3(/7 39./03)3 Five years have past since we last saw Ben Tennyson transforming into aliens and ﬁghting crime. Today, he is a well adjusted, 15 year old, who has put away the Omnitrix to focus on his high-school life. Then, Grandpa Max disappears under mysterious circumstances and Ben once again turns to the Omnitrix for help. This time he has to ﬁght a new and more sinister threat – The HighBreeds, DNAliens and The Forever Knights, who team up to take over the world.
UK Premiere of Ben 10 Alien Force airs Saturday 14th February on Cartoon Network.
'!-% 39./03)3 Join Ben, Gwen and Kevin on an all new adventure to save planet Earth, using their all new super powers to defeat the intergalactic HighBreed invaders! Play as cool new aliens like Swampﬁre, Humungousaur, Big Chill and more! Team up with a friend in 2 player co-op mode! Explore a thrilling new storyline in the Alien Force world! 5+ 02%3!452$ )%2% !9 4( &%"25! 29 /. #!24// . .%47/2 +
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 520 Friday January 16 2009 £3.25
04 A cautious GAME CEO Lisa Morgan says she is carefully optimistic about the UK’s leading specialist
06 A weighty issue The Government’s anti-obesity push takes a swipe at video gaming
12 Sega looks ahead Top execs Alan Pritchard and John Clark discuss plans for 2009
15-23 RECRUITMENT SPECIAL MCV takes a detailed look at how to get the right job in games, from picking the best sector – to getting a fair wage
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
IN THE MONEY: The industry’s women earn, on average, £2,000 more per year than men
SPECIAL REPORT: Women win the games industry wage war, earning more each year than men Average female annual salary is £33,260 by Michael French WHO SAID the games industry was just a boys club? Whilst women are still a minority in the sector’s workforce, they are earning more than their male counterparts, according to research conducted by MCV.
took in all sectors, from retail and publishing through to services and development, plus the games media and PR. Our overall results buck the national averages, too. The overall average games industry yearly salary is £31,655, higher than the Office of National Statistics' average of £24,908.
It’s fantastic news women are getting this recognition. Hopefully, it will attract more to join the games industry. Nicola Bhalerao, Rare
Average female annual salaries are £2,000 higher than the male wage, at £33,260. The data comes from a survey conducted by MCV and its sister magazine Develop, featuring responses from 528 UK games industry professionals. Our research
The ONS says that, on average, women earn up to £100 a week less than men, but in games it’s a contrasting figure – with women making around £40 more a week than men. Women working in the games industry also seem to be more optimistic about their
career and job prospects for 2009. 72 per cent of female respondents said that they were confident about the year ahead, versus 66 per cent of men who said the same. Although just ten per cent of the industry’s workforce is female, prominent women in the sector think the news shows that the market should be attracting more female talent. “This proves that women can forge decent careers in what is perceived as a maledominated sector,” said one leading publisher’s HR rep. Nicola Bhalerao, a software engineer at Microsoft studio Rare – and head of the Women in Games Conference – added: “This is fantastic news. Hopefully it will help attract more women to make great quality games.” Our Recruitment Special begins on page 15
SALARY SURVEY: OUR RESULTS Average Games Industry Annual Salary: £31,655 Average Salary - Men: £31,585 Average Salary - Women: £33,260 UK National Average: £24,908
SECTOR SPOTLIGHTS (Amount given is average annual salary) Publishing & Marketing: £43,000 Retail: £26,960 Services & Distribution: £31,973 PR & Communications: £26,153 Development: £30,442 Games Media: £18,125 Turn to page 18 for full analysis
E3 gains as Sega and THQ end joint trade event Duo’s popular retail showcase ends as Sonic & Mario publisher’s European office switches focus to LA expo by Tim Ingham SEGA AND THQ’S annual Business Partners Summit has been retired after two successful years. MCV understands that both companies wanted to find alternative routes to showcase their products to European retail in 2009. Sega has confirmed to MCV that it will be switching support to this year’s less US-centric E3.
Sega Europe President and COO Mike Hayes told MCV: “Sega Europe will now be supporting the revised E3 event in LA. Sega encourages all of its customers and media partners to support the E3 event in June via their attendance. “As ever, Sega will also support local European territory events which will include IDEF and the Cologne Convention. There is a consensus between both companies that the
PARTNERS: Sega’s Mike Hayes and THQ’s Ian Curran have earned praise from UK retail for their joint summit over the past two years
Business Partners Summit is now no longer required.” The Summit has been a key date for retail and distribution over the past two years. 2008’s show in Lisbon, Portugal, attracted nearly 400 trade delegates from across Europe, Africa, Australia and beyond. THQ and Sega launched the first dual show in Malta in 2007, after retail questioned the time efficiency of attending single-publisher events.
PERSONNEL 24 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 30 HIGH STREET 32 CHARTS 34
4,5 MCV520_final:4-5 MCV515
4 MCV 16/01/09
[LEADER] JOBS FOR THE GIRLS We didn't expect our salary survey, which was only open for five days via our websites, to prove so popular. Or to reveal the comfortable pay gap between men and women – something which reverses trends in other industries as well as the national average. And it’s not just one or two women in senior industry roles dragging the average up, either – our survey included women working at all levels in all parts of the industry. At the same time, it was also quite hard to get any senior publishing reps to talk on the record about the issue of women in the games industry being paid more than their male counterparts. Two told me it was ‘too sensitive an issue’, and a few others said the survey result masked a darker truth: that while women are not underrated by the games industry they are under-represented in it. Perhaps Ubisoft’s worldwide studios head Christine Burgess-Quémard or EA’s The Sims exec Nancy Smith might disagree. Or maybe they wouldn’t – they and other women in the industry still stand out amongst a sea of male faces. But perhaps choosing not to address the matter, or treating it as embarrassing and to be ignored, is the bigger problem? Clearly, there is still more to be done in raising the reputation of the games industry as a place for women to work, because the fact that only 10 per cent of the games workforce is female is a bit shameful. I’m sure the percentage is higher than in fields like engineering and the army. But when the industry is celebrating so much market growth – driven by a more varied demographic which includes more female gamers than ever before – it seems to be quite a mismatch when the industry doesn’t accurately reflect its audience.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS On the subject of the fairer sex and video games... It’s a strange world we live in when Eidos can describe the global sales of the latest Lara Croft adventure as a disappointment when it sells over 1.5 million units. The publisher’s confession that sales were below expectations last week knocked its share price and then spurred talk of yet another revamp for the pneumatic heroine. Does Lara have any relevance these days? Once upon a time, when the industry was much smaller, some said she was a great icon for women as she represents smarts and skills, as well as sexiness. Now, although women are still grossly underrepresented by the games industry, the debate about how the games industry treats women has advanced (a little, at least). So maybe a nice holiday (or a new set of owners, eh, Warner Bros.?) might do the Tomb Raider star some good. firstname.lastname@example.org
GAME braced for tough Softer release schedule and economic climate could affect chain’s by Christopher Dring GAME GROUP CEO Lisa Morgan has warned that a lack of triple-A titles and falling prices will result in a ‘very challenging’ first half of 2009. The warning follows GAME’s Christmas financial statement, which saw the Group report a 16 per cent rise in sales for the six-week period up to January 10th 2009. However despite the growth, GAME is cautious about its 2009 outlook, and is planning to scale back its aggressive expansion plans. “Last year the first half of the year was fantastic for the UK games market,” Morgan explained to MCV. “Not only did we see tremendous installed-base growth, but we also saw the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Fit, to name a few. “But this year the first half software line-up is perhaps not quite as strong, and some console formats have lowered in price, such as the Xbox 360. So we are going to need to sell a few more of them to see
CAUTIOUS: Despite impressive Christmas 2008 financials, GAME CEO Lisa Morgan remains wary of the growing economic crisis
UK console numbers revealed THE TOTAL console installed base for the UK has been revealed by Gfk-ChartTrack. The overall console installed base has leapt to 22 million units year-on-year, up from 13.5 million reported in January 2008. The results were first revealed in GAME’s Christmas trading statement this week. Official figures show that sales of 360, Wii and PS3 consoles have jumped from 4.7m to 10m as of January 3rd, 2009. Nintendo’s Wii accounted for nearly half the sales, rising from two million consoles in January
2008 to an installed base of 4.9 million units by 2009. Xbox 360 sales rose from 1.8 million units to 3.2 million,
and the PS3 installed base more than doubled, up from 900,000 to 1.9 million. Handheld unit sales also rose – from eight million units to 12
million, with DS sales accounting for 8.8 million units and PSP reaching an installed base of 3.2 million devices. The news comes after MCV last week revealed that all three consoles had enjoyed a year-onyear annual sales rise. According to annual Gfk-ChartTrack and ELSPA figures, Wii’s revenues leapt up by 112 per cent in 2008 compared to 2007, with PS3 increasing by 115 per cent in the same period. Xbox 360 climbed by 38 per cent, whilst Nintendo DS enjoyed a 17 per cent rise.
4,5 MCV520_final:4-5 MCV515
MCV 16/01/09 5
market in 2009 House of the Dead set for Friday 13th
year-on-year performance, says GAME CEO similar returns. So as a business we are going to have to work much harder to see year-on-year revenue growth, which will be very challenging for GAME Group. “In terms of expansion, GAME has previously adopted a fairly aggressive expansion policy. Last year we opened over 50 stores in the UK and even more in Europe, and
installed-base, citing it as a driving force behind GAME Group’s Christmas performance and a reason to be optimistic in 2009. “We had a pleasing performance all throughout last year and Christmas particularly,” added Morgan. “This was helped by tremendous installed-base growth, especially in the UK
As a business we are going to have to work much harder to see year-on-year revenue growth in the first half. Lisa Morgan, GAME
before that we bought out Gamestation. This year we will adopt a more measured approach to expansion, as we want to know and better understand the macroeconomic factors. So we will be opening new stores on a case-by-case basis, but we do still plan to expand.” Despite the concerns, Morgan is delighted by the huge growth in console
market, which has now reached 22 million consoles. This gave us huge opportunity to sell more software in the run-up to Christmas. “We still see great opportunity with last year’s installed-base growth. There will be many consumers looking to buy software, and we will have to work with our partners to drive that.”
WII-EXCLUSIVE horror title House of the Dead: Overkill is set for release on February 13th, MCV can exclusively reveal. The on-rails blaster will be available in both normal and collectors’ edition, and Sega has an extensive marketing campaign planned in support of the product. “We are really positive about House of the Dead Overkill,” said Sega senior product manager Jo Fawell. “Unlike last year’s House of the Dead 2 & 3, Overkill has been exclusively developed for Wii and is simply a great light gun game. “We have a great campaign planned with lots of hooks to entice the hardcore horror fan and also casual Wii owners who would like adult content. We also have some key marketing activities that are being specifically planned
around Friday 13th, with pre-awareness TV, press and online activity included.” Alongside a special House of the Dead comic (available in the collectors’ edition), Sega and Big Ben have teamed up to release a special Wii House of the Dead hand cannon accessory. Big Ben group sales director Laurent Honoret explained: “We have worked closely with Sega to ensure that we have captured the spirit of the game and produced a high quality product that we are sure will be loved by fans.” Friday 13th has been targeted by multiple publishers releasing top horror titles this year. Alongside House of the Dead: Overkill, Warner Bros. is set to release F.E.A.R. 2, while Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 is set to arrive on Friday, March 13th. Sega: 020 8995 3399
GAME: 01256 784000
TOP 10 KILLZONE 2 PS3 SONY
2. RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM
3. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM
4. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3........................................SQUARE ENIX
5. STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM
6. RACE PRO 360 ..................................................ATARI
7. ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES 360 ..................................................SEGA
8. STREET FIGHTER IV 360 ..............................................CAPCOM
9. ALAN WAKE 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT
10. HALO WARS 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT Week ending January 10th Source: SHOPTO.COM
Cats: The Video Game due soon? £34.8m CATS, EVITA and more top stage musicals could all soon have their own video games, as the company in charge of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s most famous brands enters
Webber, has begun preliminary discussions with a number of the ‘world’s leading video game publishers’ as it looks to take its portfolio of world-famous
Now is the time for us to take some of the best names in musical entertainment in a more interactive direction.
Douglas Glen, Really Useful Group
discussions with video games companies. The Really Useful Group, the international musical entertainment company founded in 1977 by Lloyd-
brands into the interactive entertainment sphere. Head of digital strategy for The Really Useful Group Douglas Glen said: “With the video gaming audience having
moved from its maledominated roots towards a more family-oriented demographic, now is the perfect time for us to take some of the best known names in musical entertainment in a more interactive direction. Our aim is to find a partner who will work across our entire catalogue to deliver highquality games on a variety of hardware platforms.” The Really Useful Group owns some of the
best-known global properties in musical entertainment, including Cats, Evita and The Phantom of the Opera. Its catalogue also includes Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard and Jesus Christ Superstar. In recent years, LloydWebber has become well known to TV audiences on both sides of the Atlantic through his involvement with the BBC’s Saturday night ‘casting by TV’ programmes and appearances on popular US show American Idol.
110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30
Week Ending December 27th
Week Ending January 3rd
Week Ending January 10th
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
6,7 MCV520_final:6-7 MCV515
6 MCV 16/01/09
NEWS The Government ad shows fat cells multiplying in the body of a ‘gamer’
Government ‘obesity link’ irritates industry Fitness initiative focuses on ‘gamer’ suffering from unhealthy lifestyle UK trade hits out at ‘naive stereotyping’ by Tim Ingham A NEW Government TV ad that appears to link games and obesity has irked the UK industry – despite apparent good intentions. The commercial, for Government health initiative Change 4 Life, shows the ‘son’ in a family made of plasticine tapping away at a gamepad in front of a television – controlling a Space Invaders clone. The camera then zooms in on the boy – and then under his ‘skin’ – to show ugly
looking ‘fat’ increasing in his body. He is later shown shooting an effigy of himself
insider at one of the world’s biggest producers of fitness games software and hardware
The audience this ad is supposed to speak to might dismiss it because of the ignorance shown. Publishing Executive
on screen, as the TV reads ‘Game Over’. The commercial has caused annoyance amongst the publishing community. An
told MCV: “Any initiative that encourages people to move towards a healthier lifestyle can only be a good thing. But this is just another example of
naive stereotyping and scapegoating. Video games can be a part of an active and healthy lifestyle for everyone of all ages. “Actually, because video games are playing such an important and fun role in people’s lives, the very audience this advert is supposed to address and speak to might dismiss it purely because of the naivety and ignorance shown.” Publisher for Future’s games portfolio Richard Keith added: “You would have to pretty hard-headed not to support
the aims of the Change 4 Life campaign. The juxtaposition of sedentary gaming against an active lifestyle is an obvious one. “However, it should be noted that when it comes to house-bound activities gaming is much more ‘active’ than most – whether that’s exercising the brain with puzzles, rocking out with Rock Band or playing a few sets of tennis with Wii Sports, there’s more to gaming than sitting playing Space Invaders." The ad is available to view on YouTube.
Mad Catz unveils official Street Fighter range MAD CATZ has announced it will launch a full range of officially licensed Street Fighter IV accessories alongside the highly anticipated beat-‘em-up upon its release in February. The new products are “the result of close collaboration” between the peripherals manufacturer and Capcom, and have been designed specifically to support the game with unique button mapping and licensed artwork. The range includes the wall scrolls, controller faceplates, console skins and the FightPad – a controller designed to enhance for the specific gameplay of Street Fighter IV.
There will also be two versions of the new Arcade FightStick: a standard edition and tournament edition, providing fans with a more traditional arcade-style control experience. Mad Catz’ global PR and communications manager Alex Verrey told MCV: “The Mad Catz Street Fighter IV range of accessories is a significant milestone for Mad Catz and the result of a close collaboration between ourselves and Capcom. “Not only is our tournament edition FightStick using the same Sanwa components found in the arcade cabinet, but
IT TAKES TWO: MadCatz will release a duo of official SFIV pads
legendary Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono has personally approved the full product range. “Like our Rock Band range before them, the Street Fighter IV products are yet further evidence of the
importance we place on quality and true innovation and we look forward to sharing news of many more exciting products with MCV ’s readers throughout 2009.” Capcom’s VP of business development and strategic planning Christian Svensson said: “Capcom is pleased to work with Mad Catz to provide the highest quality controllers possible to the Street Fighter community. Capcom has a long history of supporting its fanbase with quality content and Mad Catz Street Fighter IV peripheral controllers will astound the Street Fighter community.” Mad Catz: 01908 336538
6,7 MCV520_final:6-7 MCV515
MCV 16/01/09 7
Electronic Arts prepares for a year of grandslam Wii releases Publisher believes new product – including first tennis title – can rule Nintendo format by Tim Ingham ELECTRONIC ARTS is confident that it can overcome a crowded Wii market to rule the platform this year – with a combination of innovative experiential marketing and handpicked product.
against rivals 2K Tennis and Sega’s Virtual Tennis. “We’re particularly excited about the prospect of bringing EA Sports Tennis to the Wii in 2009 – there’s huge potential there,” said Lang. “Obviously working with a recognisable brand or licence gives you a
A recognisable brand gives you a headstart, but we believe we can break new IP on Wii. Stuart Lang, EA
Speaking to MCV, EA’s marketing director for the UK and Ireland Stuart Lang talked of the firm’s excitement over the release of its first tennis title – and the prospects of Stephen Spielberg’s Boom Blox as a long-term franchise. EA Sports Tennis is due for release on Wii later this year – and represents the first time the company has gone up
head-start in capturing consumer attention, but we believe there’s also scope to break new IP. That focus and commitment will also be channelled into breaking EA Sports Active as an essential fitness product for the Wii.” Lang was speaking as part of MCV’s investigation into the industry’s growing fear about the amount of cheap third-
OUT 23rd JANUARY 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.
IN THE SWING OF THINGS: EA is confident that EA Sports Active can become a major success
party product ‘clogging up’ retail space. “There’s a real need for focus, cut through and meaningful engagement with customers – be they players, parents or gifters,” he said. “This should concern us as publishers in our approach to development and marketing communications, as well as to the in-store experience.
“Some of our retail partners have been putting some great in-store experiential initiatives in place, to ensure their outlets are must-visit and mustexperience destinations. We’re keen to work closely with our retail partners to expand on these foundations.” To read our in-depth news analysis on the third-party Wii market, turn to page 10.
Atari readies ‘most exciting’ Q1 line-up ever ATARI HAS declared its 2009 Q1 line-up to be one of the “most exciting” so far, boasting a range of genres and licences that should cater for every consumer and format.
on DS follows on February 6th. Race Pro, an ultra-realistic racer exclusive for Xbox 360, will arrive shortly after on February 13th. Other February releases include Eternal Sonata
We have a great line-up of games for all ages. This is one of the most exciting first quarters in our history. Lee Kirton, Atari
The publisher’s first release of the year will be The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity, described as a ‘love-‘em-up’ for the DS and due for release on January 30th. The Times Crossword
on PS3, making up for the delay since the Xbox 360 release with exclusive DLC, and Family Ski & Snowboard for Wii. March sees the arrival of the highly anticipated
Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena. Samuel L Jackson adds yet more Hollywood glitz by starring in Afro Samurai, due across PS3, 360 and PC in late March. Finally, Codename: Panzers Cold War and Ready To Rumble Revolution will debut in March, rounding off Atari’s Q1 line-up. “This is one of the most exciting first quarters in Atari UK’s history,” said Atari PR boss Lee Kirton. “We have an exciting line-up of quality titles for gamers of all ages. Our Atari Live event underlined how the company is focusing on excellence.”
OUT 20th FEBRUARY 2009 Wii
The first ever 2 in 1 Nerf blaster. Fire real Nerf darts or swap in the Wii remote to use in game. Wreak havoc and perfect your blasting skills or challenge friends to clashes.
OUT 13th MARCH 2009 Wii and Nintendo DS
MySims Party lets you and your friends throw down with the MySims! Up to 4 players can test their wits, quickness and skill in 40+ minigames, each hosted by a different MySim! Outwit friends by selecting the right team who will carry the day in contests based on strength, endurance, speed and luck.
Atari: 020 8222 9700
8,9 MCV520_final:8-9 MCV515
8 MCV 16/01/09
Gameseek reaches 200,000 ONLINE retailer Gameseek has recorded 200,000 sales since the website launch, following a 15 per cent year-onyear leap in sales. Gameseek began as a resource site in 2000, before moving into retail in 2002. And founder Stephen Staley has seen the firm grow each year, with December 2008 being the company’s best sales month yet. “200,000 sales is a significant milestone in Gameseek’s history, and puts us in a great
Fallout DLC to boost retail Publisher Bethesda tells retail to brace itself for Fallout 3 Operation: Anchorage by Christopher Dring ONE OF the biggest releases of 2008, Fallout 3, is set to receive a second wind of sales with the release of its first downloadable content, Operation Anchorage. The first of three DLC packs will be released on January 27th for Xbox 360 and PC, with more to follow in the coming months. Bethesda European MD Sean Brennan has called for retailers to stock up on the original boxed copy in anticipation of a sales surge. “We certainly expect Operation Anchorage to boost sales of the retail game,” said
Brennan. “There will be significant PR coverage around the releases, and Microsoft will be promoting it heavily on
significant exposure to the DLC and those who have not bought the game will certainly consider it.
We will ensure the original game still has wide exposure – I would suggest retailers ensure sufficient supply. Sean Brennan, Bethesda
both Xbox Live and Games For Windows. “This will attract consumers who somehow missed it preChristmas as well as new hardware owners. The majority of 360 owners will have
“We are working hard to ensure that the original game still has wide exposure and good availability in store. I would suggest that any retailer reading this ensures they have sufficient supply.”
“200,000 sales is a milestone in Gameseek’s history and puts us in a great position in 2009.”
Operation Anchorage takes players to Alaska where they must battle to liberate Anchorage from Chinese Communist invaders. Future instalments of the DLC will also raise the level cap. Fallout 3 is not the only major 2008 release set to benefit from new downloadable packs. Early this week Lionhead Studios released Knothole Island for its RPG hit Fable II, while next month will see the release of the highly anticipated GTA IV DLC: The Lost and The Damned. Two further Fallout 3 packs are on course for February and March.
position going forward in 2009,” said Staley. “Sales were great throughout 2008 up until around October when it seemed all the talk about the credit crunch had finally started to affect consumer spending. “This trend carried through to November, however December was a real surprise. We had a fantastic month – even bigger than the record sales we saw in December 2007. “This sales achievement has been driven by our diverse range of products that are promoted to the highest visibility on the internet,” he added.
Bethesda: 020 7025 7360
For independent sales, please contact Advantage Distribution on 0121 506 9585
8,9 MCV520_final:8-9 MCV515
MCV 16/01/09 9
Games licences to enjoy strong presence at UK Toy Fair 2009 World Of Warcraft, Tamagotchi and Hannah Montana products to star at massive expo by Ronnie Dungan THE UK Toy Fair starts on January 28th at ExCel – and promises to feature more video games-related brands and technologies than ever before.
toy lines are now based on games licences or feature similar, sometimes compatible, technology. Trading card specialist Upper Deck markets both the World of Warcraft trading card
The toy sector’s battle for market share with games means many toy lines are based on games licences.
The show takes place from Wednesday January 28th-31st in the South Hall at ExCeL and is the UK toy market’s annual showcase for products which will hit shelves later this year. The market’s ongoing battle for market share with the games business means many
game and a range of 3D miniatures. It has also just signed a deal to licence technology to create electronic cards compatible with console and online games. Re:creation has already had success distributing the Pyramat range of gaming chairs, mats
BAFTA: BAFTA has revealed that GAME will be the sponsor for this year’s British Academy Video Games Awards, due to take place on March 10th at the London Hilton on Park Lane. CHARACTER: Recognisable children’s franchises will all be present
and accessories and will be demoing a new line called jOG which is a console compatible motion-detection control system. Other lines include licensed dance mats such as Character
Options’ Hannah Montana range; Bandai’s latest Tamagotchi items and new products from pre-school specialist Leapfrog. www.toyfair.co.uk.
Future teams up with eSports leader THE UK eSports Association (UKeSA) has formed an alliance with Future Publishing to promote the imminent national video game championship. UKeSA was formed last year with the aim of standardising and promoting gaming as a legitimate ‘sport’, complete with leagues, teams, prize money and international competition. The partnership means that all the games played in the Open Division of the inaugural season will be directly aligned to one
of the media powerhouse’s brands, such as PC Gamer. UKeSA’s chief executive Ray Mia commented: “Future has
been extremely supportive from the outset and is fundamentally involved in our efforts to provide a coherent
[IN BRIEF] SHOREWOOD.BLUEPRINT: Blueprint Media and Shorewood Packaging have announced the creation of a new company, specialising in global packaging and product design. Shorewood.blueprint will be based in London and offer its services to home entertainment businesses across Europe.
structure for gamers and the industry.” The season kicks off on February
5th and is split into three categories: Amateur, which are free to play; Championship, where a small fee is required to
play; Premiership, where players are paid to compete. The Premiership final will take place at the O2 on April 25th-26th, with a prize pot of £35K spread across the competitions. Tournaments will be played on PC, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3. Titles include Counter Strike Source, Warcraft 3, Call of Duty 4, FIFA ’09, Super Mario Kart, Gears of War 2, Guitar Hero 3 and Pro Evo Soccer. www.ukespa.com
505 GAMES: A new selection of games aimed at young girls has been unveiled. The Academy range will include Beauty Salon and Fashion Designer: High Fashion. KONAMI: The publisher has announced its first game to be compatible with the Wii Balance Board: Marbles! Blast Challenge. The game has been developed by Hudson and is set to hit shelves on April 30th. EA: Electronic Arts has pledged its support for PlayStation Home, which will begin with the release of the EA Sports Complex in spring 2009. ATARI: Ghostbusters: The Video Game has been given a confirmed release date. It will arrive on June 19th, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the original film. MICROSOFT: The Knothole Glade DLC for Fable II was released, opening access to an additional area to explore.
Rising Star Games Authentic, cutting edge, Japanese. For Harvest Moon, please contact Koch on 0870 027 0985
For national account enquiries, please contact Mastertronic on 0845 234 4242
10,11 MCV520_final:Layout 1
10 MCV 16/01/09
NEWS ANALYSIS: WII PROFITS RACE FOR THE CASH: With only so much money generated by Nintendo formats, will an overcrowded market prevent new third party titles from sharing in the success seen by Mario & Sonic?
ARE WII MAKING MONEY YET? Nintendo has once again catapulted the UK industry to record £4bn annual revenues, as DS and, particularly, Wii continue to dwarf the sales of Microsoft and Sony’s offerings. But are third party publishers really sharing in the platform holder’s success? Tim Ingham reports… YOU KNOW the drill by now. Games are more popular than ever. They’re bringing families together. And Nintendo has taken the humble console from the darkened bedrooms of greasy teens and plonked it squarely in the Habitat-carpeted, brightly-lit Benetton ad lounges of switched-on suburban Britain. Just ask Harry Redknapp. On top of that, we’re beating the recession, everyone’s making a mint – and we’re delivering joy to those poor souls having to tighten their belts as Jack Economy invades the hinterland of our purse lining. The proof was on MCV’s front page last week, right? A big pat on the back for us all, with four billion squid generated to steel poor Gordon’s waning grasp on the banks – mainly thanks to Wii and DS’s incredible powers. But as our cover screamed with delight, a lone voice further into magazine told a different story. Global 2K President Christoph Hartmann’s straight talking did a good job of puncturing ELSPA’s triumphalism. “The reality is, the Wii market always gets super overcrowded,” he said. “[Publishers] think if they make ten titles and two are hits, they will finance the other eight. But they forget the other eight crappy titles will flood the
market and lead to problems... It’s becoming hard to shine.” Hartmann’s observation was made all the more significant by the fact that 2K’s Carnival was one of the ‘Holy Grail’ of titles that managed to truly thrive on Wii last year. Indeed, the title was the ninth biggest selling software SKU of the year.
optimism for the company’s future on the platform, UK sales director John Clark shares some of Hartmann and 2K’s concerns. “We finished 2008 as the biggest third party Wii publisher,” he says. Even without Mario & Sonic we would still be a top three third-party Wii publisher. Sega’s original IP seems to resonate
It’s important that the customer is not left baffled by the sheer number of games out there. Stuart Lang, EA
But 2K isn’t alone in predicting that the tidal wave of third-party Wii and DS titles we’ve seen over the last year is set to reach a critical mass – and put an untold amount of pressure on retail space. And it isn’t alone in believing there will be losers in the publishing community. A MAJOR HURDLE? Sega is also something of a Wii success story, having shifted over two million copies of Mario and Sonic At The Olympic Games in the UK. But despite
with the Wii audience and enable them to stand out from many other releases on the format. “However, such a volume of new releases will cause competition for space in store, which potentially could put pressure on pricing. Adding to that, development is such that publishers are able to release more Nintendo titles, quicker. With so many games released on a format with a lower attach rate, success is not necessarily guaranteed.” Of course, it’s pretty hard to blame Nintendo. The truth the company will
never tell is a tough one: It’s not their fault that they’re bloody brilliant. As if it’s not enough to create two incredibly successful consoles, they concoct the most compelling product for them. The top four bestselling software SKUs in the UK last year were all… you’ve guessed it… Nintendo titles on Nintendo formats. And therein lies the poisoned chalice. With Nintendo grabbing most of their hardware consumers’ cash – and every publisher and his dog/pony producing cheap casual titles for DS and Wii – how can a publisher ‘cut through’ and become one of these hallowed handful that triumph? One company that had a rip roaring 2008 – and shied away from, as Hartmann would have it, “crappy Wii games” – was Activision. The firm’s lack of ‘casual’, family-orientated (and let’s face it, cheap) titles for Nintendo consoles was conspicuous in a market with a hefty development backlog for these brave new machines. But that didn’t stop it having its own triumph on Wii – with a title that shunned the kids-only preserve of rival titles. Guitar Hero has been a smash on the console, rivalling the success the company had on what many see as the franchise’s natural home – Xbox 360.
10,11 MCV520_final:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 11
NEWS ANALYSIS: WII PROFITS However, MD Andrew Brown has concerns for smaller companies that have spent money creating budget ‘casual’ titles for Wii and DS – in the hope of a major pay-off at retail. “Many publishers have invested a great deal in the casual side of the market, however, it’s hard to get standout in such a competitive environment unless you're a platform holder,” he explains. “The future for the industry will rely on variety and choice which appeal to a wide range of demographics and the trick will be knowing your audience. “This is likely to challenge the smaller companies who run a limited annual release schedule – particularly as they will need to ensure their product gains prominence and reaches their target audience in a saturated environment.” TAKING ADVANTAGE EA has had similar success with the likes of FIFA 09, MySims and Tiger Woods. UK marketing director Stuart Lang agrees that the market is a crowded one – and that publisher must be clever to thrive. “It’s important that the customer has choice but equally it’s important they’re not left feeling totally overwhelmed and baffled by the sheer volume of games out there on shelves and the way that product is presented to them,” he says.
“We believe there’s a real need for focus, cut through and meaningful engagement with customers – be they players, parents or gifters. “This should concern us as publishers in our own approach to development and marketing communications, as well as to the in-store experience. “The Wii has been a phenomenal success and we’re focused on creating and bringing to market games and experiences which take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities in new and exciting ways.” With the current publishers and developers already running into trouble in the economic climate – and the number of games retailers famously being reduced on the High Street – the issue of how to make money on Nintendo’s hugely successful consoles is become an increasingly prominent one. There are still hoardes of ‘cheap’ games still in development from publishers looking to cash in on the ‘casual boom’, who may end up left out in the cold if their titles can’t overcome crowded shelves, consumer choice and the dominance of Nintendo’s own firstparty software. There’s certainly still plenty of money to be made from Wii; but it looks as though publishers may have to be cleverer to share in Nintendo’s bounty than some first assumed.
Quality Always Stands Out EVA Designer Case for the DS Lite Generic design to colour match all consoles soles One Euro hook, seven solutions
tel: +44(0)1763 272927 • email@example.com • www.venomuk.com
[OPINION] James Yelland, Software Buyer, Asda “In a supermarket like ourselves, space is at a premium. We simply do not have the capacity to house all the DS and Wii software that is on offer in the market place. However with Full Price Charts, Value Charts and Range space we do our best to have all the best titles available for our customers to purchase. We also like to ensure Wii and DS feature heavily in our promotional activity.” Andy Payne, MD, Mastertonic “There is no doubt at all that the DS and Wii markets are seemingly saturated – maybe even supersaturated – and it is survival of the fittest and the best. So stand aside most publishers, make way for Nintendo and all their wares. How many games can you actually play on your Wii or for that matter your DS? Assumed wisdom says that consumers buy four games a year for their consoles. Maybe they buy more, but
when Nintendo make such corking titles and they market them like no one else, it makes it pretty tough to look outside their range as a consumer, let alone a seller. The Nintendo platforms have never been a great source of profit for third parties down the years, and I cannot see that has really changed very much. The market is bigger of course, and third parties can get hits for sure. Just don’t put your house on those Nintendo formats as you may well find that the plumber is away with your wife most days.” Martin Defries, MD & COO, Rising Star Games “There is far too much clutter; too many me-too products hitting DS and Wii. There was something around 350 games released on the platforms between mid-October and mid-December last year. I have empathy for retailers, because they just can’t stock that many titles. We’ve had to move some games to quieter periods, where we can get more of a marketing voice. Our products are quality, Japanese, core titles. So we might have to re-consider our strategy in getting games to the market.”
12,13 MCV520_FINAL:Layout 1
12 MCV 16/01/09
MCV INTERVIEW ALAN PRITCHARD, SEGA EUROPE NORTH MD JOHN CLARK, UK SALES DIRECTOR
Sega Unleashed A plethora of major franchises and new IP make up Sega’s impressive Q1 line-up. Christopher Dring speaks to Sega Europe North MD Alan Pritchard and UK sales director John Clark about the year ahead... What was the highlight of 2008 for Sega? Alan Pritchard: Mario and Sonic at The Olympic Games. With two million games sold, you can see how that was a big deal for us. John Clark: Agreed – we re-advertised this game, which was a first for Sega, and it has proved to be very successful. Another highlight has been the success of Beijing 2008. In terms of value, Beijing is the most successful Olympics title yet – although it was just behind Athens on the PS2 in terms of units. AP: It’s important for Sega as a publisher to achieve strong results on PS3 and 360, and Beijing has probably been our biggest success on these platforms, enjoying over ten weeks in the top five of each format chart. Viking: Battle of Asgard and Condemned 2 have also done well, but Beijing has been our most significant launch on PS3 and 360. But Sega’s movie tie-ins maybe didn’t live up to expectations. Will you move away from film licences? AP: As part of the deal with Marvel, we are committed to releasing two more titles in the next few years, in the form of Thor and Captain America. If you rewind the clock two or three years, Sega needed to add some weight to its line-up and licensed properties were
a way of doing that. EA, THQ and Activision had done well in that space so we started with The Golden Compass, and Iron Man and The Hulk followed shortly afterwards. Movie licensed products are struggling to do the numbers they were perhaps doing three years ago, especially with the earlier than expected demise of PS2. JC: It’s important to note that the success of movie licensed games is linked to the critical and commercial performance of
One way of achieving that is with new IP like The Conduit and MadWorld, and traditional Sega titles will continue to drive broader market success. Another key element of your 2009 line-up is hardcore Wii titles. Do you feel core gamers are underrepresented on Wii? AP: There have been some good hardcore Wii titles. Resident Evil 4 has done reasonable numbers; Red Steel has also performed really well. But since
New IP is a challenge, something that is evident with recent underperforming titles – but it’s necessary. Alan Pritchard, Sega
the theatrical release. In addition, not too long ago, this market seemed to offer growth. So now we see most publishers represented in what is a busy sector.
then, many publishers have migrated towards the more mass-market family titles, so perhaps there hasn’t been the array or depth of hardcore titles on Wii.
What are Sega’s ambitions for 2009? AP: Our ambitions are to continue to be a profitable publisher, and in doing so, we’d like to maintain our current market share and publisher rankings. With the breadth of titles we have on multiple formats, we are well placed to do that.
JC: More family friendly titles are being released on PlayStation and 360 as this is a growth area for these formats. Maybe with Wii there’s a reverse opportunity.
JC: We’d also like to maintain the success we’ve had on Nintendo formats.
You’ve got a lot of new IP coming. Is this a new key focus for Sega? AP: It is a focus, because Sega could very easily be a publisher that brings just Football Manager, Virtua Tennis
and Sonic to the market. But, to have a more rounded line-up, we need to look outside of our portfolio. New IP is a challenge, something that is only too evident with many recent titles underperforming – but it’s necessary. JC: Every publisher needs new IP. A balanced portfolio is vital for publishers to succeed, and non-licensed IP is a key part of that balance. How do you separate adult Sega from family-friendly Sega? AP: We initially debated that internally, when we started signing titles like the original Condemned, and at the time we did a lot of focus testing. Although the Sega brand is a great brand to have, people don’t necessarily buy games because they have got that name on the box. These are titles that are purchased on their individual merits and strengths. Are you concerned about the current economic climate? AP: It’s difficult to tell. We’ll have to see what happens at retail, and I think everyone’s feeling the pinch a little bit. There could be further consolidation of publishers, and retail and distribution have clearly been affected. There are signs that suggest this will be a tough year. From a Sega point of view, we are optimistic about our line-up, and you’ve only seen about half of it so far.
SEGA’S 2009 LINE-UP SO FAR... From MadWorld to Sonic, Sega has a varied 2009 line-up. Here’s a run down of the key titles due for release...
FOOTBALL MANAGER LIVE
HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
Formats: PC Released: January 23rd
Formats: Wii Released: February 13th
Formats: PC Released: March
Formats: Wii Released: March
Formats: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 Released: Q1 2009
The long-awaited Football Manager MMO is set to kick off Sega’s year, with the publisher planning to tap into the popularity of fantasy football.
Inspired by grindhouse movies, House of the Dead returns for its fifth instalment, with glorious new visuals and deeper gameplay.
The latest in the acclaimed Total War series has gained plenty press coverage, and is sure to capitalise on the ever-popular RTS genre.
The ‘pen and ink’ Wii kill ‘em up arrives in the first quarter this year, having already notched up 30 pages of PR coverage in the specialist press.
The Obsidian-developed third person RPG boasts original role playing action and a thrilling interactive storyline inspired by the best spy novels.
12,13 MCV520_FINAL:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 13
SEGA IN 2009: Alan Pritchard (left) and John Clark (right) are confident in Sega’s slate of original IP, established franchises and core Wii titles
JC: Publishers and distributors are feeling the pressure. What has happened over recent weeks with the loss of EUK will have a big effect as we need strong, established, multiple routes to market. In 2009 we’re going to see some changes on how games are sold at retail. AP: Aside from the installed base for PS2, the combined installed base of the other formats is around 20 million consoles. So there are still a lot of gamers who want and need to buy software. That’s a huge market, and we’ve got to remain optimistic. Many publishers released a huge slate of games over Christmas, yet Sega appears to have focused on just a handful of key releases. Was this a deliberate ploy? AP: We’ve had other titles slated preChristmas, which we moved to 2009 for a number of reasons. Over Christmas we managed to focus on Mario and Sonic, Sonic Unleashed and Football Manager, which has kept it a bit cleaner for us. Looking more at the DS and Wii, with so many new games on the horizon, are the consoles not proving to be quite the cash-cows everyone seemed to think? AP: The 360 and the PS3 are coregaming machines, with core gamers buying eight to nine titles a year. Wii gamers are probably buying two to three games a year, so they are understandably migrating towards the more established brands. With some of the other titles and multi-format releases on Wii, it has been a tough time.
ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES
SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT
Formats: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 Formats: Wii Released: Spring 2009 Released: Q1 2009 The Alien franchise makes its console comeback in this atmospheric FPS penned by Battlestar Galactica writers Bradley Thompson and David Weddle.
The latest Wii-exclusive Sonic is based on the popular Sonic and the Secret Rings, with on rails action and storybook presentation.
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION
Formats: Wii Released: Spring 2009
Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Released: 2009
Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Released: 2009
Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Released: Q4 2009
Designed to use the Wii MotionPlus and Wii Speak accessories, The Conduit picked up two awards at last year’s E3 and features a 16-player online mode.
With impressive sales of Sega’s other Collection titles, the firm will launch its latest entry this quarter with 40 HD-enhanced Mega Drive games.
Created by Total War developers The Creative Assembly, Sega feels it has finally cracked the console RTS with a brand new control system.
One of the most impressive games in Sega’s line-up is Bayonetta, which comes from the creators of Devil May Cry.
15 MC520_final:43 MCV462
MCV 16/01/09 15
New Year, New Job? The New Year often prompts people to take stock and start thinking about improving their careers. Over the next eight pages we offer tips on moving job, a comprehensive salary survey, plus data on key sectors including retail and publishing…
SPECIAL SALARY SURVEY P16 Revealed: the games industry’s average yearly wage and much more SECTOR SPOTLIGHTS P18 More data from our salary survey, divided by role and sector HOW TO GET A JOB IN... Key tips for cracking into the sectors at the heart of the games business: GAMES PUBLISHING
16,17 MCV520_FINAL:Layout 1
16 MCV 16/01/09
Salary Survey Last week we asked readers of mcvuk.com to respond to an extensive salary survey. 528 took part, revealing details on their career and 2009 job prospects. Michael French analyses the answers…
AVERAGE GAMES INDUSTRY SALARY:
SO THERE YOU have it – the games industry isn’t just seeing record revenues at retail, but its employees are raking it in, too. Taking into account roles from across the sector, the average salary is £31,655 a year –
a large step up from the average Brit’s yearly £24,908 (according to the Office of National Statistics). For this number, calculated from the data given by 528 respondents, we’ve gone for a median average of
the data rather than a mean average (which would include the handful of very senior execs who kindly took part as well). Factoring those highflyers back in, and the average raises, up to £37,823 a year.
A majority of the higher-paid roles are in publishing, retail, services and distribution sectors plus the higher echelons of PR and marketing. For a comprehensive look at the average salary in each sector, turn to page 18.
FUTURE PROSPECTS ARE YOU SATISFIED THAT YOUR SALARY COVERS YOUR COST OF LIVING?
IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS DO YOU EXPECT YOUR SALARY TO RISE, FALL OR STAY THE SAME?
Yes – 63 % No – 37 %
REGARDING YOUR CURRENT JOB SITUATION, ARE YOU FEELING CONFIDENT ABOUT 2009?
Rise – 58.0% Stay the same – 39.8% Decline – 2.2%
Yes – 66.3% No – 33.7%
BOYS VS GIRLS IT’S NO SECRET that the fairer sex is in a minority in the games industry. It’s thought that females make up around 10 to 12 per cent of the games industry workforce in the UK – and, indeed, women made up 11 per cent of our 528 respondants. However our survey reveals an interesting fact about the pay
disparity between the sexes. There isn’t one. Well, there is, but not in the way you think – it’s actually in favour of women, who earn on average around £2,000 more than both the average per annum amount above, and the average for males. Our calculations put the average female games industry worker salary
at £33,260. The same figure for men is £31,585. So clearly it’s the female wage that is helping raise the industry average to the £31,655 figure given above. (FYI: factoring in the much higher paid execs gives an average of £37,291 for girls and £37,877 for boys.) The margin beats national averages as well – the Office of National
Statistics says men on average earn around £100 a week more than women. Women in games also seem to be more positive about their career and job prospects for 2009. 72 per cent of female respondents said that they were confident about the year ahead versus the 66 per cent of men who said the same.
16,17 MCV520_FINAL:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 17
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL MOVING JOBS IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING A CHANGE OF JOB IN FUTURE, WHAT IS THE MAIN REASON? Financial renumeration .......................................................24.9%
New challenge ........................................................................21.4% Limited opportunities at current company .........................15.4%
Chance to move abroad .........................................................7.6% Location change - in the same country .............................5.7%
Desire for broader experience..............................................5.7%
Job status .................................................................................4.3%
More management opportunities........................................3.8% New skills ...................................................................................2.7%
Increased responsibility .........................................................2.7% Industry/sector ...........................................................................1.1%
Less management opportunities.........................................0.3%
ARE YOU ATTRACTED BY THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK OVERSEAS?
WHEN ARE YOU LIKELY TO CHANGE JOBS?
This year, 2009 – 30.1% In the next 2 to 3 years – 38.6 % In 5 years’ time – 13.4% None of these – 17.9%
Yes – 67.5% No – 32.5%
BENEFITS & BONUSES DO YOU RECEIVE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS/BONUS OVER AND ABOVE YOUR BASIC SALARY?
Yes – 74.4% No – 25.6%
DOES YOUR EMPLOYER PROVIDE ANY OTHER BENEFITS?
Yes – 56.2% No – 43.8%
TRAINING DOES YOUR EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR PENSION?
Yes – 58.1% No – 41.9%
NO SURPRISE to see that many staff across the industry gain sales or performance-related bonuses, although according to our data those with lower salaries were less likely to receive any perks. And it’ll be no surprise when we tell you that a large portion of those are planning to move to new jobs this year…
DOES THE OFFER OF BONUSES/BENEFITS/ STAFF TRAINING INFLUENCE WHERE YOU WOULD WANT TO WORK?
Yes – 77.0% No – 14.5% Don't know – 8.6%
DOES YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER PROVIDE ANY EXTRA TRAINING?
Yes - 39.8% No - 60.2% These results don’t come as much of a surprise, but 60 per cent of staff going without training still seems high. When 77 per cent of our respondents said that extras such as training would tempt them to a new job, it’s a hole in the market employers should heed.
18,19 MCV520_v4:Layout 1
18 MCV 16/01/09
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL: SALARIES PUBLISHING & MARKETING AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £43,000 TO GAIN a more balanced average above, we’ve actually factored out a handful of high-flyers with salaries of over £100,000 per year who filled the survey. With the ‘senior MD’ and ‘head of European operation’ types included, the number jumps up £10k to £53,000 a year. The mood amongst the publishing community certainly seems to be upbeat – unlike their cousins in PR, 75 per cent are content that their wages cover the cost of living, and over half get bonuses or benefits of some kind. Clearly, that makes them more comfortable in their roles – only 25
per cent said they planned to move jobs this year. And for those that said they are planning to move jobs, the primary motivation was a new challenge (28 per cent), rather than the ‘financial remuneration’ (16 per cent) option more popular in the whole survey (see previous page). Plus, despite economic uncertainty, 68 per cent said they were confident about their careers in 2009. Choice quote from one contributor: “Although a loss year is forecasted for us in 2009 it is encouraging to be able to go back to the drawing board and have a plan for the next three years that will be profitable.”
RETAIL AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £26,960 OUR RETAIL salary average relates primarily to those in buying, sales, and head office roles and not shop floor staff – only a quarter of respondents were store managers or other shop employees. That said, an average retail role being a few inches above the Office of National Statistics’ average UK salary of £24,908 is pretty good going, especially for a sector often said to be poorly paid. However, 56.8 per cent of respondents said that their salary
didn’t adequately cover their cost of living, despite the fact that over 70 per cent get bonuses/benefits from their retail employers. Elsewhere in the perks stakes, however, some retail workers reported that they had no other benefits (only 39 per cent received pension contributions, and 51 per cent miss out on advantages such as health insurance and staff discounts). Only 40 per cent reported that their employer offers extra training.
SERVICES & DISTRIBUTION AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £31,973 OUR SERVICES category encapsulates a number of smaller sectors that complement and are key to the retail and publishing business. Namely: distribution (both national and international); creative and promotional; localisation; QA and testing; plus manufacturing, recruitment and legal. (Although it is worth noting that distribution was the best represented, accounting for around a third of responses.) Like publishing and development, over 70 per cent of people in these
fields said they weren’t planning to move jobs this year, and would be looking to switch role in two years’ time at the earliest – many said they were happy where they are. This category was the most cautious about the year ahead, however – only 58 per cent said they were confident about 2009, with one contributor telling us: “The economic situation is difficult, so only sensibly-run businesses have the opportunity to continue to flourish within video games”.
HEAD TO WWW.MCVUK.COM FOR
18,19 MCV520_v4:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 19
PR & COMMUNICATIONS AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £26,153 WE PUT THE PR and communications folk from across the industry into their own category for our survey. The average wage actually skews much higher (to around £36,000 a year) when you include those in charge of large PR teams who inevitably boast larger pay packets. Casting our eye at the wider results, it seems that those working in PR are – perhaps surprising – willing to be quite upfront and honest about the way they feel about their jobs, even when the answers contradict.
So 66 per cent say their salary doesn’t cover their cost of living. But at the same time over 70 per cent per cent say that they are more interested in finding new opportunities and challenges, getting a promotion, or garnering more experience than financial remuneration when it comes to moving job. And now might be the time for bosses to consider hiring that extra PR manager – 66 per cent of respondents in this field said they were planning to move jobs this year.
GAMES MEDIA AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £18,125 GAMES INDUSTRY conventional wisdom says that games journalists, as a rule, earn a pittance, and are probably only beaten in the poverty stakes by QA testers. Our survey results don’t seem to break the stereotype – in fact, the £18k average revealed here might be a mite generous given that our respondents included a larger number of journalists in senior section editor/editor roles than staff writers and freelancers. Still, journalists who write specifically about games on average earn well below the national UK average salary of £25k a year – a fact usually attributed to resasons such as
there being hundreds of would-be journalists but only a handful of roles, and that games journos are doing it for love not money. You might think such views are myths perpetuated by prudent magazine publishers, but in our results 62.5 per cent of writers said their modest earnings covered their cost of living (although the same amount said they get no extra bonuses, benefits or training at their jobs – either). That said, of those writers who filled in the survey, only half said they expected a pay rise this year – the other 50 per cent said they expected their salary to stay the same in 2009.
DEVELOPMENT AVERAGE ANNUAL SECTOR SALARY: £30,442 OUR SISTER publication Develop will feature a far more detailed breakdown of how much developers earn in a few weeks, but in the meantime there are a few snippets to share. Firstly, the number above has factored out the studio heads and biz dev-style employees in order to give a more accurate number that relates to the coalface troops in art, coding, audio, design and production. But with the high-flyers included, the average doesn’t rise by much, to £34,247.
However games development is still a well paid sector when compared to the others listed on this page. Provided you’ve got the experience, that is. Entry level salaries are still much lower than pretty much all the other sectors – junior designers often earn less than journos – but those willing to move around will be rewarded quickly. Although if you are hiring for developers right now, you might struggle – only 28.2 per cent said they planned to move jobs this year.
MORE RECRUITMENT ADVICE AND DATA
20,21 MCV520_final:Layout 1
20 MCV 16/01/09
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL: TOP TIPS
How to get a job in... The games industry is diverse and consists primarily of four overlapping but distinct categories. Here, MCV asks experts in each field to tell us what it takes to crack into each sector…
by Lis Welsh, Lis Welsh Recruitment
WE OPERATE in a very close knit niche market which is very sociable and takes networking very seriously. We all know a lot of people, who know someone that we know and usually someone that knows our boss... which in itself causes concern when you are looking to move companies, with regard to confidentiality. There is always a risk when you look to move jobs but a calculated approach is always the best way: Contact publishing companies that you know you can trust and that have a vacancy directly – there is greater risk sending your CV out speculatively; Check the company’s website for their current list of vacancies. Consider if this is a company that you would like to work for: is the location right, does it have a good reputation for looking after its staff (what action historically do they take when things get tough?)? What is their policy on staff training?
Use a reputable recruitment agency that has been recommended to you. Chat with them to understand how they work, ensuring they will not send out your details unless you give them permission. Make sure they interview you – it reduces the risk of being put forward to the wrong job.
Internet job sites have many vacancies, but are not specific to the games industry. However, agencies use these sites to search for CVs and contact you directly. This can be an effective route to a new role in some cases. MCV and its website has a good representation of current roles. For students, a phone call to identify which Contact publishers that you companies take on work know have vacancies. There placements to their recruitment manager is is a greater risk by sending advisable. Most larger out your CV speculatively. companies (those that employ recruiting teams Speak to friends that are working in for direct contact) have more established companies that you are interested in – routes to market for newcomers – this often companies have ‘employee referral doesn’t normally go through HR. schemes’ whereby they can earn a small Identify which companies are most introductory fee for introducing you. suited to you from a product, cultural and Some head hunters will represent location perspective, and regularly check you for no fee, working with you to their websites for the latest vacancies. shape up your CV and will make Build relationships for the future with contact with key clients that they have a key people in the recruitment industry good relationship with; either at agencies or within companies.
20,21 MCV520_final:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 21
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL: TOP TIPS
…games development LET’S BE HONEST: getting a job in games development isn’t easy. While the industry is fond of griping that there aren’t enough skilled people to go around, that doesn’t mean that they’ll hire anyone. But it’s certainly not impossible, so here’s some advice that should help... PROGRAMMING
by Ed Fear, Deputy Editor, Develop
programming, which is becoming increasingly sought after.
with the interface and workflow before you apply.
Applications for art jobs live or die on your portfolio and/or showreel. If you
Design is the least concrete of all the disciplines, but that doesn’t mean that no preparation is needed. Of chief importance, you’ll be happy to hear, is knowing about games – playing them, analysing the good and bad points and thinking of ways to improve it. Consider trying out apps such as Game Maker, RPG Maker and even LittleBigPlanet. Knowing about the development process – and why mistakes are made when everyone has the right intentions at the start – is equally important, so read interviews with designers and features about the craft. In Develop, preferably.
Whilst the development industry is fond of griping about a ‘skills shortage’, they won’t take just anyone on.
The industry is clamouring for programmers – but most universities still churn out graduates without even knowledge of C and C++. Also, the programming fields involved in games are expanding rapidly, meaning that people with specialised skills are in high demand. Consider focusing on a field such as audio, AI, physics, networking or graphics – or database and server
can, tailor them towards what you know the studio specialises in – make vehicles prominent in portfolios sent to racing studios, for example. Experience in 3ds Max or Maya (or maybe XSI) will be essential, so if you’re familiar with other packages, download the free learning editions and familiarise yourself
the brighter recruitment consultancy
The leading consultancy for media, entertainment & lifestyle brands Handle’s reputation is unrivalled. We are the leading supplier of permanent and temporary recruitment services to the best names in home entertainment including many of the major brands in the film, music and games industries. Please refer to our website at www.handle.co.uk for the very latest opportunities.
Sales & Marketing · Office Support · Finance · Legal · Digital · Human Resources
22,23 MCV520_v5:Layout 1
22 MCV 16/01/09
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL: HOW TO GET A JOB IN...
by Gennaro Castaldo, HMV
HMV HAS been expanding into games recruitment website which is found at over the past few years, which means www.hmvcareers.com. This is partly so we’ve also been recruiting more staff we can manage the whole process more who can support our games offer. To effectively in a consistent and sustain a specialist service you need standardised way. However, this specialist knowledge underpinned by a uniform approach is also intended to be real passion for the product – so that’s our starting point for any To sustain a specialist recruitment. If your staff service, we need specialist don’t have that, how can knowledge underpinned by a you expect to real passion for the product. communicate the virtue of games and gaming to your customers? People can still call in at stores to see of potential benefit for prospective if there are positions available, but, employees, as the site lays out all the where at all possible, we encourage information they may need to make a applicants for all situations: store decision and complete their application. permanent roles and fixed term seasonal Crucially it lists all the positions that work, as well as head office positions to may be available around the country at apply online via our dedicated any given time, and it also outlines
what we are looking for in terms of job requirements, skills and expectations. ‘NET GAINS In this way it can save everyone’s time in the process: the prospective candidate’s, who can gauge if they have the relevant attributes, and our own, as we don't have to sift through hundreds of unrealistic applications. It also means you can cut down on unnecessary advertising, although prospective candidates should also check out specialist publications, where we do occasionally run job advertisements for head office position. Once an application has been lodged, our Human Resources team will discuss candidates with the relevant store or
22,23 MCV520_v5:Layout 1
MCV 16/01/09 23
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL: HOW TO GET A JOB IN...
...distribution head office manager, and candidates may be given an initial interview by phone, followed by a face to face engagement – usually with the store manager or assistant manager. Again, the beauty of the online process is that much of the initial communication can be continued using this channel. ’TIS THE SEASON A potentially good route ‘in’ to retail is often via the seasonal fixed term positions. HMV generally takes on some 1,000 seasonal colleagues in the run up to Christmas. There’s bound to be some natural turnover in store positions, as some permanent staff choose to move on, so any seasonal staff that have excelled, and wish to remain with the business, may be invited to apply to stay full-time – so it’s worth thinking about this approach.
DISTRIBUTION has gone through some drastic changes over the last six months, with the sad demise of EUK and Pinnacle. However, there are a number of new smaller distributors that offer their own unique service to a number of sectors in the marketplace. To begin with you need to look at who is distributing what and decide where you would like to work. There are a number of specialist entertainment-based distributors ranging from Gardner’s (specialising in books) to Sony DADC.
by Steven Duke, Trilogy
GOING DIRECT Initially, as with many jobs, the first port of call should be the HR department, but if you have decided what function you would like to work in, you can also try approaching the head of the department/division.
A number of positions operate across the distribution world including sales, marketing, operational, finance and IT. UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLE The key to working within the distribution market is being able to work across functions. The simple part of getting something from A to B has a number of processes behind it. To deliver the service to the client you must understand the pressures, resources and process that are required to both complete the job and keep the client informed and happy. A job in distribution requires a number of key skills, too, such as an eye for detail, enthusiasm, the ability to work under pressure with tight timelines and very strong customer service skills.
24 MCV520_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 24 MCV 16/01/09
Mathers swaps Future for Uncooked ONM deputy editor joins Fighting Spirit Double Fusion promotion Vivendi board advisor appointed FUTURE MARTIN MATHERS has left his position at Future Publishing for a change of genre. Mathers, previously deputy editor of Future’s Official Nintendo Magazine, has joined Uncooked Media’s wrestling and martial arts publication Fighting Spirit Magazine. He joins the team at FSM as editor, replacing JAMES DENTON. Future Publishing is currently in the process of recruiting his replacement on ONM. Mathers has several years of experience within the
FIGHTING SPIRIT: Mathers takes his talent to pastures new
games industry in both print and TV, originally starting out as a presenter for Games World and appearing regularly on the original GamesMaster TV series.
There are a few recruitment agencies in our industry so to make sure you are working with the right one - whether you are a client or a candidate, take a look at this simple check list. Tick a box if you think it's important. If you tick the boxes then get in touch.
He has worked on a range of video games magazines at Future and Imagine, including Cube, Games TM, X360, nRevolution and Official Nintendo Magazine.
DOUBLE FUSION The in-game advertising company’s JANA FRIEDMAN has been promoted to the position of senior vice president for worldwide advertising sales. She previously worked as the company’s vice president of sales for the casual games group, and replaces JULIE SHUMAKER. Double Fusion president and CEO JONATHON EPSTEIN said: “I am thrilled that we have a talent like Jana Friedman to build upon the successful
foundation Julie Shumaker created here at Double Fusion. “Jana has been instrumental in developing our successful North American media business, and we’re excited at the prospects 2009 will bring as we further our commitment to provide free and ad-supported games for everyone.” VIVENDI Vivendi has appointed ROLAN MIHAIL as an advisor to the chairman of the management board, JeanBernard Levy. Mihail has held similar positions at the ExpressExpansion group and Havas.
We have been working within the games and new media industries for 22 years. That means we are pretty experienced. It also means that along with a few laughter lines we've also collected an unrivalled database of contacts. We know people. We've either placed for them or placed them. Tick the box if you think this is important.
For us it's about people. So we'll deal with you on a one to one basis. Senior industry figures trust us and engage with us as part of their team. We like to cut through corporate claptrap. If you like to as well then tick the box.
To keep ahead of the rest we stay informed. We believe it is vital to be at the forefront of forecasting and understanding new trends within the industry. Do you?
We are trained in life coaching. This gives us a better insight into role requirements and candidate ability which allows us to ensure the right people are matched with the right roles. Do you want to make a difference?
Thank you for ticking all our boxes. If you want to be a client or a candidate then contact us using the details below.
Lis Welsh Search & Selection, South View Farm, Main Street, Tur Langton, Leicestershire LE8 0PJ
t 01858 545 355 m 07968 114 812 firstname.lastname@example.org
25 MCV520_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
SUPERHERO SALES The first big family movie of the year gets an impressive video game tie-in. Page 26 ALSO THIS WEEK... WE CHEER P28 Cheerleaders dance their way onto Nintendo Wii courtesy of 505 Games CHRONO TRIGGER P28 Square Enix’s legendary RPG gets the Nintendo DS treatment NEW RELEASES P30 The line-up for February is revealed in this week’s release schedule HIGH STREET P32 Game Player opens its third store in this week’s Tale From The Frontline
RETAILBIZ: BOLT 26 MCV 16/01/09
Having torn up the US Box Office in November, Bolt is set to land on UK soil next month. Christopher Dring takes a look at the tie-in set to capitalise on the latest Disney sensation…
AN ANIMATED movie that features a dog that thinks it’s a superhero, a cat that bullies pigeons and a TV-obsessed hamster could only have come from the talented minds at Disney. Bolt, the latest and 48th movie to emerge from Walt Disney Animation Studios, is set to follow in the footsteps of other groundbreaking films that include Dumbo, Bambi, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Robin Hood, Aladdin, The Lion King and Fantasia. It also features the voices of John Travolta (as Bolt) and Miley Cyrus (as Bolt’s owner Penny), and took $150 million at the US Box Office alone.
And set to capitalise on the movie’s inevitable UK success is Disney Interactive Studios’ video game tie-in for Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PS3 and PlayStation 2. The film tells the story of Bolt, a canine TV star who is accidentally
Gamers can expect to experience the stealth and superpowers from the TV series within the film. James Thornby, Disney shipped from Hollywood to New York and soon discovers the superpowers he has in his TV show do not work in real life. And while the movie focuses on the story of Bolt’s journey home, the game takes place in the action-packed TV
show, giving Bolt super powers such as laser eyes and ‘super bark’. “Gamers can expect to experience the stealth, strategy and superpowers from the high-action TV series within the film as they take on the personas of Bolt and Penny in a game that will appeal to both boys and girls,” enthuses Disney Interactive Studios’ assistant product manager James Thornby. “The film has done well in the US receiving critical acclaim and a 2008 Annie nomination in the category of ‘Best Animated Feature’. It reached number two at the US Box Office amongst strong competition over the Thanksgiving weekend, which was impressive.”
RETAILBIZ: BOLT WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 16/01/09 27
SUPER MARKETING Although the film’s general marketing is sure to benefit the Bolt video game, Disney Interactive Studios is also planning a full campaign in support of the multi-format release. PRINT Bolt will be featured as part of a two-month print campaign in key kids’ and gifting press that is set to showcase Disney’s range of spring 2009 releases. ONLINE Disney has a targeted online campaign ready that will run throughout February in conjunction with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to maximise awareness of the Bolt franchise. These ads will highlight Bolt’s superpowers. TV Disney is set to run a three-week national kids’ TV campaign starting from the release of the game on February 13th. Bolt the game will also have presence on the film’s TV commercials from launch. OTHER Bolt will be advertised in cinemas for the launch of the film and is set to have a strong presence in the foyers to capitalise on the launch of the film. Foyer advertising includes posters, banners and postcards.
BOLT FROM THE BLUE: Disney’s latest animated feature took $150 million at the US Box Office
Bolt the video game takes gamers through five international locations, including Russia, China and Italy, and the DS version of the game boasts competitive and co-operative multiplayer mini games. The DS title is in development at Altron and makes use of DGamer, Disney’s new technology that provides a game community for Disney video game fans. Using DGamer, players can interact with others on the DS through the Wi-Fi connection and on Disney.com. Unsurprisingly for a big Disney release, Bolt will feature an extensive marketing campaign (see ‘Super Marketing’), which will tie-in with the movie release. However, the game is also certain to capitalise on the popularity of social-based gaming,
following the news that it was familyfriendly titles that drove market growth during 2008.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 13
DEVELOPER: AVALANCHE SOFTWARE,
FORMATS: WII, DS, XBOX 360, PS3, PS2 PUBLISHER: DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
SUPER DOG: The Bolt video game takes place within the TV show that Bolt stars in
“We are releasing the video game on Friday February 13th, which is the same day that Bolt goes on general release in cinemas,” added Thornby. “So we are working closely with the film studios to ensure that there is maximum awareness of Bolt and, more specifically, the video game. “This game will be a multi-format release including Wii and DS and the game would be a good fit with Microsoft’s broadening campaign too.” Mickey Mouse may be Disney’s most popular mammal, but as 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp
ALTRON (DS) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
goes to show, children do like the Disney dogs, too. Bolt is also the first animated film watched over by Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter, so the film has ‘hit’ scrawled all over it. And with this in mind, video game retailers will need to stock up on the upcoming game, for it is certain to go walkies off store shelves come release next month.
RETAILBIZ: WE CHEER & CHRONO TRIGGER 28 MCV 16/01/09
505 Games aims to give the Wii its most active title of the year so far with a game that combines fun with fitness, We Cheer. James Batchelor gets a firm grip on his pom-poms… THE WII HAS single-handedly transformed gaming from being the pastime of couch potatoes to a more active experience, with the likes of Wii Fit and Wii Sports requiring more than a few button presses to ensure victory. Third parties have followed these examples in earnest and now 505 Games brings a new energetic offering to the bestselling console. We Cheer invites gamers into the world of cheerleading, challenging them to jump, pose and shake their stuff in time with the music in a series of impressive routines. CHEERY DISPOSITION
Using two Wii Remotes as their virtual pom-poms, players are entered into a championship cheerleading contest where they must lead their squad to glory. As they play through each song, on-screen commands tell them which gestures are required, ranging from simply kicks and twists to rapid spins. As they progress through the competition, successfully completing
routines will unlock additional in-game content. This can range from outfits for the player’s cheerleader, who can be customised to better represent them on screen, to more professional and accomplished teammates, allowing gamers to form the best cheer squad possible. CHEER AS FOLK
The game’s soundtrack is a key feature, with the variety of songs available catering to a variety of tastes and ages, ensuring there is something to appeal to everyone. Each one has an intricate and professionally choreographed routine attached to it, guaranteeing an authentic cheerleading experience. There are 30 upbeat songs on offer from the last 40 years, covering a good mix of classic artists such as KC & The Sunshine Band to more contemporary sensations such as Hilary Duff. We Cheer also features additional modes for those who exhaust (or are exhausted by) the main competition. The Workout mode tunes into the
505’s new Wii title puts players in the role of a star cheerleader
public’s need to lose weight in the early months of the New Year, making this timely release even more appealing as the game presents extended or brief routines for players to burn off calories. Finally, two players can compete head to head to see who is the best cheerleader in the multiplayer mode, while the expanded Cheer Off mode caters for up for four friends.
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 6 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9590
One of the most critically acclaimed RPGs of all time prepares to return to shelves, as the DS version of Chrono Trigger brings the adventure to a brand new audience. James Batchelor travels back to 1995… CHRONO TRIGGER is one of the highest regarded RPGs in the history of the genre. The epic adventure wowed Japanese and American audiences when released on the SNES in the ‘90s, but never saw a PAL release. Until now. Square Enix’s release sees the title make its European debut 14 years after its conception – but don’t be fooled into thinking this is a straight port. The DS remake has been enhanced for a new generation, with touch screen functionality making it more accessible to a wider audience. TIME WARP
Players take on the role of young Crono who travels between the past and the present as he seeks to rescue his companion, who disappeared in a newly developed teleportation machine malfunctions during the Millennial Fair. His travels soon reveal a bigger evil and Crono must battle to protect history in order to secure the future. The storyline has been preserved for this version to ensure today’s gamers experience the thrills of its twists and
turns, as well as its multiple endings, in the same way fans of the original did. Yet a series of new additions also make this DS version appealing to veterans. The most notable is the inclusion of a brand new dungeon, offering a challenge that wasn’t available back in the days of the SNES. There is even a Wireless Play mode, adding a new dimension to the game as players team up together against the forces of evil.
The new dual screen presentation gives Chrono Trigger a new look, reinventing the interface to provide quicker access to features such as the map and inventory, as well as tidying up the action on the top screen. However, fans will be pleased to see the original 16-bit art style has been maintained, creating the vibrant world brought to life by famed character designer Akira Toriyama. Even the
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 6 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
music offers a trip down memory lane, with composer Yasunori Mitsuda’s iconic score recreated once more.
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. Contact the hotel at 01923 296010 Discount Prices: Standard Room - £220.00 Superior Room Single Occupancy £240.00
The Grove Golf Club, Chandlers Cross, Herts 14th May 2009 If you are interested in sponsoring or participating, contact Richard Stickler on 01279 822832 or at email@example.com
30 MCV519_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 30 MCV 16/01/09
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Football Manager kicks off Q1 Sega’s soccer MMO kicks off a bumper quarter of big new releases, which includes Skate 2, House of the Dead: Overkill, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand, and Atari’s highly promising racer, Race Pro... TITLE
PC Wii DS / PC / Wii XBOX 360 / PS3
MMO Fitness Pets Skating
Sega Ubisoft Capcom EA
0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft
PC DS PC
Sandbox Self-Improvement Simulation
THQ Zoo Digital Just Flight
0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 0845 234 4242
Advantage Gem Mastertronic
DS DS XBOX 360 / PS3 DS DS DS Wii Wii Wii / PC / DS DS DS Wii Wii DS Wii Wii DS DS Wii
RTS RPG Action/Adventure Action Platformer RPG Edutainment Edutainment Children's Kids RPG RPG Action/Platform Mystery Strategy First Person Shooter Puzzle RPG Party Game
THQ V.2 Play 505 Games Konami Konami Square Enix Midas Midas 505 Games Blast Konami Konami Blast Nintendo Nintendo Midas Atari Konami 505 Games
0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9590 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0121 506 9590 08452 344242 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01376 555 333 0121 506 9590 020 8987 5730 0121 506 9590
Advantage Centresoft Advantage Open Open Centresoft Open Open Advantage Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Koch Koch Open Advantage Open Advantage
PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 DS / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC Wii Wii DS Wii Wii DS DS Wii Wii XBOX 360 PSP Wii
Action Action Action Action Horror Shooter Sports Self-Improvement Action Petz Petz Petz Mini Game Adventure Racing RPG Sports
D3Publisher Disney Interactive THQ THQ Warner Games Sega Activision Blizzard V.2 Play Nintendo Ubisoft Ubisoft Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard Atari Square Enix Activision Blizzard
0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9590 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Trilogy Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft
PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC PS3
Action Action Action RPG
THQ V.2 Play Kalypso Media Square Enix
0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 020 8309 3600 0121 625 3388
Advantage Centresoft Pinnacle Centresoft
JANUARY 23rd Football Manager Live My Fitness Coach Neopets Puzzle Adventure Skate 2
JANUARY 30th Saints Row 2 Word Master World Airports 3: North America
FEBRUARY 6th Age Of Empires: Mythologies Away: Shuffle Dungeon Battle Fantasia Bomberman 2 Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia Chrono Trigger Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Hotel for Dogs Johnny Bravo Lost In Blue 3 Lost In Blue: Shipwrecked Mr. Bean's Wacky World Of Wii Mystery Case Files: Millionheir New Play Control! Pikmin Skyscraper The Times CrossWord Challenge Time Hollow We Cheer
FEBRUARY 13th Ben 10: Alien Force Bolt Deadly Creatures Destory All Humans: Path Of The Furon F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin House of the Dead: Overkill Little League World Series Baseball 2008 Mind Your Language Naruto Clash Of Ninja Revolution 2 Petz: Monkey Madness Petz: My Kitty Family Petz: My Monkey Family Pirate Hunt for Black Beard's Booty Pitfall The Big Adventure Race Pro Star Ocean: Second Evolution World Championship Sports
FEBRUARY 20th 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad Ceville Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
MUSTSTOCK ............FOOTBALL MANAGER LIVE Released: January 23rd Format: PC Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Sega’s first foray into the world of MMO gaming is getting a full retail release, complete with four months’ subscription for £29.99. The title crosses Football Manager with fantasy football, social networking and eBay. Expect this one to sell and sell.
MUSTSTOCK .....................................RACE PRO Released: February 13th Format: Xbox 360 Publisher: Atari Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9590
Atari’s first release of 2009 is looking the business, and is being supported by a huge PR and marketing campaign in specialist and car press. The game boasts realistic physics and stunning visuals. Make sure to stock up on 360 steering wheels for add-on sales.
THE TOY INDUSTRY’S SHOWCASE
TOYFAIR 09 WED 28TH TO SAT 31ST JANUARY 2009. EXCEL, LONDON
FEATURING WICKED VISION•HASBRO• CHARACTER OPTIONS• SYOT•LEAPFROG•BORN TO PLAY•BANDAI•GREAT GIZMOS•XANADU GAMES
AND MANY MORE
Y A whole myriad of gift ideas Y Classic and modern toys Y Specialist crafts and hobbies Y Nursery goods Y Educational toys Y Collectibles and models Y Die-cast and railways Y Traditional board games and puzzles Y Interactive games and learning Y Wooden Toys Y Outdoor games and products Y 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately members of the public are unable to attend. MCVj
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 32 MCV 16/01/09
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK
MARIO KART FORMAT: WII
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WII PLAY WII
WII FIT WII
FABLE II 360
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR PS3
MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES WII
DARK SECTOR 360
MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA D3P
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC
MIRROR’S EDGE 360
100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION DS
LINK’S CROSSBOW TRAINING WII
GEARS OF WAR 2 360
FIFA 09 360
SAINTS ROW 2 PS3
ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY WII
RESISTANCE 2 PS3
FIFA 09 PS3
THQ NINTENDO SONY EA
FAR CRY 2 360
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER PS9
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 360
UBISOFT EA KONAMI
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.
EVERGREEN NINTENDO TRIO TAKES OVER CHART MARIO KART WII has raced to the top of the Indie Charts, paving the way for a trio of Nintendo successes that continue to outsell newer releases. Following close behind were Wii Play and Wii Fit, with Fable II sitting at No.4 as the highest non-Nintendo chart. Nintendo’s dominance continues throughout the Top 20, with six games giving the company the most number of titles in this week’s chart. As well as new releases 100 Classic Book Collection and Animal Crossing at No.10 and No.15, the company’s Link’s Crossbow Training returns to the chart at No.11. EA also maintains a healthy chart presence, holding onto four
“Proving that 2009 was a strong year for sequels, the Top 20 include ﬁve ‘2’ titles, including follow-ups to Fable and Resistance.” positions with Mirror’s Edge at No.9, the next-gen iterations of FIFA 09 at No.13 and No.17, and the PSP port of former No.1 Need For Speed: Undercover at No.19. Along with Link’s Crossbow Training, another surprise return to the charts is D3P’s Dark Sector, sneaking into the Top 10 at No.7, despite having arrived in March 2008. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, an even older release, also re-enters the chart just above this at No.6. Finally, proving that 2008 was a strong year for sequels, the Top 20 includes five ‘2’ titles, with the follow-ups to Fable, Gears Of War, Resistance, Saints Row and Far Cry all faring well at retail this week. email@example.com
speak to Gary Noakes, who has just opened a FROM THE FRONTLINE We new branch of Game Player in Littlehampton… How did your new store’s launch go? Very good. It was rushed so we literally just opened the doors, but we were busy right away. Did you do any special Day One promotions? No, but we have many promotions as standard: two for £20, two for £8, buy a game for £10 with a console and another get worth up to £25 saving £15, two DVDs for a fiver, etc. What was the biggest selling product? Biggest selling product was Wii Fit. I managed to get a large amount from an independent supplier. Xbox 360 consoles and DS Lites are also selling well.
What were the challenges in opening your latest store? I have a formula now that works so it’s just a case of replicating that. Finding new staff and training is always tough as I’m very picky on who I welcome in. Another serious challenge is the ongoing high rents/rates/taxes – it’s these that are killing off many businesses in these harder times. The Government needs to act faster. What are your targets for 2009? 2009 will be a difficult year. My targets are to take advantage of this crisis period, which doesn’t hit us in the same way, as we are pre-owned specialists, and negotiate low rents as I continue expanding the business.
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: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 16/01/09 33 Sponsored by
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
PRICE CHECK WEYMOUTH
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Dragon Ball: Origins
Football Manager Handheld 2009
360, Activision Blizzard
IN STORE £29.99
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
The latest reinvention of Ubisoft’s iconic Prince Of Persia series for the Xbox 360 and PS3 are £24.99 and £27.99 respectively in ShopTo’s sale.
The new PSP 3000, the latest version of Sony’s handheld, is only £139.99 when bundled with Lego Batman: The Videogame and Ratchet & Clank.
The second World of Warcraft expansion pack, Wrath Of The Lich King, is available for £17.95, a saving of over 20 per cent for residents of Azeroth.
Sometimes, simply including the essentials is enough to create a valuable product, particularly when it comes to technology. For more practical PC users, Speedlink’s Baseline USB Keyboard represents the perfect solution. This smart keyboard boasts a sleek, sensible layout allowing for comfortable and intuitive typing, and the soft touch finish ensures quiet, less distracting keystrokes. The 1.3m cable allows
some freedom for users, while the rubber feet provide a secure grip on the desktop. A series of hotkeys have been added, which can be linked to office and multimedia applications such as Internet browsers. These offer instant access to fundamental programs at the touch of a button, while a sleep button can send the computer into standby mode. Meroncourt: 01462 680060
34,35 MCV520_FINAL:46-47 MCV405
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 34 MCV 16/01/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 4 3 5 10 8 6 12 7
 [FULL PRICE]
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DISNEY SING IT: HSM3 DISNEY STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS DISNEY: TH!NK FAST DISNEY
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
FIFA 09 FORMAT: 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER
WII FIT Wii
WII PLAY Wii
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA LEGO BATMAN WARNER BROS. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX ROCKSTAR MANHUNT 2 ROCKSTAR STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII SQUARE ENIX
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
NINTENDO NINTENDO PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
QUANTUM OF SOLACE PS2, PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP
MARIO KART WII Wii
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
FAR CRY 2 PC, PS3, 360
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
FALLOUT 3 PS3, 360, PC
GEARS OF WAR 2 360
GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS
MICROSOFT 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION DS
LEGO BATMAN DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
SONIC UNLEASHED 360, Wii, PS3, PS2
PRINCE OF PERSIA 360, PS3, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
PUBLISHER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
2 4 3 7 8 6 10 5
2 3 5 4 6 7 8 10 16
100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS NINTENDO NINTENDOGS: LABRADOR & FRIENDS NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NINTENDO IMAGINE: TEACHER UBISOFT
[ENTERTAINMENT - FALL PRICES]
NINTENDO WARNER BROS. SEGA UBISOFT
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
C&C: RED ALERT 3 WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR SPORE GRAND THEFT AUTO IV LEFT 4 DEAD COD4: MODERN WARFARE WOW: BATTLE CHEST
2 3 4 6 5 8 11 12 13
DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ROCKSTAR EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
34,35 MCV520_FINAL:46-47 MCV405
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 16/01/09 35
FIFA 09 RETAINS the top spot in this week’s All
and 100 Classic Book Collection, up ten places to
Formats Chart, with both Call Of Duty: World At War
No.17. Finally, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare rose
and Need For Speed maintaining their respective
seventeen places to No.21, representing the highest
positions at No.2 and No.3.
chart climber this week. echelons of the chart, with no new entries and only
driven by the customary health kick that hits the
two re-entries. Left 4 Dead rises up to No.37, while
public every January. Other notable ascensions
Saints Row 2 finishes off the chart at No.40. James Batchelor
include Lego Indiana Jones, up eight places to No.9
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WALL E DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP
MIRROR’S EDGE PS3, 360, PC
PRO EVO 2009 PS3, PS2, PSP, PC, 360
SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING
RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY Wii, DS UBISOFT
TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 EIDOS
MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
KUNG FU PANDA PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, DS
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS
WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009
MARIO KART DS DS
BIG BEACH SPORTS Wii
MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES 360, PS3
SAINTS ROW 2 360, PS3, PC
DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
LEFT 4 DEAD 360, PS3, PC
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO EA THQ ROCKSTAR THQ
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: FREETIME EA THE SIMS 2: SEASONS EA THE SIMS 2: UNIVERSITY EA AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT THE SIMS 2: BON VOYAGE EA THE SIMS 2: OPEN FOR BUSINESS EA CIVILIZATION IV COMPLETE 2K GAMES
5 19 10 3 8
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FIFA ‘09 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER LITTLEBIGPLANET FALLOUT 3 PRINCE OF PERSIA FAR CRY 2 RESISTANCE 2 QUANTUM OF SOLACE CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
2 3 4 7 6 5 8 10 18
DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA EA SONY BETHESDA UBISOFT UBISOFT SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR SONIC UNLEASHED SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING LEGO BATMAN TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 2009 ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY
1 2 5 4 7 8 13 9 6
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
1 1 12 7
DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, 360, Wii, PC UBISOFT
Elsewhere, there is little change to the upper
impressive, with Wii Fit leaping 16 places to No.4,
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA UBISOFT WARNER BROS. EA NINTENDO
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
GEARS OF WAR 2 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER FIFA ‘09 FAR CRY 2 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR QUANTUM OF SOLACE PRINCE OF PERSIA CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE LEFT 4 DEAD
2 4 3 5 6 8 7 17 13
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
The first change to the Top 40 is also the most
WEEK ENDING 10/01/09
DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT EA EA UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS
CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060
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
One integrated solution Flyers
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21
LOCALISATION Absolute Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0141 220 5600 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 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
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES
WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... 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 market for publishers and retailers? MCV investigates the state of play and potential of these diverse countries.
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 titles of the year? MCV takes a close look at the GFK-ChartTrack statistics and provides the ultimate summary of the sales bonanza 2008 gave to the games industry. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6th
MCV AWARDS PREVIEW We take a look forward to the biggest night in the trade’s calendar – the only awards voted by the industry, for the industry. This year’s event, which takes place on Thursday April 23rd, features new awards categories to reward teamwork, staff and innovation in publishing, distribution and retail sectors. The venue for the awards ceremony is The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London.
IN-GAME ADVERTISING MCV investigates one of the most lucrative, but misunderstood sectors in the modern industry. With expert advice and case studies from the leading companies in the market, we’ll take a look at the state of play, both in terms of online and boxed games – and discuss where the business is expected to move in the future. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27th
TERRITORY REPORT: EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE On the other side of our home continent, the Eastern and Central areas are home to unique cultures of their own. Where there are people, there are gamers, and MCV investigates how they are supplied, speaking with the major retailers and publishers in these regions. FRIDAY MARCH 13th
DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION MCV takes a look at the process between the end of a game’s development and its release, whereby the discs are protected against piracy and replicated ready for distribution. We speak to the major players in this segment of the industry to shed some light on this crucial, but often overlooked segment of the industry. FRIDAY MARCH 20th
MCV AWARDS FINALISTS SUPPLEMENT Prepare for the MCV Awards with this comprehensive guide to the potential winners. Get the lowdown on each of the finalists for every category, as we explore each nominee’s history and their chances at securing victory when the awards are finally handed out on the evening of April 23rd.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:
CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
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 Technologies ......................................www.7seastech.com Atomic Planet...........................................+44 (0) 1642 871 100 Blitz Games Studios..................................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive ..............................+44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki ................................................................www.denki.co.uk Fuse Games ..........................................email@example.com Oxygen ....................................................+44 (0) 1933 446437 Realtime Worlds.......................................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Rebellion .................................................+44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games...................................firstname.lastname@example.org 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 GAMEINDUSTRYJOBS.eu .............................+31 3110 7504580 High Score...............................................+44 (0) 1295 738 337 Partnertrans .........................................................01753 247731 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 To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
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
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
Insider’s | Guide
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk LOCALISATION
For this week’s Insider’s Guide, MCV speaks to Ian Goodall from specialist recruitment agency Aardvark Swift...
ABSOLUTE QUALITY . . . . . . +44 (0)141 220 5600 . . . . . www.absolutequality.co.uk LOCALISATION
Tell us a little about Aardvark Swift. We recruit many types of staff including creative (such as artists, designers, and producers), technical (programmers) and sales/marketing staff. Our clients include UK and international games companies, ranging from small independent developers to major publishers and console manufacturers. Could you tell us about your company’s services? We offer a variety of recruitment services including Database Search, Advertised Search and Headhunting. We also have a range of additional services available, such as salary surveys. Tell us something we didn't know about Aardvark Swift? We carry out approximately 30 University visits and careers talks every year, and we have
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
had a dedicated Graduate Recruitment desk for several years. We recognised the skills shortage a long time ago and have been encouraging developers to look at graduates as an alternative. Are there any exciting new developments happening at your company? We’re expanding our team to better manage the needs of our clients and candidates. We’re also working hard to develop our new business in complementary industries, including toys, animation and mobile content. What are your hopes going into 2009? We’re hoping for another successive year of growth here and I’m hoping that by the end of 2009, we’ll see a recovery rather a deeper recession.
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com
PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.co.uk
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTICAL DISC REPAIR SYSTEMS Eco Senior Fully Automatic Repair System
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
High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System
RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252191 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.rtico.com
36-41 MCV520_final:Layout 1
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR
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…
JANUARY BETT 2009 Wednesday, January 14thSaturday, January 17th Olympia, London www.bettshow.com
MARCH BAFTA 09 Tuesday March 10th Park Lane Hilton, London www.bafta.org/awards/video-games PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington email@example.com 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
MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, February 19th Sway Bar, London dave.roberts@ intentmedia.co.uk The MCV/Xbox 360 Pub Quiz gives retailers, suppliers and the media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local pub. There will be thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night, as well as loads of topnotch booze and food.
GAMEHORIZON CONFERENCE Thursday, June 23rd-24th The Sage, Newcastle, UK www.gamehorizonconference.com
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14thThursday, July 16th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com
AUGUST GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19thSunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com LEIPZIG GAMES CONVENTION Wednesday, August 19thSunday, August 23rd Leipzig, Germany www.gc-germany.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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.
42,43 MCV520_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 42 MCV 16/01/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE
Stenholm 1, 9400,
66 Hughes Street, Mile End,
South Australia 5031
Phone: +45 70277640
Tel: +61 8823 41355
Fax: +45 70277650
GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.entertainment-trading.com
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA.
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd,
Gateway Distribution ApS
Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
COMGAME 576 LTD 1042 Budapest, Arpad UT 112, Hungary Tel: +36 1 369 2686
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Tel: +48 71 341 76 95
Fax: +48 71 343 98 96
ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,
Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.
INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Email purchase: email@example.com
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +91 22 28203319
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 email@example.com www.planetadeagostini.net
Fax: +91 22 28203334 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.milestoneinteractive.com
ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
Cardinal Gracious Road,
Email: email@example.com Web: www.techland.pl
Fax: +36 1 272 0109
TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw, Poland
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
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
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10
tel. +357 22 666612
Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
NETHERLANDS Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
AKELLA 12/1 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya st., 127015, Moscow, Russia Phone: +7 (495) 363-4612 Fax: +7 (495) 363-4615 http://en.akella.com
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
42,43 MCV520_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 16/01/09 43
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...
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
DUO: Kalypso’s Marcinek (left) and Hellwig (right)
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bascodistribution.com
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Marques de Monteagudo 18,
20001 S. Western Ave.
28028 Madrid, Spain
Torrance, CA 90501
Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111
Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: email@example.com
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St.
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343
Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain
UAE Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
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
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE. www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
MCV speaks to Simon Hellwig and Stefan Marcinek of Kalypso’s German office...
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia
Tell us about Kalypso Germany. Kalypso Media Germany is the sister company of Kalypso UK and was found in 2006. The German offices near Frankfurt are hosting most of the administrative, publishing and creative departments of the whole Kalypso group. What are the latest developments at your company? We are preparing the upcoming releases of our key products Ceville and Grand Ages Rome, and we acquired the developer Realmforge to secure a constant flow of own products and brands. We are also working on a new part for the famous Tropico series, which shall be released in summer 2009. What makes the German market so unique? Generally, the market is not too price sensitive and already focused on PC games – although the console platforms get stronger every day. The German PC market makes about 40 per cent of the whole European PC market – this share significantly shows the importance of PC games in Germany and also explains, beside lower development and manufacturing investments, Kalypso’s dedication for PC games.
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
What has performed well for you recently? In 2008 we had our first number one chart hit with Sins of a Solar
Empire in Germany. The success of the game, not only in Germany but also in the UK and France, was a welcome surprise for us. Also, our strategy game Imperium Romanum entered the German top ten charts. We have proven to be one of the major independent games publishers on the market. What does the near future hold for your company? We are working hard to develop new game brands and franchises. Thus, we expect Tropico 3 to be a huge and bestselling product. Also, due to the acquisition of Realmforge Studios, we will further improve our line-up and have some interesting, but secret products in our portfolio for the next year. What else does Kalypso offer? Foreign publishers which want to place their PC games with a strong and independent German partner would find a perfect perspective in publishing their products via Kalypso. We are always scouting for new, good products and can offer a professional marketing and sales expertise to make those products successful.
KALYPSO Germany Telephone: +49 6241 50 22 40 Fax: +49 6241 50 22 41
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
44,45 MCV520_final:Layout 1
sourcebo 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
Ăœber 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
44,45 MCV520_final:Layout 1
In association with
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
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
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€“ 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: email@example.com 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 AWARDS 08 Proofing layout:Layout 1
See how good you’d look accepting an MCV Industry Excellence Award
INSTANT AWARD WINNER 1
Take your photo.
Cut it out
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
Try it for real
Thursday April 23rd, The Brewery, London
PLACE Y OUR PIC
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
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
47 MCV520_final:47 MCV443
MCV 16/01/09 47
‘The real reason Woolworths did not survive the credit crunch’ Indie retailer Charles Littlewood responds to Steve O’Brien’s rant over the passing of a High Street legend I FEEL obligated to respond to Steve O’Brien’s drunken ramblings, which appeared last year (‘Indies know why Woolies didn’t last’), because I genuinely fear the poor man might be about to start on Vodka Tonics for breakfast if his mind is not put to rest. Obviously, I cannot argue against his reasons for why Woolworths has disappeared from the UK High Street. With such solid arguments as Fat Cat directors, people running the company from a spreadsheet and the heinous suggestions of competitive pricing and a failed last ditch attempt to give out money-off vouchers (by which point the company had accumulated over £300 million worth of debt), I can see no possible avenue to argue against Steve’s points. In fact, I think I can hear PWC head-hunting him now. Of course if I were to
NO DIRECTION: Littlewood feels Woolworths’ demise was down to the lack of a unique selling point
Woolworths didn’t know what it wanted to be and who it wanted to shop there. It was out of touch with consumers. Charles Littlewood
suggest other, perhaps even plausible (a dirty word I know), reasons for Woolies’ plight then I might offer the following. THE FALL OF WOOLIES
Woolworths just didn’t know what it wanted to be and who it wanted to shop there. Woolworths was just out of touch with what consumers wanted and needed from a High Street store. If they want cheap prices and no product knowledge they head to Amazon or Asda. If they want advice and ideas they head to GAME or your local indie and pay a premium for it.
Woolworths had, for the most part, high prices and little staff training. And alongside games they sold kids’ clothes, irons, pick and mix and that really old iPod which everyone else sold out of last year. They were much like the supermarkets except without the food or the attractive pricing. Like it or loathe it the supermarkets are not going anywhere – and with them comes huge retail space, low margins and high volume. That’s not to say we can’t compete with them. Pre-order programmes, good staff training, trade-in promotions and a wide
range of back catalogue stock are the antidotes to the supermarket threat. Woolworths, on the other hand, was an old dinosaur, which had not adapted to the 21st century. And blaming its passing, as Steve has done, on the supermarkets and the employees, misses the point that in its current guise it was just not sustainable. Some guy in America taking out a mortgage may have sped its demise along, but it didn’t cause it. Woolworths falling is not a wake-up call to the industry that supermarkets are taking over. It’s a reminder that good business practice will yield rewards and poor, uninspired and without a USP retailing will suffer and die. My heart goes out to Woolworths employees, but not to the business itself, which was a jack
of all trades and master of none, which was never sustainable. THE INDIES LIVE
I won’t go on much more as about half way through Steve’s letter he descends into what I can only imagine is the first chapter for his new novel – ‘The day the supermarkets took over and murdered us all’ – complete with a doomsday clock and a guest appearance by the Borg. Supermarkets are
not to be feared. Consumers will always have choice and value because it is likely Asda and Sainsburys will still remain and be just as competitive price wise as they always have been. And retailers – good ones, anyway – need not be worried because supermarkets can never offer the personal and value-added services that smaller, more focussed stores can. Charles Littlewood, Via email
New indie needs support Hi there, My name is Alan Roger and with my son Graeme we intend to open a games shop in our town of Crieff in Scotland. We are looking for contacts in the industry, can you help? Alan and Graeme Roger
If any distributors, peripheral firms or publishers wish to make contact with Alan and Graeme to help with the opening of their new independent store, please contact the father and son team on: firstname.lastname@example.org
48 MCV 16/01/09
PIC OF THE WEEK Forget Hamlet cigars – true happiness is a UK sales director entwined with a gaming icon. As one Sega insider said of John Clark in this most joyous of pictures: “Here is just a rather charming shot of the obvious love for a hedgehog – I’m told it’s all very platonic.”
OFF THE RECORD BARRY BIRTHDAY It’s rare that we get to print touching personal messages on the Off The Record pages. But this week it’s over to Zoo’s Barry Hatch to pass on some verbal birthday bumps to an old friend: “May I present Mr Paul Tresise... erstwhile former VP of development at Rebellion and Destination Software.... now plying his trade somewhere on UK Gold maybe?” Nope, we don’t get it either. Does look like Billy Bunter, though.
This week, Sega’s John Clark finds true joy, as ‘Billy Bunter’ gets the OTR treatment. Elsewhere, 1C’s Peter King is a hungry boy, and Disney’s Keely Brenner spills the beans...
READ ALL ABOUT IT When will the national newspapers get a grip on games – and stop talking nonsense? Here’s this week’s worst offender…
“One minute the children are all playing virtual tennis; the next they are policing a virtual shoot-out in a lap-dancing club.” The Telegraph, 12/01/08
PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES
MCV 16/01/09 49
FANBOY COMMENT OF THE WEEK
They just can’t help themselves, can they? Ladies and gents, allow us to showcase the audience you DON’T want the lifestyle mags to know about…
GAMEFAQs Forum 12/01/08 Name: Aridi Title: RE: Bom chicka WOMP WOMP! Give 360 a porn name! Comment: Womb Raider made me lol in my office. Hilarious. I'll go with Mass Erect.
1C GOING SOUTH? Not in a geographic sense, of course. No, the cheeky headline above merely relates to the Russian publishing giant’s UK MD Peter King, who was snapped by merciless colleagues in a rather unfortunate pose with 1C PR manager Anatoly Subbotin. Even more devilishly, they sent the offending snap into us. Don’t worry, Peter, we know you were just rummaging for some Wine Gums.
JUMPSUITS YOU, SIR Autodesk has donated one of its most recognisable mascots to the too-cleverfor-us-sounding UC San Diego’s Science & Engineering Library. The life-size, original ‘Chameleon JumpSuit’ from the popular Journeyman Project Legacy of Time video game is a daunting six foot of seriously pricy-looking materials. The last time we tried to make a jumpsuit, we put holes in all of our mums’ spare Tesco bags.
WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO KONNIE?
Former Blue Peter starlet and all-round boffin fitty Konnie Huq is one of the few celebrities that even the most curmudgeonly, grumbling cynic finds it hard to dislike. Seriously – even us. So no wonder EA has got her in to promote Sim Animals on DS. She’s also a girl of her word. She recently told The Independent: “I'd like my brain to retain more. Maybe I don't exercise it enough; perhaps I should get one of those bizarre video games that help train your mind.”
50 MCV 16/01/09
lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? A few things really: karaoke, drinking red wine, jogging (I’m starting soon), perfecting my ‘model’ eyes like Tyra in America's Next Top Model and lusting after Dexter and Take That (never too old).
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Game – it would have to be Tekken back in the day, just for the memories of playing it once a week all night at the Sony offices eating pizza with all the old Sony boys: James Dillon, Anthony Bray, Nadim Othman. I remember the thrill of finding Yoshimitsu’s signature teleport move...ah the excitement that night. Film - A hard one, but would have to be Fargo, purely for the black comedy of seeing William H Macy’s plan of the kidnapping of his wife fall apart and his panic in keeping it all together – hiring bumbling psychopath Steve Buschemi and trying to elude Francis McDormand's excellent Marge character.
Album Everyone knows you have a top ten that changes with your mood and memories, so today favourite album is The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead. I am in a dark place today. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? Being in the Sony family at original PlayStation launch, working alongside some fantastic people and personalities... and knowing still to this day you were part of something very special that comes along very rarely. WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? Well, Matthew Castle, DIS sales director, literally makes me laugh everyday, but not sure if I am laughing at him or with him... also, Tony Cockles is hysterical. WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY? Professionally, growing up I really admired strong women, so Barbara Streisand would be my main choice. She did what she wanted to do in her career,
In a new column, we show you the more ‘human’ side of those leading executives you see spouting hyperbole about their new games (and ranting and raving about industry issues) elsewhere in the magazine. This week, we grill Disney’s head of marketing for the UK and Ireland, Keely Brenner…
reached diva heights and whether you loved or hated her voice, she had amazing talent. Also, any female TV presenters or child actresses like Sally James or Jodie Foster. In my day, you never really saw lead female presenters on television or on par with the males and I liked that when I was young. I really wanted to do either of those jobs when I grew up – show off or sing. Personally, it would have to be my grandparents. They were just good honest people who gave unconditional love and adored my brother and myself however much we rebelled growing up... WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’? When a day spent at your desk either appallingly hungover or drunk from a three-hour lunch was considered a productive and rewarding one. Of course, back then you could also pass the time by smoking at your desk if you liked... The good old days for me were a time of big personalities in the gaming industry that you could aspire to and learn from. I miss the days of expenses with no regards for budgets; going to every award do going and knowing everyone there; collecting spare taxi receipts on trips and not getting caught the whole year... It was just a warmer, friendlier time before everyone grew up and become sensible and responsible.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? Over Christmas when I watched Brass Eye again for the first time in years with a friend and cried over the mock docs
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646
Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk
Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk
Please address all enquiries to:
Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Advertising Executive: Rob baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk
Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk
Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk
MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.
Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: Chris Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Owain Bennallack
ADVERTISING: 01992 535647
Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk
“The good old days? When an afternoon spent at your desk drunk fro m a threehour lunch was considered ‘productive’.” featuring Carla the Elephant with her trunk stuck up her... and Bernard Manning, Noel Edmonds and Bruno Bookes giving advice to the youngsters on not eating the new drug Cake. I’m laughing now just writing about it.
FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Finance Assistant: Zarah Aslam
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 email@example.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