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YOUR TEAM

YOUR AWARDS THURSDAY APRIL 23rd 2009, THE BREWERY, CHISWELL STREET, LONDON

THE FINALISTS


On Sale June 19

Official Drinks Reception Sponsor

Good luck to all this year’s finalists from Atari


YOUR TEAM YOUR AWARDS RECOGNISING SUCCESS

CONTENTS Retail Retail Innovation

8

Store Manager

9

High Street Retailer

10

Star Store

11

Online Retailer

12

People & Industry Sales Team

16

Sales Triumph

17

Games Publisher

20

UK Development Team

21

Distribution Team

22

PR & Marketing New Game Brand

24

PR Team

25

Game Campaign

26

Marketing Team

27

Marketing Innovation

29

Special Awards MCV Retail Advisory Board: Special Recognition

30

Grand Prix Award

30

Retail Category Partner

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Event Partner

Pre-Drinks Reception Partner

Games Publisher Award Partner

Video Partner

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Even as tougher trading conditions bite and the wider economic climate becomes ever more bleak, it is still important for all communities to reward achievement and celebrate success. If anything, the importance of a close community, even amongst competitors, is more acute than ever. We are all in this together. We win and lose together. The seventh MCV Industry Excellence Awards will hail the best of retail, marketing, UK development and market innovation. Just under 40 companies have been named as Finalists, and you can see why they were chosen within this special publication. From the large to the small, all the Finalists have their merits, which will be carefully considered by a 100-strong Judging Panel before winners are decided. New categories this year include Store Manager of the Year, Retail Innovation, High Street Retailer and Marketing Innovation. Finalists who are new to the event include Lovefilm, Game Player, The Hut, Bethesda, Media Molecule and Rising Star. Over 550 people will be gathered at The Brewery, Chiswell Street on Thursday April 23rd to see who comes out as victors on the night. We will have some very special entertainment on the night, including some surprise cabaret (oh yes), the latest of our infamous awards videos (starring sundry industry notables) and presenter Rufus Hound. Rufus is breaking through as a comedian and host at the moment, following success with the comedy panel show Argumental, but is also an avid gamer and regular broadcaster for gamesrelated radio and TV shows. Finally, we obviously hope that everyone has an enjoyable night, whether your own company comes away with a prize or not. The UK games industry is successful, vibrant, close-knit and the envy of many around the world. The MCV Industry Excellence Awards celebrate all of that. Now pick your winners‌ Stuart Dinsey Publisher


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There is no doubt that the annual MCV Awards is the most important and prestigious awards night in our industry – and Nintendo is proud once again to support this year’s retail category. The MCV Awards are unique in that they reward those behind the games and focus on the people, teams, hard work and determination that go into maximising sales and drivng industry growth. This year’s new awards for store manager and retail innovation go that extra mile to recognise, reflect and reward the hard work and determination on the often overlooked ‘frontline’ of our industry. In these times of great uncertainty, one thing is assured – that we will all face considerable challenges ahead of us this year regardless of where we sit in the industry. It is vitally important, now more than ever, that we work even more closely with our retail partners. Our partners and friends at retail have been, and continue to be, crucial in helping us to attract new people to video games and in helping us contribute to industry growth. As such, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us achieve a record year for Nintendo UK and the wider UK industry, both in 2008 and so far in 2009. The very best of luck to everyone. We look forward to working with you all this year. David Yarnton General Manager, Nintendo UK


THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

RETAIL

FINALISTS Retail Innovation Store Manager High Street Retailer Star Store Online Retailer


THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

Retail Category Partner

RETAIL INNOVATION The first of four new prizes for 2009, this award looks at above- and below-the-line marketing by retailers, as well as new promotional incentives introduced to the market... HMV GAMERBASE With the acquisition and continued roll-out of the Gamerbase onsite LAN gaming centres, HMV really offers a point of difference for what a High Street retailer can bring to the gaming public. In-store Gamerbase tournaments have proved popular and are a continued focus for 2009, along with the further roll-out of these ‘next-gen’ stores. Currently two of HMV’s flagship stores – London Trocadero and Manchester 90 Market Street – boast these games environments.

HMV RE/PLAY HMV’s Re/Play initiative can truly be described as innovative, taking full advantage of the entertainment retail giant’s product offering. Pre-owned may be something of a bugbear for publishers and retailers, but it’s here to stay for the time being. And HMV has cleverly taken advantage of its unique position by giving consumers the opportunity to trade-in their games against any of its entertainment products.

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PLAY.COM LIVE The UK games market has for a number of years been bemoaning a lack of a consumer showcase event. And, while London Games Festival has been building over the past couple of years and online games site Eurogamer has launched its own expo, last year online entertainment boldly took the bull by the horns and rolled out its own multimedia event at Wembley, featuring music and, of course, game experiences. It was widely regarded as a great success and is set to return in 2010.

CHIPS ACCESSORIES Under the direction of joint MDs Don McCabe and Nik Agar, CHIPS hasn’t stood still since launching the UK games industry’s first retail franchising scheme in 1999. The chain was one of the first to offer trade-ins and secondhand titles, while it has also successfully taken the lead from some of its much bigger rivals, introducing a conference, a customer magazine and now its ownbrand peripherals. All are well labelled and marketed and flying off the shelves, according to the chain.

LOVEFILM RENTAL As the online rental business has been taking on the likes of Blockbuster in the DVD space, so has Lovefilm made a significant impact in the games market. As well as using its huge database to work with publishers on promotional activity specifically for new releases, Lovefilm has, of course, translated its regarded ‘no late fees’ strategy to video game rental.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

Retail Category Partner

RETAIL RETAIL INNOVATION • STORE MANAGER HIGH STREET RETAILER • STAR STORE • ONLINE RETAILER

STORE MANAGER For the first time, we are rewarding individuals running key UK stores. Sales performance, product knowledge, customer service and merchandising are all considered... RUPERT BANNINGLOVER HMV Birmingham Fort HMV’s games department claims that Banning-Lover’s passion and commitment to the market shines through on a day-to-day basis. He is a great source of information and ideas for what’s working on the shop floor. Banning-Lover never stops looking for extra sales initiatives and this shows in his outstanding sales performance and in-store merchandising.

RICHARD PASCOE CHIPS Hereford After just four months in his new job, Pascoe scooped a top CHIPS award for his hard work. The 35 year-old was named CHIPS Employee of the Year 2008, which is given to the staff member who ‘goes the extra mile’ for the benefit of the CHIPS network. Full of drive and enthusiasm, according to CHIPS management, Pascoe has worked hard, organising fun days at the Hereford store to promote the launch of new games and more.

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MARTIN TUCKWOOD Asda Derby Derby is Asda’s highest performing games store and constantly achieves strong sales results. Tuckwood drives real initiative within the store and motivates his colleagues to get beyond key launches and events. According to head office, Tuckwood is always ringing to enquire about new ways to drive incremental sales.

GARY NOAKES Game Player, Crawley An indie who has proved that innovative retailing can ensure that smaller retailers thrive, Noakes is a former GAME manager who has taken the concept of games retailing one step further. As well as offering a significant pre-owned scheme, the three Game Player stores provide a similar service on mobile phones, gadgets and accessories. Further diversifying the business, Noakes has introduced console repairs, mobile phone repairs and servicing.

MIKE BARNES/ PEARL ROBINSON GAME Oxford Street Under the leadership of general manager Mike Barnes and store manager Pearl Robinson, GAME Oxford Street has cemented its place as the chain’s leading store. Sales have grown consistently over the last three years and the store routinely exceeds its objectives.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

Retail Category Partner

HIGH STREET RETAILER Another new award, settling the question of which is the best bricks and mortar retailer. Criteria such as customer service, range and merchandising are key... HMV HMV’s gaming proposition goes from strength to strength and, with the incorporation of several Zavvi stores and the Gamerbase brand, it aims to further push the boundaries of entertainment retail. With the successful launch of Re/Play, a growing online offer and enhanced departments in-store, HMV believes it has the perfect platform to compete in all areas. Games now make up 20 per cent of HMV’s sales mix and it is a prime focus for the chain in 2009.

GAME The UK’s biggest specialist games retailer barely needs an introduction, but the chain has continued to push ahead. In late 2008, GAME announced a 33-store concessions deal with Borders, having already established an in-store presence with Debenhams, Hamleys, Fenwicks and Selfridges. The GAME brand has also continued to attract new customers. In 2003 women represented 24 per cent of its customers, based on the reward card; today they represent around 34 per cent.

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GAMESTATION Since the first Gamestation store opened back in 2003, the brand ethos has remained unchanged – ‘by gamers, for gamers’. The store base may have risen from one to over 250 now, plus thousands shopping via its website each week, but this brand ethos still shines out of store staff, every campaign that is launched and every event that is hosted.

ASDA The conversion of over 150 superstores to its new gaming concept clearly illustrates Asda’s commitment to the category, by growing space, as well as introducing leading innovation for that in-store space not seen before within the grocery sector. Outperforming the market in software and hardware growth – and that in spite of the collapse of EUK – has been impressive and its rapid conversion to direct trading with suppliers demonstrates its responsiveness and flexibility to adapt.

CHIPS CHIPS has come a long way since its birth 23 years ago. From one store back then, Nik Agar and Don McCabe have grown this retailer into the largest independent games chain in the country. The bricks and mortar sites have now expanded to more than 30; there are now more company stores than ever before and there are 20 franchise outlets across the UK, with more in the pipeline.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

Retail Category Partner

RETAIL

STAR STORE PR EVIOUS W

INNERS 2007: Gamesta tion Birmingha m New Street 2008: Zavvi, Ox ford Street

RETAIL INNOVATION • STORE MANAGER HIGH STREET RETAILER • STAR STORE • ONLINE RETAILER

STAR STORE Recognising the team behind an independent’s success or the staff within a chain’s individual outlet. Sales performance, plus commitment and service to customers is considered... GAME Oxford Street Its high profile location and status as the chain’s flagship store makes GAME Oxford Street one of the most visible video games shops in Europe. It has been selling games for almost 25 years and welcomes a variety of customers that ranges from tourists to dedicated gamers, as well as the investors, analysts and media who visit the store to examine what GAME has to offer. The store is regularly used for special events, including celebrity product launches.

HMV Liverpool One With over 4,000 square feet dedicated to games, this store represents a real statement of intent for HMV. As big as an average HMV store, this department is fitted out in HMV’s next generation style and benefits in particular from multiple interactive areas covering all consoles, which increases ‘dwell time’ and spend.

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GAMESTATION Birmingham New Street A former MCV Award winner, Gamestation Birmingham New Street remains the largest games store in Europe. Headed up by managers Lee McLaughlin and Craig Huxtable, the store continues to go from strength to strength. 2008 highlights included a World of Warcraft midnight launch with competitions against the UK’s best pro players, signed WWE appearances and a line-up with Cadburys World for a Mario and Sonic promotion.

ASDA Derby Asda’s Derby store delivered sales of almost £2 million in 2008, which was up a hugely impressive 50 per cent year-on-year. And already so far this year, YOY growth is 48 per cent, despite tough challenges following the demise of supplier EUK. Possibly most impressively, this store contributes towards over four per cent of Asda’s total hardware sales – which is not an insignificant cash number, according to head office.

CHIPS Dudley The Dudley CHIPS outlet scooped the chain’s Store of the Year award in 2008. And it’s the second time this particular outlet has walked off with a trophy, having picked up the CHIPS Newcomer of the Year accolade in 2007. CHIPS Dudley runs many promotional days, raises money for charity and gives great customer service.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

Retail Category Partner

ONLINE RETAIL ER PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2003: Gamepla y 2004: Amazon 2005: Amazon 2006: Play.com 2007: Play.com 2008: Play.com

ONLINE RETAILER This award takes into consideration customer service and delivery, product knowledge and range, commitment to street dates, marketing and sales growth... GAME.CO.UK In 2008 GAME Group invested a further £5 million in its ecommerce business to enhance the online offering and enable the business to punch above its weight relative to its size and its larger online-only competitors such as Play.com and Amazon. New technologies have facilitated a new enhanced ‘click and collect’ service, direct game downloads, subscription-based games-ondemand services and a stronger pre-owned proposition.

SHOPTO.NET ShopTo continues to be one of the most innovative online stores and is hugely popular amongst the hardcore games fans. Just recently it introduced a ‘Street Date or Compensate’ guarantee whereby customers are compensated if their game does not arrive on the day of release. Orders are sent First Class, though, meaning that compensation is rarely an issue. And in the event of a problem, ShopTo has an ‘0800’ service number so that it can be contacted at no cost to the customer.

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PLAY.COM The past year has been another good one for Play.com, the winner of the Online Retailer Award for the past three years. The firm held its successful Play.com Live event at Wembley and has continued to be a yardstick by which others measure their own online offerings.

AMAZON An ever-present force in the online market, Amazon’s almost unmatched range of stock is becoming as valuable an asset as its respected brand name. Its secondhand Marketplace remains popular and has been emulated by its rivals. And the site’s bang-on release schedule is used by many areas of the business.

GAMESEEK Something of a regular in MCV’s 30 Under 30 feature, the annoyingly young MD of Gameseek Stephen Staley has refused to rest on his laurels. Sales were up 15 per cent last year YOY and the online store boasts 200,000 customers. Coming up, Gameseek is rolling out a new games rental service, while a revamped website in glorious 1024 pixels is on the cards, too.

THE HUT The fifth largest entertainment retailer in the UK, The Hut also designs and runs ‘white label’ stores for a number of other retailers, including CHIPS, Phones 4 U and Send It. Boasting sales of around £1.5m a month, the business won some £5m from the Bank of Scotland after winning the Entrepreneur of the Year competition – and the company is fast becoming an online force to be reckoned with, which its recent acquisition of the Zavvi assets is testament to.

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PRE-DRINKS RECEPTION PARTNER Best of luck to all the finalists

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY

FINALISTS Sales Team Sales Triumph Games Publisher UK Development Team Distribution Team


THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

SALES TEAM This award acknowledges the team with the tough task of getting product into retail. But it’s not all about sales, it’s about after-sales service, customer care, as well as overall commercial performance... ACTIVISION BLIZZARD You can’t argue with a sales team that boasted six of the top 50 selling titles of last year. Maybe the latest Call of Duty, World At War, was always going to be a top ten hit for the year (it was placed at number six, incidentally, despite only being released in mid-November), but to also notch up the number 11 position for the 2007 version is really impressive. And it wasn’t just COD that the Activision sales team handled – the portfolio extended from Guitar Hero to Kung Fu Panda.

SEGA Headed up by the popular John Clark, Sega’s sales team played a key role in helping the publisher to achieve its most successful year to date as a multi-platform publisher. Sega achieved its position of becoming a top five publisher and was placed fourth in terms of volume and fifth in terms of value. This represented an impressive 58 per cent growth by volume and 55 per cent by value.

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EA EA’s sales team enjoyed incredible success with FIFA, grabbing the allimportant Christmas number one spot and claiming a 20 per cent growth for the franchise. It has smashed the £50m sales barrier since launch, equating to over £26,000 per hour since launch. EA’s investment in new IP also proved successful, with the sales team boasting unit sales of 280,000 for Mirror’s Edge, 220,000 for Army of Two, 200,000 for Spore and 185,000 for Dead Space.

UBISOFT Ubisoft has a strong, driven and passionate sales team which thrives on delivering growth. For the seventh consecutive year Ubisoft has grown its business due to its collaborative approach to working with its partners. The team boasts strong product knowledge and creativity, and was expanded last year to allow Ubisoft to maximise its potential with stores across the UK and Ireland.

MICROSOFT Be it the success of its consoles, accessories or software titles, Microsoft’s sales team works diligently with retail partners to deliver creative in-store and value executions which exceed expectations – from managing stock levels or delivering budgetbeating consoles sales and multiple All Format number one titles such as Fable 2 and Gears of War 2.

NINTENDO With improved stock availability compared to previous years, both of Nintendo’s hardware platforms have produced great results. Wii hardware sold 2.86m units through to consumers (up 51 per cent on the year) and DS, despite being in its fourth year, sold through 3.28m (up 18 per cent). Meanwhile, first party Wii software notched up 7.74m units (up 108 per cent), mainly down to the phenomenal success of Wii Fit and Mario Kart.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

SALES TEAM NERS PREVIOUS WIN /Gem 2003: Microsoft tresoft en /C ny So : 2004 on isi 2005: Activ 2006: THQ 2007: THQ 2008: Ubisoft

SALES TRIUMPH PREVIO

US WINNERS 2007: World of Warcraft (Blizza rd) 2008: Cooking Mama (505 Ga mes)

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY SALES TEAM • SALES TRIUMPH GAMES PUBLISHER • DEVELOPMENT TEAM • DISTRIBUTION TEAM

SALES TRIUMPH Whether an original title, niche sequel, or even a quirky new game that attained surprise hit status, this award celebrates the over-achiever of the past year... CRISIS CORE Available exclusively on the PSP, Crisis Core was top of the preorder chart for weeks before its release and went on to spend 11 weeks at the top of the PSP chart. It was the second biggest-selling game on the Sony handheld, second only to FIFA, and has since spent over 25 weeks in the top 10.

IMAGINE RANGE In a landscape dominated by triple-A blockbusters, the Imagine brand has quietly taken a stronghold on the DS market. With over 1.3 million units sold through, Imagine is now one of the biggest brands on the format. At least one Imagine title has been featured in the top 20 ChartTrack listing every week for a whole year and one Imagine title in the UK Top 10 for 26 weeks of the year.

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FALLOUT 3 Despite the Bethesda team only being fully in place in August, within three months some 750,000 units of Fallout 3 had been sold into retail, with the game achieving the number one All Formats position and remaining in the top 10 all the way through to Christmas. Fallout 3 may have been the third in the series, but Fallout 2 was released some ten years earlier.

COOKING MAMA 2 The Cooking Mama brand has gone from strength to strength for 505 Games, with the DS game the third biggest selling title on the format of all time. Cooking Mama on DS and Wii, plus Cooking Mama 2 on DS, have sold an impressive 1.34m units in the UK alone and the Wii version of Cooking Mama 2 has only just hit retail.

CARNIVAL GAMES One of the first third party casual games successes and a template for many subsequent ‘me too’ titles, 2K Games’ Carnival Games franchise has been much emulated since its release. Carnival Games: Funfair was a top 10 best-selling game in the UK last year.

BEN 10 The translation of kids’ brand Ben 10 to video games was a true sales triumph, with the success of the title having taken many by surprise. To the end of December 2008, the game had sold almost 185,000 units on DS, almost 140,000 on PS2, 91,000 om Wii and 88,000 on PSP.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS Games Publisher Award Partner

GAMES PUBLISHER The finalists are based on the top-selling publishers by sales last year. But which one of them provided the best quality product, trade relations, customer service, innovation and marketing agility... NINTENDO 2008 was another great year for Nintendo UK, with sales, turnover, profit, reputation and public perception all increasing. The year saw over 20 new software releases from the firm, combined with major new accessories and hardware updates, all backed with huge sales and marketing campaigns. The categories of titles published by the firm have also been varied and targeted a hugely diverse spectrum of consumers, from Cooking Guide to Resident Evil.

EA EA held on to its position as the UK’s number one publisher in 2008, despite increased competition from rivals. The success of FIFA ’09 is undisputed, both in terms of its sales success and its critical acclaim, but the publishing giant also turned its attention to new IP, such as Spore, Mirror’s Edge and Dead Space. In addition, its association with toy giant Hasbro saw EA increase its position in the casual games space.

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UBISOFT Ubisoft’s reputation as a publisher of hardcore gamers’ games has grown steadily over the past few years, with franchises such as Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon, Far Cry, Brothers in Arms, Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia all over-achieving commercially and critically. But the French publisher has proved its flexibility and nous by stamping its mark on the casual space, not least with the super successful Imagine range.

MICROSOFT Microsoft rolled out a broad selection of software titles in 2008, ranging from Ninja Gaiden 2 and Viva Pinata: Trouble In Paradise early in the year to Fable 2, Gears of War 2, plus Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts in the autumn. And the company demonstrated its willingness to experiment with new IP and broadening demographics with the roll-out of Scene It: Box Office Smash and Lips.

SEGA Since its relaunch in 2003 as a softwareonly publisher, Sega has grown in unit and value terms. Units sales growth on 2007 was up 58 per cent in 2008, while value sales grew by 55 per cent. In 2008 Sega achieved a top five publisher status, while the company prides itself on supporting UK development with projects released in conjunction with Sports Interactive, The Creative Assembly, Headstrong, Bizarre Creations, Sumo and Rebellion.

ACTIVISION Whichever way you look at it, 2008 was a spectacular year for the Activision Blizzard UK team. Publishing some of the most successful titles of the year, sales in the UK grew by 43 per cent compared to 2007. A standout achievement of the year was obviously the successful merger of the Activision and Vivendi businesses, while it’s worth mentioning that the publisher won no fewer than seven Golden Joystick awards last year.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

HER GAMES PUBLIS RS NE IN W US IO PREV 2006: EA 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo

UK DEVELOPM ENT TEAM PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2003: Rocksta r North 2004: Sony Lo ndon Studios 2005: Rocksta r North 2006: Bizarre Creations 2007: Travelle r’s Tales 2008: Codema sters

PEOPLE & INDUSTRY SALES TEAM • SALES TRIUMPH GAMES PUBLISHER • DEVELOPMENT TEAM • DISTRIBUTION TEAM

UK DEVELOPMENT TEAM The UK continues to be a hotbed of creative talent and this accolade rewards the top UK-based studio, regardless of international ownership... LIONHEAD STUDIOS Lionhead was acquired by Microsoft Game Studios in 2006, having established itself as a highly respected developer under the leadership of industry veteran Peter Molyneux. 2008 saw the release of the studio’s most recent work, Fable II, which was immediately met with glowing critical reception and high sales thanks to the quality and depth of the game world it offered.

BLACK ROCK STUDIOS Formally Climax Racing, Brighton’s Black Rock Studio made its mark on the automotive genre in 2008 with Pure, an adrenaline-charged and genuinely impressive offroad racing game. Part of Disney Interactive Studios, Black Rock has a long history of developing award-winning driving titles, and boasts an impressive in-house toolset.

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CODEMASTERS With nearly a quarter of a century of experience behind it, Codemasters is still creating stand-out content across numerous genres. Last year saw the release of the developer’s incredibly well polished Race Driver: Grid, which succeeded in impressing the critics in an infamously competitive genre. Codemasters is currently at work on Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising.

MEDIA MOLECULE As the team behind LittleBigPlanet, Media Molecule is the creator of one of 2008’s most charming, irresistible games. Founded by former members of Lionhead Studios, Media Molecule’s beautiful and innovative release captured the hearts of a huge variety of gamers and journalists, and offered the PS3 an incomparable, high quality exclusive.

ROCKSTAR NORTH True to its name, Rockstar North has a reputation that precedes it, thanks to controversial and accomplished series like Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt. GTA IV courted the attention of the national press throughout 2008, but it is the game’s status as one of the most skillfully crafted, ambitious developments of the year that truly deserves the attention.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

DISTRIBUTION TEAM PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2004: Gem 2005: Centreso ft 2006: Centreso ft 2007: Koch Me dia 2008: Centreso ft

DISTRIBUTION TEAM It may not be the most glamorous sector of the industry, but distributors saw plenty of activity in 2008, with publishers switching partners and new forces emerging... KOCH In the last year Koch has continued to develop its approach to the market. Its Nindie.com division reinvented its interaction with the retail sector with a number of key sales tools, including Nindie Live messenger and quarterly meetings with a rotating Nindie committee, meaning that retailers have a significant input in the development of the Nindie system.

GEM Gem celebrates 25 years of success in distribution this year. Boasting a despatch efficiency in excess of 99.99 per cent, Gem’s distribution centre provides many services to the industry, including primary and secondary warehousing, end user fulfilment, reverse logistics and a range of added value services such as security tagging, bundling, repackaging and POS.

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CENTRESOFT Best known, of course, for being the exclusive distribution partner of Sony ever since the original PlayStation launched, Centresoft also enjoys an enviable line-up of publishing labels – including games giants EA and Activision. And despite its size and position in the market, the Birmingham distributor continues to win plaudits from retail.

MUSIC BOX LEISURE An independent distributor of audio, video and games products, Music Box Leisure has raised its profile significantly in the past few months, having been a White Knight for the likes of Morrisons after the supermarket’s previous supplier EUK collapsed. Now expanding its games business, Music Box Leisure looks to be a permanent and welcome addition to the market.

ADVANTAGE Advantage was established in 2003 to offer a supply solution that addressed the changing distribution needs of both retailers and publishers. A number of publishing partners have chosen to utilise Advantage’s services, including Atari, THQ and 505 Games. The company operates as an independent sales and distribution company, with its own management structure and sales force.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

PR & MARKETING FINALISTS New Game Brand PR Team Game Campaign Marketing Team Marketing Innovation


THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

NEW GAME BRAND Quality IP continues to arrive to both critical acclaim and commercial success. This award acknowledges innovation, creativity and the potential to grow into long-term franchises... GRID Developed using Codemasters’ own proprietary EGO Engine technology, GRID raised the bar of the publisher’s driving games portfolio – in terms of anything from the gameplay experience to technical enhancements such as graphics and phsyics. As well as its listing here, GRID has a BAFTA nomination for Sports and was voted as a ‘Best of IGN’ title.

PURE Pure’s success came as a huge surprise to many in the industry, including both retail and the press. It has garnered numerous awards including a BAFTA nomination. According to Disney Interactive Studios, launching new IP is always a risk, but Pure has exceeded all expectations and forthcoming projects from Black Rock Studios are now eagerly awaited.

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DEAD SPACE Winner of more than 40 awards and nominated for four BAFTA gongs, Dead Space arrived on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC last year with Metacritic ratings of 89, 88 and 86 per cent, respectively. And the survival horror title has already established its credentials as an on-going franchise with a feature film, comic book series and animated feature announced.

LITTLE BIG PLANET Billed as Sony’s most ambitious games release to date, LittleBigPlanet has already established itself as the PS3’s flagship title, having sold some 380,000 units plus to date. Awarding it a 9/10 review score, Eurogamer wrote: “New ideas are great, great old ideas are better, and LittleBigPlanet has both: it’s the future and the past of videogames, rolled into one.”

PROFESSOR LAYTON Following on from the success of the Brain Training titles, Professor Layton and the Curious Village continued Nintendo’s aim of expanding the market, helping to bridge the gap between self improvement titles and a more traditional style of story-led gameplay. Testament to Nintendo’s ability to once again create not only a new franchise, but a new subgenre, is the fact that a number of ‘me too’ titles have already been announced and released.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

NEW GAME BRAND S PREVIOUS WINNER 2004: EyeToy 2005: Nintendo DS 2006: Nintendogs 2007: Guitar Hero Creed 2008: Assassin’s

PR TEAM PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2003: Sony/Ja ckie Cooper 2004: Microsoft /Red 2005: Microsoft /Red 2006: Nintendo 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo

PR & MARKETING NEW GAME BRAND • PR TEAM GAME CAMPAIGN • MARKETING TEAM • MARKETING INNOVATION

PR TEAM The industry’s PR efforts continue to rise to the challenge of a wider and deeper market – and things were no different in 2008 as the gaming demographic continued to expand... EA As well as its impressive work on the likes of FIFA ’09 and Dead Space, one of the EA PR team’s standout moments last year was the incredible coverage it got for the ‘Petrol For The People’ giveaway stunt it rolled out to back Mercenaries 2. A true work of genius, it meant that Mercenaries made it on to the News at Ten, as well as the home pages of all major news broadcasters.

MICROSOFT The UK PR team last year had a mission to change the way the press thinks about the video games market. ‘Telling an entertainment story’ was at the forefront of the team’s thinking, as it treated lucky journos to Snowbombing in Austria, the Ibiza Rocks Hotel, Glastonbury and V Festival. The team also tied up a number of celebrities, such as Duffy, Estelle, Morten Harket and The Sugababes, to help drive coverage in the women’s and national media.

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CAPCOM 2009 looks like being a stellar, record-breaking year for Capcom. And much of this can be attributed to the work the PR team has done in creating a buzz for the blockbuster titles arriving this year. Some of the highlights include getting Zane Lowe and Alex Zane to play Street Fighter sound effects throughout their daily shows and achieving a DPS spread with indie band The White Lies playing SFIV in music bible the NME.

NINTENDO/RED In an industry still notorious for badly PRing itself and often only reaching mainstream media through controversy and misreporting, Nintendo’s on-going PR in the UK consistently sends a positive message to the UK media, Government and other stakeholders that gaming is something to be played and enjoyed by everyone. And thanks to its campaigns for the likes of Wii Fit and Brain Training, the Nintendo team has even promoted the view that gaming can be good for you.

SONY Much of the Sony PR team’s success over the past year has been due to its campaign for LittleBigPlanet. Some 322 media items were secured, with a PR value of over £5.8m. Flagship coverage included a spot on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, three half pages in The Sun and over three hours of footage on the likes of Sky News, BBC Click, BBC News 24, MTV News, Newsround, Radio 1 and Radio 5 Live.

UBISOFT Headed up by the popular Lidia Rumley, Ubisoft’s PR team is five-strong, with over 30 years of industry experience. It also works with the ongoing support of two external PR agencies – Cohn & Wolfe and industry veterans Lunch PR. The team is structured by media expertise, which allows it to provide a targeted and top service to all of its media contacts.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

GAME CAMPAIGN This award considers the effective communication of the product or brand, creativity and execution, influence on sales and campaign impact versus the budgets available... GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR For the first time, a pre-order campaign was rolled-out for Guitar Hero, two weeks before launch. Offering a free bass guitar worth £50, this gave Activision its highest ever pre-order numbers. The launch campaign itself was everything you’d expect, including TV, online, cinema and print advertising. But quirky elements such as the Heidi Klum viral and the Pearl & Dean video made this a true stand-out campaign.

GTA IV Sexy tv ads, backed by a sexy soundtrack and a clever PR strategy were always going to be on the cards. But it was Rockstar’s work with retail – most notably, high profile midnight opening parties - that made the launch of GTA IV one of the biggest entertainment launches to date.

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FIFA Aside from the groundbreaking four-minute TV commercial on Sky Sports (for which the team has received another nomination), EA’s ‘Let’s FIFA ‘09’ campaign clearly contributed towards making the title the UK’s best selling games sports franchise to date. Advertising at football grounds reinforced the messages via print, radio and online.

FALLOUT 3 Bethesda’s Fallout 3 boasted a highly effective communications strategy, handled by Lunch PR, which was bolstered by a heavyweight, impactful TV campaign. The marketing strategy also included a launch takeover of the European MSN channels in over 15 territories, one of the largest games campaigns MSN has ever run. Outdoor included bus sides and bus shelters, plus advertising on the exteriors of 100 black cabs in London.

Wii FIT Representing a ground-breaking innovation in the video games industry, Wii Fit was the subject of a major educational PR campaign, taking in all broadcast media, national, women’s and lifestyle press. The title was also an element of Nintendo’s impressive peak season celebrity campaign which starred the likes of the Redknapps, the Keatings, Patrick Stewart, Fern Britton and Girls Aloud.

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR Following on from the huge success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Activision’s campaign for World at War was built to appeal to fans of the series, as well as attracting newcomers to the franchise. PR activity was key, and underlined by activity on tv, cinema, print and online. It all culminated with a huge number of pre-orders and the franchise growing by some 43 per cent year on year.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

GAME CAMPAIGN S PREVIOUS WINNER 2 2005: PlayStation DS do ten Nin : 06 20 r 2007: Gears of Wa 3 lo Ha : 08 20

MARKETING TE AM PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2003: Electron ic Arts 2004: Electron ic Arts 2005: Activisi on 2006: Nintendo 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo

PR & MARKETING NEW GAME BRAND • PR TEAM GAME CAMPAIGN • MARKETING TEAM • MARKETING INNOVATION

MARKETING TEAM Another fiercely contested category, this award recognises the creativity of a marketing department, taking into account budgets available and the creativity of the team... EA It may help to have some of the market’s biggest franchises on your portfolio, but the EA marketing team – headed up by newly promoted marketing director Stuart Lang – has ably demonstrated its innovation across the board in the past year. Key initiatives have included the sponsorship of the SciFi London event for Dead Space, plus the Red Square versus Trafalgar Square promotion for Command & Conquer. And of course the campaign for FIFA ’09 pretty much speaks for itself.

MICROSOFT Once again the Microsoft UK marketing team delivered some memorable campaigns, most notably the ‘Live Your Moment’ strategy. A core pillar of the campaign was the ‘Faces’ creative, support by a total blanket TV strategy that touched millions of consumers in the 18-35 male and female demographic, backed by high profile print ads.

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ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2008 was a groundbreaking year for the Activision Blizzard marketing team. In a year when many publishers found it tough to see their marketing investment translate through to commercial success, the team was able to manage a merger of two businesses, whilst delivering impressive sales across a range of products including Lego Indiana Jones, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, Quantum of Solace, The Force Unleashed and, of course, Call of Duty.

NINTENDO What is key for Nintendo UK’s marketing team is the UK specific strategy. Across the majority of its marketing communications, the team deploys activity that is absolutely optimised for the UK, meaning the lion’s share of advertising is created here, rather than ‘handed down’ from global or Euro HQs. Over the past year, Nintendo’s marketing department has been particularly success in promoting evergreen titles such as Brain Training, Mario Kart and Wii Fit.

SEGA The UK marketing team at Sega has seen significant change over the past year. Sara Grover came on board to cover for Tina Moore’s maternity leave, while new team members Jo Fawell and Ben Walker have brought a wealth of experience, complementing Ben Payne in the department. Looking at Sega’s top five publisher status, the team has done a great job with the resource and budget allocated to them.

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Good luck to all the Finalists at this year’s MCV Awards

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

PR & MARKETING NEW GAME BRAND • PR TEAM GAME CAMPAIGN • MARKETING TEAM • MARKETING INNOVATION

MARKETING INNOVATION Yes, the games industry is good at marketing. But which company tried new tactics or attempted something completely different – and succeeded...? FIFA ’09 FOURMINUTE TV AD EA’s four minute TV commerical for FIFA ’09 was premiered on Sky Sports during the Chelsea Vs Man Utd game and was a first for a video game in the UK. The commercial was shot using a team of seven cameramen and four directors to capture the feel of a real, living sporting event, with all footage monitored in real time. Shorter edits of the commercial were shown across other channels.

ALL SINGING, ALL DANCING, ALL DISNEY CAMPAIGN The Disney marketing team was presented with a challenge for Christmas 2008 – a number of titles based around popular franchises, all with different game mechanics and gameplay on a variety of formats. The team’s answer was to create an umbrella brand called ‘All Singing, All Dancing, All Gaming – All Disney’. A mall tour was based on the premise, with ex-Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon making personal appearances and publicising the tour.

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RISING STAR HOME OF JAPANESE GAMES Last year Rising Star recognised that it needed to brand itself and its games in a way that added value and provided a point of difference. The answer was ‘The Home of Japanese Games’ campaign and branding which demonstrates the publisher’s links with Japan, the cultural soul of video games.

SONY COMMUNITY WORK PS Home may still be in its early stages, but Sony has proved that it knows how to interract with its consumers online to great effect. In particular, the work it has done with its Singstar community over the past few years has been impressive. One key area for SCE last year was to create BoyBands vs Girlbands based entirely on what consumers voted for.

NEW XBOX LIVE EXPERIENCE More than a dashboard update, the launch of the new Xbox Live Experience has given Microsoft and its third party publishers and other partners the opportunity to promote their products in a more hard-hitting way – but, impressively, without rankling its millions of Xbox Live customers.

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THE FINALISTS 2009 YOUR TEAM • YOUR GAMES • YOUR AWARDS

VISORY BOARD: MCV RETAIL AD GNITION SPECIAL RECO NERS IN W US PREVIO et Pearson 2007: Margar nnelly Do 2008: Paul

GRAND PRIX AW ARD PREVIOUS WIN NERS

2003: Microsoft 2004: Electron ic Arts 2005: Nintendo 2006: Sony 2007: Nintendo 2008: Nintendo

SPECIAL AWARDS MCV RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD: SPECIAL RECOGNITION This is a special award voted for entirely by the MCV Retail Advisory Board, who represent the leading retailers in the UK. Finalists and winners are chosen based on their attitude to retail, enthusiasm and performance...

DARREN BOWEN

ANDY YATES

JOHN CLARK

MARK HOWSON

JONATHAN GRIMES

Ubisoft

Nintendo

Sega

SCE UK

Microsoft

MCV RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

Lisa Morgan

Duncan Cross

Martyn Gibbs

Don McCabe

Tim Ellis

Gian Luzio

Caroline Austen

Jon Biggs

Debbie O’Neill

Graham Chambers

David Poulter

Igor Cipolletta

Anthony Stocker

Stephen Staley

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GRAND PRIX AWARD Last but not least is the Grand Prix. Nothing about this award will be revealed until on the night of Thursday April 23rd. Our highest accolade, this prize rewards any UK-based brand or company which has enjoyed commercial and critical success, whilst also showing the highest level of support at trade level. Previous winners have included Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Sony and Microsoft. The winner of the award is decided exclusively by the team at MCV – but no one has yet complained about our final decision...

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