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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

International Media Partner

Issue 532 Friday April 10 2009 £3.25

06 Easter’s promise

15 Goodbye Frank

The MCV Retail Advisory Board discusses the sales potential of the holiday

The UK industry mourns the loss of the much-loved Frank Herman

04 No more Ubidays

20 Gaming Down Under

Ubisoft puts its annual trade and media event on hold – and turns to E3

MCV investigates the New Zealand and Australian marketplace

07 Batman’s back

25 Retail Biz

Eidos has very high hopes for the much-anticipated Arkham Asylum

We preview Activision’s X-Men: Wolverine and more upcoming games

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

Back in the game Tesco games team emerges from the ashes of EUK as a revitalised force in retail by Christopher Dring SUPERMARKET behemoth Tesco has vowed to become a dominant force in video games retail after snapping up key personnel from EUK. The firm told MCV this week that it will forge stronger relationships with suppliers and increase dedicated games shelf space, in a bid to shake off a reputation as a ‘missed opportunity’ amongst the publishing community. “Whilst we have delivered

significant growth on games in the last year, I do think the statement that we have been a ‘missed opportunity’ is largely true,” admitted entertainment category director Rob Salter. “In addition to a larger, talented team, we will now be delivering a clearer and better-executed customer proposition, and working much closer with our suppliers. I’m hopeful our suppliers and customers can already see the first fruits of this.”

Tesco has bolstered it games team this year by recruiting respected former EUK executives John Stanhope and Mark Burgess (see ‘EUK’s Tesco Legacy’, below). “Games are a real priority for Tesco entertainment this year

knowledge and capability we will need to deliver on the ambitious plans we have.” Tesco’s gameplan for 2009 will focus on family consumers – capitalising on the fastestgrowing section of the entertainment market.

We’ll be working much closer with our suppliers. We have a comprehensive plan to succeed in games this year. Rob Salter, Tesco

and the development of the team is a critical component of our plan,” added Salter. “John Stanhope and Mark Burgess joining the team represents a real investment in the specialist

“We have a very exciting and comprehensive plan for games this year,” added Salter. “It will involve more space in more stores, as well as a much clearer proposition, focusing specifically on the gaming needs of families, and the millions of customers that come to Tesco every week looking for great value and the best selection of leading titles.”

INCORPORATING

DSi puts £14m in retail tills OPENING weekend sales of Nintendo’s DSi generated £14 million for UK retailers, MCV estimates. 92,000 DSi units were sold in the device’s first three days on sale, making the system the fourth-fastest selling console in UK history. Senior product manager for DS James Honeywell told MCV: “DSi’s launch is just the beginning and we will continue to work hard throughout the year to try and maintain this positive start. We were also pleased to see DS Lite maintained strong sales during DSi launch and that people see that both consoles have something to offer them.”

EUK’S TESCO LEGACY THE NEW LOOK Tesco games team features several key personnel from now-defunct distribution giant EUK. The first to join the supermarket giant was exEUK sales and marketing director Rob Salter, who accepted the position as category director for Entertainment last year.

EUK’s games boss John Stanhope then signed up with Tesco in January, taking the position of senior buying manager for the UK. And now the company has announced the appointment of Mark Burgess, who has joined as a games buyer, and will handle the THQ, Sony and EA accounts.

“Our most recent addition to the team is Mark Burgess who started only a few weeks ago, joining us from EUK,” Salter told MCV. “We are also in the process of recruiting an additional assistant buyer to the Tesco games team and will continue to review resources as the business grows.”

TESCO UNITED: (From left to right) Stanhope, Burgess and Salter are all EUK alumni

PERSONNEL 24 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 33 HIGH STREET 34 CHARTS 36

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[LEADER] THE SUPER MEN SOME WELL-KNOWN figures in the trade recently told MCV that they feel Tesco has no profile in games, and lacks focus. That must be galling for the country’s leading supermarket, and the world’s fourth largest retailer. But today’s cover story proves that this is set to change, with the retail giant finally revealing its plan for gaming – and pledging that it won’t drop the ball again. To call this an ashen-faced admittance would be no overstatement. Entertainment boss Rob Salter directly told our reporter that until now the chain’s treatment of games has been a ‘missed opportunity’. And that’s a quote that has been through the usual elaborate PR approval process. So while hiring Salter, John Stanhope and Mark Burgess will raise some eyebrows – not least at rivals Asda and Morrisons (the most vocal of the other games-loving supermarket chains) or those that knew them from EUK – it’s a confident move which in itself makes amends for its previous faults. This ‘dream team’ has already set to work in turning games into a priority for the supermarket giant. This is a team that has seen it all across the various large retailers and FMCG specialists through their work at the likes of EUK and Handlemann, and which seem certain to make Tesco, already a force to be reckoned with and respected in other categories, a major player in our own territory, too.

DOWN, BUT NOT OUT You’d think that the storming success of the DSi this week could finally put paid to any fears that gaming is being squeezed by the tougher economy. Yet some quick back-of-napkin calculations by MCV – and a chat with our friends at Chart-Track – tell us that the market is currently trailing 2008’s performance by a small margin. Of course it’s too early to call if this will remain the case, given the differing timing of this and last year’s Easter periods, and the fact that despite a software drought in April, we’re due some big hitters come summer in the form of The Sims 3 and Ghostbusters to name but two. (And then a big Q4 – see page 7.) But whether the year is ahead or not, the DSi’s success in pushing what is in effect ‘just’ an upgrade makes some things clear. Firstly, we should count ourselves lucky – and also understand that it’s little wonder Tesco wants a bigger slice of the action. Over in the music industry, they’re only just getting a grip on working out how digital album sales have filled the void left by the hair-tearing demise of pricier CDs. It also suggests all sorts of things about how the games industry isn’t heading towards a retail/digital switch-over, but is cultivating a model that entwines the two. Most importantly, however, it at least proves games have some resilience in the retail market in the face of these economic challenges. Here’s hoping that continues. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Euro trade events cancelled Ubisoft pulls Ubidays event from 2009 calendar – joining THQ and by Tim Ingham PUBLISHERS’ European media and trade events are becoming few and far between – as the recession bites and firms turn their heads to a less US-centric E3. MCV can reveal that Ubisoft this week became the latest publisher to drop its popular European trade event – Ubidays. The two-day expo

innovation to a worldwide audience and will therefore reconsider our plans. There won’t be a Ubidays this year.” The decision comes after Sega and THQ both decided to pull their joint European expo, the annual Business Partners Summit. Like Ubidays, the show was retired after two successful years. 2008’s Sega & THQ Business Summit in Lisbon, Portugal,

E3, GamesCom and Tokyo Games Show have international reach. There won’t be a Ubidays this year. Ubisoft spokesperson

attracted over 1,000 journalists and trade execs in 2007 and last year. 2008’s impressive event was held at the worldfamous Louvre museum. A Ubisoft spokesperson told MCV: “With regards to Ubidays, with the E3 event in the US, the GamesCom in Europe and Tokyo Games Show in Japan, we think that we’ll have great outlets to present our creativity and

attracted nearly 400 trade delegates from across Europe, Africa, Australia and beyond. The duo launched their combined show in Malta in 2007, after retail questioned the time efficiency of attending single-publisher events. Sega Europe President and COO Mike Hayes confirmed to MCV that the publisher would switch support to this year’s E3, which has thrown open its

doors to the UK market. And it’s not just European events that have been extinguished. Troubled publisher Midway Inc. this year decided not to run its annual Midway Gamers’ Day event in Las Vegas – which was usually well attended by

EX-ZAVVI CHIEF GIVES HIGH STREET HEAD EX-Zavvi CEO Simon Douglas’ new entertainment retail venture, Head, has hit the High Street. Nine stores currently exist at former Zavvi locations, including Bluewater, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol (pictured). The chain’s product mix – which includes games – focuses on catalogue releases, rather than new titles.

Source: Bristol Evening Post

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as E3 looms large

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

Sega in ‘refocusing’ efforts on LA expo

THE GODFATHER 2 PS3 EA

Luzio hits The Hut

NO MORE: Ubisoft has put Ubidays on hold for 2009, instead refocusing its resources on E3 and other global events

European trade and media. This year’s ‘expanded E3’ has promised to cater for

both an international and core US audience of retail, media, publishers and developers.

FORMER Play.com head of games Gian Luzio has joined rising online retailer The Hut as product director. During his seven-year stint at Play, Luzio was instrumental in leading the firm to three MCV Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and the games team claimed the Golden Joystick awards for best retailer in 2005 and 2008. Prior to joining Play, Luzio worked at GSP as key account manager and Midas as UK sales manager. “The Hut are a company on the up,” explained Luzio. “I was at Play when they were a relatively new outfit and I’m excited to now join a company that has incredible potential.” The Hut is a rising star in the online retail space. The

firm picked up the Zavvi brand in February and relaunched the website, and has since produced portals for Tesco and WH Smith. It also recently launched a CD and DVD website for Argos. The Hut CEO Matthew Moulding told MCV: “This year we’re aiming for sales of around £75 million. Amazon and Play dominate market share in games. “But I think in gaming we can make some real headway by strengthening the team with key appointments that will underpin the sales growth we have planned. “As long as we continue to bring in the quality staff we require and invest in the infrastructure, I think we’ll get there.” The Hut: 01606 338190

2. THE SIMS 3 PC ........................................................EA

3. RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA 360 ..................................................ATARI

4. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ..................................................ATARI

5. THE GODFATHER II 360 ......................................................EA

6. inFAMOUS PS3 ..................................................SONY

7. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ

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

9. ALAN WAKE 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

10. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI Week ending April 3rd Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

Rising Star signs Angel Cat Sugar £24.8m RISING STAR Games has signed the rights to a major new franchise from the Japanese creator of the internationally successful Hello Kitty licence. Angel Cat Sugar has already spawned over 200 products across various categories in Asia and Europe. The video game will arrive in Europe just in time for the summer school break in July, on Nintendo DS and PC. The title will further strengthen Rising Star Games’ MCV Award-nominated Home of Japanese Games marketing campaign throughout the summer months.

“We are thrilled to be working with Yuko Shimizu on this important new franchise,” commented MD of Rising Star Games Martin Defries. “Angel Cat Sugar demonstrates that our position as the Home of Japanese Games extends across all markets and reaches into the mass market pioneered by Nintendo. “As a young and ambitious company, we feel perfectly placed to help in building this new brand and realising its

enormous potential in the games market.” The game gets its name from protagonist Sugar, who lives in Angel Land and has the power to heal hurt feelings. The news comes after the release of Rising Star’s Little King’s Story on Wii, which has garnered impressive reviews, including a 9/10 in Edge and 92 per cent in NGamer. Little King’s Story was also released under the Home Of Japanese Games umbrella. RSG: 01582 433700

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

£25.9m

£24.6m

£24.8m

1,064,760 Units

1,058,242 Units

1,116,196 Units

Week Ending March 28th

Week Ending April 3rd

0 Week Ending March 21th

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

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Retail looks forward to Easter sales rise Stores excited by DSi impact as they ready themselves for one of the biggest trading periods of the year by James Batchelor RETAILERS are looking forward to a bumper Easter period, building on the performance of previous years – with particularly good sales expected from Nintendo’s DSi. And the MCV Retail Advisory Board has even highlighted the holiday as a “mini-Christmas” in terms of sales potential. “With the DSi launch, combined with the HMV Sale and the strong selection of current chart games, we believe the next few weeks will ensure great offers for the

We’re looking forward to a very good Easter for DS and DSi. It’s like a ‘miniChristmas’ in terms of sales. Don McCabe, CHIPS

customer and will deliver good sales for the games industry,” said HMV Games’ commercial manager Jonathon Hayes. “Easter has always been a great trading period for us,”

adds Play.com’s marketing manager Richard Chapple. “We’re able to take advantage of the aggressive release slate around the twoweek holiday families enjoy –

particularly with the release of the DSi. We’ve been able to put together some incredible deals in our Easter Sale.” Chips’ managing director Don McCabe described Easter as a “mini-Christmas” for games retailers, believing sales to be more focused on a younger demographic. “Easter’s very much about kids,” he said. “Christmas is for everyone in terms of presents, but the Easter weekend is about children.

OPTIMISTIC: (From left to right) HMV’s Hayes, Play.com’s Chapple and CHIPS’ McCabe are prepared for a bumper Easter period

“I think we’re looking forward to a very good Easter for DS. If the weather holds up, kids will be going out and they’ll be taking their DS or DSi with them.”

Deen Olokodana, games buyer for The Hut Group, said he expected the Easter period to “be an indication of how successful games will be this year”.

May consumer show to attract 35,000 ORGANISERS of the Movie Comic Media Expo have told MCV that the show will see some 35,000 people attend its two-day London games, movies and comic event.

last two years for a diverse range of companies. Firms such as Eidos, Atari, Capcom and Rising Star Games are already on board for 2009’s show, to demo key titles such

The market includes players with a variety of tastes across media. Many of them will attend the MCM Expo. Bryan Cooney, MCM

Taking place next month on May 23rd and 24th, the expo targets a core young adult audience of 14 to 24 year-old male and female consumers and has become a key way to showcase new games over the

as Batman: Arkham Asylum and Ghostbusters at the event’s ‘Games Village’, alongside guest speakers from upcoming Hollywood films. “The mix of video games and other media really works

for us when compared to other events given the crossover synergy,” explained organiser Bryan Cooney. Last year, attendees ranged from those eager to get a first play of new Nintendo product to a record-breaking collective of ‘cosplayers’ (aficionados in anime-inspired costumes). “The industry keeps focusing on the core gamer – but the market now includes players with a variety of tastes across all sorts of media, and a large number of them attend MCM,” said Cooney. The MCM show will return to London as part of the London Games Festival. MCM Expo: 01327 878550

MCM EXPO: Organisers have signed core industry companies such as Atari, Eidos and Rising Star Games to this year’s event

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HOTLIST

Eidos: ‘Batman will be the stand-out game of 2009’ Arkham Asylum is ‘close to perfect,’ claims Eidos  Four-month marketing push planned CAPED CRUSADER… In order for Arkham Asylum to become this year’s number one game, it will have to overcome these blockbusters… Heavy Rain Sony This noir-thriller is a dark, story-driven action/adventure game for PS3.

Out 27th March 2009 PS2, PS3, X360, PC, NDS, Wii Save Earth as only a Monster can! Based on the DreamWorks Animation 3D Film, the Monsters vs. Aliens videogame puts the fate of the planet in players' hands, saving the world as only a monster can! www.monstersvsaliensgame.com

Halo 3 O.D.S.T Microsoft The Halo juggernaut returns in Bungie’s standalone expansion to Halo 3.

by Christopher Dring BATMAN Arkham Asylum will be one of the biggest titles of the year and set a new benchmark for licensed video games, says Eidos. The claim follows similar bold comments by Activision Blizzard, who last week told MCV that Modern Warfare 2 had the potential to be the ‘No. 1 entertainment property of the year.’ “We expect Batman Arkham Asylum to not only be the biggest game of the summer

but one of the stand-out games of the year,” Eidos’ head of UK marketing Jon Brooke told MCV. “It’s as close to perfect as we’ve ever come, it looks amazing, plays beautifully and has a rich twisting storyline with enormous replayability. I’m confident enough to say that it will set a new benchmark for licensed games and it’s going to establish itself as one of our best games ever.” Eidos’ confidence in the product is mirrored in the publisher’s marketing

campaign, which will be its biggest of the year. “We have an extensive fourmonth advertising campaign beginning with teaser print and online advertising,” explained Brooke. “This will be followed up with E3 online video activity and heavyweight online, TV and cinema launch support. “It’s our biggest campaign of the year and we’re really set to make some noise.” Arkham Asylum was created by Rocksteady Studios. Eidos: 020 8636 3000

Wii Sports Resort Nintendo This sequel to Wii Sports arrives later this year complete with the Wii Motion Plus accessory bundled in. Modern Warfare 2 Activision The follow-up Infinity Ward’s award winning Call of Duty 4. Bioshock 2 2K Set ten years after the critically acclaimed original, players explore the disappearance of little girls.

Out 24th April 2009 NDS From the popular Animal Planet series Emergency Vets, play as an up-andcoming veterinarian that helps the other Vets perform veterinary procedures on a variety of different animals. like teeth cleaning, medicating and operating, all with the NDS stylus!

FIFA 2010 EA The world conquering FIFA franchise returns to build on last year’s record-breaking sales success.

Partnertrans returns with UK office GERMAN localisation outfit Partnertrans has re-opened its UK office in a bid to secure new clients. The firm split from its UK office in 2007 but vowed to return, and now the company has opened a new base in Slough with the intention of expanding its services and attracting new publishers. “Partnertrans are working on several major brands for top tier publishers, and in order to keep doing that and

gain more business, we felt we needed to return to the UK,” said head of sales Andrew Chorzelski. “We didn’t want to leave the UK in the first place, and I’m talking to publishers and persuading them that Partnertrans is a viable partner. “We are not Babel. Babel offers a good service and is well known. We are slightly different to them. Biggest isn’t always best, and flexibility can be crucial to customers.”

CHORZELSKI: Partnertrans sales boss is pitching to publishers

As well as new clients, Partnertrans is also expanding its language base, with emerging markets becoming an increasingly important part of publishers’ plans. “Behind the scenes we work for some really large companies, and we have capacity to work with more,” added Chorzelski. “The market is changing. Publishers want to localise titles into even more languages.” Partnertrans: 01753 247731

Out 24th April 2009 NDS and PS2 Pack your bags and grab your keys... you're about to race in cities around the world, where style matters more than anything else! Take control of street-racing competitions, from London to Paris, from the Hills to the 'Hood. Pimp out your ride with brand new customisations and equipment upgrades... and rip up the road!

Activision.com

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Morrisons goes on the prowl for exclusive publisher deals Supermarket follows GAME’s lead in sourcing content after successfully signing a deal for Bejeweled Twist by James Batchelor AMBITIOUS supermarket Morrisons has told MCV that it is keen to sign more deals with publishers to sell their games exclusively through the chain. Bejeweled Twist reached No.8 in the PC budget chart last week, despite only being sold through Morrisons stores.

“It’s great to see titles from smaller publishers do well in our chart, especially when we have an exclusive deal for a period of time. The success also shows it’s not just the blockbuster titles which have the pull to drive sell-through.” Biggs applauded distributor Music Box Leisure for helping make the deal a success.

Morrisons will look at any opportunities to take titles for an exclusive period. Jon Biggs, Games Buyer

And after that exclusive contract with Focus Multimedia, the grocer now has its eye on even bigger tieups with other suppliers. “Morrisons will look at any opportunities to take titles for an exclusive period, and view each opportunity on its own merits,” explained the chain’s games buyer Jon Biggs.

“Morrisons recognise gaming as being a key area in our entertainment offer and we are constantly looking at new promotions and offers that give great value to our customers,” he added. The news comes after GAME COO Terry Scicluna told MCV that the specialist was keen to score exclusive

A SPARKLING DEAL: The supermarket chain enjoyed impressive success with Bejeweled Twist and is now looking for new exclusives

contracts with publishers. “One of our pillars is ‘Only at GAME’ or ‘Only at Gamestation’ and we want to develop that further,” said 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 available at our stores.” Morrisons: 0845 611 5000

Sega to Tap into the mainstream UNIQUE WII game Let’s Tap arrives in the UK this summer, and publisher Sega is confident the title can achieve real massmarket success. Let’s Tap is developed by Sonic creator Yuji Naka, and features five game modes that are played by simply tapping near the Wii Remote. And the title also boasts a comprehensive multiplayer mode, which is well suited to gamers of all ages. “Let’s Tap has an exceptional minimalistic game design that allows anyone to play,” explained Sega’s senior product manager Jo Fawell. “The tap-controlled mini

games begin at an easy entry level and gain complexity as you move through the various gaming modes. The innovative design has removed any barriers to entry and with the multiplayer aspects too, this game really does have a universal appeal. “A high proportion of our campaign will be focused towards family, housewives and kids and educating consumers to this unique proposition. We will be packaging the game with two tap boxes included (pictured) to encourage the multiplayer aspect of the game.”

Sega’s optimism for Let’s Tap is matched by the game’s critical response. Both Edge and Eurogamer have awarded the title an 8/10 score, with the latter saying the game ‘sits alongside Wii Sports as one of the few worthwhile and interesting mini-game compilations in existence’. “The game is unique to the market, expectations are that it will be received by consumers with the same enthusiasm as that of the press,” concluded

Fawell. “The game has reviewed extremely well and was also named ‘Best

Nintendo Wii’ title at last year’s Tokyo Game Show.” Sega: 020 8995 3399

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eBay looks for support in the fight against video game piracy Online auction giant hopes publishers will join its campaign to stamp out counterfeits by Christopher Dring ONLINE auction giant eBay wants to join forces with publishers in order to stamp out counterfeit video games. The company ran an anticounterfeit campaign last year, which attracted support from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). And eBay now hopes this will encourage rights

State for intellectual property David Lammy. “But we need to make it easier for consumers to do that without the worry of receiving counterfeit goods. Counterfeiting undermines innovation and destroys jobs. Industry, Government and law enforcement must work together to tackle what is a global problem.”

Counterfeits are a global challenge and we all have a part to play in preventing consumers purchasing them. Kevin Morgan, eBay

owners, anti-piracy specialists and representatives from across the games, film and music industry to join forces and help remove pirated material from its website. “Buying products off the internet has become an everyday part of people’s lives,” said the Minister of

eBay launched its Verified Rights Owner Programme (VeRO) in 1998, a system that gave rights owners a way to report an item as potentially counterfeit and have eBay remove the listing. The programme is free to join for rights owners and eBay claims that 2.1 million listings were

Blaze unveils new DS accessory duo PERIPHERALS specialist Blaze has announced two new unique accessories for Nintendo’s DS. The first product is the Blaze Game Selector. The device clips onto the DS and holds up to three games, allowing consumers to select games without having to remove the cartridges. The DS Lite version is available now, with a DSi edition due soon, and has a retail price of £14.99. The Game Selector

requires no external batteries as it is powered by the handheld. The second device is the Automated Cartridge and Slot Cleaner. To use, all gamers need to do is plug the device into the appropriate slot and press the on button, which causes staticfree microfibres to clean the internal connectors. The device can clean both the DS and GBA game slots on DS Lite, and the game slot and game cards for DSi. Blaze: 01302 325225

Sponsored by

[IN BRIEF] MICROSOFT: The Lips wireless microphones will now support Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero Metallica. The peripherals will be made compatible with the thirdparty games via a downloadable update, and additional games are set to be supported in future. SONY: LittleBigPlanet now boasts an online community of almost two million users worldwide. Sony’s innovative platformer is also host to over 725,000 user-created levels and has been played more than 125m times since its launch last November.

After an anti-counterfeit campaign last year, eBay is stepping up the activity to remove pirated music, DVDs and games from its site

removed in 2008 following reports from the VeRO system. “Our goal is to recruit even more Rights Owners to the VeRO programme, as we can achieve far more when we work together to combat counterfeits,” said eBay special investigator Kevin Morgan. “Counterfeits are a global challenge and we all have a part to play in preventing

consumers from being able to purchase them. “We will continue to play our part by working collaboratively with law enforcement agencies and rights owners and we’re delighted that the Intellectual Property Office is so committed to working with us to achieve this goal.” www.ebay.co.uk

Imagine goes worldwide IMAGINE Publishing has signed a deal to represent advertising on the Intergi gaming network in the UK, which includes sites such as World Of Warcraft. As part of the agreement, Intergi will sell Imagine’s Nowgamer.com and other Imagine sites in the US. Imagine’s commercial director Ross Webster said: “Both companies’ in-depth knowledge of the gaming and entertainment industry makes the partnership a perfect fit. This deal allows Imagine to provide targeted campaigns across huge numbers ensuring the greatest results for our clients.”

GAME: The High Street retailer has reported that pre-orders for the Nintendo DSi were more than double that of the DS Lite. THQ: Sources have told MCV sister publication Develop that a number of staff cuts have been made at THQ developer Big Huge Games. The publisher has previously warned the studio it would be shut down if a buyer could not be found. MIDWAY: Reports have emerged that the development team behind Mortal Kombat are in “active talks with other publishers” over a possible split from Midway and the formation of a new studio.

WEBSTER: “This allows Imagine to provide targeted campaigns”

“The deal gives Imagine, a company that prides itself in its creativity and high quality products, the opportunity to offer advertisers unsurpassed coverage and reach in the UK to build brand awareness quickly.” Imagine: 01202 586200

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Nintendo: ‘Punch-Out is Wii’s first heavyweight of the year’ Platform holder targets No. 1 chart position with veteran boxing release  Full TV marketing push planned by James Batchelor CLASSIC boxing re-make Punch-Out!! will be the biggest Wii launch of 2009 so far, Nintendo has told MCV. Due for release on May 22nd, Punch Out!! is the latest

“Punch-Out!! is our biggest Wii launch so far in 2009, and we see it as an important title that will appeal to gamers and families in a similar manner to Mario Kart Wii,” said Nintendo’s senior product manager for Wii Rob Lowe.

This will be a full triple-A launch as you’d expect from a long-standing Nintendo series. Rob Lowe, Nintendo

entry in a series that debuted in the 1980s and has not been seen in Europe since 1995’s Super Punch-Out!! on the SNES. Nintendo feels that the new title could have the same impact as last year’s Mario Kart.

“It has a great pedigree with the previous titles on the NES and Super Nintendo, and this heritage is faithfully carried across to the new Wii version, along with a host of new functions and features.”

Nintendo will be raising awareness of the return of Punch-Out!! with an extensive PR and marketing campaign, focused largely on television advertising to capture the widest possible audience. There will be a full campaign, with ads appearing around family programming. The TV creative will show a father and son boxing with each other. There will also be full point-of-sale and trade marketing support, a bigscreen sampling tour and a PR campaign that will feature legendary names in boxing, settling old scores through Punch-Out!!

“Punch-Out!! be a full triple-A launch as you would expect from such a longstanding Nintendo franchise,” concluded Lowe. “And

hopefully we will be looking at a number one position in the Wii charts around the launch of the game.” Nintendo: 01753 483700

EEK W E H T F O N CAMPAIG

ATHENA K R A D N O T L ICK: ASSAU D ID R F O S E L CHRONIC l’s with press attendance on CINEMA Official PlayStation, Official

iese to grow for Vin D s ue in nt co pe hy As ing it Atari will be back latest action title, ... e marketing push with an extensiv

Atari has opted for a hardhitting cinema creative, which uses quotes about the game from leading movie and specialist publications. Atari worked with Synchonicity to produce the ad, which will run for 30 seconds before Fast and Furious and Crank 2. PRINT A major press ad campaign is planned, targeting core gaming, sci-fi, film and men’s titles. Atari will be taking advantage of the good prelaunch review scores and press coverage the game has 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

Xbox and PSW, and 4/5 in Loaded and 5/5 in Total Film.

launch days.

PR ONLINE A PR campaign weighted The publisher will also target towards specialist press has gamers with a three-week ensured Chronicles of Riddick online ad campaign based has received preview coverage around site takeovers, podcast on a monthly basis for the past sponsorships, banner six months, successfully creating advertising and video MPUs anticipation for the game’s with gameplay trailers. New release. This has included content will be seeded to several visits to see developer online communities via social Starbreeze, with video features media websites and gaming on Eurogamer, Gamespot, and film forums in order to Gametrailers and CVG. generate excitement leading up to launch. RELEASED: APRIL 24 TRADE Trade marketing activity will encompass pre-order promotions and new release shelves for key retail partners,

FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: STARBREEZE STUDIOS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 625 9585

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RICHARD - Simply Games

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With your support we can pass the message on

A UK Games Industry Charity Become part of the message and get involved An MCV Industry Excellence Awards night raffle, in proud association with Intent Media More information on www.gamesaid.org or Facebook

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MCV 10/04/09 15

FRANK HERMAN: A TRIBUTE

"Look son, you'll never go skint making a profit." Sound advice Frank. I will miss you. Geoff Heath

Farewell, Uncle Frank Such is the love and respect that so many people have for Frank Herman, there simply is not enough room in MCV to publish all the eulogies we have received since the great man’s death on Monday March 30th. The next few pages are just a sample of the support and wisdom he offered to so many over a 25 year career that began with the very creation of the computer and video games industry here in the UK. Goodbye Frank, we will miss you‌

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FRANK HERMAN: A TRIBUTE There is an old saying that “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you’re lucky enough.” Well, I was not just lucky to know Uncle Frank, I was privileged and honoured to have known the man for over 23 years. I say man because he embodied everything that we want our friends and family to inspire to: he was strong, fair and commanded respect. He was honourable, gentle and had a heart of pure gold. He will be dearly missed. May he rest in peace. Fergus McGovern

Such sad news. Frank was the epitome of what the games industry stood for at the beginning. His contribution to our business was immense, his character immersive and he will surely be missed. Larry Sparks

I met Frank when I first entered the industry back in the mid 1990s. A wily but ever so likeable character. Raymond Goldsmith Frank was a one of a kind. An extremely sharp financial exec, he used his prowess wisely. A great negotiator (he almost always got the best deal), but also fun to be with. Always a twinkle in the eye. He made sure everyone felt younger than he by calling them “young Joe”, “young Harry”, etc. His passion for raising money for Habab, the Israeli school for under-privileged boys, was relentless. Over a number of years, nearly every company in the industry sponsored the annual USA vs UK amateur boxing gala at the Hilton on Park Lane. Frank managed to take a positive view of life, no matter what tribulations came his way. He was a great Uncle Frank to me and to most. Someone we can truly look back and admire. Great business leader, great philanthropist, proud games industry veteran. Frank, we will miss you. Chris Deering

FRANK HERMAN: 25 YEARS IN GAMES Paul Street 1985. Portobello Road. Portland Road. Cromwell Road. Marylebone Road. Baker Street. Charlotte Street. Camden Town. Mill Hill. Bushey 2009. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners. Pubs, cafes, restaurants. clubs, hotels. Tottenham. Twickenham. Chelsea. Abdul. Dim Sum in Bayswater. Royal China W1. Skate in W1 and E1. Lunchtime curry in W1. Competitor. Thorn in my side. On my case. Customer. Supplier. Invested in some of his things. He invested in some of mine. We invested together. Won and lost together. “Empty vessels make the most noise. I need that like a third nostril. I’ll grow hairs on the palm of my hand first. You schmuck! Need you to do something for me. Where’s the cheque for the boxing match? Hello son. Glad to hear it. Hello, young Tim. He’s paying. You schmuck.” BIG business man. BIG charity man. BIG family man. HUGE hearted man. SALT of the earth. SPECIAL beyond words. I miss you Frank. Tim Chaney

MCV offers a very brief guide to Frank Herman’s tremendous influence on the UK and European games industry. And yes, we know he had a hand in many more deals and businesses, but these are the ones we know he wouldn’t have minded us talking about publicly… Frank Herman founded Mastertronic with Martin Alper and Alan Sharam in 1983. It was the first budget games publisher in Europe and grew into a highly successful group – culminating in a deal to distribute the Sega Master System. Sega flourished under Herman's leadership, to such a level that Nintendo found it difficult to find a foothold in the UK for many years. Richard Branson's Virgin empire became an investor in Mastertronic in 1988 and eventually took over the group. Frank had wisely turned down the advances of a certain Robert Maxwell. In 1991, Sega Europe was founded, with Frank Herman working as deputy managing director alongside Nick Alexander. Herman eventually left in 1995 to set up GT Interactive in Europe the American publisher quickly becoming a top

four outfit by market share. Gradually, a lower profile was taken in the games industry. But he had a spell as chairman of MCV publisher Intent Media during its management buy-out from German group Computec in 2002 and later joined ‘new Mastertonic’ as chairman - the company having been formed from the merger of UK publishers Sold Out and Just Flight, plus fulfillment house The Producers. Frank Herman had many other private business interests throughout his 25 years in the games industry. His funeral was held in Bushey, Hertfordshire on Tuesday March 31st 2009. It was well attended by industry notables as well as many friends and family. As well as his work in the games business and his untiring charity work, Herman was a keen Spurs fan

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FRANK HERMAN: A TRIBUTE I was 18 when I first worked at GT Interactive, on the reception and customer service area at the famous Old Grammar School. When I first met Frank I instantly liked the man; he was a very respected and in general he gave me a lot of tips and guidance. I used to go running for him with a pocket full of coupons to collect his cigars, whilst he would be in various business meetings, which were all held from his 'Head Master’s Office'. Out of kindness he would buy me a sandwich or two! He did a lot for charity and I very much enjoyed his events and having a quick catch up. He was always very interested in how I was getting on. He was a true gent and a grafter and he will be missed by a lot of people. They truly don't make men like him anymore, the mould was definitely broken. My heart goes to all his family and very close friends. Lee Kirton

“Hello son,” Frank would always say. Warm, smiling and interested, he was from the old school. A gentleman. I don't know who first coined the phrase ‘Uncle Frank’. Perhaps we all did, unconsciously. No one ever questioned it. It just came to be for a man who commanded immediate respect. Professionally, his years of experience and understanding of people and business helped him make a success in games, but it also helped us all. He did much for many. He was a presence in all our lives for 25 years. Many wouldn't have even known it, but he has always been there in the background, shaping and influencing. Personally, he was a kind man who did huge amounts to support his friends and his adopted charity. It came to be that the last time I spoke to Frank was within an hour of the last conversation I had with my father, as my dad was taken ill shortly afterwards. My dad was a special man. So was Frank. Simon Harvey

Too often the word ‘legend’ is used to describe people, but Frank was a one off and worthy of the accolade. For many who have come into this industry of late, Frank will be largely unknown. Those of us who have been around a bit longer will tell you that he was a man who was treated with reverence. He touched so many people’s careers both directly and indirectly, it was really remarkable. Intelligent, diligent, an astute business man, tough and sometimes uncompromising. Dedicated to his work, but also spent many hours helping others through his charity work. A devoted family man with a wicked sense of humour, he truly loved games and the games business. The man who never really grew up. Frank Herman is a true legend. A top gent to boot, who will be missed by many of us who owe so much to him. Jeremy Wigmore

I once interviewed Frank and his team for CTW, when Mastertronic launched. The vision of experienced guys steaming in with a revolutionarily-priced range of games (£1.99, gulp!) was beguiling. Only thing; the impact of a positive piece was ever-soslightly diminished by a few typos. Worse, they were all in the surnames. A combination of my dreadful handwriting/notetaking; a then lack of familiarity with ‘Frank Herman’ and his colleague ‘Alan Sharam’; and the world’s worst typesetting (yup: it was that far back!) meant that the piece was littered with quotes allegedly from ‘Harman’ and ‘Sherman’ and ‘Haman’. In fact, pretty much everything other than ‘Herman’. Deeply embarrassed, I phoned Frank before he’d seen it to apologise. He laughed, uproariously… A good man. Greg Ingham

Frank Herman was far more than an industry legend; he was a friend, a colleague and an incredible human being. I still remember the first time I met Frank at his Sega offices when we tried to cajole him to join GT Interactive, which he and most people had never heard of at the time. However, after an hour’s time he knew exactly what we were trying to accomplish, understood our vision and was helping us lease space the next day. With Frank’s leadership GTI built a significant European presence in an incredibly short period of time. What is it that we remember of Frank? I think everyone who knows him well would agree with me on this: he was always available with a full heart as a mentor and advisor in business and in life. And he touched numerous friends and colleagues over the years with absolutely no hidden agendas and expectation of anything in return. I will forever be grateful for spending several years of my life with Frank as a friend and a colleague. Ron Chaimowitz

The more you did business with Frank, the more you became friends with him. I was MD of Atoll (distributor of Sega in Benelux) when Frank decided to acquire us. It was a long, difficult and sometimes tense negotiation. But Frank had an immense talent for making his point. He could confront any difficult issue and yet bring a smile to all faces at the end of the conversation. Frank was a curious, competent and creative businessman. We will all miss his smile and his unexpected comments. Goodbye my friend. Patrick Starr

On my first day at Virgin Games back in 1989, Nick Alexander introduced me to Frank as “your new boss”. Tossing a copy of science fiction epic Dune in my general direction, Frank’s first words to me were: “Make a game based on this by Easter.” Over the next five years, Frank became both my mentor and a good friend, despite our opposing north London football allegiances. A man of few words, but every one of them well considered and to the point. Frank was one of the most compassionate and considerate people it is my privilege to have known. But he did not suffer fools gladly and had a temper on him when roused. My most vivid memory of Frank was during a trip to Paris in my second week at Virgin. Having waited an age for a taxi at Charles De Gaulle airport we eventually found ourselves at the front of the queue only to witness two French businessmen jump ahead of us and into ‘our’ taxi. Frank was not best pleased. As the door started to close, Frank wrenched it back open and dived into the taxi. Frank grabbed each man by their tie and pulled first one and then the other out of the taxi, dumping each unceremoniously onto the pavement. “Shall we?” was all Frank said as he beckoned me into the now vacated taxi. That’s when I knew I was going to like my new boss. Frank, you will be missed by everybody whose lives you enriched. David Bishop

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FRANK HERMAN: A TRIBUTE

My first encounter with Frank was in his smoke-filled office in Paul Street. It was hard enough to see, let alone breathe, but once an hour he would let me stick my head out the window to grab a few lungfuls of relatively clean air. Frank was managing director of Mastertronic and I was MD of Virgin Games. Eventually we bought his company and I spent the following six years trying to manage him, ultimately a futile task! We spent much of that time together on planes, in meetings and restaurants and as I got to know him better I saw through the irascible and belligerent fug with which he could surround himself, to the generous, caring, big hearted family man who lurked beneath. He was everybody’s Uncle Frank and the better I knew him the more I loved him, despite his sometimes best efforts to leave chaos in his wake. His stories were many and splendid. My favourite was a selfdeprecating one from the early 1970s when I was still at school and many MCV readers were not even born. Frank had been follicly challenged from an early age and in his 20s had taken to wearing a wig. He was in a particularly difficult meeting in a long hot summer and was perspiring heavily in a suit and syrup. The meeting was going nowhere and he asked his host if he could make himself comfortable. The man said yes, expecting Frank to take off his jacket. Instead, to the man’s amazement, he took off the wig and put it on the desk never to be worn again. If God blesses anyone, it should be Frank. Our Industry and the World will miss him greatly. Nick Alexander

It was with much sadness that I heard of Frank’s passing away. Always known as Uncle Frank, he was a keen evangelist of thorough market understanding and knowledge. When I took the step to start out on my own and leave corporate life, I turned to Frank for advice and he was extremely supportive of my vision. Indeed, I think it was his encouragement and belief which gave me the final push I needed. We shall all miss his wisdom and experience, which made such an impact on our early lives in the industry. Nick Parker

Frank headed up GT in the UK when they were buying one of our companies. He put us through a really tough due diligence process; gently making us jump through all sorts of burning hoops, one by one. As some sort of poor attempt to counter negotiate, I had the audacity to ask him if we could also conduct a similar exercise on GT. His reply stopped me in my tracks: “We don’t have any skeletons in the cupboard, son. In fact, we’re putting them in now…” Andy Wood

FURTHER TRIBUTES TO FRANK HERMAN MCV has been inundated with emails paying respect to Frank Herman. Some of them have been made direct to the story about his passing on our website. If you would like to read these or add to them, go to www.mcvuk.com

Like everyone who knew him, Frank made an indelible impression on me. He has left an equally large legacy in the video game industry, in which he will be remembered for a very long time. Always cheerful and avuncular, but also sage and astute, Frank truly was a unique treasure. His passion for all things, whether business, social or charitable was an obvious trait… and if he could combine any of those with a good cigar, then so much the better! Due to the universal respect he inspired he was one of the few men – in a position of significant influence – about whom I have never heard a bad word spoken. We’ll all miss you, Uncle Frank, and our thoughts are with your dear family at this terribly sad time. Gary Bracey I was proud to be a friend of Frank, from when I started my career at Sega in 1992. I remember nice moments, when he gave advice to me. I will truly remember him as a pragmatic achiever, who has helped to take the international games industry to the next level. The world will truly miss him. Torsten Oppermann

Good times were never wasted in the company of Frank Herman. That would be the memory of Frank etched in my mind – Good Times. Frank was ever the pragmatist, able to navigate the minefields laid by business prevention officers. He espoused a ‘win win’ culture and those who worshipped at the feet of ‘Uncle Frank’ steadily grew in number. Beyond that, he was one of the boys and always reminded us of and asked after our families. Corporate Raider, Space Invader, Mischief Maker, Property Speculator, Negotiator, Trader, Fund Raiser, Risk Taker… he could be all things to all men and was able to cross the cultural divide, galvanizing factions to come together. He was never afraid to defy the rules and, armed with a cheeky grin, munching the wrong food, smoking and drinking, he defied the odds. Many of us, taking our leave from a former headmaster’s study, headed out to lunch in the care of his driver (who never knowingly knew where he was going) to be regaled with the very latest industry news. It was always fun between us. We also lived and shared the pain when it went against us and he was always amongst the first to call. Business is business. It isn’t life or death and now he has taken his bow. I shall miss him, but the standing ovation will be heard for some time to come. My deepest sympathy to Leila and his family. ‘Young Rod’ Cousens

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THE

HOT

LIST

Develop 100 lists the world’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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TERRITORY REPORT: AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

THE STATS Statistics combine both New Zealand and Australia market data. 2007: Software value - e516 million euros 23 per cent year-on-year value increase 2008: Software value - e636 million euros 17 per cent year-on-year volume increase Xbox 360: 29 per cent of installed base market share, as of end 2008 Wii: 47 per cent of installed base market share, as of end 2008 PS3: 24 per cent of installed base market share, as of end 2008

Gaming down under THE DEBATE surrounding age ratings has dominated the gaming headlines in Australia over the past 12 months. However, the lack of an adult certification hasn’t affected the industry’s growth. According to GFK, the Australian video game market in 2008 grew 47.8 per cent year-on-year, with revenues reaching $1.96 billion, a figure that is on par with the DVD industry. Australia’s gaming output has also been on the up, with the country’s fledgling development community working on some of the biggest games of recent years, including Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the Total War series and Bioshock. “The Australian market had grown exponentially in the latter parts of 2008 with some of the year’s highest selling

titles being developed here,” explains Krome Studios’ CEO Robert Walsh. “Our very own The Force Unleashed for Wii and PS2 became LucasArts’ fastest selling title and De Blob by THQ took the gaming world by

“The local arm of the IDGA has been lobbying the Australian government for a while to get the same tax breaks that the Australian film industry enjoys,” confirms Creative Assembly Australia’s communications manager Vispi Bhopti. “This is something we obviously support and look New Zealand is one of the few forward to, but it is a battle countries where Nintendo is that is still being fought.”

not the market leader, with PlayStation the top brand.

Mario Wynands, Sidhe storm. But with the current industry contraction we have seen quite a few studios being downsized or closed.” Indeed, although the development community in Australia is relatively strong, many studios are struggling, with studios asking the government for tax support.

GOOD NEIGHBOURS

Despite being geographically close, the New Zealand games market is very different to the Australian one. Nintendo formats are the dominant force in Australia, yet PlayStation remains the console of choice for the New Zealand population. “New Zealand has a very healthy games market,” says Sidhe Interactive managing director Mario Wynands.

“We are one of the few countries where Nintendo is not the market leader. PlayStation is the strongest console brand. At one stage we had the second highest PlayStation penetration per capita behind Ireland.” The development community in New Zealand is also in contrast to Australia. Only a handful of firms deal with console titles, with most of the studios focusing on PC and handheld software. Yet Wynands feels that New Zealand game development is on the up. “The New Zealand development community is small but growing rapidly,” he explains. “There are over 20 different development studios, although most operate in the mobile, PC casual, Flash or handheld spaces. “New Zealand is seen as a ‘far away’ country, but we are actually well positioned to work with West Coast US

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MCV 10/04/09 21

[THE FACTS: AUSTRALIA]

[THE FACTS: NEW ZEALAND]

Population: 21,714,000 Capital: Canberra Currency: Australian dollar GDP (per capita): $36,225

Population: 4,280,000 Capital: Wellington Currency: New Zealand dollar GDP (per capita): $26,610

NEW ZEALAND ALL FORMAT FULL PRICE TOP 10

AUSTRALIA ALL FORMAT FULL PRICE TOP TEN

(W/E March 22nd)

(W/E March 22nd)

1. Halo Wars . . . . . . . . . . Xbox 360 2. Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 3. SingStar Queen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2 4. Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . Xbox 360 5. Killzone 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 6. Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii 7. Empire: Total War . . . . . . . . . . PC/Mac 8. Legends of Wrestlemania . . . . . . . PS3 9. Wii Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii 10. Singstar Abba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS2 A

1. Wii Play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii 2. Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii 3. Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 4. Halo Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Xbox 360 5. Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 6. GTA: Chinatown Wars . . . . . . . . . . . DS 7. Mario Kart Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wii 8. Killzone 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PS3 9. Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . . . . . . Wii 10. Brain Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DS Copyright © GfK

Australia and New Zealand may be neighbours, but when it comes to video games both territories couldn’t be more different. Christopher Dring takes a closer look... firms as our time zone is only three to five hours out, which is a great advantage.” RETAIL SURVIVAL

The closure of distributor Red Ant aside, the Australian retail sector hasn’t suffered the same losses as the UK market. Furthermore, specialists such as EB Games are looking to expand their reach in the country, while superstores are increasing their games offering. “There’s a good mix of retail in Australia, from mass merchants to specialists,” says THQ Asia Pacific sales and marketing manager, Rodney Block. “Aggressive expansion plans continue from the specialists, while JB Hi Fi have invested heavily, and within a short period have captured a lot of market share.” Despite this, Australia still has many of the retail concerns as the UK. The sheer abundance of new titles means that

certain games don’t make it to shelves. New IP also struggles, with certain stores unwilling to take risks, and the rapid erosion of prices is also causing headaches. “The demand for new titles is never greater than day one and this is when games are discounted the most,” bemoans Funtastic’s business manager Gavin Wulfsohn. “Early adopters are not price sensitive so why bastardise the price? New titles are cheaper day one than six weeks after release. This flies in the face of all economic logic.” Despite financial pressure, gaming in Australia and New Zealand is on the rise (see The Stats, above left). Retailers are surviving and both territories are set to release a wealth of promising new titles this year – which all points to another prosperous 12 months for games down under.

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PERSONNEL

Gareth Phillips moves up at Gem Distribution firm re-jigs sales team  Chorzelski boosts Partnertrans  Distribution Partners recruits Galloway GEM  The UK distributor has made some changes to its sales division, with two internal promotions. GARETH PHILLIPS (pictured, right) takes up the role of senior commercial analyst, making him responsible for managing the analysis of Gem’s sales and vendor reporting. Phillips has previously managed the key retail, dot.com and business sales teams, and recently celebrated his tenth year with the distributor. Elsewhere in the firm, ANITA BAKER has been appointed national

PHILLIPS: Gem sales star has been with the firm for 10 years

account executive, a role in which she will be responsible for supporting Gem’s Argos account with Andy Derrick.

DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS  JOHN GALLOWAY has joined Namco Bandai-owned Distribution Partners as vice president of the UK, Ireland and Nordic region. He will be responsible for all of the company’s activities in these areas, focusing on sales, marketing and distribution. Galloway boasts extensive experience in the sales and distribution field, having served in a number of sales roles at Disney Video and EA, as well as key positions at THQ and Take 2. “I am delighted to welcome John to the company,” said

JACKIE FROMION, Distribution Partners’ senior VP of global distribution. “In his new role, he will bring his wealth of experience to bear on these key markets, and I look forward to working with him.” PARTNERTRANS  ANDREW CHORZELSKI has joined localisation agency Partnertrans as head of sales for Europe. He will be responsible for PC, console and mobile business development, and brings 20 years of experience in the UK

games industry to the company. “I’m very excited to be joining the Partnertrans team,” said Chorzelski. “The company is at the cutting edge of what is happening in the localisation space, and poised for major expansion in Europe.” CREATIVE  Former EUK sales manager KEVIN YOUNG has joined Creative Distribution. The UK firm’s operations manager Damien White told MCV he was “delighted” with the move, which takes place as Creative prepares to relocate to a bigger office.

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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

THE X FACTOR Activision brings Wolverine to consoles in a brand new X-Men movie tie-in

Page 26

ALSO THIS WEEK... RHYTHM PARADISE P28 Japan’s sixth best selling game of 2008 finally lands on UK shores DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION P30 The game based on the Manga series’ live action film hits retail GAMES FOR LAPTOPS P30 Classic Atari PC titles return to retail in small, handy packaging MINON: EVERYDAY HERO P31 A quirky, humorous platformer from Japan arrives via Nordcurrent PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE P32 Sega’s popular RPG series gets the handheld treatment on Sony’s PSP HIGH STREET P34 This week MCV speaks to Scottish independent retailer GamePark

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RIPPING UP THE BOX OFFICE The X-Men franchise has always been one of the most popular in comic book history, and the movies of the last ten years have proven that popularity has not waned. Worldwide box office revenues for X-Men, X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand have surpassed their predecessors, setting up X-Men Origins: Wolverine to be the biggest hit of the series so far. In total, the modern movie series has accrued over $1 billion. X-Men (August, 2000) Over $296,000,000 at the worldwide box office. X2: (May, 2003) Over $407,000,000 at the worldwide box office. X-Men: The Last Stand (May, 2006) Over $459,000,000 at the worldwide box office.

Thanks to Activision Blizzard, gamers will soon be able to get their claws into the official adaptation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine…

of missions as the self-healing hero comes to terms with his powers. “Wolverine is at heart a grown-up hardcore game, but it’s still very accessible to everyone,” says Activision’s senior PR executive David Tyler. “It really brings alive the

by James Batchelor

THE summer has always been a key time for the movie industry, with the biggest blockbusters enticing the public away from the bright weather and into the darkness of the cinema. Video games usually follows suit, with a range of movieThis really breaks the mould inspired heavy hitters as far as superhero games releases in the season to are concerned. Retailers keep gamers firmly rooted should take a look. to the couch. The first in a wave of David Tyler, Activision big name movie adaptations rolling out in 2009, X-Men frightening nature of Wolverine's Origins: Wolverine follows the course of character and the abilities he has. its silver screen namesake. Players get “We think that consumers will the chance to wield the claws of be surprised by how much of a popular superhero Wolverine as they departure this is from previous Marvel walk the same path trodden by Hugh character-based games. It’s not what Jackman in the film, taking on a variety they would expect.

“The team at Raven Software has worked on the title for over two years and produced a game that utilises the Unreal Engine. It really breaks the mould as far as superhero games are concerned. Retailers who have seen the game have all been pleasantly surprised and impressed at the same time. Those who may have dismissed Wolverine as ‘yet another movie title’ should take a closer look.”

WOLF AT THE DOOR

As you would expect from both the screenshots and the movie trailer, Wolverine focuses on combat. Gamers will be able to unleash Logan’s adamantium claws against waves of enemies, taking revenge on those who created him as well as clashing with a few recognisable super-villains. They can

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MCV 10/04/09 27

SCISSORHANDS: Activision Blizzard’s Wolverine pits its hero against some aggressive foes – and some risky locations

even tune into Wolverine’s feral instincts to find their enemies’ weaknesses and use his regenerative abilities to heal themselves. “Gamers will be really impressed by the quality of gameplay and the appeal that this game will have across a broad consumer base, regardless of whether or not they are Marvel movie fans,” adds Tyler. “This is ultimately about using the strength of Wolverine’s character and skills in a relatively brutal yet simple and rewarding way. “It will not only excite Marvel fans but also appeal to fans of good quality games in general. This title is all about gameplay with the added bonus of the movie and franchise support.” The movie is already one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the upcoming summer season, so it is safe

to assume that the Great British public will be expecting an accompanying video game. As wel as promoting the title to cinema-going consumers, Activision is determined to see it recognised as a major entertainment product in its own right. “As Wolverine is aiming to break the mould for a superhero game, we are keen to promote the title ahead of launch so we’ve been working with retail to secure a number of support programmes,” says Tyler. “We’ve focused our messaging on driving home the fact that Wolverine is a high quality game that does not solely rely on having a movie to support it. “This messaging is really resonating and is being carried through with impact to our in-store and online launch initiatives.”

Media expectations are for the film to finish 2009 as one of the largestgrossing box office hits of the year, so Activision will be upping the ante of its marketing as the movie launch gets closer in order to fully capitalise. The media campaign will consist of a heavyweight pre-awareness and launch digital media drive timed to be most prominent around the launch window, and will be supported by a print campaign. CLAW AND ORDER

Both the print and online campaigns will be integrated with PR activity in order to increase the game’s exposure. Of course, this being a movie game, the big screen will also play an important part in promoting the release. “Our cinema media buy was a must have for this launch to maximise the

RELEASED: MAY 1 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, DS, PS2, PSP, PC PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Wolverine theatrical launch,” explains Tyler. “We have extended our cinema media buy to also deliver audiences going to see a number of the summer hits, including the new Star Trek film.” “Wolverine’s consumer media programme is a two-pronged approach; firstly bringing awareness to the hardcore gamers pre-release and during launch by establishing strong gaming credentials – and secondly maximising the movie’s release and broadening the franchise’s appeal.”

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RETAILBIZ: RHYTHM HEAVEN 28 MCV 10/04/09

Nintendo releases an off-the-wall take on the rhythm-action genre – a week after DSi hits retail shelves…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor RHYTHM-ACTION games have evolved over the last five years or so, stretching beyond the realms of the simple foot patterns in the Dance Dance Revolution titles to the full-blown concert simulation of Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Such games have always been loved by the mass market audience, but there is still an element of intimidation as casual gamers pick up the latest guitar controllers. Rather than giving them a confusing mish mash of buttons, frets and whammy bars, Nintendo offers a simpler, more accessible experience in Rhythm Paradise. Players simply tap and slide the stylus along with the music on the touch screen – placing the emphasis on a sense of rhythm rather than a firm grip on the controller. There are more than 50 tracks available for gamers to master, ranging

in difficulty to cater for both the more casual players and a hardcore audience. As with other elements of the game, the featured songs are firmly rooted in Japan, composed by the country’s legendary pop music producer TSUNKU. Rhythm Paradise further innovates the rhythm-action genre by replacing the traditional interface with something

rolling log, painting a Japanese character, firing a catapult and refueling a robot – all with a few rhythmic taps on the screen. It’s a system that offers a unique, endearing and often humorous take on a genre that can sometimes feel a little monotonous. The rhythm-based tasks are simple

Beyonce is providing a celebrity endorsement, ensuring a wide audience is aware of Rhythm Heaven. James Honeywell, Nintendo

more interesting. Instead of representing the beat with bars or icons, the game features a variety of brief chararcter-led mini-games where tapping and sliding in time with the beat completes certain tasks. After a quick demonstration, gamers are left to tackle a variety of odd tasks. These include creating a path for a

enough that anyone can enjoy them, but avid gamers will be keen to master every track and unlock additional games. The game even mixes up the formula by challenging players to tap or slide off-beat as well as on-beat in certain mini-games. “Rhythm Paradise is an extremely fun and exciting game that will offer a

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RETAILBIZ: RHYTHM HEAVEN WWW.MCVUK.COM

completely new experience to all,” says Nintendo’s James Honeywell. “The addictive mini-games encourage the players to tap and flick the stylus to complete various wacky tasks. This game has a unique sense of humour that will bring it life and make it fun for players of all levels.” BEAT ‘EM UP

Rhythm-action games have always proven to be big hits thanks to their universal appeal, and this trend carries over to the handheld market. This has been demonstrated by the likes of the iPhone title Tap Tap Revenge – after all, plenty of people listen to music when they’re on the go. Rhythm Paradise is quirky marriage of intense and addictive rhythm-action gameplay and fun minigames – in a style reminiscent of another successful Nintendo franchise, WarioWare – means the title is certain to appeal to a wide audience. As with all its titles, Nintendo will be

MCV 10/04/09 29

putting considerable weight behind marketing the title, capitalising on the enhanced interest in the DS surrounding the debut of the DSi. The platform holder will be promoting Rhythm Paradise through online, trade and media initiatives, as well as adding another celebrity to the roster that already endorse Nintendo products. “Rhythm Paradise will be just one of a number of strategic releases this year,” says Honeywell. “We hope that with the installed base of DS at over nine million in the UK there will plenty of people ready to try this exciting new titles. “We have arranged a comprehensive marketing campaign featuring our latest celebrity endorsement from Beyoncé to ensure that a wide audience will be aware of the launch. The other key advantage of this launch will be how we are able to use it to continue promotion of DSi that will have only launched one month before and this title will be a key purchase for all those new customers.”

RELEASED: MAY 1 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

QUIRKY: Kooky mini-games help to make Rhythm Paradise a unique title in the rhythm-action genre

Hit singer Beyoncé will feature heavily in the mass market TV campaign, which will begin on April 27th and ensure high public awareness of the game’s release. A 48-sheet outdoor campaign will complement the TV ads. In terms of online marketing, Nintendo will be using the game’s microsite and a combination of emails, key-word search activity and customer relationship marketing. There will be an extensive range of POS available to retailers, which will also feature Beyoncé. Honeywell adds: “Launching so soon after the much-anticipated launch of DSi and featuring an endorsement from Beyoncé, we hope this will be a very popular title when it launches in May.”

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RETAILBIZ: DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION & LAPTOP GAMES 30 MCV 10/04/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

After 25 years, the Dragon Ball franchise is coming to the cinema as a major movie release – with 505 Games is handling a special video game tie-in…

Atari brings some of its biggest PC hits back to retail in budget form – this time specifically designed for laptop users…

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

THE DRAGON BALL franchise is one of the most popular manga properties of all time. The series began in serialised form in 1984 and ran until 1995. All 519 chapters were later published into 42 books, which have altogether sold over 200 million copies worldwide. Dragon Ball has also been turned into a hugely successful anime series, with multiple films, soundtracks and merchandise released based the animated series.

RELEASED: APRIL 17 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: DIMPS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

Dragon Balls, which contain the power to grant any wish. The story mode puts players in control of Goku, who must battle the evil Lord Piccolo. Gamers can also pit their wits against any number of opponents in arcade mode, accept

Dragon Ball: Evolution should capitalise on the current trend for PSP hits from The Land Of The Rising Sun.

And that’s not even counting the games and over $4 billion in related merchandise sales. Now the series is set to receive its first live action movie (for the English territories anyway), courtesy of 20th Century Fox, complete with its own video game tie-in. Dragon Ball: Evolution the video game will arrive on PSP and allows gamers to play against their favourite characters from the movie. Players must battle for control of seven sacred

THE LAPTOP market is one of biggest growth areas in today’s PC sector. Once a distant second to the desktop, laptops have become a regular feature on public transport, with many consumers buying notebooks as a replacement to their home PC. And this is something the team over at Atari have noticed, with its brand new Games For Laptop range. “The Games For Laptop range is being released over a period of time to

“ ”

challenges in mission mode or enter the training arena to hone their techniques. Of course the game boasts a full multiplayer mode, with an online option. The franchise has already spawned a successful video game series, and with PSP fans currently starved of games built especially for the portable, this is looking to be a likely success. Considering its cult popularity, Dragon Ball: Evolution should capitalise on the current trend for PSP hits from The Land Of The Rising Sun.

RELEASED: APRIL 24 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: VARIOUS PRICE: £9.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

range that has been developed to appeal to a broad audience. “Each title in the range has been tested and approved as suitable for laptops. In addition unique pocketsized packs have been designed for portability.”

Each specially selected, classic title in the range has been tested and approved specifically for laptops. Lauren Bradley, Atari

eventually make up a collection of specifically selected classic titles that are perfect to play on laptop operating systems,” explains Atari UK product manager Lauren Bradley. Titles will include Boiling Point, Chris Sawyers Locomotion, Demon Stone, Dora the Explorer Dance to the Rescue, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents under Pressure, My Horse and Me, Neverwinter Nights Deluxe, Rollercoaster Tycoon Deluxe, Tactical Ops and Tycoon City New York – a

The games on offer are all sure to appeal to a wide range of consumers, from the hardcore to the casual. And the first titles due for release this month are real classics, including the critical and commercial smash hits Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and Neverwinter Nights. The new PC range is sure to be a success in the budget market, and the new, slim-downed packages, which are idea for laptop bags, offers an attractive selling point.

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RETAILBIZ: MINON: EVERYDAY HERO WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 10/04/09 31

Nordcurrent brings Japanese platforming oddity Minon: Everyday Hero to UK shelves, giving gamers a rather unique superhero experience… by James Batchelor WHEN IT comes to childhood aspirations, superhero is right up there with pro-footballer, astronaut and superspy. While the latter three are at least obtainable, the only way the youth of today can experience the thrills of being a superhero is through the medium of video games. Nordcurrent’s Minon: Everyday Hero provides a more unusual superhero jaunt than players will be used to. Rather than playing as your stereotypical hero, carrying out righteous deeds such as beating the crap out of beefed up supervillains and their henchmen, gamers will instead be aiding regular citizens by tackling their everyday problems. These tasks can range from tipping golf balls into holes, answering TV quiz show phone calls, or preventing the audience from leaving an aspiring pop star’s performance. It is a far more humourous take on the genre, and is in keeping with the game’s light-hearted visual style. Travelling around each level is also significantly different from anything seen before in superhero games. Superman can fly, Spider-Man swings on webs, but Minon travels on dominos. Players run along a domino rally-style line of in-game objects that are in keeping with the environment, be it trees, buildings or even people. Minon is constantly moving, and in order to change direction or bridge gaps, he must create special orange dominos. However, doing this costs energy and slows his pace. To maintain speed, players shake the Wii Remote in time with his steps, with the objective of moving faster and rack up combos by not missing a single domino, which in turn builds up the energy meter.

Depending on the challenge, Minon will change size to match the proportions of the objects he’ll be running along. One moment, he may be the size of an insect, while the next he’ll be as tall as a skyscraper, crushing

Minon’s bright colours may appeal to a younger audience, but it also means it will entice core gamers with an enthusiasm for the quirkier titles of the Far East. The intense and addictive gameplay will also satisfy core gamers, so Nordcurrent is keen to capture this audience. With the kind of interest we “We are targeting core are seeing from core gamers, gamers that enjoy original we expect this title to do Japanese video games,” explains Nordcurrent really well at retail. managing director Alexander Bravve, Nordcurrent Alexander Bravve. entire buildings underfoot. Once players “Judging from feedback we are have completed the game, they can play getting from gamers, there is a strong again to unlock new tasks, and can even interest in this title. play with a friend. “Minon was already being discussed The game boasts a distinctly Japanese in forums and messageboards before we visual style, with a vibrant colour even started the marketing campaign. scheme and adorable models and With that kind of interest from core artistry. The style is also perfectly suited gamers, we expect this title to do really to the family-friendly Wii. well at retail.”

RELEASED: APRIL 24 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: NORDCURRENT DEVELOPER: RED ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

The PR and marketing campaign will run for three months, and include ads and editorial in a range of specialist press. Nordcurrent is also targeting major online gaming portals, and POS will be available in the form of posters. “When the game hits shelves our campaign will be at its apogee,” says Bravve. “Minon: Everyday Hero will be covered by Official Nintendo, Edge and other magazines, and we are sure this will create significant interest. Moreover, core gamers are not sensitive to price points, so retailers will be able to keep higher margins.”

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RETAILBIZ: PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE 32 MCV 10/04/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sega brings its long-running and acclaimed online RPG series to Sony’s handheld in Phantasy Star Portable, which comes complete with additional content, online play, and an all-new story... by James Batchelor ONE OF THE most ground-breaking and notable releases on the Dreamcast was Phantasy Star Online. The game allowed players to form a party and take on epic quests in a world that blurred the lines between sci-fi and fantasy. It was a critical success and spawned a series of sequels, which appeared on multiple formats including GameCube, PS2, Xbox, 360 and PC. Now the franchise is set to make its handheld debut. Phantasy Star Portable for the PSP brings everything the series is known and loved for to gamers on the go. The game combines much of the content, such as weapons, bosses and characters, of the last console game, Phantasy Star Universe, and its expansion Ambition of The Illuminus, into one complete package. RELEASED: APRIL 17 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SONIC TEAM PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

However, it’s important to note that Phantasy Star Portable is a completely new beast. The game boasts a fresh story set between Phantasy Star Universe and its expansion pack, introducing new characters and content not seen in the console games. STORY TIME

With the infestation of the alien SEED thought to be under control, players are tasked with confronting a new menace in the Gurhal system. Accompanied by new character Vivienne, they must investigate this contamination and clear out the affected wildlife, delving into the mysteries behind this evil. “Phantasy Star Portable is combining the best of Phantasy Star Universe and Ambition Of The Illuminus into an action-packed JRPG package you can play with your friends,” says Sega’s junior PR and marketing executive Kate Billingham.

“There are new characters and a brand new storyline with three ending scenarios, ensuring that fans and newcomers will find something for them. It’s a great addition to an awardwinning, long-established series.”

Phantasy Star Portable is a great addition to the series and should be well received by fans of JRPGs. Kate Billingham, Sega A key new feature is the multiple endings. For the first time in the franchise’s history, Phantasy Star players will have to make crucial decisions that affect the outcome of the storyline, leading to a range of different conclusions. Also making its debut is the record book, which keeps track of all the items players collect. There are over 150 new collectible items to be found on their travels, encompassing a mixture of weapons and useful items. As can be expected the major selling point for Phantasy Star Portable is the multiplayer. The

online mode from the previous console games has been transferred perfectly to Sony’s portable machine. Players can even play with friends in the same room, making the gaming session a more personal experience. Either way, up to four players can team up together over the PSP’s wireless connection, allowing fans from around the world to adventure together without the use of a console for the first time.

CHARACTER SELECT

In any online troop balance is the key, and players will be able to choose from four races and three different class types, either earning experience points online or importing their character from the single-player mode. They can even import their customisable avatar from the Phantasy Star Portable demo. “Phantasy Star Portable should be well received by fans of the JRPG genre, and it’s a great addition to the Phantasy Star series,” concludes Billingham. “It has already received some positive reviews stateside, and we expect the same to be reflected over here.”

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 10/04/09 33

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Montana marks a strong start for May Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie arrives in May, allowing console and handheld gamers alike to play as the teen idol. Also heading to shelves is X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Riddick and the Wii re-release of Pikmin 2... TITLE

FORMAT

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TELEPHONE

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PSP / PC / Wii / PS2 DS PSP PSP Wii PSP PC PC PC

Action FPS Action RTS Puzzle RPG Strategy Action FPS

Oxygen South Peak 505 Games Deep Silver Midas Sega Mastertronic Mastertronic Mastertronic

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DS PC PC

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Koei 505 Games Disney Interactive JoWood JoWood Playlogic Nintendo Deep Silver JoWood Playlogic Activision Blizzard Zoo Digital

01462 476 130 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 01273 202 220 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01273 202 220 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800

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APRIL 17th CID The Dummy Dementium Dragonball Evolution Mytran Wars Octomania Phantasy Star Portable Rise & Fall: Civilizations At War (PC Gamer Presents) Stranglehold (PC Gamers Presents) Unreal Anthology (PC Gamer Presents)

APRIL 22nd SingStar Pop Edition

APRIL 24th Animal Planet: Emergency Vets Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena Company Of Heroes: Anthology Crazy Machines Complete Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 Gobliiins 4 Little King's Story Mind, Body & Soul: Big Word Puzzle Book Mind, Body & Soul: MinDStorm II Minon: Everyday Hero New Play Control! Pikmin 2 Pimp My Ride 2 Rock Band 2

APRIL 27th Drivers Ed Gothic 3 Gold Edition Guild 2 Platinum Edition

APRIL MISC Diabolik: The Original Sin Guitar Hero III Legends Of Rock (solus) Marbles! Balance Challenge Rock Revolution Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Accelerator

MAY 1st Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Gardening Mama Hannah Montana: The Movie Game Life Signs Pet Pals Pool Hall Pro Rhythm Paradise Russell Grant's Astrology The History Pack Vertigo X-Men Origins: Wolverine Yamaha Supercross

MAY 8th Aqua Panic

MUSTSTOCK ....HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE

MUSTSTOCK .....NEW PLAY CONTROL! PIKMIN 2

Released: May 1st Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS Publisher: Disney Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Released: April 24th Format: Wii Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985

Fans get to experience the best of both worlds as they take on a range of challenges as both Miley Cyrus and her pop sensation alter-ego Hannah Montana. Released alongside the movie of the same name, this title is guaranteed to sell well.

Widely regarded as the better of the two Pikmin titles, Pikmin 2 makes its Wii debut under the New Play Control! range. The control scheme has been reworked to offer veterans a fresh challenge, while newcomers to the game will find it even more accessible to play.

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INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

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20

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RESIDENT EVIL 5 STAYS AHEAD OF AFRO SAMURAI OF THE NEW releases this week, Atari’s Afro Samurai came closest to dethroning Resident Evil 5 from the top spot. The action game, based on the hit anime series and starring Samuel L. Jackson, reached No.6 in the Top 10, but failed to outsell Capcom’s zombie-infested epic, which remains at the top of the Charts. Also outperforming the newest entries to retail were Wii Fit, GTA: Chinatown Wars and WWE Legends Of Wrestlemania. Interestingly, the Xbox fanbase for Wrestlemania have boosted the 360 version above the PS3 this week, having been outsold by its Sony counterpart in last week’s Indie Charts.

“Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and Rock Band 2 prove that a delayed PS3 launch isn’t enough to dispel interest in EA’s brands.” Midway’s Wheelman, co-published by Ubisoft, fell short of the Top 10, but displayed a relatively even split between the two versions. A duo of EA PS3 ports also made their successful debut this week, with Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and Rock Band 2 proving that a delayed launch isn’t enough to dispel interest in these brands among the PS3 userbase. Presumably through a combination of retail promotions and renewed stock, a selection of previous hits returned to the Charts, including FIFA 09, Call Of Duty: World Of War, Football Manager 2009 and World Of Warcraft: Wrath Of The Lich King. Notable absences from the chart this week are Sega’s Stormrise, the official Monsters Vs Aliens game and the Wii version of PES 2009, which were also released in the week. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

week’s Frontline interviewee is Simon Mogg, FROM THE FRONTLINE This from Aberystwyth’s GamePark… What is the best thing about being an indie? We get to make our own decisions, because we’re completely second hand here. We have no new stock here at all. It means we can decide how much we buy stuff off customers for, and we can decide what we want to take in and what we don’t. It’s great not being ruled from above, and being able to give people offers on the spur of the moment. It’s much better than working for someone. What is the worst thing? In many ways, it’s the same problem. Because we’re entirely second hand, we can’t just buy in what we like, when we like. People are starting to get the idea that trading is the way forward

because no one has enough money for the new stuff. But there are times when we have to send away customers because we have too many copies of older games, and it means that we’re not getting the customers in to buy stuff as well as to sell stuff. What are you looking forward to most this Easter? I can’t remember if it’s Easter or summer, but we’re really looking forward to Wii MotionPlus. We don’t really keep an eye on release dates, because it’s fairly irrelevant to us. And I suppose there’s the DSi, although I’m not completely sure of its purpose – it’s yet another thing where people have to replace their DS for not much more in the new model.

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 10/04/09 35 Sponsored by

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£26.93

£29.93

£34.95

£29.95

£29.95

£26.95

£24.95

IN STORE: ASHFORD

ONLINE

RETAIL PROMOTIONS

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

Gamers save £100 when they buy a Premium 60GB Xbox 360 with a triple game pack, including Viva Piñata, Sega Superstars Tennis and Banjo Kazooie for £119.99.

Order The Sims 3: Collector’s Edition from GAME to receive an in-game vintage car, map and Simsstyle gem that doubles as a 2GB USB drive for £44.99.

MARGIN MAKER

Riddick fans can save £10 when they preorder Assault On Dark Athena for Xbox 360 or PS3, or £12 when they pre-order the game for PC.

AS IMPRESSIVE as graphics have become, audio is more important than ever these days. While visual improvements are far more obvious, advances in sound are subtler and only noticeable with a set of expensive speakers or a quality headset. The Medusa NX 5.1 Gaming Headset from Speedlink is one such headset. Designed with gamers in mind, this product delivers crystal clear audio in 5.1 surround sounds. Players will be able to hear a door closing behind them to the left or the footsteps of opponents approaching from in front – perfect for multiplayer sessions.

The headset plus directly into the soundcard or can even be used with a DVD player, thanks to the phono and mains adaptors. Gamers can adjust sound levels individually in order to suit their preferences. The Medusa Headset has been developed with a focus on comfort and convenience, with a 3.8 metre cable allowing players to sit wherever they want while they are gaming. There is also a carry case included, which can be used to store the collapsible headset. Meroncourt: 01462 680060

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 36 MCV 10/04/09

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

2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11

[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 MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PERSONA 4 SQUARE ENIX PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA LEG0 BATMAN WARNER BROS

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

2 3 4 5

2 3 4 5

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

6 7 8 9 10

NEW

RE

1

RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360

3

6

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

4

11

THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3

5

7

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

6

3

STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3

TITLE

[5]

DEVELOPER: SCEA BEND PUBLISHER: SONY EA D3P SEGA EA UBISOFT KONAMI THQ ROCKSTAR LUCASARTS

PUBLISHER CAPCOM EA MIDWAY/UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CAPCOM

7

4

PROFESSOR LAYTON DS

8

9

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

NINTENDO

9

16

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

10

8

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS

SEGA ROCKSTAR

11

19

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

12

13

MARIO KART WII Wii

13

15

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

14

12

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

15

NEW

16

10

WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360, PS3

2K PLAY NINTENDO

WARNER BROS

TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3

UBISOFT ROCKSTAR

17

18

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

18

17

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

19

24

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

20

21

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

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

2

PC CD-ROM

1

ACTION PACK PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED

FORMAT: WII

LAST WEEK

[4]

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

WII FIT

THIS WEEK

DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P

RESISTANCE: REVOLUTION

6 7 8

1

PUBLISHER

1

PSP

[2]

[3]

[FULL PRICE]

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

2 4 10 3 5 6 7 8 9

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION UBISOFT MARIO KART DS NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NINTENDO MORE BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

D3P UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA 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 TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. UBISOFT THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA LEFT 4 DEAD EA

2 3 4 6 7 5 12 8 RE

DEVELOPER: CREATIVE ASSEMBLY PUBLISHER: SEGA

36,37 MCV532_final:54-55 MCV525

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 10/04/09 37

NINTENDO’S record-breaking Wii Fit has taken the

Wii Fit has now equalled Nintendo’s previous

top spot for the tenth time, almost a year after it

long-running No. 1 Pokémon Yellow, which spent

was first released.

ten weeks at the top back in 2000. The game

The game joins a series of long-tail hits in this week’s Top Ten. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic

displaces Resident Evil 5, which dropped 38 per cent in sales and slipped into second position.

Games marks its 69th week in the Top 40 by

It was great week for Midway and Ubisoft too,

climbing into ninth position with a 39 per cent jump

with The Wheelman jumping up the charts into

in sales, while eighth placed Call of Duty 4: Modern

fourth place following a 42 per cent sales spike.

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

5

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3

THQ

22

27

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS DISNEY

23

14

KILLZONE 2 PS3

SONY

24

20

SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3

SEGA

25

30

PUZZLER COLLECTION DS

UBISOFT KONAMI

26

22

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 WII, PS3, 360

27

25

C&C: RED ALERT 3 PS3

28

RE

GUITAR HERO III PS2, PS3, Wii, 360

29

36

30

RE

MARIO KART DS DS

31

39

DISNEY’S BOLT PS3, PS2, 360, DS, Wii

32

RE

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

33

34

SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2

34

RE

RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY WII

35

RE

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION DS UBISOFT NINTENDO DISNEY LUCASARTS THQ UBISOFT NINTENDO

36

23

HALO WARS 360

37

RE

SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii

SEGA

38

29

SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT Wii

SEGA

39

NEW

40

38

WSC REAL 09: WORLD SNOOKER PC, PS3, 360 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NEW

1 3 2 4 12 9 19 11

MICROSOFT

BLADE SEGA

TITLE

PUBLISHER

MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER DEVELOPER: BIG FISH GAMES PUBLISHER: FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC AGE OF EMPIRES III MICROSOFT WARHAMMER ONLINE: AGE OF RECKONING EA THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT

PUBLISHER

RESIDENT EVIL 5

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

STREET FIGHTER IV KILLZONE 2 THE WHEELMAN TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. COMMAND & CONQUER: RED ALERT 3 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA FIFA ‘09 WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE

NEW

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

TITLE

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY MADWORLD HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR MARIO POWER TENNIS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

THE WHEELMAN CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE STREET FIGHTER IV WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FIFA ‘09 HALO WARS GRAND THEFT AUTO IV TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X.

6 9 5 10 8

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ EA WARNER BROS

NINTENDO SEGA SEGA UBISOFT SEGA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO KONAMI

[FULL PRICE]

RESIDENT EVIL 5

NEW

UBISOFT

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

1 7 4 3

SONY MIDWAY/UBISOFT

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 7 8 6 11 5 9

CAPCOM

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

TITLE

[FULL PRICE]

1 3 2 7 5 6 11 4 9

Christopher Dring

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

Warfare celebrates its 66th week in the charts.

PS3

WEEK ENDING 04/03/09

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM MIDWAY/UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CAPCOM WARNER BROS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA MICROSOFT ROCKSTAR UBISOFT

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

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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

Ăœber 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

38,39 MCV532_final:Layout 1

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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 – 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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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 40 MCV 10/04/09

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

40,41 MCV532_final:Layout 1

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 10/04/09 41

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

JAPAN

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

AFTER its well-documented slow start in Japan, the increasing momentum of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has seen the console break the one million unit sales barrier in the region. Famitsu figures show that since its December 10th 2005 release, Microsoft’s console has (as of March 29th 2009) sold 1,001,191 units. 360 enjoyed a strong resurgence in Japan during 2008 following the release of a number of key titles including Lost Odyssey, Last Remnant and Infinite Undiscovery. It was also helped by the growing popularity of key western franchises such as Grand Theft Auto.

Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid

DREAMGEAR, LLC FRIENDWARE

USA

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 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,

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

SALES OF the Rock Band series have exceeded the $1 billion mark in North America, after only 15 months of being on sale. The figures come from MTV Games, citing data from NPD Group. In addition, over 40 million tracks have been downloaded and purchased for the title. Viacom, which owns MTV Games, said the Rock Band franchise had shipped 10 million units since the series’ November 2007 debut. According to NPD, Rock Band was North America’s number one title of 2008 in value terms. Elsewhere, North American games retailer Gamestop enjoyed its eighth straight year of growth in 2008. Full-year results for the fiscal year ending January 31st 2009 saw like-for-like sales climb 12.3 per cent for the same period the year before. Total sales climbed 24.1 per cent to hit $8.8bn. Net earnings for the year were up 38.2 per cent at $398.3m. Q4 like-for-like sales were up 9.6 per cent year-onyear with total sales jumping 21.9 per cent, reaching $3.5bn. Net earnings for the quarter increased 22.4 per cent to $232.3m. “In spite of the current worldwide retail environment, GameStop’s financial performance is being driven by delivering to consumers what they want: stores in a range of locations, knowledgeable associates and most importantly, options that provide real value,” CEO Daniel DeMatteo stated.

EUROPE

FOLLOWING an intense period of speculation, Sony has confirmed that it is to cut the price of its leading last-gen console PlayStation 2. The machine will see €30 cut from its European retail price, meaning it will be available on the continent for just €99.99. North American gamers will see a similar drop, to a new RRP of $99.99. “We are now into PS2’s tenth year and demand remains strong throughout much of our region,” said SCEE president and CEO David Reeves. “This RRP revision will help to ensure that PS2 remains a key part of the entertainment market for some time to come.”

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

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DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

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

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

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21 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 CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION

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LONG OR SHORT TERM STORAGE, WAREHOUSEING AND FULFILMENT CONTAINER & PALLET HANDLING FACILITIES FOR SHIPPING FROM BULK RIGHT DOWN TO INDIVIDUAL DISPATCH DIRECT TO END USERS UK, EUROPEAN & WORLDWIDE DELIVERY

MERONCOURT EUROPE SERVICES Letchworth, Herts, SG6 1JF Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 Email: ian.dunbar@meroncourt.com

MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk

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

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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY APRIL 17th

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 a good time to analyse this sector of the market. MCV looks at what the future holds for selfimprovement 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.

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.

LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL Good localisation is key 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 8th

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. FRIDAY MAY 15th

GUIDE TO GAMES RETAIL BUYERS We look at the leading retailers’ games buyers, profiling the key players in this sector of the industry. This ultimate guide will give publishers everything they need to know about those who play this crucial role in bringing games to shelves. Every important person making the buying decisions for every games outlet in the ever-changing retail landscape. FRIDAY MAY 22nd

TERRITORY REPORT: AFRICA With civilization spread thinly around this gargantuan continent, largely found on the northern and southern coasts, Africa may seem an unlikley territory for gaming to become successful in. MCV details the major players and retailers in this region, as well as the unique processes by which games are published and released there.

E3 SPECIAL It is quite simply the biggest event in the games industry’s calendar, and as the official International Media Partner for the event, we bring you a complete guide to this year’s E3 Expo. MCV looks at how the organisers have improved the 2009 event over its predecessors, and offers a round-up of what to expect from the industry’s major companies, including publishers and developers.

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 CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

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 Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive. . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.denki.co.uk Lightning Fish Games . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 817 666 nDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44(0) 1252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk

WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com

Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821

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Rebellion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862

TOOLS Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00 (1) 925 417 1785 bluegfx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 467 200 Natural Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1865 250575

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

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 486 6466

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Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 Philips amBX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Specialmove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 141 585 6491 Tsunami Music. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 350 2828 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1480 210 621

COURSES University of Hull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1482 465 951 For further online advertising information please contact 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

Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 MCV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01992 535647 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.mcvuk.com

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

Insider’s | Guide

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

This week, we speak to Mel Stephenson, managing director of Total Disc Repair…

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

Tell us about Total Disc Repair We are Europe’s number one supplier of disc repair machines. Our machines remove scratches from DVDs, games discs and CDs, repairing them to an ‘as new’ state, generating significant profits for their owners. Our customers range from those repairing one to two discs per day right up to those repairing ten thousand per day. What services do you offer? In conjunction with selling disc repair machines, we offer a machine repair service. We also support our customers that use their machine as an additional revenue stream by helping them to promote their disc repair service to the public, offering them advice and marketing materials to generate maximum revenue. Tell us something we didn’t know about your company. We believe that what we sell offers the fastest return on investment of any product out

RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com

there. Many of our customers make the money back on their disc repair machine in the first month and continue to make the same again every month thereafter. What’s the best part about your job? There are so many great people, which makes work infinitely more interesting and enjoyable. Being surrounded by a great team also helps, with many having been here since the early days. The icing on the cake must be the fact that we are in offices 200 yards from the beach; beach volleyball after work isn’t simply a dream! Any exciting new developments happening at TDR? We will be carrying out a number of exciting and innovative strategies to raise the public’s awareness of disc repair. These national campaigns will deliver increased business to everyone with a disc repair machine.

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

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

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

PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION

MAY 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 GAME ON! LONDON Saturday, June 20th – Sunday, June 21st London, Olympia Exhibition Centre www.gameonlondon.co.uk

MCV INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Thursday, April 23rd The Brewery, London jodie.holdway@ bhpr.co.uk The biggest night in the games industry calendar returns to The Brewery and will feature awards split across three categories; Retail, PR and Marketing, and People and Industry. A whopping 650 representatives from all corners of the UK games trade will be attending this essential industry event that gives credit to the industry’s most deserving execs.

JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION

DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Brighton www.developmag.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com

AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.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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MCV FORUM

Game for a good cause? While you all wait patiently for more news on the MCV & Xbox 360 Games Fives tournament, HMV and EA have the perfect remedy – a new football competition, all in the name of charity… HMV is staging a five-a-side Industry Soccer Challenge on Friday, May 29th – one day before the FA Cup final, and two days after the Champions League final. The half-day event (arrive between 1-1:30pm for a 2pm start – finishes 6pm) at Goals Wembley (Alperton Lane) will be sponsored jointly by Microsoft Xbox 360 and Electronic Arts, and all proceeds after costs will go to HMV’s nominated charity CLIC Sargent, which cares for children with cancer. Teams will be drawn primarily from the music, DVD and games industries, as well as from relevant trade and consumer media. I am writing to invite MCV readers to enter a team on behalf of their company (with a squad of up to seven players). The entry cost for each team is £250 (inc. VAT), which works out at just over £35 per team member, so I trust that you will feel it’s affordable, and a great way to get out of the office on a Friday afternoon to network and to support CLIC Sargent.

CHARITY SUPPORT: HMV, EA and Xbox 360 have teamed up for a special football event in support of the CLIC Sargent cancer charity

Together with our sponsorship support, your entry fee will help us cover the event costs and will hopefully enable us to reach towards our fundraising target of £7,500. We can invoice your company

or take admission payment on the day or via cheque. Along with the matches themselves (which will include refereed group stages – so everyone gets a few games at least), we hope to arrange

some off-pitch games action as well as goody bags, prizes and some light refreshments. If you would like to reserve a space and require an entry form or would like more info, please let Rae Peal (07734 088

464) know and email five-aside@hmvfootball.co.uk so that we can count your team in. Gennaro Castaldo,

HMV

FORUM This week on the MCVUK.com’s Forum, indie retailers have been discussing the sudden price cutting seen on Sega’s critically acclaimed MadWorld. Here’s a couple of examples… Re: Madworld Is it that big a deal? Fable II was down to £20 a couple of weeks after release, and that was a much better and more successful game than MadWorld. GamingScout The distribution price [of MadWorld] is right down. This is probably because of

pressure from the specialist games stores. Can’t really blame Sega. The game really hasn’t sold, but it wasn’t because of the quality. I got in a few copies, and they went, but they went to specific, hardcore customers. It was just too niche. It’d be niche on 360, let alone on the mass market Wii. I feel bad for it, because it is a good game and I do recommend it strongly.

I think this poses a bigger question: can adult games do well on Wii? I’d say yes. Red Steel, Resident Evil 4 and House of the Dead: Overkill did alright numbers. But they are either established brands or mass market concepts. I expect The Conduit to do well. But MadWorld was just too odd. DVR-Games

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM

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Off The Record

This week, we say hello to our very own merchandising girls in California, get our hands on sought-after early studio artwork – and catch up with THQ’s Ian Curran...

PIC OF THE

WEEK As we count down to our promotional campaign at E3, we look back at Intent Media’s wonderful merchandising girls giving out countless copies of MCV sister mag Develop at the Game Developers Conference last month. Not an easy thing to comment on without sounding sexist, you know. But, hey, at least they were covered up in Tshirts and trousers. In ‘Californian promo girl’ terms, that’s winter wear.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

When will the news editors of the worldwide media get a grip on games – and stop talking absolute nonsense? Here’s this week’s worst...

“Computer games and social networking sites are responsible for a generation of inarticulate children.” A surprising statement of ‘fact’ in The Telegraph, 04/04/09

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MCV 10/04/09 49

PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

THE MCV TALENT AGENCY It’s not often that we get sent games pitches from budding designers – but this week brought a quite spectacular exception. Ten year-olds Scott, Elliot, Connor and Ryan, from Sandy Hill School in Cornwall, sent us a very detailed, 32page document detailing their idea for a new action game – featuring vehicles, platforms and enemies such as Heavyweight, Sizzle Sausage and, our favourite, Bionic Grandad. Okay, so it’s a little raw. But in an age when games are being blamed for killing inspiration in kids (see Read All About It, left), it’s pretty great that a group of ambitious youngsters can even make us cynical hacks feel a little bit proud. We wish them the best of luck. And it’s not as if their document wasn’t more professional than some other pitches we’ve seen in our time...

RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

OFF THE CUFF For the Guitar Hero fan who has everything... how about these snazzy cufflinks from US fashion label Uncrate. We’re all for diversifying the merchandising of such a mammoth franchise, but is this maybe going too far? What next? Guitar Hero pants? Guitar Hero condoms? Guitar Hero wedding rings? Now, where’s the number for Activision’s licensing team...

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

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Readers’

lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

I will be watching Manchester United or one of many bands live, listening to music, drinking and eating with friends and family or I will be with the family in Florida or Mexico. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME.

GoldenEye or Conkers Bad Fur Day on N64, The Game (starring Michael Douglas) and This Is The Sea from The Waterboys. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? My fondest memory that I can remember was a trip to Washington DC with Domark to watch England play Brazil at RFK Stadium. It involved Bill and Hilary Clinton, a US state trooper, a gun, copious amounts of alcohol (Mud Slides to be precise) and a resurrection! There are a select few people left in the industry who can join the dots up… but what goes on in Washington DC STAYS in Washington DC. We were there to celebrate the release of Marko’s Magic Football. I’m sure we can all remember what a great game that was! WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET? Has to be my six year-old son Declan, a real character who makes me laugh all the time with priceless comments and looks.

ere we get a real It’s the part of the magazine wh st recognisable impression of what makes the mo a true global faces in games tick. This week, it’s al Ian Curran... bigshot: THQ’s VP of Internation

WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?

I am still young! Professionally, nothing really springs to mind for when I was really young, but from when I joined the industry in 1992 it would be Tony Adams, John Parker and Rod Cousens. Personally it was my mum. WHEN WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS? I hope there are many good old days to come and I think one of them will be in Rome on May 27th 2009... but looking back they were 1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007. In particular 1968, 1999 and 2008 were excellent old days. Those people who know me well will understand why! Oh, I would also throw in many great Ibiza holidays from 1983 through 1988… fantastic times. Would I want to live it again? You bet I would.

“My favourite memory? It involves Bill and Hilary Clinton, a gun, a US State Trooper and lots of alcohol...”

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? I laughed hysterically for 45 minutes watching a football match played in Istanbul on May 25th, 2005. Unfortunately it was also a time when I last cried the most as well. Other than

that it was watching (John) Parker’s face in Mexico when a young fit good looking male masseuse turned up to give him his full body massage... “I’ll get you Kid!” (my nickname) was his

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



response, as I walked off down the corridor with my very attractive female masseuse. Needless to say that I made the booking... Don’t know how that could have happened!

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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SUNFLOWE R Helianthu

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s e l a s r u o y h Watc h t i w h s i r u o fl ! a m a m g n i n e gard

Out 1st May G Mama MCV NEW Wrap.indd 1

2/4/09 14:50:23


MCV532 April 10th 2009