THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 553 Friday September 4 2009 £3.25
04 C4’s game plan Television giant Channel 4 unveils its new investment in games development
14 Crime fighters Nintendo’s global anti-piracy team talk R4 cards and illegal downloads
17 Going West
WITH THIS ISSUE
Namco Bandai Partners boss John Galloway discusses the firm’s strategy
We preview Ubisoft’s new Games For Everyone range
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
‘Wii think it’s time for a cut’ Industry says Nintendo must follow Microsoft and Sony’s lead to ‘regain its edge’ Console to drop to £149? by Tim Ingham THE RRP OF WII is looking shakier than ever – as retail dramatically slashes the price of Nintendo’s console and Microsoft drops its powerful 360 Elite to under £200.
“Wii has been one of the most successful consoles in history,” Bethesda MD Sean Brennan told MCV. “Nintendo will need to adapt their pricing strategy as demand slows down due to the competition, difficult economic conditions and the
Nintendo needs to lower Wii’s price as demand slows down – due to competition from Xbox 360 and PS3. Sean Brennan, Bethesda
The trade this week told MCV that a drop this Q4 could be the only way for Nintendo to “regain its edge” over PS3 and Xbox 360. Both rival consoles have been re-launched at new prices, with Microsoft’s 120GB Elite available for just £199 – closer than ever to the price of Nintendo’s console.
fact that it’s not quite as innovative and fresh as it once was. I suspect, though, that Nintendo will not be as reactive to recent price drops as we might like.” Analysts have already begun speculating on what the movement of Wii’s new pricetag will be – with whispers from the likes of
Altium Securities that it will hit £149 in Q4, down £50 from its current trade price. However, Nintendo told MCV that it had no plans to introduce a price cut “on any platform before Christmas”. Supermarket giants Sainsbury’s and Asda slashed the price of Nintendo Wii to below £150 this week, meaning all three consoles did battle at lowest-ever prices. “If Nintendo wants to regain the edge that they had previously, a price cut is something they have to look at,” added Codemasters MD Jeremy Wigmore. “It’s known that the Wii isn’t as graphically advanced as PS3 or 360, but they’ve always had the unique advantage of the hardware being less expensive.” Nintendo maintained that it would not react to the price cuts of its rivals’ systems.
A spokesperson told MCV: “We feel with their current configurations Wii, DS and DSi all offer fantastic value for money. Competitor activity, as ever, will have no impact on our plans.”
[OPINION] Nick Parker, Parker Consulting “Nintendo is caught in ‘business mode’, which is a similar attitude to that which landed PlayStation in trouble. They’re worrying about keeping the price at its current level, when they should perhaps be looking to remain competitive. Even if they shaved £10 off the RRP, it would differentiate Wii. The biggest impact of would-be Wii consumers moving to Xbox 360 this Q4 will come in Europe – where Microsoft has done some impressive work in hitting the family or casual gamer.”
Microsoft claims 1m sales lead on PS3 by Michael French MICROSOFT has claimed to MCV that its next-gen console installed base is a million units ahead of Sony in Europe. Sony announced it had sold 10m units in the PAL territory at Gamescom two weeks ago – just days after Microsoft had revealed a 9m installed base
figure for the Xbox 360 in Europe to MCV. “We’re confident we are actually around a million units ahead," Xbox Europe boss Chris Lewis (pictured) contested, after the firm announced new prices for its Arcade and Elite 360s – and phased out of the Pro SKU. “We count installed base differently to them,” he added.
“We count the number of units in the hands of consumers. We are committed to continuing that momentum – not only in places like the UK, France and Germany. Continued growth in all parts of Europe is integral to winning [against PS3] overall.” The Elite 360 dropped in price this week, but the Arcade
SKU has risen to £159 – a jump of £30. Lewis blamed “exchange rate fluctuations” for the hike. He said the format-holder has no current plans to phase out its HD-less Arcade console despite Xbox's emphasis on digital content – as the low-end model reaches a different audience to the Elite.
PERSONNEL 30 RETAIL BIZ 35 NEW RELEASES 46 HIGH STREET 48 CHARTS 50
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[LEADER] IS NINTENDO NEXT? Will we see the Wii price lowered before the end of the year? After price cuts by Microsoft and Sony, it seemed inevitable that attentions would turn to their market-leading rival. In truth, any official cut is more likely to come when the competing motion-sensor tech from Sony and Microsoft rolls around (both are expected next year) or if Nintendo bites the bullet on that ‘Wii HD’ upgrade some are expecting. But that won’t stop speculation in the meantime. Nintendo has done a great job digging its heels in during this generation to resist the high-end – and expensive – HD future that 360 and PS3 have flaunted since their arrival. It was right: Super-beautiful gaming wasn’t something the masses wanted a few years back, and the mainstream settled for a cheaper console with a quirky controller. But with Sony and Microsoft dropping the price and working on their own new input devices, the playing field is levelling out. Nintendo’s rivals have made it clear that the new battleground for gaming is the very audience that has made Wii what it is – and made Nintendo so closely watched. So you can see why some are predicting nervous, sweaty collars in Kyoto. But Nintendo isn’t one for knee-jerk reactions. And it’s unlikely that Iwata and co. are eyeing any opportunities they can find to shave £10 of the Wii price: This isn’t the GameCube we’re talking about. Anything the company does will be carefully planned and thought out – so even if the industry is watching it expectantly, those spectators might have a wait on their hands.
BAT’S ENTERTAINMENT Batman: Arkham Asylum made a triumphant debut at the top of the UK charts this week. It rode a wave of incredibly positive reviews (and some ridiculous posturing about a Guinness World record for its Metacritic rank – but the less said about that the better) to sell thousands upon thousands of copies in just two days. No mean feat. Like many, I spent much of my weekend playing through what is a truly excellent game (75 per cent complete so far, thanks). There are a lot of things I love about the title, and don’t think the whisperings that this is already a ‘Game of the Year’ contender are far off the mark. But the key thing that sticks with me most is that this is a home-grown success. And not because of Brit publisher Eidos. The developer, London-based Rocksteady, has thrown a load of games industry conventional thinking off kilter with this release, which is only its second game. Namely: Assertions about the quality of licensed content and even the health, creativity and commercial nous of UK games development. And as an independent that team just became one of the hottest studios in the country. Let the bidding for its next project (or, indeed, the whole company) commence… Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Channel 4 ramps up Broadcaster commissions variety of UK-made games as part of by Will Freeman TV GIANT CHANNEL 4 has invested a multi-million pound figure in the development of its own Xbox and PC games. The broadcaster, famous for shows like Big Brother and Skins, has turned to gaming as a way to reach new audiences as part of its educational content remit, according to a report in MCV’s sister magazine Develop. The firm has commissioned a clutch of independent UK studios to create entertaining online projects that ‘don’t preach to their audience’. The move is part of a £4.5m fund – half of which is finding its way to UK independent companies such as Tuna Technologies, Beatnik Games, Zombie Cow Studios, Six to Start, Preloaded and Littleloud to fund projects up to £800,000 in size. “To reach 14 to 19 year olds we took all of our investment and moved it online to support television on the web, mobile and games projects,” Alice Taylor, the commissioning editor at Channel 4 Education, told Develop.
TAYLOR MADE: Channel 4 Education’s commissioning editor is charging UK independents to make new kinds of games for teens
All of the games are new IPs that touch on themes and issues teenagers encounter – areas the industry otherwise holds at arms’ length. “They are Broad themes that turn up during your teenage years,” said Taylor.
The games will start to appear later this year and will all be digitally-distributed and free, said Taylor. “Our games have to be free at the point of consumption for UK players. The web is really
DISNEY AND MARVEL TO FORM GAMES POWERHOUSE?
DISNEY HAS confirmed it might re-evaluate Marvel’s games licensing deals after announcing plans to buy the Spider-Man firm – and its 5,000 different comic book characters – for $4bn last weekend. “As these licensing deals expire we have the luxury of considering what is best for the company and the products,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. Activison, Sega and THQ all have Marvel game deals in place. Iger said these were “smart agreements with some of the best in the business”, and that he wouldn’t rule out continuing to balance both internal productions with third-party licensing.
MCV 04/09/09 5
game funding £4.5m investment in educational content
Heroic sponsorship deals for Activision
TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2 : AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY
2. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................EA
3. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI
4. GRAN TURISMO 5 easy, as is PC and Mac download. XBLA, PSN and WiiWare are all guarded, gated communities and you have to go through somebody and get permission to a degree.
it can do in games, said Taylor. Sister channel E4 is also becoming more active in games. “Channel 4 Education’s output in the past couple of years has performed far better
We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the industry. The Digital Britain report said C4 should do more of this. Alice Taylor, Channel 4
“However, our plan with the Zombie Cow game is to get it on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel,” Taylor explained. The broadcaster’s first foray into gaming already bagged it a BAFTA, for online game Bow Street Runner, so the channel is keen to keep exploring what
than television ever did. It’s got a lot of attention and it’s got a lot of positive feedback from both teachers and from the industry. In the Digital Britain report the stuff that Education is doing was noted as being what Channel 4 should do more of.”
ACTIVISION SAYS it will invest in more festival sponsorships than ever, after successfully debuting the DJ Hero brand at the Notting Hill Carnival. Last weekend’s event featured a live demo of the game plus DJ Hero branding throughout the Carnival. “As the leading music gaming property in the UK it is imperative that the Hero brand continues to be creative with its marketing, pioneering activity not just within gaming but as a global entertainment franchise,” said Guitar Hero brand manager Jon Edney “Working with big ticket properties such as the Notting Hill Carnival is testament to where the
brand now stands in terms of both its profile and credibility. There will be undoubtedly be plenty more brand defining partnerships to announce moving forward. “Experiential activity has developed into a crucial element of the Guitar Hero marketing mix. “Other Guitar Hero partnerships this year included Ibiza Rocks and the Kerrang Awards, both of which have proved to be fantastic successes both in terms of the short term brand exposure and the longer term benefits that all parties have gained from the relationship.” Activision: 020 3060 1000
5. FIFA 10 360 ..............................................EA
6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
7. COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360 ..............................CODEMASTERS
8. COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 PS3 ..............................CODEMASTERS
9. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
10. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Week ending August 29th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 54 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 games market value has bounced back following four weeks of decline. According to MCV calculations based on this week’s Gfk-ChartTrack/ELSPA weekly report, the UK market rose to £18.7 million for the week ending August 29th, a healthy 26 per cent rise. Unit sales jumped 14 per cent to 889,797. Sales were driven by the success of Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum, which made it to No.1 in the weekly All Formats chart. It’s the first major release since Wii Sports Resort. The market should continue to recover in the coming weeks, aided by an Xbox 360 and PS3 price cut, as well as the new, slimmer PS3 model. September is also filled with major new game releases, including The Beatles: Rock Band, Halo 3: ODST, Dirt 2, Need For Speed, Professor Layton and Guitar Hero 5.
Batman: Arkham Asylum made it to No.1 – becoming Eidos’ first major hit for some time
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
0 Week Ending August 15th Week Ending August 22nd
Week Ending August 29
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PEGI legal ruling is ‘still on track’ ELSPA reassures publishers that Government’s Video Recordings Act blunder won’t affect new age ratings by Tim Ingham ELSPA has reassured the trade that the PEGI ratings system’s ascent to become law is still on track – despite the discovery that current age classification is legally unenforceable. A review of the 25 year-old Video Recordings Act last
MCV that it had resubmitted the act to the EU – but that it would take at least three months to become ratified. However, ELSPA director general Mike Rawlinson told MCV that he was confident the blunder would not affect the legal implementation of the PEGI system.
Government has told us the timetable for PEGI as the legal games age classifcation will not be adversely affected. Mike Rawlinson, ELSPA
week discovered that the selling of adult videos and games to minors was never a legal offence. The shock news was due to the Conservative Government in 1984 neglecting to submit the Act to the European Commission. It failed to spot the blunder during subsequent official reviews in 1993 and 1994. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport admitted to
“We have been informed by the Government that the timetable for the introduction of PEGI as the legal system of video games classification will not be adversely affected by this error,” he said. “We fully expect legislation to be introduced in the Queen’s speech in November and for the law to be passed by the next general election.” ELSPA this week called on the Government to close the
RAWLINSON: ELSPA boss has called on Government to fix age ratings blunder “as soon as possible”
new ‘loophole’ allowing retailers to sell adult games to minors without fear of legal reproach “as soon as possible”. “The discovery that the Video Recordings Act is not enforceable is obviously very surprising. In the interest of child safety it is essential that this loophole is closed as soon as possible,” said Rawlinson. "In this respect the video games industry will do all it can to support and assist the Government to that effect. “ELSPA will therefore advise our members to continue to forward games to be rated as per the current agreement while the legal issues are being resolved.” ELSPA: 020 7534 0580
Games industry rounds on file sharers HMV’S CEO Simon Fox has backed calls for Internet Service Providers to do more to prevent illegal downloading of copyright material.
The Government last week introduced proposals that would see illegal downloaders disconnected from the net. The proposals were announced
HMV welcomes the new proposals on illegal P2P filesharing. We recognise the role that ISPs can play.
Fox echoed statements made by Nintendo head of piracy Neil Boyd, who said “ISPs are in an ideal position to deal with infringements.”
Simon Fox, HMV
by Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). “HMV welcome the Government's recent
statement on illegal P2P filesharing, which recognises the important role that ISPs can play in addressing this critical issue,” Fox told MCV. “In our view, the Government’s position strikes a reasonable and fair balance in acknowledging the changing needs and aspirations of the consumer in what is an evolving technological landscape, whilst demonstrating its full commitment towards the creative industries and an understanding of the need to protect and support the invaluable role they play in our
nation’s cultural and economic well-being." UK ISP Talk Talk has said the recommendations are likely to “breach fundamental rights”. Virgin added it believed that “persuasion not coercion” was the correct policy. It is estimated that there are six million file-sharers in the UK. Leading peer-to-peer file sharing sites The Pirate Bay and Mininova were both threatened with court fines last week. to read MCV’s full interview with Nintendo’s anti-piracy unit, turn to page 14
FOX: HMV boss says that ISPs should be taking action
MCV 04/09/09 7
Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 a return to form, says Konami Konami tones down arcade elements of new title to win back former buyers of franchise by Tim Ingham KONAMI has told MCV that Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 will bring lapsed fans back to the franchise – thanks to a return to the franchise’s hallmark realism. The publisher has worked closely with the game’s community to weed out
to walk,” he said. “PES 2010 sees a real return to the simulation roots of the series, with more considered pace, and more emphasis on positional play and passing movement. “The PES fanbase is thankfully very vociferous in their PES tastes, and has proved essential in the
PES 2010 sees a real return to the much-loved simulation roots of the series. It’s truly the return of the king. Jon Murphy, Konami
elements that let down PES 2009 – which suffered critically and commercially against a resurgent FIFA 09. Konami’s European PES Team Leader Jon Murphy told MCV that the new game would bring PES back to its “simulation roots”. “People want their football game to mix playability with realism, and that is a fine line
development of the new game. Everything from the way nets bulge to the goalkeepers’ gloves has come under scrutiny, and all feedback has been shown to Japan who have met many of the requests in the new 2010 edition. It’s the return of the king.” PES 2010 will be released for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on October 23rd. PS2 and
MURPHY: PES team leader hails the “return of football’s king”
PSP versions will follow on November 6th, with a Wii version out on November 20th. The cover stars for this year’s title are Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
MCV expects the game will benefit from Konami’s biggest marketing spend of the year. To read our full focus on the football genre – and the mouthwatering upcoming battle between FIFA and PES 2010 – turn to page 31
New Gran Turismo a killer app for PSP SONY HAS predicted that its latest Gran Turismo title will single-handedly give a significant boost to hardware sales of PSPgo and PSP 3000 – and that it is expecting “huge” consumer interest in the game. Gran Turismo PSP is released on October 1st, the day Sony’s latest handheld hardware, the digital-only PSPgo, is launched. A boxed version of the game will be backed by a “hefty” marketing campaign from Sony. “As one of the most well loved PlayStation franchises
ever, GT on PSP is gearing up to be a big hit,” said Sony UK product manager Claire Backhouse. “We expect it to be a real hardware shifter, coming out the same time as PSPgo on both the new console and the original PSP 3000.” The title, which was unveiled at E3 in July, will feature over 800 cars from the world’s biggest manufacturers and 30 tracks – as well as allowing player-to-player trading via wi-fi. “I think consumer interest and demand for this game is
GRAN PLANS: Sony is backing Gran Turismo on TV and outdoor
going to be huge, and awareness will be high due to our hefty marketing campaign,” added Backhouse. “The physics and gameplay are just superb as well – it’s a beautiful looking game.” Sony will back the title with an above-the-line campaign, featuring a TV commercial that shows off gameplay and both the PSP3000 and PSPgo. “This will also be bolstered with other, potentially outdoor, marketing and a online and press campaign, as well as extensive PR,” added Backhouse. SCEE: 020 7859 5000
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Porn king calls for PS3 support Vivid boss keen for Sony to boost adult entertainment industry by making HD movies available worldwide by Tim Ingham THE KINGPIN of the world’s largest pornography producer has called on Sony to make downloadable HD adult movies available worldwide through PSN. The Vivid Entertainment founder and co-chairman,
With proper age verification, consumers should be allowed to view adult movies on any device they desire. Steven Hirsch, Vivid
Steven Hirsch, told MCV that he believed the distribution of porn films on PS3 had “real potential” for the adult entertainment industry. Japanese firm DDM.tv last month revealed that it had launched an HD porn download service for owners
Hirsch told MCV this week: “[DDM’s launch] is a good start. We hope that Sony will allow adult movies to be downloaded worldwide. “As long as proper age verification is in place there is no reason why consumers should not be allowed to view
adult movies on any device that they desire. “It’s too early to say to what extent this could help our business, but it certainly has real potential.” However, MCV understands that neither Sony Computer Entertainment Europe nor America have yet received a formal request from Vivid material for its material to be hosted on the platform. The porn industry was given a great boost in past years by Sony’s decision to include DVD functionality on PlayStation 2 in 2000. Vivid’s most popular movies include Cry Wolf, Debbie Does Dallas… Again, Beat The Heat, Blame It On Ginger, The Masseuse, Bad Wives and Filthy’s First Taste.
Photo courtesy of www.vivid.com
of the PS3 – but it is only available in its home territory for the time being. DDM promised to bring BluRay-quality HD adult movies to those with a PS3, broadband connection, HDMI cable and an HD TV. Movies will be offered for download on a pre-pay basis.
HIRSCH: Vivid founder wants Sony to enable porn downloading through the PlayStation Network
‘iTunes for games’ starts search for partners A NEW VENTURE described by its creators as the ‘iTunes for video games’ has now launched online – and is looking for fresh white label partners. GameStreamer, the digital distribution and streaming service, offers developers and
targeting a wide range of demographics. Clients can choose from a selection of payment models, and decide whether they want their game streamed or available for download. Sites hosting games delivered by GameStreamer include
Our white label partners are highly successful businesses. We complement their existing offerings.
Steig Westerberg, GameStreamer
publishers access to a B2B network of consumer sites that will host their titles online,
social networks, retailers, e-tailers, media companies, churches and schools.
The firm says its growing network will ‘result in the widest catalogue of games available anywhere’. The company acquired the rights to Iceberg Interactive’s PC games last week – and is now looking to partner with even more firms. “Our white label partners are already highly successful businesses in their own right,” said GameStreamer COO Steig Westerberg. “They typically have unique offerings that draw dedicated viewers. But what they lack is the skills, expertise and experience to
expand a games store offering to their customer base. “We complement their existing offerings and build a game store that is indistinguishable from their existing website. Their customer base already meets
the profile of game buyers and it becomes a natural extension of their offering. At first game buys might be impulse purchases, but end users soon realise how reliable the system is and come back for more.” www.gamestreamer.com
MCV 04/09/09 9
Codemasters heralds first-party ‘might’ Publisher boss Cousens talks up new model – after signing Sony to handle Dirt 2 sales by Tim Ingham CODEMASTERS CEO Rod Cousens has told MCV that recruiting the ‘might’ of PlayStation’s European sales team will ensure the success of upcoming racer Dirt 2. In a surprise move this week, Codemasters confirmed that Sony is to take over sales
Bringing the might of a platform holder behind the game is a testimony to the strength and quality of Dirt 2. Rod Cousens, Codemasters
and distribution duties for the upcoming title on both PS3 and PSP. The deal echoes Sony’s swoop to capture the PlayStation publishing rights to Atari’s Ghostbusters earlier this year – though unlike that deal, Dirt 2 will not be a timed
THQ’s PR boss exits HELEN JONES, THQ’S senior PR manager for UK and Europe, has left the firm. The long-standing THQ staffer is now seeking local employment in Brighton. Jones joined THQ in 2004, following a stint as PR and communications manager at Mindscape. She was promoted in 2007, when former senior UK PR Sam Forrest was promoted to a European role. Her exit follows the move of former THQ PR Manager Greg Jones to Disney last month.
PlayStation exclusive. The agreement covers all PAL territories except Spain (Warner Bros), Australia and New Zealand (Namco Bandai). Cousens told MCV that the partnership will work well for the racer, which has already clocked up impressive reviews. “The phasing of industry dynamics as signalled by
hardware vendors on pricing and machine configurations heralds opportunity,” he said. “Software drives hardware and Dirt 2 is a driving force. Bringing the might of a platform holder behind the game is testimony to the strength and quality of Dirt 2. It is truly ‘best
EA: To promote the upcoming racer, EA and GAME have teamed up to hold the Need For Speed: Shift UK Championships. Shoppers are challenged to set the fastest lap time in the hopes of winning a Nissan 350Z GT. CAPCOM: Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles will arrive on November 27th. It will be the first third-party title to be bundled with the Wii Zapper.
COUSENS: Codemasters CEO says Sony deal gives Dirt 2 a sales boost
in class’ and this collaboration should ensure its success.” Codemasters’ senior VP of publishing for EPAC, Axel Herr, commented: “The Colin McRae series has enjoyed a great affinity with the PlayStation brand in PAL territories for over
ten years and we’re proud to have the support and ambition of SCEE behind it.” Colin McRae: Dirt 2 will be released on Xbox 360, Wii and DS alongside PS3 and PSP on September 11th. C’masters: 01926 814132
Mastertronic hires legal team MASTERTRONIC Group has signed Osborne Clarke as its provider of legal services. As part of the arrangement, general counsel at Mastertronic Group Nav Sunner joins Osborne Clarke as co-head of its interactive entertainment group. He will continue to work with Mastertronic as well as other clients, with a particular focus on digital distribution and publishing. MD of Mastertronic Group Andy Payne said: “As we enter the digital distribution sector alongside our retail business, it is clear that we will need to increase our resources to
SUNNER: Mastertronic man will work with Osborne Clarke
match the challenges of being in this space. I have worked with Nav for three years and he has been absolutely superb in every respect. By him joining up as a senior figure at
Osborne Clarke we get the best of both worlds – someone who knows our business inside out and a legal firm that will lead the way in digital distribution. It really is a win-win for all of us.” Paul Gardner, partner at Osborne Clarke, added: “I have known Nav for years and am delighted he is joining our Interactive Entertainment Group. His knowledge and experience of the industry and of digital distribution in particular will be a great asset to us and we are really looking forward to working with Mastertronic in this area.” M’tronic: 0845 234 4242
MICROSOFT: A partnership with Forza 3 and Puma will see gaming nights take place in Puma Concept Stores, game-related content on PumaMotorsport.com and the release of a Forza-branded shoe. BLIZZARD: The creators of World Of Warcraft are working on a third expansion pack for the best-selling MMORPG. World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm will once again raise the level cap and introduce new areas, races and quests. AMAZON: The online retailer is now making the first two Tales Of Monkey Island episodes available individually through its Game Download Store.
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10 MCV 04/09/09
System 3 hails revitalised racing genre Supercar Challenge, F1, DiRT 2, Blur and Gran Turismo will help re-ignite the racing genre, says boss Cale by Christopher Dring A WEALTH of great new racing IP will help usher in a new era for the racing genre. That’s according to System 3 CEO Mark Cale, whose upcoming racer Supercar Challenge is due to hit shelves later this week. “I believe that we have the best handling model yet on a game,” he told MCV. “We are taking the racing genre very seriously, we do believe there is a strong comeback for racing games. “It is the most popular genre after first person shooters, and nothing can touch the FPS in terms of sales and what consumers want.
“There’s been a turn-around for racers. A lot of good racing games are coming through now, and this is re-igniting the genre. People feel there is a step forward in technology and there’s a lot on offer.”
System 3 boss Mark Cale is optimistic that SuperCar Challenge can be a part of a racing genre comeback
“I think a price reduction, regardless of a new look, will benefit PS3 sales,” he said. “I feel the cut has been longoverdue. Everyone has been asking for a price-cut all over the world as there’s just not
There has been a turn-around for racers and there is a lot of great racing games coming through now. Mark Cale, System 3
Supercar Challenge is exclusive to PS3 and launches alongside the slimmer model, which is certain to aid the game’s sales. And Cale feels that the PS3 price-cut was a necessary move for Sony.
enough users out there to justify long-term support for the platform.” Supercar Challenge is due for release this Friday (September 4th) on PS3.
System 3: 0207 491 4441
E WEEK H T F O N G I A P CAM HAMPIONS C F O Y M E D A C A
Ubisoft enters the competitive football market with Academy of Champions on Wii. The title is aimed at the younger gamer and is being backed by a large marketing push… RELEASED: SEP 2009 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT VANCOUVER
TV Ubisoft has booked 20 second advertising spots that kicked off earlier this week and will run until September 27th. The campaign is designed to reach four million younger gamers aged up to 15 yearsold. Activity is planned on channels including Cartoon Network and Disney XD. Online Online activity will take place on Cartoon Network and Disney sites, with minisites features, competitions and online creatives.
PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769
PR Press for Academy of Champions includes
previews and reviews in specialist and kids media. Publications set to feature this coverage includes Beano, Dandy, Kick and Jetix. Ubisoft is also hoping to attract female football players by promoting the title in girl-specific publications such as Go Girl. Football legend Pelé has also endorsed the game, and even appeared on stage during E3. TalkSport The main thrust of Ubisoft’s marketing is made in partnership with TalkSport. A special five-a-side football tournament is planned, which will be sponsored by Academy of
Champions. The tournament will involve dads playing the role of a manager and getting their kids to play. It will be promoted by the likes of Ian Wright and Stan
Collymore on TalkSport. Competitions will also run on TalkSport, along with advertorials and promotional activity in the digital and sport magazine.
Nationwide Experiential Gaming. p4wnd. Play. Experience. Shop. New Superstore opening in Reading, 12th September! IL2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey 360 & PS3 - 505 games Game of the Week 4th September 2009 Pilot fighters, battle planes or heavy bombers through a diverse range of thrilling missions and, in a hmv exclusive, a chance to take a flying lesson in the vintage Tiger Moth biplane!
Ashes Cricket 2009 All Formats - Codemasters
SECTION 8 PC and 360 - Southpeak
Game of the Week 11th September 2009
Providing gamers with the most authentic Ashes experience possible without having to don their whites! Freeplay promotion at all gamerbase venues nationwide.
On the war-torn planets of tomorrow, mankind’s greatest battle is about to begin in the UK's greatest gaming centres. Freeplay week and community promotion from launch date.
14 MCV 04/09/09
MCV INTERVIEW JODI DAUGHERTY & NEIL BOYD, NINTENDO ANTI-PIRACY TEAM
Partners in crime Nintendo’s anti-piracy bosses have vowed to step up their fight against rogue retailers and illegal downloaders – with a stronger team than ever. Tim Ingham asks Neil Boyd, Euro council, and Jodi Daugherty, global director, how they’re going to achieve it…
Would you say DS or Wii was the main area of your focus? JD: We certainly care about both. But the DS, and the game copiers [like R4] have caused great concern. We are ramping up efforts on both, but certainly on game copiers and ho it facilitates internet piracy.
copiers are manufactured in China, so we really pursue game copiers out there. We’ve taken a lot of legal action. In 2009 so far we’ve taken over 75 legal actions in China. In terms of Europe, all key markets are hit, but Spain has the most significant challenge. The mindset of the consumer there is just unbelievable.
How do you ensure that retailers are not only scared to stock these devices, but also feel they’re letting down the trade by doing so? JD: But they’re letting themselves down most of all, you know? It really curtails their software sales – and it ruins their relationship with us. What’s the longterm plan for them? I would hope it was to be a long-term customer of Nintendo. At the end of the day, it’s not in their best interests [to sell these devices]. If we’ve educated them and they’re continuing to sell them, we have to take whatever steps we can.
What about the R4 card specifically? What are you doing to curb that NB: Internet piracy mirrors that. The device’s success? Latin countries tend to have higher JD: Unfortunately, there are a number rates, according to the stats. of manufacturers in China. It’s kind of like Whack-A-Mole out there – we’ve What about in the UK? hit a lot of factories a lot. JD: The UK certainly is certainly the We actually get a lot of information entrance into the EU for a lot of these Is there a message you’d like to about these factories give a UK retailer still from the European stocking these devices? If Retailers who stock R4 cards market in terms of I was doing alright out of are letting themselves down. import/export information these devices, why We’ll pursue customers that – we have real ability with should I stop? try to hurt the company. our global network. JD: Simply, it hurts your sales and it’s going to hurt Jodi Daugherty, Nintendo Is it an impossible task your relationship with us. to know how much more work you devices. Based on our numbers, the We have no problem pursuing have to do to get this under control? size of the seizures in the UK are customers that continue to take steps to JD: You’re going to have to have strong hurt the company. We have taken action much bigger than they are in other legislation and strong enforcement in against customers. countries. It becomes a distribution base China to tackle that. That’s something for the EU. we’re on working with government What’s the process for that? Is there officials. Taking action isn’t the be all a warning stage before you get Are you concerned that devices and end all in China. Key lobbying and more heavy handed? like R4 will grow with the working with industry and Government JD: There’s an educational stage to it. new audience of gaming – casual go alongside that. We send letters to explain how these users etc? things work. It could be they don’t JD: The perception of the availability Does piracy damage ‘core’ games understand that what they’re doing makes it look legitimate. It’s of core on Wii and DS more than kids’ could impact heir sales. If they still importance for us to be out there games? haven’t stopped, we then send a Cease educating. Folks need to understand JD: I don’t think you can make that and Desist letter. If they don’t then act that these devices are primarily used to distinction. Any time you have a on that, we have to follow that up and download illegal content. If you’re a popular game, it has the potential of take action. parent and you buy your kids this getting knocked off. DS game piracy not device, they’re opening up their DS to only impacts Nintendo, but the Do you have information on whatever content is coming through. Key publishers and creators of other games. what piracy is costing the trade messages need to get out there. But we Any time you have a popular title that’s every year? try and teach ethics too – downloading in demand, people will pirate it. We JD: We used to publish numbers and just because it’s free is not legal. see a lot of pirated Super Marios this year we didn’t do it because the and Pokemons, unfortunately. piracy trends for Nintendo are just like NB: That’s why its runs parallel to that for our authentic content – forever litigation. We’re taking action against How widespread is the changing. It’s not just copied boxes the main device suppliers, and then piracy problem on DS? you’ve got a separate axis of people who being sold anymore – that’s the easy JD: From a global perspective, a part. The online side, which ties to the are getting access to those devices, and lot of the time these game game copiers if difficult to quantify. we need to educate them.
MCV 04/09/09 15
MCV INTERVIEW JODI DAUGHERTY & NEIL BOYD, NINTENDO ANTI-PIRACY TEAM
Nintendo’s Jodi Daugherty and Neil Boyd have a stark message for retailers still stocking R4-like devices
NINTENDO’S NEW EXPERT
What are you doing directly to the willingness to engage in a discussion consumer to stop them using that’s been difficult. They can do a lot BitTorrent sites? more – and everyone knows they can NB: We’re engaged through the do a lot more. industry associations, looking for more ISP co-operation and responsibility. The What about The Pirate Bay case? ISPs have contracts with the users and NB: The site’s still up and running so are in an ideal position to deal with any there’s much more to do. Everybody infringements going on. We strongly welcomed the sentences that now are advocate the graduated response system up for appeal. They’d be going a long seen in the Government’s Digital Britain time and annoyed a lot of people. But report – the ‘three’ or ‘five strikes’ rule. A notice ISPs have contracts with is sent from the ISP to the illegal downloaders. They can user telling them illegal do a lot more in this fight – downloading is in breach of their terms, and a and everyone knows it. scaled response follows. Neil Boyd, Nintendo We think sanctions have to follow those letters, whether that’s they’d made a significant income from it technical or suspension of their account. as well. Most of the public found that ISPs already do so in preventing access quite interesting – that they weren’t to paedophile sites, and exchanges of quite the Robin Hoods they’d previously spyware and Trojans, so we know the believed. The fight continues to try and technical means are there. It’s their take that site down.
A lot of people in games say we’re not going to make ‘the same mistakes as the music industry’. But what does that really mean? NB: The music industry’s business model became outdated the day that Napster was born. They were caught with their pants down. It’s easy in hindsight to say that suing your customers is not the way to fix that, but there were thousands of people being made redundant in those companies, so they had to act. I don’t think any industry wants to sue its customers – unless it’s people at the very top of the pyramid, the major uploaders.
R4’s still very prevalent in the marketplace, but you’ve also celebrated your own victories lately. In the war, who’s winning? NB: I’ve recently come across the figures, and 200,000 game copiers were
Neil Boyd joins Nintendo from his role as European anti-piracy director at Warner Bros, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the firm’s enforcement strategy for TV, film and entertainment content, both online and for packaged goods. Prior to joining Warner, digital expert Boyd represented the interests of international record companies in his role as legal advisor at IFPI Secretariat London, managing civil litigation against pirate online platforms and replicators in territories such as Brazil, Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Italy and Hong Kong.
recently seized by Nintendo. I’m sure that’s the tip of the iceberg, but that’s a lot of units to stop getting to market any way you look at it. It’s a success in itself. JD: We definitely have momentum. There are ways to tackle it from the business side, like we did with eBay and Amazon. But the legal route takes longer. I have a tough time saying we’re going to ‘win’ as you never know what’s coming round the corner. But we’re very well prepared, with an awesome team. If you think you’ve won, you’re stagnant. And we’re always moving forward.
Do you have the right strategy to save the Kingdom?
Limited edition CD soundtrack included in pack
www.risingstargames.com Basepoint Business & Innovation Centre ButterďŹ eld Luton United Kingdom LU2 8DL ÂŠ 2008, 2009 Marvelous Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Licensed to and published by Rising Star Games Ltd.
MCV 04/09/09 17
MCV INTERVIEW JOHN GALLOWAY, VP UK AND NORDIC, NAMCO BANDAI PARTNERS
Namco’s Euro vision Namco Bandai became an overnight publishing force in Europe earlier this year, by acquiring Atari’s huge distribution business. With the firm now fully operational, Christopher Dring speaks to Namco Bandai Partners’ John Galloway about the publisher’s ambitious plans for the West… Why was the deal for Namco Bandai to take over Atari’s distribution network accelerated? After acquiring the 34 per cent stake, both parties agreed that we can move forward quickly and efficiently. This allows Atari to focus 100 per cent on their business model and Namco Bandai to focus on its growth in the European marketplace. The new management team here was in place, so it all made sense to move forward with the deal. What advantages does having Namco Bandai as a parent bring to the Partners’ business? There are quite a few benefits. Namco Bandai is a major publisher in Japan and this gives them a very strong entrance into the European marketplace with full distribution teams in place. This is only the starting point. Going forward there
Namco Bandai UK boss John Galloway says the firm offers its partners a unique route into the European market
We’re putting heavy investment into games suited for European consumers. We are becoming a formidable force.
John Galloway, N.Bandai
will be heavy investment into game development more suited for European gamers. Combined, this makes us a formidable force going forward. This also gives us the financial backing to move forward with our goals and gives the confidence to our partners that we are a secure proposition for them to work with. What are the growth plans for Namco Bandai Partners? Very ambitious. This is only the start, and we aim to grow our market share
18 MCV 04/09/09
MCV INTERVIEW JOHN GALLOWAY, VP UK AND NORDIC, NAMCO BANDAI PARTNERS to be one of the top five publishers in Europe over the next three to five years. Are you looking to acquire other businesses and offices? All opportunities must be looked at. I can’t comment on any discussions that are currently taking place. We have a European distribution deal with Bethesda in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy, Benulux and Nordic Territories. We also have a partnership with Monte Cristo and the new Cities XL title, Game Life and Easy Piano for Nintendo DS and we have a new partnership with renowned developer Ninja Theory which previously developed the critically acclaimed Heavenly Sword for PlayStation 3. We have also recently announced Clash of the Titans, which is based on the forthcoming movie, and Majin: The Fallen Realm, which is a stunning adventure from developer Game Republic that pushes boundaries of corporative AI. Our spread of offices allows us to operate in all the key territories. Are you actively seeking new clients? Always. However, we want to be able to deliver great service, so we are careful that we do not over stretch and
can deliver on the agreements we commit too. We offer a one-stop-shop to developers and publishers wanting focus on their titles across Europe. This was a strength of Atari’s, but with the backing of Namco Bandai we will make this work harder.
company and Europe responded very well in terms of sales – sometimes better than the US market. It is an obvious next move for them.
market for a long time to come. We need to remember the overall games market is growing, both in download and boxed product.
What is the biggest challenge for distributors today? For most distributors, I’d say having the bandwidth to deliver. We have that, this is what Namco Bandai has invested in,
Tekken aside, many of Namco’s franchises haven’t been such big successes in Europe. How important is it for Namo Bandai Partners to grow these games in the West? If I can correct you here please? Katamari and Dragon Ball as examples, see some very strong sales across Europe. True, they have in the past been in the shadows in the UK. However, the product quality is great and our aim is to grow awareness of these franchises and in turn increase the sales. They have a very loyal fan base and so greater awareness will lead to greater sales.
What can you offer these companies that other distributors cannot? I truly believe in partnership. Too many Japanese companies need to distributors try to be all to grow out of their own everyone; we will give territory and Europe is the clear focus, feedback and commitment to our next key market. agreements. Distributing John Galloway, N.Bandai our own products gives us the internal sense of owning the so we are set up and in all the key product and giving it full backing. It’s places. Having financial backing is also not just a SKU, it’s true belief in all the key, again a commitment Namco Bandai products we distribute. We are set up has given to us. across Europe, so we don’t focus just on limited markets, which helps developers What are your thoughts on the and publishers as they’re talking to one recent growth spurt in the digital party not three or four. download space? Is it a worry? Not at all. Part of the deal with Atari is Why do you feel so many Japanese to work with them on distributing their companies are heading to the West? boxed product in tandem with them Japanese companies need to grow out of releasing the download versions. For the Japan and Europe is the next key moment, both avenues to the consumer market. For many years they have can work hand-in-hand. Retail will still distributed their games via a distribution play a very important part in the games
How will you be looking to increase sales of Namco’s titles? Strong marketing, working very closely with retail and ensuring our products are well received by the consumer. We will be announcing some new titles in the near future that will grow our portfolio and appeal.
KATAMARI FOREVER Formats: PS3 Release date: September 18th Katamari’s unique gameplay has a huge following worldwide, and the latest game in the series boasts full high-definition graphics.
FAMILY TRAINER EXTREME CHALLENGE Formats: Wii Release date: September 25th The second in Namco Bandai’s popular mini-gamebased Wii fitness franchise improves players’ health via on-screen extreme sports.
TEKKEN 6 Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Release date: October 30th Namco Bandai’s highly anticipated beat ‘em up arrives on Xbox 360 and PS3 on October 30th, complete with multiple special editions.
GHOSTBUSTERS Formats: DS, PC, 360, Wii Release date: October 23rd Already available on PlayStation formats, Atari will finally release Ghostbusters on the other platforms across Europe.
DRAGON BALL: RAGING BLAST Formats: Xbox 360, PS3 Release date: October 23rd Dragon Ball fans can also look forward to Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans on DS and Dragon Ball: Revenge of King Piccolo on Wii.
TALES OF SYMPHONIA: DAWN OF THE NEW WORLD Formats: Wii Release date: November The sequel to the hit GameCube RPG has already been won big review scores and large sales in Japan.
20 MCV 04/09/09
AGE RATINGS BLUNDER: ANALYSIS
A minor problem for Xmas So the Video Recordings Act has collapsed – and retailers can now legally sell adult games to kids. Will chaos ensue? Not from this industry, reports Tim Ingham…
“IT IS OUTRAGEOUS that an administrative error of this sort could go unnoticed for so many years.” You said it, sir. Tory Shadow Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s response to the news that the Video Recordings Act had suddenly been rendered useless last week was particularly poetic – not least as it was Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party that made the fatal error of neglecting to submit the law to Europe in 1984. And again when its members checked it over in 1993. Oh, and once again in 1994. Of course, Labour is far from blameless in one of the most embarrassing episodes the Home Office has ever faced.
It took Whitehall’s current incumbents 12 years of being in power to spot the blunder – and only then it was because ELSPA successfully lobbied to get the word ‘PEGI’ squeezed into the Act. (MCV readers will surely have enjoyed the irony that it took a
who have made unhelpful pronouncements on this industry. The credibility of those statements should now be viewed against a backdrop of their supposedly informed view of legislation.”) But constitutional blunder giggled at and digested, there is now a more pressing matter at hand: What will be the real MPs who make unhelpful legacy of retailers pronouncements on this facing no legal industry are supposed to comeuppance of selling adult games to minors? have an informed legal view. According to the Rod Cousens, Codemasters Department Of Culture, requested amendment of the 25-year-old Media and Sport, the EU won’t even law from the games industry to uncover look at the now hastily re-submitted law the blunder – not least as our trade has for three months. That leaves publishers been the basis of a fair few attacks on and retail – still recovering from the the trade from Parliament over the fight to ensure PEGI is instated as the years. As Codemasters CEO Rod age ratings standard – with an Cousens puts it: “There are those MPs interesting Q4 on their hands.
22 MCV 04/09/09
AGE RATINGS BLUNDER: ANALYSIS NO PROBLEM: Eidos’ Ian Livingstone believes the games industry will behave responsibly over the age ratings three-month ‘loophole’
POLITICAL GAMES The Department for Culture, Media and Sport says that it had received legal advice that people who had previously been prosecuted and convicted under the now toothless Video Recordings Act would be unable to overturn their convictions or seek compensation. Minister for Culture and Tourism Barbara Follett (pictured) has written to representatives of the video industry, stating that the priority of the Government is to remedy this situation as quickly as possible – an urgency which has been welcomed by ELSPA. The 1984 act was passed when Leon Brittan was Conservative home secretary, and then amended under Michael Howard's period at the Home Office.
ELSPA has moved to reassure “All sectors of our membership, publishers that no change in operation is whether they are video distributors, necessary; that the affair will blow over. video game publishers or entertainment That extends to the introduction of retailers have confirmed that they will PEGI ratings into law, too. continue to conduct their businesses as “We have been informed by the usual. Whatever the position of the law Government that the timetable for the is at present our members will continue introduction of PEGI as the legal system to operate as if it was mandatory.” of video games classification will Hall’s words are echoed by the video not be adversely affected by this error,” game’s industry biggest retailers. GAME ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson Our video games publishing told MCV. and entertainment retail “We fully expect membership will continue to legislation to introduced in conduct business as usual. the Queen’s speech in November and for the law Laurie Hall, Video Standards to be passed by the next general election.” COO Terry Scicluna tells MCV: “This development doesn’t change our ACTING OUR AGE approach, and we’ll continue to enforce The wider industry has also been quick age ratings in all of our stores.” HMV to reassure prospective doubters (hello, agrees, pledging to stick to the nowDaily Mail!) that it won’t be frantically unenforcable law. shovelling copies of GTA IV and However, as Entertainment Retail Manhunt 2 into the hands of youngsters Association boss Kim Bayley points out, to make a quick buck this Christmas. it’s not the High Street’s most trusted The Video Standards Council helped brands that those in the know fear will draft the original VRA and had its take advantage of the new ‘loophole’. powers increased as part of the PEGI“We are of course surprised that this related changes. Director general Laurie news has come to light, but we are Hall says he is confident the body’s confident that all ERA members will act members will operate as before: responsibly – and will continue to
ensure inappropriate material does not get into the hands of children,” she says. “However, I can’t speak on behalf of smaller video and video games retailers who aren’t ERA members – and whether they’ll take advantage of the loophole.” The vast majority of indie retailers MCV has spoken to have pledged to continue their policy of only selling adult games to adults – with major mentioning “ethics” as the major reason behind their refusal to take advantage of the Council legal blunder. But, sadly, this voice was not unanimous. With prices higher than ever, a smattering of triple-A games moved to next year and a certain economic slowdown tightening its grip, some stores have admitted that the lack of a punitive threat may mean they’ll sell 18-rated games to youngsters this Q4 in order to boost their business. “I own three independent games retail stores, and I’ve let my staff know that they don’t have to check age ratings for the time being,” the owner of one indie business told MCV. “I imagine we’ve sold a few copies to underage buyers.”
Far from an epidemic, however, these few stores also didn’t seem adverse to selling adult titles to 16 and 17-year-olds in the past – so won’t exactly be moderating behaviour. However, even they draw the line at ‘kids’. As one indie put it: “You won't get seven yearolds after GTA, and we wouldn’t sell it to them if they were.” Indeed, it seems even the desperate and irresponsible pledge to some sort of ethical code. Finally, the video games industry really has been the opportunity to place its ‘sick filth’ into the hands of innocent kids without recompense – and it’s turned it down flat. Over to Eidos life president Ian Livingstone: “The Government’s blunder gives the industry the opportunity to demonstrate once again that it takes its responsibilities seriously and would not in any way encourage or endorse the selling of inappropriate material to young consumers. We are used to self-regulation and can be trusted as an industry.” The games industry covering the Government’s unprofessionalism by behaving responsibly? It looks like they owe us one. Now, about those tax breaks…
24 MCV 04/09/09
MCV INTERVIEW CHRIS LEWIS, VP INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT, MICROSOFT EUROPE
Few were surprised by Microsoft’s lowering of the price for its Elite 360 – but the firm also raised the RRP of its Arcade console. Michael French spoke to European Xbox chief Chris Lewis to find out why…
Why change the pricing now? This is a logical part of the journey we are on and was well-planned: it’s good timing to realign both our product line up and also ensure we are at the right and sweet price point, particularly for our premium SKU, the Elite console. It keeps the wind in the sails of our business and is complementary to the line-up of announcements we made at E3 in terms of new games, and Xbox Live functionality such as the addition of Twitter and Facebook. And we want to give clarity and choice to our consumers. With the Elite coming down in price, the Pro disappearing, and the Arcade increasing in price, is this a price rise or a price cut? It’s very much a realignment of price, particularly when it comes to the Elite console. For us the 360 Elite represents the most premium 360 experience – all the storage opportunities it brings in terms of online and connectivity, and even the aesthetics of the product itself, is just cheaper now. It’s the product that I think is the most aspirational in terms of what people are looking for from a machine, and is even cheaper at the high-end of the range. But consumers tell us that they want some clarity – the phasing out of the middle SKU gives clearer choice. Could Microsoft eventually phase out the consoles with no hard drive given the importance of downloadable content to the platform? What we’ve learnt over the years is that people want scalability. But yes, we ultimately want to drive people up to a better premium experience. We will continue to listen to what our consumers tell us. If it is evident over time that people want more clarity, or indeed more breadth of products, then we will build that into the offer. Right now, particularly in continental Europe, it’s important to offer variety so users have a way to eventually progress up to that Elite experience.
give people an entry into the Xbox experience at a great price and great value. But we also want to give them the chance to scale up. That strategy is serving us well, particularly in southern Europe where we are seeing more and more people move to Xbox to our ability to offer aggressively priced, great value experiences with the Arcade.
SKU OPERATOR: Lewis says that the different 360 Elite and Arcade configurations means Microsoft can cultivate a diverse audience base across all of Europe
And how is this a reaction to Sony’s own price cuts and hardware tweak? It was always the plan to use this time of the year to reset our pricing and realign the SKU line-up. I am not complacent about the competition, but we are on our own journey and march to our own rhythm.
We don’t want to force technology that people don’t necessarily want to use or pay for down their throats. Chris Lewis, Xbox So why raise the price of the Arcade SKU? We are making modest increases on the Xbox 360 Arcade partly to offset currency exchange rate fluctuations that have impacted us in local market conditions – particularly in the UK. You’ve seen other
consumer products operate in the same way, but I think even with that we still offer the most affordable console in the marketplace out there. So we’ve reset the price point largely based on exchange rate fluctuations, but are still very happy we offer great value through the Arcade. Are you still positioning the Arcade as the Wii alternative, and for those new to gaming? From our point of view, we don’t think about this versus what else is out there in the market. We genuinely don’t. From our point of view we see this as an important entry point. We want to give people the choice. We don’t want to force technology that people don’t necessarily want to use or pay for down their throats – but we want to
With Xbox at nine million units and PS3 claiming 10 million units shipped in its PAL region, it’s now neck and neck between you both in Europe. What’s the message to retail about how Xbox will maintain its place in the race? Two things I’d say there – we’re confident we are around a million units ahead of them. We count installed base differently: we count the number of units in the hands of consumers. Our commitment is to continue our momentum – not only in places like the UK, France and Germany, but to really keep growing in all parts of Europe. That is what is integral to winning overall. We’re committed to continuing to invest and I am confident that the pricing announcements we have recently made will maintain that momentum in the region. Microsoft says it has a goal over the next 18 months to ‘reinvent entertainment in the living room’ with products like Natal. That’s quite a milestone, so what happens in the meantime? It’s a combination of things. We have a great service offer linked with a platform that’s at the right price. Our latest price activity will complement that, and we have a great journey through to Christmas – there are key titles that are exclusives, but also great cross-platform titles that will just work better on Xbox Live. And in terms of content and our networking, we have more content partnerships for Xbox Live. We are on a very positive journey towards controller-free gaming – we aren’t being specific about the launch for Natal, but are confident that there will be great momentum through to that phase.
MCV 04/09/09 27
10 YEARS OF EUROGAMER
Euro stars In 1999 two brothers started a community games website as a hobby. Ten years later and Eurogamer is Europe’s leading independent games media specialist, with a network of websites and events. Christopher Dring speaks to founder and MD Rupert Loman on ten years of success…
September 4th 1999 Eurogamer is launched at ECTS by Rupert and Nick Loman, The website’s editor is John Bye. September 2001 The first advertising campaign runs on Eurogamer June 2002 GamesIndustry.biz is launched September 2002 Kristan Reed joins as Eurogamer editor
So talk us through how Eurogamer came to be... My brother Nick and I used to be hardcore gamers and played a lot of Quake 2 online. But as we rarely won games we started organising LAN parties and online leagues instead. Later, together with some friends from the online community we decided we should set up a website to start talking about games other than just Quake – and Eurogamer was born. It wasn’t started as a business or with the intention of it being a job for us – there weren’t even advertising spaces on the website. But as the community took off we started attracting interest from publishers who wanted to advertise their new games to our readers. Once some money started coming in we were able to hire some writers and keep growing and we haven’t looked back since. You’re now one of Europe’s biggest video game websites, and you cleaned up at the first two Games Media Awards. What do you feel has been the secret to Eurogamer’s continued success? Basically, we created the website that we wanted to read and we haven’t compromised our editorial credibility as we’ve grown. We were lucky to attract great writers like Tom Bramwell and Kristan Reed in the early days, and because talent attracts talent this led to us bringing on all kinds of fantastic staff and contributors, including the likes of Ellie Gibson, Oli Welsh, Johnny Minkley, Patrick Garratt, Kieron Gillen, Dan Whitehead, Chris Donlan and so on. We’ve also had hugely talented people in our technology and sales teams who are passionate about creating great products. I am proud of everything we do as a company and hopefully that attitude runs through the whole company.
A BRIEF HISTORY….
Eurogamer exhibits at ECTS for the first time March 2004 Patrick Garratt joins May 2005 Eurogamer gets a design overhaul, which has lasted until this day July 2005 Eurogamer registers with ABCE – the first gaming site to do so April 2005 Ellie Gibson joins November 2005 First ABCE audit released - 977k unique users December 2005 Eurogamer TV launches April 2006 Johnny Minkley joins as Eurogamer TV editor May 2006 Eurogamer TV is made available on Xbox Live – the first website to do so in the UK. August 2006 Eurogamer extends reach beyond the UK with the launch of Eurogamer Germany April 2007 Eurogamers community site launches May 2007 Greg Ingham joins as Chairman October 2007 Eurogamer launches in France
Eurogamer sweeps the boards at the inaugral Games Media Awards January 2008 Tom Bramwell becomes editor after eights years with the company March 2008 Eurogamer launches its dedicated MMO channel
In ten years managing director Rupert Loman has turned Eurogamer from a bedroom project into one of Europe’s biggest and most successful video game websites
May 2008 Eurogamer Portugal launches
28 MCV 04/09/09
10 YEARS OF EUROGAMER
June 2008 The Eurogamers community reaches 250,000 registered users August 2008 Eurogamer Benelux launches October 2008 First Eurogamer Expo is a sell-out with 4000 attendees
Eurogamer Italy and Spain launch Eurogamer clean up at the second Games Media Awards January 2009 Eurogamer’s latest audit reveals 3.7 million unique users March 2009 Eurogamer Romania launches May 2009 An expanded Eurogamer Expo is announced for October
Digital Foundry channel launches June 2009 Eurogamer Czech Republic and Denmark launch
GamesRetail launches September 4th 2009 Eurogamer celebrates its 10th birthday
We’ve been very focused on our core business and tried not to get too distracted by the myriad of random opportunities that present themselves – and I think we’ve managed that.
After this year’s event comes to a close we will sit down and work out where we want to take the Eurogamer Expo in 2010 and beyond. But it’s amazing to have thousands of gamers come down and get hands-on with games and it gives our team a great buzz to be at the centre of something so exciting.
What have been the key challenges in competing with the online players such as IGN and Gamespot? I know it’s a cliché, but we’re not concerned about Eurogamer wasn’t started as what the others are doing. a business or a job for us – The challenge at first was there even advertising to make sure people spaces on the site. understood why Eurogamer is a different Rupert Loman, Eurogamer proposition to the other sites, but we don’t have to do that any more. And it’s not really a battle – we You’ve rolled out Eurogamer to all get on really well. multiple European countries; can we expect many more of these in How important is the Eurogamer the future? Expo to the future of your business? Now we have websites in most of the The Eurogamer Expo is a fantastic key European countries there aren’t opportunity both for us and for the UK likely to be many more, but we will industry. I want it to become the key launch in any area where it makes sense consumer gaming event in the UK and for us to do so. we’re well on our way – it’s the first It’s all down to finding the right event in years to bring all the platform partners to work with in each country – holders and so many publishers together. we’re not launching them for the sake
of it. We’re only now starting to scratch the surface of what is possible with coordinated pan-European editorial and marketing. Our local European websites are already reaching two million users and most of the sites are still less than a year old. What about a USgamer or Asiagamer? Would you consider moving beyond Europe? We don’t have any immediate plans for either of those, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Finally, what does the next ten years hold for the Eurogamer Network? It’s impossible to say what’s going to happen in the next ten years. If I look back ten years, I couldn’t have predicted then even a fraction of what has happened so far. We’ve got a couple of new launches coming up that are different to what we’ve done before, which I’m excited about. But more generally we intend to be at the forefront of the global games media – so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
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Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London Conference: 4:30pm – 7:45pm Networking and dinner: 8:00 – Midnight
Digital Distribution & The Future of the European Games Market • Exclusive Research • Sony, Xbox, Nintendo Panel + Q&A • New Routes To Market • How High Street Brands Compete in a Digital Future • The Case For a Download Chart
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MCV 04/09/09 31
F tball crazy The next wave of football video games are about to hit retail, and expectations couldn’t be higher. Christopher Dring speaks to the key game makers on the past, present and future of the genre… THE FOOTBALL season is finally underway. To some it’ll feel like only yesterday when Barcelona triumphed over Manchester United in the Champions League final, yet to the rest of us the wait for the new Premier League season has been an agonisingly slow affair. Will big spenders Manchester City break into the top four? Can Liverpool end their 20 years of hurt? Will Manchester United cope without Ronaldo? Most importantly of all, can Pro Evolution Soccer reclaim its throne from EA’s resurgent FIFA series? Football video games have always been as competitive as their real-life counterpart. Today the talk’s on PES vs FIFA, but some may fondly remember
likes of Konami and EA have taken soccer games to entirely new levels of immersion, and continue to advance the field every year. “The level of detail and control is greater than ever and expectations grow with each new iteration,” explains Konami’s PES team leader Jon Murphy. “ISS basically had pass and shoot buttons, which then added sprint and through balls. Aesthetically, the players all looked the same except for hair and skin tones, whereas PES 2010 enjoys a level of graphical detail that has different skin markings, different movements for the various
It’s interesting how games have progressed – from simple commentary bars, to leagues that are now across the world. Roy Meredith, Beautiful Games Studios
the battle between Kick Off and Sensible Soccer or ISS and Sega Worldwide Soccer. It’s this competitiveness that makes each new football title that much better than the last. “Our rivalry with Konami is very important,” says FIFA producer David Rutter. “There is pressure to get good review scores, pressure to sell a lot of games and, for me, the pressure is to make a brilliant game. I am a competitive person, as are many of our staff, and we want to be the best. Konami is a very talented, very clever and very good group of developers, and it is good to have that there so we can keep improving, innovating and getting as far ahead of our rivals as we can.” Football games have certainly come a long way from the elaborate versions of Pong consumers were playing during the 1970s. Even in the last ten years the
players, and even moving hair. Shirts move in the wind, players have animated faces, and they now move in 360 directions as opposed to just eight.” Sports Interactive creative director Miles Jacobson adds: “In our case, the team size is bigger, the game is bigger, the computers are more powerful, and a lot more is expected. Ten years ago, we didn’t even have a 2D match engine, let alone a 3D one, and the world that the game is created around was a lot less complicated and realistic. People expect realism from us now, and that’s what we strive to achieve.” MANAGING EXPECTATIONS
PES and FIFA may grab all the headlines, but the football management genre continues to be immensely popular too. Sega and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager remains the market leader, while gamers are also
open to enjoying Eidos’ Championship Manager, Zushi’s Premier Manager and EA’s FIFA Manager. These games have come a long way since they first appeared during the 1980s. “Football management games have always enjoyed popularity among fans, because of the fact that they reward people in aspects that differ from other games,” comments Beautiful Games Studios general manager Roy Meredith. “Due to the level of accuracy and detail, players are able to prove their belief that they can succeed at the best job in the world, and it also provides users with additional knowledge about the beautiful game. “In the early days, games were simply about choosing players and selecting from basic formations, but as the games and markets have matured so has the level of detail going into them. I remember the days of CM very well and it’s really interesting to see how much the games have progressed – from simple commentary bar matches, to leagues that are now all across the world.” The advancement of football titles means that today’s games are among the best on the market. However, there are still challenges for the sector to overcome. The dominance of EA and Konami, which back every new game with phenomenal marketing support, makes it extremely difficult for any new publisher to break into the sector. In the ‘90s a new football franchise would
32 MCV 04/09/09
GENRE FOCUS: FOOTBALL GAMES crop up on a seemingly yearly basis (see Football Dynasty), yet today a new football IP is a very rare treat. Ubisoft is the first publisher in a long while that’s attempting to crack the lucrative football market with its Academy of Champions. Instead of going head-to-head with EA and Konami, the firm is developing an entrylevel football game for Wii. “I believe the football genre needs a shake up,” says Ubisoft senior brand manager Phil Brannelly. “A bit of new blood, vision or ideas can never hurt a genre so completely controlled by only two options. Imagine if there were only two options in the FPS market. The opportunity and size of the market is there, all we need to do is
to match the high quality of their rivals, while also splashing out on official licences, player endorsements, marketing activity and more. GREATEST SPORT IN THE WORLD
The rewards for creating a successful football game can be immense. Millions of people play football video games every year, and there are over two billion fans of the sport worldwide for publishers to tap into. This love and passion for the sport is highly unlikely to change any time soon. “Football is the world’s greatest sport,” adds Meredith. “I can’t think of a more collective and emotional event for a group of people than a football match. Individuals are dedicated to the
Football matters. Watching people playing PES, baiting and goading – you’ll see why there’s so much love for the game. Jon Murphy, Konami
put the fun back in to it, like Sensible Soccer did back in the ‘90s. “Going head-to-head with FIFA and Pro Evo would take immense amounts of investment, not only in the licensing side of things and development costs, but also with the marketing investment that would be needed to drag the fans of those titles away and join your side. It would almost be like trying to get a Man Utd fan to support Man City, and I would guess even the few hundred million pounds of investment City have enjoyed this year probably still wouldn’t work.”
game and the team that they support. These are never-changing constants in their lives.” Murphy concludes: “Football matters. It can make or spoil a week; tip or raise a mood in a split-second. Watch two people playing PES, baiting and goading each other, and you will see in a nutshell why there is so much love for the game.”
Turn the page for a complete history of football games
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOTBALL GAME? Miles Jacobson Sports Interactive “The original Football Manager on the ZX Spectrum. Without it, I wouldn’t be doing what I do now.” Jon Murphy Konami
“Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 – it is the return of the king!” Roy Meredith Beautiful Games Studios “Sensible World of Soccer – it marked the beginning of a major new rise in football games, and was outstandingly original. It’s legendary. Also, I have to mention Kick Off 2 and Champ Man 2, as I’ve given so much of my life to those two games.” Phill Brannelly Ubisoft “Can I have three? Match Day on my Spectrum 48k for the memories, Sensible Soccer for just sheer postpub fun and FIFA 09 because it’s brilliant!”
It is also challenging to break into the management genre, as Jacobson explains: “Anyone new coming into the market must compete with very established brands, teams, and code bases. It would be difficult for someone starting from scratch with no experience in the genre – to come in and be able to compete – unless they could bring something very new and innovative to it. But if they could, they’d need to bring something new to football, too!” The football genre is certainly a tough and risky market to enter. Publishers need to spend millions on development
An excited Rooney after scoring his 101st goal, as seen on the cover of FIFA 10
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34 MCV 04/09/09
GENRE FOCUS: FOOTBALL GAMES A FOOTBALL DYNASTY Football games have been around since the dawn of gaming, with Pong-inspired iterations appearing on Binatone/Grandstand consoles in the mid 1970s. MCV provides a detailed history of football games, from NASL Soccer to PES…
NASL Soccer Intellivision 1979 Up until the arrival of this Intellivision title, most football simulators were Pong-style paddle games. NASL Soccer introduced matchstick men sprites and a 3D view. A sequel, World Cup Soccer, arrived in 1986. Pelé’s Soccer Atari 1980 This Atari 2600 game was not the most memorable of football titles, but it was one of the first commercial hits by using the Pelé name to appeal to a mass audience. Football Manager Addictive Interactive/Sports Interactive 1982 The Kevin Tomsdeveloped series began life on the ZX81 and Spectrum 48K and gave birth to the football management genre. The series initially ran its course after just four games, finishing in 1993 with Football Manager 3. However, Sports Interactive bought the rights to the name after its split with long-term publisher Eidos Interactive, and the series was reborn with Sega as a publisher. The Sega-published Football Manager series has sold over five million copies, and the next game in the series is due for release on October 30th 2009. International Soccer Commodore 1983 Andrew Spencer’s Commodore 64 title was revolutionary football, introducing nine difficulty levels and the bouncing ball. This was followed up in 1988 by Emlyn Hughes’ International Soccer, which introduced slide tackling as well as short and long passes. Match Day Ocean Software 1984 The Sinclair Spectrum’s answer to International Soccer was Jon Ritman’s Match Day. It was a huge hit, and a sequel arrived in 1987. In 1998, Acclaim published Super Match Soccer, a spiritual successor to the series.
Soccer Nintendo 1985 Released as a part of Nintendo’s Sports Series for the NES, Soccer was a primitive title that still performed strongly. Nintendo’s most recent football titles are a part of the Super Mario Strikers series. Kick Off Anco 1989 The award-winning Kick Off began life on the Amiga and Atari ST and was developed by Dino Dini. The sequel, Kick Off 2, was an even bigger success, and remains one of the all-time football greats. Kick Off 3 was also released to moderate success, although Dini left for Virgin Games during its development, creating Goal! in 1993 and Dino Dini’s Soccer in 1994. Sensible Soccer Sensible Software/Codemasters 1992 Originally released on Atari ST and Amiga, Sensible Soccer remains one of the most fondly remembered football franchises. Sensible World of Soccer, released in 1994, was famous for including a 20-career season mode and leagues from around the world. Sensible Soccer is now owned by Codemasters, and an XBLA game was released in 2007, while a next-gen game developed by Kuju was released on Xbox and PS2 in 2006. Premier Manager Gremlin/Zoo Digital 1992 The football management series was published by Gremlin until 1998 before Zoo Digital picked up the rights. Zoo (now Zushi) has published every Premier Manager since, including the recent Premier Manager ‘09. Championship Manager Intelek (Sports Interactive) 1992 The original Championship Manager was created by Paul and Oliver Collyer, the founders of Sports Interactive, and was released on Atari ST, Amiga and PC. The series enjoyed massive success, and continues to run today. Sports
Interactive split from publisher Eidos in 2004, to start the Football Manager series – the latest of which is due on October 30th. Championship Manager is now developed Beautiful Game and the next in the series is due for release on September 11th.
FIFA International Soccer EA 1993 Arriving in time for Christmas 1993, FIFA Soccer was the first officially licensed FIFA game. Electronic Arts has since published a FIFA title every single year on almost every format. The series has been accompanied by official World Cup, UEFA Championship and Champions League tie-ins. It’s the world’s most popular football series: the last title, FIFA 09, selling over 10m units. EA has also developed a management series based on the FIFA licence and a skillbased spin-off series, FIFA Street. FIFA Online, is available in Asian countries. FIFA 10 hits on October 2nd. Virtua Striker Sega 1994 Sega’s arcade football series has been a big hit both in the arcades and on consoles. The latest title based on Virtua Striker 4 engine was released in 2006. International Superstar Soccer Konami 1995 Back in 1991 Konami developed its first football game, Konami Hyper Soccer, on NES. The game was such a success that the firm soon launched an entirely new football series, International Superstar Soccer. Critics saw ISS as technically superior to EA’s FIFA franchise, and the series ran for nearly ten years, ending with the release of ISS3 on GameCube, Xbox, PC and PS2 in March 2003. Sega Worldwide Soccer Sega 1995 Sega’s other football series was a killer app for the firm’s ailing Saturn platform. The first game was the spiritual successor to launch title Victory Goal, and performed strongly commercially and critically. A sequel was released a year later, but by this stage the Saturn was on its last legs. Two Worldwide Soccer games were released on Dreamcast, but couldn’t quite match the original’s popularity.
Actua Soccer Gremlin 1995 Released on PlayStation, PC and Saturn, the Actua Soccer series’ claim to fame was its use of full 3D (including the players). The series ran for four games, finishing with the Alan Shearerendorsed Actua Soccer 3 in 1998. This is Football 1999 Sony Computer Entertainment Sony’s football series began life on the PlayStation in 1999 and appeared on PSP and PS2. Six titles were released in total, with the last one arriving in 2005. Pro Evolution Soccer Konami 2001 During the lifespan of International Superstar Soccer – which was developed in Osaka – a separate Konami studio based in Tokyo developed its own games under the ISS banner. After the huge success of ISS: Pro Evolution Soccer, the team was expanded and the PES label was born, eventually replacing ISS. The PES series has a huge dedicated fan base, and the next game, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, is due out on October 23rd. Club Football Codemasters 2003 The Codemasters football series was produced for PS2 and Xbox, and was notable for each version of the game focussing on a specific club, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Leeds United and AC Milan.
Academy of Champions Football Ubisoft 2009 29 years after Pelé first hit the video game scene, the football legend is once again back in a fun Wii title aimed at young children.
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Cocker steps up at GameSpot Former features editor becomes website’s top dog Gamestop hires new CFO Emergent recruits Mike Cox GAMESPOT UK The news and reviews website has handed a promotion to popular journalist GUY COCKER, who becomes editor of the site. Cocker joined GameSpot UK in 2006 as staff writer, and quickly climbed the ladder to become features editor of the portal. He successfully maintained the role after CBS bought out owner CNET Networks last year – impressing the site’s new owners. Previous to GameSpot, Cocker wrote for Home Cinema Choice at Haymarket.
COCKER: CNET has handed the journo a promotion
Cocker was nominated for Best Games Writer (Online) at the 2008 Games Media Awards.
GAMESTOP The US retail giant has recruited CATHERINE SMITH as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Her appointment comes in the wake of news that the current EVP and CFO DAVID CARLSON will be retiring in March 2010. She leaves the same position at Centex Corporation. She previously served as CFO at Kennametal, Bell Systems and Raytheon Company. “To leverage David’s experience, he will take an
active part in the transition,” said CEO DANIEL D. DEMATTEO. “David has been one of my closest partners at GameStop. We have shared the difficulties of a small start-up and the accomplishments associated with the building of a multi-billion dollar company. He is committed to a smooth transition of this important role. “With Cathy’s appointment, we are pleased to bring in an executive of her calibre to our leadership team. I have highest confidence that her skills and experience will deliver continued contributions toward our objectives of revenue growth.”
EMERGENT MIKE COX joins Emergent Game Technologies, creators of the Gamebryo engine, as director of developer relations for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He boast two decades of experience from various roles within the games industry, with almost 50 game credits to his name. He has served at EA and Kuju, where he held the role of head for Chemistry, an Unreal-exclusive studio. In his new role, Cox will manage Emergent’s EMEA sales team.
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
WITH THIS ISSUE We offer an exclusive guide to the casual titles from Ubisoft’s upcoming line-up
GUITAR HERO 5 P42 The fifth iteration in Activision Blizzard’s best-selling phenomenon finally arrives FAMILY TRAINER: EXTREME P44 Build up the family’s fitness with these active and enjoyable mini-games TOY STORY MANIA P45 Rejoin Woody, Buzz and the gang on a range of carnival-style shooting galleries SCRIBBLENAUTS P46 Warner’s innovative DS puzzler where brain teasers are solved with imagination
RIGHT UP YOUR RALLY The legendary Colin McRae series returns with the highly anticipated Dirt 2, Codemasters’ most impressive racer to date... P40
HAPPY PARTY: HELLO KITTY P48 The latest entry to the popular Hello Kitty series sees players preparing a party I DID IT MUM! P49 505 Games expands its pre-school DS range with Spelling and Doll’s House
RETAILBIZ: COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 40 MCV 04/09/09
Codemasters’ flagship racing franchise returns to shelves, gearing up for the publisher’s biggest ever launch…
have been, the publisher is confident Dirt 2 will be a smash hit. “Expectations for the game are really high, especially in the UK where there is a huge awareness of the brand,” says
Race Driver: Grid, which won a BAFTA earlier this year. IN ITS CONTINUING efforts to “We are especially confident about reinvigorate the genre, Codemasters is the game’s quality as well as about our bringing the UK’s best known racing unique branding – the high-impact franchise Colin McRae back green of the packaging to shelves. In the sequel to will run throughout all Dirt 2 is unique in its lifestyle 2007’s Dirt, the publisher is campaign materials. positioning and provides the providing gamers with the Releasing early September gamer with an experience most comprehensive off-road also gives us a key racing experience released advantage in the that goes beyond racing. so far. competitive autumn Julien Socquet-Clerc, Codemasters Dirt 2 is an adrenalinerelease window.” fuelled racer that takes rally fans and brand manager Julien Socquet-Clerc. Not only does Dirt 2 bear the popular followers of other extreme sports “Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is set to be Colin McRae licence, it also features a around the world, challenging them to Codemasters’ biggest launch ever and range of other brands that should widen master some of the harshest the game is supported by our most the appeal of the series beyond gamers environments ever to be traversed on extensive marketing campaign to date. and into the mainstream. four wheels. Given how popular the “We also think it will be our highest Followers of the rally world will be previous titles in the series – not to rated game, which is a big statement enticed by the chance to jump into the mention Codemasters’ other racers – given the quality of precedent racer driver’s seat as Ken Block or other
by James Batchelor
RETAILBIZ: COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 41
MARKETING DRIVE Codemasters has prepared its biggest ever marketing campaign to support the release of Dirt 2. Promotions will be running throughout September across a range of media, ensuring everyone knows the best-selling rally racer has returned. A heavyweight TV campaign will run for three weeks starting a fortnight before the game hits retail shelves. The ads will appear on Channel 4, Five, E4, Dave and other select channels, and will target 16 to 34 year-old males. Codemasters will be hitting all specialist games publications, including Official PlayStation Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine and Edge. Print ads will also appear in several action sports-focused publications throughout August and September, including Moto, Ride and Sidewalk. There will be a massive push online, with ads running in the four weeks up to launch on all key specialist sites including Gamespot, IGN, Eurogamer, CVG and GamesRadar. Dirt 2 sponsored IGN’s Gamescom channel, and the game’s official website is the first in the UK to be integrated with CVG.
Players get to grips with all of the world’s leading rally cars and drivers as they take on some of the toughest tracks known to man
racing legends. And Socquet-Clerc reveals the publisher has a number of strategic partnerships that have bolstered the game’s content. “For a racing title, Dirt 2 is unique in its lifestyle positioning,” he says. “We have partnered with credible brands such as DC Shoes, Monster Energy and the X Games and signed up over 40 of the world’s hottest music bands, which really gives the game a distinctive cool factor. There is nothing like it available this year. “Dirt 2 provides the gamer with an experience that goes beyond car-andtrack racing.” Codemasters is putting its full marketing weight behind Dirt 2, dubbing this the largest campaign to ever promote one of their titles (see Marketing Drive). The publisher has
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already formed a colossal audience that eagerly awaits the next racer, and the long-awaited return to the Colin McRae series will be a key factor in driving sales this September. “Retailers should expect a high level of pre-order,” says Socquet-Clerc. “The majority of Dirt 2’s campaign is being executed to drive the maximum level of pre-awareness and purchase intent in the run-up to launch. “We want to give retailers the most anticipated racing title of the year.”
An extensive five-week campaign on consumer sites will see ads run on LastFM, We7, Spotify, MSN, Yahoo, The Sun and more. Trade programmes have been planned with all major retailers that will see plenty of eyecatching in-store advertising via POS. There will also be some guerrilla activities in key stores around the UK. The game will be on tour this summer in a partnership with stimulant drink Monster Energy, appearing at various music and extreme sport festivals including Sonisphere, Truckfest and Weston Beach race. A Dirt 2 and Xbox 360branded Winnebago will be on the road throughout the UK, appearing at the aforementioned events and two launch shows, which will feature Ken Block and some well-known bands.
RETAILBIZ: GUITAR HERO 5 42 MCV 04/09/09
A range of celebrity guitarists now appear in Guitar Hero 5 as playable characters
Activision Blizzard’s rhythm action phenomenon returns, with more artists, anthems and options than ever before…
by James Batchelor THE GUITAR HERO franchise is a strange breed of casual and hardcore gaming. Accessible to the masses, it bears a similar appeal to the likes of SingStar and the Dance Dance Revolution titles. However, like the latter, it is the hardcore gamers who find themselves most engaged by the series, as it takes time and no small amount of arthritic skill to truly master each game. The fifth iteration – excluding band- and eraspecific titles – arrives next week and is set to whip up a storm at retail. Hitting shelves a mere two days after EA’s heavy-hitter The Beatles: Rock Band, Activision is determined to prove the original axe-wielding series still has what it takes. “Guitar Hero 5 is all about music variety,” says senior brand manager Ian McClellan. “With 85 songs from 83 artists, Guitar Hero 5 features rock
music’s defining hits from some of the biggest rock artists of all time. Nowhere else can you play songs from the White Stripes, Kings Of Leon, Bob Dylan and Vampire Weekend. “You can also import all of your Guitar Hero: World Tour DLC into the game. Guitar Hero 5 puts the player in
level at any time, without interrupting the flow of the track. Gamers can also form bands out of any combination of instruments they choose. No longer limited by the standard ‘mic, two guitars and drums’ combo, they can now perform as an alldrum band, a singing quartet and more. Another new mode, Rockfest, tweaks the As with all Guitar Hero gameplay scenario in launches, retailers are order to truly test the absolutely crucial to the skills of four players locally or up to eight success of Guitar Hero 5. players online. Ian McClellan, Activision Streakers, for example, control – not only because the entire set rewards players who string together the list is at their fingertips from the start, most notes, while Do Or Die has a but also because of some amazing game three-strike system for gamers that miss developments.” notes. Momentum increases the To make 5 stand out from previous difficulty as they play better, while iterations, as well as the competition, Perfectionist rewards the best performer the developers have added a number of with score multipliers. new features. “If you add this to existing Guitar First up is Party Play mode, a new Hero favourite features from previous setting that allows players to jump in editions, such as the ability to create and out of songs or change the difficulty and share your own music, you can see
RETAILBIZ: GUITAR HERO 5 WWW.MCVUK.COM
Bands can be formed with any combination of instruments this time around, and new scenarios keep the gameplay fresh
MCV 04/09/09 43
why players truly can rock any way they want with Guitar Hero 5.” Public awareness of Guitar Hero has increased phenomenally since the original’s debut, thanks largely to Activision Blizzard’s marketing efforts. For the newest entry, the publishing giant is working hard to entice new consumers, with the game’s retail proposition forming an important pillar of the overall campaign. “As with all Guitar Hero titles, we are investing in-store to show our continuing commitment to the Guitar Hero franchise,” says McClellan. “Retailers are absolutely crucial to every Guitar Hero launch. “Whenever we ask consumers about what influences them to buy our titles, the in-store environment is a key motivator. One of the elements we are working hard on at the moment for Guitar Hero 5 is the pre-order campaign we run at retail. We have found in the past our customers enjoy exclusive offers, and pre-order allows us to give them exactly that.
“For this launch, we also have a number of amazing pre-order and launch offers. On the Guitar Bundle, we are offering pre-orders and launch day buyers a free copy of Guitar Hero: World Tour to show our commitment to the music variety with this title. “For people who only buy the software, we also have a number of music variety gifts for pre-orders. An example of this is in GAME, where preorders for Guitar Hero 5 software will be rewarded with two exclusive Rolling Stones tracks to download.” CELEBRITY HEROES
Activision is also preparing an extensive marketing campaign that stretches beyond traditional promotional initiatives. McClellan went on to say the company aimed to build on the success of its past efforts, such as the viral Heidi Klum ad used to support the release of Guitar Hero: World Tour. “We have a comprehensive throughthe-line campaign for Guitar Hero 5,” he says. “We have enlisted the help of
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Hugh Heffner and his Playboy bunnies for the TV advertising, which should appeal to our fans – and also guarantees their attention, at least for duration of the advert. “We saw from our work with Heidi Klum in the previous creative that enlisting the help of true talent for our advertising can spread the Guitar Hero name virally – our director’s cut of the Heidi TV ad still remains one of the most viewed on YouTube. “In addition, consumers can expect some innovative marketing techniques – all designed to give our fans what they want from the franchise: music variety and excitement.”
RETAILBIZ: FAMILY TRAINER: EXTREME CHALLENGE 44 MCV 04/09/09
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 25 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
Namco Bandai readies the follow-up to its unorthodox fitness game, keeping the focus on fun in Extreme Challenge… by James Batchelor THE ADVENT of Wii Fit has spawned a variety of fitness games and while they all go to great lengths to differentiate “It’s an themselves from Nintendo’s retail active game but the focus is on fun. phenomenon, many are largely similar. Parents can be confident that it’s an Family Trainer was truly different. energetic experience but ultimately very As the name implies, Family Trainer amusing and a game that the family could be considered a fitness game that won’t grow bored of.” was designed for the whole family. However, We want to build the Family instead of a clinical and Trainer brand with a strong bland interface leading to pre-Christmas launch for repetitive exercises, the game took a much more Extreme Challenge. original approach. Lauren Bradley, Namco Bandai Extreme Challenge follows the same structure. Gamers The original Family Trainer was a enjoy a series of challenges based on surprise hit when it arrived last real-life sports and activities, controlling September and now, one year on, their actions with a combination of the Namco is keen to grown the brand into Wii Remote and a special dance mat a fully-fledged franchise, with Extreme designed for the series. These are Challenge holding true to everything energetic enough to serve as good that made its predecessor popular. exercise but also outlandish enough to “Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge distance the new Family Trainer from is the second in the series on Wii and other fitness titles. the previous version has proven to be a “Players have to use their whole massive success,” says Bradley. body to rack up scores on mini-games “Launching in autumn last year, sales such as wakeboarding, street luge and of the first game hugely exceeded our base jumping,” explains product expectations and have steadily manager Lauren Bradley. amounted throughout the year.
“We’re very keen to build the Family Trainer brand so all marketing is geared towards a strong pre-Christmas launch for Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge and reinvigoration of the original Family Trainer, which we expect will also see a good spike in sales.” While the original was released to little in the way of a fanfare, the sequel has already built up some momentum in the media. Word of Family Trainer’s charms has spread and Namco Bandai is working hard to use this hype to not only promote Extreme Challenge, but also raise awareness among the more casual gamers. “Great reviews from the nonspecialist media are already flowing in,” says Bradley. “The game has been described by some as better than the leading active Wii games. “We expect we will see repeat purchase from fans of the first game. There is still a huge potential market out there to reach. Whilst we’re confident our marketing campaign will
create consumers actively seeking the product, this game is a perfect impulse buy.” FAMILY MARKETING
Namco has prepared a comprehensive above-the-line campaign to promote the new Family Trainer. The most significant investment has been in TV, with ads aimed at housewives and kids running in the weeks surrounding launch. There will also be print advertising focused on children’s publications, including Back To School covermounts. Additional advertising and PR will run in non-specialist family and kids publications, including competitions, photoshoots, reviews and an activity climbing day for mainstream media. A large retail sampling tour will be hitting key locations throughout Scotland and England during half-term and weekends in the run-up to Christmas. Extreme Challenge will also be showcased at several consumer shows including the London MCM Expo in October. Finally, activity has been secured with all major retailers to promote the game in-store, with added value goodies at key retail outlets with POS support.
RETAILBIZ: TOY STORY MANIA WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 45
Everyone’s favourite cowboy and space ranger duo arrive on Wii, inviting families to revisit the popular Toy Story universe once more… by James Batchelor MORE THAN ten years on, the original Toy Story stands up as a timeless family film that still delights filmgoers of all ages today. The series’ iconic characters are still recognisable and adorn toy shelves throughout the world. Now Disney brings this classic franchise back to video games in an exclusive outing for Wii. Rather than being based on the films, Toy Story Mania is actually based on an attraction of the same name at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. Sporting a carnival theme, holidaymakers jump into cars mounted with imitation cannons and are taken through a virtual shooting gallery, firing at targets projected on screen in 3D. Disney Interactive Studios now brings this experience to living rooms everywhere, with the Wii title recreating the antics of both the ride and the mini-game attractions surrounding it in video game form. REACH FOR THE SKY
Players are challenged to master ten fast-paced shooting galleries. Some are adapted from those found in the theme park versions, while others have been family game for the upcoming developed specifically for the game, and Christmas season. Success unlocks all are in keeping with the Toy Story prizes and new challenges, as well as universe. One minute gamers will be bonus levels that can be played with the hitting targets held up by Jessie and 3D glasses included in the game’s box. Woody in a makeshift Wild West town, Disney deems Toy Story Mania to be the next they’ll be popping clouds, a massive release, and will be marketing balloons and apples in Bo Peep’s field. it as part of its Christmas line-up. As a When they want to We’re completely focused on take a break from shooting, there are families and gift buyers. Our plenty of other miniTV campaign will have the games to enjoy, all of biggest reach we’ve ever had. which make use of the Keely Brenner, Disney Wii Remote’s motion sensitive capabilities. Following the carnival theme, gamers result, the game will have a huge are invited to test their strength with presence in-store, on TV and across the traditional hammer-and-bell setup, other media. enter lassoing competitions, bowling On TV, the Disney range will be and throwing hoops over toy aliens and sponsoring key family entertainment plastic rockets. programmes on housewife and children’s All of these games can be played with channels such as Living and G.O.L.D, up to four players, making it an ideal with ads running from October 5th to
December 23rd. The publisher estimates the campaign will engage a third of this audience throughout the UK. Online activity will include interactive videos on AOL, YouTube and GMTV. This will be supported by seeding campaigns, social networking and key online blogging activity aimed at mums and families. Disney is also arranging launch events and celebrity endorsement that will boost this campaign. The game’s release date ensures it will rack up sales before the busy season, but new developments in the Toy Story franchise should boost its performance further. Disney expects to see a rise in sales when the original Toy Story is rereleased on DVD in 3D this October, as well as an additional sales spike when Toy Story 3 hits the silver screen in 2010.
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: DISNEY DEVELOPER: PAPAYA STUDIOS PRICE: £TBC DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
“We’re very excited about our DIS UK Christmas 2009 campaign and the quality of strong and innovative family games we have this year,” says Disney’s head of marketing for UK and Ireland Keely Breener. “We are completely focused on our target audience, which is families and seasonal gift purchasers; our TV advertising campaign will reach a third of all UK housewives and kids, which is the biggest reach we’ve ever had for a DIS campaign. “The rest of our media buy and PR mirrors and enforces the family message through to point of purchase.”
RETAILBIZ: SCRIBBLENAUTS 46 MCV 04/09/09
In this innovative puzzle game, players are not forced to find the sole solution to each challenge but use their imagination to come up with their own answers…
the fact that it offers something new, we know that there is real anticipation for the title amongst gamers.” As with many DS titles, Scribblenauts’ appeal stretches far beyond the remit of traditional gamers. While even hardcore gamers will get a kick out of this quirky puzzler, developed by the team behind the acclaimed Drawn To Life titles, the
by James Batchelor
“Essentially what Scribblenauts offers is something akin to Nintendo’s Professor Layton series – an addictive and challenging game that has real mass market appeal all wrapped up in a uniquely stylised package.”
SCRIBBLENAUTS is a much more imaginative breed of puzzle game than the majority of titles out there, riddled with the type of lateral thinking that has thrived on DS in titles such as the SCRIBBLE ME THIS Professor Layton games. As the game’s An apple hangs from a tree. A young publisher, Warner Bros is growing boy named Maxwell wants excited for Scribblenauts’ said apple. How does he get upcoming release. Many people have stated that it down? “We fully expect this Scribblenauts is the biggest In most puzzle titles, title to be the start of a incentive they’ve had to there is usually one brand new franchise in the revisit their DS. perfectly logical solution. DS puzzle market,” says Some will have more Warner Bros’ product Phil Lamb, Warner Bros obscure and long-winded manager Phil Lamb. “It solutions, but again, there’s generally definitely offers consumers a different game’s accessible nature sets it up as a only one way to retrieve the apple. Not way to challenge and test their lateral potential smash hit with the more casual so with Scribblenauts. thinking and imagination without it DS owners. Players have potentially thousands of being a dry, edutainment experience. “The stylised look offers something options in such a scenario – all they “With the plethora of awards the fresh and friendly that doesn’t appear have to do is type in a word and watch game achieved at E3 – 35 in total, intimidating,” says Lamb. “Combined the results. So they can use a ladder to including Best Game Of Show from a with the addictive gameplay, it will climb up to the apple, or use a pole to number of media owners – and the definitely strike a cord with casual, knock it down. They can even summon nominations it’s had at Gamescom, plus female and maybe even grey gamers.
RETAILBIZ: SCRIBBLENAUTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
a beaver to gnaw the trunk and make the tree fall, bringing the apple with it. “It’s absolutely amazing what sort of words it can recognise and allow the player to call into Maxwell’s world,” says Lamb. “5th Cell have claimed that there are tens of thousands of words that will generate objects, ranging from basic nouns to mythical beasts, paranormal creatures and deities, that Maxwell can interact with and will have an influence on the environment and your situation. “There are over 200 levels in the game that grow in difficulty as you progress but because the only real limitations in the game is the player’s imagination. The replay value is immense. That said, players can have just as much fun messing around in the introductory level that acts as a ‘sandbox’ and allows you to get to grips with the mechanics and allows you to randomly create objects to see what they do.” There is even a level customisation mode, where players can create their own environments, objects and
MCV 04/09/09 47
situations and then share them with other Scribblenauts owners via wi-fi.
RELEASED: OCTOBER 9 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: WARNER BROS
DRAWING UP PLANS
Both the obstacles you face and the items at your disposal form one of the most bizarre game inventories to date
As a major title for Warner in the upcoming season, Scribblenauts will benefit from a comprehensive marketing campaign designed to promote it to the masses. Since there is already a strong level of anticipation among gamers, the majority of the advertising will be focused through mainstream channels. Print ads will be appearing across a range of key lifestyle and national publications, while Warner has arranged a partnership with a key Internet Service Provider to bring a bespoke campaign to a wider audience. There will also be a two-phase TV campaign that will see promotional spots airing around launch. The ads will encourage viewers to visit microsites online that outline the game in more detailed. A second, more detailed TV campaign will run nearer to Christmas to engage mainstream gift shoppers.
DEVELOPER: 5TH CELL PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 7109
A full range of POS assets will be available to retailers, and Warner has even organised a sampling tour for Q4. Scribblenauts will be demonstrated and available for consumers to play at a variety of shopping centres and events around the country from mid-October until Christmas. “Scribblenauts is a highly innovative, fun puzzle game with accessible mechanics and huge replay value that will appeal to gamers and DS owners of all ages and abilities,” says Lamb. “Many gaming forum users are stating that Scribblenauts is the single biggest incentive they’ve had to revisit their dormant DS consoles in a very long time.”
RETAILBIZ: HAPPY PARTY WITH HELLO KITTY 48 MCV 04/09/09
Rising Star continues its partnership with Gamebridge, releasing the latest edition in the popular Hello Kitty series… by James Batchelor THE HELLO KITTY franchise has come a long way in the last 35 years. Starting out as a simple cat’s face on a vinyl coin purse in Japan, the brand’s products now line shelves around the world, with the titular feline gracing everything from dolls, stickers and greeting cards to clothes, accessories and school supplies. Naturally, video games have long since been a part of Kitty’s portfolio and this September her new digital outing arrives on shelves. Happy Party with Hello Kitty and Friends invites players to help organise and then enjoy the critter’s shindig. GET THIS PARTY STARTED
Working with Gamebridge to bring the distinctly Japanese game to a UK audience, Rising Star is positive that the game has the potential to be a hit this season. The company points to the popularity of the Hello Kitty brand as a sure sign of Happy Party’s success. “As Rising Star Games are handling the marketing and PR for this great for the party. The game has over 25 Gamebridge game, we are all extremely party features, including sending confident in the potential of Happy invitations, decorating, shopping, Party with Hello Kitty and Friends, in cooking, dancing and there is even no small part due to the great responses cleaning to do after the party has ended. we are getting from our market research,” says Hello Kitty has an evergreen product marketing formula, so our planned assistant Tyrone Walcott. marketing activity is not just “This product has had an excellent response limited to launch. from retail due to its mass Tyrone Walcott, Rising Star appeal of the brand. We are aiming to make Happy Party with “Our planned activity is not just Hello Kitty and Friends the must-have limited to the launch,” says Walcott. game for Christmas and beyond and “Hello Kitty has an evergreen formula give fans of Hello Kitty an experience and, whatever the season, this product that transcends the usual merchandise.” has enormous applications. What makes Happy Party boasts a wide selection Hello Kitty so special for us is the brand of mini-games, all based around preparing is easily recognisable to parents, carers
and gift buyers and will attract new and established fans when it arrives. “We have extensive marketing and PR objectives which will not just be limited to launch but throughout 2010. We have a great celebrity in Hello Kitty and using her status will be key to ramping up the hype. There is an ongoing campaign with the kids’ print media especially the official Hello Kitty magazine, which in itself has our target audience covered.” With the 35th birthday in November, Rising Star will also complement heavyweight contributions with extra incentives from other licensees within the brand. The game will also have a presence at the next
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: GAMEBRIDGE RISING STAR GAME DEVELOPER: IDEA FACTORY PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585
London MCM Expo in October, with fans having the chance to meet Hello Kitty in person. “Making use of the licence has opened many avenues to reach our target audience, and not just in the UK,” adds Walcott. “We are very confident this product will be a major success across Europe.”
RETAILBIZ: I DID IT MUM WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 49
505 Games releases the latest duo in its preschool I Did It Mum! series, helping children develop their spelling and domestic skills…
by James Batchelor
reading, as well as their understanding of the alphabet and keyboard. The lessons are hosted by a cool puppy character, which is one of the things that makes them not seem like lessons at all. There are over 300 words for youngsters to master. At every stage, they are rewarded with fun mini-games and stickers – and if they eventually learn all 300 words, they get a job with the MCV editorial team.
THE DS HAS become a strong platform for publishers with titles aimed at younger audiences. The simple yet intuitive control system, convenient handheld nature and general accessibility means it is great for children to interact with and the range of software available for it has only served to strengthen this positioning. 505 Games has seen success in the I Did It Mum! Doll’s House young gamer field with its I Did It and Spelling are well timed Mum! range. As the for the Christmas gifting title suggests, these season and the brief back-totitles encourage and school trading period. aid children in developing skills of which they can be proud, while still providing an While I Did It Mum! Spelling is entertaining gaming experience. aimed at both sexes, Doll’s House will The latest two games in this series, mainly appeal to young girls. Many Spelling and Doll’s House hit shelves gaming pundits would say that a towards the end of September. product designed to explain the basics of Designed to help four to seven yearIbsen’s classic play to four to seven yearolds develop essential literary skills, I olds is possibly a little too niche. And Did It Mum! Spelling is fun and they’d be right. Which is why I Did It engaging as well as educational. Mum! Doll’s House is actually the first Through its lessons disguised as miniever interactive doll’s house, in which games, players will improve such youngsters get to actually take control of abilities as spelling, handwriting, and the doll and environment.
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 25 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: SUPERSONIC (SPELLING) GAMESAUCE (DOLL’S HOUSE) PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
Players take on the role of Emily, a young doll who must help her mum and dad around the house. Gamers are set a number of chores by their in-game parents, such as feeding the fish, laying the table or feeding Emily’s baby brother. Only by keeping the family happy, healthy and wealthy will they unlock new items for the doll’s house, allowing them to customise and redecorate the miniature home. It’s a game of make-believe that children have been enjoying for centuries, but now it’s onscreen with loads of rooms to customise, mini-games to play and rewards to be won. In between chores, players are encouraged to explore the house and discover new mini-games to enjoy. There are over 40 in total to find, spread across 11 rooms. Not only are Doll’s House and Spelling released in time to capitalise on the impending gifting season, they are also early enough to make the most of the brief back to school trading period. Combine this with the low price point, ideal for impulse buyers and gift purchasers, and 505 Games has a strong contender for the younger, more casual DS market in the upcoming quarter.
Immediate opportunities in games: Production Licensing Finance HR
Account Management Marketing Sales PR
Please apply to email@example.com or call 01206 214417
OPM Response Ltd Tel:+44(0)1206 214421 www.opmjobs.com
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 50 MCV 04/09/09
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Retail prepares to rock and rally EA’s The Beatles: Rock Band finally arrives on shelves, while the legendary Colin McRae series makes its return a mere two days later. Also released is Guitar Hero 5, Blood Bowl, Need For Speed, Wet and Halo 3: ODST... TITLE
XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii
0121 625 3388
PC PSP / DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360 XBOX 360 / PS2 / PS3 / Wii Wii DS DS DS PC
Casual Racing Music Simulation Simulation Simulation Action Strategy
City Interactive Codemasters Activision Blizzard Ghostlight 505 Games City Interactive City Interactive Mastertronic
0845 362 7769 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 01376 555333 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 234 4242
Trilogy Gem Centresoft Open Advantage Trilogy Trilogy Open
PC PSP / DS / PC PC DS / Wii DS / Wii DS / Wii PC DS PC DS Wii DS DS XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC / PSP Wii PC PC / XBOX 360 PC PC Wii DS DS / PC Wii Wii PS3 / XBOX 360 DS Wii
Casual Sports Casual Kids Kids Kids Simulation Music Simulation Mini-games Simulation Puzzle Simulation Racing Self-Improvement Casual FPS Action Survival Horror RPG RPG Puzzle Mini-games Sports Action Racing Racing
Focus Multimedia THQ City Interactive Blast Midas Midas Just Flight Deep Silver Kalypso Media Rising Star Games Zushi Rising Star Games 505 Games EA Ubisoft Focus Multimedia South Peak THQ Capcom Disney Interactive Warner Games Deep Silver Disney Interactive Sega Bethesda Zushi Konami
01889 570156 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0845 234 4242 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 01279 822 800 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 01889 570156 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 0208 987 5706
Open Advantage Trilogy Mastertronic Open Open Mastertronic Koch Advantage Centresoft Gem Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Trilogy Open Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Gem Open
01279 822 800
PC PC PC Wii / XBOX 360 PC / DS PSP DS PC PSP / DS / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 DS PSP
MMORPG Casual Self-Improvement Action Casual Strategy Kids Action Action/Adventure Action Survival Horror
NCsoft City Interactive City Interactive South Peak 505 Games Koei 505 Games City Interactive Activision Blizzard Konami Playlogic
01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0208 987 5706 0870 027 0985
Gem Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Advantage Open Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Open Koch
SEPTEMBER 9th The Beatles: Rock Band
SEPTEMBER 11th Brain College: Mary Celeste Colin McRae Dirt 2 Guitar Hero 5 Mary King's Riding School 2 Mean Girls Party Girl Smartbox Stealth Game Stronghold Crusader Extreme
SEPTEMBER 18th Amazing Adventures Around The World Blood Bowl Brain College: Lost Cities Of The Amazon Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies Clever Kids: Pet Store Constellation Professional DJ Star Dogfighter Happy Party with Hello Kitty & Friends Love Is... In Bloom Mah-jongg Ancient Mayas My Pet Parrot Need For Speed: Shift NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer Peggle Nights Raven Squad Red Faction: Guerrilla Resident Evil 5 Spectrobes: Origins Teen Queen: The Clique The Humans Toy Story Mania! Wacky World Of Sports Wet Yamaha Supercross Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers
SEPTEMBER 22nd Halo 3: ODST
SEPTEMBER 29th Aion Brain College: El Dorado Quest Brain College: Lost Cities Of The Amazon Brave: A Warrior's Tale Clueless Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! I Did It Mum! Spelling Invasion Over Europe Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 Miami Crisis Obscure 2
MUSTSTOCK ....................COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 Released: September 11 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, PC Publisher: Codemasters Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800
Codemasters’ flagship racing series hits shelves once more with Dirt 2. The highly anticipated game invites rally fans to take on some of the world’s toughest tracks as their favourite driving legends, forming the most comprehensive racing experience available to date.
MUSTSTOCK ...........THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND Released: September 9 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii Publisher: Electronic Arts Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The most anticipated rhythm action game of the year. The Beatles: Rock Band features the iconic group’s library of timeless hits and will be enticing casual and mainstream gamers into the fold with its accessible gameplay and appealing setlist.
P UB QUIZ INDUSTRY
LIMITED TEAMS AND SLOTS AVAILABLE FOR THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24th QUIZ DATES: Thursday September 24th and Thursday December 3rd Book now to avoid disappointment
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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 52 MCV 04/09/09
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Metroid Prime Trilogy Nintendo, Wii
Batman: Arkham Eidos, PS3
Madden NFL 10 EA, Wii
Wolfenstein Activision, PC
Ashes Cricket 09 Codemasters, 360
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
DEAL OF THE WEEK
HOUSEHOLD GOODS DRIVE SURGE IN UK RETAIL SALES Retail sales in the UK grew twice as fast as expected in July, with household goods including electricals seeing their highest increase in three years. Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the volume of retail sales rose by 0.4 per cent in July compared with June – double the 0.2 per cent predicted by the consensus economist forecast. The ONS data also revealed that the three months to the end of July saw an increase of 1.2 per cent, compared with the previous three months, while year-on-year sales were 3.3 per cent higher in July 2009 than July 2008. Between June and July, household goods stores reported a rise in sales of 4.5 per cent – the highest since 2006. According to the ONS, the surge was primarily driven by furniture and electrical stores. ONLINE SALES GROW TO £4.2BN Consumer spending on the internet rose in July to £4.2 billion, an increase of 16.8 per cent when compared to July 2008.
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street... The latest IMRG Capgemini E-retail Sales Index also showed month-on-month sales improved by 15.7 per cent from June, according to Retail Week. “Online retail continues to outperform the High Street with e-retail growth in July exceeding the yearly growth seen in July 2008,” said IMRG director of information Tina Spooner. “Fashion and electrical retailers reported strong growth and these remain the key drivers of the UK e-retail market.” WII SPORTS RESORT SHIFTS 1M UNITS IN EUROPE Nintendo’s Wii Sports Resort has sold one million units across Europe. The game has also exceeded one million sales in Japan and the US, bringing worldwide sales to over three million units. “The early sales figures represent a strong start for Wii Sports Resort, which is on its way to becoming another Nintendo title that sells steadily over an extended period of time as opposed to a single flash on its launch day,” said Nintendo of Europe’s MD Laurent Fischer.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
HMV customers can pick up a black or white DSi console, 1GB SD Card and Nintendo’s 100 Classic Book Collection for £159.99, saving over £25.
WILL THE NEW VERSION OF THE PS3 DRIVE HARDWARE SALES THIS Q4? 59% YES
WII SPORTS RESORT FORMAT: Wii
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
MONSTER HUNTER FREEDOM UNITE PSP
THE SIMS 3 PC
MADDEN NFL 10 PS3
CAPCOM EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
ASHES CRICKET 2009 WII
ASHES CRICKET 2009 360
WII FIT Wii
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.
11% LET’S WAIT AND SEE
The Speedlink ContactFree Charger produces an induction field that enables Wii owners to charge two remotes simultaneously without the need to connect them with cables. The charger still works if the Remotes are covered by silicone skins or are
According to the latest MCV online survey, the industry is confident the new redesigned, slim PlayStation 3 will provide the muchneeded shot in the arm for Sony’s console.
Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
attached to the Nunchuk and Wii MotionPlus addon. It connects between the AC adapter and the Wii itself, so it continues to charge the special supplied batteries even if the console is turned off. Meroncourt: 01462 680060
ble at a l i a v All A
For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251
NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 53 Sponsored by
FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]
TOP 10 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 EIDOS 2. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
3. SONY PS3 SLIM
4. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
5. PES 2010
6. GRAN TURISMO 5
7. FIFA 10
8. FIFA 10
9. HALO 3: ODST
FRONTLINE This week, Nindie.com speaks to Jason Hart from The Games Exchange… How has the market been for you so far this year? Overall, the market this year has been down when you compare it to last year. Since February, we have found everybody is wanting more cash and less product. Has the loss of Woolworths and Zavvi been a benefit to you at all? Well, back then, I was looking to our local Game/Gamestation to stop price matching Woolies over its last few months of aggressive turnover pricing. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and now they persist in giving away great money-making opportunities. It’s a shame, because you would have thought they would know better.
What has been selling particularly well for you? What’s been underperforming? The Xbox 360 software still leads the way for us, and this is followed by Wii and DS. Sadly, Sony formats are still suffering. It’s unfortunate since the PS3 has so much unleashed potential but it’s been stifled by price for so long. I’m hoping that will change now the new edition is out. As for
the PSP, I’m not sure if we have sold a single brand new unit since Christmas – again, maybe that’ll change with the PSPgo. Sorry Sony, but I still love you. What makes your store so unique? Well, there’s me, of course. Aside from that, I’d say it’s probably the wide range of non-gaming products we stock.
10. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Week ending August 29th Source: SHOPTO.COM
Wolfenstein PC, Activision
Resident Evil 5
House of the Dead: Overkill
Left 4 Dead
IN STORE: OLDHAM
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 EIDOS 2. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASSYLUM
3. HALO 3: ODST
4. SONY PS3 SLIM
5. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX
6. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
7. FIFA 10
8. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
9. CHAMPIONS ONLINE
10. FIFA 10
360 ..........................................................................EA Week ending August 29th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 54 MCV 04/09/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
MARIO KART DS
2 3 4 5 6 7
2 4 5 6 8 9
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE MUMMY UBISOFT
8 9 10
CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. CLASSIC WORD GAMES UBISOFT
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD G-FORCE DISNEY HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GHOSTBUSTERS SONY INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF DINOSAURS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM FORMAT: 360, PS3
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
ASHES CRICKET 2009 Wii, PS3, PC, 360
WOLFENSTEIN 360, PS3, PC
WII FIT Wii
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
MARIO KART WII Wii
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3
LEGO BATMAN PC, PS3, 360, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD
HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, PS2 EA
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA FIFA ‘09 EA RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SBK-09 SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMP. CODEMASTERS
DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM
NINTENDO CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO EA WARNER BROS.
360, PS3, PC UBISOFT
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3
THE SIMS 3 PC
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
[PROTOTYPE] PC, PS3, 360
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII PLAY Wii
EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FALLOUT 3: ADD-ON #2 360, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER
DEVELOPER: ROCKSTEADY PUBLISHER: EIDOS
DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
COD: WORLD AT WAR
2 3 4 6 5 7 8 9 10
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
THE SIMS 3 DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
SEGA BETHESDA SOFTWORKS THQ TAKE 2 ELECTRONIC ARTS
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 55
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM takes the top position
and third place, despite an eight per cent and
in this week’s All Format Charts. It’s the biggest
four per cent rise in sales respectively.
FORMATS Highest New Entry
MARIO KART DS DS
G-FORCE 360, Wii, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP
LEGO STAR WARS PS3, 360, Wii, DS,
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber NINTENDO DISNEY LUCASARTS
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
ASSASSIN’S CREED 360, PS3, PC
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
MYSTERY STORIES DS
GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR DS
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
ROCKSTAR GSP/AVANQUEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2K PLAY
EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
DEAD SPACE 360, PS3, PC
POKÉMON PLATINUM DS
EA SEGA EA NINTENDO
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DS, Wii, PS2, PSP
SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2, PC
FALLOUT 3 360, PS3, PC
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS
NINTENDO D3P SEGA
RESIDENT EVIL 5 360, PS3
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, DS EA
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 2 1 4 7 6 9 8 5
FALLOUT 3: GAME ADD-ON PACK #2 DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA SOFTWORKS WOW: BATTLE CHEST
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3
JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: EMERALD
MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE
BIG FISH GAMES
MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST
BIG FISH GAMES
HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON
BIG FISH GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MYSTERY CASE FILES: PRIME SUSPECTS BIG FISH GAMES MYSTERY STORIES
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WOLFENSTEIN ASHES CRICKET 2009 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD [PROTOTYPE] TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE RESIDENT EVIL 5
1 2 4 3 6 7 5 10 RE
DEVELOPER: ROCKSTEADY STUDIO PUBLISHER: EIDOS
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CAPCOM
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT ASHES CRICKET 2009 MARIO KART WII EA SPORTS ACTIVE TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES GRAND SLAM TENNIS HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
2 3 2 5 6 8 7 8 9
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
Add-On Pack, containing the Point Lookout and Broken Steel DLC episodes. This title’s success more than likely accounts for Fallout 3’s return to the charts at No.37. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
The only other new entry to make it into the Top 20 was Bethesda’s second Fallout 3 Game
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WOLFENSTEIN ASHES CRICKET 2009 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD [PROTOTYPE] GRAND THEFT AUTO IV
NINTENDO CODEMASTERS NINTENDO EA EA NINTENDO SEGA EA EA
1 1 3 2 7 6 8 4 5
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
chart success for Eidos since Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in 2000. Sales of Arkham Asylum were split relatively evenly, with the Xbox 360 edition accounting for 55 per cent and the PS3 edition for 45 per cent. Nintendo’s Wii Sports Resort and Codemasters’ Ashes Cricket 2009 were pushed down to second
WEEK ENDING 29/08/09
DEVELOPER: ROCKSTEADY STUDIO PUBLISHER: EIDOS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TAKE 2
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 56 MCV 04/09/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
v.2 PLAY. LDA
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
NETHERLANDS INNELEC MULTIMEDIA
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
45 rue Delizy,
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Email purchase: email@example.com
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
RUSSIA Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96 mail:email@example.com website:www.computerland.rs
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
tel. +357 22 666612
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) email@example.com www.gatewaydistribution.dk
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,
28046 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/09/09 57
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...
GERMANY DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
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: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se
AROUND 245,000 attendees visited this year’s Gamescom event in Cologne, organiser Koelnmesse has announced. “Straight away this makes Gamescom the largest games fair in the world,” said the group. The show, which opens its doors to the public as well as the games industry, saw 458 exhibiting companies come from 31 countries.
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com
A SWEDISH Court successfully ordered notorious BitTorrent portal The Pirate Bay be shut down – only for it to re-open, fully operational, a day later. The Court ordered that The Pirate Bay be disconnected, with the site’s ISP Black Internet threatened with a fine of $70,600 if it didn’t terminate the portal. The site then disappeared from the internet. However, TPB is back up and running – and thumbing its nose at its frustrated opposition. A note on the website’s homepage of the nowresurgent piracy site, printed on a digital t-shirt, read: ‘I spent months of time and millions of dollars to close down The Pirate Bay and all I’ll get (sic) is this beautiful t-shirt!’
Tel: +971 4261 8111 Panvision....................................................Stockholm
Fax: +971 4261 8112
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai
Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul
Meanwhile, Joystiq has reported that Modern Warfare 2 on PC is priced the same as its console counterparts in the US. PC games are typically priced cheaper than console titles, yet according to listings on Gamestop, Amazon and Best Buy, the PC game has an RRP of $60, which is the same as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. However, the PC edition has a $50 price tag at Wal-Mart. The same is not true in the UK though, with retailers selling the title for £10 under the price of the console editions.
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bascodistribution.com
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 email@example.com www.usgamesdist.com
POPCAP HAS CONFIRMED a boxed retail release for PC hit Plants vs Zombies in North America, where it will cost $19.95 and hit shelves late this year. Furthermore, having already enjoyed great success on PC, the publisher officially confirmed what we all suspected – that a version of Plants vs Zombies will be coming to the iPhone.
MICROSOFT AUSTRALIA has claimed sales of the Xbox 360 will surpass one million units in the region by the end of the year. The company’s group category manager for Xbox 360 Jeremy Hinton believes this will be achieved without the need for a price cut. “We’ve just hit 700,000 consoles sold in Australia, and we’re now finding that it’s the fastest growing console Down Under,” he said. “We’re confident we can reach this goal with our current price point.”
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Game Player .............................07887 710686
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd .......087 19 18 17 21
DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution ...........020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure.....................01792 652562 Discstribution ........................0845 430 8735 Gem ............................................01279 822800 GLS...............................................01708 725742 Ideal Software..........................01767 689 720 Logic3 ........................................01923 471 000 Meroncourt ..............................01462 680060 Revive ........................................01462 483555
GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint....................................01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans................................01753 247731 Testronic....................................01753 653 722 Universally Speaking................01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS Retail Entertainment Displays01733 239001
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
DISC REPAIR TDR ...........................................01202 489 500 GAMING ACCESSORIES
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com DISTRIBUTION
...bringing you all the right lines
Wii Wand Action Pack Wii Wand Multi format Metal Pedal
01606 558 428
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
GAME PLAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07887 710686 . . . www.gameplayervideogames.com
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11th
GUIDE TO GMA 2009 FINALISTS We offer an in-depth rundown of the finalists in this year’s Games Media Awards, where the cream of the industry will be recognised and rewarded for their talents. Be sure to check out the full listings of nominations across all categories and profiles for each finalists, charting their greatest triumphs and why they have earned their place in the shortlist. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18th
Q4 2009 PREVIEW MCV provides a comprehensive guide to the busiest trading season of the year. We take a look at all the major titles due to hit shelves from October to December, identifying those that are certain to perform well and highlighting potential surprise hits. We also speak to publishers about how they will make their products stand out from the crowd in the run-up to Christmas. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 25th
SELF IMPROVEMENT & NON-GAMES SOFTWARE Thanks in no small part to the success of titles such as Wii Fit and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on Nintendo formats, the non-games software sector has never been in such rude health (and boasting toned abs and an increased IQ, no doubt...). MCV takes a look at this area of the market, offering a guide to the key titles set to hit retail during Q4.
BRAND LICENSING EUROPE With the show (Olympia, September 30th to October 1st) this year boasting a dedicated interactive entertainment section, Brand Licensing Europe has never been more relevant to developers and publishers. MCV takes a look at the licensed games sector, its successes and its challenges. FRIDAY OCTOBER 2nd
LGC: WHY YOU NEED TO BE THERE We offer an in-depth preview of the upcoming London Games Conference, run in association with ELSPA and taking place during this year’s London Games Festival. The event will offer an insight into the future of digital distribution from panels of leading industry figures and also serves as a great opportunity for networking.
FPS GENRE FOCUS With the Christmas charts likely to be dominated by such titles as Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST, we take a look at how publishers can survive in this increasingly competitive genre. We also speak with leading companies about the key titles due to hit shelves throughout Q4 and how they will stand out from their rivals. FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th
30 UNDER 30 MCV provides the definitive round-up of the hottest up-and-coming talent currently working within the video games industry. The feature will profile promising young marketing managers, PR executives, journalists, retailers, games buyers, consultants and much, much more. Will you make it on to this year’s list?
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:
CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISC REPAIR
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 NDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Crytek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
SERVICES 3D Creation Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 345 9551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Onteca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0151 709 0028 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 Testology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07919 523 036 Testronic Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES University of Hull . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1482 465 951
To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
SEPTEMBER TOKYO GAME SHOW Thursday, September 24th – Sunday, September 27th Makuhair Messe, Tokyo tgs.cesa.or.jp/english
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
BRAND LICENSING 2009 Wednesday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st Olympia, London www.brandlicensingeurope.com
Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing
For further information, please contact email@example.com www.testroniclabs.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
OCTOBER HANDHELD LEARNING Monday, October 5th – Wednesday, October 7th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.handheldlearning2009.com MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, London firstname.lastname@example.org EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS Friday, October 30th London www.goldenjoystick.com
NOVEMBER GAME ON! LONDON Saturday, November 14th – Sunday, November 15th Earls Court 2, London www.gameonlondon.com
DECEMBER MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn email@example.com
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
MCV AND XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, September 24th Sway Bar, Holborn Orlaith.Kennedy@intentme dia.co.uk The MCV and Xbox 360 Pub Quiz returns to the rather swanky Sway Bar in Holborn. Once again the event brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games. It’s also, of course, a very smart networking event, with numerous buyers and publishers, editors and agencies all rubbing shoulders at the bar.
GAMES MEDIA AWARDS Thursday, October 15th Jongleurs, Camden, London dave.roberts@intent media.co.uk Now in its third year the Games Media Awards return to the Jongleurs Comedy Club in Camden and will once again hail the best brands and individuals from the specialist and mainstream sectors, both in print and online. Last year’s Games Media Awards saw wins for the ‘big three’ of Future, Imagine and Eurogamer, whilst there was also awards for FHM and The Guardian. The event is free to enter for the media.
MCV 04/09/09 63
‘Leave us alone!’ This week, a narked supermarket games exec writes to MCV, exasperated by recent letters...
I CAN’T TAKE it any longer! I’ve sat back and read independent retailers and ‘small league’ publishers write to MCV’s letters page in the last week nominating supermarkets as the ‘great evil’ in the industry. We’re apparently the ‘monster’ that just wants to get
because, you know, we’re a [expletive] business. If we weren’t doing that, what would we be doing? I can speak for Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Wal-Mart and Lidl (and no I’m not telling you which one I work for!) when I say that’s what we all want – and if we
Evil supermarkets are only interested in market share, right? Well, yes. It’s called being in business.
customers through the door and (I quote) “make our money on bourbon biscuits”. We’re only interested in market share and cold hard cash, right? Well, you know what? I’m not going to deny it. We are after both of those things
didn’t... well we wouldn’t be doing our job. But this myth that we sell all of our new games at a loss… do our accusers actually think about what they’re saying? Yes, this has happened in the past on select new releases – but (a)
very rarely and (b) with THE BLESSING OF THE GAMES PUBLISHERS. Other than these unique circumstances (which, by the way, are often down to discounting by other organisations) we sell our games at a profit, thanks very much. If we didn’t, my boss wouldn’t exactly be too pleased. With the greatest respect, these letters seem slightly jealous. We can sell our games at low prices because we buy them in huge bulk quantities. It’s no different than any other industry – as those retailers who’ll go for a drink in Wetherspoons tonight to moan about us will be able to attest. It’s all about us coming up with the best, fairest deal for our consumers, not our competition. Because if we did the latter, there’d be no real point in us being in business.
And besides, I don’t know what you’re all complaining about when you keep bleating on MCVUK.com that you lot are one of our biggest buyers! Yours, ‘Buyer extraordinaire’
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64 MCV 04/09/09
PIC OF THE
EA’s Peter Moore is certainly a great ‘sport’ - as shown here by pictures of the publisher’s presentation at Gamescom. Label bosses take note: We want more of this sort of thing at trade shows.
Off The Record
This week, EA’s Peter Moore gets physical, while Channel Advantage takes it easy. Elsewhere, we celebrate 25 years since the launch of games trade magazines...
ADVANTAGE, JOOLS... Channel Advantage invited over 200 guests to a Jools Holland concert last week, held at the firm’s home of Stonor Park. Channel Advantage, MD Tony Hall (far right) took five guests – including Nintendo’s Andy Yates – backstage to meet former Squeeze man Holland. The lucky swines. The biggest celebrity to grace the MCV offices was a local Kajagoogoo lookalike who came to fix the bog. In 1997.
MCV 04/09/09 65
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... LISA MORGAN, GAME
DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
TIM ELLIS, HMV
KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM
25 YEARS ON... CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
Most of you will no doubt be too young to remember, but a quarter of a century ago this week, a little trade mag called CTW first hit the desks of the exciting new ‘computer game’ trade – 17 years before it was bought by new champ MCV. In celebration, here we re-print some classic front pages, from the days when all of the news was broken via the printing press (from top to bottom): The first ever CTW, with its screamer of a front page; The 1986 ‘Alan Sugar buys Sinclair’ issue - the first after the hiring of young upstart Stuart Dinsey. What happened to him anyway?; CTW breaks the news in 1991 that Nintendo was producing the SNES console; Full details of Sega’s new system in 1993 – as Future pledges to launch some new-fangled magazine called Edge.
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS
MPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITIO
The almost insanely generous boys and girls at Ubisoft are offering you the chance to win not one, not some, but all eight new Imagine titles. To be in with a shout, just answer the following question:
WHICH JOB DO IMAGINE GAMES NOT GIVE YOU A TASTE OF? A) Party Planner B) Vet C) Scaffolder
Send you answers to firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL: 01992 535646
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Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley
ADVERTISING: 01992 535647
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MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.
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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.
ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008
MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source
September 4th MCV Trade magazine for the computer and video games industry