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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 530 Friday March 27 2009 £3.25

04 Wigmore’s plan The Codemasters’ boss unveils the firm’s biggest ever marketing push

08 All’s well at Eidos

International Media Partner

The Britsoft publisher says it’s business as usual despite Square bid

l Your essentia guide to Nintendo’s i snazzy new DS

14 In the GAME Retailer’s new COO Terry Scicluna reveals details of new strategy

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

It’s official: Video games are rescuing the UK High Street Category will finally outsell video this year, predicts ERA  Supermarkets losing market share as online sales grow by Tim Ingham VIDEO GAMES were the shining light of the High Street last year – pulling the overall UK entertainment retail sector kicking and screaming to a five per cent increase in revenues. Games software enjoyed a 21.1 per cent rise in annual sales in 2008 according to the Entertainment Retailers Association – as video revenues remained stationary and music sales plunged. And ERA has predicted that games will finally eclipse revenues generated by video this year – to become the true king of entertainment markets. ERA’s annual report for 2008, released this week, shows UK games software sales generated £2.1 billion in the year, narrowly smaller than DVD and video’s revenue sum

HEALTHY PROFITS MCV understands that Wii Fit has put £121 million into UK retail tills since its Spring release last year. Between April and December 31st ‘08, the Wii title generated approximately five per cent of all cash taken by games software sales throughout the year.

2008 RETAIL VALUES IN £ MILLION

Sources: ERA/Official Charts Company/ TNS Worldpanel British Video Association/GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA

2007

2008

Video (excludes music video)

2,292.5

2,294.5

% change 0.1%

Games Software (includes PC home software)

1,719.01

2,082.0

21.1%

Recorded Music (includes music videos)

1,379.3

1,289.2

-6.9%

Total Value

5,390.8

5,665.7

5.1%

of £2.3 billion. Both categories made almost double the cash generated by the music trade. “For games to enjoy double digit growth in a recession-hit

market is quite astounding,” ERA director general Kim Bayley told MCV. “If we look at the first three months of 2009, the pattern of

games sales growing and video remaining static is continuing. One would expect games to grow and video to remain broadly flat – meaning games

will overtake or knock at video’s door by the end of 2009.” And in what will be music to indie retailers’ ears, supermarkets’ share of software sales dipped in 2008, according to the ERA figures. Grocers’ annual unit share dropped from 11.2 per cent to 9.4 per cent; with value share down 11.4 per cent to 10.1 per cent. Online retail was the biggest beneficiary, with unit market share up from 20.1 per cent to 26.4 per cent and value up 18.6 per cent to 24.6 per cent. Excluding PC, console software sales jumped by a giant 27.1 per cent in 2008. Wii generated the most cash with £481 million in software sales (see Healthy Profits, above). Xbox 360 created £443 million in the year, with DS on £366 million and PS3 on £334 million.

Trade braced for DSi Easter domination Publishers and retailers praise ‘masterful’ Nintendo launch  Handheld update ‘certain to sell out’, says industry by Christopher Dring THE HARDWARE launch of the year is just a week away, and the UK games industry expects Nintendo’s DSi to give retail a huge boost. The handheld arrives in the UK on Friday, April 3rd, just as consumer spending ramps up ahead of the Easter weekend. “Nintendo is hugely influential and retail uplift on

hardware and software [after DSi’s launch] will make for industry growth,” said Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens. “The cloud of recession is deep and widespread but the games industry, while affected, will be less so than others and the consumer is looking for a ‘feel good’ factor in their lives. Why not DSi? Nintendo has been masterful at broadening the market.”

An Atari spokesperson added: “For Nintendo, the Easter timing seems excellent and we certainly wish them every success.” Morrisons’ games buyer Jon Biggs enthused: “We intend to launch the DSi across the entire Morrisons estate. I expect we will quickly sell out. It’s always exciting when a product breathes new life into the market.”

OPTIMISTIC: (From left to right) Morrisons’ Biggs, Codemasters’ Cousens and DSGi’s Willis are excited by Nintendo’s new console

DSGi games buyer Peter Willis continued: “The DSi will be just as popular as DS. We

already have one of our strongest ever pre-order executions in place.”

PERSONNEL 34 RETAIL BIZ 35 NEW RELEASES 47 HIGH STREET 48 CHARTS 50


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NEWS

[LEADER] RAY OF THE EXPLODING FIST OVER MANY YEARS, the biggest critic of MCV has been Sony Computer Entertainment UK and, specifically, its boss Ray Maguire. Whether thundering about perceived bias towards Nintendo and Microsoft, or offering hard lessons in how to do our job better, the PlayStation boss doesn’t mess about. We’re cool with that. We can take the punches, even trade a few if necessary. We listen, of course, but stand up for ourselves when we see fit. And that’s exactly what Maguire would now like the games industry to do when it comes to improving the ‘image problem’ he rightly focused on in MCV last week. Maguire believes that all elements of the business must communicate better with their trade body, the public at large and, ultimately, the Government. Maybe then the industry’s sponsorship of the Paddington Academy, the feelgood benefits of social gaming and the contribution games make to learning and creative skills will be accepted more readily. We don’t always agree with the Sony boss, but in this case he’s hit the target.

LEARNING TO FLY Whilst that formal opening of the Paddington Academy last week was underlining the significance of the games industry’s charitable efforts, many others from the business were attending the impressive Games Based Learning conference. Let’s hope that both ventures can flourish. The industry certainly should continue its involvement with the Academy beyond any fancy ceremony. And the conference can help to grow industry links with the wider education community. A good thing.

SPECIAL MOVE Whilst I’m on my high horse about the industry and good causes, here comes another... If you’ve just read the above and thought that you might want to get involved with something, then how about Special Effect – a charity that helps young people with disabilities to enjoy computer games. For these children, the majority of games are simply too quick or too difficult to play. Special Effect helps kids and parents discover what games might be suitable, or adapts them. The chap who runs it is called Mick Doneghan and he is desperate to talk to anyone who can help. One can only imagine how frustrating it must be for children currently prohibited from the enjoyment of playing games. And think how thrilling it must be when those same children can compete on equal terms with other people, able-bodied or otherwise.  For more information about Special Effect contact info@specialeffect.org.uk or call 01608 810055. Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

Codemasters plots ‘biggest Stellar release slate to benefit from ‘aggressive’ marketing push  by Christopher Dring CODEMASTERS has pledged to support its impressive 2009 line-up with the biggest PR and marketing campaign in its history. The UK-based firm showcased its upcoming release slate during its Best of British event last week, demoing new titles in the Operation Flashpoint, Dirt and Overlord franchises, as well as new MMO Jumpgate Evolution and upcoming racer, Fuel. And despite the recession, Operation Flashpoint is set to benefit from the publisher’s largest ever marketing spend on a single title. “We are rolling out Codemasters’ highest impact campaigns across the titles, with Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising representing our most extensive marketing investment ever,” said UK general manager Jeremy Wigmore. “Colin McRae: Dirt 2 will be partnered with major lifestyle brands to take the series to its widest audience to date. Press and PR work is as aggressive as ever across a vast spectrum of

We are rolling out Codemasters’ highest impact marketing campaigns across all of the titles. Jeremy Wigmore, Codemasters

print, online, core and mainstream publications. “2009 is a stellar year for Codemasters’ portfolio. In Operation Flashpoint, Overlord II and Dirt 2 we have a trio of

GAME SCOOPS ORACLE AWARD High Street chain GAME was crowned The Wipro Speciality Retailer of the Year, at the Oracle Retail Week awards last week. GAME was praised for its “market position, dual-brand proposition, retailing excellence and international presence”. The award was judged by retail bigwigs such as HMV’s CEO Simon Fox and Comet MD Hugh Harvey. CEO Lisa Morgan collected the gong from host Jimmy Carr (pictured, right).

returning franchises. The breadth of our racing catalogue is at its best ever with the sensational Fuel and of course F1 as the new jewel in our racing crown.


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NEWS

ever’ push for ‘09

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

Publisher unveils high-profile new recruits

THE SIMS 3 PC EA

2. RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA

WIGMORE: Codemasters GM pledges extensive support for the firm’s 2009 line-up

“Our racing world is complemented with new MMO Jumpgate Evolution. Layer that with franchise extensions in Overlord: Dark Legend and Overlord: Minions for Wii and DS respectively, plus a yet-tobe-announced major sports title for the summer, and you’ve got a killer line-up.” Codemasters: 01926 814132

TIBBLE AND CROUCHER JOIN ‘MASTERS

Deering: We need to educate parents

CODEMASTERS has recruited Jon Tibble (left) as UK sales manager and Ben Croucher (right) as UK trade marketing manager. Tibble joins the firm after spending eight years at Vivendi Games, most recently as UK sales manager, and has also held roles at Gauntlet Entertainment and Ingram Micro. In his new role, Tibble will be responsible for all UK and Irish sales, and will report directly to general manager Jeremy Wigmore. Ben Croucher joins after spending four years on Ubisoft’s trade marketing team. He will now be responsible for product visibility and pre-sell incentives across all UK retail chains for Codemasters’ upcoming products. Croucher will also report to Wigmore.

INDUSTRY legend Chris Deering believes that the market needs to eradicate the ‘stigma’ surrounding games amongst parents and educators – echoing the words of Sony UK boss Ray Maguire in last week’s MCV. Speaking at last week’s Games Based Learning conference, Deering said that many stakeholders in UK education still believed that games are “something kids run off and do in their rooms in front of the TV.” Games Based Learning strives to use games to create and deliver training and education for all ages.

Deering said: “The first thing we need to do is to expand the concept among the average educational worker – not the handful of people who have grasped it. “We need to increase the acceptance factor of off-theshelf games in schools. “Once that becomes acceptable, I think there’s room for the industry, government and educational bodies to collaborate. “There’s still a bit of stigma about video games as something boys run off to do in their bedrooms. But everyone also knows they’re a great way to engage kids.”

360 ..................................................ATARI

3. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ..................................................ATARI

4. ALAN WAKE 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

5. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ

6. GHOSTBUSTERS 360 ..................................................ATARI

7. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI

8. C&C: RED ALERT 3 - ULTIMATE ED. PS3 ......................................................EA

9. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2: DRAGON 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS

10. ROCK BAND 2 (SOLUS) PS3 ......................................................EA Week ending March 27th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

Konami: iPhone compares to the DS £25.9m KONAMI has compared the power of iPhone and iPod Touch to DS and PSP – as it launches its first Metal Gear Solid game for the platform. Metal Gear Solid Touch sees players control Solid Snake in “the final chapter in the legendary saga”. Head of mobile business at Konami Digital Entertainment Florian Stronk told MCV: “Whereas the sheer power of today's multimedia devices are often comparable to the current portable gaming hardware, these machines are not primarily gaming devices. It will be interesting to see these platforms evolve further.”

35

30

25

20

15

SOLID SUCCESS: Konami’s Stonk is keen to see how the iPhone will evolve as a gaming device

The Metal Gear series has sold over 26.5 million units worldwide – and Konami believes this can translate into ‘tremendous’ success on iPod. Stronk added: “Metal Gear Solid is one of the most successful brands in games

history. While a brand alone does not guarantee success, the philosophy behind Metal Gear Solid Touch is to provide both entertaining playability and easy access to the cinematic and complex Metal Gear universe.

“Kojima Productions has created a game experience that will only be possible on touch devices. We are confident that this game will be attracting existing fans and new users.” Konami: 020 8987 5730

10

5

£29.2m

£30.9m

£25.9m

1,223,968 Units

1,223,328 Units

1,064,760 Units

Week Ending March 14th

Week Ending March 14th

0 Week Ending March 7th

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


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‘Publishers must learn to love pre-owned’ Trade-ins and second hand games are a key attraction for consumers during recession, says GAME COO

GAME COO Terry Scicluna has told MCV that the games industry must accept preowned games as ‘something customers love’. Speaking to MCV as part of a wide-ranging interview about his plans for the firm’s GAME and Gamestation chains, Scicluna said publishers and developers scornful of trade-in offers must acknowledge the

desire to get the next release – so for Resident Evil 5 there is an army of people out there who want it. But in terms of affordability of new games there are people who might struggle with that, so the opportunity to trade in your games for the latest release is a fantastic weapon for them. “It just ticks a whole number of boxes and allows avid gamers to stay with gaming for life.”

I think pre-owned contributes to giving hardware longevity and keeping older formats in use. Terry Scicluna, GAME

fact they keep players engaged during a recession. He told us: “Old games as currency is something customers love – it enables us to extend the range and is something we should be proud to offer. “People are passionate about their games and there is a real

by Michael French

He added: “I think the beauty of GAME and Gamestation is that a game is traded in for another game – you don’t trade it in for something else. “I can understand why some publishers are not happy about it, but I think it is a way of keeping gamers locked in for

RECESSION BUSTING: GAME COO Scicluna feels trade-ins help consumers to afford the latest titles

much longer, enabling new releases to hit those volumes and also keep alive those games which might not be widely available any more. “And in these times, if you look at the retailers doing well, they are the value retailers, those who are offering

consumers great value and opportunities to get products at a reduced price. I think preowned also contributes to giving hardware longevity and keeping older formats in use.” And what of publishers’ attempts to curtail pre-owned games with DLC or online-

exclusive modes? “I think there is a place for both, and we offer that as part of our business too. We should give consumers what they want – and that’s a mix of all different models.”  Read the full interview with Scicluna on page 14

Slitherine sees PSP as a ‘huge opportunity’

Sony are also very good to us. They provide a huge amount of technical support that’s unrivalled really. Marco Minoli, Slitherine

March 20th saw Slitherine release strategy game Military History Commander: Europe at War Gold on the PSP, which the UK-based company hopes will ape the success of its previous title for the handheld, Great Battles of Rome.

big gap in the market for us to exploit,” he continued. Minoli also praised Sony’s support for those developing content for the company’s handheld: “Sony are also very good to us. They provide a huge amount of technical support that’s unrivalled really.” The independent software house is currently preparing the May launch of Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans on DS, PC and Wii. At present, Slitherine’s only forthcoming product confirmed for PSP is Commander: Napolean at War, which is scheduled for Q3 2009.

“Sony’s PlayStation Portable has been good for us. We actually keep selling product on the PSP,” revealed Slitherine

UK PUBLISHER Slitherine has told MCV that the PSP still offers a significant opportunity for game makers.

director Marco Minoli, who spoke to MCV after he took to the stage at the Game Based Learning 2009 conference. “There is a huge opporunity out there. We see that the PSP is not being used by bigger publishers. So there really is a

SONY SUPPORT: Minoli feels there’s money to be made with PSP

Slitherine: 01371 812 132


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UK High Street is ‘101 per cent’ behind GamePlan ‘09

TRADE BULLETIN

CHIPS, HMV, Asda, GAME, and more pledge their support for new UK trade show by Christopher Dring OUT 10th APRIL 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. RETAIL BACKING: CHIPS’ McCabe (centre) and GAME’s Vines (right) have backed Lane’s (left) new show

and GamePlan could be the answer to that. The UK games industry needs a good,

“We’re backing the event 101 per cent, and we’ll send quite a few people to it.”

Since the demise of ECTS we haven’t had a good UK trade show and GamePlan could be the answer. Don McCabe, CHIPS

comprehensive, all-in-one trade show where we don’t have to go to a specific publisher’s showcase every two-to-three weeks, saving time and money.

THE UK TRADE has backed new business-to-business trade show, GamePlan. The invite-only event takes place on Wednesday June 24th-26th, and will feature 15 leading games companies, each with their own suite, to talk business with their customers. The firm has also announced that ex-Woolworths trading manager Gerry Berkley is working for the event in a consultancy capacity. “GamePlan is shaping up really well,” said Tandem Events managing director Andy Lane. “The format is proving really popular and we had a great reaction from retail, with the likes of HMV, GAME and Asda pledging their support, as well as many others.” CHIPS’ joint MD Don McCabe added: “I think it’s a huge step forward for the UK games industry. Since the demise of ECTS, we haven’t had a good UK trade show,

GamePlan was formed after widespread discussions with retailers and publishers, and places an emphasis on one-toone meetings.

“It is clearly an event that will help publishers deliver briefings on new titles to our buying teams in a way that is more economic,” stated GAME’s head of commercial planning Alex Vines. “This is good news for everyone and presents an important step forward in the maturing of the UK business and how we all do business together, respecting the pressure we all have on our time and money.” GamePlan: 020 7405 4500

D3P wins Secret Saturdays licence D3P HAS reached a publishing agreement with Turner CN Enterprises for video games based on new action-adventure series, The Secret Saturdays. The first game inspired by this property is due to be released across Europe, the Middle East and Africa on both consoles and handhelds towards the end of 2009. “Turner CN Enterprises has proven to be an unparalleled partner for us in turning wonderful television universes into playable experiences for fans, and we are thrilled to be working with them once

again to reach the gamer community,” said D3P’s president and chief executive for North America and Europe, Yoji Takenaka. Turner’s vice president Alan Fenwick adds: “We have achieved great success with D3P with the Ben 10 franchise and look forward to partnering with them again on The Secret Saturdays. D3P will be a significant aspect of the licensing programme we’re set to roll out in 2009/2010 for this key Cartoon Network property.”

The Secret Saturdays follows a family of cryptozoologists on a mission to find and protect the weirdest and wildest cryptids before villains can endanger them. The family explores temples and caves searching for the legendary Kur stone, which

they can use to save the world from the evil plans of V. V. Argost. The series will premier on Cartoon Network in June. “The Secret Saturdays franchise provides everything video game fans look for, from an exciting cast of heroes they can portray, to fantastic creatures with special abilities they can use, to the most dastardly villain for them to defeat,” added Takenaka.

OUT 24th APRIL Nintendo Wii

Rock Band 2 delivers the most authentic and ambitious music game to date – by challenging rockers to master lead guitar, bass guitar, drums and vocals with a polished, streamlined, and amazingly fun and challenging experience. Rock Band 2 features a track list that puts all other music games to shame with more than 80 songs on disc from some of the most hallowed bands of the rock pantheon.

OUT 5th JUNE 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.

D3P: 01223 322015

ea.com


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Battlestations for Eidos, as UK team prefers to focus on releases British stalwart could be turning Japanese in less than month  But business-as-usual is the message by Stuart Dinsey EIDOS could be owned by Square Enix before the end of April, but in the meantime its UK team are working hard to ensure success for key releases. The Brit developer and publisher is lining up Battlestations Pacific, Championship Manager 2009 Edition and Batman: Arkham Asylum between spring and summer, with expectation also rising for Just Cause 2 and Mini Ninjas in the autumn. There have certainly been plenty of distractions since MCV first broke the news of interest from Japanese giant Square Enix in December. A formal offer worth £84 million was lodged in February and will go through if there is no counter-offer by the end of April. But MCV can reveal that the UK staff at Eidos have not had any contact with anyone from Square to date. They have simply been charged with the task of

MELCHIOR: Eidos’ European publishing boss says his team is concentrating on product quality - and not on Square Enix’s bid

We have some important games coming. There is no point dreaming about what the future holds. Patrick Melchior, Eidos

bringing the next set of Eidos titles to market. “The trade and the consumer care more about product than what goes on behind the scenes,” said European publishing boss Patrick Melchior.

“We have some important games on the way that are of strong quality. That’s what the team is focusing on. “There is no point in us dreaming about what the future might hold.” Eidos: 020 8636 3000

Mastertronic picks up Wrapstar JoWood and Lace set sights on expansion WRAPSTAR has signed an exclusive distribution and sales agreement with Mastertronic. Sales will be managed by Mastertronic’s London-based team, headed up by group sales director James Cato. Warehousing and distribution will be handled by the Group’s Cambridgeshire distribution facility, The Producers. “Wrapstar produce a really unique product, which means that consumers of any age can customise their personal technology at an impulse purchase price and it’s small enough for retailers to carry a wide range,” said Cato. “Wrapstar have definitely

HADDOW: Wrapstar boss ‘really impressed’ with Mastertronic

found an individual gap in the market and we’re looking forward to expanding on that.” Wrapstar’s managing director Max Haddow said:

“We chose to work with Mastertronic as we’ve been really impressed with their extensive network of services in sales and distribution, delivered with a personal touch. “Wrapstar is all about personalisation, and Mastertronic is the perfect partner to deliver this message.” Wrapstar produces vinyl skins for all games machines, as well as iPods, iPhone and Blackberry devices. After successful sales of DS, PSP and Wii skins, the company is expanding its range to include PS3 and Xbox 360.

Mastertronic: 0845 234 4242

LACE DIGITAL Media Sales and JoWooD are both seeking to expand their UK games presence throughout 2009. The UK distributor and Vienna-based publisher announced last month that Lace would now handle JoWooD products in the UK. Speaking to MCV, Lace MD Adam Lacey indicated that both firms are keen to develop over the course of the year. “We’ve been visiting the folks at JoWooD regularly and they’re working on a number of impressive things,” he said. “They’ve been predominantly

known for their PC games in the past, but now they’ve entered the Wii and DS market.” Lacey also revealed the publisher is planning to expand its portfolio to incorporate other formats, although full details on this won’t be available until later in the year. “As for Lace, we’re hoping that our JoWooD agreement will be the first of many,” he added. “We’re keen to strike up partnerships with other publishers and help them bring their products to the UK market.” Lace: 01273 202220


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Ubisoft readies Easter marketing assault Promotional boost given to hugely successful Imagine franchise  My Resturant and Doctor titles released by James Batchelor UBISOFT is preparing its next marketing blitz as the latest additions to its best-selling Imagine range are released. Imagine Doctor and Imagine My Restaurant, released today (March 27th), are the newest two titles to join the successful series of casual games on DS. Ubisoft is relaunching its marketing efforts into order to promote the new additions, as well as the rest of the established range and the upcoming Imagine Movie Star, currently scheduled for release on May 22nd. “The Imagine range will be back on TV this Easter with an ad featuring Imagine’s celebrity

ambassadors Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby that focuses on Doctor, but also incorporates other key titles from the range, including My Restaurant and Teacher,” Ubisoft’s brand manager Mark Slaughter told MCV.

campaign, targeting girls’ magazines and websites, as well as national press and key broadcast media. “There will also be interviews with Fearne and Holly scheduled to appear in Bliss, Girl Talk,

The Imagine range will be back on TV this Easter, with our celebrity ambassadors Holly and Fearne. Mark Slaughter, Ubisoft

The company has also arranged for print ads to appear in the Girl Gamer supplement inserted into girls’ magazines such as Mizz and Bliss. These and the TV ads will be supported by a PR

Girl, Go Girl, Mizz and Sugar,” added Slaughter. “Spearheading the campaign will be a major competition to win the opportunity to meet Fearne and Holly.” Ubisoft: 01932 578000

Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton will boost Imagine, says Slaughter


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Sponsored by

[IN BRIEF] MCV: Leading trade magazine MCV has launched an exciting new look for its website. The upgrade features a sleek style and even better organisation for the news, opinion, features and Retail Biz sections. New features include a customisable news feed page, an improved comment systems and more ways to read the digital versions. GAMESTATION: The retailer has been confirmed as the official retail partner for this year’s Edinburgh Interactive Festival, which will run from August 10th to August 16th. EA: Long-running racing franchise Need For Speed will begins its reboot on September 18th with the arrival of Need For Speed: Shift on 360, PS3, PC and PSP. ROCKSTAR : Max Payne is set to return this Winter on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in Max Payne 3. ATARI: Alyssa Milano has been named as the female lead in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, joining Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Dan Akroyd and Ernie Hudson in the upcoming summer blockbuster game. MICROSOFT: Halo Wars has already sold more than one million units worldwide. The Xbox 360-exclusive title is now the best-selling realtime strategy game on any current generation console.

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:

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NEWS

French publisher Nobilis plots invasion of UK games charts Firm celebrates successful exclusive deal with GAME  UK office under discussion by Christopher Dring NOBILIS HAS set its sight on UK expansion following a successful partnership with High Street retailer, GAME. The publisher intends to release ten new titles into the UK market this year, including upcoming DS title Moto Racer, which will be backed by a strong TV marketing push. “Nobilis is becoming a major publisher in Europe,” explained MD Arnaud Blacher. “We are young but expanding. The UK is one of the key markets we’re targeting, and this year we’ve got some strong products for the sector. “The next game is Moto Racer – and we’re backing it with strong TV advertising. We also have three further key titles coming before summer, which we’re backing with TV spend. So we are really aiming for the top of the UK charts.”

CHART HITS: Nobilis is supporting its 2009 line-up in the UK with TV marketing

Nobilis signed an agreement with GAME last year, which saw titles appear exclusively in the retail chain, while Ascaron published the rest of the firm’s line-up. However, Nobilis hasn’t ruled out opening its own UK office in the future. “We are investigating the idea of having our own UK office,” continued Blacher. “Nobilis was a small publisher a few years ago, and now we have a substantial lineup of around 15 releases a year.

“One of our key products – which we released through GAME – is My Baby Boy and My Baby Girl, which together have sold over a million units worldwide. We’re preparing My Baby 2 for Christmas, and we have about ten titles for the UK this year, and we’ll be fully supporting them.

“GAME is the biggest UK games retailer and they provide us with great on-shelf visibility. There are so many titles out there, not all retailers will stock your titles, and getting games on the shelf is half the job. So we will consider working with GAME more in the future.” Nobilis: +33 4 37 49 79 79

Japanese publishers back MCM Expo Tekken 6, Monster Hunter and Dynasty Warriors confirmed for anime and manga event THE GAMES industry has voiced its support for this year’s MCM Expo, with Japanese software taking centre stage. The London-based Expo kicks off in May, and publishers Capcom, Koei and Atari have already backed the show, giving the event a big games focus. “Games are a key part to the formula that is continuing to grow the MCM Expo,” said MCM director Bryan Cooney. “The event gives publishers a platform to meet their dedicated fans face-to-face, as well as each other, creating a successful UK show.”

GAMES BACKING: Koei, Capcom and Atari are set for the MCM Expo

MCM visitors tend to have a unique taste for Japanese games, and this year leading franchises including Monster Hunter will be on show.

“As a public event, the Expo is unique in its love for all things Japanese, so we focus on our Monster Hunter efforts,” said Capcom’s Leo Tan.

“People will travel from all over the UK to attend this event so it’s a great chance for us to create a physical focal point for our UK community.” Koei’s UK sales manager Will Curley added: “As the visitors to the London Expo are very plugged into Japanese culture they are happy to play demos in Japanese and appreciate getting early hands-on time. “We consider the visitors to London Expo as our top product advocates.” The MCM Expo takes place between May 23rd and 24th. MCM: www.londonexpo.com


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MCV INTERVIEW TERRY SCICLUNA, COO, GAME

GAME’s winning formula The UK trade’s retail specialists GAME and Gamestation are undeniably ruling the market, with parent firm GAME Group the star of the High Street. And now new COO and former chemist retail boss Terry Scicluna is touting a strategy that will reinforce the firm’s market-leading position, Michael French reports... USUALLY, it’s never a good sign when a business calls on an external exec to head up a new strategy or merger. But GAME isn’t your usual retailer. At the start of the year, when the economic pinch put the squeeze on the High Street – and even snuffed a few chains from existence – GAME beat expectations, reporting strong sales in what was, and still is, a tough time. On announcing its expected financial year profit of £122m, GAME was cautious, but also optimistic. It revealed that plans were still afoot to open 20 stores this year, but at the same time confirmed that it was consolidating head offices of its GAME and Gamestation chains – a move designed to strengthen the two brands under the stewardship of COO Terry Scicluna. He had only been with the company for three months, having joined in October 2008 from a senior role at Alliance Boots and Alliance Pharmacy, responsible for £1.2billion worth of turnover and over a thousand stores. “GAME has had a great formula for success,” the former chemist retail chief tells MCV at the firm’s Basingstoke HQ. “And now its time to push that further.”

GAME’S PLAN

Why was Scicluna the man for the job? The answer is his passion for retail. Prior to Alliance Boots and Alliance Pharmacy he held senior roles at Thorn EMI, Brighthouse and Radio Rentals, giving him 30 years experience in a variety of retail sectors. He was at the former for 20 of those years, working his way up from sales assistant to MD. “I love speciality retail – it’s better to be able to focus,” he says. “So when the opportunity came to join GAME it ticked all the boxes for me.” He has a passion for entertainment hardware and is a self-confessed early adopter – this is a man who still has a boxed Intellivision (Google it) console at home and bought a PS3 for Blu-ray.

his vision for the company involves a behind-the-scenes strategy that focuses on core ‘pillar’ strengths. “GAME and Gamestation provide great service and great knowledge – but we’re a specialist, we should always provide that,” he says. “So how do we make sure there is clear blue water between us and our competitors?” He points to business staples like reward cards and trade-ins – which he calls “a great way of fostering currency, especially in the current climate” (see Trade-In Places, right) through to making sure the Group’s 700 stores have great geographic spread, good supplier relationships and a strong balance sheet for continued investment as key hallmarks to maintaining a market-leading position. Mention GAME’s rivals and he clearly Pre-owned games are a welcomes the prospect great way of fostering of a fight: “I like the currency, especially in the competition, it keeps current climate. you sharp and it’s good to benchmark. You Terry Scicluna, GAME really need to know and understand your competitors.” He retailers and I think customers respond admits to regularly visiting GAME and to those,” he adds, naming Oddbins and Gamestation stores up and down the Richer Sounds as key specialists in their country both officially and unofficially to fields which excel on the same terms. see how customers are responding. He So no plans to merge the two, then? adds: “And when I visit I like to go and “We would be nuts to rebrand the see what our rivals are doing too.” whole chain GAME,” he says frankly, And Scicluna is au fait with tackling adding that he’s confident the the threat posed by supermarkets, given integration will be a success by the fact that they also stepped into pharmacists’ it has kept the ethos of both brands intact. territory when he was at Boots – if you “Gamestation is a fantastic business thought cheap chart titles were with a small company soul and a brand worrying, imagine what the chemists of its own. It is very different from felt when Tesco and its ilk offered to fill GAME and we have to protect that. prescriptions while you shopped for There is a place for both on the market.” food, he says. He adds: “They have different “The key is to differentiate, and customers, and both are entrepreneurial.” remember that someone going into a That means both are now backed by a supermarket to buy a game knows what single plan that is modified to match the they want – the supermarkets have it two different High Street brands. easy. It’s up to the specialists to fuel the AHEAD OF THE GAME market and engage the real customers, So with the public-facing side of the and put them on that journey from business untouched, Scicluna says that outside the store to inside,” he adds. Likewise, how GAME addresses its role as a specialist with two different chain brands selling similar products is what excites Scicluna, and he describes the firm’s plans for its chains as a “compelling vision for our stores, our staff and our suppliers.” First, though, he’s keen to clarify the Gamestation debate and explain how it relates to GAME’s vision. Although the head office teams may now share the same address, they don’t address the same markets, says Scicluna. He describes Gamestation as being “more for the core gamer, with a small store focus,” while GAME is “a bit more corporate, but more mass market – it’s really catered for the wide masses.” “GAME and Gamestation have their own personalities – I like personality

“For that, in-store ‘theatre’ and marketing is very important. It’s up to specialists to make the boxes on shelves come to life.” He points to Gamestation in Birmingham as a great example, where staff ran a LittleBigPlanet demo on a large plasma screen to draw in crowds, with the staff explaining via microphones what was happening on-screen. “Those are the kind of experiences only specialists can offer – and I want to see more of that.” ONLY AT GAME

In fact it’s the concept of ‘uniqueness’ that Scicluna wants to exploit going forward and which is the last part of the puzzle. That means finding ways to set the chains apart from all others, including deals with publishers, or even developers, for exclusive releases. “One of our pillars is ‘Only at GAME’ or ‘Only at Gamestation’ and we want to develop that further,” says Scicluna. “Our research says it is really trusted and our customers love it – and it gives them a chance to get great product that is only at our stores.” Exclusive DLC, limited editions and even an exploration of digital distribution are on the cards too. “We’re looking at everything to go that extra step and make a customer good about their purchase and to trust in GAME and Gamestation,” he says, explaining that the company has a team in place to explore those opportunities – although there is nothing set in stone yet. “We’re working through a whole number of options at the moment and have a team looking at how we will deliver.” He adds: “The fact is, it’s really tough for retailers at the moment. There are pressures from supermarkets, pressures from online, and consumer apathy – people are being really savvy about how they are spending their money. So it’s imperative that a customer has great service and chooses us as an expert guide, and always opts to chose GAME or Gamestation over any other.”


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MCV INTERVIEW TERRY SCICLUNA, COO, GAME RETAIL VETERAN: New GAME COO Terry Scicluna has over 30 years of experience working for various leading retail firms

“We would be nuts to rebrand the whole Gamestation chain to just GAME.” TRADE-IN PLACES OF COURSE, a large chunk of GAME and Gamestation’s profits will come from preowned games – and COO Scicluna says vocal publishers and developers should swallow their scorn of trade-ins and accept it as part of the industry eco-system. He says: “I can understand why some publishers are not happy about it, but I think it is a way of keeping gamers locked in for much longer, enabling new releases to hit those volumes and also keep alive those video games which might not be widely available any more. “I think preowned also contributes to giving hardware longevity and keeping older formats in use. The danger the industry faces is that consumers buy a game and console at Christmas and then it sits there collecting dust because they can’t afford the next game.”


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To all our vendors past, pres

For sales enquiries or to open an account with Gem contact our sales team on 01279 822822

For more information on Gem Creative, please contact Neil Handa on 01279 459072 or neilh@gem.co.uk


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esent and future, thank you.

For more information on Gem Logistics, please contact Alan Lynch or Douglas Yarker on: 01282 684800 or logistics@gem.co.uk

Visit www.exspect.co.uk for full product information. For sales enquiries please contact our sales team on 01279 822822


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DS SPECIAL: CONSOLE ANALYSIS

The I-Generation The next evolutionary step for Nintendo DS arrives next week. Christopher Dring speaks to the leading publishers on how the dual screen wonder managed to re-shape an industry… AT E3 IN 2004, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unveiled the prototype DS. The peculiar dual screen/touch screen concept was greeted with disdain by critics and consumers alike, with many doubting that it could stand up to Sony’s sleek and promising PSP. Four years later and the DS has secured its place in gaming history as one of the industry’s defining products. It has gripped the mass market far beyond what the Game Boy achieved, and has re-established Nintendo as the biggest games company in the world. Suddenly gaming is no longer the niche activity of teenage boys, but an accepted pastime adopted by parents, young children and even girls. It’s a revolution created through accessible hardware, wide-reaching software and celebrity-backed marketing campaigns. “The key aspect to attracting a new, wider audience has always been the simple and intuitive DS controls,” says Nintendo’s senior product manager for handheld, James Honeywell. “The fundamental design principle behind DS was to make it inclusive and to break down the barriers for new users, but also to offer a platform that is easy and cost effective to program for. “The beauty of its design is that it can blend this pick-up and play nature that new users find welcoming, with surprising depth that can keep experienced fans engaged. As the user base has expanded it has also freed up developers to explore areas that they have never considered before.” Majesco Europe’s vice president Jason Dutton adds: “There’s something inherently accessible about the hardware. Games were, as a rule, intimidating to anyone who isn’t a gamer. DS broke down those barriers – if you can hold a pen then you can play the DS.” A SOFTWARE REVOLUTION

The hardware remains a master class in accessibility, with just a handful of buttons for users to get their heads

around. But the real driving force behind the success of DS has been the software. From Nintendogs to Professor Layton, Brain Training to Cooking Mama, DS games are amongst this century’s biggest sellers, with certain titles remaining in the Top 40 for years. “Game developers, first led by Nintendo and now broadly adopted, have made games for an expansive user range,” says EA marketing manager Claire Ridley. “The DS has games for boys, girls, teens, parents and even grandparents, it is a device that anyone can play and have fun with.” Atari’s Lee Kirton agrees: “The Nintendo DS has such a diverse catalogue of games that appeals to all ages. It is the perfect platform with touch screen capabilities that gives everyone at any time or place the ability to play, interact or just learn.” Midas’ head of sales Sam Collins believes it is the variety of software that has been a big influence on the DS’

success: “There has been a whole host of genres uniquely exploited for the DS. Never before has a console seen such diverse titles, and with this diversity new consumers have been attracted to the DS.” DUAL-STYLE

Nintendo has managed to break down barriers. If you can hold a pen then you can play a DS. Jason Dutton, Majesco

In 2006 the DS underwent a style overhaul. The new DS Lite boasted a sleek and ‘Apple-like’ appeal, and quickly became an even bigger sensation that the original design. “The DS was an ugly beast when it first came along,” states 505 Games’ head of global brand Tim Woodley. “It was only after it was ‘Apple-ized’ that it really started to rocket. Nintendo had obviously been watching Mr Jobs’ movements closely.” Along with the arrival of the DS Lite, came Nintendo’s big-budget, celebritybacked marketing campaign. Chris Tarrant, Girls Aloud, Ronan Keating and many more became the faces of the DS, and other publishers soon following suit with their own celebrity ambassadors.


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DS SPECIAL: CONSOLE ANALYSIS

“The mass appeal of the DS is due to the fantastic job Nintendo has done in marketing the console to those who wouldn’t normally play games,” enthuses Avanquest’s European games director Simon Reynolds. D3P’s marketing manager Suzanne Sutton concurs: “Nintendo has done an incredible job creating games such as Brain Training with fantastic above-theline campaigns endorsed by celebrities, which appeals to the mass market.” These marketing creatives continue to feature celebrities young and old, male and female, and many publishers agree that it’s this positioning that has helped move gaming out of the bedrooms and into the living rooms, for everyone to play irrespective of age or gender.

cent slimmer than the Lite, includes a 0.3 megapixel camera, a web browser, the chance to download games using DSiWare, an SD memory card slot, and a tweaked stylus and speaker system. But what can these new additions bring to the DS table that isn’t already there? “DSiWare is the most exciting aspect of DSi for me,” explains South Peak managing director Jonathan Hales. “Its big brother WiiWare has proved an exceptional home for extremely unique titles. I’m fully expecting to find the same kind of creativity in the DSi Shop.” PlayV’s marketing manager Brian Faller is also excited by the latest additions: “The DSi brings new toys for developers

The DSi offers expanded functionality that will make the console more useful on a day-to-day basis. James Honeywell, Nintendo

“Nintendo’s TV advertising strategy appeals to a wider female audience and an older demographic that would not have played games in the past,” said Zushi’s marketing director Chris Brown. “This broke down perceptions of games being a younger male dominated market and opened up the door for your sister, mum, dad and even grandparents to take the plunge and have a go.” A spokesperson for Ubisoft adds: “There is no secret that the DS has wide girl appeal and this has been integral to the success of the console. The portability and sharability of the DS really appeals to this demographic.” THE SECOND EVOLUTION

The next iteration of the DS arrives in the UK next week. The DSi is 12 per

to play with – adding more internet connectivity, internal storage and cameras to the console, that will allow developers to create even more interesting games. “The extra connectivity should pave the way to make software more interactive and dynamic, with the ability to do more than just play games.” However, the real test for the DSi is not in its potential, but in the software that will exploit these new ideas. And Koch MD Craig McNicol is confident Nintendo will be the firm to lead the way. “The DSi’s improvements are subtler than before, but once again it presents significant opportunities for the brave,” says McNicol. “I do not ask myself what the consumer will do with the better music,

and in-built camera, but instead I ponder what Nintendo has in development to exploit these functions and the genius will once again be led by first party.” James Honeywell concludes: “The DSi offers all the usual benefits but with new expanded functionality that will make it more useful on a day-to-day-basis, which will make the DS indispensable.” In just four years the DS has helped transform the games industry into the vibrant, mainstream entertainment sector it is today. And although it’s still to be seen if DSiWare and camera functionality can capture consumer and developer imagination in the same way the touch screen did, it would be foolish to doubt Nintendo’s ability in producing the next handheld phenomenon.

DS: THE STORY SO FAR... THE GAME BOY remains one of the best selling gadgets of all time, and it has shaped one of the most significant areas of the industry, welcoming new audiences and inventing innovative entertainment brands. The Game Boy has seen off competition from the likes of Sega, Nokia, Neo Geo and Atari, and has made Tetris and Pokémon household names. Today, Nintendo may have dropped the Game Boy name, but its DS still holds the same principles and has managed to revolutionise the sector yet again, attracting even more new consumers into gaming. But the platform holder’s dominance of the handheld market started much earlier, with its unique Game & Watch systems. MCV takes a closer look at 29 years of Nintendo handhelds, from Game & Watch to DSi…

April 28th, 1980 Nintendo launched Ball, its first Game & Watch title. The series, which ran until 1990, consisted mostly of single-game handhelds that used an LCD screen and featured a clock and alarm.

April 21st, 1989 Original Game Boy launches in Japan. It featured two buttons, mono screen and could last for up to 35 hours on four AA batteries. Almost all Game Boys came with Tetris bundled in.

1996 The Game Boy Pocket launches, shrinking the dimensions of the first console in the Game Boy line. The system also introduced Nintendo’s tendency to update its handhelds.

February 27th, 1996 Pokémon Red and Blue launches on the Game Boy, creating a branding sensation and one of the most popular games of all time, rivalling other Nintendo franchises such as Mario and Zelda.


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DS SPECIAL: CONSOLE ANALYSIS DSI AT RETAIL Peter Willis Games Buyer, DSGi

Toby Burton, Games Buyer, HMV

Jon Biggs, Games Buyer, Morrisons

Don McCabe Joint MD, CHIPS

The DS has been a key product for us for the last couple of years and I am sure the DSi will be just as popular. It’s a great fit with our customers and we are anticipating big things. We have one of our strongest ever pre-order executions in place and we are expecting significant uptake of the machine.

The DSi is great news for the industry and for retail. New product launches are always welcome, especially as they can help galvanise interest in gaming. Easter is particularly strong timing, as the launch enables retailers to build on traffic that will already be there. Not withstanding the current economic climate, and the impact this may have on overall demand, our expectations are still high for DSi. It’s a great product and anticipation among customers have been building for some time. It should provide retail with a well-timed boost.

We have our allocation on DSi and intend to launch across the Morrisons estate. My expectation is we will quickly sell out our initial allocation. Morrisons customers love Nintendo and there have been many enquiries in store. We are currently building awareness online and have cross media promotional plans in place to push the console and the software over the launch period. It’s always exciting when a new product touches down and breathes new life into the games market.

The public are in love with Nintendo at the moment, and I’m sure stock will disappear very quickly come launch. I think Nintendo has a job to do in educating the consumer on why they should upgrade to the DSi. Nintendo needs a good quality game that can only be used on the DSi in order to give consumers a reason to switch hardware. There’s currently no dedicated DSi software, but I am sure that will change given time.

1997 The Game Boy Light launches, offering a smaller version of the original with a backlit screen.

October 21st, 1998 The Game Boy Color launches in Japan, and features a colour screen and smaller body size than the original Nintendo handheld. It launched in multiple colours, including purple.

March 21st, 2001 Nintendo launches the Game Boy Advance. More powerful than its predecessors, the GBA added extra buttons and changed the shape of the system. 81.44 million units have been sold.

February 14th, 2003 Nintendo launches the Game Boy Advance SP, which introduced a clamshell design, rechargeable battery and a front-lit screen. The SP has shipped 43.52 million units globally.

Richard Chapple Marketing Manager, Play.com Play.com are really excited about the forthcoming Nintendo DSi launch in April. The timing is perfect with Easter just around the corner, and the new features on the slimmer, lighter console – such as the two cameras and bigger screens – means that DS fans won’t be able resist upgrading. These fans could also give their current DS to a friend or family member, meaning more DS and DSi consoles in the market in total and more opportunity to sell first and third party software this year.

November 21st, 2004 The DS debuts in North America. The DS introduced a touch screen, backwards compatibility for GBA games, and a dual screen design similar to mid-1980s Game & Watch titles.

Igor Cipolletta CEO, ShopTo.net Nintendo have proven over the years they know how to launch hardware successfully and we anticipate the DSi will be no different. We believe with the great new features the DSi has that it’ll be another top seller and we are confident there will be sufficient supply to cope with the demand. We’re definitely viewing it as the top product for Easter. It’s right in time for the school holidays and once the press campaign starts and people see some of the features, this should create further demand. There are also those from the casual market who have held off getting the DS and will see this latest revision as the ideal time to pick one up.

May 19th, 2005 Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? launches. While not the first casual game, it is hugely influential in introducing handheld gaming to non-traditional markets.


BOA026.UK.RB B .UK.R A010 K.RB e : BO 0.U DS Lit : BOA04 DSi

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DS Lite : BOA02 0. DSi : BOA04 UK.RB 6.UK.RB Blue Ocean and the Blue Ocean logo are trademarks of Koch Media GmbH, Lochhamerstr. 9, D-82152 Planegg/M端nchen, Deutschland. All trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. NINTENDO DS LITE IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO. This product is not officially endorsed by nor affiliated with Nintendo in any way.

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DS SPECIAL: COMING SOON ...DS: THE STORY SO FAR

September 13th, 2005 The Game Boy Micro is released, giving the public the smallest Game Boy machine ever. Offering everything featured in the SP including the backlight of the SP II. The Micro is just over 10cm long.

March 2nd, 2006 The DS Lite is launched. The console update boasted a smaller, sleeker design, brighter screens and improved battery life. Many deemed it as an attempt to broaden the appeal of the handheld.

October 2nd, 2008 At the Nintendo Japanese Conference the DSi is announced, with the official slogan: ‘What will I do?’

November 1st, 2008 The DSi launches in Japan, and includes two digital cameras, larger screens, a subtle design makeover, an SD slot for storage of music, images and games, and most significantly, access to the DSiWare store.

March 20th, 2009 Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars arrives at retail in the UK, bringing the DS its first BBFC 18-rated game.

April 3rd, 2009 The DSi launches in Europe, priced £149.99, in either black or white.

COMING SOON TO DS... Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars Rockstar Games, Out Now

The first 18-rated DS game has been highly praised by critics, and is one of the year’s biggest new DS titles for the core gamer.

Rhythm Paradise Nintendo, May 1st

The sixth best selling game of 2008 in Japan finally lands on UK shores. The game invites players to ‘tap into the rhythm.’

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Out Now MySims Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Out Now Puzzle Quest: Galactrix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Out Now Populous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rising Star Games . . . . . . . . Out Now Spectrobes: Beyond The Portals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Out Now Zoo Quest Puzzle Fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Out Now Monsters Vs Aliens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Imagine My Restaurant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th My Beauty Salon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Don King Boxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2K Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Imagine Doctor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Rhapsody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Jelly Belly Ballistic Beans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Phineas and Ferb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Interactive . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Challenge Me: Brain Puzzles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oxygen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Lux Pain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rising Star Games . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Challenge Me: Maths Workout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oxygen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes Of Time . . . . . . . . . Square Enix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mar 27th Saddle Club. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Groovy Chick: My Fashion World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Steal Princess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rising Star Games . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Let’s Play: Mums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Let’s Play: Doctors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Let’s Play: Shops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Let’s Play: Mums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 My Animal Centre: Baby Animals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codemasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Ready, Steady, Cook: The Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Real Madrid: The Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V.2 Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Q2 2009 Diabolik: The Original Sin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Bean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 2009 Rock Revolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 2009 My Horse Club: Rescue The Apaloosas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Yamaha Supercross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Groovy Chick: My Baby World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Accelerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 2009 Ready, Steady, Cook: The Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Pony Life (Whitakers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Fritz Chess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Groovy Chick: My Fashion World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mindscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Sudoku Ball - Detective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Playlogic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q2 2009 Valkyrie Profile: Covenant Of The Plume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 3rd Smiley World Island Challenge. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 3rd Dementium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . South Peak. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 3rd Disgaea DS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 3rd Dive Girls: Diva Dancers/Princess on Ice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 9th Ultimate Band . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Interactive . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Love Is... In Bloom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Mind Your Language: Learn Spanish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V.2 Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Mind Your Language: Learn Japanese. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V.2 Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Brave: Shamen’s Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . South Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Away: Shuffle Dungeon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . V.2 Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 10th Mind, Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 24th Animal Planet: Emergency Vets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard . . . . . . . . Apr 24th Mind, Body & Soul: MinDStorm II. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 24th

Pokémon Platinum Nintendo, May 22nd

The latest in the Pokémon franchise is the comprehensive remake of Diamond and Pearl, a duo of titles that sold 15 million units worldwide.

Imagine Movie Star Ubisoft May 22nd

Ubisoft’s girls games range has been a big hit on DS, and Imagine Movie Star is the latest in the line, inviting players to live it up as an A-list celeb.

Drivers Ed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Apr 27th Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oxygen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st 2009 Aqua Panic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Life Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Russell Grant’s Astrology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Rhythm Paradise. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slitherine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 2009 PDC World Championship Darts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oxygen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 2009 DJ Star . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Gardening Mama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Interactive . . . . . . . . . . May 1st Hannah Montana: The Movie Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Disney Interactive . . . . . . . . . . May 1st X-Men Origins: Wolverine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard. . . . . . . . . . May 1st Coraline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3Publisher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 8th My Happy Kitchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 8th Roogoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . South Peak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 15th Line Rider: Freestyle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver. . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Pokemon Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Diva Girls: Princess on Ice 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Imagine Movie Star . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Diva Girls: Making The Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slitherine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Mind, Body & Soul: Nutrition Matters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 22nd Moorhuhn: Atlantis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 29th Moorhuhn: The Pharaoh’s Treasure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 29th Neighbours From Hell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JoWood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May 29th Anno Create A New World. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Casper’s Scare School - Spooky Sports Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Big Foot Collision Course. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Puzzle Kingdoms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Ice Age 3: Dawn of Dinosaurs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Ico Soccer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Bean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Monster Racers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Koei . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Overlord: Minions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codemasters . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard . . . . . . . Jun 2009 DJ Star . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 5th Walk With Me! Do you know your walking routine? . . . . . . . . Nintendo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 5th Super Dodgeball Brawlers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Clever Kids: Pet Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th World Cup of Pool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Indiana Jones And The Staff Of Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard. . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Super Speed Machines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Galactik Football. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 12th Mean Girls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 19th Emergency Rescue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 19th My Pet Parrot/ On the Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jun 19th Pony Life (Whitakers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deep Silver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 19th Ghostbusters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 19th Beauty Salon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 505 Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jun 26th Dirt 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codemasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q3 2009 Garfield Gets Real . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q3 2009 Dragonology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Codemasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q3 2009 Clever Kids: Maths/Spelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aug 28th Digitars Fiesta. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aug 28th Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q4 2009 Chicken Shooter 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zoo Digital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q4 2009 Planet 51 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q4 2009 G.I. Joe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2009 MySims Racing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2009 Aliens Vs Predator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Q1 2010


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Going over the lines When the DSi hits shelves next week, it will be escorted by an armada of optional extras. Peripheral vendors have spent months working hard to provide everything owners of the new handheld could possibly need from day one. James Batchelor offers a guide to the new products... LOGIC 3

INDUSTRY VETERAN Logic 3 has a total of nine new products ready for the DSi launch. The company is focusing on accessory packs and charging solutions. The firm’s flagship product is the DSi Deluxe Pack, which boasts the highest price point of the range at £19.99. The pack includes everything gamers could possibly need, including a carry case, earphones with microphone, AC

adaptor, car charger, USB charging cable, screen protector set, two replacement styluses, four games cases, a cleaning cloth and a wrist strap. Alternatives of this bundle are available at lower prices, from £9.99 to £14.99, and contain varying amounts of the Deluxe’s contents. The additional products are the DSi Pro

Pack, DSi Starter Kit and DSi Survival Kit. There will also be two considerably cheaper packs. The DSi Essential Pack contains replacement styluses, screen protector set and a cleaning cloth for £3.99. The DSi Stylus Pack features four replacement styluses for a mere £2.99

Logic 3 will be making its key peripherals available separately, such as protective cases and the various charging solutions. These include the standard AC adaptor and a car charger with detachable USB charging cable.

CONTACT Logic 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000

VENOM VENOM HAS TAKEN inspiration from the success of its own DS Lite range when preparing its DSi line-up, readying 13 new products for launch. New additions include the company’s metal polycarboanate case, a metal silver stylus and the Extras Pack Plus. Venom has also updated the popular Flip & Play case, a product brought to the UK in conjunctuion with European vendor Bigben Interactive.

CONTACT Venom ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................01763 272927


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ANTIGRAV

THE DISTRIBUTOR is continuing its relationship with Japanese peripherals manufacturer Hori, bringing the company’s new DSi products to Europe in time for the device’s launch. The key selling point of Hori’s products is that they are officially licensed by Nintendo, ensuring quality protection for the DSi.

The initial line-up includes three types of carry case, including the DSi Compact Case, the luxury DSi Compact Pouch and the DSi Cosme Pouch. These cases not only house the handheld itself, but also store the user’s game cards. Also available are protective filters and stylus pen sets, that offer improved protection for both screens.

CONTACT Antigrav Media. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01785 816858

PINPOINT

SUNFLEX

PINPOINT WILL BE releasing a range of accessory bundles under its Enigma brand, with prices ranging from £9.99 to £14.99. The Premium Pack features a console case, earphones, stylus, game chases, chargers, carry strap, cleaning cloth and screen protectors. The Necessity Pack is a cut down version of the Premium, offering only the essentials.

EUROPEAN PERIPHERALS firm Sunflex has prepared a range of new products under its Snakebyte brand, including a range of cases and chargers. Cases come in crystal and silicon varieties, while the Travel Pack contains a case and various extras, including replacmenet styluses, chargers and game cases, which can all be purchased seperately.

CONTACT

CONTACT

Pinpoint: 01606 55828

Interactive Ideas: 0208 805 1000


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DS SPECIAL: DSI PERIPHERALS EXSPECT

EXSPECT IS FOCUSING on four new products for the launch of the DSi, which it has developed with the handheld’s unique features and additions in mind. The Essentials Pack looks to build on the success of other combination bundles that have sold so well on previous handheld consoles. The company’s DSi pack has been designed to cater for the new handheld’s

users with the inclusion of higher quality headphones, complementing the DSi’s improved audio quality and music playback functions. Additionally, a storage case that can hold up to six games, or a mixture of three games and three SD cards, is available.

The leather slip case replicates the design of Exspect’s high quality bestselling iPod cases, right down to the innovative pull-up cord that allows users to life the console effortlessly from within the case. For those seeking more durable protection for their DSi, the Shell Protection pack contains a hard outer

casing with a rubberised surface to house the handheld. This pack is available in the two standard colours of the DSi, allowing users to complement their console. Finally, the Media Storage & Transfer kit aims to make it easier for users to share pictures and music with each other thanks to a plug and play SD Card reader that connects to the PC, allowing them to transfer images.

CONTACT Exspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01477 533 477

MADCATZ MAD CATZ HAS added a number of new products to its already renowned roster of ‘Paks’, with three that really stand out. The Princess Pak is aimed at girls, allowing them to store their DSi in a furry handbag and protect up to four DS games in the wearable Game Case Bracelet. The Brain Pak is designed for use with Brain Training, with a durable case that allows users to hold their console safely in an upright position. The Audio Chat Pak features a comfortable headset with microphone.

CONTACT Mad Catz........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................01908 336538


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THE BEST DSiDEAS e don’t like to disappoint. So as the brand new DSi hits retail, we’ve prepared a great range of must-have accessories for you. Contact us to find out how you can make sure you’ve got them in stock in time for the biggest games launch this Easter. As you’d expect, the best DSideas are interactive…

W

SNAKEBYTE SILICON CASE

SUBSONIC ALL IN ONE CRYSTAL CASE

ENIGMA PREMIUM PACK

MAD CATZ PRINCESS PACK

Authorised distributor for:

SOFTWARE AND PERIPHERALS FOR EDUCATION, ENTERTAINMENT AND BUSINESS Tel: 0208 805 1000 email: sales@interactiveideas.com web: www.interactiveideas.com

For a full list of publishers and manufacturers that Interactive Ideas represent, visit www.interactiveideas.com


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DS SPECIAL: DSI PERIPHERALS

BLAZE

THE MAJORITY of Blaze’s line-up revolves around storage cases for the DSi. The vendor has prepared EVA carry cases, silicon skins and durable crystal cases, all available in a variety of colours. These are expected to have an RRP of £5.99. Blaze will also be releasing a DSi car charger for £6.99, allowing users to recharge their handheld via a car

cigarette lighter. However, the key product will be Xploder Cheats for DSi and DS Lite. An updated edition of the firm’s long running series of cheat cartridges, this will include codes and game saves for the platform’s most recent releases. It also doubles as media management software.

CONTACT Blaze . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01302 325225

BLUE OCEAN

DISTRIBUTED BY Koch, Blue Ocean’s accessories range will build on the success of the company’s products for DSi. The new line-up includes various protective cases and SD cards. The packs come in black, white and pink

varieties and include game cases, replacement styluses and earphones. A more sophisticated and comfortable headset is also available, with built-in microphone.

CONTACT Koch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0870 027 0985


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DS SPECIAL: DSI PERIPHERALS VIDIS

SPEEDLINK

TWO NEW bundles have been readied for the launch of the DSi, providing gamers with all the essential extras. The Small Tools Pack allows them to protect their device effectively. A game case stores up to six games, while the two replacement touch pens and two practical thumb

touch pens boast protective tips that reduce the damage to the touch screen. The Secure & Safe Pack features the same contents, although the game case is replaced with a rigid carry case for the handheld itself. Both packs feature quality cleaning cloths and screen-protecting films.

A RANGE of over 20 different accessories will be available from Vidis, with some products launching in the run-up to the DSi’s arrival. Key products include the firm’s two bundles: the Power Set and Travel Set. These contain such peripherals as chargers, cases, earphones and screen

protectors, and are designed to suit the user’s needs where they are travelling or simply keen to keep their battery topped up. The company also offers two protective containers in the form of a crystal case and a silicon skin, as well as retractable styluses with soft tips.

CONTACT

CONTACT

Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060

Vidis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sales@vidis.com


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DS SPECIAL: DSI PERIPHERALS WRAPSTAR

CONTINUING TO support all gaming formats, Wrapstar will be offering a range of skins custom made to suit the DSi. These skins will build on the success of Wrapstar’s DS and DS Lite versions, the company’s strongest products to date. They will come in a variety of

NINTENDO

designs, catering for all gamers’ tastes. As with all Wrapstar skins, the DSi versions will fit perfectly on the new handheld, taking into account the new camera on the top. They will also be interchangeable, leaving no residue when removed, so gamers can swap them on the fly.

THE PLATFORM holder itself will obviously be providing accessories that bear the quality and reliability found only in first-party products. A key peripheral the company is sure to push will be the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector. While not strictly a new product, this device

will find a whole new audience thanks to the advent of DSiWare and the growing number of online multiplayers inlcuded in the latest DS games. Nintendo will continue to innovate with hardware, such as the activity meters due this summer.

CONTACT

CONTACT

Wrapstar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0208 996 0650

Koch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0870 027 0985


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Sponsored by 34 MCV 27/03/09

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PERSONNEL

Zushi Games team begins to take shape Brown and Fitzpatrick take on manager roles  Ellis takes over IGN International  Two new faces at Venom ZUSHI GAMES  The new UK publisher has bolstered its team with two key appointments. CHRIS BROWN has joined as PR and marketing manager, whilst former Pinnacle exec MARTIN FITZPATRICK has signed up as UK sales manager. The new faces come as the publisher makes several changes as part of its major rebranding. Previously known as Zoo Digital Publishing, Zushi Games is relaunching itself after a management buyout in November. Brown said: “Having spent time working across a number

Brown (right) and Fitzpatrick (left) are set to take Zushi forward

of industries including mobile communications, IT and consumer finance, I simply couldn’t turn down an opportunity to work within what surely must be the most exciting and diverse industry in the world.

“It’s great to be on board at the launch of the new Zushi Games and I’m really looking forward to working on some exciting major developments with the team over the next few months and in the foreseeable future.”

No need to speak to ‘The Oracle’, contact TAC Europe to discover your future TAC Europe is one of the largest providers of IT staff in the UK. Our clients are currently looking for candidates for a number of vacancies in the gaming industry. Are you ‘The One’? Contact us on 01256 365 707 or email us at ict@taceurope.com and quote MATRIX

IGN  CHRIS ELLIS has been named senior vice president and managing director of IGN International. He will be responsible for all non-US operations across IGN Entertainment’s various online portals, including IGN.com, Rotten Tomatoes and AskMen. He will also work to strengthen the international IGN Entertainment business. VENOM  Two additions in marketing and logistics have bolstered the team at peripherals firm Venom.

TOM HODGE has joined as marketing manager, having graduated with a degree in Marketing Management in June. Meanwhile, MARC DAYNES has been appointed logistics manager, adding to his 12 years of experience in the electronics industry. “Tom is just out of university, and brings this knowledge along with his enthusiasm,” said Venom managing director CHRIS GARWOOD. “Marc has a wealth of experience in warehousing and logistics. Coupled with his love of gaming, he was the ideal choice to add to our team.”


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

DARKNESS FALLS Vin Diesel returns in the latest title in the acclaimed Riddick franchise. Page 36

WITH THIS ISSUE... The Nintendo DSi arrives at retail next week. MCV takes a closer look at the hardware launch of the year

ALSO THIS WEEK... ULTIMATE BAND P38 A specifically designed Wii take on Rock Band arrives via Disney VELVET ASSASSIN P40 South Peak’s World War II stealth ‘em up hits shelves next month DEMENTIUM: THE WARD P42 The self-confessed ‘scariest game on Nintendo DS’ lands at retail next week WANTED P43 Last year’s box office action smash Wanted gets a video game follow-up WE ROCK: DRUM KING P44 The first game in 505 Games’ We Rock franchise focuses on the drums VALKYRIE PROFILE P45 RPG specialist Square Enix brings yet another inventive adventure to DS PASS YOUR DRIVING TEST P46 Avanquest teaches the country’s learners how to pass their theory test

XZk`m`j`fe%Zfd Dfejk\ijmj%8c`\ej Ÿ)''0;i\XdNfibj8e`dXk`feCC:%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%>Xd\Ÿ)''08Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8Zk`m`j`fe`jXi\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibf]8Zk`m`j`feGlYc`j_`e^#@eZ%8cci`^_kji\j\im\[%D`Zifjf]k#N`e[fnj#k_\N`e[fnjM`jkXJkXikYlkkfe#OYfo#OYfo*-'#OYfoC@M<#Xe[k_\OYfocf^fjXi\kiX[\dXibjf]k_\D`Zifjf]k^iflgf]ZfdgXe`\j#Xe[Ê>Xd\j]fiN`e[fnjËXe[k_\N`e[fnjM`jkXJkXikYlkkfecf^fXi\lj\[le[\ic`Z\ej\]ifdD`Zifjf]k%ÊË#ÊGcXpJkXk`feËXe[ÊGC8PJK8K@FEËXi\i\^`jk\i\[kiX[\dXibjf]Jfep:fdglk\i<ek\ikX`ed\ek@eZ% E@EK<E;F;J#N``8E;K?<N``CF>F8I<KI8;<D8IBJF=E@EK<E;F%8ccfk_\ikiX[\dXibjXe[kiX[\eXd\jXi\k_\gifg\ik`\jf]k_\`ii\jg\Zk`m\fne\ij%


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RETAILBIZ: THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA 36 MCV 27/03/09

The eagerly awaited sequel to Escape From Butcher Buy finally arrives as Vin Diesel returns to the role of Riddick once more...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: Escape From Butcher Bay was one of the few titles to buck the trend of poor games with prestigious movie licences. Widely viewed as one of the best games on the original Xbox and similarly popular on PC, the game arguably boasted quality and production values to match that of its companion movie, The Chronicles Of Riddick. While there is no big screen sequel planned, Starbreeze was not about to let a viable gaming franchise fade into obscurity and has been working hard on a follow up to the original game, in the form of The Chronicles Of Riddick: Assault On Dark Athena. One of the many games to change hands in the wake of the Activision Blizzard merger, Dark Athena is now being handled by Atari, which is keen to build on the success of its predecessor. The story begins as Riddick’s ship is captured by the mysterious Dark Athena, a predatory ship full of mercenaries. As the former convict and the prisoners he

encounters battle for their lives, they discover that the Dark Athena’s victims are being transformed by its evil crew. RETURN TO BUTCHER BAY

Not content with offering them a whole new adventure, the developers have also grabbed consumers’ attention by

The action grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go. Those who didn’t play the original are in for a treat. Lee Kirton, Atari including an enhanced version of the first Riddick game. Escape From Butcher Bay has been completely remade from scratch using the current generation’s technology. The result is new textures, character models, animations and weapons, making the game look better than ever before. Starbreeze has reworked the gameplay, following feedback from the first title, ensuring that it plays better too. “Those who haven’t had a chance to play the original game are in for a treat and those that have will find a new

experience from the new Butcher Bay,” says Atari UK’s Head of PR Lee Kirton. “Both games are accessed from the start of the main menu on the same disc and a full multiplayer is also included. Pitch Black and Butcher Bay Riot are two of the new unique modes available that will keep frag fans entertained.” With the game already established as a tremendous value for money proposition for consumers, Atari is emphasising that the same classic gameplay from the original is still present. Riddick can take on his enemies in a variety of ways, blending hand-to-hand fighting with first-person shooting. Combat caters for all tastes as players can fight in the style that suits them best, whether they prefer to get up close and personal with their foes, utilising counter attacks to outmanoeuvre them, or gunning them down from a distance. As with Butcher Bay, Riddick can even use the darkness against his enemies with a range of stealth kills. “When the action begins, it grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go,” says


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RETAILBIZ: THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 37

MARKETING ASSAULT Assault On Dark Athena has already been on gamers’ lips for some time, but Atari is keen to ensure everyone is talking about Vin Diesel’s latest digital outing come release.

TRIUMPHANT RETURN: Vin Diesel stars as Riddick once again in Dark Athena

Kirton. “The gameplay mechanics mixes incredible brutal-stealth and all out gunplay throughout stunningly believable environments.”

RELEASED: APRIL 24 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC

 A major press ad campaign is planned, targeting core gaming, scifi, film and men’s titles. Atari will be taking advantage of the good prelaunch review scores and press coverage the game has already received, incorporating them into full-page ads in a manner similar to that of major film launch campaigns. The game has already been awarded 84 per cent in Xbox World, 8/10 in Official Playstation, Official Xbox and PSW, and 4/5 in Loaded and Total Film.

PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: STARBREEZE STUDIOS PRICE: VARIOUS

SUPPORTING CAST

DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE

Hollywood action man Vin Diesel returns to the title role of the formidable Riddick, lending both his likeness and voice to the game. However, that’s not where the ties to Tinseltown stop for Dark Athena, as the game boasts an all-star supporting cast and production values to rival some feature films. Stars including Lance Henrikson, Michelle Forbes, Wade Williams and Morgan Sheppard take on various roles, bringing experience from the sets of shows and films such as The Terminator, 24, Battlestar Galactica and Prison Break. The developers have also worked hard to make sure the quality of the game suits its performers. “Character cutscenes are developed using vo-cap, so you have incredibly believeable stories, which could be mistaken for actual movie quality,” Kirton explains. “These characters’ performances are superb and provide truly stand-out and memorable scenes.”

CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

FEAR THE DARK: The current gen technology brings a new level of tension as players use their darkness against their foes

Assault On Dark Athena is shaping up to be a massive hit. With both the franchise’s and studio’s reputation already riding high on the success of the first game, its sequel has been in the public eye for some time now. The simultaneous multi-format release date also ensures it will rack up higher sales than its Xbox predecessor. “Escape From Butcher Bay has a tremendous reputation amongst both gamers and Riddick fans, which we’ll look to build upon,” says Kirton. “It is important for us to communicate that customers will be getting two full games here for the price of one. “Dark Athena is not an expansion pack. It is a brand new game with stunning technology, believable characters and an immersive and brutal storyline. Plus, the acclaimed original has been strikingly remastered.”

 The publisher will also target gamers with a three-week online ad campaign centred around site takeovers, podcast sponsorships, banner advertising and video MPUs with gameplay trailers. New content will be seeded to online communities via social media websites and gaming and film forums in order to generate excitement leading up to launch.  Trade marketing activity will encompass pre-order promotions and new release shelves for key retail partners, with press attendance on launch days.  Cinema ads have been planned, which will be shown throughout April before features such as Vin Diesel’s latest Fast And Furious movie.  A heavily focused PR campaign weighted towards specialist press has ensured Riddick has received preview coverage on a monthly basis for the past six months, successfully creating anticipation for the game’s release. This has included several visits to Starbreeze’s studios, with video features on Eurogamer, Gamespot, Gametrailers and CVG.


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RETAILBIZ: ULTIMATE BAND 38 MCV 27/03/09

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ks to expand the E MUSIC: Disney see d THANK YOU FOR TH making Ultimate Ban by re gen on acti appeal of the rhythm e sibl pos as ce ien aud an accessible to as wide

Disney enters the rhythm-action space with its own contender to the likes of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Ultimate Band promises to broaden the genre’s appeal for families and younger gamers… by James Batchelor

sticks of the drummer or head up the band as the front man, gamers can take to the virtual stage and rock out to a range of popular tunes.

WHILE THE recession has had a detrimental effect on the public’s disposable income, it hasn’t had the FOR ALL THE FAMILY same influence on their desire to play All of the gameplay mechanics are rhythm-action games. mapped to motions with the Wii Remote Which is a shame, as those yearning and Nunchuk or the DS stylus, meaning to play the latest musical video game they can get straight into the action as sensation are now less likely to be able soon as they open the box. to do so thanks to the cost of the ever-expanding arsenal of peripherals. With Ultimate Band, we have Luckily, Disney has gone for a performancethe solution – in the baced game with wide appeal form of Ultimate Band. to tweens, teens and families. Developed for Wii and Burcin Ergin, Disney DS, this game allows players to experience While the likes of Guitar Hero and the thrills of being part of a rock band and perform in a variety of roles without Rock Band resonate best with the hardcore demographic, Disney has the need to buy expensive hardware for developed Ultimate Band with a wider the pleasure. audience in mind – particularly when it Whether they want to wield an axe comes to families and young gamers. as a guitar or bass player, take up the

“Most games in this genre have been music simulation experiences,” explains the publisher’s marketing manager Burcin Ergin. “With Ultimate Band, Disney Interactive Studios has gone for a performance-based music video game with wide appeal to tweens, teens and families alike. “The game incorporates performance moves integrated into the rhythm-based gameplay, giving you the thrill of being a rock star. You can hit notes as well as moving, and all without peripherals – using just your Wii Remote and Nunchuk.


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RETAILBIZ: ULTIMATE BAND WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 39

“You can make the performance exactly what you want it to be.” There are 30 songs available in the Wii version, with another 15 in the handheld DS edition. Whether you’re a fan of Plain White T’s, Pink, The Who or Radiohead, there’s something for everyone within the game’s roster. BAND TOGETHER

Rather than playing as the artists themselves or some pre-created generic bands, players can customise their group to their own tastes, making their own unique artists. These characters can

then be used in the extensive Story mode, charting the course of a teenage band from practise sessions in their garage to fame and fortune. Multiplayer is available on each version, allowing gamers to compete against or play alongside friends and see who is the best performer. There is even cross-platform multiplayer available, as DS owners take control of the stage’s spectacular lighting and pyrotechnics set-ups to complement the Wii player’s performance. This is the first time a game will allow gamers to control every element of the gig, getting the full experience of being a professional rock star. With so many rhythm-action games on the market, Disney is working hard to make Ultimate Band stand out and raise awareness of the game amongst a wider audience. Marketing initiatives will be spread across the three pillars of print, online and television.

RELEASED: APRIL 10 FORMATS: WII, DS PUBLISHER: DISNEY INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: FALL LINE STUDIO PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

There will be a three-month print campaign, with ads appearing in a range of key children’s magazines and publications. Similarly, ads will appear on selected websites with a younger readership, including Piczo, Miniclip and, of course, numerous Disney-owned sites. Finally, two TV campaigns have been arranged. The first will be on a range of national kids channels, while the second with be on specifically made for children’s channel Nickelodeon and complement the dedicated microsite online. The whole marketing push will be supported by an extensive PR campaign targeting kids, tweens and families.


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RETAILBIZ: VELVET ASSASSIN 40 MCV 27/03/09

South Peak offers a different World War II gaming experience as it draws inspiration from a historical heroine for Velvet Assassin...

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor WORLD WAR II has been fully explored by the games industry, with the historical period depicted in the likes of first-person shooters and realtime strategy games. Yet despite the plethora of titles available, developers and publishers continue to innovate and find new ways to present the conflict in new ways. South Peak’s Velvet Assassin offers a new approach to the war. Rather than following the generic trend of trigger-happy FPS titles, it challenges players with more cautious gameplay. Shying away from all-out action, the game focuses on stealth as gamers try to sabotage the Nazi war effort. “Velvet Assassin is a WWII game with a different take on the period, so instead of being a first-person shooter, the game plays out more like a stealth‘em-up,” says South Peak’s product marketing manager Ed Blincoe. “It’s pretty brutal so will appeal to those gamers who like a bit of blood and gore to help them along their journey through World War II. We fully expect players to find this a fresh and alternative take on a period of history that has become fairly stagnated in gaming.”

relives the missions she went on in her lifetime, players must complete them in order to progress. As a result, the visuals take on a more dreamlike style than traditional WWII titles. Each of the real-life locations visited during the game are modelled realistically but with an eerie lighting to represent Violette’s struggling mind. However, the key point about the gameplay is the combat. Swift execution is favoured over drawn out confrontation, as We fully expect players to players are encouraged find this a fresh take on a to kill their enemies without being period of history that has detected. A become stagnated in gaming. range of stealth Ed Blincoe, South Peak kills are at their disposal, from a simple stab in the back to luring a soldier into various forms of sabotage. Players will deadly traps. find their objectives ranging from “Violette is a bit of a ninja when gathering intelligence and reconnaissance it comes to silently killing people – to assassinating key Nazi figures and even slipping cyanide to captured British the game features fifty of the finest ways to take down a Nazi soldier,” says operatives to prevent them from talking. Blincoe. “My personal favourite is TO DIE FOR stabbing them in the balls then Adding to the unique nature of the delivering a quick knife to the brain.” gameplay, Velvet Assassin even offers a There are even some very cool ways more creative method of storytelling. to use various environmental objects The game’s narrative is presented in the against them as well, such as igniting a form of flashbacks, as Violette lies in pool of gasoline and watching those evil hospital suffering from a coma. As she Nazis burn. Players take on the role of British secret agent Violette Summer, inspired by the real-life war heroine Violette Szabo. Summer feels compelled to help the war effort in London in any way she can. Starting as a worker in the weapons industry, she is soon noticed by the Secret Services for her beauty, athleticism and attention to detail. Missions generally involve sneaking behind enemy lines and carrying out


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RETAILBIZ: VELVET ASSASSIN WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 41

KILLER LOOKS: Violette Summer is considerably more brutal than most video game heroines, displaying a ruthless repertoire of shocking moves

“We’ve put a movie reel together of all the different ways to kill people in the game and it’s pretty shocking viewing. Everyone we’ve shown it too has had at least one nightmare and some have had weeks of restless nights,” says Blincoe

RELEASED: APRIL 24 FORMATS: 360, PC PUBLISHER: SOUTH PEAK DEVELOPER: REPLAY STUDIOS PRICE: £39.99 (360); £29.99 (PC) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

MISSION PROFILE

South Peak is targeting male gamers aged 15 to 24 with an interest in World War II games or the stealth action genre. The company will be using a mixture of print, online and TV marketing to communicate with this audience. “Interest in the game should come from two different audiences – those who like stealth-‘em-up action games such as Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid, Assassins Creed, etc, and those who play a lot of WWII games,” Blincoe adds. “The reach of that audience will be a lot broader than usual

as well, with the presence of the BBFC 15 certificate.” The broad consumer print and online campaign will feature print ads in men’s lifestyle publications, including FHM, Empire, Zoo and Nuts. There will also be high-performing video MPUs, site takeovers and overlays on FHM Online and the Stuff, Nuts and Zoo websites. TV sponsorship bumpers have also been arranged, which will appear for three weeks around the game’s release on satellite channels such as Bravo and FX. The ads will run after 9pm and are designed to show off the game’s more impressive stealth kills.

THE REAL VELVET ASSASSIN The game’s protagonist Violette Summer is modelled on historical figure Violette Szabo, who was a renowned undercover secret agent for the Special Operations Executive in occupied France during the Second World War. Volunteering for duty in France shortly after her husband was killed,

Lieutenant Szabo survived several missions behind enemy lines, gathering data on the German forces. She was captured by the Gestapo and sent to a concentration camp, where she was one of hundreds of prisoners who were executed in 1945. Szabo was posthumously awarded the George Cross.


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RETAILBIZ: DEMENTIUM: THE WARD 42 MCV 27/03/09

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The survival horror genre takes a rare trip to Nintendo’s DS, courtesy of South Peak’s Dementium: The Ward… by James Batchelor THE SURVIVAL horror genre is one that seems to never dwindle in popularity. With Resident Evil 5 currently dominating the charts, following the successful release of titles such as F.E.A.R 2 and House Of The Dead: Overkill, battling the undead clearly still pushes consumers’ buttons. It stands to reason, then, that gamers wish to take on the not-so-dearly departed when they’re on the move too, and South Peak’s upcoming DS release will give them the chance to do just that. Dementium: The Ward is an ambitious survival horror title bringing everything that makes the genre popular to Nintendo’s bestselling handheld. Trapped in a derelict hospital with no memory of who they are or how they ended up there, players must explore the dark, dank corridors to find the truth and escape in one piece. In the hospital they will encounter hideous monsters and other abominations too horrifying to even contemplate. “This is the scariest DS game to date – fact,” says South Peak’s product marketing manager Ed Blincoe. “Dementium is a survival horror game that tells the tale of a man who wakes to find himself alone in a mysterious and abandoned hospital.

“Played from the first person perspective, you’re confronted by grotesque surgical experiements wandering the halls and must face your deepest fears to unlock the mystery of the hospital and escape with your life.” The use of the first person perspective, as has been proven by previous titles in the genre, heightens the tension as players have to check each room carefully, for fear of being ambushed by hideous and twisted monsters. Gamers are armed only with a torch to light their way, but they must be cautious if they don’t want to draw the attention of too many of the hospital’s inhabitants.

HORROR STORIES

As players progress through the title, they will discover weapons that offer a better form of defence against their foes. The use of the DS’s unique control scheme ensures that aiming is considerably more accurate than that of console-based survival horror titles, limited as they are by the dependency on two analogue sticks. However, the developers haven’t relied solely on conflict to send shivers down players’ spines. The intriguing story unfolds as more of the hospital is

discovered and users may find themselves wishing they had not gone in search of the truth as the game culminates in its reportedly shocking conclusion. “Dementium offers a completely new experience on the DS and also offers a

Dementium is a scary, scary game that really pushes the DS to its technical limits with great graphics and audio. Ed Blincoe, South Peak unique psychological experience; one that challenges the mind to ask questions and think beyond the surface of the in-game surroundings,” says Blincoe. “So obviously, we’re expecting a few soiled underpants.” Visually, the game is very impressive for a Nintendo DS title. Able to render darkness and shadows, the hospital corridors are just as creepy as anything found in console titles today. It’s not just the graphics that have been used to strike fear into handheld gamers’ hearts either – sound also plays an important part in the game. “Dementium is a scary, scary game that really pushes the DS to its technical limits with great graphics and some cool audio,” Blincoe explains.

“Play the game in the dark with a decent pair of headphones and you’ll see what we’re talking about. One of our number even squeals like a little girl when he plays it in the office.” The majority of marketing for Dementium will be focused online. South Peak has targeted a range of horror and movie websites, such as Gorezone, Bizarre and Total Film. The publisher will also communicate with hardcore games and horror fans via social networking sites, including Myspace and Facebook, as well as placing ads on specialist gaming websites. “Dementium has reviewed exceptionally well and will appeal to hardcore DS gamers, along with the guys that usually come in for a 360 or PS3 title,” says Blincoe. “Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead fans will love this game, and the BBFC 15 certificate will really broaden the audience.”

RELEASED: APRIL 3 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SOUTH PEAK DEVELOPER: RENEGADE KID PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


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RETAILBIZ: WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 43

RELEASED: APRIL 3 FORMATS: 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: WARNER BROS DEVELOPER: GRIN UNIVERSAL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3896

Warner prepares to unleash Weapons Of Fate, the official video game companion to last year’s bullet-curving blockbuster Wanted, bringing some of the most intense shootouts seen this year…

On the game’s various missions, players must use abilities such as curving bullets and focusing their adrenaline to slow down time in order to gain an edge in combat. Only by chaining these together and making effective use of cover will they become unstoppable. “The main feature revolves around the cover system,” says Warner’s UK marketing manager Phil Lamb. “You are

by James Batchelor

ONE OF THE greatest challenges of handling a movie-licensed game is the strict deadline of releasing it alongside the silver screen source material. As tight as video game developing can be, the pressure of working to Hollywood’s schedule is arguably one of the toughest tests the industry faces. Some games forego this trend and release when they are ready. Warner Bros is Retailers shouldn’t expect preparing to unleash one your average ‘film game’. such example in the form of Wanted: Weapons Of This is a solid extension of Fate, based on the 2008 the whole Wanted franchise. action blockbuster. Phil Lamb, Warner Bros However, rather than merely producing a straightforward rewarded with improvements to your adaptation of the movie’s shenanigans, reaction speed and agility when you Weapons Of Fate actually serves as a chain cover points to stump and flank direct sequel, picking up the story a few your assailants. hours after the film’s climax. “You can even curve bullets around The game holds true to the both the corners, and a perfect kill shot will follow film and the original graphic novel’s the bullet’s trajectory from gun to target core themes and concepts. Players take in glorious slow motion.” on the role of Wesley Gibson and his SHARP SHOOTERS father Cross (played once more by Given that both the film and DVD Thomas Kretschmann), two superrelease have long since passed, Warner powered assassins waging war against a is pulling out all the stops to raise secret fraternity of killers.

awareness of the brand for Wanted: Weapons Of Fate. Firstly, the publisher has employed a volume deal with Bauer publishing to run DPS advertorials in film and men’s lifestyle publications, such as FHM, Zoo and Empire. “These outline how Weapons Of Fate is an expansion of the franchise rather than a ‘film game’ per se by focusing on how this is the next chapter in the Wanted story along with features on the characters, the surreal action and over-the-top kill moves,” explains Lamb. This partnership also extends online, with banners running across Bauer’s male lifestyle sites and driving users to the game’s microsite. There they can find game info, trailers, screens and a competition to will a TV, PS3 and an ‘Assassin’ weekend for up to four friends. Elsewhere online, pre-roll trailers will be run across a variety of video-ondemand sites, targeting males aged 18 to 34 that are film and comic fans. Rich media advertising will also appear across numerous other key website. Other media partnerships include a deal with Vice, which will include ads and features centred around the game.

Vice will also support a microsite, with banners and pre-roll trailers in its own VoD section. As part of this deal, Warner will be holding an exclusive consumer and tastemaker event in central London to promote the game. The public will be treated to alive show from the band UNKLE, who has remixed the main theme tune from the movie, as well as sets from other greats DJs and performers. There will also be a chance to sample the game for themsleves and take away some exclusive merchandise. Finally, a two-week TV campaign will appear on Sky Sports, Setanta, E4, Dave, Bravo, Sky Movies, Fiver and TMF. A second TV promotions campaign is already supporting this, with three different creatives running for four weeks from March 23rd. “Retailers shouldn’t expect your average ‘film game’,” says Lamb. “This is a solid extension of the whole Wanted franchise, a brand new chapter building on the story laid down in the original comic and the film. “Also, this has a quality development team behind it in the form of Grin who have applied some really unique gaming mechanics and features.”


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RETAILBIZ: WE ROCK: DRUM KING 44 MCV 27/03/09

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RELEASED: APRIL 9 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: ARC SYSTEM WORKS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

With the Guitar-based market already oversaturated, 505 Games turns its attention to drumming, dedicating an entire game to arguably the most enjoyable instrument to play…

by James Batchelor WITH MUSIC games more popular than ever, 505 Games is launching a new range to capitalise on this lucrative market, and the first title due for release is We Rock: Drum King. “Drum King is our first game under the We Rock brand,” explains UK product manager Juliette Fielder. “This is a long-term commitment from us and you’ll see major extensions for the brand in the future. “We’re reaching out to an under-served market in the music category. For all the talk of music games bringing a new, casual audience to gaming, it still takes a pretty hardcore consumer to invest £150 in a game. We’ve provided a costeffective entry into music gaming, giving you all the fun without having to invest in pricey peripherals.” Drum King sees aspiring drummers rock out with either a Wii Remote and Nunchuk or two Remotes. The experience is one that Wii owners have been yearning for since the console’s concept was first presented in video form, meaning that demand for this game is sky high.

The game’s setlist features a range of classic and contemporary hits, with artists such a Queen, Blur, The Police and Fall Out Boy. All of the tracks have been selected for their memorable drumbeats, from the iconic We Will Rock You and Born To Be Wild to the more modern Song 2 and Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous.

Retailers should expect a game with great crossgenerational appeal, a fresh look and a brilliant set list. Juliette Fielder, 505 Games The game’s accessible gameplay and familiar song collection means Drum King has a remarkably wide appeal, offering something for everyone. “We’re aiming at the gamer who doesn’t have much time to play games, but when he does, he enjoys it and loves the social element,” says Fielder. “These gamers want a title they can pick up and play but they still want a challenge. And it doesn’t hurt that it has a killer multiplayer – we’ve already had Drum King parties around the office.”

505 Games has prepared an extensive marketing campaign to promote We Rock across all forms of media. Single page ads will appear in national press, including a dedicated campaign in Metro. The online campaign will last for three weeks, with ads appearing on men’s lifestyle websites, including The Sun, Zoo, FHM, and Nuts. These ads will also support the TV spots, which will be running for two weeks on Dave. Furthermore, 505 has secured a partnership with Absolute Radio, which will see promotions on The Breakfast Show. This will drive listeners to the Drum King micro site, which is hosted by Absolute Radio. Finally, there will be considerable PR activity with Metro and London Lite, as well as a massive PR campaign targeted a variety of men’s lifestyle, entertainment, regional and national press publications. “Retailers should expect a game with great cross-generational appeal, a fresh look, ideal USP and a brilliant set-list,” says Fielder. “It’s a fantastic game to demo in-store – you won’t forget the sight of a gamer flailing his arms to the biggest rock hits in a hurry.”


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RETAILBIZ: VALKYRIE PROFILE WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 45

Square Enix’s Valkyrie Profile series makes it debut on DS, bringing fresh RPG experiences from the masters of the popular genre…

RELEASED: APRIL 3 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: TRI-ACE PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 7324 5200

by James Batchelor THE DS HAS seen the migration of countless notable, classic franchises that were previously exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation formats. Square Enix has been particularly active in this area, bringing its flagship franchises Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest to the dual-screened handheld. Now the publisher will release another of its long-running series on the format, with the upcoming debut of Valkyrie Profile: Covenant Of The Plume. The latest in the series follows a young soldier named Wylfred as he seeks revenge against the Valkyries that killed his father. In Covenant, Wylfred finds himself in Midgard where the two princes of the Kingdom of Artolia are battling for succession to the throne. Meanwhile, neighbouring nations Villnore and Crell Monferaigne are monitoring the situation, ready to take advantage at a moment’s notice. Not only does Wylfred have to deal with his own vendetta quest, he also has to dispel the tensions between the warring factions and bring peace to the land once more. As with any strategy RPG, this essentially boils down to a whole lot of battling, with genre mainstays such as special attacks and XP-gathering all present. However, far from being a mere gameplay mechanic, the combat is actually crucial to the story’s progression. This not only makes the plot more compelling and less predictable, it also offers a form of narrative interaction considerably more innovative than the traditional dialogue trees. Decisions made in battle will affect several things, from major plot developments to the protagonist’s personality. As a result, the game boasts multiple endings, adding to Valkyrie Profile’s replayability, and the

Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume brings excitement and accessibility to the tactical RPG genre.

RPG MASTERS: Square is set to bring yet another classic series to Nintendo’s dual screen platform

Craig Parker-Wood, Square Enix

” knowledge that their choices have such a profound effect gives the gamer that often-coveted feeling of power. BURDENS OF A FEATHER

One of the elements used to instigate these choices is the game’s namesake, the Destiny Plume. Granted to Wylfred by Queen Hel during the early stages of the game, this powerful artefact holds both a fantastic and deadly power. Used on one of the many allies the hero can recruit to his cause, the magical black feather boosts their abilities and teaches new ones. Once

the bond between Wylfred and his companion is strong, the Destiny Plume grants them limitless power, making them able to win entire battles singlehandedly with devastating attacks. Unfortunately, this will cost the ally’s life, so players need to consider carefully before sacrificing their friends for the sake of a battle. While there are around 20 characters to recruit to Wylfred’s party, once an ally dies they are lost forever, having a significant effect on the storyline and the game’s conclusion.

“Valkyrie Profile: Covenant Of The Plume bring excitement and accessibility to the tactical RPG genre,” says Square Enix’s assistant product manager Craig Parker-Wood. “With multiple plot branches and numerous endings, the final outcome is truly in the hands of the player.” Over the years, the Nintendo DS has gathered an impressive audience for each of its most popular genres and RPGs are no exception. As a result, Square Enix is targeting a massive demographic with Valkyrie Profile, catering for fans of the publisher’s previous games, adventure and RPG aficionados and even followers of anime and manga. The company will be marketing the game through a range of trade marketing initiatives, competitions and PR, raising awareness with a soundtrack CD that will be made available around the game’s release.


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RETAILBIZ: PASS YOUR DRIVING THEORY TEST 46 MCV 27/03/09

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The dreaded driving theory exam just got a whole lot easier with the arrival of Pass Your Driving Theory Test for Nintendo DS… by Christopher Dring IF YOU thought reversing into a parking space was the toughest part of the driving test, then you should take a closer look at what’s expected from the theory exam. Nowadays millions of eager learners are expected to know everything from stopping distances and speed limits, to first aid and basic mechanics. And with the price of learning to drive escalating, the need to pass first time has never been more important – especially when you consider 40 per cent of those who take the theory test fail it (according to DSA data published for the 2003-2004 period). Fortunately the team at Avanquest has just the solution, with the latest in DS driving theory software. Pass Your Driving Theory Test for Nintendo DS boasts all 1,265 official DSA questions for both cars and motorcycles, and users are given the option to customise their revision too, in order to fine tune their knowledge. “Pass Your Driving Theory Test DS will be highly sought after due to a constantly replenishing and large market,” claims Avanquest’s European games director Simon Reynolds. “It offers great value for money with four effective test modes that enable users to assess themselves; DSA Test, where learner drivers can test themselves on questions from one of the 14 official DSA categories; Custom Test, allowing users to customise an exam to specify the number of questions; Mock Theory Test, where learners are given 57 minutes to answer 50 questions to see if they are ready for their official theory test; and Quick Test, enabling driving students to complete a rapid revision session of randomly selected, timed questions.” MONEY SAVING

Today, the driving theory test costs £30 for each attempt, which places learners under extra pressure to pass first time, and at just £19.99 Avanquest’s driving theory title could prove great value for money. Furthermore, as a special promotion with Learner Driver Centres,

consumers will be offered a free driving lesson with each copy of the game. “Pass Your Driving Theory Test DS is a cost effective tool to greatly increase the chance of passing first time,” continues Reynolds.

Driving Theory Test for DS should help drive sales not just for Easter, but throughout the rest of the year too. “Over 1.5 million people take a driving test every year in the UK, which makes the target audience very large,” continues Reynolds. Over 1.5 million people take a “However, driving test every year in the we are UK, making our target primarily audience very large. targeting younger Simon Reynolds, Avanquest learners aged “Learner Driver Centres, one of the 17-20 years old that are likely to own a UK’s largest driving schools, is also DS. Driving instructors will also be an offering a free driving lesson with one of important audience to reach as they can their 600 nationwide instructors. The recommend the game to their pupils.” lesson is worth up to £26 and is available Avanquest is planning an extensive to everyone who purchases the title.” PR campaign in support of the game. With millions of new learners arriving This push is targeting motoring, on the roads every year, Pass Your consumer technology, parenting,

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: AVANQUEST DEVELOPER: UACARI PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

national and lifestyle press (both print and online) with an array of reviews, interview and competitions. And the firm is confident the game will be a big retail hit. “According to statistics from ChartTrack, the PC driving test market was worth a massive £4.5m in 2007,” concludes Reynolds. “With little competition on DS, we believe that Pass Your Driving Theory Test has the potential to be one of the most successful interactive driving tuition guides on the market today.”


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 47

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Little King to rule the High Street Rising Star Games is set to release its biggest title since No More Heroes in the form of impressive Wii RPG, Little King’s Story, whilst EA gears up to launch its highly anticipated open world movie tie-in, The Godfather II... TITLE

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TELEPHONE

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Music FPS RPG Flight Sim Action Sports Action Action RPG Action Sports Racing

Nordic Games South Peak Square Enix The Fighter Collection Microsoft Playlogic Zoo Digital Ubisoft Square Enix Playlogic Blade Interactive Zoo Digital

+46 54 854 750 0121 625 3388 020 7324 5200 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 020 7324 5200 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800

Open Centresoft Open Gem Gem Centresoft Gem Trilogy Open Centresoft Koch Gem

Wii Wii

Children's Music

505 Games 505 Games

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V.2 Play South Peak South Peak THQ THQ Zoo Digital Ghostlight Bluestone V.2 Play South Peak Zoo Digital EA Disney Interactive

0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388

Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Advantage Gem Open Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem Centresoft Centresoft

PSP / PC / Wii / PS2 PSP PSP Wii PSP

Action Action RTS Puzzle RPG

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

Simulation Action/Adventure Action Self-Improvement RPG/Action Puzzle Self-Improvement Action Strategy Music

Activision Blizzard Atari Koei Deep Silver Rising Star Games 505 Games 505 Games Nordcurrent Nintendo EA

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Wii XBOX 360 DS / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360

Puzzle Compilation Rhythm Action

Konami Atari Konami

020 8987 5730 0121 506 9585 020 8987 5730

Open Advantage Open

APRIL 3rd Dance Party Club Hits/Pop Hits Dementium Disgaea DS DSC: Black Shark Ninja Blade Pool Hall Pro Smiley World Island Challenge Tenchu Shadow Assassins Valkyrie Profile: Covenant Of The Plume Vertigo WSC Real 09: World Snooker Championship Yamaha Supercross

APRIL 9th Diva Girls: Princess on Ice/Diva Dancers We Rock: Drum King

APRIL10th Away: Shuffle Dungeon Brave: A Warrior's Tale Brave: Shamen's Challenge Company Of Heroes: Anthology Company Of Heroes: Tales Of Valor Love Is... In Bloom Mary King's Riding School 2 Metal Slug Collection Mind Your Language: Learn Japanese/Spanish Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball Skate City Heroes The Godfather II Ultimate Band

APRIL17th CID The Dummy Dragonball Evolution Mytran Wars Octomania Phantasy Star Portable

APRIL 24th Animal Planet: Emergency Vets Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 Little King's Story Mind, Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book Mind, Body & Soul: MindStorm II Minon: Everyday Hero New Play Control! Pikmin 2 Rock Band 2

APRIL MISC Marbles! Balance Challenge Namco Museum Virtual Arcade Rock Revolution

MUSTSTOCK ...................LITTLE KING’S STORY

MUSTSTOCK ........................THE GODFATHER II

Released: April 24th Format: Wii Publisher: Rising Star Distributor: Mastertronic Contact: 01582 433 700

Released: April 10th Format: PC, PS3, 360 Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Rising Star’s charming new Wii RPG is shaping up to be another classic, with some already impressive review scores. The publisher is supporting the game with a big marketing push online, in print and on the road, to ensure plenty of exposure.

The gorgeous looking follow-up to EA’s critical and commercial hit The Godfather arrives at retail this month. The title allows gamers to build their own family, go online and relive the greatest moments from The Godfather II. Expect film and GTA fans to snap up this one.


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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 48 MCV 27/03/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

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TITLE/FORMAT

RESIDENT EVIL 5 FORMAT: 360

2

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3

TOM CLANCY H.A.W.X 360

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8

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7

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10

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11

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SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT Wii

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TOM CLANCY H.A.W.X PS3

UBISOFT CAPCOM

14

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RESIDENT EVIL 5 STEELBOOK EDITION PS3

15

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SOCOM CONFRONTATION SOLUS PS3

16

18

MARIO KART WII Wii

17

RE

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SONY NINTENDO EA

18

NEW

19

9

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360

20

12

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR 360

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RESIDENT EVIL INFECTS THE CHARTS THE LATEST instalment in Capcom’s longrunning Resident Evil series dominates this week’s Indie Charts, taking four places in the Top 20 including the top two positions. Together, the standard Xbox 360 and PS3 versions alone represented 30 per cent of Indie sales this week, showing how popular Resident Evil 5 is. However, the Limited Edition Steelbook versions of the game haven’t proved to be so popular. The two products had to settle into the lower half of the Top 20, accounting for a minimal amount of the week’s sales. While it’s possible that not all

“A surprising performer was Persona 4, which showed fans of cult franchises clearly prefer Indie retailers for their gaming needs.” triple-A titles require a special edition on day one, this could also be an indication of indie retailers being denied sufficient stock of such products. On that note, the stand-alone edition of SOCOM Confrontation was outsold by the bundle version, which included a PS3 wireless headset. Despite the recession, consumers appear to be more than happy to fork out for a higher price point when hardware is included. A surprising performer was Persona 4. The game outsold other new entries such as the solus edition of SOCOM, the Resident Evil Steelbooks and Sonic And The Black Knight. Since it failed to place in the Top 40 of the mainstream charts, fans of cult franchises such as this clearly prefer Indie retailers for their gaming needs. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

from the frontline is Gavin Edginton, FROM THE FRONTLINE Reporting manager of GameXchange UK’s Stretford store… What makes your store unique? The overall size of the store is a big bonus, allowing us to stock a huge range of games while maintaining high merchandising standards and dedicating prominent areas to the latest releases. The company as a whole offers an excellent membership scheme, generous trade-in prices, competitive pricing and a flexible returns policy, all provided by friendly, knowledgeable gamers. What challenges are you facing at the moment? Increased competition from the nonspecialist sector. The online giants and supermarkets who often offer customers pricing below our cost price, giving us no chance.

What is currently selling well? The Xbox 360 is easily our best selling format with the PS3 coming in second. Games like Killzone 2, Street Fighter IV and Resident Evil 5 have flown off the shelves in recent weeks. What is underperforming? Anything from Nintendo just isn’t selling in our stores because we can’t get it into stock in the first place. The broadening of the market outside our customer base and the sheer volume of average titles being released has decimated third party DS game sales with unit sales actually down on this platform compared to two years ago. This has been exacerbated by the industry spectre of piracy.

ble at a l i a v All A

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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MCV 27/03/09 49 Sponsored by

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Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

This hardcore DSi bundle is £179.99 and contains a black or white DSi and copies of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and Call Of Duty: World At War.

Those looking out for a PS3 can pick up the 80Gb unit bundled with two best-selling Sony’s Killzone 2 and Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV for £309.99.

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For £229.99, gamers can pick up an Xbox 360 Elite with Resident Evil 5, Project Gotham Racing and an extra black wireless controller to match.

ESSENTIALLY similar to a prepaid telephone card, the Wallie-card offers a quick, effective and safe way for gamers to keep their online funds topped up for use with a range of popular games, as well as music and video portals. The card can be sold in variations of £5, £10, £20 or £50 and features a special code on the back. Consumers simply scratch off the grey layer and enter the code where needed online, providing the site accepts Wallie as a payment. This required amount is then deducted from the credit on the card, which effectively serves as an Internet wallet. If they run out of credit, they simply purchase a new card. Crucially, Wallie is a safe means of Internet payment.

Consumers never have to enter their name or bank details – just their unique code. It is currently accepted by a range of MMOs, including Guild Wars, Age Of Conan, EVE Online and Star Wars Galaxies. Wallie: 0207 153 1031


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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 50 MCV 27/03/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEW

3 2 NEW

4 10 8 5 13

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA PERSONA 4 SQUARE ENIX TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2

2

TITLE

[4]

[5] PUBLISHER

1

RESISTANCE: REVOLUTION

2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4

FIFA 09 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER

6 7 8 9 10

6 5 8 9

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 PATAPON 2 MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME

DEVELOPER: SCEA BEND PUBLISHER: SONY EA D3P SEGA EA KONAMI SONY 2K THQ WARNER BROS

FORMAT: PS3, 360

LAST WEEK

DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P

[FULL PRICE]

RESIDENT EVIL 5

THIS WEEK

PUBLISHER

1

PSP

[2]

[3]

[FULL PRICE]

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

3 4 1 5 6 7 8 9 10

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION UBISOFT MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO 100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NINTENDO

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

3

4

4

NEW

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

TITLE

PUBLISHER

WII FIT Wii

NINTENDO

PROFESSOR LAYTON DS

NINTENDO

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3

5

3

TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3

6

NEW

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS

THQ UBISOFT ROCKSTAR

7

13

STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3

8

21

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

9

6

FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC

10

7

COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC

CAPCOM NINTENDO EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

11

5

KILLZONE 2 PS3

12

29

PUZZLER COLLECTION DS

13

15

WII PLAY Wii

14

12

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS

15

27

COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

16

10

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

17

20

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

UBISOFT

18

8

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR PC

SEGA

SONY UBISOFT NINTENDO D3P

SEGA

19

9

HALO WARS 360

20

16

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS DISNEY

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

MICROSOFT

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. UBISOFT WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA SPORE EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN WARNER BROS INTERACTIVE

2 NEW

3 4 10 5 12 6 9

DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PUBLISHER: SEGA


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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 51

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

30

Highest Top 40 Climber

SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT WII

22

NEW

23

18

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SEGA

SINGSTAR QUEEN PS3, PS2

SONY

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

ROCKSTAR

24

14

MARIO POWER TENNIS WII

NINTENDO

25

31

MARIO KART WII Wii

NINTENDO

26

19

SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3

27

NEW

SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION DS UBISOFT

28

25

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

29

11

SOCOM: US NAVY SEALS CONFRONTATION PS3

30

26

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS

31

22

GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

32

17

DISNEY’S BOLT PS3, PS2, 360, DS, Wii

DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

33

RE

MORE BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

34

NEW

MADWORLD Wii

35

NEW

MYSIMS PARTY Wii, DS

36

36

37

24

LEGO INDIANA JONES DS, PC, PS2, PS3, Wii, 360, PSP

38

RE

100 CLASSIC BOOK COLLECTION DS

39

35

F.E.A.R 2: PROJECT ORIGIN 360, PS3, PC

40

40

MARIO KART DS DS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

2K PLAY SONY NINTENDO

SEGA

LEGO STAR WARS DS, 360, PS3, Wii

PC CD-ROM

SEGA

EA LUCASARTS LUCASARTS NINTENDO WARNER BROS NINTENDO

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

WORLD OF WARCRAFT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEJEWELED 2 FOCUS THE ORANGE BOX EA THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN EA THE SECRET OF MANGROVE MANOR GSP/AVANQUEST SETTLERS: HERITAGE OF KINGS FOCUS C&C: THE FIRST DECADE EA

4 3 2 5 6 8 7 13 17

DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTVISION BLIZZARD

Yet it sold around half the number of units that

GTA: Vice City Stories did upon its PSP arrival. And Sega’s Madworld, which has received widespread critical acclaim and supposedly appeals to a large and under-serviced section of the market, enters the charts in 34th. Let’s see if Madworld can gain momentum going forward. Ben Parfitt

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

RESIDENT EVIL 5

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

KILLZONE 2 WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA STREET FIGHTER IV TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION LITTLEBIGPLANET GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

2 NEW

4 3 6 5 7 8 9

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT MARIO POWER TENNIS MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES MADWORLD THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL FAMILY SKI & SNOWBOARD ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

4 7 9 8

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA SONY ROCKSTAR

SEGA NINTENDO NINTENDO SEGA SEGA SEGA ATARI NINTENDO D3P

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

RESIDENT EVIL 5

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. HALO WARS STREET FIGHTER IV CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE GRAND THEFT AUTO IV SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION

2 3 5 4 6 9 7 8

UBISOFT

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

1 NEW

THQ CAPCOM

PUBLISHER

WII FIT

NEW

SONY

[FULL PRICE]

1 5 2 6 3

WEEK ENDING 21/03/09

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

game series, and the DS is the best-selling console.

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

Resident Evil 5’s second week at the top of the ELSPA GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 is the headline grabber here, but perhaps the more interesting story is that concerning ‘core’ games and Nintendo’s platforms. Firstly, the sixth spot debut for Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the DS. Some in the MCV office saw this as surprisingly low, others as quite an achievement. GTA is the biggest-selling

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM THQ UBISOFT MICROSOFT CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR SEGA

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


mcv-e3-official-mar12.pdf

3/12/09

4:15:48 PM

C

M

Y

CM

CY

CMY

K

The 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) is the must-attend event of the year for the global interactive entertainment industry. There's no better place to experience and test-drive the newest computer and video game products and technologies. Register online at www.E3Expo.com

June 2-4, 2009 å L.A. Convention Center å E3Expo.com

© Entertainment Software Association 2009

MY


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

DIRECTORY

STORE FITTINGS

KEY CONTACTS

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 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21

AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk 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

DISTRIBUTION

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

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


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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.

STUDIOS

Eco Smart

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.......................careers@fusegames.com

Call 01895 252191 for Introductory Offers Eco Master

50 disc Automatic Repair System

www.rtico.com RTI-inbox@rtiuk.co.uk

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 ...............jobs@stainlessgames.com 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 jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY APRIL 3rd

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL Digital downloads have 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.

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 10th

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 APRIL 17th

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.

SELF IMPROVEMENT AND NON-GAMES 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 the most deserving companies and the attending representatives for industry excellence.

LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL Good localisation is growing in importance as publishers look to expand their reach into emerging markets. MCV talks to the leading QA and localisation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector. FRIDAY May 10th

TOP 20 INDEPENDENTS Independent retail remains a thriving sector in the UK, with chains such as Grainger Games continuing to grow in the face of economic uncertainty. MCV gives a run-down of the 20 best outlets in the sector.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR LOCALISATION

GAME DEVELOPER

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

TM

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

DISC REPAIR

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

www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk

HOTGEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)20 8603 0555 . . . . . . . . . . . . www.HotGen.com

TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to the PES Industry Rankings, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

APRIL MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, April 10th Monday, April 13th Stoneleigh Park, Southampton www.mfestival.com.

MAY TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS

LONDON MCM EXPO Saturday, May 23rd – Sunday, May 24th London, Excel www.londonexpo.com

JUNE E3 Tuesday, June 2nd – Thursday, June 4th LA Convention Center, LA www.e3expo.com

JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.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 trade’s most deserving execs.

DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Brighton www.developmag.com RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com LOCALISATION

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 GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19th Sunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

XBOX 360/MCV PUB QUIZ Thursday, May 21st Sway Bar, Holborn dave.roberts @intentmedia.co.uk The Xbox 360/MCV Pub Quiz is now firmly established as one of the industry’s favourite nights out. Taking place every three months at the swanky Sway Bar in Holborn, it brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games.


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 58 MCV 27/03/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

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

ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE

Stenholm 1, 9400,

66 Hughes Street, Mile End,

Norresundby, Denmark

South Australia 5031

Phone: +45 70277640

Tel: +61 8823 41355

Fax: +45 70277650 email: sales@entertainment-trading.com Web www.entertainment-trading.com

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

Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt

POLAND

Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt

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

GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens

HUNGARY

Poland

Antec .............................................................Budapest

Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd,

Gateway Distribution ApS

Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

Web: asiapac-sales@thq.com

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

Tel: +6139573.9203

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW

AUSTRIA

ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn

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

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

BELGIUM

FRANCE

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

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Fax: +91 22 28203334

www.planetadeagostini.net

email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

ISRAEL

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

GAMEWORLD

France

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia

INDIA

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

BENELUX

CYPRUS

Email: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl

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

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

GERMANY

Lisbon, Portugal

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

RUSSIA

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

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

NETHERLANDS

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

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

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

Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg

SERBIA

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

email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

www.greatgames.com.cy

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany

COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45

NORWAY

11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

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

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

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

mail:games@computerland.rs

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

website:www.computerland.rs

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/03/09 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...

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UNITED STATES

SINGAPORE

UNITED STATES

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

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

BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR

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

Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401

SPAIN

Email: sales@bascodistribution.com

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

Web: www.bascodistribution.com

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

email: juan.bustamante@friendware.es

Fax: 310-222-5577

www.friendware.es

Contact: Moris Mirzadeh

INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Email: moris@dreamgear.net

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.

Barcelona, Spain,

16700 Schoenborn St.

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

#2 North Hills, CA. 91343

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Tel: +1 818 920 9393

www.planetadeagostini.net

info@usgamesdist.com www.usgamesdist.com

VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,

THE NORTH American video games market has once again defied the global credit crunch by showing significant year-on-year gains for the month of February – and Nintendo is the company that continues to impress. Figures from The NPD Group showed that February was up ten per cent compared to the same month the year before, with revenues hitting $1.47bn. Hardware revenues in isolation were up 11 per cent at $532.7m, with software climbing nine per cent to $733.5m. Nintendo’s Wii was the best selling console, shifting 753,000 units. DS was second in line (588,000), followed by Xbox 360 (391,000), PS3 (276,000), PSP (199,000) and PS2 (131,000). Wii Fit was the top software performer with unit sales of 644,000, though if sales of Capcom’s Street Fighter IV on both Xbox 360 and PS3 are combined, then the title’s total sales hit 849,000. Sony’s Killzone 2 sold 323,000 units on PlayStation 3. Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing Cammie Dunaway said: “Even if you believe people are buying Wii Play solely for the controller, that indicates that there are now more than 10m people who have an extra Wii Remote controller in their homes.” “The US video games industry continues to post strong year-over-year comps despite the tough economy,” NPD’s Anita Frazier stated. “Unit sales increased even more than dollar sales did, reflecting a slightly lower average retail price for all categories as compared to last year. “The Xbox 360 realised its biggest non-holiday sales month, save for September 2007, when the Halo 3 release brought in a large group of new owners. Compared to last month, the PS3 realised the greatest month-over-month unit sales increase of all platforms.”

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

SWEDEN

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

Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka Panvision....................................................Stockholm

Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia

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

NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai

SWITZERLAND

Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt

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

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

GERMANY

GERMAN retail giant Galeria Kaufhof is set to stop selling violent films and games in response to the recent school shooting in the country. Beginning in April, Kaufhof will no longer stock films or games sold with an 18-plus rating. Video games have come under scrutiny in Germany following the shooting, in which a student gunned down 15 people at a high school in southern Germany. German media and certain politicians have pointed to the fact the shooter played Counter Strike as a factor in the massacre. Stephen Reichart, the head of German games development association G.A.M.E. criticised the decision, stating: “I think Kaufhof’s decision is a complete overreaction - it borders on impulsive hysteria. It would be sufficienct it retailers made sure their cashiers don’t sell this material to young people.”

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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sourcebo YEAR-ROUND PRINT & ONLINE PROMOTION FOR ALL INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT SERVICE COMPANIES

ACCESS SOURCEBOOK ONLINE AT: WWW.INTENTMEDIA

CREATIVE AND PROMOTIONAL SERVICES 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

an.x Tel: 0207 785 7156 www.anxagency.com

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

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

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

Candy Lab Tel: +44 (0)20 7031 0888 www.candylab.co.uk

Dilute Recordings Tel: +44 (0)1483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

DKPM Tel: 0845 111 0312 www.dkpm.co.uk

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

Gem Creative Tel: 01279 822800 www.gem.co.uk

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

Head First Tel: 0161 228 6699 www.head-first.co.uk

IGA Worldwide Tel: +44 (0)20 7250 4340 www.igaworldwide.com

Indigo Pearl Tel: 0208 964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

infinite Field Marketing Solutions Tel: 01793 829196 www.infinitefms.com

Intent Media Tel: 01992 535647 www.intentmedia.co.uk

Root Tel: 0207 739 2277 www.thisisroot.co.uk Sarsen Software Tel: +44 (0)845 8679685 www.sarsensoft.co.uk

Side UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 4800 www.side.com

Skyscraper Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 5308 www.skyskraper.net

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0)1483 414415 www.studioco2.com

The Audio Guys Tel: +44 (0) 1926 813546 www.theaudioguys.co.uk

The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com

Ă&#x153;ber Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

RECRUITMENT

Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0) 1225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk

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

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

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

Peppermint P Tel: +44 (0)207 240 2645 www.peppermintp.com

Datascope Recruitment Tel: +44 (0)20 758 06018 www.datascope.co.uk

Feref Tel: +44 (0) 20 7292 6300 www.feref.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

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

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

Rocketbox Tel: +49-511-8984384 www.rocketbox.de

Lis Welsh Search and Selection Tel: +44 (0)1858 545355 www.liswelsh.co.uk


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ok

In association with

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

.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK Specialmove Consultancy Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com

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

Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com

Serco Games Research Tel: 020 74216487 www.sercogamesresearch.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com Sheridans Tel: 0207 079 0103 www.sheridans.co.uk

LOCALISATION, QA AND TESTING 4-Real Intermedia Tel: +49 (0)69 80 90 88-0 www.4-real.com

Arvato Digital Services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

Dischromatics Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Scaleform Tel: +1 301 446 3200 www.scaleform.com

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com

MANUFACTURING SERVICES UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com

Creative North Studios Tel: +44 (0)1484 487904 www.creativenorth.co.uk

LEGAL SERVICES

Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com

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

UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com Gem Distribution Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AFA Interactive Tel: +618 8234 1355 www.afainteractive.com.au

Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 0 www.dtp-entertainment.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com Meroncourt Tel: +44 (0)1462 680060 http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk Babel Tel: 01273 764 100 www.babelmedia.com

Cenega Service Team Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229 9999 ext. 312 www.enzyme.org Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com

Pinnacle Software Tel: 020 8309 3934 www.pinnacle-software.co.uk

PlayV Email: dhope@playv.co.uk www.playv.co.uk

Scratch Busters Tel: 01992 535701 www.scratchbusters.co.uk

Entertainment Trading Tel: +45 70277640 www.entertainment-trading.com

Funtastic Tel: 61 3 9535 5888 www.funtastic.com.au

THQ Asia Pacific Tel: +613 9573 9200 www.thq-games.com/au Virgin PLAY Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 www.v2play.com


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MCV FORUM

Who is ZOO? YOU COULD be forgiven for not knowing one Zoo from another – or not even having a clue which Zoo still exists. In 2007 there were three UK ‘Zoos’ in one way or another involved in games. We are ZOO Digital Group plc – the original ZOO and a public company that is growing despite the challenging global markets. Having exited the games publishing business back in 2007 (Zoo Publishing, now Zushi Games – as featured in MCV last week – is a separate, unaffiliated company) Zoo has been hard at work offering production tools and services to some of the world’s biggest home entertainment companies. Three years ago our US operation was a small part of our business. Today, through organic growth and acquisition, it accounts for the vast majority of our revenues and is where much of our business development energy is focused. So what about the UK and Europe? In the past much of our focus, in the UK especially, was on the rollercoaster DVD games business. We were a leader in establishing the platform as a legitimate games category and until as recently as 2008 our development tools were behind some of the UK’s best products and biggest sellers, such as 2entertain’s Top Gear DVD games. However, with the challenges that category started to face a few years back, and the progress we were making elsewhere with other production tools, we saw our revenues growing more rapidly in other areas. With most of the customers for those tools being in the US, the company expanded across

We are, says localisation and print specialist – as it distances itself from games publisher Zushi Games... are far from complacent. Our strategy is to develop and apply innovative new approaches to established production problems to reduce time and labour. Service companies are always being squeezed on price and schedules. The preoccupation we have with production improvement as a software developer has benefited enormously from our requirements as a user. Literally every day we are challenging ourselves to find new ways to improve efficiency. And not only do we do this at an industry level but we also look at the way individual customers want to work to try to figure out how we might help. Revolutionary approach, perhaps not, but this Zoo does seem to be carving a niche for itself in a few major industries which face big challenges, and seems to be innovating with new solutions. Clynton Hunt

Vice President Business Development ZOO (Zoodigital.com) the pond as a full-service production facility in Los Angeles and now works with some of Hollywood’s biggest studios.

localising and adapting game packaging, documentation and marketing materials. The suite is an extension of ZOO’s media adaptation

We are Zoo Digital – not Zoo Publishing, which is now Zushi Games. We service the UK and US industries. Clynton Hunt, Zoo Digital

Now things have started to swing back, with ZOO offering new solutions and services for the games industry. ZOO’s solution is a pre-media suite that offers games publishers the ability to automate many tasks in the process of

technology that was originally developed for DVD and BluRay regionalisation and that is today widely used in the home entertainment industry. Localisation isn’t particularly glamorous and print localisation is just one

component of overall game localisation – however, it is an essential part. These are materials that are often the last thing consumers look at before making a purchase decision. This effort is not only getting ZOO in front of US games companies but also has the company again active in the UK and Europe where much of the localisation effort of video games companies is focused. With production facilities in Los Angeles and Sheffield, ZOO believes it is well placed to be able to help companies in both continents, and beyond. We’re seeing demand and we’re growing rapidly but we

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


47 Dev93_v1

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THE

HOT

LIST

Develop 100 lists the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 100 most successful games studios based on key criteria including data from GfK-ChartTrack, NPD, Famitsu and Metacritic plus industry soundings

Published with Develop in May and MCV on Friday May 15th See new microsite at www.develop100.com from Thursday May 7th 10,000 copies plus digital edition. Additional circulation of Develop 100 at Develop Conference Brighton in July and Develop Industry Excellence Awards Edited by Owain Bennallack >>>>>>>>>

Ad copy deadline: Wednesday April 15th Contacts Jaspreet.Kandola@intentmedia.co.uk for advertising and sponsorship opportunities


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WWW.MCVUK.COM

PIC OF THE

WEEK No sweat, no missing teeth, no wife-beater vest? What kind of barman is this? Why it’s Codemasters’ PR guru Rich Eddy, of course, demonstrating the pumps at the publisher’s new on-site ‘pub’, the Masters Arms;’ at last week’s ‘Best of British’ event. Ours is a pint, Rich.

Off The Record

This week, Codemasters pours us a pint as Nintendo gets piggy - and Interactive Ideas plays dress up...


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MCV 27/03/09 65

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

SNOUT FOR THE COUNT We all know Nintendo’s DSi is packed full of new features, but has anyone let you know about this one? It can make your salesmen look very silly indeed. Here we have Nintendo’s own Dom Gross, as mutated by the DSi’s camera and editing applications. However, our biggest concern isn’t the porcine manipulation of Dom’s nose. It’s the clandestine copy of Closer in the back of the shot. The gossip-hungry swine.

MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... LISA MORGAN, GAME

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

QUOTE OF THE WEEK “I play Wii… but my girlfriend is much better at it than me. I don’t feel good about myself afterwards.” Knocked Up star and proudly exercise-adverse actor Seth Rogen tells MNBC why he’d rather stick to Call Of Duty.

RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

DRESSED TO IMPRESS

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

Bravo to all industry types that did something wacky for Comic Relief - but the pick of the bunch may well have been Interactive Ideas, which ran a fancy dress day for staff. Dotted around below, you’ll find Batman, Bananaman, Wonder Woman, a Tibetan Monk, a Cowboy and a blue-haired Dorothy (we think). Kudos goes to the wetsuit-wearing swimmer, who must have put up with serious chaffing all day long.

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK


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A

W IN

N IN TE N DO

ON I T I T E P M CO

DS I

Nintendo’s always been supergenerous with its prizes, but this time it’s pulled out all the stops. Get this: you could win a DSi, the hottest format of the moment, delivered direct to you on the day it’s released, April 3rd. To be in with a shout, just answer the following question:

How many cameras are built into the DSi? A) 0 B) 1 C) 2

Send your answer to

dsi@intentmedia.co.uk EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



Managing Editor: Lisa Foster Lisa.Foster@intentmedia.co.uk

Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk

Please address all enquiries to:

Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Advertising Executive: Rob baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk

Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk

MCV, Intent Media, Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.

Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: Chris Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

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



FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Siobhan Cook Assistant Finance Manager: Michael Canham

Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688

Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA

MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

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

SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade titles for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes PC Retail for retailers and suppliers to the computer trade, Develop Magazine for games programmers, producers and artists, ToyNews for all sectors of the toy industry and Mobile Entertainment.

Intent has also recently launched BikeBiz and MI Pro. www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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


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MCV530 March 27th 2009