THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday February 26 2010 £3.25
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N A H T E M A G E N I L N O R E T T E B A , Y E N O ” 2 E R A “FOR OUR M F R A MODERN W
Battleﬁ Ba B att ttle leﬁﬁﬁel le eeld el ld Ba B Bad add Co Comp Company omp m an a y 2™ ™ iiss al aall-out l--ou outt mu m multiplayer lttip ipla laye la yyeer w wa warfare arf r arre at iits ts ts absolute ab abso bssoolu lute t ﬁnnest! est! es tt!! Get ready for the most spectacular FPS multiplayer experience ever! Battleﬁeld Bad Company 2™ brings the spectacular Battleﬁeld gameplay to the forefront of next-gen consoles and PC - featuring best-in-class vehicular combat set across 8 huge sandbox maps each with a different tactical focus. New vehicles like the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and the UH-60 transport helicopter allow for all-new multiplayer tactics in the warzone, extensive tuning ensures that this will be the most satisfying vehicle combat experience to date. Tactical destruction is taken to new heights with the updated DICE ‘Frostbite’ engine. Players can now take down entire buildings or create their own ﬁre points by blasting holes through cover, thereby delivering a unique experience in every match.
Play Pl Players ayer ay yers errs ca ccan also compete in 4-player teams in 2 exclusive squadonly on llyy ggame amee modes, ﬁghting together to unlock exclusive team am awards and achievements. Spawn on your squad to get straight into the action, and use gadgets such as the tracer dart in-conjunction with the RPG to devastating effect. Excellence in the battleﬁeld is rewarded with an extensive range of pins, insignias and stars to unlock along with 50 dedicated ranks to achieve. Variety also extends into the range of customizable kits weapons and vehiceles available. With 4 distinct character classes, 46 weapons, 15 gadgets, 13 character specializations and over 15000 kit variations to discover and master players will be able to ﬁne-tune their preferred ﬁghting style to give them the edge in combat. All of these features combine to deliver spectacular and unpredictable action moments found nowhere else in the genre.
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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES International Media Partner
Issue 576 Friday February 26 2010 £3.25
04 Second to none
14 Disney Whirl
New action driving game Split/Second: Velocity dated for May 21st
The media giant’s head of interactive media Steve Wadsworth interviewed
05 Megaton hits
19 DSi XL: Peripherals Guide
New print games magazine targets kids market – and is backed by Eurogamer
A full run-down of the new kit available for Nintendo’s extra large handheld
06 Sega toasts sales success
52 Off the Record
AvP, Vancouver 2010, Football Manager and Mario & Sonic pass key milestones
Our revamped back pages feature your pictures and industry stars
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Facebook giant targets retail
Microsoft turns to non-gamers and celebs for Natal
Online ‘threat’ turns High Street hero as Playfish gets physical
by Dominic Sacco
by James Batchelor EA-OWNED Playfish plans to seriously grow the audience for its social games – by forging partnerships with leading High Street brands. The otherwise online-only firm has tied-up with the likes of Sainsbury’s, HMV and even games-shy WHSmith to sell ingame currency cash cards. While the developer offers a range of free-toplay titles online – with 60m players every month – the firm says its cash cards have already sold extremely well after a pre-Christmas roll out. Now it wants to make them as ubiquitous as iTunes gift cards via wider retail distribution. Co-founder Sebastien de Halleux told MCV: “You can’t underestimate the power of the retail distribution channel. “In casual games, cards like these can totally replace boxed
TAKING THE BAIT: Playfish’s COO and cofounder Sebastien de Halleux says retail is key to attracting a wider online games audience
He added: “Playfish had previously diverted retail by making our games available solely online, but the channel still carries a lot of weight.” The cards are available in denominations of £10 and £25. “They are a very high margin item, it takes very little
You can’t underestimate the power of the retail distribution channel – it still carries a lot of weight. Sebastien de Halleux, Playfish
product – look at what Apple has done with the iTunes cards. You can buy iTunes cards almost everywhere and they have a higher value than a traditional CD. In the music industry, they’ve created a big dent in the influence of boxed versions.”
shelf space compared to a magazine, a DVD or any item like that, and it’s a pretty high value product,” said de Halleux. He also revealed that the firm plans to sell other physical items at bricks ‘n’ mortar pointof-sale further down the line.
“We’ve decided to experiment a bit more with physical components to our games,” continued de Halleux. “There may also be objects coming in the future that will form a bridge between retail and the online world. “Many of our users have expressed a need to get more and more from their game beyond the online component and this could be anything from virtual currency to a six foot robot from one of our games.” But the firm is prioritising mainstream and convenience retail over specialist chains. “Games retail is definitely on the radar but for the moment we favour having them in stores that everyone has access to,” said de Halleux. “We’re really aiming to give the cards blanket coverage.”
MICROSOFT WILL directly challenge Nintendo’s massmarket media efforts when it launches Natal later this year. MCV understands that format-holder Microsoft is already planning early promotional efforts for the camera device to include celebrity endorsements and coverage in non-games media. Microsoft this week invited an ‘elite selection of media’ and non-games firms to attend a VIP showcase. The likes of Vogue and Glamour have been targeted in a bid to build awareness for its upcoming motiontracking peripheral. By courting areas like the parenting press, toy retailers and
publications which primarily cater for non-gamers, the format holder will be directly chasing the core Wii audience Nintendo has built in the last four years. A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed that this week’s tour was designed to introduce the device to non-gaming specialists “you’d never see” talk about Xbox 360 otherwise, and educate non-gamers. In January, Microsoft confirmed that Natal will be available in time for Christmas. Last year MCV reported on a behind-closed-door showcase for games developers where Natal was said to be on course for a November release – five years after the introduction of the 360 – with a mooted price point pf around £50.
AWARDS FINALISTS: ARE YOU IN? OVER 60 companies from the games industry are nominated for prizes at this year’s MCV Industry Excellence Awards. From retail to distribution via publishers, UK games developers and peripherals brands, winners from all over the trade have been recognised for their work in the last 12 months. Turn to page 7 for the full list of finalists.
PERSONNEL 31 RETAIL BIZ 33 NEW RELEASES 39 HIGH STREET 40 CHARTS 42
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[LEADER] AND THE NOMINEES ARE...
Disney’s racer has been given the full title Split/Second: Velocity and will be at The Gadget Show Live this April
IT’S THAT time of year again. After some lengthy debates amongst the MCV team, we have unveiled the finalists for 2010’s MCV Awards. You can turn straight to page 7 now to find out if your company made the grade. There were, as there always are, some safe bets for nominees. Activison, Ubisoft, EA, Sony, Sega, Microsoft and Nintendo all have seven or more nominations each. GAME and sister chain Gamestation share five nominations. And while the event champions smaller companies as well, the nominees list in part reflects what’s happening across the industry – the big companies are more dominant than ever.
“The MCV Awards are still the most fiercely coveted industry prizes given their close view of the trade.” Thankfully, that only underlines the successes made by smaller brands or firms that punched above their weight in the last 12 months. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see who the judges pick – these awards are still the most fiercely coveted given their close view of the trade. They’re also the hardest to predict, which is all part of the fun. So congratulations go to all who made it this far as finalists – and good luck to them for April 22nd.
HOOKED ON RETAIL MEANWHILE, IS Playfish’s move towards retail an admission that the new era of Facebook games and cheap apps isn’t the goldrush many thought it was? Not exactly, but the studio’s decision to partner with retail mainstays (classic supermarket Sainsbury’s, entertainment giant HMV, and convenience chain WHSmith) says a lot about how digital content can interface with retail. It turns out digital gaming’s hottest stars aren’t looking to undermine bricks ‘n’ mortar retail. And while points cards and cash vouchers for online content are nothing new, the speed with which Playfish’s have appeared – already in even some of the most parochial stores – shows that the old guard can move just as quickly as online players. Sure, Playfish has backing from EA, which bought it for a cool $400m late last year. But for some time many in the industry (and commentators like myself) doubted that core games firms can keep up with the pace of digital innovation. Facebook and Google can iterate and implement risky changes to their products within minutes. Meanwhile, centralised buying teams and marketing sign-off procedures can be – as they sound – monolithic, painful and play-it-safe. I don’t think Playfish’s cash cards (and, soon, things like toys and accessories) are a major sign either side is changing drastically. But at least, for a change, these two powerful worlds are working together, rather than ignoring the boost they can provide each other. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Disney’s next racer speeds in on May 21st Split/Second: Velocity full title revealed PR tour kicks off April by Christopher Dring DISNEY Interactive Studios has announced that Split/Second: Velocity will launch in Europe on Friday, May 21st.
The publisher is now keen to get the title into gamers’ hands ahead of its launch, with a demo tour set to take place around the country. “The response of the specialist and mainstream
The response of the specialist and mainstream media to Split/Second: Velocity has been fantastic. James Thornby, Disney
The explosive racing game has received a swathe of positive press reports since it was officially unveiled last year, and the title even claimed the Game Critics Award for Best Racing Game at last year’s E3 in Los Angeles.
media to the game has been fantastic, and now we are eager to get the title in to people’s hands through product trialling as much as possible,” said Disney Interactive Studios’ product manager James Thornby.
“We have a number of plans in place up to release and beyond, which will allow us to do this, including the Gadget Show Live in April. Ourselves and the studio at Black Rock are looking forwards to seeing the reaction.” Split/Second: Velocity is a racing game set within a fictional TV show that encourages gamers to trigger events that can take out rivals or create short cuts simply through the press of a button. The game is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and is created by Brighton-based developer Black Rock Studios – the team behind 2008’s critically acclaimed Pure. Disney: 0208 222 1413
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New games mag emerges Skyjack publishes print kids mag this week Eurogamer to handle online version by Christopher Dring A NEW games publication aimed at kids has launched this week. Called Megaton and aimed at children aged between eight and 12, the brand is being co-launched by Skyjack Publishing and Eurogamer. The print version of Megaton, produced by Skyjack, launched yesterday (Thursday, February 25th). The publication is priced at
TOP 10 HEAVY RAIN
Meanwhile, the full Megaton website is due to launch on Thursday, March 25th, and is being created by the Eurogamer team. “This is incredibly exciting for us and for many video game publishers for whom dedicated kids gaming media site is long overdue,” publisher Catherine Channon told MCV. “There are over 4.9 million young gamers online every day, more than three million
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
We want to be to kids sites what Eurogamer is to games, and provide the best quality of content we can. Cat Channon, Eurogamer
£2.99 and features game reviews, competitions, puzzles and a Cartoon Network comic. Megaton in print will be made available every four weeks, and issue one includes a free Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom A4 sticker sheet as well as a Lego Indiana Jones and Bakugan Brawlers doublesided poster. Skyjack is the team behind Toxic and the Official Ben 10 Magazine.
6. ALAN WAKE: COLLECTORS ED 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
are online for over three hours and one-in-four have a laptop. “We want to provide a space where kids can engage and play with their favourite gaming brands outside of the straight experience. Often these titles have great creative resources behind them that are underutilised and we want to make the most of what’s available and translate it into fun-filled content.
7. FINAL FANTASY XIII 360 ................................SQUARE ENIX
8. YAKUZA 3 PS3 ..........................................SEGA “At first glance it may seem like a departure from Eurogamer’s core focus but we want to be to kids’ sites what Eurogamer is to games, and provide the best possible quality of video gaming content we can.” Skyjack publish MD Matt Yeo added: “Megaton is the only magazine in the
children’s market that offers 100 pages of pure gaming and comic content. We’ve created a truly exciting magazine that offers kids all of their favourite characters and brands in a unique and innovative format, and it’s one that also offers parents real value for money.” Eurogamer: 01273 746 864
9. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR
10. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION 360 ......................................UBISOFT Week ending February 19th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 41 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… This week’s UK software sales have leapt 16 per cent to £26.8 million, while unit sales also rose, up 13 per cent to 1,210,148. Sega’s FPS Aliens vs Predator drove sales and has become the fastest selling game of the year so far. The market was also boosted by continued sales of Just Dance and BioShock 2, as well as various retail offers that coincided with half-term. Retail can expect these positive sales to continue, with big new video games due for release almost every week. Today (Friday, February 26th) sees the release of Heavy Rain, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Napoleon: Total War.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending February 20th 2010
25 20 15 10 5
Sega’s Aliens vs Predator became the fastest selling game of the year when it launched last week
0 Week Ending February 6th
Week Ending February 13th
Week Ending February 20th
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Sega elated by sales feats AvP is fastest selling game of the year so far Vancouver 2010 sales leap 274 per cent Mario & Sonic hits 900k by Christopher Dring ALIENS VS PREDATOR has become Sega’s fastest selling game in the company’s history. The game was part of a bumper sales week for Sega. The firm’s Winter Olympic tie-in Vancouver 2010 saw sales
of Aliens vs Predator,” said Sega UK managing director John Clark. “We are also very pleased that Aliens vs Predator has become Sega’s fastest selling game to-date. With the exceptional level of pre-orders that had been achieved by
Aliens vs Predator is Sega’s fastest selling game to-date. We had high expectations and it has delivered on them. John Clark, Sega
leap 274 per cent following the opening of the sports event, while Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has smashed through the 900,000 units barrier. Furthermore, Football Manager 2010 has now sold 350,000 games in the UK. “We are absolutely delighted with the strong first week sales
AvP was boosted by record pre-orders, driven by a PR and marketing campaign that will continue in the weeks to come. “We have had a fantastic PR campaign, which achieved 11 front covers to date and hundreds of pages of coverage across both specialist and consumer media,” added Clarke. “We have also had a heavyweight marketing campaign that included a three minute takeover in the ad breaks of both Aliens and Predator movies recently shown on Channel 4 and Film 4, which resonated extremely well with our target audience. With marketing set to continue over the coming weeks, we are looking forward to ongoing success for the title.” Sega’s impressive Q1 line-up continues this week with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Napoleon: Total War.
SALES TRIUMPH: Sega’s John Clark expects AVP’s sales to grow further over the next few months
launch, we had high expectations for the title and I am very pleased to say that it has delivered on those expectations.” The horror FPS is also the quickest selling game of 2010 so far, beating major sequels in the BioShock and Mass Effect franchises.
Sega: 020 8995 3399
Ubisoft strengthens UK sales team PUBLISHER Ubisoft has bolstered its UK team with the appointment of Gareth Evans as business account manager. Evans joins the firm from Capcom and has five years experience working on brands such as Resident Evil. At
moved to the role of online sales manager. As well as handling the online accounts, Wallace will work on the publisher’s UK digital strategy. Meanwhile, Michael Rotchell has been promoted to the newly created role of UK sales
We have a strong sales team, who pride themselves on their product knowledge, relationships and results. Darren Bowen, Ubisoft
Ubisoft, he will work primarily with HMV, Sainsbury’s, TRU, Ireland and independents. The publisher has also announced two internal promotions. Andy Wallace has
manager. Rotchell will oversee the whole sales department and look to continue Ubisoft’s relationship with UK partners. “Given the number of releases, and breadth of titles
TEAM PLAYERS: (Picture left to right) Evans, Wallace and Rotchell are set to grow Ubisoft’s UK business
we have across our range, it became clear that we needed to add an extra person to continue to provide the best service to our customers,” said Ubisoft’s UK sales director Darren Bowen.
“Gareth’s experience makes him ideal to complement our existing team, and I’m really pleased to have him on board. “I believe we have a strong sales team at Ubisoft, who pride themselves on their product
knowledge, relationships and results, and I am delighted to be able to develop both Andy and Michael’s roles. They have both done a fantastic job over the past few years.” Ubisoft: 01932 578000
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MCV Awards finalists revealed Over 60 firms competing for key accolades Tables at Thursday April 22nd event completely sold out by Michael French SO, WERE you one of the chosen ones? Finalists for the 2010 MCV Industry Excellence Awards have been named (see the full list right) – and over 60 firms are in the running for the hotly-contested awards. The only event of its type, the MCV Awards give everyone in the UK trade a chance to be recognised for their efforts in the last 12 months. Over 600 industry execs will attend the sold out event on the night of Thursday, April 22nd to see who has been named as leaders in fields including retail, development, games publishing and marketing. Activision and Ubisoft score the most nominations, with nine each, while EA is in the running for eight awards. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft get seven nominations each. But although industry giants garner multiple nominations, other finalists include top peripherals brands, leading distributors – and of course key retailers such as GAME and Gamestation (five nominations between them), HMV and many others. Elsewhere, Ralph PittStanley (505 Games), Dorian Bloch (GfK Chart-Track), Penny Humphrey (Electronic Arts), Matt Castle (Disney Interactive Studios), Mike Sherlock (Square Enix), and Roy Stackhouse (Activision) are nominated for their contributions to the industry as part of the Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition Award. Voting will take place over the coming weeks, with our expert panel of industry execs having their say. For the PR Team award specifically, that array of voices will be widened to include top journalists from across the media.
PR & MARKETING New Game Brand Borderlands (2K Games) DJ Hero (Activision) EA Sports Active (EA) Just Dance (Ubisoft) Scribblenauts (WBIE) Bayonetta (Sega) PR Team Microsoft/JCPR SCE UK/John Doe Ubisoft/Lunch PR Sega/Lunch PR, Mischief Electronic Arts/Shine, Mischief, Brando Nintendo/The Red Consultancy Activision/Frank PR
PEOPLE & INDUSTRY
Supermarket ASDA Morrisons Tesco Sainsburys Star Store ASDA (Derby) GAME (Oxford Street) Grainger Games (Hull) Gamestation (Birmingham New Street) HMV (360 Oxford Street) Independent Retailer Game On Console Connections Grainger Games Games Centre Barkman Computers Online Retailer GAME Play Amazon ShopTo.Net Game Connection Zavvi/The Hut High Street Chain HMV GAME Gamestation Argos CHIPS
Sales Team Sony Computer Entertainment Electronic Arts Nintendo Activision Ubisoft Sega Microsoft
Games Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment Electronic Arts Activision Ubisoft Sega Nintendo Microsoft
Distribution Team Koch Gem Centresoft Creative Advantage
Sales Triumph Ashes Cricket 2009 (Codemasters) We Sing (Nordic Games) Street Fighter IV (Capcom) Lego Batman (WBIE) Just Dance (Ubisoft) UFC 2009: Undisputed (THQ) Club Penguin (Disney)
UK Development Team Rockstar Leeds Rocksteady Studios FreeStyleGames Sports Interactive Slightly Mad Studios Codemasters Studios
Marketing Team Electronic Arts Activision Ubisoft Sega Nintendo Microsoft Sony Computer Entertainment Peripherals & Accessories Brand Nyko A4T Mad Catz Venom Exspect Hubb Logic 3
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD: SPECIAL RECOGNITION Ralph Pitt-Stanley (505 Games) Dorian Bloch (GfK Chart-Track) Penny Humphrey (Electronic Arts)
Trade Marketing Team Microsoft Activision Electronic Arts Ubisoft Sega Nintendo Sony Computer Entertainment
Matt Castle (Disney Interactive Studios) Mike Sherlock (Square Enix) Roy Stackhouse (Activision)
GRAND PRIX Our highest accolade, this is a special award chosen by the MCV team, which rewards a UKbased brand or company that Retail Partner
Game Campaign The Sims 3 (EA) COD: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision) Assassin’s Creed II (Ubisoft) Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo) Forza Motorsport 3 (Microsoft) Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Sony)
has enjoyed commercial and critical success, while also showing the highest level of support at trade level. After Party Host
Pre-Event Reception Partner
Game Creative (single ad execution) Game Is Just The Start – 60-second TV (SCE) Modern Warfare 2 – Cinema (Activision) Enjoy Nintendo with Ant & Dec – 60-second TV (Nintendo) Rabbids – Sponsorship Idents (Ubisoft) Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles – Print (Capcom) Halo O.D.S.T – We Are O.D.S.T TV (Microsoft)
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‘Ben 10 will set sales records’ Publisher prepares newest iteration in hugely popular boys franchise to continue growing brand’s success by Christopher Dring NAMCO BANDAI expects that Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks will be the most successful game in the multimillion selling franchise when it hits shelves next month. Ben 10 has become a major video game property over recent years, with the previous two games – Protector of Earth
March 12th, and the publisher expects the game to better its popular predecessors. “Ben 10 has successfully made the transition from TV to video games,” said Namco Bandai Partners’ marketing exec Marlene Fitzsimmons. “To capture fans’ attention, Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks has a new and original story that remains faithful to the
Ben 10 still remains the UK’s No.1 boys property and both previous games remain evergreen sellers at retail. Marlene Fitzsimmons, NBP
and Alien Force – selling in excess of 4.5 million copies around the globe. Both titles have also been mainstays in the GfK ChartTrack Top 40 since their release. Now Namco Bandai is preparing the launch of Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks for PS2, PSP, 360, DS and Wii on
show, meaning kids can explore a new world beyond the series. “Ben 10 still remains the UK’s number one boys property and both previous Ben 10 games, Ben 10: Protector of Earth and Ben 10 Alien Force, remain evergreen sellers at retail. We expect Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks to be
Ben 10 has been established as a best-selling games brand and will continue this success with Vilgax
even bigger and better, setting all new records for the brand.” A big marketing campaign will accompany the game’s
Ghostlight gets its skates on DANCING ON ICE for Wii will arrive on March 12th, with a DS edition launching in April, Ghostlight has conﬁrmed. The game arrives prior to the end of the hit ITV show, which regularly pulls in audiences of around nine million. “The Dancing on Ice brand is one of the most valuable on British TV,” said ITV Studios licensing manager James Chubb. “Our audience is extremely passionate and we believe that they will love the opportunity to put themselves on the ice. “We are delighted that such a fun and authentic video game has been developed and this is another superb example of how we’re providing our audience
Ghostlight will work closely with ITV to promote Dancing on Ice
with high quality and engaging brand extensions.” Ghostlight’s head of sales Sam Collins added: “There is a huge overlap between the demographic proﬁle of the Wii and DS consoles and the Dancing on Ice TV audience.
“We are working very closely with ITV and other media partners to ensure the Dancing on Ice video game achieves its potential as one of the best selling family games of the year.” Ghostlight: 01376 555300
release, including TV activity on Cartoon Network. There will also be online advertising on key kids’ sites
and print activity in children’s press, such as The Dandy. Namco Bandai: 020 8222 9700
Mastertronic expands casual games range MASTERTRONIC has bolstered its line-up of casual titles with a wave of new hidden object games. The company has followed up on the success of previous releases with new products such as Time Machine: Trapped in Time, Pure Hidden and Proﬁler: The Hopskotch Killer. “2010 looks set to be an awesome year,” Mastertronic’s product director Neil McKenna. “And even more with our exciting batch of casual games.
“Hidden object games are becoming more and more popular all the time and are bringing PC gaming to a whole new demographic. “We believe that these are some of the best hidden object games on the market and are conﬁdent that they will carry over their online success to the world of retail. “We are actively looking to acquire more casual content and will be targeting this growth area over the coming year.” Mastertronic: 0845 234 4242
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Codemasters reloads key racers Publisher reveals Race Driver: GRID Reloaded Racing compilations due next month by Christopher Dring POPULAR RACING titles from the last two years are being given a second wind at retail through Codemasters. This will begin with Race Driver: GRID Reloaded, due for release on Thursday, March 11th for PS3. The new SKU will include a copy of the original game plus codes to download the two DLC packs: 8-Ball and Prestige. The PS3 edition is due to retail at £24.99, with a 360 version to follow at a later date. The 8-Ball pack is already available to download over PSN and Xbox Live and
through PSN on March 11th for £7.99. The DLC includes the Australian Bathurst circuit and ten new cars, such as the Ferrari F430. The Brit-based publisher has announced that two compilation packs will also launch on Thursday, March 11th. The ﬁrst set is priced at £29.99 for Xbox 360 and includes the original Colin McCrae: Dirt and Race Driver: GRID. The second set is a triple compilation pack for PC, and features GRID, Dirt, and last year’s release, Fuel. The PC bundle is priced at £19.99. “GRID won multiple awards at launch and since its May
We’re delighted to add extra value through new content on this Platinum release that reinvigorates the title.
Edward Newby-Robson, Codemasters
includes two new multiplayer events and eight new cars. The Prestige Pack is new, and will also be made available
2008 launch has remained a deﬁning racing game,” said Codemasters brand manager Edward Newby-Robson.
2K GAMES: The publisher has unveiled Sid Meier’s Civilization V. The game will advance the long-running series with a new game engine, revised combat system and a redesigned hexagonal tile mechanic. HMV: Square Enix will be holding the official UK launch event for Final Fantasy XIII at HMV’s flagship Oxford Street store in London on March 9th. Guests include the game’s producer Yoshinori Kitase and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo. SONY: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide. The game is the fastestselling first-party title on PS3.
Codemasters will give GRID new life with the launch of Reloaded
“We’re delighted to add extra value and introduce brand new content on its Platinum release that reinvigorates the title and
adds new cars and a new track to the game for the ﬁrst time.” Codemasters: 01926 814132
Nordic doubles staff New games publisher NORDIC GAMES has doubled its European team with the appointment of two new members. The publisher now boasts a total of four full-time staff, with Scott Morrow joining as director of operations and Susanne Falkmar taking up the role of ﬁnance director. The two join Nordic’s sales and marketing director Nik Blower and managing director Pelle Lundborg. “The fact we can double our headcount in one fell swoop speaks volumes about how efﬁciently Nordic Games has been operating,” said Blower. “When you’re employing staff of this calibre, you don’t
pledges retail support
Morrow (left) and Falkmar (right) boost Nordic Games
need many. We have prided ourselves on growing organically without a bloated headcount – as such, we’re looking forward to a bumper year.” Morrow moves to Nordic Games after working at 2K Games Europe, where he served as localisation manager. Falkmar previously worked at Swedish steel ﬁrm Proplate. Nordic Games: +34 952 930 927
SEGA: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has now sold more than six million copies worldwide.
FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES is prioritising retail promotions as it grows its business. The ﬁrm told MCV it will be targeting games retailers as a crucial element in its plans to establish a stronger presence. Last week, we detailed FMG’s plans to move into the UK market. The ﬁrm will launch its ﬁrst title, Mystery Tales: Time Travel for DS, on April 1st. FMG plans to support this title and its future releases with retail-centric marketing in order to create long-tail sales hits. “Given the fact that we feel that we have a strong portfolio
KONAMI: The publisher has confirmed it will publish Ninety-Nine Nights II in the UK. The sequel to the Microsoft-published 2006 title will hit Xbox 360 in Europe this Spring. SOUTH PEAK: For the quarter ending December 31st, 2009, South Peak reported profits of $2.6 million, down from the $1.2 million recorded a year before. Revenues were also down from $17.3 million to $10.1 million.
Michel van Elmpt stresses the importance of strong retail ties
that would work very well in the UK, it is now paramount for FMG to establish good working relationships with the key retailers in the UK market,” said MD Michel van Elmpt. FMG: 0207 240 2645
LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:
dancingonice.ghostlight.uk.com For more information contact: Sam Collins Head of Sales Sam.email@example.com T: 01376 555 333
Dancing On IceTM & ÂŠ 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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CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK MPANY 2 O C D A B : D L IE F E L BATT
EA’s has prepared a campaign that will target fans of both the Battlefield series and the FPS genre… ONLINE The online campaign forms a substantial part of EA’s budget and will be aimed at the core gaming audience. Ads will target not only FPS fans but also the established fan community surrounding DICE and Battlefield.
RELEASED: MARCH 5
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PRINT Print marketing will also be focused on the core gaming market for Bad Company 2 with ads in the specialist gaming press.
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Closer to launch, this will then extend into the more mainstream press, including men’s lifestyle magazines, in order to drive awareness across a larger audience. TV An extensive TV campaign will run in the weeks around the game’s launch, targeting a core audience of male gamers aged between 16 and 34. Spots will be aired around key programming that appeals to this group.
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MCV INTERVIEW STEPHEN WADSWORTH, PRESIDENT, DISNEY INTERACTIVE MEDIA GROUP
Disney whirl Colin Campbell speaks to Stephen Wadsworth, president of Disney Interactive Media Group, about the company’s big-name franchise plans, its ideas for new IP, its hopes for Marvel, and how it is approaching the platforms of today… You’ve got a lot of brands tied with big movie releases. In terms of portfolio planning, that must be the central pillar of your strategy? If there is a big tent pole movie coming, we’ll take a long hard look at it. And if we decide that it has long-term appeal and that we can create a great game around it then, oh sure, we’ll take that story and those characters and create a big game. Major products for us this year include Cars, which is a significant franchise for our company, and we’ve announced a massively multiplayer online game for that, World of Cars. We’ll get behind Cars 2 in a big way when that movie comes out. Pirates of the Caribbean is another in which we have major titles tied to theatrical releases. Tron is looking fantastic for November. Toy Story 3 comes out in the summer and we’ll have a multi-platform video games tied to that. But that’s not all we do. It depends on the property. For instance, the next big theatrical release is Alice in Wonderland. We have great games for that but just for Wii and DS. We also look at something like The Jonas Brothers on The Disney Channel and ask ourselves ‘what can we do with that?’ We just acquired Marvel Entertainment and we’ll look carefully at creating a whole range of multiplatform experiences to those. Plus, we are working on products that are derivative of existing properties like Epic Mickey, which will roll out in the next 12 months. That title is based on the history of Disney characters with Mickey Mouse at the centre of it, but it’s a whole new story and a whole new approach that’s not tied to a particular movie. And we have a title called Split Second, which is a racing title and isn’t tied to anything else at the company.
Why, with an almost limitless array of classic IP, would you risk coming to market with new IP? We are looking to broaden our audience and that’s one of the reasons why we bought Marvel. But we also like the category of racing and we felt we had the talent to create something new. It broadens our audience, gets us into a new category and makes us less dependent on – and more flexible with – what is coming out of the rest of the company. Of course Marvel creates a whole new set of opportunities for us. Overall, our strategy is a combination of IP that is originally produced elsewhere
We are looking to broaden our audience and that’s one of the reasons why we bought Marvel. Stephen Wadsworth, Disney in the company; derivative products based on Disney franchises, like Mickey, and original IP. We’ll certainly do more original IP to broaden our portfolio. How about franchises based on properties within other Disney companies like ABC and ESPN? We do look at those and others, but with ABC the opportunities are kinda limited and ESPN has a significant deal with EA. Disney is where we have a lot of great franchises and now Marvel. It seems difficult to actually realise congruent synergies within an organisation as vast as Disney. How do you cope with that task? Disney has become good at that. Take Tron as an example. The producer of the movie was talking to us about a game before really getting anywhere on the script, and has been heavily involved in tying the game and movie together. The game’s story is a prequel to the film.
Basically it’s getting the right talent – whether it’s the producer of the movie or the director of the game – talking early. And this is one thing that Disney is great at. Of course, it’s not as simple as doing whatever we want in a vacuum but the end result is better because we have a whole story arc that makes sense to people and all links together. And if you are trying to build an intellectual property across platforms, it needs to make sense. I have been at the company for almost 17 years and I’d say that in the last four years, we have become much, much better at it, particularly in our space. In interactive media the growth has continued to increase, and so we get the call earlier than we did in years past. There was a time when we’d get the call when they were well into the process; now it’s right at the beginning.
Understanding children is a big part of Disney’s role. What are you learning about children today? Kids are as advanced – or more so – than anyone. They consume a huge amount of media. They multitask and want to engage across platforms. If they run into a limitation they just don’t get it. They can’t understand why they wouldn’t be able to access something from anywhere. We know that when a kid gets interested in something – a toy or a character – they want the full version. They want to really be in it. That means anywhere they are or whatever they are doing, they want access, and so we’re making sure we provide that access. Look at Club Penguin. The kids who are in that online world love it. We know that if we are going to create other products based on this IP they can’t just be separate experiences. They need to be tied into that world. So when we did a game on DS we integrated it into that
Disney Interactive’s boss Stephen Wadsworth is looking forward to handling the firm’s recently acquired Marvel properties
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MCV 26/02/10 15
online world, by offering codes that access exclusive areas. We have seen huge success with that. Our next Club Penguin DS game will be even more integrated with the online world. What about the changing nature of their demands for ever-more sophisticated experiences? Kids want to be able to manipulate the worlds they experience. That’s something they expect. We want to let them design what they want to happen and what they want to play. Let’s give them the tools. Toy Story 3 has an element called Toy Box, which is a manifestation
Kids are as advanced or more so – than anyone else. They consume a huge amount of media. Stephen Wadsworth, Disney
EPIC LINE-UP: Disney’s 2010 release schedule includes (from top to bottom) Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned, Epic Mickey, Split Second and Tron
of that. We are just listening to what kids are saying to us, especially via our online worlds, so we know what they want and respond to. They want to be creators, and so let’s let them be creators.
You have talked about your affinity with the Nintendo platforms. You’re not one of those publishers that’s critical of Wii as a good platform for third parties? Nintendo platforms have been successful for us. Partially it’s the demographic. Our demographic is right on that platform. We have also been happy to see recent moves with the next generation platforms, and price cuts do help enormously and we see an uptake when that happens. We like being on multiple platforms, but yes, the majority of our products are produced for Nintendo platforms. But, as I said, we are expanding our demographics. Pirates of the Caribbean is an intense role playing game for a broad multi-platform audience. I don’t think the rating will be M, it won’t, but the sophistication of the gameplay will be advanced, as it will with our Marvel products and some of our new IP.
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R&D Tax Credit Workshop Organised by ELSPA In association with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Thursday March 18, 2010 10am – 1pm RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
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R&D Tax Credit Workshop Opportunity for one-on-one consultations with HMRC advisors Venue: RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD *Networking lunch included FREE to ELSPA members. £50 per person for non-members
To book your place, or for further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
MCV 26/02/10 19
DSI XL LAUNCH: PERIPHERALS SPECIAL
Pimp your XL stock Or at the very least offer your customers some rather snazzy peripherals, starting, perhaps, with some of these little beauties. A fantastic opportunity to increase margin from Nintendo’s new launch...
The key product in Bigben’s DSi XL range is the new larger verison of its best-selling Flip and Play case. Once again, the leather shells protect the handheld from wear and tear while in transit and allows gamers to play without having to remove the XL.
The company will also be rolling out a range of accessory packs. These feature hardwearing EVA cases that stores the XL, games and accessories, as well as screen protectors, game card storage cases and non-scratch stylus pens.
Up-and-coming peripherals firm i-Globe Accessories has prepared a DSi XL Travel Kit for gamers on the go. This bundle is part of the company’s Orb range and features a tough storage case to protect the device. There will also be storage for games in the form
of special game card cases that match the wine red XL colour. A car charger will allow consumers to recharge their XL on long journeys, while the screen protectors and cleaning cloth will keep the larger display free from grime.
Bigben Interactive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07787 283951
i-Globe Accessories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
AntiGrav’s Starter Kit includes a neoprene system case, car adaptor, game cases for storing up to eight game cards and more.
The firm will also offer a Touch Stylus Set, with thicker pens to match the XL, and storage cases that hold both the handheld and games.
AntiGrav. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01932 454929
The Power A Clean and Protect Kit gives XL owners the basic supplies needed to keep their handheld clean. In addition to screen-protecting films and a special cleaning cloth, the pack also features replacement stylus
pens and a tri-fold game storage case. BDA will also be vending other Power A products, including the Ultimate Travel Case and the DSi XL Starter Kit.
BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 425 4492 2522
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DSI XL LAUNCH: PERIPHERALS SPECIAL EXSPECT
Like most companies, Exspect is working to ensure gamers can enjoy the new DSi’s larger screens without having to worry about scratchmarks, grime or anything else that blocks the display.
A set of screen protectors will ensure that the new displays will be kept clear, while a replacement Stylus pack will ensure consumers don’t damage their screen. The pack features both a thick and thin pen.
Exspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01782 748732
The Travel Essentials Kit features a sturdy polycarbonate case, along with a car adaptor, screen protectors, earphones, game storage cases and four replacement stylus pens. Logic3 has prepared a range of XL accessory bundles, giving consumers plenty of choice come launch. The DSi XL Pro Pack is filled with essential extras, including a soft feel protection case, earphones with a microphone attachment, replacement stylus pens, a wrist strap and four game card cases. To keep their handheld powered, gamers will find a car charger and a USB charge cable, while a cleaning cloth and screen protectors will help maintain the larger screens’ quality. Many of these features can be found in Logic3’s other bundles, with a few changes to offer more variety. The Survival Kit, for example, swaps the
soft storage case for a more durable crystal case. A Starter Pack and Essentials Pack will also be available, with the latter containing a basic set of stylus pens, screen protectors and cleaning cloth. The company will be selling separate game cases – with a range of six colours to choose from – as well as individual carry cases for the handheld itself. Charging solutions are on hand in the form of standalone car chargers, USB cables, a multiformat AC Adaptor built for all DS models and a DSi XL Charge Stand. Stylus Packs will allow gamers to replace both the standard thin stylus and its new thicker brother.
Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000
The Starter Pack features a game case, cleaning cloth, screen protectors, stylus pens and a wrist strap. An alternative Essentials Pack is also available.
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Interactive Ideas will be supporting the launch of the DSi XL with a range of Sparkling Champagne Metal Cases. These hard-shell protective cases are made from a combination of metal and shock-absorbing ABS, allowing
consumers to safely transport their DSi XL without blocking access to key features such as the camera. Each one boasts a champagne-like colour that compliments the three in which the XL is available.
Interactive Ideas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8805 1000
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For more information on our full range of products please contact your distribution account manager or our sales team on firstname.lastname@example.org | www.playwithhubb.com
22 MCV 26/02/10
DSI XL LAUNCH: PERIPHERALS SPECIAL MERONCOURT
Meroncourt will be handling Speedlink’s range of products, starting with the Screen Protection Twin Set. This contains four anti-scratch films and a microfibre cleaning cloth. The Travel Touchpen Set offers three replacement stylus pens, and the Neo
Premium Sleeve allows gamers to safey carry their XL anywhere. Speedlink’s key offering with be the 12-in-1 Starter Kit, which contains a storage case, thick and thin stylus pens, game card cases, a car charger and more.
Meroncourt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060
Storage cases form a major part of PDP’s XL line-up. The firm’s XL Show ‘N’ Go Folio case allows gamers to store the DSi XL and six game cards. More interestingly, it doubles as a stand to make lengthier gaming sessions more comfortable.
The XL Luxe Clutch case stores the handheld in a high-quality leather case that hold the XL, two stylus pens and three game cards. This case is also available as part of the XL Power Pack, which bundles the product with a car charger.
PDP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01908 847580
HUBB Hubb’s accessories range will focus on standard maintenance of the new DSi XL. The firm’s Starter Pack will contain two replacement stylus pens that match the gamer’s chosen DSi colour, two game card cases and a screen protector kit with cleaning cloth and smoothing card. The screen protector kit is also available separately for anyone that needs fresh anti-scrath films across their XL’s display.
Hubb will also be offering standalone curve stylus pens to compliment or replace the new, broader stylus that comes bundled with the DSi XL, making it much more comfortable for older or less dextrous gamers. Finally, the company will cater to DSi XL owners’ power needs with the Dual Power Supply. This AC adaptor features a doubleheaded charging cable that allows gamers to not only power their newest handheld, but also the original DSi and the DS Lite – saving the need for multiple adaptors.
Hubb Accessories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01642 204350
Due for release under the Enigma brand, the Multi-Console Power Kit offers a charging solution for the DSi XL, the DSi and DS lite, as well as Sony’s PSP and selected iPod models. The Game & Media Card Protective Case offers storage for up to six DS
games, as well as the SD and Micro SD memory cards required to transfer media to and from the DSi. The case comes with three stylus pens. Alternatively, the Stylus Pack features two thin pens and a wine red thicker XL version.
Pinpoint Consumer Electronics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428
Veteran peripherals firm Venom will be rolling out a new DSi XL edition of its Safety Pack. This bundle centres around a durable polycarbonate case to protect the new handheld from wear and tear while still offering access to the camera, ports and other features. It also contains a protective film for the lower screen, with a soft card appicator to help prevent air bubbles. This and the top screen can be further maintained with the antistatic cleaning cloth.
The bundle also features three game card storage cases, two stylus pens and a set of headphones.
Venom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01763 284181
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TRADE UPDATE ELSPA NEWS PEGI: The Pan-European Game Information firm has released fresh guidelines on where to label its age-ratings. The guidelines detail where its age-rating labels and descriptor icons should appear on video game packaging and in promotional materials, including print, TV, radio and online. More information can be found on the PEGI website: www.pegi.info/en/index. PIRACY: A man who imported over 26,500 R4 DS piracy cards has been given 12 months in prison. Yun Can Meng pleaded guilty to charges of bringing in thousands of the flash devices through Heathrow and Nottingham East Midlands Airport, and selling them on. He committed the offences between June 2008 and August 2009. Furthermore, ELSPA’s IP crime unit, in collaboration with Hull City Council Trading Standards and the Humberside Police, managed to seize 1,280 R4 cards and similar devices. Michael Rawlinson, Director General of ELSPA, welcomed the news: “Our crime unit is very pleased with the outcome of this trial and pleased to see the Court of Appeal’s copyright judgement is being robustly enforced. “Intellectual property theft is an important issue for the country’s video games industry – as is protecting it. “I would like to thank Hull City Council Trading Standards Department and the Humberside Police for their work in this matter as well, of course, as the ELSPA Crime Unit. “We will continue to work with the authorities to prosecute organised IP theft offenders.” ELSPA: Head of communications Tim Wapshott has left ELSPA. Director general Michael Rawlinson said: “Tim has made a significant contribution to the company, and ELSPA wishes him well in his future pursuits.” Veteran journalist Wapshott joined ELSPA last year.
Bill mustn’t wither ELSPA’s director general Michael Rawlinson discusses the digital economy bill, the general election and key dates for the diary… As MPs return from their half term break, we are hopeful that they can concentrate on the most important matter in hand – not on the eagerly anticipated general election, but the final stages of bringing a unified and single system for the classification of video games into law. Time is tight if all the required stages of parliamentary process
their constituency, so we will be mapping these against the industry so that we can make the most of studio and business tours. I hope you will be ready to support this. Then in March, we have two dates for your diary. Thursday March 18th will see ELSPA hosting an event where HM Revenue and Customs will explain the process for claiming
On the following day, Friday, March 19th, ELSPA members have been invited to our office in Wardour Street to get an update on the association’s strategic plans, and to confirm their agreement to the Board’s proposals. If you want your views to be heard make sure you attend. Plans are already being worked on for the two main
You could think about extending your stay into the bank holiday weekend and taking in some of the fantastic sights and scenery that Edinburgh has to offer. October will be the month for the LGF. Two key consumer shows will bookend the festival, and the stakeholders will be filling the days and weekends in between with trade and
The general election is not the only thing brewing at Parliament: ELSPA is still working to help the Digital Economy Bill become law
are to be completed to allow the Digital Economy Bill to become law, but we are doing all we can to help the process. The impending general election will allow my team and me the breathing space to get ready for what is likely to be the biggest influx of new members of parliament in decades. We will be ready to explain and demonstrate the importance of video games to the UK both in terms of the economic value, but also the cultural and educational value, and above all else the sheer amount of fun they give. MPs will be keen to visit important employers within
Although we do not have games-specific measures, the industry should not overlook the new R&D tax credits. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA
R&D tax credits, and allow participants to either ask open questions, or request one-to-one consultations. Make sure to send your financial director or tax advisor to the seminar. Although the Government has not agreed to games-specific production tax credits, the industry should not overlook this important fiscal measure and make the most of it.
festivals ELSPA supports: Edinburgh Interactive Festival and London Games Festival. EIF will take place just before the August bank holiday and will feature co-hosted events with the TV festival. The event aims to stimulate ideas and collaboration, so think about taking some time out from the usual nine to five, and open your mind.
media events so that we can create a real buzz in London. If you have an event you would like to be part of the festival, please do contact the ELSPA office so we can work with you to find the right place in the calendar that will enable you to have the maximum impact and ROI. Finally, if you want to be kept up to date with any of the events that ELSPA will be running throughout the year, please send us an email to email@example.com and we will add your details to our database. Michael Rawlinson Director General
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ess: plete succ m o c a s a 2009 w gamescom untries from 31 co rs o it ib h x • 458 e itors 45,000 vis 2 n a visitors th re • Mo nal trade o ti a rn te 45% in ies • Approx. 49 countr m o fr ts s urnali • 4,100 jo
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28.01.2010 11:17:52 Uhr
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26 MCV 26/02/10
ENTERTAINMENT GIANTS IN GAMES
Media magnet More than ever before, the games industry is attracting the attention and investment of media conglomerates. Screen Digest’s head of games Piers Harding-Rolls takes a closer look at the media giants’ investments into gaming and what it means for the industry… News Corp is one of many entertainment giants that have invested in games
OVER THE LAST five years video games have begun to reach new demographic markets and are increasingly impacting the time and money spent consuming more traditional media such as TV, music and film. Games have become such an accepted part of children and young adults’ lives that many of the world’s largest media companies have begun to embark on vigorous and sometimes renewed attempts to gain a foothold in the market. Sony and Vivendi are conspicuous amongst the major media conglomerates as being the only companies to have made a significant, long-term commitment to games. They also remain the only media giants for whom games make a material contribution to their overall financial performance. The others have made numerous efforts between them to enter the games space in a meaningful way but most of those, especially during the ‘90s, ended in failure and a market withdrawal. New research from Screen Digest aims to assess the new games industry strategies of a selection of media companies in the USA and Europe to gauge their likelihood of success and their impact on the sector. Disney has attached a high priority to establishing a viable, significant and lasting foothold in the games market. Disney’s plan has been to ascend the games value chain, steadily increasing its risk/reward profile. Despite Disney Interactive Studios growing its sales 566 per cent between 2004 and 2008, the company has been largely lossmaking or around break-even.
We believe that this bottom-line financial performance is being deliberately sacrificed as part of Disney’s long-term plan to gain a meaningful share of the games market and build long-term development and publishing momentum. The combination of Disney’s patient and sensible long-term strategy, its growing resources, its sizeable library of entertainment IP – bolstered by the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment – and its leadership position within the children’s market, gives Disney substantial potential to become a major player within the games sector, capable of competing with the largest of the games publishers. Since 2005, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE) has invested heavily in development and publishing of games based on Warner and DC Comics properties as well as original titles. WBIE’s strategy is to reduce its use of external licensing and bring projects with Warner Bros. and DC Comics properties in-house, making use of its global distribution network and expanding development and publishing capacity. During December 2009, Martin Tremblay, president of WBIE, revealed the company’s ambition to become a $1bn business by 2013. Based on the company’s projected revenues from games between $500-$600m in 2009, and WBIE’s rapid moves to develop Warner-owned IP, including Lord of the Rings and Batman games, we believe this target is achievable. Between mid-June 2005 and the end of November 2006, Viacom, through its
MTV Networks subsidiary, embarked on a major spending spree, acquiring five companies from a diverse range of games sub-sectors for an aggregate sum of over $637m. Since then, additional earn-out payments have taken the sum to in excess of $787m and are expected to top out at over $937m. Viacom’s games strategy is largely consolidated under a single division and single team, which has allowed it to share resources, cross-promote services and co-ordinate an effective set of strategies for tackling multiple parts of an ever-broadening games sector. While we believe that Viacom has overpaid on pure financial terms for most of its games acquisitions, we acknowledge that these have given the company a strong base from which it can build its games business. News Corp has acquired two businesses with games activities during the last few years, acquiring games editorial business IGN Entertainment for $650m in 2005 and mobile entertainment company Jamba for $387.5m over two transactions in 2006 and 2008. These have given News Corp limited exposure to the highest growth sections of the video games market and it remains highly conspicuous amongst its major rivals for its almost complete absence from the boxed product or online games markets. We believe that a re-entry into the boxed product sector is highly likely over the next few years and that News Corp will achieve this via a major acquisition rather than through organic growth.
NBC Universal as part of General Electric has the least developed games strategy out of the major conglomerates. Its games activities have been minimal and remain heavily partner-dependent. However, it has begun to take a higher risk involvement in a few areas. GE’s games activities are conducted through its NBC Universal subsidiary and are primarily licensing based. It has begun to self-finance some games development although these projects remain few in number. Its overall impact on the games sector remains muted compared to investments and acquisitions made by Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and News Corp. European media companies currently lag behind their US rivals by quite a margin within the games industry. We do not believe that any of the European media companies covered in our research are deriving more than $20m per annum from games and most considerably less. Some of the most ambitious games initiatives have been undertaken by smaller German media companies such as Axel Springer and Hubert Burda Media for example, whilst many of the largest media corporations have undertaken limited roles only. The British broadcasters have undertaken varying levels of involvement from ITV’s token gestures towards the industry to the BBC and Channel 4’s public service remit-limited games commissioning. However, as with almost every other company in this report, all three are accelerating their investment in games.
Excerpt from Screen Digest report: ‘Big Media Investment in Games: The competitive challenge’ For further details contact: email@example.com, +44 (0)20 7424 2820 www.screendigest.com
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©2005 - 2010 Rockstar Games, Inc. Rockstar Games, the logo, Red Dead Redemption and all related marks and logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. “2”, “PlayStation”, “PS3”, and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other marks and trademarks are properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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MCV 26/02/10 31
Sony’s Byron returns to Disney Former SCEE exec named Euro product manager RealtimeUK expands team Creative promotes Lewis DISNEY CARLY BYRON has returned to Disney Interactive Studios this week after almost four years of working at Sony. She has taken on the role of European product manager, and will be responsible for handling the launch of some of Disney’s key titles in various markets across the continent. During her time at Sony, Byron spent just under three years as PR manager for Sony Computer Entertainment UK. Back in August, she moved on to become European product manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Before
Byron rejoins her colleagues at Disney to boost the European team
this, she spent a year working as PR and marketing assistant at Buena Vista Games, which later became known as Disney Interactive Studios. “I’ve learnt so much at Sony over the last three years, and
have made some great friends,” said Byron. “However, I’m a life-long Disney fan and, having started my career in the games industry there, I’m really excited to be going back.”
REALTIMEUK CG production house RealtimeUK has expanded its Lancashire studio team with the addition of four new members. DOMINIC GLEDHILL joins as producer, ALEXIS VAN DER HAEGHE has been named as the new CG artist, and KATE DYER has been hired as account manager. Finally, WILL EADES has taken on the role of character animator. Managing director TONY PROSSER said: “I’d like to welcome aboard all the new team members. By expanding both our production and account management teams,
Pictured left to right: Van der Haeghe, Gledhill, Dyer and Eades
I’m confident that we’ll be in a strong position for 2010.” CREATIVE The UK distributor has promoted CRAIG LEWIS to the role of commercial director. He has worked at Creative Distribution for three and half years.
Games buying with added features Games Buyer £Competitive Salary + benefits · Based Central London We’re on a winning streak at Sainsbury’s. Our decision to move beyond food has been a spectacular success, and we’re now one of the country’s fastest growing non-food retailers. Computer games have really taken off in our stores – and we need you to maintain the momentum. Although managing supplier relationships and negotiating the best deals, there will be far more to your role than sourcing, selecting and buying. Essentially, you’ll be involved in driving our sales strategy for games, consoles, software and accessories to meet profit targets. This will include raising awareness of our products in store and working with our marketing team on games launches. With your buying experience in the games industry, you’ll already have forged strong relationships with suppliers and have a good understanding of how they operate. You’ll have commercial flair and polished negotiating skills. Above all, you’ll know what customers want and what they don’t. If computer games are both your job and your passion, this is something you can really get stuck into. An attractive salary and benefits package will reward your efforts. To find out more and apply, visit the Store Suppport Centre Recruitment section at www.sainsburys.co.uk
promoting diversity in the workplace
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Wednesday, March 31st Thursday, September 23rd Thursday, December 9th
THE MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ IS FREE TO RETAIL AND THE MEDIA AND HAS ATTRACTED TEAMS FROM:
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
SUPER SIZE ME Capcom follows up last year’s triumphant return of the hugely popular Street Fighter series with this new Super edition P34
JONAS P36 The teen band moves into video games as Disney targets its younger fans SAIL SIMULATOR 2010 P37 Iceberg’s latest simulator brings authentic sailing to PC owners M.U.D. TV P37 This management strategy sim puts players in charge of a growing TV empire YAKUZA 3 P38 Sega seeks to entice a new wave of fans with this latest Japanese adventure RESONANCE OF FATE P38 Tri-Ace steps away from traditional fantasy adventure in this steampunk RPG DAWN OF WAR II: CHAOS P38 The first expansion pack to THQ’s RTS is set to boost sales of the original HIGH STREET P40 This week we check prices in Guildford and speak to indie retailer Take The Game
RETAILBIZ: SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 34 MCV 26/02/10
Capcom follows up on the 2009 smash hit with the enhanced version of its best-selling cel-shaded beat-‘em-up…
by James Batchelor
of UK marketing Stuart Turner. “It’s Street Fighter – the biggest fighting game franchise in the world. “If you add in the new characters and moves, bonus stages, rebalanced game mechanics and new online modes – and
series fans that forked out for the original version last February. GIVEN THE SUCCESS of last year’s In the months that have passed, Street Fighter IV – both in terms of sales Capcom has slowly but surely converted and critical acclaim – a sequel was them with tempting screenshots and inevitable trailers, and is now confident that the Super Street Fighter IV franchise’s avid fanbase is follows in the tradition of on-board once more. This is not just a slightly previous Super, Turbo and “There were a few tweaked update – it’s a quality Remix instalments in the dissenting voices but these proposition for newcomers franchise, creating a fresh same people now show experience for veteran fans genuine excitement as and Street Fighter fans. of the series and newcomers. we’ve released more Stuart Turner, Capcom However, Capcom is keen details,” says Turner. to stress that this isn’t merely an all for a budget price – we’re confident “This isn’t just a slightly tweaked expansion of the previous game. that Super Street Fighter IV will stand update but a brand new game – a Instead, the publisher has very high up as the best pound-for-pound fighter quality proposition for those new to the expectations for this upcoming release. on any console.” series and offering real value to those “We expect this to exceed sales of When SSFIV was first announced, it that purchased the original Street Fighter Street Fighter IV,” says Capcom’s head was hit by some backlash from hardcore IV last year.”
RETAILBIZ: SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 26/02/10 35
SUPER STRATEGY Marketing proved to be key in the success of Street Fighter IV and while the brand is as prominent as ever, Capcom will be working hard to raise awareness of the Super edition’s arrival…
Key to the new offering is the new roster of fighters. While every Street Fighter IV brawler is once again present, Capcom has added ten fresh faces encompassing a mix of brand new creations and familiar fighters. Previous Street Fighter characters such as T. Hawk, DeeJay, Guy, Cody and Adon make a welcome return. Meanwhile, long-running fans will be interested in new blood such as the mysterious Juri – the first character in the series’ history to use the legendary Tae Kwon Do fighting style. “Street Fighter characters are some of the most iconic characters in popular culture,” says Turner. “Anyone that plays games has a favourite that they proudly call their own – a real case of the character being
an extension of the person’s personality. We’re tapping into this as part of our wider campaign.”
RELEASED: APRIL 30 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: CAPCOM DEVELOPER: CAPCOM
Multiplayer has always been a major selling point for Street Fighter games, so Capcom has reworked and improved upon SFIV’s modes for its Super sequel. Players can now engage in two vs two, three vs three or four vs four team elimination battles. Alternatively, there is the new Endless Battle, boasting an arcade-style ‘winner stays on’ system. Gamers can even chat to each other as they watch matches or recorded replays while waiting to fight. “Super Street Fighter IV is the ultimate bragging game. It’s about getting one up
Capcom will be running an extensive UK sampling campaign – with a twist. Rather than showcasing the game at traditional shopping centres, the publisher will be communicating directly with the Street Fighter fanbase to decide where SSFIV will be available.
CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
against your friends, and with improved online options, we’re hopeful that this will take the title even further into the competitive sofa arena.” Finally, the game marks the return of the car-smashing and barrel-battering bonus stages from Street Fighter II. With enough new content to appease SFIV fans and entice those who missed out on last year’s game, Super Street Fighter IV could be one of the biggest fighting games of the year.
A full online campaign will see ads run on wide-reaching sites such as The Sun and FHM, as well as the usual specialist gaming portals. A TV campaign will see 30-second spots running around key shows that appeal to the series’ fanbase in the weeks surrounding SSFIV’s release. Trailers will also be in cinemas around the country before screenings of the highly anticipated Iron Man 2. A full range of POS will be available to retailers from Centresoft.
RETAILBIZ: JONAS 36 MCV 26/02/10
The Jonas brothers are one of Disney’s hottest musical properties, which should mean that the DS game already has a huge fanbase established
Young Disney fans get to experience life as pop sensation Jonas in the three brothers’ video game debut... by James Batchelor LIKE ITS FELLOW Disney property Hannah Montana, The Jonas TV series has created a massive following by building a fictional universe around its musical namesake. In real life, Jonas is the band formed by the three Jonas brothers, whose album has placed in the Top 10 of the UK charts. From their success, they have spawned several merchandising ranges that have been lapped up by their young fanbase. And, of course, they have starred in the TV series named after their band, which follows a similar concept to that of Miss Montana’s own show. The three boys star as fictional versions of themselves, struggling to juggle the burdens of fame and fortune with a normal teenage life. For the band’s first video game, Disney Interactive Studios has produced a title that appeals directly to the Jonas fanbase and will be targeting this audience by using the most popular assets of the franchise. “We will be looking to the established success of the Jonas brothers to really
traditional rhythm action gaming drive sales,” says DIS’ product manager allowing players to feel like they are part James Thornby. of the action. “The Jonas brothers are getting bigger The instrument they play will depend and bigger in the UK. They have already on their chosen brother, but all will use released three albums and last year they the touch screen to re-create Jonas’ skills. had starring roles in Disney Channel’s For example, players will have to original movie Camp Rock. strike the right guitar chords with the “Accompanying this is a wide stylus to successfully perform some of selection of books, magazines and the band’s biggest hits and keep the clothing ranges and they have further crowds of screaming fans satisfied. enhanced their following with the popular Disney Channel series Jonas. With such a strong following, “With such a strong tween following, we are we are expecting sales of expecting sales to match Jonas to match other other breakout Disney breakout Disney properties. Channel properties such as James Thornby, Disney Hannah Montana.” BAND HEROES
The game allows fans to play as Nick, Joe or Kevin and explore the life of the band. They can wander the brothers’ neighbourhood, school and other locations from the series, searching for new objectives and activities. For much of the game, players will be performing as Jonas in concert. There are six live concerts to prepare for, with
To improve their chances of concert success even further, gamers can customise the three teenage musicians with new outfits and styles that can be unlocked throughout the game. There are even new costumes to unlock for the ordinary school stages. Thornby says: “The TV show has done really well, and our DS games based on Disney Channel properties
RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: DISNEY DEVELOPER: ALTRON CORPORATION PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
enjoy evergreen sales potential with the likes of Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and High School Musical all having previously translated fantastically to the Nintendo platform.” Jonas has been marketed directly to the band’s existing fanbase through full page print ads in key Disney-licensed magazines. This will be supported by a short targeted campaign leading up to the game’s release, with competitions and reviews appearing in girls’ youth media. There will be extensive coverage of Jonas across Disney.co.uk and Disney Channel online sites. The publisher has also arranged for videos, banners and homepage takeovers to run on music sites in order to specifically target fans of pop music and the Jonas brothers.
RETAILBIZ: SAIL SIMULATOR/M.U.D. TV WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 26/02/10 37
Iceberg offers sailing enthusiasts the most authentic simulation experience available…
Players take the helm of a fledgling TV studio in Kalypso’s newest management sim…
by James Batchelor
by James Batchelor
THE JOYS OF sailing may be largely lost in this age of powerboats and jet skis, but there are still those who prefer to have the power of the wind behind their boating. For them, Iceberg Interactive’s Sail Simulator 2010 is the perfect remedy for sailing fans lamenting the currently bitter conditions preventing them from actually taking to the water. The game prides itself on accurately re-creating the sensation of sailing, not only through how the in-game vessels handle but also through the realistic ocean mechanics. Wind speeds and angles, waves and currents and a variety of customisable weather settings allow players to enjoy sailing in almost any conditions around a number of beautiful environments. The game boasts fictional areas such as Treasure Island, Koh Hong, Cabrera and Scheveningen. There is a veritable armada of craft to choose from, each of which handles differently and boasts varying strengths. Players can simply explore the game with these ships or train up on their favourite in order to compete in a series of races and competitions. A variety of online multiplayer modes allows sailing fans to team up with those who share their passion. They can either sail leisurely around together, take part in pre-set races or set
RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ICEBERG INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: STENTEC SOFTWARE PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE/PDQ CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
up their own contests, complete with rankings systems and customisable weather settings. THE BUOYS BRIGADE
Despite its niche genre, Iceberg is still expecting big things from Sail Simulator and will be carefully targeting sailing enthusiasts around the game’s release. “Our expectations are that this is a very good looking, realistic, hardcore simulation game that will be picked up by the many nautical enthusiasts of all ages in the UK, as well as by simulation fans,” says Iceberg CEO Erik Schreuder. “Retailers can expect a great looking, colourful product for their shelves, which vibrates a summer feeling and the freedom of sailing on the open sea. We’re backing this title up with some serious marketing.” Iceberg will be promoting Sail Simulator 2010 with heavy advertising in specialist sailing and boating magazines, and a mixture of banners and trailers on sailing websites. The company has also arranged for competitions with sailing-related prizes to run via direct mail and newsletters.
IN THE newest strategy title from the makers of Tropico 3, players are put in charge of a new TV station: Mad, Ugly, Dirty Television. They must expand from humble beginnings into a broadcasting empire by achieving high ratings. Along the way, they can recruit scriptwriters, secure the rights to existing shows, and improve their studio facilities by building newsrooms and more. Wannabe TV magnates will need to carefully choose which shows to broadcast and how to fill their timeslots in order to please up to eight different types of audience. Gamers will also have to compete with seven other networks, either online or against the computer. They can use a range of tactics, either by securing the best talent or sabotaging the other studios’ efforts. It’s an entertaining premise that is sure to sit well with its target audience. “There is a huge audience of PC strategy and management sim fans out there, and M.U.D. TV provides not only a huge range of gameplay options but ties everything together with cool graphics, tonguein-cheek humour and great music,” says product manager Timo Thomas.
RELEASED: MARCH 12 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: KALYPSO MEDIA DEVELOPER: REALMFORGE STUDIOS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
“Following on from the success of Tropico 3 at the end of last year, we are confident that M.U.D. TV will further strengthen not only our PC portfolio but also our reputation for delivering quality PC titles to market.” TUBE TALK
Kalypso will be promoting M.U.D. TV with a three-month print media ad campaign targeting PC audiences through specialist gaming and movie magazines using a mix of single page, double page and book end ads. A pre-launch awareness campaign will see banners, skyscrapers and MPUs run on key gaming sites, with homepage takeovers appearing closer to the game’s release. Some movie sites will host banners and special competitions. The publisher will also be targeting strategy gaming fans with the release of a character and movie editor before launch. This software will allow players to create stars and short films that can later be transferred into the full game.
RETAILBIZ: YAKUZA 3/RESONANCE OF FATE/DAWN OF WAR II 38 MCV 26/02/10
Sega brings the action series to PS3 for the first time as gamers return to the Japanese underworld…
Veteran developer Tri-Ace offers a new take on Japanese RPGs, released by the folks at Sega…
THQ readies the first expansion pack to last year’s PC title, continuing the Warhammer franchise…
by James Batchelor DESPITE BEING developed for Eastern audiences, the Yakuza franchise has a strong following in the West – to the extent where gamers have petitioned for a UK release of Yakuza 3 for some time. Sega has answered their calls. “It’s thanks to the fans’ passion and dedication that we’re bringing Yakuza 3 to the UK, so we certainly feel they’ll be happy to get their hands on it,” says PR and marketing exec Kate Billingham. Once again, the series pits players against the Japanese underworld. Gamers explore Tokyo’s authentically recreated streets – as well as new areas such as Okinawa – as they take on missions against hordes of Eastern gangsters. For Yakuza 3, Sega is also trying to capture a wider audience and has by James Batchelor TRI-ACE IS TRYING something a little different with its latest release. The developer has ditched many of the stereotypical conventions of Japanese RPGs and created a new adventure with a Western twist that should appeal to gamers around the world. Resonance of Fate is set in a dystopian future where Earth is unable to sustain life and mankind has been forced to live in a single towering structure. Players follow three members of a private military firm as they complete missions and inadvertently stumble upon some of this world’s darkest secrets. “Resonance of Fate isn’t your typical fantasy JRPG,” says senior product manager Ben Walker.
by James Batchelor THQ’S best-selling Dawn Of War action strategy franchise returns to shelves in the form of Chaos Rising, the first expansion pack to last year’s DOW II. This title entices gamers back to the Warhammer 40,000 universe for a series of new missions. Chaos Rising raises the squad level cap and introduces new units for each of the different races. “The critically acclaimed Dawn of War series is one of our most successful franchises, with over four million worldwide sales to date,” says product marketing manager Elizabeth Blackman. “We expect Chaos Rising to perform in-line with other expansion packs in the Dawn Of War franchise, which have all been very successful sellers, and
catered for newcomers with a ‘Who’s Who?’ guide included with every copy of the game, detailing the characters and the story so far. Sega will be promoting Yakuza 3 with a combination of print and online advertising, targeting specialist gaming publications, as well as a four-week preroll campaign on YouTube. To further tap into its target audience, the game is being advertised on all Bluray releases from Manga Entertainment throughout February and March. RELEASED: MARCH 12 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: AMUSEMENT VISION PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3817
“Gone are the flamboyantly costumed heroes wielding oversized weapons and casting extravagant magic during turnbased battle sequences – now you have modern weaponry and high-action battles. “We expect it to be well received by both press and consumers.” Sega will be marketing Resonance of Fate through a specialist-focused campaign that uses a mixture of print and online advertising, all targeted at core RPG fans. RELEASED: MARCH 26 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: TRI-ACE PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
expect to leverage further sales of the Dawn Of War II franchise through the simultaneous release of the Game Of The Year and Gold editions.” THQ will be marketing Chaos Rising with an online media plan that covers both core gaming and PC specific sites in order to target existing fans of the series and RTS gamers. The game will also be part of the publisher’s on-going sponsorship of Stargate on Sky. RELEASED: MARCH 12 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: RELIC PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 26/02/10 39
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Battlefield storms retail in March EA’s Bad Company 2 kicks off a month packed with blockbusters, while Disney takes gamers through the rabbit hole. Other new releases include Assassin’s Creed II for PC, Silent Hill for Wii, Command & Conquer 4 and Final Fantasy XIII... TITLE
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 Way of the Samurai 3
PC DS / Wii DS PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS PC PC DS DS PC PC PC DS PC PSP / Wii / PS2 PC PC PS3 / XBOX 360
Casual Action Puzzle Action FPS Action Simulation Casual Imagine Puzzle Casual Casual Casual Puzzle RPG Survival Horror Action Strategy/Action 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 Rising Star Games
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 0845 234 4242
PlayV Centresoft PlayV Gem Centresoft Gem Open PlayV Gem Trilogy Lace PlayV PlayV Koch Koch Open Gem Open Mastertronic
PS3 / XBOX 360
020 7324 5200
DS Wii PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 / XBOX 360 PC PC PC PC DS / Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 XBOX 360 DS PS3
RPG Simulation Action/Adventure Strategy/Action Strategy/Action Strategy/Action Strategy Action Survival Horror Fighting Platformer Action
Rising Star Games Deep Silver D3Publisher THQ THQ THQ Kalypso Media Zushi Capcom Rising Star Games Sega 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 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Mastertronic Koch Namco Bandai Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Gem Centresoft Mastertronic Centresoft Centresoft
PC Wii PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC Wii DS XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS Wii DS / PC PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii / PC / DS PC XBOX 360
Simulation Adventure Fighting Action Strategy Simulation Mini-games RPG Self-Improvement Adventure Casual FPS Racing Quiz Strategy Strategy
Just Flight City Interactive Zen United Ubisoft EA Ghostlight Ghostlight EA Zushi Rising Star Games S.A.D THQ Capcom Konami Kalypso Media Square Enix
0845 234 4242 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 0845 234 4242 01582 436043 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0208 987 5706 0121 506 9585 020 7324 5200
Mastertronic Trilogy Centresoft Gem Centresoft Open Open Centresoft Gem Mastertronic PlayV Advantage Centresoft Open Advantage Open
PS3 / XBOX 360 PC
Namco Bandai Just Flight
0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242
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 Samurai Shodown Sen Sonic Classic Collection 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 ñ Awakening Food Coach: Healthy Living Made Easy Fragile Dreams Jewel Match Metro 2033 MotoGP 09/10 Scene It? Twilight Sins Of A Solar Empire: Gold Edition Supreme Commander 2
MARCH 26th Clash Of The Titans Class 20
MUSTSTOCK .....BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 Released: March 5 Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The long-running Battlefield series returns to consoles with Bad Company 2. Gamers will be enticed by the large-scale conflicts, high quality vehicular combat and epic multiplayer battles. Single players can enjoy a new campaign as B Company faces another deadly mission.
MUSTSTOCK ................ALICE IN WONDERLAND Released: March 5 Format: Wii, DS Publisher: Disney Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Disney readies the companion title to its latest Tim Burton movie. The Wii edition follows the legendary director’s twisted vision of Wonderland, while the DS version opts for a more unique cartoon-like art style. Expect this to sell well around the film’s debut.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 40 MCV 26/02/10
POLL WAS JOHN RICCITIELLO RIGHT TO SAY THE CONSOLE PRICE CUTS CAME TOO LATE?
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Square Enix
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Pripyat PC Koch Media
Ace Attorney: Edgeworth DS Capcom
Dante’s Inferno 360 EA
Star Ocean: International PS3 Square Enix
2% EA CEO John Riccitiello recently attacked the three platform holders for not cutting the price of their consoles sooner. In a call with investors, he said: “In 2009, there was a lack of aggressive firstparty pricing – [they were] a little bit too late with their price cuts.” It turns out a small majority of voters in the latest MCV online survey agree with him. A little over half of the participants
don’t believe the consoles suffered from retaining higher price points for so long. Another 47 per cent side with Riccitiello, believing the long wait for Microsoft and Sony to lower the Xbox 360 and PS3 price points essentially diminished the impact the cuts eventually had. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
BIOSHOCK 2 PS3
DEVELOPER: 2K MARIN PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES 2K GAMES
MASS EFFECT 2 360
BIOSHOCK 2: COLLECTOR EDITION 360
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII
DANTE’S INFERNO 360
2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO EA
JUST DANCE WII
AntiGrav releases a special BlazBlue edition of the popular Hori arcade stick for both Xbox 360 and PS3 to coincide with the upcoming launch of the hotly anticipated Calamity Trigger. In addition to new artwork behind the buttons, the fighting stick comes with a collection of limited edition stickers featuring characters from the game, allowing players to further customise their new device.
DEAL OF THE WEEK
DANTE’S INFERNO PS3
THE SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH TECH STUFF PC
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.
Zavvi customers save £40 when they buy a Wii with Wii Sports Resort and pre-order Disney’s Alice in Wonderland – all for £165.95
As with all Hori fighting sticks, the BlazBlue edition features high-quality parts from the renowned Japanese arcade manufacturer. The device has a traditional arcade-style layout and a turbo function. AntiGrav: 01932 454 929
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 26/02/10 41 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] BioShock 2 PS3, 2K Games
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll Star Ocean: International Wii, Sega PS3, Square Enix
Jonas DS, Disney
S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Pripyat PC, Koch Media
TOP 10 HEAVY RAIN PS3 SONY
IN STORE: GUILDFORD £39.99
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII
3. GOD OF WAR III
4. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX PS3 ......................................................................SONY PS3 ..........................................................................EA
5. FINAL FANTASY XIII
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
6. YAKUZA 3
7. FINAL FANTASY XIII
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
8. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY
9. FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS
10. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION
360 ..................................................................UBISOFT Week ending February 19th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE
“There’s a lot of competition from the Channel Islands. The Government should end the VAT loophole.”
Nindie.com speaks to Take The Game’s David Hulley… How has the market been for you so far this year? It was buoyant until the middle of January, but has dropped off a lot since then. What has been performing well? Nintendo Wii is our best-selling format in terms of games, followed by DS and DSi accessory packs. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest disappointment of recent months, due to the rug being pulled out from the market by supermarkets when it was released. What are the biggest challenges you face? We face continuing competition online from sites based outside the UK – like those in the Channel Islands – with a 17.5 per cent VAT advantage, and grey imports being sold on sites like eBay devaluing the genuine UK versions. The Government should end the VAT loophole.
TOP 10 BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PC EA 2. HEAVY RAIN
3. FINAL FANTASY XIII
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
4. FINAL FANTASY XIII: LIMITED ED
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
5. GOD OF WAR III
6. FINAL FANTASY XIII
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
7. NAPOLEEON: TOTAL WAR - IMPERIAL ED How much of a threat do supermarkets pose to your store? For triple-A releases, they can be a big threat if they continue to sell games below the normal price, but otherwise they’re not much of a threat as we can offer a better range and pricing on everything else.
8. GRAN TURISMO 5
9. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
10. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION
360 ..................................................................UBISOFT Week ending February 19th Source: PLAY.COM
42-43 MCV576_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 42 MCV 26/02/10
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS STYLE BOUTIQUE MARIO KART DS PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX ACE ATTORNEY: MILES EDGEWORTH DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG COOKING MAMA 3
1 5 8 6 3 NEW
4 11 13
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
MARIO & SONIC WINTER OLYMPICS DEVELOPER: SEGA PUBLISHER: SEGA NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
FORMAT: 360, PS3, PC
DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: SEGA
JUST DANCE Wii
BIOSHOCK 2 360, PS3, PC
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER Wii, DS
WII FIT PLUS Wii
ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 360, PS3, PSP
DISNEY 505 GAMES
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
ALIENS VS PREDATOR
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII
VANCOUVER 2010 360, PS3, PC
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII SPORTS RESORT NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA MARIO KART WII NINTENDO FIFA 10 EA RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR UBISOFT F1 2009 CODEMASTERS COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA
1 4 3 5 6 7 8 9 12
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT PLUS WII PLAY PEPPA PIG: THE GAME SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL FERRARI CHALLENGE UP MONOPOLY EA SPORTS ACTIVE MY FITNESS COACH: GET IN SHAPE
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO EA SEGA MICROSOFT
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
MASS EFFECT 2 360, PC
BAYONETTA 360, PS3
MARIO KART WII Wii
PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS
DARKSIDERS 360, PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
1 2 3 4 7 5 10 12 6 11
WARNER BROS EA SEGA NINTENDO P2 GAMES/UBISOFT THQ NINTENDO
ALIENS VS PREDATOR DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: SEGA
THE SIMS 3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
MASS EFFECT 2
STAR TREK ONLINE
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. CALL OF PRIPYAT
EA 2K GAMES
EA ATARI KOCH MEDIA
42-43 MCV576_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 26/02/10 43
over BioShock 2, seizing the top spot of the All Formats Charts. The title is the fastest-selling game of 2010 so far, an accolade previously held by the BioShock sequel. After only one week at No.1, the 2K Games title sees a 71 per cent fall in sales and slips to third place. Ubisoft’s Just Dance holds on to second after half-term interest rose sales by 55 per cent.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
DANTE’S INFERNO PSP, 360, PS3
ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
PURE 360, PS3, PC
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
WII PLAY Wii
STYLE BOUTIQUE DS
COD: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
UP 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2, PC
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
THE SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF PC EA
LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP, PC LUCASARTS
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
RABBIDS GO HOME Wii, DS
MADDEN NFL 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PC
2 4 8 10 9 13 7 4 20
BIOSHOCK 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FIFA 10 VANCOUVER 2010 BAYONETTA UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY MAG DARKSIDERS
DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: SEGA 2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SEGA SEGA SONY EA SONY THQ
SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA ASSASSIN’S CREED
WOW: BATTLE CHEST
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
HIDDEN EXPEDITION: DEVIL’S TRIANGLE
CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 SNIPER: ART OF VICTORY
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
MASTERTRONIC CITY INTERACTIVE
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LITTLEBIGPLANET GRAN TURISMO ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 GTA: CHINATOWN WARS SOCOM: US NAVY SEALS FIRE TEAM BRAVO 3 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 F1 2009
2 3 4 7 6 5 NEW
DEVELOPER: HB STUDIOS PUBLISHER: EA
THE SIMS 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ALIENS VS PREDATOR
THE SIMS 3 PC
DISNEY 2K GAMES
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 1 2 3 18 5 7 8 6 14
WEEK ENDING 20/02/10
The half-term also drove New Super Mario Bros Wii, which rose in sales by 59 per cent. Growing public interest in this year’s Winter Olymipcs have boosted Sega’s Olympic titles. Mario & Sonic saw a 76 per cent rise in sales, putting it back in the Top 10, while Vancouver 2010 has leapt back into the charts at No.13 after a 274 per cent sales increase. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
SONY SONY UBISOFT UBISOFT SEGA ROCKSTAR SONY KONAMI CODEMASTERS
ALIENS VS PREDATOR
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BIOSHOCK 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 FIFA 10 MASS EFFECT 2 ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY VANCOUVER 2010 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY BAYONETTA
1 3 5 4 2 8 28 9 7
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
SEGA’S ALIENS VS PREDATOR has triumphed
DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: SEGA 2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT EA 2K GAMES EA SEGA ROCKSTAR SEGA
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 44 MCV 26/02/10
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) email@example.com www.gatewaydistribution.dk
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45
ESTONIA CLD DISTRIBUTION S.A. ZI Noville les Bois, Rue de la Tour, 2b 5380 FERNELMONT, Belgium Phone: 0032 81 83 02 07 Fax: 0032 81 83 02 09 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.cld.be
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
FRANCE EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Wholesaler Gaming products
Official Benelux distributor for
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
45 rue Delizy,
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Email purchase: email@example.com
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
ITALY Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: email@example.com
439 avenue de la Gare
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne Email : firstname.lastname@example.org Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160
EBS Benelux Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 email@example.com www.planetadeagostini.net DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
POLAND CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
HUNGARY GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 / Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
EDITORIAL PLANNER 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...
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
MCV 26/02/10 45
UPCOMING FEATURES A glimpse at some of the special features coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the video games market... 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.
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIDAY MARCH 19th
GDC REVIEW We offer an in-depth run-down 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 platform-holders and numerous unannounced projects in the works, all eyes with be on this year’s Game Developers Conference.
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 email@example.com www.usgamesdist.com
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY Video Games Distributor in the Middle East
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 26th
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.
P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104
DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION
Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
RUSSIA TERRITORY REPORT Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
Despite being one of the largest countries on the planet, Russia’s games industry is still in an on-going state of development. 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, such as rampant piracy and distribution.
MCV takes a look at the process between the end of a game’s development and its release. We speak to the key players in the duplication and copy protection sector in order to shed some light on this cruical but often overlooked segment of the industry. FRIDAY APRIL 9th
CHINA TERRITORY REPORT We offer an in-depth look at China’s growing games market, including the major trends sweeping the region.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION Green Man Gaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 DISTRIBUTION BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688 Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562 Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 The Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891
“ The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. ” - Arthur C. Clarke
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 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
For further online advertising information please contact
Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call
SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
GREEN MAN GAMING. . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 . . . . . . . . email@example.com
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online
THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT
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 . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
The Producers offer a full supply chain management service covering manufacturing, warehousing, fulfilment and distribution Save money - Pay in £ not € - Flexible Inventory
Contact Rob Gross on: +44 (0)7774 672891 – firstname.lastname@example.org
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
THE PRODUCERS . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 . . . . . . . . . . . www.theproducers.co.uk
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.......................email@example.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 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
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
To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All subscription requests should go to email@example.com
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK RETAIL SERVICES
COMPLETE EPOS SOLUTIONS LTD . . . . 01543 370 002. . . . . . . . www.ggepos.com STORE FITTINGS
AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk UK SHOPFITTERS
UK SHOPFITTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 . . . . . . . . . www.ukshopfitters.com
LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
DIARY DATES From the MCV Awards to our Games Developer Conference, here are all the essential industry dates to put in your diary…
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
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.
E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com
JULY 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
AUGUST GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 18th Sunday, August 22nd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com
THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, March 4th Sway Bar, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
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. UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
MCV 26/02/10 51
EA’s pre-owned assault MCVUK.com commenters offered their views on EA’s plans to give downloadable content only to those who buy Battlefield: Bad Company 2 new, in an attempt to deter pre-owned sales and piracy… To be fair I don’t think of it as punishment for second hand buyers, more of an incentive scheme to encourage new sales. New sales are good, the content creators deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. Chris
There needs to be pre-owned to sustain the buying of new video games. If there was no trade-in or pre-owned then new sales would reduce drastically because people can’t afford £40 each week for a new game. IndieRIP
The trade-in market was so tiny during the ‘80s and ‘90s it hardly even registered. Therefore, the industry didn’t
and still doesn’t need a preowned market to sustain itself. People will buy games regardless.
This is exactly what they should do. You buy a new game and pay full price, so you get all the fun of the game plus free extras. The next one who buys it gets it for a lower, used price. The game is the same but all the extras are not free anymore. Retailers can still sell tradeins. But now publishers can earn on those trade-ins as well.
Sell Bad Company 2 preowned and gamers will miss out on free DLC
This sucks. Pre-owned is the only way some people get to afford games, so now they’ll either get an inferior version of the game or be forced to hand over extra money for the ‘normal’ experience. MarketZero
Pre-owned wasn’t tiny back in the 1990s – it grew in proportion to the industry. Just about every indie did trade-ins and swaps. If you think customers are going to pay 40 notes for a game, have it rendered useless and pay another £40 for a new game – with the same
regularity as before – then you are dreaming. MrJolly
IndieRIP makes a good point. Games are expensive and some sort of pre-owned option has to exist otherwise the new game prices will have to drop.
Digital downloading will not remove the need for retail, the PSPgo hasn’t been a great seller and it’d take some doing to replace the market penetration offered by 450 GAMEs, 250 Gamestations, 600 HMVs, 625 large Tescos, and more.
I bought a Honda Civic the other day but can only drive it around some of the country. If I want to go to the rest of Britain I have to pay Honda another £1,000. Oh, and the boss of Honda phoned me up to say if I wanted to sell the car on at any point he wanted a cut.
On their bikes for Sport Relief Hi there, It has been a long time since I have done any specific charity challenges, too long really. Indeed, I really miss the various Kilimanjaro climbs and London Marathons that I have done with some of you. And so when a good friend of mine asked me if I would like to join him on the fifth and final leg of the Dallaglio Sport Relief Cycleslam, I thought it was a good idea and would get me back in the groove. The challenge for me and the people in our team is simple; cycle 549km starting on Friday, March 5th from Rosslare in Ireland via Croke Park in Dublin to Murrayfield, Edinburgh, in time to see the Scotland vs England Calcutta Cup match on the Saturday, March 13th.
Payne (left) and Yarnton (right) are cycling 549km for Sport Relief
The whole jaunt is being organised by England and Wasps rugby legend, Lawrence Dallaglio and we are raising money for Sport Relief and the newly-formed Dallaglio Foundation – our target is a nice round £1,000,000. Lawrence is leading the team through all five stages, over 2800km in all. Each stage takes in a Six Nations stadium or two – in fact you may have seen
the team start on Friday, February 12th – riding through the first snow in the Rome area for 25 years! The good news is that I am cycling with my good friend David Yarnton. The not so good news is that I am taking the place of a rider who has had to drop out last minute. I actually agreed to this cycling caper last week, and as you will see from the picture on the website
(http://www.dallagliocycleslam .com/participants/stage-5/), I have not had time to kit up properly yet, let alone train. So I am relying on the support of Mr Yarnton and of course my sponsors to drive me on. That is where you could come in... If you would like to support me and Sport Relief and The Dallaglio Foundation – who in turn support Cancer Research UK, Help for Heroes, RPA Benevolent Fund, DebRA, and Leukaemia Research – I’d really appreciate it. You can do this online at our Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/Da vid-YarntonAussieDogonWheels You can follow our exploits at www.twitter.com/percyblakene y63 if that rocks your boat. Every penny counts, so don’t be shy, we need all we can!
Take care and all the best, see some, if not all of you, at Murrayfield. Andy Payne Chairman, ELSPA
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te .. ple aster. m o o n, c ic’s ‘c o i t ec on d s nd S r o a Rec play e s h T co Off otter d e mp arry P a v re ,H the tures – old w fea h e e B hn t i w
POTTER HEADS Warner Bros invited a mixture of press and retailers to the appropriately atmospheric Ironmonger’s Hall in Barbican, London for a first look at the upcoming LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1 – 4. Respresentatives from the likes of Amazon, Blockbuster, Centresoft, GAME, Gamestation, HMV, Play.com, Sainsburys and The Hut were all encouraged to don Hogwarts robes and try on the famous Sorting Hat as the publisher presented the key selling points of the game. More than 30 journalists were also in attendance, including newshounds from the BBC, ITN, Yahoo, The Guardian, GameSpot, Games Radar and more. All were given the chance to whip out their wands – and by that, we mean play a demo version of the upcoming game. Of course.
FROM THE ARCHIVE June 6th, 1994
NEWS: nky add-on the Mega Drive 32, a chu Sega will be releasing hope for breathing in ma e “th and ve Dri for the 16-bit Mega ly launches 20th Century Fox official life into the format”.... might, be just ht, mig nd mo inic Dia its games division... Dom rose roP Mic . er.. ast rn to GamesM making a glorious retu ributor of its Sega dist ve lusi exc the as appoints Pinnacle publisher Merit buys UK and Nintendo titles... US Dampier’s $2.2 million. With Alex for in pel Zep nt nde indepe ly new this for on the slate Ice Hockey the first title g can go wrong. hin not er, pow ga me formed transatlantic TOP FIVE ...............................Virgin 1. Cannon Fodder............ ........................Gremlin ...... 2 er 2. Premier Manag e .........................Mindscap 3. Sim City 2.................. Soccer.........Renegade le sib Sen al tion rna 4. Inte is ip Champions.......Krisal 5. Man Utd Premiersh soaraway ADVERTISING: advertised in this week’s ugh some of the games thro p’, asserts g cra nin like run k th loo s wor is -up t-em It really a – ‘Makes all other bea ani sts, er, Elfm boa n’ de’s too ega car Ren a : issue of CTW just like playing Football by Domark – ‘It’s (via Ocean’s budget in Virg by , l Poo The One... Marko’s Magic s an’ iker – Elite... Archer MacLe II by Citizen. Domark... World Cup Str I know!... Citizen ProJet e by Archer MacLean! gam l poo A . ad) t. Squ lian Bril Hit label, sing printers. ter. Citizen were adverti Hang on – that’s a prin h, they , yeah, right, ‘letters’ yea AND FINALLY… writes a nasty letter (oh editor um eni CTW Mill to m g fro inin ith pla Sm Keith bedding) com . Dinsey de for better hamster up of football games.. ndwere like emails, but ma rou ent rec a of left Wild Cup out rld Cup qualifier. Wo a not n, too Stuart Dinsey that he car a bs and Broomsticks was points out that Bedkno
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: Dominic Sacco Dominic.Sacco@intentmedia.co.uk
ADVERTISING: 01992 535647
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FAX: 01992 535648
Please address all enquiries to: MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA. Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688
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SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.
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MCV 26/02/10 53
OF ACTIVISION It’s almost rude not to know someone who once worked there. This week, we start with... Sam Houser might be Mr GTA now, but the franchise was actually created by Dundee’s finest, DMA Design, founded by…
SPINBALL WIZARDS Sega invited an assortment of journalists and Sonic fans to be the first to ride the new Sonic Spinball rollercoaster at Alton Towers. There’s nothing like watching a bunch of grown men and women (including us) regressing to childhood pracitces such as running from the ride’s exit to the queue for another minute-long ride, or crowd excitedly around the photo counter. Attendees also got to have a goosey at the new Sonic-themed Alton Towers hotel room.
Dave Jones who went on to form Realtime Worlds. He recently stood aside as CEO to become creative director. His old job was taken by…
David Miller who, when he was one of the stars at Virgin Interactive Entertainment, met and married potty-mouthed Madonna fan…
James Beaven whose last job in salaryville before departing for agency land was in the PR department at… ACTIVISION
Gary Dale who as head of BMG’s games division published the first ever GTA, and then went on to become Euro MD of Capcom where he worked with Spurs-supporting marketing man…
Caroline Miller who, following her role as sales machine/danger to herself at VIE, set-up funky PR agency Indigo Pearl, which she runs with ageing stud muffin…
Send your pictures to edia.co.uk tm n te in r@ o el ch at .b james
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
Graham Chambers, Amazon
Peter Willis, DSGi
Igor Cipolletta, ShopTo
Anthony Stocker, Argos
Stephen Staley, Gameseek
Keith Sharpe, play.com
Joanna Hunt, Tesco
Sarah Jasper, The Hut
Gurdeep Hunjan, Sainsbury’s
Jon Biggs, Morrisons
Phil Moore, Grainger Games
Azeem Sadiq, Comet
E F I L F O S E M GA
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pcoming Which u you re a game oking lo t s o m g? to playin g forward min o c f o k s ass At the ri t to be M h, it’s go is d to y te o s b n re fa be inte over all next. ough I’ll h to lt p A . u 3 t t e Effec Ward g t Infinity see wha
K E E W E H T OF
ss e n i s u b e ots in th udgets, and o r y m able b back to d r e o f m f a s e , o entry ally tak t e r s r s i e i h r ore.” r T l a “ p b x e w o o l t ams, tiers small te new fron Richard Garriott discusses his return to the games industry via the founding of Portalarium
The brands, people and technology that have dominated the decades. First up publishers...
Globally, it might have been Activision or Atari that dominated, but in the UK it was the pride of Manchester that ruled the roost. US Gold rivalled it for market share, but Ocean had the star quality – both in terms of the games and the staff. Headed up by the urbane and verbose David Ward alongside the almost supernaturally gruff Jon Woods, their management ranks also included such luminaries as Paul Patterson, Gary ‘none more ‘80s’ Bracey and Colin Stokes. Plus, it gave the world the ‘Ocean Loader’ music and accidentally invented the chip tunes genre in the process. Double plus, its hits included Rambo, Miami Vice, Knight Rider and Daley Thompson’s Olympic Challenge. Now that’s what we call ‘80s.
Damon Albarn once said that Britpop was swept along on a blizzard of cocaine – Damon Albarn never visited Virgin Interactive Entertainment. Or maybe he did. Exactly what went on in those Kensington offices remains wrapped in a code of omerta, some legal documents and perhaps a pending biography. What we do know is that – true to the spirit of the times – Virgin was relentlessly rock ‘n’ roll. It sold some games, too. At the start of the decade it rivalled EA for market share. By the end of the decade it was rather more bedraggled, but thanks to Command & Conquer and Resident Evil, it was, for a while, a proper publishing powerhouse. Looking back, it seems rather surreal. At the time, you just had to roll with it.
Then, suddenly, the suits won. Which was fine. We could afford good ones now. Plus, it was time to grow up. And, oh boy, did EA grow. Lead by actual Masters of the Universe like Larry Probst and John Riccitiello, EA didn’t become a big games company, it became a giant entertainment company. True, there were bumps in the road, but even these were in tune with naughties mores: Mis-step in online? Check. Love/hate relationship with the stock exchange? Check. But the hits kept coming. And EA Sports on its own is bigger than most ‘proper’ publishers. If you kick, throw, catch or hit it, EA Sports does it best. Activision’s recent bulking up has trimmed the hegemony slightly, but if one publisher has defined a decade, it’s EA.
IT’S ALL-OUT MULTIPLAYE R WARFARE AT ITS ABSO LUTE FINEST !
Key Features 8 Huge Multiplayer Maps. Each with a different tactical and gameplay focus and set across a variety of environments. Ultimate Online Vehicle Warfare! 15 land, sea and air vehicles, each with a tactical advantage during play. Race into action with the ATV or rain death from above in the UH-60 transport helicopter with its 2 sidemounted rail guns. All-new Squad Gameplay. Team up with 3 other players and ﬁght together to unlock special awards and achievements in 2 squad-speciﬁc game modes.
Destruction 2.0. Take down entire buildings, create ﬁrepoints in cover or blow it up entirely! In Battleﬁeld Bad Company 2™ there will be no place to hide! ‘Play It Your Way’ experiment and reﬁne your ideal combat style with 4 character classes (medic, assault, recon and engineer), 15000+ kit variations, 46 weapons (200 different customization opportunities), 15 gadgets and 13 character specializations. Awards and Achievements, combat efﬁciency and performance is rewarded with special awards such pins, stars and insignias which contribute to unlocking 50 ranks.
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MORE WEAP ONS, MORE V EHICLES, MORE DESTR UCTION!
5 MARCH 2010 TH
ÂŠ 2009 EA Digital Illusions CE AB. All rights reserved. BattleĂ€eld: Bad Company, Frostbite and the DICE logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of EA Digital Illusions CE AB in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA and the EA logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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the market for computer and video games