THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday March 13 2009 £3.25
“BLOODY, BEAUTIFUL – AND UTTERLY BONKERS!” GAMESMASTER ‘MOST WANTED’ AWARD
“YOUR MUM WILL HATE IT. YOU’LL LOVE IT. THE GAME OF 2009.” NGAMER “..ONE OF THE MOST VISUALLY EXCITING GAMES OF THE YEAR..“ EUROGAMER “GORE FEST“ ONM
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 528 Friday March 13 2009 £3.25
04 Left4Dead? Leading names from across the trade offer their views on the Change4Life scandal
07 Disney’s Second chance
International Media Partner
New explosive, UK-developed racing game Split/Second is unveiled
28 EA’s new game plan Marketing director Stuart Lang on the publisher’s strategy for 2009
ISSUE A comprehensive guide to all the firms vying for glory as finalists in MCV’s muchloved Industry Excellence Awards
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Is this the real reason why games are a ‘health risk’? Industry forgotten by Change4Life’s commercial arm – as fast food and TV giants influence Government campaign by Tim Ingham IT’S BEEN on the lips of every publisher boss this week: “How could that Change4Life ad have been avoided?” MCV may finally have the answer today, in the shape of Business4Life; a group of corporate entities that have donated a combined £200m+ to the Government health campaign – around 80 per cent of the initiative’s total budget. The coalition’s members have been granted influence on the editorial direction of the campaign by the Department of Health – but not a single games firm has been invited or asked to donate. Confectionery firms that have signed up include CocaCola, Cadbury’s, Mars, Nestle and PepsiCo – the owner of Walker’s Crisps. TV companies that sit on the Board include BSkyB, Channel 4, five, ITV, Virgin Media and Viacom. The latest Change4Life print ad – which shows a young
gamer under the words ‘Risk an early DEATH. Just do nothing’ – has attracted widespread criticism from the industry for
has encouraged the industry to get involved – and expressed regret that no games publisher has yet signed up.
Our members offer opinions to Government on these ads. It’s a shame games firms haven’t been involved.
Jane Holdsworth, Business4Life
ignoring TV and fast food’s role in the UK’s obesity crisis. Marketing director of Business4Life Jane Holdsworth
“It’s a shame – a combination of us not having contacts and games companies not coming forward,” she told
MCV. “We would be delighted to have the games industry involved in future. Our members meet regularly with the Department Of Health, and are given opportunity to express opinions about upcoming campaigns – which helps avoid nasty surprises.” Surprisingly, Holdsworth added her voice to those that have criticised the new ad. She added: “It’s irrational and grossly unfair to pick on a single product like that. I’m surprised, because the Department of Health’s
own research shows negative advertising is not effective.” Nintendo has told MCV that it is now keen to open discussions with Business4Life. Turn over for the full roundup of games industry reaction to Change4Life
ELSPA’S PLAN ELSPA has decided not to submit a complaint over the Change4Life ad to the ASA. It says it continues to work closely with Whitehall on resolving the issue– and is meeting relevant parties.
Gem plots further European acquisitions UK distributor reaches 25-year milestone French distribution represents ‘first step’ in Pan-European push GEM TURNS 25 this month, and the firm plans to celebrate by acquiring businesses in new territories, MCV can reveal. The UK company, which distributes games for the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Take Two, acquired French distributor Banque Magnetique
in 2007 and is already eyeing up other European companies in its quest to establish itself as a Pan-European outfit. “Over the last three years, we’ve become more than just a UK distributor,” explained Gem MD Chris Peacock. “We are a UK distribution business, with
a UK logistics facility and a creative studio. But we also have a UK and European brand in the form of Exspect, and we have our first venture with Banque Magnetique, which is a €200m business in France. “This is the first step in Gem’s European expansion
strategy. We’re looking at a couple of other opportunities in other territories. Considering the current economic climate, opportunities will arise for us at a very good price.” Gem also has big plans to significantly expand its Exspect peripherals and accessory range.
PERSONNEL 36 RETAIL BIZ 39 NEW RELEASES 47 HIGH STREET 48 CHARTS 50
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[LEADER] FROM GOOD TO BAD… The timing could not have been worse. Wii Fit is the biggest seller of the year so far. Our industry is garnering cred and praise, with 16 BAFTAs handed to the trade this week. The market continues to defy slumps in other sectors. Yet the Change4Life campaign’s deliberate fingering of video games – even using hackneyed gaming clichés like ‘Game Over’ – as a contribution to child obesity has sought to ignore and undermine all that, and proves there are still people out there that just don’t get it. The debate has rumbled on all week, as you’ll no doubt be aware from following MCVuk.com – seeing news of the industry’s argument against what is effectively propaganda, and our complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority – or just from the array of voices to the right here. Of course what we aren’t disputing is what Change4Life wants to achieve. This is a campaign with good, high intentions. It wants to encourage active lifestyles and a better awareness of the issues around that amongst both adults and children. Let’s not forget that is A Good Thing™ – and something no-one can rally against.
BIG BUSINESS AS USUAL? What irks most in the trade about all this, however, is that our voice simply wasn’t heard. The games industry has become a real force for change, with ‘stand up and be counted’ titles like Guitar Hero and Wii Fit appearing everywhere from Gossip Girl to GMTV – and this ad smacks of ignorance. How have we become singled out as a purveyor of ‘DEATH’? Perhaps it’s not such a surprise when you realise that some of the bigger stakeholders of Change4Life-funding coalition Business4Life are TV and fizzy drinks firms. The fact that our leading names were not invited (yes, we checked) to join these companies – which are happy to take our marketing money for ads or promotions, by the way – speaks volumes of how games are still a victim of oversight and prejudice.
MILES AWAY AND MILES AHEAD And while the Brits are cringing at the fact that this Government-backed ad even exists, it’s taken a New Zealand politician to show that, in fact, the state and games can interact well. The country’s chief government censor plans to introduce a law that will fine or prosecute any parents that give age-restricted games content to children in a bid to ‘send a message’ to adults. It’s concrete proof that matters of games content and their impact can be handed sensibly and responsibly by a government – and shows a progressive understanding of the sometimes complex issues debated around games content. Of course, it also puts Whitehall, which currently seem not care about our own industry, to shame. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Change4Life: The industry responds The UK’s publishing, media and development communities have come together to condemn the ‘Risk Death’ Change4Life ad... Rob Cooper, Managing Director, Ubisoft UK
Keith Ramsdale, Managing Director, Electronic Arts UK “The use of negative stereotypes to address such a complex issue is ill-informed. I expect games players of all ages will take offence to it. “It shows a lack of understanding of how people choose their entertainment today and how games are now played – such as games
“The use of negative stereotypes is illinformed. We back MCV’s complaint to the ASA.” for the Wii which positively encourage energetic gaming. “Whilst we support the overall objectives of Change4Life and the importantce of an active lifestyle, we will back MCV’s complaint to the ASA. Gamers who feel aggrieved by the ad should do the same.”
Mike Hayes President, Sega Europe “Naturally we are very disappointed with the inference created within the Change4Life press ad. It remains a deep frustration that gaming is selected to
“It’s disappointing for Ubisoft as a company to see a responsible body attacking video games in this sensational way, when scientific study has shown that video games can also be a positive influence in the lives of young people. Video games have been shown to help in improving
“It’s disappointing for Ubisoft to see a responsible body attacking video games.” school grades, to help in improving social competencies, self confidence and even recently physical health with the advent of coaching and wellness games. It’s in everyone’s best interest – the industry, the government and the consumer – to keep a balanced view on the subject.”
present a negative image of the UK’s youth, consumers at large and the industry. “TV, radio, cinema, music, computing, gaming and reading all require passive participation, but of all these, gaming provides the most potential activity. It seems this has been put together by a poorly informed ad agency.”
“It remains a deep frustration for Sega that video games are being used to present a negative image of the UK’s youth.”
Read MCV’s complaint “THE LATEST print ad in the Department Of Health's Change4Life campaign depicts a low-lit room in which a young boy is sitting on a sofa, playing on his PlayStation 3. Above this, in big letters, is written: 'Risk an early DEATH. Do nothing.' As the industry's trade magazine, MCV is well placed to comment on the spurious
link [this ad] explicitly makes between playing games and premature death.
have on the UK’s youth. It’s also grossly inaccurate. “The link between video games and These ads risk having a childhood obesity is completely hugely negative effect unproven. on UK business. It’s “As the ad woefully irresponsible points out, the key to ensuring during a recession. children don’t become obese is to ‘reduce “Put simply, it’s hugely how much fat they eat’. In unfair and unrepresentative of addition to this, children need the positive effect video games
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NEWS Rod Cousens, CEO, Codemasters: “In this case, the Government has been out of touch, and their so called facts or intelligence is flawed.
“They are ignorant of the good that video games do. Look at The Paddington Academy, the support of sporting events, support given to prospective Olympic hopefuls via The Ron Pickering trust, help provided to worthwhile
“The Government is out of touch. They are ignorant of the good the video games industry does.”
causes such as LIFT and charities for young people with learning difficulties, epilepsy, meningitis, blindness and schemes for schools which are advocated by governments but which presumably should not now benefit?”
TOP 10 RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3 CAPCOM
Richard Wilson, CEO, TIGA “This advert is absurd and insulting in equal measure. To imply that playing a video game leads to a premature
rendezvous with the Grim Reaper is a non-sequitur of colossal proportions. Many games are mentally stimulating or involve physical exercise. This advert is offensive to the 30,000 people who work in the UK’s games industry.”
“This ad is absurd and insulting in equal measure. It’s a non-sequitur of colossal proportions.”
Dance Revolution series a landmark in the genre for over ten years. The game has been proven to aid fitness and has had a calorie counter as part of its content for many iterations. As such, we refute the
“We refute the accusation that gaming is sedentary. It’s a damaging idea.”
accusations that gaming is a sedentary pastime, and feel such comments are damaging and do not reflect the wide range of activity-related titles that are both available and immensely popular.”
associations with gaming could be long lasting. “There is no arguing that the campaign’s underlying message about premature death is incredibly important – but the government would never risk the wrath of
“Using a child with a pad is crass and misleading. Why not use a book to illustrate their point?”
showing a child sitting still reading a book to illustrate their point.” “Games and gamers are a soft target. No-one has ever got fit by standing on a book, whilst games like Wii Fit can kickstart an exercise regime.”
contradicted much of the discussion that we had enjoyed with the DoH. We immediately called for an urgent meeting with its officials responsible for Change4Life. Following that meeting we have been informed that the ads are
“This contradicts much of our discussion with Government. We are taking the matter further.”
“Atari fully supports MCV’s complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. At best, the campaign is misleading and at worst, damaging to the industry, its reputation and its potential.”
2. RESIDENT EVIL 5 360 ..............................................CAPCOM
3. SOCOM: CONFRONTATION PS3 ..................................................SONY
4. RESIDENT EVIL 5: STEELBOOK ED. Pete Stone, Manager, Konami UK: “Konami has long been at the forefront of active video games, with our Dance
5. RESIDENT EVIL 5: STEELBOOK ED. 360 ..............................................CAPCOM
6. ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES 360 ..................................................SEGA
7. THE SIMS 3 James Binns Publishing Director, Future UK “Using a child with a joypad to illustrate Change4Life is crass and misleading. The negative
8. WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360 ....................................................THQ
9. WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA PS3 ....................................................THQ
10. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ..................................................ATARI
Mike Rawlinson, Director General, ELSPA “When we became aware of the adverts we were surprised as they
the responsibility of the NGOs listed. We are now taking the matter up with these organisations and informing them of the responsible position taken by the industry as demonstrated on our Ask About Games website.”
Week ending March 13th Source: SHOPTO.COM
to the ASA in full… to lead an active life. Again, the ad addresses this: ‘Make sure your kids are active for an hour a day.’ “Why, then, the explicit link with video games? Games neither preclude young people from being active, nor influence their eating habits. It simply makes no sense. “Worse than this, however, this ad risks having a hugely negative effect on the UK video games trade – as those
uneducated in the evolution of the industry see it as damaging to their children. “From a commerce point of view, this is a woefully irresponsible thing for the Government to do during a recession – threatening the takings of hundreds of small games retail businesses in this country. “The advert implies to its audience (parents) that, by preventing their child from
playing games, they will help ensure their future health. “Not only is this strictly not true, but runs the genuine risk of hurting small businesses. “This advert is misleading and makes unfair and untrue claims. It threatens people’s business through a spurious, unproven link. “It is way off the mark, obviously poorly researched – and worringly outdated.”
THE CASE FOR THE DEFENCE:
A partnership spokesperson for British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK and the Change4Life campaign told MCV: “We’re surprised at this reaction to our campaign to tackle childhood obesity. “Of course the Change4Life campaign is not saying that children should not play games – but we are saying that children need a balanced and active lifestyle.”
Week Ending February 20th
Week Ending February 27th
Week Ending March 6th
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
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LucasArts: We’re sticking with Activision No plans to open UK distribution office US publisher beats out rivals to deal with Star Wars rights holder
LUCASARTS has revealed that it has no plans to open a European distribution office – because Activision is doing such a stellar job as its thirdparty publishing partner. The two companies renewed their pan-European, Southeast Asia and Australian publishing and distribution agreement last week.
international markets. There are efficiencies in working with a strong distribution partner, particularly when launching a selective portfolio of products every year. “We have deliberately adopted a strategy of fewer titles, but each title will be well positioned, well supported, of the highest quality, and brought to market by a distribution partner with in-market expertise
LucasArts still have no plans in the near future to open their own distribution offices overseas. Mary Bihr, LucasArts
And LucasArts has now told MCV that it will not open its own European office, as Activision already offers “the highest quality” of service. VP of global publishing at LucasArts Mary Bihr said: “We have had a long standing relationship with Activision in which our brands have been well represented in the
by Tim Ingham
and a range of products that are complementary to our own. We have no plans in the near future to open our own distribution offices overseas.” Bihr added that Activision beat out other companies looking for “an allegiance” with LucasArts, and took the opportunity to reiterate the firm’s commitment to new IP.
Codemasters plots ‘Best of British’ show CODEMASTERS has unveiled a sneak peak event for its 2009 line-up, following a successful ‘Gamers Day’ tour in the US. The company’s ‘Best Of British’ event will take place on Wednesday (March 18th) from 10am at the Codemasters campus in Southam, Warwickshire. Games expected to be shown at the event includes Jumpgate Evolution, Damnation, FUEL, Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising and Overlord 2.
“We are deliberately making this a simple, plain, and hopefully easy event for all those invited to attend and get back to work in the same day, if they want to,” said Codemasters UK boss Jeremy Wigmore. “There will be a couple of surprises, but after the reaction in the US, we expect the UK trade will really find this a useful first-look at a truly stellar line-up.” tracy.wasley@ codemasters.com
MARY BIHR: LucasArts VP insists the publisher is committed to launching new IP, alongside Star Wars and Indiana Jones games
She added: “LucasArts is certainly committed to new IP, but the market conditions have to be right. For the near term, we are focusing on strategic initiatives that bring both Star Wars and Indiana Jones to broader audience segments. Our recent successes have been with these franchises, but our historical successes over a much longer time period have included original franchises.” The first game set for release from LucasArts this year is upcoming Indiana Jones title Staff of Kings, and the firm has indicated that there’s much more to come. “There will be more announcements throughout the year, which we cannot talk about at this stage,” said Activision’s general manager of LucasArts International, Menno Van Der Bil. “However, we can say that all of us at Activision are thrilled about the fantastic titles that LucasArts has in the pipeline.” Activision: 020 3060 1080
Empire rules the charts PUBLISHER Sega is thrilled by the critical and commercial reception to its PC-exclusive RTS, Empire: Total War It is the first PC-only Number One in almost 18 months, and has notched up an impressive 93 score on Metacritic – and Sega feels this shows that there is still life in the ailing PC market. “It’s Sega’s fifth All Formats Number One and incredibly, the first time a PC-only release has been number one since our last one with Football Manager 2008,” said Sega UK sales director John Clark. “At Sega we believe that the PC market – although going through a challenging
PC HIT: Clark (left) and Payne (right) are elated by Empire’s success
time – is seeing some success on major brands. We’re proud not only with Empire: Total War achieving a great chart position but outperforming the other Total War titles too. This demonstrates that if the right titles are supported well, growth is possible.”
UK product manager Ben Payne added: “We are grateful to all who worked hard to bring Empire: Total War to the market. A special mention must be given to Creative Assembly who have created an unrivalled real time strategy game.” SEGA: 020 8995 3399
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UK Disney studio unveils its Second new racing IP
UK-developed action racer Split/Second will offer ‘a new approach to the genre’ by Michael French
OUT 27th MARCH 2009 PC-DVD
BattleForge is an online real-time strategy game. In the game players are Skylords, beings with god-like powers that summon legendary creatures to do their bidding. Creatures, units, spells and buildings are represented by virtual trading cards, which are brought to life in the game through cutting edge animated graphics
SECOND COMING: Carroll and Beckwith (insert) feel that the time is right for an inventive new racing IP
“Pure excelled in quality and gameplay. Now that the market, the press and our customers are prepared for
We believe that Split/Second’s original approach in the racing genre will allow it to break out from the crowd. Matt Carroll, Disney
“We believe that Split/Second’s original approach to the racing will allow it to break out from the crowd,” Disney’s UK country director Matt Carroll told MCV.
ITS RIVALS might be more cautious towards developing new IP, but Disney has this week unveiled its second new racing franchise. Called Split/Second, the game is heading to 360, PS3 and PC in 2010. The title puts gamers in the midst of intense races inspired by TV and film where players can trigger environmental effects and explosions to take out rivals. Developed by its Brighton, UK-based internal studio Black Rock, the game follows Disney’s MCV Awardnominated off-road racer Pure which crashed onto retail shelves last September.
what Black Rock can deliver, we are very optimistic that Split/Second will exceed expectations once more.” Although not out until early next year, Disney is planning
an extensive campaign to raise awareness of the title – a push which started with a reveal to the global press this week “Split/Second is not just a new IP; it is a fresh approach to the racing genre – bringing new compelling gameplay and a reason to exist in its own right amongst the other high quality racing games on the market,” added Carroll. “As with all new IP introductions we need to work extra hard on our communications and be able to demonstrate the experience as widely as possible.”
Tony Beckwith, GM and VP of Black Rock added: “We really established ourselves when we released Pure, and Split/Second will take that to the next level. Beckwith added that the time is right for a new racing IP like Split/Second, as the racing genre is in need of some re-invention: “If you look at the sale figures, Mario Kart Wii aside, the racing category is in many respects dying out – so I think the genre is ripe for something new and inventive to give it a kick start.”
OUT 10th APRIL 2009 Xbox 360, PS3, PC-DVD
On the eve of the Cuban revolution, a major mob meeting in Havana takes a bloody turn. The Don of your family is killed, and you must take the reigns and lead your battered organization. Build up your arsenal, forge alliances, and make whatever deals you need to as you fight off attacks and strike back at your rivals. There’ll be a price on your head and a target on your back, but don’t take it personally. After all, it’s only business.
Disney: 0208 222 1413
AntiGrav returns with fresh team “After receiving very positive feedback from everyone involved in the business including all customers and
benefit would then accrue to Matt’s family. “The first step for the company is to stabilise the
I am proud that both myself and our daughter will continue to be part of the vision that Matt created. Vanessa Holland
suppliers, the investor felt there was not just a sound business case to continue it, but perhaps more importantly, that some
POPULAR peripherals outfit AntiGrav has returned following the tragic death of previous owner, Matt Holland. The outfit is being headed up by industry veteran Robert Orchard, with a new HQ based in Chertsey. And Orchard hopes to make AntiGrav the number one accessories distributor. “A private investor was introduced to AntiGrav and had seen the excellent business model developed by Matt Holland,” explained Orchard.
business and get back to business as best as possible, offering the same extensive ranges of video game accessories as before.”
Vanessa Holland, Matthew’s widow and AntiGrav shareholder, added: “I am delighted that the investor recognised the potential of AntiGrav. I am very confident that the company will continue to build on its initial success and this will be achieved by the dedicated and expert team involved. I am very proud and excited that both myself and our daughter Madeleine will continue to be part of the vision that Matt created.” AntiGrav: 01932 454 929
OUT 5th JUNE 2009 PC/Mac-DVD
Create unique Sims with personalities and control their lives. Customise everything from their appearances to their homes. Fulfil their life destiny making their wishes come true (or not!). Explore new locations around town. Go online to connect with other players and show off your creations. Get inspired by the endless creative possibilities and unexpected moments of surprise and mischief.
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Games ‘key’ for new Zavvi The Hut group targets £75 million sales following latest brand acquisition Offline marketing push planned
THE HUT HAS told MCV that video games are ‘at the heart of our business’ after relaunching the Zavvi website last week. The online retailer – which also produces sites for Asda, CHIPS, Tesco and Dixons – has a sales target of £75 million for 2009, and video games is set to be a major category in achieving that goal.
“We tried to get Woolworths back in December, and that was because both it and Zavvi are such strong brands – Woolworths phenomenally so. Zavvi has a database of over a million customers, and they were heading towards £25 million sales online, and we’re looking to capitalise on this. “We’ve taken TheHut.com from zero and we’ve done very well with that. But we
We feel that Zavvi can give us that extra bit of scale to get us established with improved buying terms. Matthew Moulding, The Hut
“Games is definitely a key part of Zavvi’s future,” The Hut CEO Matthew Moulding told MCV. “We want to differentiate it from TheHut.com, so it might focus on different consoles. But we’re still data mining and finding out exactly what the best selling titles are on Zavvi.
by Christopher Dring
feel Zavvi can give us that extra bit of scale to get us established with certain suppliers and get us improved buying terms.” Although the new Zavvi still focuses on entertainment, The Hut has expanded its category offering into new areas, including lingerie and perfume.
BREAKING THE MOULD: The Hut CEO Matthew Moulding has relaunched Zavvi with new categories and an offline marketing push
“Some people may think that our new product offering is a huge departure for us and for Zavvi. “But we know from our experience with TheHut.com, that we can make a strong offering on alternative categories away from entertainment, and we are really pleased how the first week has gone for Zavvi.” Along with a host of new product categories, The Hut Group is hoping to re-launch Zavvi with a heavy online and offline marketing campaign. “The marketing team are currently doing presentation after presentation and they’re looking at the level of spend they would like to do,” continued Moulding. “So we will be doing all forms of marketing for Zavvi and The Hut, both online and offline. We’re not strong in offline marketing in the slightest, and so we will put a budget behind that and try and grow Zavvi through offline media, picking up a new marketing skillset on the way.” The Hut: 01606 338190
Industry games veteran comes back Fighting JIM MACKONOCHIE is set to return to the video games industry through his partners at The Fighter Collection. Mackonochie has previously worked as the managing director at various companies, including Mattel Interactive, Mindscape and The Learning Company. He also founded Mirrorsoft, a software company within Mirror Group Newspapers. He currently runs a software consultancy company, Mackonochie Associates, which primarily handles business development for The Fighter Collection, a private aviation business with a software simulation division.
“In a way, I never left games,” Mackonochie told MCV. “After the collapse of The Learning Company, I worked as a consultant handling brands for Encore Software, a US publisher. However, I have always been an enthusiastic publisher of flight simulator titles, so working with TFC on both military and game simulations was natural. It is great to be back in publishing.” The Fighter Collection is preparing to self-publish the first in its new flight sim series, DCS: Black Shark. The game is a part of the Digital Combat Simulation franchise, which will focus on the Russian Ka-50 ‘Black Shark’ attack helicopter.
MACKONOCHIE: The industry stalwart returns with flight sim outfit
It is the first time the publisher has released a game themselves, having previously gone through Mindscape and Ubisoft.
“We decided to self-publish the add-on to our Lock On game in 2005,” said Mackonochie. “It was a
technical and financial success. From then on, it became clear that we had the experience and skillsets to publish our own products in the flight sim market. “We have now set up a distribution network stretching from Ecuador to South Korea and Alaska to New Zealand. Gem will be our UK distributor. “We are committed to the industry, because it’s one side of a two-headed coin. Military simulation and games. And who knows, now Microsoft is to close its ACES studio that produced Flight Simulator, I guess we could become the only girl left in town.” Mackonochie Associates: 020 8452 7393
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New European publisher emerges Gamebridge announces entry into the European market via RSG distribution partnership
FAST-GROWING Rising Star Games has tied a strategic alliance with new Euro publisher Gamebridge, taking titles to retail from spring. Gamebridge is a joint venture between Interchannel, a Tokyo-based developer and publisher of video games and
Partnering with Rising Star Games allows us to hit the ground running very effectively. Shigeki Takeuchi, Gamebridge
the official Nordic region Nintendo distributor, Bergsala. As a new European video games publisher, Gamebridge’s stated mission is to bring fresh, new concepts from Japan into the European market place. With three Nintendo DS releases planned for the spring and summer, Rising Star will
handle all of the company’s sales and marketing initiatives throughout the PAL territories. “Partnering with Rising Star Games allows us to hit the ground running very effectively, by working with a company that shares both our outlook and goals for games,” said Gamebridge’s CEO Shigeki Takeuchi.
SEGA: The publisher has announced the dates and formats for the longexpected Vancouver 2010 video game tie-in. The title will appear on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 in early 2010, and is part of a partnership with Internatinal Sports Multimedia, the licencees of the International Okympic Committee.
by Stuart Dinsey
Rising Star Games managing director Martin Defries added: “The key figures in the creation and running of this new European company have a proven track record of success in the games market, both in Europe and in Japan. “For Rising Star Games, this partnership further embodies
EA: Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson will both appear on the cover of Fight Night Round 4. An online poll started in December saw fans call for both boxing legends to be featured.
SHIGEKI TAKEUCHI: The Gamebridge CEO is thrilled by the firm’s partnership with Rising Star, with game announcements to come
the spirit of bringing the best games from Japan into our stable of releases throughout the rest of 2009.”
Gamebridge will announce its first slate of video games later this month Rising Star: 01582 433700
EEK W E H T F O N CAMPAIG IGHT K KN C A L B E H T D SONIC AN itical
cr ret Rings was a ec S e th d an ic Son hit for Sega. The and commercial ith peat the trick w re to t se is r he publis plete ired sequel, com sp -in ot el am C s it arketing push… with dedicated m
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TELEVISION Sega is running a three-week TV campaign across terrestrial and satellite channels that will target housewives and children, with 30, 20 and 10 second advertisements. The campaign will run on channels such as C4, E4, MTV, Citv, Jetix and Trouble, and within key programming of The Simpsons, Hollyoaks, T4, Ben 10, Neighbours and Smallville. JETIX Sega is set to run a three-week TV sponsorship on Jetix, complete with exclusive 30 second TV spots. This sponsorship also includes Jetix web promotion, plus a dedicated minisite with editorial content, competitions and features.
PRINT Alongside a five month targeted specialist and lifestyle PR campaign, Sega is set to run a six-week specialist press and children’s lifestyle print campaign. The print advertisements will largely feature single page creatives.
ELSPA: A raid at a house in Surrey resulted in the largest seizure of its kind in the UK as ELSPA’s antipiracy team and Surrey Trading Standards seized thousands of game copying devices designed to pirate Nintendo DS games. MICROSOFT: The latest Play Smart, Play Safe survey found that 75 per cent of UK parents consider video games to be beneficial to their children and families. AMAZON: The online retailer has introduced a trade-in scheme in the US. Gamers will be given a quote for their games and a shipping label. Once Amazon has received the title and its condition has been checked, then the customer’s account will be credited.
ONLINE A three week children’s lifestyle online campaign is in the works, which includes website takeovers, leaders, and video content on websites such as: Nick, Miniclip, Monkey Slum, and Cartoon Network. IN STORE A strong in-store campaign will begin at the game’s launch. POS that has been made available includes standees, cubes, posters and wobblers.
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Test your knowledge of the beautiful game, on and off the pitch with a series of mini games and challenges. Discover your Football IQ and challenge your mates to see who really is top of their game.
LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI
www.footballacademy.ea.com ÂŠ2009 Electronic Arts Inc. EA, EA SPORTS, and the EA SPORTS logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electctronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners
Nintendo DS ™ Lite
“...My Most Anticipated DS Game Ever” — MTVNews.com
Introducing Henry Hatsworth In The Puzzling Adventure – Explore 35 levels in 5 exotic worlds with interconnected action-adventure and addictive-puzzle gameplay. TM
IN STORES 20th MARCH
www.HenryHatsworth.com © 2009 Electronic Arts Inc. EA, the EA logo and Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. NINTENDO DS IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
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12 MCV 13/03/09
UK SALES ANALYSIS: FEBRUARY
February’s fighters Back catalogue games from Nintendo – and a new Capcom release – plus stalwart EA and Activision franchises led the monthly charts last month. MCV provides the stats and analysis… MONTH ON month, there’s little change in the charts on a format and company basis. No surprises as Nintendo reclaims its space at the top of the rankings due to a larger wedge of the market claimed by its DS and Wii formats, no doubt driving sales of its first party software. But it’s more interesting to note an uplift in the often maligned PC market. The humble home computer has grown its market share in unit terms by three per cent. February saw the release of some new titles with PC SKUs, such as F.E.A.R. 2, but given that the format is actually down in a value sense, it seems that budget and back catalogue sales drove the format to grow. That’s especially clear when you count that there are just 17 PC SKUs in this month’s Top 50 versus 19 in last month’s. At the same time, it seems that the unit growth of PC could have come at the expense of the 360. With both unit sales and value down month on month, it’s possible that owners simply bought less software in February – plus a lot of the newer releases during last month were on Wii. According to MCV’s calculations, the market was worth over £100m for the month of February – a slight dip on last year, where the month accounted for around £110m. That’s not to say the software market is heading into a slide after 2008’s triumphant figures. March is packed with key releases, including GTA on DS and Resident Evil 5, plus continued sales of Killzone 2 – all of which should provide serious uplift during the coming month.
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 2 4 3 5 7 6 8 9
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 1 3 4 5 6 7 10 8 9
SALES SHARE BY FORMAT
NINTENDO WII NINTENDO DS PC XBOX 360 PLAYSTATION 3 PSP PLAYSTATION 2 APPLE MAC OTHERS
SALES SHARE BY FORMAT
24.4% 21.5% 18.0% 17.0% 11.6% 3.7% 3.6% 0.2% 0.0% VALUE
NINTENDO WII XBOX 360 NINTENDO DS PC PLAYSTATION 3 PSP PLAYSTATION 2 APPLE MAC OTHERS
24.2% 20.5% 18.2% 17.3% 14.4% 2.6% 2.4% 0.5% 0.0%
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY
NINTENDO ELECTRONIC ARTS UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA MICROSOFT THQ TAKE 2 SONY SYMANTEC
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY NINTENDO ELECTRONIC ARTS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT UBISOFT SEGA THQ SYMANTEC SONY TAKE 2
15.6% 13.7% 9.4% 8.0% 5.5% 4.7% 4.7% 4.0% 3.7% 2.5% VALUE
18.0% 14.6% 9.1% 8.0% 7.1% 5.0% 4.1% 3.4% 3.3% 3.2%
ALL FORMATS TOP 50: FEBRUARY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.
Wii Fit Wii........................................................................................................Nintendo COD: World at War 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS .............Activision Blizzard FIFA 09 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, DS, PC.........................................................EA Street Fighter IV PS3, 360, ......................................................................Capcom Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS ...............................Nintendo Mario Kart Wii Wii.......................................................................................Nintendo Wii Play Wii.....................................................................................................Nintendo Mystery Case Files: Millionheir Wii....................................................Nintendo Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Wii ...............................................Sega My Fitness Coach Wii....................................................................................Ubisoft Guitar Hero: World Tour Wii, 360, PS3, PS2..................Activision Blizzard Skate 2 PS3, 360......................................................................................................EA F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin PS3, 360, PC....................................Warner Bros. Grand Theft Auto IV PS3, 360, PC ........................................Rockstar Games Carnival: Funfair Games Wii, DS .......................................................................2K Need For Speed: Undercover 360, PS3, PSP, PS2, Wii, DS, PC..............EA Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training DS....................................................Nintendo Tomb Raider: Underworld 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC .........................Eidos Left 4 Dead 360, PC ...............................................................................................EA Ben 10: Alien Force PS2, PSP, Wii, DS ..........................................................D3P The Lord of the Rings: Conquest 360, PS3, PC, DS .........Electronic Arts LEGO Batman Wii, DS, 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, PC.........................Warner Bros. LEGO Indiana Jones Wii, DS, 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC .................LucasArts Shaun White Snowboading Wii, 360, PS3, PSP, DS, PC....................Ubisoft Football Manager 2009 PC, PSP .................................................................Sega COD 4: Modern Warfare 360, PS3, PC, Mac ..................Activision Blizzard Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC ......................Konami Mario Kart DS DS........................................................................................Nintendo LittleBigPlanet PS3 ............................................................................................Sony Sonic Unleashed Wii, 360, PS3 .......................................................................Sega Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II PC .................................................THQ New Super Mario Bros. DS .....................................................................Nintendo Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Wii, PS2, PS3, 360, PC Activision Blizzard House of The Dead: Overkill Wii...................................................................Seag More Brain Training From Dr Kawashima DS ..............................Nintendo Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection PS3, 360 ...................................Sega Fallout 3 PS3, 360, PC...............................................................................Bethesda Saints Row 2 360, PS3, .....................................................................................THQ Wall E Wii, DS, PSP, PS3, PS2, 360, PC ....................................................THQ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 Wii, PS2, 360, PSP, PS2 .................................EA Quantum of Solace 360, PS3, Wii, PC..................................Activision Blizard Gears of War 2 360...................................................................................Microsoft WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2009 PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP ................THQ Big Beach Sports PWii........................................................................................THQ Disney’s Bolt DS, Wii, PS2, PS3, 360 ..................Disney Interactive Studios Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree Wii...................................................Nintendo SimAnimals Wii, DS..................................................................................................EA Resistance 2 PS3.................................................................................................Sony Kung Fu Panda 360, DS, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC........................Activision Blizard LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Wii, DS, 360, PS3 ........LucasArts
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack
While Wii Fit makes for an unsurprisning rule of the the monthly charts, note the impressive arrival of Street Fighter IV in this listing. It’s managed to claim fourth despite only being on the market for a few days of the January 25th to February 21st period that these charts cover.
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MCV 13/03/09 15
FOR A COMPANY to reach its 40th year is a major accomplishment, but Konami’s longevity is also testament to the growth of the video gaming sector. From its humble beginnings, Konami has emerged as a publisher of strong, original products that can appeal to anyone. At the company’s heart is a commitment to creating the best possible games for any format. From the likes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES, through the gradual evolution of our soccer titles from the lauded ISS series through to the current world-beating Pro Evolution Soccer. Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Dance Dance Revolution... with titles such as these Konami has built an enviable IP base, and also keeps working to create new titles to take forward. And after 40 years in business, we can also look confidently to the coming years. European R&D continues apace, we are constantly looking to new possibilities afforded by downloads, and beyond. This is an exciting time for the gaming sector, and we are determined to continue to progress and evolve. Here’s to the next 40 years! Kunio Neo, President Konami Digital Entertainment Europe
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40TH ANNIVERSARY KUNIO NEO, KONAMI EUROPE PRESIDENT
The Pro’s Evolution During its 40 years in business, Konami has been responsible for some of the industry’s most groundbreaking and inventive games. MCV speaks to Konami GmbH president Kunio Neo on the secrets of the firm’s success and the growing importance of Europe…
Forty years is an impressive landmark to reach. What has been the secret to Konami’s long-term success in gaming? I think consistency plays a major part in all that we do. Throughout the years, and across the many formats that we have supported, we have produced some of the most innovative and memorable titles imaginable. The development teams that we employ all strive to make their games unique and challenging, and this is as true of our current titles for Nintendo Wii, DS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as it was for the Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, NES and GameBoy, or whatever. Konami is built on a base of quality products, and consumers know that we always aim high with all of our releases.
Metal Gear Solid, Frogger, Castlevania etc. are all examples of some of Konami’s biggest IP. How important has your own IP been to your success? It has been vital – and is a tribute to the aforementioned development talent we have on board. Frogger is now over 25 years old, yet is enjoying a new lease of life on iPhone. Likewise, each Castlevania for DS receives a stunning reception. Each is overseen by a team dedicated to making each title as good as possible and pushing back as many boundaries as possible – as demonstrated by Mr. Kojima and the leaps in quality between each Metal Gear Solid title, or with Greyhound’s clever take on PES for Wii.
Metal Gear Solid 4 an ideal fit for the system, while PES 2009 is a multiformat release and also a bespoke edition that makes use of the Wii’s unique controllers. We don’t want to just put out a ‘one game fits all’ version of a title, if we can make it that bit more special for the individual format. You’ve been active in the downloadable arcade games space. How do you plan to develop your digital download strategy further? The PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Marketplace and Wii’s Virtual console are all strong parts of Konami’s future and we are constantly looking into new areas to enhance this digital strategy.
How significant is Europe to Konami’s Europe plays a major part in global business? Konami’s global business, and We play a major part. we have a major say on all What would you say have Titles such as Pro titles that are on the horizon. been the highlights of Evolution Soccer were so Konami’s 40-years in strong, that Japan created Kunio Neo, Konami business? versions tailored to the There have been many highlights. The How significant is it for Konami to European tastes, and we have a major growth of the Metal Gear series; the find the next big property? say on all titles that are on the horizon. expansion of the Pro Evolution Soccer For every well-known franchise, we Better still, we are now contributing to franchise into a worldwide always have new IPs on the horizon. the development pot with a raft of phenomenon, the enduring success of Lords of Shadow is going to be a big stunning titles, and – as shown with GTi Dance Dance Revolution, that the likes title for us, and Enchanted Folk for DS Club and New International Track and of Castlevania and Silent Hill are as is going to surprise a lot of people. We Field – we are being entrusted with the popular now as they were on their also have a wealth of other new titles in future of respected Konami franchises, debuts. Plus, of course, these are development – it is fine to keep people and charged with taking them forward. exciting times right now: our European enthralled with titles they know and development teams are continuing to love, but the people behind them like to How do you expect the video excel with GTi Club + enjoying a strong try new stuff to keep themselves fresh, games industry to evolve over the reception, and a major new IP in the and Konami always encourages this. Mr next 40 years? form of Lords of Shadow shaping up Kojima’s Boktai – the light-sensitive GBA Well, if you had asked those around at beautifully in Madrid. Our relationship title, is a great example. Konami’s inception if they could with Hudson Soft is also a key element imagine that the company for Konami, with some stunning titles Konami still does a lot of platform would achieve what it has, I set to emerge in the coming months exclusives, while other publishers doubt that they would be from them. are focusing on multi-format able to. But as long as we releases. Why is that? Do you plan continue with our core And what about the low points? to have a more active multi-platform ideals and continue to There’s been nothing, really. There have strategy in the future? create innovative video been tiring moments of course, but We actually do both platform exclusive games, I truly believe when I look back on Konami’s past, all I and multi-format releases as well. It is Konami has the can recall are the many positive times just a fit of the right title for the right longevity to enjoy that we’ve had. format. The space on Blu-ray made another 40 years.
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MCV 13/03/09 17
40TH ANNIVERSARY KUNIO NEO, KONAMI EUROPE PRESIDENT
“For every well known franchise on our release schedule, we always have several new IPs on the horizon.”
EUROPEAN FOCUS: Kunio Neo feels that the tastes of European consumers are becoming increasingly important to Konami
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40TH ANNIVERSARY PAST CLASSICS
Then and FROGGER Developed for the arcades in 1981, Frogger is regarded as a video game classic. The title was such a hit that it is often referenced in popular culture, and the game is still popular today, with editions available online, on iPhone and Xbox Live Arcade. SCRAMBLE/SALAMANDER/ GRADIUS/PARODIUS Scramble is a 1981 horizontally scrolling shooter developed for the arcades, which spawned a series of other Konami classics, including Gradius and Salamander. Gradius was launched in 1985 and was released in Europe as Nemesis and the series has received multiple sequels including last year’s Gradius ReBirth for WiiWare. Konami has also developed a parody spin-off series based on Gradius called Parodius. CASTLEVANIA Konami’s long-running Castlevania series began life in 1986 on the Famicom Disk System, and gained recognition when it arrived on the NES and was localised worldwide in 1987. The game tells the story of the vampire hunting Belemont family and their fight against Dracula. There were three Castlevania titles released for the NES, and the acclaimed series has appeared on most major systems, with recent games released on DS (see right). CONTRA The run-and-gun action series started off in arcades in 1987, before being ported to the NES and MSX systems. Multiple sequels followed, with modern editions including Contra 4 on DS. Versions of the original Contra have been released onto the Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, mobile phone platforms and in Konami collections. METAL GEAR The original Metal Gear title developed by Hideo Kojima debuted in 1987 on the MSX2, before coming to the Nintendo Entertainment System. An unofficial sequel, Snake’s Revenge, arrived in Europe in 1990 without Kojima’s involvement. However, Kojima developed his own sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, in Japan during the same year. After that, it took eight years for the Metal Gear series to return, with the 1998 release of Metal Gear Solid.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Based on the classic TV series, the first game produced on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles licence arrived in 1990 on the NES and was ported several times. The critically acclaimed and best selling SNES title, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, arrived in 1992. Konami’s love affair with the Turtles has continued up until a few years ago, with games based on the Turtles’ 2003 TV reboot. TINY TOON ADVENTURES: Konami owned the licence to the Tiny Toon Adventures during the early ‘90s, and the first game based on the animation was released in Europe in 1992 on NES. A full sequel was released in 1994 entitled Trouble in Wackyland, while several titles were also launched for the Nintendo Gameboy. DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION: Konami pioneered the rhythm action genre with its globetrotting arcade hit, Dance Dance Revolution. The original landed in European arcades in 1999, and featured a board on which gamers had to dance. The series has been a worldwide sensation, and there have been titles released for PlayStation, Dreamcast, GameCube and Wii, including special Mario and Disney tie-ins. ISS Although Konami’s love affair with football began with Hyper Soccer on NES, the firm’s first big football series was International Superstar Soccer. The first ISS arrived in 1994 on SNES, with versions appearing on Mega Drive, N64, PlayStation, GameCube and Game Boy. MYSTICAL NINJA The Goeman series has been a big Japanese hit for Konami since it debuted in 1986. The franchise is based on Japanese folklore and has spawned a series of merchandise, anime and manga tie-ins. TRACK AND FIELD First released in arcades during 1983, Konami’s button mashing Track and Field was later ported to consoles, receiving critical and commercial success. The series has since appeared on multiple formats, including last year’s come-back release, New International Track and Field on DS.
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40TH ANNIVERSARY PRESENT HITS
Now METAL GEAR SOLID Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid is arguably Konami’s biggest video game franchise of today. Last year’s Metal Gear Solid 4 on PlayStation 3 was a summer smash hit. It delighted the critics with a Metacritic rating of 94 per cent, and the game has already sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. An iPhone game, Metal Gear Solid Touch, is currently in development. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER Konami’s other major franchise of modern times is its FIFA-battling PES series. The franchise first appeared in October 2001, effectively replacing the firm’s ISS series. Originally the PES games were largely confined to PlayStation platforms, but it’s now a full multi-format franchise. The Wii edition of Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 is due later this month. CASTLEVANIA One of the relics of Konami’s past is enjoying a new lease of life on Nintendo DS. Dawn of Sorrow, Portrait of Ruin and last month’s Order of Ecclesia have been big critical hits on Nintendo’s dual screen platform. Next week Konami releases its latest Castlevania spin off on Wii, Castlevania: Judgement. SILENT HILL Konami’s survival horror franchise started off in 1999 on the original PlayStation. The series, with its eerie and macabre content, enjoyed strong sales and much critical praise. Five sequels, several books, comics and a movie followed. Last month the latest entry in the series, Silent Hill: Homecoming, was released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. ELEDEES Proof that Konami still likes to experiment with new gaming ideas, the original Eledees (Elebits in America and Japan) was an early release for Nintendo’s Wii and received various awards for innovation and design. Early last month the publisher released a sequel on DS entitled Eledees: The Adventures of Kai and Zero.
Konami has created some of the industry’s biggest games. MCV takes a look at the firm’s 40 years of innovation… LOST IN BLUE A direct follow-on from Konami’s 1999 title Survival Kids (which also received a Japan-only sequel), Lost in Blue is an acclaimed DS series that tells the story of survivors on a desert island who must use the island’s resources to survive. Lost In Blue 3 and Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked was released for DS and Wii respectively last month. LORDS OF SHADOW Konami’s big budget ‘dark fairy tale’ is a third party action adventure title that’s due to hit shelves in 2010. The new IP puts players in control of a hero called Gabriel during the Middle Ages in Europe. Development duties are being handled by Mercury Steam. ENCHANTED FOLK AND THE SCHOOL OF WIZARDRY Set in a magical school, this delightful game allows young players to work their way from being a humble student to a master wizard. The game hits shelves today (March 13th) on Nintendo DS. BOMBERMAN Hudson is firmly under Konami’s wing, so the classic Bomberman series is now a key franchise for the publisher. Bomberman was first released in 1983 on MSX, NES, and ZX Spectrum. The latest title in the illustrious series, Bomberman 2 for Nintendo DS, arrived at retail on February 13th. SPORTS ISLAND Sticking with the Hudson line-up, Sports Island (or Deca Sports, as it was called in Japan) was a big hit for Konami in 2008. The game follows a similar template to Nintendo’s Wii Sports, and the firm is set to release a sequel this year. Also part of the company’s Island series is Job Island: Hard Working People, which is due out today (March 13th). YU-GI-OH! Yu-Gi-Oh is one of Konami’s biggest licences, and the publisher has released many titles based on the anime and manga series. Kicking off on the Gameboy Color and PlayStation in the late ‘90s, Yu-Gi-Oh games have mainly appared on handheld formats, and the next game in the series, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Accelerator, is to launch on Nintendo DS in April.
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MCV 13/03/09 21
40TH ANNIVERSARY KONAMI UK
The rise of
Konami UK As the Japanese publisher celebrates its 40th anniversary, Konami’s Pete Stone offers us a personal account of the publisher’s life and history in the UK video games market… IT ALL BEGAN with an arcade division, which was based in Eastcote in London’s leafy North-West. Home computers still ruled the roost, with the likes of the Spectrum and the C64 reigning supreme, and Konami’s coin-ops were licensed to the likes of Ocean and its Imagine sub-label, and included the likes of Hyper Sports, Combat School and Comic Bakery. At the end of the ‘80s, several of the largest Japanese hardware firms banded together under the MSX operating system. The likes of Sony, Toshiba, JVC, et al, all produced machines that had different abilities but could all play MSX-branded games. Konami became established as an MSX publisher in
“ STONE: The European R&D team has been charged with handling development duties for the ambitious Lords of Shadow
Japan with both Antarctic Adventure and something called Metal Gear doing well, and two Japanese staff members were sent to the London office to oversee distribution. The MSX never really got off the ground in the UK, but Nintendo and its NES were starting to gain momentum – particularly in Germany. Konami also secured the Ninja Turtles licence at this point, and vast quantities were sold across Europe. Konami was using Nintendo distributor, Bandai, in the UK, but Nintendo then set up an office in Frankfurt. The two Japanese staff members who set up the UK distribution side duly followed suit, and Konami’s
After Nintendo set up an office in Frankfurt, we followed suit and Konami’s European HQ was founded, and is still there today.
European HQ was founded, and is still there – albeit on a larger scale. In the meantime, the London office was continuing to do well. The trend for handheld LCD games saw more people added to the staff, and the console boom continued with Sega matching Nintendo’s success. Konami was late to support the Sega formats, but in 1992 finally released its first titles for the format in the form of Rocket Knight Adventures and Contra. And that is where I come in. Following a wearing experience at Palace Software, which was renowned for the Cauldron and Barbarian titles but had struggled as the 16bit computers started to wane, I was asked to set up the sales and marketing operation for Konami in the UK. From
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40TH ANNIVERSARY KONAMI UK here, Konami took the distribution of its Super NES and GameBoy titles inhouse, enjoying massive success with games as diverse as Castlevania, Tiny Toons Adventures and Zombies Ate My Neighbours. Konami was building a reputation as a producer of innovative and playable titles, and its Japanese HQ was constantly generating a wealth of new, strong IPs. We moved to equally leafy Uxbridge, and then to Ruislip. Again, very leafy.
flow on the N64 and lead the way in terms of player usage – with Paul Ince and Fabrizio Ravanelli gracing its packaging. We backed the Osaka-based ISS series all the way, and had little hopes for the future of the Tokyodeveloped Goalstorm series – until a gold disc containing ISS Pro Evolution Soccer for PlayStation came into the office from Tokyo and blew us away. Gone were the odd triangular players of Goalstorm, and quite where that
THE PLAYSTATION GENERATION
With the advent of the CD-based consoles, Konami opted for Sony’s PlayStation over Sega’s Saturn format, but remained loyal to Nintendo with strong support for its N64 system. Konami returned to its roots with strong versions of Track and Field for the Sony machine, but it entered a golden era of original titles with Silent Hill and something called Metal Gear Solid. Much has been written about the latter, but the impact of Hideo Kojima’s game is remarkable. It was a stunning game that attracted coverage everywhere, and everyone who worked on it in any way was enthused by its quality and the effect it would have on Konami’s reputation. One game that didn’t impress, however, was a football game called Goalstorm for the Sony format. On the Super NES, Konami had enjoyed huge success with its International Superstar Soccer series, which was now in full
new IPs is as strong as ever. We pioneered the dancing series with Dancing Stage, successfully oversaw the release of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, and maintained our commitment to the development of new titles. Furthermore, the importance of the European office manifested itself in the creation of a European R&D office, overseen by long-term Konami staffer
Konami has carved a reputation for quality and has seen systems come and go, and still manages to push back the barriers.
gameplay came from, nobody knows. We kept both series running for a while, with ISS3 for PlayStation 2 marking the last effort from the Osaka team, while ISS Pro Evolution Soccer went from strength to strength, eventually losing the ISS prefix, and then becoming the world-famous Pro Evolution Soccer brand we know today. All the time, Konami’s UK and European bases were growing. The UK office moved to leafy Chiswick, and offices in Spain, Scandinavia and France were set up. The UK team grew. More and more product managers were appointed to work with Japan to oversee titles, and the commitment to
Dave Cox. From its humble roots – did someone mention Crime Life – the European R&D office has since been entrusted with key Konami franchises such as Track and Field and GTi Club, and is now overseeing Lords of Shadow; one of our more ambitious titles to date. LIFE BEGINS AT 40
And, you know, it has been fun. Good people. Good games. Some, um, not so good ones, too. But Konami has carved a reputation for quality and has seen systems come and go, and still manages to push back the barriers. So, yes, it has been fun. And so it should be. We are part of the entertainment industry, after all.
FIVE OF THE BEST: STONE’S VIEW
Tiny Toons Adventures (Super NES)
Silent Hill (PlayStation)
Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation)
International Superstar Soccer (Super NES)
Dancing Stage Euromix (PlayStation)
“The first major sales hit we had as a UK office was the Tiny Toons Adventures. It was a good platform title, and one that suited its host format, the SNES, perfectly.”
“A very controversial game, and challenging because of it. Konami had never released anything like this before, and it showed the versatility we were capable of.”
“We were still quite a smallscale operation at this point. I recall doing all the sales for Metal Gear Solid on my own, but to be a part of that release was incredible.”
“It was obvious that this series had such potential. We cottoned on to it straight away, and it was one of the titles that I made a point of championing really hard.”
“When we first released this, we only put 3,000 out there. But Argos stocked it, and it became a massive hit with over 1.2 million copies sold in the end.”
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40TH ANNIVERSARY A HISTORY
Konami’s corporate history On March 21 1969, Konami was founded and a new games publishing giant was formed. MCV provides you with a run down of the key events from Konami’s illustrious history…
March 21, 1969
March 19, 1973
Kagemasa Kozuki (current chairman of the board and CEO) founded a jukebox rental/repair business in Osaka.
Kozuki transformed the business into Konami Industry Co, and began work on manufacturing ‘amusement machines’ for arcades. Their first actual game machine was not created until 1978. They began to achieve success with hit arcade games such as 1981’s Frogger, Scramble, and Super Cobra.
Konami began exporting certain products into the United States.
Konami GmbH was established in Germany.
Konami was established in the UK.
Konami began manufacturing and selling MSX games.
Konami of America, Inc. was established in Torrance, California.
Konami began manufacturing and selling PC games.
The Konami logo was established.
Konami began manufacturing and selling Family Computer (NES) video games. This new business was in addition to, not in place of, the arcades, and many hit console games of this time period were ports of the arcade versions.
Konami Kosan (currently Konami Real Estate) was established.
Konami sets up its Tokyobased headquarter.
Konami entered the Sega Mega Drive game business.
Konami entered the gaming machines market in Australia.
Konami Australia Pty was established.
Konami Finance (currently Konami Capital) was established.
Konami Music Entertainment was established.
Konami entered the PlayStation video game business.
Konami’s logo was changed from italics to roman text.
Konami released Dance Dance Revolution, a dance Simulation game that revolutionized the music game industry.
Konami Software Shanghai was established.
Konami Sports and Life became Konami’s subsidiary through a friendly takeover bid and Konami entered the Health and Fitness business.
Konami accepted new thirdparty shares issued by Hudson Soft and made it a consolidated subsidiary.
Konami introduced a new logo on the company’s 30th anniversary since its establishment.
Konami entered the Xbox games business.
Konami entered the toy candy business.
Konami invested in Hudson Soft and made it an affiliated company.
2005 Konami was the sixth largest game developer in Japan after Nintendo, Square Enix, Capcom, Sega Sammy, and Namco Bandai.
May 2006 Konami acquired Combi Wellness Corporation and made it a subsidiary.
Konami entered a pachinko slot machines market.
Konami Corporation of America moved its US head office from Redwood City to Konami Digital Entertainment’s office in El Segundo, California.
Konami celebrates its 40th anniversary.
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Â© Disney. All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. Product names and/or visuals shown are of product currently in development and may be subject to change.
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28 MCV 13/03/09
MCV INTERVIEW STUART LANG, UK MARKETING DIRECTOR, EA
State of the Arts After a 2008 that saw improved critical scores and success with new IP, EA believes it can perform even better this year. Tim Ingham speaks to UK and Ireland marketing boss Stuart Lang…
Dead Space, Spore, Army of Two and more new IP did very nicely for you in FY2009. How has this affected the mood at EA when it comes to taking risks? We launched a lot of great new IP and we undoubtedly made great strides on quality and innovation. Our Metacritic average was significantly up, and we delivered one of the highest quality line-ups from any publisher. We’ve laid the foundations for a series of compelling and successful franchises for the long term. Clearly competition was intense, particularly in the run-up to peak, and we saw a significant degree of polarisation in the final calendar quarter with many people opting for trusted, recognisable brands. We still believe it’s possible to launch new IP at peak, but only if there’s a significant groundswell of anticipation and buzz amongst the key influencing core, which can be used as a foundation or catalyst for broader reaching communications. Obviously having the big blockbuster hits provides us with the ability to invest in new ideas and new experiences but, as we’ve learnt with FIFA, those big blockbusters must continue to break new ground and innovate to remain blockbusters. FIFA is doing that in spades. We had 13 titles rated at 80 or
above versus seven the year before – that’s a stat that we can all be incredibly proud of and no other third party publisher can boast. There’s no doubt that we’ve laid the right foundations for a series of successful and quality franchises last year, and you only have to look at the likes of Dragon Age, Dante’s Inferno, Brutal Legend and Saboteur to see that we’re not pulling back from strong new intellectual property.
we will actively position the game as an inclusive, party experience for all ages.
Mirror’s Edge underperformed slightly, but many have commended you on your bravery with this title. Will we see another in the series, and what would you do differently with it next time round? We’ve sold through 275,000 copies of Mirror’s Edge in the UK. It’s true we hoped for greater commercial success, but for a first time launch of a new IP, which We were the only publisher to shattered rather than broke have 13 titles at 80 or above the mould, and which hit the market at peak, that’s on Metacritic last year. not a bad result. DICE Stuart Lang, EA delivered an experience which was truly innovative Boom Blox, in particular, seemed to and which looked unlike anything else suffer commercially after a great on the market. critical reception. What went wrong There’s no doubt that Mirror’s Edge – and how can you fix this for the will have a profound influence on first next game in the series? What did person game design across the board. you learn from this? There’s nothing specific to report on Boom Blox is a great game. It was one new developments surrounding Mirror’s of the best-received Wii titles of 2008 Edge at this stage, but we’re proud to and we’re proud of the results of our have brought such a conventionfirst collaboration with Steven Spielberg. shattering title to market, which was The sequel has recently been announced indeed commented on by many for its and we’re committed to making Boom innovation and bravery. It really fired Blox a major party franchise for the Wii people’s imaginations, so, again we’ll for the long term. We anticipate a strong continue to champion creativity and to critical reception for Boom Blox 2 and invest in new ideas.
THE NUMBERS GAME Stuart Lang reveals Electronic Art’s gameplan for FY10: “We undoubtedly made great strides on quality and innovation last year. But arguably we tried to do too much. “This year we’re much more focused. We have fewer titles. That said, we still have a great, leaner line-up which will see groundbreaking innovation in our blockbuster franchises – FIFA 10 will be the best FIFA ever, The Sims 3 will be the strongest Sims experience yet, and NFS Shift will be the highest rated NFS game we’ve released. You’ll see us launch some incredible new games from DICE within the Battlefield stable – the highly anticipated Battlefield Heroes, Battlefield 1943 for XBLA and PSN as well as a stunning sequel to
Battlefield Bad Company. Across the line up you’ll see us continue to champion creativity, investing in new ideas. Our customers expect this and the industry needs innovation. In bringing this line to market and making them successful we’ll have five key areas of strategic focus: No.1: Core Principles We’ll engineer hits and ensure musthave buzz status amongst the core on an outstanding line-up of gaming properties which deliver deep, immersive storytelling and worlds that people want to lose themselves in. Dragon Age, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mass Effect 2, Dante’s Inferno, The Saboteur and Brutal Legend will all be promoted earlier than ever to ensure
Arguably we tried too much last year. But we undoubtedly made great strides on innovation and quality. Stuart Lang, EA
must-have buzz status amongst key influencing gamers, before we go broader with our marketing to engage with a wider audience and deliver breakout success. No.2 Nintendo Focus We underperformed on Nintendo platforms last fiscal but we’ll fix that this year by clearly focusing and prioritising our resource (both time and money). We will assertively drive the EA Hasbro range of titles as essential socially inclusive experiences. We will focus on breaking one new IP, in EA Sports Active, which has phenomenal potential. We’re already seeing momentum build for this year’s essential fitness product. EA Sports on Nintendo is a priority. Tennis, football
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MCV 13/03/09 29
MCV INTERVIEW STUART LANG, UK MARKETING DIRECTOR, EA The DS market, like Wii, is becoming an overcrowded proposition at retail. What can you do to ‘cut through’ this year – and improve your share on the console? It’s on us as publishers and on retail to come up with compelling propositions for consumers. It can’t all be about price. There’s now so much out there, we’re exhausting the finite amount of space that is our shop window. Shoppers are overwhelmed and undoubtedly bewildered by a raft of cheaply produced, cheaply designed and cheaply priced product, and we’re not, collectively, optimising the commercial opportunity or looking at the long term picture. We all have immediate commercial requirements and need to make sales now, but the games we should be prioritising and selling hardest, and the games which should be commanding prime retail presence, should be quality productions which will convince new gamers and users that they made the right decision in getting into games and which will entice them to repeat purchase and invest time and money in a new passion.
The worst thing we can do is to get people into gaming, only to turn them off with a poor interactive experience.
and golf, done the EA Sports way, will be an irresistible proposition for sport fans on Wii. You’ll see we are taking great advantage of their new hardware addition with the motion sensor which is going to give us incredible new EA Sports authentic gameplay. We will further establish MySims as a major brand on the Nintendo platforms with a range of new interactive experiences and with a distinct style and tone. Harry Potter will be the essential kids’ blockbuster of the summer, no question – we have the movie, a major marketing commitment and a superb game. Dead Space Extraction extends the Dead Space universe and story with a bespoke experience for 18+ Wii gamers and NFS Nitro is another
custom designed, custom built Wii exclusive which should emerge as the platform’s essential racer.
What can you tell us about EA Sports Tennis? Grandslam Tennis is a superb game and we’re very excited about bringing it to market. We’ve had great success with Tiger Woods on Wii and we’ll be looking to emulate that with the launch of the first EA Sports tennis game. We’ll have the top tennis players currently on the circuit as well as legendary talent to control; we’ll be the only tennis game on the market with all Grand Slam tournaments; we’re working closely with Nintendo to optimise Wii Motion Plus functionality; and, it being an EA Sports game, customers know that they’ll get unparalleled immersion, atmosphere, control and playability which will deliver the essential tennis game for 2009.
No.3 Brand Awareness We will actively build brands and drive range. We will deliver range communication platforms for The Sims, EA Sports, Hasbro, MySims and Rock Band. All represent stellar range and cross-sell opportunities which we are working closely with our retail partners on to optimise. No.4 Standing Out We will drive our blockbuster franchises to ‘stand-out’ entertainment status, making our big hits as big as they possibly can be and delivering sustained year-round media and retail
presence. FIFA is the most critically and commercially successful football game on the market. We learnt from past mistakes, we appreciate what a strong competitor has done for us. Most of all, we’ve listened to our consumers. We’ve taken significant share over the last two years – now at 74 per cent – and we’re confident that a combination of groundbreaking product and marketing will ensure we continue that upward trajectory. NFS Undercover did some big numbers for us last year. But this year will go to another level. NFS Shift is already a stunning game and buzz is building. We’ll be announcing the launch date soon and establishing it as an event that race fans everywhere will be
looking forward to. No.5 The Sims 3 Play with life, mess with life, create art and show off your creations with friends. The game is a revolution for Sims fans and new players. Buzz is already immense, pre-orders are flying, marketing plans are in place and we’ll be delivering the most in-depth digital marketing campaign the industry has ever seen when we launch on June 5th.”
Parietal Lobe Project Management
Frontal Lobe Forward thinking
Occipital Lobe Awareness of trends
Cerebellum Creative ďŹ‚air
Temporal Lobe Listen, process, act Mouth Good communication
We're not simply MAD Exceptional Marketing, Advertising and Design aren't the only things that we do. We offer game content consulting, IP development and a script writing service, and have a comic publishing division. In short, there's a lot going on inside our heads. But then a little creative madness can lead to fantastic results.
Call us for fresh thinking - 020 7785 7156
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MCV 13/03/09 31
MANUFACTURING SERVICES: DUPLICATION & PACKAGING
ADAPTING: The manufacturing sector looks for new ways to survive in an increasingly harsh world by exploring the potential of the games industry.
Thinking outside the box [CONTACTS] An.X: 0207 785 7156 Arvato Digital Services: 0121 502 7800 Dischromatics: 01495 243222 Fluid Design: 0121 212 0121 Gem: 01279 822 800 Head First: 0161 228 6699 IQ Design: 07748 154 881 OK Media: 020 7688 6789 Scanavo: +45 43 55 27 00 Technicolor: 0208 987 7829 Total Console Repair: 087 1918 1721 Total Disc Repair: 01202 489 500 Trilogy: 0845 456 6400
With the world’s economic troubles casting a shadow over publishers and retailers, the manufacturing and packaging companies also face other difficulties. James Batchelor looks at the challenges facing this sector of the industry… TWELVE MONTHS ago, the games Indeed, companies are now using the manufacturing sector expressed concerns impending digital shift to their advantage, to MCV over the growth of digital recognising it as an inevitable part of distribution. In its blissful unawareness of their future. For the duplication and the financial crisis to come, the industry’s packaging businesses, this will be essential attention was held by the idea of games to surviving in a world where pressure is bypassing retail – and thus their allplaced on demand for boxed product. important duplication and packaging business – We see great potential in the altogether. area of digital services that Today, that threat is still we have already developed present, although the growing unity between for the games industry. online and offline sales Sven Deustchmann, Arvato Digital seem to have pacified companies somewhat. “We are analysing the future of the With the likes of Grand Theft Auto physical market,” Sven Deutschmann, IV receiving an impressive sales boost CEO of Arvato Digital Services thanks to DLC, and the re-release of Manufacturing EMEA tells MCV. Burnout Paradise performing well “Last year, the consolidation process alongside its downloadable counterpart of the replication market has increased on PSN, digital distribution doesn’t seem immensely. There is more and more to be as dangerous as initially thought. pressure on smaller and medium-sized
replicators and even the big players have to look into new areas of business. “Arvato is very self-confident about the future, though. We see great potential in the area of digital services that we have already developed for the games industry. The service portfolio does not only contain the distribution of content but also effective protection of the customers’ content in the web or the development of individual e-commerce solutions.”
Specialised advertising agency An.x’s managing director Jon Sloan suggests that there may be ways to use the online functionality of today’s consoles to streamline the contents of game boxes. “It’s easy to envisage manuals becoming more and more ‘lightweight’
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MANUFACTURING SERVICES: DUPLICATION & PACKAGING
as time goes on with a gradual shift to digital versions – perhaps deliverable via the game disc or via PSN or Xbox Live,” he says. “It will save the publishers considerable print costs whilst allowing us to develop more interactive manuals for the end users. You could release a black and white one with the game pack and then release a full colour, more detailed manual free via digital. This would add a second wave of buzz post launch and provide opportunities to upsell related brands.” Of course, some companies are still reluctant to turn their back on the physical medium altogether. Deutschmann adds: “We are convinced that the data carrier still has a future if we regard our production sites that are still working on full capacity. Moreover, the Blu-ray disc will gain more and more importance.” FINANCIAL CRISES
However, while the industry is making peace with the digital threat, the
recession has proven to be a common problem for companies from all avenues of business, and those in the process of manufacturing games have found themselves to be no exception. This is particularly true for firms that have just entered the sector. “As a relatively new company, we have faced all the usual start-up challenges but these have been amplified by the current financial climate,” says IQ Design’s director and lead designer James Quinlan. “Fortunately, working for one of the major computer game publishers for almost eight years has given us a good base to grow from.” Obviously, the most detrimental effects of the economic turmoil has been the lowering of budgets. Fluid Design’s managing director James Glover says: “We’ve seen entire projects being pulled due to marketing budgets being slashed. As we go forward, I imagine we’ll probably see even smaller budgets and therefore less work,
With budgets being squeezed all over, we’re well aware that financial departments often hit the marketing teams hardest. Jon Sloan, An.X
although more pitches may be made.” “With budgets being squeezed all over, we’re well aware that financial departments often hit the marketing teams hardest when they’re squeezing costs,” Sloan concurs. “That means we get hit hard too and there’s less opportunity to create original work on lower budgets.” The economic downturn has also effected the costs surrounding the process of transporting products around the globe. “A weaker pound has driven up the cost of importing our product to the UK, which has been difficult to pass on to our clients,” says OK Media’s commercial director Doron Garfunkel.
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34 MCV 13/03/09
MANUFACTURING SERVICES: DUPLICATION & PACKAGING BOX CLEVER: While discs are still in demand, digital distribution is causing companies to reconsider what joins the game in the box.
PRECIOUS GEM Distributor Gem’s Creative team offers a slightly different service from its competitors, giving it an edge in a heated market.
“Higher oil prices at the start of 2008 also impacted on freight and packaging costs. Finding a balance for all this in the current economic climate has been particularly challenging.” In order to survive, Garfunkel reveals that OK Media has had to diversify the services it offers, branching into the likes of special packaging, UK warehousing and distribution, console print and packaging and reverse logistics. However, Carl Pugh of advertising and design agency Head First warns that the true impact of the recession is yet to be seen on some releases: “The long development times in this industry means that products started long before the recession began to bite in other sectors are only just hitting the shelves. With careful planning, though, we can still deliver world class creative in a fiscally responsible manner, as well as helping our clients make the best of their marketing spend.”
THE KEY TO SURVIVAL
While the development times may be long, the increasingly shorter time for production is proving to be a benefit, helping to make companies more efficient and therefore reduce losses made during this difficult period.
“If we speak generally for the gaming industry, short lead times is the key to success,” says Scanavo’s project coordinator Christiane Goncalves. “Game code is often delivered very late in the process, so we have to be able to print, produce and deliver our products quite fast. “We have been working hard on reducing our standard lead times even further, and our production should now be counted in weeks, not months. Our European manufacturing site is in
We are continually striving to optimise our procedures to remain efficient in today’s challening environment. Doron Garfunkel, OK Media Denmark, so the transportation time to the major replicators is no more than two days, which is much shorter than it would be if our products were produced somewhere like China.” Garfunkel adds: “We are continually striving to optimise our working procedures to remain efficient in today’s challenging environment in a way that can best benefit our client base as well.” WORKING TOGETHER
Additionally, the consensus among companies in the sector seems to be that greater collaboration is needed.
“It is key to get designers communicating directly with their clients, minimising for misinterpretation,” says Quinlan. “Not only would this cut down amendment costs to the client, but also help build better business relationships, allowing the client to feel they are more involved in the design process.” Sloan adds: “It would be good for more clients to treat their suppliers as part of one big team instead of compartmentalising those services. At the moment, these suppliers often get briefed separately and don’t interact enough. It would be better for clients take the time to gather the media buying, PR and creative agencies together to brainstorm campaigns earlier in the process.” These businesses believe they need to be involved much earlier in the process of bringing games to retail. “I would like to see more mutual respect in an industry that has a lot of great people but unfortunately can be horrifically cut-throat at times,” says Garfunkel. “Clients should sit down earlier in the production process with their replication partners to find the best way to release products cost effectively, rather than the last minute dash to get the product out of the door.”
Gem Creative offers its clients a different type of service, providing an agency solution that supports IT and leisure-based vendors at retail. “We can offer full design and production of retail packaging as well as repackaging solutions designed for a dedicated retailer,” explains Gem’s marketing manager Neil Handa.
Gem prides itself on innovation, creating something bespoke for each product they handle rather than delivering an “off the shelf” design and idea. “Gem works very closely with our retail partners which gives us a distinct advantage as it allows us to guage feedback as we progress through a design.” The company prides itself on innovation, creating something bespoke for each product they handle rather than delivering an ‘off the shelf’ design and idea. Looking to the future, Gem is seeking ways to further improve the service it offers. “The environment is a growing concern, therefore producing packaging which is recyclable whilst cutting down on unnecessary elements is important,” Handa says. “Gem Creative also produce Point Of Sale – increasing the integration of packaging with Point Of Sale is something we are trying to explore further.”
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Sponsored by 36 MCV 13/03/09
Skillset’s Saint comes marching in Skills council appoints games manager Seaby becomes Bethesda marketing boss Payne joins GamesAid SKILLSET SAINT JOHN WALKER has been appointed as computer games and animation skills manager at Skillset, the sector skills council for the creative media industries. Saint boasts over a decade of experience in animation and computer games. He has worked at the Film and Digital Media Exchange, where he cofounded business networking organisation Games Eden. “My work in education has always been about trying to increase the quality and relevance of skills in the computer games and animation sectors,” said
SAINT JOHN WALKER: New UK skills council chief
Walker. “To me, the current economic climate means not only preserving what we’ve got, but also being ambitious and forward thinking about future possibilities and business.”
BETHESDA SARAH SEABY has been appointed as European marketing and PR director at Bethesda. Seaby has previously worked at Sega, Take Two and Virgin Interactive. She will report to Bethesda’s European MD SEAN BRENNAN and will develop the overall brand strategy for the firm. “Sarah’s vast experience of marketing triple-A titles and her affinity to the people who actually make the games ensure she is an ideal fit for Bethesda,” said Brennan.
GRAN TURISMO BRAND MANAGER REQUIRED Gran Turismo is not just a game, it is one of the biggest brands in interactive entertainment. To support GT’s continuing growth, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is looking for a proven videogames marketeer with a passion for cars and motorsport. Based in Central London, this key strategic role includes responsibility for: s 3HAPING THE RANGE OF GT PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ACROSS THE %-%! REGION s $EVELOPING MARKETING STRATEGIES AND PROVIDING CAMPAIGN MATERIALS FOR ALL 3#%% TERRITORY OFlCES s "UILDING AND MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS WITH LICENSORS ACROSS %UROPE Please send your C.V. and salary expectations to HR Admin, Human Resources Department, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, 4th Floor, 10 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7LP or firstname.lastname@example.org subject line: Gran Turismo.
GAMESAID Former ELPSA boss ANDY PAYNE has been named chairman of industry charity GamesAid. Also joining him is SARAH SEABY as vice chairman, while Bastion’s MARK WARD and Gem’s RICHARD STICKLER have been appointed as trustees. “The new staff changes will help GamesAid specifically in the area of fundraising and communication,” said Payne. “We want to launch GamesAid membership and then get cracking with the vote to decide the charities we’ll adopt.”
GamesAid has raised over £125,000 since October 2008. TGC The Games Company has expanded the responsibilities of its marketing director CHRISTIAN SAUERTEIG. The firm’s marketing and sales departments under his leadership. In his newly created role of marketing and sales director, Saueteig will be responsible for all of the publisher’s marketing and sales activities, as well as promoting the company’s portfolio and expanding its worldwide sales network by creating strategic allegiances.
Nightmare Day? I unwind and relax playing Sudoku
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\\\T]^LJSLFRJXSJY Challenge Me™ © 2009 Oxygen Interactive Software Ltd. Published by Oxygen Interactive Software Ltd. Developed by TDK Core. Oxygen Games and the Oxygen Games logo are trademarks of Oxygen Interactive Software Ltd. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo.
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39 MCV528_FINAL:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
PARTY TIME! EA’s hit Sims spin-off series returns with over 40 unique mini-games Page 40
ALSO THIS WEEK... DIVA GIRLS P42 505 Games targets the growing girl gamer audience with four new titles MONSTERS VS. ALIENS P44 Dreamworks’ latest animation receives the game treatment by Activision AFRO SAMURAI P45 Namco Bandai brings Samuel L. Jackson to the video game arena PHINEAS AND FERB P46 Disney Channel’s hit children’s animation gets a Nintendo DS tie-in REAL MADRID: THE GAME P46 Experience the life of a Real Madrid football star in V.2. Play’s latest release HIGH STREET P48 Price check, indie charts, and the latest accessories all in one place
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RETAILBIZ: MYSIMS PARTY 40 MCV 13/03/09
EA’s MySims has become a huge success on Nintendo formats – and the latest iteration looks set to take sales to another level...
“MySims Party is the first multiplayer MySims title and therefore the first opportunity that fans of the franchise will have to share the MySims world with their friends and family,” claims The Sims product manager Kerri West. “It’s packed with 50 mini-games on the Nintendo Wii and 40 on the DS, each hosted by a different MySim. There’s a wide variety of different challenges, which ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
by Christopher Dring
RELEASED IN 2007, the original MySims boasted Mii-like characters designed to appeal to the DS and Wii’s fanbase. It received positive reviews from the likes of GameSpy (4.5/5), Eurogamer (8/10) and Game Informer (80 per cent) and performed extremely well commercially. It was ported to PC in 2008, along with a version for mobile phone platforms. Following the original’s MySims Party is the first success, EA released its opportunity that fans of the medieval-inspired sequel MySims Kingdom in 2008, franchise have to share the which also performed well world with friends and family. both in terms of sales and Kerri West, EA reviews. And the franchise is even set to cross media to TV with an “Players can also employ a bit of animated series currently in strategy in how they select and manage development at Film Roman. their team of MySims as each has EA’s dedication to its MySims series different strengths and weaknesses that continues in 2009, with two new video will change according to how you play games set for DS and Wii. and how successful you are. Up to four This summer sees the release of the players can dive straight into the Mario Kart-esque MySims Racing, while Quickplay mode or work through a this week MySims story mode in which new areas, Party will arrive on retail shelves.
characters and achievements are unlocked by exploring the town and winning mini-games.” MySims Party’s 50 mini-games on Wii include ‘Liar Liar’, a game where players must pick the lie from a selection of statements; ‘Cookies-To-Go’ where gamers must serve homemade cookies; dancing game ‘Go Go Dancing’; and the Guitar Hero-inspired ‘Guitar Rockstar’. Meanwhile, on DS players can get stuck into a fossil hunt with ‘Excavate-aSaurus’; a first person shooter with ‘Haunted Hunted’ and 38 other dual screen-based games. The MySims franchise has become a flagship series for Electronics Arts on Nintendo platforms. The cutesy character design is well suited to the Wii and DS’s evergrowing user base. However, EA is not relying on MySims’ wide appeal and the success of previous titles to shift copies of its latest game, with a focused marketing campaign already underway in support of the release. “The marketing campaign for MySims Party will include a significant TV spend targeting tweens and housewives, print placements within specialist gaming press and online activity focused on Bebo to stir up buzz amongst the many MySims fans active on this network,” adds West. “Our PR campaign will target Nintendo fans and tweens but also include some great activity utilising a celebrity party planner and partnerships with online parenting portals.”
THE SIMS SENSATION MySims is a spin-off series to EA’s monster franchise, The Sims. As of April last year, The Sims franchise had sold over 100 million software units worldwide and is the biggest selling PC franchise of all time. The original title was released in 2000, with a full sequel released in 2004, and both titles have received a large quantity of expansion packs and updates. The games were also released for Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, and the highly-
anticipated The Sims 3 is set to hit the PC this June. The series has also spawned a plethora of spin-off software, including The Sims Online in 2002 and the laptop-based The Sims Stories series. EA has also attempted to bring the franchise to consoles over the years, including in 2003 with The Sims Bustin’ Out (PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance and N-Gage) and in 2004 with The Urbz: Sims in the City (Xbox,
PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance). The MySims series for Wii and DS is the latest incarnation of the popular franchise, and with MySims, MySims
Kingdom, MySims Party and this summer’s MySims Racing, the range looks set to establish itself as an evergreen, bestselling franchise in its own right.
RETAILBIZ: MYSIMS PARTY WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 13/03/09 41
ROCKING OUT: MySims Party on Wii lets players indulge in the Guitar Heroinspired Guitar Rockstar mini-game
RELEASED: MARCH 13 FORMATS: DS/WII PUBLISHER: EA DEVELOPER: EA REDWOOD SHORES PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: DIVA GIRLS 42 MCV 13/03/09
505 Games’ celebrity-endorsed gaming range aimed at young girls arrives on Wii and DS… by Christopher Dring THE SIZE of the girl gaming audience has exploded over the past two years. Courtesy of female-targeted ranges such as Ubisoft’s Imagine line-up, young girls playing on DS is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence. And it is this trend that 505 Games hopes to capitalise upon with its Diva Girls collection. “The female gamer market has been a massive area for a while and one in which 505 Games has dominated with
the likes of Cooking Mama, Fashion Designer and Princess On Ice,” says 505 Games’ marketing director for UK and export Alison Mitchell. “But it is growing and we intend to grow our market share within it. The difference now is that 505 Games is prepared for the long-term, with brand strategies that have longevity, economies of scale and the capacity for building something beyond interactive experience.” The Diva Girls range is set to bring girl power to the video games sector.
505 has designed the titles to inspire young girls, which is a message that will be conveyed in the publisher’s marketing. “The most important thing from a marketing point of view is to convey the essence of what the Diva Girls stand for,” continues Mitchell. “We’ve got a lot of brand-related support for the franchise. What we don’t want to do – and this was a strategic decision – is to just slap a face on the box and on the TV ads. That’s not the way to sustain brand loyalty.”
Along with traditional print and TV promotion, 505 is also heading to schools to promote its titles, as Mitchell explains: “We will be using TV as a high-reach medium and we’ll be doing it in our usual way, but we’re also really hitting the kids at the grass-roots level. “We’re going into a nationwide tour of schools, and actually having teacher time and lesson time instituting the brands and the values the Diva Girls represent. It doesn’t mean being a demanding witch, it’s about knowing what you want and making the best of yourself and going after your dreams.”
DIVA GIRLS: PRINCESS OF ICE
DIVA GIRLS: DIVA DANCERS
505 Games’ Diva Girls will make their debut on Nintendo Wii in April, with Kelly, Gabrielle, Alyssa and Madison skating for glory in the Miracle Ice Festival. And with ITV’s Dancing On Ice show reaching its climax right now, young girls everywhere will (axel) jump at the chance of taking one of of the diva girls through to victory. Utilising an all-new control system for the Wii, gamers can dress their favourite Diva Girl in thousands of combinations of customisable outfits,
It’s all about the moves in Diva Dancers which sees the Diva Girls head off to the bright lights of Fiesta City to shake their thing and enter the greatest dance competition in the world. The DS game features 14 different locations, each with its own champion dancer for the Diva Girls to defeat, meaning that it’s not going to be an easy run for Kelly, Gabrielle, Alyssa and Madison, as they must face-off against B-boys, bullies, princesses and showgirls. But if they make it through,
RELEASED: APRIL 9 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: ARC SYSTEM WORKS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 then train hard to upgrade their skating skills to woo the crowd, impress the judges and be crowned Princess On Ice.
RELEASED: APRIL 9 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: ARC SYSTEM WORKS PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 they face their toughest challenge of all – competing against each other. Will their friendship survive?
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MCV 13/03/09 43
DIVA GIRLS: MAKING THE MUSIC
DIVA GIRLS: PRINCESS ON ICE 2
What little girl doesn’t dream of becoming the next Duffy? And in this outing, the Diva Girls take a break from dancing and skating to music and start making it themselves. The girls are given their big break when a local band invites them to join them on tour. But will new girls Surya and Chandra become pop pals or rock rivals? Plus, is love in the air for one of the girls and can she concentrate on her music? Making The Music features four instruments (guitar, bass,
Sliding back into view in the summer, the Diva Girls return to the rink in Princess on Ice 2 for Nintendo’s hugely popular DS system. Having won the prestigious Miracle Ice Festival, Kelly, Madison, Alyssa and Gabrielle now have to deal with the fame that goes with becoming international sports stars. 505 Games’ Princess on Ice 2 boasts improved 3D graphics and all-new stadiums to skate in. The Diva Girls have to step, spin and jump with style
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: ARC SYSTEM WORKS PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 keyboard and drums) to master and gamers can unlock new outfits and instruments as they progress.
RELEASED: SUMMER FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: ARC SYSTEM WORKS PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 and passion if they’re to impress the tough judges and win over the crowds once again.
RETAILBIZ: MONSTERS VS ALIENS 44 MCV 13/03/09
Dreamworks is readying the launch of the forthcoming, highly-anticipated Monsters vs Aliens movie – as Activision handles the video game tie-in...
RELEASED: MARCH 27 FORMATS: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, WII, 360 PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION DEVELOPER: BEENOX
by Will Freeman
A FORTHCOMING computeranimated film from the minds behind Shrek and Kung Fu Panda means one thing for game retailers; a multi-format tie-in that will sell in huge numbers. With the Monsters vs Aliens movie readying for launch on the silver screen, the licensed game tie-in is inevitable. The predictable nature of the release, however, hasn’t deterred developer Beenox from devoting an unexpected amount of effort to what is, in short, a kids’ game aimed squarely at the cinema-going family audience. That is, of course, a demographic with enormous spending potential, one which is already acutely aware of the presence of Dreamwork’s newest IP. The Monsters vs Aliens game is primed to ape the chart success of the likes of Kung Fu Panda, and its creators are rightly proud of their latest work. “We got really excited about it the first time we heard just the title ‘Monsters vs Aliens’,” enthuses Beenox’s creative director Thomas Wilson.
DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
functions as a natural extension of the cinematic release. “On Monsters vs Aliens we had a great chance to travel multiple times to Dreamworks’ studio and to talk about our ideas. We would get an update from the film, and it worked from there. The relationship with Dreamworks and Activision has been a great one on this title,” says Wilson. The end result is a game that offers a perfect accompaniment to the work of a company renowned for the visual quality of its output. “I think we’ve made one of the best-looking Wii games ever,” reveals Wilson. DREAMWORKS’ DREAM
“It was a really great opportunity to work with Dreamworks and as soon as we saw the first concept art and the direction the movie was going in, we got really excited about it. With what all of the monsters’ and aliens’ backgrounds offered, it was great for us to be working on that property.” Like its celluloid inspiration, the Activision-published game is itself influenced by the colourful world of B-movies. Both a warm tribute and unflattering parody of the low budget clichés that define early horror films, Monsters vs Aliens reimagines what was once considered shocking as suitable for even the most timid of youngsters. Having to work with computer animated IP has given the developers a significant advantage with regard to capturing the look and feel of the film, but it is the unrivalled access to Dreamworks’ assets that mean the game
Monsters vs Aliens parodies the B-movie style from the Hollywood of yesteryear
The input of Dreamworks from early on in the game’s production also means that Beenox and Activision have managed to include content in the title that expands on the template laid down by the movie. Unique content will of course encourage fans of the film, of whom there will be many, to buy into this elaboration of the franchise. “At Beenox, what we always wanted to do is to really push the quality of kids’ licensed games,” adds Wilson. “Part of that is because you have all this creative effort put into the film that you can use for the game. “After all, you have really good concept artists and creators that will come up with a story already established and all we want to do is play tribute to that source material. It’s really a privilege to be walking down the Dreamworks campus and looking at all this stuff that they’ve done – and putting that in your game.” Blessed with a superb working relationship with a highly regarded creators of children’s fiction at the cinema, Activision is ready to release a product that should enjoy healthy sales at retail.
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MCV 13/03/09 45
RELEASED: MARCH 27 FORMATS: PS3, XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9592
The anime classic, which stars Samuel L. Jackson, is brought to consoles courtesy of Namco Bandai and Atari… says Atari UK’s product manager Lauren Bradley. “As a series it’s proven to be a very successful IP with a solid fanbase, which is further supported by The RZA
“Afro Samurai boasts a striking artistic style, with unique shading and THE SUPERNATURAL, futuristic texturing that is completely true to the anime Afro Samurai has developed a original Manga series,” continues Bradley. large cult following over the years. “The key was to develop an Takashi Okazaki's entertaining and unique original manga series – experience that remained Afro Samurai is a stylish which stars Samuel L. true to the essence of the blend of hip-hop, art and Jackson – tells the story of original anime – a stylish dismemberment. It’s a the tortured Afro, the blend of art, hip hop and striking mix of East and West. samurai hero out to avenge dismemberment. The result Lauren Bradley, Atari his father’s death. The is a striking mix of Eastern game based on the Spike and Western cultures: A [of The Wu-Tang Clan] soundtrack and TV series follows the same story and Japanese IP brought to life beautifully by Samuel L. Jackson’s lively voice-over.” even throws in a few extras to please a US studio. Its hack-and-slash combat Alongside the celebrity endorsements existing fans. and elegant violence will appeal to and addictive hack-and-slash gameplay, gamers and anime fans alike.” CLAN IT KICK IT? Afro Samurai boasts a massive quantity The game’s stunning art style and “We have high expectations for Afro of the red stuff, hip-hop tunes – not to impressive gameplay is already attracting Samurai, which really is one of the key mention a highly impressive cel-shaded the TV series’ countless fans, but is set titles in Namco Bandai’s 2009 line-up,” art style. to pull in hardcore action gamers too. by Christopher Dring
Atari UK has a series of marketing initiatives planned for the title (see Afro Marketing, below), which target young males aged between 18 and 28. And the publisher is also planning promotions to coincide with the release of the Afro Samurai movie on DVD and Blu Ray. ENTER THE SAMURAI
“It’s an exciting time for Afro Samurai with the new film due for release by Manga on DVD and Blu-Ray that coinciding with the game’s release – an opportunity for co-promotion that we will take full advantage of,” concludes Bradley. With cool hip-hop music, gorgeous visuals, a full marketing campaign and voice work by Samuel L. Jackson himself, Afro Samurai could well be a hit for Atari and Namco this Easter.
AFRO MARKETING Atari’s marketing for Afro Samurai is designed to target young males aged between 18 and 35, as well as manga, anime, movie and urban music fans: Print Full page ads will be taken in core gaming titles around launch, as well as pages in film, sci-fi titles and Anime publication Neo.
Online Banner ads, video MPUs, and counter calendars on core gaming websites will appear over a three-week period surrounding the game’s launch. Atari is also planning social media support in the form of trailers, artwork and music available through sites such as Facebook and YouTube, targeting cult anime followers.
In-Store Along with eye-catching in-store chart activity and the usual top-notch trade marketing support, Atari is planning to run giveaway promotions of Afro Samurai headbands through one leading retailer for pre-orders of the game, as well as a DVD giveaway of the franchise’s manga series in independent outlets.
Miscellaneous Along with some great consumer press reviews, Afro Samurai is set to have a presence at MCM expo. The publisher has also secured partnerships with Manga in release the Afro Samurai film at the same time, including film festival screenings. Cross-promotions for the film and the RZA soundtrack are also in the works.
RETAILBIZ: PHILEAS & FERB/REAL MADRID 46 MCV 13/03/09
The Emmy-nominated, Disney Channel animated series gets a Nintendo DS adaptation this month… by Christopher Dring
RELEASED: MARCH 27 FORMATS: DS
THE LIFE of two stepbrothers who go on impossible adventures in their back garden has become a big worldwide hit for the Disney Channel. The Phineas and Ferb TV show has received plenty of critical praise, and has a weekly reach in the UK of over one million children. During the third quarter of last year, the animation was watched by 2.7 million people (30 per cent of UK kids), and was the Disney Channel’s number one cartoon of 2008. And so Disney is naturally excited about its video game tie-in. “Phineas and Ferb has already proved to be a very popular TV property for kids; it is aired on The Disney Channel and CITV with a weekly reach of one million kids,” says Disney Interactive Studios’ assistant product manager James Thornby. FERB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
“The game stays true to the unbelievable scenarios and witty action from the TV show and will capture kids’ imaginations. “It’s the only game that takes players inside the fantastical world of the popular Disney Channel TV show and lets them live out the ultimate summer
The life of a superstar footballer is played out both on and off the pitch in this release from V2 Play…
PUBLISHER: DISNEY DEVELOPER: DISNEY
by Christopher Dring
PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
break with outrageously fun adventures such as building and riding a roller coaster, enjoying winter in the middle of summer, and racing monster trucks. “Gamers can also play fun minigames and puzzles to complete fun missions including building and riding your own rollercoaster that can be seen from space.” PHINEAS YOU LIKE IT
Disney is targeting kids aged between six and twelve with the release, and promises various PR and marketing activities to ensure fans of the show know that the game is coming. The company is planning PR news, reviews and competitions in mainstream press, such as national and regional newspapers, kids’ press and parenting publications. It is also running strategic promotions and competitions with The Disney Channel on TV and online, to make sure Phineas and Ferb will be a big DS hit later this month.
THERE’S MORE to the footballing world than just the English top four of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Beyond our island lie the giants of Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, the latter of which plays weekly in front of 80,000 fans at the Bernabéu. Over the years, they’ve seen such football greats as David Beckham, Raúl, Luís Figo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo and Zinédine Zidane. Real Madrid is not just a football club, it’s a global brand, which Harvard University has called ‘one of the 20 most important brand names in the world’ with 287 million people interested in the team. So it has become the ideal football club in which to base a video game around. REAL FOOTBALL
“Real Madrid The Game is the only game in its genre,” says Virgin Play’s product manager Sara Vega. “It is the only game about the life of a football star and is much more than a football game.
RELEASED: MARCH 27 FORMATS: PS2, WII, PC, PSP PUBLISHER: V2 PLAY DEVELOPER: ATOMIC PLANET ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
“The game offers the chance to live the dream of becoming a football star and the opportunity to take part in training, luxury shopping and to be the hero in an important match. “The total playability freedom is one of the most important features. You choose everything from behaviour, training and relationships to what house and car. All decisions will be determinant in the footballer’s life and career. BERNABEU TO THE MASTER
“In terms of sales, expectations are high. Press and clients are very enthusiastic about the concept of this game because it is very unique and original, so we anticipate a very good reception by the market.” Real Madrid: The Game shoots onto retail shelves on March 27th.
47 MCV528_final:43 MCV467
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MCV 13/03/09 47
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Diesel screeches into retail Vin Diesel’s The Wheelman finally arrives on March 27th, courtesy of Midway and Ubisoft, while Atari’s Ready 2 Rumble series returns to shelves. Also availble are new offerings from Final Fantasy, Imagine and Castlevania... TITLE
PC DS / Wii PSP Wii Wii / DS Wii / DS DS DS DS PS2 / PSP PSP PSP DS Wii DS Wii PSP PS2 DS DS
Simulation Adventure FPS Beat-'em-up Racing Chess Action Racing Puzzle Platformer Action Action Adventure Adventure Petz Sports FPS Adventure Puzzle RPG
Bluestone Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Konami Zoo Digital Deep Silver Rockstar Midas EA Activision Blizzard Konami Konami South Peak South Peak Ubisoft Atari Sony Square Enix Ubisoft Square Enix
0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 01279 822 800 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 01376 555 300 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 020 8987 5730 020 8987 5730 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 456 6400 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Open Gem Koch Gem Open Centresoft Centresoft Open Open Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft
PC PC PSP / PS3 / PS2 DS Wii / DS PSP PS3 / XBOX 360 DS / Wii PC PC PC PC PC PC DS DS DS / Wii / PS2 DS PS2 PSP DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / 360 DS PSP / PC / Wii / PS2 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP Wii
Simulation RTS Quiz RPG Sports Compilation Action RPG Simulation Action RPG Simulation FPS Simulation Imagine Imagine Action PG/Action RPG RPG Adventure Adventure Sports Action Compilation Sports
Just Flight EA Sony Square Enix 2K Games Ubisoft Koei Square Enix Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Atari Ubisoft Ubisoft Zoo Digital Rising Star Games Koei Koei Activision Blizzard Disney Interactive V.2 Play Ubisoft Ubisoft Ubisoft
0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0845 456 6400 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 01279 822 800 0845 234 4242 01462 476 130 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 4566400 0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400
Mastertronic Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem Trilogy Open Centresoft Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Advantage Trilogy Trilogy Gem Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Trilogy Trilogy
PS2 / Wii / PSP PS2 / Wii PS2 / Wii DS DS
Action Music Music FPS Puzzle
Ignition Entertainment Nordic Games Nordic Games South Peak 505 Games
0121 506 9585 +46 54 854 750 +46 54 854 750 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585
Advantage Open Open Centresoft Advantage
MARCH 20th A-Train 8 Broken Sword: Shadow Of The Templars - Director's Cut Call Of Duty 3: Roads To Victory (Platinum) Castlevania: Judgement Chrysler Classic Racing Fritz Chess Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Gravity Zero Racing Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops/Coded Arms doublepack MGS: Portable Ops/Silent Hill Origins doublepack Mushroom Men: Rise Of The Fungi Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars Petz: My Baby Panda Ready 2 Rumble Revolution Resistance: Retribution Rhapsody Scrabble 2009 The Last Remnant
MARCH 27th Air Hauler Battleforge Buzz! Brain of the UK Disgaea DS Don King Boxing Double Pack: Open Season, Surf's Up Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes Of Time Games For Laptop: Chris Sawyer's Locomotion Games For Laptop: Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Games For Laptop: Neverwinter Nights & Expansions Games For Laptop: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 & Expansions Games For Laptop: Tactical Ops Games For Laptop: Tycoon City New York Imagine Doctor Imagine My Restaurant Jelly Belly Ballistic Beans Lux Pain Mana Khemia Mana Khemia: Student Alliance Monsters Vs Aliens Phineas and Ferb Real Madrid: The Game The Wheelman Triple Pack: PoP Rival Swords, Driver 76 & Rainbow Six Vegas World Sports Party
MARCH 28th Samurai Showdown Anthology Dance Party Club Hits Dance Party Pop Hits Dementium Mind, Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book
MUSTSTOCK ...........................THE WHEELMAN
MUSTSTOCK ....READY 2 RUMBLE REVOLUTION
Released: March 27th Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Trilogy Contact: 0845 456 6400
Released: March 20th Format: Wii Publisher: Atari Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585
Finally arriving at retail thanks to a joint publishing arrangement between Ubisoft and the game’s original publisher Midway, The Wheelman brings Vin Dieselflavoured chaos to gamers. The game puts players in control of a getaway driver.
Atari’s outlandish boxing series returns in Ready 2 Rumble Revolution. Now optimised for Wii controls, players can physically knock seven bells out of the game’s roster of colourful characters or indulge in the multiplayer mode to compete with friends and family.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 48 MCV 13/03/09
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK
KILLZONE 2 FORMAT: PS3
DEVELOPER: GUERILLA PUBLISHER: SONY
HALO WARS 360
HALO WARS LIMITED COLLECTORS EDITION 360
STREET FIGHTER IV 360
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS
STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION PS3
CAPCOM SEGA NINTENDO CAPCOM
50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND 360
F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN 360
WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR PC
MARIO KART WII Wii
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360
WII FIT WII
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL Wii
LEFT 4 DEAD 360
KILLZONE 2 TRIUMPHANT AT INDIE RETAIL, TOO SONY’S KILLZONE 2 has triumphed over Microsoft’s Halo Wars in the Indie Charts, mirroring its success in the mainstream charts. The two flagship titles battled head-to-head for the No.1 spot in their first week of release, and it was the PS3 FPS game that emerged victorious. Killzone 2 took 14 per cent of the week’s total sales, considerably higher than any other product in the charts. Halo Wars came closest to reaching this market share at No. 2, accounting for over six per cent of total sales.
SILENT HILL HOMECOMING 360
KONAMI THQ WARNER BROS. THQ NINTENDO ROCKSTAR GAMES NINTENDO SEGA EA
50 CENT: BLOOD ON THE SAND PS3
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2
F.E.A.R. 2: PROJECT ORIGIN PS3
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.
“This is the ﬁrst week since mid-November 2008 that the Indie Chart has not seen a Call Of Duty title in the Top 20.” However, add in the five per cent of sales taken by the Collector’s Edition of the Microsoft RTS, and Halo Wars comes much closer to its PS3 rival, representing 11 per cent of sales made at independent retail this week. The only other new entry in the Top 20 from the wave of titles released in the same week is Silent Hill Homecoming, which settles for No.9, beneath the various versions of last week’s top two titles, Street Fighter IV and Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection. Grand Theft Auto continues to be boosted by The Lost And Damned, while Wii Fit returns to the upper reaches of the chart as the title’s popularity fails to waver. Interestingly, this is the first week since mid-November 2008 that the Indie Charts has not seen a Call Of Duty title in the Top 20. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
week’s Frontline interviewee is Andy Hall, FROM THE FRONTLINE This manager of the Porislade branch of CHIPS... What challenges are facing your store at the moment? As a new manager I need to get to know my customers better. Is any console/game performing below expectation? PS3 sales are slightly below expected levels. On games we are finding that people are preferring Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare over World At War.
Looks' ethos. More emphasis on gameplay rather than flashy graphics and more family-friendly games. Have you noticed a change in the types of customers buying games? Women buying games for themselves, especially on Nintendo DS and Wii.
What’s been selling well? Wii, Wii Fit, Skate 2, Guitar Hero and Call of Duty: World at War.
Have supermarkets stocking games affected your business? Partially, but good stock levels and our ‘Try Before You Buy’ policy together with an extensive second-hand range will always win over mass purchases.
What do you expect from the future of video games? A return to the original 'Content over
What’s your first gaming memory? Grandstand Console (mid ‘70s) and buying an imported GameBoy.
le at b a l i a All Av
For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop
Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
Tom Clancy’s Endwar
IN STORE: CHELMSFORD
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
Resident Evil fans can save over £10 at the returning Zavvi when they reserve a PS3 or Xbox 360 version of the upcoming Resident Evil 5.
A Killzone 2 bundle, including a copy of the game and an 80GB PlayStation 3 is now only £293.61, representing a saving of £34.99.
Sony’s innovative user-based platformer LittleBigPlanet is currently available for only £12.99 at veteran online retailer Amazon.
Third party controllers are usually limited by the fact that they have to follow the buttonand-stick layout set by the first ever pad. Saitek’s Cyborg 360 2in-1 Rumble Pad bucks this trend, allowing players to alternate between an analogue control and directional pad as they see fit. The Cyborgmodule that houses these controls on the left side of the controller can be removed and reversed, customising the control layout to suit gamers’ tastes. The controller is compatible with both Xbox 360 and PC, and boasts all the other features expected on the 360 joypad,
including shoulder buttons, triggers and the four coloured face buttons. Saitek has even allowed PC gamers to completely customise the controller’s functions by mapping every button and sticking to any ingame command they choose, even in titles that don’t support console-style joypads. As the name implies, it also features rumble technology to help gamers feel closer to the action. Interactive Ideas: 0208 805 1000
50,51 MCV528_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 50 MCV 13/03/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 9 5 3 4 6 8 7 10
 [FULL PRICE]
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS. GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED LUCASARTS
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
BEN10: ALIEN FORCE FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER PATAPON 2 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 LEGO BATMAN MANHUNT 2
5 6 9 7 8
KILLZONE 2 PS3
WII FIT Wii
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA D3P SEGA EA SONY KONAMI 2K THQ WARNER BROS. ROCKSTAR
HALO WARS 360
PROFESSOR LAYTON DS
UBISOFT MICROSOFT NINTENDO
STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS
CAPCOM EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD D3P
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3
DISNEY’S BOLT PS3, PS2, 360, DS, Wii
DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING 360, PS3
WII PLAY Wii
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
MARIO KART WII Wii
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR
PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3
PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER
DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PUBLISHER: SEGA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P
1 1 4 3
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE
2 3 5 4 8 6 7 9 10
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO DISNEY’S BOLT DISNEY BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWON OF WAR II THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA SPORE EA
2 1 3 6 5 7 4 8 11
DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PUBLISHER: SEGA
50,51 MCV528_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 13/03/09 51
That means Killzone 2 had to make way,
Formats Number One was Sega in October 2007
dropping 58 per cent in sales and slipping into
with Football Manager 2008 – and now the firm
second place. Last week’s No. 2, Halo Wars, tumbles
has repeated the trick with its acclaimed RTS
to fifth position with a 54 per cent sales dip.
Empire: Total War. It is the first game in the series to take the top position, and the fastest selling Total War game to date, doubling the launch week sales achieved by Rome: Total War.
Another high new entry this week is Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X, which lands in fourth place, while Nintendo’s latest New Play Control! title, Mario Power Tennis, comes in at No. 23. Christopher Dring
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360 EIDOS
MARIO POWER TENNIS WII
NINTENDO 2K PLAY
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 MAC, PSP, PC
PUZZLER COLLECTION DS
LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP
HALO 3 360
F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN 360, PS3, PC
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL Wii
LEGO BATMAN DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, Wii, 360
WARNER BROS. SEGA
PRO EVO 2009 PS3, PS2, PSP, PC, 360
WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II PC
MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS
FALLOUT 3 PC, 360, PS3
LEGO STAR WARS DS, 360, PS3, WII
WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 PS3, PS2, 360, PSP, WII, DS
SAINTS ROW 2 PC, PS3, 360
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST THE ORANGE BOX EA AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS BEJEWELED 2 FOCUS THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT PEPPA PIG: ACTIVITY PACK GSP/AVANQUEST ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC
3 2 4 6 5 7 8 14 16
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. STREET FIGHTER IV SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION LITTLEBIGPLANET SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR GRAND THEFT AUTO IV CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
2 3 7 4 5 6 10 8
DEVELOPER: GUERRILLA GAMES PUBLISHER: SONY
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
UBISOFT CAPCOM SEGA SONY KONAMI EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO KART WII MARIO POWER TENNIS MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE FAMILY SKI & SNOWBOARD WINTER SPORTS 2009: THE NEXT CHALLENGE ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR
4 3 5 8 10 6 7
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WEEK ENDING 07/03/09
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. STREET FIGHTER IV CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION GRAND THEFT AUTO IV FIFA ‘09 SILENT HILL: HOMECOMING CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER
2 5 3 6 8 4 9 12
NINTENDO NINTENDO SEGA SEGA D3P ATARI KOCH MEDIA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
THE LAST publisher to secure a PC-exclusive All
DEVELOPER: ENSEMBLE PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT UBISOFT CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA ROCKSTAR EA KONAMI ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21
CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES
GAME DEVELOPER HotGen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)20 8603 0555 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507 217 Retail Entertainment Displays. . . . . . . . . . . . 01733 239001 DISC REPAIR TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 Perfect Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252 191
WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com DISTRIBUTION
For further online advertising information please contact
Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
ONLINE PRESENCE WWW.MCVUK.COM
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
52-57 MCV528_final:Layout 1
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY MARCH 20th
PRE-OWNED SPECIAL As the global economy continues to suffer, retailers and consumers are increasingly turning to the pre-owned market to increase margins and save the pennies. MCV provides a series of features on the pros and cons of the often controversial second-hand video game sector. FRIDAY MARCH 27th
NINTENDO DS SPECIAL Nintendo’s global smash hit, the DS, is set to take the world by storm once again with the launch of the DSi. In preparation of its release, MCV takes a look at the handheld’s already impressive history, and talks to retailers, publishers and peripheral manufacturers on what the trade can expect from Nintendo’s hot new product.
TERRITORY REPORT: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND Australia is regularly in the gaming press, with many of the biggest adult games having to be edited before they can be released Down Under due to the lack of an ‘18’ certificate. MCV investigates the state of the Australian and New Zealand video game markets, speaking to suppliers, key industry personnel and analysts. FRIDAY APRIL 3rd
DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL The digital game sector has never been more popular. 2008 saw the release of downloadable titles like Braid and LostWinds, while highly anticipated DLC for Fallout 3 and GTA IV has been made available in recent weeks. MCV takes a closer look at this ever-expanding sector, and speaks to all the key service providers. FRIDAY APRIL 10th
TERRITORY REPORT: CHINA AND ASIA The Far East contains several unique markets that do things very differently to the rest of the world. Publishers and platform holders alike have to jump through completely different hoops to see their products released here. We look at how the territory’s video games industry works and what opportunities it offers. FRIDAY APRIL 17th
SELF IMPROVEMENT AND NON-GAMES SOFTWARE With the success of Wii Fit and Brain Training inspiring waves of less traditional and more beneficial titles, it’s time to analyse this sector of the market. MCV looks at what the future holds for self-improvement titles and ‘non-games’, and how publishers are working to capture the audience of this market. FRIDAY APRIL 24th
MCV AWARDS WINNERS Find out who emerged victorious from this year’s Awards ceremony, as MCV brings you a full report on the biggest night in the games industry calendar, which rewards most deserving companies and the attending representatives for industry excellence.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
52-57 MCV528_final:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISC REPAIR
HIGH PERFORMANCE OPTICAL DISC REPAIR SYSTEMS Eco Senior Fully Automatic Repair System
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
Entry Level Repair System
7 Seas Technologies ..................www.7seastech.com Blitz Games Studios..............+44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive ..........+44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki.............................................www.denki.co.uk Fuse Games.......................email@example.com
Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers Eco Master
50 disc Automatic Repair System
High Speed Optical Disc Inspection System
nDreams ................................+44(0) 1252 375754 Realtime Worlds ...................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Rebellion..............................+44 (0) 1865 792 201
RTI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01895 252191 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.rtico.com DISTRIBUTION
Stainless Games ...............firstname.lastname@example.org Strawdog Studio ...................+44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS bluegfx ................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Epic Games ................................+1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle............................00 (1) 925 417 1785 Natural Motion.......................+44 (0)1865 250575 SERVICES 3D Creation Studio ..............+44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel................................+44 (0) 207 486 6466 Air Studios ...........................+44 (0) 207 794 0660 GAMEINDUSTRYJOBS.eu..........+31 3110 7504580 Ian Livingstone .....................+44 (0) 1483 421 491
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
Partnertrans .........................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 Philips amBX....................................www.ambx.com Razorback ...............................www.razorback.co.uk Testronic Labs .......................+44 (0)1753 653 722 Tsunami Music .....................+44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking ............+44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES Goldsmiths.............................+44 (0)20 70785052 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 MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
52-57 MCV528_final:Layout 1
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
Insider’s | Guide
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
This week, MCV speaks to Alexander Bravve from publisher Nordcurrent...
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com LOCALISATION
Tell us about Nordcurrent. Nordcurrent is a publisher established in 2007. We develop and publish our games in PAL territories and licence them to other companies for North America and Japan. And we also publish Japanese games in Europe. Our recent success is 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix for Nintendo DS. Its sales have exceeded our expectations. Tell us about your services. We do not really offer ‘services’. However, I would like to note that Nordcurrent is a perfect partner for co-production deals. We take on board partners from regions that we do not cover ourselves for projects still in development, and take into account their creative input. Any new developments happening at Nordcurrent? Absolutely. 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix will be released in the
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
US soon. We have an exciting product line-up for 2009 that includes multi-platform games based on kids animated TV series, next instalment of the 101-in-1 series, new IP for Wii and DS, and many other great games. Our upcoming release in April is an action-platform game for Wii, Minon: Everyday Hero. It is a unique game, very special. Could you tell us something previously not known about your company? Apart from me, all the employees at Nordcurrent HQ are female. What’s the best thing about your job? Video games are a dynamic industry, full of passionate people who really care about what they do. Working with these talented guys makes a huge difference compared to other industries where I used to work before.
52-57 MCV528_final:Layout 1
TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
For all your Wii, DSi, iPhone and interactive toy development needs. Contact today.
One of Europe’s leading premier interactive game developers. HotGen Ltd. 7th Floor, Sunley House, Bedford Park, Croydon, Surrey. CR0 2AP United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)20 8603 0555 Fax:+44 (0)20 8603 0521 www.HotGen.com
We’ll make sure your disc repair is up to scratch With TDR, you’ve a tried and tested way to increase your disc repair business and generate extra turnover and profit as a result. Call or visit our website to Venmill Buffer find out more. from £1595
01202 489 500
HOTGEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)20 8603 0555 . . . . . . . . . . . . www.HotGen.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
52-57 MCV528_final:Layout 1
ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISC REPAIR
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Industry Pub Quiz to the PC Retail Awards, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
MARCH PC RETAIL AWARDS 2009 Thursday, March 19th Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk
PERFECTPLAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8778 5164 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.perfectplay.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
GAME BASED LEARNING Thursday, March 19th Friday, March 20th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.gamebasedlearning2009.com GDC 09 Monday, March 23rd – Friday, March 27th San Francisco, USA www.gdconf.com
APRIL MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, April 10th Monday, April 13th Stoneleigh Park, Southampton www.mfestival.com.
MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Thursday, April 23rd The Brewery, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk The biggest night in the games industry calendar returns to the Brewery and will feature awards split across three categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential industry event that gives credit to the industry's most deserving.
E3 Tuesday, June 2nd – Thursday, June 4th LA Convention Center, LA www.e3expo.com
JULY IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com
AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com
For further online advertising information please contact
Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com
GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com
PES INDUSTRY RANKINGS Thursday, March 26th Paramount Club, Centre Point, London www.pesrankings.com/ industry
MCV is proud to join Konami once again in hosting the PES Industry Rankings, an exclusive industry competition to establish who is the champion of PES 2009. Lots of players from across the industry will compete in a series of one-on-one matches, so sign up now as spaces are limited.
58,59 MCV528_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 58 MCV 13/03/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE
Stenholm 1, 9400,
66 Hughes Street, Mile End,
South Australia 5031
Phone: +45 70277640
Tel: +61 8823 41355
Fax: +45 70277650 email: email@example.com Web www.entertainment-trading.com
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd,
Gateway Distribution ApS
Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira TM
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Cardinal Gracious Road,
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,
Chakala, Andheri East,
08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Tel: +91 22 28203319
Fax: +91 22 28203334
email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.milestoneinteractive.com
v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
ITALY INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Email purchase: email@example.com
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: email@example.com Web: www.techland.pl
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw,
ICELAND THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA.
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10
tel. +357 22 666612
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
58,59 MCV528_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 13/03/09 59
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...
SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
DREAMGEAR, LLC FRIENDWARE
20001 S. Western Ave.
Marques de Monteagudo 18,
Torrance, CA 90501
28028 Madrid, Spain`
Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111
Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT Techland is a distributor based in Poland. MCV speaks to marketing director Michal Debek on the latest trends in the Polish games sector…
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.
16700 Schoenborn St.
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343
Tel: +1 818 920 9393
VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,
UAE Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
PLUTO GAMES DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE. www.pluto-games.com
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai
Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
What are the biggest challenges facing Poland? The biggest challenge at the moment is capitalising on a quickly growing casual games market. The casual boom that has been happening in Western Europe for a few years only started in Poland in 2008.
Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
How did the games market perform for you during 2008? In 2008 we saw significant growth in next-gen consoles, although the predominant platform is still the PC. Surprisingly the Wii platform has marginal market share.
What’s the retail market like? A lot depends on the business model adopted by the publisher. All major publishers in Poland are present in the chains such as Media Markt, Saturn or Empik. In addition we have a significant number of indies and grocery chains, such as Tesco. Furthermore, a large part of revenues are generated in computer hardware stores or wholesalers who sell entertainment.
What are your hopes for the year to come? We are hoping that the economic crisis will not disrupt the market growth or affect the industry significantly. We strongly believe that even in times of crisis people will find the desire and time for electronic entertainment. At Techland, we have high hopes that our flagship production, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, will succeed worldwide. We are convinced that it is a title that can not only compete with the best games this year, but a reason to put Poland on the map as another EU country capable of producing software of the highest quality. What would you like to see change in the territory? We would like to see games being treated properly in the Polish media. It shouldn’t be treated as a curiosity, but instead be seen alongside movies and music as it is in the UK and US. The time has come for this to happen in Poland.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
60,61 MCV528_final:Layout 1
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62 MCV528_final:47 MCV443
62 MCV 13/03/09
A weighty issue The Change4Life campaign’s implication that games cause unhealthy lifestyles continues to raise ire. Here, one industry PR argues for more common sense when it comes to issues over making kids active… Dear MCV, Great to see you taking a stand against the Change4Life ad. But I think the issue is bigger (just like the majority of the UK’s kids) than just games. Two points: 1. Yes, games are muchmaligned and an easy target for governments (worldwide) and lazy, sensationalist ad agencies and media. Yes, it’s annoying and no we shouldn’t take it lying down. Does the media blame YouTube for childhood obesity? Of course not, yet my guess is that children spend more time on the internet than they do playing video games. Even McDonald’s has the nerve to blame video games for falling sales and the increase in childhood obesity. I think ELSPA and Tiga should be spending more more time, money and effort – aside from lobbying a government which couldn’t care less – to run their own campaign. They could highlight the development talent here in the UK and excellent careers on offer, our ‘box office hits’ and the obvious economic upsides to employing several thousand people across development, publishing and associated businesses. The Games Up campaign instigated relationships between developers and politicians, so it’s incumbent on studios to stand up and make themselves heard and understood by their local MPs, fellow businessmen, media and educators.
The Change4Life campaign rightly argues that children should lead more active lifestyles – but that doesn’t necessarily mean the argument needs to also imply that games are contributing to a situation where junk food and lack of physical activities are prevalent, says one reader
2. In regards to the campaign itself, I caught sight of it in January and considered complaining long before the joypad ad appeared. The campaign is well intentioned, but seriously flawed. It’s incredibly
hour of PE lessons per week at school? I find this really shocking. Most kids get driven to school even though over half the journeys are less than two miles – easily walkable. The campaign’s website and ads also state quite rightly that
ELSPA and Tiga should run their own campaign highlighting the successes of our industry.
patronising and seems to be aimed at the uneducated and the stupid. However, it does raise some valid points. It recommends kids take 60 minutes of exercise per day. Did you know that most children only receive one
junk food is a problem. Surely it’s obvious that a burger and fries is more deadly than a few rounds of any first person shooter. Yet local councils allow a staggering number of fast food outlets to open their shabby shops on our High
Streets, housing estates and out of town retail parks. At risk of sounding like a dinosaur, when I was at school the ‘fat kid’ was just that, the one fat kid in school. That’s simply not the case any more – they are the norm not the exception. Childhood obesity is a serious problem – a whole generation is growing up (and out). As parents we should care about this campaign and its intentions – we should take responsibility as part of society, not just when it affects our industry. By all means we must fight against the misrepresentation of our industry but we should also be fighting the deluge of junk food outlets; fighting for more PE in schools and fighting the laziness and stupidity of
parents who allow their children to become obese. Rant over! Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR
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64 MCV 13/03/09
OFF THE RECORD
This week, we go behind the scenes with the man behind the Ghostbusters soundtrack – and take a look at the personal life of a singing industry exec...
PIC OF THE WEEK If there’s something strange, at your game press launch, who ya gonna call? If you’re Atari, Ray Parker Jr. – the man behind the Ghosbusters theme. And God bless them for it. We haven’t washed our camera lens since. Other members of the press also got to press the flesh with Ray (see below). We’re still seething with jealousy.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNT THIS WEEK 1) Play.com’s head of games Gian Luzio is a die-hard member of the England Supporters Club.
2) Atari’s PR king Lee Kirton is a genuine, bonefide mate of glamour girl Jakki Degg.
3) Capcom’s Leo Tan was once a damn impressive hairdresser.
MCV 13/03/09 65
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
It’s the area of the magazine in which we reveal the ‘real people’ behind the suits. Here, we grill former Official Nintendo Magazine editor and System 3 brand exec Chandra Nair...
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
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?
Much to my very understanding girlfriend’s chagrin I spend most of my time hidden away in my recording studio writing and producing music. And if I’m not doing that I’m probably on one of about 10 million music sites plugging new songs.
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Favourite game of all time: Resident Evil 4 (initially the GameCube version but now Wii). It’s quite simply perfect and there’s no way RE5 is going to live up to my expectations. Film: Split between Princess Mononoke and Sprited Away. They’re both Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli classics and I heartily recommend them to everyone. There’s no Hollywood nonsense, no senseless violence… just great, timeless, magical stories that stay in your heart forever. I’m not gay, by the way. Album: Simple. Automatic For The People by REM. They’ve had their ups and downs over the years but this album came at a really important time in my life and it means a lot to me. If you ever want to get anything out of me just make sure I’ve been listening to that on the tube. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? This is going to make me sound really shallow… my first job at Future involved coming on board and launching the all-new Official
TIM ELLIS, HMV
GIAN LUZIO, PLAY
CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
“I left the office every day and ploughed into the local boozer and a curry. I put on two stone.” Nintendo Magazine with cheeky chappy Lee Nutter. All our resources (in terms of publishers, art editors etc) were in the Bath office so for the first six weeks we both lived in a B&B. Bath may be a beautiful place but seriously, when you’re two guys desperately trying to find something interesting to do it’s the most Godawful place on the planet. We literally left the office every day at just after six before ploughing into the local
READ ALL ABOUT IT When will the news editors of the worldwide media get a grip on games – and stop talking absolute nonsense? Here’s this week’s worst...
“When GTA has pornographic ‘Easter Eggs’, we’re allowing our culture to be assaulted.” Actor Stephen Baldwin – who starred in ‘Threesome’ – discusses morality with CBS
boozer, drinking until there were 18 holes on the pool table and then taking a dodgy curry back to our B&B. I put on two stone in weight. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’? About ten years ago when I started my first band and toured the country. Somehow, when I was a teenager the money just seemed to appear.
FANBOY COMMENT OF THE WEEK
They just can’t help themselves, can they? Ladies and gents, allow us to showcase the audience you DON’T want the lifestyle mags to know about… GAMEFAQs Forum 03/10/09 Name: Slim_Reaper Title: RE: Will you still be playing games when you’re 40 years old?
Comment: I’m 20 and starting to loose interest. I’m becoming more intrsted in geting wasted than stayin in on the xBox tbh.
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
DAVID POULTER, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
66 MCV 13/03/09
9 out of 10 politicians risk growing up to have unhealthy opinions of the UK video games industry. Even if you think they look aware today, tomorrow could bring an outdated, cruel advertising campaign. Make sure your politicians think about games for just a minute a day. Reduce how much rubbish they think. For help and advice visit: www.mcvuk.com
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WELCOME TO VARRIGAN CITY DRIVEN INTO QUARANTINE AND CHAOS BY THE OUTBREAK OF A DEADLY VIRUS, ‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST’ TAKES ON A WHOLE NEW MEANING AS TRAPPED CITIZENS WATCH . ARE PITTED AGAINST EACH OTHER IN THE GRUESOME SPORTS SHOW, ‘DEATH WATCH’
KEY FEATURES KILLER LOOKS – BLACK & WHITE STYLISED VISUALS INSPIRED BY GRAPHIC NOVELS DELIVER A STUNNING AND UNIQUE LOOKING GAME. GAME SHOW RULES – WELCOME TO DEATH WATCH WITH ITS EXAGGERATED CHARACTERS, OUTRAGEOUS MOVES, MONSTROUS BOSSES & EXTRAVAGANT SPORTS COMMENTARY. OVER THE TOP GAME-PLAY – FAST AND INSTINCTIVE ARCADE STYLE GAME-PLAY WITH BRUTAL FINISHING MOVES DELIVERED BY THE Wii REMOTE. MULTI-PLAYER MINI GAMES – MIX UP THE ACTION AND COMPETE IN A VARIETY OF FUN, ULTRA VIOLENT MULTI-PLAYER MINI GAMES.
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