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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday April 2 2010 £3.25


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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES International Media Partner

Issue 581 Friday April 2 2010 £3.25

04 Reeves returns

12 Two’s company

Former SCEE president David Reeves discusses his new role at Capcom Europe

Take-Two CEO Ben Feder on the firm’s blockbuster lineup for 2010

06 THQ bounces back

17 Retail market stats

Publishing boss Rory Donnelly toasts THQ’s ‘tremendous turnaround’

A closer look at the figures from ERA’s yearly entertainment market overview

08 Rockstar sees Red

23 Retail Biz

UK GM Neil Stephen on plans to screen Red Dead ads for movie-watchers

Our detailed product guides focus on Monster Hunter Tri and more

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

Now we have to prove our worth

INCORPORATING

DLC goes mainstream with £1m MW2 push by Dominic Sacco

UK industry must secure world class talent to show tax breaks are the right decision by Christopher Dring ALISTAIR DARLING’S Budget was a landmark moment for the games industry – but UK studios most show they are worth the £90m invested in them. That’s the message from industry bosses who say the UK has to promote itself as a global force in order to beef up its studios and local workforce. Ubisoft Reflections boss Gareth Edmondson – who previously said that Ubi would have added 1,000 staff to its Newcastle studio had tax breaks been available – told MCV: “Tax relief should lead to increased investment, jobs, innovation, as well as stimulating the development of new IP and preventing further brain drain.”

Labour heeded our call for tax breaks – but Livingstone, Cousens, Denny, Edmondson and Dunn say UK studios must now step up

The UK has become supercompetitive. We have the talent, we have the financial incentives to go with it. Gary Dunn, Sega

Research shows that over five years tax relief would create or save 3,550 graduate jobs, while generating £457 million in new development expenditure. But that just won’t happen without the industry standing up to be counted. Eidos life president Ian Livingstone added: “Long term

expanding and new studios starting, with inward investment into the UK.” Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens says it is time for the UK to steal back talent overseas,

”“

we’ve now got to get everyone to understand the UK is a cost-effective place to make games. We are one of the most creative nations in the world. Here is the opportunity to build on that and stop the UK industry decline. “I think you will see announcements in the coming years that existing studios are

they did to the UK. In terms of Codemasters, we have focused on UK development with multiple studios. There is great scope for expansion within the existing structure providing the investment incentive is readily accessible.” Gary Dunn, Sega’s MD of European development, believes that the UK is on track to be the the most attractive place in the world to make games: “We are now supercompetitive,” he said. “Not only do we have the talent, we have the financial incentives to go with it. When you look at the tax breaks and the exchange rate between the dollar and pound, we are a lot cheaper than most places.” And Sony’s senior VP of worldwide studios Europe, Michael Denny, says that such inward investment will drive more innovation from UK games developers. He said: “Increased investment will undoubtedly assist in the creation of

We now have to promote Britain as a place to invest, and do unto others what they did to the UK. Rod Cousens, Codemasters

and pledged to expand his own studios using tax incentives. “The UK industry needs to actively promote itself as a place to invest,” he said. “It needs to do unto others what

better facilities, better training, better environments and world class studios that are capable of attracting the best talent from the UK and all over the world.”

ACTIVISION HAS put a mammoth marketing campaign behind the launch of Modern Warfare 2 DLC. £1m is being spent to promote the downloadable Stimulus Package, which adds a host of new multiplayer maps to the world’s fastest-selling game. The publisher has made the investment to spearhead a marketing campaign that targets the game’s worldwide audience of 25m players. This includes extensive online marketing and a TV advert, both of which are live now and will continue to run throughout Easter. Activision’s marketing director for UK and Ireland David Tyler said: “We are excited about the content of the Stimulus Package and our gamers are going to be blown away by the new maps. “Our partners are playing a crucial role in driving the Stimulus Package message out to consumers through their in-store activation. “Retailers are fully on board to ensure they secure their share of the commercial opportunity that is being created. The key behind all of this as usual, is having great content.” The Stimulus Package is available now on the Xbox 360 for 1200 Microsoft points, with PS3 and PC versions to follow later in the year.  Turn to page 9 for more on the new MW2 campaign

PERSONNEL 22 RETAIL BIZ 23 NEW RELEASES 30 HIGH STREET 32 CHARTS 34


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[LEADER] AN EVEN BREAK UNTIL WE KNOW what colour Government will be after May, there isn’t much left to say on Alistair Darling’s promise of a games development tax break. Yes, it was momentous that games – and no other industry – were singled out in the Budget as worthy of nurturing. Tiga and ELSPA (sorry, UKIE) should be likewise singled out for applause after lobbying so hard and presenting the industry so well to the people that matter during the last two years. Same goes for people like Ian Livingstone – you couldn’t interview the man of late without him (rightly) eloquently arguing for subsidies. This has been a provocative issue the industry passionately fought for. Well done. But right now the promise is still just that. There are still some uncertainties. The Government is about to dissolve before the election. We might have a different PM in a month. And after then, how long will the consultation period take? Can we help massage the tax break into 2011’s Finance Bill? Will the EC meddle? To what extent do we need to heed the ‘culturally British’ stipulation that such tax breaks hinge on? We simply don’t know yet. But in the wait for answers, the pressure is on the industry to not let any tax break message turn into one that says we were screwed until Darling gave us the nod. It’s that now with whatever government – red, blue or yellow – behind us, we can be even better as a games nation than ever before.

DIGITAL STIMULATION Activision spending £1m on marketing for the MW2 ‘Stimulus Package’ is a watershed moment. It might not seem like it, but let’s say that again. Activision is spending £1m (a million quid!) to promote some downloadable content. To put that into perspective: Sony spent £750,000 promoting God of War III. And that was a disc-based release. It even made it to No.1 in the charts last week off the back of that. DLC is not the novelty extra it was once considered. Check out our interview with Ben Feder on page 12 to see how important it is for Take-Two. Glance just to the right to see how David Reeves is championing it to sit at the heart of Capcom’s decision making. Sure, there’s the usual opportunities for retail to keep its finger in – points cards, online subs vouchers, branded faceplates, T-shirts. There’s money to be made here as the excitement splashes over the sides of the digital channel. But, ultimately, most of that money is being spent digitally. It’s another portent of the changes on the way. And I think it’s becoming more and more likely that the biggest games released outside of Christmas won’t necessarily be the ones released on disc. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Reform at Capcom calls Reeves from retirement Former SCEE boss in as COO for Capcom Europe  Plans afoot to drive publisher’s DLC strategy and grow its market share MEET THE NEW BOSS: Former SCEE president David Reeves is now leading Capcom Europe

by Michael French CAPCOM EUROPE will quickly ramp up its DLC strategy and double its market share within the next few years under new COO David Reeves. The former SCEE president has been effectively called out of his retirement to head up the Japanese publisher’s European operation it was announced this week. As chief operating officer of Capcom Europe, Reeves has an active remit to pursue new growth areas for the publisher in the region. Previously Reeves was working as consultant for the publisher, but has stepped into the full time role following the sad passing of COO Mark Beaumont, who oversaw both the US and European operations. Reeves will have an active brief involved in all aspects of the business as it champions a ‘Europe for Europe’ strategy. “The new plan looks at what titles to go for, which countries to expand into, and how quickly we move into the era in which games are network delivered, looking at the detail of greenlight process, and to

some extent the structure of our teams in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” he told MCV. Dramatic restructuring isn’t necessary, he said – the firm just needs to plan ahead for the digital era. “The people at Capcom are already first class,” said Reeves. “It’s just a case of pointing them in the right direction for

game and keep it going every three months with DLC,” Reeves added. “We need to get into that and market the great IPs that we have digitally as well as we do on disc. That’s where we’re heading for. “Capcom has seen how its contemporaries in the industry have been very profitable

Capcom hasn’t yet embraced the model where you release a game and keep it going with downloadable content. David Reeves, Capcom Europe

the future, whereas before it was run out of the US. Now it’s Europe for Europe. “Our market share is currently about two per cent now and we at least want to double that over the next four to five years. But we have to keep pace in digital where Capcom probably doesn’t even have a two per cent market share. That’s where the emphasis will have to be. “Capcom hasn’t been reluctant to go digital, but it hasn’t really embraced the model where you release a

adding DLC or doing whole games as DLC.” But Capcom will remain Capcom at heart – famous for key franchises like Resident Evil and Street Fighter. Said Reeves: “Capcom will not change its DNA – it will be very true to the games it knows it can deliver. But at the same time we are looking for opportunities, particularly in the USA and Europe, where we can make an impact with games developed in-house but of the top quality.” Capcom: 020 8846 2566


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Take-Two boss: GTA Chinatown [PRE ORDERS] TOP 10 Wars ‘suffered due to piracy’ GOD OF WAR TRILOGY

Ben Feder says even sure-fire hits can fail on handheld due to illegal downloads

PS3, SONY

by Christopher Dring RAMPANT PIRACY is the real reason for GTA: Chinatown Wars’ slow sales according to Take-Two CEO Ben Feder. On paper, Chinatown Wars should have been a massive success when it launched on the Nintendo DS a year ago. GTA remains one of the most successful game franchises of all time, while DS is the biggest selling games console every released. Chinatown Wars was a critical hit – on Metacritic it is currently the highest-rated Nintendo DS game to date and the second-highest rated PSP game. However, this potential didn’t translate to sales over the last 12 months – leading many to speculate about whether mature-rated games can succeed on the DS. But speaking to MCV, TakeTwo boss Feder has cited piracy and the weak demand for handheld software as the reasons behind the game’s disappointing performance.

2. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT PS3 ......................................CAPCOM

3. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + T-SHIRT 360 ......................................UBISOFT

4. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT 360 ......................................CAPCOM

5. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + LONG T 360 ......................................UBISOFT GRAND THEFT: Ironically, it was a game about crime most hampered by DS piracy

“I am very proud of Chinatown Wars,” said Feder. “As of February 2010, Chinatown Wars’ unit sales in

“At the same time, the handheld market is currently challenged by weak demand and by piracy. Piracy is a real

The commercial performance of Chinatown Wars has certainly suffered at the hands of piracy. Ben Feder, Take-Two

the US represented nearly 50 per cent of the unit sales of all M-rated DS titles in the history of the platform.

and present danger for our industry and must be addressed, especially in the handheld market. The

commercial performance of Chinatown Wars has certainly suffered at the hands of piracy.” However, it isn’t all bad news for Chinatown Wars. The game has flourished on direct download channels. It recently launched on iPhone and iPod Touch and became the top grossing game on the App Store. And a version for Apple’s iPad – which launches this month – seems a given.  For our full interview with Ben Feder, turn to page 12. www.take2games.com

6. GOD OF WAR COLLECTION PS3 ..........................................SONY

7. FORMULA 1 2010 PS3 ..............................CODEMASTERS

8. RED DEAD REDEMPTION 360 ....................................ROCKSTAR

9. RED DEAD REDEMPTION PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR

10. FORMULA 1 2010 360 ..............................CODEMASTERS Week ending: March 26th Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 33 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 16 per cent to £23.3 million, while unit sales rose 22 per cent to 1,021,965.  This week’s impressive performance was driven by Square Enix’s Just Cause 2, which topped the All Formats Charts. Nintendo’s Pokémon SoulSilver and HeartGold were also key sales drivers, taking No.2 and No.4 respectively.  The first few weeks of this month are relatively quiet, with just a handful of new games before Splinter Cell: Conviction launches on April 16th. But this is swiftly followed by Monster Hunter Tri, FIFA World Cup 2010, Super Street Fighter IV and Iron Man 2.

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]

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

30

Week Ending March 27th 2010

£23.3m

25 20 15 10 5

Square Enix’s Just Cause 2 was this week’s new No.1

£26.5m

£20.0m

£23.3m

1,043,211 Units

841,092 Units

1,021,965 Units

0 Week Ending March 13th

Week Ending March 20th

Week Ending March 27th


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THQ elated by ‘tremendous turnaround’ Troubled publisher confident it can maintain financial triumphs and core-focused sales successes until 2012 by James Batchelor THQ SAYS it has bounced back following financial troubles, and is working to ensure it carries this momentum over the next two years. The publisher’s senior vice president of European publishing Rory Donnelly told MCV the business is well on its way to

fiscal 2011 and we are positioned for accelerated growth in fiscal 2012.” The publisher’s biggest triumph of last year, UFC 2009 Undisputed, has sold more than 3.5m units worldwide, setting up this May’s forthcoming sequel for similar success. THQ has also seen high sales from January’s release of

We have a strong product line-up this year and are well positioned for accelerated growth in fiscal 2012. Rory Donnelly, THQ

achieving the goals it set out for fiscal 2010, and expects nothing but good news in the near future. “We have achieved a tremendous turnaround this year and we feel we are well positioned to increase our revenues, profitability and cash generation as we go forward,” he said. “We have a strong product line-up scheduled for release in

Darksiders, which has already sold 1.2m units, and its latest big launch Metro 2033 has been met with critical acclaim and respectable sales. These accomplishments are a far cry from THQ’s situation two years ago, when it suffered a string of quarterly losses, canned underperforming IPs such as Juiced and Stuntman, and cut back on its UK and European operations.

Play plots Easter sales bonanza ONLINE RETAIL giant Play.com is running a massive Easter sale, a key trading period it describes as second only to Christmas. The leading site is offering up to 80 per cent off selected games, music, DVD and Bluray releases, with games starting at £7.99. Discounted games are available on all formats and range from classic current gen titles to the biggest releases from recent months. “We’re currently running an Easter sale on site to maximise the opportunity the holiday

presents,” explained Play.com’s games buyer Keith Sharpe. “Traditionally Easter has been the second most important time of the year behind Christmas, particularly for gift purchases. Easter is very important time of the year for all retail, not just gaming.” The retailer will be advertising its sale by highlighting key deals through its website, as well as advertising on other sites and publications. Play.com’s sale follows the start of HMV’s own Easter promotion, which MCV reported on last week.

UNDISPUTED SUCCESS: Donnelly is confident the future is bright for THQ, thanks to the likes of UFC

“Our plan is to continue the strategy which we have successfully adopted over the past 12 months,” said Donnelly.

“We will develop fewer, bigger core games and defend our position as leader in the fighting category. We will also rationalise our strong kids

portfolio as well as aggressively address both the mass market and new emerging casual gamer audiences.” THQ: 01483 724500

BRENNAN AND GIBBS PROMOTED AT GAME

Martyn Gibbs has become managing director of GAME Group’s UK & Eire operations. Gibbs, who previously worked as customer and brand director, will lead the GAME and Gamestation teams in the UK, reporting to COO Terry Scicluna.

Meanwhile, Tricia Brennan has stepped up to a new international role, having been appointed group commercial strategy director. Brennan will work with the group’s supplier partners ‘at a global level’ and will report to CEO Lisa Morgan.

“As the innovation in our industry accelerates, these new appointments will allow us to harness all of our strengths and direct them so that every one of our outlets offers customers the very best products, deals and experience,” says Scicluna.


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New U-Sing to take on SingStar Universal Music and Mindscape UK join forces once more for Girls Night sequel to karaoke Wii title, U-Sing by Christopher Dring KARAOKE HIT U-Sing returns this year in Girls Night for Wii, Mindscape has announced. The firm is confident its singing franchise – developed in partnership with Universal Music – can compete with Sony’s SingStar and Microsoft’s Lips franchise as the market’s most popular karaoke game.

karaoke brand on the Wii in Europe so that was a pretty good start.” U-Sing Girls Night boasts tracks aimed at a female audience, and will feature artists such as Rihanna, Duffy and Le Roux. 30 songs have been confirmed for the game, including a variety of popular tunes from Universal’s vast back catalogue.

We have all the ingredients: a fantastic game design and track list and a really strong partner in Universal Music. Mark Stanger, Mindscape

“We have all the ingredients: a fantastic game design, stunning track list and perhaps most importantly of all, a really strong partner in Universal Music,” said Mindscape UK’s general manager Mark Stanger. “Our aim with U-Sing has always been to work with Universal Music in creating a market-leading karaoke brand. We ended 2009 as the top-selling

“I think Universal Music views the games industry very seriously and they have a huge amount to offer the sector, not least of all a world-leading catalogue of content – that’s always useful,” added Stanger. Mark Krendel, head of business development from Universal Music UK added: “Following the success of the first U-Sing title we’re delighted

GIRL POWER: U-Sing Girls Night will target a female audience with hits from stars such as Rihanna

to be extending the range in this way and working with Mindscape to deliver an exciting and engaging proposition. I’m confident that with our combined strength,

content and marketing channels, we’ve got an even more compelling product in Girls Night.” Mindscape has also announced that Lunch PR will

Mamba Games targets next-gen PUBLISHER Mamba Games is making its first move on to next-gen platforms with upcoming Xbox 360 thriller Gray Matter, MCV can reveal. The publisher, which has until now concentrated on the PC platform, stressed that this release is part of a wider plan to publish more games on multiple platforms. Mamba Games’ European managing director Jason Codd said: “Multiformat is high on our priorities list. We are already developing on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and this is the way we want to go. “We have tested and penetrated the market well,

and we have an excellent bunch of partners around PAL territories who have supported us from the start. We promised them at the beginning of this journey that our product lineup will be getting stronger and we have delivered this.” Gray Matter is a point-andclick adventure and Mamba feels there’s a place for this kind of product on Xbox 360. “We have high expectations for both PC and 360 versions,” added Codd. Gray Matter will be released on the PC and Xbox 360 on September 24th. Lace Mamba Global: 01273 202 220

PLATFORM MATTERS: Gray Matter is the first of many Mamba console titles

once again handle promo duties for U-Sing Girls Night following its contribution to the success of last year’s original, U-Sing: U’ve Got Talent. Lunch PR: 0207 575 3215

Future dates PS3 FirstPlay FIRSTPLAY, Future Publishing’s PS3-exclusive weekly show, will launch next week on Thursday, April 8th. The programme is Europe’s first on-console interactive show and provides gamers with high-definition video reviews and previews, as well as exclusive downloads. Weekly episodes will be available through the PSN store, costing 99p each. A quarterly subscription will also be available for £8.99. Future has teamed up with Square Enix for FirstPlay’s launch episode, with videos and downloads for Final Fantasy XIII and Just Cause 2.


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Rockstar hits the big screen with Red Dead Redemption Bluetooth promotions in UK cinemas takes publisher into new territory for ‘most ambitious game to date’ by James Batchelor ROCKSTAR GAMES is spending big to ensure Red Dead Redemption becomes its biggest game of the year. The publisher has huge expectations for Redemption following glowing reports from the press, and hopes it can stand besides GTA as its next blockbuster franchise.

“We are spending a larger proportion of our TV budget pre-launch than we ever have before to ensure Red Dead Redemption is established as a massive triple-A title. “For the first time as a company, we will be running an on-screen cinema advertising campaign. We think the cinematic nature of the game makes it a perfect fit

We are spending a larger proportion of our TV budget pre-launch than ever before to ensure the game is triple-A. Neil Stephen, Rockstar

The Wild West action title will benefit from a huge prelaunch TV push and the firm’s first cinema campaign. “This is our most ambitious game to date and our biggest UK release this year,” said Rockstar GM Neil Stephen.

for cinema and we will be executing a nationwide ad campaign targeting the audiences of Robin Hood, Iron Man 2 and Prince of Persia.” The cinema campaign will be supported with foyer posters where consumers can

Rockstar says the cinematic nature of Red Dead Redemption makes it a perfect fit for cinema advertising

download content from the game via Bluetooth. The publisher has signed deals with companies such as IGN, Gamespot, YouTube, Microsoft and LoveFilm for free movie downloads and Xbox Live content. “The game has garnered an incredibly positive reception

Real guitar game heads to UK US-BASED games firm Seven45 Studios has told MCV it will bring its music title Power Gig: Rise of the SixString to the UK. The game was unveiled at this year’s GDC to public acclaim and boasts a true sixstring guitar controller, as opposed to the button-based models used in Guitar Hero and Rock Band. “We do have plans to bring this to the UK,” said Seven45’s chief marketing officer Jeff Walker. “We haven’t finalised our European distribution strategy but we’re familiar with the strategy over there.” The firm is due to selfpublish Power Gig in the US

Seven45 says its real guitar controller will reinvigorate music games

this autumn, and estimates the UK release a few months later. Walker adds that the company is confident that the new title will reinvigorate the music games sector. “We are very confident this is the shot in the arm the industry needs,” he said. “Consumers and musicians have been screaming for this

type of product, which will truly bridge the gap between two very different worlds of gaming and music. “And we’re in this for the long run. We’re excited about the product’s reaction but we’ve got a long road ahead and a strategy that will take us years into this business.” www.seven45studios.com

from the gaming and lifestyle press with many outlets placing Red Dead Redemption as a possible game of the year contender,” added Stephen. “In terms of sales projections, we are aiming high and as such are focusing more attention on retail channels than ever before.

Once the game is released we expect that word of mouth and our massive launch media campaign will propel the game to excellent sales. “This leaves us with very high expectations for what we think is our next blockbuster gaming franchise.” Rockstar: 020 7751 2565

Football Manager Live gets complete reboot SPORTS INTERACTIVE has re-booted Football Manager Live to breathe new life into the MMO. The game launched in January last year but hasn’t enjoyed the success its developers were hoping for. Football Manager Live has also been dominated by a handful of players, making it unattractive to new gamers. To overcome this, Sports Interactive has reset the server, dropped the price and tweaked gameplay to make it more accessible. “We made some fundamental mistakes with

Football Manager Live,” product manager Marc Duffy told MCV. “We didn’t plan to have millions of subscribers, but the numbers we had wasn’t at the level we’d have liked.” There are currently no plans to re-promote the game or re-launch it at retail. “Our primary concern is to make sure we are servicing fans of Football Manager Live,” added Duffy. “We potentially launched the retail version too early and we don’t want to make the same mistakes again.” Sega: 020 8995 3399


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Sponsored by

MW2 DLC to Stimulate retail sales UK stores to share success of Modern Warfare 2 DLC following £1m marketing push UBISOFT: Liverpool FC captain and England vice captain Steven Gerrard has been signed as the face of Pure Football.

by Dominic Sacco NEW DLC FOR Modern Warfare 2 should give the game a sales boost over the Easter period, according to Activision. The Stimulus Package went on sale this week (Tuesday March 30th) and is backed by a £1m marketing campaign. Developer Infinity Ward says the DLC, which features new levels for 2009’s best-selling title, will give extra value to gamers. Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling told MCV: “The DLC adds even more depth to an already expansive multiplayer experience and increases the longevity of the online community even further. “If players are looking for a game they can stick with for years and get hundreds of hours of playtime, then this DLC solidifies Modern Warfare 2 as the experience for them.”

APPLE: The iPad hits US shelves tomorrow (Saturday, April 3rd). It will be available at Apple’s 221 retail stores, as well as selected Appleauthorised resellers, campus bookstores and branches of US retail giant Best Buy. MICROSOFT: A standalone 250GB HDD for the Xbox 360 will be released in the UK on April 16th with an RRP of £79.99. The current 120GB HDD has been slashed to £79.99 while stocks last. The Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package adds five new multiplayer maps, which Infinity Ward says “adds more depth to the experience”

The extra content has been priced at 1200 Microsoft points – around £10. MULTI MAPS

The five new multiplayer maps consist of three brand new

There is no denying the mileage players of MW2 will get out of the five locations in the Stimulus Package. Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward

Activision is also keen to stress that retailers won’t miss out on a sales opportunity that the DLC offers. UK and Ireland marketing director David Tyler explained: “Our retail partners are playing a crucial role in driving the DLC message out to consumers through their instore activation. “Retailers are fully on board to ensure they secure their share of the commercial opportunity that is being created with this map pack.”

locations and two classic maps – Crash and Overgrown – from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Infinity Ward has tweaked the buildings and interiors in these popular maps, as well as allowed gamers to use the perks from Modern Warfare 2. New maps Bailout, Storm and Salvage see players fight across a vast American apartment complex, a series of outdoor warehouses set during a lightning storm and a snowridden car scrapyard.

“There is no denying the mileage online players of Modern Warfare 2 will get out of the five new locations included in the Stimulus Package,” added Bowling. “They significantly increase the longevity of the multiplayer for our online community and continue to give them more new locations to explore, learn, and develop tactics for.” FUTURE STIMULUS

There are plans to produce a second DLC pack for Modern Warfare 2, but content and release have yet to be revealed. Bowling said: “At this point we’re just focused on getting the Stimulus Package out to our community, hearing what they think and seeing the kind of tactics they come up with on the new maps.” The Stimulus Package will also be available to PS3 and PC users later this year. Activision Blizzard: 0203 060 1000

TV AD: EVERYONE’S DOING IT

Rather than featuring ingame footage, Activision’s innuendo-laden Easter TV campaign features a pieceto-camera from an old man. “Guys are doing it with girls. Girls are doing it with other girls,” he says. “Over 20m million people are doing it. Safe to say, everyone’s doing it.” Activision Blizzard’s marketing director for UK and Ireland David Tyler said: “The campaign celebrates the immense popularity of Modern Warfare 2 worldwide with a very creative and distinctive TV ad. Digital media will also help amplify the message.” “A £1m media buy is more than the launch budget for many new titles, so this makes it clear how significant we believe the opportunity is.”

2K GAMES: Mafia II has been given a UK release date of August 27th. The thirdperson 1940’s gangster sequel will hit Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. SONY: To mark the handheld’s fifth birthday, Sony announced the PSP has sold 17 million units in the US. The format will celebrate its fifth birthday in Europe on September 1st.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: BLOCKBUSTER UK Rumours suggest Blockbuster UK could be sold in the near future but MD Martin Higgins disputes these claims

WHAT’S GOING ON AT BLOCKBUSTER UK? Blockbuster UK is up for sale, its US parent is in financial turmoil, and reports are circulating that the firm is reducing its store base. So is this the beginning of the end for the retail giant? Christopher Dring speaks to UK managing director Martin Higgins to find out… IT HAS BEEN a very difficult few weeks for Blockbuster. The US rental giant is potentially on the verge of financial collapse, it is desperately seeking a buyer for its international business, and industry analysts expect the chain to close many of its UK stores. Blockbuster UK has always been a media shy company – preferring to focus on the job at hand rather than court coverage. But all the negative news caused the firm’s UK MD to do the unthinkable – talk to the press. “I finally felt moved after all my time here to say something about Blockbuster,” UK MD Martin Higgins tells MCV. “All the negative press that has been floating around is not on the bullseye as far as the local business is concerned. Our retail business has been quite successful, not least in the gaming sector. “On top of that we are trading well in Blu-ray, and even our rental business is doing well – as you would expect in a global recession. “What’s happening in the UK is not happening in the US. We are dealing with a very different set of dynamics in the marketplace. “And with the set of dynamics we've been dealt – which have been tough in the UK – we have done okay.” Indeed, in contrast to the US business, Blockbuster UK managed to perform strongly last year. Its profits were up nearly 18 per cent and even its rental business increased by six per cent.

Meanwhile, the company has invested in its Blu-ray range, ready for when/if the format really takes off. Yet that hasn’t stopped its US parent from appointing Winchester Capital to help find a buyer for the UK business (and indeed all its other international divisions, too). And rumours are already circulating that Blockbuster UK is shutting stores to help facilitate a sale. But Higgins insists that this is not true. “There is no major store-closing programme going on,” he says. “I don’t have any stores in the UK right now losing money to the extent that it is worth closing them.

The rental giant also needs money to fund its ‘transformation’ into a multichannel retailer. The firm plans to close 960 of its US stores, deploy 10,000 Blockbuster kiosks in their place, and even launch a digital offer through a variety of internet connected devices, such as set top boxes. But Blockbuster US admitted last week that these changes might be coming too late. It revealed in a statement that because of ‘increasingly competitive industry conditions’ there is ‘substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern’. So if the unthinkable was to happen and Blockbuster US was to go bankrupt, what would happen to the UK arm? “Operationally in the UK we run a separate legal entity,” insists Higgins. “In the unlikely event that our parent company Martin Higgins, Blockbuster goes into bankruptcy, we would trade on as normal – “In the normal course of events, we subject to support from our suppliers, have closed some of our stores. In 2006 of course.” we had 700-odd stores in the UK, and “The company has stated it wants to we now have just over 640. With a store dispose of its international business and portfolio of that scale, you will always has appointed someone to sell them. have some shops lose money that you This is a good company, it is profitable, sell to someone else, or isn’t quite right it doesn’t have any debt and is robust. for you.” “Inevitably, at some point in time, I will be speaking to new owners.” SALE OF THE CENTURY Blockbuster US wants to sell its WHAT’S NEXT? international business to help pay off its The loss of Blockbuster UK would be a crippling debts – which is reportedly at blow to the games industry. The firm’s around $1 billion. store-base is on par with GAME, and

I don’t have any stores in the UK right now losing money to the extent that it is worth closing them.

following the demise of Woolworths and WH Smiths’ withdrawal from the market, Blockbuster is one of the few local retailers that still sells games. And it stocks a huge range of titles too, both new and pre-owned – it even has its own peripherals range. This isn’t some small-time games retailer. It is one of the biggest in the UK. But Higgins isn’t talking about the death of Blockbuster UK. His thoughts are firmly on how to grow its business, by moving further onto the High Street, pushing Blu-ray movies and promoting the firm’s game rental business. “Out of our real estate, around 40 per cent are in super-locations, with the rest in mid-locations or off the High Street,” he says. “We’ve got a balancing act on our hands. The rental business needs to be local to homes, while the retail business needs to be on the High Street. “I would say that over time we will shut some stores and open them in better locations. He adds: “Games rental is something we will look at, too. Games cost around £39.99, and we are offering games for rent at £5.95 for a week. So why would game rental not be a bigger business? “For publishers rental is a lot better than trade-in, because at least they are getting some revenue. I think there’s an opportunity on ‘try before you buy’ that we have not seized yet.” “In a changing marketplace. You have to be ready to change.” Lets hope Blockbuster UK will be around to make that change.


SEE THE FUTURE OF PS3. FIRST. FROM THE MAKERS OF

Find out more at firstplay.co.uk FirstPlay is a brand new weekly interactive show coming soon from Future. Available from the PlayStation®Store, and downloaded direct by gamers to their PS3 hard drive. Each episode of FirstPlay costs 99p (or £8.99 for a 90-day subscription) and will feature exciting new content – including video reviews and previews in high-definition, interactive screenshot galleries, user generated content and exclusive demos and downloadable content. There are six pre-roll advertising slots for high-definition video, each one clickable to the web or the PlayStation®Store, offering the impact of TV combined with the flexibility of online.

For daily updates follow us at twitter.com/FirstPlay_UK “ ”, “PS3”, “PlayStation” and “ ” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. *Broadband internet service required. Users are responsible for broadband access fees. Charges apply for some content. PlayStation®Network and PlayStation®Store subject to terms of use and not available in all countries and languages. Users under 18 require parental consent.

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MCV INTERVIEW BEN FEDER, CEO, TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE

Taking risks Take-Two took a chance on digital downloads and new IP last year, and posted better than expected Q1 figures as a result. But can the publisher really hope to return to profitability without a new GTA on the horizon? Christopher Dring speaks to CEO Ben Feder about the firm’s plans for 2010… Take-Two’s Q1 performance was stronger than expected. Why do you feel that was? We’re believers in the core games market and believe that delivering a select number of quality titles to core gamers is a winning strategy. The strong performance of several of our recent releases, including NBA 2K10 and Borderlands was key. We had an excellent response to our downloadable content, and increasing digital sales of catalogue titles were factors in our performance, too. Moreover, our digital business has delivered solid growth year-over-year, and represented 12 per cent of our revenue in the first quarter.

have grown, not cannibalised, existing markets. VHS recorders almost doubled the size of the business for movie studios, despite fears that home entertainment would cannibalise theatrical revenues. Cable and pay TV had a similar effect for TV shows and movies. I believe downloadable content will ultimately grow the business for games publishers.

TAKE THAT: Take-Two CEO Ben Feder says the publisher will continue to release a new IP every year

Episodes from Liberty City was a timed 360 exclusive, and Agent is scheduled just for the PS3. What are the benefits of releasing games exclusive to a single platform? In general, we like to make our content available to as broad of an audience as possible. That said, we’ve partnered with all three hardware manufacturers from time-to-time to create exclusive content. There are times when exclusive games may make sense, either because the platform holder is so excited about it that they are willing to share the investment risk and put an effort behind ensuring a successful launch – as was the case for the episodic content for GTA IV on 360 – or because the content is perfectly suited to the platform – as was the case with Carnival Games for the Wii and DS.

Despite the good results, you mentioned the need to cut back… We have continued to make positive strides to improve the efficiency of our business and align our corporate cost structure more closely with our goals. These initiatives are expected to result in $15 million in annualised savings. We also sold our Jack of All Games distribution business, which allows us to focus on our core business going forward. Borderlands performed strongly. Can we expect more from that franchise? We’ve sold over two million units of Borderlands worldwide and released three downloadable add-ons. We’ll continue to create more DLC, and release a retail SKU of the first two add-ons. Borderlands is amazing and we have long-term publishing rights to the series. There were a few GTA releases last year, not least two hefty DLC packs. Can we expect more from Take-Two when it comes to digital add-ons? The success of our digital offerings for GTA IV and Borderlands has given us tremendous insight into this growing segment of the industry, as well as meaningful benefits to our bottom line.

You can expect Take-Two to innovate around the DLC business model with other key titles, including BioShock 2 and Red Dead Redemption.

Overall, I believe that digital distribution won’t cannibalise retail sales of console games in the short-term. This isn’t the music industry all over again.

Why release the GTA Handhelds are challenged by DLC in a retail pack? weak demand and piracy. While an ever-growing Sales of Chinatown Wars segment of our fans are suffered because of piracy. comfortable with acquiring content digitally, the retail Ben Feder, Take-Two channel will continue to play a valuable role in reaching the Our industry has some of the best majority of our fans. content protection via the consoles, Our retail add-on releases give us which helps maintain the value of our IP. additional presence for our brands and As you look at the history of the provides incredible value to consumers. entertainment industry, new platforms

The other GTA game you released last year was Chinatown Wars. Is it fair to say that game didn’t perform as well as you had hoped? Chinatown Wars is the highest-rated DS title, as well as the best-selling M-rated title by a long way. As of February 2010, Chinatown Wars’ unit sales in the US represented nearly 50 per cent of the unit sales of all M-rated DS titles in the history of the platform. It’s also the second highest-rated PSP game of all-time. Rockstar recently launched the game for iPhone and iPod touch, and it quickly became the top selling title on the App Store. We’ll continue to explore ways to bring this game to a wider audience.


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MCV INTERVIEW BEN FEDER, CEO, TAKE-TWO INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE At the same time, the handheld market is currently challenged by weak demand and by piracy. Piracy is a real and present danger for our industry and must be addressed, especially in the handheld market. The commercial performance of Chinatown Wars has certainly suffered at the hands of piracy. Has this made Take-Two wary of releasing core games on DS and Wii? Given the high development costs of creating triple-A mature titles, we need to place our bets carefully and deliver content where we think it’ll perform. The evidence to date has been that franchises that perform well on Wii and DS tend to be built for those platforms from the ground up. That experience will guide our investment decisions going forward. BioShock 2 was moved out of the Christmas release window. How do you think this affected the game’s retail performance? After less than one month in the market, BioShock 2 had shipped three million units. We’re proud of reaching that milestone and believe that our decision to move the title was the right one. For the record, our BioShock franchise has now surpassed seven million units sold worldwide.

Core games may be your focus, but what more can we expect in the casual space? Carnival Games has been a big seller for Take-Two... Carnival Games is our Energiser Bunny – it just keeps going and going – and it recently passed six million units sold worldwide. We haven’t announced any new offerings for Carnival; however, it’s certainly the cornerstone of our casual business. Carnival Games is also the third best-selling third-party title on the Wii behind Guitar Hero and Mario & Sonic. We’ve been fairly active in the casual space, including launching titles for Xbox Live Arcade and iPhone. This year we’ll release Sid Meier’s Civilization Network – a social network game. Take-Two has a deal with Nickelodeon. Is licensing an important part of your business? Our business is driven by internally creating and owning our IP; however, we have selectively engaged in licensing opportunities that enhance our portfolio.

Our industry has seen the challenges of relying too heavily upon film and TV licences, which in most instances translate neither into premium games nor sales that warrant the licence fees involved. We believe that our best opportunities for the long-term lie in owning the vast majority of our IP. We think that many of our properties would lend themselves well to other forms of entertainment including film, television and books. There have been movements on the Board at Take-Two, leading some to speculate a buy-out may be imminent. Is Take-Two open to an acquisition? The proposed changes to our Board will be voted on during our annual shareholder meeting. That said, we do expect these new Board members to be elected and we welcome the new directors who each have experience in the entertainment industry.

We’re often seen as ‘the GTA company’ but we have 15 other franchises that have sold over a million units. Ben Feder, Take-Two With respect to the potential for an acquisition, of course we don’t comment on speculation. As is true of all public companies, if Take-Two were to receive an offer our board would evaluate it based on the relevant factors at that time. Take-Two has developed a reputation for being the GTA company. Do you feel, with no new GTA this year, that Take-Two can lose that reputation? We’re very proud of Grand Theft Auto. The franchise is second to none and we’re very fortunate to have it. While we’re often seen as the ‘GTA company’, the truth is that most big publishers have one or two flagship franchises that drive a meaningful portion of their revenue. We actually believe that relative to the rest of the industry we have great depth in the quality of our IP. We have 15 owned franchises in addition to GTA that have each sold over a million units. Every year we’ve launched new IP that we can develop into a franchise. In 2006, it was Bully. 2007, BioShock. 2008, Carnival Games. Last year, it was Borderlands. This year, Rockstar will launch L.A. Noire. And in 2011, 2K plans to launch Spec Ops: The Line.

How key is the 2K Sports business for Take-Two? And how do you plan on growing it? We’ve proven that we can be a leading sports publisher, and have achieved success with our NBA 2K franchise, and we’re pleased with the response to MLB 2K10. One of the other ways that we plan on growing our sports business is through our partnership with Tencent Holdings to develop NBA 2K Online in China. We’ve received excellent support from our partners at the NBA, and have teams of specialists in Singapore and China, which we believe can help to make NBA 2K a global hit. We’ve significantly invested in our sports business and will continue to pursue opportunities in this space as long as they are profitable for our company. These games are based on US sports. Is 2K interested in appealing to European tastes at all? If we are going to enter a market we do so to win. European sports are an interesting opportunity. To date, we have not found a compelling way in which to enter and win, but we’ll keep looking.

What are your thoughts on the motion-sensing devices coming from Microsoft and Sony this year? We’re working with the console manufacturers to explore opportunities to utilise Wii MotionPlus, Project Natal and PlayStation Move. Each of these new interfaces have compelling attributes, and we are exploring how we can best leverage their technologies to further enhance the creativity within our triple-A games. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have stated that this console generation will last longer than before. What are your thoughts on this? In some ways, I think this console cycle has only just begun. With past price cuts, a robust line-up for this year, and improving performance of the high-def platforms, software sales could see new highs. The longer this cycle lasts, the better off we are. Our catalogue can be sold over a longer period of time. Extended cycles also provide increased predictability for our business. It’s clear that this console cycle will last longer than before – and that’s great news for Take-Two.

TAKE A CHANCE Some of the big games due to arrive from Take-Two in 2010…

RED DEAD REDEMPTION Label: Rockstar Released: May 21st 2010 Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 The latest in the Red Dead franchise is set in the vast American West and is built on an evolved version of the GTA game engine.

MAFIA II Label: 2K Released: August 27th 2010 Formats: Xbox 360, PS3, PC There may not be a new GTA this year, but there’s plenty of sandbox adventures coming, not least the promising new Mafia game from 2K, which borrows a fair few elements from Hollywood movies.

CIVILIZATION V Label: 2K Released: 2010 Formats: PC Sid Meier’s popular turn-based strategy returns this year with a completely new engine.

MAX PAYNE 3 Label: Rockstar Released: Q4 2010 Formats: PC, Xbox 360, PS3 The third in the acclaimed Max Payne series has been a long-time coming – and looks on course to erase the memory of that disappointing 2008 movie adaptation.

L.A. NOIRE Label: Rockstar Released: Q4 2010 Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Inspired by film noir, Team Bondi’s title allows players to solve a series of murders in an open-ended way. Ben Feder says it ‘could be one of the most innovative titles we’ve ever launched.’


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ERA DATA: CONSUMER SPENDING

The wind in our sales Last week, MCV reported on the rise of supermarkets and fall of the average RRP. Here’s our full analysis of the Entertainment Retailers Association’s research... Consumer spending on leisure Spending value: £bn

% change

Video, Games and Recorded Music Entertainment Hardware, TV, PCs and other Total home entertainment

2008 5.8 16.3 22.1

2009 5.3 14.3 19.6

-8.5 -12.3 -11.3

Reading House and garden Hobbies and pastimes IN THE HOME

7.6 16.2 9.7 55.5

7.2 15.7 9.9 52.4

-5.3 -3.1 2.1 -5.6

Eating out Alcoholic drink Eating and drinking

43.4 43.3 86.7

42.3 43.3 85.6

-2.5 0.0 -1.3

Local entertainment Gambling Active Sport Neighbourhood leisure

6.4 9.9 11.8 28.1

6.2 8.6 11.8 26.6

-3.1 -13.1 0.0 -5.3

Sightseeing Holidays in UK Holidays overseas Holdays and tourism AWAY FROM HOME

1.3 10.5 36.8 53.5 168.3

1.3 10.1 32.3 48.6 160.8

0.0 -3.8 -12.2 -9.2 -4.5

ALL LEISURE

223.8

213.2

-4.7

SOURCE: Sheffield Hallam University

SPENDING HABITS Consumer spending on video games, videos and music fell in 2009 to £5.3bn. However, the 8.5 per cent dip was notably less that that seen in other sectors. Entertainment hardware, which includes TV sets and PCs in addition to consoles, saw a 12.3 per cent drop. Games,

music and video are only £900,000 behind local entertainment (such as cinemas), showing consumers are still investing heavily in home media. Interestingly, the video, games and music sector is behind books, newspapers and magazines (£7.2bn) and hobbies and other pastimes (£9.9bn).

The Entertainment Chart 2009 Overall Sector position

Title

Company

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince FIFA 10 Quantum of Solace Twilight I Dreamed a Dream – Susan Boyle Wii Sports Resort The Fame – Lady Gaga Slumdog Millionaire Transformers - Fallen Michael McIntyre - Hello Wembley Crazy Love – Michael Buble Wii Fit Madagascar - Escape 2 Africa Angels & Demons The End Black Eyed Peas Only By The Night Kings of Leon High School Musical 3 - Senior Year Ice Age 3 - Dawn of The Dinosaurs Now That’s What I Call Music 74 Star Trek 11 The Dark Knight JLS – JLS Merry Madagascar Wii Fit Plus Assassin's Creed II Mario Kart Wii Mamma Mia - The Movie I am Sasha Fierce – Beyonce Sunny Side Up – Paolo Nutini Taken Marley & Me Mario & Sonic: Olympic Winter It’s Not Me It’s You – Lily Allen Now That's What I Call Music 73 Reality: Video Star – Robbie Williams Call of Duty: World at War Hancock The Hangover FIFA ‘09

Activision Warner EA Fox E1 Ent Sony Nintendo Universal Fox Paramount Universal Warner Nintendo Paramount Sony Universal Sony Disney Fox EMI/Universal Paramount Warner Sony Paramount Nintendo Ubisoft Nintendo Universal Sony Warner Fox Fox Sega EMI EMI/Universal EMI Activision Sony Warner EA

Game Video Game Video Video Album Game Album Video Video Video Album Game Video Video Album Album Video Video Album Video Video Album Video Game Game Game Video Album Album Video Video Game Album Album Album Game Video Video Game

2009 sales total

2,926,637 2,193,700 2,155,697 2,040,229 1,815,543 1,714,369 1,488,797 1,458,289 1,383,838 1,362,020 1,286,863 1,257,292 1,246,461 1,223,805 1,153,425 1,144,722 1,132,483 1,084,911 1,074,651 1,053,574 1,041,389 1,026,679 1,018,282 985,494 968,282 920,910 917,863 882,503 863,055 850,982 846,496 841,599 825,027 818,370 792,421 790,487 769,726 740,833 725,176 713,314

SOURCE: ERA analysis of OCC and GfK Chart-Track Data. Sales figures grossed up to whole market estimate

GAMES LEAD THE WAY The penetration of games within the overall media sector is impressive, taking a full quarter of the Top 40 best-selling entertainment products. Modern Warfare 2 tops the chart, outselling the hugely popular Harry

Potter – one of the biggest properties on the market. To have FIFA 10 follow in third is also an achievement. Nintendo proves the strength of its mainstream audience by taking up four places with Wii Fit, Wii Sports Resort, Mario Kart and Wii Fit Plus.

UK Entertainment Retailing Market £ millions

2007

2008

2009

% change 2009 versus 2008

Video (excludes music video)

2,292.5

2,361.7

2,111.0

-10.6

Music (includes music video)

1,379.3

1,324.4

1,313.7

-0.8

Games software (includes PC home software)

1,719.0

2,082.0

1,854.0

-11.0

Total units

5,390.80

5,768.10

5,278.70

-8.5

SOURCE: Recorded Music - Official Charts Company (OCC). Video - OCC/British Video Association. Games - Gfk Chart-Track/ELSPA

SALES VALUES DIP The sales value of games software has consistently outperformed music for the last three years, and is now coming

close to topping that of the video market. Only £250,000 lies between games and the top spot as the bestselling medium.

While the industry saw a loss of 11 per cent in terms of sales, there is only a minimal difference between this and video’s loss of 10.6 per cent.

The sales value of music, while considerable lower than both games and video, seems to be more stable year-over-year.


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ERA DATA: UK RETAIL STATS Average Price of a Video Game by Retailer

2008 1.7%

Total Music/Video Specialist Computer Specialist Generalist Grocers Mail Order Internet Other Total Market

8.2%

24.6%

35.0%

1.6%

2007

2008

£24.19 £21.13 £22.46 £21.67 £26.79 £19.64 £17.25 £21.29

£26.08 £22.31 £24.27 £24.60 £30.83 £21.48 £20.12 £22.99

10.1.%

2009 £25.00 £20.96 £22.44 £23.23 £29.61 £19.29 £18.45 £21.34

SOURCE : TNS Worldpanel Entertainment

18.8.%

AVERAGE PRICE OF A GAME FALLS TO £21.34 Interestingly, supermarkets are not the cheapest games retailers. Instead, there are no less than five sectors that bear a lower average selling price, including online retailers, generalists and computer specialists. The average supermarket price of £23.23 is even above the total market’s figure of £21.34. Mail order retailers came in as the most expensive with an average price, with music and video outlets falling in the middle ground with an average of £25.00. The market’s average price has fallen since 2008, but still remains higher than that of 2007. Games market share by retail sector Value Total Music/Video Specialist Computer Specialist Generalist Grocers Mail Order Internet Other Total Market

2008

2009

TOTAL GAMES OUTLETS FALL BY ALMOST 900 STORES

8.2 35.0 18.8 10.1 1.6 24.6 1.7 100.0

7.6 33.9 11.2 17.7 1.9 26.1 1.6 100.0

The number of stores selling video games in the UK has seen the worst drop in the last five years, thanks largely to the loss of Woolworths and Zavvi. The number of general multiple retail chains with a games offering fell by almost 1,000 to 11,315 outlets, while music and video specialists saw their games proposition drop by over 100 stores. Losses were minimal in other retail sectors. Supermarkets were the only retailers to increase the number of stores selling games, rising from 2,045 outlets last year to 2,180 – an increase 400 since 2005. However, this wasn’t enough to stop the total number of games stores falling from 7,609 to 6,770.

SOURCE : TNS Worldpanel Entertainment

8000

2009 1.6%

7000 7.6%

6000

26.1%

33.9% 1.9% 17.7%

No. of sales

5000

1,295

1,083

1,412

1,103

1,037

990

1,070

1,042

1,137

1,118

1,085

911 1,002

1,139

1,062

4000 3000

1,996

2,041

2,075

1,710

1,939

2,019

2,100

1,315

2000 11.2%

1000

2,045

2,180

0 Principal Retailers Selling Games 2005

2006

2007

2008

SUPERMARKETS GROW MARKET SHARE

Music/Video Specialists

1,295

1,412

1,103

1,037

2009 911

With ERA reporting that supermarkets were the only retailers to increase the number of stores selling games last year, it’s unsurprising that their inherent market share has also grown. Grocers’ hold over games leapt from 10 per cent to just under 20 per cent, making them one of the only three sectors to grow their share last year, alongside internet and mail order. Despite a minimal decline of 1.1 per cent, computer specialists still lead the market with 33.9 per cent.

Game & Software Specialists

1,083

990

1,070

1,042

1,002 1,062

Electrical/Hardware Chains

1,139

1,137

1,118

1,085

General Multiples

1,996

2,041

2,075

2,100

1,315

Supermarkets

1,710

1,939

2,019

2,045

2,180

Others (estimate)

300

300

300

300

Total

7,523

7,819

7,685

7,609

300 6,770

SOURCE: GfK Chart-Track


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THE BIG QUIZ The biggest brains in games are gathered at a plush London bar this week to take part in the first Xbox 360/MCV Quiz of the year. And, as ever, Microsoft and our Round Sponsors are offering you, the loyal reader, the chance to win the same amount of swag that’s on offer to the beautiful people who attended the event…

THE ‘80s means different things to different people. To some of the staff on MCV it means, ‘a time before I was born’. Which, to some of the other staff on MCV, is downright depressing. To pretty much everyone, it means music. Strange, wonderful, awful, sparkly, mental music. The ‘80s may have been the last great pop decade, (largely) without the

prompting of talent shows or svengalis or ads in The Stage. The Spice Girls and Take That did some pretty good business in the ‘90s, of course, but they were pretty isolated, and it did seem a bit more business-like. Lips: I Love the 80s, out exclusively for Xbox 360 on April 2nd, features the very best artists and hits from the era. It comes with an ERP of £24.99 for the

1) WHO SHOT JR? A) BOBBY EWING B) CLIFF BARNES C) KRISTIN SHEPARD

standalone game or £34.99 if bundled with a wireless mic. Players can sing along with classic tracks like Video Killed The Radio Star by Buggles and Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? by Culture Club. Chuck in the miners’ strike and a Who Shot JR badge and you’ve got the whole of the ‘80s wrapped up with a bow. Now, let’s see what you remember…

2) ET WAS THE HIGHEST-GROSSING FILM OF THE ‘80S. WHO DIRECTED IT? A) STEVEN SPIELBERG B) GEORGE LUCAS C) DON SIMPSON

THE BOOTY BANK Courtesy of Big Quiz sponsor Microsoft and eight round sponsors, one lucky winner will bag this lot…

Lips: I love the 80s – silly haircuts and pink facepaint are optional

Goodie Bag Berry Bros & Rudd Wine Gift Sets


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MCV 02/04/09 21

THE BIG QUIZ

3) WHO WAS THE LEADER OF THE NUM DURING THE 84/85 MINERS’ STRIKE? A) ARTHUR NEGUS B) ARTHUR SCARGILL C) ARTHUR MULLARD 5) DALEY THOMPSON WON AN OLYMPIC GOLD IN MOSCOW IN 1980 AND LOS ANGELES IN 1984. BUT WHERE DID HE WIN HIS GOLD MEDAL IN 1983? A) ATHENS B) PRAGUE C) HELSINKI

7) WHICH YEAR SAW THE FIRST ‘NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC….’ COMPILATION RELEASED? A) 1982 B) 1983 C) 1984

4) WHAT DATE WAS LIVE AID? A) JULY 13TH, 1985 B) JULY 12TH, 1985 C) JULY 11TH, 1985

6) WHICH TV SHOW SPARKED A FASHION FOR LEG WARMERS? A) FAME B) RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY C) KNOBHEADS UNCOVERED 8) THIS IS A STILL FROM ORPHEE. BUT WHICH 1983 SINGLE IS IT THE COVER OF? A) ‘TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART’ BY BONNIE TYLER B) ‘UPTOWN GIRL’ BY BILLY JOEL C) ‘THIS CHARMING MAN’ BY THE SMITHS

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO THEBIGQUIZ@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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Sponsored by 22 MCV 02/04/10

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PERSONNEL

New EA Sports team plans digital growth Wilson named head of worldwide development  THQ hires industry veteran Boutte  Blitz appoints Nash EA  ANDREW WILSON has been appointed as head of worldwide development for EA Sports. He was previously in charge of Electronic Arts’ Global Online Group, and his promotion is part of a major reorganisation within the EA Sports division after the departure of STEVE CHIANG. Wilson was also the creative leader behind transforming EA’s FIFA business. Also promoted is PAULINE MOLLER, who takes up the role of EA Sports’ COO. She has worked with the publisher for 13 years and

Wilson’s promotion is part of a major overhaul in EA Sports’ management

leaves her position of general manager for EA Canada. On the publisher’s official blog, EA Sports boss PETER MOORE said: “The departure of Steve Chiang allows us to graduate this new generation of creative leadership.

“Andrew and Pauline represent an evolution in our creative team. They are a reflection of the studio talent here at EA Sports, and they will help continue the digital transformation of our sports gaming business.”

THQ  BENOIT BOUTTE has been named as THQ’s new vice president of Southern European publishing. He will now be responsible for managing the THQ offices in France, Benelux, Spain and Italy, but will continue to be based in the firm’s Paris office. Boutte has worked in the games industry since 1995. In 2000, he established Vivendi Games’ Italian office and moved to Italian distributor Halifax in 2009, where he worked as managing director.

“Being part of such an established market leader with its impressive track record, its high class development studios and its high capacity of managing its own IPs is a very exciting prospect and I am very much looking forward to building on THQ’s growing success across Southern Europe,” said Boutte. BLITZ GAMES  The UK developer has appointed JOHN NASH as its newest studio design director. He has worked in the industry since 1993, including a seven-year stretch at Rare.

Recruitment doesn't have to be a battle!

EXPORT ACCOUNT MANAGER Take-Two Interactive Software Europe Ltd is a market leading U.S. developer and publisher of video games. Our franchises include the BAFTA award winning Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock, together with many sports, action and family titles. Reporting to the UK Sales Director, the successful candidate will maximise sales and profit in a portfolio of International distribution accounts by growing the overall games revenue and share. This is a major opportunity to join our sales team based in Windsor, Berkshire and to play a key strategic role in the ongoing success of our Company. The ideal candidate will:  Have demonstrable new business development experience within the European Interactive Entertainment market or similar fast-paced environments. 

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Have the highest level of skill in prioritization, negotiation, oral and written communication, numerical analysis and reporting.

Interested in applying? Then please tell us why you are the person we are looking for and send your CV and salary expectation to: recruitment@take2international.com No Agencies.

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OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL? It’s Monster Hunter – Capcom’s latest Wii game published by Nintendo P24

NO MORE HEROES 2 P26 Rising Star goes after core Wii players in the latest in its stylised cult action series DEAD TO RIGHTS P28 Namco Bandai’s third-person shooter franchise returns on PS3 and Xbox 360 IRON MAN 2 P29 Sega’s movie tie-in hopes to achieve success across a multitude of platforms NEW RELEASES P30 MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming game releases in the UK HIGH STREET P32 This week we speak to The Norwich Space Station and check prices in Basingstoke


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RETAILBIZ: MONSTER HUNTER TRI 24 MCV 02/04/10

Nintendo takes the reins as the latest instalment in Capcom’s best-selling adventure series arrives in the UK…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor

UK release, and it’s a challenge the company has taken to with some gusto. Having already seen the potential of previous Monster Hunters, Nintendo is doing all it can to ensure the series’ Wii debut is a smash hit.

MONSTER HUNTER is nothing short of a phenomenon in its home market of Japan, but has yet to establish the same hold over our own nation. The series is successful, to be sure, but each new This really is a triple-A launch instalment strives to for us. We’re hoping this will reach the sales it has be a ‘monster’ for games enjoyed back East. retailers, too. With its predecessors favouring the PlayStation Robert Lowe, Nintendo formats, Monster Hunter Tri now turns to the Wii to further “This really is a triple-A launch for bolster the series’ UK presence, marking us,” says Nintendo marketing manager the franchise’s first outing on the console. Robert Lowe. “We have a suitably epic As with previous Monster Hunter launch campaign in place for such an launches, Capcom has teamed up with epic game. the platform holder to achieve its goals. “We’ve got cinema, 10-second teaser Nintendo is handling distribution and TVs, a massive launch TV campaign, marketing (see ‘Monster Plans’) for Tri’s huge outdoor creative showcasing the

monsters themselves, as well as one of the biggest online campaign we’ve ever run, all linking through to a Facebook Monster Hunter hub. “The game itself was the third-biggest selling title in Japan last year, and our main aim is to re-launch this amazing franchise on Wii in the UK in as big a way as possible.” Once again, players set about smiting the biggest and most dangerous creatures that stalk the land. The single-player campaign has been developed with newcomers in mind, easing them into the world of Monster Hunter.

JOIN THE HUNT

However, the big selling point is the series’ trademark multiplayer mode that sees players work together to bring


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RETAILBIZ: MONSTER HUNTER TRI WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/04/10 25

MONSTER PLANS Nintendo is pulling out all the stops to make this a true triple-A launch for both the franchise and the Wii. The extensive marketing campaign kicked of last month and will to run into the summer…

down the game’s tougher monster. Tri features an extensive online mode – something of a rarity on Wii – that not only allows teams of four gamers to enjoy the adventure together, but is even fully compatible with Wii Speak. As a further enticement, the online mode will be free of charge, foregoing the subscription fees found in Japanese Monster Hunters. With plenty to appeal to the series’ established fanbase, Nintendo is calling on those who know Monster Hunter best to help spread the word. “Capcom have done a great job of generating excitement and passion within the core Monster Hunter fanbase in the UK,” says Lowe. “We are hoping to expand that out to the broader Wii gamer by using these fans as advocates. “We have even set up a forum for them to discuss Monster Hunter Tri on

the game’s official Facebook page and explain why the series is so great to the newcomers in the Wii community.”

RELEASED: APRIL 23 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: CAPCOM/NINTENDO DEVELOPER: CAPCOM

MARCH OF THE MONSTERS

Nintendo has also worked hard to ensure the game will have a mammoth presence at retail, with no less than three SKUs available at launch. The standalone edition of the game will retail for around £44, while the game bundled with the black Classic Controller Pro will cost around £59. There will also be a bundle available exclusively through GAME and Gamestation. This will feature a copy of the game, a black Classic Controller Pro and Wii Speak, and boasts an RRP of around £69. There is even a range of pre-order incentives available, with figurines of the game’s monsters for fans to collect.

PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

“We’re hoping this will be a ‘monster’ for retail – gamers have a real appetite for deeper and richer content on Wii,” says Lowe. “The key to exploiting this audience is choosing the right games, and investing heavily in them in terms of marketing and visibility. “The game received a 40 out of 40 in Japan’s Famitsu magazine, and we are hoping for a similar critical response here – especially considering the Western-specific Wii Speak and free online functionality.”

CINEMA/TV Game trailers will be shown before screenings of Clash Of The Titans in cinemas nationwide, racking up an estimated one million impressions. Teaser trailers began appearing on TV on March 28th with a takeover running around the movie 28 Weeks Later on Channel 4. This has since spread to other key spots on multiple channels, with ads running alongside Lost, 24 and other male-focused dramas. A launch-centric TV campaign will target similar channels towards the end of April. OUTDOOR The outdoor campaign will see 96 sheets and 48 sheets placed in a number of key locations across London and other large UK cities. There will also be digital outdoor advertising along the M4 corridor. ONLINE Initial teaser advertising has already been running across all major gaming sites, with the second phase kicking off this week. Launch week will see site takeovers on the likes of IGN, Gamespot, Eurogamer and various Future games portals. All online advertising will link through to the Facebook hub, encouraging established Monster Hunter fans to spread the word.


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RETAILBIZ: NO MORE HEROES 2: DESPERATE STRUGGLE 26 MCV 02/04/10

Rising Star Games is going after hardcore Wii gamers with the action sequel to cult hit No More Heroes…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by Dominic Sacco

The sequel pits players in the shoes of anti-hero Travis Touchdown once again, who must work his way up from the bottom of the United Assassins Association (UAA) to become the world’s No.1 assassin.

NO MORE HEROES is praised by critics and gamers alike for blending a mature single-player experience with bags of fun – and now the sequel is receiving a higher level of acclaim than the original. We have great expectations It already has an for No More Heroes 2 and average review score of are delighted with the very 86 on aggregator site positive reception it has had. Metacritic and a user Raul Nieto Garcia, Rising Star score of 9.3. Rising Star Games marketing manager Raul Nieto Garcia As well as seeking revenge on the says: “We have great expectations for murder of his best friend, Travis must No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle hack and slash his way through new and are delighted with the very positive bosses, a variety of enemies and other reception it has had so far from both assassins. No More Heroes 2 also media and consumers. provides gamers with six types of beam “We are working hard to make the katana for Travis and the muchgame a successful title across Europe.” anticipated ability to dual-wield.

Much of the first game’s success could be attributed to the game’s central character, who is far from the traditional gaming protagonist. Travis is a wrestling and anime fan who lives in a cheap motel. He stumbled into the world of assassination in the first game after winning a beam katana in an internet auction. LOTS MORE HARDCORE

Rising Star is keen to stress its target audience for No More Heroes 2, which is being billed as a real gamers’ game. Nieto Garcia adds: “We hope for No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle to be a title that hardcore Wii gamers will appreciate when released. “It is a wonderful mixture of over-thetop violence, mischievous fun, old school gems and a rocking soundtrack,


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MCV 02/04/10 27

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE: Rising Star says the gameplay in No More Heroes 2 is something that hardcore Wii gamers will appreciate

which we hope will appeal to not only fans of the first No More Heroes, but to all gamers out there looking for a great gaming experience.” The original game picked up a cult following back in 2008, and its dark, bloody and mature storyline has been compared to the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The sequel builds on the first title with a new collection of weapons, fresh plotlines, 2D mini-games and improved AI to pull in previous fans and bring new players to the franchise. Rising Star is confident that the array of new features will provide a meatier experience and a continuation of the storyline will give players something to get excited about. “This time gamers will be able to enjoy the full uncensored version of No More Heroes 2, wield Travis’ brand new dual-beam katana, perform bone

crunching wrestling moves, control two additional playable characters, fight more responsive enemies and take on over 50 deadly bosses,” says Rising Star’s Nieto Garcia. “They can also earn their money old school style with the addictive 2D side jobs and enjoy an electrifying soundtrack. All coated in a thick layer of fresh blood.” On top of that, players will be able to master up to 13 devastating wrestling moves, five special dark force attacks including a Tiger metamorphosis and drive around on Travis’s motorbike in a range of unique missions. ALL THE RAGE

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is already well-loved by the gaming press, with better review scores than the original.

RELEASED: APRIL FORMATS: WII

NO MARKETING STRUGGLE

PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: GRASSHOPPER PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242

An average score of 86 on Metacritic is made up of favourable reviews from specialist media including 91 per cent from 1UP, 95 per cent from Destructoid and an 86 per cent score from specialist magazine GamesMaster. Add all this to the game’s new collection of brutal moves, fresh storyline, 2D mini-games and ability to duel-wield weapons, and the title looks set to perform well at retail. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is currently scheduled for release on the Wii during spring.

No More Heroes 2 is benefiting from a widespread print and online marketing campaign, courtesy of publisher Rising Star Games.  Print advertising will run across specialist magazines and lifestyle press in the run up to launch and after the game’s release.  A Nintendo Channel spot on the Wii will include details and key features of No More Heroes 2.  Adverts will appear on gaming websites and other specialist media to promote the game online, with anime and manga fans also targeted.  Rising Star’s own digital channels will help market No More Heroes 2, with news, assets and exclusive content going out to subscribers of its Hoshi Club.


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RETAILBIZ: DEAD TO RIGHTS: RETRIBUTION 28 MCV 02/04/10

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Namco Bandai returns to its well-established Dead to Rights franchise with a third-person action game on PS3 and Xbox 360… by Dominic Sacco DEAD TO RIGHTS was a wellreceived shooter when it was released back in 2003 on consoles including the PS2, GameCube and original Xbox, and now Namco Bandai is revitalising the series with a next-gen sequel. The publisher is confident a mixture of new gameplay features, accessible storyline and strong marketing campaign will result in a success at retail. Kate White, product manager for Namco Bandai, says: “Dead to Rights has been a great franchise for us since 2002 and one which still has a strong fanbase to date. “We’re really excited about bringing the IP back and expanding the traditional film noir effects and extrabrutal gameplay, as well as delivering new elements such as playing as Shadow for the first time with his unique kill moves.” Dead to Rights: Retribution is a thirdperson action game for the Xbox 360 and PS3 that is set in the same world as the first two titles – Dead to Rights I and II. The original games were released in 2003 and 2005 respectively. A PSP title, Dead to Rights: Reckoning, was also released in 2006. This time Grant City has fallen from grace, with crime and corruption rife. Armed with his fists, a gun and Shadow, his trusty canine companion, vice cop Jack Slate makes it his mission to clean up the city and uncover a dangerous and shocking conspiracy. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Namco Bandai promises that new players to the series won’t have to be familiar with previous titles as Retribution boasts an entirely new story. White adds: “One key element of Dead to Rights: Retribution is that you don’t need to have played all of the other games in order to understand the story and to pick up and play the game. “Jack and Shadow are still the main characters but the story behind Jack’s family history develops throughout the

game and provides reasoning behind the brutal gameplay. “Gamers will enjoy playing across the atmospheric levels and conquering a range of gritty and explicit kill sequences throughout the game.”

we’re particular fans of Shadow’s new trademark moves,” says White. “We’ve taken on board feedback from the previous titles and really made a sequel that is a pleasure to play. “It follows the franchise closely and is overall a great, brutal game for the PS3 and Xbox 360.”

We're expecting the game to be a success for us and signal the rebirth of the franchise for Namco Bandai. Kate White, Namco Bandai Players have access to a multitude of attacks and special manoeuvres, adding plenty of depth and exciting gameplay traits to Dead to Rights: Retribution. “The brutal takedowns and disarm moves are one of the main new elements of the game, which will satisfy old and new fans of the franchise –

RIGHT MARKETING

The publisher is promoting Dead to Rights: Retribution with a mix of online and print advertising in April, including a viral internet campaign in the build-up to launch. An additional campaign is planned with The Sun Online during launch week. Namco Bandai also has a promotional partnership with The Perfect Pizza chain, with activity on its

RELEASED: APRIL 23 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI DEVELOPER: BLITZ GAMES STUDIOS PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

website and in 110 stores. Furthermore, a PR campaign is aimed at specialist and lifestyle press, while trade marketing activity will run at retail. White adds: “We’re expecting the game to be a success for us on the back of all of this activity, and for it to signal the rebirth of the Dead to Rights franchise for Namco Bandai. “We’re really pleased with the gameplay features and think that it will have great appeal for all gamers.” Dead to Rights: Retribution will hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 on April 23rd.


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RETAILBIZ: IRON MAN 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/04/10 29

HEAVYWEIGHT

MARKETING Sega is planning a comprehensive advertising campaign to promote the Iron Man 2 game across a range of media channels.  National cinemas showing Iron Man 2 will display a 30-second creative, while Odean theatres will get in-foyer promotional activity.  At Pearl & Dean cinemas a series of front and end reel game creatives will appear on screens during the opening three weeks of the Iron Man 2 film.  An extensive online plan will target film and game-related searches on Google, PPC and YouTube.  Sega is running a large print campaign with coverage and competitions running across national newspapers as well as film, men’s and boy’s lifestyle mags. Empire magazine will boast an Iron Man 2 cover and double-page feature. There will also be articles in Vue Cinema magazine.  Extra promotions will include POS materials and social networking activity by Burger King, aimed at 16-34 year olds.

One of the biggest movie releases of the year is due next month and Sega has the official tie-in… by Dominic Sacco IRON MAN is one of the most successful superhero films of all time, and has grossed more than $585m worldwide since its 2008 launch. This puts the game adaptation of upcoming sequel Iron Man 2 in good stead, allowing gamers to step inside the iconic suit of billionaire Tony Stark and defend the world from destruction. The game is an explosive third-person action shooter that pits players against new villains not featured in the film, including Iron Man’s classic nemesis, Crimson Dynamo. Although Iron Man will have to defend his expensive inventions from the military and other villains in the upcoming film, the game offers players a whole new adventure. Renowned comic book writer Matt Fraction has penned an original story exclusively for the game. His repertoire

of published work includes Casanova, Last of the Independents and a broad number of Iron Man and X-men comics for Marvel. Gary Knight, European marketing director for Sega says: “The first Iron Man film raised the awareness of this popular comic hero to new heights across Europe. “We are excited to be working with Marvel again on this second iteration and having Matt Fraction on board to create a truly original script for the game means fans are in for a treat.” Sega has taken fan feedback from the first game into consideration and has produced a redesigned control scheme, making gameplay more accessible. As a sequel to 2008’s original, Iron Man 2 adds a new array of features. PUMPING IRON

This time round Iron Man will have to use his advanced technology to take on

a range of enemies, who also boast their own devious weapons. The fate of the world ultimately rests on Tony Stark’s – and the player’s – shoulders. Gamers have an entire arsenal available to them, including the option to customise and upgrade their weaponry and suit. Also new to the game are hand-to-hand combat styles such as kung fu, destructable environments and epic-sized villains. Fans of the franchise will be pleased to discover a whole range of new locations, weapons and scenarios have been added to Iron Man 2. The game’s voice acting also boasts the star treatment from Samuel L. Jackson and Don Cheadle as the respective voices of key characters Nick Fury and War Machine. Iron Man 2 is released on April 30th on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS and PSP to coincide with the film opening in cinemas across the UK.

RELEASED: APRIL 30 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SEGA PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Sega is promising a mixture of action, new weapons and locations designed to capture the excitement of the movie


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 30 MCV 02/04/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Splinter Cell stalks back to retail Sam Fisher fans rejoice as Ubisoft’s stealthy action franchise finally returns to the High Street. Also due to hit shelves is Samurai Shodown Sen, Dead To Rights: Retribution, Monster Hunter Tri, Nier, 2010 FIFA World Cup and more... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PC / XBOX 360

FPS

2K Games

01279 822800

Gem

PC / PS3 PC XBOX 360 XBOX 360

Action Simulation Fighting FPS

Rockstar First Class Simulations Rising Star Games Ubisoft

01279 822800 01869 338833 0845 234 4242 01279 822800

Gem Open Mastertronic Gem

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

Simulation Simulation Action RPG Action/Adventure Puzzle Casual

Deep Silver Ghostlight Namco Bandai Nintendo Square Enix Ubisoft Atari

0870 027 0985 01376 555 333 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 020 7324 5200 01279 822800 0121 506 9585

Koch Open Advantage Koch Open Gem Advantage

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

Sports Casual/Adventure Casual Action Action Fighting Action Casual Mini-games

EA Mamba Games Foreign Media Games Sony Sega Capcom Ubisoft Foreign Media Games Nintendo

0121 625 3388 01273 202220 020 7240 2645 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 020 7240 2645 0870 027 0985

Centresoft Lace Open Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem Open Koch

DS PC / DS Wii

Sports Adventure Action

O Games Ubisoft Nintendo

0121 625 3388 01279 822800 0870 027 0985

Centresoft Gem Koch

PS3 DS / Wii PS3 / XBOX 360

Action/Adventure Mini-Games Sports

South Peak South Peak EA

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft

PC / PS3 / XBOX 360

Action

Capcom

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

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

Adventure Fighting Adventure Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Racing

Microsoft THQ South Peak Rockstar Disney Interactive Disney Interactive

01279 822800 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Gem Advantage Centresoft Gem Centresoft Centresoft

APRIL 9th Borderlands Add-on Pack

APRIL 16th Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City Hurricane V Stuka Samurai Shodown Sen Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

APRIL 23rd Ballerina Dancing on Ice Dead To Rights: Retribution Monster Hunter Tri Nier Ok! Puzzle Stars Project Runway

APRIL 30th 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Black Mirror 2 Classic Games God Of War Collection Iron Man 2 Super Street Fighter IV Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction The Treasures of Montezuma WarioWare DIY

MAY 7th All Star 5-A-Side Football Runaway: Twist of Fate Sin & Punishment 2

MAY 14th 3D Dot Game Heroes Miniclips' Sushi Go Round Skate 3

MAY 18th Lost Planet 2

MAY 21st Alan Wake All Star Karate Famous Red Dead Redemption Sonny With A Chance Split/Second: Velocity

MUSTSTOCK .........SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION Released: April 16 Format: Xbox 360, PC Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800

Three years after it was first announced, the highly anticipated Splinter Cell: Conviction finally arrives on shelves. Players embark on a new mission with Sam Fisher that boasts more intense gameplay than previous entries in the series.

MUSTSTOCK ..............SAMURAI SHODOWN SEN Released: April 16 Format: Xbox 360 Publisher: Rising Star Distributor: Mastertronic Contact: 0845 234 4242

SNK Playmore’s Samurai Shodown series makes its Xbox 360 debut with Sen. In this action packed fighter, players battle as one of 20 characters. The game stays true to its arcade origins with a variety of character-specific attacks and weapons.


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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 32 MCV 02/04/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

POLL WHAT WILL BE THE BIGGEST RACING GAME THIS SUMMER?

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

87%

Pokémon SoulSilver DS Nintendo

12% Blur

1% SBK X

83%

81%

80%

77%

Just Cause 2, PS3, Square Enix

Metro 2033, PC, THQ

Rune Factory Wii, Rising Star

Resonance of Fate, 360, Sega

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

2

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

3

7% ModNation Racers

There are a wealth of blockbuster racing games heading to shelves this summer, and voters in the latest MCV online survey have already chosen their favourites. Taking 80 per cent of the vote, Disney’s Split/Second: Velocity is the most highly anticipated racer, with participants enticed by its explosive setpieces. Activision Blizzard’s Mario Kart-esque racer Blur followed with 12 per cent of the

4

5

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

GOD OF WAR III FORMAT: PS3

DEVELOPER: XX PUBLISHER: SONY

2

3

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 360

3

1

FINAL FANTASY XIII 360

EA SQUARE ENIX

4

NEW

5

2

METRO 2033 360

6

5

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PS3

7

4

HEAVY RAIN PS3

THQ

FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3

SQUARE ENIX EA SONY

8

NEW

C&C4: TIBERIUM TWILIGHT PC

EA

9

NEW

DRAGON AGE ORIGINS: AWAKENING 360

EA

10

RE

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PC

EA

Hubb Accessories offers PS3 owners an alternative to the official controller with its PS3 Wireless Control Pad. This device uses high performance 2.4GHz wireless technology to ensure gamers can enjoy their titles with minimal latency, with the

signal transmitted through a USB dongle. The pad features the full range of thumbsticks, triggers and buttons found on the official version, with the addition of a Turbo button. The control pad is also compatible with PCs. Hubb: 01624 204 350

DEAL OF THE WEEK

Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.

X360™ Recharge Battery Pack

votes, which goes to show retail is optimistic that Bizarre can deliver another top racer. Sony’s ModNation Racers, which focuses on user-generated content, came in third with seven per cent of the total votes, putting Tradewest’s SBK X: Superbike World Championship in fourth place.  Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com

MARGIN MAKER

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1

80% Split/Second: Velocity

Happy Easter from everyone at

For more information on our full range of products please contact your distribution account manager or our sales team on sales@hubbaccessories.com | www.hubbaccessories.com

GAME customers can save £75 when they buy a 250GB PS3 Slim with Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for £289.99.

PS3™ Wireless Control Pad


32,33 MCV581_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/04/10 33 Sponsored by

PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] God of War iii PS3, Sony

Metro 2033 360, THQ

Command & Conquer 4 PC, EA

Scene it? Twilight Wii, Konami

Dragon Age: Awakening 360, EA

TOP 10 SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV + FREE T-SHIRT

IN STORE: BASINGSTOKE £39.99

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2. SUPER SF IV + T-SHIRT

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3. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + T-SHIRT

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4. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION + LONG-T

PS3, CAPCOM 360 ..................................................................CAPCOM 360 ..................................................................UBISOFT 360 ..................................................................UBISOFT

5. GOD OF WAR TRILOGY

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

6. F1 2010

ONLINE

PS3 ..........................................................CODEMASTERS

£37.47

£41.93

£26.73

£22.10

£24.73

£39.99

£39.99

£26.99

£27.99

£24.99

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£29.89

N/A

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7. F1 2010

360 ..........................................................CODEMASTERS

8. GOD OF WAR: COLLECTION

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

9. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY

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

10. MODNATION RACERS

PS3........................................................................sony Week ending March 26th Source: SHOPTO.COM

FROM THE FRONTLINE This week, we speak to The Norwich Space Station’s Andy Cherry…

[PRE ORDERS]

How has 2010 been for you so far? It has been really good. We mostly sell pre-owned games and it seems more people are buying these after realising how quickly prices drop. Two to three weeks after its release, you can pick a game up at pretty much half price pre-owned. It’s only blockbusters like COD and GTA that seem to hold their value.

TOP 10 GOD OF WAR: COLLECTION PS3 SONY

What do you think of the PlayStation Move? Will it be a big seller? Move looks good and is meant to be really accurate, though I have read reports of it lagging somewhat. It’s only going to be a hit if the games have something to offer that Wii games don’t. I think Nintendo have the family market cornered so Sony may have to aim at the serious gamer.

2. SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION

360 ..................................................................UBISOFT

3. GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY

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

4. ALAN WAKE: LIMITED EDITION

360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT

5. RED DEAD REDEMPTION What do you think about pre-owned games being sold by supermarkets? Supermarkets buying and selling pre-owned games had to happen really – it should make for good buying when they have a clearout. What are your plans for the year ahead? We’re hoping to open an online store, as at present we’re just selling games through eBay. The shop is getting a complete re-vamp this month with the name changing to ”Last Level Games”.

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

6. GRAN TURISMO 5

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

7. LIPS: I LOVE THE 80s

“PlayStation Move will only be a hit if the games have something to offer that Wii titles don’t. Sony may also have to target the serious gamer.”

360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT

8. THE SETTLERS: PATHS TO A KINGDOM

PC ....................................................................UBISOFT

9. HALO: REACH

360 ........................................................................360

10. RED DEAD REDEMPTION

360 ................................................................ROCKSTAR Week ending March 26th Source: PLAY.COM


34,35 MCV581_final:52-53 MCV572

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Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 34 MCV 02/04/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

POKÉMON SOULSILVER

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

POKÉMON HEARTGOLD NEW SUPER MARIO BROS PROFESSOR LAYTON & PANDORA’S BOX SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING SONIC CLASSIC COLLECTION MARIO KART DS MARIO & LUIGI: BOWSER’S INSIDE STORY STYLE BOUTIQUE MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS

NEW

2 1 4 3 8 5 6 10

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

1

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO NINTENDO

SEGA

1

SEGA

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

TITLE

NINTENDO

2

NEW

POKÉMON SILVER DS

NINTENDO

3

2

4

NEW

NINTENDO

[2]

NINTENDO

NINTENDO SEGA

[3]

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[FULL PRICE]

JUST CAUSE 2 FORMAT: PS3, 360, PC

DEVELOPER: AVALANCHE PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX PUBLISHER NINTENDO

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 360, PS3, PC

EA

POKÉMON HEARTGOLD DS

5

4

JUST DANCE Wii

6

10

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

7

1

GOD OF WAR III PS3

8

3

FINAL FANTASY XIII 360, PS3

NINTENDO UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY SQUARE ENIX

9

8

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

1

10

6

WII FIT PLUS Wii

NINTENDO

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII

11

15

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII Wii

NINTENDO

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

12

13

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

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO KART WII NINTENDO SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING SEGA MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA RED STEEL 2 UBISOFT BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE – VILGAX ATTACKS D3P F1 2009 CODEMASTERS DANCING ON ICE GHOSTLIGHT FIFA 10 EA RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT

13

9

SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING PS3, 360 Wii, DS SEGA

14

5

METRO 2033 360, PC

15

7

HEAVY RAIN PS3

SONY

16

16

ALIENS VS PREDATOR 360, PS3, PC

SEGA

17

NEW

PRISON BREAK: THE CONSPIRACY 360, PS3, PC

18

14

BEN 10: VILGAX ATTACKS 360, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2

19

23

MARIO KART WII Wii

20

24

ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3, PC

2 3 5 NEW

4 6 11 10 18

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII SPORTS RESORT WII FIT PLUS WII PLAY WORLD OF ZOO MONOPOLY LEGO INDIANA JONES: ORIGINAL EA SPORTS ACTIVE LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA PEPPA PIG: THE GAME

NEW

6 5 8 18 9

[4]

[5]

[BUDGET PRICE]

JUST DANCE

3 2 4

PUBLISHER

PUBLISHER

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA

THQ

D3P NINTENDO UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

C&C4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT

NINTENDO

2

4

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

NINTENDO

3

3

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2

NINTENDO

4

8

THE SIMS 3

THQ

5

6

NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT

DEEP SILVER

DEVELOPER: EA LA PUBLISHER: EA SEGA EA EA SEGA

EA

6

NEW

THE SETTLERS 7: PATHS TO A KINGDOM

UBISOFT

LUCASARTS

7

NEW

JUST CAUSE 2

UBISOFT

EA

8

2

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS – AWAKENING

LUCASARTS

9

5

DAWN OF WAR II: CHAOS RISING

P2 GAMES

10

10

THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES

EA THQ EA


34,35 MCV581_final:52-53 MCV572

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/04/10 35

Meanwhile, Pokémon SoulSilver has reached

second place when it was released four years ago, but Just Cause 2 has managed to go one better

since Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box in

by taking the top spot in the All Formats Charts.

September last year. Pokémon HeartGold,

Square Enix is now the third publisher to secure two No.1s this year, with Final Fantasy XIII reaching the same lofty heights earlier in March. EA and Sony are the other publishers to have had two No.1s.

PS3

L FORMATS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest New Entry

21

26

MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS Wii, DS

22

18

FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360

SEGA MICROSOFT

23

20

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

24

RE

DARKSIDERS 360, PS3

25

19

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

26

27

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS

27

29

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

28

12

C&C4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT PC

29

22

WARNER BROS THQ

EA

25

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO

35

UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3

32

11

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS – AWAKENING 360, PC

33

21

MOTOGP 09/10 PS3, 360

CAPCOM

34

NEW

RED STEEL 2 Wii

UBISOFT

35

17

BIOSHOCK 2 360, PS3, PC

2K GAMES

36

38

PEPPA PIG: THE GAME Wii, DS

P2 GAMES

SONY EA

37

31

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3, 360, PSP, PC

EA

38

RE

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC

EA

39

RE

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

40

36

LEGO INDIANA JONES: ORIGINAL Wii, DS, PS3, 360 LUCASARTS

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2

THQ

TITLE

PUBLISHER

SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA ASSASSIN’S CREED SHUTTER ISLAND

NEW

THE SIMS 3: CREATE A SIM

NEW

MURDER, SHE WROTE

FOCUS CITY INTERACTIVE EA FOCUS

3 7 5

VAMPIRE SAGA: PANDORA’S BOX

RE

JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: HEART

GSP/AVANQUEST

RE

ROME: TOTAL WAR

GSP/AVANQUEST

WOW: BATTLE CHEST

GOD OF WAR III BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 HEAVY RAIN FINAL FANTASY XIII PRISON BREAK: THE CONSPIRACY UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES FIFA 10 ALIENS VS PREDATOR

NEW

6 9 8

DEVELOPER: AVALANCHE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX SONY EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY SQUARE ENIX KOCH MEDIA SONY EA SEGA

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

FOCUS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

HIDDEN EXPEDITION: DEVIL’S TRIANGLE

FOCUS

PUBLISHER

1

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE - VILGAX ATTACKS

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FIFA 10 LITTLEBIGPLANET JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR: THE GAME GRAN TURISMO ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010

3 2 4 5 6 7 RE

8 10

DEVELOPER: PAPAYA STUDIOS PUBLISHER: D3PUBLISHER

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

NEW

PUBLISHER

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

ROCKSTAR

31

1

TITLE

JUST CAUSE 2

PSP

SEGA

30

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[FULL PRICE]

NINTENDO

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

PC CD-ROM

meanwhile, makes its to fourth with Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in the middle. Other new releases this week include Prison Break (No. 17) and Red Steel II (No.34). Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

1 1 2 5 4 3

WEEK ENDING 27/03/10

No.2, making it the first DS game to hit this level

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 METRO 2033 FINAL FANTASY XIII FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 FIFA 10 ALIENS VS PREDATOR PRISON BREAK: THE CONSPIRACY ASSASSIN’S CREED II

NEW

21

EA SONY UBISOFT SONY UBISOFT SEGA EA SQUARE ENIX KONAMI

[FULL PRICE]

JUST CAUSE 2

1 4 2 3 5 8 7

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

THE ORIGINAL Just Cause had to settle for

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: AVALANCHE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ SQUARE ENIX MICROSOFT EA SEGA DEEP SILVEER UBISOFT

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


36,37 MCV581_final

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YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES

sourcebook WWW.INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK

creative and promotional SErvices 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

Indigo Pearl Tel: +44 (0)20 8964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

The Audio Guys Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1788 565230 www.theaudioguys.co.uk

AN.X Ltd. Tel: 020 7785 7156 www.anxagency.com

JR DESIGN Tel: +44 (0) 7824 506436 www.joeryandesign.co.uk

The Pixel Tel: 0800 043 1040 www.thepixel.com

Ark VFX Ltd. Tel: 0114 268 4999 www.arkvfx.net

Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0)1225 471 202 www.mediasafari.co.uk

Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

Barrington Harvey Tel: +44 (0)1462 456780 www.bhpress.co.uk

More Creative Tel: 020 7561 6010 www.morecreative.co.uk

uk distribution and logistics

Bastion Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 7600 www.bastion.co.uk

Multiplay Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 1337 www.multiplay.co.uk

Gfk Chart-Track Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585 www.chart-track.com

Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz

Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

PMA Marketing Tel: 020 7483 0568 www.pmamarketing.com

Eye-D Creative Ltd Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 1440 www.eye-dcreative.co.uk

RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Tel: +44 (0)20 8254 5300 www.rainbowproductions.co.uk

FEREF Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6330 www.feref.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com

FINK Creative Ltd Tel: 01480 302350 www.finkcreative.com

Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com

Fluid Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fluidesign.co.uk

Shorewood.Blueprint Tel: 020 7183 9666 www.shorewood-blueprint.com

Freeform.London Tel: 020 7183 6664 www.freeformlondon.co.uk

Side Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 4800 www.side.com

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

SKYSKRAPER® Tel: +44 (0)20 7252 3288 www.skyskraper.net

Game Frontier Ltd Tel: 0870 420 2424 www.gamefrontier.com

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0) 1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com

Discstribution Tel: + 44 (0) 845 4308735 www.discstribution.com EntaTech Tel: 0333 101 1000 www.entaonline.com Gem Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk Meroncourt Europe Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 www.trade.meroncourt.co.uk Trilogy Logistics Ltd Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com

international distribution ComputerLand doo Tel: +381 11 309 95 95 www.computerland.rs CURVEBALL LEISURE Tel: 01792 652521 www.thegamecollection.net Funtastic Tel: +61 3 9419 5444 www.funtastic.com.au GameStreamer, Inc. Tel: 001-813-527-0383 www.gamestreamer.net

LO

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS


36,37 MCV581_final

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Page 2

In association with

Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com

LOCALISATION QA AND TESTING

legal services

4-Real Intermedia GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 69809088 - 0 www.4-real.com

Orange Studio Tel: +39 051 588 04 50 www.orangestudio.it

Harbottle & Lewis Tel: +44 (0)207 667 5000 www.harbottle.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com

Partnertrans Tel: +44 1753 247731 www.partnertrans.com

Marriott Harrison Tel: +44 (0)20 7209 2000 www.marriottharrison.co.uk

ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de

PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net

software development

Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com

Testronic Laboratories Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1753 653722 www.testroniclabs.com

Cenega Poland Sp.Zo.o Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

Universally Speaking Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229-9999 ext.312 www.enzyme.org

U-TRAX Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

ChaYoWo Games Tel: +1 917.650.0010 www.chayowogames.com Crytek UK Tel: +44 115 949 0808 www.crytek.com Data Design Interactive Tel: +44 0 1384 44 79 00 www.datadesign.uk.com xaitment GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 6897-600 80-0 www.xaitment.com

manufacturing services Arvato digital services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

OK Media Tel: +44 (0) 20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.com

DISCHROMATICS LTD Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

MPO UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8956 2727 www.mpo-international.com

The Producers Limited Tel: 0845 234 2444 www.theproducers.co.uk

Multi Media Replication Ltd Tel: +44(0) 1264 336330 www.replication.com

Total Console Repair Ltd Tel: 08719 181 721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

gaming accessorieS AntiGrav Media Ltd Tel: 01932 454929 www.antigrav-media.co.uk Hubb Accessories Tel: 01642 204343 www.playwithhubb.com I-Globe Accessories Ltd Tel: 01332 756610 www.i-ga.co.uk Logic3 plc Tel: 01923 471000 www.logic3.com

recruitment Aardvark Swift Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com

Game Options Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1382 731909 www.gameops.co.uk

Pebble Entertainment GmbH Tel: +49 (231) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 477 927 0 www.pebble-entertainment.com/en

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com/games

Specialmove Consultancy Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com

Pinpoint Consumer Elec. Tel: +44 (0) 1606 558 428 www.pinpointce.co.uk

GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT: ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01992 535647


38,39 MCV581_final

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Page 1

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 38 MCV 02/04/10

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

INDIA

RUSSIA

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

Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow

AUSTRIA

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

Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

BELGIUM

Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

SERBIA

Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) dt@gatewaydistribution.dk

COMPUTERLAND DOO

www.gatewaydistribution.dk

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: infos@cld.be Web: www.cld.be

11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

FINLAND

mail:games@computerland.rs

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

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

website:www.computerland.rs

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

Wholesaler Gaming products Official Benelux distributor for

ITALY

BENELUX

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

SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg

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

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

SINGAPORE

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

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

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

45 rue Delizy,

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

SPAIN

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

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

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

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

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

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

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

NETHERLANDS EBS-Benelux...........................................Bunschoten

GAMEWORLD

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

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

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

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

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

SUPREME FACTORY

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

Barcelona, Spain,

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

439 avenue de la Gare

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

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne Email : xavier@supremefactory.com Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160

EBS Benelux Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

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

NEW ZEALAND

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

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

NORWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Netherlands

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

SWEDEN

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

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

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

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01 E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 / Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

JOWOOD ENTERTAINMENT AG Heiligenstädterstrasse 201-203/19 Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg 1190 Wien, Austria Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Tel: +43 (0)1 37909 0 Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt Fax: +43 (0)1 37909 1064 Web: www.jowood.com GREECE

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

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,

PO Box 5083

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

54-426 Wroclaw, Poland

S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden

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

E-mail: business@techland.pl

Phone: +46 54 854750

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

Web: www.techland.pl

Fax: +46 54 854759

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10

E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se

Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

Website: www.gameoutlet.se

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

ICELAND

PORTUGAL

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

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

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

Sena ................................................................Reykavik

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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EDITORIAL PLANNER WWW.MCVUK.COM

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

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

TURKEY

MCV 02/04/10 39

UPCOMING FEATURES A glimpse at some of the special features coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the video games market... FRIDAY APRIL 9th

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND TERRITORY REPORT

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.

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

FRIDAY APRIL 30th

MCV AWARDS

UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

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

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.

FRIDAY APRIL 16th

UAE

CHINA TERRITORY REPORT

ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960

One of the biggest markets in the Far East, China is also one that bears the most differences when compared to 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.

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.

FRIDAY MAY 14th

TOP 20 INDIES Independent retail remains a thriving sector in the UK, whch chains such as Grainger Games continuing to grow. MCV gives a run-down of the 20 best independent games retailers in the UK. FRIDAY MAY 21st

AFRICA TERRITORY REPORT

Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: marketing@alesayi.ae U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com

SELF-IMPROVEMENT AND NONGAMES SOFTWARE

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

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

The success of Wii Fit Plus proved that there is still significant demand for self-improvement software and this has been

With civilisation spread thinly around this gargantuan continent, largely found on the northern and southern coasts, Africa may seem an unlikely territory for gaming. MCV details the major players and retailers in this region, as well as the unique processes by which games are published and released here.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS

DESIGN STUDIOS Fink. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352

GAMING ACCESSORIES

...bringing you all the right lines

DISC REPAIR Elm-Digitalia UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 643 6021 Total Disc Repair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION Green Man Gaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 DISTRIBUTION BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688 Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562 Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 Universal Games Distribution (UK) Ltd . . 0208 787 7030 USD Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220 GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428

Wii Charge Station Quad

360 Intercooler TS Black

LCD / Plasma Cleaning Mitt

Classic Disc Repair System

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 WWE DSi Crystal Case

DS Lite / DSi / DSi XL Stylus Pack

RETAIL SERVICES Complete Epos Solutions Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . 01543 370002 General enquiries:

STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 UK Shopfitters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800

01606 558 428

or email: enquires@pinpointce.co.uk Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

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

www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

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

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

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . curveballsimon@googlemail.com

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

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

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


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

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

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

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

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

SERVICES amBX UK Ltd. ...............................................www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone..................................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Imagination Studios..............................+46 (0) 18-106930 Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 Partnertrans ......................................+44 (0) 1273 229030

UNIVERSAL GAMES DISTRIBUTION (UK) LTD . 0208 787 7030 . www.unigames.co.uk DISTRIBUTION

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 katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com USD LIMITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.usdlimited.com


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION

LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

GREEN MAN GAMING. . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 . . . . . . . . info@greenmangaming.com


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DISC REPAIR

LOCALISATION

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

PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

DESIGN STUDIOS

LOCALISATION

Design/Branding/ Advertising/ Packaging/Web

finkcreative

01480 302 352 olly@finkcreative.com www.finkcreative.com

FINK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.finkcreative.com

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

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

LOCALISATION

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

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


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RETAIL SERVICES

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

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

MAY COMPLETE EPOS SOLUTIONS LTD . . . . 01543 370 002. . . . . . . . www.ggepos.com STORE FITTINGS

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

JULY

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.

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 July 13th - July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com

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

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 EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL 2010 Wednesday, August 25th – Thursday, August 26th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com

UK SHOPFITTERS . . . . . . . . . . . . 0844 257 8800 . . . . . . . . . www.ukshopfitters.com

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 Tuesday, July 13th – Thursday, July 15th Brighton UK www.developconference.com The Develop Conference is where the European developer community come together to learn from each other and share experiences, be inspired by renowned experts and gurus, get upto-date with the latest tools and techniques, make new contacts and catch-up with old ones. The conference will open on Tuesday, July 13 with the Develop Evolve track – showcasing the latest in emerging game markets, from mobile to social to digital to casual games.


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WWW.MCVUK.COM

MAILBOX

Why gaming TV is

stuck on repeat Former GamesMaster and current Playr producer Richard Wilcox gives us his thoughts on the return of the popular gaming show and why the industry needs to improve its video output before thinking about TV… AS A FORMER producer of the TV show GamesMaster, who worked on four of its series, I’ve been asked a number of times how I’d feel about it possibly returning with Future Publishing at the helm. What I say each and every time is that it’s a bit like being told one of your mates is

I find it ironic that among all this talk of GamesMaster coming back, the industry is still stuck in the ‘90s when it comes to producing footage of video games. Much of the stuff that comes out is so heavily branded and so overtly sales-orientated that it’s difficult to use in an

Among all this talk of GamesMaster returning, it’s ironic that games footage is still stuck in the ‘90s. Richard Wilcox, Playr

fucking one of your old girlfriends. Yep, it’s that nice. I can only imagine that for Dominik Diamond it’s much, much worse. Personal feelings aside, the news has energised me to write about the current state of promotional video material games firms are issuing.

editorial context. It’s one of the reasons games get so little coverage on TV compared to other forms of entertainment. Producing a weekly show like Playr on Film 24 – yes, there is still is a weekly show on games – is made more challenging when we have to re-edit official footage just to

Richard Wilcox isn’t in favour of a TV comeback for GamesMaster, despite being a former producer

get it into some sort of broadcast-friendly state. In fact, the Playr team is so frustrated with re-cutting footage just to make sure it can be shown on TV, we’ve decided to launch a new corporate solution. For a lowcost fee, we can produce

attention-grabbing videos and event coverage, which will meet the needs of television, but also work across any other entertainment medium. So, go ahead, make an old producer very happy and check out the website to see what we can do for you.

It’s www.playr.biz. By the way, in the next letter I will answer the other question I get asked all the time: “Who should replace Patrick Moore?” Let’s just say the answer rhymes with boff. richard.wilcox@playrhq.com

IS IT THE END OF SPECIALIST GAME RETAIL? The UK trade responds via comments on MCVuk.com to news that supermarkets are now the fastest-growing games retailers… I’ve bored people on many occasions over the past 10 years on why this was inevitable. Just why the games industry persists in thinking its products are any different to music or films both amuses and depresses me. The reality is games are a boxed disc product that sell themselves. The punter hasn’t needed retail advice for years, and they only really needed it in the early days when gaming was all about PCs, drivers, compatibility and whether a game would run on their machine or not. As soon as those concerns disappeared, specialist games retail was doomed. David Mclean

It’s not that surprising given how many independents have closed this year, along with all the GAME concession stores that closed and some of the other retail closures like Zavvi and Woolworths. If the supermakets were not allowed to sell products lower than the cost price, then they wouldn’t have got this share in the first place. Dee J Dave Ah, but according to ERA data it appears supermarkets are not the cheapest retailers overall. Specialists, generalists and online retailers sell games far cheaper than the likes of Asda and Tesco. Chris

Supermarkets sell at a loss to gain market share and customers are duped into thinking we specialists make so much money from games. Specialists then disappear and supermarkets takeover, selling at prices they want. When supermarkets eventually see a reduction in revenue, they’ll drop games altogether. Supermarkets may have a huge market share of revenue, but how much profit do they actually make from the video games industry? Indie RIP Games specialist retailers better wake up and smell the coffee or their marketshare will continue falling rapidly to

levels where current business models will not be sustainable. Senior managers need to seriously look at their strategies and business processes and start identifying quick ways of adding extra value to the end customers. I believe this can be creatively achieved in many forms that would help them compete against volume discounters such as supermarkets, but perhaps they need input from managers outside the industry. My suggestion is that they should review and create very clear segments for their customers and then look at market qualifiers and order winners, on which potential

customers base their selection and purchasing decisions on. In my view, this value-adding creativity is the solution to this very real problem. Surboy If you’re a specialist and good at what you do, this won’t be the end for you. Gamers love to talk about games and sometimes need advice – Betty at Tesco is not going to give them that. It’s fair enough supermarkets might be cheaper on certain games, but they don’t stock the vast range that we do. Our customers love talking to us because we are gamers too. Stuart


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THE

HOT

LIST

Develop 100 lists the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 100 most successful games studios based on key market data from GfK-ChartTrack Published with Develop in May and MCV on Friday May 7th See new microsite at www.develop100.com from Friday May 7th

12,000 copies plus digital edition. Additional circulation of Develop 100 at Develop Conference Brighton in July and Develop Industry Excellence Awards

>>>>>>>>>

Ad copy deadline: Monday April 19th Contact katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk for advertising and sponsorship opportunities +44 (0) 1992 535 647


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ith lw a c i top t e ,g ons c i y str . u d .. e in stone m g so ith Livin w n Ia ine e d rview w , eek d inte w s n Thi tter a i Tw

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ISH our BEST OFitBweRreIT needed, that

Proof, if ever mour. While a sense of hu industry has ting the ra leb ce ill st re developers we lopment ve de es t of gam announcemen and rs stry membe tax relief, indu w game ho ed in ag ike im consumers al them e ak m to altered titles could be qualify. to gh ou en sh culturally Briti ialMove, cruiters Spec Started by re es m ga ak itishtaxbre #culturallybr tag in the sh ha ed us t os became the m trending in the list of UK UK and second ursday. topics last Th urites... few of our favo Here’s just a

Professor Leyton Orient @ian_livingstone

Fairy Non-Bioshock

Coronation Street Fighter @dotcomment

@TomMurphy00

Knightsbridge of the Old Republic

The Brittas Empire: Total War

@Slaktus

@Clert

Bronte’s Inferno @stelshere

Dad’s Army of Two Heavier Rain

@stelshere

@mikechannel

Batman: Arkham Asylum Seekers @Geofortean

Shin Megami Ten Benson & Hedges @SilentHitoshura

Queue-Bert @mrmoth

Kettle Gear Solid

Cotswold of Warcraft

@docky

@shoinan

Bootle Legend

Bully: Gordon Brown Edition

@IainAngus

@BenSimonds

SEND YOUR PICTURES TO JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK EDITORIAL: 01992 535646 Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: Dominic Sacco Dominic.Sacco@intentmedia.co.uk



ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

Online Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk Contributors: Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley, Colin Campbell Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk Advertising Executive: Rob Baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk

Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk



FAX: 01992 535648

Please address all enquiries to: MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA. Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688

Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Michael Canham Michael.Canham@intentmedia.co.uk Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA

SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.

www.intentmedia.co.uk

MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2009, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,045. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS United Kingdom £150 l Europe £175 l Rest of the World £250 To order your subscription via Visa, Mastercard, Switch or AMEX or to make changes to your subscription details, contact mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com or call 01580 883848.

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source


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SIX DEGREES

WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 02/04/10 49

OF ACTIVISION It’s almost rude not to know someone who once worked there. This week, we start with...

1

 2



Martin Defries, who in a previous life was part of a Telecomsoft sales team that also included...

Alex Sim-Wise, who’s apparently not just an expert on EA’s little people game, something she proves by blogging about all sorts of things for Rising Star, which is run in the UK by...

3



Jane Cavanagh, who left to set up a very strange company called Sales Curve Interactive, which became SCi, which is where...

4

5

...worth of stock. All you gotta do is sing For the next few weeks, Off The Record will be dedicated to the Wii’s greatest karaoke game, We Sing. And we are giving away 50 copies of the game – worth £2,000 in total, natch – to one lucky retailer.



Emily Britt used to work before becoming European PR manager at 2K Games, with...

WIN £2,000



Neil Ralley as UK boss – a position he took after leaving Codemasters which is now run by...

6

To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is send a picture of you, your staff, or your customers using We Sing in your store. Every entry gets a free copy of the game and the best picture (and don’t you worry – we’ll be printing the best) will bag the full 50 copies. Head to www.wesinggame.com to upload your picture or send it to mcv@wesinggame.com



Don’t be shy: get We Singing!

Rod Cousens who, back when the company was good first time round, was European boss of... ACTIVISION

(Terms: competition open to all retailers, including online stores. You can enter as many pictures as you like. Limited promotion, first-come-first served, one twomicrophone+game pack per store, no cash alternative)

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


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E F I L F O S E M GA

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you mes are ost? What ga g the m in y la p g in to one y n jo w n e do ’t boil it n ca laying I in Aga mainly p ames I’m 2 and but the g ead, Uncharted 4D ft e . L m re a Asylu Arkham Batman: t you mos game are g in m o pc Which u to? forward ille. looking ce Farmv n a v d A (Laughs)

K E E W E ing, H k n T i h t F O m. I’m

E hroo T t a b O e h t QUave ideas when I goouttowhen I take a dump.”

nuity. tive inge a e r c o t secret unlikely e h t ls a 51 reve per Suda lo e v e d Heroes No More

“I h omes c a e d i e [and] th

FROM THE ARCHIVE April 1st, 1996

t now NEWS (which, for reasons tha the price of the Saturn ’), taking the RRP Sega slashes £50 off sole con er ‘sup a ing ious, we’re call known as don’t seem all that obv ctor Andy Mee, already opean marketing dire Eur 9. os is due to 9.9 Eid £24 .”... to n our fav dow ning in our e know the tide is tur the Tomb Raider and e ‘Mad Dog’, insists: “W Cor ing lud (inc to buy CentreGold able to make an official offer ft is confident it will be rth £30m... Leisureso wo l dea h Nintendo a wit in y se) pan chi fran parts com inistration... Rob Cooper trade its way out of adm . distributor THE Games.. CHARTS

GET LOSTembers of

m Capcom invited and the press ity un m m co its try out the to London to ode of the m er multiplay d action te eagerly awai Planet 2. st Lo r te oo sh re allowed to Attendees we the game th wi s ip get to gr four in t ou and battle it s – though we om ro ed em th was interested doubt anyone cor. de ’s om in Capc

se (PC) CD ............................Micropro .......................................... Civilization 2 ..................

, GB, GG) Cartridge ..........EA/THQ (MD, SN .......................................... FIFA Soccer ‘96 ............ iga, PC) Home Computer .................Renegade (Am cer .................................... Sensible World of Soc by ELSPA, FEATURES artment, which, backed n its video games dep dow sed y, clo pan has com lup Gal to the new ent buyout. CTW talks e is an engineered a managem the other main featur Chart-Track... Curiously, data, of ch bat r eve last analysis of Gallup’s g ahead of cartridges gin nud s CD ws sho which ng the now quaint-soundi (‘floppy’ was third) in ting bea a Seg and rt, ‘Sales by Medium’ cha y rket Share by Compan Virgin and EA in the Ma , looks at the hile anw me en, Gre Value chart... Tim of tal market in the wake state of the games ren e... em sch ’ Sega’s ‘hated AND FINALLY... n nsorship deal with Ma Ocean announces a spo e hav ly tain cer ost alm o will City. A spokesman wh e hav her rs: “We’d rat been Jon Woods, offe , being l club like Everton, but sponsored a successfu the ded nee y the we felt based in Manchester, e – it ch to laugh about her support. There’s not mu p.” rains and City are cra



MCV581 Friday April 2 2010