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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday February 19 2010 £3.25

T UES DAY

9 TH

M AR CH

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D O Y O U H A V E T H E C O U R A G E T O FA C E Y O U R D E S T I N Y ?

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 575 Friday February 19 2010 £3.25

WITH THIS

05 AvP order boom

ISSUE

New shooter has become the most pre-ordered Sega title of all time

In-depth guide to Nintendo’s new DSi XL

13 A bright Spark Square Enix’s VP of brand Larry Sparks discusses the launch of Final Fantasy XIII

17 Press Gang Future, Gamespot, IGN and others sound off on the future of games media

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

WHSmith completes video games retreat Games offer stripped out of High Street giant  Buyer switches roles to online sales by Christopher Dring WHSMITH HAS finally pulled out of games retail. The chain confirmed to publisher product managers this week that games buyer Graham Pert has moved to another area in the business, now looking after online. Ditching games comes after years spent battling skilful rivals

Our withdrawal from the games market is a natural step in our strategy to focus on core categories. WHSmith spokesperson

in entertainment. Games have been a staple of WHS’ range for 30 years – it arguably pioneered selling them on the High Street – but in recent times market share dropped to single digits. The chain first confirmed to MCV a year ago that it would

JOLY TO HOST MCV AWARDS Hello! Dom Joly, Trigger Happy creator, top prankster and all round funny man will be hosting this year’s MCV Awards at The Brewery on the evening of April 22nd – and there’ll be a special prize for the first champion of originality to shout his catchphrase. The one he hasn’t used for about 83 years. We’ve checked with his ‘people’ and, honestly, he bloody loves it.

Games key in new HMV ‘superstore’

reduce its games range as part of a product overhaul. Since then it constricted games to just over 100 stores. WHSmith has over 550 stores nationwide, but has struggled to compete with music downloads, while its games offer suffered following the collapse of EUK and increased competition from the likes of GAME and HMV.

by Christopher Dring

Despite once boasting huge market share, WHSmith is out of games

“Our withdrawal from the CD and games market is a natural step in the implementation of our strategy to reduce our presence in entertainment and focus instead on our core categories,” a WHSmith

spokesperson told MCV. “We have always said that we intend to provide a convenience offer in this category and this continues to be our plan. Following these changes, we will continue to offer a range of DVDs in over 340 WHSmith stores. We only stocked music and multimedia in 103 stores last Christmas.”

WHSmith will now focus on core products like magazines and stationery – but it will continue to stock a range of video game point cards and iTunes gift vouchers. The WHS-branded entertainment website run by The Hut Group at whsmithentertainment.co.uk will also continue to operate.

WHSMITH’S loss could be HMV’s gain: the entertainment specialist has launched a new superstore concept this week. A new outlet in Newcastle features HMV’s games, movie and music ranges, an array of books from sister retailer Waterstones, plus concessions. Games claim 20 per cent of the entertainment section – with 2,000 product lines filling around 1,000 sq ft of the giant store. HMV says the wider product mix can help widen its gaming customer base. “The idea of sharing space with leading complementary brands is an exciting new development, as it means you are potentially appealing to and drawing in a much wider audience,” said Tim Ellis, head of HMV Games. “This can only benefit a format such as games, as it means we will be bringing in customers who may not typically go to games stores, but may be tempted to have a look, especially during key gifting periods.” The chain would not confirm whether it planned more superstores, but said it would closely ‘monitor how the store performs’.

PERSONNEL 24 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 34 HIGH STREET 36 CHARTS 38

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NEWS

[LEADER] GOING, GOING… GONE MY FIRST JOB was as Saturday staff at my local branch of WHSmith. Back then, in 1997, WHS was still considered quite a destination for games, even with the more attractive pricing at the likes of GAME and Virgin down the road. Too right – the chain has sold games for as long as I remember, from before a heyday of Spectrum and C64 titles and onwards. It helped solidify games’ legitimacy on the High Street, and its buying decisions kept some of developers in the Britsoft Hall of Fame in business. And I bet we’ve all heard boastful playground stories of kids in the ‘80s running in to the store and programming the display machines to run swear words across the screen on a loop. All in all, WHS was once a pretty legendary force in games retail. So we should be shedding a tear for the demise of what was once a pioneer, right? Not bloody likely. It might seem unkind, but it’s true: In a climate where ebooks and other digital content are on the rise, consumer magazines are under more pressure than ever (just look at the ABC results this week – our story is on page 8), and people don’t need notepads they want iPad, WHS is quite the dinosaur.

“WHS didn’t stand a chance in the cutting edge world of games. Its dinosaur brand evokes Rumbelows and Mister Byrite, not GAME or Size.” Half the challenge retailers face every day is staying relevant. An example: This week, pasty emporium Greggs detailed plans to compete with Starbucks and Subway via a rebrand, product review and store fittings overhaul. In contrast, when its brand is more evocative of Rumbelows and Mister Byrite, rather than GAME or Size, it’s clear WHS didn’t have a chance when it comes to something as cutting edge as games. Of course, as we said last year when WHS first acknowledged games were on the way out, the chain’s about face doesn’t really hurt the games industry. There are plenty of other retailers looking to keep growing where others have failed to spot an opportunity, and a wave of European publishers are eyeing this country as key to their growth plans. HMV’s first hybrid superstore that mixes Waterstones, Orange and Paperchase with its staple entertainment lines being just one example. Best Buy are coming, too – and word is that its US parent plans to use the UK market as a test bed for a future strategy that will help evolve the offer in its American stores. So there’s plenty going on in UK retail when it comes to games – the only shame when it comes to WHSmith is that it couldn’t move quickly enough to take advantage of it. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Pre-orders soar for Retail expectations high for horror FPS  Splinter Cell delay could Aliens vs Predator has secured a huge amount of coverage in the specialist press

by Christopher Dring ALIENS VS PREDATOR has become Sega’s most preordered title of all time, the publisher has told MCV. Rebellion’s first person shooter – which is released today (February 19th) on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC – has picked up 11 front covers in the specialist press, and Sega has been promoting the game with a pre-release demo and various retail initiatives. “We’ve seen a great response from consumers following the

positive preview coverage, preorder announcements and last week’s demo release,” said Sega’s senior product manager Ben Walker.

which is a great achievement when you consider our annualised product Football Manager and big gaming brands such as Total War.

Splinter Cell moving has allowed Aliens vs Predator a small window where we can really own the space. Ben Walker, Sega

“It’s been unprecedented as Aliens vs Predator is now Sega’s biggest pre-ordered title,

“We’ve always felt the game would be one of Q1’s biggest performers and the current pre-

Toy Story returns to games DISNEY HAS announced that its biggest movie of the year – Toy Story 3 – will get an official video game tie-in on Tuesday, June 15th. Toy Story 3: The Video Game is due on 360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS, PSP and mobile. The game is developed by Avalanche Studios and will feature the film adventure as well as an open-world gameplay mode called Toy Box. “With Toy Story 3: The Video Game, audiences will have multiple ways to experience and enjoy the Toy Story world,” said Disney

Interactive Studios’ senior vice president of global marketing Craig Relyea. “Story Mode follows the film’s story and adventures,

while Toy Box Mode gets to the playful heart of the Toy Story franchise.” GM of developer Avalanche John Blackburn added: “Toy Story 3: The Video Game addresses a fact understood by every kid: imagination is what truly brings toys to life. “That’s really what a toy box is about. We remember that kind of play from our own childhood, and it’s where we began as game designers. With this title, we want to encourage and reward creativity in others.” Disney: 0208 222 1413

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NEWS

Sega’s AvP boost game’s performance, says publisher

Another Euro firm targets British retail

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 HEAVY RAIN

Foreign Media Games plans UK invasion FOREIGN Media Games has expanded its operations beyond the Benelux regions with new UK partnerships. It is the latest in a line of European publishers opening direct relationships with UK retailers. The firm was founded four years and has established a solid position in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemborg. “We have built up an unrivalled position in Benelux where retail partners expect quality games with broad appeal, backed by comprehensive sales and order level certainly points to this. The brand’s awareness is huge and there’s a long and rich gaming history which is still popular. Our 11 front covers can attest to this.” Aliens vs Predator is set to launch during one of the most congested first quarters for core games. However, Walker feels the delay of Ubisoft’s Spinter Cell: Conviction, which was originally due to launch next week (February 26th) will give the game more room to sell. “As we all know this quarter is the busiest in the industry’s

history and the quality of product is unparalleled, the consumer is literally spoilt for choice,” he adds. “All triple-A releases this month will be fighting for share of voice so Splinter Cell: Conviction moving has allowed Aliens vs Predator a small window where we can really own the space. “That being said, we’ve always had full confidence in the quality of Aliens vs Predator to compete against our competitors.” Sega: 020 8995 3399

marketing support,” said the firm’s managing director Michel van Elmpt. “We will adhere to these principals within the UK, which is our first overseas direct-to-retail market.” The publisher has signed sales firm Connect International to handle national account and indie retail relationships. Peppermint P will support this with PR and marketing. The publisher expects to announce its UK line-up in the coming weeks. FMG: 0207 240 2645

2. FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX

3. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..........................................SONY

4. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PS3 ..............................................EA

5. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 360 ..............................................EA

6. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR

‘TV meets gaming’ focus for Edinburgh DATES have been confirmed for this year’s Edinburgh Interactive – and with them a new focus on the how the TV and games can work together. Edinburgh Interactive takes place in Scotland on Wednesday, August 25th and Thursday, August 26th. Thanks to a partnership with the Media Guardian Edinburgh International

PS3 SONY

7. YAKUZA 3 PS3 ..........................................SEGA

8. ALIEN VS PREDATOR 360 ..........................................SEGA

Television Festival – which takes place immediately after from August 27th to 29th – the event will now widen its remit to look at how the two sectors are working together. The last day of Edinburgh Interactive will kick things off with sessions designed to bring together decision makers from games and TV.

9. FINAL FANTASY XIII 360 ................................SQUARE ENIX

10. ALIEN VS PREDATOR PS3 ..........................................SEGA Week ending February 12th Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 37 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

edinburghinteractivefestival.com

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market…  Week-on-week UK software sales have jumped 21 per cent to £23.1 million. Unit sales were also up, rising 18 per cent to 1,074,006 games sold.  The sales rise is due to the launch of 2K’s acclaimed shooter BioShock 2, which launched on February 9th. The highly anticipated sequel is the biggest launch of the year so far, overtaking Mass Effect 2. Meanwhile, FIFA 10 also performed well, jumping 53 per cent in sales after a pricing promotion.  February should prove a solid month for games overall, with Aliens vs Predator due to launch this week, followed by Heavy Rain, Napoleon: Total War and Sonic & Sega: All-stars Racing on February 26th.

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]

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

25

Week Ending February 13th 2010

£23.1m

20

15

10

5

2K’s FPS BioShock 2 is the biggest video game launch of the year so far and helped boost the market this week

£22.8m

£19.1m

£23.1m

1,021,224 Units

913,565 Units

1,074,006 Units

0 Week Ending January 30th

Week Ending February 6th

Week Ending February 13th

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NEWS

PC firm plans ‘print on-site’ games Tribeka reopening discussions with publishers to sell gaming content via in-store disc replication service by James Batchelor ‘ON-SITE PUBLISHER’ Tribeka is looking to expand its SoftWide on-the-spot manufacturing service to incorporate a wider library of PC titles – and potentially console titles as well. The system allows retailers to print software onto disc

Tribeka is already partnered with GAME, which uses the technology in its distribution centre on over 600 products. Microsoft and Tesco have recently secured deals to roll out SoftWide terminals into their stores, allowing customers to order software via touch screens and receive the finished product on the spot.

We have plans to develop the SoftWide technology for console games as soon as we engage the platform holders. Stephen Precious, Tribeka

ready for sale within minutes, and is already used for PC software at European retailers such as Carrefour in France and Germany’s PC Specialist. “We don’t change the way the retailer retails,” Tribeka’s COO Stephen Precious told MCV. “We just enhance the process by enabling manufacturing in store.”

Now the firm is looking to expand this to incorporate a service for games retail and include console content. Drawing on its experience from trials in Europe, Tribeka has already established ties with key publishers. “During our development test phase, we have released PC games from publishers

INSTANT PUBLISHING: SoftWide enables retailers to print new discs for sale in two or three minutes

such as Activision, Eidos, TakeTwo and Ubisoft. We are now re-engaging with all the majors now that our channel is growing so fast,” said Precious. “We have the technology in place to deliver copy-protected PC games, which we have

now started to deliver to our retail partners. “We even have plans to develop the SoftWide technology for console games as soon as we are in a position to engage with the three main platform holders.

“We are also working with several other big players in the gaming market. “Games are on all their roadmaps for this technology and they are working with us to extend the range.” Tribeka: 020 7199 3930

Ubisoft defends controversial anti-piracy plan THE CONTENTIOUS copyprotection method that will require all Ubisoft PC titles to be constantly connected to the web is crucial for fighting piracy, the publisher says. The new ‘online platform’, as the publisher describes it, will be introduced with the release of Assassin’s Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 on March 5th. But it has garnered criticism amongst some PC gamers. Speaking to MCV, UK marketing director Murray Pannell assured Ubisoft customers that the system is necessary in the ongoing battle against illegal copying. “The impact of piracy on the PC market is enormous

and working to thwart it is crucial to our future ability to continue developing for this platform,” he said. “We know requiring a permanent online connection is a controversial decision and has been seen as a disadvantage to several PC gamers. “But we hope that they will feel the additional services we are able to offer via this platform are worth it. “We are aware that some players will not be able to connect to the internet but with the proliferation of WiFi, the majority of people can connect most of the time, so these instances should be very limited.”

FIGHTING PIRACY: AC2 will be the first title to use the new system

Pannell said that the new online service will only require a minimum broadband speed, with Ubisoft’s games sending less than 50 kilobits of data per second.

The online platform rewards users with a number of features specifically requested by the publisher’s PC customers. These include unlimited installs, the ability to play the

game without a disk and save data that is accessible from multiple computers. Ubisoft is also calling on retailers to use their staff’s expertise in helping to raise awareness of this new system. “The role retailers can play in educating consumers as to the reasons why we have taken these steps cannot be underestimated,” said Pannell. “Consumers often rely on the advice and direction of store staff, so by asking them to help educate the customer about the benefits of the service can only help us reassure people that this is a good thing.” Ubisoft: 01932 578 000

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MCV 19/02/10 7

NEWS

Sponsored by

Capcom taking MotoGP mainstream Publisher aims for wider audience with latest instalment of popular motorbike racer by James Batchelor CAPCOM is targeting a broader audience for MotoGP 09/10. To ensure the long-running franchise can be a mainstream hit, the upcoming title features more accessible controls. It also includes four difficulty levels for rival racers allowing non-gamers to tailor MotoGP to suit their abilities. Capcom is hoping the tweaks give the game potential to be enjoyed by everyone from veteran to casual gamers. “This year we’re going to break away from the various

ACTIVISION: The publisher reported record net revenues of $4.28 billion in 2009 – dubbed by Activision as its most profitable year ever. Digital revenue reached $1.3 billion, thanks largely to World Of Warcraft.

ON TRACK: MotoGP has been tweaked to appeal to non-gamers

Expectations for MotoGP are exceptionally high and we’re confident we’ll deliver one of the year’s top racers. Karl Reader, Capcom

boundaries of previous games, taking the MotoGP franchise to a wider audience than ever before,” said Capcom’s UK product and community manager Karl Reader.

“More than just a motorbike game, it will be an experience that is more accessible to newcomers without losing the spirit and competitive nature of MotoGP.

“Expectations for MotoGP 09/10 are exceptionally high and we’re confident that we’ll deliver one of the top racing titles of this year.” Moto GP 09/10 is based on the 2009 season of the popular motorbike championship. Rosters for the upcoming 2010 season will later be made available via a free download. Capcom is already promoting the game ahead of its March

19th release date with MotoGP showcased at motorcycling consumer expos, starting with today’s Ace Café London Motorcycle Show. MotoGP 09/10 will also be promoted at key racing events from May to July, including the Grand Prix at Silverstone, Le Mans, Jerez and more. This will be supported by an extensive online campaign. Capcom: 020 8846 2566

Hubb signs Interactive distribution deal HUBB ACCESSORIES has signed a new distribution agreement with veteran accessories manufacturer Interactive Ideas. Under the new deal, Interactive Ideas will be responsible for handling Hubb’s growing product range – which covers all key gaming platforms – in the UK. The arrangement will cover the firm’s back catalogue products, as well its new ranges that are due to be released throughout 2010. “We are very pleased to announce our new relationship with Interactive Ideas and look forward to working with them closely to assist the continued

MICROSOFT: At its X10 event, the platform holder dated Alan Wake for May 21st and announced the Halo: Reach beta will launch on May 3rd. Fable III has been confirmed as a 2010 release.

PROUD PARTNERS: Interactive’s Breeze and Hubb’s Jones praise deal

growth of our accessory range,” said Hubb’s European sales director Mel Jones. “Interactive Ideas are a wellknown, respected distributor in the gaming industry and I

am confident in their experience and ability to add real value to our customers.” Interactive Ideas’ marketing director Michael Breeze added: “We are delighted to add Hubb

Accessories to our range of gaming products. “We aim to only ever add new ranges that provide something unique and create an additional revenue stream for our customers. “From what we have seen of their products and their plans for the UK market, we believe that Hubb will be a great success.” The move comes as Hubb Accessories continues to expand its presence in various European markets. The ambitious peripherals firm was founded in 2008 and has established headquarters in the UK and Hong Kong. Hubb: 01642 204339

UBISOFT: Sales for the nine months ended December 31st, 2009 came in at e661 million – a 22.5 per cent decrease from 2008. Q3 sales hit e495 million, down by just 2.7 per cent from the previous year. SQUARE ENIX: Two Xbox 360 bundles will be released alongside Final Fantasy XIII. One will feature a 250GB Elite, two wireless controllers, and Avatar items, while the other will standard 120GB Elite and one wireless pad. EA: Crysis 2, Dead Space 2 and Criterion’s first Need For Speed series will be released for consoles and PC between October and December. SONY: NPD data shows that over 40 million PSN accounts have been registered across 33.5 million PS3 owners and 56 million PSP gamers. Sony also reported a 155 per cent rise in digital sales.

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM

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MEDIA NEWS

Publishers bullish following ABCs Future, Imagine and Uncooked defiant amidst readerships slips  ‘We’re beating market trends,’ say bosses by Christopher Dring THE SPECIALIST press has been fighting its corner after a mixed bag of ABC results. Nintendo, PlayStation and PC magazines all posted yearon-year readership declines – although Imagine and Uncooked’s 360 publications were both up. Edge saw a

alike argued that they were beating market trends. “2009 was a tough year for games – many of us thought games were recession resilient, and I’m not the only MCV reader that thought that,” said Future’s publishing director James Binns. “If you compare us to the men’s lifestyle markets we

If you compare us to the men’s lifestyle markets we have outperformed the Zoos and FHMs of the world. James Binns, Future

fractional increase, while multi-formats GamesMaster and GamesTM dropped as well. (See MCV’s full guide to the ABCs below.) Despite the downward trend, publishers were optimistic given the difficult economic climate – and Future, Imagine and Uncooked

James Binns (right), Tarik Alozdi (middle) and Damian Butt (left) are proud of their ABC performance

have outperformed the Zoos and FHMs of the world. “We have been resilient – no one can defy gravity but the numbers we saw last week we are really proud of.” Imagine’s MD Damian Butt added: “We are very pleased with the latest ABC results because it confirms what we

already knew – that Play is the country’s bestselling independent PlayStation mag and X360 is the UK’s leading independent 360 magazine. “Both are core to Imagine’s successful gaming portfolio. Together with the 22 per cent period-on-period rise for 360 magazine, Imagine now sells over 34,000 Xbox publications a month. And unlike some, our performance doesn’t seem to be affected by the snow.”

Uncooked’s single 360 mag may have been up, but the firm told MCV that it wants to further invest in distribution to boost the circulation of 360 Gamer and its new PlayStation mag, Play*Gamer. “360 Gamer’s ABC result is a new high for the threeweeker,” said Uncooked sales director Tarik Alozdi. “Play*Gamer wants to perform better and luckily we’ve had good support early

on. This has meant investment in distribution recently. We hope to see the result of that during the coming months. “We’ve been pushing forward with developing our distribution this past 12 months. You should find the Gamer magazines everywhere you expect to see them, as well as some places you wouldn’t.”  Turn to page 17 for an indepth roundtable piece on the state of play for games media

ABC Figures: Video Games Guide MULTI-FORMAT CONSOLE Total Multi-Format magazine sector

 83,333

(down 8.9% year-on-year from 91,515)

GamesMaster Future Publishing

 34,313

(down 16.2% on last reported 40,940)

Edge Future Publishing

 29,007 (up 0.4% on last reported 28,898)

GamesTM Imagine Publishing

 20,013

(down 7.7% on last reported 21,677)

NINTENDO Total Nintendo magazine sector

 63,770

(down 16.7% year-on-year from 76,596)

Official Nintendo Magazine Future Publishing

 51,271

(down 12.8% on last reported 58,795)

N Gamer Future Publishing

 12,499

(down 29.8% on last reported 17,801)

SONY Total Sony magazine sector

 92,319

(down 13.2% year-on-year from 106,310)

Official PlayStation Magazine Future Publishing

 47,033

(down 12.3% from last reported 53,644)

Play Imagine Publishing

 24,062

(down 9.1% from last reported 26,464)

PSM3 Future Publishing

 21,224

(down 19.0% from last reported 26,202)

XBOX Total Xbox magazine sector

 145,883

(down 4.0% year-on-year from 152,018)

Official Xbox 360 Magazine Future Publishing

 60,834

(down 4.8% from last reported 63,908)

X360 Imagine Publishing

 26,532

(up 1.7% from last reported 26,092)

Xbox World 360 Future Publishing

 25,874

(down 16.6% from last reported 31,030)

360 Gamer Uncooked Media

 18,527 (up 12.1% from last reported 16,527)

360 Imagine Publishing

 14,116

(up 22.6% from last reported 11,518)

PC GAMES Total PC games magazine sector

37,844 (down 26.7% year-on-year from 51,642)

PC Gamer Future Publishing

 26,487 (down 18.8% on last reported 32,619)

PC Zone Future Publishing

 11,357

(down 40.3% on last reported 19,023)

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MEDIA NEWS

‘FirstPlay covers costs for PlayStation Store content’ New interactive PS3 show from Future’s Official PlayStation Magazine will cut PSN fees by Michael French

Keeling departs IGN UK IGN UK’S managing director Justin Keeling has left the Fox-owned media giant. He joined the firm in 2006, having held roles at G4 TV and BBC Worldwide. “By mutual agreement, Justin Keeling has left his post as managing director IGN UK, and will be pursuing new career paths,” said IGN International MD Chris Ellis. “We thank him for his contribution to the UK business and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

FUTURE UNVEILED FirstPlay this week – the first interactive PSN-distributed show. Now the firm is looking to forge publisher partnerships for exclusive content – and says it can cover the download costs for PlayStation Store content.

IGN: 020 3008 6020

content produced by the Official PlayStation Magazine team and is available next month before rolling out across Europe later in the year. It features video reviews for games and films, plus a guide to PlayStation Store content. “It can be tricky to navigate the PlayStation Store,” said

We are looking to work with publishers on offering DLC through FirstPlay – such as a demo or expansion pack. Richard Keith, FirstPlay

Usually, publishers and developers offering games and demos through the store have to pay each time it’s downloaded – but when part of FirstPlay there is no cost to them. The weekly downloadable interactive magazine includes

Publishers can offer DLC through Future’s FirstPlay show

FirstPlay publisher Richard Keith. “FirstPlay will take you to the good stuff.” He added: “There are two opportunities for publishers: working with us on content, and advertising. For the content there’s a lot that will

be familiar – supplying footage, code and screens. “But we are also looking to work with publishers – and developers – on offering DLC through FirstPlay, whether that’s a demo, in-game item or addon pack FirstPlay is a great way to deliver content. And there’s

an added benefit – FirstPlay picks up the download costs.” FirstPlay otherwise features six pre-roll video slots. Said Keith: “For advertising FirstPlay offers the impact or TV but has online capabilities of tracking and clicking through to Store and web content that means it’s compelling for advertisers and gamers.” Future: 01225 442244

Circulation figures from key games-related specialist, technology and lifestyle magazines PC LEISURE Total PC Leisure magazine sector

 52,326

(down 17.8% year-on-year from 63,687)

Custom PC Dennis Publishing

 20,986

(down 11.3% on last reported 23,667)

Windows The Official Magazine Future Publishing

 19,426

(down 11.8% on last reported 22,017)

PC Format Future Publishing

 11,914

FILM & VIDEO Total Film & Video Reviews sector

 513,359

(up 7.2% from last reported 478,927)

GAMES-RELEVANT FILM HIGHLIGHTS: Empire Bauer Consumer Media

 194,239

(up 0.1% on last reported 194,016, up 2.4% from 189,619 year-on-year)

Total Film Future Publishing

 81,029

(down 4.7% from last reported 85,031, -5.8% from 85,981 year-on-year)

(down 33.8% on last reported 18,003)

MEN'S LIFESTYLE Total Men's Lifestyle magazine sector

 2,312,709

(up 6.5% from 2,171,733 six months ago, but down 4.4% from 2,420,059 year-on-year)

GAMES-RELEVANT MEN'S LIFESTYLE HIGHLIGHTS: Shortlist Shortlist Media

Stuff Haymarket Consumer Media

 95,695

(up 13.2% on last reported 84,565)

 513,148

(up 0.5% on last reported 510,720)

T3 Future Publishing

FHM Bauer Consumer Media

 59,143

(down 1.6% on last reported 235,027, -15.2% from 272,545 year-on-year)

Wired Conde Nast

 231,235 Nuts IPC Media

 176,835 (down 6.2% on last reported 188,532, -24.4% from 234,034 year-on-year)

Zoo Bauer Consumer Media

 102,043

(down 8.1% on last reported 111,012, -29.9% from 145,555 year-on-year)

(down 1.6% from last reported 60,127)

48,275 (new launch)

Front Magazine Kane

 41,946 (up 10.4% from last reported 38,002)

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NEWS

EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM

IKEFORCE R T S : S R IO R R A W DYNASTY

Tecmo Koei strikes at the heart of retail and online media to raise awareness of its latest Dynasty Warriors title…

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: TECMO KOEI EUROPE DEVELOPER: OMEGA FORCE PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01462 476 130

ONLINE The publisher has opted against print or TV ads, instead viewing online as the best media through which it can tap into Strikeforce’s target audience. Ads will appear across a variety of websites, including specialist gaming destinations and numerous other portals that boast audiences similar to that of Dynasty Warriors. There will also be direct communications to the established Dynasty Warriors fanbase, both through various Tecmo Koei websites and the publisher’s official Facebook page. There will also be messages through YouTube, Twitter and Tecmo Koei’s ‘Koei Warriors’ community.

RETAIL The bulk of Tecmo Koei’s marketing spend will go to retail, spread across both bricks-and-mortar stores and online outlets. There will be a wide range of POS made available to firms in order to give

Strikeforce maximum visibility around launch. Pre-order initiatives have also been set up through retail partners such as GAME, where consumers receive a free miniature figurine, and HMV, which is offering exclusive in-game DLC.

OUTDOOR Tecmo Koei is supporting a multitude of consumer events, with the game made available to the public in the form of a hands-on demo. Key events included the MCM Expo – both the London and Midlands iterations – and Memorabilia.

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Dancing On IceTM & Š ITV Productions Ltd 2010. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. Ghostlight is a trademark of Ghostlight LTD. All rights reserved. Published by Ghostlight LTD. Developed by Infusion Games LTD. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

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MCV INTERVIEW LARRY SPARKS, VP OF BRAND, SQUARE ENIX PAL REGIONS

Bright Spark Square Enix claims Final Fantasy XIII will be one of Q1’s biggest entertainment launches when it lands on March 9th. Christopher Dring quizzes Larry Sparks, the publisher’s VP of brand for the PAL region, about the new game, challenges faced when releasing Japanese titles in the West and the secret to succeeding on PSP… You’re positioning Final Fantasy XIII as this quarter’s biggest game launch. But isn’t this series typically targeted at hardcore gamers? The success of the Final Fantasy series has been built upon delivering great games to an ever-growing global consumer base who have become very dedicated to the franchise. With Final Fantasy XIII not only does this continue, but through the build up activities over the last 18 months it has allowed us to connect to consumers who were previously not Final Fantasy fans, hence broadening the franchise’s appeal. The biggest game launch of the quarter... well I’ll let you be the judge of that, but we do know that Final Fantasy XIII will be successful.

SPARKS WILL FLY: Square Enix’s VP of brand hopes to broaden the appeal of the Final Fantasy franchise this March

How is FFXIII being tailored to a bigger audience? Outreach is key and from the get go we set out to make this an event rather than just another video game release. Witness the street date announcement campaign for example, over one million consumers, gamers and non-gamers connected to the experience within the first three days. They can see and feel something special is about to happen on Tuesday, March 9th. How is Leona Lewis’ involvement set to benefit the game’s launch? Leona Lewis has become a star in such a short space of time and her appeal to the ‘now generation’, plus her stylish classy music, provided a great opportunity to collaborate on Final Fantasy XIII. It has allowed us to reach out and touch consumers who may never have heard of the franchise, which can only be a great thing. Traditionally, every big Final Fantasy campaign takes full advantage of the game’s visuals. Is that set to continue this time around? The visual experience is one of the main

Leona Lewis’ involvement allows us to reach out to consumers who may have never heard of Final Fantasy. Larry Sparks, Square Enix

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MCV INTERVIEW LARRY SPARKS, VP OF BRAND, SQUARE ENIX PAL REGIONS

A MARKETING THE NEXT EVENT: Final Fantasy XIII arrives on Tuesday, March 9th and is set to be one of this quarter’s biggest video game launches

benchmarks that has set the Final Fantasy series apart from other games out there. It continues with Final Fantasy XIII, but let the media and consumers be the judge. Just read what Edge magazine has quoted and you can't get much better than that: ‘Final Fantasy XIII is, put simply, the bestlooking game on PlayStation 3 yet.’ The Final Fantasy series has many different strands, sequels, spin-off games and so forth. What sort of challenges does this present Square Enix when it comes to marketing? Successful entertainment brands can be multi-layered as a result of its own popularity. Careful management of the brand must remain at the heart and soul of its success and with the Final Fantasy franchise we have done just that. Each brand extension requires clear messaging – targeting each consumer audience is critical. Get this right and the positive results are there to enjoy for everyone. It’s a marketing challenge, but also a marketing dream.

How do you translate the success of a big Japanese title, like Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts, to the UK market? It’s not just a challenge for the UK; it is the whole Western market and translating the original success around the globe. First and foremost it has to be a great game; the rest is down to communication and building the

between Square Enix and Disney. It not only reaches out to the Disney consumers but reaches to the heart of the gamers as well. We will continue to grow the Kingdom Hearts brand through future releases.

Square Enix is one of just a few publishers that have enjoyed big sales on PSP. What’s the secret behind this success and what are your thoughts on the The PSP is a great portable PSP market at the moment? device – both disk-based and The PSP is a great digitally – and we will portable device, for continue to support it. both disk-based and Larry Sparks, Square Enix digital content. We continue to support this consumers interest in the brand. You platform and work within the market can make it complicated but there is no conditions to ensure our software need. Careful implementation of your releases are successful. strategy is fundamental to it all. Crisis Core and Dissidia Final Fantasy have been successful releases How popular is Kingdom Hearts in and we intend to continue this pattern the UK currently? And what are your with Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. ambitions for the series over here? The brand, the quality of each game and The Kingdom Hearts brand is massive in careful release timing, have all Europe as a whole. It is such a contributed to previous successful wonderful and unique collaboration releases on the platform.

FANTASY The main Final Fantasy series has always benefited from a huge marketing budget, and millions of pounds is being spent on the launch of Final Fantasy XIII – with a campaign similar to ones usually reserved for blockbuster movies. Central to the campaign is TV. Activity is set to appear on terrestrial stations as well as relevant multi-channels from March 1st and will continue over Easter and beyond. The TV campaign is designed to reach a wide audience, with spots between major football games including the Champions League and FA Cup Quarter Finals on ITV, Premier League on Sky and Europa League on ITV4 and Five. The firm is also making a huge investment into video-on-demand. This, coupled with a national bus side campaign, is due to reach 75 per cent of the UK population. In the press, Square Enix is communicating through the specialist media to begin with and then is broadening into lifestyle and national publications. This will include full page ads in Metro, and Shortlist. The final component is retail, The publisher has set up extensive retailer programmes, prepared instore POS, a strategy guide and a limited edition collector’s set.

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GAMES MEDIA FOCUS

Pressing times Christopher Dring speaks to the video games press on emerging technology, falling ABC figures and the importance of the specialist press...

Print media may be in decline but publishers are bullish over their latest ABC figures, while simultaenously looking to grow their online presence

IT HAS BEEN a challenging time for the UK games media. ABC figures and advertising revenues are falling, forcing the specialists to seek new ways to stay relevant in a market that has become increasingly mainstream. But there’s no denying the sector is still active, with new websites cropping up on an almost weekly basis – while the media giants continue to experiment with technology, from the established podcast and video review, to on-console media and the upcoming iPad. In this special roundtable, an array of names in games media discuss the role of technology, the state of print media and the changing demands of gamers.

But Future is more than magazines – we are a cross-media company and our offer gets better and better. We have cover discs and on-console media such as First Play, and the Golden Joysticks had its best ever year. A lot of what media firms talk about wanting to do, we already do it.

ON THE ABC FIGURES... James Binns, Publishing Director, Future Publishing: 2009 was a tough year for games – many of us thought games were recession resilient, and I’m not the only MCV reader that thought that. Game mags are physical purchases. OXM is £6.49, and a lot of people buy it. When we benchmark our performance, if you compare us to men’s lifestyle we’ve outperformed the FHMs of the world. We have been resilient – no one can defy gravity, but the numbers we have seen we are really proud of.

distribution recently. Hopefully we’ll see the results of that in the coming months. We’ve been pushing forward with developing our distribution this past six to 12 months. You should find the Gamer magazines everywhere you expect to see them, but they’ll also crop up in some places you wouldn’t. But we think the circulation has worked hard because we’re being careful with the product. Yes it’s true, the Gamer magazines have been overlooked by the occasional advertiser. But then again we haven’t had to guarantee the wrong cover-features or too many covers to one publisher, so we’ve got the freedom to go with what’s strongest for business.

Tarik Alozdi, Sales Director, Uncooked Media: 360 Gamer’s ABC result is 18,527, which is a new high for the three-weeker. Play*Gamer wants to perform better and luckily we’ve had good support early on. This has meant investment in

Overall it’s nice to see the product strengths are being noticed because this helps us develop sales via all channels. One of these channels of course is digital editions. ON NEW FORMS OF MEDIA... James Binns: Our No.1 objective on digital is to grow our web audience. It’s our number one mission – it’s more important than other things around that. We have a great array of good podcasts, and we should launch something for iPhone in the coming

months, but the focus is growing that web audience and making a big deal of our on-console media. Anyone can make a podcast but getting content onto an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, as FirstPlay does, is something Future does a better job of than any competitor. Rupert Loman, MD, Eurogamer: We build all of our technology inhouse, which means we can adapt relatively swiftly to changes in users demands and tastes. Only a few years ago websites were little more than

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just news and features on a page – now we have to be experts at working with communities, multimedia, marketing, traffic analysis, events and so on. I think we’ve managed to keep up with the trends without getting distracted from the core offering – publishing great editorial for our readers. Alex Simmons, EditorIn-Chief, IGN UK: Used correctly, new technologies can often prove more effective than traditional methods. If an iPhone app offers a unique service that represents value for time and money, it will succeed. That’s the thinking behind what we do at IGN – we’re not in the business of jumping on a bandwagon simply because it’s the next big thing, but if there’s a benefit to our users then we’ll do it. We’ve seen an increase in popularity of our video reviews in the last year, with users wanting a quick two-minute overview of a game.

Adam McCann, Operations Director, VideoGamer: I think well-produced podcasts made in conjunction with content websites are fantastic for providing readers with more value. Also, with the right chemistry, podcasts can be a great vehicle for conveying the personalities of the editors, which is essential for bringing passionate and loyal users to a site. Whilst many of these new technologies require a level of investment to implement and maintain, if used in the right way, I believe they are great tools to help grow the audience of content websites. VideoGamer.com was the first commercial gaming site to offer streaming 720p HD video back in October 2008, and we’ve since increased the quality of videos and offered a download alternative for users on slower connections. In 2010, as well as our community improvements, we’re

focused on increasing our viewership by offering more in-house produced videos and an improved user experience across the whole site.

“

2009 was tough. Many believed games would be recession resilient, and I’m not the only MCV reader to have thought that. James Binns, Future

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Patrick Garratt, Editor, VG247: I think web video is mature and a proven financial success, and people have expected websites to carry it for a long time. Podcasts, iPhone apps and the like can provide great value to the right user, but from a business perspective I wouldn’t put focus on them over providing good, useful written content. I’m not convinced the right models are in place for them yet. Guy Cocker, Editor, Gamespot UK: Video and audio are incredibly popular on GameSpot UK, and we’ve long been pioneering in this area. The GameSpot UK Podcast has been

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GAMES MEDIA FOCUS

running since 2006, making it far and away the longest-running major UK games podcast, which is reflected in high-charting positions on the iTunes Games and Hobbies charts, as well as our inaugural Games Media Award win. Likewise, our video show Start/Select combines features, previews, interviews and competitions and has been running now for over two years, and has over 70 episodes. ON WHAT TODAY’S GAMERS DEMAND FROM THEIR MEDIA... Patrick Garratt: The internet is now present in every aspect of gaming, including information – today’s gamer wants services, not publications: we see the site as a service. VG247 answers the question ‘What’s going on?’ That’s a big draw for the serious gamer and enthusiastic industry employee. In reality, very few sites do what we do.

The internet is now present in every aspect of gaming. Today’s gamer wants services, not publications. Pat Garratt, VG247

Adam Doree, Director, Kikizo: I don’t think the games media is going to change drastically over the coming years, there’s so much variety out there right now. My business is concerned with catering to those who want to talk to gamers. Addressing their marketing needs is the key to making sure we stay around to tell gamers why Virtua Fighter’s better than Tekken. Alex Simmons: The way we all consume information has changed over the last five years and the rise of Twitter, blogs and other methods of communication has led to a desire for more immediacy. Providing daily updates simply isn’t enough any more and the hunger for more information delivered in a timely fashion has led to the way IGN thinks about – and delivers – round-the clock news and opinion.

Adam McCann: What’s been very clear to me is an increasing expectation by users to easily find content that’s relevant to them. Long gone are read-only style websites, in order to stay ahead of the curve now publishers need to embrace customisation and user generated content. Facebook has done a wonderful job of showing us what is possible from a user interface perspective, and I think we’re going to be seeing some fantastic revolutions in the way video game sites cater for their audiences in the coming years. Damian Butt, Managing Director, Imagine Publishing: I don’t think the needs of gamers have changed fundamentally – they still want reviews and opinion they can trust, written well, and by professionals who have direct contact with the developers of

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The UK games media are targeting gamers through Apple’s iPhone and iPad

the games they are looking forward to. The only difference in the last few years has been the speed of the updates and the thirst for more information in smaller chunks to complement their favourite magazine. We have launched NowGamer.com – our main video games multiformat website – which is doing extremely well considering it’s less than a year old and is up against some formidable longstanding competition. I’m really impressed with the publishers who have supported us so far. We also have the NowGamerNetwork, a flotilla of specialist gaming websites, which includes many of our most successful print brands, and each containing lively team blogs, videos, daily news, podcasts, and reader forums. But most importantly, we have not let the quality slip of our print magazine and books, as our competitors have. Imagine magazines, despite the recession, are still as high quality as they were when we formed in the company in 2005, and we haven’t taken the easy option of dropping the paper quality just to save a few quid. Quality is everything when you have a loyal fanbase. Guy Cocker: Using our in-house analysis tool GameSpot Trax we can see exactly how audience behaviour has changed over the last few years. What we have seen is that registered users still account for a great deal of activity, making the PC, 360 and PS3 platform channels the most popular.

At the same time, we’ve seen a great interest in more casual platforms such as Wii and mobile, and have had great success with ‘Getting Started’ guides with these audiences. Our users are also highly engaged with interactive features. We’ve adapted to these changes by implementing a light registration scheme and integrated Facebook Connect into the site, resulting in a ten per cent uptake of registered users since Q1 2009. We’ve also introduced a mobile channel, reviewing games on the iPhone and iPod Touch among others. We’ve recently integrated with key partners such as Raptr, allowing users to see a graph of online activity for games on platforms such as Xbox Live. ON THE IPHONE AND IPAD... Rupert Loman: The Eurogamer iPhone app is cool because it helps keep users involved with Eurogamer at all times. They can view articles when offline – for example, when they are on the underground. It’s fast to load and they can watch videos on the move, too – which you can’t do via the regular website on iPhone. Damian Butt: Our newly launched iPhone and iPad digital editions are not only first for the games industry, but they expand Imagine’s reach into the homes of people who have never before

seen one of our magazines – a potentially huge audience of 75 million people worldwide. Due to the practicalities of magazine distribution, in the past only a small number of gamers could experience our magazines first hand – the ones who live near the shops where our magazines are stocked. But now anyone can enjoy Play, Games TM, 360, Retro Gamer, X360 or PowerStation if they have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It’s very exciting, and our collaboration with PixelMags is already producing some truly exciting results. But, and it’s an important point, I do not believe these digital initiatives will entirely replace our print magazines. The loyal readers who buy Imagine magazines at the moment do so because they appreciate the quality and feel of a magazine in their hands, and they want to collect them. Anyone who thinks specialist mags are being replaced by digital ones anytime soon is seriously naïve. Obviously for newspapers and more disposable magazines, it’s a different story. Adam McCann: A lot like podcasts, I think iPhone apps that act as mobile versions of content websites represent a great opportunity for adding value to a site, and extending the brand to new people. In terms of generating a monetary return from such apps, I think that’s far more difficult at the moment. However, iPhone penetration is increasing rapidly so I see a lot of potential in the future. Tarik Alozdi: Digital replicas of mags have been around for a while but, from our perspective, commercially limiting. But everyone seems aware that come this spring they’ll start to get a lot more accessible and exciting.

The iPhone has installed itself in society and is due a new phase of growth. There’s a high level of savvyness with the app system already. Along with the iPad, it will provide an excellent platform to market and sell digital Gamer magazines, and really useful ways for marketers to talk to the right consumer. ON THE MAINSTREAM PRESS... James Binns: The broader media still doesn’t give games the respect it deserves – part of me wishes it did, and we champion it when that happens – but their reluctance serves us pretty well. There aren’t many people talking about games on TV or radio so much. General media owners put out occasional releases saying they’re going after gamers. What that means is they put Flash games on a site and start ringing around a bit. But I don’t think the job of explaining games, especially those big games, is done well at all by the general media. It’s great that Modern Warfare 2 got picked up a lot by Nuts and Zoo but I don’t think that media does a good job of explaining gameplay, launching new IP, getting behind things or sticking up for them when things get hard. ON WEBSITES AND MAGAZINES DEDICATED TO INDIVIDUAL GAMES AND GENRES... Rupert Loman: Having dedicated editors for individual areas means we can produce more targeted, credible and informed coverage for our readers as well as attract new users. It also allows us to clearly identify which users are interested in certain topics. Having content in separate channels helps us to target advertising more effectively as well – so it’s a win-win situation. Adam Doree: Most game sites have the ability to target PS3 or Xbox users, but media buyers tend to be picky, and if they want to target just FPS fanatics, now they can. I think it’s unbelievable there were no FPS focused game sites until we launched FPSgamer.com, considering there are tonnes of sites dedicated to other popular genres.

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Sponsored by 24 MCV 19/02/10

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PERSONNEL

VideoGamer.com expands website team Rabbitt and Ridler boost Pro-G  GAME Group names new board member  Double hires for Lightning Fish PRO-G  The publisher of popular online games portal VideoGamer.com has announced two hires for its website team. JOEY RABBITT joins the site’s development team as designer, after a five-year stint at web design firm Createanet. He was responsible for the design and construction of sites for notable clients such as Icon Movies and Lionsgate. In his new role, he will be instrumental in the ongoing development of VideoGamer, as well as new Pro-G Media websites due to launch later this year.

Rabbitt (left) and Ridler (right) will help grow Pro-G’s websites

Meanwhile ALEX RIDLER has been named as the firm’s new content and community administrator, and will be responsible for managing the continually expanding VideoGamer.com community.

Pro-G Media’s operation director ADAM MCCANN: “We’re delighted to have Joey and Alex on board. We’re now well positioned to carry out our ambitious plans to further expand Pro-G Media.”

GAME  The retail Group has named DAVID MANSFIELD as the newest non-executive director on its Board. He will start the role in April. Mansfield currently works as the chairman of Radio Joint Audience Research and director of Ingenious Media. He has previously worked as chief executive of GCap Media – formerly known as Capital Radio – as well as regional broadcasters Thames Television and Scottish Television. He has been a non-excutive director at Carphone Warehouse since 2005, and will retire from this position in March.

“We are delighted to welcome David Mansfield to our Board,” said GAME Group chairman PETER LEWIS. LIGHTNING FISH  The UK developer has added two new members to its team, with NICK COURT taking up the role of senior product manager and SAM STEVENS joining as lead video editor. Court has previously worked at studios such as Broadsword Interactive and MicroProse. Stevens joins from the TV industry, having racked up eight years of experience at the BBC, ITV and Sky Sports.

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WITH THIS ISSUE We take an in-depth look at Nintendo’s super-sized DSi, which launches March 5th

ALICE IN WONDERLAND P28 Disney’s companion title to the upcoming Tim Burton film hits Wii and DS SUPERSTARS V8 P30 Tradewest continues the specialist racing series with help from a celebrity driver

OUT IN THE ‘FIELD The popular Battlefield series returns to retail with Bad Company 2, a shooter set to dominate the modern P26 warfare space

SUPERMODEL MAKEOVER P32 Avanquest joins forces with YouTube star Lauren Luke to storm the DS girls’ market NEW RELEASES P34 MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming releases in the UK

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RETAILBIZ: BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 26 MCV 19/02/10

Electronic Arts takes the long-running franchise from strength-to-strength as the latest instalment attempts to reclaim the FPS throne from Modern Warfare 2...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor BEFORE THE words ‘Modern’ and ‘Warfare’ had even been combined, there was Battlefield. For years this PC series has delighted fans of military FPS titles with its intense gameplay and epic multiplayer modes. The series made its Xbox 360 and PS3 debut in 2008 with Battlefield: Bad Company and two years on, developer DICE is working once more to create the ultimate modern warfare game for both PC and console. It’s a release that both Battlefield and FPS fans have been looking forward to, and publisher EA is confident its audience will not be disappointed. “This is the sequel to a much-loved multiplayer experience for Bad Company, and is the latest foray into the console market since the huge success of

Battlefield 1943,” says EA’s product manager Will Graham. “Where the first iteration’s singleplayer mode may have lacked the polish found in the multiplayer, this is addressed for Bad Company 2 to create a rounded experience that will appeal to the

There isn’t a developer out there that competes with DICE in this space, and Bad Company 2 cements that. Will Graham, Electronic Arts mainstream consumer. The multiplayer is also going to be a step forward – even for the developer, DICE – and will prove the team is leading the way in defining online shooter warfare.” The single-player experience once again sees players join the ranks of ‘B’ Company, which has been sent on into some of the world’s most dangerous

hotspots on a mission to prevent a global conflict. Gamers must use every weapon and vehicle at their disposal if they’re to overcome the enemy forces. They can also use the destructible environments to their advantage. A key selling point of the original, this mechanic has been further refined for the sequel so a well aimed grenade or rocket can rip open a building. Enemies will soon discover there is nowhere to hide as players obliterate any cover they try to use – but this can also be used against gamers. Graham adds: “The Frostbite 2.0 engine offers a level of environment destruction that is second to none. This makes a big difference in both the multiplayer and the main campaign. “The destruction element of the Frostbite engine offers the player significant choice and control in the

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RETAILBIZ: BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/02/10 27

IN THE ‘FIELD Given Bad Company 2’s position as EA’s next major release, the publisher has readied a comprehensive marketing campaign that will target fans of both the Battlefield series and first-person shooters.

single-player campaign, driving a nonlinear experience for the consumer.” Of course, the most anticipated element of any Battlefield game is the multiplayer mode. Once again, DICE has created huge sandbox arenas that feel more epic than the traditional claustrophobic deathmatch arenas. There is also a range of vehicles available that take the conflict to another level. Gamers can either support their teammates as a standard infantry soldier, or leap into a tank, jeep or helicopter to gain more firepower. “DICE is at the forefront of defining the multiplayer and online vehicle warfare space and has substantial pedigree in this area following many years of success,”Graham says. “We genuinely believe there isn’t a developer out there that competes with DICE in this space, and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is going cement that.

“The use of vehicles in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 sets it apart from the competition and no one else in the industry does this better. “This is also something the core are very excited about: DICE’s history of delivering a multiplayer experience utilising vehicles is something that sets it apart from anything else in the market. It’s also an element that fits with the increasing emphasis on multiplayer for gamers in general.” RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Electronic Arts is confident that Bad Company 2 will not only hold its own against most rival shooters, it will even be able to stand up to the seemingly indomitable Modern Warfare 2. To realise this ambition, the publisher has drawn up a major marketing plan (see ‘In The Field’ ) and is already pushing for pre-orders to ensure it captures the established Battlefield

RELEASED: MARCH 5 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: DICE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

audience. “We have significant pre-orders already driven in part by the amazing assets that have been released from DICE over recent months,” explains Graham. “Both public and retail perception right now is high for Bad Company 2 – especially within the Battlefield fan base. “Having hands-on and Beta releases up to now has given the community a taste of what is to come and this has been very well received across the board. The reception of the Beta, and more recently the release of the demo, gives us great confidence for a

 Print advertising will be focused on the core market in the run up to Bad Company’s launch with ads in specialist gaming press.  Closer to launch, print ads will then extend into the more mainstream press in order to drive awareness across a larger audience.  The online campaign will be focusing on the core audience but forms a substantial part of the budget. Ads will target not only traditional FPS shooter fans but also the significant established fan community surrounding DICE and the Battlefield franchise.  An extensive TV campaign will run around the game’s launch, with spots targeting male gamers aged between 16 and 34.  Retail will play a key role in the overall campaign. A strong in-store presence has already been established through the aggressive pre-orders drive that began in early December, with a range of POS to follow as the release date draws nearer.

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RETAILBIZ: ALICE IN WONDERLAND 28 MCV 19/02/10

Disney rolls out another video game companion to its latest big screen blockbuster, complete with an equally ambitious marketing campaign...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor WHILE MANY movie tie-ins offer the same experience on every format, Disney Interactive has developed a companion game to the upcoming Alice in Wonderland movie, which offers a different experience on each platform. As can be expected, both games recreate the Lewis Carroll-inspired antics of the forthcoming movie, itself set up as a sequel to the Victorian novelist’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. The titles invite players to explore Tim Burton’s vision of this famous fictional world, making it one of the most visually striking releases of the quarter.

“Alice in Wonderland is a magical and imaginative twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time and the anticipation for both the game and the movie is huge,” says Disney Interactive’s UK marketing manager Steve Woodward. “We’re expecting big things for this title.”

With the whole Walt Disney Company behind Alice, retailers can expect a stellar performance from the game. Steve Woodward, Disney “Once again Alice has fallen into the rabbit hole – ten years later. The world Alice knew – and forgot – no longer exists as it once did. Players must take

control of their favourite characters from the movie. Each of the characters have their own special set of abilities and the player must use these to solve mindbending puzzles and protect Alice from the Red Queen and her minions.” Young fans of the fiction will enjoy playing as some of Carroll’s most popular creations, such as The Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, with their in-game powers tying in with those of their literary counterparts. The Cheshire Cat, for example, retains his ability to disappear and is now able to take certain objects with him, clearing the path for Alice. However, the greatest selling point is the unique graphical styles of both the Wii and DS versions. While the Wii

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RETAILBIZ: ALICE IN WONDERLAND WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/02/10 29

CURIOUSER CAMPAIGN

edition draws heavily from Burton’s imagination, recreating the film’s warped take on Carroll’s Underland, the developer has worked hard to make the DS edition stand out from the crowd. “Alice in Wonderland on Wii faithfully captures the movie look and feel with stunning, avant-garde visuals and some of the most charismatic characters in history have been beautifully and colourfully recreated in the game,” says Woodward. “Players will be amazed by the graphical quality we’ve managed to achieve and they’ll love taking control of this diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique special abilities. “More than simply a port from one platform to another, Alice in Wonderland has been built specifically for both the Wii and DS respectively.

“The Wii captures the amazing visual style of the movie and features drop-in drop-out co-operative gameplay, whereas the DS version has a really unique 2D visual style that looks nothing at all like the movie, but is perfectly suited to the DS platform. “Both gaming press and retailers have loved what we’ve done with both this and the Wii version.” Hype is building behind the starstudded Alice in Wonderland movie, and Disney Interactive Studios is well positioned to capitalise on this with the game. The publisher is once again collaborating with other teams from around the Disney empire to ensure the success of the game, the movie and every other facet of the Alice brand – and it is confident the game will achieve the sales it deserves.

RELEASED: MARCH 5 FORMATS: WII, DS PUBLISHER: DISNEY DEVELOPER: ETRANGES LIBELLULES PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

“Alice in Wonderland is certainly not your typical tie in,” adds Woodward. “We’re hoping to capture the imagination of both gamers and fans of the movie. We’re anticipating an extremely positive reaction from the media including core gaming media such as the Official Nintendo Magazine who has already embraced the DS version. With the additional weight of the rest of the Walt Disney Company behind the property, retailers can expect a stellar performance from Alice.”

As with its recent release The Princess and the Frog, Disney Interactive Studios has been working closely with its parent’s Hollywood arm in order to create a marketing plan that cross-promotes the entire Alice in Wonderland launch, including the movie, the game and more.  There will be ads in trade magazines for the various industries involved with the movie, game and merchandising, supported by a targeted girls’ media print campaign.  Online, Disney has set up an official Alice in Wonderland franchise website, which includes a bespoke section dedicated to the video game.  Elsewhere, there will be a social media campaign running through Facebook, with an interactive storytelling application and numerous third-party partner promotions.  A cinema trailer campaign will run before screenings of the film to generate awareness and excitement among movie-going fans.  Disney Interactive Studios will be running trade marketing support with its existing, traditional customers, as well as working on cross-promotional trade activity through non traditional outlets – such as clothing, book and toy stores – to tie-in with other merchandising initiatives surrounding the film’s release.

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RETAILBIZ: SUPERSTARS V8: NEXT CHALLENGE 30 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Tradewest Games and Black Bean add some star power to help promote a new entry in the Superstars V8 racing series... by James Batchelor WHEN IT COMES to racing games, hardcore fans have but one simple request: to feel what it is like to drive some of the world’s fastest cars – or at least for developers to recreate that experience as closely as possible. While many studios can simply make educated guesses and add little tweaks to ensure each in-game vehicle handles differently, the team behind the upcoming Superstars V8: Next Challenge has sought the advice of someone who truly knows the thrill of the track. Championship driver Gianni Morbidelli lends his experience to developer Milestone for this release, the follow-up to last year’s Superstars V8 Racing. Tradewest is handling the game’s UK release on behalf of Black Bean Games and believes Morbidelli’s involvement will be a better selling point than any amount of vehicle licensing deals. “Traditionally racing titles that focus on realistic track racing or licensed cars and franchises have a lot more going for them,” admits Tradewest’s senior brand manager Aidan Minter. “But the fact that Morbidelli has been involved with Superstars V8’s development this time around means that now more than ever, Black Bean is looking to get closer to their target market, which is a very positive move.” ITALIAN STALLIONS

Like its predecessor, Next Challenge is based on the Italian Superstars Championship tournament, a racing league that only allows cars with V8 engines to participate. The game recreates all of the tracks, racers and vehicles involved in the competition, ensuring fans will be more than satisfied by this authentic Superstars experience. While the tournament may not be as recognisable as the likes of Formula One, Minter is confident that the championship – and, by extension, the game – boasts everything a racing fan could possibly want from their newest rubber-burner.

RELEASED: FEBRUARY 26 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: BLACK BEAN DEVELOPER: MILESTONE PRICE: £39.99 / £29.99 (PC) DISTRIBUTOR: TRADEWEST CONTACT: 020 7456 0450

“It’s the pinnacle of the powerhouse realistically recreates the effects of any “Black Bean has been working closely 500 bhp touring cup class,” he says. knock, scrapes or full-on collisions. with Morbidelli, which gives us a great “Manufacturers such as BMW, Audi, Real-time weather effects that change platform to extend our PR reach with Mercedes and Maserati can be seen racing the condition of the tarmac mean that one-on-one interviews and an inside on some of the best circuits in look at the popular V8 the world, from Imola to Superstars championship,” Black Bean has bean working Hockenheim.” Minter says. closely with Morbidelli, which Players can pick their “The fact that he has gives us a great platform to favourite vehicle and take on brought his own expertise to extend our PR reach. six single-player modes, with advise developer Milestone Aidan Minter, Tradewest Games an additional five means that this year’s difficulty levels resulting version should be even more in plenty of challenge for only the most skilled gamers will avoid competitive than last year. veteran gamers. causing a pile-up. “We’ve also got an extensive preview As they progress through All of these mechanics have been and review campaign across primary various leagues, they can fine overseen by Gianni Morbidelli, who motoring press, motorsport press and tune the various engine parts drew on his years of racing experience men’s lifestyle. and other components of their to help Milestone and Black Bean “There will be online HD channel chosen car to improve its ensure the game is as realistic as takeovers and activity including podcast performance, or simply take to the possible. Not only will his seal of sponsorship with sites like Videogamer, track and avoid the usual pit stops. approval prove to be a strong selling and we’re even lining up competitions Each vehicle has been lovingly point, Tradewest is also hoping the with press to give away PS3 and Xbox recreated in-game and boasts an veteran driver will be able to boost its 360 consoles, V8 merchandise and accurate damage system that marketing efforts. copies of the game.”

Premium 2-ddisc pack, with bonus game content and soundtrack Onlline markketting with high traffic take-overs Targgettedd sppeciiallistt and lifestyle print advertising

The million-selling Yakuza franchise comes to Europe and the PlayStation® 3.

12 - 3 - 10 WWW.SEGA.CO.UK/GAMES/YAKUZA3

ORDER NOW FROM CENTRESOFT 0121 6253817

www.sega.co.uk

SEGA, the SEGA logo and Yakuza are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation. © SEGA. “2”, “PlayStation”, “Ô and À are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

<630&9$'938.9LQGG



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RETAILBIZ: SUPERMODEL MAKEOVER 32 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Avanquest’s latest fashion title aims to capture the girls market on DS with the help of a YouTube celebrity… by James Batchelor WHILE THE girls’ fashion genre may be a rather crowded sector of the DS market, thanks to Nintendo’s Style Boutique and the influx of Ubisoft’s Imagine titles, Avanquest is confident that its latest release can still outshine the competition. Unlike rival titles, Supermodel Makeover boasts the expertise of a veritable make-up guru: internet phenomenon Lauren Luke. Originally making a name for herself as panacea81 on YouTube, Luke is well known across the internet for her accessible and expert make-up tutorials. Her homemade videos have earned her the attentions of over 350,000 YouTube subscribers. With more than 68 million YouTube hits under her belt, she is the most

subscribed channel in the UK – claiming more views than SuBo. The 28 year-old’s success has led on to the release of her new make-up range and book, as well as a regular beauty column in The Guardian. AVANQUEST’S GAME FACE

games director Simon Reynolds. “We are confident the game will appeal to her established fanbase – which over the last year has helped her become the UK’s No.1 subscribed YouTube channel – as well as the traditional younger makeover market. “It’s a fun and interactive title with lots of genuine make-up and beauty tips from Lauren.”

Now Luke has teamed up with Avanquest to make Supermodel Makeover the most Lauren Luke’s input and enticing game of its type commercial success will help on the DS. “Lauren was heavily elevate Supermodel Makeover involved in the above similar titles. development of this game Simon Reynolds, Avanquest and we believe her input PASSION FOR FASHION and commercial success – coupled with Supermodel Makeover features the popularity of our casual games range exclusive make-up tutorials from Luke, – will help elevate it above similar which must be put to use if players makeover titles already available on the hope to win the 10 contests found in market,” says Avanquest’s European

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: AVANQUEST DEVELOPER: MEDIA ARTS PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

game, ranging from Boho Babe to Prom Style and Disco Star. Players will have to accessorise their characters with over 250 fashionable items, such as sunglasses, jewellery and handbags. They can then save their best looks into the built-in model portfolio, which can be shared with other Supermodel Makeover owners. There is also a range of bonus fashion-theme mini-games to enjoy, which offer relief from the contests.

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 34 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Napoleon sails onto High Street The next instalment in the critically acclaimed Total War series arrives, alongside Sony’s hugely anticipated Heavy Rain. Also hitting shelves is Lips, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, Alice in Wonderland, Battlefield and Final Fantasy XIII... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Casual Action Puzzle Action FPS Action Simulation Casual Imagine Puzzle Casual Casual Casual Puzzle RPG Survival Horror Action Strategy/Action

S.A.D Disney Interactive S.A.D Ubisoft EA Zushi First Class Simulations S.A.D Ubisoft City Interactive Mamba Games S.A.D S.A.D Nintendo Deep Silver Konami Ubisoft Square Enix

01582 436043 0121 625 3388 01582 436043 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 01869 338833 01582 436043 01279 822800 0845 362 7769 01273 202220 01582 436043 01582 436043 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0208 987 5706 01279 822800 020 8987 5730

PlayV Centresoft PlayV Gem Centresoft Gem Open PlayV Gem Trilogy Lace PlayV PlayV Koch Koch Open Gem Open

PS3 / XBOX 360

RPG

Square Enix

020 7324 5200

Open

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

RPG Simulation Action/Adventure Strategy/Action Strategy/Action Strategy/Action Strategy Action Survival Horror Action

Rising Star Games Deep Silver D3Publisher THQ THQ THQ Kalypso Media Zushi Capcom Sega

0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0208 222 9700 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Mastertronic Koch Namco Bandai Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Gem Centresoft Centresoft

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

Simulation Adventure Fighting Action Strategy Simulation Mini-games RPG

Just Flight City Interactive Zen United Ubisoft EA Ghostlight Ghostlight EA

0845 234 4242 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0121 625 3388

Mastertronic Trilogy Centresoft Gem Centresoft Open Open Centresoft

FEBRUARY 26th 727 Captain Adventures To Go Anno 1404 Venice Add-on Discover Arabia Heavy Rain Lips: Party Classics Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes Napoleon: Total War Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces Sled Shred Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Undead Knights Way of the Samurai 3

MARCH 5th Alabama Smith: Escape From Pompeii Alice In Wonderland Around The World In 80 Days Assassin's Creed II Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Defendin De Penguin Discover Great Britain Gourmania Imagine Journalist Jewels Of Sahara Machinarium Magic Encyclopedia Pet Show Craze Picross 3D Sacred 2: Gold Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Silent Hunter 5 Supreme Commander 2

MARCH 9th Final Fantasy XIII

MARCH 12th Avalon Code Ballerina Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising Dawn Of War II: Gold Dawn Of War II: GOTY Ed M.U.D TV Monster Pals Resident Evil 5: Gold Pack Yakuza 3

MARCH 19th A4 Pacific Class Art Of Murder BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Combat Of Giants: Mutant Insects Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Dancing on Ice Digitars: Magnificent Flying Funfair Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening

MUSTSTOCK .................NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR Released: February 26 Format: PC Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Sega follows up on last year’s chart-topping Empire: Total War with this brand new Napoleon-inspired edition. Players wage war around the world, both on land and at sea, as they explore the conflicts that took place during the life of Monsieur Bonaparte.

MUSTSTOCK ..............SEGA ALL-STARS RACING Released: February 26 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing brings a multitude of iconic Sega characters together for some family-friendly karting antics. Gamers tear up gamethemed tracks in the battle for first place, either in single-player or a range of multiplayer modes.

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 36 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

POLL ARE GAMES RETAILERS TRULY OUT OF THE RECESSION YET?

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

93%

79% No

Heavy Rain PS3 Sony

11% Yes

89%

77%

76%

75%

Bioshock 2, 360, 2K Games

MX Vs ATV Reflex, PS3, THQ

Phantasy Star Zero, DS, Sega

Dante’s Inferno, PS3, EA

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

10% Let’s Wait And See

WHILE THE Office of National Statistics may have declared the recession to be officially over in the UK last month, a significant portion of the industry agree with publishers such as Activision, Codemasters and Rising Star: we’re not out of the woods yet. Echoing comments made to MCV by the three publishers two weeks ago, a whopping

79 per cent of participants in our latest online survey believe games retailers are not free from economic strife. Another 11 per cent are optimistic that things will begin to rebuild from here on out, while the remaining tenth of voters were sat on the fence.  Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com

MARGIN MAKER INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1

2

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

3

4

5

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

MASS EFFECT 2 FORMAT: 360

DEVELOPER: EA BIOWARE PUBLISHER: EA

2

2

3

NEW

MAG PS3 DANTE’S INFERNO PS3 DANTE’S INFERNO 360

SONY EA

4

NEW

5

9

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3

6

3

MAG: COLLECTOR’S EDITION PS3

7

4

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8

RE

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

SEGA

9

NEW

MASS EFFECT 2 PC

EA

10

NEW

THE SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH TECH STUFF PC

EA

EA

The Nyko Charge Station Quad allows Wii owners to safely store and charge four Wii Remotes simultaneously. Gamers simply plug the special battery packs included with the station into the Remote and slot them into one of the four charging slots, with indicator lights signifying when the battery is full.

Each of the rechargeable batteries lasts up to 25 hours, and comes with a coloured battery hatch. The hatches feature a special rubberised, textured grip to ensure the Wii Remote doesn’t slip from a player’s hands during a heated gaming sessions. Interactive Ideas: 020 8805 1000

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY

DEAL OF THE WEEK

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.

Gamers can save £85 when they buy a 250GB PS3 Slim with BioShock 2 and Uncharted 2 at GAME for £289.99.

Immediate opportunities in games: Production Licensing Finance HR

Account Management Marketing Sales PR

Please apply to amanda@opmjobs.com or call 01206 214417

OPM Response Ltd Tel:+44(0)1206 214421 www.opmjobs.com

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/02/10 37 Sponsored by

PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Bioshock 2 360, 2K Games

Dante’s Inferno PS3, EA

Princess and the Frog DS, Disney

Star Trek Online PC, Atari

FF: Crystal Bearers Wii, Square Enix

TOP 10 HEAVY RAIN PS3 SONY

IN STORE: MILTON KEYNES £39.70

£39.70

£24.70

£25.99

N/A

£37.71

£39.71

£24.00

N/A

NA

2. FINAL FANTASY XIII

£39.99

£39.99

£29.99

£39.99

£29.99

3. GOD OF WAR III

£29.99

£39.99

£29.99

N/A

N/A

4. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX PS3 ......................................................................SONY 360 ......................................................................SEGA

5. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2

360 ..........................................................................EA

6. FINAL FANTASY XIII

ONLINE

360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX

£34.49

£39.99

£24.99

£29.99

£24.99

£34.99

£37.99

£24.99

£34.99

£29.99

£34.49

£37.73

£27.87

£44.99

£24.73

£34.45

£37.75

£23.95

£29.95

£24.95

7. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2

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

8. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY

PS3 ................................................................ROCKSTAR

9. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

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

10. YAKUZA 3

PS3 ......................................................................SEGA Week ending February 12th Source: SHOPTO.COM

FROM THE FRONTLINE This week, we speak to Sholing Video’s Dan Scammell... What makes your store unique? We’ve been trading for 25 years – since the Atari 2600 days. We employ knowledgeable staff who, unlike the drones in certain retailers, aren’t programmed to sell absolutely everything from guidebooks to keyrings.

“If it doesn’t end in ‘Of Duty’ or ‘Of Warcraft’, it isn’t going to sell.”

d m

What has seen disappointing sales? PSP, Wii, and DS are all rife with piracy so not even Mario or Zelda can shift units on those formats. PSP is just as dead as the dodo, and the only time the DS sells is if little Timmy gets a brand new R4 for his birthday. DSi has to be the biggest waste of time since the GBA Micro. Two cameras and a link to Facebook isn’t what I would call a step forward in handheld gaming. Everything you would expect to sell is still sat on the shelves. MAG, Army Of Two, Bayonetta: games that have scores slapped across the box just aren’t selling. If it doesn’t end in ‘Of Duty’ or ‘Of Warcraft’ then it’s just going to sit there.

[PRE ORDERS]

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

PC ........................................................................SEGA

3. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

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

4. FINAL FANTASY XIII

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

5. ALIENS VS PREDATOR

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

6. HEAVY RAIN

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

7. FINAL FANTASY XIII: LIMITED ED.

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

8. GRAN TURISMO 5 What are the biggest challenges you face? Figuring out new ways to bring footfall into the store. We have a rental side to the business so we are looking at new and creative ways of bringing in more custom.

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

9. GOD OF WAR III

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

10. NAPOLEEON: TOTAL WAR - IMPERIAL ED

PC ........................................................................SEGA Week ending February 12th Source: PLAY.COM

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 38 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO TAKE A BREAK’S PUZZLE MASTER UBISOFT STYLE BOUTIQUE NINTENDO PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST

4 5 3 9 2 8 15 7 6

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

1

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

[2]

1

BIOSHOCK 2 FORMAT: XBOX 360, PS3, PC DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

2

2

3

5

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

4

3

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

5

6

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

6

8

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii

NINTENDO

7

9

WII FIT PLUS Wii

NINTENDO

8

1

MASS EFFECT 2 360, PC

[FULL PRICE]

[3]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

JUST DANCE Wii

UBISOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

EA

9

4

DANTES’S INFERNO PSP, 360, PS3

1

10

36

BAYONETTA 360, PS3

SEGA

WII SPORTS RESORT

11

17

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii

SEGA

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

12

10

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

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII NINTENDO MARIO KART WII NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA FIFA 10 EA RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR UBISOFT F1 2009 CODEMASTERS COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ENDLESS OCEAN 2: DEEP NINTENDO

13

14

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

EA

14

RE

MADDEN NFL 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP

EA

15

13

MARIO KART WII Wii

16

16

FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360

2 3 4 6 14 5 9 8 11

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

[4]

TITLE

JUST DANCE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII FIT PLUS WII PLAY PEPPA PIG: THE GAME FERRARI CHALLENGE EA SPORTS ACTIVE SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL ULTIMATE RED BALL CHALLENGE INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS UP

17

15

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

18

30

PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS

19

12

ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3

20

27

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

PC CD-ROM

[FBUDGET PRICE]

1 2 3 10 9 5 4 12 6 15

PUBLISHER

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

[5]

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT

1

EA

NINTENDO MICROSOFT WARNER BROS P2 GAMES/UBISOFT UBISOFT ROCKSTAR

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

BIOSHOCK 2 DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES

NINTENDO

2

2

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

NINTENDO

3

5

THE SIMS 3

P2 GAMES

4

6

THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES

SYSTEM 3

5

1

STAR TREK ONLINE

EA

6

3

MASS EFFECT 2

NINTENDO

7

4

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. CALL OF PRIPYAT

KOCH MEDIA

8

7

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

LUCASARTS

9

9

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS

THQ

10

8

WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

SEGA EA EA ATARI EA KOCH MEDIA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 19/02/10 31

2K GAMES’ BioShock 2 surfaces at the top of the

sales propelling FIFA 10 up to No.3 and Bayonetta

charts, overtaking Mass Effect 2 as the biggest

climbing from No.36 to No.10. EA’s Madden NFL 10 reappears at No.14, driven

release of 2010 so far. The game is the first All Formats No.1 for TakeTwo since Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008. BioShock is also the only new release this week to make it

PS3 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

21

22

BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC

22

7

MAG PS3

SONY

23

24

UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3

SONY

2K GAMES

24

18

MX VS ATV REFLEX 360, PS3, DS, PSP

25

26

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS

26

20

THE SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF PC EA

27

23

PES 2010 360, PS3, PC

28

19

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

29

28

THQ

KONAMI SEGA EA

30

29

WII PLAY Wii

31

33

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PC

32

37

DARKSIDERS 360, PS3

33

RE

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

34

31

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

35

RE

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

THQ

36

25

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

THQ

37

RE

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO

NINTEND

3 4 2 13 1 5 7 6 8

EA THQ

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA SEGA SONY SONY EA UBISOFT UBISOFT

RE

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

CAPCOM

40

RE

FERRARI CHALLENGE PS3, Wii, DS, PS2

SYSTEM 3

10

DEVELOPER: HB STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA

2 4 8 3 12 9 11 7

ASSASSIN’S CREED

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010

EIDOS

NEW

HIDDEN EXPIDITION: DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

FOCUS

FOCUS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER

FOCUS

THE MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL PORTAL GSP/AVANQUEST AGE OF EMPIRES III

MICROSOFT

SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY

CITY INTERACTIVE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER

2 3 5 4 6 7 8 10

OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC

CODEMASTERS

TITLE

FIFA 10

DARK VOID 360, PS3, PC

EA

[FULL PRICE]

1

RE

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

PUBLISHER

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FIFA 10 DANTE’S INFERNO BAYONETTA MAG UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY ASSASSIN’S CREED II JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR

21

WOW: BATTLE CHEST

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

38

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

[FULL PRICE]

BIOSHOCK 2

39

1

Inferno also saw a severe drop, falling to No.9. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Mass Effect 2 suffered a 58 per cent decline in

NINTENDO

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC

PC CD-ROM

Super Bowl.

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SONY SONY UBISOFT ROCKSTAR SEGA UBISOFT SQUARE ENIX KONAMI KONAMI

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

BIOSHOCK 2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MASS EFFECT 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FIFA 10 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 DANTE’S INFERNO BAYONETTA ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY BORDERLANDS

1 3 5 4 2 20 6 8 10

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

Elsewhere, price promotions see several titles leap up the charts, with a 53 per cent rise in

Highest New Entry

no doubt by the hype surrounding this year’s

sales, pushing it down to eighth, while Dante’s

into the Top 40.

L FORMATS

WEEK ENDING 13/02/10

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES 2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA MICROSOFT EA SEGA EA ROCKSTAR 2K GAMES

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 40 MCV 19/02/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

FRANCE

ISRAEL

SINGAPORE

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

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

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

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

AUSTRIA

ITALY

SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

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

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

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

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

BELGIUM

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

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

45 rue Delizy,

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

SPAIN

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

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

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

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

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

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

BENELUX

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

NETHERLANDS

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

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

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

GAMEWORLD

SUPREME FACTORY

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

439 avenue de la Gare

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

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

EBS Benelux

GERMANY

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

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

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

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

The Netherlands

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

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

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

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

GREECE

www.planetadeagostini.net

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

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

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

NORWAY

Lorentzweg 1

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

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

POLAND

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

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

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

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

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

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

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

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

DENMARK

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

INDIA

PO Box 5083

E-mail: business@techland.pl

S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden

Web: www.techland.pl

Phone: +46 54 854750

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10

Fax: +46 54 854759

Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se

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

RUSSIA

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

SERBIA

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

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

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

UNITED STATES

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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

SWITZERLAND

Gateway Distribution ApS +45 7026 0870 (DK)

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

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

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk

Website: www.gameoutlet.se

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

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB

54-426 Wroclaw, Poland

COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

BASCO, INC.

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

Tel: 1-917-627-3000

mail:games@computerland.rs

Fax: 1-718-228-4401

website:www.computerland.rs

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

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

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

MCV 19/02/10 41

INTERNATIONAL NEWS AUSTRALIA

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

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

 An Australian man who uploaded an illegal copy of New Super Mario Bros Wii to the internet before the game went on sale has agreed to pay Nintendo $1.3m in compensation. Nintendo argued that the man – who has been named as James Burt – breached copyright and cost the platform holder thousands of sales. “It wasn’t just an Australian issue, it was a global issue,” Nintendo’s Australian MD Rose Lappin told The Sydney Morning Herald. “There were thousands and thousands of downloads, at a major cost to us and the industry. But it’s not just about us. It’s about retailers and if they can’t sell the games, then they have to bear the costs associated with that. “Once it’s on the internet it’s anyone’s really.” Nintendo said when it discovered the game was online, it used computer forensics experts to identify the individual responsible.

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

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

MIDDLE EAST

dose of religious referencing is likely to see all three skip a release in the Middle East. Speaking about Dante’s Inferno, EA stated that is had “decided not to release Dante’s Inferno in the Middle East after an evaluation process which is based on consumer tastes, preferences, platform mix and other factors”, according to GamesLatest. Similar concerns have already led to THQ’s Darksiders being blocked from release in the region by the UAE’s National Media Council, though the regulator never officially stated the reasons for its decision. The original God of War was also banned by the UAE, and whilst there’s not yet been official word concerning God of War III, a release is looking quite unlikely. Middle Eastern gamers looking for a dose of high quality thirdperson hack ‘n’ slash action are, at least, able to get their hands on Sega’s Bayonetta.

Australia is edging closer to the creation of an R18+ classification as preliminary results from the government’s public consultation shows the majority of citizens are in favour of the new rating. The government opened the ongoing debate surrounding the nation’s lack of a mature games rating to the public back in December. So far, more than 6,239 submissions have been made, according to GameSpot. Out of the 1,084 responses that have been processed so far, only 11 have been against the proposal to create an R18+ rating. Submissions for this consultation are open until February 28th. The results will then be distributed to each of Australia’s Attorney-Generals to aid their decision on the matter. A unanimous vote is required before a new rating can be passed as law.

Darksiders, Dante’s Inferno and God of War 3 share more in common than just gameplay styles and a similar release window – their heavy

JAPAN

Square Enix’s cherished RPG series Dragon Quest has once again lived up to the hefty expectations placed upon it in the publisher’s homeland with news that Dragon Quest VI sold nearly one million copies on its first week of release. The title is actually a remake of the mid ‘90s SNES classic, which has been revamped for Nintendo’s current handheld. In total it shifted just over 900,000 units at retail, far ahead of second place Resonance of Fate, which sold 118,000. Sony’s ambitious online shooter MAG sneaked into the top ten on its first week, despite the genre’s relative lack of popularity in Japan. In the hardware charts PSP remains top dog with sales of nearly 48,000 – although those numbers are for the UMDequipped PSP-3000 model. The digital-only PSPgo continues to prop up the rest with weekly sales of just 1,645 units.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

DISC REPAIR

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

www.discstribution.com

Elm-Digitalia UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 643 6021

Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

DISTRIBUTION BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688 Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562

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

Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735

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

Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800

DISTRIBUTION

GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 The Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428

CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . simonbrown@googlemail.com DISTRIBUTION

LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 RETAIL SERVICES Complete Epos Solutions Ltd . . . . . . . 01543 370002 STORE FITTINGS AMA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 UK Shopfitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY FEBRUARY 26th

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

PIRACY INVESTIGATION With piracy a hot issue at the moment, MCV speaks to key figures in the industry about this ever-present threat to games retail. We look at recent attempts to thwart illegal copying, such as Ubisoft’s ‘always connected and online’ PC solution, and discuss potential solutions that could rid the industry of piracy.

DSI XL LAUNCH SPECIAL We mark the launch of Nintendo’s latest handheld with an in-depth product guide focused on the new device itself. Expect a full round-up of the key titles due to hit the DS by the end of the year, while peripherals firms show off their latest accessories ranges developed specifically to complement the new hardware. FRIDAY MARCH 5th

QA & LOCALISATION As the emerging markets of the world continue to develop, growing ever closer to the likes of Europe, the US and Japan, localisation becomes increasingly important to publishers hoping to maximise their next global hit. MCV talks to leading QA and localisation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector and the biggest advances seen over the last year. FRIDAY MARCH 12th

GENRE FOCUS: RTS After last year’s strong line-up of real-time strategy titles, including Empire: Total War, Halo Wars and Dawn Of War II, we look at what 2010 holds for the genre. We offer a glimpse of the hottest upcoming RTS games, including Command & Conquer 4, R.U.S.E, Napoleon: Total War, Starcraft 2 and Dawn Of War II: Chaos Rising. We speak to the publishers behind these titles. We also discuss the future of the genre and the challenges that face new strategy releases. FRIDAY MARCH 19th

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

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

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

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

RETAIL SERVICES

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

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

DISTRIBUTION

STORE FITTINGS

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

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

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

DISC REPAIR

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

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

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

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

FEBRUARY MIDLANDS MCM EXPO 2010 Saturday, February 20th – Sunday, February 21st Telford International Centre www.mcmexpo.org

MARCH THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, March 4th Sway Bar, London Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com MCV AND XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, March 31st Sway Bar, London Orlaith.Kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk

APRIL

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk

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

The biggest night in the UK games industry’s calendar returns to The Brewery in 2010, and will once again feature awards split across three main categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential games industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk

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

THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, March 4th Sway Bar, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk

JULY

Everyone thinks that they work with some clever people in this industry – but how about putting your money where your mouth is and take on your peers at The Develop Quiz? Sponsored by Premier PR and Train2Game, the latest outing for this essential networking event will pit 20 teams of five against each other. All industry members – be they studios, publishers, QA and recruitment companies – are all invited to attend, with a full night of entertainment and competition on offer.

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 July 14th Brighton, UK www.develop-online.net CASUAL CONNECT SEATTLE Tuesday, July 20th – Thursday, July 22nd Benaroya Hall, Seattle, US seattle.casualconnect.org

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

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

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48 MCV 19/02/10

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Off The Record

Familiar faces abound as the industry emerges en masse for Sony’s party, while Star Trek fans invade London...

PIC OF THE WEEK Namco Bandai recruited an armada of Trekkies to mark the launch of Star Trek Online in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people dressed as Star Trek characters in one place. They won – that and the award for campest-looking Captain Picard. TRIUMPHANT SMILES Sony bigwigs Ray Maguire and Andrew House were more than a little chirpy as industry members joined them to celebrate sales of three million PS3 sales in the UK. Held under Holborn’s Victoria House, the Black & White Party insisted attendees dress only in monochrome colours, before forcing them to drink and make merry. There were also some rather bizarre entertainments, such as a man stripping off and inserting himself into a balloon, and a beatbox flutist. Yes, you read that right: a beatbox flutist. Why do you never get them on Britain’s Got Talent?

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MCV 19/02/10 49

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

SARAH JASPER, THE HUT

r ce.

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

GUEST LIST A wash of familiar faces turned up for Sony’s Black & White party in Holborn, including: HMV’s Jonathon Hayes, Amazon’s Brian Foote, Centresoft’s Margaret Pearson, Sega’s Karl Johns and Jamie Nason, Disney’s Manab Roy, Future’s James Binns and Robert Price, Premier PR’s Ali Wood, Warner’s Phil Lamb, and Green Man Gaming’s Gian Luzio. Almost everyone honoured the black and white theme - with the exception of Luzio, who sported a rebellious blue shirt and an unashamed look on his face.

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S

PHIL MOORE, GRAINGER GAMES

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N O I T I T E P M CO

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MCV575 Friday February 19th 2010