THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday April 24 2009 £3.25
“Everything you love about tennis except the strawberries!” “… on whichever console... one of the highlights of the gaming summer.”
The No.1 tennis series in the world returns for 2009! The No.1 player line up, including Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic in the same game for the ﬁrst time ever. The No.1 tennis game for online rankings and prize tournaments. The No.1 to market – all consoles released in time for 'tennis fever' and 'Murray mania'. TM
The No.1 tennis series DEBUTS on Wii with all the features of the Xbox 360 and PS3. ®
The No.1 to market with Wii MotionPlus controls!
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
International Media Partner
Issue 534 Friday April 24 2009 £3.25
04 Winning Formula
16 Para trooper
Codemasters details the formats and dates for its hotly tipped new F1 title
Hollywood studio reveals the full strategy for its new games division
05 THQ thinks Big
21 Majesco marches in
The publisher plans to release a new chart-topping Wii minigame collection
Jason Dutton explains why Majesco has started to go direct in Europe
13 Credit where it’s due
31 Reeves’ greatest hits
Xbox’s David Gosen discusses mainstream views of the industry
With SCEE’s David Reeves retiring, we collate some of his best soundbytes
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
UK trade applauds very best Another good night for Nintendo, but MCV Awards also picks out success for GAME, Centresoft, Bethesda, Sega, Activision Blizzard, Play.com, Rockstar and Sony Grand Prix goes to EA Sports after mammoth year by Stuart Dinsey THE £4 billion UK games industry applauded its best performers last night. Over 600 retailers, media, publishers, developers, analysts and distributors jammed into The Brewery in London to see over 40 different companies fight it out for the ultimate recognition from customers, rivals and partners. Nintendo was once again the biggest winner on the night, picking up four awards, but EA Sports won the super prestigious Grand Prix.
Other retail winners included HMV Gamerbase (Retail Innovation), Mike Barnes and Pearl Robinson (Store Managers of the Year) and Gamestation Birmingham New Street (Star Store). EA Sports global president Peter Moore flew to London specifically for the MCV Awards and to collect the Grand Prix. EA Sports hasn’t just wowed the industry in the past 12 months with the outstanding success of FIFA 09 – it has created hit after hit for retail during the label’s 16 years.
These awards once again celebrated the hard work that makes the UK such a vibrant and creative market. Peter Moore, EA Sports
There were also highly impressive wins for Sega (Sales Team of the Year), Activision Blizzard (Publisher of the Year) and Bethesda (Sales Triumph). Nintendo won PR Team, Marketing Team and Game Campaign (for Wii Fit), whilst long-serving UK sales director Andy Yates was presented with the MCV Retail Advisory Board Special Recognition award. Rockstar North won UK Development Team, Sony’s LittleBigPlanet picked up New Games Brand and Microsoft’s New Xbox Live Experience won Marketing Innovation. Centresoft won Distribution Team for the fourth time in seven years, whilst GAME was awarded High Street Retailer and Play.Com won Online Retailer.
“These trade awards once again celebrated the hard work and creativity that makes the UK such a successful, vibrant and competitive marketplace,” commented Moore. “To win the MCV Grand Prix is very special. It is a tremendously prestigious trade award that vindicates the effort we have put into EA Sports over the past year and many years prior to that. “This is one for our team all over the world. We are very proud indeed.” A Judging Panel of 87 senior industry executives from across the entire market chose the winners from a set of Finalists per category. A full list of judges is published under this week’s comment on page 4.
PR & MARKETING
PEOPLE & INDUSTRY
Star Store: Gamestation: Birmingham New Street
PR Team: Nintendo
UK Development Team: Rockstar North
Retail Innovation: HMV Gamerbase
Games Campaign: Wii Fit
Distribution Team: Centresoft
Store Manager: Mike Barnes & Pearl Robinson (GAME Oxford Street)
New Games Brand: LittleBigPlanet
Sales Triumph: Fallout 3 - Bethesda
Online Retailer: Play.com
Marketing Team: Nintendo
Sales Team: Sega
High Street Retailer: GAME
Marketing Innovation: New Xbox Live Experience
Games Publisher: Activision Blizzard
SPECIAL AWARDS GRAND PRIX: EA Sports
Andy Yates (Nintendo)
PERSONNEL 38 RETAIL BIZ 41 NEW RELEASES 49 HIGH STREET 50 CHARTS 52
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[LEADER] WINNING SMILES Nintendo, EA Sports, Activision, GAME, Sega, Bethesda... take a bow. These were just five of the big winners at last night’s MCV Industry Excellence Awards in London. In the interests of fairness, we should also invite Microsoft, Gamestation Birmingham New Street, Rockstar North, HMV, Centresoft, Sony, Play.com and the managers of GAME Oxford Street to take a few bouquets. Winning at the MCV Awards is a huge achievement. Fighting through to become a Finalist and then gain more votes than anyone else from our 87-strong panel of judges is not easy at all (just ask the many companies who have yet to triumph despite seven years of trying). And even if there has been consolidation in some parts of the business over the past year, competition remains immense. Recognition by customers, rivals and suppliers hopefully makes all the hard work worth it. For a night at least.
Codemasters’ F1 line-up British publisher confirms fully licensed 2009 and 2010 titles for by Christopher Dring F1 WORLD Champion Lewis Hamilton will make his video game debut this autumn, MCV can reveal. Codemasters will launch F1 2009 for PSP and Wii this year, which will feature official tracks, cars, teams and drivers, including Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel – and UK world champion Hamilton.
said Codemasters chief executive Rod Cousens. “We are producing a series of games that will deliver the passion, glamour and exhilaration that fans deserve and we know how to do that. “F1 2009 is the start of something very special for Codemasters and will set the standard for the high definition versions that will follow in spring 2010.
Codemasters has a great heritage when it comes to racing games. We’re very impressed with the titles.
Bernie Ecclestone, F1 Management
SPORTS FOR ALL Nintendo again dominated the MCV Awards, winning PR Team, Marketing Team and Games Campaign, whilst our Retail Advisory Board gave a special recognition award to sales director Andy Yates. But this year it was EA Sports that won the Grand Prix, accepted by global president Peter Moore. This follows a tremendous performance over the past year, but is also in recognition of EA Sports’ success in the UK through a decade or more. FIFA has been the best-selling game of the year four years running. Last year, Tiger Woods went straight in at number one for the first time. And the brand has continued to evolve, enlivening the boxing genre with Fight Night, whilst the tennis and fitness markets will be challenged this year. EA Sports is one of the strongest brands in the games industry and has been managed brilliantly in the UK year after year. Peter Moore rightly dedicated the Grand Prix to everyone who has played their part to date and MCV echoes that dedication to everyone who has worked on EA Sports past and present. Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk MCV AWARDS 2009: JUDGING PANEL There were 87 judges in all this year, taken from every sector of the business. No judge was allowed to vote for his own company. MCV thanks them all for their participation: Adam Doree (Kikizo); Adam Roberts (D3P); Alan Duncan (Sony Computer Entertainment); Alison Mitchell (505 Games); Andy Payne (Mastertronic); Andy Yates (Nintendo); Anthony Stocker (Argos); Ben Parfitt (CasualGaming.Biz); Bob Burridge (Eidos); Chris Dring (MCV); Chris Lewis (Microsoft); Chris Peacock (Gem); Colin Campbell (GameBiz); Spencer Crossley (Warner Bros); Darren Bowman (Ubisoft); Darryl Still (1C); Dave Roberts (MCV); David Braben (Frontier); David Neal (Centresoft); David Reeves (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe); David Tyler (Activision); David Yarnton (Nintendo); Dean Barrett (Bastion); Don McCabe (CHIPS); Emma Parkinson (Future); Geoff Heath (Ncsoft); Graham Chambers (Amazon); Penny Humphrey (Electronic Arts); Ian Baverstock (Kuju); Ian Curran (THQ); Ian Howe (505 Games); Ian Livingstone (Eidos); Ian Stewart (Zushi Games); Igor Cipolletta (Shopto.net); Iris Ludolf (Partnertrans); James Batchelor (MCV); Jeremy Wigmore (Codemasters); John Clark (Sega); Jonathan Grimes (Microsoft); Jonathan Hales (Southpeak Interactive); Jonathan Weinberg (The Sun); Keith Ramsdale (Electronic Arts); Kim Adcock (OPM Response); Serhad Koro (Take 2 Interactive); Larry Sparks (Square Enix); Lisa Foster (MCV): Lisa Morgan (GAME), Margaret Pearson (Centresoft); Martin Defries (Rising Star Games); Martyn Gibbs (Gamestation); Matt Carroll (Disney Interactive); Michael Breeze (Interactive Ideas); Michael French (MCV); Michael Rawlinson (ELSPA); Mike Sherlock (Square Enix); Mike Hayes (Sega); Neil Long (Future): Neil Ralley (2K Games); Neil Stephen (Rockstar); Neil Thompson (Microsoft); Nick Parker (Parker Consulting); Paul Nicholls (Koch Media); Patrick Melchior (Eidos); Pete Stone (Konami); Peter Bilotta (IGA); Peter Willis (DSG); Alan Pritchard (Sega); Ray Maguire (Sony Computer Entertainment); Rob Cooper (Ubisoft); Rob Gross (Blackbean); Robert Price (Future); Rod Cousens (Codemasters); Rosemary Dalton (Konami); Roy Campbell (City Interactive); Sam Collins (Midas): Sean Brennan (Bethesda): Sean Dromgoole (Some Research); Simon Byron (Barrington Harvey); Simon Lee (Gem); Steve Hill (Journalist); Steve Boxer (Journalist); Stuart Dinsey (MCV); Stuart Lang (Electronic Arts); Stuart Turner (Capcom); Tim Ellis (HMV); Tim Ingham (MCV); and Tim Smith (Spong).
This will be followed by the high definition F1 2010, which will hit shelves in spring next year for PS3, PC and Xbox 360. This title boasts an ‘authentic’ F1 experience, and makes use of Codemasters’ EGO Engine technology, which powered the BAFTA awardwinning Race Driver: GRID. “Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport,”
“Our studios are working extremely closely with Formula One Management Limited and the teams to produce the most authentic and thrilling experience possible. “We are delighted with the level of support and access afforded to us so far, enabling us to get as close to the sport as possible.” Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone added:
NEW GAMES BOSS AT PLAY PLOTS SALES GROWTH EX-ZAVVI head of games Patrick Kelly joined Play.com this week, and is already planning new ways to grow the firm’s games offer. Prior to joining Zavvi, Kelly had worked in games for Virgin Retail, and now replaces Gian Luzio at Play.com. Luzio joined The Hut as product director earlier this month. “I’m really excited by the incredible opportunity the head of games role brings,” Kelly told MCV. “I can’t wait to build upon of the successes that the team have achieved so far, particularly where my bricks and mortar experience can deliver new ideas and opportunities to generate customer and revenue growth for Play.com and the games industry as a whole.”
“Codemasters has a great heritage when it comes to racing games and their reputation is second to none. We’re working very closely together on the upcoming titles and are very impressed with what we have seen.” Codemasters: 01926 814132
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roars into view Wii, PSP, PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
START YOUR ENGINES: Codemasters will release two F1 games in the next year
Xbox concerned by Q4-addicted trade MICROSOFT’S European marketing boss for Xbox has questioned the continued concentration on Q4 and Christmas by publishers. David Gosen told MCV that he was concerned by the “seasonality” of the UK trade – and called on suppliers to take more risks when choosing release dates for major titles. “We still have a very seasonally-focussed business,” he said. “You only need look at last Christmas, when nearly 200 titles were released in the space of three or four weeks. There was that crazy week, third week of November. The big brands reached the top and everything else was left by the wayside. It’s becoming harder and harder to establish new IP in that environment. You have to ask if that’s sustainable.” Gosen pointed to Capcom’s success with its release of Resident Evil 5 last month. According to GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA data, the title was the
A source close to Midway told MCV: “Warner is pretty confident that they will get Midway – which will be an immediate boost to their portfolio. The deal isn’t done yet. Midway is still open to offers from other potential buyers – but Warner looks to be favourite to wrap it up. They look ready to put the money on the table.” A key employee incentive plan means that 28 key Midway members will receive a number of financial rewards if Midway’s $30 million target price is met. The bonus plan has been approved by owner Mark
TOP 10 inFAMOUS PS3 SONY
2. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ
3. THE SIMS 3 GOSEN: Jammed Q4 schedule “not sustainable”
second biggest-selling game in March and Xbox 360’s most successful game in Q1. He added: “Of course Christmas is still the key selling period, but we need to look at de-seasonalising. We launched GTA IV at this time last year, and Capcom’s Resident Evil has shown that you can be successful. As more publishers do this, we’ll create a second or third release window, and that will be great news for the industry.” David Gosen writes exclusively for MCV this week. To read his piece on the credibility of the industry, turn to page 13
Warner Bros in for Midway? RELIABLE trade sources have informed MCV that Warner Bros is readying a potential bid for Midway Games. It is thought that the LEGO publisher is particularly keen to acquire Midway’s flagship Mortal Kombat and Stranglehold franchises, as well as its retro IP such as Gauntlet, Joust and Galaga – and a modern casual game roster including Game Party and Touchmaster. MCV understands that Midway is keen for Warner to match its target sale price of $30m (£20.6m) – but that it may yet sell off its owned IP and studios separately.
DESIRABLE: Midway’s Mortal Kombat games continue to sell millions
4. RIDDICK: ASSAULT ON DARK ATHENA 360 ..................................................ATARI
5. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED 360 ....................................................THQ
6. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ..................................................ATARI
7. WII SPORTS RESORT WII ............................................NINTENDO
8. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2: DRAGON 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS
9. GHOSTBUSTERS 360 ..................................................ATARI
10. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI Week ending April 18th Source: SHOPTO.COM
Thomas, as well as the courts, Midway management, and the company’s various creditors. Media mogul and former Midway owner Sumner Redstone sold his 87 per cent
controlling stake in the publisher to Mark Thomas for just $100,000 in December. Midway could not comment on the story when contacted by MCV.
Week Ending April 3rd
Week Ending April 11th
Week Ending April 18th
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
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Wii availability reaches new high UK retailers are finally able to order consoles freely after more than 29 months of intense stock shortages by Ben Parfitt OVER TWO years after its UK debut and after no end of shortages, Nintendo’s Wii has now reached a level of open availability for UK retailers. Koch has told Nindie.com retailers that Wii hardware, which includes Wii Sports, is now freely available and will no longer be restricted to purchase on an allocation basis.
“We also urge customers to remember that Wii console purchases count towards the allocation of DSi, Wii Fit and forthcoming new releases.” A Nintendo spokesperson added: “We now expect Wii availability to be improved over previous levels.” Meanwhile, despite the increase in the Wii’s trade price coming into effect at the beginning of the month, there
Whilst stock is in better supply than ever, we still have to carefully manage it to avoid unbalanced stocking. Craig McNicol, Koch
“Whilst stock is in better supply than ever, we still have to carefully manage our customer base so that unbalanced stocking is avoided,” Koch MD Craig McNicol told MCV. “We urge our customers to plan their requirements for the next eight weeks, giving us upfront purchase orders week by week if necessary.
seems to be little indication of retailers adjusting their price. CHIPS’ joint MD Don McCabe stated: “We haven’t put our prices up yet as we’re still able to access stock sourced at the original value. However, this supply is drying up, so we’ll have to see what happens with the extra cost.” Koch: 0870 027 0985
MOTION PLUS PRICE STILL A MYSTERY Nintendo has announced that it will be releasing the Wii Motion Plus add-on on Friday June 12th, and UK retailers have this week finally been contacted regarding trade prices and availability. The peripheral has appeared on some online portals at £24.99 – more than the expected $20 retail price that has been touted for North America – but MCV understands that the final High Street price is more likely to be £19.99. The upcoming Wii Sports Resort, which will come bundled with the Motion Plus, will retail for around £49.99. Joint MD of CHIPS Don McCabe told MCV: “I personally think the increase to the Wii trade price was made to take the eventual inclusion of Wii Motion Plus in the hardware bundle into account. It might sound like a lot of money but it’s a complicated bit of kit.”
A4T launches official PlayStation accessories ACCESSORIES 4 Technology is set to release a range of officially licensed accessory kits for PSP, under the firm’s 4Gamers label. The new packs are due to hit shelves on Friday May 1st, and the company has told MCV that this is part of a three-phase strategy introducing licensed accessories for PSP and PS3 leading up to Christmas. “We have been working with SCEE for over two years now and it is a very exciting time for all of us here at A4T as we near the initial launch date,” said A4T’s sales and marketing director Bill Stirling. “The objective moving forward is to launch a range of
officially licensed products under our 4Gamers brand for the PSP and PS3 formats. “The 4Gamers brand will now only represent those formats with officially licensed products, and we firmly believe that we will add genuine value, quality and innovation to the video game accessory space in store and online with our key retail partners.” The PSP packs due this May include the Customise Kit, which features PSP stickers, wrist strap and screen protector for a retail price of £9.99, The Clean and Protect Kit, which consists of a wrist strap, PSP case, anti-static cleaning cloth and a screen protector for
CUSTOMISE: A4T’s new packs are due to hit shelves on May 1st
£12.99, and the Premium Travel Kit, which includes a genuine leather slip case, a leather wrist strap, and a soft touch UMD and two Memory Stick duo case, priced at £19.99. A4T: 01204 369220
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THQ reveals plan to eclipse Big Beach Sports success Publisher believes next iteration in expanding franchise can outsell 2008’s bestseller to-date unit sales of 560,000, becoming the third biggest selling third party game on Wii last year,” said THQ’s UK head of marketing Jon Rooke. “We believe that the key factors to that success were the snack-sized gaming that Big Beach Sports offered, a compelling £19.99 price point,
by Tim Ingham THQ IS plotting to become the king of Wii mini-game collections with the follow-up to last year’s mass-selling BIG Beach Sports. Like its predecessor, BIG Family Games will retail for £19.99, and bis backed by a
This can outsell Big Beach Sports. We are focused on the market segment. Jon Rooke, THQ
large-scale above-the-line and TV marketing campaign throughout the summer. But it will have its work cut out if it wants to outdo the performance of Big Beach Sports – last year’s 16th bestselling video game, according to GfKChartTrack/ELSPA data. “Big Beach Sports was a phenomenal success with life-
heavy ATL and TV support coupled with a sustained presence at retail. “We have taken that successful model for Big Beach Sports to the next level with four times as many games included in Big Family Games. With the continued growth in the Wii install base we hope to see Big Family Games eclipse the sales of Big Beach Sports.”
UNCA AGE OLVE ERINE E WO BIG Family Games features 24 mini-challenges including golf, tennis, ladder golf, lawn darts, horseshoes, bowles and more. The game is due for release on May 22nd.
THQ couldn’t confirm if it will release more games in the Big series in the next 12 months, but told MCV it was “focused on the market segment.”
MA AY 1, 2009 9
THQ: 01483 767656
Computer Exchange Ward in at Warner in new stores blitz SECOND-HAND specialist Computer Exchange has opened seven new stores, including one in Spain. In March, the retailer opened stores in Andover, Redditch, Tooting and Valencia, and earlier this month opened outlets in Bolton, Warrington and Portsmouth. The company’s Leeds shop has also moved to a new location. “We're chuffed to continue the mission to roll-out CEX to new areas,” said Computer Exchange’s brand and communications manager Jonathan Cronin.
“All three stores buy, sell and exchange our full range of products including music CDs. Portsmouth will grow later this month when the basement opens, packed with zillions more DVDs and CDs.” The new openings follow reports last summer that the retailer was on the verge of financial collapse, which the company refuted. Since then the firm has gone on to open four stores in New York, and shops in Maidstone, Stevenage, Exeter, Uxbridge, Coleraine, St. Albans and Cheltenham – many of which are franchise stores. www.cex.co.uk
WARNER BROS Interactive has snapped up erstwhile Bastion exec Mark Ward as UK PR manager. Ward left Bastion after 13 years earlier this month. Head of games at WBIE UK Spencer Crossley said: “We are delighted to have Mark on board. He brings an unrivalled wealth of PR experience to Warner Bros Interactive UK. He’s a very prestigious catch, with a great reputation in the games industry.” Ward added: “This is a really exciting time to be joining Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and with titles like Terminator Salvation, Scooby Doo, The
WWW W .UNCAGED D .C COM
WARD: Ex-Bastion exec boosts Warner’s ambitions in games
Clique and LEGO Battles, 2009 is going to be a huge year. They’re a great team and I’m very much looking forward to playing my part.”
MARVEL and all related Marvel characters and the distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and are used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries.Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. www.marvel.com. All rights reserved. Super Heroes is a co-owned registered trademark. Game © 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. ‘2’, ‘PLAYSTATION’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘PSP’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.
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Rising Star: Trade relationships now more important than ever Niche publisher attributes success of its Home Of Japanese Games campaign to support from the High Street by James Batchelor RISING STAR GAMES has highlighted the importance of retail in making its Home Of Japanese Games campaign a success. “Our relationship with retail is more important than ever,”
a trial of our Golden Week initiative, modelled on the idea of Japanese holidays, so consumers get a little bit of Japan when they shop.” Alty went on to say the publisher has seen support from “all corners of retail”, pointing out that independent
The campaign has had a brilliant impact at retail. All of the major retailers have supported what we’re doing. Simon Alty, Rising Star Games
Rising Star’s head of brand Simon Alty told MCV. “Because we have a story, we have found people are listening. All of the main retailers have supported what we’re doing. “We’ve been able to build Japanese hubs on their websites and the launch of Little King’s Story is being accompanied by
retailers had been particularly big supporters of the campaign. Now the firm is working to deliver the same message to gamers themselves. “The campaign has had a brilliant impact at retail and within the trade, but consumers are only now starting to feel the effect of that,” he said.
ALTY: “Our campaign has had a brilliant impact at retail and within the trade”
“We’ve got our sushi bar ads that have only entered print and digital media over the last five weeks, and we’ve seen a massive increase in traffic to our site. It’s all coming together really nicely.”
Rising Star is also expanding its scope beyond the Japan enthusiasts that have traditionally formed the publisher’s loyal following. The signing of the rights to Angel Cat Sugar enables the company to appeal to a much wider audience.
“With Angel Cat Sugar arriving this summer and Hello Kitty coming later on in the year, we have games that not only appeal to fans of all things Japanese but also appeal to mainstream girl gamers.” RSG: 01582 433700
Koch upgrades Nindie site to aid retailers FOLLOWING its previous announcement last month that it has invested in expanding its Nintendo market position, Koch Media today announces a number of key upgrades to its Nindie.com site. Six months after launching its Nindie live chat tool to a beta group of customers, Koch is pleased to announce the formal roll out of the software. Designed to allow indies to real-time chat to Koch’s Nindie sales, customer services and credit control teams, it has been used by every customer that has downloaded it. Boasting additional features such as real-time stock lookup, news feeds and accounts
information it sits on the desktop allowing users to gain crucial information without having to log-on to the web. In addition to recent key trade initiatives such as
request that Koch delivers consumer orders ‘white label’, the company is continuing to strive to offer the independent sectors as much online support as it can.
As the champion of Nintendo, we will continue to conceive and deliver any idea we feel will benefit our customers. Craig McNicol, Koch Media
bespoke point of sale assets that can be given away to loyal customers, pavement A-boards advertising upcoming products and a pre-order delivery system that allows independents to
Craig McNicol told MCV: “As the champion of Nintendo we will continue to conceive and deliver any idea that we feel will benefit our customers.” KOCH: 0870 027 0985
MCNICOL: “We will continue to conceive and deliver any ideas that we feel will benefit our customers”
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Industry site at last for US market GameBiz provides neglected North American games business with news and opinions by Tim Ingham THE NEW online news and opinion site GameBiz will thrive off a US audience desperate for its own trade resource. That’s according to founder and editor-in-chief Colin
A daily news and opinions destination dedicated to the US games industry is something sorely needed. Colin Campbell, GameBiz
Campbell, who has already drawn mass interest to the site, despite only launching a fortnight ago. GameBizBlog.com offers breaking news and in-depth analysis of US games industry issues, as well as daily updated vacancies for new jobs across the country. And former Edge Online boss Campbell believes the format has been craved by the US industry for some time. “A daily news and opinions destination dedicated to the US games industry is something
that is sorely needed,” Campbell told MCV. “GameBiz covers the business of games in an entertaining, culturally relevant style. It also aims to offer a complete digest of the latest game industry jobs every day.”
BLAZE: The Stealth Controller has been added to Blaze’s range of PS3 joypads. The peripheral boasts rumble functionality, a sleek black finish and a sleep/wake switch. The controller works wirelessly up to seven metres away from the PS3. EIDOS: A Collector’s Edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum has been revealed, which will include the game, a behindthe-scenes DVD, a code for additional downloable maps, and a full-size replica of the Batarang.
Former UK Edge Online editor Rob Crossley is also contributing to the blog, along with ex-Forbes journo Mary Jane Irwin. MCV understands that GameBizBlog.com plans to begin hosting advertising in the next few weeks. “GameBiz is a very simple format platform for the writers’ ideas and opinions about the game industry,” added Campbell. “I love the fact that anyone can communicate with audiences via easy-to-produce
UBISOFT: Assassin’s Creed II was officially announced last week. It will be available this Christmas and is currently being developed for all current-generation platforms. The game will be set in Renaissance Italy.
GameBizBlog offers news and opinions from key industry figures and caters specifically for the US games industry
blogs. But you’ll be seeing a lot more in the months ahead.” The site has already interviewed industry bigwigs such as Stardock CEO Brad Wardell and former CEO of
Infinium Labs, Kevin Bachus. Additionally, a weekly opinion piece entitled The Media Column is posted on the site every Wednesday. www.gamebizblog.com
GamesAid boosted Argos signs 505 deal by new donation INDUSTRY charity GamesAid has been given a major boost from a philanthropic PlayStation news site – which has handed over its entire operating profit to the cause. The running costs of PS3 Attitude (www.PS3attitude.com) are funded privately, meaning all revenue generated through its advertising, clickthroughs and affiliate sales is pure profit – all of which is donated to charity. The site is run by an army of collaborators who donate their time without charge. It
will continue to support GamesAid throughout 2009. “We’re delighted that the PS3 Attitude team has decided to support GamesAid this year,” offered Rupert Loman, trustee, GamesAid. “Their selfless approach to running the website will result in many disadvantaged young people given opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had.” GamesAid distributes funds to a diverse range of charities; it is a means of giving something back on behalf of the industry. www.ps3attitude.com
ARGOS HAS signed a special deal with 505 Games to promote the release of new DS title Gardening Mama. The general retailer will display standing units promoting the game throughout its release window – the first time Argos has offered this kind of POS to a software publisher. “We’re proud to announce a groundbreaking new initiative with Argos,” said 505’s product manager Juliette Fielder. “We are the first publisher to place FSDUs in Argos stores across the UK, so the game will have better presence than ever – the huge footfall instore gives the brand a great focus with customers.”
EA: The Beatles: Rock Band Limited Edition Premium Bundle has been detailed and priced. With an RRP of £179.99 for the UK, the bundle will include the game, a Höfner Bass guitar controller, a Beatles-inspired drum set, a microphone with stand and additional special content. SONY: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has struck a deal with Target Entertainment which will see the latter developing a range of PlayStation apparel, accessories, toys, stationary and gifts.
MAKING A STAND: Argos strikes first games FSDU deal
Gardening Mama is due for release on May 1st, and will be promoted with TV ads planned to air for three weeks after it hits shelves. 505: 01908 607772
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Supermarket giants join the MCV Retail Advisory Board Key Tesco and Sainsbury’s games execs sign up to keep MCV updated on latest issues affecting the trade by Christopher Dring RETAIL EXPERTS from Tesco and Sainsbury’s have joined the MCV Retail Advisory Board. Tesco’s games buying manager Joanna Hunt has joined the board following the recent expansion of the supermarket’s dedicated games buying team. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan has signed up as the retailer looks to increase its offer. Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have been active in the video game space in 2009, with EUK’s Nik Arran joining Sainsbury’s
earlier in the year, while Tesco has snapped up John Stanhope and Mark Burgess,mnfx also of EUK fame. “Both Tesco and Sainsbury’s have shown real ambition in the games sector this year, so we’re naturally delighted to have Joanna and Gurdeep join our Retail Advisory Board,” said MCV’s editor-in-chief Michael French. “The Retail Advisory Board has become an integral part of MCV’s editorial offering. The RAB helps to keep us up-to-date on the latest issues affecting retail, and provides us with
BOARD BOOST: Hunjan and Hunt join the Retail Advisory Board, bringing with them key knowledge and experience in games retail
regular comments on the latest developments happening at retail today.”
The Retail Advisory Board is an elite group of the top games buyers, which keeps MCV up-
to-date on the latest happenings in the trade. Hunt and Hunjan join a variety of RAB luminaries such as GAME CEO Lisa Morgan, Gamestation MD Martyn Gibbs, Asda’s head of games Duncan Cross and HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis, and will now become regular contributors to the magazine. Their appointments come after news that Play.com’s marketing manager Richard Chapple and DSGi’s games category manager Peter Willis have also joined the board. MCV: 01992 535646
"Gardening Mama" is a trademark of COOKING MAMA LIMITED. "Gardening Mama" ÂŠ2008 COOKING MAMA LIMITED. All rights reserved. Published by 505 Games S.r.l. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo.
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MCV 24/04/09 13
IN MY OPINION
‘Let’s demand more respect’ As David Gosen, Xbox’s head of European marketing, celebrates a year back in the industry, he tells MCV that video games firms need to work harder to attain the prestige and credibility they deserve…
DAVID GOSEN - CV Vice President Xbox Europe 2008 to date CEO & President I-play Mobile Entertainment 2004-2008 Managing Director Nintendo of Europe 1999-2004 Marketing & Distribution Director BSkyB 1996-1999 General Manager Direct Sales & Marketing - Mercury One2One 1994-1996 European Marketing Director - Pizza Hut International 1989-1994 Trade Marketing Manager - Coca-Cola & Schweppes 1987-1989
I MOVED OUT of the core games industry five years ago, into the mobile space with iPlay – and I returned in 2008 with Microsoft. It’s been very interesting to see what’s changed. The industry’s enjoyed tremendous growth across Europe – we’re at about $15 billion revenue depending on whose research you believe. In ’08 the market grew about 30 per cent year on year. That’s truly fantastic. And that growth has been driven by broadening, which is even more outstanding. All credit to my old friends at Nintendo – they’ve done a fantastic job and the rest of the industry has seen the opportunity to break out of the niche. Microsoft is creating more social experiences and getting teenagers to play with their parents for the first time in decades. This industry keeps reinventing itself. It’s young – still only 30 years-old – and dynamic, and keeps reinventing itself. It’s great to see.
‘BARRIER OF ACCEPTANCE’ But it frustrates me that from a public standpoint, the industry still hasn’t got the stature, credibility and cut through that we all deserve. I still get the sense we’re sandwiched somewhere between corporate bankers and taxmen in terms of society’s general perception. Ask people about what the industry provides, and they’d probably say: “I
don’t really know.” Or they’ll think we just stand for shooter boxes. There’s been improvement, but not the quantum leap there should have been. We should be as loved as Hollywood is or the music industry is. Yet we are not. That’s not because people aren’t trying. But there seems to be a barrier of acceptance. When we’re saving the High Street and bringing families back together again, we should be recognised for that.
We need to talk to schools, and talk to non-governmental organisations. If we all gave one per cent of our time to do so, all of a sudden you have tens of thousands of advocates promoting the contribution this industry makes to society. We have to stand up proud, work with the media, NGOs and the Government to make a difference. Live has been Xbox’s best kept secret in this regard – and we’re really going to sing about it this year. Three and a half million music downloads happen every month. It’s the ultimate in terms of a social experience. I sit and play Guitar Hero with my teenage daughter. That’s a great example of bringing families and generations together.
We’re still sandwiched somewhere between the bankers and taxmen in terms of society’s perception. More specifically, we should be rewarded by Government organisations giving us incentives to drive development within the region. It’s that creativity that will continue to drive the success of the business. We’re not taken as seriously as we should be. Tens of thousands of people work in this industry across Europe. Around 40,000 outlets around the region sell the product. It’s expensive to make games today – we’re talking $20 million dollars. ISFE is doing a great job, but the whole industry must work much harder together to improve our credibility.
‘LET’S KILL PREHISTORIC VIEW’ Live is the most social network that exists on console today. We have a hugely engaged user base. Our job now is to publicise the fact. The launch of NXE last year was the start of that. We’ve just released a new TV ad that talks about downloading music on Xbox 360. I don’t want to get involved in the issues surrounding this year’s [Change4Life] ad – it’s in the past. But that picture is a stereotypical, prehistoric view of the industry, yet it still for some people represents what the industry stands for. We all need to work on changing that fact – together.
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16 MCV 24/04/09
MCV INTERVIEW JOHN KAVANAGH, SVP VIDEO GAMES, PARAMOUNT
Of Paramount As MCV revealed last week, Hollywood studio Paramount is launching a new game assault with an online tie-in of its new Star Trek movie. Tim Ingham speaks to the head of its interactive entertainment division… What’s the story behind Paramount’s move into games? We started with iPhone publishing, and we’ve had five iPhone games out now. They’re all legacy titles, like Days Of Thunder and Top Gun. Days Of Thunder and Shooter did really well, so well in fact that we’re exploring other platforms. Our next step is into XBLA and PSN. We’ve done a game based on the new Star Trek movie for both of those and we’re taking our legacy titles onto XBLA and PSN as well, including Top Gun and a remake of The Warriors.
Do you have any retail strategy going forward? We’re also looking at DSiWare and PSP’s download service, but you won’t be seeing Paramount’s name alone on a box at anytime soon. We recently developed some female-skewed casual games based on our licences including Mean Girls, Pretty In Pink and Clueless, which were distributed by 505 Games in Europe. Boxed products require sophisticated sales infrastructure especially with complexities surrounding inventory and more – that we don’t currently have. My hat goes off to anyone that follows this path, but it’s not something we’re actively pursuing at the moment.
What’s the thinking behind releasing the Star Trek game as download only? Why not go the traditional route of getting a copublisher on board? Will we see boxed products with We’re not doing any retail at this point the Paramount logo on in the future? as a standalone publisher. We’re only I couldn’t say because that would be a going with digital distribution. As we’re very big corporate decision to put that all seeing, downloadable is playing an kind of infrastructure in place. In our increasingly important role in the current form as PDI, I would envisage industry. Downloading movies and interactive The Star Trek game is a light content fits well with Paramount’s strategy. experience that will cost That’s what our group’s around £10. That isn’t a retail focused on. We will title these days. continue to work with our John Kavanagh, Paramount licensing partners on boxed product. us relying on partnerships with third You’re not alone in releasing a parties. If you look as far ahead as to download-only major movie tie-in – when that would be discussed, you’re Warner did so earlier in 2009 with looking at the next generation of Watchmen. Is this a trend you can consoles. Then we start discussing see growing? things that haven’t even happened yet – Yes. I think establishing our presence in the platform holders’ strategy for their that market early on is very key because next hardware, for one thing. As we’ve it gets hard after a while to find your seen with OnLive technology – which products online. We have to set my old friend Mike McGarvey is expectations early. Placing game involved in – things can change pretty downloads to go with our movies is fast. I’ve seen that working – and it good, because being able to associate a seems to run pretty well. But it’s a download with a movie marketing prime example of deal changers that campaign is a very good thing for us. make any predictions in this business
difficult. They’re rolling out fibre-optic cables into homes now – that could also have a huge effect. You have to ask how will these things affect the creation of the new Xbox or PlayStation? How will they affect the consumer’s thinking? Because of these new technologies, it’s hard to make predictions. Warner admitted that they didn’t want to risk investing in retail with Watchmen – due to a feared lack of exposure. Is that something you’re aware of? The Star Trek game is a light experience. It was developed in conjunction with the film-makers for that purpose and was designed around tightly focused gameplay. It’s going to be 800 points – around £9.99. And that’s representative of the experience gamers are going to get. That isn’t a retail title these days. It wouldn’t be right for the consumer or in terms of return on investment. Would you be keen on working with other third party publishers? Where there’s interest, we’ll have a discussion. Our primary focus is on digital downloads, but we work with partners in two senses: One where we build the product and someone else does the sales and marketing, and one where we offer a straight licensing deal. For instance The Godfather II is just arriving from EA, which is a straight licensing deal.
Will we see you farming out fewer licences than you have in the past – and more of you using your own franchises for downloadable games? I wouldn’t say that. We don’t have a strict percentage or whatever, but we know our limits – building an XBLA or PSN game is much less complicated
than building a triple-A title for retail. Where we think it appropriate, if it’s a big franchise, we might consider doing one of those ourselves online, but we’re still very keen to keep working with partnerships. Certain publishers have a level of expertise we don’t have yet, so on other such titles we’ll call on them. There’s always a commercial decision there, too. But on the partnership side, we’re looking to be involved more and more. We’re very keen to be actively involved in making quality games like The Godfather series – making sure the right design, the right, team, the right budget are all in place. We want to be involved in our licensed games more in the future. Our partners do a good job of generating awareness of our product and we both want to create top-notch games, too. Are you planning on expanding internationally? Will we see a UK HQ for Paramount’s games division any time soon? Not at this time. Things move very quickly, but we don’t have any current plans. That’s in the next 12 months or so, at least. Longer term, it might be something of interest. You recently worked with Freeserve for Days Of Thunder – but they’re a fairly little known outfit. Why did you pick them? Freeserve are very respected on Mac, so it makes sense to get them in for iPhone. They’ve made a product we’re proud of in Days Of Thunder and on Top Gun. We’re working with larger developers for larger products. Would you be working with developers that are well known names in the industry? Yes. We’re working with a bunch of guys that are recognisable names in the
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MCV 24/04/09 17
MCV INTERVIEW JOHN KAVANAGH, SVP VIDEO GAMES, PARAMOUNT
importance business – and will continue to do so. We like to pick the right developers, even for our licensed games. Do you have an internal development resource? All of our development, testing, and QA is external; however, we have an internal production team that oversees all aspects of these processes. Would you be interested in acquiring a studio or building an internal team? We don’t have any plans to build a team and we don’t have any set strategy to go out and find a team to buy. We’re looking at all strategic opportunities on
We don’t have any set plans to buy or build a studio. But we’re looking at all strategic opportunities on a caseby-case basis. John Kavanagh, Paramount
a case-by-case basis. If there’s synergy that works, maybe that’s something that could affect our decisions. But having managed internal development teams before, it’s a lot of work. It’s hard to focus on that and on publishing.
Source: Harry Lang
Are you interested in working with developers you haven’t yet struck up a relationship with? If I say yes here, I’m going to get ten million phone calls – but of course we are, with certain conditions. We are actively in talks with new studios all the time. We want to work with people who deliver on time and high quality product. When it’s tied into an active movie, it needs to be ready on day and date and top quality.
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MCV 24/04/09 21
MCV INTERVIEW JASON DUTTON, INTERNATIONAL MD, MAJESCO
DUTTON: Majesco’s European MD says the publisher has readied its best ever line-up
Last week we revealed that Majesco had decided to start publishing and selling titles direct in the UK and Europe. Michael French speaks to MD Jason Dutton to find out more…
March What has led Majesco to go direct? We’ve got the best ever line-up of games in our current portfolio in terms of breadth, quality and potential. We felt it was time for us to be completely responsible for those from day one – I think 100 per cent focus is the only way we can be sure we’re maximising the potential for each and every product. Even though we’ve worked with a number of good partners in the past, we’ve always ultimately wanted to be in charge of our own destiny. Now we have the team in place, and the quality of games to allow us to do that.
In this economic climate is that not a risky move? I think even in more pleasant economic times that making a move like this has some naturally associated risk. However with the right personnel,
relationships and right products in place then the risk is far more manageable. It is tough out there at retail right now, but we can be assured by going direct ourselves that we have 100 per cent focus.
We’ve worked with a number of good partners in the past, but we’ve always wanted to control our own destiny. Jason Dutton, Majesco Do you have a distributor confirmed for the new releases? We do – and we’ll be announcing that information shortly. Are you looking to sign up developers for new games? Absolutely. Signing the quality-infused Night At The Museum 2 was a huge coup for us and really does put a stake in the ground.
Working with visionaries like Matsuura-San at Nana-On Sha on Major Minor’s Majestic March shows that the pedigree of people we are working with is very high. We’re always on the look out for great products across all platforms. We’ve got healthy budgets and we’re happy to receive all kinds of submissions and actively encourage them. Our greenlight system is both transparent and efficient – something that should be attractive to potential partners.
What have you learnt from your previous relationships with other publishers that will inform how you’ll run the new publishing operation? We’ve worked with a number of well known, reputable partners in the past – allowing us to work with some great
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22 MCV 24/04/09
MCV INTERVIEW JASON DUTTON, INTERNATIONAL MD, MAJESCO personnel and understanding the constantly evolving market. But I think the emphasis should really be on how you learn from yourself. Majesco had the foresight to be an early adopter to the games for mass market strategy, and it’s a shift that paid dividends through the likes of Cooking Mama. But you can never be too complacent, you always have to be ready to react and plan for the constantly evolving market. Are you looking for other business partnerships – if so in what way? We’re always looking for the best possible route to market and focus for our products in Europe. For the same reasons as going direct in the UK, we are implementing a direct to market strategy throughout Europe – working with different distribution and publishing partners in each territory, rather than one pan-European partner. We are currently talking to a number of interested parties and actively
encourage other interested distributors to get in touch as soon as possible. We hope to announce something shortly.
A lot of your focus has been on casually oriented games – will that still be your focus? Mainstream fun, quality and relative value should always be the focus – but we evaluate every single game on their own merits. We recently announced Dawn of Heroes on Nintendo DS from developer Wicked Studios, a tactical RPG game that we realise has a specific audience, but we considered because it is high enough quality to appeal. As time goes on and markets shift we are in a position to react to those movements and continually explore where our focus should be. We do currently have a predominantly Nintendo focus, but we’ve also got 360 titles in the portfolio, iPhone games in development and we’re looking to shortly announce a few
The video game tie-in to the Fox blockbuster movie Night
Majesco Europe is lining up a release schedule of over ten games. Highlights include:
At The Museum 2 starring Ben Stiller out on May 22nd; The classic Sandlot Games property
Cake Mania arrives on to Nintendo Wii in
the form of Cake Mania – In The Mix; Stunt game
Circus Star for Nintendo Wii
Major Minor’s Majestic March on Wii, from the creative team behind PaRappa The Rapper;
Drama Queens on Nintendo DS;
‘Ambidextrous’ DS brain trainer A DS version of the popular
Left Brain Right Brain 2;
WonderWorld Amusement Park;
The return of the classic franchise Tactical DS RPG Animal DS title
A Boy And His Blob on Wii;
Dawn of Heroes;
Puffins: Island Adventure;
DS platform game
Marker Man Adventures;
Two-wheeled DS release Racer
Home-improvement party game
Our House – Party for the Wii;
Majesco is also planning to announce some more titles at E3, and plans to introduce its Go Play Wii brand to Europe soon.
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27,28 MCV534_final:Layout 1
MCV 24/04/09 27
TERRITORY REPORT: CHINA AND KOREA
Asian Nation Online games and MMOs are the driving force behind the Chinese and Korean games markets. Christopher Dring speaks to the key players in the territories to find out more about these potentially lucrative sectors…
ACCORDING to Pearl Research, the Despite the difficulties within the Chinese online games market grew by development community, Pearl Research 63 per cent to $2.7 billion in 2008. has predicted that the online games The firm’s report also revealed that market will grow to $5.5 billion by 65 per cent of China’s internet users 2012. However, the firm admits there play games online (179 million gamers) are still challenges to overcome. and that the country’s most popular “One concern is the lack of online game, Netease’s Fantasy diversification with many game operators Westward Journey, achieved 1.8 million relying on a single title for the bulk of peak concurrent users last year. However, despite the huge Chinese developers are potential for gaming in China, isolated from the rest of the the video game community is world. That is very restrictive still largely underdeveloped. to the creative process. “China has been on course Meggan Scavio, GDC to achieve this huge growth, which is why we launched the first GDC event in 2007,” says GDC their revenues,” explains Pearl Research event director Meggan Scavio. MD Allison Luong. “It seems that Chinese developers are “In addition, there is a glut of content isolated from the rest of the world. They with more than 200 games on the don’t have the benefit of learning and market, which makes releasing a sharing with developers who may be breakout hit increasingly difficult.” doing different things. That alone is very Although online games are a huge restrictive to the creative process. But I success in China, the opposite is true of hope to see that changing.”
the console games market. Many platforms suffer from piracy problems, and the second hand sector is also rife – particularly in Hong Kong. “In Hong Kong, Wii, PSP, iPhone and DS face the largest piracy problem,” admits Orange See, project manager of Hong Kong-based developer M-Inverse. “Xbox 360 and PS3 less so, But the second hand market is quite active in Hong Kong.” KOREAN CULTURE
Similar to the Chinese sector, the growth seen in the Korean games market comes online. According to the Korean Game White Book, the games market in Korea reached 5.14 trillion Won ($3.9bn) in 2007, with the online games sector accounting for 43.5 per cent of that figure ($1.7bn).
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28 MCV 24/04/09
TERRITORY REPORT: CHINA AND KOREA [THE FACTS: CHINA] Population: 1,321,851,888 Capital: Beijing Currency: Yuan GDP (per capita): $3,260
[THE FACTS: SOUTH KOREA] Population: 49,540,367 Capital: Seoul Currency: Won GDP (per capita): $20,015
The sheer quantity of internet users while the MMO sector is being affected in the country has made household by the popularity of bots – programs names of MMOs such as Aion, Lineage that have been built to help players and World of Warcraft. Internet cafés cheat at the games. (known in the territory as PC Bangs), “One of the greatest problems in the are hugely popular, and according to the Korean industry is the weak cognition of National Internet Development Agency, intellectual property rights,” adds Lallier. 77.1 per cent of people over the age of “This becomes a hindrance to the six use the internet, which is around online game industry through illegal 35.3 million people. personal servers, while it affects the “The reason why the Korean games market is The growth of online games different from other has been extraordinary. Korea regions is the popularity has one of the best online of online games, infrastructures in the world. especially MMORPGs,” Véronique Lallier, NCSoft explains Véronique Lallier, European VP of publishing for NCsoft, which is one of console market even more through Korea’s biggest MMO publishers. downloaded titles and illegal copies. “Korea has one of the best online “Business obstruction caused by infrastructures in the world. The success automated gaming programs, called of the Korean games sector is directly bots, is another issue. This affects related to the growth of the online game MMOs by corrupting the cyber market market, to be more precise, the rebirth within the games and also causes the of MMOs within the country.” abnormally fast consumption of game But much like its Chinese contents. In regards to bot issues, NCsoft neighbours, piracy is is concentrating on screening and rife in Korea, blocking the bot distribution websites.” Due to the wide spread use of broadband in Korea, digital downloading has taken
precedence over retail boxed products. And, much like China, the second hand market is particularly popular in the country. eBay’s recent offer to purchase Korean auction site Gmarket, will see the firm control 40 per cent of online shopping in Korea – and gives the firm a potential launch pad to become a major player in the other Asian territories too. EAST AND WEST
Despite wildly different markets, it is the desire of Korean and Chinese developers and publishers to work closer with European and American companies. GDC China is one of the many events designed to bring Asian developers closer to the West as, NCsoft aside (which is set to launch Aion in Europe this year), few Korean and Chinese developers have managed to break into the Western market. This is also true in reverse. The multibillion dollar online games markets in Korea and China is attracting the attention of publishers worldwide. Activision Blizzard’s World of Warcraft is one of the few Western IPs to enjoy strong success in Korea and China (in China it has six million active users). And it won’t be long before Western firms begin to make serious in-roads into these rapidly expanding markets.
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MCV 24/04/09 31
DAVID REEVES RETIRES
A quote of confidence PlayStation’s European President David Reeves has always guaranteed one thing – great press. Here, we celebrate the man’s retirement with some of his best ever statements to the media…
“I don’t want to be controversial, but I think you’ve been too nice to us. We were looking for something that was perhaps a little bit more direct.” Reeves cuts through the pomposity with a measured criticism of Dr. Tanya Byron’s investigation into age ratings at an ELSPA meet. April, 2008
“The Suez Canal closure has led to this crisis. It’s been closed for two weeks, with 104 boats on it. We’re number 67.” A typically detailed Reeves explains why UK retail might not get PS2 stock at Christmas. December, 2004
“We simply have to suffer a little. Go down in market share and mind-share. It's like Ali v Foreman – go eight or nine rounds and let him punch himself out. We're still standing, we're still profitable and there's a lot of fight in us.” Boxing metaphors know no bounds in an interview with The Guardian. February, 2009
“This is the right uppercut of our one-two punch – the left hook being the price drop.” Yet another pugilism reference, this time as a redesigned PS2 hits the market. September, 2004
“There is a piracy problem on PSP. We know about it, we know how
it’s done. And on balance we are not happy about it.” Reeves offers the Sony DevStation crowd that rare commodity – the truth. June, 2008
"We have a number of things lined up for Leipzig which is real blockbuster stuff for Europe.” Reeves points to Leipzig. He came good on his promise – with announcements of the new PSP and the 160GB PS3. July 2008
“I’d have thought retail would look at [upcoming formats] and be licking its lips – these are harvest years. But frontline titles are going out at £29 not £39. It’s crazy.” Ever one to have his finger on the pulse, Reeves predicts the dawn of ‘crazy’ price cutting. May, 2005
“In a sense, but often you get the impression that for the likes of The Daily Mail and Keith Vaz we’re the whipping boy. There’s always something that characterises games as bad. In Germany it’s worse, in Holland it’s even worse and in Scandinavia it’s worse than all of those.” Keith Vaz gets spanked by a man intellectually in a league of his own. December, 2008
"It is clear to us that the connection between the congregation and the cathedral is a deeply personal and spiritual one. It
is also clear that we have offended the congregation by using the cathedral in our science fiction game.” Handling God’s wrath, following Sony’s Manchester Cathedral ‘scandal’. July, 2007
“I am going to spend my time now trying to repay society for all I have taken from it. If your children are having physics lessons at the local school or wondering why their ski instructor is very elderly, your car mechanic has a bad back, or the social worker keeps bringing you PSP games, then it could just be me.” Reeves signs off from Sony in inimitable style. April, 2009
Former MCV editor Neil Long on Reeves as a unique interviewee:
“David Reeves was clearly a big fan of madcap metaphors - unusual when you’re expecting fairly standard corporate chat. “When asked to describe how powerful PS3 would be in relation to 360, he referred to it as a ‘bucking bronco’ which was so beefed-up developers would have trouble controlling its power. Another favourite of mine was when he offered an incredibly detailed description of a plane coming into land to describe Sony’s preparations for the PS3. You just don’t get that with most industry interviewees – or half of his intelligence.”
xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1
33,34,35 MCV534_FINAL:Layout 1
MCV 24/04/09 33
UK SALES ANALYSIS: MARCH
Evil invades the charts Capcom had a noteworthy sales presence last month, largely thanks to Resident Evil 5, whilst all three platform holders also enjoyed success with key software titles. Tim Ingham reports... THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 4 2 3 5 7 6 8 9
SALES SHARE BY FORMAT NINTENDO WII XBOX 360 NINTENDO DS PC PLAYSTATION 3 PLAYSTATION 2 PSP APPLE MAC OTHERS
20.1% 19.7% 19.5% 17.3% 16.7% 3.3% 3.2% 0.2% 0.0%
NINTENDO’S Wii remains the biggest-selling console in the UK, but lost over four per cent share in March. The major beneficiary was Xbox 360, which gained two places and three per cent. THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 3 12 9 5 4 6 7 8
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY
NINTENDO ELECTRONIC ARTS UBISOFT CAPCOM SONY SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT THQ TAKE 2
13.6% 9.4% 9.2% 7.9% 6.8% 6.7% 6.3% 5.6% 4.2% 3.8%
THE top three stayed the same in March, but were propped up by the star performer – Capcom. The publisher jumped eight places, thanks to the release of Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter 4.
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
2 5 1 4 3 6 7 8 9
SALES SHARE BY FORMAT
XBOX 360 PLAYSTATION 3 NINTENDO WII PC NINTENDO DS PSP PLAYSTATION 2 APPLE MAC OTHERS
23.9% 20.9% 19.0% 16.6% 15.2% 2.0% 1.8% 0.5% 0.0%
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack
XBOX 360 took the most money at tills in March, overtaking Wii, which made 5.2 per cent less cash than in February. PS3’s share jumped by a whopping 6.5 per cent in the month. THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 11 4 5 2 9 3 6 7 8
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY
NINTENDO CAPCOM MICROSOFT UBISOFT ELECTRONIC ARTS SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA THQ SYMANTEC
14.9% 11.4% 9.6% 8.0% 7.8% 7.6% 6.4% 6.2% 3.9% 3.7%
CAPCOM’S performance is put into perspective here, as it becomes the second biggest publisher in terms of cash generation in March. EA’s share is almost cut in half, down 6.8 per cent.
INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHART Wii 1
Wii Fit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
PLAYSTATION 3 1
Killzone 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony
XBOX 360 1
Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom
PC (ALL PRICES) 1
Empire: Total War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega
2 Mario Kart Wii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
2 Resident Evil 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom
2 Halo Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft
2 Football Manager 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega
3 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games . . . . . Sega
3 Street Fighter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom
3 Street Fighter IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Capcom
3 Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II. . . . . . THQ
4 Mario Power Tennis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
4 Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft
4 Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ubisoft
4 WOW: Lich King . . . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard
5 House of the Dead: Overkill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega
5 Sega MegaDrive Ultimate Collection . . . . . . Sega
5 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard
5 The Sims 2: Double Deluxe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
6 Sonic and the Black Knight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega
6 LittleBigPlanet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony
6 Sega MegaDrive Ultimate Collection . . . . . . Sega
6 C&C: Red Alert 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
7 Ben 10 : Alien Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P
7 FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
7 FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
7 World of Warcraft . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard
8 Family Ski & Snowboard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atari
8 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard
8 GTA IV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rockstar
8 Grand Theft Auto IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Take 2
9 Animal Crossing: To The City . . . . . . . . Nintendo
9 WWE Legends of Wrestlemania . . . . . . . . . . THQ
9 COD 4: Modern Warfare . . . . Activision Blizzard
9 F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin . . . . . . . . . Warner Bros.
10 Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . Activision Blizzard
10 Silent Hill: Homecoming. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Konami
10 WWE Legends of Wrestlemania . . . . . . . . . . THQ
10 The Sims 2: Apartment Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
33,34,35 MCV534_FINAL:Layout 1
34 MCV 24/04/09
UK SALES ANALYSIS: MARCH
INDIVIDUAL FORMAT CHART PC (BUDGET PRICE) 1
World of Warcraft . . . . . . . . . . Activision Blizzard
Professor Layton & the Curious Village Nintendo
2 WOW: Burning Crusade . . . . . Activision Blizzard
2 Dr Kawashima's Brain Training . . . . . . . Nintendo
FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
Ben 10: Alien Force. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P
2 Ben 10 : Alien Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P
2 Call of Duty: World at War . . . Activision Blizzard
3 Mysteryville 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GSP/Avanquest
3 GTA: Chinatown Wars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rockstar
3 Resistance Retribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony
3 FIFA 09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
4 Amazing Adventures: Lost Tomb . . . . . . . . Focus
4 Mystery Case Files: Millionheir . . . . . . . Nintendo
4 Football Manager 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sega
4 Persona 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Square Enix
5 Bejeweled 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Focus
5 Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force . . . . . . Disney
5 Need For Speed: Undercover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
5 Tomb Raider: Underworld . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eidos
6 The Orange Box . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
6 Mario Kart DS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
6 Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . Konami
6 Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. . . . . . . . . . . . Konami
7 The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff. . . . . . . . EA
7 New Super Mario Bros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
7 Midnight Club: L.A. Remix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Take 2
7 Need for Speed: Undercover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EA
8 Age of Empires II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Microsoft
8 More Brain Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
8 Papaton 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sony
8 WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 . . . . . . . . . . THQ
9 Peppa Pig: Activity Pack . . . . . . . GSP/Avanquest
9 100 Classic Book Collection . . . . . . . . . . Nintendo
9 WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2009 . . . . . . . . . . THQ
9 Lego Batman: The Videogame . . . . Warner Bros
10 Settlers: Heritage of Kings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Focus
10 Ben 10 : Alien Force . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D3P
10 Lego Batman: The Video Game . . . Warner Bros
10 Guitar Hero: World Tour . . . . Activision Blizzard
33,34,35 MCV534_FINAL:Layout 1
MCV 24/04/09 35
UK SALES ANALYSIS: MARCH TOP 50 ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE 1.
Resident Evil 5 360, PS3 ..................................................................................................Capcom
26. Need For Speed: Undercover 360, PS3, PSP, PS2, Wii, DS, PC....................................EA
Killzone 2 PS3.............................................................................................................................Sony
27. Mario Power Tennis Wii..................................................................................................Nintendo
Wii Fit Wii..............................................................................................................................Nintendo
28. GTA Chinatown Wars DS...............................................................................................Rockstar
Halo Wars 360.....................................................................................................................Microsoft
29. LEGO Indiana Jones Wii, DS, 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC.......................................LucasArts
Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS.....................................................Nintendo
30. House of The Dead: Overkill Wii ........................................................................................Sega
Street Fighter IV PS3, 360, ............................................................................................Capcom
31. F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin PS3, 360, PC .........................................................Warner Bros.
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X PS3, 360, PC ...........................................................................Ubisoft
32. Football Manager 2009 PC, PSP.......................................................................................Sega
FIFA 09 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, DS, PC ..............................................................................EA
33. Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC............................................Konami
COD: World at War 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS ...................................Activision Blizzard
34. Tomb Raider: Underworld 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC...............................................Eidos
10. Empire: Total War PC..............................................................................................................Sega
35. Mystery Case Files: Millionheir Wii..........................................................................Nintendo
Ben 10: Alien Force PS2, PSP, Wii, DS................................................................................D3P
36. Club Penguin: Elite Penquin Force DS .........................................................................Disney
12. Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection PS3, 360.........................................................Sega
37. LittleBigPlanet PS3..................................................................................................................Sony
13. Wii Play Wii ..........................................................................................................................Nintendo
38. LEGO Batman Wii, DS, 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, PC...............................................Warner Bros.
14. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Wii.....................................................................Sega
39. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Wii, DS, PS3, 360..............................LucasArts
15. Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training DS .........................................................................Nintendo
40. Mario Kart DS DS .............................................................................................................Nintendo
16. Mario Kart Wii Wii.............................................................................................................Nintendo
41. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II PC.......................................................................THQ
17. Grand Theft Auto IV PS3, 360, PC..............................................................Rockstar Games
42. WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2009 PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP......................................THQ
18. COD 4: Modern Warfare 360, PS3, PC, Mac........................................Activision Blizzard
43. SOCOM: US Navy Seals Confrontation PS3................................................................Sony
19. Disney’s Bolt DS, Wii, PS2, 360, PS3 ..............................................................................Disney
44. New Super Mario Bros. DS...........................................................................................Nintendo
20. WWE Legends of Wrestlemania 360, PS3 ......................................................................THQ
45. More Brain Training From Dr Kawashima DS....................................................Nintendo
21. My Fitness Coach Wii..........................................................................................................Ubisoft
46. Halo 3 360 ...........................................................................................................................Microsoft
22. Guitar Hero: World Tour Wii, 360, PS3, PS2 .......................................Activision Blizzard
47. 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand 360, PS3.............................................................................THQ
23. Silent Hill: Homecoming 360, PS3, PC........................................................................Konami
48. 100 Classic Book Collection DS.................................................................................Nintendo
24. Carnival: Funfair Games Wii, DS.............................................................................................2K
49. Sonic Unleashed Wii, 360, PS3.............................................................................................Sega
25. Puzzler Collection Wii, DS, PSP.......................................................................................Ubisoft
50. Sonic and the Black Knight Wii..........................................................................................Sega
CAPCOM’S fabulous month is topped off by Resident Evil 5 outselling chart mainstay Wii Fit, as well as blockbuster releases such as Sony’s Killzone 2 and Microsoft’s Halo Wars. Another Capcom release, Street Fighter IV keeps the likes of FIFA 09 and Call Of Duty World At War at bay. Other notable entries include D3P’s Ben 10: Alien Force at No.10, Ubisoft’s Puzzler Collection at No.25 and Disney’s Club Penguin game at No.36. Elsewhere, Rockstar’s GTA: ChinaTown Wars only makes No.28 – and is comfortably outsold by its year-old predessesor, GTA 4.
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack
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Sponsored by 38 MCV 24/04/09
House takes up top post at Sony New SCEE president named Intent Media appoints Crossley and promotes Dring Richards joins Shorewood SONY ANDREW HOUSE is set to join Sony Computer Entertainment Europe on May 1st as president, replacing DAVID REEVES, who announced his plans to retire last week. House first joined Sony in 1990, previously working at SCEA where he served as marketing VP, CMO and ran the Third Party Relations and Developer Support divisions. Before this he worked at SCEI’s marketing division and Sony Japan’s communications team. “I’m delighted to return to the PlayStation fold and excited to take on this new challenge,”
NEW BOSS: House replaces outgoing president David Reeves
said House. “I believe there is huge potential for further growth of our business in the European countries, particularly in the area of networked entertainment.”
INTENT CHRISTOPHER DRING has been promoted to deputy editor of MCV. He will take up his new role on May 1st and will report to associate editor Tim Ingham and editorin-chief Michael French. “Chris has become an invaluable member of the MCV team, and is liked amongst the retailers and publishers he talks to on a daily basis,” said MCV’s managing editor Lisa Foster.
Also joining Intent Media is ROB CROSSLEY. A former Edge writer, Crossley joins MCV’s sister publication Develop as online editor. His appointment is part of Develop’s online expansion, extending coverage to the development sector of North America and other territories. “We are delighted to welcome Rob onboard,” said French. “Develop continues to go from strength to strength in both its print and online incarnations – adding Rob to the team will further support our ambitions to make it a truly global brand.”
SHOREWOOD CHRISTIAN RICHARDS has joined Shorewood.blueprint as part of its special packaging sales drive. Richards has been named sales manager and will be responsible for developing the firm’s special packaging client base in the UK and Europe. Shorewood.blueprint director John White said: “The appointment of Christian is part of our ongoing drive to recruit senior and talented people from within the industry to ensure that our services and facilities across the UK and Europe are first class.”
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S | Disney Interactive | Konami | Nintendo of America Inc. | Atari, Inc. | Logic3 Square Enix, Inc. | Southpeak Games | TOMY | Sonic Games Inc.Â Namco Bandai Games America Inc. | Bethesda Softworks | Digital R | Natsume | Game Source | GrafďŹ ti Entertainment | E Games for Less KOEI Corporation | Playseats | TOMYÂ | Eidos Interactive | CH Products C
vUbisoft Entertainment, Inc. | Brady Games | Dreamcatcher Games | SEGA
Capcom USA, Inc. | GrifďŹ n International | Prima Games/Random House, In TV Games | dreamGEAR, LLC | Gamers First | Sony Computer Entertainmen Digital Entertainment | KOEI Corporation | Gamepark Holdings | Eidos Inte
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41 MCV534_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
WHIPPING UP SALES A brand new Indiana Jones game is finally upon us, check it out on Page 42
ALSO THIS WEEK... CORALINE P44 A young girl travels into a surreal universe in D3P’s latest movie tie-in HORRIBLE HISTORIES P46 Terry Deary’s popular history book series gets the video game treatment PIMP MY RIDE MTV’s global TV hit races onto PlayStation 2 and DS this week
BATTLESTATIONS: PACIFIC P48 Eidos delivers its promising sequel to 2007’s chart topping Xbox 360 hit HIGH STREET P50 Chris Ratcliff talks up open distribution in this week’s all-new High Street pages
RETAILBIZ: INDIANA JONES AND THE STAFF OF KINGS 42 MCV 24/04/09
The iconic hero Indiana Jones makes a return to video games as he tries to track down religious artefact the Staff Of Kings in LucasArts and Activision Blizzard’s upcoming adventure title… by James Batchelor DR HENRY JONES JR. has had a surprisingly erratic history with video games. Despite arguably being a key source of inspiration for the likes of Tomb Raider and Uncharted, Indiana has yet to see releases as regular as more contemporary heroes, such as James Bond and Harry Potter. However, the archaeologist’s return to the silver screen in last year’s Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull has renewed the public’s interest in his adventures, prompting the release of Lego: Indiana Jones, a family-orientated romp through the first three films. The game was so successful it managed to knock GTA IV, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Wii Fit from the top spot in the UK charts – proving that demand for Indiana’s whip-cracking antics is high.
mention the Nazis – as he races around the world to secure a biblical relic before it falls into the wrong hands: the Staff of Moses. Indy’s journey for the Red Sea-splitter will take him to a variety of exotic locales, from San Fransisco’s Chinatown and the jungles of Panama to the Himalayan mountains and the Egyptian desert. There, players will explore crumbling temples, military encampments and gangster bars in search of the next clue to the Staff’s location. The emphasis has been placed on the Wii version, which showcases a range of gesture-based controls designed to make the player truly feel like Indiana Jones. Whether throwing punches with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in a bar room
RELEASED: JUNE 12 FORMATS: WII, DS, PS2, PSP PUBLISHER: LUCASARTS DEVELOPER: A2M/AMAZE PRICE: £29.99 - £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ACTIVISON BLIZZARD CONTACT: 020 3060 1000
solitary experience. A full co-operative mode is present, allowing friends or children with parents to work their way through an entirely new quest, with the second player filling the shoes of a familiar character yet to be playable in an Indy game. Progressing through the single-player adventure also unlocks a four-player versus mode, in which friends can battle it out in biplanes and tanks, bringing good old-fashioned deathmatches to the Staff Of Kings opens up the Indiana Jones franchise franchise to a whole new for the first time. audience and introduces Indy Perhaps the most to the younger generation. THE LATEST CRUSADE enticing unlockable extra Responding to such demand, is Indiana Jones And The Aruna Sinha, Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard is readying Fate Of Atlantis. Widely an all-new adventure for everyone’s considered to be the best Indiana Jones brawl, or whipping the Remote forward favourite Fedora-wearing professor, in game of all time, this classic title not to swing over a chasm, gamers will be the form of Indiana Jones And The Staff only adds yet more value for money to able to do everything Indy can. Of Kings. Set a year after The Last Staff Of Kings, it will also boost the “Players will face signature run-forCrusade, this title brings classic Indy game’s appeal to older Indy fans. your-life moments, like a daring escape escapades to console and handheld Given the pedigree of the licence and from a collapsing temple, flying a owners everywhere. the wealth of enticing content, Activision biplane in a canyon trench, taking the “Indiana Jones has a loyal fanbase is confident that Staff Of Kings will be reigns of a wild elephant and navigating and we’re excited to bring a whole new successful at retail. a raft down a raging river, all by story to these fans,” says Activision’s Not only are the loyal Indy fans matching fast-paced onscreen gesture senior brand manager Aruna Sinha. longing for a brand new adventure, prompts,” says Sinha “The Nintendo Wii and Indiana Jones’ The handheld versions have also been LucasArts’ focus on opening the game whip is a natural fit, so we expect players to family audiences means that this title optimised for their respective formats. to instantly jump in and feel like Indy could follow the success of Lego: The DS version will see players using for the first time. Indiana Jones. the stylus as their whip to swing over “Indiana Jones And The Staff Of “Our trade partners are providing some pits, while the PSP edition offers its own Kings is also a great game for parents to good feedback on this title and as a result exclusive take on the new adventure. play along with their kids, opening up we’re building some exciting plans to FORTUNE AND GLORY the franchise to a whole new audience support the launch,” says Sinha. Since Lego: Indiana Jones thrived on and introducing Indy to the younger “We believe this will be a successful being family orientated, LucasArts has generation.” launch for both us and our partners.” made Staff Of Kings more than Set in 1939, Staff Of Kings pits just a Indiana Jones against his latest nemesis Magnus Völler – not to
WHIPPING UP A STORM Activision has prepared a three-pronged marketing campaign to promote the game’s arrival and reignite the public love for Indy that saw a boost with last year’s cinematic release. A six-month PR campaign has been targeted to cover the main Nintendo and multi-format publications. Ads will also appear in key lifestyle magazines. For online marketing, the publisher has targeted big brand environments, with homepage takeovers arranged for leading men’s lifestyles, film sites and broader gaming and entertainment sites. A strong three-week TV launch campaign will be run on satellite and terrestrial channels, targeted at a core gaming audience and children.
RETAILBIZ: INDIANA JONES AND THE STAFF OF KINGS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 43
DONâ€™T CALL HIM JUNIOR: Indiana Jones returns in an adventure that looks set to satisfy fans by paying homage to the signature moments of the classic films.
RETAILBIZ: CORALINE 44 MCV 24/04/09
As the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline arrives in cinemas, D3P prepares the official video game companion…
Like the book and film, the game follows the adventures of its namesake, a young girl who discovers a secret door in her new home. This mysterious portal leads to a surreal world modelled around her life. As she explores this parallel reality, she makes new friends
by James Batchelor
AMIDST THE plethora of films being released, Coraline has a few claims impressive enough to make it stand out. For one thing, it is based on a bestselling novel from internationally renowned author Neil Gaiman. For another, it is The Coraline movie has the first full-length stopalready recieved critical motion film to be filmed in acclaim, so we have high stereoscopic 3D. Such a movie inevitably hopes for the game. invites games publishers to Marlene Fitzsimmons, D3P release a title alongside it, and sure enough D3P steps up to the and discovers alternate versions of her challenge of bringing Coraline to retail seemingly cruel parents. shelves, allowing fans of the film to A WHOLE NEW WORLD relive the adventure for themselves. Initially, everything seems to be much Given that the film is targeted at better than it is in the real world, but children, the company is bringing the adventure becomes dangerous when Coraline’s adventures to Wii, DS and her counterfeit parents conspire to keep PS2, taking advantage of the appropriate her there forever. Coraline must depend demographics those platforms boast.
RELEASED: MAY 1 FORMATS: WII, DS, PS2 PUBLISHER: D3P DEVELOPER: PAPAYA STUDIO / ART CO. PRICE: £29.99 (WII, DS), £19.99 (PS2) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
on her new companions and the secrets she has learned from this world in order to find a way home and try to save her genuine family. The heritage of the film is enough to capture the public’s attention, thanks to the success of Gaiman’s previous works. Awareness will be high when the game is released, something D3P is confident will serve the game well. “The Coraline movie has already received critical acclaim and a fantastic IMDb score when it was released in the US earlier this year,” says D3P’s PR and marketing exec Marlene Fitzsimmons. “Any game based on a movie licence always relies heavily on the quality of the film and we have extremely high hopes for Coraline. “Targeted towards the growing girlgaming market, Coraline realistically replicates the best-selling book and
RETAILBIZ: CORALINE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 45
THE NAMES BEHIND THE GAME As with many film releases today, Universal is keen to highlight the talent behind Coraline. Likewise, D3P has gone to great effort to make sure the game does justice to the cast behind it. NEIL GAIMAN The international best-selling author who has penned a range of awardwinning novels, such as Neverwhere, American Gods and Stardust, the latter of which also appeared on the silver screen. Coraline is one of Gaiman’s novels for young children. HENRY SELICK A film director specialising in children’s films using stop-motion technology. Selick is best known for his mid-’90s films The Nightmare Before Christmas and James And The Giant Peach. Not only is Coraline: The Game based on his movie, its artistry is modelled on Selick’s unqiue character style. DAKOTA FANNING The young actress who plays the title role in the film. Fanning has previously appeared in other children’s films, including Charlotte’s Web and The Cat In The Hat. She lends her voice to the game, providing an authentic heroine for gamers to control. KEITH DAVID Voice actor David provides the voice for Cat in both the film and game. He has voiced notable video game characters, such as Halo’s Arbiter and Mass Effect’s Captain Anderson, as well as other roles in games like Saints Row 2.
CHARACTER BUILDING: The surreal style of Coraline’s characters lends itself perfectly to the video game.
movie, and offers players a chance to interact with the familiar environments and beyond.” The surreal style of the movie has been perfectly evoked in the game, allowing players to immerse themselves in the two worlds even more than they would at the cinema. All of the characters appear as they do on the silver screen, breathing that necessary element of familiarity into the game that will delight Coraline fans everywhere. BECOMING CORALINE
Gamers take on the role of Coraline. In the initial stages of the game, they must carry out the harsh chores set by her real world parents, before escaping to the other world and enjoying the challenges they find there. The gameplay varies from making pancakes to performing songs, ensuring young players will have plenty of things
to do. Only by completing tasks and mini-games will they earn buttons, the currency of the game, which will open new activities and unlockable items. As well as different outfits for Coraline, this will also fill her scrapbook with photos and grant access to artwork and stills from the movie. While Universal is supporting the movie with a strong outdoor and press campaign, D3P has prepared its own marketing initiatives to promote the title. “We’re looking to maximise awareness for the game through a heavyweight TV, cinema and online advertising campaign and a comprehensive PR campaign covering all girl and parent press,” explains Fitzsimmons. “Trade marketing also features heavily to ensure Coraline: The Game has a great presence in stores and we’re working closely with Universal and other licences to ensure the game is part of all promotional activity nationwide.”
RETAILBIZ: HORRIBLE HISTORIES: RUTHLESS ROMANS 46 MCV 24/04/09
Slitherine readies the fruits of its partnership with Scholastic UK for the upcoming release of Horrible Histories Ruthless Romans, the first in a series of titles about history, only with the nasty bits left in…
by James Batchelor LICENSED video games are two-apenny these days, but while the vast majority draw on movies and TV shows for their source material, Slitherine has obtained the rights to a more literary franchise. Under its partnership with Scholastic, Slitherine is working on a range that is based on a children’s book series that should prove to be just as educational as it is entertaining – and now the first title is nearly here. Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans has been developed in collaboration with author Terry Deary and illustrator Martin Brown, the talent behind the bestselling Horrible Histories books.
Like the books, Slitherine’s games will make learning about history more enjoyable by ‘leaving the nasty bits in’ – the gory details that Deary manages to weave into his text that fascinates kids and inspires them to learn more.
“With this game, we have set out to recreate the same amusing and approachable way of narrating history that these books have brought to children and adults alike.” For Ruthless Romans, players take on the role of an aspiring gladiator. As they explore This is a huge opportunity the ancient city in which and it is the perfect time to they live, they can learn take this franchise to the more about Roman society by interacting games market. with citizens and taking Marco Minoli, Slitherine part in over 30 minigames. These are all themed around “Horrible Histories is a quintessential activities from the time period, such as part of British culture and everyone gladiator battles and chariot races. knows just how powerful the brand is,” Far from being yet another mini-game says Slitherine’s marketing director collection, Slitherine has taken care to Marco Minoli. make the Horrible Histories game stand
RETAILBIZ: PIMP MY RIDE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 47
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: WII, DS, PC PUBLISHER: SLITHERINE DEVELOPER: VIRTUAL IDENTITY PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
out. Not only does it include a full adventure mode, it is also riddled with the humour the books are famed for, from Deary’s witty text to the cartoon visual style of Brown’s illustrations. HISTORY LESSONS
GAME FOR LAUGHS: Slitherine’s game is set to include the humour that has made the Horrible Histories franchise so popular
Given the widespread appeal, it will come as no surprise Slitherine has chosen to release the game on Wii, DS and PC. Since these three devices are so different, the publisher has tailored the game to make the most of each format. “We really wanted to concentrate on the party-game aspect that is achievable on the Wii, which is our lead platform. But we recognised that most of the party games out there are just a collection of activities rather than immersive gaming experiences,” explains Minoli. “So on Ruthless Romans, we wanted the party-game features to be truly integrated in an engaging story. To achieve this, we asked Terry Deary to write it for us, so this way we maintained the same style and feel as the books. On the DS, the game is much more single-player orientated and the focus is definitely on the story, the characters and the exploration.” The BBC has recently debuted the Horrible Histories TV show, which should serve to further increase the brand’s visibility, but Slitherine is still working hard to raise awareness. As well as preparing a comprehensive PR campaign, the publisher is also working with its distribution partner Koch to provide support at retail. “Various media outlets are involved in the trade relationships with a goal of supporting the game through advertising online and in-print, and leveraging comarketing activities with other Horrible Histories licence holders,” says Minoli. “Taken together, this is a substantial effort, which will represent one of our biggest product launches ever. “We expect Horrible Histories will become a high seller and bring this wellknown brand to households in a new way. This is a huge opportunity and it is the perfect moment to take this series to the games market. And the Nintendo platforms are a perfect fit for this title with their access to a wider audience.”
MTV’s pop-culture hit Pimp My Ride races on the DS and PS2, in this hip-hop inspired mod ‘em up… by Christopher Dring SINCE IT FIRST appeared on MTV in 2004, Pimp My Ride has become a global brand and a part of pop culture. From the original Xzibit-fronted US show, to the Tim Westwood-hosted UK edition, Pimp My Ride is MTV’s most successful worldwide show. There is even a special European series, and there have been a variety of spin-off broadcasts throughout the world. The US has Trick My Truck, Germany has Pimp My Fahrrad (Pimp my Bicycle), while Italian viewers are treated to the motorcycle spin-off, Pimp My Wheels. The program has also become a part of popular culture, with references in UK and US comedies. And the series has also spawned its own video game franchise, with the latest game, Pimp My Ride: Street Racing hitting PS2 and DS this month. Street Racing invites gamers to ‘customise everything’, including paint jobs, decals, spoilers, head ornaments, wheels, rim and much more. Some of these modifications are purely for
aesthetic reasons, but others actually increase the performance of the car, with better acceleration, speed, braking and handling. The new game also allows gamers to race against each other in some of the biggest cities across the globe, including the UK, France and US, with several difficulty modes. STREET APPEAL
In order to appeal to the Pimp My Ride audience, Activision Blizzard has used tracks, environments and vehicles that have been adapted from the TV show – using Hip Hop and West Coast iconography and ‘flavour’ to better appeal to the TV production’s huge audience. Pimp My Ride: Street Racing crashes onto retail shelves this week. RELEASED: APRIL 24 FORMATS: PS2, DS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: VIRTUOS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: BATTLESTATIONS: PACIFIC 48 MCV 24/04/09
Eidos mobilises its sequel to the bestselling Battlestations: Midway, bringing the fight to the Pacific…
by James Batchelor THE ORIGINAL Battlestations: Midway was a massive success for veteran Britsoft publisher Eidos. The game reached No.1 in the UK All Formats Charts, prompting the firm to deliver a sequel to its hungry fans. Battlestations: Pacific offers everything that made the original so popular as well as extra features to entice new fans – and the publisher is confident the game won’t disappoint. “There is no other game out there like Battlestations: Pacific so we have to gauge our expectations against the success of the original, which established a loyal following due to its unique mix of action and strategy,” says Eidos’ product manager Grant Tasker. “With Pacific, we’ve listened to the community and are delivering a vastly improved experience, which is far more accessible as we look to broaden the audience, whilst also being careful to retain the key gameplay elements, which made the original successful.”
RELEASED: MAY 15 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PC PUBLISHER: EIDOS
DEVELOPER: EIDOS HUNGARY
Eidos expects to reach an even bigger audience this time around, as the 360’s installed base has expanded since the release of Midway in 2007. The
PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
improvements made to the game, combined with the marketing and PR campaign built around its release, should ensure that this goal is realised. A three-month specialist print campaign kicked off on March 5th across all 360 and PC publications, consisting of ads on inside front covers, spreads and outside back covers. The online campaign began on April 17th, which Tasker describes as Eidos’ “most targeted online campaign ever” as
impressions through run of site activity across a wide range of portals.” ACTION STATIONS
One of the most impressive aspects of Battlestations: Midway was the game’s scale and the way the battles are fought. For Pacific, Eidos has built on this, giving players the ability to either command or take control of air, sea and undersea units. Should gamers want to jump straight into the action, the cockpit view gets them closer to the conflict. This mode allows gamers We have listened to the to appreciate the lengths community and we are Eidos has gone to in delivering a vastly improved, presenting the Pacific more accessible, experience. Ocean and its islands as realistically as possible, Grant Tasker, Eidos with day and night cycle it fully utilises competitor and and varying weather conditions. behavioural targeting capabilities of the This time around, aspiring admirals largest gaming sites on the internet. will be able to play through some of “We will be gradually broadening the World War II’s crucial Pacific naval audience reach from the beginning of battles as either the US or Japanese forces. the second week, as well as “In terms of size and scale, Pacific is communicating the release of the demo twice the size of Midway with 28 with high impact channel takeovers on missions in the single-player campaign key sites such as Gamespot,” he says. and a skirmish mode with over 100 “Coverage will be broadened further different scenarios,” Tasker says. the week before launch, with takeovers “Finally, the multiplayer combines the on Eurogamer, and further still over scale and uniqueness of this game and launch week with takeovers across then takes it online with five modes. selected sites, as well as increasing our Gamers will have a lot of fun online.”
49 MCV534_FINAL:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 49
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Hannah Montana to rock retail in May Summer is approaching, but the new video games keep on coming. The Hannah Montana behemoth rolls into town to coincide with the upcoming movie, while EA follows Nintendoâ€™s lead with the first in a series of new sports titles... TITLE
DS / Wii / PS2 PSP DS DS / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS Wii Wii PC / Wii Wii DS PC PC / Wii PSP / DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / 360 PC / Wii
Adventure Action Simulation Music Simulation Puzzle Simulation Sports Music Lifestyle Strategy Action Action Racing
D3Publisher Koei 505 Games Disney Interactive JoWood Konami JoWood Playlogic Nintendo Deep Silver JoWood Playlogic Activision Blizzard Zoo Digital
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Centresoft Open Advantage Centresoft Lace Open Lace Centresoft Koch Koch Lace Centresoft Centresoft Gem
DS Wii PC DS PC PC DS / PC / Wii PC / XBOX 360 PC
Puzzle Kids Action Cooking Cards FPS Adventure Stealth/Action Strategy
Ubisoft Blast Mastertronic Ubisoft Mastertronic Mastertronic Deep Silver South Peak Mastertronic
0845 456 6400 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 456 6400 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242
Trilogy Mastertronic Open Trilogy Open Open Koch Centresoft Open
DS / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360
020 8987 5730
Wii Wii DS Wii PC DS / PC / Wii DS DS / Wii Wii / DS DS Wii Wii Wii Wii DS PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii
Puzzle Mini-games Music Sports Simulation RTS Imagine Puzzle Self-Improvement RPG Sports Mini-games Racing Simulation Adventure Fighting Kids
Ubisoft THQ 505 Games EA Just Flight Slitherine Ubisoft Deep Silver 505 Games Nintendo DDI DDI DDI Deep Silver Ubisoft THQ Blast
0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242
Trilogy Advantage Advantage Centresoft Mastertronic Koch Trilogy Koch Advantage Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Trilogy Advantage Mastertronic
PC Wii PS3 PC Wii DS DS
Compilation Action Chess Sports Self-Improvement Jump and Run Compilation
JoWood DDI Deep Silver Empire Deep Silver JoWood JoWood
01273 202 220 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 01273 202 220 01273 202 220
Lace Koch Koch Advantage Koch Lace Lace
MAY 1st Coraline Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce Gardening Mama Hannah Montana: The Movie Game Life Signs Marbles! Balance Challenge 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 Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Devil May Cry 3 (Sold Out) My Happy Kitchen Poker Academy 2.0 (Sold Out) Rainbow Six III: Ravenshield Gold (Sold Out) Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis Velvet Assassin Worms 4 Mayhem (Sold Out)
MAY 15th Rock Revolution
MAY 22nd Aqua Panic Big Family Games Diva Girls: Making The Music EA Sports Active FScene X Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans Imagine Movie Star Line Rider: Freestyle Mind, Body & Soul: Nutrition Matters Pokemon Platinum Popcorn: Crazy Mini Golf Popcorn: Farmyard Party Popcorn: Urban Extreme Street Rage Purr Pals Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery Of The Mummy UFC Undisputed Bob the Builder: Festival of Fun
MAY 29th 30:1 Blu-Ray Compilation Battlerage: The Robot Wars (with 3D glasses) Fritz Chess International Cricket Captain 2009 Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 Moorhuhn: Atlantis Moorhuhn: The Pharaoh's Treasure
MUSTSTOCK ...HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE
MUSTSTOCK ......................EA SPORTS ACTIVE
Released: May 1st Format: DS, Wii, PS3, 360 Publisher: Disney Interactive Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Released: May 22nd Format: Wii Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The Hannah Montana franchise is fast taking over the world, with a brand new movie set to hit the big screen next month. And Disney Interactive Studios is inviting gamers to play as either Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana in its tie-in video game.
The biggest video game of the year so far (Wii Fit) is set to get a serious competitor in the form of EA Sports Active. The first in a line of EA fitness products, Sports Active is developed in collaboration with exercise experts, and is designed to appeal to everyone.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 50 MCV 24/04/09
RETAIL BIZ: NEWS
[RETAIL REACTION] OPEN DISTRIBUTION IS THE FUTURE
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
I WONDER IF the secret to surviving the present ‘unpleasantness’ is to be a small retailer, able to duck and dive, always finding enough money to pay the bills and keep their head above water. With the news that another mini chain (Playtime Multimedia) bites the dust, it may be that an accumulation of punitive rents and rates on a small chain that is the nail that seals the coffin. Single shop retailers are, by their very nature, either stuck in some retailing time warp or remarkably adaptable to trading conditions and trends. They took to ‘gorilla
Retailers have adapted their business model, so it is about time the industry modiﬁed distribution, which has stuck to a model that does not beneﬁt retailers or consumers. distribution’ remarkable quickly and many have hardly noticed the loss or downgrading of their credit accounts, realising that cash is king, whether spent in a discounting supermarket or for vital purchases from distribution. Just as many retailers have adapted their business model to deal with all the problems heaped upon them over the last few years, it is about time that the industry modified distribution, which up to now, has stuck doggedly to the exclusive model that arguably does not benefit retailers or consumers. Just as price competition has infiltrated retail, all it needs is for publishers and their distributors to introduce some price and supply competition for all products into their models. Chris Ratcliff Editor, The Game Guide, 01606 836347
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK
THE GODFATHER 2
THE GODFATHER 2 PS3
RESIDENT EVIL 5 360
WII FIT Wii
MARIO KART WII
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE PS3
RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3
WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360
UK RETAILS SEES 0.7% Q1 DECLINE The UK High Street suffered a like-for-like sales decline of 0.7 per cent in Q1 and 1.2 per cent in March, the latest figures from the British retail Consortium reveal. Retail Week reports, however, that total sales grew 1.2 per cent year-on-year, with March numbers climbing by 0.6 per cent. Note though that direct comparisons should consider that Easter fell far earlier in 2008. Online was once again the big winner with year-on-year increases of 10.8 per cent, though this is down on the 30 per cent growth seen in Q4 2008.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
Q. DO YOU THINK ONLIVE WILL BE A SUCCESS? DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
NEW PRICE COMPARISON SITE TARGETS GAMERS With the online price comparison market becoming increasingly competitive, new outfit Sccope is targeting gamers to give itself a head start in the long battle to win internet market share. A statement from the new portal claims to offer a route to substantial savings on games – for instance, a PS3 owner buying titles such as Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, Killzone 2, Wheelman, HAWX, Red Alert 3, Call of Duty 4, WWE Legends of Wrestlemania, FIFA 09 and Wanted could save £130 when looking for the lowest prices through the site’s search engine.
Let's wait and see
Despite the buzz surrounding its revelation at GDC 2009, the participants of MCV’s latest online study seem to have a more pessimistic view on the OnLive service.
WARNER BROS CAPCOM THQ ROCKSTAR
Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.
Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com.
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.
TECH SALES SUFFER AT JOHN LEWIS John Lewis has seen mixed results at its electricals and home technology department, after sales fell overall by 13.9 per cent year on year. The retailer put much of the decline down to lower sales of vision products compared to the same period last year. However, according to director of selling operations at John Lewis, Dan Knowles, the retailer saw a major boost in imaging products.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 51 Sponsored by
MARGIN MAKER GAMERS ARE much more social beasts than they once were. Plenty of console owners like nothing more than taking their console to a friend’s house and enjoying an evening of multiplayer madness. Obviously, great care needs to be taken with today’s sophisticated consoles – especially when they’re in transit. Impact International has provided the perfect solution for both storing and transporting all of the current
FRONTLINE This week’s frontline interviewee is Jay Adams from Edinburgh-based Indie, 1up Games… What product are you most looking forward to over the summer? The only thing coming up soon is Riddick, which will hopefully be quite big, and at the end of May, Guitar Hero and Operation Flashpoint. Those have different audiences but both should fare fairly well. It starts to kind of wind down over the summer, so that’s when we typically try to push a lot more pre-owned titles. There’s nothing that really leaps out until Tekken in September, which will be the next big release sales-wise. What are your thoughts on Playtime entering administration? It’s hard to say what’s going on with any
generation of consoles: a range of high-quality bags. To add to their appeal, these bags have been officially branded with logos and characters from Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog, arguably one of the most iconic video games mascots of all time. Retro fans will particularly enjoy these products, as the artwork is most reminiscent of Sonic’s ‘90s heydey. The bags are available in five different sizes and have been made to store any console or laptop. They retail for between £9.99 and £24.99. Impact: 0845 600 1676
DEAL OF THE WEEK
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
Zavvi offers fans of Disney’s Sing It! range to save over £16 on the PS3 editions of Disney Sing It! Featuring Camp Rock and High School Musical 3: Senior Year Sing It!, which both released last November, now £23.95 each.
company at any one point. It’s actually not a bad time to be a much smaller company, because we have much smaller debts than the large companies. If anyone calls in our debts, it’s not going to be half as detrimental as it was to Zavvi, having to call in over £100 million. Online will always form competition, but anything else that goes – and I know this sounds harsh – will only provide
the opportunity for smaller indies to get a foothold. How important are pre-owned games to your store? Very important. Margins are always getting squeezed, and I’m sure all indies complain about the price of getting new games in stock. Second hand titles are now essentially the only back catalogue products we stock.
We Rock: Drum King
The Godfather II
Wii, 505 Games
Ultimate Band DS, Disney
Compnay of Heroes: Valor
Tomb Raider: Double Pack
IN STORE: CARLISLE £37.87
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
52,53 MCV534_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 52 MCV 24/04/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2 4 3 6 8 5 16 7 9
 [FULL PRICE]
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PERSONA 4 SQUARE ENIX
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
THE GODFATHER II 360, PS3, PC
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
MARIO KART WII Wii
WII PLAY Wii
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3
2 3 4 5
2 3 4 5
RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER
6 7 8 9 10
PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX
D3P SEGA EA
THQ WARNER BROS KONAMI ROCKSTAR
EA EA SEGA CAPCOM
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY WII
THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS
LEGO INDIANA JONES PS3, PS2, WII, 360, PSP, DS, PC
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
MONSTERS VS ALIENS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P
1 6 9 7 10
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE
2 3 4 5 6 9 7 10 11
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO IMAGINE: DOCTOR DS MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA SCRABBLE INTERACTIVE: 2009 EDITION UBISOFT
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: APARTMENT LIFE EA SPORE EA FAR CRY 2 UBISOFT
3 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 RE
DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 53
NINTENDO IS CLEARLY in a healthy position – Wii
Olympic Games also seeing week-on-week sales
Fit this week maintained its spell at the top of the chart, the 12th time it has lead the weekly list. And that’s despite a post-Easter slump in sales. Both Nintendo’s fitness title and EA’s The Godfather II were down 30 per cent in volume sales, but maintained the slots at the top. Similar dips can be found throughout the chart, with both Resident Evil 5 and Mario & Sonic at the
dips – but still maintaining their top 10 positions.
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber
GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS
CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS DISNEY
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3
KUNG FU PANDA PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PC, DS
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 WII, PS3, 360
KILLZONE 2 PS3
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER
PUZZLER COLLECTION DS
SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2
WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3
MARIO KART DS DS
MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR XX
PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS
SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii
LEGO BATMAN PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP
IMAGINE: DOCTOR DS
WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360, PS3
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA WARNER BROS SEGA UBISOFT WARNER BROS
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN STUFF EA THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER FOCUS THE SECRET OF MARGRAVE MANOR GSP/AVANQUEST MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT SOLD OUT
13 6 5 7 2 4 1 NEW
THE GODFATHER II
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
RESIDENT EVIL 5 KILLZONE 2 STREET FIGHTER IV FIFA ‘09 THE WHEELMAN LITTLEBIGPLANET CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X.
2 4 3 8 5 11 7 13 6
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
CAPCOM SONY CAPCOM EA MIDWAY/UBISOFT SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA UBISOFT
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: BLIZZARD
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE
3 2 4 6 10 5 8 13 7
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
Star performer of the week is 2K’s Carnival: Funfair Games which has risen up the charts from No.16 to No.10. The Wii mini-game title benefits from the post-Easter slowdown, and rises six places with sales holding fairly steady, down just 12 per cent. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO SEGA SEGA KONAMI D3P
THE GODFATHER II
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
RESIDENT EVIL 5 FIFA ‘09 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR GEARS OF WAR 2 STREET FIGHTER IV CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE GRAND THEFT AUTO IV THE WHEELMAN GUITAR HERO: WOLRD TOUR
2 5 6 11 8 4 10 3 13
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
WEEK ENDING 18/03/09
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA CAPCOM EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR MIDWAY/UBISOFT ACTIVISION
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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
Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0) 1225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk
Aardvark Swift Recruitment Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com
ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com
Outsource Media Tel: +44 (0)207 713 9000 www.omuk.com
Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com
Eye-D Creative Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 1440 www.eye-dcreative.co.uk
Peppermint P Tel: +44 (0)207 240 2645 www.peppermintp.com
Datascope Recruitment Tel: +44 (0)20 758 06018 www.datascope.co.uk
Feref Tel: +44 (0) 20 7292 6300 www.feref.com
RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com
Game Options Tel: +44 (0)1382 731909 www.gameops.co.uk
Fluid Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fluidesign.co.uk
Rocketbox Tel: +49-511-8984384 www.rocketbox.de
Lis Welsh Search and Selection Tel: +44 (0)1858 545355 www.liswelsh.co.uk
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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
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
Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com
U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com
UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com Gem Distribution Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk
OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION AFA Interactive Tel: +618 8234 1355 www.afainteractive.com.au
Interactive Ideas Tel: 020 8805 1000 www.interactiveideas.com dtp entertainment AG Tel: +49 (0) 40 66 99 10 â€“ 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: email@example.com 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 56 MCV 24/04/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
ENTERTAINMENT TRADING APS AFA INTERACTIVE
Stenholm 1, 9400,
66 Hughes Street, Mile End,
South Australia 5031
Phone: +45 70277640
Tel: +61 8823 41355
Fax: +45 70277650 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.entertainment-trading.com
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
Asia Pacific HQ - Level 8/606 St.Kilda Rd,
Gateway Distribution ApS
Melbourne, Vic, Australia, 3004
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Tel: +48 71 341 76 95 Fax: +48 71 343 98 96
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira TM
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Cardinal Gracious Road,
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,
Chakala, Andheri East,
08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Tel: +91 22 28203319
Fax: +91 22 28203334
email: email@example.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com
v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
ITALY INNELEC MULTIMEDIA 45 rue Delizy, 93692 PANTIN Cedex
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Email export sales: email@example.com
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.techland.pl
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o. Kazmierza Wlk 27, 50-077 Wroclaw,
ICELAND THQ AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND & ASIA.
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10
tel. +357 22 666612
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
56,57 MCV534_FINAL:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 24/04/09 57
The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
20001 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: email@example.com
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St.
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
Tel: +1 818 920 9393
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
UAE Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50
PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE.
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid
Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
Tel: +971 4261 8111
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Fax: +971 4261 8112
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai
Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul
LEADING US statistics body NPD has found that the majority of North American gamers say that they expect to spend more on their hobby this year than they did in 2008. Numbers in the recent Entertainment Trends in America report suggest that 65 per cent of consumers will be spending more, or at least the same, amount on games in the 12 months ahead. “Even in the face of a down economy, entertainment remains a popular spending category,” NPD’s Russ Crupnick stated. “There is anxiety about the economy among entertainment buyers but consumers have clearly shown that compelling content will get them back into the stores or theatres.” Elsewhere, Dan DeMatteo, the CEO of global games retail chain GameStop, has stated that he believes price drops are needed for both Sony’s PS3 and Nintendo’s Wii as the worldwide recession continues to trouble consumers. Speaking of the PS3’s price point, DeMatteo told CNBC: “$399 is clearly an issue in this economy. I don’t know if a $50 price drop would even get you that much.” The exec was also dismissive of Sony’s recent PS2 price drop, adding: “To be honest, it really wasn’t worth doing. If they’d done it earlier, publishers probably would have kept making games for the PS2, but once they’ve stopped, they’ve stopped.” SCREEN DIGEST’S Ed Barton has stated that lower than expected sales of 2008 pair Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Music are to blame for the dropping sales of the Wii in Nintendo’s home territory. Whilst the Wii is still undoubtedly the king of the current console castle, sales of Nintendo’s machine do appear to be slowing and nowhere is this more apparent than in Japan. “If we look at the types of games which are still selling well for the Wii in Japan, we’re seeing software such as Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii,” Barton stated, as reported by GameBizBlog.
UNITED STATES AUSTRALIA
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.bascodistribution.com
1C’S UPCOMING WWII first person shooter Necrovision will not be released in Australia after the country’s Classification Board refused to grant it a certificate. GameSpot reports that excessive violence was named as the determining factor. With Australia still lacking an 18+ age rating for games, 1C’s title was deemed too brutal for the current highest certificate available which is 15+.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0)7778 204970 DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 DVD Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999 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
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
58-62 MCV534_FINAL:Layout 1
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY MAY 8th
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 translation specialists on the latest developments facing the sector. FRIDAY MAY 15th
TOP 20 INDEPENDENTS Despite the fact it might have shrunk in size historically, independent retail remains an important part of the sector in the UK, with chains such as Grainger Games and CHIPS continuing to grow in the face of economic uncertainty. MCV gives a run-down of the 20 best outlets in the sector.
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.
DEVELOP 100 MCV’s sister magazine Develop once again presents a guide to the Top 100 development studios in the world, highlighting their successes from 2008. In a break from the norm, the list has been carefully crafted by the editorial team rather than based solely on UK sales figures. 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 unlikely territory for gaming. 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 format holders. FRIDAY MAY 29th
DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL MCV takes an in-depth look at the big issues involved in the alwaysimportant distribution sector. We speak to the major players about the future of the supply chain, and how they will be tackling the challenges ahead for the distribution side of the games trade. FRIDAY JUNE 12th
E3 REVIEW We offer a thorough and comprehensive look back at this year’s E3 Expo, reporting on each and every revelation as well as the potential impact they will have on the industry. We cover the Big Three’s presentations and the inevitable surprises, as well as the major developments from the other crucial publishers.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
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
Distributors of CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-Ram, Micro-SD, and lots, lots more...
X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories
Broadsword Interactive. . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1970 626299
UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999
Denki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.denki.co.uk
European Sales: ......01189 215 916
Lightning Fish Games . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 817 666
nDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44(0) 1252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821
DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES
Rebellion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1865 792 201 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org 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
SERVICES 3D Creation Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 486 6466
WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com
Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660
High Score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 738 337 Ian Livingstone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 421 491 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 To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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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
Simon Prytherch discusses his studios upcoming product, NewU
MCV speaks to Simon Prytherch, CEO of Lightning Fish Games...
AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
Tell us something we didn’t know about Lightning Fish. We formed in 2008 and the team here have over 100 years of experience and over 80 published titles. We specialise in family-oriented games bringing high production values to a mass-market audience. Could you tell us a little about your titles? Our recently announced first product is a fitness and health title for Wii called NewU: Inside Out. NewU allows users to select lifestyle goals which then define custom workouts and nutrition plans to achieve those goals. NewU supports the Wii Balance Board and is developed in association with Fitness First, the largest gym chain in the world and You Are What You Eat, a major nutrition brand.
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
What’s the best thing about your job? I have held high-level roles in development and publishing, but wanted to get back to developing games. My role involves business development and executive production allowing me to be creative in both the games and business. How are you coping with the economic climate? We have over 20 years’ experiences in the games industry managing external development studios, internal development teams and publisher producer teams responsible for several millionselling games. It is a very difficult time to be starting a new studio, but with our background we feel we can avoid most of the pitfalls.
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DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
MAY LONDON MCM EXPO Saturday, May 23rd – Sunday, May 24th London, Excel www.londonexpo.com
JUNE PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION
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
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Brighton www.developmag.com TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com
AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19th Sunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com 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.
MCV & XBOX 360 GAMES 5S Friday, June 12th Barnet, London www.gamesfives360.co. uk Organised in association with Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the industry’s biggest 5-a-side tournament returns. Head to the website to register your team and fight for the chance to win £1,500 for a charity of your choice. There will also be Xbox giveaways, courtesy of Microsoft. This event promises to be better than every this year so we hope to see you there.
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Pirate Bay – The Debate This week on MCV, UK indies and fellow trade execs have been debating the news that the owners of BitTorrent site Pirate Bay have been sent to jail for ‘assisting in making copyright content available’… You help people to steal. You get caught. You go to prison. Sounds right to me. Games Direct
Guilty of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’? Right, let’s make a list of all the other places that should be sued and sent to prison: ISPs, any search engine, browser software developers etc. Yes, the vast majority of content that is available and is downloaded from the Pirate Bay website is distributed illegally. However, you can’t simply make up grounds on which to prosecute them. The bottom line is, content is added by the users (there are many copyrighted videos/music tracks on YouTube). You cannot
but they have their stance. Pirate Bay was (and let’s face it, they advertised the fact) quite laissez-faire at best and complicit at worst when it came to copyright material. The trouble is that they are, like many high-profile targets, being made an example of. It is heavy-handed, of dubious credibility and reeks of ‘influence’ from outside, but it is meant as a message. The stakes grew as the visibility did, until they ended up in a bit of a Catch-22 situation. If they had been innocent, it would have been an invitation for copyright thieves to push the boundaries further. By finding them guilty, they are martyrs. Prince of Cats
You help people to steal copyright material. You get caught. You go to prison. Sounds right to me. Games Direct
hold the administrators of a site responsible for content posted by its users. Piracy needs to be stemmed, but this is not the correct way to do it. Platforms like Steam are a step in the right direction, but also bring a host of new problems.
Logically, then, I assume we can expect the chief execs of the ISPs and phone companies to also be jailed any minute now? Anyone who thinks this will change anything regarding the public’s attitude to BitTorrent is a complete idiot.
‘Rev’ Stuart Campbell
I agree that they were pushing it a bit with ‘assisting in making copyright content available’, but there is a point at which someone needs to be held accountable. YouTube, which was mentioned, has a strict policy of removing copyright material. They are not always prompt,
The bottom line is that filesharing of copyrighted content is stealing, plain and simple. No one with an ounce of common sense could argue with that. However... if media companies embraced digital distribution in a more open way, and delivered a good user experience worthy of a premium
price, it would go some way to solving the problem. The music industry learned this lesson far too late and is still paying the price. But there’s still time for the movie and games industries to turn it around – to date they’ve been protected to some extent from online piracy by the unwieldy file sizes their content travels in, but ever-faster broadband is chipping away at that barrier very quickly. David Chasey
From my perspective, the Pirate Bay is the only one of these websites that, if you ask
them for your copyrighted material to be taken down, won’t do it. For me, that’s why this has gone as far as it has. A law was only just recently passed in Sweden which made it illegal to download copyrighted material from the net, and what the nation saw was a 40 per cent drop in web traffic over the next two days. So, while it’s likely that some people will become more ‘radicalised’ off the back of the court case, the message does seem to get through to the mass-market consumers.
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64 MCV 24/04/09
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THAT MCV AWARDS VIDEO... These things don’t just happen, you know. It took blood, sweat and hours in make-up for the UK’s leading games industry luminaries to create last night’s video showpiece. Doing their thing in front of the greenscreen here, we have... Atari’s Lee Kirton and David Miller, Ubisoft’s Rob Cooper and Murray Pannell, Gamestation’s Martyn Gibbs, Nintendo’s David Yarnton and Rob Saunders, Disney’s Keely Brenner (complete with cheerleader’s outfit), Activision’s Gary Sims, Sega’s John Clark, Bethesda’s Sean Brennan and EA’s Keith Ramsdale and Simon Smith-Wright.
Off The Record
This week, we take a peek at the making of the MCV Awards video, catch up with Activision’s Andrew Brown and leer at Eidos’ latest hired model...
MCV 24/04/09 65
PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT
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
RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM
CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
FIT FOR A KING Rising Star Games put on a rather splendid showcase for current critical darling Little King’s Story on Wii last week, at Tokyo Toys in The Trocadero shopping centre, London. The publisher invited the cream of the UK’s games and national media to have a look at the game. Somehow, MCV managed to sneak in there, too.
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS
66 MCV 24/04/09
ses come to spill the Where do the UK’s publisher bos ek, Activision’s beans? Here, that’s where. This we sonal... UK MD Andrew Brown gets per HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK? I love to travel so holidays are always good. I also love international rugby, and lots of time with the kids. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Game: Call of Duty Modern Warfare. Film: Saving Private Ryan (there’s a theme here). Album: Dire Straits, The Movies. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
“Funniest person I’ve ever met? Probably my bank manager...”
Attending the Quantum of Solace premiere and feeling the buzz of the entertainment industry at its best.
later on it was explorers and adventurers like Richard Branson.
WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET?
WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’?
Apart from my bank manager it’s been a few notable characters I've worked with over the years... usually from Liverpool.
They started in 1983 when I went to London Uni and finished in 1990 when I got my first mortgage.
WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE?
Early on it was explorers and adventurers like Ranulph Fiennes, and
Two months ago, flying to the US, watched a film which had me crying. I laughed so loudly it became embarrassing.
THIGH HIGH Not content with getting a damn stunning series of models to promote its Lara Croft games over the years – for the record: would, would, dodgy eye, would, faintly beefy odour, would - Eidos has once again recruited a hotty all in the name of marketing. Burlesque queen Miss Polly Rae has signed up to endorse upcoming historical air shooter Battlestations: Pacific – including an ingame likeness. Of course, by hiring an ‘artist’ like Miss Rae, Eidos PR has acquired the chance to write less chauvanistic things about their model than usual, like ‘sweetheart’ instead of ‘hotty’ – and we all get to perv without feeling too bad about ourselves.
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