MCV 21-5-2010 - Front Cover
THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday May 21 2010 £3.25
MCV 21-5-2010 - Inside front & back_Final
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES International Media Partner
Issue 588 Friday May 21 2010 £3.25
04 The price is wrong
11 MTV’s Euro vision
Namco Bandai Partners VP Olivier Comte says the cost of games must be lowered
Scott Guthrie on MTV Games’ expansion – and why Beatles: Rock Band failed
07 MCV set for iPad launch
16 ELSPA update
Brand new digital edition on the way for your weekly games industry magazine
Michael Rawlinson on the LibCon pact, plus details on London Games Festival
09 Ubi’s triumphant April
23 MCM Expo Preview
Publisher celebrates scoring No.1 slot in terms of sales and market share
A rundown of what publishers will show off at the key summer consumer event
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Branson back in games Stunning return will be unveiled at E3 Online-only service to offer new opportunities for publishers by Stuart Dinsey RICHARD BRANSON will use next month’s E3 in Los Angeles to unveil Virgin’s return to the video games business. MCV believes that a launch event is being planned, with Branson himself in attendance. This is a major coup for the US trade show, but also signals the return of one of the most exciting and successful brands to have ever operated in the games industry. Branson was one of the first to see the potential of computer software as a global entertainment business, setting up Virgin Games in 1984. Under Nick Alexander, the company eventually acquired Mastertronic and rolled Sega’s Master System across Europe. As Sega Europe then built its own operation, Virgin
share reached a high of 16 per cent at one point. Affiliates such as Westwood, Bethesda, Capcom, LucasArts, Disney and more made Branson’s one of the most respected sales and marketing outfits in the business. Since 2004, one of Branson’s many businesses has been a new era Virgin Games, which focuses on prize-based online gaming websites. The new gaming service rumoured to launch at E3 will seek partnerships with leading publishers and content owners, offering new and unique opportunities. Ambitious and global, the business is expected to run across the leading console formats and feature the most popular games on the market. MCV understands that the new video games venture will be online-only and again
Branson was one of the first to see the potential of games as a global entertainment business.
Interactive Entertainment emerged under the leadership of Tim Chaney. It became one of the powers on either side of the Atlantic before being acquired by Blockbuster in 1994 for $250m, which itself was then bought by Viacom. At its height in 1997, Virgin Interactive Entertainment reached global revenues of $210 million. From 1994 to 1998, VIE often took turns with Electronic Arts for market leadership in the UK and other European territories. Market
THE GAMES GIANT Virgin Interactive was a formidable games industry force during the ‘90s... Virgin handled some huge developer labels including LucasArts, GTi, Capcom, JVC, HudsonSoft, Westwood, Disney and Bethesda. Key original and beloved properties it brought to market include Cannon Fodder, The 7th Guest and Broken Sword. The 7th Guest specifically represented a significant investment in high-end CD-ROM multimedia gaming that featured filmed sequences and CG.
challenge-based, possibly built on a technology acquisition. The company itself has refused to comment or confirm any kind of return to the mainstream games market for Virgin, but more details could well emerge as further plans are put in place for what will be one of the biggest events of this year’s E3. A new online launch is likely to tap in to the huge success and growth of networks such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, as well as multiplayer PC gaming.
The firm also kickstarted the careers of individual developers, including the likes of designer Dave Perry and composer Tommy Tallarico.
VIRGIN: THE GLOBAL GIANT Branson's Virgin Group holding company is worth £5bn and consists of over 400 firms around the world which he either owns entirely or holds a stake in. Key brands are:
Best selling titles were The Lion King (3m), C&C: Red Alert (4m) and Resident Evil (2m in Europe alone). And Virgin was one of the first to be a major acquisition target, bought for $250m by Blockbuster in 1994. Blockbuster in turn was acquired by Viacom for $6bn in ‘95.
PERSONNEL 26 RETAIL BIZ 31 NEW RELEASES 38 HIGH STREET 40 CHARTS 42
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[LEADER] PRICE COMPARISON IT WAS REFRESHING to hear a senior publishing figure like Namco Bandai Partners’ Olivier Comte frankly broach the issue of pricing this week. Such talk usually makes the industry wince. For too long pricing has been an elephant in the room for games – and for no good reason. Games have ‘high’ prices – which have held around the £35-£55 mark for the last 15 years or more – for an obvious reason: making them is a gamble, and the few winning bets pay off the many duff ones. Not the ideal model, certainly. Arguably, it’s broken beyond belief. But, hey, the industry could probably make it last another 15 years if we let it. However Comte is right to call for foresight. In fact I’d argue that the price of games is already changing. At both ends of the spectrum. Games are getting cheaper, to the point where they can be given away. And they’re also getting more expensive. For every no-fee MMO like Runescape, there’s a Call of Duty aiming for a £55 RRP. For every freebie like FarmVille, there’s a £40 game hoping to make a bit on the side through DLC. Many full-priced games now spawn cheaper £6-or-less iPhone spin-offs. So the flexibility is already there; it’s not necessarily in asking format holders to change their policies. (Although we all know cheaper licence fees would help – another contentious issue publishers never really like talking about.) Instead, the industry is rejecting those systems, or obeying them while conceding that console revenues are now just part of the story when it comes to games. The question facing Namco Bandai Partners – and every other ‘traditional’ publisher and retailer for that matter – is how they maintain relevance. And it’s in watching to find out who succeeds and who fails (and many will) that will prove most interesting.
VIRGIN TERRITORY GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR Richard Branson is set to surprise the industry when his Virgin brand returns to games next month. While the company hasn’t confirmed the news direct (although our source is watertight), I reckon Virgin’s move into online gaming proves two things. Firstly, it speaks to the relative stability, attractiveness and potential of online services. These are now so entrenched in consumer views and business expectations of video games that even newcomers think they can devise services which complement or even rival the likes of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Just look at OnLive, a minority stake in which is now owned by BT, or Ubisoft’s Uplay. Secondly, the increasingly high profile of games is attracting the attention of high profile personalities and investors previously uninterested in games. How things have changed – just a year ago, format holders were having to pay big name celebs like McCartney and Spielberg to rock up to LA and endorse new games at their E3 events. 12 months later, they’re holding their own press conferences… Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
‘We must change the price of games’ Namco Bandai Partners VP Comte says new business models can address market slump First parties must help, he adds PRICE CHECK: Comte believes gaming needs a more viable costing model and alternate sources of revenue
by Michael French THE INDUSTRY must work together to address falling software sales by changing the way games are priced and sold. That’s according to Namco Bandai Partners’ vice president and head of sales and marketing Olivier Comte. Speaking to MCV at the publisher’s recent Level Up showcase in Barcelona, Comte said publishers are racing to find secondary business models to support retail sales. Possibilities include selling games at reduced prices, delivering them episodically – and even lobbying format holders to address licensing costs for console and handheld titles. “I feel all the big video game companies need to join together in a worldwide summit to discuss the future of our industry. I think we have to pull our thoughts together,” he told MCV. “If you compare [games] to music, music has two ways to make money – sales of disc, which is decreasing, and concert tickets, which are increasing so there’s another source of revenue
for the artist. Film has a similar situation, there is the disc and the cinema. “Games just have one model, the sale of the product either as a box or a digital download. So we need to think about how we can develop a secondary business model.” DLC is the obvious route and it can help bring down the
“A good price of a game should be around £20 – but for this price we can’t make a ten to 15-hour adventure. So for £20 we should offer consumers four to five hours of gameplay, then after that we can make additional money with DLC.” Comte also said format holders such as Nintendo have a part to play in helping
Unlike music and film, games have one source of revenue. We need to think about secondary business models. Olivier Comte, Namco Bandai
price of games and make them more attractive to consumers, he added. “I am convinced that in the future we must change the price of video games – they’re too expensive for the audience. With the cost of development and the retail margins, £40 is a fair price [to us], but for the consumer it is too much. “From September to December there are three new blockbusters every week, and consumers just can’t afford to buy all that.
publishers move on to new business models. He explained: “We need to discuss with first parties about the huge difficulties behind the current retail system. “It is impossible for a publisher to make money on a DS game, for example, that goes on sale for £15. We have to sell that game to retail for lower than that, we have to pay all the marketing, production and distribution costs. “This just isn’t a viable business model.”
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London Games Festival reinvigorated Festival returns as month-long celebration in October Priority on mass media by Dominic Sacco THE FIFTH London Games Festival takes place this October as a month-long celebration of games, targeted at mainstream consumers, mass media and key Westminster figures. Festival chairman and EA VP and UK GM Keith Ramsdale has told MCV the focus behind the threepronged event is to ‘make a collective noise about this wonderful industry to key audiences’. He said: “The LGF will make London a focus for interactive entertainment and to engage with media, consumers and Government.” The Festival has run since 2006 – in that time associated events like Intent Media’s London Games Conference, the Eurogamer Expo and MCM Expo have become key fixtures on the industry
calendar. Meanwhile publishers have run their own software showcases in key London locations as part of the Festival. But Ramsdale believes the ELSPA-run event still needs more commitment from the UK trade.
“The more there is for consumers and the Government to see and take part in, the more successful an image we will have and the amplification of noise will be louder. “ELSPA will work as hard as possible to garner support
The more participants, the more we show ourselves as a truly significant and successful industry. Keith Ramsdale, EA
“We need more participants,” he said. “We already have events that are confirmed and it is an open forum for any organisation to take part in. The more participants, the more we show ourselves as a truly significant and successful industry – and everyone will benefit from the accumulation of all the media attention.
from as many participants as possible,” added Ramsdale. “At the end of the day this is about making a collective noise about this wonderful industry to the key audiences – and I ask everyone who reads this to make
themselves or an appointed person available.” ELSPA will provide organisational and PR support to anyone wanting to add their event to the roster or get involved. A mainstream PR agency will be appointed, guided by a forum of key industry PR and marketing personnel. The reinvigorated focus for the event has also seen the hiring of a dedicated event manager, Kirtsy Payne. Anyone looking to take part can contact her on kirsty.payne @londongamesfestival.co.uk or email@example.com, or by calling 0207 534 0580. Read the full interview about London Games Festival on page 21
TOP 10 RED DEAD REDEMPTION: LIMITED EDITION 360, ROCKSTAR
2. RED DEAD REDEMPTION 360 ....................................ROCKSTAR
3. RED DEAD REDEMPTION: LIM ED PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR
4. UNCHARTED 2 PLATINUM PS3 ..........................................SONY
5. RED DEAD REDEMPTION PS3 ....................................ROCKSTAR
6. UFC UNDISPUTED + 1GB USB PS3 ............................................THQ
7. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
9. MODNATION RACERS PS3 ..........................................SONY
10. SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2 WII ....................................NINTENDO Week ending: May 14th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 41 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… The UK weekly market value fell two per cent to £15.8 million – a minor decrease thanks to strong sales of the latest releases such as Alan Wake. Unit sales fell by only four per cent, again boosted by strong day one sales. EA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup has racked up a third week as the biggest selling title, fending off a trio of big new releases. But those games – Alan Wake, Lost Planet 2 and Skate 3 – nevertheless helped to drive sales further. The market stands to grow from today’s newest releases, which include Rockstar’s hugely anticipated Red Dead Redemption, Disney’s ambitious racer Split/Second: Velocity and Ubisoft’s Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending May 15th 2010
CUP GLORY: FIFA beat new hits such as Alan Wake and LP2
0 Week Ending April 30th
Week Ending May 7th
Week Ending May 15th
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Free NFS won’t leave retail behind Need For Speed World could see ‘top up’ cards on High Street EA says distribution model will beat piracy by Dominic Sacco ON THE CARDS: Need For Speed World could still have a presence on the High Street, despite being a digital-only release
FREE-TO-DOWNLOAD MMO racer Need For Speed World won’t be released at retail, but retailers will be able to sell pre-paid game cards for the franchise’s latest title. Speaking to MCV at EA’s European showcase in London last week, Need For Speed’s producer Jesse Abney explained the difficulties of making an online-only game attractive to retailers. “As a free game that we want to distribute to everyone, we have essentially had to reevaluate how we distribute a
The whole eco system of the games business is still built on retail – we can’t ignore how important that is. Jesse Abney, EA
game with a digital client to aid our retail partners,” Abney said. “In this case we might introduce a product that contains a Need For Speed World activation code – like a
phone card – that the consumer can buy in store.” A micro-transaction system will give players access to new cars, tracks and power-ups in exchange for pre-paid credits.
EA is also confident that Need For Speed World’s new distribution model can tackle piracy and maximise exposure at the same time. Abney added: “We’re fully content to have the digital client distributed via every channel – as well as pirated. “I think the majority of customers still want a material object they can buy and the whole eco system of the games business is built on retail – we
can’t ignore how important that is. “Sony and Microsoft might not care as much if we deliver things digitally, but we have a tremendous number of retail partners that might. “So to do a wholesale transition overnight will have a detrimental impact – it would
be like killing all the blue whales in the ocean and then expecting that there will be no knock-on effect.” Need For Speed World will be released worldwide in July. The franchise has been a regular sales success for EA over the past 16 years. EA: 01483 463 000
Record sales predicted for Big Beach 2 THQ EXPECTS upcoming title Big Beach Sports 2 to become one of the best-selling titles on the Wii. The game follows in the footsteps of 2008’s Big Beach
The original Big Beach Sports became one of the biggest success stories on Nintendo’s console, helping to silence frequent claims that third parties are hard-pressed to
The original Big Beach Sports is the fourth highest-selling third-party Wii title of all time and continues to sell well. Rebecca Attard, THQ
Sports, and is the third title in THQ’s Big franchise after last year’s Big Family Games.
rack up high sales on Wii. Now THQ believes that BBS2 will perform just as well.
“We are really pleased to be launching the sequel to Big Beach Sports this summer,” said THQ’s associate PR manager Rebecca Attard. “The original is the fourth highest selling third-party Wii title of all time. It has continued to generate sales and reached 815,635 units sell-in to date.” After the suburban setting of Big Family Games, THQ has taken the brand back to its roots for this summer’s release. Big Beach Sports 2 features a wide variety of new motionsensitive mini-games set on tropical beaches.
It also introduces Balance Board-compatibility for certain mini-games, such as surfing. THQ believes the crossover between the game’s theme and timely release should help drive sales among its target market. Attard adds: “Big Beach Sports 2 is hitting the market a few weeks before the kids’ summer holidays begin, offering great fun for all the family with both single-player and multiplayer games along with plenty of great beach spots to compete in, including dune buggy racing, surfing and beach football.”
Big Beach Sports 2 is due to be released on the Nintendo Wii on June 25th. THQ: 01483 767656
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GamesMaster mag finally relaunched
MCV to launch on Apple iPad
FUTURE Publishing released the new look GamesMaster this week as part of its ongoing plans to reboot the entire brand. The redesign is the biggest in the publication’s 17-year history and sees the introduction of new features, as well as a shift in focus to incorporate mobile, online and social network games. “With considerable respect from the industry and an unrivalled legacy amongst UK gamers, GamesMaster remains an important gaming brand within Future’s portfolio,” said Simon Maxwell, group publisher, console and online. “This extensive redesign of the monthly magazine kicks off our well-publicised reboot of the GamesMaster brand. We are currently exploring a variety of brand extensions, initially focusing on how GamesMaster is reflected online, through our CVG and GamesRadar networks. “GamesMaster is the UK’s best-selling multiformat games magazine and continues to drive pre-orders and buzz for new games amongst early adopters. With the magazine’s fresh new look and feel, and the appointment of Lee Nutter as publisher, we are able to offer our industry partners some incredibly creative ways of promoting their new launches.” Back in March, MCV reported that Future may be launching a new iteration of the popular GamesMaster TV series this autumn.
by Michael French
Future: 01225 442244
E3 issue will kick off new digital edition App includes video and back issue archive
THE E3 EDITION of MCV will launch as a special iPad app next month, kick-starting a brand new digital edition strategy for the leading games industry publication. Available from June 11th, the interactive version of MCV arrives just days after the UK roll out of the Apple device. Apple launched the iPad in the US at the start of April – the tablet has since sold over 1m units in the territory. The UK version arrives on May 28th, and rolls out in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and Switzerland at the same time. Since launch iPad has sold over 12 million apps through its App Store, as well as over 1.5 million ebooks from the new iBookstore as users start to consume the printed word in different ways. MCV’s iPad app will be a digital version of the weekly magazine. Along with our authoritative news features and
LAUNCH PAD: An enhanced digital edition of MCV will be available for Apple’s iPad every week, starting with the E3 Edition
Launching on iPad is part of our on-going commitment to making MCV content available on all devices. Stuart Dinsey, Intent Media
product coverage, it will contain video segments and various ways to read the magazine.
“Launching on iPad is part of our on-going commitment to making MCV content available
on all devices,” said Intent Media MD Stuart Dinsey. “This digital edition will bring to life our print edition, with rich media options and even wider UK and international circulation. “Our established PC digital edition will also be relaunched at the same time.”
Mindscape enters Sony plots kids’ push digital with Girls Night with PSP Essentials MINDSCAPE takes its first steps into the digital games space next month with the release of U-Sing: Girls’ Night. The karaoke title, which is released on June 18th, will arrive with the launch of the U-Sing Wii Store. This online service allows Wii owners to download new tracks that can be used with any U-Sing title. Girls’ Night already boasts a packed tracklist, with more than
30 songs from leading female artists including Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Pixie Lott, Rihanna and more. “It’s very important that we can offer our content by every viable means,” said UK GM Mark Stanger. “The great thing about the U-Sing digital store is that it adds value for those with a physical version of the game, by extending the catalogue and making those downloads available for life.” Mindscape: 01858 469573
A NEW PSP range is set to boost sales among younger gamers as the holidays approach. Launching on June 4th, the PSP Essentials colleciton encompasses more than 20 best-selling handheld titles at new sub-£10 price points. “We’re aiming this series mainly at children and their families, encouraging them to get some new games for the summer,” said Sony product manager Claire Backhouse. “The price points mean
that even kids can afford top titles with their pocket money.” Rebranded editions of games such as FIFA, LocoRoco and Ben 10 will now be available for £9.99 on UMD or £7.99 via PSN. The range will benefit from a dedicated marketing campaign, with TV spots and print ads kicking off in mid-July. Sony: 020 7859 5000
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4mm reveals European battleplan New publisher wants UK studio European marketing director named ‘Konami partnership key,’ says Heath by Christopher Dring 4MM WANTS to set up a development studio in the UK in a bid to become a ‘global digital publisher.’ The US publisher/developer – which is currently working on promising music game Def Jam Rapstar – set up a UK sales and marketing office last
“Opening a UK studio is absolutely something we’re looking at,” said Geoff Heath. “The UK has a tremendous talent pool and history in games. We will be watching closely to see if the new Government follows through on its pre-election proposals. “The 4mm team feels that we are very much at the
The UK has a tremendous talent pool and history in games. Opening a UK studio is something we’re looking at. Geoff Heath, 4mm
month, and has recruited industry veteran Geoff Heath to its advisory board. The firm has told MCV that part of its plans to become a major player in the digital and social games market includes opening a UK studio – if the Government can follow through on the promise of tax breaks.
beginning of the social games market. Def Jam Rapstar is a social game, not in the pure ‘game played on a social network’ sense, but with the extensive online play and promotional metagame across social networks. “We think you will see the lines blurring over time as to
RAPPING TO EUROPE: 4mm hopes to open a UK development studio to produce titles like Def Jam Rapstar
what a social game is – we see a future where ‘social’ becomes a feature – where all games build in social hooks to better engage their players.” 4mm has also announced the appointment of Gavin Shackell to its UK office as European marketing director.
WEEK E H T F O N IG A P M A C ELOCITY SPLIT/SECOND: V Disney prepares its major racing release with a creative marketing plan…
RELEASED: MAY 21 FORMATS: 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: DISNEY DEVELOPER: BLACK ROCK STUDIO PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
Shackell joins from EMI Music where he held the role of VP of European marketing. Meanwhile, the firm says that despite setting up a UK office it won’t be handling European distribution itself. “4mm has established a great relationship with Konami
TV Users can create their own race sequence online from game footage and enter it into a competition. The winner will get their movie used in a UK TV ad spot. Disney will also advertise editorial-style spots on MTV featuring one of the channel’s presenters.
and they have been incredibly supportive of Def Jam Rapstar,” added Heath. The game features a number of tracks from leading rap artists including Dizee Rascal’s ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ and Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger’. www.4mmgames.com
game’s ambassador. He has provided the developer with feedback and will help promote the game. CINEMA A national cinema campaign will attract potential buyers with a series of high definition film spots. PRINT Advertising will appear in consumer print and trade press publications.
EVENTS Consumers had the chance to play the game at The Gadget Show Live and the 2009 Eurogamer Expo. Petrolheads will also be able to see it at the automotive Modified Nationals show on May 28th to 30th. Disney claims this attracts the family, tech savvy, gaming and car enthusiast audiences.
ONLINE Ads and editorial articles will appear on several gaming websites, as well as an official downloadable Split/Second: Velocity magazine appearing on Gamerzines.
CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT Disney has signed Manchester City and Engand footballer Shaun Wright-Phillips as the
RETAIL Disney will provide retail with a range of POS materials and instore trialling.
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Ubi on top in monthly charts Just Dance leads April charts as UK market value falls EA relinquishes No.1 spot by Christopher Dring EA’S THREE-MONTH stay at the top of the UK monthly charts is at an end as Ubisoft is declared the biggest publisher in April, according to GfK Chart-Track. It was a tough month for the UK games industry. In terms of value the market is down 22.2 per cent compared to the same period the year before, and in terms of units the market is down 23.5 per cent year-on-year. Ubisoft took an 18.6 per cent share of the UK software market last month, rising up to the top of the publisher rankings after sitting in fifth position in March. EA slipped to second with 18.1 per cent, but is still well ahead of Nintendo which sits in third place with a 14 per cent share. The reason for Ubisoft’s triumph was down to the continued success of its MCV Award-winning Just Dance, which was April’s biggest seller. The game has sold over
1m copies in the UK since its release in November last year. Ubisoft also secured second position in the April Top Ten with the arrival of its anticipated stealth sequel, Splinter Cell: Conviction, while EA grabbed third place with its FIFA World Cup game. Ubisoft’s UK MD Rob Cooper told MCV: “It is a great start to the new financial year – Splinter Cell: Conviction has performed well and Just Dance continues to be a huge seller. “With Prince of Persia released today (21st May) and the rest of the exciting line-up we have for this year, I am confident of maintaining a high level of success.” In terms of the value of games sold, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 held a 30.9 per cent share of the software market, with PS3 in second place (23.6 per cent) and Wii following closely behind in third position (21.4 per cent). GfK Chart-Track: 020 8741 7585
SQUARE ENIX: The publisher posted its best annual financial results since the merger of Square Co and Enix Corporation in 2003. Operating income was up 130 per cent at £210m. Net sales increased 41.7 per cent. NINTENDO: DS sales in the US saw a year-on-year decrease of 600,000 units in April, despite selling over 1m during the same period. This was due to the DSi’s launch in April 2009. Wii sales were down 63,000 year-on-year.
THE APRIL TOP TEN 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Just Dance .............................................................................Ubisoft Splinter Cell: Conviction......................................................Ubisoft FIFA World Cup 2010 ...................................................................EA GTA: Episodes From Liberty City ..................................Rockstar Battlefield: Bad Company 2 .......................................................EA Wii Fit Plus ..........................................................................Nintendo Wii Sports Resort ..............................................................Nintendo Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 ...................................Activision Just Cause 2 .................................................................Square Enix Pokemon: Soul Silver .......................................................Nintendo
New UK sales force Hive to share THQ’s Splatters over retail UFC 2010 success A NEW GAMES marketing agency Splatter is calling on publishers to utilise its unique services, promising them a cost-effective way to get their titles into retail. In addition to running marketing campaigns for games firms, Splatter also boasts a sales solution. The company helps publishers pitch their products to retailers, with the focus on bringing European titles to the UK. It can arrange in-store activities from staff demos to launch parties. Splatter was set up in February by former Channel Advantage man Jonathan
SPLATTER HOUSE: Dunnett helps publishers pitch products
Dunnett, who now works as Splatter’s owner and director of sales and marketing. “We feel we are the most cost-effective agency in this industry and offer some unique services,” said Dunnett. Splatter: 07812 353116
UBISOFT: A new retail version of Assassin’s Creed II – dubbed The Complete Edition – will hit retail on June 4th. It includes a full copy of the game and both DLC expansions.
PERIPHERALS specialist Hive Entertainment will benefit from the release of THQ’s UFC Undisputed 2010. Hitting shelves around the same time as the game will be Hive’s Round 5 World of MMA Champions series – a range of UFC fighter figurines priced at £12.99 each. THQ’s UFC Undisputed 2009 sold 3.5 million units worldwide. With the 2010 edition expected to top this, Hive believes its own UFC range will also be a hit.
“As UFC fans ourselves, we wanted these officially licensed figures to be available in time for the release of the new Undisputed game,” said Hive’s director Steve Nicholas. “It is evident from the popularity of last year’s 2009 outing that gamers have really embraced UFC and with the launch of THQ’s UFC 2010, this is the perfect time to make these collectable figures available.” Hive Entertainment: 07872 692486
SEGA: Sega Sammy Holdings posted year-onyear profits of £151.8m up from a loss of £171.3m in the same period last year, while total sales were down 10.4 per cent. WARNER BROS: Super Scribblenauts has been given an autumn release window. It’s the sequel to the popular DS title Scribblenauts which has hold over 1.1m copies worldwide. KONAMI: Profits rose 22.4 per cent year-on-year for Konami during its fiscal year ending March 31st at $143.4m, and revenues fell 15.4 per cent at $2.8bn.
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MCV INTERVIEW SCOTT GUTHRIE, GM & EXEC VP, MTV GAMES
MTV’s Euro Vision Rock Band may be the market leading music game in the US, but in Europe it lags firmly behind the Guitar Hero series. Christopher Dring speaks to MTV Games boss Scott Guthrie to discuss the firm’s new European office, its plans to unseat Activision and the appointment of industry veteran Roy Campbell… How have MTV Games and Rock Band performed in Europe so far? The positive is that we see Europe as the biggest opportunity for growth. The reality is we have underperformed in this market, certainly versus our competitor. We had decent growth with The Beatles: Rock Band, but we absolutely believe there is much more to come from us for the European territories.
TOP OF THE POPS: MTV Games’ Scott Guthrie is confident the company can be the market leader in all forms of music gaming
How does the company plan to turn things around? It is a fairly straightforward game plan – we need to have more feet on the ground so that we’ve got dedicated resources that will be able to collaborate and work with our EA and Mad Catz partners. One of the new people you’ve hired is Roy Campbell. What can he bring to the business? As you know this is a very competitive market place, particularly here in the UK. I’d say the UK is the toughest territory for anyone in the gaming business. There is a lot of price compression. So somebody with Roy’s experience is key. He allows us to be nimble, he will hopefully team up quickly with our partners, and then be able to go out to the marketplace and achieve the required growth. Is the long-term plan to stick with EA or will MTV look to go it alone? We have a partnership that is not longterritories for a music-based business, and term, but we have been together a long we expect to participate in the 16 to 17 time. These things are contractually per cent sizing that the music/rhythm bound, but in terms of how we space has in these markets. Our goal is approach the partnership, it is longto be the number one player in music term. Electronic Arts is I’d say the UK is the toughest fully supportive of what we are trying to do and territory for anyone in the they’re really the key gaming business. There is a drivers in helping us lot of price compression. achieve our objectives.
How much market share are you looking for in Europe and the UK? It varies from territory to territory. The UK and Nordic countries are good
Scott Guthrie, MTV Games
games. We have a long way to go, and we are playing catch-up – we were not the first people in the market and we’re
up against not just a formidable opponent in Activision, but also Sony with the SingStar franchise. There are several things in play here – but we absolutely believe we can be the market leader. In the UK Guitar Hero is No.1. How can you unseat this franchise? Guitar Hero absolutely is the market leader in Europe, but that’s not the case back in the US, so we have been able to do this before. We think we have better gameplay, better song selection and a better online presence. When you
access Rock Band’s DLC we have over 1,000 songs, whereas they have a third of that. We really believe that with the launch of Rock Band 3 – which is a significant upgrade to what we had before – we believe we can take market share aware from them. At the end of the day, what we are trying to do is isolate what our consumer is looking for, and hopefully grow his or her participation in our games. Gaining market share is our secondary objective. We want to please our consumers and expand our consumer base. Music is one of those things where there may be some songs on Guitar
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MCV INTERVIEW SCOTT GUTHRIE, GM & EXEC VP, MTV GAMES Hero that isn’t in our title that a consumer wants to play, so hopefully they will enjoy both products. So both businesses can be compatible with each other. How important is Rock Band’s digital element to your overall business? I think it is critical no matter what entertainment category you’re in. For us the disc has always been the entry point for our game, but then that disc opens up a whole other world of opportunities through DLC. For example, we can feature a new artist every month for download. DLC allows the franchise to stay alive and it keeps it interesting. But one is not separate from the other. We don’t see it is a digital business and a boxed business, both are connected to one another. We know that space at retail is tight and expensive, and it has to be a huge opportunity for retail to give up that space. So digital allows us to compliment what we are doing on a day-to-day basis. Do you think it will ever reach a stage where you won’t need to release a disc and can just update the game through DLC? I don’t know. The consumer will tell us how they want to get their entertainment. But I don’t see that happening in the short term. I see that there is still a need for us to distribute product through bricks and mortar. One of your digital initiatives has been the Rock Band Network. What’s been the response to that? It has been really fun and is exceeding our expectations in the number of artists that are using it. We expected artists that have yet to make a living out of music to be putting their songs on the network. But what we are finding is that very well-known artists are also using it – we’re more than doubling the number of artists we anticipated. Activision is looking to grow the market by targeting other music fans through DJ Hero and Band Hero. What are your thoughts on this strategy? I will speak for my franchise, because I can’t talk for theirs. But we believe that Rock Band can suit different genres. You may have an inclination to metal or to country, but we believe that once you
GOT THE GREEN LIGHT: Guthrie says Green Day’s history and fans makes the group more suitable for Rock Band than The Beatles
have played our game with your chosen genre you can then go on and enjoy a different style. Rock Band can bring families together. That is what was so cool about The Beatles. It allowed parents to introduce that music to their children, but it also allowed the children to go on the Rock Band store and introduce Green Day to the parents.
that this isn’t a band that has been around for short period – they’ve been going 21 years. They have a great history. For the core gamer market, Green Day probably has a much higher awareness than perhaps The Beatles did. Were you happy with how The Beatles: Rock Band performed? The honest answer is no. We were expecting higher sales. We got caught in a few things that happened last year. It was a tough economy; there was a lot of competitive products out there, and I think Beatles probably had softer sales than it would have if some of those things weren’t in play. Overall we were pleased with the sales. I think that we
The Beatles and Green Day certainly have very different fans. But if you don’t want to get stuck focussing on a specific genre, then why release band-specific titles? First and foremost it has to be a band that wants to work with us and has a story to tell. And that story has to be able to translate into the game itself. We know I don’t see DLC replacing new that consumers like a music games in the short wide range of music, so term. There is still a need to we are trying to walk distribute these through retail. that fine balance of Scott Guthrie, MTV Games giving consumers what they want but also, when we have the opportunity to work with a underestimated the competition and great band like Green Day, to be able to they took mind share away from us. embrace it and tell their story. The music genre still performed well.
Would you say that perhaps a band like Green Day is more suited to Rock Band’s audience than perhaps The Beatles were? Yeah, I think that is a fair statement. I think that our core audience of 16 to 34-year-old males are much more familiar with Green Day music than The Beatles. What is interesting about Green Day is
So you don’t agree that the music genre is in terminal decline? Yes, when you look at share year-overyear, it is in decline. But what has happened is that people now have the plastic peripherals in their homes. You could argue the instruments should never have been part of the share in the first place, because in terms of software
our business was up 73 per cent yearon-year. I believe that was also the case with Guitar Hero. I think that is where we are in the evolution of music games. Most people have their instruments and they are only looking to buy the software. Music games are still significant in the marketplace – they’re the number two genre behind shooters. Like any big genre, it will have its ups and downs, but it will be built on new content and creativity, and those will be the things that decide whether consumers want to keep investing in music games. Why should we be excited for Rock Band 3? At E3, you’ll see that Harmonix has spent two years on an engine upgrade and creating the next evolution of Rock Band. Unlike the other guy, we haven’t been bringing a new game out every year. Sure, last year we had The Beatles but that was more about the content. This time we have lots of great, new music and some new consumer features you will find interesting.
What about MTV Games’ ambitions outside of the music genre? We’re very focused on leveraging the assets of MTV, which is a music, popculture business, and the ability of the Harmonix studio, which is music-based as well. You will see some things announced at E3 that will focus around both the music and pop-culture elements.
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A new political era ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson discusses British politics, LGF and new staff... THE LAST FEW weeks will doubtless be seen by historians as a truly remarkable time in British history, the outcome of which will have a huge impact on UK business not least the games industry. In the run up to the General Election, having developed our policy agenda, ELSPA looked at the most effective ways to impose the needs of our industry on the future Government. It was clear to us that the General Election outcome would be close, though we did not predict the astonishing result leading to such a political pickle. Nevertheless, to ensure maximum influence of our policy agenda we decided that the best possible approach was to communicate our messages to all three parties. At the time we were a little concerned that our strategy meant that we were spreading our resources and messages too thinly. However, this has proved to be rather prudent as we have now been assured that regardless of the colour (or colours) of our new Government, our next Minister will be up to speed regarding the video games industry well before his civil service briefing paper arrives. With this in mind we very much hope to see early progress on our policy agenda including the implementation of PEGI, the beginning of the consultation into tax breaks, exploration into the viability of a ‘games council’ and support for our skills agenda via StemNet and SkillSet. Sticking with Parliamentary issues for a moment, I’m sure you are aware that, as part of the Digital Economy Act, provision has been made to allow PEGI to become the legal system for classifying games in
the UK. Once appointed, the new Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will need to ask Parliament to approve his choice
campaign to educate the public about the changes to the law and what the PEGI symbols actually mean. To ensure the maximum impact of this
We’re assured that regardless of the new Government’s colours, our PM will be up to speed on the games industry. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA
of ratings body (‘The Video Standards Council’), and alter the packaging and labelling regulations accordingly. These approvals will take a little while so we are not expecting PEGI to become the sole classifier for video games in the UK until the autumn at the earliest. As soon as we have firm information, we will update you accordingly. This will also mean big changes for consumers. We are therefore already developing a
campaign, we are creating a working group of the great and the good from our industry. Therefore if you have an interest in this area, please do get in contact. As you will read on the page opposite, we are delighted to be supporting London Games Festival again this year at which events will run throughout the month of October. ELSPA is employing Kirsty Payne as a consultant to drive participation in the
festival and ensure that publicfacing PR is co-ordinated as we approach and lead into the festival. Alongside the exciting consumer events that are already planned and in discussion, we will be using the festival as an opportunity to showcase our industry, our creativity and cutting edge technological developments to policy makers and Parliamentarians. With the launch of Natal already lined up for October and Sony’s Move likely not to be far behind, we are in a great position to demonstrate the economic and cultural value interactive entertainment can bring to this country. These events are a great opportunity for you to build a relationship with your local MP, so do think about how you can get involved, what products or events you might like to showcase and how we can
help your company make the most of the festival. On a final note, many of you will probably have seen our advertisements for two new positions; a commercial manager and a public affairs and communications manager. We had a great response and interviews are taking place right now. This investment in the association’s team is a vital part of our future plans for UKIE to ensure that we have the scope and capacity to deliver a first class service to our members and the industry. As part of this drive the development of our vision, together with our re-branding is well under way and on course for a late summer launch. I look forward to seeing you then – by which time, I hope, the UK economic and political climate will be considerably more settled.
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MCV 21/05/10 17
London Calling EA MD Keith Ramsdale talks exclusively to MCV about ELSPA’s plans for this year’s London’s Games Festival…
FULL LIST OF MEMBERS 505 Games Activision Blizzard Avanquest Software
Is London Games Festival definitely returning this year? When is it and what will it consist of? Yes it is; the Festival will run throughout October. The LGF is to make London a focus for Interactive Entertainment and to engage with media, consumers and Government. The London Games Festival is made up of individual events led by seperate companies all brought together under the LGF umbrella. ELSPA will coordinate the full festival as well as organise the ELSPA-specific events to be determined. There will be Festival PR led by ELSPA but each event’s PR will be down to the organising participant.
CD Team CDV Software Capcom Centresoft Codemasters Disney Interactive Studios Electronic Arts Eurogamer Fidelity Investment Services Focus Multimedia Frontier Future Publishing GAME Group Gamebridge Hasbro Intent Media Koch Media Konami Majesco Europe
How can the industry make the most of LGF? Is this just for publishers, or can retail play a part too? The LGF is an open format allowing stakeholders and participants to hold shared or autonomous events as they deem appropriate. We also encourage people to run bespoke events of course. However if a participant already has planned activities then we just ask that they be held under the LGF banner. This could well mean that no additional investment would be needed as the activities a
Mastertronic Microsoft Midas Interactive
benefit from the accumulation of all the media attention. The more there is for consumers and the Government to see and take part in, the more successful an image we will be and the amplification of noise will be louder. ELSPA will take ownership of the LGF and provide organisational and PR support. ELSPA will facilitate the calendar of events and activities and will be pro-
The more participants, the more we show ourselves as a truly significant and successful industry. Keith Ramsdale, EA
participant organises may already be budgeted and planned for. What needs to happen for LGF to grow in profile in 2010, after a very quiet festival last year? We need more participants. We already have events that are confirmed and it is an open forum for any organisation to take part in. The more participants, the more we show ourselves as a truly significant and successful industry – and everyone will
active to the trade and stakeholders to fill the calendar. ELSPA will work as hard as possible to garner support from as many participants as possible.
Who is leading the LGF project this year? This year we are lucky to have secured Kirsty Payne who will manage the event. Anyone looking to take part or find out more should contact Kirsty at kirsty.payne @londongamesfestival.co.uk or email@example.com or
contact +44 (0) 207 534 0580. In addition to Kirsty, we will have a retained Mainstream PR Agency and much of the comms and marketing initiatives will be formed as an output of a forum of lead marketing ad PR experts from the Industry. What do you want the event to achieve? There are three key desired outcomes from this year’s London Games Festival: Engagement of mainstream and dedicated media in a coordinated and centrally-led London Games Festival. Engagement of consumers in interactive entertainment events for four weeks in and around London. Engagement of Westminster – with a monthlong focus on cultural and economic benefits of games and interactive entertainment as a whole.
this year than live events as such? The LGF isn’t bound by dates and both the events you mentioned will be taking place under the LGF banner. We have flexibility. At the end of the day this is about making a collective noise about this wonderful industry to the key audiences mentioned above. We all believe that this is where the ‘whole will be greater than the sum of the parts’. Kirsty will be looking to make contact with as many players in the industry as humanly possible and I ask everyone who reads this to make themselves or an appointed person available.
Namco Bandai Games Europe NCSoft Europe Nintendo UK Nordic Games Publishing PlayV Rising Star Games Sega Europe SCEE Sony DADC Square Enix THQ International Take-Two Tecmo Koei The Stationery Office Tradewest Ubisoft Warner Bros ZeniMax Europe /Bethesda
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< JOIN TODAY...
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JOINING ELSPA GO TO Two key events, Eurogamer Expo and London Games Conference, took place during LGF last year, but both have moved to either ends of the month – will they be part of LGF this year? Or is LGF more about marketing and PR
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MCV 21/05/10 19
INDIE ROUND TABLE
Independent thinking It may be in decline, but independent retail remains a lucrative sector for some of the more savvy businessmen out there. To celebrate last week’s Top 20 indie feature, MCV and Nindie.com hosted a special dinner for a selection of the winners to discuss the burning issues affecting the sector…
OUR INDIE PANEL (from left to right): Shaun Mulvey – Powerplay Direct, Martin Marriot – Nintendo, Robert Lindsay – Games Centre, Paul Nicholls – Koch, Nick Elliot – Barkman Computers, Chris Harwood – Grainger Games, Jason Cooling – Koch, Phil Moore – Grainger Games, James Rowson – ShopTo, Neil Muspratt – Simply Games, Matthew Brady – Game On and Matthew Bowdon – DVD.co.uk
What are the biggest challenges facing the independent games retail business today? Nick Elliot, Barkman Computers: A lot of the time it is about availability. One of the biggest problems we have is when national accounts have exclusive versions or tin boxes or exclusive content, and in these areas we just can’t compete. But we do whatever we can.
What challenges are there online? Matthew Bowden, DVD.co.uk: Online competition is very fierce at the moment with the likes of Amazon being particularly aggressive on price, so it can be difficult to get a good price point for your customers. The key is picking the titles our bigger rivals are not concentrating on. If they are focusing on Avatar, we will focus on a different DVD. We did the same with Harry Potter and Modern Warfare 2.
Matthew Brady, Game On: It is very tough, especially when rivals sell below cost. But One weakness of High Street you do get loyal customers chains is that they follow a who come back, because it specific brand identity – is about availability, independents don’t have to. customer service, customer Shaun Mulvey, Powerplay Direct knowledge and they can trade games in as well. How interested are you in the How important has online become digital market? to your business? Shaun Mulvey, Powerplay Direct: Phil Moore, Grainger Games: We Digital is something that everyone from know where we are online, and it still an independent perspective has to look needs progressing. The good thing is at. We are obviously researching it, and that online our like-for-like sales have where appropriate we will implement it. performed extremely well, with double digit growth. That can only get better Matthew Bowden: We are hoping to because of the added focus online – we have some digital download content on have just hired a specific online monitor. our site for this Christmas. Games will
be the first thing we introduce before music or video. Robert Lindsay, Games Centre: We have no plans in digital. At the moment we don’t see where the opportunity is in digital. I’d like to see if we could, but at the moment it is physical product we are working on. In what ways do you compete with the big multiple retailers such as GAME and Amazon? Shaun Mulvey: One of the weakness of the High Street is that you have 100 stores in a chain that is following a very specific brand identity – independents don’t have to follow that. As an independent we can communicate and engage with our local community at a much better level.
James Rowson, ShopTo: The major difference between the multiples and us from a sales perspective is mass-market product. Look at Just Dance. It could be No.1 every week, it could sell up to 40,000 every week, but it is on Wii and is something we almost can’t give away.
But give us Yakuza or Demon’s Souls and we can build up hundreds, if not thousands of pre-orders in under 72 hours. What advice would you give to a struggling indie, or someone trying to open their own store? Matthew Bowden: The biggest challenge is getting the suppliers to take you seriously. You’ve got to stick with it. It’s no easier to set up an online store than a bricks and mortar outlet. And it is getting the supply chain. If you have good supply relationships, then you can definitely compete on the market place. Neil Muspratt, Simply Games: The most sensible thing to do is not fight every fight. We could build a volume business and make no money. Our mantra is to always try and make money.
TOP 20 UK INDIES MCV and Nindie.com offer a rundown of the best indie game stores in the UK.
Visit tinyurl.com/top20indies or turn to page 14 in last week’s MCV.
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TERRITORY REPORT: SOUTH AFRICA
[THE FACTS: SOUTH AFRICA] Population: 49,320,000 Currency: Rand (ZAR) GDP (Per Capita): $10,243 Capital Cities: Pretoria (executive), Bloemfontein (judicial), Cape Town (legislative) Languages: Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu Distributors: Core, Apex Interactive, Ster-Kinekor, Megarom, Comztek, Prima, Nu Metro Key retailers: Pick ‘n’ Pay, Jet, Makro, Checkers, Incredible Connection, Hifi Corporation, BT Games, Look ‘n’ Listen, Musica, Toyzone, Reggies, Toys R Us, GAME
TOTAL GAMES MARKET VALUE
SOFTWARE UNIT SALES SPLIT 2009
HW -1% YoY
SW +14% YoY
A land of diversity South Africa plays host to the World Cup next month, but is it as welcoming to games companies as it is to footballers? Christopher Dring looks at the challenges the country has faced in the last year... MARKET OVERVIEW The games market in South Africa was worth 1.72 billion rand (£152 million), a seven per cent rise in sales over 2008. However, so far in 2010 revenues are down year-on-year, with industry estimates suggesting that by the end of the year the market would be flat. PS2 is the strongest selling platform by quite a long way with almost 845,000 consoles sold, PSP is the second most successful console with an installed base of 170,000 (see Estimated Installed Bases). Console unit sales in 2009 showed a decline for Xbox 360, which was due to the collapse of the platform holder’s
South African distributor, MI Digital. The fastest rising platform is PS3, which saw a year-on-year sales increase of 36 per cent. PS3 software sales also shot up in 2009, with unit sales up 55 per cent compared to 2009. Meanwhile, a major growth category for publishers has been mobile gaming. The most popular games in South Africa are driving and sports titles, namely Need For Speed, FIFA and Gran Turismo. Traditional shooters such as Grand Theft Auto and Gears of War also perform strongly. Unfortunately these increasing sales are offset by South Africa’s severe
piracy problem, despite the efforts of anti-piracy group SAFACT. “South Africa still has strong sales on the PS2 console, even though it is not strong in Europe,” says Apex International director Quinton Davie. “Piracy has always been an issue in South Africa, as it is in the rest of the world. The problem is South Africa is also far away from other markets, geographically, which makes it a little difficult to keep release dates exactly to international release dates. “We also had delays in stock arriving in South Africa due to the flight cancellations from the Volcanic eruption
in Iceland, we’re very dependent on air travel because we are so far away from the UK and Europe, where we get most of our goods from, as we are also a PAL territory when it comes to the console market.” EA South Africa’s Charmaine van Niekerk adds: “Our biggest challenge is that our strongest install base is still PS2 and most of the developers are not catering for this format anymore and that leaves us with very limited new product to service this demand. Piracy is always a challenge for us. Not so much online as actual product being shipped in from the east.”
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MCV 21/05/10 21
TERRITORY REPORT: SOUTH AFRICA
TERRITORY ANALYSIS Chris Stanton-Jones of emerging market specialists Catapult Business Solutions provides us with an overview of the South African games market…
ESTIMATED INSTALLED BASES DEC 2009
The PS2’s lead over the other consoles is quite clear and not uncommon in lesserdeveloped markets. Interestingly, the PSP is not only ahead of its rival – the Nintendo DS – but also the three major consoles. Like other markets around the world, the Wii maintains a lead over Microsoft and Sony’s consoles.
600k 400k 200k 0 Household Penetration
The video game development sector in South Africa is very small, only a handful of games are developed in the sector – with the most famous being a ‘90s PC title called Toxic Bunny. Any developers in the region work largely on mobile and digital titles. A publication called Dev.Mag for South African developers exists that serves this underused community. Most South Africans trying to break into games development end up having to work abroad. “We have had a few smaller companies developing games but I think the biggest challenge here is the cost of development,” comments EA South Africa’s Charmaine van Niekerk. “One of the developers on Need For Speed: Shift is from South Africa.”
South African retailers can be found mostly in enclosed shopping malls due to problems with crime in the country. There are a wide array of games outlets, including national chains, toy outlets, music retailers and specialists. The biggest specialist is BT Games, which has around 25 stores in the country. The firm is well known for its pre-order initiatives, which allows it to secure more new release sales than its rivals. Interestingly, storebased shopping is popular in South Africa and is more widely adopted than internet shopping.
In terms of distribution, Megarom is the dominant local distributor ahead of EA and Ster Kinekor. However, distribution is very expensive in South Africa and only really occurs in the main towns. Last year, Xbox 360 console distributor MI Digital entered liquidation and Microsoft has since switched distribution to PC specialists Comztek. “The retail market is very strong in general,” says EA South Africa’s Charmaine van Niekerk. “A good mix of specialist and mass merchants ensures we are able to reach a very diverse target market.”
South Africa’s economy had its worst year in 2009 for a long time as GDP and consumer spending reduced year-on-year. Despite tough trading conditions, however, the total video games market grew in 2009 by seven per cent, with even stronger growth of software alone at 14 per cent. 2010 growth is expected to be lower, nevertheless, and trading in the first quarter is reported as down versus last year. 2009 was a good year for Sony with PS2 (remarkably) still the fastest-selling console, PSP outselling the DS and PS3 regaining its week-on-week sell through lead over Xbox 360. Nintendo has achieved good sales results from Wii, which is now has the second highest installed base of all TV based consoles after PS2, but DS is performing poorly. Microsoft has had a troubled 2009 following the demise of their distributor and a loss of market share to other formats. Despite this, they maintain an installed base lead over PS3. PC is still the second largest software format after PS2, although its market share is slipping slightly. There are few changes in the retail landscape apart from the continued growth of the games specialist chain BT Games. There have been no bankruptcies amongst the key accounts although retailers are reportedly being cautious in their buy-in. In terms of key challenges, with few new PS2 titles being released – what will fill the gap? PS2 titles currently represent 30 per cent of market volume and 15-20 per cent of revenue. Xbox also has some work to do to regain lost momentum in 2009. The market, however, is one of great opportunity. It still has much room to grow and there are signs that it is now starting to open up to the mass market. The software format with the greatest growth opportunity for publishers is PS3.
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MCV 21/05/10 23
MCM EXPO PREVIEW
Show & Sell
WHILE THE Midlands event is also popular, it’s the London iteration of the MCM Expo that thousands look forward to. Held in the city’s ExCeL centre, this twice-yearly show is a celebration of all things related to movies, comics, manga and more. Given the crossover between demographics, games are becoming an increasingly important part of the expo and this year is no exception. From publishers to platform holders, some of the industry’s biggest companies are preparing the products they’ll be showing off at the upcoming May expo, as well as gauging the public’s reaction as they plan ahead for the event’s larger October counterpart. Event promoter Bryan Cooney says: “May’s London MCM Expo is going to be a blast for everyone taking part. The advance ticket sales are already up 30 per cent compared to last year so smashing the 40,000 consumers we saw over the two days in 2009 looks a certainty. “We are so pleased to have some great publishers on board. Plans for October’s show are already well underway with a record number of publishers registering their interest, including Nintendo, Tecmo Koei and Ubisoft which are already confirmed. “If publishers keep supporting London MCM Expo, it will be without doubt the number one consumer event for video games.”
As the MCM Expo returns to London, publishers and platform holders will be showcasing their titles directly to consumers. James Batchelor provides a run-down of what gaming fans can expect…
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Transformers: War for Cybertron
While the publisher won’t be showing off any new games, it will have a strong presence thanks to some viral marketing for Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands. There will be giant banners in the main hall and special masquerade sponsorship with Prince of Persia goodies, with a poster and discount voucher for the game given to the first 5,000 attendees. The MCM show guide will also promote the game.
Dragon Quest IX Monster Hunter Tri Professor Layton Super Mario Galaxy 2 Sin and Punishment Samurai Warriors 3 WarioWare DIY
“This is part of our Nintendo Unleashed gamer’s tour where we are visiting the biggest events in the country where gamers’ might be found,” says Nintendo UK’s head of communications Rob Saunders.
“We want to show that Wii and DS have titles that even the most hardcore gamer can enjoy and feel challenged by – and MCM Expo really gives us the opportunity to showcase those. “We hope that the attendees enjoy playing these titles, along with all the other awesome games we’ve got.”
Activision will stand out at the show thanks to two of its most successful licences and its newest IP. “We are delighted to announce that both Blur and Transformers: War for Cybertron will be shown at this years MCM Expo,” says Activision brand manager Natalie Giles. “Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions will also be in a dedicated area and
we are excited to be able to showcase all of these highly anticipated titles to consumers.” MCM Expo is set to have the world’s first playable demo of Transformers.
As an extra treat for fans, Yuri Lowenthal – the voice of the Prince – will be attending and signing posters. Brand manager Jan Sanghera says: “The MCM Expo has evolved over the years and it’s a great way to target a young audience of people who love games, manga and films. We hope to further raise awareness for The Forgotten Sands and remind attendees that the game is on sale.”
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MCM EXPO PREVIEW
RISING STAR GAMES
AND THE REST...
Konami will be holding the UK Yu-GiOh! Trading Card Game National Championship and the Yu-Gi-Oh! DS National Championship throughout the weekend. Fans will be able to battle it out with both the trading cards and the publisher’s most recent DS release, Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2010. Konami hopes to see up to 394 entrants for each tournament, who will be whittled down until a national champion has been found.
No More Heroes 2 Samurai Shodown Sen
MCM Expo will be aiming to set a Guinness World Record for the largest handheld game console party. Attendees are invited to bring their DS and a game on May 29th in the hopes of breaking the record set by Australia back in October 2007. As part of this Nintendo will be giving consumers the chance to win one of five DSi XLs, with other random prizes up for grabs from other exhibitors.
“The MCM Expo is the largest consumer event of this kind in the UK and provides us with a unique and direct contact with our core consumers,” comments product manager Yen Hau. “It is a very relaxed atmosphere and you can genuinely tell people about your games in an upfront and friendly manner.
Tecmo Koei will be leading with a playable version of Quantum Theory – the first time gamers have been able to get hands-on with the game outside of the Tokyo Game Show. The publisher will also be selling a limited edition figurine of Kasumi from Dead or Alive: Paradise. “For us MCM Expo is mainly about having a place where our fans can come and play the new games and
Namco Bandai will be supporting the Manga Entertainment stand with demo pods for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 and Dragon Ball: Origins 2.
The champion will then go on to play in either the card tournament’s European Championship or the DS World Finals.
“As it is not a dedicated games event, the people who attend just want to have fun and see what is new, so there is no pressure to ‘outperform’ another publisher or say who had the best game on show. We hope to build upon our already strong relationship with this key market audience for Rising Star Games.”
meet and greet with our staff,” says TKE’s sales and marketing vice president Will Curley. “We get great feedback from the visitors and we can also source some nice items for them from Japan. It helps create an all-round experience of Tecmo Koei – there’s a lot more to our franchises than just the games.”
Hasbro will be showcasing a playable version of XBLA title Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers, based on the popular Wizards Of The Coast trading card game. The firm will also be promoting the upcoming launch of the PC version, due this summer. Wizards of the Coast’s assistant brand manager Lupita Garcia says: “London Expo is a good event for us to be at, where we aim to reach a wide audience to showcase both the cards and Duels of the Planeswalkers.” Turtle Entertainment will be running professional gaming tournaments as part of the ongoing Electronic Sports League’s ESL Pro Series for the UK.
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26 MCV588_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 26 MCV 21/05/10
Robert Price to leave Future for Fox CEO departs media giant Campbell joins MTV Games New VPs for disabled games charity SpecialEffect FOX ROBERT PRICE will join Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment as UK managing director this summer. Price will leave his position as UK chief executive of Future Publishing, a company he has worked for since 1998. During his time at Future, he has also held roles such as publishing director and UK MD. He will retain his current responsibilities while Future searches for a replacement. “Robert will leave Future with our very best wishes,” said Future’s group CEO STEVIE SPRING. “He moves into an adjacent sector where his experience will be very
Price is set to leave Future after 12 years at the firm
valuable, and we look forward to working with him for many years to come. “Until his departure, I’ll spend more of my time working closely with him to manage our business to ensure it’s business as usual.”
MTV GAMES The firm has hired ROY CAMPBELL to lead its international business. Campbell’s most recent position was vice president of global sales and marketing for City Interactive. More notably, he has previously held a variety of roles at THQ, including UK MD, as well as working at Rage, Virgin and Infogrames UK. His appointment comes as MTV Games moves to expand
its presence in Europe. As part of this, Campbell will be responsible for setting up a European team for the firm, which will be based in London. “It is a fairly straightforward game plan – to have more feet on the ground so that we’ve got dedicated resources that will be able to collaborate and work with our friends at EA,” said MTV games executive VP and GM SCOTT GUTHRIE. “We believe bringing in someone with Roy’s experience and skill set will allow us to be much more nimble.” SPECIALEFFECT The charity has appointed KIRSTY
PAYNE and JOHNNY MINKLEY as vice presidents. SpecialEffect is a charity dedicated to helping young people with disabilities to enjoy video games using eye control technology called Stargaze. The organisation’s director DR MICK DONEGAN said: “As many as one person in every ten misses out on the joys and benefits of gaming because of their disability. “Kirsty has been involved in the charity since its launch and kindly introduced us to Johnny. We are absolutely delighted and honoured that they have accepted our invitation to become vice presidents.”
Promotion starts 4th June
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTARS Green Day front EA and MTV Games’ latest Rock Band P32
JAM WITH THE BAND P34 Nintendo’s acclaimed Band Brothers DS title makes its way to UK shores MODNATION RACERS P34 Sony’s customisable kart racing game zooms its way onto PS3 and PSP DARK STAR ONE P35 Xbox 360 exclusive from Kalypso Media takes gamers into space SHREK FOREVER AFTER P36 Activision Blizzard brings the popular movie franchise to multiple platforms CRADLE OF EGYPT P36 Budget-priced addictive DS puzzle sequel from Rising Star Games
RETAILBIZ: GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND 32 MCV 21/05/10
Punk Rock superstars are the latest to be given EA’s Rock Band treatment on Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii…
by Dominic Sacco GREEN DAY is a four-time Grammy award winning rock band with over 65 million record sales and an enormous global following worldwide – making them a perfect fit for the Rock Band franchise. The game, Green Day: Rock Band, sets out to capture the energy and likeness of Green Day while offering players a plethora of past hits, including ‘Basket Case’, ‘Minority’ and ‘American Idiot.’ Harmonix project lead Chris Foster says: “Fans of the band will want to see every experience the musicians go through – and if playing them in 3D is not enough, we’ve included real video, out takes and unseen images from the Warner Bros Records vault too.
“They’re a fun band with immense appeal so it’s great to get to translate that into a video game.” The developer also worked on Beatles: Rock Band and the original
“With this I think Green Day fans will love this version, even if they’re not Rock Band fans – they’re definitely potential Rock Band fans. “The music, the intensity and the challenge is all there. If they’re a fan of Green Day If someone has a plastic but not yet of Rock Band, guitar or drum set in their then this is definitely a house, then they’re definitely way to pull them in.”
going to want this game.
Chris Foster, Harmonix Guitar Hero, which went on to become a worldwide hit, rocking up $45m sales in its first year on sale. It also paved the way for a string of popular music peripheral-based video games over the following years. “The Beatles: Rock Band got us a lot of people who wouldn’t have bought a Rock Band game before,” adds Foster.
Green Day: Rock Band features a broad range of tracks spanning across the band’s 21-year history, including three full albums – 1994’s Dookie, 2004’s American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown. Players are also able to play along to classic songs from other albums, such as ‘Hitchin’ A Ride,’ ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ and ‘Minority.’
RETAILBIZ: GREEN DAY: ROCK BAND WWW.MCVUK.COM
There are a variety of locations to perform at including Oakland’s Fox Theatre in the US, Milton Keynes Bowl and a warehouse that was included at the band’s request to showcase their earlier years. The likeness of each member has also been translated into the game, with frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool’s mannerisms, facial animations and actions accurately conveyed in-game. Foster says: “We really wanted to focus on Green Day as a live act and capture their incredible stage performances with motion capture, new camera technology and entire recorded gigs to capture the band’s sheer chaos on stage.” Up to five players at once can jam together, with guitar, bass, drums, vocals and backing vocals available. Confident
MCV 21/05/10 33
gamers can even combine accessories to play guitar and sing at the same time. EA and MTV Games have also made the game compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero peripherals, making it easier for users to pick up and play the title without having to spend more on specific game instruments. Foster comments: “If someone has a plastic guitar or drum set in their house, then they’re definitely going to want this game.” I WANNA BE THE MAJORITY
The mass-market appeal of Green Day gives EA and MTV Games optimism at retail. And with it appearing on all three major consoles the consumer attraction for this product is heightened further. The songs from Green Day: Rock Band can be transferred to other Rock Band titles, saving users switching discs.
SONGS OF THE CENTURY RELEASED: JUNE 11 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII PUBLISHER: EA / MTV GAMES DEVELOPER: HARMONIX PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
A Green Day DLC pack was also released last year containing six songs – all of which are also compatible with the new game. On top of the 47 tracks (see ‘Songs of the Century’), the title also boasts 100 band photos and 40 minutes of special video footage. Green Day: Rock Band will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii on June 11th. It will be offered as a standalone disc at retail, with additional music instrument peripherals available to purchase separately.
Green Day: Rock Band features 47 tracks in total. Here is MCV’s pick of the best, which will likely attract both devoted followers and minor fans of the band:
’She’ ’When I Come Around’ ’Longview’ ’Welcome To Paradise’ ’Basket Case’ ’American Idiot’ ’Holiday’ ’Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ ’Wake Me Up When September Ends’ ’St. Jimmy’ ’Minority’ ’Warning’ ’Hitchin’ A Ride’ ’Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ ’Nice Guys Finish Last’ ’Brain Stew’ ’Jaded’ ’21 Guns’ ’Know Your Enemy’ ’21st Century Breakdown’
RETAILBIZ: JAM WITH THE BAND / MODNATION RACERS 34 MCV 21/05/10
KART KINGS: ModNation Racers is a brand new familyfriendly IP from Sony
Nintendo’s cult hit music game Band Brothers DX finally makes it to Europe with a new moniker… by James Batchelor
RELEASED: MAY 21 FORMATS: DS
WHILE THE majority of releases arrive globally near-simultaneously, there are still some titles that take years to make the journey from East to West. Daigasso! Band Brothers is a prime example. This rhythm action game won over Japanese gamers and international press with its addictive gameplay and music creation tools, provoking cries for a European release five years ago. While the 2004 original may have never made it to these shores, its sequel Band Brothers DX finally brings the series to UK gamers for the first time – albeit with a different name. Jam With The Band gives gamers what they expect from a rhythm action title: a vast array of songs that are easy to play but hard to master. Players use the touch screen to strum a virtual guitar with a second difficulty mode introducing buttons. For a change in pace, there is also a karaoke mode where gamers sing into the DS’ built-in microphone. The game will even analyse their singing and recommend a genre that will best suit their voice. MANY A FINE TUNE
There are more than 50 preinstalled songs for gamers to enjoy in each mode,
PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 01753 483700
encompassing a range of classic and contemporary hits including ‘I’m A Slave 4 U’, ‘Smoke on the Water’ and ‘We Are The Champions’. Nintendo fans will also enjoy a range of medleys that have been programmed, all based on themes from such flagship franchises as F-Zero, The Legend Of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. If players manage to master all of these, they can create their own tracks with the programming tools. There are more than 50 instruments to use, which can be arranged in up to eight different parts – or they can simply hum a melody into the microphone and the game will make it playable. There will be even more tunes to enjoy in months to come as Nintendo will be making 50 extra tracks for download, as well as a multitude of usercreated tracks from other Jam With The Band owners. Nintendo has seen moderate success with titles such as Rhythm Paradise and Wii Music, so expect Jam With The Band to be music to consumers’ ears.
Sony’s kart racer encourages players to customise their own vehicles on PS3 and PSP… by Dominic Sacco
RELEASED: MAY 21 (PS3) FORMATS: PS3, PSP
MODNATION RACERS is Sony’s attempt at a Mario Kart/LittleBigPlanet hybrid, offering players the chance to design and race across their own tracks. Both of these titles were critically loved, putting the new custom kart racer in good stead when it hits retail. The game’s style is cartoony and bright, and will no doubt appeal to a younger audience as well as families. It boasts a single-player career mode, splitscreen and online multiplayer – all with weapons at the players’ disposal – as well as simple yet deep customisation. For those who don’t want to spend time tweaking their own karts, tracks and challenges, developer United Front Games has provided a wealth of readymade characters and worlds for players to jump into. THE MODDING SCENE
To create a new course in ModNation Racers, players can simply drive their
PUBLISHER: SONY DEVELOPER: UNITED FRONT GAMES PRICE: £49.99 (PS3), £24.99 (PSP) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 00121 625 3388
kart as they wish and watch the track magically appear behind them as they steer. There are also advanced options available for those willing to spend more time perfecting a circuit. Gamers can vote for their favourite user creations and view the fastest lap times via PSN’s online leaderboards, while the single-player mode allows them to work their way up to become an elite racer. The game has already been received warmly by the media, achieving an average review score of 81 on Metacritic.com. Sony also hopes it will appeal to a range of players. ModNation Racers will be released for PS3 and PSP on May 21st.
RETAILBIZ: DARKSTAR ONE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 21/05/10 35
Kalypso Media moves further into the lucrative console market with this Xbox-exclusive space adventure… by James Batchelor
the big black, discovering new worlds and alien races along the way. When they’re not completing one of the game’s main missions, they have free rein to explore, trade with other ships or start blasting them out of the sky in order to sell their cargo on the black market. Like any good action RPG, their behaviour will dictate how other characters react to them. So those who choose to live as a space pirate will find
DARKSTAR ONE: Broken Alliance is more than just console release – it’s a metaphor for Kalypso Media’s future. Not unlike the game’s space-faring protagonists, the publisher is exploring uncharted territory and hoping any contact with the indigenous species (i.e. the consumers) will be friendly. “DarkStar One: Broken Alliance is Kalypso Media’s second Xbox 360 title and we have high hopes after the success of Tropico DarkStar One has been hailed 3,” says Kalypso’s product as the modern day version of manager Timo Thomas. classics such as Privateer, “It is important for Freelancer or even Elite. Kalypso to be seen as a company who publish Timo Thomas, Kalypso quality, engaging games that people want to experience not just themselves regularly scanned for stolen for PC but across other platforms too, goods by the authorities, turned away expanding our product portfolio outside from trading posts or hunted down by of the PC strategy and into the core ruthless mercenaries. gaming market.” It’s a genre that was once highly Broken Alliance is based on popular popular on both PCs and the earliest 2006 title DarkStar One that ventured consoles, but has since become into the rarely-visited genre of space increasingly niche. Kalypso is hoping combat and exploration. Players customise that Broken Alliance could change that their own spaceship and venture into and eventually attract a large audience.
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Artwork copyright of Nic Williams
“The press have all jumped on board the DarkStar One express with many hailing it as a modern day version of classics such as Privateer, Freelancer and even – dare I say it – Elite,” said Thomas. “People will be impressed with the graphics and surprised by the sheer size of the game – over 300 star systems to explore and the freedom to play as you like. The replay value is huge as you can go back and find new routes through the star systems, meeting new races and facing different challenges.” FORGING AN ALLIANCE
While the DarkStar name may already be known to PC gamers, it is a new property on Xbox 360 so Kalypso is keen to promote the brand and raise awareness within this new audience before the game launches. To accomplish this, the publisher has drawn up a long marketing campaign, with no less than four months of coverage secured across a range of publications. Encompassing both editorial and advertising, the PR campaign will see DarkStar One marketed in specialist and national press as well as key webistes,
RELEASED: JUNE 4 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: KALYPSO MEDIA DEVELOPER: GAMING MINDS STUDIO PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
targeting gaming, lifestyle, sci-fi and movie audiences. There will also be a dedicated preorder advertising campaign online running across a range of games sites, with more activity planned for the game’s launch week. A demo will also be made available through Xbox Live. The weight behind the marketing once again emphasises how important this release is to Kalypso Media. Thomas adds: “PC gamers have been playing Kalypso titles for a while now but on console we are still new and need to build a relationship with console owners of a company who release quality titles. “Tropico 3 was a great first console title for us, and now we can follow that success with another quality console title building consumer and retailer confidence in our future releases.”
OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com
RETAILBIZ: SHREK FOREVER AFTER / CRADLE OF EGYPT 36 MCV 21/05/10
GREEN GIANT: Shrek is a popular movie franchise and is loved by both younger viewers and adults alike
Rising Star follows up on its successful 2008 puzzler Cradle of Rome with the next instalment in the series… by James Batchelor
Gamers take on the role of everyone’s favourite ogre as he takes on his final challenge… by James Batchelor THE SUMMER blockbuster Shrek: Forever After is set to be one of the season’s biggest films, and Activision Blizzard has prepared a game designed to match its cinematic weight. Shrek: Forever After recreates the animated escapades from its silver screen namesake, as the popular ogre finds himself plunged into an alternate reality where he never met Fiona and the evil Rumpelstiltskin is king. The film is set to finish off the series, but Activision believes the game will allow fans to experience the adventure over and over again. “One of the most popular franchises of all time is back,” says Activision’s brand manager Natalie Giles. “Thanks to the popularity of Shrek, we’re confident that kids and adults will enjoy the last instalment of the Shrek games.” WINNING WAYS
Forever After follows the formula of previous Shrek titles from Activision – one that can be enjoyed as a family. Up to four players can take on the roles of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss
RELEASED: JUNE 18 FORMATS: 360, PS3, PC, WII, DS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: XPEC / GRIPONITE (DS) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
in Boots as they work their way through various fairytale levels set in both Shrek’s reality and the twisted world of Rumpelstiltskin. Each character has their own skills, with single players having to swap between them in order to progress. These specialities can all be upgraded by collecting coins. The film will be more than prominent this summer, but Activision is working hard to guarantee the video game adaptation is not forgotten. “We are working closely with DreamWorks to ensure that the video game is promoted with all their activity,” says Giles. “Our key focus will be on a creative PR campaign with fun, educational Shrek-based activities that appeal to our kids and their parents, and targets both print and digital media.”
THE DS IS already inundated with puzzle games of almost every conceivable variety, which makes releasing a new one challenging. The trick is to establish a familiar name for your games, one that consumers (and particularly nongamers) will instantly recognise – and that’s something Rising Star Games is on track to accomplish. Cradle of Egypt is the follow-up to 2008 puzzler Cradle of Rome, a title that proved to be popular enough with handheld owners that it continues to sell well today. “Its predecessor Cradle of Rome was incredibly successful for us and is still performing well a year and a half after release,” said Rising Star’s product manger Yen Hau. “We are looking for Cradle of Egypt to replicate, if not better, this success on what is proving to become a wellloved and recognised game brand.” ROCKING THE CRADLE
For the tile-swapping Cradle of Egypt, the publisher has held true to the engaging puzzle mechanic that made the original so popular. The tiles in this game represent resources required to rebuild the Egyptian civilisation, giving gamers a goal to work towards.
RELEASED: JUNE 18 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR DEVELOPER: CERASUS MEDIA PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR:: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242
Once again, players are challenged to match blocks of three, with the goal of removing all blue blocks from a level in order to progress to the next one. To aid the brand’s growth, Rising Star Games will market Cradle of Egypt in a variety of entertainment, lifestyle and women’s publications, as well as specialist gaming and national press titles. This will be supported by both online and trade advertising, as well as additional activity planned for the publisher’s own Hoshi fan club and social media channels. “Cradle of Egypt is released at a very competitive price, so it should become a very desirable product to consumers,” says Hau. “We are witnessing the establishment of the Cradle of series as a recognised brand among casual gamers – something that will allow the title to continue selling throughout the year and not just on day one. “Retailers should expect a similar sales pattern to the first game.”
MCV Mag - Develop Advert 4
ne rd u Bi 7 J y rl til Ea un s te Ra
13 -15 JULY 2010
be inspired Excellent Speakers. Great Networking. Top Location. Develop in Brighton - the main event for European developers - is back with a vengeance! In celebration of our fifth year we can promise you a stellar line up of speakers, a choice of over 80 high quality sessions and fantastic networking opportunities with more than 1,200 international developers.
Business Keynote Jagex's Indie DNA: How Jagex Did Everything Right by Doing Everything its Own Way Mark Gerhard, CEO, Jagex Games Studio
As head of the UK’s largest independent games developer and publisher, Mark will share his insight into the Jagex DNA and explore how Jagex has succeeded in the global games market. He will also outline his thoughts on the future of the games industry and the importance on focusing on gameplay and enjoyment over profit.
Other Business sessions include: Business: Burn Zombie Burn One Year On: Marketing, Sales and Making Money James Brooksby, Studio Head, doublesix
Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, Bioware • Louis Castle,
The Lowdown on Downloadable Content Chris Bruce, Senior Producer, SingStar Team, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Molyneux, Lionhead Studios • Chris Pruett, Google Japan •
Instant Action • David Helgason, Unity Technologies • George Andreas, Rare • Mick Hocking, SCEE • Peter Peter Hall, Crytek • Ben Minto, EA DICE • Ben Board, Microsoft • Garry Taylor, SCEE • Alan Yu, ngmoco •
Panel: Meet the Press: How to Make the Games Media Work for You Chair: Johnny Minkley, Editor, Eurogamer TV Broadcasting Their Intentions: TV Tunes into Games Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Education, Channel 4 Dave Anderson, BBC Worldwide Games
Tameem Antoniades, Ninja Theory • Jasper Koning, Ronimo Games • Jerome Hagen, Microsoft • Dave Bishop, PopCap • John Dennis, Team 17 • Adam Levenson, Activision • Steve McCalla, Intel • Andrew Oliver, Blitz Games Studios • Michael Schade, Fishlabs • Tim Schafer, Double Fine Productions. And many more…
The Main Event for European Developers
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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 38 MCV 21/05/10
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Blur screeches onto UK shelves Activision Blizzard racer Blur leads a new wave of hits, while Ubisoft invades the pitch with its promising footy title Pure Football. Also out soon is Alpha Protocol, Clash of the Titans, Green Day: Rock Band, Naughty Bear and more... TITLE
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360 PC Wii Wii Wii PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC / XBOX 360 XBOX 360 / PS3 / PSP
Action Music Sports Racing Action Simulation Mini-games Action Casual Sports Action FPS Fighting
Sega Foreign Media Games 505 Games Activision Blizzard Namco Bandai Just Flight O Games Rising Star Games Atari Ubisoft Tecmo Koei City Interactive THQ
0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 01279 822800 01462 476 130 01279 822800 0121 506 9585
Centresoft Advantage Advantage Centresoft Advantage Mastertronic Centresoft Mastertronic Advantage Gem Open Gem Advantage
XBOX 360 PC XBOX 360 / PS3 DS PC
Action/RPG Adventure Adventure Casual Simulation
Kalypso Media Mamba Games 505 Games Nintendo Excalibur Publishing
0121 506 9585 01273 202220 0121 506 9585 01753 483700 01869 338833
Advantage Lace Advantage Open Open
DS PSP XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii PSP PSP PSP PSP DS XBOX 360 PC PS3 PSP Wii
Platformer Racing Music Platformer Platformer Platformer Racing Mystery Action Adventure Platformer Action Platformer
THQ Sony EA Sony Sony Sony Sony THQ 505 Games Ubisoft Sony Sony Nintendo
0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01279 822800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01753 483700
Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Gem Centresoft Centresoft Open
DS PSP PSP PC
Mini-games Sports Action Sports
Disney Interactive Sony Konami Ubisoft
0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0208 987 5706 01279 822800
Centresoft Centresoft Open Gem
PC PC Wii Wii PS3 PC
Casual/Adventure Adventure Mini-games Fitness RPG Adventure
Mamba Games Mamba Games THQ 505 Games Namco Bandai Mamba Games
01273 202220 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585
Lace Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage
MAY 28th Alpha Protocol Armin van Buuren - In The Mix Backbreaker Blur Clash Of The Titans Class 20 Collection Great Party Games No More Heroes 2 Project Runway Pure Football Samurai Warriors 3 Sniper UFC Undisputed 2010
JUNE 4th Dark Star One: Broken Alliance I'm Not Alone Naughty Bear Rooms: The Main Building Space Shuttle Simulator
JUNE 11th Beat City Gran Turismo (Platinum) Green Day: Rock Band Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier LittleBigPlanet (Platinum) LocoRoco 2 (Platinum) MotorStorm: Arctic Edge (Platinum) Nancy Drew: The Model Mysteries Naval Assault: The Killing Tide Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time (Platinum) Resistance: Retribution (Platinum) Super Mario Galaxy 2
JUNE 18th Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert's Revenge Everybody's Tennis Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Pro Cycling Tour Manager: Tour De France 2010
JUNE 25th 15 Days A New Beginning Big Beach Sports 2 Daisy Lafuente Pilates Demon's Souls Deponia
MUSTSTOCK ..............................................BLUR Released: May 28th Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Activsion Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Bizarre-developed racer Blur aims to reinvigorate the genre by mixing the street racing of Need For Speed with the power-up attacks of Mario Kart. Expect this highly anticipated title to sell well as players seek a new type of racing experience.
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MUSTSTOCK ...........................PURE FOOTBALL Released: May 28th Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800
Ubisoft ventures into the competitive football market with a title designed to offer a new take on the Beautiful Game. Dubbing itself as more of an action title than a simulation, Pure Football does away with the rules for more frantic matches.
T: 01564 200948
28 Dev105 DevelopAwards2010 Ad_final
Wednesday July 14th, 2010 Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, UK
For tickets and table sales please contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk â€˘ +44 (0)1992 535 646 For sponsorship opportunities please contact Katie.Rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk â€˘ +44 (0)1992 535 646
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 40 MCV 21/05/10
POLL IS THE LACK OF A ‘WII 2’ OR ‘WII HD’ HURTING NINTENDO?
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
93% ModNation Racers, PS3, Sony
Super Street Fighter IV PS3, Capcom
82% 81% 80% 68% Skate 3, 360, EA
3D Dot Game Heroes,
PS3 South Peak
Lost Planet 2, PS3, Capcom
Speaking to MCV recently, analyst Michael Pachter suggested that Nintendo is leaving it far too late to reveal a successor to the Wii. He claimed Wii games are not compelling enough to drive consumers to buy more than two per year and that game quality suffers because publishers have to develop separate versions from Xbox 360 and PS3 titles. It seems that a little over half of the participants in the latest MCV online
survey agree with him, believing that Nintendo should have released an upgraded or succeeding console sooner. However, just under half of voters (44 per cent) believe Nintendo is in an acceptable position and that the Wii’s success has not suffered for its lack of horsepower when compared to Microsoft and Sony’s platforms. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP: SOUTH AFRICA FORMAT: 360
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION 360
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP: SOUTH AFRICA PS3
MONSTER HUNTER TRI WII
GOD OF WAR: COLLECTION PS3
POKÉMON SOULSILVER DS
SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV PS3
SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 360
IRON MAN 2 360
THE SIMS 3 PC
Gamers on the go this summer will be interested in this smart transportation and storage pack for their DS. The Mini Transporter Case sports a backpack-style design and can safely carry a Nintendo DS, DS Lite or DSi. It also has space for other
accessories, as well as storage slots for up to twelve games. The cases are made from a rugged, hard-wearing material that should survive whatever kids can throw at it, and are available in a mix of colours – blue, pink and cyan. BDA: +1 425 492 6111
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.
DEAL OF THE WEEK GAME customers can save almost £100 when they pick up a 250Gb PS3 Slim, Final Fantasy XIII and either God of War III or Uncharted 2 for £289.99.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 21/05/10 41 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Sin & Punishment Wii, Nintendo
Lost Planet 2 360, Capcom
2010 FIFA World Cup PSP, EA
God of War: Collection PS3, Sony
Iron Man 2 Wii, Sega
TOP 10 RED DEAD REDEMPTION: LIMITED EDITION
IN STORE: BLACKPOOL
2. RED DEAD REDEMPTION – LIMITED EDITION
3. RED DEAD REDEMPTION
4. HALO: REACH – LEGENDARY EDITION
PS3 ................................................................ROCKSTAR 360 ................................................................ROCKSTAR 360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT
5. RED DEAD REDEMPTION
6. ALAN WAKE + STRATEGY GUIDE
7. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. SKATE 3
9. UFC UNDISPUTED 2010 + 1GB USB
10. CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Week ending MAY 14th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE This week we chat to Kev Taylor at The Cool Spot…
What makes your store unique? I’m Doncaster born and bred so my customers can relate to me and I’m keen to look after them. I try not to sell games – I offer them games and services at a price they want. Also, we do disc and console repairs so we can resolve almost any problem a gamer can have. Of course, a lot of indies do that now – it’s hard to be different in games retail, so it’s all about friendly service for us.
TOP 10 RED DEAD REDEMPTION 360, ROCKSTAR 2. RED DEAD REDEMPTION – LIMITED ED
What do you think will be the biggestselling title this summer? We’re getting big numbers for Red Dead Redemption. I’m looking forward to that one and so is my son – if I don’t bring that one home, there’ll be trouble. UFC should also be quite big and Crackdown 2 might do rather well, too. What are your hopes for E3? I’d like to see a fourth console come out from a complete independent – a genuine contender. We indies are always being squeezed on price by the Big Three and while that’s bound to happen with a fourth console from a smaller
“I’d like to see a fourth console come out from a complete independent with fairer pricing – a genuine contender.” manufacturer, hopefully we’d get fairer pricing while they’re starting out, like we did with the PSP. Games-wise, it’d be nice to see less sequels and more new ideas. And it’d be good to see Natal and Move at affordable prices well. What is the biggest problem you face? Supermarkets. They’re going to make us all butchers and milkmen if we’re not
careful. Now that Asda is looking at selling second hand games, it’s a dangerous situation. That said, supermarkets selling new games hasn’t stopped us, so maybe their pre-owned schemes might not have that bad an impact. The trouble is people are getting lazy – if they can pick up games while doing they’re shopping, they don’t have to wander into town centres.
3. STARCRAFT II: LIBERTY – LIMITED ED
PC ..................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. ALAN WAKE
5. STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY
PC ..................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
6. SKATE 3
7. RED DEAD REDEMPTION – LIMITED ED
8. ALAN WAKE – LIMITED EDITION
9. RED DEAD REDEMPTION – LIMITED ED
10. SUPER MARIO GALAXY 2
WII ................................................................NINTENDO Week ending MAY 14th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
42,43 MCV588_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 42 MCV 21/05/10
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
POKÉMON HEARTGOLD NINTENDO WARIOWARE D.I.Y NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS NINTENDO JEWEL QUEST: EMERALD TEAR GSP/AVANQUEST PROFESSOR LAYTON & PANDORA’S BOX NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO PEPPA PIG: FUN AND GAMES P2 GAMES MARIO & LUIGI: BOWSER’S INSIDE STORY NINTENDO
1 3 4 6 5 7 9 8 10
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA FORMAT: 360, PS3, Wii, PSP
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
ALAN WAKE 360
LOST PLANET 2 360, PS3
JUST DANCE Wii
SKATE 3 360, PS3
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 360, PS3, PC
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360, PS3, PC, DS
FINAL FANTASY XIII 360, PS3
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SQUARE ENIX
WII FIT PLUS Wii
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS.
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY PS3, PC, 360 ROCKSTAR
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO KART WII NINTENDO MONSTER HUNTER TRI CAPCOM 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA EA SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING SEGA MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS SEGA RED STEEL 2 UBISOFT F1 2009 CODEMASTERS IRON MAN 2 SEGA FIFA 10 EA
JUST CAUSE 2 PS3, 360, PC
SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION 360, PC
COD: WORLD AT WAR PS3, 360, WII, PS2
SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING PS3, 360 Wii, DS
ALIENS VS PREDATOR 360, PS3, PC
IRON MAN 2 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP
JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII Wii
3 2 4 6 5 8 7 9 13
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT PLUS WII SPORTS RESORT HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE WII PLAY EA SPORTS ACTIVE JAMES CAMERON’S AVATAR MONOPOLY SUPER MONKEY BALL: STOP & ROLL CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES
5 6 4 7 13 9
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
CAPCOM SQUARE ENIX UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
THE SIMS 3
BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
C&C4: TIBERIAN TWILIGHT
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
DAWN OF WAR II: CHAOS RISING
MASS EFFECT 2
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT (FRANCE) PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
THQ 2K GAMES EA
42,43 MCV588_final:52-53 MCV572
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 21/05/10 43
EA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup has held on to the top
Ubisoft’s successful Just Dance, which fell to its
spot for the third week in a row, despite three
lowest position in seven weeks.
new games making a strong impact in the charts.
Modern Warfare 2 slipped from No.3 to No.7
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 exlusive Alan Wake was
following a price cut at retail, while Final Fantasy
the highest new entry in at No.2. It received just
XIII leapt back into the Top Ten after eight weeks
1,000 fewer sales than FIFA but 12,000 more
sitting below it.
than Capcom’s new Lost Planet 2.
Price promotions caused a number of re-
The other key new release this week – Skate 3
entries including World at War and BioShock 2.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
POKÉMON SOULSILVER DS
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3, PC
NIER 360, PS3
NINTENDO UBISOFT SQUARE ENIX
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
LIPS: I LOVE THE 80’S 360
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
POKÉMON HEARTGOLD DS
HALO 3: ODST 360
GOD OF WAR COLLECTION PS3
BIOSHOCK 2 360, PS3, PC
BAYONETTA 360, PS3
BAND HERO 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS
COD4: MODERN WARFARE PS3, 360, WII
GOD OF WAR III PS3
NAPLOEON: TOTAL WAR PC
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
MARIO KART WII Wii
WARIOWARE D.I.Y DS
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS DS
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HIDDEN MYSTERIES TRIPLE PACK
DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PUBLISHER: SEGA SIMS 3: DESIGN & HIGH-TECH STUFF MYSTERY CASE FILES: DIRE GROVE
GSP/AVANQUEST EA FOCUS
ANCIENT MYSTERIES: KING TUT’S TOMB GSP/AVANQUEST
ALIENS VS PREDATOR
ROME: TOTAL WAR WOW: BATTLE CHEST
CHRONICLES OF MYSTERY: TREE
AGATHA CRISTIE MYSTERIES: TRIPLE
SEGA GSP/AVANQUEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CITY INTERACTIVE MASTERTRONIC
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LOST PLANET 2 FINAL FANTASY XIII BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY SKATE 3 SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV GOD OF WAR III COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 YAKUZA 3
8 5 2 NEW
4 3 6 26
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA CAPCOM SQUARE ENIX EA ROCKSTAR EA CAPCOM SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
GRAN TURISMO LITTLEBIGPLANET MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES FIFA 10 IRON MAN 2 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY NARUTO: ULTIMATE NINJA HEROES 3
2 3 RE
6 5 4 7 9 NEW
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA
NAPOLEON: TOTAL WAR
NINTENDO WARNER BROS
2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
LOST PLANET 2 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP SOUTH AFRICA SKATE 3 COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 SPLINTER CELL: CONVICTION FINAL FANTASY XIII FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 HALO 3: ODST
2 4 3 10 8 6
SONY SONY CAPCOM UBISOFT EA SEGA SEGA SQUARE ENIX NAMCO BANDAI
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
– entered the charts in fifth place behind
WEEK ENDING 15/05/10
DEVELOPER: REMEDY ENTERTAINMENT PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT CAPCOM EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA UBISOFT SQUARE ENIX MICROSOFT MICROSOFT
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 44 MCV 21/05/10
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK)
JOWOOD ENTERTAINMENT AG Heiligenstädterstrasse 201-203/19 1190 Wien, Austria Tel: +43 (0)1 37909 0 Fax: +43 (0)1 37909 1064 Web: www.jowood.com
+45 7026 0870 (DK) firstname.lastname@example.org
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
FINLAND Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
45 rue Delizy,
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
ZI Noville les Bois, Rue de la Tour,
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
2b 5380 FERNELMONT, Belgium
Email purchase: email@example.com
Phone: 0032 81 83 02 07
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Fax: 0032 81 83 02 09
CLD DISTRIBUTION S.A.
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid
Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
Wholesaler Gaming products
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Official Benelux distributor for
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
439 avenue de la Gare
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
84470 Chateauneuf de Gadagne Email : email@example.com Horelec S.A............................................Bruxelles
Phone : 0033 432 751 165 Fax : 0033 432 751 160
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
PO Box 5083
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: firstname.lastname@example.org
POLAND CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB
Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o. ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul
tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
EDITORIAL PLANNER WWW.MCVUK.COM
The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...
UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000
MCV 21/05/10 45
UPCOMING FEATURES A glimpse at some of the special features coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the video games market... FRIDAY JUNE 4th
FRIDAY JUNE 25th
DEVELOP AWARDS FINALISTS
As this year’s Develop Industry Excellence Awards approaches, MCV announces the full list of finalists: every studio in each category, including new awards for Best New Download IP and Best Micro Studio.
Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
FRIDAY JUNE 11th
E3 2010 SPECIAL
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
A thorough and comprehensive look back at this year’s E3 Expo, reporting on each and every revelation as well as the – potential impact they will have on the industry, We cover the Big Three’s presentations and the major developments from the leading third-party publishers.
UAE ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY
FRIDAY JULY 2nd
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: email@example.com U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
The biggest event in the games industry’s calendar returns and, as the offical International Media Partner for the event, MCV brings you a complete guide to this year’s E3 Expo. We look at how the organisers have improved the 2010 event over its predecessors, and offer a roundup of what to expect, including: A breakdown of the venue, including stand locations for all of the major publisher and format holders, and a schedule of key presentations. Interviews with major execs from some of the industry’s leading publishers. Industry roundtables on some of the most topical issues that face gaming and retail.
GUIDE TO GAMES RETAIL The games retail landscape is constantly changing, so we bring you the definitive guide to the major retailers on the market. As well as essential information on each company and a summary of its position in the industry, you’ll find a breakdown of the games buying teams identifying the key personnel and their roles.
FRANCE TERRITORY REPORT
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com
FRIDAY JUNE 18th
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
As well as covering all the big E3 headlines, this week’s issue of MCV takes an in-depth look at the biggest challenges facing the always-important distribution sector. We speak to the major players – from pick ‘n’ pack specialists to multi-faceted sales and marketing behemoths – about the future of the supply chain and how they will be tackling the challenges ahead for the distribution side of the games trade.
France is one of Europe’s biggest video game territories not least because it’s home to publishing giant Ubisoft. MCV takes a closer look at how the country’s video game output is evolving and speak to the key retailers, developers and publishers on the current challenges affecting the region. We also provide a rundown of the country’s headline-grabbing efforts to thwart piracy with its strict laws and regulations.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS
DESIGN STUDIOS Fink. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352
...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 TripleACodes.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
Wii Perfect Shot
360 Intercooler TS
DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562 Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689720 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 Universal Games Distribution (UK) Ltd . . 0208 787 7030 USD Limited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220
Premier Disc Cleaner
Laser Lens Cleaner
GAMING ACCESSORIES Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Pinpoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 LOCALISATION
Wii Fitness Kit Plus
Wii Racing Wheel
Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621
01606 558 428 or email: email@example.com General enquiries:
Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online
THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT
DISCSTRIBUTION +44 (0) 845 430 8735 Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . email@example.com
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR GAMING ACCESSORIES
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 FaceFX...................................................................+1.919.727.9624 Stainless Games .............................firstname.lastname@example.org TOOLS Blitz Games Studios.............................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx.....................................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Dolby.........................................................+44 (0) 1793 842 922 Havok .................................................................+1 415 543 4620 SERVICES Amiqus ..............................................................www.amiqus.com Brand Protect ..........................................+44 (0) 1869 346160 Outso Ltd.............................................................www.outso.com Partnertrans.............................................+44 (0) 1273 229030 Testronic Labs.........................................+44 (0) 1753 653 722 Universally Speaking..............................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES Futureworks .............................................. +44 (0)161 237 7570 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 email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . . 08719 181721 . . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
Now is a great time to expand your digital business Distributors of CDkey, Epin and downloadable products.
DESIGN I DIGITAL I LITHO
TripleACodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org DISTRIBUTION
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net DISTRIBUTION
UNIVERSAL GAMES DISTRIBUTION (UK) LTD . 0208 787 7030 . www.unigames.co.uk
GREEN MAN GAMING. . . . . . . 020 7193 6910 . . . . . . . . email@example.com
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 229030 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
AMA DISPLAYS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 2311030 . . . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com
USD LIMITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01933 227220. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.usdlimited.com
Design/Branding/ Advertising/ Packaging/Web
01480 302 352 firstname.lastname@example.org www.finkcreative.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
FINK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 302352 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.finkcreative.com
DIARY DATES From the MCV Awards to our Games Developer Conference, here are all the essential industry dates to put in your diary…
MAY MONETISING MOBILE Wednesday, May 26th BAFTA, London Jodie.Holdway@intentmedia.co.uk MCM LONDON EXPO Saturday, May 29th – Sunday, May 30th ExCeL, London www.mcmexpo.net
JUNE E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2010 Tuesday, July 13th Thursday, July 15th Brighton, UK www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Wednesday, 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
SEPTEMBER MCV/XBOX 360 QUIZ Thursday, September 23rd Sway Bar, London Orlaith.Kennedy@intentmedia.co.uk
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2010 Wednesday, July 14th Brighton, UK www.develop-online.net Lobbying has already opened for the Develop Industry Excellence Awards. Now in its eighth year, the event takes place in Brighton at the Hilton Metropole, on July 14th. Anyone in the industry can nominate a studio for the awards. Simply send a 300 word pitch to developawards@ intentmedia.co.uk. Prices have also been reduced to make the event more accessible. Contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intent media.co.uk to book tables and Katie.Rawlings@intent media.co.uk to order tickets.
MCV/XBOX 360 QUIZ Thursday, September 23rd Sway Bar, London Orlaith.Kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk The MCV/Xbox 360 Quiz gives retailers, suppliers and the media the chance to show off their general knowledge skills in an appropriate arena for our industry – the local bar. There will be thousands of pounds’ worth of prizes up for grabs to the best performers on the night, as well as loads of top-notch booze and food. The quiz is free to enter for retailers and the media, and serves as a great networking opportunity.
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It’s almost rude not to know someone who once worked there. This week, we start with...
Frank Herman, the sorely missed, Spurs-supporting industry legend created Mastertronic in 1983. Some of its earliest games were written by a couple of scamps called...
2 David and Richard Darling, who went onto find fame and fortune as founders of one of ‘Tronic’s main rivals, Codemasters, where...
NO SPAIN, NO GAME
Namco Bandai showed off its 2010 line-up in style by inviting assorted journos from publications including OXM, CVG, GameSpot, Inside Xbox and more to sunny Barcelona. Guests were kept busy with drinking, working, more drinking, playing the latest titles, and karaoke – while drinking. NBP’s Lee Kirton and Marlene Fitzsimmons were hand to supply earplugs.
Dene Landucci used to do PR duties and much more, having started his gaming career as an on the road rep at merchandising outfit USD, jointly managed by...
Gavin Chesire is now VP of studios. He was once managing director of Banbury-based sports games specialist Silicon Dreams, where...
Roy Campbell, who’s now re-emerged as the head of MTV Games’ international division but was once UK boss of THQ, which has just appointed...
Suzanne Panter as senior PR manager. She’s previously had spells at Hasbro, Koch and... ACTIVISION
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SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.
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ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2010
MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source
MCV 21/05/10 53
WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN FROM THE ARCHIVE October 20th, 1997 NEWS: Nintendo’s UK distributor, THE Games, cuts software prices so that N64 titles such as Goldeneye and Diddy Kong Racing will be released at a staggeringly cheap, er, £49.99... Gem founder Peter Bellamy quits the company leaving Paul Donnelly in sole charge... Sega says no new hardware is due, following rumours of a new project, codenamed Dural, that utilises PC technology... Emap starts getting to grips with this pesky ‘internet’ thing by launching a ‘website’ called Game-online... You think that’s creaky? CTW has a section called MULTIMEDIA. CHARTS: All Formats Top 5: Lylat Wars (N64) .....................................Nintendo Formula 1 ‘97 (PL)..................................Psygnosis Red Alert: The Aftermath (PC) ..................Virgin Flight Simulator (PC) .............................Microsoft Nuclear Strike (PL) ......................Electronic Arts FEATURES: A profile of Telstar, the music compilation king which has just appointed Geoff Heath as boss and Gary Bracey as development director and has Siege and Lone Soldier on the slate... BT predicts great things for its online multiplayer games service Wireplay. Looking back, file next to dial-a-disc (and for added points, try explaining dial-a-disc to someone under 30)... Dick Francis, the boss of THE Games, is as entertaining as ever in a big Q4 interview.... A think piece wonders if the games market’s fortunes will always be shackled to hardware cycles (see next week’s MCV for more or less the same feature).
We’re giving away five copies of Namco Bandai’s upcoming action title Clash Of The Titans. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: What happens to those who stare into the eyes of Medusa? a) They get stoned b) They get turned to stone c) She throws a stone at them
Please send your answer, name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org
AND FINALLY... Andrew Hewson of 21st Century Entertainment writes in to defend himself from accusations of ghoulish profiteering following the announcement that his company will be selling Diana Screensavers just a few weeks after her death. No one makes any jokes about them being likely to crash. Thank goodness.
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are...
GAME & Gamestation
Duncan Cross, Asda
Marc Spence, Best Buy
Don McCabe, CHIPS
Tim Ellis, HMV
Graham Chambers, Amazon
Danielle Fleming, 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
WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN
We’ve got five copies of Disney’s Split/Second to give away. To be in the running, answer the following question: WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE ENVIRONMENT-BASED ATTACKS PLAYERS CAN TRIGGER DURING A RACE?
a) Powerplays b) Car hazards c) Opponent obliterating power system (Oops) Please send your answer, name and address to email@example.com GRAINGER TURNS TOON
WET WET WET
Not content with owning half of Newcastle’s games stores, ambitious indie Grainger Games took over Newcastle United’s home turf at St James’ Park for a charity football day. Getting more than a little competitive resulted in £500 for industry organisation GamesAid – and no doubt a similar amount was spent in Shearer’s Bar after the games.
Not the band, but Sega’s David Corless – dubbed a ‘computer games marketeer’ by the BBC, which sounds oddly exciting. Corless was spotted on the final of Total Wipeout and lived up to the game show’s name with some spectacular tumbles into the drink. If you can track down the episode on iPlayer or YouTube, we advise you do so – if only to admire the headband.
MCV 21-5-2010 - Inside front & back_Final
© Disney. “2”,“ ” and “PlayStation” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. Product names and/or visuals shown are of product currently in development and may be subject to change.
MCV 21-5-2010 - Disney Back Cover