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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES International Media Partner
Issue 579 Friday March 19 2010 £3.25
04 EA aims high
14 Make a Move
EA’s sales director Rob Davey talks about the firm’s impressive Q1 performance
MCV lifts the lid on Sony’s motion controller, as revealed at GDC
05 February blues
23 GamesMaster returns
The UK software market was down last month despite big sales for Sega’s AvP
Industry execs offer their thoughts on the possible TV return of GamesMaster
06 Where’s Twilight?
29 Driving sales
Millions lost as publishers fail to exploit hot property, says an analyst
We take a closer look at the plethora of racing games due for release this year
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
On the chopping Block Troubled retail giant puts its UK arm up for sale Multiple store closures possible by Christopher Dring RENTAL GIANT Blockbuster is looking to sell off its entire international business, including its 650-store UK operation. MCV understands that the retailer is in negotiations with landlords to reduce its store count to make it more appealing to potential buyers – placing some of its 5,000 UK employees at risk. Blockbuster has significantly ramped up its presence in games following falling revenues for its rental and DVD business. Futhermore, with the collapse of Woolworths and Zavvi, plus WH Smiths’ withdrawal from the entertainment market, Blockbuster has become one of the UK’s most significant DVD and games retailers. “We are divesting our international assets,” a Blockbuster rep confirmed. “In our last earnings call our international assets
generated over $1bn in revenue. These are valuable assets and are worth a lot.” The Times reported this week that US finance house
its entire UK operation – as it did in Portugal last month. “The actions Blockbuster is taking – particularly around renegotiating its leases – are so
If it came to a point where no buyer is found, then it would probably mean the closure of Blockbuster in the UK. Richard Cooper, Screen Digest
Winchester Capital has been assigned by Blockbuster’s American HQ to find a buyer. If a buyer cannot be found, there’s a risk the firm could close
it can exit from some of its less profitable stores,” said Screen Digest senior video analyst Richard Cooper. “This allows the firm to streamline its business in preparation for a sale. “Blockbuster is looking to change its
operations in its core US market. In order to fund that it is looking to sell off its European arms – not just the UK, but Ireland, Italy and Denmark as well. “Once Blockbuster UK has been scaled back to its profitable stores, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t be an attractive proposition for a potential buyer. “If it came to a point where no potential buyer was found for Blockbuster as a going concern, then it would probably mean the closure of the Blockbuster chain in the UK.” Blockbuster’s debt is said to have reached $1bn.
Digital overhaul for GAME by Christopher Dring GAME PLANS to seriously beef up its digital strategy in 2010, MCV understands. The High Street games retailer this week launched the GAME Moonbase on PlayStation Home – the first part of a new push to reach download-savvy consumers. The Moonbase is a virtual area that features mini-games, meeting places, video screens and internet browser terminals. In time these will allow gamers to buy mail order products direct from GAME websites. The firm has not ruled out launching similar digital services on Xbox Live and other partner platforms. “This is the latest step in our strategy to look after customers in every channel they need us,” GAME’s online boss Alex Croft told MCV. “The digital space has many opportunities for the industry, and we’ve got lots of ideas about how to use our core retail strengths to help customers engage with us to find the best entertainment that the world can offer.” MCV understands that GAME is also planning to spruce up the download offer available via GAME.co.uk. Currently, its PC download service is a white label offering handled by Metaboli. Last year GAME signed up former Metaboli director Paul Howes on a short-term contract. But MCV has learnt that his role as general manager for digital services has now been made permanent.
PERSONNEL 40 RETAIL BIZ 41 NEW RELEASES 48 HIGH STREET 50 CHARTS 52
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[LEADER] ONE SMALL STEP FOR GAME… GAME’s new PlayStation Home Moonbase might not seem to be a massive move for our King Retailer into the frontier of digital content. In isolation, it isn’t – it’s a brand extension in a virtual world, which isn’t even able to drive users to buying games yet. But as part of a bigger picture it’s a signal of intent. Until now, GAME’s work in digital has been more of a token gesture. Metaboli’s white label service, although comprehensive, is just a box-ticking move for a firm that ultimately needs to own a distribution process to exploit its true value. But as Alex Croft says, GAME wants to get itself on the virtual map. Hiring Paul Howes as its Mr Digital is likely just one facet of that. And GAME needs to act – Howes’ GameStop counterpart Chris Petrovic told GDC attendees last week that the games giant plans to hungrily acquire firms to accelerate its own place in digital. Both GAME and GameStop, however, face stiff competition in the form of Steam and Direct2Drive. It’ll be hard to imagine them toppling either any time soon. But there’s arguably space in digital sales for a number of leaders of different flavours – and the secret strength for someone like GAME are talents like its Reward Card. The company already has relationships with millions of customers via the scheme – those users see a value in the GAME brand as a way to help them find the entertainment they want. And if a bricks and mortar retailer can replicate that online, then half the battle in the switch to digital is already won.
…ONE GIANT LEAP FOR SONY PlayStation Move’s formal unveiling last week saw Sony make a bold claim on a familiar territory – the Wii’s market share. While the event opened with cringe-worthy bluster and half-truths – about how amazing it was, how it will redefine life itself and then send Nintendo home crying – you can see Sony has spotted an opportunity. An industry snapshot: Nintendo’s format is progressive, inclusive, fun and makes lots of money for those at the eye of its storm - Nintendo itself, retailers, and select third parties. But take a negative exposure of that picture, and you see some traditional genres and companies that find family-focused games too awkward. That’s not a criticism – it’s just a different market, with different demands from development through to PR. Move tries to claim part of that space on the ‘traditional’ part of the industry’s terms – and Sony has shown great abilities before at leaving space for third parties to thrive. Whether it can go one further than Wii remains to be seen. (Arguably, it faces the same problem as Natal. Neither it or Move are part of the original consoles’ configuration, so both could just be relegated to becoming a ‘format within a format’ like the Balance Board, 3D or the EyeToy.) But for now, Sony’s first Move has shown it at its strongest yet this generation. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Sales boom puts EA back on top Publisher hopes to regain No.1 crown this year after topping February sales and seeing year-on-year sell through increase by Ben Parfitt IT’S BEEN A bumper 2010 so far for EA, thanks to a 3.6 per cent year-on-year rise in sell through for the publisher. The latest numbers from ELSPA GfK Chart-Track show EA claim 19.1 per cent of the year-to-date UK software market, driven in no small part by a highly successful February. The publisher was top of both the unit and value February charts, claiming 14.4 per cent and 15.5 per cent of the total market respectively. “It’s a very pleasing performance in the first quarter of the year, in what continues to be a very challenging local market,” EA UK’s sales director Rob Davey told MCV. “What is particularly pleasing is that this is a continuation of the share growth that we saw throughout last year. “Over the last 12 months, we recaptured the No.1 UK publisher position growing our
EA’s Davey is confident the publisher can grow its share even further
share by 3.1 per cent points to 17.9 per cent.” The publisher is also confident that the impressive momentum can be maintained throughout the rest of the year. “I don’t think anyone thought the market would be quite as challenging as it turned out to be in 2009,” Davey added. “We were confident in our release
schedule, our go-to-market strategy and the quality of relationships we have with our key retail partners so we were optimistic that we could grow our share and re-establish ourselves as the No.1 publisher in the UK, which we succeeded in doing – everyone’s really pleased with that.” EA: 01483 463000
New cricket title swings in CODEMASTERS wants to recreate its Ashes success this summer when it releases a brand new cricket title. International Cricket 2010 is being developed for Xbox 360 and PS3, and is the latest title to come out of Codies’ 15-year association with the sport. The publisher previously released last year’s chart-topping Ashes title and the Brian Lara series. IC 2010 is being developed by Australian studio Trickstar Games and boasts a wealth of new modes and options.
“With a focus on taking gamers into the action like never before, International Cricket 2010 will deliver the most authentic cricket gaming
yet,” said Codemasters producer John Szoke. “Codemasters enjoys an unrivalled heritage in producing cricket games and
International Cricket 2010 will build on this success.” Trickstar Games’ studio director Tony Parkes added: “We’re delighted to partner with Codemasters to develop the next leap forward in cricket gaming. “Our passionate team of industry veterans, which includes development talent who have worked on the Brian Lara series and Ashes 2009, is determined to deliver the most immersive and intuitive cricket experience for all fans of the sport.” Codemasters: 01926 814132
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UK games market holds steady in February Games down by two per cent compared to 2009 Aliens vs Predator takes crown by Christopher Dring THE VALUE of the UK games software market in February fell two per cent year-on-year, according to ELSPA/GfK Chart-Track. The monthly charts show that Sega’s sci-fi FPS Aliens vs Predator was the biggest selling title of last month. A stellar line-up of major new releases couldn’t reverse a general downward trend the industry is seeing in the sales of boxed games. Blockbuster games released during February included Aliens vs Predator, BioShock
2, Heavy Rain and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. When compared to February 2008 the overall value of the UK games market is down even further, falling by 11 per cent, despite those major releases. In terms of value for February, Microsoft Xbox 360 was the most successful format followed swiftly by Sony’s PlayStation 3. However, in terms of units of games sold, Nintendo’s Wii was the highest performing console during the course of the month.
TOP 10 GOD OF WAR III PS3 SONY
2. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT PS3 ......................................CAPCOM
3. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT 360 ......................................CAPCOM
4. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED ED 360 ................................SQUARE ENIX
5. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED ED PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
6. METRO 2033 + 1GB USB 360 ............................................THQ
FEBRUARY HIGH FLYERS
7. RED DEAD: REDEMPTION LTD ED 360 ....................................ROCKSTAR
Sega’s action shooter Aliens vs Predator saw off stiff competition from 2K’s highly anticipated BioShock 2 and Ubisoft’s continual seller Just Dance to top the monthly charts. EA’s new IP Dante’s Inferno didn’t quite manage the Top Ten though, having to settle for 11th place. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
8. ALAN WAKE: LIMITED EDITION 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
9. RED DEAD: REDEMPTION LTD ED
Aliens vs Predator.........................................................Sega Just Dance ...................................................................Ubisoft BioShock 2..............................................................2K Games Modern Warfare 2 .................................Activision Blizzard Heavy Rain........................................................................Sony FIFA 10...................................................................................EA Wii Sports Resort ..................................................Nintendo New Super Mario Bros. Wii ................................Nintendo Mass Effect 2 ......................................................................EA Wii Fit Plus...............................................................Nintendo
10. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + T-SHIRT 360 ......................................UBISOFT Week ending: March 12th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 51 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 jumped up 16 per cent to £26.5 million, while total units shifted rose as well, up eight per cent to 1,043,211. The market was driven by the fastest selling game of the year – Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII – which was released on Tuesday, March 9th. EA’s recently released Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was also a key seller last week. Although there’s no multi-format giant like Final Fantasy out this week, retail can expect big sales from Sony’s latest exclusive, God of War III. Also hitting shelves this weekend are Scene it? Twilight, Command and Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight and Metro 2033.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending March 13th 2010
25 20 15 10 5
FINAL COUNT: Sony has the biggest Final Fantasy fanbase with the PS3 SKU accounting for 54 per cent of sales.
0 Week Ending February 27th
Week Ending March 5th
Week Ending March 12th
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‘Millions lost due to Twilight game absence’ Analyst estimates publishers are missing out on ‘seven-figure sum’ through lack of a licensed game release by James Batchelor
A Twilight-themed Scene It? game from Konami hits shelves today (Friday, March 19th). However, aside from this, there has been no word of a more traditional Twilight game – something Gibson believes could be due to a lack of knowledge among those who own the property. “It may well be that the rights holders aren’t aware of the potential benefits as they
THE GAMES industry is missing out on millions of pounds in revenue due to the absence of a licensed Twilight video game. Both the original books by author Stephenie Meyer and the subsequent film releases from Summit Entertainment have become a worldwide phenomenon.
Given how hot the property is, Twilight could easily present a seven-figure opportunity to publishers. Nick Gibson, GIC
With the franchise yet to penetrate the games market, Games Investor Consulting analyst Nick Gibson has told MCV that publishers are missing out one of the most lucrative properties available. “Given how hot a property it is, Twilight could easily present a seven-figure exploitation opportunity, especially if publishers look at taking it beyond retail gaming and considers network gaming,” he told us.
haven’t explored the games market before,” he said. “It’s not unheard of – although it is increasingly unusual in this day and age.” The analyst predicts that a Twilight game would have to be targeted carefully in order to be successful, rather than rolled out to the typical gaming audience. But he claims there is still a huge potential market out there. “Given the demographic Twilight appeals to, there
LADY IS A VAMP: Analyst Nick Gibson predicts a Twilight game would sell well to a female audience
probably isn’t a huge crossover between them and Xbox 360 or PS3 fans,” said Gibson. “The brand’s appeal could actually extend significantly beyond the expected teen girl market and into the 20- to 30year-old female market, which
has a very substantial crossover into gaming. “There’s a greater resonance with Wii and DS users.” Public interest in Twilight is unlikely to dissipate any time soon, meaning the potential for a game remains high.
The newest DVD, New Moon, is due to hit shelves on March 22nd, while the third film in the series, Eclipse, is set to arrive on the silver screen this year. With a fourth film yet to come, there is still plenty of opportunity left for publishers.
Nickelodeon pledges commitment to games NICKELODEON will release up to eight titles over the next year – but retailers shouldn’t expect games based on their new IPs just yet. The next title in the popular kids’ TV channel’s release schedule is SpongeBob’s Boating Bash for the Wii and DS, which will hit stores on March 26th. Past titles have included iCarly, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob’s: Atlantis Squarepantis. Despite the media giant’s commitment to the games space, Nickelodeon currently
has no plans to create games based on its two new kids shows, Big Time Rush and Fanboy and Chum Chum. Big Time Rush follows the story of a 16-year-old pop group, while computeranimated Fanboy and Chum Chum revolves around two wannabe superheroes. A spokesperson for the company said: “We would not promote or develop video games until the brand has been better established. “Fanboy and Chum Chum is nowhere near on our radar at the moment. It’s brand new
TOP TOONS: Expect new titles from SpongeBob and more this year
– we would never release a video game on a brand new licence like that.” Nickelodeon’s video game licence holders currently include Take-Two and THQ. The firm also owns a range of top kids IP, and recently acquired the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for £5.9 million from The Mirage Group. Ubisoft currently holds the game rights for this franchise. This news follows the departure of the firm’s games boss, Arwed-Ralf Grenzbach. There are currently no plans to replace him.
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MCM Expo ties with MCV Trade lounge area open at May and October consumer shows in London thanks to new media partnership by Christopher Dring THE LONDON MCM Expo has formed an official media partnership with leading UK trade publication, MCV. MCV will be present at both the May and October events, and will host an exclusive trade lounge – a private area for publishers to meet with industry guests. “MCM Expo is delighted to be working with MCV as a media partner,” said MCM Expo’s marketing director Bryan Cooney. “London MCM Expo provides a natural platform for
London MCM Expo provides a natural platform for both consumers and industry to meet and interact. Bryan Cooney, MCM Expo
both consumers and industry to meet and interact and it’s great to have the industry leading magazine for support.” The next MCM Expo is set to take place at London Excel
SHOW BUSINESS: The MCM Expo is attended by companies from the games, comic, movie, TV and anime sectors, including publishers such as EA, Konami, Warner Bros, Tecmo Koei and Activision
on Saturday, May 29th to Sunday, May 30th, and the organisers are expecting over 40,000 visitors. “MCM Expo was a tremendous success last year.
In October it attracted over 38,000 attendees, making it the UK’s biggest consumer event featuring games,” said Stuart Dinsey, MD of MCV publisher Intent Media. “Similarly, MCV is the UK’s leading trade publication – online and in print. “We are very proud to have been selected as media partner
and will help further grow MCM’s ambitions in the video games space.” MCM Expo features exhibits by leading firms from the comic, movie, TV, anime and video game industries. The organisers have already gained publishing support from EA, Konami, Warner Bros. Tecmo Koei and Activision for
the May Expo. Meanwhile, Nintendo is backing the show’s attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of DS players. The October shows are scheduled to take place at London Excel between Saturday, October 30th and Sunday. October 31st. www.mcmexpo.net
Tradewest: Capcom rivalry boosts SBK THE RIVALRY between Capcom’s MotoGP and Black Bean’s SBK series is good for both brands, says Tradewest. Tradewest will publish SBK X in the UK in May, and the firm is confident that its title can top Capcom’s game in the battle of the motorcycle racers. “Luckily, the amount of motorcycle racing games is limited to only two real contenders – and we’re one of them,” said Tradewest’s senior European brand manager Aidan Minter. “So our expectations for SBK X are very positive. Having seen the competition, I think we’re
in very good shape indeed. The rivalry is good – it’s what makes this business fun. “Superbike fans can decide where their true colours lie but overall I’m confident that Black Bean and Tradewest have got the mix just right to deliver a compelling racing game.” The publisher will also be appealing to motorcycle racing fans with the Special Edition, which features a downloadable Legendary Roster mode. This enables consumers to race as key superbike icons such as Max Biaggi, Troy Corser and the now-retired four-times world champion
Carl Fogarty. This release commemorates the latter’s final race, which should further raise SBK’s profile. “This year represents the 10th anniversary of Carl Fogarty’s fateful Phillip Island crash, so there’s going to be a lot of buzz around superbikes as a sport,” said Minter. “There has been a lot of good retail reaction to the Special Edition, so we’re satisfied that it can do well.” SBK X: Superbike World Championship is due to hit Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in May. PAST LEGENDS: The Special Edition will appeal to fans with DLC
Tradewest Games: 0207 456 0455
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Splinter Cell: Conviction set to re-invigorate the stealth genre Publisher aims to bring popular stealth franchise to wider audience with a broad marketing blitz by James Batchelor UBISOFT PLANS to capture a new audience with Splinter Cell: Conviction by rerevitalising the stealth genre. The publisher says its upcoming action title features gameplay mechanics that are far more accessible than those found in its predecessors.
“Brand awareness is high for Splinter Cell, but we want to broaden the audience and appeal to those who may have never considered buying it.” With print ads running in specialist gaming magazines, Ubisoft will extend this to technology, sport and men’s lifestyle publications as the game’s release date nears.
Anticipation levels are high for this game, both for Splinter Cell fans and newcomers to the franchise. Matt Benson, Ubisoft
Ubisoft hopes to draw in this wider audience with a marketing campaign aimed specifically at newcomers to the franchise. “We’re going to reinvigorate the stealth genre with Splinter Cell: Conviction,” said Ubisoft’s brand manager Matt Benson.
The bulk of the marketing spend has been invested in TV advertising in order to drive mass awareness. There will also be ads through video-ondemand services, such as SkyPlayer and 4oD. The dual-phase TV campaign will begin with a hard-hitting teaser creative
Sam Fisher returns in Ubisoft’s latest Splinter Cell game, which it says will target new players
running after 9pm, before broadening out to incorporate 20 and 30-second spots. TV advertising will ramp up in the weeks around launch and continue through to the end of April and beyond.
“Anticipation levels are high for this game, both for Splinter Cell fans and newcomers to the franchise,” said Benson. “We have a clear launch window, a strong promise and we’re also aiming to appeal to
Activision bags ad award for Guitar Hero ACTIVISION BLIZZARD has won an award for its ‘Alan the Guitar Hero’ TV campaign. The marketing initiative, produced in collaboration with Doritos, received a silver award in the Promotions category of the 2010 British Television Advertising Awards. Another silver award was given to the popular ‘Compare the Meerkat’ insurance ads. The campaign was centred around a four-minute TV ad depicting the life of Alan, who dreams of becoming a rockstar. His story ends with him finding happiness from his Doritos and Guitar Hero.
Activision hopes ‘Alan the Guitar Hero’ inspired others to rock out
“Guitar Hero is the biggest music franchise in video games and one of the most recognisable entertainment brands in the world,” said Activision’s senior brand manager Ian McClellan.
“This mainstream presence gives us the opportunity to work with the most successful brands from other industries and sectors. “Doritos was a natural fit from the consumer
those who may not have played Splinter Cell before.” Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction is due for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on April 16th. Ubisoft: 01932 578000
Hive signs Square deal
perspective, with both our brands standing for sharing good times with friends.” Doritos held competitions and released 30 million Guitar Hero-branded bags to support the campaign. The story of Alan was further spread by above-theline and viral campaigns focused on the TV spot, made by ad agency AMV BBDO. McClellan added: “We were really proud to be involved in this promotion and hope that it encouraged more consumers to get together and have their own Guitar Hero nights in.”
HIVE ENTERTAINMENT has taken on the UK distribution of merchandise for Square Enix. The deal sees the firm distribute products based on Final Fantasy XIII, which became this year’s fastest-selling game when it launched last week. Hive Entertainment’s Steve Nicholas said: “Square Enix has an outstanding portfolio and we are excited with this opportunity for retailers and a wider UK audience.”
Activision: 020 3060 1000
Hive: 01706 242 070
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Rising Star puts faith in hardcore Flagship Wii title No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle will target ‘real’ gamers by Dominic Sacco JAPANESE GAMES specialist Rising Star hopes to draw in the hardcore Wii gaming audience when No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle hits the console. The 2008 original received a variety of positive reviews, including a 94 per cent from
Garcia said: “As one of our flagship titles, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is very important to us. It is a great pleasure to work with such a high quality product, which allows us to be creative and explore innovative promotional activities. “We are all doing our best in order to make Suda51’s
Everyone across Europe is looking forward to NMH2, and we’re hopeful it will have a positive retail performance. Raul Nieto Garcia, Rising Star
NGamer and a nine out of ten score awarded from Edge. As a third-person action sequel, No More Heroes 2 will add a new storyline, characters and revised combat, including a two-beam katana. Rising Star Games’ marketing manager Raul Nieto
CODEMASTERS: The publisher is developing DiRT 3, the sequel to last year’s Colin McRae: DiRT 2. MICROSOFT: Superhuman action sequel Crackdown 2 will be released in the UK on July 9th. SONY: The total number of PlayStation Home users has now surpassed 12 million, with each spending an hour in the world on average.
Rising Star says this is what real Wii gamers have been waiting for
masterpiece a great success across all PAL territories.” With RPGs Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon out on Wii today, and Harvest Moon-inspired Rune Factory: Frontier coming on April 1st, Rising Star Games is instead looking to target players of
action games with No More Heroes 2. “The game is enjoying the great media and public reception we anticipated,” added Nieto Garcia. “Everyone across the UK and Europe is very much looking forward to Travis Touchdown’s return and we are hopeful it will have a very positive retail performance.”
The publisher has said new features in No More Heroes 2 will make it the title real gamers have been waiting to play on their Wii. These include improved AI, 50 bosses, old-school 2D segments and lots of blood. The game is currently scheduled for release on the Wii during April. Rising Star: 01582 433700
TripleACodes reveals Milestone set to open UK expansion plans 50 stores in India DIGITAL GAME code distributor TripleACodes will ramp up its investment in the UK market this year. The move follows an increase in UK consumers legally downloading games. TripleACodes’ primary business has involved selling game codes and subscriptions for MMOs such as Eve Online and Guild Wars to Eastern European and emerging markets. But now the company wants to establish a stronger presence in Britain.
“We already have portals in the UK for games with a good following,” said TripleACodes sales and business director Marcus Whitney. The company recognises the challenges it faces compared to opportunities presented by Eastern European markets. “Ultimately what has happened to music will happen to games. “But in the UK, the box is still king and I believe it will stay that way for some time.” www.tripleacodes.com
MILESTONE Games has announced plans to open a minimum of 50 stores in India over the next few years. It opened its first retail outlet, Game4u, in Mumbai’s Mega Mall at Oshiwara, after the online web store game4u.com was introduced last year. CEO and chairman of Milestone Interactive Group, Jayont R. Sharma, said: “We have endeavoured to translate our ‘one destination, many worlds’ vision into reality
THQ: A sequel to Red Faction: Guerrilla is currently scheduled for March 2011. EA: Green Day: Rock Band will be launched worldwide for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii on June 8th. EA has also announced it is working on Rock Band 3. WARNER BROS: A PS Move-compatible PS3 version of The Lord Of The Rings: Aragorn’s Quest will launch alongside the Wii version this autumn. UBISOFT: Table-top strategy title Ruse has been dated for a June 4th release in the UK.
The first store boasts a futuristic design and multiple demo pods
through a yet unmatched game shopping experience for the Indian consumer.” The company, which was founded in 1997, has no plans to open stores outside of India.
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EK E W E H T F O N IG A P CAM GOD OF WAR III Sony draws up a £750,000 marketing campaign to promote God of War III, the latest game in its popular greek mythology franchise…
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TV/MEDIA Sony is running a major TV campaign targeted at 16-34 year old males, as well as a competition in conjunction with Kerrang and 5 USA, which promises customers the chance to live like a ‘rock god’. God of War III will also be promoted at cinemas during showings of Clash of the
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Titans and Legion, which both appeal to the game’s target audience. PRINT Sony has been running single and double-page press ads in a variety of specialist gaming magazines, such as Future’s GamesMaster, PSM3, Edge and Official PlayStation Magazine.
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The plaform holder has also been advertising in film and gadget magazines including Total Film, DVD & Blu-ray, T3 and T3 Compact. RETAIL Retailers are able to dedicate in-store space to GOW III with a range of POS. Strategy guides are also available for add-on sales.
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ONLINE Sony’s pre-order campaign ran in collaboration with Eurogamer and CVG. It was focused on competitions giving fans the chance to win the special God of War III trilogy edition. This initiative kicked off on February 22nd and was pushed through banners, MPUs and site takeovers.
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Released 25th June 2010 15 days © 2010 dtp entertainment AG. All rights reserved. Developed by House of Tales. Distributed by Lace Mamba Global Ltd. All company names, brand names, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.
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Get a Move on Sony finally detailed the name, tech specifics, and first games for the PlayStation 3 Motion Controller at last week’s Game Developers Conference. But as Michael French finds out, despite the obvious similarity, Sony is banking on some subtle differences to win the war against Wii… “WE WILL look back at this as being a seminal moment for PS3.” Say one thing for Sony America: it knows how to do hype and hyperbole. At last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sony unveiled the name and first games for the PS3 Motion Controller, Move. The quote above from customarily aggressive SCEA marketing chief Peter Dille demands gravitas – but while history may not quite remember the unveiling as a watershed moment, it’s clear Sony has chosen a new direction for its console. Despite some technical differences – see ‘How it Works’ – Move is similar to the Wii’s Remote and Nunchuck in terms of its target audience and games. (Anecdotally, developers at GDC described the device to MCV as being ‘a bit me too’ during after-show drinking.) But that’s the point – Sony’s pitch is that the set-up is familiar, but also ‘more precise, immersive and responsive’. It effectively tries to beat Wii at its own “The core message is that our system game, offering not just motion-based appeals to social and casual audiences,” gameplay, but augmented reality through the associated PS Eye Camera – SCE’s Worldwide Studios VP Michael Denny tells MCV. Denny oversees all thus potentially converting Wii owners the Sony studios in Europe, and the and developers to this new ‘higher level XDev team in Liverpool which of accuracy’. During the brief ceremony commissions externally-developed first revealing the name, Sony said Move’s party games. advanced features bested Nintendo. “There’s not a higher level of precision [on rival Developers are excited about formats],” claimed Dille, the technology – but not just and it’s this which “drives for designing new IP, it fits the core gamer”. In other well with established IP, too. words, as well as cutting into the Wii’s territory, Michael Denny, SCE Sony is planning to appeal “It’s a precise device that mixes vision to the cynical core gamers not won over technology with motion technology – by previous ‘waggle’ technology. there is no latency, it’s 1:1. So that MOVING TARGET means we can create experiences in Sony ambitiously describes Move as a software that are both intuitive for the “solution for casual and hardcore gamers casual player – and provide real alike” and that Wii audiences will accuracy for full gaming experiences as ‘gravitate’ towards their new controller. well. Combine that with the HD But it’s the software that will really capabilities of the PS3 and it will give us test that claim. real appeal to a broad audience.
“All the developers we have given Move dev kits to so far have been very positive. There has been excitement amongst developers for the technology because of the accuracy of the device – but not just for designing new IP, it really fits well with a lot of established IP.” So the new SOCOM is being built with Move controls in mind for its otherwise traditional third-person military shooter. LittleBigPlanet will also benefit from Move integration, with a new take on co-op gameplay. Other existing first party games like EyePet and third party titles such as Resident Evil 5 are also being updated to work with Move. Games will be retro-fitted via a mix of downloadable patches and re-releases, perhaps with bundled controllers. “Those extra functions mean little extra cost in terms of processing power and development overheads – it’s a quick benefit for getting some great extra functions into a game,” says Denny.
Doesn’t it mean more work for the studios already working on the high-end production a PS3 game demands? Says Denny: “We don’t see that – with SOCOM, Move mapped well to the experience. It won’t fit for all games, but that’s why we have the DualShock.” A NEW VISION
The first wave of games shown last week included inevitable Wii Sports-style game, Sports Champions, a minigame collection designed to showcase all the basic features of Move. Produced by SCEA, that game almost apes the likes of ‘Wii Boxing’ and ‘Wii Tennis’ a little too closely for comfort – but with better accuracy and HD visuals minigames ‘Gladiator Arena’ and ‘Table Tennis’ stand on their own feet. Elsewhere, Move! Party shows how the PS3 tech goes one better than Wii, using the PS Eye camera to provide augmented reality action – the controller’s on-screen appearance changes to a tennis racket, fan, flyswatter and other esoteric devices.
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Other key productions include glossy physics-based shooter The Shoot from Scottish outfit Cohort and Motion Fighter, produced by the XDev team in Liverpool, which uses both parts of the Move controller. But so far, so similar – where’s the killer app that sets it apart? It’s early days of course – there’s still more to learn at E3, and Denny says that Sony’s role as custodian of its platforms is to not be too controlling over the content made for it. Sony is providing the interface, and now third parties have the opportunity to take advantage of it. “It’s no different than how we go about deciding and commissioning any other games – we’re not prescriptive as a publisher or developer organisation. We want the development community to come to us and we take it from there – I’m sure plenty of titles will come that take advantage of what Move can do.” Plus, he says, Move’s feature set can do more than Wii: “Our system also has
risky change towards an untested new user interface like Natal. Instead, Move harnesses the efforts of its R&D tech teams to conquer the established Wii market and reclaim market share. And who can blame them? Nintendo has faced criticism that it has left the core gamer and many third parties behind as it chases older, younger and newer gamers. Nintendo refutes it – recent hits like Just Dance from Ubisoft a proof of a sort, and over the coming months the formatholder is making a concerted effort to reenergise its core audience with the likes of Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M. But still doubts have remained. And whether you want to criticise Nintendo or not, it’s clear that some publishers, some developers, and even some genres just can’t walk at Wii’s unique pace. Sony, on the other hand, built its PlayStation business on third party relations. Some of its biggest game franchises were first devised by independent studios.
I think Move will have wide appeal – the precision mixed with HD graphics make for a compelling experience. Michael Denny, SCE
a lot of heritage in augmented reality – the EyeToy lineage is clear in Move, and recent productions like EyePet, too.” The PS Eye camera is key to this, adding a new element of accuracy to the now traditional remote control interface. ANTI-NATAL CLASSES
A smart compromise between Microsoft’s upcoming camera-based Project Natal and Wii, then? Sony doesn’t draw that comparison. In fact, for all the claims of ‘breathing life into new genres’ and ‘creating new experiences’, there’s not much else the format holder will say. Price is one of those grey areas. Although Sony has promised that an affordable sub-$100 bundle will feature Move, a game, and the PS Eye come launch at the end of the year. Denny says the firm hasn’t yet decided which game could be in the bundle – but Move! Party or Sports Champions seem the likely candidates. Special bundles that include a PS3 console and the Move bundle seem a given, too. One thing that is clear is that Move isn’t an attempt to make a potentially
THE WAR ON WII
Move, then, is the answer to a question the rest of the industry didn’t want to ask with Nintendo wearing the crown: What's out there for non-Nintendo developers who want Wii functionality but on a platform that is kinder to third parties? Move’s similarity to Wii becomes a benefit to developers that cut their teeth on Nintendo, tweaked their game design worldview for pointers and movement, but now want more. Sony has also added a Nunchuck-style sub-controller to Move that Denny says “helps with some of the core games”. It’s easy to imagine those mature games that under-performed on Wii making the leap to PS3. Denny shies away from saying Sony has reached the same conclusion: “I like to concentrate on our system – for PS3 Move brings a lot of advantages to our platform. I think it will have wide appeal, but the precision mixed with HD graphics makes for a compelling experience.” But ultimately, it seems the message from Move is to warn Nintendo that not everyone stays top dog in games forever – a lesson Sony itself has learnt.
PLAYSTATION MOVE: HOW IT WORKS PLAYSTATION EYE The PS3 version of the EyeToy camera, the PlayStation Eye can ‘watch’ the Move controller as it swishes around. It can see in two different speeds of resolution – 60 Hz for a 640 by 480 pixel image, and a faster 120 Hz for a lower quality 320 by 240 pixels. The two different speeds are to suit different kinds of games and the level of accuracy they demand from the pointer. That’s not all – the PSEye also includes a built-in four-capsule microphone array, which can effectively track speaking people moving around a room, plus tech for echo cancellation and background noise suppression for optimal audio quality.
SPHERE This rubberised ball is the part of the device which the PSEye camera tracks. The sphere can change colour so it can be seen at all times. The soft bubble might also be a safety feature for those idiots who managed to throw the Wii controller instead of just swinging it.
SUB-CONTROLLER The sub-controller is 13.8cm long and 4.2cm wide. This, and the main Move unit, have a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery which is charged via USB. Like the main controller, the sub unit uses Bluetooth. And with its familiar D-pad and stick, the subcontroller helps the Move setup serve as a replacement for a Sixaxis or DualShock. The sub-controller weighs 95g.
MOVE HANDLE At 20 centimeters long and just over four centimeters wide, the Move controller features the four traditional PlayStation buttons, plus the PS home button on its front, with Start and Select on the side. There’s also the new Move button, and a trigger on its underside. Under the hood, however, is a three-axis gyroscope, a three-axis accelerometer and a ‘terrestrial magnetic field sensor’ (that’s boffin speak for a compass or, even simpler: magnets). It’s these that, when coupled with the Sphere and PS Eye, offer advanced tracking of the unit, even when it’s out of the camera’s field of vision. Also inside are a vibration unit and Bluetooth nub for wireless relay to the PS3 console. The unit also has a wrist strap. Again, for the enthusiastic motion gamers. Move weighs just under 150g.
WELCOME TO A NEW SEASON
F1 2010 COMING SEPTEMBER
P R O V I S I O N A L R AT I N G © 2010 The Codemasters Software Company Limited (“Codemasters”). All rights reserved. “Codemasters”® and the Codemasters logo are registered trademarks owned by Codemasters. An ofﬁcial product of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. This product is for HOME USE ONLY – no commercial use permitted. The F1 FORMULA 1 logo, F1 logo, F1 FIA FORMULA 1 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP logo, FORMULA 1, FORMULA ONE, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trade marks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula One group company. Licensed by Formula One Administration Limited. All rights reserved. All other copyrights or trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are being used under license. Developed by Codemasters. Published by Codemasters. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are ” and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and ‘Games for Windows’ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. “”, “PlayStation”, “PS3”, “
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MCV INTERVIEW TOM STONE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TT GAMES
Building success with LEGO Warner Bros has extended its licensing deal with LEGO until 2016. Dominic Sacco speaks to Tom Stone, MD of developer TT Games, to discover what the next six years holds for the popular franchise… How successful has the LEGO franchise been for TT Games? This year we reached 50 million LEGO games sold worldwide. That figure speaks for itself when it comes to the success of the LEGO game franchise. What’s the secret to this success? The secret is distilling the brand values of LEGO and the fact that LEGO gives you permission to create aspects of gameplay that you won’t find in other titles. That sets our games apart from our competitors. Also, understanding the intellectual property of the franchises we work with is tremendously important. Working with great franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter, you can see that the rich characters and storylines immediately lend themselves to being recreated in LEGO gameplay form. How successful was LEGO Battles last year, which didn’t feature a popular film or TV franchise? Very successful. We’ve just sold 500,000 copies on the DS worldwide. The LEGO series is firmly aimed at the younger gamer, but there are a lot of older LEGO fans too. Have you considered developing a game for the older player? Not specifically. Our target market for LEGO games has always been six to twelve-year-old boys. That said, we consider it a compliment that gamers over 12 would play one of our games. I think it’s fair to say that LEGO games appeal to the six to 12-year-old within every adult. It’s also important to point out that social play is incredibly important to us, and our games encourage parents and children to share the couch and play games together. There have been LEGO games published by others, including LucasArts. Is TT and Warner open to further collaboration with other video games publishers? We’ll make games that make sense, where there are rich characters and
We look forward to continue building extraordinary LEGO video game franchises, with both Warner Bros. and third party IP. Tom Stone, TT Games
TT Games boss Tom Stone is readying two LEGO games this year, Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and LEGO Star Wars III (inset)
storylines for players. We look forward to carrying on our excellent collaboration with the LEGO Group in building extraordinary LEGO video game franchises, using both Warner Bros. and third party IP that continue to resonate with consumers. What are your hopes and expectations for the long-term future of the LEGO franchise? We expect to continue making great games based on the franchise brand values mentioned earlier. And to take LEGO into exciting and interesting areas, with an extra emphasis on building things.
COULD LEGO LOONEY TUNES BE NEXT? TT Games has already developed one game based on a Warner property, LEGO Batman, and is due to release LEGO Harry Potter this summer. But what about other major Warner and DC franchises, such as Matrix, Superman or Looney Tunes? “Combining LEGO with Warner Bros’ compelling IP is a proven winning combination for video game consumers,” says Martin Trembley, president of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “Our competitive advantage lies in leveraging several of the best brands in entertainment in the video game space and we look forward to doing this with future LEGO games. “TT Games continues to make hit LEGO games for all ages and we will be bringing fans more titles based on our key brands.”
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THE RETURN OF GAMESMASTER
After the break… 12 years after the last episode aired, GamesMaster could return to our screens this autumn courtesy of new brand owner, Future. Dave Roberts asked various industry sages whether or not it would be a success… Rob Saunders, Head of Communications, Nintendo UK
As a young teenager, it was fantastic to have my passion for games fuelled by a slightly irreverent TV show. From an industry perspective, it allowed PRs to get their products featured on a national TV platform, but also for the wider industry to show games were a popular and credible past time. Our industry has been missing a TV platform for far too long now and it really shouldn’t be that way in an industry like ours. It’s most obvious strength was that in the pre-internet age it was the only real place other than arcades, in-store demos and friends’ houses, where you could see games running in all their glory. The lack of a successful show since then might be partly due to the fact that TV has always been wary of video games and kept them at arms length, because we’re rightly or wrongly perceived as a threat to TV in terms of competing for time and attention. Secondly, I don’t think anyone has been able to find an exciting and viable format in which to showcase games on TV. It’s pretty boring to just sit there and watch someone play. I’ve been
Could a renewed TV series replicate the original GamesMaster’s hugely popular blend of children’s appeal with adult humour?
task to create a show to appeal equally to kids, teens and adults alike. It also really needs to come back to a terrestrial TV slot on a decent day and at a decent time – 1:30am on a Tuesday won’t cut it. Whoever brings the show back has a real opportunity to do a lot of good for the image and reputation of games, and I hope they realise that and not waste it.
New GamesMaster should keep challenges at its core – especially now that online multiplayer is standard. Jon Murphy, Konami
approached by and had countless meetings with people wanting to recreate the Top Gear format for video games but for reasons unknown to me it just never seems to gain momentum. Games are simply too big and too much a part of everyone’s lives these days not to be fairly represented on TV. The gaming demographic is also arguably far wider than it was back when GM first aired and it’ll be a hard
Tim Woodley, Head of Global Brand, 505 Games
As a punter I remember the original series fondly as one of the few places you could get weekly broadcast coverage of new games releases, but in terms of content, it wasn’t exactly the best made show in the world.
It’s been tried several times over the last ten years to bring games back into the broadcast realm, and they’ve never really been able to hold an audience for very long. There’s very little a weekly show can tell them over and above what they already know from content online. That said, programmes like The Gadget Show would ostensibly suffer from the same issue, so maybe the segment they’re going after, and that GamesMaster should be trying to attract, is naturally more casual and later adopters. If it does come back, I think it needs to concentrate on covering more games. It should also take advantage of the modern-day trend for audience interaction, either through consumer Q&As or polls, or even some viewergenerated content such as user reviews. If the production company recognise that they are not there to appeal to the hardcore, but rather the secondary gaming audience, then I think it will be alright. They need to have a good handle on what kind of information that segment is after.
Clare Hawkins, Channel Marketing Manager, Sega
As successful and relatively enjoyable as the original might have been, it was very narrow in relation to the industry’s much broader market appeal now. I’d like to see it taken down the route of something like the overhauled Top Gear where they have moved from straight reviews and road tests to a magazine and lifestyle format. Alan Duncan, Marketing Director, Sony Computer Entertainment UK
I loved GamesMaster. It was like Tiswas but for video games; a kid’s show packed full of adult humour. As a gamer the biggest benefit was being able to actually see games being played. Specialist mags remained the font of all knowledge, whereas GamesMaster was more of a showcase, which created excitement.
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THE RETURN OF GAMESMASTER Almost every other gaming show before and after has tried to shoehorn games into an existing format; basically one which the commissioning editor would buy into. GamesMaster was not only an original format, but one which celebrated the gamer and all their traits rather than trying to hide or polish them into a mainstream offering. Since then, well, the Gameswipe pilot came closest. It was great for an older gamer but was too nostalgic and introspective to be a workable format. If GamesMaster returns, Future should make the most of the opportunities its network brings, especially user-generated content, combined with the attitude of GamesMaster. Jon Murphy, European PES Team Leader, Konami
GamesMaster wasn’t really aimed at me. I think it was more for the 12-year-old SNES owners, really. But Dominik Diamond did have a heaving sack of double-entendres… While most shows up until then had showed you how to get the most out of a BBC Micro, GamesMaster was about games and being good at them. It wasn’t poking fun at people who
enjoyed them, it was celebrating it. At its heart, GamesMaster was a competition, and good games often make you competitive. The celebs were there to be thrashed at Mario Kart or whatever by some kid from Sutton, and those that were good at games were rewarded – which made a nice change from all the usual lazy ‘games are bad for you’ headlines in the media at the time. It also had a good balance of tips and reviews – and Patrick Moore with a colander on his head. What more could you need? Other shows focused more on reviews and contrived hilarity. Games World on Sky tried to take the GamesMaster concept further, but became too reliant on silly gags and in-jokes, with the games taking second place. On Bad Influence, Andy Crane clearly didn’t enjoy games like Dominik Diamond did – he was just there for his paycheques. New GamesMaster should keep challenges at its core – especially now that online multiplayer is pretty much standard. Get the celebs back in for ritual humiliation. TV has changed since GamesMaster was on, and I am not sure where it would sit in the schedules. T4 is a bit adult, and there are no more Saturday
morning kids’ shows for it to be a part of. If it can find a place in a schedule and entertains, I am sure it could work. Rich Eddy, Director of Communications, Codemasters,
GamesMaster was the big gig, our Top of the Pops. It was a great moment when the call went round – ‘we’ve got GamesMaster’ – and we’d set the VHS to record. But, God, the kids loved it as my younger relations would testify: ‘Have you met Dominik? Can we ask GamesMaster a question plllleeeeease?’ It benefited from a safe teatime slot, which gave gaming at that time the perception of being accessible and acceptable to kids and the family overall: everyone knew what GamesMaster was. There’s definitely an argument for the reboot to air as a two-show vehicle, rather than a single weekly episode. You could have one back on at teatimes and a post-watershed extra edition for the 16 and 18-rated titles. The spectrum of gaming can’t be simplified into one. The VGA Awards show in the US has become a red letter day in the gaming calendar for first runs of unseen footage and video features from publishers and
pulls a great audience – I reckon this is absolutely what a re-booted version of GamesMaster could tap into. Today, celebrities would add real content to the show – rather than the occasional puzzled-looking hopeful boy band that the old series would sometimes entertain. Murray Pannell, UK Marketing Director, Ubisoft
GamesMaster, hmmm. I seem to have vague but nonetheless fond recollections of a monocle. From a PR point of view, it was probably ahead of its time. The ‘industry’ back then didn’t really deserve a dedicated TV show. It was located in people’s garages and was about as much of an ‘industry’ as today’s West Country Cheese Rolling Commission is. Video game shows generally don’t work because watching a bunch of moody teenagers mumbling incoherently about how much they like FIFA doesn’t make the best telly. But, yes, I’d definitely like to see GamesMaster back. The new version should replicate the feel of BBC’s Total Wipeout whereby the contestants are publicly humiliated in defeat.
WHO COULD BE THE NEW DOMINIK DIAMOND?
Potential hosts suggested by our panel include Bill Bailey, Nick Frost, and Chris Moyles
Whoever it is needs to be a gamer and carry a good amount of credibility. Dominik Diamond knew his games or at least gave that impression. That’s crucial if the show is to gain the attention of today’s gamers. I’d have Bill Bailey as the actual GamesMaster. Rob Saunders
Paxman, Frankie Boyle and Gerard Butler and break my new ubercelebrity right after I’d agreed a healthy management fee. Not really sure that’s useable though. Tim Lovejoy and Nick Frost would be my dream team in the non sci-fi world. Clare Hawkins
Norton. Johnny Vegas would be a laugh, however. Jon Murphy
No one too perky or under the age of 25. If I had a brains, charm and looks melding machine I’d shove in Jeremy
It needs to be someone who gets games, but I expect we’ll end up with a yoof has-been like Dave Berry or Graham
Adam and Joe from the TV and radio shows would get my vote. Alan Duncan
Sam Houser. I’ve never met him, but I suspect he’d inject a bit of drama into proceedings. Murray Pannell
A great contemporary broadcaster, one that doesn’t already owe anything to gaming but has a real love of playing. Maybe Chris Moyles or David Croft – someone who can make GamesMaster eminently watchable as a TV show while being scout-leader for all that enjoy the subject. I think Tom Baker or perhaps Sylvester McCoy would be ideal in the eponymous role. Rich Eddy
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GENRE FOCUS: DRIVING GAMES
Racing certainties It’s set to be a fantastic 12 months for the racing enthusiast, with the likes of Split/Second: Velocity, Blur, F1 2010 and Gran Turismo 5 all due for release this year. But what can these games offer over previous titles? And can they really co-exist at retail? Christopher Dring investigates…
EXPLOSIVE NEW GAMES: Disney believes its new IP, Split/Second: Velocity, will offer a fresh experience for racing fans
FOR THE GAMING speed freaks out there, 2010 is shaping up to be a thrilling year. New IP Split/Second: Velocity, ModNation Racers and Blur will rev their engines in the spring; licensed titles F1 2010 and World Rally Championship will put pedal to the metal in September; while established franchises Need For Speed and GT5 will race onto shelves before the year is up. But is the fact so many big racers are coming out such a good thing for retail? The trade will argue that competition offers choice and drives demand. And indeed, the fact that Split/Second: Velocity and Blur are out within weeks of each other will certainly draw attention to the genre. But isn’t there a risk that the number of competitors on the market could damage sales of individual games?
“Racing is a key staple of the games this year. Motorsport agency FIA has market, and whilst you wouldn’t want it licensed out two games, both of which too crowded, you’d rather have more are due for release in September. The product to have the opportunity to first is Codemasters’ promising F1 2010, merchandise than less – especially in while the other is Black Bean’s off-road what promises to be a potentially racing sim World Rally Championship. exceptional grand prix year,” says HMV’s head of games Racing is a key staple of the Tim Ellis. games market, and 2010 Guy Pearce, Codemasters’ promises to be an brand director for DiRT and exceptional grand prix year. GRID, adds: “Choice is Tim Ellis, HMV generally a good thing as the genre is big enough to include broad segments of gamers that want to “In terms of Official Licensed do different things in their racing games. Championships there are only two “If the racer feels fresh and original or dominant competitions: Formula 1 and reminds you of a classic racing the World Rally Championship (WRC),” experience, then the development team explains Black Bean’s strategic marketing has done its job.” coordinator Fabrizio Vagliasindi. Codemasters is another publisher that “These are the most exciting has a head-to-head battle on its hands competitions in the world and are
followed by a huge number of fans. Moreover, both of them are really peculiar and address two very different approaches to the road: one is on track, the other is anywhere there is mud, snow or dirty tarmac. For the WRC there is no crowd and it is all about severe conditions, incredible driving skills and tough competitions.”
Outside of shooters, racing is probably the most popular video game genre in the UK. Last year was a relatively quiet period for driving games, but there was still big sales for DiRT 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Need For Speed: Shift and the perennial seller, Mario Kart Wii. The genre’s popularity in the UK is also reflected in the development
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GENRE FOCUS: DRIVING GAMES community. The UK is filled with racing studios, such as Black Rock in Brighton (Pure, Split/Second: Velocity), Bizarre Creations in Liverpool (Project Gotham, Blur), Criterion in Guildford (Burnout, Need For Speed), Slightly Mad Studios in London (Need For Speed: Shift), Evolution Studios in Cheshire (Motorstorm), Sony Liverpool (Wipeout) and of course Codemasters (DiRT, GRID, F1 2010). And that’s just to name a few. So what is it that makes racing games such a popular genre? “Racing games have always been about pick up and play – in that you don’t need to remember complicated button configurations to start playing,” says Activision’s senior brand manager for Blur, Gary Sims. “This has been a key focus for Blur, to ensure gamers of all abilities are able to easily pick up and start racing straight away.”
Blur is one of many new racing IPs innovation and quality as retailers and with development excellence, strong scheduled for this year – with Sony consumers seek diverse game experiences. publishing talent, massive trade support working on ModNation Racers and “With Split/Second: Velocity, it is not and a good release window. If the Disney and Black Rock developing just a case of launching a new racing IP, planets align you’re off and running.” Split/Second: Velocity. – it feels and is much bigger than that. THE INNOVATION GAME But with so many As other genres have dominant racing brands The racing genre is particulary evolved through the console out there – such as Forza, competitive with several generations, the basic Need for Speed and GT – established franchises. But principles of racers remain what do publishers and unchanged – drive from A developers need to do to there is space for innovation. to B and beat your rivals. ensure their new IP lasts James Thornby, Disney It’s this basic gameplay the distance? mechanic that has made racing games “To enter the market with a new IP, This game can break out of the racing so popular. However, some developers also not only do you need a great game but genre – the epic scale of destruction feel it has been holding the genre back. you need to engage new consumers and rivals the best action sequences in any The new IPs coming from Activision, retailers as well,” comments Disney game and even films, and that’s the Sony and Disney this year are all Interactive Studios’ product manager media saying this.” attempting something new. So could this James Thornby. Codemasters’ Pearce adds “The be the moment that a new generation of “The racing genre is particularly challenges are the same as with any racers and racing fanatics are born? competitive with several established new IP launch. You need to combine a “It seems that most racing games franchises dominating the market. deep understanding of the marketplace, released in the last few years have been However, there will always be space for competitors and consumer behaviour
SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, Mobile Released: Out now Released last month, Sega’s answer to Mario Kart is available on multiple platforms and has already established itself in the GFK Chart-Track Top Ten.
SPLIT/SECOND: VELOCITY Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Released: May 21st Black Rock enjoyed huge success with Pure in 2008, and the studio’s next title looks just as good, taking inspiration from Hollywood action blockbusters.
BLUR Formats: PC, PS3, Xbox 360 Released: May 28th Bizarre Creations (of Project Gotham fame) are back with innovative racer Blur, which combines real cars and locations with vehicle combat.
SBK X: Superbike World Championship Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Released: May The Superbike World Championship game is back and will be released with a special edition that features, amongst other things, a roster of legendary SBK stars.
MODNATION RACERS Formats: PS3, PSP Released: Spring Using the ‘Play, Create, Share’ adage that served LittleBigPlanet so well, ModNation Racers has usergenerated content as its core mechanic.
WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP Formats: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii Released: September Black Bean will continue its focus on simulation with WRC, with all the tracks and cars that are sure to delight fans of the off-road racing tournament.
F1 2010 Formats: PS3, Xbox 360, PC Released: September F1 returns to games under the direction of Codemasters. The firm promises all the official teams and circuits and will make use of the EGO engine, which powered DiRT 2.
GRAN TURISMO 5 Formats: PS3 Released: 2010 It’s been two years since GT5: Prologue was released, and we’re still waiting for its big brother to surface. Sony promises it’ll be out this year.
NEED FOR SPEED Formats: Various Released: 2010 The next console outing for EA’s Need For Speed is being handled by Burnout developers Criterion. Freeto-play MMO Need For Speed: World is also due this year.
Advertentie 230x315_advertentie 230x315 v2 04-03-10 21:20 Pagina 2
RELEASE 1ST APRIL ''OPEN DISTRIBUTION''. SALES ENQUIRIES TO TEL: 01564 200948 © 2010 FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO
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GENRE FOCUS: DRIVING GAMES slicker, more polished versions of racing gameplay that we’ve all seen before,” says VP and general manager of Black Rock Studios, Tony Beckwith. “Game mechanics in racing games have changed very little. “With Split/Second, from early on, we tried to reject some norms of the genre. We did this deliberately to force
whereby he or she could control the track – and force a different route on all the players – that this would be really innovative for a racing game. “And at the core of Split/Second is Powerplays. Want a jet liner to come down and crash land on your rivals? You can do that. Want to topple a massive tower onto the track? You can do that.
Game mechanics in racers have changed very little. So we challenged our team to think differently. Tony Beckwith, Black Rock
ourselves to think differently. For example, Split/Second is a racing game that doesn’t have a boost mechanic. We also challenged ourselves to come up with a HUD that was radically different from any other racing game. “We’d also played plenty of racers before that offered different routes around the track. But these were never at the control of the player. We felt that if we offered the player a mechanic
“The number one thing that we’ve challenged our team to do on this game is think differently.” Activision’s Gary Sims agrees that thinking outside the box is vital: “All genres need innovation to keep driving the overall market forward. “Innovation is what helps make brands stand out from the crowd, and this is certainly something we try to implement in all our titles.
RACE FOR SALES: F1 2010 is one of several big name racers that are due out this year
“With the racing genre specifically, we saw a gap in the market and we believe Blur’s innovation will fill this gap – giving racing fans a new experience, which will have them on the edge of their seat.”
With so many top racers coming out it is certainly a great time to be a racing fan. But best of all, with the world’s leading developers looking to grow an already popular genre, it looks set to be one hell of a ride for retail, too.
The elite range
Contact your Venom Account Manager now to find out more: 01763 284181 Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Xbox®, Xbox 360TM, Xbox Live® and Xbox® logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the US and/or other countries and are used under licence from Microsoft. The names of actual products and companies mentioned herin may be the trademarks of their repective owners. This product is manufactured and distributed by Venom Limited.
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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD INVITES INDEPENDENT ONLINE AND STORE FRONT RETAILERS TO JOIN THE MUSIC WITH GUITAR HERO® WE WILL BE RUNNING A 4 WEEK PROMOTION, STARTING FROM 1ST APRIL, WHERE CONSUMERS WHO BUY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING PRODUCTS FROM PARTICIPATING RETAILERS WILL GET THE CHANCE TO ENTER A PRIZE DRAW TO WIN VIP TICKETS TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL. PARTICIPATING RETAILERS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED INTO THE DRAW TO WIN TICKETS FOR THEMSELVES.
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Guitar Hero® games © 2005-2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Guitar Hero, Activision are registered trademarks and DJ Hero is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. Patents Pending. ‘2’ , ‘PlayStation’ and ‘PLAYSTATION’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo.Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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GAME BASED LEARNING PREVIEW
A class worth attending MPs, educators and games industry bosses unite in London this month for the 2010 Game Based Learning conference. Christopher Dring speaks to the show’s director Graham Brown-Martin on the importance of education and why the industry should attend this year’s event...
Conference director Graham Brown-Martin hopes that GBL can help address the skills crisis affecting UK game developers
What is the main objective for Game Based Learning? The aim of Game Based Learning as a teaching practice is to encourage the use of video gaming and social media technologies, to improve the quality of formal or informal learning. The aim of Game Based Learning as a conference is to bring together industry and education leaders, publishers, developers, innovators and practitioners to share their knowledge and explore the positive impact that games are having on learning, teaching and training. We hope that the knowledge shared and the relationships established would lead to a better understanding of each other’s sector and will improve the quality of games.
Why is it important that the games and social media are being used industry gets involved with Game throughout the country to improve Based Learning? educational attainment, social cohesion, This is an expanding industry and it well-being and family play. These aren’t needs first class talent, but where is this just stories either, they are backed by talent going to come from? hard evidence. Game Based Learning will open up the vital Game Based Learning will discussion with the open up the vital discussion education sector over the skills studios require. with the education sector Also, games have been over skills requirements. repeatedly abused by the Graham Brown-Martin, GBL mainstream media for the decay of western society. The industry has been blamed for causing obesity, Game Based Learning is a vital violence, bullying and more. opportunity for the industry to learn Yet, there are hundreds of good news about these under-the-radar activities, stories from the education sector where engage with this best practice and
encourage detractors to take a second look at the benefits of gaming. How can the industry get involved in Game Based Learning? Be proactive, add your opinion to the debate, make contacts with people in sectors that you wouldn’t normally connect with, give presentations in the Monday evening sessions and play pool and network at the GBL social reception on Monday night (March 29th).
How can the education and gaming communities work closer together? A challenge for the schools sector is in motivating children around STEM
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GAME BASED LEARNING PREVIEW
subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) as well as arts, design and creative writing. Video games, by their nature, encourage the development of these skills. Many games require a significant amount of abstract problem solving and establish context for collaborative learning, such as working in teams. The current generation of students are the first who have been mainly influenced by non-linear interactive media – video games, social media, the web and so on – whereas earlier generations were typically influenced by broadcast media, such as TV, radio and magazines. This not only has a significant impact on their expectations when they enter the formal education system but also what career they may wish to follow. A career in the digital economy from games to web will require a grounding in STEM, arts and creative subjects. Linking these subjects to an area of interest and relevance is likely to motivate students. The ever-expanding game and digital industries need an abundance of talent if they are to succeed and compete in the 21st century. Consequently the industry must work closely with the
education sector to ensure that their skills requirements are met. What differentiates Game Based Learning from edutainment? If you sugar coat broccoli you can still taste the broccoli – kids will always spot the phoney. Educational software that is designed to look like a game but with a fraction of the budget will always come across like ‘Dad dancing.’
build their learning around a point of interest rather than expecting a piece of software to do it for them. We have schools teaching strategy with Call of Duty, a group of Nuns in Milan teaching religious studies with GTA IV and so on.
What is your long-term aim for the Game Based Learning conference? We want to establish the conference as the global number one annual gathering for We have Nuns in Milan professionals from the teaching religious studies with entertainment, education and technology industries. GTA IV and schools teaching We want to encourage strategy with Call of Duty. games to be taken Graham Brown-Martin, GBL seriously across education and government. We want Game Based Learning takes a game becoming a games designer to be seen that may have cost millions to develop – and nurtured as a valuable career option purely for entertainment – and is used and that the government invests in the by an imaginative teacher as a contextual gaming industry. hub for rich, satisfying learning. A teacher But we’d also like to make sure that will take aspects of a game and then the games industry takes the education build a learning framework around that. sector seriously, and works with Games that cost millions to make are educators to develop the key skills the available to schools and individuals for industry needs to compete. negligible amounts, in comparison to so Game Based Learning 2010 takes called educational software. place at The Brewery in London, and It’s like teaching physics via runs from Monday, March 29th to skateboarding – a good teacher will Tuesday, March 30th.
Game Based Learning 2010 boasts an impressive line-up of leading MPs and influential personnel from both the games and education sector. Big names from the worlds of digital media and teaching can be seen from the very opening session on Monday, March 29th – which features Labour MP Tom Watson, shadow minister for culture and the creative industries Ed Vaizey, Siobhan Reddy and Kareem Ettouney from LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule, and Channel 4’s education commissioning editor Alice Taylor. Other sessions will feature top names from video games, including TIGA CEO Richard Wilson and Bethesda MD Sean Brennan, while industry veteran Seamus Blackley will close the two-day event with a keynote speech. Blackley, who has previously worked for Microsoft and Dreamworks Interactive, will deliver an overview of the games industry and its relationship with the education sector. Meanwhile, leading authors, head teachers, professors and lecturers will also be conducting and taking part in sessions of their own. For more information on what you can expect from Game Based Learning 2010, plus a full programme for the two days, check out the website at: www.gamebasedlearning2010.com
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The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association
invites you to attend:
VIDEOGAMES INDUSTRY PRE ELECTION QUESTION TIME 2010 Chaired by: Matt Warman - Consumer Technology Editor, The Daily Telegraph Don Foster MP (Liberal Democrats)
Guests: Hon Ed Vaizey MP (Conservatives)
Tom Watson MP (Labour)
Want to know what each party will do for the videogames industry if elected? This is your chance to find out. Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN Date: Monday, 29th March 2010 Time: Date: 7.30pm - 9.30pm Entry Fee: ÂŁ10 Entry with ticket only. To book please visit www.elspa.com or e-mail QuestionTime2010@elspa.com Media Partner
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Sales veteran joins Namco Bandai Jackson joins accounts team Uber boosts web staff Lis Welsh hires Rhodes Develop recruits Boucher
NAMCO BANDAI MARK JACKSON has joined the ranks of Namco Bandai Partners as national accounts manager. He previously worked as senior national accounts manager for Koch Media, and has also held sales roles at Electronic Arts and LEGO UK. He boasts a total of 15 years
experience at various firms in the games industry. “We welcome Mark on board,” said NBP’s UK sales director Gary Coote. “We have been looking to recruit someone with Mark’s industry knowledge and experience to bolster the UK sales team.”
UBER Design firm Uber Agency has hired KEVIN CHOPPIN as it new senior web developer. He will assist with the increasing digital requirements of Uber’s clients, which include Sega, Activision and BAFTA. “I’m delighted to be joining such a revered agency with a fantastic client list,” said Choppin. “My job is to champion our digital creativity and integrate the digital channel into our existing clients’ campaigns.”
Uber’s head of digital NIC JONES said: “Kevin really is a fantastic addtion to the team thanks to his extensive experience and knowledge of the industry.” LIS WELSH HOLLY RHODES has joined the Lis Welsh Search & Selection recruitment agency. She fills the position of new business development consultant, having previously worked in similar roles within the creative industry. She will be responsible for maintaining
relationships with Lis Welsh’s extensive database of clients. INTENT MEDIA MCV’s sister magazine Develop has hired ALEX BOUCHER as its new sales executive. Boucher will support the current executive sales manager KATIE RAWLINGS across all facets of Develop, including print, online, Develop 100 and the Develop Awards in Brighton. He has previously held sales roles at The Independent and Bauer, and boasts experience from a variety of roles in the entertainment sector.
The OPM team is waiting for your call! OPM is an assembly of the most experienced, honest, friendly and proactive professional consultants, each working with their own specialist group of candidates and clients. If you could use a friendly chat with people who understand your industry, then give us a call and we can help with your recruitment needs.
OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
CAUSE FOR SUCCESS? Square Enix’s action extravaganza aims to shake things up P42 on the Xbox 360, PC and PS3
RUNE FACTORY: FRONTIER P44 Exclusive Wii RPG adventure follows on from the successful Harvest Moon series FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES P45 The publisher readies three new casual arcade-style games for the DS SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION P46 Four of Sega’s original Sonic games are repackaged on one DS cartridge THE SETTLERS 7 P46 The classic strategy franchise returns to PC with a bundle of new additions BLACK MIRROR II P47 Dark point-and-click sequel comes to the PC courtesy of Mamba Games COMMAND & CONQUER 4 P47 EA’s hugely popular RTS series is back once on PC in C&C4: Tiberian Twilight HIGH STREET P50 MCV interviews Gordon Crawford of Gamespod and checks prices in Newcastle
RETAILBIZ: JUST CAUSE 2 42 MCV 19/03/10
Square Enix readies an action adventure title unlike any other as players are invited to create chaos in Just Cause 2…
by James Batchelor
loose in a vast open world, where they can use an array of vehicles – as well as Rico’s trademark grappling hook and parachute – to approach their objectives from any angle. “No other action game has the freedom of Just Cause,” says PR manager Roxana Etemad. “You can explore the 400 tropical square miles of
JUST CAUSE 2 is an action game in every possible sense. While other titles aim for the gritty realism of modern combat, Square Enix’s upcoming release instead models itself on the more high-octane antics of Hollywood. The game puts players back in the jumpsuit of The buzz for Just Cause 2 is CIA agent Rico Rodriguez building all the time. We as he is sent to the fictional expect strong sales over island nation of Panau in launch and Easter. pursuit of his former mentor. In addition to Roxana Etemad, Square Enix tracking down his prey, Rico must infiltrate each of the island’s Panau, taking in snow-peaked mountains, three gangs and complete a series of arid deserts and beautiful coastlines. missions that will ultimately bring down “You can freefall, basejump, surf on the country’s ruthless dictator Baby Panay. vehicles, grapple men to cars, grapple Just Cause 2 follows the structure of men to men, leap between moving its 2006 predecessor by letting players vehicles, hang from helicopters, scale
buildings, explode petrol stations, explode vehicles, destroy buildings – anything and everything is possible in Just Cause 2.” CAUSE AND EFFECT
Chaos is the currency of Just Cause 2. In order to unlock missions, weapons and vehicles, players are encouraged to take out key targets around the game world, such as construction sites and oil pipelines. Of course, doing so angers the native authorities who will send armed troops to stop Rico – and this is where the game truly comes alive. Gamers have more options in dispatching these grunts than they would in any other action title. The gameplay mechanics encourage them to experiment beyond simple
RETAILBIZ: JUST CAUSE 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM
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CAUSE Square Enix’s extensive marketing campaign for Just Cause 2 started at the end of last year, covering all forms of media. A four-month ‘tease and reveal’ print campaign kicked off in December, drip-feeding avid core gamers with new information and screenshots from the game. Additional promotions will continue in the weeks beyond release. This is being supported by a twomonth online campaign, primarily through IGN. A dedicated ad push announced the release of the demo at the start of the month.
third-person shooting, allowing them to use the grappling hook to attach anything – man, vehicle or object – to anything. The vehicles offer even more opportunities with players able to hijack cars, bikes, boats, helicopters and planes. They can even leap from one vehicle to another, hang off the sides while gunning down enemies, or parachute away and leave their transport to crash into their target. It’s a gameplay style that already has gamers pounding on retailers’ doors, eager to create their own brand of mayhem, reminiscent of the greatest ‘as if’ moments from the likes of classic James Bond movies. “The buzz for Just Cause 2 is building all the time with every new hands-on preview, our pre-order advertising campaign and the imminent demo launch,” explains Etemad.
“We are supporting the hype with a limited pre-order edition of Just Cause 2 that comes with exclusive DLC content including weapons and vehicles. “This SKU is available market-wide for any consumer that pre-orders the game. With this edition pre-ordering well, we expect strong sales over launch and the Easter weekend giving the title great momentum.” JUST A LITTLE LONGER
Square Enix has been further feeding the hype with a long-running campaign (see ‘Join the Cause’) that has heavily targeted hardcore gamers with a string of trailers – such as the ‘Anatomy of a Stunt’ series of videos that shows the numerous ways in which players can take out their enemies. With enthusiasm for this title at an all-time high, the publisher is confident it has a hit on its hands.
RELEASED: MARCH 26 FORMATS: PS3, XBOX 360, PC
Additional online advertising, including high impact takeovers, will appear over the launch weekend on Eurogamer, CVG and GamesRadar.
PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: AVALANCHE STUDIOS PRICE: £34.99 – £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3818
“The original Just Cause was a critical and commercial success going straight to the top of the Xbox 360 charts with an amazing hardware attachment rate,” says Etemad. “With massive improvements over the original, amazing press coverage and an impactful marketing campaign targeting young male gamers and action fans, we have very high hopes for Just Cause 2. “In fact, we expect Rico to grapple the competition to the back of a car and drive it off a cliff before parachuting away and landing unscathed.”
Square Enix will be running sponsorship across Dave and Bravo for ten days, racking up a total of eight hours coverage per day. This will include sponsorship bumpers and 30-second promotional spots, during prime time TV. There will also be 60-second TV spots on Sky Pub. The publisher has secured the premium slots just before kick off in such high profile games as Man United vs Liverpool, Man United vs Chelsea and more. Square Enix is targeting the various Video-on-Demand services with dedicated advertising due to appear across the likes of 4OD, Demand 5 and Perform. Finally, the game will be supported at retail with prime in-store spaces, window ads, extensive racking and a range of POS.
RETAILBIZ: RUNE FACTORY: FRONTIER 44 MCV 19/03/10
Rising Star Games brings its Harvest Moon spin-off to the home console, promising an experience unique to each player…
by Dominic Sacco
“This is one of the most anticipated Wii titles this spring and we hope it will perform exceptionally well come April.”
THE HARVEST MOON franchise is a popular farm simulation RPG series, THE NEXT FRONTIER which has steadily built a firm fanbase Rune Factory: Frontier has had a visual over the years. uplift over its handheld predecessors, Rune Factory pushes the brand courtesy of the Wii’s more powerful forward by giving players the ability to fight or befriend monsters, explore caves architecture. And the title boasts full motion controls – adding to the and dungeons, as well as the traditional gameplay traits of building a farm, growing As one of the most crops and falling in love. Wii exclusive Rune anticipated spring Wii titles, Factory: Frontier is the we hope it will perform latest in the series and exceptionally well come April. the first to head to a Raul Nieto Garcia, Rising Star home console, with previous entries appearing on the DS. gameplay established in the original Publisher Rising Star Games is confident games on the DS. of its success at retail following a string “This is the first Rune Factory title on of positive reviews. a home console and the Nintendo Wii Marketing manager Raul Nieto Garcia proves to be the perfect platform for it,” says: “We are very happy with the adds Nieto Garcia. media reception Rune Factory: Frontier Where Harvest Moon constrained has got since we announced its release gamers within their farm and the town, in PAL territories, winning awards such Rune Factory opens up elements of as IGN’s Best Wii Role-Playing Game. exploration, adding dungeons, monsters “As a publisher, we listen to our and other new areas to the mix, giving audience and their feedback has been the player extra depth of gameplay and very positive as well, which means we an RPG feel. are bringing the right titles to them.
RELEASED: APRIL 1 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: NEVERLAND PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242
Nieto Garcia says: “Rune Factory: Frontier improves on Harvest Moon’s farming and social interactions and adds a comprehensive RPG element. “There is something for everybody in Rune Factory: Frontier, which is an outstanding amalgamation of different genres, and a perfect chance for gamers not familiar with the series to get into it. “Also, fans of farming, RPGs, lifesims, God and even casual games will be pleased with the Frontier experience.” ADVERT FACTORY
Rising Star Games has a comprehensive marketing campaign planned for Rune Factory: Frontier, with print advertisements scheduled for specialist Nintendo magazines before the game’s April release. There’s also a range of MPUs, banners and skyscrapers set to appear on anime and manga websites, with takeovers planned. Rune Factory’s core audience will be targeted through Rising Star Games’ own digital channels, with news, assets and exclusive content for subscribers, as well as promotion through its everexpanding Hoshi Club.
RETAILBIZ: MYSTERY TALES/CASUAL MANIA/GAMEHITS WWW.MCVUK.COM
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Foreign Media Games prepares a trio of new DS releases, first up is time-travelling puzzler Mystery Tales… by Dominic Sacco HIDDEN OBJECT games are a hugely popular genre for publisher Foreign Media Games. In Mystery Tales: Time Travel, players will be able to follow a story, discover hidden items and solve riddles across 30 unique locations worldwide, including ancient Rome, Victorian Britain and the Great Wall of China. Foreign Media Games believes online marketing will be the best way to target the DS title’s key audience – casual female online gamers. The publisher also claims this demographic prefers hidden object games.
Marketing director Michel van Elmpt says: “We will roll out a big advertising campaign on the ten most popular online casual gaming sites, and will run promotions on Cosmopolitan and Company.co.uk. Our PR campaign will focus on Women’s lifestyle and general lifestyle media.” RELEASED: APRIL 1 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES DEVELOPER: MOST WANTED ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CONNECT INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: 01922 649 868
Four popular casual games unite on one DS cartridge to attract the growing female gaming audience… by Dominic Sacco CASUAL MANIA was one of Foreign Media Games’ strongest selling titles last year in the Benelux regions. The game includes four time-based puzzle titles: Hidden Objects, Match 3, Time Management and Marble Popper. Marketing director Michel van Elmpt says: “This is the perfect value-for-money concept for female casual gamers, who can now play their favourite game genres on the DS. “We’re confident this title will stand out and enjoy very decent sell-through figures.
“We have the advantage of testing this game in Q4 in Benelux, where it did very well.” Foreign Media Games will focus on an online marketing campaign for Casual Mania, which will run across popular gaming sites in the UK before and during its release period. RELEASED: APRIL 1 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES DEVELOPER: MOST WANTED ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CONNECT INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: 01922 649 868
Games inspired by classic arcade titles combine to form a collection of hits for the casual gamer… by Dominic Sacco GAMEHITS CONTAINS four addictive arcade titles based on video game classics, such as Frogger, Tetris, Pac-Man and Space Invaders, all of which have proven success in the past. Each game will be displayed in glorious 3D, and Foreign Media Games hopes to appeal to online gamers with this release. Marketing director Michel van Elmpt says: “We know that this game will work very well, especially in the UK. “31 per cent of all online gamers play arcade games, which is a strong genre and an indication that this game will perform very well for us.
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“The USP of this title is that there is something different for each gamer, and we know value-for-money concepts work well in the competitive DS market.” Like the other upcoming releases from Foreign Media Games, Gamehits will receive an extensive online marketing campaign. RELEASED: APRIL 1 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: FOREIGN MEDIA GAMES DEVELOPER: MOST WANTED ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CONNECT INTERNATIONAL CONTACT: 01922 649 868
OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com
RETAILBIZ: SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION/SETTLERS 7 46 MCV 19/03/10
Sega readies a compilation of Sonic The Hedgehog’s earliest adventures for DS…
by James Batchelor WHILE DIEHARD Sega fans are salivating over the impending arrival of Sonic The Hedgehog 4, the publisher is set to show consumers why the original three games were so popular. Sonic Classic Collection compiles the timeless Mega Drive hits Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2 and 3, as well as Sonic & Knuckles, presenting them all in their original forms. Each title still bears the classic 16-bit graphics that will appeal to retro enthusiasts and runs as smoothly as ever on the DS hardware. The action takes place on the top screen, while the lower screen offers a brief summary of the game and various easy-to-access menu options. HEDGING THEIR BETS
Not only will the compilation appeal to veteran fans, it will also appeal to new generations of gamers who have never experienced the classic platform games before. In addition to playing as the titular hedgehog, Classic Collection allows Sonic fans to play as Knuckles throughout Sonic 2 and 3, which
will unlock new areas and moves as well as adding replay value. They can also use the new ‘save anytime’ feature to preserve their progress no matter when they have to stop playing. As gamers make their way through the titles’ various worlds they will unlock additional artwork, giving them new insight into the original hits. “We have very high hopes for this title,” says Sega’s PR and marketing exec Kate Billingham. “These titles have stood the test of time. They never lose their magic and translate extremely well to DS. “Long time fans are going to love the accessibility, and younger gamers get to discover where the world of Sonic all began. It’s a terrific package of games, appealing to a very wide demographic, and we believe this will be a strong, evergreen title in retail.” RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SEGA PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
Popular ‘90s RTS The Settlers returns to grow an already-strong fan base with new multiplayer options… by Dominic Sacco THE SETTLERS is a classic PC strategy franchise which originally made its mark on gamers in 1992. Now Ubisoft readies the seventh title in the series, Paths to a Kingdom, and is confident it can break into the PC chart as a best-seller upon its release. Phil Brannelly, brand manager for Ubisoft says: “We hope to go into the Top Ten on the PC chart from the off and grow from there as word of its release gets about.
“Settlers 7 is a good game and we have already received very positive feedback from the recent open beta test that took place, involving a total of 13,000 players.” Gamers will be challenged by an exciting campaign and skirmish maps that are set in a world of lush forests, open meadows and high mountains. Developer Ubisoft BlueByte have even given the newest Settlers a brand new multiplayer mode, which has been closely followed by The Settlers’ online community.
Brannelly adds: “We are confident that Settlers 7 will both excite the fans and broaden the reach of the audience.” SETTLING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
As well as a print and online advertising campaign, Ubisoft is using a unique initiative focused through Facebook. “We are embracing Facebook to maximise brand awareness of the game through a Settlers page and a viral flash game, which will offer rewards in the PC version when played with friends,” says Brannelly.
The Settlers 7 on the PC will also post achievements directly onto players’ Facebook pages, which will help to develop a community feel – similar to popular social networking title FarmVille. RELEASED: MARCH 26 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT BLUEBYTE PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 800
RETAILBIZ: BLACK MIRROR II/COMMAND & CONQUER 4 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 19/03/10 47
Mamba’s mysterious point and click PC adventure game looks to capture gamers with a dark new story… by Dominic Sacco BLACK MIRROR II is the longawaited sequel to Mamba Games’ original, which was first released back in 2003. This is a point and click adventure title with a difference, thanks to the integration of a 2.5D engine. The tech allows the developer to create detailed 2D backgrounds, which players can explore with 3D characters.
Black Mirror II takes place 12 years after the events of the original, and is set in the ‘90s. It follows the story of Darren, a young new hero trying to unravel the mysteries behind the curse that plagues his family. His search will take him from the US city of Biddeford, Maine, to the English village of Willow Creek from the first game. The authors of Black Mirror II have worked to create a deep and thrilling
The long-running RTS saga finally comes to an end as Electronic Arts explores the final conflict between GDI and the Brotherhood of Nod…
story, with a series of plot twists that will keep players in suspense right up until the game’s dramatic conclusion. It has already been awarded a raft of favourable reviews in its native Germany, and received an average score of 80 on Metacritic. Mamba proudly highlights that the game is one of the Top 10 anticipated adventure titles according to specialist websites AdventureGamers.com and JustAdventure.com. by James Batchelor COMMAND & CONQUER 4: Tiberian Twilight depicts the epic conclusion to the long-running Tiberian storyline that began with the original Command & Conquer way back in 1995. Fans of the series will finally be able to discover who triumphs – GDI or the Brotherhood of Nod – and EA promises there are plenty of twists along the way. Through a combination of its main titles, expansion packs and Red Alert spin-off games, the Command & Conquer franchise has sold more than 30 million units worldwide – so there’s a massive audience out there just itching to find out what happens. EA has pulled out all the stops to deliver a conclusion worthy of the fans’ patience, with new gameplay features and refined mechanics offering a fresh batch of strategy gaming. Most notably, this will be the first class-based C&C title. Gamers can play as Offence, Defence or Support for either of the two factions, utilising the different strategy options and unique units that are open to them. Players will also be able to use the mobile bases to produce new units,
RELEASED: APRIL 30 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: MAMBA GAMES DEVELOPER: CRANBERRY PRODUCTION PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: LACE MAMBA GLOBAL CONTACT: 01273 202 220
Black Mirror II’s appeal will lend itself to hardcore adventure fans and a much broader audience of gamers who love a mix of mystery and horror. structures and upgrades in the heat of battle, eliminating costly transit times between hotzones. An experience mechanic allows them to customise their military forces further, with points earned for every enemy unit destroyed. Gamers level up and spend their accumulated experience points on new unit types, upgrades and powers that will give them more of an advantage in the conflict. Finally, fans will be pleased to know the multiplayer mode has been expanded with objective-based five-vs-five matches. Tiberian Twilight also features an allnew party system that lets players move with their friends between online battles. After a relatively successful stint on consoles with C&C3: Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3, EA has decided to target the series’ core PC audience for the finale. As such, marketing will be heavily focused on this demographic. RELEASED: MARCH 19 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA LOS ANGELES PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 48 MCV 19/03/10
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Gold, Silver and Steel hit shelves Nintendo fans delight as Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver arrive on DS, while Wii owners finally get a slice of action in Red Steel 2. Also out soon are new games in the Just Cause, GTA, Dead Or Alive, Lips and Splinter Cell franchises... TITLE
PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360 PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii / DS DS PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC DS DS PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii Wii PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC Wii / DS PS3 / XBOX 360
Action Action Simulation Action/Adventure RPG Action Casual Mini-games RPG Action Mini-games FPS RPG RPG / Farming Strategy Kids Action
Eidos Namco Bandai Just Flight Activision Blizzard Sega Eidos Mamba Games Ubisoft Nintendo Deep Silver Ubisoft Ubisoft Sega Rising Star Games Ubisoft THQ Tecmo Koei
0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 020 7324 5200 01273 202220 01279 822800 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01279 822800 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 01279 822800 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130
Centresoft Advantage Mastertronic Centresoft Centresoft Square Enix Lace Gem Koch Koch Gem Gem Centresoft Mastertronic Gem Advantage Open
PC / PS3
DS PC DS DS DS
Casual Simulation Casual Casual Casual
Foreign Media Games First Class Simulations Foreign Media Games Zushi Zushi
020 7240 2645 01869 338833 020 7240 2645 01279 822800 01279 822800
Open Open Open Gem Gem
PSP XBOX 360
Tecmo Koei Microsoft
01462 476 130 01279 822800
PC / XBOX 360
PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PC PC / XBOX 360
Action Casual Simulation FPS
Atari Zushi First Class Simulations Ubisoft
0121 506 9585 01279 822800 01869 338833 01279 822800
Advantage Gem Open Gem
Wii DS Wii PC / XBOX 360 DS Wii
Simulation Platformer RPG Action/Adventure Puzzle Casual
Deep Silver THQ Nintendo Square Enix Ubisoft Atari
0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 020 7324 5200 01279 822800 0121 506 9585
Koch Advantage Koch Open Gem Advantage
MARCH 26th Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition Clash Of The Titans Class 20 How To Train Your Dragon Infinite Space Just Cause 2 Mata Hari Peppa Pig: Fun And Games Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver Prison Break: The Conspiracy Racket Sports Party Red Steel 2 Resonance Of Fate Rune Factory: Frontier Settlers 7 SpongeBob Boating Bash Warriors: Legends Of Troy
MARCH 30th Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City
APRIL 1st Casual Mania Dubai Airport: Gateway To The World Gamehits Jig-a-Pix: SmileyWorld Wordjong
APRIL 2nd Dead Or Alive: Paradise Lips: I Love The ‘80s
APRIL 9th Borderlands Add-on Pack
APRIL 16th Dead To Rights: Retribution Gina Lisa Power Shopping Hurricane V Stuka Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
APRIL 23rd Ballerina Beat City Monster Hunter Tri Nier Ok! Puzzle Stars Project Runway
MUSTSTOCK ..................POKÉMON: HEARTGOLD Released: March 26 Format: DS Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are the longawaited remakes of 2001’s Gold and Silver, two of the most popular entries in the franchise. The titles come bundled with a PokéWalker pedometer accessory that interacts with the game.
MUSTSTOCK ................................RED STEEL 2 Released: March 26 Format: Wii Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800
Ubisoft revamps its unique FPS series with MotionPlus compatibility, a new setting and cel-shaded graphics. Players take on a multitude of enemies using either guns or swords, switching between them on the fly. A MotionPlus bundle will be available.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 50 MCV 19/03/10
POLL IS THE DIGITAL-ONLY LARA CROFT TITLE A SIGNIFICANT LOSS TO RETAIL?
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
God of War III PS3 Sony
39% Let’s wait and see
Battlefield: Bad 2, 360, EA
BlazBlue: Calamity, 360, PQube
Silent Hill: Memories, PSP, Konami
SOCOM: Bravo 3, PSP, Sony
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
While retailers have already expressed their concern about Tomb Raider’s new direction (MCV578, 12/03/10), the games industry at large is considerably more divided over the news. Almost 40 per cent of voters in the latest MCV online survey are reserving judgment on Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.
A little under a third of participants believe the decision to make the game a digital-only release will be a severe blow to High Street retailers. Roughly the same amount are unaffected, perhaps agreeing with MCV commentors last week that the series is past its best. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
MARGIN MAKER INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PS3
HEAVY RAIN PS3
DEVELOPER: DICE PUBLISHER: EA EA
ALIENS VS PREDATOR 360
ALIENS VS PREDATOR PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS Wii
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PC
BIOSHOCK 2 360
JUST DANCE WII
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
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.
Hive Entertainment is catering to fans of last week’s hit Final Fantasy XIII with a range of collectible figurines of the game’s heroes: Snow, Lightning and Vanille. Each figurine is crafted to match their in-game counterparts and feature
DEAL OF THE WEEK
Play.com customers can save £25 when they pick up a Wine Red or Dark Brown Nintendo DSi XL with a copy of Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box for £164.99.
detachable accessories such as Snow’s sword and Vanille’s staff. The figures are customisable and can also be re-arranged by users into a multitude of poses. Hive Entertainment: 01706 242 070
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 19/03/10 51 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Battlefield: Bad Company 2 360, EA
Final Fantasy XIII PS3, Square Enix
Alice In Wonderland Wii, Disney
Supreme Commander 2 PC, Square Enix
Silent Hill: Memories PSP, Konami
TOP 10 GOD OF WAR III PS3 SONY
IN STORE: NEWCASTLE £39.99
2. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT
3. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT
4. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + LONG T
PS3 ..................................................................CAPCOM 360 ..................................................................CAPCOM 360 ..................................................................UBISOFT
5. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + T-SHIRT 360 ..................................................................UBISOFT
6. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED EDITION
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
7. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED EDITION
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
8. RED DEAD REDEMPTION: LIMITED ED.
9. RED DEAD REDEMPTION: LIMITED ED.
10. ALAN WAKE: LIMITED EDITION
360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT Week ending March 12th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE This week we speak to Gamespod’s Gordon Crawford… How has business been for you in 2010? The market seemed to have been improving in the second half of 2009 but this has not followed through into the first couple of months of 2010. However, the next few months will be very interesting. There has been a great release of games so far and it looks as though this will continue with Natal and the Move motion controller from Sony. What is the greatest challenge Gamespod faces? Survival in the recession. Supermarkets are a threat but they only sell on price, which impacts larger games retailers and online. Do they really want to be video games retailers or is it just another means of stimulating footfall, which will change once they trash the market?
“Our greatest challenge is survival in the recession. Supermarkets are a threat but they only sell on price, which impacts larger games retailers and online.”
TOP 10 GOD OF WAR III PS3 SONY
2. WARHAMMER 40,000: DOW II
3. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS - AWAKENING
4. C&C4: TIBERIUM TWILIGHT
5. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION
6. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY What should change about games retail? False levels of RRP compared to actual price levels acceptable to customers. This is not helped by the fact that most distributor prices give the retailer £2 to £3 profit on most games. This is falling into the supermarkets’ hands as they can cross-subsidise across their whole product base. Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest example of this.
7. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED EDITION
8. JUST CAUSE 2: LIMITED EDITION
9. POKÉMON: SOULSILVER VERSION
10. GRAN TURISMO 5
PS3 ......................................................................SONY Week ending March 12th Source: PLAY.COM
52,53 MCV579_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 52 MCV 19/03/10
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
SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING MARIO & LUIGI: BOWSER’S INSIDE STORY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING MARIO KART DS STYLE BOUTIQUE MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS
1 9 2 3 NEW
7 4 8 5
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
PROFESSOR LAYTON & PANDORA’S BOX DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PUBLISHER: NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO
FINAL FANTASY XIII FORMAT: 360, PS3
DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 360, PS3, PC
JUST DANCE Wii
HEAVY RAIN PS3
WII FIT PLUS Wii
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS
SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING PS3, 360 Wii, DS SEGA
ALIENS VS PREDATOR 360, PS3, PC
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII Wii
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
BIOSHOCK 2 360, PS3, PC
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING SEGA MARIO KART WII NINTENDO BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE – VILGAX ATTACKS D3P MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA ALICE IN WONDERLAND DISNEY SILENT HILL: SHATTERED MEMORIES KONAMI F1 2009 CODEMASTERS TOY STORY MANIA DISNEY FIFA 10 EA
BEN 10: VILGAX ATTACKS 360, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2
DAWN OF WAR II: CHAOS RISING PC
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC UBISOFT
2 3 NEW
4 14 5 6 17 7
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT PLUS WII SPORTS RESORT WII PLAY MONOPOLY EA SPORTS ACTIVE CARS: RACE-O-RAMA MY FITNESS COACH: GET IN SHAPE LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
MARIO KART WII Wii
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
2 3 4 6 5 7 10 15 13
EA 2K GAMES
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 DEVELOPER: DICE PUBLISHER: EA
DAWN OF WAR II: CHAOS RISING
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR
THE SIMS 3
SUPREME COMMANDER 2
ASSASSIN’S CREED II
ALIENS VS PREDATOR
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
EA SQUARE ENIX UBISOFT SEGA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
52,53 MCV579_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 19/03/10 53
No.1 spot from Battlefield: Bad Company 2, along with the record of fastest-selling game this year. The EA FPS saw a 38 per cent drop in sales. In light of XIII’s multiformat release, the slight majority still favour the PS3 version, which accounted for 54 per cent of sales. The game mirrors the success of 2007’s PS2 title Final Fantasy XII, which also topped the charts.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS Wii, DS
MARIO & LUIGI: BOWSER’S STORY DS
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
YAKUZA 3 PS3
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
TAKE A BREAK’S PUZZLE MASTER DS
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
RESIDENT EVIL 5 360, PS3, PC
GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS, PSP
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
ALICE IN WONDERLAND Wii, DS
SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION DS
VANCOUVER 2010 360, PS3, PC
MASS EFFECT 2 360, PC
ASSASSIN’S CREED 360, PS3, PC
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
MARIO KART DS DS
ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3 2 8 10 7 5 4 6 12
NINTENDO SEGA CAPCOM ROCKSTAR
SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA ASSASSIN’S CREED
VAMPIRE SAGA: PANDORA’S BOX
HIDDEN EXPEDITION: DEVIL’S TRIANGLE
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER
HIDDEN MYSTERIES: TITANIC
MYSTERY OF THE CRYSTAL PORTAL
ESCAPE THE MUSEUM 2
MYSTERY CASE FILES: DIRE GROVE THE MIRROR MYSTERIES
FINAL FANTASY XIII
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 HEAVY RAIN COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 ALIENS VS PREDATOR YAKUZA 3 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES BIOSHOCK 2 FIFA 10 SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING
5 8 7 6
DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA SEGA SONY 2K GAMES EA SEGA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE - VILGAX ATTACKS
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LITTLEBIGPLANET FIFA 10 GRAN TURISMO ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY SILENT HILL: SHATTERED MEMORIES SOCOM: US NAVY SEALS FIRETEAM BRAVO 3
2 1 3 5 4 8 9 7 NEW
DEVELOPER: PAPAYA STUDIOS PUBLISHER: D3PUBLISHER
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 1 2 4 3
WEEK ENDING 13/03/10
New titles under popular brands – such as Ben 10, Dawn Of War II, Yakuza, Sonic and Alice in Wonderland – also found homes in the Top 40. Elsewhere, Modern Warfare 2 rose one place in the all-time All Formats total UK market unit sellers, overtaking GTA: San Andreas. The FPS is now the UK’s second biggest selling game of all time, behind Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
SONY EA SONY UBISOFT UBISOFT SEGA SQUARE ENIX KONAMI SONY
FINAL FANTASY XIII
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 ALIENS VS PREDATOR BIOSHOCK 2 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 FIFA 10 SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME MASS EFFECT 2
1 3 2 5 4 7 6 12 8
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
SQUARE ENIX’S Final Fantasy XIII has seized the
DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA 2K GAMES MICROSOFT EA SEGA UBISOFT EA
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 54 MCV 19/03/10
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) firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email export sales: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
439 avenue de la Gare
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne Email : email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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...
MCV 19/03/10 55
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... Western territories. We explore the challenges games publishers and format holders alike face in the region with an in-depth look at China’s growing games market. We also take a look at the major trends sweeping the region such as the rise of online gaming.
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
FRIDAY MARCH 26th
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
DUPLICATION AND COPY PROTECTION 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.
SELF-IMPROVEMENT AND NONGAMES SOFTWARE The success of Wii Fit Plus proved that there is still significant demand for self-improvement software and this has been further underlined by Electronic Arts’ efforts to bring its best-selling EA Sports Active brand to new platforms this year. So join MCV as we take a look at one of the industry’s least traditional, but fastest-growing genres.
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY
FRIDAY APRIL 30th
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East
P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E.
Find out who emerged victorious from this year’s Awards ceremony. MCV brings you a full report on the biggest night in the games industry calendar, which rewards the most deserving companies and the attending representatives for industry excellence.
Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: email@example.com U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
FRIDAY APRIL 2nd
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
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.
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
FRIDAY APRIL 16th
CHINA TERRITORY REPORT One of the biggest markets in the Far East, China is also one that bears the most differences when compared to
FRIDAY MAY 14th
TOP 20 INDIES MCV gives a run-down of the 20 best independent games retailers in the UK.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS
DESIGN STUDIOS Fink. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352 DISC REPAIR Elm-Digitalia UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 643 6021
...bringing you all the right lines
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 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 USD Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220
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GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 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
LCD / Plasma Cleaning Mitt
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or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
USD LIMITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.usdlimited.com
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GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
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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
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 Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 Partnertrans ......................................+44 (0) 1273 229030 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 BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 76888
“ I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. ” - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943
LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
GREEN MAN GAMING. . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 . . . . . . . . email@example.com
ELM-DIGITALIA UK. . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.elmdigitalia.co.uk
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
Design/Branding/ Advertising/ Packaging/Web
01480 302 352 firstname.lastname@example.org www.finkcreative.com
FINK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.finkcreative.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
DIARY DATES From the MCV Awards to our Games Developer Conference, here are all the essential industry dates to put in your diary…
MARCH MCV AND XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, March 31st Sway Bar, London Orlaith.Kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk
APRIL COMPLETE EPOS SOLUTIONS LTD . . . . 01543 370 002. . . . . . . . www.ggepos.com STORE FITTINGS
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk
MAY MONETISING MOBILE Wednesday, May 26th BAFTA, London Jodie.Holdway@intentmedia.co.uk MCM LONDON EXPO Saturday, May 29th – Sunday, May 30th ExCeL, London www.mcmexpo.net
JUNE E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Thursday, April 22nd The Brewery, London Kathryn.Humphrey@ intentmedia.co.uk 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.
JULY AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk UK SHOPFITTERS
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
UK SHOPFITTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 . . . . . . . . . www.ukshopfitters.com
MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Wednesday, March 31st Sway Bar, London Orlaith.Kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk The MCV/Xbox 360 Pub Quiz gives retailers, suppliers and the media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local pub. There will be thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night, as well as loads of topnotch booze and food. The quiz is free to enter for retailers and the media, and serves as a great networking opportunity.
62 MCV 19/03/10
Can Argos really run a pre-owned business? Chris Ratcliff, editor of used software bible Game Guide, shares his views on why indies shouldn’t be worried about Argos entering the pre-owned video games market... I ALWAYS applaud the courageous decision of a nonspecialist retailer dipping their toe in what may seem a lucrative market. However, the recent announcements that three nonspecialists will be trialling used games makes me wonder how they think they can run a mainstream operation – especially when one of these retailers (Argos) will only deal in certain top titles. How will Argos do that? When does a top title suddenly become a liability? And how do they propose to deal with the keen gamer that is told one day that his game is worth so much, but the next day it is not on the trading list? I wouldn’t be surprised to see them turn down a copy of the PSone game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for being too old and worthless. A limited operation will attract a limited response. Trading in used games is a
you will end up with a load of £1 games, with little hope of selling them in-store, but then that is what Amazon and eBay are for. Or perhaps you could take the leaf out of one enterprising retailer’s book, who simply gave a £1 game away with every hardware bundle or multiple game purchase. A cheap freebie trick, but a trick that instantly won a bit of customer loyalty for the price of £1. The moment you decline a game is the moment the seller will go elsewhere. I am not convinced a business model is viable when a retailer will only take a limited list of games. To make matters worse, some of Argos’ offer values are higher than the price games can be bought in High Street chains or over the internet. I wish them all the luck and council them to check and re-check their offer prices on a daily basis. If I was not so busy researching the market place for busy retailers, I would
Supermarkets and Argos dabbling in used games is not going to ruin the trade for the dedicated specialists. Chris Ratcliff, The Game Guide
dynamic business that is aimed at building customer loyalty. If you cherry pick the best games from a collection someone brings in, you can do more harm than good to your reputation. You must offer a decent price for his or her good stuff, with the unspoken rule that you will take his or her crap games for a nominal amount. Yes, it does mean that
be out there speculating by buying up cheaper games and trading them in for valuable Argos vouchers. The real trick of second-hand games is to balance the current new prices with the used values you put on a game. From the moment a game is released it is subject to discounting, and it takes time to track High Street prices.
It was back in 1993 when the Game Guide pioneered a structured approach to game trading and has published pricing and release data every month since. Consequently, unlike some national chains, our retailers are less likely to try and sell a used game for more than it can be bought as new in the same store, or even in the same town. This market allows cashstrapped gamers to trade in old games for new releases. Supermarkets and the like dabbling in used games is not going to ruin the trade for the dedicated specialists. The specialists have their finger on the pulse of their business, have the right systems in place to interrogate their pricing,
look after the VAT on secondhand goods, receive up to date data on what the rest of the market is doing and is able to constantly adjust buying and selling prices to make sure they remain competitive and not targeted by price speculators. Overall, I welcome the further legitimatising of the preowned market. It is now a mainstream business that sees winners and losers and is instrumental in turning video games into a major business. It has also allowed many indies to open shops and, to be blunt, most independents would not be in business without the second-hand market. Chris Ratcliff,
ARGOS GOES PRE-OWNED: Chris Ratcliff has questioned Argos’ decision to deal only in “top used titles”
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LUCKY XIII Or perhaps that should be Friday the XIIIth given the horrors that emerged for the latest Final Fantasy launch event. Held at HMV’s Oxford Street branch, the event saw over 2,000 cosplayers and other avid fans take over the store as they queued to get their latest 100-hour fantasy romp signed by Final Fantasy XIII’s producer Yoshinori Kitase and its art director Isamu Kamikokuryo. HMV reports the event saw its biggest ever turnout, topping Take That and World Of Warcraft launch. Some attendees even travelled from as far as Berlin and Stockholm to take part, and camped outside the store for 17 hours – most people just settle for online home delivery.
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MCV 19/03/10 65
ERS BOOT CAMe P training
It’s almost rude not to know someone who once worked there. This week, we start with...
rs ar British soldie 0 th an Xbox 36 for combat wi n. gu a an th er controller rath l reports The Daily Mai ing Op us e ar s op that tro ftware so t es lat e JCOVE, th for lly ca ifi ec developed sp ed Forces. m Ar ’s in ita Br e made for Demotions ar , teabagging ng pi m anyone ca about lag – ng and complaini sh ey ould be. or at least th are in for a ys bo e Thes d when they fin k oc hell of a sh when ns aw sp re there are no ed out there. they get post
Mike Hayes is now the most important nonJapanese director of Sega, which is where...
Phil Lamb used to work before being lured away to Warner Bros. Interactive, where one of the main benefits is working with the lovely...
Rose Buahin, who joined from Sony Computer Entertainment, where she was part of the marketing team headed up by...
Alan Duncan, who now bleeds PlayStation, but started out at GT Interactive, working with popular PR chap...
Lee Kirton, who must have a whole cupboard full of four leaf clovers as he’s lucky enough to, this very week, be celebrating his engagement to...
Kate Ward who is the much-admired PR queen at... ACTIVISION
FROM THE ARCHIVE May 17th, 2002
NEWS ves back to Earl’s year at ExCeL, ECTS mo After a pretty miserable alongside the nt eve er d its own consum Court and Sony will hol its exclusive content end will e Rar t tha rife event... Speculation is ello says president John Ricciti w deal with Nintendo... EA careful they don’t gro be uld sho wn cro ’s pretenders to his firm ne price drops PSO The ... pop ng goi up too big, too fast and end to £49.99. CHARTS: All Formats ctronic Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ele 2002 FIFA World Cup PlayStation 2 ctronic Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ele 2002 FIFA World Cup Xbox . . . . Microsoft .................... Halo: Combat Evolved GameCube . . . . LucasArts der . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Star Wars: Rogue Lea FEATURES n Riccitiello w with MCV, EA’s Joh In an exclusive intervie ry isn’t blessed ust ind this is, th tru h e says things like: “Th a lot of companies wit talent”. And: “There are ent a company when all em buy nag ma you of do th How dep with things. They’re a mess. bad 15 and Chris Deering tells s gs bos thin E d , SCE one or two goo y’ve got?”... Meanwhile the at wh of x, ma t, ) UK – about three you want is 20 per cen territories (2.2m in the s have been sold in PAL PS2 life cycle... Acclaim lion its mil of en ge sev sta t us tha been sold at the same had t tha nes PSO eet 16. Blimey what an of Sw : ley times the number ing Mary Kate and Ash lud inc s, title ing om es. previews some of its upc : Acclaim publishing gam notion that now seems ike le-l yta fair ost alm innocent,
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
MIER PR E ame, R P , of this g R GE A because ly N b y a A u m f rg M o A ndly TS ipe k very fo ng as I w ACCOUN I still thin soles had always , , chuckli D rk is o O , w n rs O o to C ay in his dance GBA SP. ALI W on the w d by male kson and ember n hogge y to start people hael Jac
wa bee hate u rem out Mic the best tes and I game yo ’ve ll for housema the first g? games (I ay. And a in y d y la e p jo th n e What’s e m y g ll , so a in t) h re lo tc a d a w y an to swear £1.79! inated b playing n known e ere dom e w e th e b s e it y a m m d a e Early ourite SP gav oid, Dyn my your fav the GBA of Arkan aley ames on What is the likes Skiing, D to play g s m e o o d G e e e c f fr game of Dan, Hora Decathlon and (o s. ? own term n’s ZX I . n all time o Thompso Set Willy on our si you is M ro e t Z e : J game are Metroid a course) coming h no g p it u in y ? (w h la k to ic p 8 h 4 er W rward rememb . I’m a Spectrum s coming oking fo for the f course But it wa most lo oid game GBA laying laxy 2, o p tr a e y G b games M o joystick). g ir ri e in a Super M e on the d unwind art and th have to m e e ti h t th t a rs n l fi o ir home an e g I hog nt for th lthough Nintendo e Hedge d I truly No unch eve P ith joy. A Sonic Th was a la t I realise ck the S rward to fill me w a u fo re st th st e g r h e ju e in v T x k . ri o P o B S lo g e r in v e y te MegaD th sa S s. ra s, and ll. say, I’m eo game my hand handheld ero s 2 as we loved vid usion in ssed to Z re Heroe etroid: F o ently re M M g rr h u ro c it p w I e t e you’r After tha the gam nderful. st? ‘try this’. What’s ying mo h was wo . h ic jo c h n u e w o d T n n o d a si o is g iP M in y y m la p e s on Line tub s Zombie akerloo Plants V packed B e th n o Sitting
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audience during his Fable III GDC presentation
The brands, people and technology that have dominated decades. This week, presenters...
Sketchy. In many ways. Harris was the host of the worthy but slightly confused Micro Live, the BBC’s attempt to get to grips with this decade’s ‘home computing boom’ – and plug the bejesus out of its very own Acorn range. He was a cross between your vaguely groovy science teacher (Gentle Giant album just visible on the passenger seat of his Vauxhall Viva) and partly your slightly over-friendly uncle who, for whatever motive, took a bit too much interest in your hobbies and tried to make them ‘good for you’ rather than actually fun. Remember the Micro Live intro? An owl flew through some spotlights and then landed in the logo while the music sounded like one of Ross from Friends’ more outré numbers. Very much ‘of its time’.
Diamond came from nowhere (well, Scotland) to become ‘the face of gaming’ just when gaming became super cool. He hosted GamesMaster, of course, which ran from 1992 to 1998. His style comprised a lot of double (and a smattering of single) entendres, combined with a genuine love/knowledge of gaming and the ability to connect with the kids doing the challenges as well as the celebs they were playing against. His finest moment was probably the entire series three, which was presented by Dexter Fletcher – nothing could have made Diamond look more professional than that. He was also very much part of the industry rather than just a presenter-for-hire. Then GamesMaster ended. And it’s never really been replaced. Neither’s Diamond.
He used to work here, you know. Right here at MCV Towers. Look, there’s the blue plaque on that far wall. I say blue plaque, I mean discoloured patch where he used to lean back and make a mark thanks to all the product in his hair. From here he went straight onto TV. Well, Eurogamer TV. But this isn't a snipe. Eurogamer TV’s great, and Minkley’s an excellent host. Besides, mainstream TV kind of gave up on us. So we made our own show(s). And we already have the perfect host. Now, if only Minkley could host the new GamesMaster and Fred Harris could be Patrick Moore. It’d be like one of those Doctor Who specials where they all bump into each other, look a bit quizzical, and we’re supposed to laugh a bit. I think.
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Published on Mar 18, 2010