nsive “SPAN ng match. V.com, TV.com te li x IT st E re & * w V n IT w C o f r o takeover busy with thei . with the online inweevils.com B d an n eo d o Sky, Nickel

12.00am mmbidzmovie. o Z e h t f o t Nigh or classic. The late night

Brave s while Horr horde of chicken a st n ai ag ff g o Rabbids face ries of terrifyin se a in e v ra g e from th oultry zommbids rise res abuse of p tu ea F : ce en id tal gu locales. Paren with plungers.

____ Gounon (2008) ____________ Director: Luic ____________ __ __ __ __ __ ____ ____________

______

____________

____________

__

__________ ____________


MCV_ad_FSR.pdf

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

31/10/08

13:57:19


23,24 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

16:49

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 23

MCV INTERVIEW: ARWED RALF-GRENZBACH, VP, INTERACTIVE GAMES, NICKELODEON & VIACOM CONSUMER PRODUCTS

In the Nick of time Nickelodeon’s presence in boxed publishing is growing all the time, with secure licensing deals in place with publishers such as THQ, 2K and Capcom. Tim Ingham talks to the man in charge of its strategy, Arwed Ralf-Grenzbach… What makes a Nickelodeon television show have the potential to come to video games? It’s all the about emotional involvement of the audience. It’s the interactivity that makes Nickelodeon stories become big news in kindergarten, in schools and in homes. Whenever Nickelodeon is developing a new show, interactivity is a key element that must be considered. It’s something that has to be thought about at every stage of its lifecycle. It’s all about the strong emotional bond of consumers to our brand. In the games category we can do that fantastically, how our licensees – particularly THQ with Avatar at the moment – can translate these into fantastic gameplay.

What level of success are you seeing with THQ – and what do they bring to your business? Generally speaking, THQ is the number one global publisher for kids’ entertainment software. We are very proud that we have a global deal for many years in place. In their latest annual report, they said they had taken $1 billion on net sales from licensed Nickelodeon titles, since we signed our global partnership. They have a fantastic track record – and we have great relationship on a US level, a regional level here in Europe and in

THQ has a fantastic record with kids’ licences. We’ve enjoyed a great relationship since signing together.

Arwed Ralf-Grenzbach, Nickelodeon

What are the challenges of producing a game like Avatar with THQ, which appeals to both a family audience and a more hardcore set of gamers? The big challenge is to translate the great story and concept of this fantastic Nickelodeon brand into a game environment. To me, the expectations of the teen and the family are put into this brand. The DNA of Avatar must translate into some gameplay. If you go to the basics of Avatar, the story is about mastering the art of the world and the environment of Aang, the main character. Manipulating air, wind, earth and fire is a very important key element of this brand – and this can be perfected translated into gameplay, especially on the Wii. It’s amazing to see how THQ Australia has funnelled this great franchise into a gameplay mechanic that really makes a difference.

Asia-Pacific. They clearly know how to live and breathe a Nickelodeon brand in terms of product development, marketing and execution. Is THQ every bit as beneficial to you as you are to it? Absolutely. It’s a great win-win partnership for both parties. From my perspective, they are doing a tremendous job in translating the brand exposure in all key markets into solid sales, on both new releases and catalogue business. In key markets like UK, Germany, France, Australia and Canada, any publisher we work with has to generate a business on the strong install base on Wii and DS, PS2. In all those key markets, we have a very strong presence and distribution because of THQ. Spongebob is the No.1 consumer product outside US, the THQ

LOOKING AHEAD: RalfGrenzbach says Nickelodeon is keeping a close eye on the progress of Xbox 360


23,24 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

16:49

Page 2

24 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV INTERVIEW: ARWED RALF-GRENZBACH, VP, INTERACTIVE GAMES, NICKELODEON & VIACOM CONSUMER PRODUCTS AVATAR VERY MUCH Nickelodeon’s latest foray onto consoles is via long-term partner THQ, with Avatar The Legend of Aang: Into the Inferno. The game was released on PS2, Wii and DS last week (October 31st). The title is just one of many very successful games Nickelodeon has released via THQ, including its massively popular Spongebob SquarePants DS games.

sales reflects that. Interestingly, there is a big upside on back catalogue sales. The key message is definitely they are in tune it our brands performance. Why does Nickelodeon IP work so well on DS, Wii and PS2 – and how far into the future before Nick games coming to Xbox 360 or PS3? If we take the target audience of Nick brands, it’s pre-school. All in all we are reaching kids up to 12 years-old. Due to the strong growth of Wii and DS we can reach out to the families – the mums and the dads – and for us, the Nintendo platforms are the No.1 for that purpose. As we speak, global installed base of DS is approximately 81 million. Take the example of Spongebob: Drawn To Life – a release by THQ and a perfect example how a brand can be translated into a DS game. The Nintendo DS platform offers so many opportunities to lift the brand statement and the brand story. Even though PS2 offers technically a great kind of gameplay, it can’t compare to Nintendo Wii. Looking at PS3 and 360, we are in conversations with our partners when it makes sense to develop games for these platforms. If you see what’s happening on Xbox 360, long term the install base will grow and grow and it will tap more into the causal gamer audience. I think we’ll see the shift from hardcore to family gamers and let’s say those ‘sleepers’ who are not actively playing, but who will play. Even in the mid-term, Xbox 360 can really have a totally different relevance

our brand very carefully and incredibly well. Their studios made unique, innovative products. We don’t have a studio that develops console games, so we work with those companies who have great teams in the studio. That’s a priority for us. But these companies are also excellent at marketing to our audience – they seem to know them like we do.

for us – and for the premium publishers we work with. How quickly will that transformation take place? It could happen. We are in a discussion with THQ on the strategy. But on this subject, Nickelodeon’s statement is clearly about our commitment to the Nintendo DS platform. Is PlayStation 2 becoming less relevant for you? Within the upcoming year, the PlayStation 2 format will fade out. The industry is starting to acknowledge that now. In key markets, where Nintendo

presence, the platform remains attractive. Because of that, PlayStation 2 is a format that still makes sense for some of our properties – for now, at least. Do Nickelodeon’s licences give you access to audiences other companies cannot reach? In any kind of licensed partnership, the Nickelodeon role is to build up the brand across all platforms, and the role of the licensee is to develop a game in their studios that is a unique, innovate and great title on console. It’s a win-win situation for both, and for us it works perfectly.

Long term, Xbox 360’s installed base will grow and grow – and will tap more into the casual consumer.

Arwed Ralf-Grenzbach, Nickelodeon

installed base with Wii and DS is dominating, PS2 is shrinking. But we shouldn’t forget it has a huge installed base for catalogue products. And in Asia-Pacific and other markets where Nintendo doesn’t have the same

Why did you pick THQ, 2K and Capcom – and what do they offer you haven’t found elsewhere? All of the companies we work with really do handle game development of

Would you ever want to work with more partners? We have very solid and loyal partnerships to THQ, 2K and Capcom, but we’re also looking for others in order to identify the best distributor for certain Nickelodeon properties. The most important criteria for any company we work with is understanding how to translate a Nickelodeon brand into a unique video game. We work with people who live and breathe the brands like we do – and we’d be looking for that level of passion. As well as that brand marketingrelated aspect of this business, we’d also need someone with a financial commitment, and the understanding that longevity is needed in order to grow a brand. Will Nickelodeon have a presence at E3, Gamescom etc.? Basically, we are leaving the discussion about what gets shown to our licensees. However, I can say that we are definitely attending all of those shows: E3, Games Convention and TGS. We will meet all of our business friends at these places, but when it comes to displaying our products, we follow the advice of our partners.


:?I@JKD8J)''/

BOND IS BACK… 31 OCTOBER 2008

High-octane combat, chaotic gun fights and precise stealth takedowns First person shooting with third person cover combat Go online with 12-player multiplayer modes

www.007theVideogame.com

HlXekldf]JfcXZ\Ÿ)''/;XeaXh#CC:Xe[Le`k\[8ik`jkj:figfiXk`fe%''.Xe[i\cXk\[AXd\j9fe[kiX[\dXibjŸ(0-)$)''/;XeaXh#CC:Xe[Le`k\[8ik`jkj:figfiXk`fe%''. KDXe[i\cXk\[AXd\j9fe[kiX[\dXibjXi\kiX[\dXibjf];XeaXh#CC:Xe[c`Z\ej\[Yp<FE%8ccI`^_kjI\j\im\[%>Xd\:f[\Ÿ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`fe`jX i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ%D`Zifjf]k#N`e[fnj# k_\N`e[fnjM`jkXJkXikYlkkfe#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j#Xe[Ê>Xd\j]fiN`e[fnjËXe[k_\N`e[fnj M`jkXJkXikYlkkfecf^fXi\lj\[le[\ic`Z\ej\]ifdD`Zifjf]k%E@EK<E;F;J#N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\ k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%

QOS_PgAdMCV.indd 1

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

3/11/08 12:18:40


26 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:41

Page 1

26 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

ANALYSIS: PRE-OWNED

The pre-owned boom With falling prices on new releases plus a growing economic crisis, used games have become a saviour for the High Street. Christopher Dring reports on a thriving pre-owned market for both the indies and the chains… LONG GONE are the days when the used games market was confined to indies, bargain bins and cash converters. Today pre-owned games have become a leading form of business for the likes of GAME and Blockbuster, with a growing number of independents ditching new games altogether to focus on trade-in sales. With Christmas fast approaching, the second-hand sector has become even more important. Increasingly, major supermarkets have been cutting the price of new games to below £30, forcing their High Street rivals to seek other ways to compete. Although the arrival of HMV to the pre-owned sector has seen competition grow exponentially, the big concern for the second-hand specialist comes from the aggressive promotions on offer at Blockbuster and Gamestation. In major stores, both retailers have dedicated more shelf space to used games than new titles, and are promoting the ‘best prices’ for consumers selling or buying previously played stock. “Pre-owned is part of our heritage, we’ve been doing it for 15 years,” explains Gamestation’s head of marketing Emma Kitching. “We’ll be doing everything we can to deliver gaming for less this Christmas – with excellent deals and offers throughout our stores.” A Blockbuster store manager comments: “The pre-owned market will lead the way for us. It means we can offer better value than the supermarkets, and customers are able to get rid of games they no longer want for the best High Street price.” However, not everyone is convinced by Blockbuster and Gamestation’s price

BOOM OR BUST: HMV’s entrance into the pre-owned market has caused ripples throughout the industry

promises. Many leading independents have told MCV that these claims cannot be proved. And our Cambridge price check (see below) only goes to show that, although competitive, Gamestation and Blockbuster are far from the cheapest on the High Street.

check, and used selling prices vary widely, in some cases up to a £20 difference. So a claim stating ‘we offer the best prices on trade-ins’ is almost impossible to prove.” HMV and GAME have avoided similar aggressive price promises, and have adopted other methods to entice game We shouldn’t forget that traders. GAME promotes whilst price is an important its range using special factor, the shopping trade-in bags and, more experience is also relevent. recently, the firm has launched a trade-in card. Martin Baxter, HMV Meanwhile, HMV’s “I am not sure how Blockbuster and unique offer is that consumers can use Gamestation can make the claim unless trade-in credit against anything else in they know exactly what every local store, be it DVD, CD or even concert trader is offering,” says The Game tickets, further sweetening the appeal. Guide editor Chris Ratcliff. “At The “From a marketing point of view a Game Guide we do an extensive price price promise can be seen as a

reasonably strong message to give,” says HMV Re/Play manager Martin Baxter. “However, we shouldn’t forget that whilst price is an important factor, the shopping experience is also relevant. At HMV customers have the option of trading in against all the products that we sell, not just games titles. This is a real benefit that goes beyond just price.” With consumers increasingly concerned about the credit crunch, the pre-owned games sector could be a potential lifesaver for the High Street. And with each outlet fine-tuning its second-hand strategy, everyone is sure to get the most out of this potentially lucrative sector. That is, at least until the supermarkets get involved...

THE PRE-OWNED MYSTERY SHOPPER MCV VISITED Cambridge to see what the High Street had to offer. HMV’s Re/Play offer was competitive — there was even a member of staff dedicated to the Re/Play cause, who was keen to point out promotions. GAME and Gamestation featured the most posters and special offers, and

there were trade-in guides available in both stores. Blockbuster’s offer was slightly better, with impressive deals and bundle offers, but the real winner of the day was indie Gametron – with low prices and keen staff proving that indies can stay ahead of the pack.

STORE GAME Gamestation HMV Blockbuster GameTron

Soul Calibur IV PS3

Force Unleashed PS3

Mercenaries 2 Too Human 360 360

£34.99 £27.99 £29.98 £22.99 £28

£34.99 £34.99 £29.98 £34.99 £25

£34.99 £32.99 £29.98 £29.99 £25

£29.99 £24.99 £28.98 £22.99 £20


:?I@JKD8J)''/

SHRED ALONG WITH YOUR FAVOURITE TRACKS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. Massive all new track list - Rock out to 28 all new songs with some of the greatest hits from each decade including Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Oasis, Bon Jovi, Queen Share the Music - Stream over 50 songs between Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades and Guitar Hero: On Tour using local wireless play

Nintendo DS™ Lite

Unique, portable gaming experience for Nintendo DS™ - Rock Out to Guitar Hero on the DS with the innovative Guitar Grip

WWW.GUITARHERO.COM

Nintendo DS sold separately

Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades © 2008 Activision Publishing, Inc. Guitar Hero, Activision and RedOctane are registered trademarks and Guitar Hero On Tour and Decades are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. Patents pending. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights rese rved.

GHdecades_PgAdMCV.indd 1

31/10/08 17:09:03


28 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:36

Page 1

28 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

GAMESTATION: FAT CHRIS IS BACK CHRISTMAS PLANS: Gamestation’s head of marketing Emma Kitching is bringing back Fat Chris in time for the busy Q4 period

Gamestation gets festive Gamestation’s iconic Fat Chris is back in the retailer’s latest Q4 marketing campaign. Christopher Dring speaks to head of marketing Emma Kitching about the firm’s Christmas strategy for 2008...

What are are your marketing plans There is a large amount of games for this Christmas? coming out this Q4. What challenges This year Gamestation is launching a does this present Gamestation? high impact marketing campaign aimed There are some great new titles coming at delivering ‘gaming for less’ to all our out to sit alongside some old favourites, customers, with the help of our old so this simply offers more choice for the friend Fat Chris. We have two months widening gaming audience, which is of below-the-line activity in our stores, great for retail. with new Christmas creatives, and an With our marketing and in integrated media store preperation, customers campaign focusing on will see that Gamestation is pushing our brand and value message through ready for a busy Christmas. TV, press and online. Emma Kitching, Gamestation

Who are you targeting with this marketing campaign? Our core customer base of hardcore and casual gamers remains at the heart of all our marketing communications, but we recognise that at this time of year the market welcomes a much broader audience, and as such we have tailored our unique campaign to suit all our potential customers. It’s a campaign that will target everyone.

Last year you ran major half price offers on new titles; are you going to run similar promotions this year? We’ll continue to offer great value to our customers both in-store and online in the run-up to Christmas. There will be something for everyone, regardless of their gaming needs, or whether they’re a hardcore gamer, a casual gamer, or buying a gift for someone else.

What do you think will be this year’s Christmas number one? There’s just so much to choose from this year, so it’s going to be difficult to predict a number one. It could be a new release that everyone’s excited about like Quantum of Solace or Call of Duty, or maybe the much sought after Wii Fit… who knows? There’s a lot of increased competition this year, especially from the likes of Asda and HMV. Are you worried about this competition? Everyone at Gamestation is working very hard to deliver gaming for less this Christmas, and we’ve spent months working with our partners throughout the industry to plan and implement our entire Christmas offer. With our high profile marketing campaign and all the preparation in-store and behind the scenes, customers will see that Gamestation is fully geared up for a busy Christmas period.


:?I@JKD8J)''/

TAKE FLIGHT AND FULFIL YOUR DESTINY. Free from his imprisonment, the Dark Master unleashes his wrath upon the world, determined to bring forth a new age of darkness. As evil spreads over the world like a plague, Spyro must discover abilities beyond that of the elements and unlock the true power of the purple dragon within him if he is to stop the Dark Master and fulfil his destiny.

© 2008 Sierra Entertainment, Inc. Spyro, Sierra and the Sierra logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Sierra Entertainment, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries and Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. “” , ”PlayStation” and “PLAYSTATION” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. NINTENDO DS, Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

SPYRO_PgAd_MCV.indd 1

www.spyrothedragon.com

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

3/11/08 12:27:24


30 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

16:26

Page 1

30 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

FANTASY PUBLISHER: PART ONE

MCV’s dream team We’ve carefully mulled over which individuals our perfect publishing house would employ – on a global, European and UK level. In the first of three features, we present MCV’s ‘fantasy team’ for our worldwide HQ… CHAIRMAN: KEN KUTARGI A surprising choice? Get out of it. Who better to take the reigns of our entire operation than the true ‘father’ of the most successful series of consoles in history? Just on the software side, this is a man who oversaw the biggest boom in Sony’s first-party games, launching classic franchises like Wipeout, Gran Turismo and God Of War. And his vision didn’t stop there. Kutaragi steered Sony to ‘discover’ casual gaming on console – with the likes of SingStar, EyeToy and Buzz – when Nintendo was still pushing cartoons to the core. And that little genre never went anywhere, did it? Then, of course, there’s his knowledge of the hardware market: When to pull out of support for a format, what stage in a lifecycle to release your big hitters, that sort of thing. You know, the stuff that makes or breaks publishers. Sony has politely just pushed him out the door – with whispers that it was personal relationships as much as PlayStation 3’s slow start, that saw him ousted. He may well feel he has something left to prove. In for a second interview: Kaz Hirai, Saturo Iwata, Hayao Nakayama

CEO: JOHN RICCITIELLO

CFO: THOMAS TIPPL

Fierce, smart, aggressive. Riccitiello would be a perfect angry foil to Kutaragi’s worldwide reputation as a Jolly Good Fellow. This ‘good cop/bad cop’ one-two would see Riccitiello’s ruthless thirst for success sit snugly with Kutaragi: one of the few people the notoriously strong-headed boss might bow down to. Riccitiello’s true talent is spotting a company’s weakness and turning it around – witness the marked difference in EA’s review scores recently. Also, he’s no stranger to getting what he wants, whatever the cost – as Bioware and Pandemic know all too well.

The even-tempered Austrian knows how to make tough decisions well: look no further than his super-cool handling of the merger between Vivendi and Activision. Tippl has overseen one of the most successful fiscal periods in Activision history. Under his stewardship, Activision – a company that was slipping in the publishing charts just two years ago, don’t forget – reported a $344.9 million net profit for the 12 months to March 31st this year, up from $85.8 million in FY 2006-2007. And it’s aiming even higher this year. Sounds like the man for the job to us.

In for a second interview: Bobby Kotick, Brian Farrell, Simon Jeffery

In for a second interview: Warren Jenson, Alain Martinez, Yoshihiro Mori

GLOBAL SALES DIRECTOR: IAN CURRAN Who better to look after the tough job of getting our product into stores than the man who’s ensured that THQ’s annual revenues top $1bn in recent years? A former sales director at Acclaim, we’re sure that it would cost us a pretty penny to get Curran – a homegrown talent who now has worldwide responsibility at THQ – to ‘lower’ himself back down to a ‘mere’ sales director role. But as a man who’s never backed away from a challenge, we reckon we might just be able to tempt him. In for a second interview: Gary Dale, Alain Corre, Bernie Stolar

GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR: REGGIE FILS-AIME Even more so than Ian Curran, Nintendo’s US boss (the ‘Regginator’) would take some coaxing to come back to a marketing director role. But this is our fantasy publisher list, right? So ya boo sucks and all that. He’s enjoyed huge success with the unfancied DS – which has gone on to sell around 80 million units worldwide. And when he took over the big role, he faced the ridicule of rivals for the (then) laughably named Wii. Who’s laughing now, hey Reg? Welcome aboard. In for a second interview: Peter Moore, Scott Steinberg, David Gardner

HEAD OF INTERNAL DEVELOPMENT: PHIL HARRISON The tall genius pulled the strings in the backrooms in Sony’s glory years, and teaming him back together with Ken Kutaragi would be sure to produce some fireworks. He also doubles up as a nifty PR man, assisting the communications team and quickly becoming a ‘face’ of the company. As well as all of his first-party software success, Harrison’s move to Atari indicates he’s really got his eye on the future of digital and online product. Of course, Atari hasn’t exactly announced anything concrete in this area yet – but we’re inclined to believe that if Phil says it’s cutting edge… it’s cutting edge. In for a second interview: Hideo Kojima, Dan Houser, Seabass

HEAD OF EXTERNAL DEVELOPMENT: DAVID DEMARTINI The man who heads up EA Partners has done a sterling job of turning John Riccitiello’s new caring, sharing approach to external studios into a reality. The EA that was blamed for ‘crushing’ the likes of Bullfrog has gone under an amazing PR turnaround, and DeMartini’s track record suggests he’d be able to coax the world’s best on board. He’s attracted the likes of Crytek, Valve, Harmonix, Epic Games, iD and Grasshopper to have a relationship with the Redwood publisher, leaving EA in an enviable position. In for a second interview: Tom Stone, Michael Denny, Shane Kim,

CREATIVE DIRECTOR: SHIGERU MIYAMOTO As every publisher in the world looks to crack a new IP that can pull in both the hardcore and family audiences, why not turn to the man who’s been doing just that for decades? From Mario to Wii Fit, Donkey Kong to Zelda, ‘Shigsy’ has proved time and time again he has the ability to create quirky characters that wheedle their way into the hearts of gamers (and non-gamers) everywhere. He also plays a mean banjo, which would be a must at every Christmas party. In for a second interview: Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Suda 51, Will Wright


:?I@JKD8J)''/

28th Nove mber 2008

plore and adventure through n! levels of action-pack

Play as all your favourite Madagascar characters!

DX[X^XjZXi1<jZXg\)8]i`ZX Ÿ)''/;i\XdNfibj8e`dXk`feC%C%:%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%>Xd\Ÿ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`fe`jXi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8cci`^_kj i\j\im\[%D`Zifjf]k#N`e[fnj#k_\N`e[fnjM`jkXJkXikYlkkfe#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j#Xe[Ê>Xd\j]fiN`e[fnjËXe[k_\N`e[fnjM`jkX JkXikYlkkfecf^fXi\lj\[le[\ic`Z\ej\]ifdD`Zifjf]k%Ë#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ%E@EK<E;F;J#N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJ F=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%

MAD2_MCVad.indd 1

friends in Compete against your

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

31/10/08 16:42:02


32 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

13:19

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 32

GMA WINNERS: EUROGAMER

Strength of the Euro Eurogamer was the big winner at the GMAs, picking up the award for best games website, with deputy editor Ellie Gibson hailed as the best specialist writer. Christopher Dring speaks to editor Tom Bramwell… Were you surprised by your win? I genuinely don’t remember because I was exhausted from jumping around in the Electric Ballroom all day playing Guitar Hero, and I was still congratulating Ellie about her win. I was pleased though. I do think we deserved it, because we all worked very hard this year, but I know we will have to keep improving if we’re to hold onto that kind of accolade. What’s the secret to Eurogamer’s continued success? The stock answer is that we employ the best consumer games journalists, which is true. Ellie has her award to prove the point, but we also have Oli Welsh, Rob Purchese and Kristan Reed, and a contributor list that reads like a Who���s Who of British Games Journalism – Christian Donlan, Dan Whitehead, Jon Blyth, Kieron Gillen, Rob Fahey. I think Eurogamer holds people’s attention and has a personality that our readers can identify and relate to. How do you plan to develop the website moving forward? That would probably be telling! But obviously we plan to continue expanding in Europe – Eurogamer is now published in six languages by local teams in each region, and we will be in eight by the end of the year. What new developments this year have been a particular hit? This year we tried to stay on top of the biggest games, which keep people streaming to the site, and use the bumper traffic to justify going off and

BRAMWELL: The Eurogamer supremo picks up the Games Media Award for the Best Games Website

writing about whatever else took our fancy – crystallising that blend of necessity and personal interest at the heart of our editorial. We also launched Eurogamer MMO, edited by Oli Welsh, which is a channel dedicated to massively multiplayer games. And, if I do say so myself, promoting me to editor in January seems to have gone okay.

I think we deserved it, because we all worked very hard this year, but we’ll have to keep improving if we’re to hold onto the accolade. Tom Bramwell, Eurogamer

How would you like to see the games media evolve? I’d like to see games journos given free mansions and inflation-busting wages.

ELLIE GIBSON: SPECIALIST GAMES WRITER OF THE YEAR EUROGAMER’S other GMA winner was deputy editor Ellie Gibson, who claimed the award for best specialist games writer. And the talented wordsmith confessed that her win came as a bit of a surprise. “I was nominated alongside some extremely talented people, so it was a shock to learn I’d won,” explained Gibson. “I’ve never previously won anything in my life apart from a

Rockstar Table Tennis tournament, and that was playing against lifestyle journalists anyway. “Hopefully they voted for me because they think I’m alright at writing about video games. Either that or they were worried that I’d cry if I didn’t win.” Gibson also paid tribute to her coworkers and fellow GMA nominees for helping her throughout her career:

As for what might actually happen, I think the magazine market will continue to shrink, with websites – conveniently for me – attracting readers in larger quantities. I also think we’ll have to grow thicker skin. There was a cessation of hostilities between PR and editors following Jeff Gerstmann’s ousting from GameSpot, but that’s practically ancient history now. And with Metacritic such an integral part of every publishing executive’s plans – and critical to their companies’ reputations – I expect more publisher interference at every level.

“Apart from Oprah, Princess Diana and Rachel Stevens, my biggest influences have been the other writers I have worked with,” she said. “Videogaming247’s Patrick Garratt trained me to be a news journalist and helped me develop my feature-writing skills, which I’ll always be grateful for. I’m also a great admirer of Eurogamer’s Tom Bramwell and Oli Welsh. I’m not even just saying that.”


:?I@JKD8J)''/

Plug Than the Mo ks to tion intui Pack i n tive moti to the N on b i asedntendo cont DS™ f rol a o nyon r motio e can n bas play ed co ntro

l

4WIST 4 ILT 4U RNTOPLA Y

). #, 5$ %3



4HE - OTIO !.$ "/ .5 N 0ACK 3 -% ( UE 0IX E'! L 0AINTER

34

/54./6%-"%2

Tilt and Feel the action -car ve, to DS ur yo Turn balance and spin

owboard Skateboard and Sn ni mi 20 er ov through challenges like Big Air

Kfep?XnbËjDfk`fe#?l\G`o\cGX`ek\iŸ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`fe`jXi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibXe[?l\G`o\cGX`ek\i`jXkiX[\dXibf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%Kfep?Xnb`j Xi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf]Kfep?Xnb#@eZ%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%E@EK<E;F;J@J8KI8;<D8IBF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%

TH_Motion_PgAdMCV2.indd 1

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

31/10/08 16:09:05


34 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:35

Page 1

34 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

INCOMING: HOUSE OF THE DEAD OVERKILL DEADLY DEVELOPER: Studio head Neil McEwan aims to make House of the Dead brutal fun

Better off Dead Sega’s House of the Dead: Overkill is shuffling into retail early next year. Jonathon Harker asks Neil McEwan from developer Headstrong just why gamers will be screaming to get their hands on the title… Why is the survival horror genre so popular at the moment? It’s always been big really, but I guess we are blessed with some fantastic games coming up soon. It’s one of those eternal gaming themes – fighting things off, blowing stuff up. Zombies are just huge in popular culture so it’s only natural that gaming reflects that. What we’re doing with The House of the Dead: Overkill is creating something that is purely about blowing apart zombies for high-score thrills. We’re not over-complicating it beyond that, so it really allows us to focus on that visceral head-popping moment. You’ll have as much fun downing a zombie in the first hour as you will in the tenth. How does House of the Dead: Overkill bring something new to the genre and the House of the Dead series? For the genre, I’m pretty certain no-one has attempted the level of gross-out,

over-the-top gore that we are with Overkill. As a theme, the 1960-70s grindhouse cinema style is unique. Add to that a number of gameplay features and tweaks to make it sit nicely as a challenging modern game. However, we really didn’t want to go too far from the series’ heritage so you’ll see plenty of injokes and references – and of course the gameplay itself is classic and there’s no way we’d want to mess with the core of the experience. What is the key feature of the Overkill? Live birth. Hopefully we’ll get that on the back of the box. Is Wii the natural home for the House of the Dead series? Largely yes, it’s a perfect platform for a light-gun style shooter, given the controls the Wii offers and the kind of fast-paced arcade style Nintendo’s console excels at perfectly matches the

arcade heritage of The House of the Dead. Our team specialises in wringing every last drop of potential from the machine and that hugely influences the quality we can offer over lesser products.

The Wii is the perfect platform for a fastpaced light-gun-style shooter like House of the Dead: Overkill. Neil McEwan, Headstrong

The artwork used in the title and the marketing is pretty distinctive and eye-catching – where did the inspiration come from? American grindhouse cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s has this fantastically all-in, shock horror approach to entertainment, with absolutely no subtlety at all. And this really matches up with the kind of ‘blast everything’ feel of the House of the Dead series. The style of those films has a grainy, high-contrast quality which we’ve replicated in-game along with a number of burn and scratch effects that make it look like it’s being watched on old celluloid. Everything else is based on the fantastic graphic design of the period – those bold, limited colours and ridiculous strap lines.


:?I@JKD8J)''/

T HE POW ER TO BE A JEDI

IS IN YOUR H A NDS. “ S t a r Wa r s T h e C l o n e Wa r s L igh t s a be r D u e l s : It s ’s Jedi v er s us Jedi i n the Ga me The Wii Wa s M a de F or ! ” NGa mer

Wield your Wii Remote like a lightsaber in epic duels.

Play intense stylus-driven Jedi action.

O u t 14 t h N o v e m be r o n Wi i ™ a n d Ni n t e n d o DS ™ w w w.clone wa r sg a me .eu LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2008 Lucasfilm Entertainment Company Ltd. or Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM as indicated. All rights reserved. NINTENDO DS, Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

CloneWarsPgAd_MCV2.indd 1

31/10/08 15:46:18


36 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:28

Page 1

36 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

VALUE SOFTWARE

Budget’s PC

boost Are value-priced games the unsung heroes of the PC games sector? Jonathon Harker speaks to key members of the trade to get their views on how important budget titles have become for the format…

Industry pundits have been predicting the death of the PC market for years, but it seems that budget is playing a key role in keeping it alive and kicking. By how much do you think budget games are boosting the PC market? Garry Williams: “The PC market is alive and well, it has grown wider and gathered new users. In gaming, there has been a steady increase in PC sales over the past decade, with laptops and casual gaming now added into the mix, the genre has never been so healthy. In the gaming sector many publishers abandoned the PC as a lead platform, looking for the possibility of the more

was almost four times that of the August sales figures. By comparison, the top 30 budget title unit sales were maintained month-on-month. Retailers should consider budget sales as consistent, similar every month, regardless of what might be happening in the full price market.” Craig Johnson: “Budget games are adding a fresh new dimension to the PC market. With gaming crossing over into the mainstream, and far more female gamers now coming on board, there are many reasons to be cheerful about the future of PC gaming. We’ve addressed the need for change by being the first UK publisher to introduce premium

The proliferation of ‘free’ laptops has had a positive effect on the PC market; the PC is now back in vogue. Simon Reynolds, Avanquest

lucrative rewards in the console sector. Value offerings (depending on how you apply your definitions) probably account for around 60 per cent of the PC games market.” Paul Andrews: “The PC market has always been the key to budget games, and with the current financial market consumers are increasing their buy in PC as it represents value for money.” Simon Reynolds: “The budget market is reassuringly steady, with no major peaks or troughs. The full price market, however, is totally dependent on new releases, September being a good example of this. Assisted by the releases of Spore and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, the total unit sales of the top 30 full price titles, (which is over £14.99),

quality PC casual games into retail at a sub-£10 price point. One of our key publishing partners, PopCap Games, is pushing the market forward by developing new and innovative games which appeal to a much wider crosssection of PC and laptop owners. Ubisoft are doing a great job of servicing the tween market with the Imagine range, which we have licensed exclusively on PC, while THQ continue to supply us with fantastic kids’ games like Ratatouille and Disney Pixar Cars Mater-National.” Is the rise in laptop sales one of the key reasons for consumers turning to budget priced PC games, rather than full priced versions? Garry Williams: “Value priced games are interesting for laptops as these are

Avanquest’s budget range ‘Click & Play’ is being positioned as the ideal solution as the ideal way to capture those casual wallets in the lead up to Christmas

INDUSTRY HEADS Garry Williams, Business Development Director, Mastertronic

Simon Reynolds, European Games Director, Avanquest Software

Craig Johnson, Managing Director, Focus Multimedia

Paul Andrews, Chief Executive, Entain8

generally new owners who need to be tempted over to enjoying an enriching gaming experience – rather than email, Facebook or other PC-based activities. Price is obviously important in tempting them to try a new area. Strangely, laptop versions often seem to be more expensive. I think that is because some people see these owners have less choice in terms of what will run on their machine, so they can charge more. Simon Reynolds: “I’m not sure the laptop is specifically contributing to the sale of budget titles, but the proliferation of ‘free’ laptop deals available with mobile, as well as the cheap laptops now available, has had a positive effect on the PC game market; the PC is back in vogue again, after being tucked away in the bedroom for years. The downside is that cheaper laptops are not always powerful enough to run all of the latest games, particularly those with 3D graphics. But this may benefit the casual games market in the long term where system spec is less of an issue.” Craig Johnson: “Demand is being driven by mobile broadband promotions, with more and more retailers offering ‘free’ laptop deals. Even without that activity, the PC’s userbase already dwarfs that of even the best-selling games consoles.”


:?I@JKD8J)''/

I ]Z BZadc 7dla

HVX` GVX

Z

L^aYLViZgldg`h

J_i\bËj:Xie`mXc:iXq\ Ÿ)''/;i\XdNfibj8e`dXk`feC%C%:%J_i\b`jXi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf];i\XdNfibj8e`dXk`feC%C%:%GlYc`j_\[Xe[[`jki`Ylk\[Yp8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%>Xd\Zf[\Ÿ )''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`fe`jXi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ% E@EK<E;F;J#N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%

ShrekCarnivalAd_MCV2.indd 1

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd

3/11/08 12:12:18


Pop Star Guitar is a music-based rhythm-action game for tweens and teens in which the player adopts the role of a lead guitarist forming a band, helping band-members to become stars and eventually winning the “Battle of the Bands” worldwide contest.

FEATURES • Single player Career Mode • Single player and multi-player side games • 60 pop songs, including masters performed by the original artist • 12 playable characters (6 male / 6 female) • Form your own band and customize your band’s look • 25 visually stunning venues • 20 lead guitars, 20 bass guitars, 20 rhythm guitars, 10 Drum Sets • 3 Difficulty Levels – Easy, Medium and Hard • Exclusive to the Wii – “AirG™” included inside each box

AirG™

© 2008 XS Games. XS Games, the XS Games logo, PopStar Guitar and the PopStar Guitar logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of 5381 Partners LLC. Domestic and foreign application patent pending. The ratings icon is a trademark of the Entertainment Software Association. All other marks and trademarks are properties of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved. MIDWAY and the Midway logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Midway Amusment Games, LLC. Midway Games Ltd. and its affiliates do not monitor, endorse or accept responsibility for the content of any non-Midway website. Distributed under license by Midway Games Ltd. Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

®

WWW. MIDWAY.CO M


â&#x201E;˘

Rihanna, Maroon 5, Paramore, All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Miley Cyrus, Simple Plan, Jonas Brothers, 3 Doors Down


MCV_ad.pdf

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

27/10/08

14:16:23


41,42 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:45

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 41

CONSOLE REPORT: PS2

[OPINION] Rod Cousens, CEO, Codemasters CEO of Codemasters Rod Cousens says PS2 will still offer exemplary catalogue software sales, even as new releases dry up: “My view is that there is a legacy market for catalogue exploitation on PS2 content and this will be driven by continued price drops on both hardware and software. PS2 offers further opportunities in emerging markets and there is tremendous opportunity on the format in those markets. “The issue is the availability of development talent and the cost, but emerging markets are also throwing up the creative resource to provide local content. In this regard, talk of the death of PS2 may be somewhat premature. “I hope the growth of next-gen consoles can surpass the success and return on software development investment for third party publishers on PS2. Right now, the jury’s out…”

You might want to sit down for this: the PS2 only has a couple of months of life left in it. That’s it – take a moment to recover. Tomorrow’s a new day and the PS3 is still here to comfort us...

Goodbye,

my friend Leading publishers and developers have declared their retreat from PS2 releases as the console breathes its last. Tim Ingham reports… PLAYSTATION 2 is dead: Long live PS3. Well, at least after Christmas. That’s the message sent from some of the console’s most successful developers and publishers this week to MCV – as they agree a plan to halt new releases on the system following the festive period. The system has proved the most lucrative in the history of gaming, having remained a stalwart on the market for eight years. But it looks as though Sony’s plans for PS2’s ‘ten-year lifecycle’ will fall short as the machine’s last few family publishers finally steer their attention to PS3 and other next-gen consoles. MD of Mastertonic Andy Payne – whose Blast label has enjoyed impressive sales during the PS2’s twilight years – believes the system is on its last legs, thanks to limited space on the High Street. He tells MCV: “The PS2 market has been virtually killed overnight. There’s

been no real run-off like with the PSOne, and that’s because retail just does not have the space.” And the European marketing boss of a massive international publisher – another specialist in family releases – says: “It’s certainly looking like this is going to be the last Christmas for PS2.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the system, however. Despite other key industry figures agreeing that the console’s time has come in major territories, they point out that it still offers promise when it comes to catalogue sales and emerging markets. Nickelodeon boss Arwed Ralf-

This Christmas is probably the last opportunity for PS2 to make an impact with fullprice new releases. Doug Bone, Square Enix

We won’t be supporting it with new release beyond that.” Major UK developers have also thrown their hat into the ring – with the boss of one company responsible for creating one of the PS2’s most successful blockbuster franchises telling us off the record that his firm had ceased production on the format.

Grenzbach comments: “Within the upcoming year, the PlayStation 2 format will fade out. The industry is starting to acknowledge that now. In markets where Nintendo has an installed base with Wii and DS is dominating, PS2 is shrinking. “But we shouldn’t forget it has a huge installed base for catalogue products. And in Asia-Pacific and other

markets where Nintendo doesn’t have the same presence, the platform remains attractive. Because of that, PS2 is a format that still makes sense for some of our properties – for now.” HELLO PS3

Sales director at Square Enix Doug Bone agrees – despite the firm enjoying a rare All Formats number one on the system last January with Final Fantasy XII. “I would agree that this Christmas is probably the last opportunity for PS2 to make any sort of impact with a ‘fullprice’ new release,” he adds. “But with approximately ten million units already in the UK homes, the format’s place as a steady revenue driver is assured way beyond this period.” As the UK waves goodbye to its most popular machine of all time, it seems some parts of the world are only just tapping into its potential. For us, though, attention turns to its powerful younger brother…


41,42 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:45

Page 2

42 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

CONSOLE REPORT: PS2

PS2 – THE STATS The PS2 has enjoyed the sort of success that other consoles can only dream of during its eight years on the market, becoming the best-selling console of all time: Global installed base: 140m+ European installed base: 40m+ UK installed base: 9m+

Ray Maguire: “We believe that, with the right software, PS2 still offers a decent return on investment”

Sony keeps the faith SONY HAS pledged to continue with its policy of releasing regular familyfriendly first-party titles for PS2 in 2009. UK MD Ray Maguire tells MCV: “Publishers always have to decide where they invest their development talent and it’s natural that the focus would be on PS3 but, with a market of 50 million units across SCEE territories, there’s still money to be made.

“In terms of the future, from a firstparty perspective we have several great releases to look forward to over the coming months. These include SingStar Boybands vs. Girlbands, as well as the newly announced SingStar Singalong with Disney – two titles which we are really excited about. “On top of this come the release of two fantastic EyeToy titles – EyeToy

Whilst some early adopters are moving to PS3, the PS2 continues to be relevant to the younger market. Ray Maguire, Sony

“PS2 still has a healthy user base and, whilst the slightly older early adopters are moving to PS3, the PS2 continues to be relevant to the casual and younger market. And that’s why franchises such as Buzz! Junior and EyeToy are still selling well today. Couple this with the huge success of SingStar (for which PS2 back-catalogue sales spike every time a PS3 version is released), and the on-going business potential of PS2 becomes all the more apparent.

Play: PomPom Party and EyeToy Play: Hero, in which gamers get the chance to wield pom poms and slay dragons, using newly designed peripherals which work with EyeToy technology to provide truly immersive gameplay. “These titles, along with future planned releases to expand our Buzz! Junior range, show our belief that, with the right software, PS2 still offers a decent return on investment.”


47 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

10:25

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 47

J’ACCUSE

‘How to succeed in

online games’ ONLINE games started out over terminals, then moved to modems and today run over the web. Now that broadband has been widely adopted across the world, online gaming has entered a new age of sophistication and popularity. Games – while more expensive – are more interactive, more challenging, and more fun than ever. Yet it’s not just the games and technology that are changing – it’s the industry players too, including retailers, publishers and consumers. Roles are shifting and expectations are climbing as the industry sorts out the business of games and how it plays for profits. It was not that long ago when you played your favourite game – competing against the computer, console or your friend – all the while waiting for an updated version to be released. To learn about the new release, you watched for ads for the expansion pack or sequel and once news hit, you drove to your local retailer to make a new purchase. When you got to the store, you checked the shelves, made your choice from a limited selection, sometimes browsing the other titles the retailer carried. You made your purchase guided by reviews and recommendations from friends because there were no trybefore-you-buy options. Once you paid a set amount for the game, regardless of how good it was, it was yours.

The rise of the world wide web has touched upon every facet of the industry. Here, Digital River boss Jeff Hemenway examines the ways in which the internet has affected our business... increasing complexity involved in managing consumer relationships and today’s evolving business models, the scenarios from the past quickly fade. The DNA of today’s publishers is online – not only from a development perspective, but also from a business perspective as they experiment with online marketing and merchandising, and different monetisation models. Driving revenue is more complicated not just for the developers and publishers but also for the re/e-tailers. In our modern day scenario, competition is everywhere – everywhere there is a computer, console, phone, mobile gaming device or consumer. You don’t need to drive a car to your local retailer to get product details, find out who has the best prices or pick up a product. Almost everyone who has been in the games business for several years or more, including retailers, publishers and developers, is revisiting their sales, revenue and distribution models.

[PROFILE]

POWER TO THE PEOPLE

JEFF HEMENWAY Digital River, Group Vice President, Global Gaming Jeff Hemenway is group vice president for global gaming at Digital River, a leading provider of global ecommerce solutions. Today Digital River manages online businesses for tens of thousands of software and game publishers, online retailers, high-tech and consumer electronics manufacturers and affiliates.

RETAIL INFLUENCE

That was the role of the consumer in the not-so-distant past. The retailer in this same scenario basically had most of the leverage, operating based on mature marketing, distribution and monetisation models. Retailers also had a lot of influence over what publishers developed. They picked the products that stocked the shelves and returned everything that didn’t sell. They collected the money to advertise and managed a product through a life cycle of price points. Working within this system, publishers drove revenue based on shelf space, MDF spend and the popularity of their

The DNA of today’s publishers is online – not only from a development perspective, but also from a business perspective. Jeff Hemenway

brands, and they built relationships with consumers through product registration. Since then the internet has brought about radical changes to gaming. Today, the world of games looks very different and the players have taken on different roles – not to mention the fact that the popularity of games has exploded. For starters, the publishers’ price tag on games has sky-rocketed due to multiplayer and community complexities and the increasing sophistication of the gamer. It’s not unusual today for the development of a single MMO to run a publisher $20-40 million. When you layer on top of this investment the

Today, the consumer is king. They can drive, download or play their games ondemand. They can pay for them at retail or by subscription, or buy game enhancing items during play or while watching ad sponsorships. Consumers can even take games for a ‘test drive’ for little or no cost. Even the culture of gaming has changed significantly. It’s no longer a solo competition between you and your computer, PlayStation or phone. Games are a community of users that have a voice, opinions and pocket books that drive publisher development. And, now, this all takes place almost instantaneously on a global basis. So, do companies have the necessary technology in place to land a leading role in the business of online games? Some of the industry’s biggest players are out there pushing the digital envelope – testing new business models and delivering their customers rich, interactive experiences all the way from purchase through play.


48 MCV512_final:22-23 MCV443

3/11/08

16:51

Page 1

Sponsored by 48 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

PERSONNEL

Meroncourt expansion takes shape Distributor hires three  Koch’s Bartholomew departs  Grainger expands  New sales manager at Entain8 KOCH  PR executive PAUL BARTHOLOMEW has announced he has left Koch Media. Future PR enquiries should go through either AMY CURTAIN or CHRISTOPHER JAMES STEVENS. MERONCOURT  Hertfordshire-based distributor Meroncourt has hired three new recruits as the firm continues to expand. IAN DUNBAR has joined as operations manager, DANIEL HICKMAN has signed up as trade account manager and PHILLIP PARKER has been recruited to technical support.

“These are key appointments to drive our business forward and to allow us to achieve our potential. We are confident that the current financial situation will not affect our plans, and our confidence is shown by investing in additional staff in all areas of our business,” commented sales director STEVE WALSH.

GRAINGER GAMES  The northern independent has promoted several key staff, as it looks to improve its operations. Former Grainger Games store manager, and 2006’s manager of the year, SUZANNE FOX has moved to the retailer’s head office as human resources manager.

We are managing all of Sony Computer Entertainment's games recruitment and the London office is a world class development studio. It has unrivalled development facilities and offers a creative and stimulating environment coupled with access to the best London has to offer from their Soho office.

Project Manager/Producer SCEE London Studio requires a Project Manager/Producer to work on the successful management and delivery of one of their most successful franchise titles. Responsibilities include: -Supervising and coordinating internal resources to meet production schedules. -Reporting development progress to the Senior Producer; highlighting problems and presenting solutions. -Act as the main point of contact for the Central Operations department in relation to milestone deliverables ie. providing timely information on release dates and consolidating information from central marketing, studio management, local territories and music licensing. You must have at least 2 years+ Project Management experience within a games environment. Ideally this role needs someone more focused on practical/technical aspects of games production rather than creative. Other Vacancies: QA Lead Senior Producer Producer

Guilford Southam Coventry

£DOE £DOE £DOE

Please get in touch for the full job specs sarah@datascope.co.uk

Help a Friend - Reward Yourself You refer a friend, we find them a job and we'll reward you with either £400 cash or vouchers of your choice or a donation to a charity of your choice

+44 (0)20 7580 6018 +1 312 940 5184

www.Datascope.co.uk www.DatascopeUSA.com

BEN DEWER has been put in charge of the company’s website enquiries and web sales. Dewer has been employed at the firm for five years, having worked in Grainger’s Metrocentre, Sunderland and Jarrow stores. Finally, DAVE BURT and JAMES GEE have been tasked with internal auditing. Burt previously managed the Grainger Market store, while Gee joins the team following management roles in the independent retailer’s Newcastle South Shields and Middlesbrough stores.

ENTAIN8  The sales and distribution firm has announced the appointment of JOE LARKINS as UK sales manager. Larkins has worked in sales and management for over ten years. “With the quality and variety of the product ranges, and the clients I saw, at Entain8 – and knowing what is in the pipeline – the opportunity to come on board was too good to turn down,” said Larkin. “I’m now looking forward to working with the excellent staff here, and of course with buying teams up and down the country to help firms maximise revenues.”


The perfect stocking filler! SIX FIGURE PRE-XMAS MARKETING SP END:

o 4 week TV advertising campaign on Nick Jr, Five’s Milkshake!, Cartoonito and Tiny Pop o Christmas gifting ads in women’s press o Activity based ads in numerous kids magazines o Regional radio promotion hitting in excess of 100 stations o Nationwide pre-school colouring competition o Joint activity with Peppa’s charity partner, Tommy’s o Extensive PR campaign

Nintendo DS ™ Lite

Oink!

Out 28th November coming soon on

www.peppagame.com NINTENDO DS, Wii AND THE Wii LOGOS ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd/Contender Ltd 2003 under exclusive licence to Pinnacle Entertainment Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Developed and produced by Asylum Entertainment Ltd.

Available exclusively from Pinnacle Software Sales hotline: 0208 309 3934 Peppa_MCV_FPA_AW.indd 1

31/10/08 10:51:48 am


51 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

13:27

Page 1

RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WITH THIS ISSUE... MCV takes a look at the upcoming Wii outing for one of Nintendo’s greatest brands, Animal Crossing...

ALSO THIS WEEK... FOOTBALL MANAGER ‘09 P54 Sports Interactive takes to the field for another tactical encounter GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR P56 Activision’s music giant goes multiinstrumental for its fourth outing BANJO KAZOOIE: NUTS & BOLTS P58 One of Rare’s most loved characters returns on Xbox 360

MIRROR’S EDGE Having already enjoyed great success in ‘08 with new IP, EA looks set to do it again with DICE’s innovative first person action outing Pages 52-53

SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING P60 Ubisoft jumps aboard the extreme sports bandwagon this Q4 NINTENDO BLOCKBUSTERS P62 Wii Music and DS puzzler Professor Layton are examined WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING P64 The World of Warcraft bandwagon powers on in this new expansion AION TOWER OF ETERNITY P66 NCsoft prepares a brand new MMORPG outing for PC gamers NINJA TOWN P67 The popular toy franchise creeps up to surprise DS owners

WORLDTOUR.GUITARHERO.COM

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd >l`kXi?\ifžNfic[KfliŸ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%>l`kXi?\if#8Zk`m`j`feXe[I\[FZkXe\Xi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%GXk\ekjG\e[`e^%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ%D`Zifjf]k#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j%N``8E;K?<N``CF>F 8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[% 8:K@M@J@FE8LK?FI@Q<JLJ<F=K?@J>L@K8I?<IF>8D<FECP@E:FD9@E8K@FEN@K?>L@K8I?<IF:FEKIFCC<IJGIFM@;<;9P8:K@M@J@FE#JK8E;8I;>8D<G8;:FEKIFCC<IJGIFM@;<;N@K?K?<>8D<:FEJFC<FIFK?<I8:K@M@J@FEC@:<EJ<;:FEKIFCC<IJ%8:K@M@J@FE8CJF8LK?FI@Q<JLJ<F=K?<>L@K8I?<IF:FEKIFCC<IFECPN@K?8>L@K8I?<IF>8D<GIF;L:KFIFK?<I 8:K@M@J@FEC@:<EJ<;GIF;L:K%8EPFK?<ILJ<@J<OGI<JJCPGIF?@9@K<;%EFFK?<IC@:<EJ<#<OGI<JJFI@DGC@<;#@J>I8EK<;%


52,53 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:46

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 52 MCV 07/11/08

It’s been reported that Mirror’s Edge is so fastpaced and realstic, it’s given players motion sickness. We don’t know about that, but it’s certainly got Rob Power giddy with excitement...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

THERE’S BEEN a lot of fun had with dystopian future worlds. Most famously, George Orwell’s 1984 dealt with a brutal totalitarian future state monitored by Big Brother. And others such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 have all dealt with what it might be like living in an oppressive futuristic world. Many games are set in the future, or an alternate present, but few have followed the idea through, at least not in the same way as those in the literary world. EA’s Mirror’s Edge dives headlong into these topics, and throws a whole lot more into the pot besides. On the surface, the setting for the game is standard fare, all a bit sci-fi and shiny. The plot, however, reveals a darker heart beneath the shiny surface. The city in which the game is set, an almost utopian vision of shimmering

skyscrapers, is in fact a conformist nightmare, a vision of a future in which all communications in every form are monitored by the government and life for anyone outside of the norm is a little, well, difficult. Due to communication between folk who want to keep some things private being a highly dangerous affair, a system has evolved whereby runners are used to simply take information to its intended recipient and hand it to them with no governmental interference. These runners are essentially what are known as free-runners – those chaps often used in sports ads who demonstrate just how easy it is to run, jump, climb, and generally make travelling through an urban sprawl look as graceful as ballet. Players take up the role of a striking looking girl called Faith, who is a runner. A first person perspective is used

throughout the game, but far from the emphasis being on how big a gun you can shoot, Mirror’s Edge is all about the movement. “What makes the game unique is the fact that it focuses on movement in first person, not just shooting guns,” confirms Mirror’s Edge producer Nick Channon. “Clearly the game contains guns and combat, however the core of the game is movement through an urban environment.” ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

The environment itself is stunning – an impressive backdrop indeed, comprising bright primary colours and a lot of sterile white, with the intention being for it to look un-natural, forced, and a bit wrong to the eye. A long way from Kansas, in other words. “We wanted you to know that you were looking at Mirror’s Edge when you saw a


52,53 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:46

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 53

screenshot,” adds Channon. “It had to stand-out. Being in first person you play the game through the eyes of Faith, the visuals you see are how she perceives the city. She sees the city as a cold, austere place. The controls that have been placed on the people living there mean the city has lost its vibrancy. This is why we have the very unique art style within the game.”

environment becomes very unnatural. It was then that we really started exploring the idea of first person movement and soon we were completely hooked on it. Everything else we did flowed from that central core of movement. We wanted you to make a connection with the character. Playing a game in third person is like watching an action movie; playing a game in first person is like being in it.”

BROAD APPEAL

The idea of a title based around free running is itself an interesting one, and the use of a female lead character, combined with the individualistic aesthetic, make for a special combination that has obvious market appeal. “We have designed the game so that it will appeal to a broad audience,” continues Channon. “Mirror’s Edge is a level based story driven game. This was a very conscious decision, as we wanted to pack as much action as we could into every level. Each level has many routes through it, with the user only being limited by their imagination for how

EYE CATCHING

With a plot worthy of a novel, a setting that looks both spectacular and strangely chilling at the same time, a sympathetic lead character and an innovative control system with varying methods of traversing the game’s levels, there is an awful lot wrapped up in Mirror’s Edge to catch the eye. The marketing machine behind the title is beginning to get into full swing, and there will be plenty of airplay for Faith and her free-running skills across the media. “Naturally you’ll see us on TV and we’re especially looking forward

Playing a game in third person is like watching an action movie; playing a game in first person is like being in it.

they use the environment to get through the levels as quickly as possible. “When developing Faith as a character we were very careful that we didn’t go down the route of a typical game character. She is a normal person with normal proportions. This approach has meant that she resonates with both a male and female audience. Additionally the control system is very simple to pick up, and you can use the basic controls throughout the game, thus making the game very accessible to a more casual gamer. However the beauty of the game is the fact that if you use the controls in combinations to pull off more advanced moves, then you can move through levels very quickly, and there’s rewards for doing that, thus appealing to more experienced gamers.” “We were tweaking it for months and we tried a lot of different things but two simple aspects were constant – first person in an urban setting. However we soon found that an urban environment really highlights the limitations of traditional first person controls. Everything becomes an obstacle and the way you have to navigate the

Nick Channon

to seeing our advertising on cinema screens, while Faith’s free-running skills also provide excellent inspiration to some very cool and dynamic digital advertising, experiential and PR activity,” comments Mirror’s Edge product manager Kevin Flynn. “Mirror’s Edge will also be a big part of our Be The One event in Trafalgar Square, which takes place during London Games Festival on October 31st and November 1st. We might also have a few tricks up the sleeve, so watch this space.” Here we have a dystopian vision of the future that, unlike Orwell’s miserable fantasy, contains something we would actually like to be involved with – an absolutely beautifully designed high concept free-running first person shooter. Maybe the future won’t be so bad after all. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: EA DIGITAL ILLUSIONS CE DEVELOPER: DICE PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


54,55 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:44

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 54 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

What’s as addictive as crack and sees grown men pouring over numbers, statistics and databases for hours on end? We sent Rob Power to find out, but he never came back. If anyone has seen him, can you send him our way please...? ALL OF US have a friend who has lost his life to a football management sim. Sitting alone in the wee small hours, nothing but a time-worn dressing gown, Sara Lee gateau and toastie maker within arms reach for company, these are a forlorn people, a lost tribe whose lives were cruelly taken over by titles more addictive than crack (probably). People whose greatest achievements are ranked by the championships and cups won by the brave assault of Brentford on the football leagues, and whose wives and girlfriends have left them for more mobile, less season-orientated males. With the release of Football Manger 2009, the huddled masses of bedroom management talent once again have something to leave the house for. The history of the Football Manager series is one that is full of a deep and abiding passion for the sport itself. Initially titled Championship Manager, the Sports Interactive brand established a huge and dedicated following and a reputation as the con-noisseurs footballing title. SERIOUS EVOLUTION

about this year,” comments Sega’s Ben Payne. “It takes FM09 to a new level, and silences those that deride the game (unfairly in our opinion) for looking less exciting than others. That said, FM’s depth is still as immersive as ever. Miles [Jacobson, Sports Interactive director] and his team have been working on the 3D match engine for several years, so it’s clearly been met with very positive responses by the FM community, as well as retailers.” Additionally, a TV view means players can watch matches in full screen mode. The new match views are just the start of the new features that have been piled into the title. Assistant manager feedback both pre-match and in-match presents vital information to managers, as well as providing tactical hints. The media has a much greater part to play in the game, with Sports Interactive having worked to try and reflect the increased impact the media has on the modern game. Media speculation, more news stories in greater detail and a more

The 3D match engine is the biggest unique selling point that we are shouting about this year.

A few years down the line, Football Manager has consolidated its place at the top of the management sim tree through a process of constant evolution and attention to the demands of a fanbase that knows its onions just as well as the developers do – and expects a title of this stature to be nothing short of brilliant. Football Manager 2009 follows this tradition, and introduces a raft of new features to the series that are sure to have fans chained to their PCs for the foreseeable future. First and foremost, a 3D match engine has been introduced for the first time, transforming the match day experience into a realistic depiction of an actual game for the first time. Motion captured players have been used to provide realistic action, whilst the extensively tested match engine looks more than capable of putting on quite a show. Multiple camera angles, rewind and fast forwarding are all available, whilst the old 2D version view is still on hand for those whose computers might not have the sufficient power to drive the new feature. “The 3D match engine is the biggest USP that we are shouting

Ben Payne, Sega

The PSP version of Football Manger 2009 will also benefit from plenty of new features. For the first time on PSP, a 2D match engine will be included with two camera angles, whilst multiple leagues have also been included, allowing players to move their careers around the continent, as on the PC version. All leagues, cups and players have been updated for the new season, whilst finally two new skins in a light and a dark tone have been added. PORTABLE POWER

One of the key selling points of the Football Manager series has been its ability to tap into the psyche of the average football fan. Most followers of the sport are far from casual observers; football fanaticism is the base of the average British male, a condition that leads to tables and team selection, tactics and fixtures pored over and debated in the pubs and clubs of the UK more regularly than any other topic. Thanks to its attentions to the smallest details and pandering to the dreams of what it is a football fan really wants from a title like this, Football Manager has remained successful. “This is a game made by fans for fans,” adds Payne. “Year-onyear the quality of product improves, and the fans know that their feedback will be absorbed and implemented into continually improving their favourite management franchise. I hope Miles would agree with that.” As with any well regarded football title, Football Manager 2009 is certain to sell bundles, and it’s a fact that as long as football remains the nation’s favourite sport ahead of any other, this will continue to be the case. The enthusiasm for these sort of games, even in their infancy – when all players were really doing was looking at a database – was absolutely massive, and there is no question that this latest installment of the series, with all its extra bells and whistles, will appeal to a huge number of punters right from kick off.

realistic simulation of how things are in reality have all been worked on, whilst press conferences both pre- and postmatch are attended by local and national journalists. Elsewhere, the transfer system code has been completely re-written, giving players a more realistic simluation of the transfer market, whilst board confidence – a feature added in Football Manager 2008 – has been expanded and improved. Players can be trained to learn prefered moves, giving player training an extra edge, whilst another interesting addition has been that for the first time, players can play as a female manager. Elsewhere, Sports Interactive has worked on the financial side of the game to ensure it more closely reflects what occurs across every financial area correctly for each country. Finally, Football Manager 2009 has been fully updated with all the data from the current football season, and has over 5,000 playable clubs from 50 countries with around 350,000 players and staff.

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: PSP, PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


54,55 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:44

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 55


MCV FORUM.psd:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:30

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 56 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Few get the chance to live out the rock and roll dream in reality, but thanks to Guitar Hero, gamers in their droves have been able to unleash their inner Hendrix. Rob Power takes a look at the latest addition to the series... FOOTBALLER, astronaut, rock and With the new peripherals adding a support it throughout 2009. We roll star: the holy trinity of dream jobs; whole new dimension to the series, a established this genre, and we will the often unachievable aspirations of graphical spruce up has also been continue to make it our own.” millions of snot-nosed playground undertaken. “In terms of the software, MAD FOR IT dwellers the world over; and, tellingly, Guitar Hero World Tour enhances Pandering to those muso types for the three career options 99 per cent of us almost every aspect of the game,” whom rocking out to a bit of Bon Jovi will come nowhere near to achieving. continues Ward. “The visuals are true is simply not edgy enough, the set list Before Guitar Hero strut into view, high definition, featuring cameos from has been massively expanded whilst there was no way of replicating how it Jimi Hendrix, Sting and Ozzy downloadable content offers a whole felt to rip off a guitar solo standing Osbourne, among others, whilst the new dimension of possibilities in track astride an arena stage like a geniune track list features 86 master tracks – selection. “The schedule of DLC is by spandex clad rock god. But oh how the biggest selection in the game’s far the series’ most comprehensive,” times have changed. history. In addition, we’ve an in-game continues Ward. “We’ve lined up an Guitar Hero has given everybody the recording studio in which players can absolutely staggering array of artists chance to pretend to be Jimmy Page, compose their own original tunes and and albums, which will appeal to all or Slash, or whoever it is that floats share them with the world. If you music tastes.” your six-stringed boat. What hadn’t combine this with our ambitious Paying attention to what’s going on been taken into account is all those downloadable content plans, then the in the charts has also influenced the players who actually didn’t want to be set list is pretty much limitless.” track listing in-game, as has a bit of the guitarist, but who dreamed of “The strap line for Guitar Hero is good old fashioned customer feedback, howling up a storm a lá Robert Plant or ‘Unleash your Inner Rock Star’. This which has led to the inclusion of all unleashing some Keith Moon-style concept is no longer limited to the sorts of extras, including drumming madness. For a couple of tunes by those forlorn types, the This will be the biggest Guitar Burnage’s favourite sons. backing band that never Hero game in the series. It’ll “We always listen to was, Guitar Hero World be the family entertainment feedback from the fans,” Tour is the true answer to says Ward. “For example, their prayers. choice this Christmas. this summer we asked This is a Guitar Hero Kate Ward, Activision our UK fans who they that shifts the focus to the would like to see on Guitar Hero and whole band, not just settling on the hardcore gamer – because at heart they told us Oasis. And so at launch prima donna histrionics of the lead everyone wants to be a rock star. This we have three songs available from guitarist. It’s a long awaited means that as the popularity of the Oasis’ massive number one album Dig development, and one that will push game has grown, the demographic has Out Your Soul, with the rest of the Guitar Hero to a whole new level. “For also changed to include a lot of casual album available early in the New Year. the first time in the franchise’s history, gamers. Part of the skill has been The songs have to be picked Guitar Hero World Tour introduces a balancing the set list to offer something drum controller and a microphone, for everyone – and in that sense it’s the according to a variety of criteria, but high up is that each has to be fun and bringing home the full band experience,” most diverse in the series. In addition, a joy to play. ” explains Activision’s Kate Ward. we’ve introduced new gameplay With marketing plans gearing up for “The new peripherals have been in elements at either end of the scale – so launch, it looks like there will be no development for a long time there’s a new beginners’ mode for escaping World Tour for the rest of the because we wanted to make them those who’ve never played before, and year. “Print, online and broadcast are right – even the guitar controller was the introduction of new power chords all ready to go,” confirms Ward. rebuilt from the ground up – with a and an ‘open’ bass for the more “We’re on the vast majority of TV new touch-sensitive neck slide for solos experience players.” networks from pre-order to postand power chords alongside other Gig-hardened Guitar Hero pros are launch. We’ve huge expectations for hardware tweaks. The drum already warming up rock moves for Guitar Hero World Tour so have controller is constructed from a soft this fresh aural assault. One of the key developed a media plan which does it rubber which provides tangible selling points is that World Tour justice. You won’t be able to miss it.” feedback whilst dampening the sound, broadens everything out, making what As one of the most anticipated and has raised cymbals, too, so the was previously a one-man-against-thelaunches of the year, fans will be keen drumming is much more natural. The world solo mission into a team outing. to get involved, whilst newcomers will microphone is the only piece of the “This will be the biggest Guitar Hero band which is wired – but this is so game in the series,” says Ward. “It’ll be be wondering what all the fuss is about. Either way, you can be sure it’s lead singers can swing it round in a the family entertainment of choice this going to be a rock and roll Christmas. proper rock star style.” Christmas – and we’ll be continuing to


MCV FORUM.psd:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:30

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 57

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PS2 PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION DEVELOPER: NEVERSOFT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


58,59 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

10:24

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 58 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Rare’s long-running franchise gets more than just a facelift in Xbox 360 exclusive Banjo–Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Rob Power gets down to the nitty gritty with the family-friendly furry critters... WE ALL LOVE to see old friends showdown between the two in order to popping up in new releases, resurrected decide who gets ownership of Spiral for a new crowd, showing off a bit of Island. So, Banjo has to traipse around gaming heritage. The sense that this completing the Lord of the Games’ tasks young industry has produced some by building vehicles to get himself over characters with longevity is a satisfying land, sea and air. Parts are collected one, proving that video games have the along the way, with players having to ability to produce characters that can kick their imaginations into gear and make as much of an impression on their piece them together to create their fans as figures from literature or film. mode of transport of choice. “We Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario, Lara Croft – dabbled with making another traditional they all have their place in the gaming Banjo platformer but soon came to hall of fame, and so too does Banjo the realise that the franchise deserved bear and his mate Kazooie. something more,” continues Read. “To Having been a stable of console us, the whole idea of building vehicles gaming since the first Banjo-Kazooie to solve traditional Banjo-style puzzles title was released way back in 1998, was very exciting and a perfect there’s a lot of affection for the series evolution of the genre.” that has warmed the cockles of many a Pushing Banjo-Kazooie into the 21st cold and twisted gamer’s heart. Banjocentury has been crucial to making the Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is the fifth new game seem vital, especially with instalment, and the first to be released the lessening popularity of traditional on a non-Nintendo platform, this time platformers. The drive to create an finding an (exclusive) home on the 360. update on a classic has proved strong Pulling Banjo out of a three-year with the Rare team, which has been holiday – his last outing was in 2005 with BanjoThis season could be the Pilot on the Game Boy Advance – may at first 360’s strongest yet and Nuts seem an odd decision, and Bolts will help it reach an but with a strong feeling even wider audience. of nostalgia attached to Shaun Read, Rare the name, not to mention the widespread appeal of the title with determined to put a fresh edge on its family friendly face, it would seem things. “Preconceptions of the genre’s that now really is the time for Banjopopularity had little to do with our Kazooie to take the step up to the next decision,” asserts Read. “I honestly gen. “I think here at Rare we knew think if we had released a high-quality Banjo would return at some point but traditional Banjo game it would be just the timing was always going to be as popular as we hope Nuts & Bolts will crucial,” comments Rare lead designer become. The bottom line is, as a team, Shaun Read. “The idea for a ‘build-emwe wanted to create something new. up’ came first. This initial concept only And while we might meet resistance came into being once we knew the from some fans, we are confident that current generation of consoles were up the final game is strong enough to win to the job of realising our ambition. over even the strongest doubters.” From this initial seed of an idea it For all its heritage and past popularity, seemed a natural progression to build it Banjo-Kazooie is certainly no gorearound the Banjo universe.” splattered shooter and perhaps, it could NEW BUILD be argued, has little in common with a The ‘build-em-up’ idea, as you may have lot of the other titles that are fuelling gathered from the Nuts & Bolts title, is the 360’s current success. Rare, the central theme of the game. The however, remains confident that the storyline this time revolves around a hardy honey bear and his winged new character, the Lord of the Games, companion have more than enough who has decided to settle the longabout them to add a new dimension to running battle between Banjo and his the Xbox staple. “We very much like to nemesis Gruntilda by setting up a think we bring something new to the

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT DEVELOPER: RARE PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822822

table, not just on the 360 console but to gaming in general,” says Read. “The 360 has some truly outstanding titles and this holiday season is looking like the console’s strongest yet. Hopefully Nuts and Bolts provides an alternative to the majority of games out there and in doing so helps the platform reach as wide an audience as possible.” BEAR-FACED PROMOTION

Promoting the latest exploits of the bear and his bird to the masses is as crucial as ever, although having such a loveable and widely known character to work with should make things a touch easier. “We have a variety of marketing activities from ads in all the gaming press as well as a strong DPS campaign running across the lifestyle titles like FHM, Zoo, Maxim and Empire,” comments marketing manager Laura Disney. “Online marketing will target both the gaming community but also take Banjo to the wider audience via Monkey and The Sun. Banjo-Kazooie Nuts and Bolts is also one of our feature titles of our Trial Tour, which is visiting shopping malls and universities around the country in the run-up to Christmas. To support this we also have interactive floor advertising, floor vinyls and billboard ads running in the malls.” Expectations are certainly high, and with a significant number already making a noise about the launch, Microsoft looks sure to reap the rewards that come from working with a wellestablished franchise. “To date, the reaction to the upcoming Nuts and Bolts game has been great and we expect this to be reflected at retail,” adds Disney. “The original BanjoKazooie games are an important part of gaming history and known and loved by many – it’s wonderful to introduce Banjo-Kazooie to a whole new generation of gamers.”


58,59 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

10:24

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 59


60,61 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:27

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 60 MCV 07/11/08

As the extreme sporting world’s premier ginger prodigy, Shaun White is certainly the right man for Ubisoft’s new snowboarding cracker. Rob Power hits the slopes to find out more...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

SOME OF us simply weren’t built for throw itself down the slopes and get all the snow. It’s cold, it’s slippery, and it ‘extreme’ on everybody’s respective doesn’t react well to uncoordinated asses – and the publisher has pulled out limbs made cumbersome by too many all the stops to give lucky punters a layers of Gore-Tex. There’s the whole fresh look at the sport. lifestyle thing as well: snowboarders are Shaun White himself is a fixture on essentially cold-weather skateboarders; the snowboarding circuit, and sporty types who were instantly appalled something of a celebrity to boot. Having by the awkwardness of skiing and instead jumped The player is free to find the straight onto a coolerbest runs, on and off the looking board and starting board. Shaun White really is flipping themselves all over the place. something to behold. Regardless of the Phil Brannelly, Ubisoft problems associated with the realities of getting onto a board, been competing since he was 14, it’s fair snowboarding titles were only recently a to say he knows what he is doing and staple of the console market. It’s easy to has a few suitably impressive moves. see why – professional snowboarding is, He’s known as the flying tomato, in a Tony Hawk’s kind of way, great fun, presumably because he has been given full of possibilities and pleasing to the the gift of masses of ginger hair, and has eye, with plenty of characters and managed to become one of the biggest outrageous moves on tap. Shaun White stars in the sport. An Olympic gold Snowboarding is Ubisoft’s attempt to medal winner, he’s a regular at the X

Games and has even won skateboarding tournaments, just to prove his prodigious talent on the board isn’t strictly limited to the snow. All in all, he’s the closest thing snowboarding has to David Beckham, making him the natural choice for this title. “He brings authenticity and professional hands-on guidance within the development team,” comments senior brand manager Phil Brannelly. “Ubisoft Montreal houses a lot of snowboarders so there was a definite passion there anyway but we had to make sure we did it right. At the helm, we’ve got Shaun White, who is definitely on the way to becoming the new Tony Hawk. He’s a living legend in his field.”

A-SLIPPIN’ AND A-SLIDIN’

Not as prominent as they once were, titles based around the more extreme


60,61 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:27

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 61

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PC, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 330 3086

end of the sporting spectrum have been on the wane in recent years – making Ubisoft’s entry into the market with Shaun White Snowboarding an important re-boot for the genre. “It has gone a bit ‘cold’ on the next-gen when it comes to snowboarding games,” confirms Brannelly. “I put that down to a decrease in interest with extreme games in general over the last few years, but it’s offered Ubisoft the opening to strategically move into this field. We’ve applied some of the best developers in the world to making something fresh and innovative, using their experience with next-gen technology. In terms of Xbox 360 and PS3, SWSB uses the Assassin’s Creed engine. The Montreal dev team have created stunning open world mountains where the player is free to find the best runs, on and off the board, as well offering an amazing sense of vertigo and space which one experiences when snowboarding for real. It really is something to behold.”

SNOW JOKE: Tackling the slopes with the Flying Tomato both looks and plays the part

Squeezing in plenty of features, the online multiplayer modes looks very impressive, allowing snowboard fanatics across the globe to compete with ease. “This is the icing on the cake really on next-gen,” continues Brannelly. “Being able to play online with 15 mates anywhere in the world and building your own persistent character style through an upgrade mechanic are great additions. This all takes place in an environment where the mountains are huge and completely open in a sandbox game type of way.” The marketing campaign in place pulls in all the brands you might associate with snowboarding and will catch the attention of anyone who has been on a board. “Firstly we have partnerships with Oakley, Burton and Red Bull in the UK who are all in the game, and this is allowing us to leverage an audience within the snowboarding market,” says Brannelly. “We will be working with Burton, in particular at

Metro newspaper’s Surf and Ski show. And we were premium sponsor at this year’s FreeSports on Channel 4’s Freeze event, which is a winter sports and music festival at Battersea park. On top of that we have a huge TV spend running from launch in November through into December with specific creatives for Wii and next gen audiences; Nintendo are working with us on producing the Wii creative. We will support this with print and online across specialist and snowboarding lifestyle media.” The first serious attempt at pushing a title like this on the next-gen, Ubisoft has ‘mountain peak hopes’ for the game. It’s going all out to push the message that this is a title that combines all the elements that made titles like Tony Hawks so successful. Shaun White Snowboarding looks more than exciting enough to attract both old and new gamers – and even completely redefine the winter sports genre.


62,63 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:26

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 62 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Will Nintendo be in key with its latest attempt to capture non-gaming consumers? MCV attempts to stay in tune with Wii Music… YOU WILL have had to have been living under a particularly well soundproofed rock not to have noticed that music is massive in gaming right now. From SingStar and Lips to Guitar Hero and Rock Band – or other curiosities like Samba De Amigo and Elite Beat Agents – music in gaming is not in short supply. Now Nintendo, which has already had a pretty darn successful year, has fixed its terrifying gaze on the music video game genre, only with a bit of a twist. “Wii Music really isn’t like any other music game out there. It allows you to express your inner musical creativity by adapting and transforming 50 different tracks,” Wii senior product manager Rob Lowe tells MCV. “You can change rhythm, swap instruments round and then share the music videos with your friends – it’s an incredibly unique and satisfyingly rich experience that has many layers of depth, and can be enjoyed at a number of levels by anyone, no matter what age or gaming skill level.”

NAME THAT TUNE: Wii Music unleashes the musical potential of gamers and non-gamers alike

“The Wii controls allow the instruments to be played in a manner very similar to their real-life counterparts, with the motion controls particularly lending themselves to the violin, the guitars and the drum-based instruments.”

THANK WII FOR THE MUSIC

“With Wii Music, we are trying to give people an experience of playing a musical instrument, without the years of practice and frustration that go into the real thing,” Lowe adds. But how exactly will Wii Music differentiate itself from the vast range of music titles available on the market? By targeting the non-gamer in true Nintendo fashion. “Although other music titles can undoubtedly be fun, they are still mostly played by more active gamers – and tend to be very difficult for non-gamers to pick up,” Lowe explains. “They are competitive by nature, and require complicated and ultra-fast button-pressing to master. Wii Music is entirely different. “ It’s a collaborative experience, and when played in a group, needs each person to perform with each other in sync, rather than competing with each other for points. You create a piece together, and admire it at the end.” And the Wii Remote is absolutely vital to Wii Music, according to Lowe:

AURAL ACTION

So, Nintendo has released yet another title that is reaching out to non-gamers and gamers alike, featuring a hugely intuitive control system and fun gameplay. Frankly, if that doesn’t have hit written all over it then nothing does. Nintendo has assured us that musical talent is not required to play Wii Music, which is handy as the extent of the musical talents of the MCV team stretch to a bit of air guitar and singing at the karaoke night down the pub. Nintendo could already reasonably lay claim to having a staggeringly successful 2008, and retail is already rubbing its hands for the game. Wii Music might just the title that seals Nintendo’s year.

MUSICAL TOUR Marketing for Wii Music will see a Wii Sampling Tour kick off from November 20th, offering live demonstrations of Wii Music to visitors to the Wii stand locations. It will be featured at: Manchester, Arndale (November 20th-23rd), Braehead, Glasgow (November 27th-30th), Metro Centre, Gateshead (December 4th-7th), The Shires, Leicester (December 11th-14th) and finally at Westquay, Southampton (December 18th-21st). TV A high impact TV campaign will run across all major TV stations and programming this Christmas, starting on November 3rd. The campaign will use a variety of creatives that will show-off the diverse and exciting experience that Wii Music can offer everyone from gamer to non-gamer, and carefully explain the product’s functionality and USPs. It will run across all terrestrial and multichannels, targeting the family unit. The campaign will offer almost 700 TVRs and will feature in all key family Christmas programming: X-Factor, Dancing on Ice, Christmas soap dramas and the allimportant Christmas family movies.

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 14 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 08700 270 985

POS Nintendo’s comprehensive range of POS, from lama standees, to life-size lifestyle standees to window vinyls. This will focus on three key areas: Share the Spotlight, Play Your Way, and Listen and Learn, as well as showing off people playing and the content of the game via screenshots.


62,63 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:26

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV grabs its magnifying glass and takes a closer look at the quirky puzzle title that looks all set to cement DS’s mass popularity with new gamers…

MCV 07/11/08 63

EVERYONE likes a puzzle: and Nintendo is uncommonly good at packaging them up in palatable chunks for consumers. The unstoppable Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training has certainly proven that – and that all-conquerin title is not too far removed from Nintendo’s latest potential DS hit, Professor Layton and the Curious Village. DS senior product manager James Honeywell gives MCV the inside scoop on the intriguing title: “The range of different puzzles in Professor Layton and the Curious Village is significantly greater than in previous ‘puzzle’ titles with over 130 to find and solve. It also incorporates different types of puzzles,

IN LAYTON’S TERMS Nintendo is focusing on promoting Professor Layton and the Curious Village with a wide-reaching marketing campaign. James Honeywell explains: “This will be our biggest new DS software launch this Christmas and will therefore receive considerable investment from Nintendo. “The campaign will comprise of long-lead print and PR activity before launch to significantly build awareness and then continue throughout the peak season. Starting early with a heavyweight online campaign and TV activity two weeks before launch, this will be followed with an extensive in-store campaign alongside further mass-market TV. “We also have plans to continue the promotion of Professor Layton over the coming year to maintain a longer sales curve.”

including word puzzles, riddles and other logic-based conundrums that I am sure will stretch everyone.” Non-gaming consumers familiar with Kawashima will find the title a ‘nextstep’ into gaming, as Honeywell elaborates: “We hope that this ‘unique’ blend of elements will give people brought into video games for the first time through Brain Training something to move on to – and at the same time give them a taste of what more traditional style games have to offer.” WIDE APPEAL

Honeywell adds: “We also hope that this title will offer something to more experienced players who will enjoy the great characters, story, visuals and puzzles from a title that has been receiving great reviews,” And appealing to non-gamers is still clearly something that Nintendo holds very dear to its heart. “As we continue to expand the audience we need to keep exploring new genres to ensure that we offer new experiences,” adds Honeywell. “The titles we have launched over the last few years have been specifically designed to attract to new customers. Professor Layton should appeal to a wide range of DS owners,

both old and new and will hopefully act as a bridge between casual and traditional-style games.” PRETTY CURIOUS

The game itself has its own brand of striking graphics: “The visual style of Layton really brings the story aspect of the game to life. The animation sequences are as good as a cartoon and push the DS to a new level. The visual style gives a good balance between the story and puzzles, allowing Professor Layton to appeal to both gamers who enjoy a good story and newer, casual gamers who like to complete puzzles.” The title has already begun to garner great word of mouth from the critical press and by the time the marketing campaign kicks in, Professor Layton and the Curious Village will be able to live up to being the biggest new DS IP to be launched this side of Christmas. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 7 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 08700 270 985


64 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:47

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 64 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

ANGRY EYES: The second expansion for WOW sees the return of the Lich King and his elaborate helmet

The long-awaited World of Warcraft expansion has a host of new features to spruce up the best-selling MMORPG. Rob Power finds out what the boys at Blizzard have been brewing up... IT’S BEEN well over a year since battle-hardened World of Warcraft gamers have had an expansion pack to sink their teeth into. When The Burning Crusade was released in January 2007, it broke all sorts of sales records, was almost universally praised and made a lot of players very happy indeed – which certainly makes the wait for this latest instalment understandable. Thankfully, it looks like Blizzard is going to deliver the goods once more, and in Wrath of the Lich King has another hit on its hands. As you might expect for an expansion that has been in development for some time, Wrath of the Lich King has plenty of new features to appeal to WOW veterans looking for a fresh challenge. Set on the nastylooking continent of Northrend, a location that was last seen in Warcraft III: The Frozen Thrown, players are set against the highly unpleasant Lich King and his swarms of happy-go-lucky minions who are dead set on ripping off the heads of any unwelcome visitors. “Players will skirmish with the minions

of Arthas from the moment they set foot on the continent of Northrend,” Blizzard tells MCV. “Arthas will be a constant presence as players progress through the expansion content, which will culminate in a showdown with the Lich King himself.” Players are able to advance to level 80 and pick up plenty of new abilities, whilst player versus player battles are

designed with goal-oriented players in mind. There are over 700 individual Achievements to get through covering every aspect of the game and players can earn various trophies, titles, pets or mounts that will basically allow them to show off how great they are. Wrath of the Lich King also brings about the inclusion of the first Hero class characters in the form of the death knights. “One of the things we knew very Wrath of the Lich King has early on during plenty of new features to development of Wrath of the Lich King was that appeal to WOW veterans we wanted to add an looking for a fresh challenge. entirely new class,” Blizzard told MCV. “We intensified thanks to the addition of considered several other class candidates siege weapons, destructible buildings before we decided on the death knight, and an all new battleground, Strand of but we felt that this was the perfect fit the Ancients. A new profession has also for the theme of Wrath of the Lich King. been included in the form of Inscription, Since the expansion is set in Northrend which allows players to conjure up and focuses on the war against the Lich glyphs, which permanently enhance a King, it made sense to add a class characters spells and abilities, and directly connected to that conflict. scrolls, which allow the player to cast “The death knights that players will temporary buffs. be able to play begin allied with the Another new addition is the Lich King but later break free from his Achievement system, which has been grasp and join forces with the Horde or

RELEASED: NOVEMBER 13 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3236

the Alliance to fight against Arthas,”says Blizzard. “Players who choose to be a death knight will be engaged in the story of Wrath of the Lich King right from the start.” FAN-TASTIC

As you might expect from a game that has well clear of 10 million active players online, Wrath of the Lich King is going to sell extremely well and make a lot of WOW fanatics very happy indeed. Full of features that are interesting and different enough to justify the expansion, this is a title that has ‘hit’ written all over it. Certain to be top of Christmas lists, Wrath of the Lich King is bound to make an impact at retail, and not just in the UK either, but worldwide. You only have to look at its predecessor to see just how well WOW products can perform.


Project1:MCV Ad

31/10/08

12:52

Page 1


66 MCV512_FINAL:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:31

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED 66 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

The ever-popular MMORPG genre goes from strength to strength with NCsoft’s latest deity-battling Aion: The Tower of Eternity. Rob Power flies into the fight...

HANGING AROUND: Flying, fighting and stunning visuals are all at the forefront in NCsoft’s latest MMO opus, Aion: The Tower of Eternity

THE MMORPG is a tough nut to crack. Unlike a lot of titles, with these huge online role players the aim is to pull a completely absorbing and in some way believable world out of thin air – to create basically a whole alternate universe that players can lose themselves in indefinitely. Ultimately, success lies in huge numbers of players who remain actively involved with the title for a long period of time, giving the whole thing a chance to grow and evolve. NCsoft is an old hand at it, and has seen notable successes such as Guild Wars and City of Heroes. With Aion: Tower of Eternity, players are once again offered the chance to live, die and get by in a strange land – and boy does this one look like a keeper. THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS

In development since 2006, Aion is set in Atreia, a world that has been literally split in two thanks to some problematic cosmic warmongering. A three-sided war is raging, and players begin their life in the game as a lowly ranker – a soldier at the bottom of the food chain. From there they must progress right up through the ranks to become a big, badass general who can wage war with huge armies. “Aion: The Tower of Eternity delivers a visually stunning world-design and a rich, unique story setting that is in perfect harmony with great new features such as the strategic flight system and an innovative Player-versusPlayer-versus-Environment combat system,” comments Aion Territory Franchise Manager for Europe Christian-Peter Heimbach. “Arguably the most beautiful and detailed MMORPG ever created, Aion lets players fight to save a vibrant world ripped asunder by a celestial war between two divine races. The celestial setting is very different from what MMO players have experienced to date, and the deeper storyline aims to draw a

more complex picture than the usual good versus evil scenario.” With a storyline designed to place players in a situation they might not be wholly familiar with, there is plenty more to keep both experienced MMORPG players and newcomers to the genre firmly hooked. “Aion brings

new three-dimensional aspect to all elements of the game, including quests, exploration and harvesting. We feel Aion is a very unique MMO, and it evolves the genre both in terms of gameplay and player experience.” With a fine line in original marketing ideas, NCsoft is once again looking to go about promoting Aion: Tower of Eternity in its Aion: The Tower of Eternity is own individual style. “We arguably the most beautiful strongly believe that and detailed MMORPG that’s traditional marketing communications to our ever been created. target audience is not Christian-Peter Heimbach, enough,” confirms NCsoft Heimbach. some compelling new features to the “Beginning very early after the genre such as strategic flight, which announcement of Aion, we have adds an integral element to gameplay, focused on establishing a working and is not purely for transportation,” relationship with the eager, early continues Heimbach. adopters and supporting them in “The strategic flight system in Aion creating and maintaining their online adds a fun and exciting dimension to communities. We will continue to build combat, including spectacular and and support this core group of deadly aerial battles, plus it opens up a passionate fans once we start our

RELEASED: Q1 2009 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: NCSOFT DEVELOPER: NCSOFT PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822822

comprehensive pre-launch campaign in the near future. Aion is a huge part of NCsoft’s 2009 portfolio, and as we get closer to launch, the more traditional marketing activities will of course begin to ramp up significantly, and Aion will receive marketing support in line with its triple-A status.” An interesting and eye-catching title, Aion: Tower of Eternity is aiming squarely at gamers who are looking for both absorbing gameplay, an interesting storyline and strikingly original visuals: players who want a bit more from their MMORPGs. A big release for NCsoft, there is going to be plenty of curious interest, as well as genuine excitement around this promising title.


67 MCV512_final:43 MCV462

3/11/08

09:25

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RECOMMENDED WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 67

SouthPeak’s DS title has stealthily crept its way to become a contender for a sleeper hit this Christmas. Jonathon Harker takes on the feisty residents of Ninjatown… NINJAS HAVE always been an alluring subject for the entertainment industry, from TV’s assault course challenge Ninja Warrior to those child-friendly ninja turtles from yesteryear. Ninjas have, of course, appeared in video games this year too, on Xbox 360 in Ninja Gaiden II and on DS in Ubisoft’s Dragon Sword. Now the games trade is preparing for the arrival of a new ninja on the block – Ninjatown, from publisher SouthPeak. SouthPeak’s title has roots in unusual but by no means unique roots – the toy industry. The firm’s MD of European markets Jonathan Hales tells MCV: “Ninjatown has a style of play that is fresh for the DS. First and foremost you will notice the art direction. The Ninjatown IP comes from Shawn Smith and is based on his Shawnimals line of plush toys. He’s been creating them for years and, as a former editor at a video game magazine – Electronic Gaming Monthly – he brought a lot of ideas to the table for the game. The look of the title really has a universal appeal and is a great fit for DS.”

STEALTH CAMPAIGN

LAIRY POPULATION

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ninjatown is populated with a diverse collection of Ninjas. The peaceful titular town is soon thrown into chaos when a nearby volcano erupts and unleashes some sinister enemies led by Mr Demon, which is a hell of a name to live up to.

Hales tells us more about the topdown action: “As for the gameplay, it is a sort a mutation of a tower defence style, but is more focused on action and capitalising on the DS controls. It ramps up very nicely and offers both casual

We think a few months from now Ninjatown will be described as the sleeper DS hit of 2008. It’s that good. Jonathan Hales, SouthPeak

But all is not lost – the populace is made up of ninjas after all, and we hear they’re quite useful in a scuffle. The town fights back against the marauders using special skills, including the Mighty Wind of Ninja Dropping and devastating Stealth Hug moves.

and hardcore gamers a challenge. The hilarious story, supplemented with full animated cut scenes, rounds out the whole package.” SouthPeak is fully aware of how tough Q4 is, especially this year, but the firm has high hopes for the title: “It’s

Marketing has already begun on SouthPeak’s DS title, as managing director Jonathan Hales explains: “We began the marketing effort by being present at events like PAX over the summer. We also recently rolled out our Wee Ninjatron on the social networks. “In the States we are rolling out an online and print campaign right now, focused on the serious DS players and Nintendo fanboys. Our campaign in the UK and the EU will hit mainly post-release. “We’ve also put together a lengthy demo, with over an hour of gameplay, that will be available on the Nintendo Channel soon so that players can get a chance to try the game out prior to purchasing.”

such a brutally competitive holiday season, we hope that a quirky game like Ninjatown can find a foothold – it really is something special,” says Hales. JIM-JAM ACTION

He adds: “We’d like to see over 300,000 units sold worldwide, and we think that’s realistic. We think a few months from now, Ninjatown will be described as the ‘sleeper DS hit of 2008’. “The game is that good. The reviews that are starting to hit shelves in the US are proof of that.”

With the continued appeal of ninjas, a tie-in line of plush toys and the kind of quirky appeal that goes down well with DS gamers, SouthPeak’s Ninjatown has all the ingredients of a title that can fight its way into the charts this Christmas. RELEASED: NOVEMBER 28 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SOUTHPEAK GAMES DEVELOPER: VENAN ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: PINNACLE SOFTWARE CONTACT: 0208 309 3934


68 MCV512_final:43 MCV467

3/11/08

10:00

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 68 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

A musical November for retail The congested November release schedule is filled to the brim with promising new musical software, with SingStar, Guitar Hero, Lips, Wii Music, Pop Star Guitar and High School Musical all set to dance off retail shelves... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PC

Action

Activision Blizzard

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

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

Flight Sim Action Gun Action Platform Kids Buzz! First Person Shooter Platform Quiz Kids Singing RPG Fighting RPG Sports Management Quiz Rhythm Imagine Imagine Martial Arts Adventure Action Puzzle Fun Horse Action Action Rhythm Quiz Action Sports Sports Singing Singing Action Action Cooking Pet Simulation Music

Just Flight THQ Ubisoft V.2 Play Microsoft Blast Sony Activision Blizzard Blast Mindscape Disney Interactive Disney Interactive Rising Star Games EA Rising Star Games Sega Mindscape Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Ubisoft Activision Blizzard V.2 Play EA Gamecock Atari Atari Ubisoft Ubisoft Midway Ubisoft Zoo Digital Ubisoft Ubisoft Sony Sony Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard City Interactive Atari EA Nintendo

0845 234 4242 0121 506 9590 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 01279 822 822 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 08452 344242 0870 027 6510 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 0870 027 6510 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 6253388 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9590 0121 506 9590 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 01279 822 822 01279 822 822 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 020 8309 3600 0121 506 9590 0121 625 3388 08700 270 985

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

DS PS2 / Wii / DS PS2 PS2 / Wii Wii DS DS XBOX 360 PSP

Fashion Action Quiz Family Dance Imagine Puzzle Singing Platform

Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard Disney Interactive EA Disney Interactive Ubisoft Rising Star Games Microsoft Sony

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 01582 433700 01279 822 822 0121 625 3388

Open Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Mastertronic Gem Centresoft

NOVEMBER 13th World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King

NOVEMBER 14th 757 Captain All Star Cheerleader Armoured Core 4 Answer B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts Bob the Builder: Festival of Fun Buzz! Brainbender Call of Duty: World at War Casper Scare School - Classroom Capers Deal or No Deal: The Banker Is Back Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell Disney Sing it! Dungeon Maker Facebreaker K.O. Party Flower Sun and Rain Football Manager 2009 Golden Balls Guitar Hero: Decades Imagine Champion Rider Imagine Dream Wedding Kung Fu Panda - Legendary Warrior Lola and Virginia Mirror's Edge Mr. Physics My Farm Around The World My Horse and Me 2 Planet Rescue: Animal Emergency Planet Rescue: Wildlife Vet Pop Star Guitar Scene It? Box Office Smash Sea Monsters Shaun White Snowboarding Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip SingStar ABBA SingStar Vol. 3 Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Sushi Academy Tamagotchi: Connexion Cornershop 3 The Sims 2: Mansion and Garden Wii Music

NOVEMBER 21st Barbie Fashion Show: An Eye for Style Barbie Horse Adventures: Summer Camp Disney Think Fast Hasbro Family Game Night High School Musical 3: Senior Year DANCE! Imagine Gymnast Jewel Master: Cradle of Rome Lips LocoRoco 2

MUSTSTOCK ...............GUITAR HERO: DECADES Released: November 14th Format: DS Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Once again using the Guitar Grip, Guitar Hero makes a return to Nintendo DS with over 28 new tracks, including music from Foo Fighters, Oasis and Queen. Considering the success of the original DS title, Guitar Hero: Decades is sure to be a retail smash hit.

MUSTSTOCK ...........................SINGSTAR ABBA Released: November 14th Format: PS2/ PS3 Publisher: SCEE Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Developed in conjunction with ABBA themselves, the latest SingStar spin-off debuts alongside SingStar Vol. 3 and will appear on PS2 and PS3. Following the success of the Mama Mia! movie, this could well be a surprise big hit this Christmas.


Total control with Take control with Football Director DS Football director DS logo

Take total control of your chosen team using the Nintendo DS™ stylus to glide effortlessly through menus and player data. Discover a world of football management on the Nintendo DS.

GAME FEATURES • Take your team to league and cup glory • Build your team from players in European Leagues • Spot up and coming youth talent in your team • Total control of your club’s finances • Hire and fire your back-room staff

And much more!

Nintendo DS™ Lite

MARKETING CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS • SKY SPORTS FOOTBALL, SOCCER AM & SKY SPORTS NEWS TV ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN N • MATCH MAGAZINE DREAM TEAM PROMOTION. 5 WEEK PRESS & ONLINE CAMPAIGN • 3 MONTH ADVERTORIAL AND PRESS PROMOTION CAMPAIGN INCLUDING 442, KICK & SPECIALIST PRESS • 8 WEEK CAMPAIGN ACROSS 79 OFFICIAL CLUB SITES • FOOTBALL RELATED GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ RECORD ATTEMPTS HELD AT CRYSTAL PALACE VS QPR • “TOTAL CONTROL” FREESTYLE TUTORIAL & VIRAL VIDEO CAMPAIGNS • UK WIDE LOCAL & REGIONAL RADIO PROMOTIONS • EXTENSIVE PR CAMPAIGN

KICK OFF: 28TH NOVEMBER FOUR DOOR L E M O N

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY FROM PINNACLE SOFTWARE

SALES HOTLINE 0208 309 3934 WWW.FOOTBALLDIRECTOR.COM

Football Director DS © 2008 Sports Director Limited. Produced and developed by Sports Director Limited and under exclusive license to Pinnacle Entertainment Limited. Game Engine provided by Four Door Lemon Limited. Pinnacle is a registered trademark of Pinnacle Entertainment Limited. Sports Director and related logos are trademarks of Sports Director Limited. Football Director is a registered trademark of Sports Director Limited. Official Football League licensed product. The Football League and The Football League logo are registered trademarks of The Football League Limited. All other company names, brand names and logos are property of their respective owners. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.


70,71 MCV512_final

3/11/08

10:38

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 70 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

FABLE II FORMAT: 360

2

NEW

3

1

SAINTS ROW 2 360

4

NEW

FABLE II LIMITED EDITION 360

NEW

DEAD SPACE 360

6

2

7

NEW

8

4

SAINTS ROW 2 PS3

9

3

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 360

10

NEW

11

5

12

NEW

FAR CRY 2 PC

13

NEW

MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES 360

14

6

15

NEW

UBISOFT THQ MICROSOFT EA

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 PS3

KONAMI

FAR CRY 2 PS3

UBISOFT THQ KONAMI

DEAD SPACE PS3

EA

FIFA ‘09 360

EA

FIFA ‘09 PS3 MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES 360

16

8

FIFA ‘09 PS2

17

13

MARIO KART WII WII

18

9

LEGO BATMAN PS2

20

DEVELOPER: LIONHEAD STUDIOS PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT

FAR CRY 2 360

5

19

PUBLISHER

UBISOFT ROCKSTAR EA ROCKSTAR EA NINTENDO WARNER BROS

RE

SAINTS ROW 2: PRE-ORDER PACK PS3

THQ

RE

SAINTS ROW 2: PRE-ORDER PACK 360

THQ

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.

HARDCORE RELEASE BLITZ STRIKES INDEPENDENTS CASUAL gaming may be this year’s industry buzz words, but try telling that to the indies – with this week’s Top Twenty representing the latest and greatest in hardcore gaming. The oft talked-about and critically praised Fable II leads the way, with a very impressive 22.75 per cent of the week’s total sales. Microsoft spent a significant amount of money backing the title, so its dominance this week comes as no surprise.

“Don’t expect the hardcore-loving to soften next week either, with Bethesda’s Fallout 3 finally making its way to shelves” The second highest new entry this week was Ubisoft’s equally impressive Far Cry 2. The first person shooter blasted into second, seventh and 12th positions, with the combined SKUs taking eight per cent of the week’s sales. And EA’s acclaimed Dead Space also manages to creep into the Top Five, with 5.5 per cent of indie sales. Saints Row 2, FIFA ‘09, Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 and Midnight Club: Los Angeles make up the rest of the hardcorefriendly Top 20, with only a single Wii game in the charts this week (Nintendo’s Mario Kart Wii in 17th place), and there’s not a handheld title in sight. And don’t expect the hardcore-loving to soften next week either, with Bethesda’s Fallout 3 finally making its way to store shelves. And then there’s the long-overdue return of a certain secret agent... chris.dring@intentmedia.co.uk

Games has opened its latest store in FROM THE FRONTLINE Grainger Washington. MCV speaks to manager Chris Sweet… How did the new store opening go? It exceeded our expectations. We were well prepared, with a good amount of stock in place, especially a good amount of Wii Fit. We had extra staff on duty to cope with demand. We were due to open at 9am, and by 8.30am the queues were half way up the shopping mall and growing all the time. There was a good mix of customers, with a lot of people delaying going to work in order to visit Grainger Games at opening time. What was the most popular product? We were lucky enough to get 92 Wii Fits on the opening day and that was the most popular product. All of the shop’s tills were in constant operation.

What do you hope to achieve over Christmas with the new store? I hope that our store will continue to be very popular over the Christmas period, and that it will knock the competition out of the water. What’s the best thing about working in a games shop? One of the key aspects is being part of a great work atmosphere and the fact that the company acknowledges our dedication and achievements within the store. What’s your favourite game and why? The Metal Gear Solid series. On top of it being an awesome game, it’s one of the best gaming stories ever told.

TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


70,71 MCV512_final

3/11/08

10:38

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 71 Sponsored by

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

PRICE CHECK MIDDLESBROUGH

What’s Cooking? Jamie Oliver

Far Cry 2

Dead Space

Fable II

Disaster: Day of Crisis

DS, Atari

PC, Ubisoft

PS3, EA

360, Microsoft

Wii, Nintendo

£24.71

£27.71

£39.71

£34.71

£27.71

£29.99

£29.99

£39.99

£39.99

£34.99

£29.99

£29.99

£39.99

£39.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

£39.99

£39.99

N/A

£24.99

£24.99

£39.99

£39.99

£32.99

N/A

£19.99

£34.99

£37.99

£28.99

£24.79

£25.97

£39.79

£39.79

£33.79

£24.97

£24.97

£39.97

£37.97

£32.97

IN STORE

ONLINE

MARGIN MAKER

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

Gamers who buy Electronic Arts’ FIFA ’09 on Xbox 360 can pick up FIFA Street 3 for just £9.99

TM and © Nintendo 2008

Pick up an Xbox 360 60 GB model with FIFA ’09 and the recently-released Fable II for £179.99

Collect Gears of War 2 for £14.99 by trading in either PES 2009, Fable II, Far Cry 2 or Saints Row 2.

Wii Fit continues to be one of the biggest releases of the year, and leading retailers have tipped the title to be a major seller this Christmas, especially with the wealth of games making full use of the Wii Balance Board. With the Balance Board requiring batteries, an ideal product to stock would be a Wii Fit Rechargeable Battery Pack, such as this one from Venom. The pack provides 15 hours of gameplay, takes 2 hours to fully charge up and charges via a USB cable, which is included in the pack (1.8 metres in length). The Wii Fit Battery Pack is available now with an RRP of £12.99. Venom: 01763 272927


72,73 MCV512_final:46-47 MCV405

4/11/08

11:29

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 72 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING

2 3 4 5

LEGO BATMAN MARIO KART DS MORE TOUCHMASTER HSM 3: SENIOR YEAR

6 7 8 9 10

2 3 NEW NEW

14 5 18 16 4

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO WARNER BROS. NINTENDO MIDWAY

2

3

FIFA ’09 DS, PS2, PC, 360, PS3, WII

3

8

WII FIT Wii

4

1

FABLE II 360

5

4

PRO EVO 2009 PC, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP, Wii

KONAMI

6

2

FAR CRY 2 PC, PS3, 360

UBISOFT

7

NEW

8

7

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

NINTENDO UBISOFT

PUBLISHER

FIFA ‘09 EA QUANTUM OF SOLACE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS MANHUNT 2 ROCKSTAR LEGO INDIANA JONES LUCASARTS GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS OF ROCK ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CRASH: MIND OVER MUTANT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MERCENARIES 2: WORLD IN FLAMES EA WALL  E THQ

NEW

4 5 NEW

3 7

[3]

DEVELOPER: KONAMI PUBLISHER: KONAMI

[4]

DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 PS3, 360 PS3, 360, Wii DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360 DS PS2, PSP, 360, Wii, NDS DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 PC PC, PS3, Wii, 360 NDS Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, PS2 Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 DS, Wii Wii DS DS DS, PS2, Wii PS2 DS, PS2, Wii Xbox 360, DS, PS2, PS3, Wii NDS Wii, PS3, 360 DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360

Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now 13 Nov 14 Nov 14 Nov 7 Nov 7 Nov 14 Nov 14 Nov 14 Nov 14 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 21 Nov 28 Nov

PUBLISHER EA NINTENDO MICROSOFT

QUANTUM OF SOLACE PS2, PS3, 360, WII, PS2, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9

9

MARIO KART WII Wii

5

SAINTS ROW 2 PC, PS3, 360

11

10

MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES PS3, 360

12

6

DEAD SPACE PC, PS3, 360

WARNER BROS. NINTENDO THQ ROCKSTAR EA

13

11

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

14

12

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

15

NEW

C&C: RED ALERT 3 PC

16

14

CARNIVAL: FUN FAIR GAMES Wii, DS

EA 2K GAMES

17

13

STAR WARS: UNLEASHED DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

18

15

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

19

16

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR ‘09 PS2, PSP, PS3, Wii, 360

20

19

BEN 10: PROTECTOR OF EARTH PSP, DS, PS2, Wii

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[5]

TITLE

10

PSP

RELEASE SCHEDULE Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Fracture Rapala’s Fishing Frenzy Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Transformers Animated Crash Bandicoot Mind Over Mutants Quantum of Solace World of Warcraft Wrath Of The Lich King Call of Duty: World of War Guitar Hero On Tour Decades Guitar Hero World Tour Software only Guitar Hero World Tour Solo Guitar Pack & Software Guitar Hero World Tour Complete Band Pack & Software Kung Fu Panda - Legendary Warrior Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance Barbie Fashion Show: An Eye for Style Barbie Horse Adventures: Summer Camp Guitar Hero World Tour Complete Band Pack & Software Shrek’s Carnival Craze Spyro Dawn Of The Dragon Tony Hawk's Motion World Championship Off Road Racing Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA

NINTENDO

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2

FORMAT: 360, PS3, PC

UBISOFT

NINTENDO

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009

1

FALLOUT 3

LAST WEEK

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1 THIS WEEK

1 NEW

[2]

DISNEY

MORE BRAIN TRAINING IMAGINE: TEACHER NINTENDOGS: LAB & FRIENDS BIG BRAIN ACADEMY PUZZLER COLLECTION

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

1

[ENTERTAINMENT - FULL PRICE]

TITLE

FIFA ‘09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

LEGO BATMAN MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LEGO INDIANA JONES TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR ‘09 MANHUNT 2 CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII STAR OCEAN: FIRST DEPARTURE WALL  E

NEW

5 10 9

SEGA EA D3P

[FULL PRICE]

1 2 4 3 6 7

LUCASARTS

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA WARNER BROS. ROCKSTAR LUCASARTS LUCASARTS EA ROCKSTAR SQUARE ENIX SQUARE ENIX THQ

Available 14th November 2008

WWW.CALLOFDUTY.COM

© 2008 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision and Call of Duty are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. ‘’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘PLAYSTATION’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and ‘Games for Windows’ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. NINTENDO DS, Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Activision makes no guarantees regarding the availability of online play, and may modify or discontinue online service in its discretion without notice, including for example, ceasing online service for economic reasons due to a limited number of players continuing to make use of the service over time.


72,73 MCV512_final:46-47 MCV405

4/11/08

11:29

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 73

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

21

17

GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS PS2, PS3, Wii, 360

22

26

THE SIMPSONS GAME DS, PS2, Wii, 360, PS3, PSP

23

21

MARIO KART DS DS

24

18

BIG BEACH SPORTS Wii

THQ

25

NEW

MYSIMS KINGDOM Wii, DS

EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA NINTENDO

26

31

WALL  E Wii, PS3, PS2, 360, DS, PSP, PC

27

23

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3

28

NEW

MORE TOUCHMASTER DS

MIDWAY

29

NEW

HSM 3: SENIOR YEAR DS

DISNEY

THQ

30

RE

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

31

24

FAMILY TRAINER Wii

32

29

CALL OF DUTY 4 360, PS3, PC, DS

33

NEW

MONOPOLY Wii, PS2, PS3, 360

34

30

LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE DS, PS3, Wii, 360 LUCASARTS

35

39

COOKING MAMA DS, Wii

36

NEW

IMAGINE: TEACHER DS

ATARI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

37

28

FAMILY SKI Wii

38

RE

NINTENDOGS: LAB & FRIENDS DS

39

37

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

40

22

SUPER SMASH BROS BRAWL Wii

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

C&C: RED ALERT 3 FAR CRY 2 SPORE FIFA MANAGER ‘09 THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE DEAD SPACE PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 X3: TERRAN CONFLICT

NEW

5 7 3 4 6

UBISOFT

NINTENDO LUCASARTS NINTENDO

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FAR CRY 2 FIFA ‘09 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 QUANTUM OF SOLACE MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES SAINTS ROW 2 DEAD SPACE GRAND THEFT AUTO IV MOTO GP ‘08

2 4 1 NEW

6 3 5 8 9

DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA

TITLE

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO KART WII WII PLAY CARNIVAL: FUN FAIR GAMES FIFA ‘09 MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES LEGO BATMAN BIG BEACH SPORTS FAMILY TRAINER FAMILY SKI

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA EA UBISOFT EA EA EA EA EA KONAMI DEEP SILVER

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FABLE II FIFA ‘09 FAR CRY 2 SAINTS ROW 2 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 QUANTUM OF SOLACE DEAD SPACE MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

“RAISES THE BAR FOR ALL WAR GAMES” 10/10 PSW

6 7 10

ROCKSTAR THQ EA ROCKSTAR CAPCOM

NINTENDO NINTENDO 2K GAMES EA SEGA WARNER BROS. THQ ATARI ATARI

[FULL PRICE]

FALLOUT 3

NEW

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

1 1 5 3 2 4

EA KONAMI

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 7 10 12

UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[FULL PRICE]

FALLOUT 3

1 2

505 GAMES

NAMCO BANDAI

1 NEW

EA

PUBLISHER

FALLOUT 3

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO

TITLE

1

WII

ROCKSTAR

[FULL PRICE]

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA MICROSOFT EA MICROSOFT THQ KONAMI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ROCKSTAR ROCKSTAR

[SOURCE]

PS3

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

WEEK ENDING 01/11/08


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 1

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . 020 8664 3456 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 Music Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 234 4112 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . 087 19 18 17 21

LOCALISATION Absolute Quality . . . . . . . . . 0141 220 5600 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . +49 (0)2104 172660 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507 217 DISC REPAIR Scratch Busters . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535 701 TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 Perfect Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252 191

Gem Creative Get your message out Gem Creative offer retail specific design and production support including trade & consumer advertising campaigns, Point of Sale, marketing collateral, repackaging, bundling and concept solutions.

Contact Neil Handa Gem Distribution Ltd St George House Parkway Harlow Business Park Harlow Essex CM19 5QF 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk POS

Packaging

Publishing

One integrated solution Flyers

Brochures

Trade PR

Media Buying

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

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

DISTRIBUTION

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

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

DISTRIBUTION

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

ONLINE PRESENCE

For further online advertising information please contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk

MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 2

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 NOVEMBER 14th

CHRISTMAS PERIPHERALS FOCUS With Christmas looming, MCV takes a look at the top peripheral muststocks for the season. The peripherals market is booming across retail, and the question of what to stock is more important than ever before. We grill the top peripherals manufacturers and find out which products are going to be essential for retailers ahead of Christmas. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28th

DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL FOCUS MCV takes an in-depth look at the big issues involved in the everimportant distribution sector. We speak to the major players about the future of the supply chain, and how they will be tackling the challenges ahead for the distribution side of the games trade. There’s also a comprehensive run-down of Christmas opening hours – enjoy! FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28th

TERRITORY REPORT: SPAIN MCV investigates the gaming market in Spain and Portugal with an indepth territory report. Boasting a significant ex-pat community and decreasing product costs in the sector, this southern European country are expected to see increased growth in the near future. MCV speaks to local industry faces and analysts for a detailed look at the present and future of video gaming in the territories. FRIDAY DECEMBER 5th

CHRISTMAS MARKETING SPECIAL With the battle for Christmas number one well and truly in full swing by early December, we report on how platform holders, publishers and retailers are attempting to get the upper hand through marketing their wares. Expect interviews with key marketing players and a look at the most effective campaigns from years gone by. Who are you backing to take the top spot? FRIDAY DECEMBER 12th

TERRITORY REPORT: ITALY Italy isn’t all about pizza, pasta and gondolas – it’s got a burgeoning games market too. The Italian video game sector has grown steadily over the past few years, and MCV will take a closer look at the territory following its first Video Game Developers Conference, which kicks off in Milan. FRIDAY DECEMBER 12th

ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY MCV publishes the results of its annual retailer survey, quizzing a huge number of retailers on their views of 2008. We’ll ask retailers which products have been key, how confident they are in their business and their thoughts on what the next 12 months have in store. FRIDAY DECEMBER 19th

REVIEW OF THE YEAR With what is surely the biggest year ever for the video games trade drawing to a close, there is plenty to talk about in MCV’s Review of the Year. We take a look back at the stories that rocked the industry and examine the highs and the lows of 2008. We’ll also take a look at what the trade believes 2009 has got in store for gaming.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

JONATHON.HARKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 3

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 7 Seas Tech ..................................................www.7seastech.com Atomic Planet...........................................+44 (0) 1642 871 100 Blitz Games Studios..................................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive ..............................+44 (0) 1970 626299 Creative North ...........................................+44 (0)1484 487904 Fuse Games ..........................................careers@fusegames.com Oxygen ....................................................+44 (0) 1933 446437 Realtime Worlds.......................................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games...................................jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio.......................................+44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS bluegfx ....................................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Epic Games ....................................................+1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle ...............................................00 (1) 925 417 1785 Natural Motion ..........................................+44 (0)1865 250575 SERVICES 3D Creation Studio ..................................+44 (0) 151 236 9992 Absolute Quality .......................................+44 (0)141 220 5600 Air Studios ...............................................+44 (0) 207 794 0660 Cadjobs .........................................................+31 107 504 588 Datascope ...............................................+44 (0) 20 7580 6018 Partnertrans .............................................+49 (0) 2104 172 660 Philips amBX .......................................................www.ambx.com Testronic Labs ...........................................+44 (0)1753 653 722 Tsunami Sounds.......................................+44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking ................................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES Goldsmiths ................................................+44 (0)20 70785052 University of Hull......................................+44 (0) 1482 465 951 To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

DISTRIBUTION

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

MUSIC EXPRESS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 234 4112. . . . . . . . . . . . www.music-express.co.uk


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 4

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

Insider’s | Guide

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

In this week’s Insider’s Guide MCV speaks to Enzyme Labs’ CEO Yan Cyr...

ABSOLUTE QUALITY . . . . . . +44 (0)141 220 5600 . . . . . www.absolutequality.co.uk LOCALISATION

Could you tell us a little about Enzyme? Enzyme Labs is a large scale dedicated multi-lingual ISO 9001:2000 certified game testing company with secure facilities. We help video game publishers and developers reduce production costs, enhance the gaming experience and shorten time to market in many ways. These include providing multi-platform world class precertification, functionality, linguistic testing, gameplay, focus group and product evaluation, compatibility, connectivity, MMOG, load testing and also technical support services. Is Enzyme Labs looking at expanding? We are always looking at innovative ways to grow our business, whether that’s through value added services, acquisitions or organic growth.

PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . +49 (0)2104 172660. . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

We have grown significantly over the last three years and reached a peak of over 420 full time employees this year. In 2008 we expanded our facilities to include a new large area of testing labs at our main facility and we also significantly increased the size of our Montreal installations to add test rooms, larger administrative areas for sales and marketing, as well as a customer support centre and focus group area. What is the best thing about your job? There are several great things about Enzyme Labs – we continually challenge ourselves to deliver uncompromising quality for our customers. But having the opportunity to work on some great video games before they hit the market and know that we have contributed to make them better is probably the most satisfying.


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 5

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

DISC REPAIR

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

SCRATCHBUSTERS . . . . . . . . . 01992 535701 . . . . . . . . . . . www.scratchbusters.co.uk

LOCALISATION

DISC REPAIR

We’ll make sure your disc repair is up to scratch All the disc repair options you need, from entry level machines to state-of-the-art electronic systems. Call or visit our website to find out more.

Venmill Buffer from £1595

01202 489 500

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

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

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

HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTICAL DISC REPAIR SYSTEMS Eco Senior Fully Automatic Repair System

Eco Smart

Entry Level Repair System

Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers Eco Master

50 disc Automatic Repair System

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

www.rtico.com RTI-inbox@rtiuk.co.uk

High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System

RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252191 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.rtico.com


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:49

Page 6

ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR

DIARY DATES ‘08 From the MCV PES Industry Tournament to the Develop Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to stick in your diary…

NOVEMBER BRADFORD ANIMATION FESTIVAL Wednesday, November 12th November 15th National Media Museum, Bradford www.baf.org.uk

PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.co.uk

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

ONLINE PRESENCE £450 PER MONTH SITE WIDE BUTTON Size: 300x100 pixels File type: Animated Flash swf or animated gif

£550 PER MONTH TOP 4 BUTTON PLUS EMAIL NEWSFLASH

MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL GAME SUMMIT 2008 Tuesday, November 18th Montreal, Canada www.sijm.ca/2008/en GAME CONNECT ASIA PACIFIC Wednesday, November 19thNovember 22nd Hilton Brisbane, Queensland, Australia www.gameconnectap.com AMERICA’S VIDEO GAMES EXPO Friday, November 21st Pennsylvania Convention Center www.videogame.net

DECEMBER

Size: 140x120 pixels File type: Static jpeg or animated gif

MCV PES INDUSTRY RANKINGS Thursday, November 27th Rex Cinema, Soho pesrankings.com/ industry Konami is now accepting teams interested in looking into the whites of their opponents’ eyes at the latest MCV PES Industry Tournament. It is open to all MCV readers although, of course, there is a strict limit on the number of teams that can be granted a starting place. You must enter in teams of two and you must work for the same company. Head to the site above for more...

THE DEVELOP QUIZ Wednesday, December 10th AKA Bar, London orlaith.kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk

JANUARY

For further online advertising information please contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647

MCVUK.COM March ‘08 Page Views 471,735 Sessions served 304,870 Unique Visitors 215,754

Feb ‘08 404,964 242,537 163,712

www.mcvuk.com MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com

CES INTERNATIONAL 2009 Thursday, January 8thJanuary 10th Las Vegas, USA www.CESweb.org

FEBRUARY INTERNATIONAL MOBILE GAMES AWARDS Wednesday, February 18th Barcelona, Spain www.imgawards.com THE ELAN AWARDS 2009 Saturday, February 28th Vancouver, Canada www.theelans.com/2009

MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, December 3rd AKA Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk

MCV provides retailers, suppliers and media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local pub. There will be thousands of pounds worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night, as well as loads of topnotch booze and food.


74-79 MCV512_final:Layout 1

4/11/08

12:05

Page 6

ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR

DIARY DATES ‘08 From the MCV PES Industry Tournament to the Develop Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to stick in your diary…

NOVEMBER BRADFORD ANIMATION FESTIVAL Wednesday, November 12th November 15th National Media Museum, Bradford www.baf.org.uk

PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.co.uk

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

ONLINE PRESENCE £450 PER MONTH SITE WIDE BUTTON Size: 300x100 pixels File type: Animated Flash swf or animated gif

£550 PER MONTH TOP 4 BUTTON PLUS EMAIL NEWSFLASH

MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL GAME SUMMIT 2008 Tuesday, November 18th Montreal, Canada www.sijm.ca/2008/en GAME CONNECT ASIA PACIFIC Wednesday, November 19thNovember 22nd Hilton Brisbane, Queensland, Australia www.gameconnectap.com AMERICA’S VIDEO GAMES EXPO Friday, November 21st Pennsylvania Convention Center www.videogame.net

DECEMBER

Size: 140x120 pixels File type: Static jpeg or animated gif

MCV PES INDUSTRY RANKINGS Thursday, November 27th Rex Cinema, Soho pesrankings.com/ industry Konami is now accepting teams interested in looking into the whites of their opponents’ eyes at the latest MCV PES Industry Tournament. It is open to all MCV readers although, of course, there is a strict limit on the number of teams that can be granted a starting place. You must enter in teams of two and you must work for the same company. Head to the site above for more...

THE DEVELOP QUIZ Wednesday, December 10th AKA Bar, London orlaith.kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk

JANUARY

For further online advertising information please contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647

MCVUK.COM March ‘08 Page Views 471,735 Sessions served 304,870 Unique Visitors 215,754

Feb ‘08 404,964 242,537 163,712

www.mcvuk.com MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com

CES INTERNATIONAL 2009 Thursday, January 8thJanuary 10th Las Vegas, USA www.CESweb.org

FEBRUARY INTERNATIONAL MOBILE GAMES AWARDS Wednesday, February 18th Barcelona, Spain www.imgawards.com THE ELAN AWARDS 2009 Saturday, February 28th Vancouver, Canada www.theelans.com/2009

MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, December 3rd AKA Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk

MCV provides retailers, suppliers and media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local pub. There will be thousands of pounds worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night, as well as loads of topnotch booze and food.


80,81 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:39

Page 1

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 80 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

CYPRUS

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

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD AFA INTERACTIVE 66 Hughes Street, Mile End, South Australia 5031 Tel: +61 8823 41355

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 / Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

GERMANY

Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0 Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10 email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

DENMARK

GREECE

QVS ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS Stenholm 1, 9400, Norresundby, Denmark Phone: +45 70277640 Fax: +45 70277650 email: sales@entertainment-trading.com Web www.entertainment-trading.com

THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA. Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004 Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com Tel: +6139573.9203

Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

NEW ZEALAND Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt

Australia email: paulelliot@qvsoftware.com.au Web: www.qvsoftware.com.au Tel: 61 2 9748 2555

NETHERLANDS

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

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

NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

POLAND

HUNGARY

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

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

COMGAME 576 LTD GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

1042 Budapest, Arpad UT 112, Hungary Tel: +36 1 369 2686 Fax: +36 1 272 0109 Email: bzsolt@576.hu Web: www.576.hu

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

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

AUSTRIA

ESTONIA

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

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

TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw, Poland Email: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96

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

INDIA TM

BELGIUM Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont

BENELUX

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

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

Contact Data......................................................Breda

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA GAMEWORLD Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex France Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road, Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA. Tel: +91 22 28203319 Fax: +91 22 28203334 email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

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

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

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

v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


80,81 MCV512_final:Layout 1

3/11/08

09:39

Page 2

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 81

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...

RUSSIA

SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg

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

AKELLA 12/1 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya st., 127015, Moscow, Russia Phone: +7 (495) 363-4612 Fax: +7 (495) 363-4615 http://en.akella.com Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

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

SOUTH AFRICA

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

UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. 118-21 Queens Boulevard, Suite 509, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Tel: +001 917 627 3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 email: sales@bascogames.com Web: www.bascogames.com

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

SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid

DREAMGEAR, LLC

FRIENDWARE

20001 S. Western Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

Marques de Monteagudo 18, 28028 Madrid, Spain email: juan.bustamante@friendware.es

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

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

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

PLUTO GAMES VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

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

UNITED STATES

INTERNATIONAL NEWS THE CONTINUED success of the video games trade in the face of the global economic crisis isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to the UK, new figures from the United States have revealed. The second annual developer census of the North American games industry announced that the number of trade employees in in the US has risen by a mighty 12 per cent – and by 17 per cent in neighbouring Canada. The company behind the census, Think Services Game Group, claims it surveyed all companies in the development and publishing sectors. It found that 44,000 are now working in the industry, a significant rise from last year’s 39,700. In Canada the employee number totalled 9,500, up from 2007’s 8,100. Overall, it recorded a yearly jump from 47,800 employees to 53,900 – a rise of 13 per cent. Think Services Game Group put the rise down to many factors, including the continued success

and funding of MMOs and online worlds. The report cited the likes of World of Warcraft as playing a key role in the continued growth in free-to-play game worlds, where venture capital funding has increased significantly. In terms of states, California notched up the lion’s share of games employees, with almost 48 per cent – around 21,200 – of the total working in the US. Washington came second with 4,700 employees and Texas third at 3,300. Publisher of Game Developer Magazine and director of Game Developer Research Simon Carless, said: “With industry revenues at an all-time high, we believe that we’ll continue to see a vibrant market for those employed in the art and science of gaming.” The report didn’t rule out the possibility of the credit crunch affecting the US games industry in the long term, but added that there were no signs of it yet.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1

26/8/08

16:52

Page 1


83 MCV512_final:47 MCV443

4/11/08

13:27

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 83

MCV FORUM

‘Piracy is alive and thriving’ One retailer writes that the threat posed by the growing use and acceptance of R4 cards hasn’t gone away... WITH THE credit crunch hitting most people in one way or another, we have noticed more and more of our regular customers turning to illegally downloading their games. In the past three weeks we have had customers come into our store who have completed Gears of War 2, play on Xbox Live with a flashed console and even mothers who think R4 cards are fine to use because Amazon and eBay sell them. It’s basically not even looked upon as illegal as it’s now so easy to do – with video guides on how to mod your console on YouTube, thousands of file sharing sites and even sites that you pay to join so you can download new releases weeks before retail launch. We even had a woman come into the store who wanted us to flash her Wii, and told us: “It’s not illegal, it’s called upgrading!”. I was pleased to see a pirate caught and fined recently, but publishers need to take this seriously as piracy is just not acceptable.

R4 AT LARGE: Signs that piracy is still rife and, even worse than that, is becoming increasingly acceptable to the general public, is a worrying sign of the times according to one retailer...

A lot of people are even making money by selling these illegal copies to friends, families and even at schools. I’m realistic – I know that it’s near impossible to wipe out piracy, but why is there not

more firmware on consoles to stop or slow people down? With the DSi out soon, including an SD card slot, Nintendo seems to be welcoming piracy – now you don’t need an R4, just an SD

card. Our DS software sales have dropped rapidly and people now only want consoles so they can mod them. After the R4 debate came up in MCV a while ago I wonder if any publisher is really bothered?

Maybe it’s all just taken into account, like large shops take theft into account when doing their year-end accounts? ‘Anonymous Northern Indie Retailer’

In praise of GamesAid... I WANTED to offer my sincere thanks to a number of companies and individuals who have bucked the depressing trends all around and have done something positive – and something to help others. I attended the Eurogamer Expo at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. It had a great venue, a great atmosphere and exactly the right feel for a consumer event. In short, a breath of fresh air. No loud AV, no publisher branding at all, no booth babes, no nonsense. Just loads of top

quality kit, with top quality games being lapped up by a mainly young but extremely enthusiastic audience. Surely this is the way forward, and let’s hope Eurogamer roll

this out to cities across the UK next year. But you know what was even better than all of that? The fact that the whole of the entrance fee of £5 per head,

less the lump comedy eyebrows Darling’s mob take in the name of VAT, went straight to GamesAid. A whopping £15,000 or so cash will be donated in the coming weeks. Then add in the fact that Eurogamer organised a poker night sponsored by PKR who kindly put the prize money up, and all the buy-ins and re-buys (£3,000) went straight to GamesAid as well. In short you have a truly brilliant event, providing fun for all, a great networking

opportunity for the steely eyed players and above all cash going to GamesAid’s coffers. It’s a lesson to the cynics out there that charity lives and it starts at home. It reminds me of a great quote: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Well done Eurogamer, the poker players and to the members of the public who made this happen.

Bookmark us in your phone:

Andy Payne,

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM

ELSPA

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE


84-86 MCV510_final

4/11/08

12:53

Page 1

84 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFF THE RECORD

This week, we take a look back at last Friday’s triumphantly boozy Golden Joysticks. Did you attend the after show party? Did you see our roving cameraman buzzing about? If so, cross your fingers and open your eyes for the following... We always suspected that one drink was never enough for Warner Bros’ official scarf-wearer Phil ‘Lambykins’ Lamb. Now our suspicions have been confirmed.

THE WINNERS Nuts All-Nighter Award Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare The Sun Family Game of the Year Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Bliss Handheld Game of the Year Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass 4Talent Mobile Game of the Year Bejeweled 2 Mobile Game Pitch 2008 Tobias Rowe with Finders Keeper

Pssst… The D3P girls play the flirtatious good cop/bad cop game: Marlene Fitzsimmons (right) is all smiles; but Suzanne Sutton (left) remains tantalisingly sultry.

BHPR’s Joanna Waitzman offers a fellow purple-ite, Eidos’ Roxana Etemand, a supportive rub during a karaoke battle.

Which publishing sales guru was allegedly involved in a spot of fisticuffs with some builders, after protecting an industry girl’s honour in nearby boozer the Shepherds Tavern? He came back to the after show party with the cuts to prove it...

Official Nintendo Magazine Game of the Year Super Smash Bros Brawl ESA PC Game of the Year Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Activision-Blizzard Retailer of the Year Play.com Official Playstation Magazine High Definition PlayStation Game of the Year Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots BBC 1Xtra Soundtrack of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV

Nintendo’s James Honeywell. The greatest shirt of the evening. We don’t really need to say any more.

Arvato Digital Services Xbox Game of the Year Grand Theft Auto IV Edge Most Wanted Award Fallout 3

Nintendo’s David Yarnton and Koch Media’s Craig McNicol flash us a smile. We’re sure you would too if it was your job to handle Nintendo products.

GamesRadar.com Online Game of the Year Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare CVG.co.uk UK Developer of the Year Rockstar North E4.com Grand Master Flash Award Stickman Madness Play.com One To Watch Call of Duty 4: World at War Future UK Publisher of the Year Activision-Blizzard

Atari’s Lee Kirton is a model pro: Always a cheeky smile for the ladies, always knows where the camera is. The same can’t be said for Indigo Pearl’s Olly McGowan.

Virgin Media Ultimate Game of the Year Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare


84-86 MCV510_final

4/11/08

12:53

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 07/11/08 85

Gem’s marketing man Neil Handa – never without half-supped lager, naturally – has a point to prove, and his drinking cohort certainly sees the funny side.

Our roving cameraman tells us that this young lady wouldn’t stop pestering him to take pics of her all night. No wonder – she’s mighty angelic, after all.

Pssst… Which Doug B and Neil M were crowing about Liverpool’s recent success at the Bridge all afternoon at the Joysticks, only to end up crying into their hangovers at White Hart Lane 24 hours later?

Intent Media’s Hannah Short joins forces with Indigo Pearl’s Johanna Hakala for a ‘Ican-do-1980s-Madonna’ pout-off. More sex appeal than a single man can handle.

Warner’s Charlene Allen has always been a cheeky monkey – and this snap is no different. The two-fingers-behind-the-head routine. Infantile. Silly. Brilliant.

Gem’s Richard Stickler witnesses Gian Luzio’s entry into the ‘how thin can your lips go’ contest – as the Play.com man enjoys a little power nap.

OPM’s Nathan Ditum remains noble – nay, statesmanlike – as Indigo Pearl’s Caroline Miller nods off. Note the lipstick.

Offical Nintendo mag’s top dog Neil Long gets close to the platform holder’s Ben Taylor. Note the lipstick.

Charlene’s back... Well, her front actually, having a good ol’ lick of fellow Warner raver Maria Deevoy. Someone’s been kissing Charlene here. Note the lipstick.


84-86 MCV510_final

4/11/08

12:53

Page 3

86 MCV 07/11/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

CROSSING WIN 5 COPIES OF ANIMAL Christmas will come early for one lucky reader, with Nintendo offering the chance to win five copies of Animal Crossing: Let’s Go To The City. To be in with a shout, just tell us…

IN APRIL 2002, WHICH TOWN WAS BESTOWED WITH CITY STATUS? A) CHORLTON-CUM-HARDY

B) PRESTON

C) CHANTELLE

SEND YOUR ANSWER TO CROSSING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Editor: Jonathon Harker Jonathon.Harker@intentmedia.co.uk

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

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

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

Staff Writer: Chris Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

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

Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Ben Furfie

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

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647



FAX: 01992 535648

Please address all enquiries to:

Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Finance Assistant: Zarah Aslam

MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA. Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688

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

MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2007, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 9,086. 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 titles for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes PC Retail for retailers and suppliers to the computer trade, Develop Magazine for games programmers, producers and artists, ToyNews for all sectors of the toy industry and Mobile Entertainment.

Intent has also recently launched BikeBiz and MI Pro. 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


GHWT_COD5_MCVcover.indd 4

30/10/08 17:37:08

:?I@JKD8J)''/

“RAISES THE BAR FOR ALL WAR GAMES” 10/10 PSW “THE MOST

VISCERAL CALL OF DUTY EVER!” - Xbox 360 The Official Magazine

“REST ASSURED,

THIS IS WAR LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE” - CVG

“THE GAME IS LOOKING AND SOUNDING STUNNING.” - Games TM

“THIS IS A WHOLE NEW CALL OF DUTY” - Eurogamer.net

“GAME OF THE YEAR” - FHM

Ÿ)''/8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`feXe[:Xccf];lkpXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEË Xi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ%D`Zifjf]k#N`e[fnj#k_\N`e[fnjM`jkXJkXikYlkkfe#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j#Xe[Ê>Xd\j]fiN`e[fnjËXe[k_\N`e[fnj M`jkXJkXikYlkkfecf^fXi\lj\[le[\ic`Z\ej\]ifdD`Zifjf]k%E@EK<E;F;J#N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%8Zk`m`j`fedXb\jef ^lXiXek\\ji\^Xi[`e^k_\XmX`cXY`c`kpf]fec`e\gcXp#Xe[dXpdf[`]pfi[`jZfek`el\fec`e\j\im`Z\`e`kj[`jZi\k`fen`k_flkefk`Z\#`eZcl[`e^]fi\oXdgc\#Z\Xj`e^fec`e\j\im`Z\]fi\Zfefd`Zi\Xjfej[l\kfXc`d`k\[eldY\if]gcXp\ijZfek`el`e^kfdXb\lj\f] k_\j\im`Z\fm\ik`d\%

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd


GHWT_COD5_MCVcover.indd 1

30/10/08 17:35:33


MCV Issue 512, November 7th 2008