Issuu on Google+


3 MCV516_final

2/12/08

17:46

Page 1

THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 516 Friday December 5 2008 £3.25

04 Sony speaks out

20 Spring has sprung

SCEE President David Reeves gives MCV an exclusive update on PS3

Future Publishing CEO Stevie Spring talks annual results – and 2009

06 MCV Awards update

12 The November sparklers

We’ve picked the categories for next year’s event. Which do you qualify for?

ELSPA and GFK-ChartTrack present the official November rankings

07 Above its ‘Station

30 Independents’ day

Gamestation’s celebrates opening its 250th store – and looks to expand

We take an in-depth look at the state of the UK’s independent developers

EVERY BUYER G EVERY BRANCH G EVERY INDIE G EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Square makes late Eidos bid ...but Warner in pole position Expanding publishers begin to circle struggling Britsoft firm – with an eye on key development assets, say insiders by Michael French A BATTLE between East and West looks set to decide the future of Eidos. MCV understands that both Warner Bros and Square Enix are ready to mount rival acquisition bids this month for the ailing British publisher. Although national press reports have fingered EA and Ubisoft as potential buyers, nose-tappers are backing Warner as the victor. It already owns 20 per cent of the Britsoft firm, and would only have to spend around $30m for a controlling interest. A spend of around $80m would give it total control, putting Eidos’ current market value at around $120m. Eidos last month relaxed restrictions on Warner that would otherwise stop it buying more shares. However, Square is making clear signals of serious interest.

Global president Yoichi Wada has already visited Denmark's IO Studio – Eidos’ developer of the Hitman franchise – and is set to return to the UK shortly to move the deal forward. Our source said: “I think Warners will still win, but it’s very interesting that Square have expressed this late interest. They are clearly looking for Western talent.” Square Enix could opt to buy single assets – perhaps just IO and the Hitman brand. But shareholders looking to maximise value might prefer an all-or-nothing swoop. The Tokyo firm has made no secret of its global aspirations. Just last week the company told MCV that this strategy is being driven by a new business development unit

established by Western boss John Yamamoto. And whilst it has made significant in-roads with titles like Final Fantasy XII, the firm acknowledges it has few titles with Western appeal. Eidos, on the other hand, has suffered significantly in the past 12 months, with its rocky year including a management cull, global

studio restructuring and financial upheaval – with losses quadrupling and its share price losing over 90 per cent of its value. Its key Q4 release, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Underworld, currently nestles at number seven in the GFKChartTrack All Formats Top 10. Eidos products, however, cover a raft of genres with Western appeal. Its slate of studios and IP (see below) would perfectly complement Square’s activity and plug the gaps in its line-up.

THE EIDOS ‘EMPIRE’

SQUARE VISION: Could Lara soon have Japanese owners?

Earlier this year Eidos restructured its business around key studio assets and their franchises. These remain: Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider), Beautiful Game Studios (Championship Manager), IO Interactive (Hitman) and Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex). It also owns studios in Hungary, Sweden and China, as well as UK casual studio Morpheme and mobile developer Rockpool Games. In addition, it has a 25 per cent stake in the developer of the hotly-tipped Batman: Arkham Asylum – the London-based Rocksteady.

Now GameStop eyes Woolies stores by Tim Ingham US GAMES retail giant GameStop has tabled a bid for around half of Woolworths’ 815 stores, MCV understands. If accepted, that would immediately make the firm the UK’s biggest specialist chain – eclipsing GAME’s 397 stores. However, the Basingstoke-based retailer also owns 51 concessions – and, of course, 253 Gamestation outlets.

WORTH IT: Insiders say GameStop is bidding for Woolworths stores

It could be the biggest step forward yet for GameStop’s UK expansion plans. The firm currently owns stores in Stockport and Birmingham, as well as over 40 outlets in Eire. A well-placed source said: “GAME frustrated GameStop when it bought GameStation. Bosses at GameStop had pretty much given up on launching a UK assault – but now, thanks to Woolies, that door is open again. They’re up against other

bidders, but they’ll fight tooth and nail.” Woolworths went into administration last week, with distribution arm EUK. Deloitte is selling off the retailer’s assets. Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis is keen on buying the most successful Woolworths stores. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s are also all reportedly interested in purchasing outlets. GameStop could not comment at the time of going to press.

PERSONNEL 32 RETAIL BIZ 33 NEW RELEASES 38 HIGH STREET 40 CHARTS 42


4,5 MCV516_final:4-5 MCV515

2/12/08

15:56

Page 1

4 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

[LEADER]

We're ahead of Xbox,

SQUARE MAKES SENSE FOR EIDOS

Sony holds firm on pricing as it points to ‘value added’ strategy 

It might surprise you to hear that Square Enix is the 'other woman' when it comes to the companies courting Eidos for a rescue mission – it certainly took us back for a moment when we first heard it. But this is a merger that could make actual sense; the bringing together of two different companies to create a new one (perhaps unlike the Activision Blizzard one, which saw two big budget publishers marry for opportunity). Perhaps, also, it would be the best thing for most of the Eidos properties too. Stringent annual regularity has served Lara Croft poorly in the past – so much so that it almost killed her in 2003. The more controlled, steady approach that helps whip anticipation for Final Fantasy to such fever pitch levels would suit her better. Erratic release patterns for one of Eidos’ other jewels – Hitman – never hurt that franchise, after all.

Perhaps a sale to Square would be the best thing for Eidos’ key properties?

HERE COMES GAMESTOP...

GameStop’s audacious bid for Woolies’ stores could change the face of UK games retail overnight... before we even reach New Year. Of course, the US giant will have to take on the likes of Wal-Mart (Asda), Tesco and Sainsbury’s for those 400 primelocated outlets. And if GameStop doesn’t manage to secure the lot, it may well not bother at all. But imagine it: GAME would finally have a High Street giant to compete with – and a hugely strong ally against the common foe of supermarkets and online retailers. Publishers would have more space to sell-in and promote their triple-A lovelies. Consumers would have more choice, better prices and wider ranges. And us trade journalists? Well, we’d get all we ever really want: a gargantuan tussle between two Formula One businesses. GameStop for an MCV Award in April, anyone?

TRANSFORMERS Nintendo, EA and Activision Blizzard have all recently executed significant market-changing business choices. THQ has slimmed down with a public nod to poor product quality, whilst Atari is removing the tarnish from a classic name. Could Midway manage the same positive outcome after its bargain $100,000 sell-off earlier this week? No-one knows much about new majority shareholder Mark Thomas, but he’d do well to heed one piece of advice: Concentrate more resources on Europe. Martin Spiess and his team have continually upped the revenue percentage coming from this side of the Atlantic – a real success story in a recent history of company failures. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

by Michael French SONY has moved to dispel Microsoft claims that Xbox is outselling the PS3 in Europe, revealing internal figures that say its console has sold 300,000 more units than Xbox 360 in PAL territories. And the company doesn’t feel it has to follow Microsoft and further ignite consumer

contrary,” he said – referring to purported ‘leaks’ from a Sony meeting two weeks ago that claimed Sony had a price cut planned for March ‘09. “Our strategy is very much value added.” Reeves added that Sony’s business model for the console isn’t designed around dropping the RRP every time a manufacturing cost saving has

Next year we are probably going to be a little bit more aggressive when we reach the break even point. David Reeves, Sony

interest with a price cut of its own anytime soon. SCEE president David Reeves told MCV that Sony will remain focused on the value offered by the PS3 and its extra functions and services – at its current £299 SRP. “No we are not going to go down in price; neither are we going to go down in price on PS3 in spring time either. Absolutely not, whatever you might have heard to the

been found. And he was keen to point out that, according to Sony figures, the PS3 is already ahead of Microsoft’s rival. “I am confident that in PAL territories our installed base is 300,000 units ahead of Xbox 360,” said Reeves. “When we came into the industry we started at zero. And we had to have a model that offered price elasticity. As soon as we got the manufacturing price down on

PSOne we lowered the price. Same with PS2. But we’re not doing that on PS3 – that’s not the model, even if people are expecting it. “We’re relying on the fact that the industry will keep growing and while we might have a comparatively smaller share of the market we will have higher sales. PS3 is

Glen O’Connell leaves EA GLEN O'CONNELL has left EA to pursue a career in sports marketing after six years with the UK publisher. O’Connell signed and managed the contract with long-standing ‘face of FIFA’ Wayne Rooney, and managed EA Sport’s roster of athletes and celebrity talent. He is understood to have left the company following a recent restructure of its UK marketing team. O’Connell joined EA in 2003 as head of UK PR before setting up and running its UK Athlete and Talent Relations function in summer 2005. He signed and worked with a string of other high profile

O’CONNELL: Signed Wayne Rooney to EA Sports

athletes and celebrity talent during his tenure, including Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Emmanuel Adebayor,

Peter Crouch, Andrew Flintoff, Mark Cueto, Gavin Henson, Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke, Nick Dougherty and Ricky Hatton. He is understood to be considering switching industries to take on either a senior sports marketing role at a leading sports apparel firm – or to work with one of the UK’s most established sports agents in the early new year. President of EA Sports Peter Moore said: “Glen has contributed an enormous amount to our success over the past few years and he will be missed by all of us in the EA Sports label.” EA: 020 7438 2500


4,5 MCV516_final:4-5 MCV515

2/12/08

15:56

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 5

NEWS

says Reeves Europe Boss Calls Xbox boasts into question

COMING OUT FIGHTING: Reeves claims PS3 has outsold Xbox 360 by 300,000 units in PAL territories

‘UK industry must fight global threats’ THE UK games sector could lose its global standing unless key issues over funding, education, new IP and online games are address, a new report has warned. Science, technology and arts association NESTA yesterday published a new report examining the sector, saying that whilst the UK

“ tracking where PS2 was at the same point in its life. The value added strategy will continue for some years to come.” Plus, at a time when Sony is first looking to put its Computer Entertainment division in the black after two years reporting losses, a big emphasis at SCE has been on returning to profitability.

However, Reeves hinted that once Sony has rebalanced the PlayStation business, retail can expect the firm to up the ante: “We are a in a solid position, and are not lackadaisical,” he commented. “Next year we are probably going to be a little bit more aggressive when we reach the break-even point.”

suggested credits take a form similar to the subsidies available to film. The industry should also look to develop a “course kite-mark, linked to course funding” and to improve the reputation and quality of video games courses at UK universities, said the NESTA report.

Generous public support for studios available in other countries is diverting talent away from the UK. NESTA spokesperson

currently has the fourthlargest games sector in the world, it could slip to fifth – after already being toppled by Canada last year. NESTA has called on the Government to provide a ‘simpler’ model of an R&D tax credit system, which currently “does not provide games developers with the intended support”. Echoing the call made by other industry leaders in recent months, the organisation has

TOP 10 PRINCE OF PERSIA 360 UBISOFT

2. ANIMAL CROSSING: TO THE CITY WII ............................................NINTENDO

3. PRINCE OF PERSIA PS3 ..............................................UBISOFT

4. GRAND THEFT AUTO IV PC ............................................ROCKSTAR

5. ANIMAL CROSSING: (INC WII SPEAK)

A NESTA rep said: “Competition from other countries is stripping the UK of talent. Generous public support for studios available in France, Singapore, some US states and especially Canada is tilting the playing field against the UK. Policy makers are waking up to the value in the sector and are creating incentives that are diverting development talent away from the UK.” NESTA: 020 7438 2500

Activision rules November chart ACTIVISION Blizzard generated the most income of any publisher in the UK in November. The company jumped eight places – from No.9 to No.1 – in ELSPA/GFK-ChartTrack’s list of software share by value, taking 18.3 per cent of all revenues in the month. It also enjoyed a similarly successful month in terms of software units sold, jumping six places to second spot – behind Nintendo. The news comes after Activision UK boss Andrew Brown told MCV that the firm had taken 38 per cent of all revenues in the week following the busiest

[PRE ORDERS]

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

6. PRINCE OF PERSIA PC................................................UBISOFT

7. SOCOM US NAVY SEALS PS3 ..................................................SONY

8. WII SPEAK WII ............................................NINTENDO

9. HEIST 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS

10. METAL SLUG 7 DS....................................................ATARI Week ending November 28th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£82.2m 80 70 60

50

40 30 20

release day of the year November 14th. Elsewhere in the November chart, Bethesda took three per cent of the entire units market – just off the back of smash RPG Fallout 3.

£77.9m

£75m

£82.2m

3,041,931 Units

3,043,323 Units

3,487,443 Units

Week Ending November 15th

Week Ending November 22nd

Week Ending November 28th

10

The biggest selling title of the month was Call Of Duty: World At War, followed by Gears Of War 2 and FIFA 09.

 To read the full details of ELSPA/GFK-ChartTrack’s monthly rankings, turn to page 12

0

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


6,7 MCV516_final:6-7 MCV515

2/12/08

15:35

Page 1

6 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

Could it be you this year? Categories unveiled for MCV Awards 2009  Tweaks designed to reward teamwork, staff and innovation NEW RETAIL and marketing categories are being introduced to the MCV Industry Excellence Awards. Although the total number of awards on the evening will remain at 17, the retail section has been almost entirely overhauled.

Retailer; Online Retailer; Star Store; Store Manager of the Year and Retail Innovation. “These categories demonstrate the diversity of games retail and give everyone selling games to the public a chance to share in the success of their company or

The category change gives everyone selling games a chance to share in the success of their company or store Stuart Dinsey, Intent Media

Every retailer, whatever size or product specialism, can now compete for all five prizes. There is also a greater focus on rewarding shop floor staff. The final categories for the 2009 event are: High Street

their own store,” commented MCV publisher and Intent boss Stuart Dinsey. “We have also responded to requests from the industry to introduce a Store Manager of the Year award, which we

AWARD TIME: Nintendo won big at the MCV Industry Excellence Awards 2008

know will be fiercely contested. “MCV reaches every store manager in every leading games branch of every games retailer, so get lobbying if you think you have the best shop or best boss.” This year also sees the introduction of a new Marketing

Innovation award, which allows single, above or below the line executions to be recognised. Also amongst the 17 awards for 2009 are Sales Team of the Year, Marketing Team of the Year and the MCV Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition Award, which is

voted by the leading video games buyers. The MCV Awards 2009 takes place on Thursday April 23rd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.  You can contact Jodie.holdway@bhpr.co.uk for tickets and sponsorship

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2009: THE CATEGORIES RETAIL

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY

PR & MARKETING

SPECIAL AWARDS

High Street Retailer Online Retailer Star Store Store Manager of the Year Retail Innovation

Sales Team UK Development Team Distribution Team Sales Triumph Games Publisher

New Games Brand PR Team Game Campaign Marketing Innovation Marketing Team

Retail Advisory Board: Special Recognition Grand Prix

Play unveils ‘biggest ever’ campaign ONLINE GIANT Play.com has upped its marketing spend by 50 per cent for its biggest ever Christmas campaign. The marketing blitz follows a stellar year for the e-tailer, which picked up a series of accolades including best online retailer at the MCV and Golden Joysticks awards. “2008 to date has been a triumphant year for Play.com, with us picking up best online retailer awards from the likes of Music Week, Which, Golden Joysticks and MCV,” enthused Play.com managing director Stuart Rowe. “Our commitment to customer satisfaction has been

PLAY TIME: E-tail giant has increased its Xmas spend by 50 per cent

rewarded as we have been backed by more suppliers in their own campaigns than ever before. “We have also launched our biggest Christmas marketing campaign to date, with a 50 per cent increase in marketing spend year-on-year. The Play.com Christmas marketing activity includes a series of firsts for us too.” The marketing assault includes a full cinema advertising run, radio promotion on Virgin and Kiss, and a huge four-week TV campaign that is currently running on Channel 4, Five, Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky 3, Sky

Sports, MTV and the Freeview channels. Play is also running a major outdoor campaign which features high definition advertising across London on LCD and DEP screens, London Underground backlit posters, and 48-sheet and six-sheet roadside boards. The e-tailer has also targeted consumer print and national press, along with online activity on Facebook, The Sun online, MSN and through Gorilla Nation. Finally, Play.com is running promotional activity across a selection of Nestlé cereals. www.play.com


6,7 MCV516_final:6-7 MCV515

2/12/08

15:35

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 7

NEWS

Gamestation targets new store openings

TRADE BULLETIN

Specialist retailer still ‘under-represented’ in key cities following 250th store opening by Christopher Dring HIGH STREET chain Gamestation has told MCV it is actively seeking new sites following the opening of its 250th store. The firm opened its latest outlet in Meadowhall in Sheffield last week, and sales

on the High Street and our name is becoming familiar right throughout the UK. “We’ve got a property department, and their job is to find these key sites. We still feel there is significant opportunity in the UK, and the property team are constantly searching for these locations –

If you look at the size of some of the cities, then you’ll see we’re under-represented in many of them. Steve Cunningham, Gamestation

director Steve Cunningham feels Gamestation is now becoming a recognisable brand – even though it’s still ‘underrepresented’ in certain parts of the UK. “Gamestation as a brand is starting to become really well known,” explained Cunningham. “There is still room to grow of course, but we’re starting to get recognised

OUT 16th JANUARY 2009 PS3, PC-DVD, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS

The Lord of the Rings Conquest allows players to play through a campaign on both ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’ sides of the battles, solo, online and in co-op multiplayer, tackling objectives the way they want.

and when the right opportunity comes along, we’ll be ready to move in. “If you look at the size of some of the cities, then you’ll see we’re still under-represented in many of them. Gamestation as a brand is maybe becoming more well known, but there is still a huge opportunity for us within the UK. Meadowhall, for example, is a place we

GAMESTATION GROWS: The firm opened its 250th store last week

were under-represented in, and now we are a significant retailer within that area. These are the sort of opportunities we’re looking out for.”

 For more on Gamestation’s latest developments, head on over to page 16. Gamestation: 0845 345 0335

Ben 10 set to be top Xmas brand PUBLISHER D3P has told MCV that Ben 10 will be a leading force this Christmas, following news that Ben 10: Protector of Earth for DS, PS2, Wii and PSP has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide.

merchandise proving popular amongst young boys. “Ben 10 is one of the top boys brands in the UK and is now a massive franchise,” enthused D3P’s marketing manager Suzanne Sutton.

The sales of Ben 10 continue to climb and we’re proud to have such a hot property as part of our portfolio. Suzanne Sutton, D3P

The Cartoon Networkowned property has already been a huge global hit, with two movies and a host of

“There are cards, bedding, toys, – you name it, Ben has it; and that’s not to mention our game. Ben 10 is such a popular

brand we are confident of a very successful Christmas period. “We are thrilled to see such a great response to Protector of Earth. The sales continue to climb and we’re proud to have such a hot property as part of our portfolio.” Protector of Earth has been a mainstay in the Top 40 since it was launched last year. And now D3P is gearing up for its next release in the series: Ben 10: Alien Force. “We are really looking forward to the launch of Alien Force in February,” concluded Sutton. “We expect only bigger and better things.”

OUT 23rd JANUARY 2009 Wii and Nintendo DS

Venture into the wild world of animals like never before. Embrace all the adventure, fun, and mischief that await you in the vast forest. Make your wild animals happy and maintain a forest that lets them flourish as you venture further into the forest than you’ve ever been before! Engage wild animals, experience life in the forest, and let your creativity run wild in SimAnimals™.

COMING 2009 PS3 and Xbox 360

It’s been 5 long years since your “mysterious” disappearance from the skate scene, and in your absence things most definitely have changed. A megacorporation has changed the face of city - now it’s up to you to fight back and help re-build the skate scene in New San Vanelona.

D3P: 01223 322015

ea.com


8,9 MCV516_final:8-9 MCV515

2/12/08

15:58

Page 1

8 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

Mastertronic grabs Dutch partner Hermans group invests in value publisher  Cost-cutting restructuring sees a small number of redundancies by Lisa Foster THE MASTERTRONIC Group has sold a stake in the business to Dutch entertainment firm Hermans – in a move that has given the company financial security and the opportunity to grow in 2009. The deal follows on from a joint venture between the two

news for the team and we are working with people we have worked with for three years, so I really feel we have got to know them – and that counts for a lot in this game.” The deal sees Payne and business development director Garry Williams retain equity and remain in the business, as well as enabling the existing

The whole team have worked their socks off to make this deal happen, and this really is great news for the team. Andy Payne, Mastertronic

parties in 2005 which saw the formation of kids’ console specialist Blast! Entertainment. “The whole team have worked their socks off to make this deal happen, in what have been extraordinarily challenging circumstances,” said Masterstronic MD Andy Payne. “But we have crossed the line now and we are able to move on in a positive fashion. This really is great

management team to remain intact. And with offices in Holland, Germany and Denmark, Mastertronic will now be able to offer field sales outside of the UK. However, there will be some structural and operating changes – and that will see some staff departures, not least the long serving Paul Hyslop, who left the company at the end of November.

THE MASTERS: MD Andy Payne plus business development director Gary Williams will remain at the firm

“Sadly, we have made one member of staff redundant last week – Paul Hyslop, who has been a valued and loyal member of the team. In addition, one of our producers, Chris Gardiner, left to relocate to Switzerland, and three further members of staff will leave at the end of December.

“These chaps will be missed, but we needed to address our operating costs in the face of challenging trading conditions. “These are challenging times for every business. Indeed, these are the most challenging times I have known for 20 years. But this is not a problem exclusive to Mastertronic.

“Although we are reducing our operating costs, we will retain a headcount of 45 and remain committed to our publishing, sales and distribution activities and our wide range of customers and suppliers. The future is now.” Mastertronic: 0845 234 4242

Fallout 3 set for complete global takeover BETHESDA Softworks has announced a new partnership with Connect Entertainment, arranging for its latest bestseller Fallout 3 to be distributed across a range of emerging markets throughout the world.

now be heading to 19 new regions around the globe on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Under the terms of the deal, Bethesda will be releasing Fallout 3 in Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi

Fallout 3 is a key title for us and we are looking forward to a successful launch in these new territories. Sean Brennan, Bethesda

Released in North America and Europe towards the end of October, the publisher’s first venture with the iconic postapocalyptic RPG licence will

Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Qatar, Egypt, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.

GLOBAL FALLOUT: MD Sean Brennan has targeted emerging markets for Fallout 3

“Fallout 3 is a key title for us and we are looking forward to a successful launch in these new territories,” said Bethesda MD Sean Brennan. “We’re looking forward to working with Connect.” Spencer Guinchard, managing director of Connect, added: “It is a great opportunity working with Bethesda to achieve their goals in these diverse territories.” The game has already seen both critical and commercial success after its US and UK debuts, reaching the top of the UK charts in its first week and outselling all previous Fallout titles and spin-offs combined. Connect: 0908 305 155


8,9 MCV516_final:8-9 MCV515

2/12/08

15:58

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 9

NEWS

GAME plots French expansion to compete with GameStop UK specialist confident it can catch up with rival GameStop with new Gallic expansion by Tim Ingham GAME CEO Lisa Morgan has told MCV that the company is confident it can tackle GameStop’s dominant presence in France. GAME’s current ten per cent share of the French market is dwarfed by fellow retailer Micromania, which claims 23 per cent of the market.

“We already compete against GameStop in a number of markets,” Morgan told MCV. “We’re focusing on our plans to open more stores, and work with suppliers to grow the market by serving more customers. “The GAME offer is unique in the French market – different from other retailers like Micromania or Fnac – and

We’re focusing on our plans to open more stores, and work with suppliers to grow the market further. Lisa Morgan, CEO

Micromania is the leading independent video games retailer in the country and will soon be fully owned by GameStop after its £350 million acquisition last month. Micromania currently owns 332 stores in the country. However, GAME also plans to increase its store count from 192 outlets to 250 over the next few years.

our aim is to keep strengthening GAME’s specialist difference so that customers get everything that they need.” France is the second biggest video games market in Europe, worth an estimated €3bn in 2008, but with household. penetration of games consoles running at just half the level of the UK – around 26 per cent.

Spring told MCV: “There’s good news around the business, but we’re not bloody stupid. We know that there’s a tsunami of negative economics

EA: Skate 2 is due to arrive on PS3 and Xbox 360 on January 23rd. In the run-up to the game’s launch, fans will be able to create custom graphics for in-game hats, decks and shirts with the online Graphics Creator. ATARI: The publisher will be releasing Stormregion’s Codename Panzers: Cold War in February. MORGAN: ‘France is the second largest games market in Europe’

“We see exciting opportunities in France,” added Morgan. “It’s the second largest market in Europe, and last year the growth of the French market

so that we can invest as much as we can humanly afford to. If that proves particularly tricky, we can tone down the investment on some projects –

We’re going to invest as much as we can humanly afford to. Fortune favours the brave. Stevie Spring, Future

coming over the horizon and I don’t think you can plan for a banking crisis or depression. “But what we’ve been very good at is managing that risk

[IN BRIEF] POPCAP: Broadcaster and health campaigner Anne Diamond has announced she is involved in a new study looking into the health benefits of casual games such as PopCap’s Bejeweled Twist, including reduced stress levels and potential weight loss. SQUARE ENIX: In the wake of its first simultaneous worldwide release, the publisher has announced it will release downloadable content for The Last Remnant this month, taking the form of four additional quest packs.

outperformed the wider European market. Importantly, the number of consoles per household is still much lower than in the UK.” GAME: 01256 784000

Future sets sights on defying crunch FUTURE Publishing CEO Stevie Spring has cautiously vowed not to let the UK’s economic slowdown halt the firm’s investments in 2009 – following pleasing preliminary annual results. The company posted a yearon-year pre-tax profit rise of three per cent last week, or £300,000 – after investing in its online growth more than ever before. Other highlights included net debt being cut by ten per cent to £21.9 million and normalised revenues growing two per cent to £162.9 million.

Sponsored by

but if you’re asking if I want to, the answer’s no. Fortune favours the brave.” Spring was optimistic about Future’s prospects in the New

Year, especially compared to its publishing rivals. She told MCV that the firm’s ‘specialist proposition’ magazines made its products “part of how people see themselves”. She added: “If you’re looking at next year, we will be more resilient than most. We’re not seeing businesses fall of a cliff like some of our peer groups. I think it’s going to be a really tough year. We’re going to have to run flat out. But I’d rather be sitting at Future than anywhere else.”  You can read our full interview with Stevie Spring on page 20

505 GAMES: Expanding on its Princess On Ice franchise, the publisher has announced its new Diva Girls range, aimed at girls between 6-12. The first wave of games is set to arrive in spring 2009, with more titles to follow in the summer. MICROSOFT: The song from the Gears of War 2 trailer (Devotchka’s How It Ends) is now available on iTunes.

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


10 MCV516_final:4-5 MCV430

2/12/08

15:37

Page 1

10 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

NEWS

Midas celebrates tenth anniversary Growing publisher reflects on the highs of 2008 and now sets its sights on success in 2009 and beyond by Lisa Foster MIDAS is celebating its tenth anniversary this month. And the privately-owned firm – which sits alongside sister companies Ghostlight and Laughing Jackal under the Majesty House umbrella company – is continuing to expand in terms of headcount and product output.

2008 has seen us nearly double our head count... our plans for 2009 and beyond are well rounded and robust. Sam Collins, Midas

The company was formed in 1998 as a budget PC and PSOne publisher. The Midas division remains a strong contender in that sector, now mainly publishing value titles on DS, Wii and PC. A move into children’s educational software with the

All Wars following on PS3 and Xbox 360 in Q3. “It’s great to be celebrating our 10th anniversary on the back of a really strong year for the whole Majesty House business,” VP and head of sales Sam Collins told MCV. “In the past 24 months we have nearly doubled our headcount and moved into a state-of-the-art new office. “Meanwhile, our plans for 2009 and beyond are well rounded and robust. We already have our release for next year in place, with our SKU count slightly up on 2008. And we have proven winners and exciting new ranges that will give us a point of difference in the marketplace.”

Clever Kids range has proved particularly successful for the company, with new titles arriving in the first half of next year. In addition, Digitars, a new DS franchise created in-house by the Laughing Jackal studio will launch in the summer, followed by the Read and Play line-up of storybook and adventure titles in Q3.

Ghostlight, meanwhile, enjoyed good success with International Athletics and Shadowheart this year. But it is in 2009 that the label looks set to fully establish itself, with titles such as Dancing On Ice arriving on DS and Wii in March, plus WWI FPS To End

Majesty House: 01376 555 333

MIDAS TOUCH: VP and head of sales Sam Collins is thrilled by Majesty House’s ‘really strong’ tenth year

EEK W E H T F O N CAMPAIG

ERSIA PRINCE OF P

Ubisoft’s action platformer is set to be one of the biggest games of December, and is being backed by a suitably heavyweight marketing campaign… TV Ubisoft is running a campaign across terrestrial and multichannels. There will be a series of high profile 60 second spots during the launch weekend, followed by 30 and 20 second spots through to the end of Christmas. ONLINE All online inventory will run before and during the game’s launch through to Christmas. It will run across specialist gaming sites and broader lifestyle sites, and will feature a combination of homepage takeovers, skins and rich media video units.

PRINT A focused specialist print campaign delivered during the late November period will continue to run through Christmas. These promotions integrate the packaging and retailer specific incentives. PR PR promotion has been running for six months up to launch, intensifying in the month of November with covers on Official Xbox and Official PlayStation magazines. Mainstream PR has been targeting children’s and film media, in addition to features secured across broader

lifestyle media such as Empire, FHM and Shortlist. COMMUNITY Prince of Persia has been present at multiple community events this year including the MCM Expo in October and the Eurogamer Expo . Ubisoft has also teamed up with the online creative community deviantART to run a fan art competition.

RELEASED: DECEMBER 5 FORMATS: PC, PS3, 360 PUBLISHER: UBISOFT

RETAIL Ubisoft has partnered with various retailers to arrange pre-order incentives, limited edition packaging and other co-marketing activities.

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 456 6400


UNLEASH EPIC FORCE POWERS Use devastating combo attacks as you learn to master the Force.

DISCOVER THE UNTOLD STORY BETWEEN EPISODES III & IV As Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice, seize your destiny to become the most powerful Jedi ever.

²5)&'03$&)"4/&7&3#&&/40 108&3'6-'"/4)"7&#&&/8"*5*/( '035)*4'03:&"34³ Games TM

Destructible environments and characters react differently every time.

²*54(3&"5'6/³

²5)&'03$&*44530/(8*5)5)*40/&³ NGamer

UNIQUE, LIFE-LIKE GAMEPLAY

Official Nintendo Magazine - 82%

²5)&'03$&6/-&"4)&%)"43&/&8&% 063'"*5)*/5)&'3"/$)*4&³  ²5)&#&4545"38"34(".&*/ '*7&:&"34³

OUT NOW W W W.T HEFORCEUNL E A SHED.CO.U K

Official Xbox 360 Magazine - 8/10

LucasArts and the LucasArts logo are trademarks of LucasďŹ lm Ltd. Š 2008 LucasďŹ lm Entertainment Company Ltd. or LucasďŹ lm Ltd. & TM as indicated. All rights reserved. ‘’, ‘PLAYSTATION’, ‘PlayStation’ and PSP are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. 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. Xbox360ÂŽ, PLAYSTATIONÂŽ3 - BBFC 12+ : PlayStationÂŽ2, PlayStationÂŽ Portable, Wii™ - PEGI 16+ : Nintendo DS™ - PEGI 12+

SWFU_PageAd_UKAccoldades.indd 1

7/11/08 15:13:14


12,13 MCV516_final:Layout 1

2/12/08

13:16

Page 1

12 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

UK SALES ANALYSIS: NOVEMBER

November’s Reign Activision declared war and started the battle for the Christmas number one last month with the release of November’s best-selling game. Michael French takes a look at the key trends in our monthly chart round-up… THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

[SOURCE]

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 1 4 5 3 6 7 8= 8=

SALES SHARE BY FORMAT

UNITS

NINTENDO WII XBOX 360 NINTENDO DS PC PLAYSTATION 3 PLAYSTATION 2 SONY PSP APPLE MAC OTHERS

22.2% 22.1% 20.6% 13.5% 13.1% 4.9% 3.5% 0.1% 0.0%

Nintendo reclaims its crown after being toppled by Xbox 360 software sales in October (driven by a post-hardware price cut spending spree, no doubt). Once again, it seems that claims of PC gaming being on the way out are hollow predictions; although admittedly the good success this year has been driven by single banner titles – Spore in September, Lich King in November – rather than the portfolio approach offered on consoles.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

9 2 1 3 4 8 5 15 10

SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY

VALUE

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO EA MICROSOFT UBISOFT SEGA THQ BETHESDA SONY TAKE TWO

18.3% 14.8% 12.6% 10.6% 6.1% 5.0% 4.8% 3.8% 34% 3.1%

It’s no surprise to see Activision Blizzard top the value chart. The company has specifically chosen to focus its banner releases, such as World at War and Quantum of Solace, on highend consoles whose SKUs have higher price points. Plus, when Call of Duty is the shooter franchise of choice, it and MMO powerhouse World of Warcraft were bound to drive market share, regardless of the price slashing seen at supermarkets.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

1 3 2 5 4 6 7 8 9

SALES SHARE BY FORMAT

VALUE

XBOX 360 WII PLAYSTATION 3 NINTENDO DS PC PLAYSTATION 2 SONY PSP APPLE MAC OTHERS

27.8% 20.7% 17.3% 15.6% 12.5% 3.5% 2.5% 0.2% 0.0%

Little month-on-month movement at both the top and lower end of this ranking for November. Xbox 360’s continued firm place as top dog seems likely to have been driven by two motivating forces. Specifically: the hardware price cut, which will presumably drive software sales as new consumers build their libraries; and the rising number of new triple-A 360 games, such as Fable II and Gears of War 2, which made impressive debuts in November.

THIS LAST MONTH MONTH

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 8 1 5 3 7 4 9 10 -

SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA MICROSOFT UBISOFT SEGA THQ TAKE 2 SONY BETHESDA

UNITS

17.2% 14.4% 8.6% 5.9% 5.9% 5.7% 5.7% 5.1% 4.5% 3.0%

While it’s no surprise to see Nintendo at the top, driven by the steamroller Wii and DS successes, the real success story here is Bethesda. The company secured three per cent of the market off the back of one title, Fallout 3. It’s a hugely impressive debut for a new publisher, entering the fray during the busiest part of the year. It even revitalised an older franchise, DLC for which should make it a steady seller.

INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHARTS: NOVEMBER PLAYSTATION 2 (FULL PRICE)

PLAYSTATION 2 (BUDGET PRICE)

PLAYSTATION 3

SONY PSP

1. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 (Konami) 2. FIFA 09 (EA) 3. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 (THQ) 4. Quantum of Solace (Activision Blizzard) 5. COD: World at War (Activision Blizzard) 6. Star Wars: Unleashed (Activision Blizzard) 7. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision Blizzard) 8. NFS: Undecover (EA) (LucasArts) 9. LEGO Indiana Jones (Rockstar) 10. Manhunt 2

1. LEGO Batman (Warner) (Sony) 2. Singstar ABBA 3. Singstar Boybands Vs Girlbands (Sony) 4. Singstar Singalong with Disney (Sony) (D3P) 5. Ben 10: Protector of Earth (EA) 6. Need For Speed: ProStreet (EA) 7. The Simpsons Game (Sega) 8. The Golden Compass 9. Call of Duty Trilogy (Activision Blizzard) 10. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 (THQ)

1. COD: World at War (Activision Blizzard) (Sony) 2. LittleBigPlanet (EA) 3. FIFA 09 (Bethesda) 4. Fallout 3 (Konami) 5. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 6. Quantum of Solace (Activision Blizzard) (Ubisoft) 7. Far Cry 2 8. Midnight Club: Los Angeles (Rockstar) 9. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 (THQ) (Sony) 10. Motorstorm: Pacific Drift

1. FIFA 09 (EA) (Warner) 2. LEGO Batman (Konami) 3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 4. Football Manager 2009 (Sega) 5. WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 (THQ) (Rockstar) 6. Midnight Club: L.A. Remix 7. Star Wars: Unleashed (Activision Blizzard) 8. International Olympics (Ghostlight) (LucasArts) 9. LEGO Indiana Jones (Rockstar) 10. Manhunt 2


12,13 MCV516_final:Layout 1

2/12/08

13:16

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 13

UK SALES ANALYSIS: NOVEMBER ALL FORMATS TOP 50: NOVEMBER

No surprises in who stole the top spot as November’s number one game – Call of Duty: World at War – so let’s instead turn our attentions to another Activision Blizzard success story instead: World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. In just a few days of release, the game became the UK’s most successful PC game of all time, beating stalwart Football Manager. An exclusivity period on the MMO expansion should keep tills ringing right up to Christmas.

The stand-out new IP of the month – and possibly the year, should the software sales continue to track the long tail of DS stock movement – was Nintendo’s Professor Layton. Mixing puzzles and story, this is a franchise in it for the longhaul: two sequels are already out in Japan, and will unbdoubtedly make their way West in time, setting this up to be a Brain Training-like barn-storming series. The period in question (these charts cover October 26th to November 22nd) also saw the release of two new IPs from Electronic Arts: Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. Good reviews for both (Mirror’s Edge admittedly fared worse) and decent sales hopefully prove that not only have EA’s ‘experiments’ paid off, but that new franchises can been established even during one of the industry’s busiest months.

As is becoming custom, the lower end of the chart is filled with a number of back catalogue and older Nintend-published DS titles. Although the Christmas rush has pushed a number of those games out (for now), kudos to Nintendogs, which makes it back into the monthly chart. Not bad for a title that’s three years old (or 21 in dog years).

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

Call of Duty: World at War 360, PS3, PC, Wii, PS2, DS ..................Activision Blizzard Gears of War 2 360 ........................................................................................................Microsoft FIFA 09 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS, PC..............................................................................EA Fallout 3 360, PS3, PC....................................................................................................Bethesda Mario Kart Wii Wii............................................................................................................Nintendo Wii Fit Wii.............................................................................................................................Nintendo Pro Evolution Soccer 09 PS2, PS3, 360, PSP, PC..................................................Konami World of Warcraft: Wrath of Lich King PC .......................................Activision Blizzard Football Manager 2009 PC, PSP ......................................................................................Sega Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS...................................................Nintendo Wii Play Wii..........................................................................................................................Nintendo Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training DS .......................................................................Nintendo Quantum of Solace 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC...................................Activision Blizzard WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, DS...............................THQ Guitar Hero: Wolrd Tour 360, Wii, PS3, PS2, .....................................Activision Blizzard LEGO: Batman DS, PS2, Wii, PSP, 360, PS3, PC........................................................Warner Fable II 360.........................................................................................................................Microsoft Mario & Sonic and the Olympic Games Wii, DS .........................................................Sega Far Cry 2 360, PS3, PC ......................................................................................................Ubisoft LittleBigPlanet PS3 .................................................................................................................Sony Carnival Funfair Games Wii.........................................................................................Take Two Midnight Club: Los Angeles PS3, 360.....................................................................Rockstar Wii Music Wii ......................................................................................................................Nintendo Saints Row 2 PS3, 360 ...........................................................................................................THQ Need For Speed: Undercover PS3, 360, PS2, PSp, Wii, PC, DS..................................EA LEGO: Indiana Jones Wii, 3260, PS3, PS2, PC....................................................LucasArts Big Brain Academy DS ..................................................................................................Nintendo MySims: Kindom DS, Wii............................................................................................................EA Ben 10: Protector of Earth DS, Wii, PSP, PS2 ................................................................D3P More Brain Training DS.................................................................................................Nintendo Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 360, PC.....................................................................EA Dead Space 360, PS3, PC ...........................................................................................................EA Kung Fu Panda DS, PS2, Wii, 360, PS3, PC...........................................Activision Blizzard Tomb Raider: Underworld PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS ........................................................Eidos High School Musical 3: Senior Year DS ....................................................................Disney Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 360, PS3, PS2, WII, PSP, DS ...................LucasArts Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Wii, 360, PS3, PS2, PSP......................................................EA Wall  E DS, Wii, PS2, PSP, PS3, 360, PC...........................................................................THQ More Touchmaster DS.......................................................................................................Midway Mario Kart DS.....................................................................................................................Nintendo Mirror’s Edge 360, PS3...............................................................................................................EA Nintendogs: Lab & Friends DS...................................................................................Nintendo Sega Superstar Tennis 360, Wii, DS, PS3, PS2.............................................................Sega Big Beach Sports Wii ...............................................................................................................THQ Project Gotham Racing 4 360.................................................................................Microsoft Left 4 Dead 360, PC ....................................................................................................................EA LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360..................LucasArts Motorstorm: Pacific Rift PS3 .............................................................................................Sony Family Trainer Wii....................................................................................................................Atari The Simpsons Game PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, DS, Wii .................................................EA

XBOX 360 (FULL PRICE)

NINTENDO Wii

NINTENDO DS

PC (ALL PRICES)

1. Gears of War 2 (Microsoft) 2. COD: World at War (Activision Blizzard) (Bethesda) 3. Fallout 3 (Microsoft) 4. Fable II (EA) 5. FIFA 09 (Konami) 6. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 7. Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft) 8. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision Blizzard) 9. Quantum of Solace (Activision Blizzard) (THQ) 10. Saints Row 2

1. Mario Kart Wii (Nintendo) (Nintendo) 2. Wii Fit (Nintendo) 3. Wii Play 4. Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games (Nintendo) (Nintendo) 5. Wii Music (2K Play) 6. Carnival: Funfair Games 7. Guitar Hero: World Tour (Activision Blizzard) 8. FIFA 09 (EA) 9. Big Beach Sports (THQ) (Atari) 10. Family Trainer

1. Professor Layton (Nintendo) 2. Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training (Nintendo) (Nintendo) 3. Big Brain Academy (Nintendo) 4. More Brain Training (Disney) 5. HSM3: Senior Year (Midway) 6. More Touchmaster (Nintendo) 7. Mario Kart DS 8. Nintendogs: Lab & Friends (Nintendo) (Warner) 9. LEGO Batman (EA) 10. MySims Kindom

1. WOW: Lich King (Activision Blizzard) (Sega) 2. Football Manager 2008 (EA) 3. C&C3: Red Alert 3 (Bethesda) 4. Fallout 3 5. COD: World at War (Activision Blizzard) (Ubisoft) 6. Far Cry 2 (EA) 7. Left 4 Dead (EA) 8. Spore (EA) 9. Sims 2: Apartment Life (EA) 10. Sims 2: Double Deluxe


14 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

11:54

Page 1

14 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

GMA WINNERS: EDGE

On the Edge

Future’s Edge stole the crown from rival GamesTM when it took home the GMA for best video game magazine in October. Christopher Dring speaks to editor-in-chief Tony Mott…

MEET THE TEAM: A rare picture of the Edge team in the wild. Clockwise from left: Tony Mott (editor-in-chief), Darren Phillips (art editor), Martin Davies (writer), Alex Wiltshire (deputy editor), Richard Stanton (writer), Ian Evenden (production editor), Andrew Hind (deputy art editor)

Were you surprised to see Edge claim this year’s award? We had no idea who was going to win. But we’re grateful to everyone for their support. Edge has been around for a long time – it’s 15 years old – so it’s encouraging that it still gets recognition. What has been the secret to your magazine’s success? We have good writers, the art team know what they’re doing, and we’ve always tried to maintain high production values. Ultimately we’re trying to make a magazine that treats gaming respectfully. I’ve heard it said that we’re too serious or too stuffy, but it’s actually about respect. We all admire the craft and dedication that goes into games, and we want to recognise those things. What have been the most exciting developments at Edge this year? The relaunch of Edge Online in July was one of the high points because it represented an internet presence for

Edge on a scale that hadn’t previously been attempted. In terms of the magazine, we’ve worked with some amazing editorial opportunities over the last 12 months – we sat down with Sam Houser at Rockstar’s New York HQ and he talked for over five hours about the making of the GTA series, for example. We had a lot of great feedback on that article. But every month we get to talk to the most talented people working in games, and that means making the magazine is always a rewarding process. What are your targets for the next 12 months? We have issue 200 coming up in March, and that’s going to be a big job. We’re actually putting it all together right now. And we’ll be introducing new elements to the mag in 2009. Edge Online is set to evolve, too. Games aren’t standing still, and we have to recognise that. Some magazines are more or less the same now as they were ten years ago, and I think we have to keep moving.

We all very much admire the craft and dedication that goes into so many games, and we want to recognise those things in Edge. Tony Mott, Edge

What have been your biggest influences? I don’t think we consciously look at anything apart from the games we’re writing about and the people who make them. No one on the team writes about games in isolation; everything is always discussed as a group, so the biggest influences are the things that come out of these discussions, every day, in the office and in assorted drinking venues around Bath. How would you like to see the games media develop? I’d like to see a new wave of writers coming in who don’t want to just sit around reviewing games. Reviews are important, but gaming has become such a rich and diverse form of entertainment – there are so many elements to talk about nowadays. I’d also like to see people finally appreciating that 7/10 in Edge really isn’t a bad review score, but I’m not holding my breath for that particular development.



16,17 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

12:50

Page 1

16 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

GAMESTATION HITS NEW MILESTONE

Meadowhall Gamestation opened its landmark 250th store in Sheffield last week. Christopher Dring visited the outlet and spoke to sales director Steve Cunningham about what comes next for the fastest growing video game specialist...

LESS THAN 24 hours before Gamestation’s 250th store party, Woolworths buckled under its debt and entered administration. Although the team behind the fastest growing games specialist was determined not to let this spoil the celebrations, there was a genuine sense of concern – from individual store managers right up to MD Martyn Gibbs – for their friends over at EUK and the High Street chain. Yet this was Gamestation’s day, a High Street brand that is starting to enjoy the sort of recognition previously reserved for its parent company, GAME. “We’re delighted by our new store opening,” enthuses the company’s sales director Steve Cunningham. “To see where Gamestation has gone over the past few years and to get to the point where we are able to shout about

our 250th store, is just phenomenal. Gamestation as a brand is starting to become really well known. There is still room to grow of course, but we’re starting to get recognised on the High Street and our name is becoming familiar right throughout the UK.” Eager customers who descended upon the store over the launch

There is still significant opportunity in the UK. The property team are always searching for new locations. Steve Cunningham, Gamestation weekend were in for a treat, and not least for the competitions and huge promotions that ran throughout the weekend (which included Halo 3 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl for £9,99, plus Gears of War 2 and Fable II for £19.99). The unit looked quintessentially Gamestation, with a host of special Fat

Chris promotions, row upon row of preowned stock and a plethora of figurines, toys and t-shirts. But new to the specialist was the large projector screens that could be found throughout the shop, an idea that MD Martyn Gibbs said had only been trialled in a handful of stores – and will hopefully entice more customers into the shop. “The team we’ve managed to put in place at Sheffield Meadowhall are very experienced and are gamers through and through,” says Cunningham. “I think the location and the unit itself is fantastic, and the Meadowhall consumers are going to be seeing something a little different to what they may have experienced before.” Gamestation’s growth in the face of such economic uncertainty is quite an achievement, especially when you consider that the outlet’s main audience


16,17 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

12:50

Page 2

MCV 05/12/08 17

A CUNNING MAN: Gamestation’s sales director Steve Cunningham says there are still plenty more opportunities to expand the chain to more sites across the UK

iPHONE DEVELOPMENT COMMENCING EARLY 2009 OTHER COURSES AVAILABLE:

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

020 7833 0578 WWW.QANTM.COM is the hardcore gamer. But with casual gaming becoming increasingly popular, should the chain look to move away from its core roots? “We’ve built our brand on the hardcore gamers,” continues Cunningham. “GAME is very mass market with its prime locations, whilst Gamestation is the newer brand on the High Street that targets the core gamer. We carry a slightly different range, such as figurines and clothes, which really appeals to the hardcore, and it is this difference that has enabled the two brands to co-exist so well. MARKET GROWTH

“The growth in gaming is certainly seeing new customers come into the market all the time,” he adds. “And from a Gamestation point of view, one of our key strengths is the knowledge of the managers and the teams. If they can use that knowledge to help first time gamers who are unsure about the market, then Gamestation is wellplaced to cater for both new consumers and existing core gamers.” With the help of the team at GAME, Gamestation has really hit its stride this year. Alongside its store opening drive, the chain has hosted a series of big events – including a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament in the summer – and that’s not to mention the company’s

latest Fat Chris Christmas marketing campaign. But what does 2009 have in store for the chain? With a Gamestation shop in most cities, where else is there to go for the fastest growing specialist? “We’ve got a property department, and its job is to find these key sites,” explains Cunningham. “We still feel there is significant opportunity in the UK, and the property team is constantly searching for these locations – and when the right opportunity comes along, we’ll be ready to move in. “If you look at the size of some of the cities, then you’ll see we’re still underrepresented in many of them. Gamestation as a brand may be becoming more well known, but there is still a huge opportunity for us within the UK. Meadowhall, for example, is a place we were under-represented in, and now we are a significant retailer within that environment. These are the sort of opportunities we’re looking out for.” “This year has been a very strong year for both GAME and Gamestation,” he concludes. “We’ve put a lot of effort and time into our staff training and our customer offering – through promotions and deals and through pre-owned. Our key focus is to make our products affordable. The economic climate I can’t count on, but we’re very confident in our proposition.”


WINNER OF “THE ONE TO WATCH” GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARD

© 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.

COD5DPS_NEWART.indd 1

1/12/08 14:01:22


AVAILABLE NOW WWW.CALLOFDUTY.COM

COD5DPS_NEWART.indd 2

1/12/08 14:01:36


20,21 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

15:38

Page 1

20 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV INTERVIEW STEVIE SPRING, CEO, FUTURE PUBLISHING

Spring Fresh from celebrating Future Publishing’s impressive preliminary annual results, CEO Stevie Spring tells MCV about the company’s prospects for next year. Tim Ingham reports…

FUTURE Publishing’s preliminary launching an HD version of the official annual results made for pretty special magazine on the PlayStation Network in reading last week – complete with a Europe very soon. That’s the biggest year-on-year profits rise and a ten per shift in games.” cent reduction in debt. A three per cent rise in reported preBut how did CEO Stevie Spring and tax profit was the real two fingers to her team manage it? And, more to the Future’s doubters – not least because point, how has her company managed the feat was achieved in the face of to rebuff the economic slowdown that’s widely reported slowdown at the affected nearly all of her consumer newsstands. Amazingly, Future’s ad publishing peers? revenues rose by the same figure. You won’t be surprised to hear that So what was the secret? Spring the ebullient Future boss believes the believes it had more than a little to do strength of the console video games with the Future readership’s loyalty to sector has been a major factor in her specialist interest subjects. Put simply, in company’s triumph. testing times, people spend less on And she’s just a mite pleased that, ‘luxuries’ – and more on the hobbies since taking over the Official Sony and that keep them from thinking too hard Nintendo publications across the pond about those depressing bank statements. (from beleaguered publisher Ziff Davies), both We can tone down some of magazines have rocketed in our investment in 2009 if we terms of circulation. need to. But I don’t want to. “Console gaming did very well for us this year,” Fortune favours the brave. Spring tells MCV. Stevie Spring, Future “It was aided and abetted by all three consoles being in “It’s very simple,” she explains. “It’s uplift mode the world over. And in the the difference between want to have States, we took over Official PlayStation and need to have. If you describe Magazine and Official Nintendo yourself as a cyclist, it’s part and parcel Magazine last year. The performance of who you are. You’re almost a there just goes to show what a good professional consumer in that regard – publisher can do – Nintendo has been which is why we call them ‘proup 29 per cent since we took it over, sumers’. Your monthly magazine is with OPM up 50 per cent. So I think it’s going to be way down the list of things fair to say we’ve done a better job than you stop spending money on. That’s the former incumbents.” why we’re proving more resilient than the overall market. Also, our host STEVIE WONDER sectors are doing well: particularly Future showed an impressive games, cycling and guitars. Everybody understanding of the-cross media says there’s chaos at the newsstand, but appetite of modern consumers this year, on our top ten titles on both sides of the investing more than ever online – and pond we were up by double digits in doubling the web audience across its 2008 – around 13 per cent each.” full company portfolio. The announcement of the preliminary Unsurprisingly, it was in video games results marked the end of Future’s threethat it truly crossed into ‘next-nextyear turnaround plan, and proved that gen’ publishing. the company is well on the way to “The highlight of the gaming year has ‘stopping the rot’ that gave its keen been launching Qore on the PS3 detractors reason to doubt not so Network, because that took us onto onlong ago. console media, which is another step Spring admits: “We got ourselves in a forward,” adds Spring. “We’ll be bit of a tangle a few years ago. So, in a

FUTURE’S SUCCESS IN NUMBERS Future Publishing preliminary results for the year to September 30th showed a healthy year-on-year pretax profit rise of three per cent, or £300,000. Overall normalised revenues grew two per cent to £162.9 million, with normalised EBITAE up nine per cent to £14.9 million. The company’s net debt was cut down by a full ten per cent to £21.9 million. Reported earnings per share were down nine per cent to 2.1p – but adjusted earnings per share rose 12 per cent to 2.8p. Other operating highlights included overall circulation revenue rising two per cent, with advertising revenue up three per cent and online revenues up 36 per cent. The firm also announced that is online unique website visitors now stood at 18m – double what it was in 2007.

way, we had to take our medicine early. We made tough decisions on refocusing the business, including the choice to concentrate on English language publications only.” FUTURE PLANS

Spring adds: “We’ve been very aggressive in organic growth. If you look at where we were when PS2 launched, compared to what we have today, the difference is startling. As we stand today, we have three official console titles in the UK, US and Australia. We’re much more rounded in the offer we have, and we’ve gone deep into the segments we’re really good at.” With the turnaround complete and Future’s annual fiscal results bearing out the confidence in Spring’s rhetoric, you know what’s coming next, right? A series of brave statements and bullish forecasts? Well, not quite. Having seen her peers in the consumer publishing world struggle of late, Spring’s well aware that – although Future’s specialist proposition gives it reasons to be cheerful – no-one can veto global economic factors. Maintaining a measured optimism, she says: “There’s good news around the business, but we’re not bloody stupid. We know that there’s a tsunami of negative economics coming over the horizon and I don’t think you can plan for a banking crisis or depression. “What we’ve been very good at is managing that risk so that we can invest as much as we can humanly afford to. “If that proves particularly tricky, we can tone down the investment on some projects – but if you’re asking if I want to, the answer’s no. Fortune favours the brave. If you look at next year, we will be more resilient than most. We’re pacing ahead. “We’re not seeing businesses fall off a cliff like some of our peer group. 2009 will be tough. We’re going to have to run flat out. But I’d rather be sitting at Future than anywhere else.”


20,21 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

15:38

Page 2

MCV 05/12/08 21

MCV INTERVIEW STEVIE SPRING, CEO, FUTURE PUBLISHING ALL SMILES: Future CEO Stevie Spring is over the moon with the publishing company’s preliminary annual results – and cautiously optimistic about 2009

STEVIE SPRING: CV Born: London, 1957 Education: Eggars grammar school, Alton; University of Kent, Canterbury CAREER 2006-present: Future plc, chief executive 2000-2006: Clear Channel UK, chief executive 1994-2000: Young & Rubicam Advertising, managing director 1992-1994: WMGO Group, managing director 1988-1992: GGT, deputy managing director 1984-1988: Grey International, new business director 1982-1984: TV-Am, business development director 1978-1982: Working for James Gulliver’s Alpine Holdings OTHER 2000-2008: Chairwoman, Federation of Groundwork 2008-present: Non-executive Chairwoman, BBC Children in Need


MCV AWARDS 08 Proofing layout:Layout 1

27/11/08

16:52

Page 1

See how good you’d look accepting an MCV Industry Excellence Award

*

INSTANT AWARD WINNER 1

Take your photo.

2

Cut it out

3

Make sure you use a pose similar to the background supplied

Stick it on the background Choose from 17 different award backgrounds

Feels good doesn’t it?

* Please note: Completing steps 1-3 does not guarantee receipt of a real MCV Industry Excellence Award

4

Try it for real

Thursday April 23rd, The Brewery, London

5

PLACE Y

Could it be you? CATEGORIES RETAIL: High Street Retailer, Online Retailer, Star Store, Store Manager of the Year, Retail Innovation PEOPLE & INDUSTRY: Sales Team, UK Development Team, Distribution Team, Sales Triumph, Games Publisher

OUR PIC

TURE HE

RE

PR & MARKETING: New Games Brand, PR Team, Game Campaign, Marketing Innovation, Marketing Team SPECIAL AWARDS: Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition – Grand Prix

Tickets & sponsorship: Jodie.Holdway@bhpr.co.uk

YOUR TEAM YOUR GAMES YOUR AWARDS


23 MCV516_final:27 MCV515

1/12/08

15:06

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 23

XMAS MARKETING: TV CAMPAIGNS GLUED TO THE SET: The whole family won’t be able to escape games publishers’ TV marketing this Christmas

The magic of TV With the boom in casual gaming, television and cinema advertising has become increasingly important to the video game sector. Christopher Dring looks at the huge TV campaigns planned for this year’s biggest titles…

WHETHER IT’S dramatic Gears of War 2 trailers, four-minute long FIFA adverts or old footballers playing Mario Kart, TV ad breaks have been swamped with video games this quarter. With an explosion in celebrity endorsements, publishers are increasingly turning to TV to promote their wares, with Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby, Vernon Kay, Chris Tarrant, Girls Aloud and much more appearing on TV to promote the latest software. Indeed, as gaming heads further into the mainstream, publishers are pumping money into prime time TV advertising. Nintendo and Ubisoft in particular have made considerable investment into TV promotion, with Ubisoft’s recently released Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party enjoying a big £1 million TV campaign. “We’re spending in excess of £1 million on a campaign that will takeover ad breaks on primetime shows,” explains Ubisoft’s casual group brand manager Mark Slaughter. “We interrupted the viewer with three spots within the same ad break. If you compare like-for-like with Rayman 2, we’re spending three times what we spent last year, as well as ensuring

TELLY ON A PLATE: The likes of Ubisoft and Activision are relying on celebrities such as Holly Willoughby, Fearne Cotton and Vernon Kay to push its DS games

primetime spots on ITV1’s Saturday night line-up.” Yet it’s not just casual software that has experienced increased TV spends. Major new hardcore titles including Gears of War 2, LittleBigPlanet, Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld and Fable II have been regular features on the box, with consumers seemingly unable to escape Microsoft’s heavyweight TV ad campaign.

People are staying in more than going out in the current climate – which makes TV a great medium for marketing. Stephen McGill, Microsoft “TV has become really significant for us,” explains Microsoft’s head of gaming and entertainment Stephen McGill. “People are staying in more rather than going out given the current economic climate, which makes TV and radio a great medium to reach people." Yet it’s not just the small screen that has been flooded with games this quarter, as major publishers have been targeting the big screen too. No less than five games appeared before the latest James Bond movie and Sony’s cinema campaign has been particularly heavyweight, with Buzz Quiz TV,

LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm 2 and Resistance 2 appearing before major movies this Q4. SCEE’s UK marketing manager Adam Boita explains: “It kick-started with Buzz! Quiz TV and is running until the end of December, taking in Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2 and SingStar.” Midway also ran an extensive cinema campaign for its latest Mortal Kombat game: “We highlighted a rich choice of films for our Mortal Kombat Vs. DC trailer, which allowed us to build pre-awareness before launch,” says Midway’s brand manager Mark Cook. “Then, when the game launched, we did a final cinema run ahead of the Quantum of Solace movie.” With the rise in celebrity endorsements, and the cinematic nature of the most recent core releases, TV and cinema has been the ideal medium to promote games this quarter. Major publishers have spent considerable sums of money on TV promotion in order to gain that allimportant ‘cut through.’ With gaming’s audience continuing to expand, TV is becoming increasingly important to publishers – replacing print as the industry’s leading form of marketing.


24 MCV516_final:27 MCV515

1/12/08

11:52

Page 1

24 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

XMAS MARKETING: OUTDOOR CAMPAIGNS

Mall I want for

Christmas… The likes of Westfield, Bluewater, Lakeside, the Bullring and Trafford Centre have been swamped by game publishers eager to give their title the edge this Christmas. Christopher Dring takes a closer look at this latest marketing trend…

THIS CHRISTMAS has proven to be one of the most competitive in the video games industry’s history. With so many major releases on the schedule, publishers have been jostling for marketing ‘cut through’ with huge TV and cinema activity, as well as large print and online campaigns. Yet one of the key battlegrounds this quarter has taken place in shopping centres up and down the country. The likes of Atari, Warner, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Rockstar, Ubisoft, Activision and EA have all appeared in the shopping arcades, promoting their biggest Christmas releases. “Shopping centres have mass market appeal so have always been a great venue to gain visibility for software releases,” explains Warner Interactive’s head of UK trade marketing Rose Buahin. “The Q4 period just adds to this appeal due to increased footfall and the number of gift purchasers.” With the entire family all under one roof, shopping centres have become the perfect location for publishers looking to sell their latest casual game. Nintendo regularly runs Wii and DS

tours, with the likes of Brain Training, Wii Fit and Wii Sports in attendance. Ubisoft has also unveiled an ambitious tour in support of its Imagine range. “For us and for the Imagine brand, shopping centres are perfect venues to communicate with our target audience,” says Imagine brand manager Sally Cormack. “Not only do we catch our exact key audience – mums, dads and kids – but we catch them while in the perfect mindset. They are out of their homes and spending money – and we can potentially encourage them to make a purchase they previously wouldn’t have made. OUT AND ABOUT

“It's also a fantastic way of extending the marketing activity,” she adds. “For example with Imagine, if a young girl has seen the TV ads featuring Fearne and Holly, been to the Imagine website and seen the advertising all over the websites she visits, she will instantly recognise our sampling stand as the Imagine stand. She will then take her parents to the stand, show them the games and in turn connect them with

Shopping centres are a perfect venue. We catch our key audience – mums, dads and kids – while in the perfect mindset. Sally McCormack, Ubisoft

the Imagine brand. This kind of activity is becoming more and more popular for not only video games but for many other industries simply because of how you can connect with and engage potential customers.” Whether it’s extensive displays, a range of game pods, or even small booths, shopping centre marketing has proven to be hugely successful. During the Xbox Live Your Moment – which also involved a huge amount of local advertising – 750,000 people got their hands on the likes of Guitar Hero, Rock Band and other key titles. Atari’s Lee Kirton points out that video game marketing is becoming increasingly accessible, hence why shopping centre tours work so well: “The key is to make people think: ‘this is for me’, not ‘this is for my teenage son’,” he explains. “As the industry matures and broadens you can expect to see games marketing becoming more and more sophisticated. Grass-roots marketing and sampling will be a tool that publishers will continue to use – particularly to promote casual and social games.”


Feref_MCV_FPC_Final:Layout 1

28/11/08

17:07

Page 1

Good ideas are common

What’s uncommon are people who work hard enough to fully realise them

www.feref.com


xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1

29/9/08

11:13

Page 1


27,28 MCV516_final:27 MCV515

1/12/08

16:23

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 27

ANALYSIS: UK GAMES DEVELOPMENT

The state of

independence We know independent retailers have suffered. But what about the UK’s famed independent developers? They still exist, and continue to land knockout blows for the British games industry. But as publishers tighten their belts, can the sector keep punching above its weight? Owain Bennallack investigates… YOU COULD pick any number of acquisitions of UK studios over the past decade as seminal – Psygnosis, Bullfrog, Rare – but perhaps the most telling in recent times was Microsoft Games’ Studios acquisition of Lionhead in 2006. Peter Molyneux had already done the indie sellout thing back with Bullfrog and EA in the late 1990s, remember. Few would suggest that had been any sort of success from a game development angle, so why was he doing it again? Lionhead’s takeover was different. Molyneux’s second company had attempted to pioneer a new satellite studio model, but that had withered on the vine, and project overruns, cancellations and subsequent financial wobbles had opened the door to significant external investment. Whereas Bullfrog was a money-spinner, ultimately Microsoft was a saviour of Lionhead, not a predator. If Molyneux couldn’t make independent game development work –

twice – then who could? The following 18 months saw many of the remaining larger independents acquired by publishers – names like Sumo Digital, Climax Racing, Traveller’s Tales, Bizarre Creations and Evolution, as well as smaller indies like Freestyle Games. Others continued to die off, as they had been doing for years.

Yet despite all this, big UK studios still survive – or even thrive. Frontier, Team 17, Realtime Worlds, Kuju, Climax, Rebellion, Eutechnyx and Blitz remain big employers and make great games for top-tier publishers. And LittleBigPlanet producer Media Molecule has just demonstrated it’s still possible to start a new studio and

Media Molecule has proven it is still possible to start a new studio and produce a platform-defining product.

It’s telling that the TIGA-backed Games Up? campaign launched in April this year barely mentioned the independent sector. The prime concern for the UK development trade body has rightly become to raise government awareness about the risk of British games developers’ jobs, more than the survival of their independent employers.

produce a platform-defining product, albeit if you have a team overburdened with geniuses. SOURCING IT OUT

Whatever your take on the current incarnation of UK independent development, the industry is very different to even five years ago though.

It’s not just that studios have lost their independence: the ‘big idea’ that saw the likes of Lionhead, Argonaut, Warthog, Kaboom and others grow into multi-site developers employing hundreds of staff ultimately imploded or otherwise ran adrift. There are a few survivors from that period including Climax and Kuju – the latter still runs with a tweaked version of the multi-site model. Four years ago Climax had four studios, including an office in LA, and employed nearly 400 people, with a similar number engaged externally on company projects. Two years ago CEO Karl Jeffrey sold Brighton-based (and highly-prized) Climax Racing to Disney, and the company is now centred at its remaining Portsmouth office. “For some reason the British way of doing things for those type of companies was to get ever bigger,” reflects Jeffrey. “Multiple locations, multiple studios – all the bragging rights were about scale. ‘We’ve got 500 people, we’ve got 300 people, we’ve


27,28 MCV516_final:27 MCV515

1/12/08

16:23

Page 2

28 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

ANALYSIS: UK GAMES DEVELOPMENT

KARL JEFFERY, CLIMAX The era of UK ‘superstudios’ is over, says the studio head

got 10 projects.’ You could call it empire building. But if you then do an analysis of where the best games are coming from, they’re not coming from those big corporate groups of studios. They’re coming from the very focused, boutique type studios.” Having already explored outsourcing extensively, Jeffrey decided that the only way to reconcile aiming to become one of those smaller, creativity-led studios with the scale demanded by modern projects was to outsource aggressively, building tools and management structures to enable the company to be structured in layers like an onion. In this model, management and key creatives are at the centre with further layers of individuals on shortterm contracts, freelancers, and specialist outsourcing firms devolved away from the company’s core. The aim is to scale up and down to match a project’s requirements, without burdening the company with long-term overheads, or too many full-time staff that need to be paid by taking on suboptimal development projects. Climax now makes games for the likes of Konami and Codemasters with less than 100 employees but, crucially, as many man hours are logged externally by non-full-time artists and other outsourcing companies as by its internal staff. “Once you get past the aspect of organising the company in a certain way and disciplining yourself, it’s incredibly flexible,” Jeffrey says. “It enables you to field a large amount of people at short notice, field the right

DAVE JONES, REALTIME WORLDS The Grand Theft Auto creator says ‘progress’ has sparked Britsoft churn

people, and then there’s all these cost benefits. I can’t see any other model that’s going to work going forward, even for the big guys.” $50 MILLION QUESTION

Another of the larger indies still forging ahead outside of a publisher’s embraces is Dave Jones’ Realtime Worlds. His 200-strong Dundee-based staff (with ten more working in Colorado in the US) is

outside investment available, such as what we managed to secure.” Highlighting the quiet progress to scale achieved by Cambridge-based web MMO developer Jagex as an example, Jones argues that newly emerging business models bring new options to studios looking to prosper and grow. “We’re certainly not going to be complacent though,” Jones stresses. “$50 million to develop and launch a

Newly emerging online business models bring new options to studios looking to prosper and grow.

currently toiling away on the much anticipated online game APB. But while Jones still hasn’t gotten into bed with a publisher, he did take $50million from venture capitalists earlier this year. A veteran creative behind Lemmings, GTA and Crackdown, Jones argues that the current times are no different from any other period in his 20-year career. “We are always seeing established studios being acquired and fresh studios springing up. Although studios like Bizarre and Travellers have been acquired, we see ones like Media Molecule bursting onto the scene,” he points out. “I just see it as natural industry progress and don’t see it as in any way negative for the UK. If anything we are starting to see truer

GARY PENN, DENKI Development vet says the Scottish scene is stronger than ever

world class brand new online-only IP still leaves little room for error.” SCOTLAND THE BRAVE

While Media Molecule is clearly now the new poster child for the enduring appeal of star-quality developers breaking free to set up their own studios and creating a triple-A franchise in the process, the reality is similar start-ups working on current gen consoles can today be counted on one hand. New independent studios who wish to travel under their own steam are more likely today to pursue emerging, lower-tech platforms, such as iPhone (as is IOMO founder John Chasey’s latest company, Finblade) or social networking-based games (consider the

Facebook specialist, PlayFish). One UK company that has already successfully carved such a niche for itself is Scottish outfit Denki. Since the turn of the century Denki has developed over 170 games for interactive television and built up a specialist business with 20 staff. Management now feels ready to expand into iPhone, with PSP and DS also coming into the frame thanks to Sony and Nintendo’s belated embracing of digital distribution for their handhelds. Like his neighbour David Jones at Realtime Worlds, Denki’s Gary Penn has a two-decade history in the UK game industry, and he dismisses the notion that – Rockstar North, Realtime Worlds and Denki aside – Scottish game development is in the doldrums. In fact, “I think the Scottish scene’s never been stronger than now,” he retorts. “Certainly, we’ve had our losses, but Scotland’s not unique in that. I think when you look around at what’s happening here, we’re beginning a new ‘Golden Age’ of Scottish development, and fortunately Denki’s still around to be front and centre in that.” Bullish stuff if you consider the last era. But history is written by the winners, and the surviving British independent studios have probably earned the right to tell the tale their way. What’s certain is that with this febrile mixture of big budgets, risk and reinvention, the years to come will have just as many twists in the plot for those still-battling British indies.


xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:05

Page 1


30,31 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

15:07

Page 1

30 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

THE BIG QUIZ

THE The last industry quiz of the year was a riotous affair, with the brain bashing followed by some serious tune mangling courtesy of a late night Lips session. You had to be there. But, let’s face it, you probably weren’t. So tackle the following eight questions for a chance to win all the prizes that were available on the night… SINCE THE last Big Quiz, things have changed quite radically in the Xbox 360 universe, with the New Xbox Experience going live on November 19th. This was the most radical overhaul yet to the most successful online gaming platform around (say 14 million members). So, yeah, it was a pretty big deal. The eye-catching and headlinegrabbing changes were largely to do with the look of the New Xbox Experience. The whole thing is prettier, clearer and easier to use – and it’s seen the introduction of avatars. They are almost endlessly customisable and can be easily updated. A player can also use their avatar’s head as their Gamerpic. Another change is the promotion of Achievements and Gamerscores to a more prominent position. They’re what Xbox Live is all about, for many – proving just how great you can be at games – and they can now be displayed at a glance. One of the biggest changes is the introduction of the Party system that allows friends to connect in the dash then just hang out together, play games, share music or just chat. It makes the experience more spontaneous and real rather than structured and appointment-based. When Xbox Live launched, the original dashboard was designed to host 200 pieces of content. It’s now handling over 20,000. An overhaul was absolutely necessary, and the result is a whole new Experience.

1) WHAT WAS THE FIRST WOODY ALLEN FILM TO FEATURE DIANE KEATON? A) Annie Hall B) Manhattan C) Play it Again Sam

2) WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER? A) Alistair Diamond B) Alistair Darling C) Alistair Sugarlips

3) WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE NEW ALBUM BY SUGABABES? A) Catfights and Spotlights B) Doghairs and Nightmares C) Hamster Wheels and Jellied Eels

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

+ 4200 POINTS


30,31 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

15:07

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 31

THE BIG QUIZ

BIG QUIZ 4) WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE NEW XBOX-EXCLUSIVE MUSIC GAME? A) Hips

B) Nips

6) WHO WAS VOTED OUT OF THE JUNGLE FIRST IN THIS YEAR’S I’M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT OF HERE?

C) Lips A) Carly Zucker B) Robert Kilroy-Silk C) Timmy Mallet

5) HOW MANY MUSICIANS WERE IN THE CLASSIC JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE LINE-UP? A) 5

B) 3

C) 4

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO THEBIGQUIZ@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

7) IN WHICH YEAR DID APPLE LAUNCH THE ORIGINAL IPOD? A) 2000

B) 2000

C) 2001


32 MCV516_FINAL:46 MCV515

1/12/08

14:28

Page 1

Sponsored by 32 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

PERSONNEL

Intent finalises new-look games team In Stock duo boost MCV, Develop and CasualGaming.biz  Gilby joins Geomerics  Future promotes Salvatore

INTENT MEDIA  Former In Stock writers JAMES BATCHELOR (left) and WILL FREEMAN (right) have joined the Intent Media games team. Batchelor has signed up as staff writer for MCV, having

held the position at In Stock. Freeman, who has written for Videogamer, The Observer, IGN, The Daily Sport and Viz, has signed up as staff writer for Develop, plus MCVUK.com, Developermag.com and CasualGaming.biz.

GEOMERICS  ADRIAN GILBY has been recruited as senior technical accounts manager at Geomerics. Gilby previously worked at Philips amBX as a leading developer relations engineer. He has also worked at Codemasters as a graphics programmer and as a programmer for Qube Software.

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

FUTURE  Future US has announced that former editorin-chief of PC Gamer magazine, KRISTEN SALVATORE, has been promoted to associate general manager of PlayStation: The Official Magazine, PC Gamer, Qore, and Edge Online. Salvatore has over 10 years experience in publishing, beginning her publishing career at Maximum PC. BLIZZARD  The MMO giant has boosted its UK presence with the appointment of exVivendi employees. GEORGE

GEORGIOU has joined as director of marketing for the UK and Ireland, and JONNIE BRYANT is the firm’s UK PR manager. SEGA  Atari marketer BEN WALKER has left the publisher and joined Sega Europe as senior product manager. Sega UK has also announced that JAMIE NASON has joined the sales team as senior national account manager. Former Frag Doll, KATE BILLINGHAM, has also signed up as junior marketing and PR executive.


33 MCV516_final:47 MCV515

1/12/08

12:55

Page 1

RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

LORDING IT UP We take at a look at EA’s latest action game based on the Tolkien epic

Page 34

ALSO THIS WEEK... ELLEN WHITAKER’S HORSE LIFE P36 Saddle up for our preview of a new equestrian adventure THE SUN CROSSWORD CHALLENGE The puzzler returns to the DS

P36


34,35 MCV516_final

1/12/08

11:51

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST 34 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

RELEASED: JANUARY 16 FORMATS: PS3/360/PC/DS PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: PANDEMIC PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Gandalf, Gimli, Aragorn, the one on the horse with the armour… all the major characters (and, OK, a lot of the minor ones, such is the detail of the game) are present in Lord of the Rings: Conquest


34,35 MCV516_final

1/12/08

11:51

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 35

Pandemic has merged the style of its smash Star Wars: Battlefront games with the LOTR licence. Tim Ingham watches the sparks fly… WITH Star Wars: Battlefront and its sequel under Pandemic’s belt, the Los Angeles studio has something of a pedigree when it comes to mixing huge cinematic franchises with epic skirmishes. So it’s no surprise that when the news of Pandemic taking on a Lord Of The Rings game leaked, fans had high hopes for the final product. And now, under the publishing stewardship of EA, it’s here. At least, it will be in the New Year; becoming the first truly triple-A release of 2009. This one has got hit written all over it, not only relying on JRR Tolkein’s original text-based universe, but also borrowing heavily from Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-winning films. In addition to crusading as the heroic forces of good, for the first time ever in a Lord of the Rings action game players will be able to fight for both the forces of good and evil. However, unlike The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth, the latter option is based around Sauron stopping the One Ring from being destroyed and fighting back.

In this mode, players can conquer Middle-Earth while taking control of the legions of Sauron’s evil army – including Cave-trolls, Oliphaunts, the Balrog and Sauron himself. “What The Lord of the Rings fan hasn’t fantasised about joining Sauron’s army to slay Hobbits?” asks Josh Resnick, cofounder and general manager at Pandemic Studios. FIGHTING FANTASY

Quite. And if Resnick sounds like something of a fan of the series, that’s because the whole of Pandemic are fascinated by. “We’ll freely admit that we’re rabid fans of the Lord of the Rings fantasy,” he adds. “Our experience creating massive, rich, action-packed games means that The Lord of the Rings: Conquest will give fans exactly what they want: full control of the blade, bow and magic to fight its epic battles any way they want – even if they choose to play from the evil side.” Pandemic’s heritage with the Star Wars: Battlefront games, mixed in with the power of the LOTR franchise, should ensure the first major game of next year kicks of retail’s 2009 with a bang.

BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL The Good and Evil campaigns vary greatly in storyline – with the good aping the film’s storyboard, whilst the evil plotline unfolds as a speculative “what if Frodo didn’t destroy the ring?” scenario. Purer-of-mind fans of the movies will adore the depth of the good campaign, which include cinematic tableaus such as The Battle of Gorgoroth, Mines of Moria and Isengard, in which the player must fight Saruman as bearded wizard hero Gandalf.

Blackened souls, however, have plenty of malevolent joy to behold in the evil campaign – which becomes available after completing the good equivalent. Locations to do your worst include Mount Doom, Osgiliath and The Shire, where the player must go around burning the Shire and slaughter all of the hobbits. Nice. Characters on the good side include Aragorn, Gimli, Gandalf and Frodo, whilst evil figures such as Sauron, the Witch-King and, of course, Saruman himself are all present.


36 MCV516_final

1/12/08

12:49

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: ELLEN WHITAKER’S HORSE LIFE & THE SUN CROSSWORD CHALLENGE 36 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Stirrups, saddles, whips, tight trousers, animals – but that’s enough about Rob Power’s private life. Here, he looks at the latest horse game… ALL THINGS considered, riding horses is a pretty strange hobby. Imagine, in 100 years’ time, when the car has been replaced by some sort of carbon neutral hovercraft. A special breed of person who enjoys driving cars round an enclosure, performing tricks with it and getting marked on the prettiness of the car and the driver’s posture whilst driving it. But horses are adored by a large number of jodhpur-sporting hobbyists who love nothing more than making them race or prance around the place for their own amusement. For the games industry, this passionate group of enthusiasts – who happily invest in all kinds of equestrian kit – are a prime audience. Ellen Whitaker, a young and successful horse wrangler, has a track record in putting her name to widely successful series of titles that have obvious appeal to prospective show jumpers. In Ellen Whitaker’s Horse Life she has another game out just in time

for Christmas, available on PC, DS and Wii (with a PC demo available at horselife.deepsilver.com). In the game players are presented with the opportunity to get up to their elbows in filthy horse muck and take part in various competitions that will no doubt thrill young girls the country over who are unaccountably attracted to all things horsey. Players can select a steed from seven different breeds, take care of it (by which, of course, you have to clean up its virtual droppings like some sort of animal day nurse), train it and then take it into competition. The horses react to their training and day care and so their behaviour is meant to be lifelike, and reflected in a real time environment. Dressage, show jumping and cross country events are included, whilst a story pulls players into a variety of tasks and locations to keep them horsing on. As such, the raft of content should

appeal to the equally-large contingent of horse lovers out there, so there is obvious potential for Ellen Whitaker’s Horse Life to perform well at retail and give frazzled Country Life-reading parents an easy stocking filler for their precocious riding children.

RELEASED: DECEMBER 12 FORMATS: DS, PC, WII PUBLISHER: DEEP SILVER PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH MEDIA CONTACT: 0870 027 6510

What’s black and white and red-top all over? Crossword fiend Rob Power finds out as he boots up Atari’s latest puzzle game for the Nintendo DS… THE SUN newspaper is famous for many things; the consistent high quality punning, an ongoing support of the armed forces, and the upholding of that finest of British institutions, the Page 3 Girl – to name but three examples from a list that could run into literally six or seven. Without The Sun, red-blooded males across the English speaking world would be lost, their daily boob count dropping perilously low, whilst the loss of Gordan Smart’s Bizarre gossip pages would leave us all in a tangled mess, unaware of the latest developments in the glamorous world of celebrity. In short: it’s a national institution. But here’s a sentence we never expected to type about the newspaper: some people actually buy it to provoke thought by playing its crossword. CROSSING THE LINE

That’s where The Sun Crossword Challenge steps in, firstly offering appeal to the ever-increasing market of DS owners who are intent on training their

RELEASED: DECEMBER FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: ATARI PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9590

brains to work at peak performance with the help of their handheld. Taking its cue from the newspaper’s daily word challenge which helps the country through its coffee breaks, the game features puzzles with two sets of clues – quick clues, for players who like to complete their crosswords in record time, and cryptic clues, for those who like to be confused. The game includes more than 1,000 crosswords – more than enough to keep puzzle-hungry players happy for a good long time, and there are optional hints on hand if they get stuck. There are plenty of DS owners that love a good puzzle and thanks to the high profile of the nation’s favourite tabloid, you can expect a fair bit of brand loyalty to come into play here.


golf_poster1_MCV

11/26/08

10:17 AM

Page 1

Entertainment Industry’s Annual

Charity Golf and Spa Day The 2009 Annual Charity Golf and Spa Event will be held at the prestigious Grove course which is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in Europe and recently hosted the World Golf Championships and American Express Championship 2006. It's time to test your skills here for charity and see how you compare to Tiger. The event will consist of 18 holes of golf with buggies provided, followed by a 3 course awards dinner in the impressive Grove Hotel. We have also arranged for exclusive use of the Grove’s Sequoia Spa’s indoor pool and fitness facilities, including at least one hour of treatments, for non-golf playing partners, friends or colleagues we negotiated reduced rates in the hotel if you are too “tired” to go home at the end of the night please quote ‘Charity Golf and Spa Day’ when booking accomodation.

The Grove Golf Club, Chandlers Cross, Herts 14th May 2009 If you are interested in sponsoring or participating,

Contact the hotel at 01923 296010 Discount Prices: Standard Room - £220.00 Superior Room Single Occupancy £240.00

contact Richard Stickler on 01279 822832 or at richards@gem.co.uk


38 MCV516_FINAL:43 MCV467

1/12/08

14:48

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 38 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

The Sims New releases dry up in January, but things start to heat up in February with EA’s latest Sims title set to break records all over again. Also set to shake the charts in February, is Capcom’s latest brawler Street Fighter IV... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PC Wii Wii PC Wii / DS PC

Flight Sim Sports Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Flight Sim

Just Flight Deep Silver Deep Silver Ubisoft Deep Silver Just Flight

0845 234 4242 08700 270 985 0870 027 6510 0845 456 6400 0870 027 6510 0845 234 4242

Mastertronic Koch Koch Trilogy Koch Mastertronic

PC / PS3 / XBOX 360

Action

EA

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

Wii DS / PC / Wii

Fitness Pets

Ubisoft Capcom

0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388

Trilogy Centresoft

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

Action/Adventure Action Edutainment Edutainment RTS Fishing Children's Kids Action Action Action/Platform First Person Shooter Party Game Action Action Puzzle

505 Games Disney Interactive Midas Midas Sega Rising Star Games 505 Games Blast Konami Konami Blast Midas 505 Games South Peak City Interactive Atari

0121 506 9590 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 020 8995 3399 01582 433700 0121 506 9590 08452 344242 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 0121 506 9590 020 8309 3600 020 8309 3600 0121 506 9590

Advantage Centresoft Open Open Centresoft Mastertronic Advantage Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Open Advantage Pinnacle Open Advantage

PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC

Action Horror

Capcom Warner Games

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Centresoft

Wii PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC Wii

Racing Fighting Racing Life-simulation Sports

Capcom Capcom Midas EA Midas

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01376 555 300 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333

Centresoft Centresoft Open Centresoft Open

Wii DS

Action Action

Capcom Disney Interactive

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Centresoft

Wii DS

Children's Children's

505 Games 505 Games

0121 506 9590 0121 506 9590

Advantage Advantage

DS DS / Wii / PS2 PS3/ 360

Mini Game Music Horror

505 Games Disney Interactive Capcom

0121 506 9590 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Advantage Centresoft Centresoft

DECEMBER 12th 747 - 200/300 Series Ellen Whitaker's Horse Life Igor Prince of Persia The Magic Roundabout VFR Real Scenery - The Collection

JANUARY 16th The Lord of the Rings: Conquest

JANUARY 23rd My Fitness Coach Neopets Puzzle Adventure

FEBRUARY 6th Battle Fantasia Bolt Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Empire: Total War Harvest Fishing Hotel for Dogs Johnny Bravo Lost In Blue - Shipwrecked Lost In Blue 3 Mr. Bean's Wacky World Of Wii Skyscraper We Cheer X-Blades Motor Max The Sun Crossword Challenge

FEBRUARY 13th Bionic Commando F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin

FEBRUARY 20th MotoGP Wii Street Fighter IV Super Speed Machines The Sims 3 World Cup of Pool

FEBRUARY 27th Dead Rising Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals

MARCH 6th Diva Girls: Princess on Ice Dive Girls: Diva Dancers

MARCH 13th Emergency Room Ultimate Band Resident Evil 5

MUSTSTOCK ..................................THE SIMS 3 Released: February 20th Format: PC Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

The 100 million unit selling mega-franchise finally hits its third iteration early next year. The success of the first two titles makes this a must stock for any retailer, with a collector’s edition also set for release. Expect a host of new features and big sales.

MUSTSTOCK ........................STREET FIGHER IV Released: February 20th Format: PC, PS3, 360 Publisher: Capcom Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

It’s not just The Sims making a comeback in February, as Capcom’s Street Fighter franchise returns for a fourth round of beat ‘em up action. The game is set to be one of the biggest releases of the year, and has already enjoyed a lot of coverage in the specialist press.


golf_poster1_MCV

11/26/08

10:17 AM

Page 2

Entertainment Industry’s Annual

Charity Golf and Spa Day The 2009 Annual Charity Golf and Spa Event will be held at the prestigious Grove course which is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in Europe and recently hosted the World Golf Championships and American Express Championship 2006. It's time to test your skills here for charity and see how you compare to Tiger. The event will consist of 18 holes of golf with buggies provided, followed by a 3 course awards dinner in the impressive Grove Hotel. We have also arranged for exclusive use of the Grove’s Sequoia Spa’s indoor pool and fitness facilities, including at least one hour of treatments, for non-golf playing partners, friends or colleagues we negotiated reduced rates in the hotel if you are too “tired” to go home at the end of the night please quote ‘Charity Golf and Spa Day’ when booking accomodation.

The Grove Golf Club, Chandlers Cross, Herts 14th May 2009 If you are interested in sponsoring or participating,

Contact the hotel at 01923 296010 Discount Prices: Standard Room - £220.00 Superior Room Single Occupancy £240.00

contact Richard Stickler on 01279 822832 or at richards@gem.co.uk


40,41 MCV516_final

1/12/08

13:44

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 40 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FORMAT: 360

2

3

3

NEW

LEFT 4 DEAD 350

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR PS3

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA

4

NEW

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360

EA

5

NEW

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER PS3

EA

6

6

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS

7

2

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING PC

NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8

4

FOOTBALL MANAGER PC

SEGA

9

NEW

TOMB RAIDER UNDERWORLD PS3

EIDOS

10

NEW

TOMB RAIDER UNDERWORLD PS3

11

5

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

12

13

WII PLAY WII

NINTENDO

13

10

MARIO KART WII WII

NINTENDO

EIDOS MICROSOFT

14

NEW

MORTAL KOMBAT VS DC UNIVERSE 360

MIDWAY

15

RE

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

16

NEW

17

RE

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES WII

18

RE

LAST REMNANT 360

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER PS2

19

16

WII MUSIC WII

20

11

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

EA SEGA SQUARE ENIX NINTENDO SONY

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.

CALL OF DUTY STANDS ITS GROUND It’s war once again as Call of Duty holds on to the top of the Indie Charts. Activision Blizzard’s WWII epic accounted for over 13 per cent of the games sold at independents, with the 360 version narrowly outselling its PS3 cousin. If last year’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is anything to go by, indies can expect to see the game hang around for a good few months yet – with Activision’s marketing set to continue well into the New Year.

“Tomb Raider performed best on PS3 despite 360’s larger installed base. Which shows Lara is still a firm favourite on Sony’s machine.” The fifth in the Call of Duty franchise held on despite a slew of new releases in the Top 10. Although cult, hardcore titles have always performed well at indies, it comes as a surprise to see Valve’s Left 4 Dead shuffle into third place. The game’s dedicated internet following has seen the zombie-fest outsell EA’s Need For Speed: Undercover, which raced into fourth and fifth position. Eidos’ latest Tomb Raider has also leapt into the charts, grabbing onto ninth and tenth place. Underworld performed best on PS3 despite 360’s larger installed base, which just goes to show that the ‘90s gaming icon is still a firm favourite on Sony’s machine. Looking ahead to next week, things should quieten down slightly – although Sony’s Resistance 2 and Sega’s Sonic Unleashed will all be vying for a bit of chart gold. chris.dring@intentmedia.co.uk

week’s frontline interviewee is Paul Raven of FROM THE FRONTLINE This The Games Room, the most Northern UK indie… What’s unique about your store? We’re the most Northern specialist shop in Britain. Tain is just 75 miles from John O’Groats, and it’s a very odd place. The games that top the charts are not the games that sell best here. The latest news this month follows the release of Football Manager ‘09. The manager of Tain Thistle FC shops here, and his team is featured in FM. Because of this Tain Thistle FC has appeared in the national press. How has 2008 been for you? We opened on June 21st and business has gradually increased. It’s been difficult against the big boys, but our nearest competition is 42 miles away in Inverness.

What has been the biggest hit for your store? Call of Duty: World at War. The game sold out very quickly. What hasn’t been selling so well? Probably the Wii titles. We sell a lot of Wii consoles, but it’s not reflected in the software. What’s your tip for Christmas No. 1? Judging on our area, it would be Family Trainer. I stuck my neck out on that game, but customers seem interested. One to watch is Professor Layton. I made a big mistake on that title as I didn’t take enough and we sold out. Now everywhere seems to be sold out, so that’s my tip for the top DS game.

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

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


40,41 MCV516_final

1/12/08

13:44

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 41 Sponsored by

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

PRICE CHECK LEEDS

Need For Speed Undercover

Tomb Raider: Underworld

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC

Lips

Guitar Hero: Decades

PS3, EA

360, Eidos

PS3, Midway

360. Microsoft

DS, Activision Blizzard

£39.99

£39.99

£37.99

£44.99

£34.99

£39.99

£39.99

N/A

£39.99

£39.99

£39.99

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

£39.99

£39.99

£39.99

£39.99

£34.99

£37.71

£34.71

£29.91

£44.91

£29.91

£39.99

£37.99

£34.99

£39.99

£29.99

£39.73

£34.73

£32.73

£44.73

£29.73

£39.99

£39.99

£53.99

£45.99

£48.99

IN STORE

ONLINE

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

Gamestation’s half price offer continues, with money off Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, Fable II and Rainbow Six Vegas 2.

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts costs just £29.99 at Play.com and Mercenaries 2 just £19.99 on PS3 and 360.

MARGIN MAKER

Woolies’ special offers this week includes Unreal Tournament 3 on PlayStation 3 for £15.

With all eyes on the 360, Wii and PS3 this Christmas, it’s easy to overlook Sony’s PSP. The handheld continues to do nice business, and so it may well be worth picking up Venom’s latest PSP accessory, Flip and Play. The DS Lite edition of the Flip and Play case is one of Venom’s most popular products, sparking the team to create this PSP alternative. The case is made of stylish leather, designed to protect the system, and best of all gamers don’t need to remove the console in order to play. Venom’s PSP Flip and Play is available now, with an RRP of just £9.99. Venom: 01763 272927


42,43 MCV516_final:56-57 MCV415

2/12/08

13:18

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 42 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

2

3

BIG BRAIN ACADEMY

4 6 7 2 5 9 12 14

MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO NINTENDOGS: LABRADOR & FRIENDS NINTENDO HSM 3: SENIOR YEAR DISNEY PROF. LAYTON CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MYSIMS KINGDOM EA WALL  E THQ POKÉMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO

[2]

[3]

[FULL PRICE] PUBLISHER

TITLE

1

FIFA 09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 QUANTUM OF SOLACE GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LEGO INDIANA JONES LEGEND OF SPYRO: DDRAGON CRASH: MIND OVER MUTANT

5 3 4 6 7 9 8 11 10

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FORMAT: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

2

4

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

3

2

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

4

3

MARIO KART WII Wii

NINTENDO

5

6

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

6

8

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

7

9

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 EIDOS

8

10

WII PLAY XWII

EA EA

KONAMI

NINTENDO

9

11 NEW

RESISTANCE 2 PS3

11

12

WII MUSIC Wii

NINTENDO

12

15

WII FIT Wii

NINTENDO

13

23

FALLOUT 3 PS3, 360, PC

BETHESDA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

14

13

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

THQ

15

20

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES WII, DS LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP

LUCASARTS MICROSOFT

EA

[4]

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

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

10

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

16

16

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

17

14

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

LUCASARTS

18

7

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC

19

21

KUNG FU PANDA PC, PS2, PS3, WII, 360, DS

20

19

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

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

LUCASARTS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

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 Warriors 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

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

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 Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, NDS, PS2 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 Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now Out Now

[5]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

FIFA ‘09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 LEGO BATMAN WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX STAR WARS: FORCE UNLEASHED LEGO INDIANA JONES WALL  E

RE

SEGA 2K PLAY

SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARNER BROS.

[FULL PRICE]

1 2 6 3 4 5 7 9 8

SONY

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA KONAMI EA SEGA WARNER BROS. THQ ROCKSTAR LUCASARTS LUCASARTS THQ


42,43 MCV516_final:56-57 MCV415

2/12/08

13:19

Page 2

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 43

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

22

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

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

22

17

WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009

23

25

BIG BRAIN ACADEMY DS

24

37

SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS PS3, 360, PS2, DS, WII

25

26

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

26

RE

PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 4 360

MICROSOFT

27

RE

NINTENDOGS: LAB & FRIENDS DS

NINTENDO

28

38

FAR CRY 2 PC, PS3, 360

29

NEW

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS WII, DS

30

35

WALL  E DS, PC, PS2, PS3, WII, 360

31

31

MYSIMS KINGDOM Wii, DS

32

24

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

33

RE

HSM3: SENIOR YEAR DANCE PC, PS2, Wii, 360

34

15

LEFT 4 DEAD PC, PS3, 360

35

RE

FABLE II 360

36

29

MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES PS3, 360

37

36

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

DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

SEGA

UBISOFT WARNER BROS. THQ EA SONY DISNEY EA MICROSOFT

38

27

SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING

28

MIRROR’S EDGE PS3, 360

40

32

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

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

ROCKSTAR EA

DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, 360, WII

UBISOFT EA D3P

PUBLISHER

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

RESISTANCE 2 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER FIFA ‘09 TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD LITTLEBIGPLANET PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 MOTORSTORM: PACIFIC RIFT FALLOUT 3 MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES

2 5 3 4 6 7 14 10

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

TITLE

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SONY EA EA EIDOS SONY KONAMI SONY BETHESDA ROCKSTAR

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LEFT 4 DEAD EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA SPORE EA FAR CRY 2 UBISOFT THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA

PUBLISHER

1

MARIO KART WII

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII PLAY WII MUSIC WII FIT CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR

3 4 2 7 5 11 6 20 8

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[FULL PRICE]

1 3 2 4 5 6 7 12 9 8

TITLE

NINTENDO

39

PC CD-ROM

THQ

NINTENDO

[FULL PRICE]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO NINTENDO 2K GAMES SEGA WARNER BROS. ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT DISNEY

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERGROUND GEARS OF WAR 2 FIFA ‘09 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 TOMB RAIDER UNDERWORLD FALLOUT 3 FABLE II GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR LEFT 4 DEAD

3 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5

NINTENDO

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA MICROSOFT EA KONAMI EIDOS BETHESDA MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

[SOURCE]

PS3

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

WEEK ENDING 29/11/08

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd 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`^_kji\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`jkXJkXikYlkkfecf^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;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:29

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 Keyne Distribution . . . . . . . . . 0870 1216051 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 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

DISTRIBUTION

Keyne Distribution "Looking for a new reliable supplier! Look no further!"  Software and hardware distributor  All top platform new releases in stock  Flexible next day delivery to the UK and most European destinations  Over 500 different products in stock at all times  Terms of trading will be 30 days on insured Customers  Shipping is by Customers account, or on our UPS - Fedex or DHL account.  The fastest growing independent distributor in the United Kingdom

Tel: 0870 1216051 Fax: 0870 1216053 Email: phil@keynedistribution.co.uk Unit C105, MKTWO Business Centre, 1-6 Barton Road, Water Eaton Ind Est, Milton Keynes, MK2 3HU

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

KEYNE DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . . 0870 1216051. . . . . . . phil@keynedistribution.co.uk


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:29

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 DECEMBER 12th

ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY MCV publishes the results of its annual retailer survey, quizzing a huge number of stores for their views on 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 to offer.

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 takes place in Milan. 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. FRIDAY JANUARY 9th

50 THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2009 Let’s face it, the post-Christmas hangover that we call New Year can be a touch depressing, but there’s no need to be a miserable old sod – there’s plenty coming up. To prove it MCV will list 50 things to look forward to in 2009. If you’ve got any suggestions, let us know. FRIDAY JANUARY 16th

GAMES RECRUITMENT SPECIAL AND SALARY GUIDE It’s that time of the year when the job market picks up after the Christmas and New Year lull, and employees think about their careers. MCV’s Recruitment Special takes a look at the sector and dispells those money myths with our detailed games salary guide. FRIDAY JANUARY 23rd

TERRITORY REPORT: SCANDINAVIA AND BENELUX It’s time to cast aside those cliches and take a closer look at the gaming landscape of Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. How has the rise of gaming affected these nations, and are there any gaps in the markets for publishers and retailers? MCV investigates the state of play and potential of these diverse countries... FRIDAY JANUARY 23rd

GFK CHARTTRACK YEAR REVIEW The figures are in. But what was the biggest game of the year? Which formats flourished while others floundered? And which games bucked expectations to become the bestselling games of the year? MCV takes a close look at the GFK ChartTrack statistics and provides the ultimate summary of the sales bonanza 2008 provided to the games industry.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

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


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:29

Page 3

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

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

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

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

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

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


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:30

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 Strawdog Studios’ MD Paul Smith...

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

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

Could you tell us a little about Strawdog Studios? Strawdog Studios started out a few years ago with nothing more than a core development team of four guys and a demo movie of a game idea. Between us we could cover the bases of animation, art, design and tech so we built a small PS2 prototype and built the business up from there. Over the years we’ve worked on internal projects as well as third party, and these days our expertise on channels like Xbox Live Arcade, PSN, and WiiWare means we are mostly involved with projects designed for digital distribution.

received from East Midlands' Film and Screen Agency.

What’s been the secret to your success? We’re always investing time and effort producing high quality target visuals and movies that help the team and the publishing partners understand the concept. Another aspect of our success has been the support we have

If you were MCV Editor for the day, what would you do? I’d use my influence to obtain accurate digital download data from Microsoft and Sony so that the few publishers that are currently cautious about dipping into the XBLA/PSN market can see exactly what’s selling and what isn’t.

What’s the best thing about your job? Making games in a small team environment adds a hugely rewarding aspect to the job, especially when after all the hard work the genesis of a target visual finally evolves into a fun and playable game. What are your future plans? We have some exciting plans in the pipeline for self-publishing our own games on the premium digital platforms.


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:30

Page 5

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

DISC REPAIR

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

PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.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


44-49 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:30

Page 6

ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR

DISC-GO-DEVIL Only

£666 Plus VAT

DIARY DATES ‘08 From the MCV Industry Pub Quiz to the PC Retail Awards, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

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

MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, February 19th AKA Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk

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

HELL OF A PRICE FOR A WICKED MACHINE. Introducing the new Disc-Go-Devil - a stunning price-performance breakthrough in disc repair. O O O O

O

One-stage, fully automated repair Simple to use Small and robust History function for accurate monitoring of usage 30 day money-back guarantee and 1 year warranty as standard

BETT 2009 Wednesday, January 14thSaturday, January 17th Olympia, London www.bettshow.com

MARCH PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington Katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk GDC 09 Monday, March 23rdFriday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.com

JUNE E3 Tuesday, June 2ndThursday, June 4th LA Convention Centre, LA www.e3expo.com

JULY

01202 489 500 www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk/devil

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

The MCV/Xbox 360 Pub Quiz provides retailers, suppliers and the media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – local the 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.

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14thThursday, July 16th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Thursday, April 23rd The Brewery, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk The biggest night in the games industry calendar returns to the Brewery and will feature awards split across three categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential industry event.


50,51 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:31

Page 1

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 50 MCV 05/12/08

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 distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

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


50,51 MCV516_final:Layout 1

1/12/08

17:31

Page 2

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 51

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. DISTRIBUTORS OF VIDEO GAMES, GSM PHONES AND TRADING CARD GAMES Tel: 917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.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 distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

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

DISTRIBUTOR SPOTLIGHT BARCELONA-BASED distributor Planeta DeAgostini Interactive formed in 1998, launched as a joint venture from Grupo Planeta, one of the largest publishers in the Spanish speaking world, and Planeta DeAgostini. The firm has spent the last ten years publishing and distributing the group’s products and international licence agreements. The firm handles all the usual console format suspects, including PS2, PSP, DS, Wii, Xbox. Planeta DeAgostini Interactive is also set to begin distributing titles on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The company has worked with publisher names that will be familiar to the UK market, including Sega, Mastertronic, Disney, Mattel, Warner and Electronic Arts. The distributor has also worked closely with Mindscape, Empire Interactive, Blast!, CDV, Oxygen and Midas, distributing their products to the local markets. Planeta DeAgostini Interactive has also extended its reach beyond the Spanish video games market: primarily into neighbouring territory Portugal. And the firm has stretched its

distribution business still further, now serving some Latin American countries through dedicated branches. Currently Planeta DeAgostini Interactive is joining the ‘gaming as exercise’ revolution with its own PC specific title. Developed by Spanish studio La Factoria d’Imatges, PC FIT was created with the input of fitness professionals from sports chain Sports & Fitness. PC FIT aims to get gamers moving and improving their physical condition. Pledging to help players stay fit without leaving the home or office, PC FIT encourages gamers to take the title with them and use it on their laptop wherever they are. PC FIT uses a USB plug-in peripheral exercise mat and the nifty device has eight pressure sensitive points to detect players’ movements and measure their success. Following on-screen instructions, gamers can choose from five fun games including Moles, Simon Steps, Tapa Leaks, DJ Rhythm and Dance Duel. Releasing at the start of the month, PC FIT will include the title and the exercise mat for E39.95.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


52,53 MCV516_v1:Layout 1

1/12/08

10:22

Page 1

sourcebook YEAR-ROUND PRINT & ONLINE PROMOTION FOR ALL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICE COMPANIES

ACCESS SOURCEBOOK ONLINE AT: WWW.INTENTMEDIA

CREATIVE AND PROMOTIONAL SERVICES 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

an.x Tel: 0207 785 7156 www.anxagency.com

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

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

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

Candy Lab Tel: +44 (0)20 7031 0888 www.candylab.co.uk

Dilute Recordings Tel: +44 (0)1483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

DKPM Tel: 0845 111 0312 www.dkpm.co.uk

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

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

Feref Tel: +44 (0) 20 7292 6300 www.feref.com

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

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

Sarsen Software Tel: +44 (0)845 8679685 www.sarsensoft.co.uk

Gem Creative Tel: 01279 822800 www.gem.co.uk

Side UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 4800 www.side.com

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

Skyscraper Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 5308 www.skyskraper.net

Head First Tel: 0161 228 6699 www.head-first.co.uk

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0)1483 414415 www.studioco2.com

IGA Worldwide Tel: +44 (0)20 7250 4340 www.igaworldwide.com

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

Indigo Pearl Tel: 0208 964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com

infinite Field Marketing Solutions Tel: 01793 829196 www.infinitefms.com

Ă&#x153;ber Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

RECRUITMENT Intent Media Tel: 01992 535647 www.intentmedia.co.uk Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com

Peppermint P Tel: +44 (0)207 240 2645 www.peppermintp.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

Rocketbox Tel: +49-511-8984384 www.rocketbox.de

Root Tel: 0207 739 2277 www.thisisroot.co.uk

Aardvark Swift Recruitment Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

Datascope Recruitment Tel: +44 (0)20 758 06018 www.datascope.co.uk

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

Lis Welsh Search and Selection Tel: +44 (0)1858 545355 www.liswelsh.co.uk

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


52,53 MCV516_v1:Layout 1

1/12/08

10:22

Page 2

In association with

2008

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

.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com

Serco Games Research Tel: 020 74216487 www.sercogamesresearch.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com

Creative North Studios Tel: +44 (0)1484 487904 www.creativenorth.co.uk

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com Sheridans Tel: 0207 079 0103 www.sheridans.co.uk

LOCALISATION, QA AND TESTING 4-Real Intermedia Tel: +49 (0)69 80 90 88-0 www.4-real.com

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com Gem Distribution Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk

Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com Meroncourt Tel: +44 (0)1462 680060 http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk Babel Tel: 01273 764 100 www.babelmedia.com

Cenega Service Team Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229 9999 ext. 312 www.enzyme.org Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com

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

Arvato Digital Services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

Dischromatics Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Scaleform Tel: +1 301 446 3200 www.scaleform.com

LEGAL SERVICES

MANUFACTURING SERVICES

Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AFA Interactive Tel: +618 8234 1355 www.afainteractive.com.au

dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 0 www.dtp-entertainment.com

Pinnacle Software Tel: 020 8309 3934 www.pinnacle-software.co.uk

Entertainment Trading Tel: +45 70277640 www.entertainment-trading.com

PlayV Email: dhope@playv.co.uk www.playv.co.uk

Funtastic Tel: 61 3 9535 5888 www.funtastic.com.au

Scratch Busters Tel: 01992 535701 www.scratchbusters.co.uk Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com

THQ Asia Pacific Tel: +613 9573 9200 www.thq-games.com/au

Virgin PLAY Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 www.v2play.com


MCV[Dec]Iron ManHR:Layout 1

28/11/08

11:01

Page 1

THE TOY INDUSTRY’S SHOWCASE

TOYFAIR 09 WED 28TH TO SAT 31ST JANUARY 2009. EXCEL, LONDON

FEATURING BANDAI•GROSSMAN •HALSALL•HASBRO •LEAPFROG•RE:CREATION •CAMBRIDGE BRAINBOX •XANADU GAMES

AND MANY MORE

 A whole myriad of gift ideas  Classic and modern toys  Specialist crafts and hobbies  Nursery goods  Educational toys  Collectibles and models  Die-cast and railways  Traditional board games and puzzles  Interactive games and learning  Wooden Toys  Outdoor games and products  Fancy dress costumes and accessories

Pre-register for your FREE visitor entry badge at: www.toyfair.co.uk. Or receive a registration form by calling the hotline on 02476 426471 or by faxing us at 02476 426524. For further information on exhibiting and sponsorship contact: Simon Pilling, Fairs and Events Manager, by telephone: +44 (0)20 7701 7127 or by email: simon@btha.co.uk Unfortunately members of the public are unable to attend. MCVd


55 MCV516_final:47 MCV443

2/12/08

13:17

Page 1

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 55

MCV FORUM

Is MCV sexist? I FOUND the latest edition of MCV on the whole very interesting, especially the piece about the growth in the games market being led by female and older gamers. I did, however, find this at odds with the advert on p22 and the article on p70. Some of your magazine seems to be stuck in a bygone age that thinks commenting on the size of a woman's tits is in line with your readership. Your mag seems not to recognise there are women involved in the creation of games and this type of content is annoying and off-putting. It may be sensible to consider the demographic of consumers and games creators that are now reading your magazine. This style of reporting is no longer appropriate.

‘Indies know why Woolies didn’t last’ Action Replay’s Steve O’Brien bemoans the passing of a British High Street legend...

Ana Kronschnabl, CEO, FluffyLogic

 When a man has committed a crime against our industry to fund his wife’s breast augmentation (with her gloating approval!) we sort of feel it our duty to take the piss out of their vainglorious motives. Last week, we relied on good ol’ juxtaposition to point out the crushing sum total of what they’d literally ‘achieved’ with their wrongdoing: Shame, a broken business and a three-year jail sentence. Oh, and nice tits. (Boom boom!) The joke was not about the lady in question’s boobs – it was about her reckless selfishness. And we can’t speak for Creative Distribution’s advert – resplendent with festive-themed buxom beauty. But it certainly got Ana’s attention. Aim achieved, non?

HOW CAN Woolworths – one of the cornerstones of this country's retail foundations – have spiralled so uncontrollably into the abyss? I'll tell you. Fat cat directors, businessmen. That, and those who run their company from a spreadsheet and give priority to market share rather than profit – arrogantly. You’d think that in its death throws they’d have pulled out all the stops; that the staff would be sweating blood to get the sales and they’d be maximising every ounce of profit they could squeeze out of must-have products. But no. They charge £27.99 on Professor Layton’s Curious Village when even thick car booters are charging £49.99 on

online marketplaces. They attempt to drive consumer spending with vouchers offering ‘ten per cent off entertainment’, as well as a whopping ‘20 per cent off toys and games’. But guess what? The store managers forget to hand out the vouchers. Some of their staff should be facing trial for murder – for the death of a retail giant. 850 stores – all prime location – are currently on a gurney. They’re waiting for the administrator to apply the defibrillator and steer them away from the light leading them to retail heaven. Hopefully they’re not preparing to carve them up and donate the organs to soulless

corporate organ harvesters like Asda and Tesco who’ll just pour more misery on the economy as they assimilate their competition like Borg. Retailer and consumer alike should fear that this is the tip of the iceberg for the economy. The Leviathan which is the supermarket are just counting down the doomsday clock until they become a dictatorship to suppliers and they can wave goodbye to giving you stuff for next to nothing – because you’ll be hooked and their crack habit marketing will ultimately leave you with no option but pay the exorbitant price of no longer having a choice. Steve O’Brien, Action Replay

MISMANAGED?: Steve O’Brien believes Woolies was a victim of poor leadership

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


56-58 MCV516_final

2/12/08

13:28

Page 1

56 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFF THE RECORD This week, we take a look at Atari’s staff getting ‘pukka’ with Jamie Oliver, as MCV’s outgoing Deputy Editor gets his hands full. Elsewhere, we pay a singing Gamestation a visit in Sheffield…

CATCH THEM

IF YOU CAN… We might like to think we’ve cracked ‘video games for everyone’, but there are plenty out there who still think DS is something that needs to be treated by a doctor. Here we profile a section of society that don’t ‘get it’ – and are simply never likely to...

THE MUSIC BIZZY Everything about him screams ‘hip’. If this were a world where ‘hip’ was synonymous with ‘ego-jerking, undignified t*sspiece’, that is. From his flat-cap-shadowed face and its designer stubble, right down to his nuclear equation of a daily Starbucks order, he reeks of desperate self-importance. Being devoid of the ability to smile on the Tube (he needs EVERYBODY to know how f**ing SERIOUS and of GRAND SIGNIFICANCE his life is) kind of precludes him from ever picking up a DS or PSP. And he’s FAR too busy picking out the Half Man Half Biscuit samples on the CD of his label’s new ‘street poet’ to have a little fiddle with Bioshock. The fool.

Loves: Inventing new sub-genres, hardcore hip hop from the streets of Peckham, his mum back in Oxford. Hates: Identikit ‘indie’, instant coffee, moments of genuine communal enjoyment. Marketing says: “This music-making blockbuster is the perfect entertainment tool for the hip-hophead on the go.” He says: “I have no time for bleeping machines. Unless it’s a 1987 Casio AZ1 KeyTar.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT GRUB’S UP He might have the voice of Arthur Daley and Gollum’s lovechild – and rely heavily on a bafoonish mockney head wobble. But when he’s not beating nutrition-adverse dinner ladies with turkey twizzlers, Jamie Oliver can’t half cook up a monster feast. Which is just what he’s trying to teach with his new game, published by Atari: What’s Cooking with Jamie Oliver? So it’s no surprise the tufty scamp was rightly mobbed by the Atari crew at a signing event last week. He wasn’t even the best cook in the room: We’ve heard he’s got nothing on Lee Kirton’s sausage. (We really are very sorry...)

When will the national newspapers get a grip on games – and stop talking nonsense? Here’s this week’s worst offender…

“The library as they know it is on a road to ruin filled with screaming children and kids playing computer games.” The Guardian, 01/12/08


56-58 MCV516_final

2/12/08

13:28

Page 2

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 05/12/08 57

PIC OF THE WEEK Here we have a fitting homage to MCV’s ex-deputy editor Jonathan Harker, who this week jumped ship to become a fully fledged editor of our sister publication, BikeBiz. What did we give Jon as a farewell? Flowers? Chocolates? Nope. We sent him off to Midway’s Wheelman event in London, where he got to pose with these two delightful young fillies. They’re not fake smiles, you know. That’s raw, animalistic desire.

COMPUTER VIRUS [1]

“I heard the noise of thunder” this old codger tells us from his hospital bed. “It whispers in the night, telling me of... the end.” Creepy stuff...

[2]

A no-less-weird-looking fella here, informing us that “they come from above”. We don’t think he’s talking about snowflakes...

We take a look at the best promotional videos to ‘leak’ out of publishers’ doors and onto YouTube. This week, a typically glossy commercial from Sony for alien shooter Resistance 2...

[3]

Finally, a normal face. What’s that? “They will block out the sun.” Oh, okay. You’re pretty frightening too as it turns out, young man...

[4]

Lots of people say ‘hell’. Our eerie friends mention a few more spinetingling words. Then a lot of aliens get blown up. What’s not to like?


56-58 MCV516_final

2/12/08

13:28

Page 3

58 MCV 05/12/08

WWW.MCVUK.COM

THE GS FACTOR We at MCV like to think we can belt out drunken tunes, but even we’d be hard-pressed to compete with Gamestation. Celebrating the launch of its 250th shiny new outlet, the GS team visited Crystal in Sheffield for a bit of ‘’Rockyoke’. Sega’s Karl Johns and Gamestation’s marketing guru Anna Downing (left) proved their worth with a touching duet on the ol’ microphone– but others (dotted around here) needed no such amplification.

WHAT WERE THEY

THINKING!? The unbelievable truth is that someone, somewhere thought these visionary gems were going to end up being a classic title:

No.7: ET: The Extra-Terrestrial YEAR: 1982 FORMAT: Atari 2600 And you think this year’s triple-A releases are a risky business. Atari’s ET: The Extra Terrestrial challenged gamers to fall into holes. Literally – that was it. So it was no surprise when it didn’t sell very well. It was a slight shock to Atari, however, when – having over-produced the number of units to an industry-crunching degree – they ended up helping contribute to the great video games crash of 1983. Hundreds of thousands of unsold cartridges were later buried in a New Mexico landfill. Now doesn’t that make that No.7 All Format chart debut seem a little less disastrous?

PES CUP RESULTS Gaming legends went head-to-head in the final of the MCV PES Industry Rankings competition last week. Team Play Atari beat Sega’s A-team in the final of the hotly contested footballing clash, held at the Rex Cinema, Soho. The industry’s finest turned up for the industry night, including Mastertronic and Gorge, who were both knocked out in the semi-finals. Other teams included Glu Mobile, Midway, Feature Design and The Sun, The Dream Team (consisting of industry journos Paul Vale and Steve Hill, pictured left), Microsoft, the BBFC and Eidos.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Ben Furfie, Owain Bennallack

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



MCV516 December 5th