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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 521 Friday January 23 2009 £3.25 10 2008 CHARTS: FULL ANALYSIS

02 The Q1 onslaught Retail braces itself for a swathe of new releases in February and March

The full year listings go under the MCV microscope

04 HMV’s ‘best ever’ trading

14 Championship Manager

Entertainment retailer’s CEO toasts success of Christmas games push

We speak to UKeSA head Ray Mia about the rise of competitive gaming

05 Awards momentum builds

16 Northern Lights

Lobbying opens, sponsors signed and host named for April’s MCV Awards

Our monthly territory report covers the Benelux and Nordic regions

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Give us some credit! Publishers’ nerves on edge as credit insurers drastically reduce cover against Blockbuster, DSGi and more by Tim Ingham THE UK High Street is battling to prevent a nationwide games stock shortage – as credit insurers cut cover against the industry’s biggest retailers. MCV understands that credit insurers including Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes have slashed cover on stock sold in to some retailers – including Toys R Us, Blockbuster, Comet and outlets owned by DSGi, such as PC World, Dixons and Currys – following a New Year review. That leaves publishers and platform holders – still reeling from credit insurance being swept away from Woolworths and EUK last year – in the

tricky position of dealing with hugely reduced credit limits or on cash terms with the chains. At least two publishers have reduced or cut off stock supply

these retailers all have an offering you can’t get elsewhere on the High Street. But the bolts have tightened on the credit limit we give them.”

Alarm bells are starting to ring. After Zavvi, EUK and Woolies, it’s getting ridiculous. Publisher sales boss

from some of the troubled retailers, MCV understands – with others warning of “alarm bells” for their sales teams. The UK boss of one top ten publisher told us: “After the Christmas boom, everybody worries. We’re not planning at the minute for a disaster –

The sales chief of another publisher added: “It’s getting ridiculous – who’s left to sell to if you can’t get credit on this lot? GAME and the supermarkets. Alarm bells are starting to ring. It couldn’t come at a worse

time after Woolworths, EUK and Zavvi’s collapse.” However, the founder of a key trade business called for calm when contacted by MCV. He said: “The Woolworths situation has given publishers the jitters. But this doesn’t necessarily mean others are about to go pop. It’s blatant that the credit insurance guys want to get out of our industry and focus on

dog food and shoes. Go back to Christmas 2007: no-one was giving HMV insurance and everyone was nervous. But they’ve turned the corner and are posting best-ever results.” Comet and DSGi both told MCV that the reduction in credit insurance hadn’t affected trading with suppliers. Toys R Us and Blockbuster could not comment when contacted.

DSGI’S TROUBLES In November, Currys and PC World owner DSGi announced that it had been hit with a £29.8 million pre-tax loss for the first six months of the year. Earlier this month, it announced that like-for-like sales for the two weeks ending January 10th had fallen by ten per cent. However, the firm did add that the performance of its new look stores “exceeded expectations”. It remains committed to making £95m worth of savings in 2009.

Key releases like Killzone 2 will boost retail – but some retailers are struggling with credit limits

Best Buy picks dream team City’s Campbell coup by Christopher Dring THE PLANNED UK invasion by Best Buy continues this week, as the firm finalises its games team. Former GAME exec Marc Spence has joined the US electronics retailer as head of domain for entertainment, where he will cover all games systems and console software. Spence joins from Home Retail Group, where he was head of strategic development. Previously, he held the role of GAME Group MD for

Continental Europe for four years, and before that was group buying director for games at DSG International. Best Buy Europe has also recruited René Wright as head of domain for IT products.

Wright signs up from DSGi, where she was employed as head of trading for entertainment. She was also a member of MCV’s Retail Advisory Board. In her new role, Wright will take control of IT hardware, peripherals, PC games and non-games software. Finally, former DSGi trading manager Tom Guy has been snapped up as group head of product and category development. All three new recruits joined Best Buy Europe this month.

by James Batchelor AMBITIOUS DS AND PC publisher City Interactive has its sights set on expansion, after hiring former THQ UK MD Roy Campbell as global sales and marketing VP. Campbell brings more than two decades of experience from the likes of THQ, Rage, Virgin and Infogrames UK to the Polish firm, where he will be developing sales and marketing strategies and activities around the world.

“It’s an exciting time for me to join City Interactive as they enter a new phase publishing in the console market,” said Campbell (pictured). “The time is right to exploit the huge increase in installed bases with quality products at the correct price.”

PERSONNEL 20 RETAIL BIZ 21 NEW RELEASES 28 HIGH STREET 30 CHARTS 32


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NEWS

[LEADER] RETAIL MUST INSURE THE RIGHT RESULT The last time you witnessed the words ‘credit insurance’ on the front page of MCV, we predicted a nightmarish situation in which EUK’s retail clients would struggle to get games stock for their shelves – and Woolworths could potentially go under. As if that would ever happen... This time, of course, DSGi, Comet, Toys R Us and Blockbuster don’t have the same problems as Zavvi, Asda, Sainsbury’s, WH Smith et al did preChistmas; because they’re not reliant on Woolworths’ ill-fated fortunes. (And thank goodness, because the madness of a single retailer having such sway over its trade rivals is now hopefully consigned to history). But no-one can deny Woolies is still having an influence on these chains from the grave. Atradius, Coface and Euler Hermes are not taking any chances on any of these other retailers, despite them offering a unique proposition and having largely sound business models. And we all know why. Unlike the slightly callous off the record comments we received back when Woolies hit the skids, this time it is the credit insurers – not the retailers themselves – that seem to have attracted publishers’ annoyance. Of the four chains involved, the one you have to feel for most is DSGi. With cashflow troubles plaguing the retail giant – and the spectre of Best Buy lurking behind its frustrating balance sheet – the possibility of dealing on cash terms with anyone will be a frightening one.

SIMPLY THE BEST? MCV has endured radio silence from Best Buy over its UK ‘invasion’ for months now, so we’re delighted to be able to reveal its crack games team this week. It might be quiet when it comes to the business press, but its plans (200 stores to launch in Europe over the next five years) are loud and proud – and its recruitment strategy is impressively refined. René Wright, Marc Spence and Tom Guy are all established, highly respected industry bods – and will certainly prove key in quickly securing strong relationships with members of the UK’s most lucrative channels. Oh, and there might also be another well-known addition coming from EUK. But we didn’t tell you that, right?

SOUND AS A HOUND This year’s MCV Awards are really starting to take shape now, with categories, lobbying procedure and host – moustachio’d funnyman Rufus Hound – all sorted. We’re still extremely proud to host the only awards voted by the industry, for the industry. The only thing that’s missing? You. So turn to page five, and get lobbying. Come April, you’ll regret it if you don’t. tim.ingham@intentmedia.co.uk

Retail braced for Resident Evil, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, Street Fighter and Sonic

by Christopher Dring THE GAMES industry is gearing up for one of its busiest first quarters yet, with the arrival of new titles in the Halo, GTA and Resident Evil franchises, and other key new releases.

That said, we have to evaluate the fall-out from Christmas, but the indications for our own products are very good.” HMV’s commercial manager Jonathan Hayes added: “The line-up for the first quarter is encouragingly strong. It’s great

The Q1 release schedule offers something for everyone, which should get the New Year off to a positive start. Jonathan Hayes, HMV

EA, Konami, Capcom and Sega are amongst the most prolific publishers this quarter, and retailers are optimistic of another stellar three months of sales, despite tough economic conditions. “It’s definitely going to be a strong quarter for us, maybe our strongest ever,” enthused Capcom’s senior marketing director Michael Pattison. “Certainly for gamers it’s going to be one of the biggest ever.

to see such a line-up from Capcom, together with a number of diverse titles from the likes of Sega, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. “Overall, the first quarter release schedule offers something for everyone, which should help get the New Year off to a positive start.” Despite the encouraging first quarter line-up, retailers remain wary of the first six months, with the economy and the lack

of a GTA IV-style release set to impact year-on-year growth. “With Halo Wars, Killzone 2 and Resident Evil 5, there’s certainly a strong line-up for the beginning of the year,” commented GAME CEO Lisa Morgan. “We will look to maximise sales in the first quarter. However, GTA IV last year was a big event, as was Wii Fit. So there is a challenge with regards to that.” Hayes concluded: “While this quarter may offer significant potential for healthy levels of trading, it is up against a slate of very good titles last year, including Devil May Cry 4 and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. “We should also not lose sight of the fact that there were a number of full price titles that did not reach their potential in the last quarter. So we do need to be mindful of the current economic climate and how this may affect full price titles. But, overall, I think we can all be cautiously optimistic for the market in the coming months.”


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Q1 onslaught headline 2009’s bumper first three months COMING THIS QUARTER… JANUARY 23rd: Football Manager Live ................................PC..............................................Sega My Fitness Coach .........................................Wii .........................................Ubisoft Skate 2............................................................PS3, 360 ......................................EA JANUARY 30th Saints Row 2 .................................................PC...............................................THQ FEBRUARY 6th Age Of Empires: Mythologies....................DS...............................................THQ Bomberman 2 ...............................................DS .........................................Konami Castlevania: Order Of Ecclesia..................DS .........................................Konami Chrono Trigger .............................................DS.................................Square Enix Cooking Mama 2: World Kitchen. .............Wii................................ 505 Games HSM3: Senior Year Dance ..........................360 ........................................Disney Lost In Blue 3 ................................................DS .........................................Konami Lost In Blue: Shipwreck ..............................Wii.........................................Konami Mystery Case Files: Millionheir .................DS ......................................Nintendo New Play Control! Pikmin ..........................Wii......................................Nintendo Twin Strike: Operation Thunder ...............Wii ..................................Zoo Digital We Cheer........................................................Wii .................................505 Games FEBRUARY 13th: Ben 10: Alien Force ......................................PSP, DS, Wii, PS2.....................D3P Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sacrifice ........Wii................................ 505 Games Big Bang Mini ................................................DS..................................South Peak Bolt ..................................................................DS, Wii, PS3, PS2, 360 .... Disney Deadly Creatures .........................................Wii ..............................................THQ Destory All Humans: Furon........................360, PS3 ...................................THQ Eternal Sonata ..............................................PS3............................................Atari House of the Dead: Overkill ......................Wii .............................................Sega Mind Your Language ...................................DS ........................................V.2 Play Race Pro.........................................................360............................................Atari Rune Factory: Harvest Moon.....................DS.....................Rising Star Games FEBRUARY 20th: 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand.....................PS3, 360 ...................................THQ Ceville .............................................................PC ............................Kalypso Media Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun/ Pirates .........Wii............................................Midas Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice..................PS3...............................Square Enix Dragon Quest: Heavenly Bride ................DS.................................Square Enix Eledees: Adventures Of Kai And Zero ....DS .........................................Konami MotoGP Wii ....................................................Wii........................................Capcom Resident Evil 5 ..............................................360, PS3 ............................Capcom Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection .....PS3, 360 ..................................Sega Street Fighter IV ..........................................PC, PS3, 360.....................Capcom Walk with me!................................................DS ......................................Nintendo FEBRUARY 27th: Castlevania: Judgement............................. Wii ...................................... Konami Cryostasis ...................................................... PC ............................... 505 Games Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop............... Wii ..................................... Capcom Family Ski & Snowboard............................. Wii ........................................... Atari Halo Wars....................................................... 360 ................................ Microsoft Killzone 2 ....................................................... PS3 ......................................... Sony Populous DS .................................................. DS .................................Rising Star Silent Hill Homecoming ............................. PC, PS3, 360 ................... Konami Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals ............. DS ....................................... Disney The Godfather II .......................................... PC, PS3, 360 ............................ EA MARCH 20th: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars ........ DS ................................... Rockstar The Wheelman.............................................. PC, 360, PS3.....................Midway MARCH: Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena ....... PC, PS3, 360 ....................... Atari Empire: Total War ....................................... PC ........................................... Sega EVE Online..................................................... PC .......................................... Atari MadWorld ....................................................... Wii .......................................... Sega Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 ...................... Wii ..................................... Konami Sonic and the Black Knight ...................... Wii .......................................... Sega Eat Lead ........................................................ PS3, 360 ................................ D3P  For the full Q1 release schedule, as well as the current 2009 line-up, please visit www.mcvuk.com/release-dates.

Games conference to return as Intent seals acquisitions MCV PUBLISHER Intent Media is to launch a new games conference this autumn, following its recent swoop for a range of event and magazine assets. Intent has acquired all the brands owned by defunct

was innovative and ambitious,” said Intent boss Stuart Dinsey “But ours will be much cheaper to attend than Games 3.0 – half the price at least. Plus there will be a very different format.”

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 KILLZONE 2 PS3 SONY

2. RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM

3. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM

Our event will be cheaper to attend and will boast a very different format. Stuart Dinsey, Intent Media

B2B publisher Skep Media, including the Games 3.0 conference, which was launched during the London Games Festival last year. Indeed, Intent has already agreed with ELSPA and LGF 2009 that it will launch a new B2B conference for the wider industry this October. “Final plans will be announced soon. We know the games industry wants a conference and it tried to support Games 3.0, which

4. STREET FIGHTER IV

As part of the Skep deal, Intent Media has also acquired the assets of trade monthly In Stock, plus video titles Home Entertainment Week and RRP – which all closed late last year. Intent has also acquired the assets of the Mobile Music Now conference and Stream mobile B2B title from Prestige Media. Stream also closed last year, but Intent hopes to continue the conference, with a relaunch this summer.

Amazon appoints games director ONLINE RETAIL giant Amazon.co.uk has hired internet veteran Chris Poad as director of software and video games. Poad was previously employed as head of ecommerce at the UK subsidiary of German company OTTO, where he was responsible for the online retail strategy for home shopping businesses such as Grattan and Freemans. Poad also has experience of internet search functions,

having spent three years at Ask Jeeves. Poad is passionate about the video games industry, and cites space-based BBC Micro title Elite as one of his favourite games. He also feels “there has been no greater technical or creative achievement than Grand Theft Auto IV.” In his new role, Poad will be responsible for all aspects of Amazon’s software and video games business. Amazon: 020 8636 9280

PS3 ..............................................CAPCOM

5. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3........................................SQUARE ENIX

6. SOCOM: CONFRONTATION PS3 ..................................................SONY

7. STREET FIGHTER IV 360 ..............................................CAPCOM

8. RACE PRO 360 ..................................................ATARI

9. ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES 360 ..................................................SEGA

10. ALAN WAKE 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT Week ending January 17th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£29.2m 70

60

50

40

30

20

10

£69.7m

£34.8m

£29.2m

3,498,103 Units

1,547,306 Units

1,247,905 Units

Week Ending January 3rd

Week Ending January 10th

Week Ending January 17th

0

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


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HMV ‘deadly serious’ about games Retailer’s CEO applauds sector as it stars in ‘best ever’ Christmas  Games account for 21 per cent of sales by Tim Ingham GAMES made up 21 per cent of the record revenues taken by HMV in its ‘best ever Christmas’, MCV can reveal. As revealed by Mcvuk.com last week (14/01/09), the retailer defied the odds on the High Street to pull off its biggest ever Christmas – enjoying a three per cent like-

total sales mix over Christmas. They grew in total terms yearon-year to close to 25 per cent. We saw good growth across all platforms and our top sellers reflected the market: Call Of Duty, Guitar Hero and Mario Kart Wii. “I really am very sad that Woolworths and Zavvi won’t be there any more. But as a retailer on the High Street, it’s

I really am sad about Zavvi and Woolworths. But it’s our job to capture as much of the market as we can. Simon Fox, HMV

for-like sales growth for the ten weeks to January 3rd. CEO Simon Fox told MCV this week that the firm is “deadly serious” about the category – and hoped to inherit games customers from High Street casualties Woolworths and Zavvi. He said: “Games represented 21 per cent of out

our job to capture as much of that market as we can, and we do think we’re well placed to do that. “We’ve allocated more space to games in our stores over the last 12 months. We have introduced a pre-owned offer, as you know. We’re deadly serious about games. What we want to do is make

FOX: HMV’s CEO says the entertainment giant has proven its commitment to the games industry

sure as many of the previous Woolworths and Zavvi customers come to us – either on the High Street or online at HMV.com.”

Fox revealed that all of the 14 former Zavvi stores it has picked up from administrator Ernst & Young will be rebranded as HMV. None of

the stores would be rebranded as HMV subsidiary Fopp said Fox, as had been reported in the national press. HMV: 01628 818 300

Rising Star revives Populous for DS CLASSIC GAMES series Populous is to return to the market after ten years, courtesy of a new Rising Star DS title. Populous DS is due to be released on February 27th. The original title was originally developed by Peter Molyneux and his studio Bullfrog. It spurred a number of sequels and arguably the whole simulation genre. Rising Star’s product marketing assistant Yen Hau explained that the publisher seeks to rekindle enthusiasm for the franchise with the first handheld instalment. “Although Populous is an established franchise, it has

been out of the public eye for quite a while now,” he told MCV. “The series hasn’t seen a new retail iteration since Populous: The Beginning on the PS2 in 1999. “It is the perfect time to release Populous DS now as

gameplay method. The other factor that coincides very nicely with this release is the current trend for releasing updates of older franchises. “We expect Populous DS to perform well at retail. This is not a new IP trying to break

The brand name carries a significant amount of nostalgia and reverence for a lot of gamers. Yen Hau, Rising Star

this year is the 20th anniversary of its original release. The truth of the matter is that the DS is the only console capable of successfully delivering this

into a competitive market. This is the handheld version of a franchise whose brand name carries a significant amount of nostalgia and reverence for a

lot of gamers. Consumers will instantly recognise what type of game they are purchasing

and store buyers know what they are ordering.” Rising Star: 01582 433700


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TRADE BULLETIN

MCV Awards lobbying now open as sponsors sign up Codemasters and Gem back April 23rd event  Comedian Rufus Hound picked as host THE COUNTDOWN to the MCV Awards has begun in earnest, with lobbying now open, Codemasters and Gem signed as sponsors and Rufus Hound announced as the host of the event. The MCV Awards ’09 will take place on Thursday, April 23rd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London. And you now have just one month to help us decide who makes the shortlist. By lobbying the MCV team, you can nominate yourself or another oustanding individual or company which has gone the extra mile in the last year. Send your suggestions for who should win on the night to Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk. Gem and Codemasters will once again get the party started, having signed up as exclusive pre-drinks reception partners. “The fact that the MCV Awards attract the largest gathering from across all segments of the industry and is widely contested with much celebration from those victorious, shows what it means to win. Being nominated is a badge of honour in its own right,” said Codemasters’ CEO Rod Cousens. Gem’s managing director Chris Peacock added: “Gem is celebrating its 25th birthday this year and we are proud to be sponsoring the event at such a significant time for both Gem and the industry as a whole.”

OUT 30th JANUARY 2009 Wii and Nintendo DS Pre-drinks Reception Partner

Pre-drinks Reception Partner

THE CATEGORIES AND HOW TO WIN AN AWARD

HOUND TO HOST THE AWARDS The MCV Awards ’09 will be hosted by comedian Rufus Hound. A games fanatic, Hound is the voice of Playr, the Saturday morning games review show on Bravo. He’s also presented live coverage from Glastonbury, was a regular guest presenter on Top of the Pops and most recently gave a winning performance on ITV’s Thank God You’re Here.

To lobby for a finalists position, you simply need to provide us with a brief document on why your feel your company – or another – deserves to be considered for the shortlist. We don’t need PowerPoint presentations or marketing materials at this point. Send an email to the team via Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk to lobby. The deadline is Monday February 16th. The MCV team will then decide on the five finalists per category. These will be announced on Friday, February 27th. A group of 100 judges from across the industry will then vote on the winners of each category. This year the categories have been tweaked slightly, with the retail section being almost entirely overhauled. It means that every retailer, regardless of size or product specialism, can now compete for all five prizes. There is also a greater focus on rewarding shop floor staff.

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

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

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

The MCV Awards 2009 takes place on Thursday April 23rd at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London For information on table and tickets and for sponsorship opportunities contact Jodie.Holdway@bhpr.co.uk.

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.

ea.com


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A4T triumphs as top third party peripherals outfit Value of the accessories sector leapt 82 per cent last year by Christopher Dring PERIPHERALS FIRM A4T has this week been celebrating news that it was the most successful third party manufacturer in 2008, according to Gfk ChartTrack’s end-of-year data. The result follows news that the peripherals market value grew 82 per cent during 2008, rising from £301m to £549m. A4T was the largest selling third party peripherals firm in

place to third in the total market behind Nintendo and Microsoft. We are up beside the big boys now – and that is where we intend to stay.” And Stirling said the firm will maintain the momentum in ‘09: “Plans are already at an advanced stage on new projects and product developments to ensure that the only way is up for A4T in 2009. We will very shortly be announcing a major new officially licensed partnership,

We will take our business to new levels across the PAL territories as well as in our home market. Bill Stirling, A4T

terms of value, beaten only by the offerings from formatholders Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. “We are delighted with our overall position in ChartTrack for 2008,” A4T’s sales and marketing director Bill Stirling enthused to MCV. “Our unit sales are up 38 per cent to over 1.8 million versus 2007, and we as a company have moved up one

which will take our business to new levels across the PAL territories as well as our home market.” Total unit sales for the UK peripherals sector reached 31.1 million during 2008, an increase of 80 per cent from 17.3 million units in 2007. A4T: 01204 369220

www.risingstargames.com

D3P plots big push for new IP Eat Lead TONGUE-IN-CHEEK action shooter Eat Lead: The Return of Max Hazard, is due next month and publisher D3P is confident the game’s unique appeal ensures strong sales. Poking fun at past gaming action titles, Eat Lead tells the story of Max Hazard, a washed-up video game character looking to make a comeback after falling on hard times, lampooning a number of industry classics along the way. The game’s unique story is being reflected in D3P’s PR campaign, which includes an entire fake backstory for Max Hazard that features nonexistent games such as You Only Live 1,317 Times. “It’s an amazing idea that hasn’t been done before,” said D3P associate producer Joe Fletcher. “Obviously we’re hoping it’ll be an

insane hit, but we genuinely believe Eat Lead will be a big success. It’s not something that has just been jammed into the market, it’s not just another shooter. We really think the unique appeal will propel it off shelves. “We’ve got a couple of different target demographics. We’re going for the core gamer with all the nostalgia that’s in the game. We’re paying homage to gaming, everything from 8-bit action to early ‘80s 3D games, and right up to the more recent water and paintball-based blasters. “But we’re also trying to hook players in who might not usually play these games, but are interested in it for the humour. It’s not too serious, and by putting a level of humour in, it becomes far more accessible.” D3P: 01223 322015

For independent sales, please contact Advantage Distribution on 0121 506 9585


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NEWS

Sponsored by

Hudson targets Europe for 2009 New Wii games from leading Japanese firm brought to market via Konami partnership by Christopher Dring JAPANESE publisher Hudson has set its sights on the European market with a range of new IP, family software, and its Sports Island franchise. Both Hudson and its parent Konami are set to release a range of Wii titles in Europe in

Hudsonsoft corporate officer and consumer contents division president, Masanori Wake. “European marketing shows a great deal of similarity to the Japanese sector, with growth in games aimed at family users. Europe seems to have a lot in common with Hudson's specialised genre of choice, so

European marketing shows a great deal of similarity to the Japanese sector, with growth in games aimed at families. Masanori Wake, Hudson

2009, including Sports Island 2 and Job Island: Hard Working People. And the publisher is confident it can grow by increasing its focus on European territories. “Europe is an important opportunity for Hudson,” said

[IN BRIEF] RUFFIAN GAMES: A new studio has opened in Dundee, formed by devs behind Crackdown, GTA and Fable II. Called Ruffian, the studio is headed up by Gaz Liddon and Billy Thompson.

FAMILY FUN: Wake says mass market games sell despite the crunch

product into the European market every year.” Wake told MCV he expects new IP Job Island: Hard Working People and sequel Sports Island 2 to echo the sales of last year’s Sports Island. “I am confident in Hudson’s plans for 2009,” he added. “In the current depressed global

we will be looking to expand our presence by focusing on Europe in the coming years. “We would like to increase our sales and profits every year. To achieve our goal, new IP is absolutely vital. We plan to introduce an original IP

market, gaming is not one of the basic necessities of life. But gaming is well-established in worldwide culture, and most people feel gaming can be an economical amusement. I therefore believe the gaming industry has means to buck the market trend.” Konami: 020 8987 5730

Sega expects long-tail sales to drive FM Live FOOTBALL MANAGER LIVE lands on shelves today (January 23rd), and publisher Sega thinks the game could become one of the UK’s biggest MMOs. The retail edition of the game arrive two months after Football Manager 2009, during the traditionally quiet period for new releases. However, Sega’s product marketing manager James Schall hopes the game’s popularity will ‘snowball’ over the months and years to come. “Football Manager 2009 has only recently come out and a lot of people are still playing it,” Schall told MCV.

LIVE FOREVER: Schall hopes FM Live will prove popular year-round

“We do know we have a job to do from an educational and sales sense in getting people signed up to the game. Football Manager Live is much more of

a slow burner for Sega. We don’t expect to go out there and set off fireworks with massive day one numbers. Instead we’re looking at a long-

term strategy in trying to get subscribers in. What we’ve seen is that people who play the game fall in love with it, and it is making sure we can create an environment that entices new gamers.” “We would love FM Live to become one of the UK’s biggest MMOs,” he continued. “Fantasy Football has been around for many years. So we don’t think we’re going to kick arse from day one – we need to educate users and get people to play the game, and hopefully it’ll all snowball from there.” Sega: 020 8995 3399

D.I.C.E 2009: MCV and sister magazine Develop are media partners of this February’s D.I.C.E Summit in Las Veags. EA CEO John Riccitiello and Resident Evil 5 producer Jun Takeuchi will give talks at the event. M FESTIVAL: The UK consumer event will return to Stoneleigh Park in Southampton from April 10th to 13th. The main draws will include EA’s £10,000 FIFA 09 tournament and ‘the largest LAN party in the UK’, with over 2,000 players set to attend. MICROSOFT: The platform holder has announced that Epic-developed sequel Gears Of War 2 has sold four million units worldwide in just two months. SEGA: The BBFC has given the publisher’s upcoming Wii title MadWorld an ‘18’ rating, without any cuts being made to its content. Sega has also signed a deal to sell its games online via rapidly growing digital portal GamersGate. BAFTA: Irish comedian and Mock The Week presenter Dara O’Briain is to host this year’s GAME British Academy Video Games Awards. FUTURE: Official PlayStation Magazine UK is celebrating its exclusive review of Killzone 2 with a special collectors’ holographic wallet for the issue on sale this week.

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


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“The professional’s choice of racing game” “Closer to the reality of driving a racing car than any game before.” 8 out of 10 Official Xbox Magazine

www.atari.com/racepro © SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. RACE PRO is a trademark of SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. All rights reserved. Used under authorization by SIMBIN STUDIOS AB. Manufactured and Marketed by Atari Europe SASU. Atari and the Atari logo are trademarks owned by Atari Interactive, Inc. Aston Martin Racing is a trademark used under license from Aston Martin Lagonda Limited. Trademarks, design patents and copyrights are used with the approval of the owner AUDI AG. The BMW logo, the BMW name and the model designations Z4 and M3 are trademarks of BMW AG and are used under license. Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Corvette C6-R, all related Emblems, and vehicle body designs are General motors Trademarks used under license to SimBin Studios AB. Dodge is a trademark of Chrysler LLC. Dodge Viper and its trade dress are used under license by SimBin © Chrysler LLC 2008. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners and used under license.

Jump in.


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Marketing Highlights include: • 12-month PR campaign red-lining around launch • Presence at key consumer shows including Top Gear Live • Advertising and advertorial campaign across leading Xbox and motoring magazines

For Sales information, contact: Nationals / Atari UK Sales: Indies / Advantage:

020 8222 9700 0121 506 9592


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OFFICIAL FULL YEAR FIGURES

2008 THE YEAR IN NUMBERS

It was yet another record-breaking 12 months for the UK games industry, with a whopping £4bn generated by the sector. Tim Ingham takes a detailed look at the software market’s most successful ever year...


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OFFICIAL FULL YEAR FIGURES (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

TOP 50 ALL FORMATS CHART JAN 1st – DEC 30th, 2008 A BUMPER YEAR: COD: World At War, Wii Fit, GTA IV, FIFA and more pushed total software sales to £1.95bn in 2009

1.

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

2.

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

3.

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ROCKSTAR

4.

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA

5.

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

6.

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

7.

WII PLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

8.

DR KAWASHIMA'S BRAIN TRAINING . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO

9.

LEGO INDIANA JONES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LUCASARTS

10. CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2K 11.

CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION

12. GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS OF ROCK . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION 13.

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KONAMI

14. GEARS OF WAR 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MICROSOFT 15. MORE BRAIN TRAINING FROM DR KAWASHIMA. . . NINTENDO 16. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2008. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KONAMI 17.

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

18. STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED. . . . . . . . . . LUCASARTS 19.

FALLOUT 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . BETHESDA

20. FIFA 08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 21. LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME . . . . . . . . . . WARNERS BROS 22. THE SIMPSONS GAME. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 23. BIG BEACH SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PLAY V 24. TOM CLANCY'S RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS. . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT 25. FAR CRY 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT 26. GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 27. GRAN TURISMO 5: PROLOGUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SONY 28. WALL  E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ 29. BEN 10: PROTECTOR OF EARTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P 30. QUANTUM OF SOLACE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 31.

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

32. SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA 33. TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 34. KUNG FU PANDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 35. TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIDOS 36. SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NNTENDO 37. MARIO KART DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NINTENDO 38. LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA . . . . . . LUCASARTS 39. FABLE II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MICROSOFT 40. ASSASSIN'S CREED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UBISOFT 41. COOKING MAMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 GAMES 42. NEED FOR SPEED: PROSTREET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 43. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SEGA 44. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ 45. SAINTS ROW 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ 46. GAME PARTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MIDWAY 47. LITTLEBIGPLANET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SONY 48. COOKING MAMA 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 GAMES 49. METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS . . . . KONAMI 50. WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ


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OFFICIAL FULL YEAR SALES: BY UNITS PS2 TOP 10 ALL PRICES

PS3 TOP 10 ALL PRICES

PSP TOP 10 ALL PRICES

1.

1.

1.

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

Grand Theft Auto IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rockstar

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

2. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Activision Blizzard

2. FIFA 09. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

2. GTA: Vice City Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rockstar

3. LEGO Indiana Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lucasarts

3. Call of Duty: World at War . . Activision Blizzard

3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

4. The Simpsons Game. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4. Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

4. FIFA 08. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

5. FIFA 08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

5. LittleBigPlanet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

5. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories Rockstar

6. Singstar ABBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

6. MGS4: Guns of the Patriots . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

6. Ben 10: Protector of Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P

7. LEGO Batman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warner

7.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare . . . . . Activision

7. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII . . . . . . Square Enix

8. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

8. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

8. God of War: Chains of Olympus . . . . . . . . . . Sony

9. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

9. Need for Speed: Undercover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

9. The Simpsons Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

10. Ben 10: Protector of Earth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P

10. Resistance 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

10. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters . . . . . . . . . . . Sony

As it did in 2007, the FIFA franchise rules the roost in the PS2 chart. However, 2007’s list saw Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 claim second spot. Here, it is beaten by both FIFA 08 and a string of family games. Indeed, PES 2009 only beats its own predessesor by one place, whilst LEGO and Ben 10’s appearance hint at PS2’s younger audience.

While Microsoft has sung about shattering the synonymity between PlayStation and GTA, it’s certainly in fine fettle here. Sony will possibly be a little disappointed to see LittleBigPlanet lagging behind COD 4, FIFA 09 and its own Gran Turismo: Prologue – but will be hoping its sales momentum will continue into 2009.

The PSP has long been seen as a boys’ toy – and the software that dominated sales on the system last year did little to argue with that maxim. Football, shooting and, erm, more shooting ruled, with GTA, FIFA and Pro Evo taking up the top five spots. Then again, Ben 10 and The Simpsons performed well amongst younger gamers.

Wii TOP 10 ALL PRICES

DS TOP TEN ALL PRICES

XBOX 360 TOP 10 ALL PRICES

1. Mario Kart Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

1.

Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training . . . . . . . Nintendo

1. Grand Theft Auto IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rockstar

2. Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

2. More Brain Training From Dr Kawashima. Nintendo

2. Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard

3. Wii Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

3. Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games . . . . Sega

3. FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games . . . . . Sega

4. New Super Mario Bros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

4. Gears of War 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft

5. Carnival: Funfair Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2K

5. Mario Kart DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

5. Fable II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft

6. Big Beach Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . THQ

6. Cooking Mama 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games

6. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare . . . . . . Activision

7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

7. Big Brain Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

7. Fallout 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bethesda

8. Game Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midway

8. Professor Layton: Curious Village . . . . Nintendo

8. LEGO Indiana Jones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LucasArts

9. Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree . . . . . . . Nintendo

9. 42 All-Time Classics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo

9. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 . . . . . Ubisoft

10. Sonic and the Secret Rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

10. Nintendogs: Labrador & Friends . . . . . . Nintendo

10. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami

Nintendo dominated on its own system – but THQ, Sega, Midway and 2K all showed it was possible for third parties to break through on Wii in 2008. Of the Nintendo games, Mario Kart Wii ended up on top after a stellar Christmas – but you can’t help thinking it was stock issues, rather than reduced demand, that prevented Wii Fit from being No.1.

Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training became the best selling game on the DS for the third year running in 2008. And for the second year running, More Brain Training took the No.2 slot. Elsewhere, Cooking Mama 2 had a good showing, as did Mario & Sonic. Professor Layton, released in November, rocketed up the chart in just one month.

All that money Microsoft paid to ensure GTA IV was a phenomenon on Xbox 360 paid off, as the title outsold COD: World At War, FIFA and Gears Of War 2. However, the COD franchise gave Activision both second spot with WaW and sixth with last year’s Modern Warfare. LEGO Indy took No.8 – suggesting Microsoft’s family push is gathering pace.

PUBLISHER MARKET SHARE

SOFTWARE MARKET SHARE FORMATS BY VALUE

FORMATS BY UNITS 2007

2008

COMPANY BY VALUE 2007

2008

Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.2% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.1%

Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.4%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22.9%

Xbox 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.3%

Nintendo DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19.7%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.7%

Nintendo DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.2% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.6%

Xbox 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.9% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.9%

PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.1% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16.1%

PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23.3% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.4%

PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17.9% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13.8%

PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.8%

PlayStation 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.3% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4%

PlayStation 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.7% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.5%

PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.4% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4%

PSP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.4%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.6%

GBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.6% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0%

GBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.0%

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Nintendo Electronic Arts Ubisoft Microsoft Sega Activision Blizzard Take 2 THQ Sony LucasArts

Who says you can’t sell software on Wii? Sure, much of it is down to Nintendo’s own produce, but the format’s value share almost doubled in 2008 – driven by the likes of Mario Kart, Wii Fit and Professor Layton. Both of the other platform holders also enjoyed a jump on software sales – with PS3’s share growing by seven per cent. However, PSP was down by a full three per cent, whilst DS’s share dropped by 0.6 per cent.

Leaving little doubt as to which console owned 2008, Wii’s software share more than doubled – up by a whopping 12.5 per cent. As with the ‘by value’ chart, PS2’s share declines rapidly, down 12.2 per cent. PSP is also down, by 3.1 per cent. And both Xbox 360 and PS3 enjoy significant increases, with Microsoft’s system up four per cent and Sony’s increasing 6.2 per cent.

What a difference a year makes. Nintendo leapfrogs Electronic Arts, which last year took 17.4 per cent of all cash generated by software in the UK. Nintendo’s share climbs 2.3 per cent on last year, whilst Ubisoft overtakes Microsoft in the table – but actually loses 0.2 per cent of share. Sega’s share cimbs by 1.5 per cent, whilst THQ, Sony and Activision (Blizzard) all tumble. Take 2’s share doubles thanks to GTA IV.


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PC TOP 10 ALL PRICES 1.

2008’S BESTSELLING SOFTWARE THE DEFINITIVE LIST

Football Manager 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

2. World of Warcraft: Lich King. . . . . . . . . . . . . Blizzard

1.

MARIO KART WII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . RELEASED: 11/04/08

3. Football Manager 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

2.

WII FIT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25/04/08

4. Spore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

3.

WII PLAY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/12/06

5. The Sims 2: Freetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

4.

DR KAWASHIMA'S BRAIN TRAINING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 09/06/06

6. COD4: Modern Warfare . . . . . Activision Blizzard

5.

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23/11/07

7. World of Warcraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blizzard

6.

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . ROCKSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29/04/08

8. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 . . . . . . . . . EA

7.

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . ROCKSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29/04/08

9. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade . . . Blizzard

8.

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . 14/11/08

9.

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . 2K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19/10/07

10. Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard Not surprising to see PC’s leading lights – Football Manager 2009 and World Of Warcraft – out in front here, but FM 2008’s performance will raise some eyebrows. Three World Of Warcraft titles make the top ten, but there is a new franchise starting to dominate the PC charts: Call Of Duty. Activison’s FPS take two spots in 2008’s top ten.

10. FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03/10/08 11. GEARS OF WAR 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07/11/08 12. MORE BRAIN TRAINING FROM DR KAWASHIMA . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28/07/08 13. FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03/10/08 14. MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . SEGA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 08/02/08 15. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . 14/11/08 16. BIG BEACH SPORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . THQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27/06/08 17. GRAN TURISMO 5: PROLOGUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . SONY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28/03/08

PC TOP 10 BUDGET

18. NEW SUPER MARIO BROS.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30/06/06 19. SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27/06/08

World of Warcraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blizzard

20. MARIO KART DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25/11/05

2. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade . . . Blizzard

21. FABLE II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24/10/08

3. The Sims 2: Teen Style Stuff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA

22. CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . 09/11/07

4. The Sims 2: Kitchen & Bath Design . . . . . . . . . EA

23. GAME PARTY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . MIDWAY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15/02/08

5. Football Manager 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega

24. LITTLEBIGPLANET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . SONY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05/11/08

6. Command & Conquer: Kane’s Wrath . . . . . . . . EA

25. COOKING MAMA 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . 505 GAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15/02/08

1.

7. The Sims 2: IKEA Home Stuff. . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 8. Ages of Empire: Collectors Edition . . . . . Xplosiv 9. The Sims 2: Seasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA 10. Hotal Giant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GSP/Avanquest

26. METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . KONAMI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/06/08 27. FALLOUT 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . BETHESDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31/10/08 28. BIG BRAIN ACADEMY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07/06/06 29. CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . 14/11/08

Blizzard is way out in front here, with the World Of Warcraft franchise still bringing in new pennypinching fans throughout 2008. But it’s worth noting EA’s success in the PC budget stakes, with a string of older hits proving popular – not least The Sims, which provides three of the bestselling budget titles of 2008.

30. LEGO INDIANA JONES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . LUCASARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17/06/08 31. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PC . . . . . . . SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14/11/08 32. BIG BRAIN ACADEMY: WII DEGREE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20/07/07 33. PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE. . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07/11/08 34. TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . UBISOFT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20/03/08 35. 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29/09/06 36. NINTENDOGS: LAB & FRIENDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NNTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07/10/08 37. SONIC AND THE SECRET RINGS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . SEGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 02/03/07 38. GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS OF ROCK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD. . . . . . . . . . . 23/11/07 39. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 . . . . . . KONAMI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17/10/08

COMPANY BY UNITS

40. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . KONAMI. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17/10/08 41. WII MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14/11/08

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Nintendo Electronic Arts Ubisoft Sega Activision Blizzard THQ Take 2 Microsoft Sony LucasArts

Nintendo is once again out in front when it comes to unit sales – and ensures a more comfortable distance ahead of EA, with just under two per cent growth. Despite taking a generous chunk of software sales in terms of value, Microsoft generates a smaller amount in terms of unit sales. Activision Blizzard, THQ and Take 2 also all have less unit share than they do in terms of value.

42. FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2 . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03/10/08 43. GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . ACTIVISION BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . 18/07/08 44. SIGHT TRAINING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23/11/07 45. NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21/11/08 46. WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING . . PC . . . . . . . BLIZZARD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13/11/08 47. HALO 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . MICROSOFT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25/09/07 48. FAR CRY 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . UBISOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24/10/08 49. PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360 . . . . . . MICROSOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12/10/07 50. SUPER MARIO GALAXY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WII . . . . . . . NINTENDO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16/11/08 In news that will doubtless make third party publishers roll their eyes, Nintendo leads the way on Nintendo formats here, with the four top-selling SKUs of 2008 first party Wii games. The fifth title in the list also relies heavily on Nintendo’s heritage: Sega’s runaway success Mario and Sonic at The Olympic Games. That title is one of 15 in the Top 50 that pre-dates 2008, with three of the Top 10 released before last year.


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FOCUS: UK ESPORTS

Championship

Manager

The first ever online gaming tournament organised under the auspices of the UK eSports Association kicks off next month. Dave Roberts talks to the CEO, Ray Mia, about how and why the body was formed and where it’s heading…

First of all, can we have a very potted history of UKeSA and an idea of where it fits in global terms? A unifying UK eSports Body has been attempted before, but due to the fractured nature of the industry, there tended to be a lack of sustainability. 18 months back, talks began of how to best serve the industry through a centralised and independent governing body. It would define the sport, provide a framework and redefine the perception of gaming with a more inclusive approach; an ‘FA for video games’. Since that time, both XLTV and ED have rapidly spearheaded the setting up and endorsement of the UK eSports Association (UKeSA). An application to the International eSports Federation has been made and the UK is working closely with EU Associations, most notably the German and Danish entities, as well as the Korean and Japanese counterparts, to develop a global approach. The action starts next month; how and where have you promoted this and recruited players? The promotional aspects have been coordinated through the network of communities already out there. Players, both active and passive, have been kept in the loop of UKeSA activities. Across the EU, there is a real buzz about what is happening in the UK. Can you explain the tiered structure of the tournaments? The Opens are grass root, free entry, free play, free-for-all, gaming for all. The Championships have a small admin fee, there is prize money, and the games will require a more organised team that allows for developing talent and management. The Premierships are the professional level of eSports in the UK. There is significant prize money, sponsorship, TV coverage, regular full match webcasts and commentary. Each team earns a retainer and the finals will be held at the UKeSA Live event. The teams don’t pay entry fees, but the bottom two

when eSports begins to operate as a traditional sport, and that involves serious eSports journalism that Future will provide across a range of their titles on a monthly basis. How do we find the next Lewis Hamilton, and how do we ensure that he or she is an eSports player? If the UKeSA is to be the FA of gaming, then there needs to be a significant level of media support that creates opinion in support of, and also criticism of, what UKeSA is doing. Only then can the market move forwards.

teams will get relegated with the top two Championship teams promoted. There will be three seasons per year, three months per season, with a one month close to allow for player trading. How many players do you expect there to be in each division? Open free play competitions tend to attract upwards of 300 per title. The Championships only come into being if the title is popular at Open level. At this level we’re looking at 256 teams (normally with four to eight players per squad). The Premiership is the top of the tree, and we are looking to have eight to ten teams. What does the Future deal entail? Future provides a significant monthly signpost to the wider gaming public that the Open Divisions exist. The deal also extends to providing quality print and online journalism to the professional levels being built. Committed business and brand building for the teams as marketable products can only happen

UKeSA head Ray Mia thinks that gaming tournaments offer opportunities to retailers, publishers and the media

With the reach we have across media platforms UKeSA is in a commanding position. Ray Mia, UKeSA

Tell us about the event at the O2 on April 25th to 26th. What’s happening there and how is it being promoted? It is all about gaming for all: exhibitions, game releases, and an opportunity for the industry and retail to truly interact with the public through direct access on the ground at London’s big entertainment venue. Our Premiership/Championship deciders, relegation, promotion and Cup Finals will also take place. The live event at the O2 will be the culmination of three months of sustained online activity/gameplay, three months of print coverage through Future, and three months of TV coverage to be announced with a major network channel (we are currently negotiating with two competing networks). We’ll even be running a celebrity knockout competition that will be at the finals and incorporated on our TV content. Is there a retail partner for the event? What will they bring to the party? We are currently under negotiation with three of the largest players, with two firm offers made. We will announce a partner in the coming weeks. With the reach we have across media platforms, and priority access to a registered and loyal committed eSports community – plus the inroads we are making with partners outside the gaming world keen to buy into eSports as a gaming lifestyle choice – UKeSA is in a commanding position. www.ukesa.com


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Developer: Rockstar Leeds

SRP: ÂŁ29.99

Rating; BBFC 18

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TERRITORY REPORT: NORDIC AND BENELUX

Northern lights The video games industry continues to be a major player in the Nordic region, but it is the Benelux market that saw the most growth during 2008. Christopher Dring takes a closer look…

MUCH LIKE in the rest of the world, Nintendo’s Wii dominated the Benelux region during 2008. In terms of value, the Benelux software market rose 15 per cent yearon-year during 2008 (according to Screen Digest), and the popularity of casual gaming is clear to see, with the Wii installed-base accounting for 49 per cent of the home console market. “The Benelux region follows a similar pattern to its French neighbours, with the Wii performing well,” says Screen Digest’s senior games analyst Piers Harding-Rolls. “As you can see from the statistics, gamers from the Benelux sector are interested in easily-accessible experiences that you can play on Wii.” However, despite healthy sales of Wii hardware and software, the Nintendo DS is plagued with piracy problems, with the R4 card freely available in the sector. “The whole Benelux games market has grown around 30 per cent due to very good hardware sales,” explains Rishi Kartaram of Benelux distributor Gameworld B.V. “However, piracy is a big problem in Benelux, as the R4 has completely killed the DS market.”

LANGUAGE BARRIER

Atari Benelux’s general manager for sales and marketing, Menno Eijck, agrees there is a problem on DS, and highlights the PC market as another gaming platform struggling. “The PC and DS markets are really difficult,” he says. “The PC market decreased by almost 20 per cent compared to 2007, and the R4 cards are making it impossible to sell high numbers of DS games.” Another problem facing publishers looking to succeed in the territory is the mass of languages. French and Dutch are the primary dialects, but some also speak Luxembourgish, Frisian and German. And many Benelux gamers are keen on home grown software that is fully localised for their region. “Benelux gamers love their own IP, with fully localised content,” continues

Kartaram. “It’s difficult with four languages in such a small territory. But the challenge for the sector is to capture the new market that has been created by Nintendo.” In contrast to Benelux, the tastes of many Nordic gamers mirror that of UK players. Screen Digest data shows that although the Wii is still the marketleading platform, the Xbox 360 is only just behind it. And Piers Harding-Rolls feels the fact that many Nordic gamers can speak English is a key factor behind the UK and US influences. “Gamers in Nordic territories have tastes that are influenced heavily by the UK in particular,” says Harding-Rolls. “This is reflected in the comparatively strong adoption of the 360 compared to Central and Southern Europe. The use

technical excellence, and our wellknown focus on a healthy working environment. “The state of the Nordic market appears to be quite solid, although it is going through the same recession as the rest of the world’s games markets. It’s too early to say anything precise on the exact influence of this, but 2008 looked to be a year with healthy growth in most of the domestic markets.” LAND OF POSSIBILITIES

Screen Digest data also shows that software value in Nordic territories broke 500 million Euros during 2008 – a seven per cent growth over 2007. However, dtp Entertainment’s business development director Soren Lass warns that there are still logistical challenges to Piracy is a big problem in the releasing games in Benelux territory, as the R4 the Nordic regions. card has completely killed the “If you just look at Scandinavia (Sweden, DS market. Norway, Denmark and Rishi Kartaram, Gameworld Finland), we are talking about four different markets,” explains of English in the Nordic territories Lass. “Even though some structures like promotes this influence.” certain retailers and media are PanAnother key element behind the Scandinavian, you are dealing with four success of the Nordic video game languages with four different industry is the plethora of development cultures, and each gaming talent in the region. Although Benelux platform performs differently in has its own share of top studios, each territory. For instance, the including Dutch developer Guerrilla PlayStation brand is extremely big Games (Killzone), the Nordic sector is bursting with high profile developers. IO in Denmark, Nintendo has traditionally been stronger in Interactive (Hitman), Remedy Norway, and Xbox has been Entertainment (Max Payne), EA DICE extremely successful in Sweden. (Mirror’s Edge), Starbreeze (Chronicles “If you want to launch a successful of Riddick), CCP (Eve Online), GRIN (Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter) and product, you need to be active in each market, meaning that you have to run Funcom (Age of Conan), are just a few four campaigns simultaneously. The cost of the region’s biggest studios. of distribution at the same time is also “We like to think that the high status high. The distance from Copenhagen to of the developers in the region stems some places in North Scandinavia is like from the quality they deliver, with going from Copenhagen to Rome – but reliability and transparency in working there are only around 23 million people with publishers,” comments Nordic living there. Game Program communications “However, if you can get it right, manager Jacob Riis. publishers will have access to a very “We also like to think that the classic attractive customer base, with a very Nordic virtues play a part: our good high standard of living.” educational systems, a long tradition of


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MCV 23/01/09 17

TERRIT0RY REPORT: NORDIC AND BENELUX

THE FACTS: NORDIC Population: 25,321,050 Countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faore Islands, Greenland, Åaland Currency: Euro, Icelandic Krona, Norwegian Krone, Swedish Krona, Faroese Krona, Danish Krone (Greenland)

DISTRIBUTORS Entertainment Trading (Denmark) Gateway Distribution (Denmark) Panvision (Finland, Norway, Sweden) Sena (Iceland) MPX.no (Norway) Platekompaniet (Norway) Massemedia (Norway) Game Outlet Europe AB (Sweden) Bergsala (Sweden) SIBA AB (Sweden) ABC Software (Switzerland)

THE FACTS: BENELUX Population: 27,598,666 Countries: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemberg Currency: Euro

DISTRIBUTORS Gameworld B.V. (Netherlands) Atari Benelux Micromedia B.V. (Netherlands) Favour Games (Netherlands) Rigu Sound B.V. (Netherlands) Horelec S.A. (Belgium) CLD Distribution S.A. (Belgium)

THE STATS: BENELUX

THE STATS: NORDIC

SOFTWARE MARKET VALUE:

SOFTWARE MARKET VALUE

2007: e402 millon 2008: e464 million

Source: Screen Digest

 15 per cent rise year-on-year (software value)  11 per cent rise year-on-year (software volume)  19 per cent growth in unit sales for DS, PSP, GBA  80 per cent growth in unit sales for Wii, 360, PS3

HOME CONSOLE INSTALLED-BASE

2007: e468 million 2008: e501 million

Source: Screen Digest

 7 per cent rise year-on-year (software value)  3 per cent rise year-on-year (software volume)  75 per cent growth in unit sales for Wii, 360, PS3  20 per cent growth in unit sales for DS, PSP, GBA

HOME CONSOLE INSTALLED-BASE

Wii – 49 per cent installed base market share

Wii – 38 per cent installed base market share

PS3 – 25 per cent installed base market share

PS3 – 27 per cent installed base market share

360 – 26 per cent installed base market share

360 – 35 per cent installed base market share


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'()'),/-+*) Imagine Publishing Ltd, Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6EZ www.imagine-publishing.co.uk


20 MCV521_final:46 MCV515

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Sponsored by 20 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

PERSONNEL

GAME COO promoted to firm’s Board Sciculna steps up  Beriah gains Hassall  Codemasters grows PR team  Team changes at Eurogamer GAME  TERRY SCICLUNA has been named as executive director. He joined GAME in October 2008 as chief operating officer and has previously worked at Alliance Boots, UniChem and Alliance Pharmancy. GAME Group chairman PETER LEWIS said: “We are delighted to welcome Terry to our board. He is an experienced retailer with a valuable track record of direct involvement in major business integrations. Scicluna said: “I am pleased to join the GAME board at

such an exciting time. I am looking forward to the challenge of improving, still further, the consumer appeal of both brands and delivering integration efficiencies.”

CODEMASTERS  The publisher has appointed two new communications managers: former Zoo Digital PR exec ANDY GRAY and Ubisoft PR exec ADRIAN LAWTON. Gray said: “Codemasters has some great products on the horizon and the opportunity to work on them was simply too good to pass up. This promises to be a very exciting year.” Lawton added: “Codemasters has done a fantastic job of building on its core strengths and expanding successfully into new areas in recent times and I’m thrilled to

be on board at an exciting time for the company.” The publisher’s director of communications RICHARD EDDY said: “I’m proud to have Adrian and Andy, both popular and respected for their expertise, on the central team directing global publicity plans and executing UK activity.” BERIAH  Former publishing director of Oxygen Games KEVIN HASSALL is now heading up production

consultancy Beriah. The company also covers distributed development and project rescue. He said: “I’m looking forward to driving the team forward, and delivering even greater value to our clients.” EUROGAMER  Former In Stock publisher DAVID LILLEY has taken a role with the company, overseeing the Eurogamer Expo. Meanwhile, former editorial director KRISTIAN REED has left his role at Eurogamer.net to go freelance.


21 MCV521_final:43 MCV462

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

ALSO THIS WEEK... BIG BANG MINI P24 SouthPeak puts a neat new twist on the retro shoot-’em-up XBLADES P25 Girl wearing very little kills uglylooking monsters – what’s not to like? CLEVER KIDS Midas takes its ‘edutainment’ franchise onto Nintendo’s Wii

P26

XG BLAST Rising Star Games releases an addictively clever 2D shooter

P27

HOUSE OF THE DEAD Sega attacks Wii-owning horror fans with this slice of grindhouse gore... P20

OUT 27TH FeBRuARy ON NINTENDO DS

SO Many PeTs. SO MuCh Fun.

Tel: 01279 822 822 Email: sales@gem.co.uk

Tel: 020 8664 3456 Email: mail@creativedistribution.co.uk

Tel/Fax: 0121 625 3818 Email: tomm@centresoft.co.uk

Email: sales@trilogy-uk.com

www.mYpeTShOpgame.COm PUBLISHED BY

© TAITO CORPORATION 2007, 2009 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SQUARE ENIX and the SQUARE ENIX logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

DEVELOPED BY


22,23 MCV521_FINAL

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RETAILBIZ: HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL 22 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sega’s gore-drenched prequel to the House of the Dead series shuffles onto Wii next month. Christopher Dring grabs his shotgun… BEGINNING life in arcade rooms back in 1996, the hugely popular House of the Dead series has spawned three arcade sequels, two movies and multiple spin-offs (including the incredible edutainment titles Typing of the Dead, Pinball of the Dead and English of the Dead). The series has a huge following on consoles too, and the latest in the franchise, House of the Dead: Overkill on Wii, is Sega’s most ambitious yet. And the publisher is confident of another hit following the success of last year’s Wii re-release, House of the Dead 2 And 3 Return. “We are really positive about The House of the Dead: Overkill,” says Sega senior product manager Joanne Fawell. “We want to build on the success of House of the Dead 2 and 3, and unlike its predecessor, Overkill has been exclusively developed for Wii and is simply a great light gun game. The artwork and stylisation make the game look amazing – and the new gameplay features, combined with the humorous narrative, create a real in-your-face gaming experience.”

Although Nintendo’s Wii has become almost a new home for light gun games, there has been a slight lack in hardcore, adult software for the platform. This is something Sega plans to rectify with Overkill, which boasts an edgy grindhouse art style and over-the-top graphic violence. BUMP ’N’ GRINDHOUSE

“The Wii is a perfect platform for a light gun-style shooter,” explains Neil McEwan, producer of the title at Headstrong Games. “Also, the kind of fast-paced arcade style Wii excels at perfectly matches the arcade heritage of The House of the Dead. Our team specialises in wringing every last drop of potential from the machine and that influences the quality we can offer over lesser products. “For the genre, I’m pretty certain no-one has attempted the level of gross-out, over-thetop gore that we have with Overkill. As a theme, the 1970s grindhouse cinema style is unique. And

we’ve added to that with a number of gameplay features and tweaks to make it a challenging modern game. However, we really didn’t want to go too far from the series’ heritage. You’ll see plenty of in-jokes and references – and of course the gameplay itself is classic stuff. There’s no way we’d want to mess with the core of the experience.”


22,23 MCV521_FINAL

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RETAILBIZ: HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 23/01/09 23

In The House of the Dead: Overkill players take control of Special Agent G and Detective Washington as they investigate stories of mysterious disappearances in small-town Louisiana. And of course they eventually discover horrific, blood-thirsty zombies in the streets of Bayou City. Along with a story that reveals the origins of The House of the Dead, the game boasts multiple weapons, a cooperative mode, and ‘Slow-mofo time’,

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 13 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: HEADSTRONG GAMES PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3816

“We have a great campaign planned for House of the Dead: Overkill, with lots of hooks to entice the hardcore horror fan and also casual Wii owners who

The artwork and stylisation look amazing. And the gameplay and narrative are really in-your-face. Joanne Fawell, Sega

which allows gamers to take the perfect head shot. But Sega is not only relying on the title’s impressive gameplay and stunning visuals. PUSH OF THE DEAD

The title will be supported by an impressively large-scale, dedicated marketing campaign.

would like adult content for the console,” adds Fawell. “We have some key marketing activities that are being specifically planned around Friday 13th, and also have a pre-awareness TV and sustain press and online activity planned for the product.” As one of the few big adult titles set for Wii, Overkill is sure to be a popular choice among Wii’s hardcore gamer.

TERRIFYING EXTRAS There’s more than just the standard copy of House of the Dead: Overkill landing on February 13th. Sega has revealed details of a Limited Collectors Edition of the game, complete with stylish slipcase and a graphic novel. “House of the Dead Overkill is a prequel to the original series, introducing new characters that follow and eventful narrative,” says Sega senior product manager Joanne Fawell. “The graphic novel adds another layer to two of the main characters as well as showing off the great art style and adult content of the game. It’s a must have for any House of the Dead fan.” Along with the game, consumers can also pick up a special Wii Hand Cannon, which is set to launch alongside the game, courtesy of Big Ben Interactive.

“Big Ben Interactive is pleased to be associated with such an iconic game as The House of the Dead,” group sales director Laurent Honoret told MCV. “We have worked very 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 everywhere.”  For more information on the Hand Cannon, please contact Sue Dawson at Venom on: 01763 272927


24 MCV521_FINAL

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RETAILBIZ: BIG BANG MINI 24 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Combining the joys of 2D shoot-‘em-ups and extravagant firework displays, Big Bang Mini offers an experience that is as intense as it is fun. James Batchelor lights the blue touch paper and stands well back… GETTING HOLD of a near-infinite pile of colourful pyrotechnics is a dream shared by countless gamers and nongamers alike, so Big Bang Mini’s premise will be universally appealing. Given control of a stack of fireworks, players are challenged to rack up points by creating the most impressive fireworks displays ever seen. An icon on the touch screen, the ‘spaceship’ of the game, acts as the launching point for the fireworks, allowing players to position and aim them with the stylus before firing. Destroying targets and enemies with their fireworks will bag them higher points, as will collectible stars that are essential for progressing to the next level. This bizarre combat system allows players to rack up even more impressive scores with the use of tricky combo attacks. “We really want to ignite the DS owners’ passions for new games with a more accessible, quality and fun shooter with a twist,” said SouthPeak’s Sarah Brockhurst. “It’s important to maximise the exposure for Big Bang Mini throughout gaming and lifestyle advertising, but also at retail to allow the consumer to view what a fantastic spectacle with have produced.” THE BIG BANG

There are nine different worlds to walk through, all of which are based on some of the most iconic skylines from around the world. From the towering skyscrapers of Hong Kong and New York, to the more natural beauty of the Nairobi desert and the Arctic tundra, the game features plenty of variety to keep players interested. “Big Bang Mini makes fantastic use of the stylus and is perfect for the Nintendo DS – the game can be played entirely with the touch screen,” said Brockhurst. “Its dazzling art style really shows off the DS’ capabilities. No two worlds are alike which makes it really engaging for the player. Plus there’s award-winning music as well.”

A NEW DIRECTION: SouthPeak has turned the retro shoot-’em-up on its head with Big Bang Mini

Getting hold of a nearinfinite pile of colourful pyrotechnics is a dream shared by gamers and non-gamers alike.

Each level culminates with the chance to create the Final Bouquet, a one-of-akind masterpiece to illuminate the sky. Once players exhaust the singleplayer campaign, they can enjoy Relax mode, which allows them to put on spectacular displays without the perils of enemies, obstacles and time limits. There are also a range of multiplayer opportunities, with Versus mode allowing players to challenge others directly and online leaderboards letting them compare their scores to other people around the world. ON CLOUD NINE

SouthPeak has worked hard to ensure it has a title that reaches a more varied audience, given the broader demographic inherent to the DS. Brockhurst said: “This game will appeal to a wide range of DS owners, including kids and adults alike. With multiple levels and increasing difficulty, there is something for everyone. Anyone who enjoys a good shooter or those retro classics should get out there and check it out. “Retailers can expect exceptional value for money and a brilliant store presence. Wal-Mart in the US has

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 13 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SOUTHPEAK GAMES DEVELOPER: ARKEDO STUDIO PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

recently given the game their thumbs up by confirming a very large order which we’re excited about. “We truly believe that Big Bang Mini will become not only a ‘day one’ success but more importantly, an evergreen back catalogue title.” Marketing is focused around a mainstream online presence, supported with strong trade activity. The online campaign is due to begin a few days before the game’s release and will run for approximately three weeks. Advertising on Miniclip and Pocket Gamer will be complemented by a competition with plenty of DS units and copies of Big Bang Mini up for grabs. SouthPeak is also working with retailers to secure newsletter features, format bays shelves and new release gondolas. A demo will be made available through the Nintendo Channel on Wii two weeks before release.


25 MCV521_FINAL

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RETAILBIZ: X-BLADES WWW.MCVUK.COM

Join Ayumi as she scours the realm for an artifact that will bring her power and glory in South Peak’s biggest adventure game so far, X-Blades. James Batchelor admires her weapons…

MCV 23/01/09 25

PROVING the company is pulling no punches on its journey to becoming a strong, established publisher, SouthPeak Games’ latest title bears a quality rarely seen from releases by smaller publishers. X-Blades looks even better than anything the publisher has released so far. This action adventure puts players in control of Ayumi, a wily relic hunter who earns a living by recovering artefacts from temples and dungeons around the world and sells them for profit. Her latest target is different. Hidden away by a fearful tyrant in ancient times, legend tells of a magical orb that inspires a mixture of curiosity and fear from anyone who learns about it. The everambitious Ayumi sets out to claim this orb for herself, hoping to use its power to gain fame and fortune. “X-Blades is a third-person hack-nslash with a daring new heroine in an eye-catching outfit,” said SouthPeak’s Sarah Brockhurst. “This game is instantly accessible and extremely playable. We’re expecting it to be a real crowd pleaser – particularly with Ayumi, our sword-wielding, bounty hunting babe, in the lead role.”

FEAST FOR THE EYES: X-Blades visuals are a treat, ensuring the levels and enemies look just as gorgeous as the deadly Ayumi herself

The gameplay focuses on a rapid, intense combat. To battle the other fortune-seekers and hordes of monsters guarding the artefacts she encounters, Ayumi is equipped with a range of weapons – not least her two gunblades: a pair of swords that double as pistols. X-Blades incorporates three methods of fighting, merging them seamlessly

This game is a must-have purchase for any 12 to 20 year-old male gamer. Ayumi will not disappoint. Sarah Brockhurst, SouthPeak Games together to maintain the pace of every battle. Players will be able to unleash a combination of melee, gun-based and magic attacks on their enemies, resulting in a game packed with spectacular skirmishes.

mapped to a single button, enabling players to switch styles and tactics on the fly, adapting to any situation. “The game is immediately engrossing and is a real pick-up-and-play title that will satisfy gamers needs,” said Brockhust. “It has some very cool acrobatics during special attacks, with cinematic effects. The gameplay is relentless, landscape and environments epic, and features bosses that will test all the player’s skill to finish them off.” X-Blades will be promoted with a print and online campaign across a range of men’s lifestyle media, such as Nuts and FHM. SouthPeak is also working to arrange some guest appearances from Ayumi at key retail outlets and shopping centres. Brockhurst added: “This game is a must for any 12 to 20 year-old male. Ayumi will not disappoint.”

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 20

Fortunately, this seemingly complex combat system is perfectly accessible, increasing X-Blades’ appeal to less experienced gamers, while still boasting a level of depth that will satisfy hardcore consumers. Each type of attack is

FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: SOUTHPEAK GAMES DEVELOPER: GAIJIN ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


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RETAILBIZ: CLEVER KIDS 26 MCV 23/01/09

Midas’ successful DS series is set to educate Wii gamers next month. Christopher Dring earns himself a lesson in gaming…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

FAST BECOMING Midas’ flagship franchise, the Clever Kids series has already improved the minds of young DS owners up and down the country. Pony Land and Dino Land were big hits for the publisher, as were the DS editions of Farmyard Fun and Pirates. And now the firm is set to educate Wii gamers too, with a duo of new editions to the series. “In mid-February Midas will be releasing Clever Kids: Pirates and Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun on the Nintendo Wii,” explains Midas’ head of sales Sam Collins. “This marks a debut for Clever Kids on the format. “To date we have released four Clever Kids titles on the Nintendo DS and we are absolutely delighted with their performance. Being the first curriculuminspired games on the Nintendo DS gave us a unique position in the market and the response from the media, buyers and consumers alike has been extremely positive.”

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 20 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: MIDAS DEVELOPER: GAMERHOLIX PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01376 555 300

“We have been brand building Clever Kids for over 12 months now and the move to Nintendo Wii will allow us to re-invigorate this process. “Our PR activity is crucial to getting the word out to the target audience. Clever Kids has had some great exposure in the Clever Kids has enjoyed national and local press some great exposure in the and this will be a focal national and local press – and point for us. This will also this will be a focal point. extend into the publications distributed in shopping Sam Collins, Midas centres and supermarkets. whilst ensuring their playtime is IN THE ZONE productive. “A blend of consumer testing, reviews, “Now, with Clever Kids coming to competitions and advertising are all in the Wii, children and their parents can the marketing plan, as is a movement work together on the family console to towards activity on websites targeted at learn all about great subjects in a fun mums and dads as they have proven to and interactive way.” FARMYARD FROLICS be the one of the most loyal supporters Family gaming was highlighted as the The Clever Kids series aims to of the Clever Kids range. driving force behind last year’s immense encourage young children to learn by “Finally the dedicated website for market growth, so Midas understandably interacting with and exploring their Clever Kids, cleverkidszone.com is has high expectations for the Clever favourite subjects. The game features going through a major overhaul to keep Kids in 2009. the robot Sprocket, who will help the members coming back for more,” “Clever Kids’ success has shown players to improve memory, dexterity Collins concludes. there is a real demand for this unique and attention span. “This website has become something blend of education and gaming,” adds In Farmyard Fun gamers will join of a focal point for children and parents Collins. “The Wii has not seen anything farmer Sprocket and his herd of animals where they can come, for free, to get like Clever Kids before and if we can as they learn about life on a farm some Clever Kids goodies and also communicate this, there is no reason through a series of activities, including download extra puzzles, colouring-in why the Wii versions won’t match or painting, jigsaw puzzles, quizzies, spot pages and educational activities.” even eclipse the success on DS.

CLEVER STUFF: Midas is looking to teach kids a thing or two with Pirates and Farmyard Fun

the difference and animal pairs. And in Pirates children can learn pirate code, identify famous pirates and their flags and learn what pirates ate. “Given that the target audience is five to ten-year olds we have taken great care to ensure the content is both stimulating and interesting whilst challenging and rewarding the player,” continues Collins. “Our consumer feedback has been fascinating, with a multitude of parents praising Midas for helping them to meet their children’s demand for video games


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RETAILBIZ: XG BLAST WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 23/01/09 27

Rising Star Games breathes life into a genre from the past, bringing the DS one of its most energetic releases to date. Will Freeman tackles the frantic arcade shoot-‘em-up… IF ANY GENRE has experienced highs and lows, it’s the 2D shooter. Space Invaders’ association with Japanese coin shortages is established gaming legend, and its regular slot on market stall Tshirt affirms its place as overused cultural icon. When gaming meant lurking in smoky arcades, the shoot-‘em-up held a place now occupied by the FPS, pulling in cash as one of the industry’s dominant forms. Then, with the dawn of 3D renowned stalwart series like Gradius, R-Type and Raiden were suddenly deemed a niche curiosity, confined to limited and budget releases in the PAL territories. techni-coloured ‘twitch’ action Recently though, with the success of increasingly uncommon in the age of retro-inspired console downloads, and in protracted gameplay models. the wake still rippling after the triumph XG Blast! places players in the of the Geometry Wars titles, the shooter, classic scenario where a lone star or ‘shmup’, is back in the minds of the fighter with the weight of the world’s game buying public. We will be accompanying our All that makes it the extensive PR campaign with perfect time for the debut of Rising Star Games’ print and online advertising, arena shooter, XG Blast!, supporting the product. a DS title that brings the Tyrone Walcott, refined gameplay of the Rising Star Games 2D sci-fi blaster to a platform woefully under-supported by future on its cockpit has to face off the genre despite the format’s popularity against an unrelenting alien onslaught. with those eager to capture rose-tinted It is also an opportunity for the DS to memories of their gaming past. flex its surprising reserve of technical Like any worthy shooter, XG Blast! muscle. delicately treads the line between casual In the East, critically acclaimed and hardcore, providing a shooters like Ketsui DS have made simple, immediate evident how capable Nintendo’s experience that handheld is of moving sprites fast and in newcomers will vast numbers, but Rising Star Games’ warm to, without release will stand out as something denying the thirst special in Europe. The visuals may be of those who yearn firmly routed in two dimensional space, for the kind of intense, but the pace and fluidity of the action BACK TO THE FUTURE

marks the game out as one of the DS’ quickest and slickest in recent months. “Once you’ve immersed yourself in XG Blast! you’ll appreciate how good it is,” said Tyrone Walcott, product marketing assistant with Rising Star Games. “Casual and skilful gamers alike need to experience it for themselves. We will be accompanying our extensive PR campaign with print and online advertising and supporting the product with a variety of marketing initiatives with a competitive price point. The development team worked hard to get the mechanics right.” With multiple control methods and range of excessive weaponry, this

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 28 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: NEXT WAVE TEAM PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242

compact, hyperactive contribution to a genre synonymous with overwhelming the senses has all the right attributes to satisfy devotees of weaving through gaudy crowds of otherworldly foes. As Geometry Wars’ DS outing fades into distant memory, XG Blast! releases onto shelves generally lacking in many serious rivals, giving it every chance of success with the proudly hardcore gamers and curious casual crowd.

STICKING IT TO TRADITION Tradition dictates there’s only one way to really play a 2D shooter, and that’s with a hefty arcade stick, or at least the analogue inputs of a game pad. XG Blast! however, does a successful job of circumnavigating the DS’ lack of any such protrusions by offering a capable input set-up.

While the facia buttons replace one of the two sticks typically needed in the arena-shooter subgenre, the stylus stands in for the other, giving players every chance of keeping up with the action in what might otherwise be a rather fast-paced, unrewarding experience.


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 28 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

The Chase brings love to retail Atari’s love-’em-up The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity polishes off January, while February brings a wealth of high quality titles, including Bionic Commando, Destroy All Humans, F.E.A.R 2 and the European debut of Chrono Trigger... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

DS DS PC

Action Self-Improvement Simulation

Atari Zoo Digital Just Flight

0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 0845 234 4242

Advantage Gem Mastertronic

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

RTS RPG Action/Adventure Action Platformer RPG Music Children's Kids RPG RPG Action/Platform Mystery Strategy Puzzle RPG Party Game XG! Blast

THQ V.2 Play 505 Games Konami Konami Square Enix Disney Interactive 505 Games Blast Konami Konami Blast Nintendo Nintendo Atari Konami 505 Games Rising Star Games

0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9590 08452 344242 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 020 8987 5730 0121 506 9585 01582 433700

Advantage Centresoft Advantage Open Open Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Koch Koch Advantage Open Advantage Mastertronic

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

Action Action Action Action Action Action Action/Adventure Horror Sports Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Mini Game Action Petz Petz Petz Mini Game Adventure Racing Farming Sports

D3Publisher South Peak Capcom Disney Interactive THQ THQ Atari Warner Games Activision Blizzard V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play V.2 Play Activision Blizzard Nintendo Ubisoft Ubisoft Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard Atari Rising Star Games Activision Blizzard

0121 625 3388 020 8309 3600 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 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 506 958 01582 433700 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Pinnacle Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Trilogy Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Mastertronic Centresoft

PS3 / XBOX 360 DS DS PC

Action Military Air Combat Action Action

THQ Ghostlight V.2 Play Kalypso Media

0121 506 9585 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585

Advantage Open Centresoft Advantage

JANUARY 30th The Chase: Felix Meets Felicity 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 HSM3: Senior Year Dance + Dance Mat (Special Ed) 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 The Times Crossword Challenge Time Hollow We Cheer XG Blast!

FEBRUARY 13th Ben 10: Alien Force Big Bang Mini Bionic Commando Bolt Deadly Creatures Destory All Humans: Path Of The Furon Eternal Sonata F.E.A.R 2 Project Origin Little League World Series Baseball 2008 Mind Your Language: Learn English Mind Your Language: Learn French Mind Your Language: Learn German Mind Your Language: Learn Japanese Mind Your Language: Learn Spanish Monkey Mischief 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 Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon World Championship Sports

FEBRUARY 20th 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand Allied Ace Pilots B Team: Metal Cartoon Squad Ceville

MUSTSTOCK .....50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND Released: February 6th Format: Xbox 360/PS3 Publisher: THQ Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

Fiddy’s fans will be flocking to stores to pick up his latest video game outing, in which the rapper takes on Middle Eastern crime lords. Robbed of his payment for a concert – a skull encrusted with diamonds – players guide 50 Cent on a journey of revenge.

MUSTSTOCK .......................BIONIC COMMANDO Released: February 13th Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Capcom Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Capcom’s classic franchise returns after more than 20 years. Expect this one to catch the eye of many a veteran gamer, while simultaneously enticing newcomers to the series, inviting them into the world of bionically-enhanced soldiers and weapons.


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Creativity

at your fingertips SDK free to use. Download now. Visit our new microsite http: //developer.ambx.com

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The new and unique SDK gives game developers the power to realise a totally immersive experience. With the amBX range of APIs, tools, applications, guidelines, dedicated website and our ďŹ rst class support forum, it has never been easier to integrate amBX creatively into your software.


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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 30 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

MARIO KART FORMAT: Wii

2

3

WII FIT Wii

3

RE

LEFT 4 DEAD 360

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO NINTENDO EA

4

5

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR PS3

5

13

FIFA 09 360

6

9

MIRROR’S EDGE 360

7

8

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA SEGA

8

10

100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION DS

NINTENDO

9

2

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

10

17

FIFA 09 PS3

11

RE

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR BUNDLE 360

12

18

FAR CRY 2 360

13

RE

MARIO KART DS DS

14

RE

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360

15

RE

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR 360

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF LICH KING PC

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

16

RE

17

RE

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT NINTENDO EA

SONY

18

RE

TOO HUMAN 360

19

6

MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES Wii

SEGA

20

RE

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD PS3

EIDOS

MICROSOFT

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.

RE-ENTRIES SHAKE UP THE INDEPENDENT CHARTS WHILE MARIO KART Wii and Wii Fit hold on to the top two positions of this week’s Indie Charts, the rest of the Top 20 sees a large number of significant shifts thanks to a wave of re-entries taking over the lower half of the charts. The most impressive is the return of Left 4 Dead for Xbox 360. The game leaps from obscurity to the dizzy heights of No.3, cutting Nintendo’s dominant trio down to two by knocking Wii Play down to No.9. Further down, the Guitar Hero: World Tour bundle re-enters the chart at No.11, marking the start of an almost consecutive

“Left 4 Dead’s impressive return sees it leap from obscurity to the dizzy height of No.3, cutting Nintendo’s dominant trio down to two.” run of returning titles all the way down to No.20, including Call Of Duty 4, World Of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King, and LittleBigPlanet. These re-entries vary in terms of genre, format and original release date, with Mario Kart DS and Too Human both released before Q4 2008, suggesting that a range of price promotions in the post-Christmas sales can be attributed to their return. Elsewhere in the chart, a boost in sales sees the likes of FIFA 09, Mirror’s Edge and Far Cry 2 rise up, with two versions FIFA securing a place each in the Top 10 at No.5 and No.10. As a result of all these shifts in position, Mario & Sonic becomes the biggest casualty this week, dropping from No.6 to No.19. james.batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

week’s Frontline interviewee is Rob Grassham FROM THE FRONTLINE This from Leeds-based indie 360 games… How has 2008 been for your business? Steady but quiet when compared with previous years. To be honest, I think it was the price cutting and discounting at other retailers that didn’t help. Customers were hunting around, but if they weren’t trading in, they were going to supermarkets. We manage to keep hold of a number of loyal customers because we’re offering a better trade-in price than the mainstreams. What are your hopes for 2009? To keep trading, basically. Obviously, what with everything going on, there are a lot of stores in trouble. We’ve seen it with companies such as Zavvi

and Woolworths. The impression I get at the moment is that certain mergers and closures mean we’re able to offer competitive trading prices in order to draw in customers. Have you noticed a change in your customers? Yeah, we’ve probably lost a lot of the customers that were coming in off the street. A lot of passing trade seems to have gone, and as far as I’m aware, it hasn’t gone to GAME or GameStation – it’s gone to supermarkets. The regular customers and the trade-in customers still come, but everyone else seems to have become more aware of shopping around and checking prices before they commit to a purchase.

What sets your store apart from the rest? We stock all formats. We’re still stocking the likes of PSone, SNES, GameCube, and N64. As far as I’m concerned, GameStation exists in name only now and it seems to have stopped stocking older formats. I heard they chucked a load of retro stock and I don’t understand why. There’s still demand for PSone – not everyone can afford PS3 or Xbox 360. What’s been selling well for you at the moment? PS3 software has picked up recently, Wii software’s still selling well, but Xbox 360 is our strongest one, thanks to the number of consoles out there.

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

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


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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 23/01/09 31 Sponsored by

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A sporty Wii bundle including the console, Wii Sports, Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games, Carnival Games: Mini-Golf and a sports accessories pack costs £249.

For £199.99, trigger-happy consumers can pick up a Premium Xbox 360, which comes bundled with Gears Of War 1 & 2, an extra controller and Far Cry 2.

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Nintendo’s DS Lite White, bundled with the original Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training and Deal Or No Deal: The Banker Is Back, is only £134.49.

As Street Fighter IV approaches, Mad Catz is set to fulfil its fanbase’s needs with the fully licensed range of Street Fighter IV controllers. While veterans will be seeking the latest in arcade joysticks, console gamers may be seeking a more traditional controller better suited to their chosen format. The official Street Fighter IV FightPad will be available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, boasting a more retro control

layout. It features an enlarged circular eight-way D-pad and arcade-style six-button configuration, harking back to the days of classic 2D Street Fighter titles. The integrated D-pad switch enables gamers to switch to analog sticks as they see fit. The FightPad will be available with a range of official artwork featuring some of the more iconic Street Fighter characters. Mad Catz: 01908 336538


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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 32 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3 4 5 2 6 9 7 8 10

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

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

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

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

1

FORMAT: WII

2

2

3

NEW

LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST 360, PS3, PC

EA

4

1

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

EA

5

5

WII PLAY Wii

6

3

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

7

7

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

8

6

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

[4]

TITLE

FIFA ‘09

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 STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS MANHUNT 2 ROCKSTAR CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII SQUARE ENIX MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX ROCKSTAR

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

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

EA

SEGA

PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9

11

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

10

13

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO BETHESDA

2K PLAY

11

14

FALLOUT 3 PS3, 360, PC

12

8

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

13

10

MARIO KART WII Wii

14

9

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

15

18

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

16

16

GUITAR HERO III: LEGENDS

NINTENDO LUCASARTS WARNER BROS.

360, PS3, Wii, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

17

21

COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

18

33

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

19

15

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

20

12

FAR CRY 2 PC, PS3, 360

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[5]

PUBLISHER

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

PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

LAST WEEK

[3]

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

WII FIT

THIS WEEK

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

1 2 4 4 5 6 9 8 10 7

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

FIFA 09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION NINTENDO 42 ALL-TIME CLASSICS NINTENDO BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NINTENDO NINTENDOGS: LABRADOR & FRIENDS NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA IMAGINE: TEACHER UBISOFT

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

ROCKSTAR MICROSOFT UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR SPORE EA LEFT 4 DEAD EA WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

3 2 4 5 11 7 6 8 10

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA


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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 23/01/09 33

[ANALYSIS]

According to ChartTrack, the game was only 1,262

WII FIT ONCE again steps up to No.1 in the All

unit sales ahead of Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty:

Formats chart this week.

WEEK ENDING 17/01/09

World at War which, despite a slight drop in sales (18

It’s the fifth time Nintendo’s fitness title has reached the top of the weekly sales pile, but it’s a position the game has so far never managed to hold on to for longer than one week.

per cent), still holds on to second place. Last week’s ruler, FIFA 09, meanwhile slips to fourth, with sales down 35 per cent after a

Nevertheless, continued strong sales and ample

powerhouse period at the top.

stock kept this one ringing the tills last weekend; the title saw an 18 per cent jump in sales.

Highest New Entry

21

24

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

22

22

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

Highest Top 40 Climber KONAMI THQ

23

19

SONIC UNLEASHED 360, Wii, PS3, PS2

SEGA

24

30

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC

SEGA

25

28

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

26

29

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3

27

23

MIRROR’S EDGE PS3, 360, PC

28

25

SHAUN WHITE SNOWBOARDING

29

RE

HALO 3 360

30

34

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS

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

MICROSOFT NINTENDO

32

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

36

MARIO KART DS DS

33

27

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

34

17

100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION DS

35

35

WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009

36

37

LEFT 4 DEAD 360, PS3, PC

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO

NINTENDO DS, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360

THQ EA

37

39

MIDNIGHT CLUB: LOS ANGELES 360, PS3

38

20

PRINCE OF PERSIA 360, PS3, PC

39

RE

RESISTANCE 2 PS3

40

31

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

ROCKSTAR UBISOFT SONY EA

1

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST LITTLEBIGPLANET FIFA ‘09 FALLOUT 3 RESISTANCE 2 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER GRAND THEFT AUTO IV CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE FAR CRY 2

NEW

4 2 5 8 3 12 10 7

DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

TITLE

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA SONY EA BETHESDA SONY EA ROCKSTAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18

THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA THE SIMS 2: FREETIME EA THE SIMS 2: SEASONS EA WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: BON VOYAGE EA THE SIMS 2: OPEN FOR BUSINESS EA THE SIMS 2: PETS EA THE SIMS 2: UNIVERSITY EA AMAZING ADVENTURES OF LOST TOMB POPCAP

DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER

1

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR LEGO BATMAN FAMILY SKI RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY SONIC UNLEASHED TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 2009

2 3 5 8 17 4 10 6 9

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

1 2 4 5 3 8 9 12 6 10

PUBLISHER

SONY

31

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

NINTENDO

32

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARNER BROS. NAMCO BANDAI UBISOFT NINTENDO SEGA EA

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

LORD OF THE RINGS: CONQUEST

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR GEARS OF WAR 2 FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER QUANTUM OF SOLACE GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR FAR CRY 2 LEFT 4 DEAD

1 2 4 9 3 7 6 5 10

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

L FORMATS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: PANDEMIC PUBLISHER: EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA

[SOURCE]

PS3

Michael French


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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

Packaging

Publishing

One integrated solution Flyers

Brochures

Trade PR

Media Buying

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

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21

DISTRIBUTION

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

DISTRIBUTION

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

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


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY JANUARY 30th

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. FRIDAY FEBRUARY 6th

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. FRIDAY MARCH 27th

TERRITORY REPORT: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Australia is regularly in the gaming press, with many of the biggest adult games having to be edited before they can be released down under due to the lack of an 18 certificate. MCV investigates the state of the Australian and New Zealand video game markets, speaking to suppliers, key industry personnel and analysts. FRIDAY APRIL 3rd

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL The digital game sector has never been more popular. 2008 saw the release of award winning downloadable titles such as Braid and Lost Winds, while the beginning of 2009 features highly anticipated DLC such as Fallout 3 and GTA IV expansion packs. MCV takes a closer look at this ever-expanding sector.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

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


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

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 ..........................................careers@fusegames.com Oxygen ....................................................+44 (0) 1933 446437 Realtime Worlds.......................................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Rebellion .................................................+44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games...................................jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio.......................................+44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS bluegfx ....................................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Epic Games ....................................................+1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle ...............................................00 (1) 925 417 1785 Natural Motion ..........................................+44 (0)1865 250575

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

£550 PER MONTH TOP 4 BUTTON PLUS EMAIL NEWSFLASH Size: 140x120 pixels File type: Static jpeg or animated gif

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio ..................................+44 (0) 151 236 9992 Absolute Quality .......................................+44 (0)141 220 5600 Air Studios ...............................................+44 (0) 207 794 0660 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 jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

DISTRIBUTION

For further online advertising information please contact

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

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

Feb ‘08 404,964 242,537 163,712

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

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


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

Insider’s | Guide

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

In this week’s Insider’s Guide, MCV speaks to Babel Media’s sales and marketing director Keith Russell…

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

Could you tell us about your services? We are a global service provider for QA, localisation, audio and print – basically all the services a publisher needs to get the game finished, localised through submission and onto the shelves. With offices in Europe, North America, India and soon Japan, we cover all markets, all languages and all platforms, including PC, console, handheld and mobile. Tell us something we didn’t know about Babel. We are part of the Quattro group, which is a $100m company that has expertise in many areas of outsourcing, so we are able to call on the skills and the resources of our ‘big brother’ to help us grow. However, we still remain a company run by games people for games people.

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

Any exciting developments happening at your company? Now that we are part of the Quattro group we are investing in development services like art production and platform conversion, plus live services including customer support and hosting online games. What are your 2009 hopes? I hope that publishers focus on cutting costs not quality. It is easy to do a knee jerk reaction to the credit crunch and close studios, but this affects your top line. What publishers need to do is get content out cost effectively. Effective outsourcing with a partner that is willing to share in the risk is the way to go – too many outsource ‘newbies’ take clients’ money then run when they screw up. Publishers should focus on companies with a good track record that will be here for the long run.


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN

ONLINE PRESENCE

For further online advertising information please contact

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com

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

LOCALISATION

DISC REPAIR

We’ll make sure your disc repair is up to scratch With TDR, you’ve a tried and tested way to increase your disc repair business and generate extra turnover and profit as a result. Call or visit our website to Venmill Buffer find out more. from £1595

01202 489 500

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

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

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

STORE FITTINGS

DISC REPAIR

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

Eco Smart

Entry Level Repair System

Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers Eco Master

50 disc Automatic Repair System

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

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

High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System

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


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Industry Pub Quiz to the PC Retail Awards, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

JANUARY TOY FAIR Wednesday, January 28th - 31st ExCel, London, UK www.toyfair.co.uk

FEBRUARY 2009 D.I.C.E. SUMMIT Wednesday, February 18th - 20th Las Vegas, USA www.dicesummit.org

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 katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk GDC 09 Monday, March 23rdFriday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.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.

APRIL MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, April 10th Monday, April 13th Stoneleigh Park, Southampton www.mfestival.com.

JUNE E3 Tuesday, June 2ndThursday, June 4th LA Convention Centre, LA www.e3expo.com GAMEHORIZON CONFERENCE Thursday, June 23rd-24th The Sage, Newcastle, UK www.gamehorizonconference.com

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


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 40 MCV 23/01/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution AUSTRALIA

CYPRUS

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

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

COMGAME 576 LTD 1042 Budapest, Arpad UT 112, Hungary

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA GOODTONES AFA INTERACTIVE

GREAT GAMES LTD

66 Hughes Street, Mile End,

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

South Australia 5031

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

Tel: +61 8823 41355

tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

Tel: +36 1 369 2686

45 rue Delizy,

Fax: +36 1 272 0109

93692 PANTIN Cedex

Email: bzsolt@576.hu

France

Web: www.576.hu

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

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

DENMARK

GERMANY

INDIA TM

THQ AUSTRALIA, MILESTONE INTERACTIVE

NEW ZEALAND & ASIA. Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd, Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004

Stenholm 1, 9400,

Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com

Norresundby, Denmark

Tel: +6139573.9203

Phone: +45 70277640 Fax: +45 70277650 email: sales@entertainment-trading.com

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

SOFTWARE LIMITED

ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS

Web www.entertainment-trading.com

DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG

Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,

Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303

Cardinal Gracious Road,

Hamburg, Germany

Chakala, Andheri East,

Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0

Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.

Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10

Tel: +91 22 28203319

email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

Fax: +91 22 28203334

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

AUSTRIA Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS

BELGIUM

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

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

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

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

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

BENELUX ESTONIA

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

ISRAEL

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

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

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

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

GREECE

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

Centric ...............................................................Athens

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

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

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

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

Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

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

FINLAND GAMEWORLD

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

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

NETHERLANDS

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

Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838

HUNGARY

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

Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

Guide

MCV 23/01/09 41

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...

NEW ZEALAND

RUSSIA

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

NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI

DREAMGEAR, LLC

INTERACTIVE

20001 S. Western Ave.

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

Torrance, CA 90501

Barcelona, Spain,

Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577

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

AKELLA

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

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

12/1 Bolshaya Novodmitrovskaya st.,

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Contact: Moris Mirzadeh

127015, Moscow, Russia

www.planetadeagostini.net

Email: moris@dreamgear.net

Phone: +7 (495) 363-4612

POLAND

Fax: +7 (495) 363-4615

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

http://en.akella.com

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo

Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw, Poland

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

Email: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl

SOUTH AFRICA

Tel: +48 71 341 76 95

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

Fax: +48 71 343 98 96

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

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

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St.

SWEDEN

#2 North Hills, CA. 91343

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

Tel: +1 818 920 9393

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

info@usgamesdist.com

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

www.usgamesdist.com

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

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

TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul

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

Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

PLUTO GAMES

Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

UNITED STATES

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

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

BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI

Tel: 1-917-627-3000

INTERACTIVE

FRIENDWARE

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,

Marques de Monteagudo 18,

08034, Barcelona,

28028 Madrid, Spain`

Spain,

email: juan.bustamante@friendware.es

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

www.friendware.es

NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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

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PIC OF THE WEEK 1C’s Peter King a hypnotic pickpocket? Stranger things have happened. Here we have photographic evidence of his mesmeric abilities – and callous gold lust. And if you think this is bad, you should see him in meetings with retailers. A sick part of you has to admire it.

OFF THE RECORD

WHAT WERE THEY

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

SAUCY DEVIL



This week, 1C casts its spell, 505’s Rob Burman meets his match and Gamespot get down and funky. Elsewhere, we take a behind-the-scenes look at Sega’s latest launch and Konami’s Peter Stone tells all about his career...

It’s amazing the pictures that are uncovered when we ask you lot for your best old snaps. Here we have former Zoo and Brash man – and industry vet – Adam Pritchard making sure he gets his sauce during World Cup 2006 in Germany. It’s not so much Adam’s rampant love for condiments that troubles us, as the ‘ketchup udder’ he’s pulling on. Anyone hungry?

No.8: Charlie’s Angels YEAR: 2003 FORMAT: PS2, GameCube What’s not to like about Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu shaking their pert posteriors around a flimsy crime-based plotline? Well, this stinker of a game adaptation, as it goes. The title has a rating of 23 on Metacritic – one of he lowest ever on the site. Gamespot called it: ‘A horrific display of ineptitude.’ And who are we to argue. It was so bad, it almost blemished the unsurpassed allure of Ms. Liu in MCV’s eyes. Almost.


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MCV 23/01/09 45

PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK 

BOOGIE ON DOWN Gamespot’s Guy Cocker sent in this image from last year into us – showing the ‘delirious’ reaction of the CNET-owned office to a man dressed as a fluffy pink thing from EA’s Boogie. Which, as you can guess, was typically blase: Pink thing: “Check me out guys! Get on up! Get on down!” Background journos: “Yep. Alright mate. Two sugars.”

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS A pub, a few ales, minute attention to detail and football. Apologies for relying a little too heavily on Men Are From Mars divisive logic, but if you’re a bloke, that sentence probably red like a Nigella recipe for ‘a heavenly afterlife’. Luckily, Sega and Sports Interactive offered this celestial mix-up here on Earth last week, as it launched football MMO FM Live in a Moorgate pub. Industry faces included OXM’s Ben Talbot, CVG’s Mike Jackson and Sega’s/SI’s James Schall and Miles Jacobson.



D A E R ALL ABOUT IT newspapers When will the national d stop get a grip on games – an this s talking nonsense? Here’ r… de week’s worst offen

mes, “Cheap food... video ga ols... lack of fitness in scho die Our kids are going to ey th much sooner than 15 should – maybe ten to years earlier.”

ight in The Voice, Ex-footballer Ian Wr 19/01/09

LOOKY HERE Here we have 505 Games man Rob Burnam, snapped in Russia by his publishing pals, one of whom (who shall remain nameless) sees an uncanny resemblance between Rob and the image of Tsar Nikolay XV behind him. We can’t see it, personally. But with those eyes on show, we think he’s closer to Damian from The Omen. So we’re going to be extra nice to him from now on. What a smashingly handsome lad he is.


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Readers’

lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

I do quite a lot of travelling to weird and wonderful places. In recent months I’ve been camelriding in the Jordanian desert and dog-sledding in Canada. Two types of environmentallyfriendly transport in different extremes of weather. I’m also a bit of a history nerd and spend as much time as I can studying. I’ve written two books about the history of London and I’m slowly writing a third. I hope to get them published one day, although that might have to wait until I retire. It keeps me out of mischief. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Games need to be extremely simple for me. Apart from those I’ve personally been involved in (such as Barbarian, Pro Evolution and Metal Gear Solid) it would have to be something very basic of the likes of Mario or Tetris. Film and album? Oh, too many to choose from… Let’s say all-time favourite movie is The Long Good Friday. All-time favourite album would have to be Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys and current most-played is Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid.

In our 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 Konami’s UK General Manager, Peter Stone…

WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?

WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? This year I celebrate my 25th anniversary as a games publisher. My first release was the original game of the movie The Evil Dead on C64. Richard Leinfellner, who later went on to become someone important in development at EA and is now one of the heads of Babel Media, did the programming and I drew out the graphics on graph paper - those were the days! It was complete rubbish but it got us started in the publishing business as Palace Software. We learnt by our mistakes and went on to bigger and better things. And amazingly we’re still here in the games business twenty five years later. WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? I once witnessed an hilarious encounter between John Cleese and a lady who was working for me. Cleese wasn’t intentionally trying to be funny but the comedy of errors developed into a moment straight out of Fawlty Towers.

My first love was rock music and so my earliest gods were all musicians, mostly long forgotten other than by retro nerds. I managed to turn my passion into a wage-earning job and amongst others my early business inspirations were Chris Blackwell (founder of Island Records) and Richard Branson at Virgin who I was fortunate to work for during nine years in the ‘70s and ‘80s. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’?

“My first published release was the original game of The Evil De ad movie on Commodore 64. It was rubb ish.”

The ‘good old days’ began many years ago when I started my first job selling records, and lasted all the way up until yesterday. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? It was most likely caused by Michael Rotchell (now at Ubisoft) who has a mischievous sense of humour that can cause anarchy to break out all around him while quietly sitting

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back, appearing sweet and innocent and with a straight face. It’s also pretty amusing sitting next to Gary Williams of Mastertronic at an Arsenal match at the Emirates Stadium. He gets ever angrier, louder, and more red in the face as the match goes on.

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