THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday May 8 2009 £3.25
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES 04 Pig’s ‘ere?
17 In the GAME
MCV investigates whether the UK trade’s E3 plans have been affected by swine flu
The specialist’s CEO Lisa Morgan tells all about the chain’s recent success
07 EA on MotionPlus
International Media Partner
Issue 536 Friday May 8 2009 £3.25
23 Local people
EA Sports VP David McCarthy is a big fan MCV takes a look at the state of the QA of Nintendo’s latest innovation and localisation marketplace
08 Singing retail’s praises
39 Retail Biz
Sony applauds High Street’s role as Singstar celebrates its fifth birthday
This week, we preview The Sims 3, Pokemon Platinum and more
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Supermarket war hotting up as Somerfield enters the fray Grocer becomes industry’s newest retailer Asda triples games headcount to encourage ‘aggressive trading’ by Christopher Dring SOMERFIELD has unveiled a shock warplan to become a leading games retailer – as fellow supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s aggressively expand their buying teams in a bid to grab more market share.
Somerfield owns 3,000 grocery stores nationwide and is the fifth largest supermarket chain in the UK. Morrisons’ distributor, MBL, is servicing the firm’s games offering. “We introduced video games to 60 large Somerfield stores at Christmas and they have been very popular with our
We now sell video games in around 100 Somerfield stores. We plan to take this into larger outlets soon. Somerfield spokesperson
In yet another new route to market for UK publishers, The Co-operative, which bought Somerfield for £1.5 billion last year, has placed video games in over 100 of its UK stores – with plans to expand the range into its biggest outlets this summer.
customers,” said a company spokesperson. “We now sell DS and PS2 games, and this has been expanded into around 100 stores. We plan to roll out this supply to other larger Somerfield stores in the next few months.”
BAG IT UP: Somerfield has become the latest supermarket to sell games
Meanwhile, Asda has revealed that its buying team has jumped from four to 14 employees – as it aims to become the UK’s largest nonspecialist video games retailer. “We now have supply and distribution teams, and a merchandise planning function,” explained games buying manager Duncan Cross. “Without a middle-man, we can really trade aggressively. Every retailer is seeing games as the growth engine. This is a highly competitive industry, but ‘bring it on’ is our message.” Elsewhere, Tesco has added ex-EUK stalwarts Mark Burgess and John Stanhope to its games team as it goes on the prowl for more market share. Sainsbury’s has promoted Gurdeep Hunjan to games manager, and hired exEUK staff Chris Cahill and Nick Arran as senior buyers.
Eurogamer Expo doubles up for 2009 by Michael French THE EUROGAMER EXPO will return in the form of individual London and Leeds events this year, which will also boast on-site HMV shops. The entertainment retailer has signed on both as sponsor and official retail partner for the consumer show, which debuted last year. Eurogamer’s Expo kicks off on October 27th and 28th in Leeds, with the London
event taking place days later on October 30th and 31st. Organisers expect that 14,000 will attend the two events, and tickets are already on sale at £6 each. A number of publishers are already signed up to debut key Christmas titles and offer hands-on time to consumers. “We struck a chord with gamers and the game industry last year. We’ve already signed up many of the leading publishers. They are planning
to show some fantastic products that I know gamers are going to be excited by,” Eurogamer MD Rupert Loman told MCV. He added that the show will also attract attendance from the media as well as exhibitors from the trade. “As well as thousands of avid gamers, last year’s show attracted over 100 journalists from magazines, websites and fansites. We expect even more LOMAN: Eurogamer boss expects over 14,000 to attend brace of expos press to attend this year.”
PERSONNEL 36 RETAIL BIZ 39 NEW RELEASES 49 HIGH STREET 50 CHARTS 52
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[LEADER] ARE WE IMMUNE? SO THE MEDIA’S contageous enthusiasm for covering Swine Flu might have reached pandemic propotions, but the mania doesn’t seem to have sparked an outbreak in consumer belt tightening. Indeed, the latest GfK-ChartTrack figures this week suggest healthy hardware sales and a slightly up software sector. No wonder, then that we continue to chronicle the expanding nature of games retail. As HMV CEO Simon Fox says elsewhere in this issue, the retail landscape has changed more in the last year than anyone could have predicted. This is most true for games where, despite the loss of two major entertainment chains, publishers continue to find new routes to market. We’ve covered this extensively over the last five months, from WH Smith’s ‘will they, won’t they?’ approach to games through to this week’s declaration of intent from Somerfield. Meanwhile Asda is growing its games team and wants to become the ‘largest non-specialist’. I’m sure Mr Fox has something to say about that – although HMV’s offer has become so rich of late, that it’s easier to see it as a games specialist in its own right than just a ‘general entertainment’ or ‘non-specialist’ chain. What’s great about all this – and The GAME Group’s continued success – is that games are the benefit here. Publishers must be punching the air at all the new accounts and potentially beefed-up orders. In a world of flat DVD sales and a music market in physical freefall, it’s no surprise that many have turned to games as a way to save their bacon. Still not necessarily proof that games are immune to the recession, but evidence that we are healthier than most.
THE RISE AND FALL OF EMPIRE MCV has already taken to the soapbox to condemn the appalling treatment of Empire’s staff throughout its prolonged death. But the sorry tale of this firm’s demise exposes another ugly truth, besides the ‘keep your employees informed’ rule. Namely: games are not for chancers looking to make a quick buck. Empire may have never been a spectacular publisher, but it was at least a marginally clever one. In 20 years it made some smart choices; it was the first to get into music games in a big way (via eJay), had a strong cricket franchise and its Xplosiv budget range. Despite duff decisions (an unexciting licensed Ford racing game; a Starship Trooper title a decade after the film arrived; Big Mutha Truckers) the Empire of old’s management knew what they were doing. The same can’t be said of the Empire that this week not only screwed over staff, but seemed lost. Leaving the UK team to manage a digital distribution strategy for old IP simply wasn’t enough to counter the feeling that the people at the very top simply didn’t know what they were doing, allegedly making mistakes over simple things like distribution deals, which ultimately had unfortunate consequences for the staff. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
E3 Expo undaunted by Organisers confident show will go ahead – despite ‘State of Emergency’ by Christopher Dring UK RETAILERS and publishers are closely monitoring the spread of Swine Flu in Los Angeles ahead of E3 – as the region’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger calls a State of Emergency. However, the expo’s organiser, the ESA, told MCV this week that the show is “progressing as planned”. So far State and local officials have confirmed 13 cases of the Swine Flu in California. None have been fatal, but Governor Schwarzenegger has called the State of Emergency to ‘suspend non-competitive bid contracts for services, material, personnel and equipment needed to respond to this outbreak’. “The 2009 E3 Expo is progressing as planned,” an ESA spokesperson told MCV. “Public health officials are taking all appropriate steps and we continue to follow their direction on all measures. “We look forward to a great event, and to seeing you in Los Angeles in June.”
The 2009 E3 Expo is progressing as planned. We look forward to seeing you in Los Angeles in June. ESA spokesperson
MCV understands that UK execs from publishers such as Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Disney and Eidos still plan to attend the
event – but are ‘closely monitoring’ the outbreak. Retailers are similarly optimistic. An HMV
BATMAN TAKES HIS TIME
Eidos has confirmed that the release of Batman: Arkham Aslylum has been pushed back to the end of the summer. A company spokesperson told MCV: “This additional time will allow us to ensure Batman: Arkham Aslylum is of the highest quality for gamers."
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Swine Flu risk Retail and publishers ‘monitoring situation’
HMV to grow [PRE ORDERS] Gamerbase TOP 10 inFAMOUS
HMV PLANS to significantly expand the number of Gamerbase network gaming centres by the end of the year. A fourth site in Glasgow is to open in the coming weeks, joining the current London, Manchester and
HMV revealed the strategy at its annual conference for suppliers and partners last week. At the event CEO Simon Fox also detailed plans to step into the void left by Woolworths and Zavvi with new strategies for casual
2. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ
3. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED 360 ....................................................THQ
“ [OPINION] spokesperson told MCV that four members of its games team are planning to attend, but that the firm is “monitoring Government advice” – a statement echoed by online specialist ShopTo.com. The Hut – which handles the websites of Asda, Zavvi, Tesco and more – told MCV that “Swine Flu has not affected our plans to attend E3”.
Lisa Morgan, GAME CEO “We’re really glad to have E3 back. We will be sending teams from every division of the business along. The commercial team from GAME, Gamestation, Spain France and the UK will all be there as we see it as an important annual event to gauge what the line-up of upcoming games is like for Christmas.”
HMV CEO Simon Fox has revealed that the retailer accounts for 25 per cent of UK Guitar Hero sales.
Edinburgh sites. Four more will open before the end of the year in Nottingham, Birmingham, Reading and Newcastle. The entertainment retailer is also looking at the potential for up to 30 ‘Gamerbase Lite’ venues throughout the UK. The whole concept will be promoted later in the year via a tour of 26 universities, utilising a ‘portable Gamerbase’.
4. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 ..................................................SONY
and ‘entertainment’ games like Guitar Hero. Fox said that the firm accounts for 25 per cent of Guitar Hero sales in the UK, and plans to increase frontof-store merchandising for mass market titles. The firm also hopes to strengthen links with publishers for pre-order deals and boost its PC games offer. For a full report on HMV’s conference turn to page 11
5. THE SIMS 3 PC ........................................................EA
6. INFAMOUS LIMITED EDITION PS3 ..................................................SONY
7. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2: DRAGON 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS
8. GHOSTBUSTERS 360 ..................................................ATARI
9. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI
10. WII SPORTS RESORT WII ............................................NINTENDO Week ending May 1st Source: SHOPTO.COM
Empire finally appoints administrators £17.4m EMPIRE INTERACTIVE has finally gone into administration, after ex-employees were kept in the dark over the firm’s future for a fortnight. KPMG was appointed to handle the administration of the firm on Friday, May 1st. 49 staff have been made redundant, with six being kept on to help KPMG with the wind-down of operations. IP has been sold to US firm New World IP LLC. The announcement follows a turbulant time for former employees at the company, described as ‘dreadful circumstances’ by staff. Since MCV broke the news that the
company was to collapse and that all staff were to lose their jobs (MCV NewsFlash, 24/04), parent Silverstar Holdings has been at pains to inform other news sites that the firm was not dying. However, the inevitable truth came a step closer when MCV obtained an internal email sent after our story by Silverstar CEO Clive Kabatznik which admitted that it was ‘highly likely’ staff would lose jobs. He said: “I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is the unfortunate reality.” Furious Empire staff have told MCV they are yet to be
paid for eight weeks’ work – something which should hopefully be remedied by the firm falling into administration. Russian distributor and publisher Noviy Disk seemed a likely White Knight for Empire in March, but the two firms could not finalise terms.
KPMG was then called in to find a buyer. MCV understands it received two expressions of interest, but these never grew into firm offers. KPMG’s restructuring director Ian Corfield added: “Despite the fact that the gaming industry has been relatively unscathed by the current recession, trading losses, development spend and a delay in recent new product approval had a fatal impact on the Empire’s cash flow. We are not looking to sell the business as a going concern and are effecting an orderly wind-down of Empire’s operations.”
Week Ending April 18th
Week Ending April 25th
Week Ending May 2nd
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
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Industry confronts Government over ‘disappointing’ Digital Britain report Labour’s upcoming Digital Britain review omits video games from its remit Industry’s finest meet with MPs by Tim Ingham THE INDUSTRY’S most notable faces met with Labour Ministers last week – to discuss games’ exclusion from a major Government report into ‘Britain’s online future’. The Digital Britain report, headed up by Lord Stephen Carter, aims to ‘secure the UK’s digital future’, and maximise the country’s economic online potential. However, the report – due to be published in June – has yet to mention video games. In reaction, industry heavyweights such as ELSPA’s Michael Rawlinson, Eidos’ Ian Livingstone, Microsoft’s Stephen McGill, Sony’s Ray Maguire, EA’s Keith Ramsdale and Nintendo’s David Yarnton arranged to meet with Carter, and Ministers Barbara Follett and Andy Burnham last Thursday – with mixed results. Lord Carter cancelled his planned attendance after being called away, whilst Burnham only visited the meeting for 20 minutes. The panel discussed topics such as tax incentives, lack of skills in games
OUT IN FORCE: (from left to right) Nintendo’s David Yarnton, EA’s Keith Ramsdale, Eidos’ Ian Livingstone, Elspa’s Michael Rawlinson, Microsoft’s Stephen McGill and Sony’s Ray Maquire met with Ministers ahead of the Digital Britain report, which is due in June
graduates and the poor perception of games in the Government. “It involved more earnest nodding than usual, but we’re sceptical as to whether that will translate into any action,” commented Livingstone.
“To not be included in the Digital Britain report will be upsetting, but you can’t moan after the event if you’ve done nothing to stop it. “Over the years we’ve spoken to [MPs] Shaun Woodward, Patricia Hewitt,
Tessa Jowell, James Purnell, Stephen Timms and more. A whole raft of Ministers have looked concerned and said: ‘Yep, you’re the future,’ – and then done nothing to help us.” The panel – which also included Kuju’s Ian Baverstock,
TIGA’s Richard Wilson and development veteran Ian Hetherington – plan to meet with MPs again before the Digital Britain report is published, and are ‘very open’ to input from other industry execs.
Capcom unveils Captivating 2009 line-up CAPCOM is set to follow the phenomenal success of Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV with a range of returning franchises, new IP and digital releases, the publisher has told MCV. Games on display at the company’s Captivate event in Monte Carlo included Monster Hunter, Bionic Commando, Dead Rising, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, as well as new IP Dark Void and Spyborgs. The firm also showed off its range of digital software, as it looks to expand its fanbase.
“Judging by the quality and variety on show at Captivate, we expect this to be a bumper year for Capcom, introducing new IP, sequels to established IP as well as continuing our commitment to the digital space,” said Capcom senior marketing director Michael Pattison. “Capcom is fortunate to have some firmly established IP that has continued to grow year-onyear – you can count maybe
Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Monster Hunter and Lost Planet will join a raft of new IP from Capcom
five top selling titles with Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Monster Hunter, Dead Rising and Lost Planet. “But we’re not stopping there, we’re carefully selecting which new IP to introduce and feel very happy that consumers
and retail will welcome Dark Void and Spyborgs, as each offers something new. “We also introduced a digital exclusive title Fate/Unlimited Codes for the PSP along with the highly anticipated Marvel vs Capcom 2 for PSN and Xbox
Live Arcade. Digital is an important area of growth as we find new channels to reach our consumers. However, we’re totally committed to supporting retail, as we see this area as incremental.” Capcom: 020 8846 2566
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EA banks on MotionPlus success Publisher excited by Wii peripheral ahead of Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger Woods launch by Christopher Dring THE WII MotionPlus will revolutionise the sports genre when it hits shelves next month. At least that’s according to EA, which is set to bundle Nintendo’s new peripheral with copies of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2010 and Grand Slam Tennis. “Our goal for EA Sports titles on the Wii this year is to provide deep, authentic, and accessible motion gameplay experiences,” said EA Sports vice-president and executive producer David McCarthy. “In certain respects I think the Wii MotionPlus has changed how we look at product design, in that it allows us to play to our strengths more than ever. “We’re now able to deliver control solutions that give you the feeling that you are placing wicked top spin on a cross court forehand in Grand Slam Tennis. Users will appreciate the time our designers have spent ensuring you get one-toone feedback on screen with rotating racket faces, spin and precise ball placement.”
MCCARTHY: EA Sports VP is confident that MotionPlus can boost Grand Slam Tennis and Tiger woods
May 2009 X360, PS3, PS2, Wii Guitar Hero’s most explosive game yet! Take to the stage as Metallica, with the band fully motion captured, and on some of their most iconic stages. With 28 of Metallica’s definitive tracks, plus 20 guest acts - and with the new ‘Expert+’ mode, that supports 2 bass pedals, you can drum like Lars or play as the full band. This May, rock with Metallica to an explosion of metal!
I think the Wii MotionPlus has changed how we look at product design. It allows us to play to our strengths. Dave McCarthy, EA
Grand Slam Tennis producer Thomas Singleton added: “I think it is going to be very appealing to the masses because it’s great technology and takes gaming to a very
authentic and literal level. We are very happy with our MotionPlus controls in Grand Slam Tennis and we definitely feel that this is a huge step forward.”
Grand Slam Tennis is scheduled to arrive on Wii on June 12th, and features all grand slam tournaments, as well as tennis legend John McEnroe. The game will be available with MotionPlus for £49.99. Tiger Woods 10 is scheduled for July 3rd. EA: 01483 463500
Out 12th June 2009 Wii, NDS, PS2, PSP Step into the shoes of Indiana Jones and live his adventures with pick-up-and-play controls accessible to players of all ages and abilities. Explore exotic locations around the globe in an all-new story that puts you on an epic quest.
‘The Conduit will reverse Wii FPS fortunes’ THE CREATOR of Sega’s The Conduit has claimed that the title will create a fillip in the success of FPS games on Wii. The High Voltage-developed title takes players into a dark story in Washington D.C. after a vicious alien invasion has rocked the country. The first person shooter garnered multiple awards at E3 last year, including three awards from IGN: Best Shooting Game (Wii), Best Graphics Technology (Wii) and Best Overall Wii Game. High Voltage CEO Kerry J. Ganofsky told MCV: “Only a few have tried to succeed with FPS games on Wii. Those that have just haven’t offered
gamers the entire package. FPS gamers want it all. They want precise controls, a fun singleplayer experience, a varied multiplayer offering, and yes
Conduit can absolutely change the FPS genre’s fortunes on Wii. We were very methodical with how we created this game. We set clear goals and
We set out to create the FPS that all gamers dreamed of when the Wii was announced. Eric Nofsinger, High Voltage
they want high quality graphics. We understand this because we want these things ourselves.” Lead producer Eric Nofsinger added: “The
didn’t stop iterating until we met those goals. Players can remap buttons, move HUD element placement, change run speeds, and so much more. This is something that
only The Conduit offers and we hope that it becomes the standard in all games.” The Conduit follows other ‘non-casual’ releases on Wii from Sega, including House Of The Dead Overkill and Madworld – but High Voltage does not believe the game is necessarily exclusively an ‘adult’ game. We don’t look at The Conduit as a mature game; we look at it as a gamer’s game,” added Nofsinger. “From the start, we set out to provide the kind of FPS experience that all FPS gamers dreamed of when the Wii was first announced.”
Out 26th June 2009 X360, PS3, Wii, PS2 Crank up the amps and prepare to rock out, as some of the most famous tracks from the Guitar Hero franchise step into the spotlight in the most epic, full band jam session to-date. Featuring 48 master recordings, all now available to play with the full band, including fan favourites Queen “Killer Queen,” and Dragonforce’s “Through the Fire & Flames.”
Sega: 020 8995 3399
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Sony thanks retail as SingStar celebrates its fifth anniversary Boxed product ‘a very important entry point’ to karaoke game, says development team behind the series by Will Freeman RETAIL has played a major role in the success of Sony’s long-running karaoke series over the past five years, the development team behind the game told MCV – and will continue going forward, it has stressed.
Sony is continuing to increase the momentum of SingStar’s online offering, but that has not stopped regular releases of boxed product for both the PS2 and PS3, including this month’s Pop Editions. “Boxed product is really a very important entry point to the SingStar world online and
We rely on the shop front to sell our wares. And we want to keep supporting users via the online element. Mike Haigh, Dev Director
“From a consumer point of view, we want to appeal to people who haven’t seen this product, as well as those people who have already got it,” revealed Sony’s London Studio development director Mike Haigh. “If you’re just online you’re not going to have the opportunity to do that. You need to have presence on the High Street.”
offline,” said executive producer Dave Ranyard. “We rely on the shop front to sell our wares,” added Haigh. “We want to keep supporting the people who attached to it through the online bit, and we don’t want to spend money where it’s not necessary, obviously. But certainly, as far as the boxed product is concerned, retail is where people who have never
Sony supports users via downloads, but retail plays a crucial part in attracting new consumers, says Haigh
seen SingStar before will discover it first.” Haigh also explained the reasons behind the delays to the release of the wireless mics: “We really did have to
try and work out the best route to entry and the price was an issue. Also, we worked for a long time on quality. The motivation for our choice was to get rid of the cost of the
receiver, as that’s actually the most expensive component. You wouldn’t know it but there’s a lot of chip technology in there to convert analogue to digital.”
Big names back summer’s Brighton conference MICROSOFT, EA and Ubisoft are just some of the big name companies that have signed up to talk at July’s Develop conference. The Brighton event’s fourth show has scored a number of key speakers from around the world to deliver track keynotes at the event. Dave Perry, plus the founders of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule, EA-owned Warhammer Online creator Mythic Entertainment, the teams behind two new LEGO games and Nokia’s Mark Ollilia are just a few of the confirmed speakers.
GTA creator and Realtime Worlds creative director Dave Jones has also signed up. The event takes place from Tuesday, July 14th to
conference looking at the future of games development and online gaming. On the Wednesday and Thursday the event opens into
on the evening of Wednesday, July 15th. “We’re delighted with the way this year’s event is shaping up. Once again, we’ve got a
Thursday, July 16th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton. The first day is Evolve, a single-track
a multi-track conference accompanied by an expo. The Develop Industry Excellence Awards take place
first rate programme with some great speakers that are sure to spark some lively debate and send developers
back to their studios fully inspired,” said Andy Lane of organiser Tandem Events. “In particular, the new Evolve conference seems to have really hit the spot, judging by the comments and feedback we’ve had from the industry. And of course, there are the parties, the drinks and Brighton itself which everyone loves and help make it the one and only event to go to this summer.” Early bird discounts of 20 per cent, with a saving of up to £150, are available until June 10th. Tickets can be bought via developconference.com
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UK localisation specialist heads to the Far East UK-BASED localisation specialist Universally Speaking has opened an office in Japan. The company, whose HQ is in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, has launched its new operation in the Shinagawa district of Central Tokyo, the same area as some of Japan’s leading publishers. The new office will be run by Toru Sasaki. “We identified the growing trend of Japanese and Asian games companies wishing to make a large impact in Western markets,” said Universally Speaking MD Vickie Peggs.
Mafia sequel has helped EA rise in the ChartTrack listings
NAMCO BANDAI: The Japanese-based publisher is to release a second instalment to its Family Trainer franchise on Wii this autumn in the UK, entitled Family Trainer: Extreme Challenge. CAPCOM: Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and Bionic Commando are set to hit the PC this summer. The three titles will boast extra functions and Resident Evil 5 has been enhanced with 3D technology. SQUARE ENIX: Xbox 360 RPG fans will be able to get their hands on Star Ocean: The Last Hope on June 5th. the game features real-time battles and a four-player party system.
PEGGS: “Our efforts over the past two years have paid”
“Over the past two years, we have actively been developing new relationships and clearly pinpointing the objectives of Japanese publishers for Western entry. Our efforts have paid off and with a strong client base of companies on-side it was vital to offer a secure facility for our Japanese clients, based in Tokyo. In fact, our Japanese clients requested it, so we made it happen. Based in Shinagawa, we are in the heart of Tokyo, close by to our clients and able to offer a 24/7 service which includes on-site work if required.” Universally Speaking Tokyo is set to run the same services as its UK counterpart, which includes product localisation, QA, audio and DTP services, as well as sales and marketing activity for Japan. The Tokyo office will cover not just the Japanese language, but also Korean and Chinese. US: 01480 210621
EA gobbles up share in April, market down Games giant jumps up two positions in publisher leaderboard by Tim Ingham ELECTRONIC Arts’ share of total software sales leapt up in March, according to official figures from GfK-ChartTrack and ELSPA. However, the industry’s overall software sales were down month-on-month on every format, both in terms of units and revenue – despite the boost of the Easter break. EA claimed some 14.5 per cent of the total revenue software market, up from the 7.8 per cent it secured in March. The firm’s unit sales share hit 14.3 per cent in April, up 9.4 per cent. EA’s sterling performance was buoyed by The Godfather 2 on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, which was released on April 9th. The title was the second biggest-selling game of the month, behind Wii Fit.
Despite dropping four places to No.6 in the list of best selling publishers by value, Capcom held on to its top ten place after leaping up the table in March. The firm’s Resident Evil 5 was the third
Nintendo’s Professor Layton, Activision’s Call Of Duty: World At War, Nintendo Mario Kart Wii, Capcom’s Street Fighter IV and Midway/Ubisoft’s Wheelman. Take 2/Rockstar’s GTA:
EA’s sterling performance was buoyed by The Godfather, the month’s second best-selling game after Nintendo’s Wii Fit
best-selling All Formats title in April – helping the publisher claim 3.5 per cent of all unit sales and 5.5 per cent in terms of value. April’s fourth best-selling game was FIFA 09, with Sega’s Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games in No.5, followed by (in order)
SEGA: Wacky World of Sports is heading to Wii later in the year. The game features some particularly unusual pursuits, including furniture racing and extreme ironing. MCM: Visitors to the Movie Comic Expo in London later this month will get the chance to enjoy an early hands-on with Koei’s upcoming Dynasty Warriors 6 Empires before anyone else in the world. Also in attendance will be Koei’s outing Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce.
Chinatown Wars, which released on March 20th, was the 14th biggest-selling game of the month – helping lift the publisher from No.10 to No.6 in the units sales rankings, with 4.6 per cent share. The full ChartTrack data for April will feature in next week’s issue of MCV.
LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE Bookmark us in your phone:
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As veterans of E3 Expos, we approach this years event with excitement. Our excitement stems from a feeling that our range of products from the world’s leading interactive entertainment developers is better, wider and at lower prices than ever. We will also showcase the new livery for our company, which we modestly assert, is outstanding. But, some things will never change. We still rest assured in the core values of our company – always fast, always ﬂexible and providing great service to all clients.
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NEWS ANALYSIS: HMV AND GAMES HMV invited suppliers and partners to its annual conference last week at The Forum in London. The event was hosted by CEO Simon Fox (below)
HIS MASTER’S VISION After taking home the MCV Retail Innovation Award for its Gamerbase in-store experience and network gaming services, HMV last week revealed that full-year profits will be up at the end of its financial year. And now the entertainment specialist wants to fill the hole left by the defunct Woolworths and Zavvi. Dave Roberts reports… GAMES ACCOUNTED for a large slice of the PowerPoint pie at HMV’s annual presentation to suppliers and partners last week. Held at the recently re-branded HMV Forum in Kentish Town, the event saw the entertainment retailer in good health and a confident mood as it discussed the ways in which it has capitalised on the disappearance of Woolworths and Zavvi, and how it is looking to build the size and profile of its game offering in-store and online, grabbing itself a larger market share in the process. ON THE UP Group CEO Simon Fox confirmed that for the year ending April 25th, like-forlike sales in the UK and Ireland were up 1.9 per cent and total sales were up 6.3 per cent. But he also gave an indication of the rate of acceleration within those figures with the news that for the last 16 weeks of the period, like-for-like sales were up 4.3 per cent and total sales up 11.7 per cent.
A not-so-stellar performance by HMV’s international division (consisting of outlets in Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong) allied with ongoing struggles at Waterstones, however, means the group is pretty flat in likefor- like terms, up just 2.4 per cent in overall sales – a blip that will push total revenues to the threshold of £2 billion. A full set of FY09 figures are due on June 30th, and profits are expected to come in at the high end of analysts’ forecasts, possibly as high as £62m. One more bullish financial note was struck with Fox telling the audience that HMV’s share price had outperformed any other in the FTSE 250 by over 60 per cent in the last year. He added that the company’s balance sheet showed very little debt (less than £10m), that it was capitalised at around £200m and that, unlike elsewhere, credit insurance is not an issue for HMV. GAME PLAN When talked turned specifically to games, it was, according to HMV’s own
The competitive landscape has changed more than any of us could have envisaged. Simon Fox, HMV
in-house lexicon, as an ‘Ambition’ category, as opposed to the ‘Core’ sectors of movies and music. Not quite at the very top table, then, but, on the upside, room and plans for growth. It stressed its strength in the ‘entertainment’ sector of gaming, highlighting particular success with Wii Fit and Guitar Hero, a product on which it claims a 25 per cent share of all sales. Casual gaming also got a specific mention, with a promise that it will gain a higher profile at front of store, more press ads and an emphasis on the value message. Again, the targeting of former Woolworths customers was cited as a factor, although obviously all the major supermarkets have the same demographic well and truly in their crosshairs. HMV is also looking to be a bigger player in the pre-order market, with plans to increase the profile of big titles in the weeks leading up to release. To the assembled audience of publishers and manufacturers, it said it wanted to work closely with them in this area, and
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12 MCV 08/05/09
NEWS ANALYSIS: HMV AND GAMES on providing exclusives and added value for customers. CUSTOMER LOYALTY There was also talk, albeit unqualified, of HMV looking to have an increased commitment to PC gaming. Online, HMV.com is now attracting one million uniques per week and online sales are up 20 per cent year on year. The site is being updated at the moment and an enhanced version will go live in August, with games getting a greater share of the acreage on the home page. Download kiosks, meanwhile, will be in every store by the end of the month. Gamerbase, the networked gaming centres it acquired in October last year, warranted a good share of the spotlight. Three are currently operational in London, Manchester and Edinburgh, with another major site opening in Glasgow in a couple of weeks, followed by four more big ones before the end of the year in Nottingham, Birmingham, Reading and Newcastle. The firm is also looking at the potential for up to 30 ‘Gamerbase Lite’ venues throughout the UK. The whole concept will be promoted later in the year via a tour of 26 universities, utilising a ‘portable Gamerbase’.
There was still time to talk of Pure, the loyalty card that HMV insists isn’t just a loyalty card and which is being currently being trialled in two regions ahead of a nationwide roll-out later this year. The chain is clearly mighty fired-up about Pure, and is looking to work with partners to provide card-holders not just with a bit of money off after months of swiping and collecting, but with ‘money can’t buy’ redeemable prizes. The most quoted example being a tour of EA’s studios (presumably those in the UK). STEPPING INTO THE GAP All of this renewed activity, however, comes as part of an overarching strategy at HMV to fill the space left by Woolworths and Zavvi. Marketing spends have been upped significantly to try and make a mark in the market share land grab that followed the disappearance of two chains. Last Easter HMV spent £300k on marketing, this year it spent £450K. HMV has bought 23 Zavvi stores and is looking to attract a large chunk of former Woolworths customers, particularly around calendar events, such as Mothers Day, Easter, Halloween and Valentine’s Day. The defunct department store used to exploit
HMV’s Gamerbase hasn’t just impressed the industry (it won an MCV Award three weeks ago), it’s caught on with consumers. Five more will be open by year’s end, with the opportunity to open 30 ‘Lite’ versions
impressively through special offers and in-store branding, Fox conceded. He added that, in the 12 months since the last presentation, “the competitive landscape had changed more than any
of us could have then envisaged”. So whilst the demise of Woolworths and Zavvi were sad losses borne of tough times, HMV has seen the situation as an opportunity it wants to take charge of.
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How Today's Social Networks Will Change How You Make, Play and Sell Games Tomorrow Kristian Segerstrale, Playfish PlayStation Home - First Term Report Peter Edwards, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe 20 Great Innovations in Casual, Social and Mobile Games That You Should Steal Stuart Dredge, Pocket Gamer Taking Your Game to iPhone and Android, Without Killing Your Team Chris White, Glu Mobile
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MCV 08/05/09 17
MCV INTERVIEW LISA MORGAN, CEO, GAME
The winning ticket GAME and Gamestation have been riding a wave of success – their parent firm reported significant rises in turnover for its full year last month, and two weeks ago they took home three MCV Awards. Michael French caught up with CEO Lisa Morgan to talk online, pre-owned, mass-market acceptance, and more... The company has scooped three MCV Awards and recently posted excellent end-of-year figures. What’s the secret? It’s because we have a fantastic and perfectly placed product proposition within our stores. As we know, the UK video games market last year reached £4bn – which was a stunning performance for us overall, a real testament to the fact we have reached massmarket status. And GAME within that, particularly in the UK with our dual brand strategy, is able to appeal to a broad range of consumers. We are best placed to take advantage of that. As the Group owns both main specialist chains do you feel yourselves at the heart of that growth? I think we are part of that growth, certainly – across the Group last year we added something like 200 stores, and a large portion of those were in the UK. So we are absolutely committed to investing in the overall market place and being part of that growth story.
We are always watching the competition. It’s really important that you never become complacent. Lisa Morgan, GAME
The games retail space has diversified and expanded quite a lot, despite the loss of Woolworths and Zavvi, with new entrants and retail routes to market. Has that placed much pressure on GAME? Because we are a specialist in this market, and because that is all we do, we are always watching the market and the competition. I think it’s really important that you never become complacent – you need to have a compelling offer that is evolving constantly to ensure you are looking after customers better than anyone else. So our view on the marketplace is that it will always be competitive because it is an attractive market to be in. We watch our competitors in our local markets – we run weekly competition checks online and offline in every market we trade every single week. We are very on top of our strategy and can tailor it accordingly.
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18 MCV 08/05/09
MCV INTERVIEW LISA MORGAN, CEO, GAME Have you felt much pressure from the recession? What affect will it have on the GAME Group business through the rest of 2009? We’ve seen group like-for-like sales down 6.3 per cent year on year, so we are seeing lower revenues in stores year-onyear. Part of that is down to the fact we are up against some hard comparisons, and part of it is down to lower hardware revenues. But we’ll see how it goes – we’re only 11 weeks into our new financial year, and we’re very conscious that customers are looking for great value and we know we can’t be complacent. We have to be cautious given the wider issues in the market – but at the same time we have a good geographical spread, we have customer offer that lends itself to today’s consumer extremely well and we are working hard to drive over all group profitability. So, we are cautious, but confident in the year ahead – the industry is still performing really well. Outside of games a number of retailers have suffered or closed. But GAME seems to be an overachiever that’s under-appreciated. Do you feel GAME has been overlooked by the media commentators in the gloom surrounding the High Street? We also won an overall specialist retailer of the year award not long ago – I think that has helped put gaming and all games retailers on the map. But we are focused on running the business and driving the best return on investment as we possibly can. I’m very proud of the fact we have reported record results consecutively over the past three years and helped contribute to the wider acceptance of video games. Your ecommerce business was singled out as a highlight in the financials. Why has it done so well? For a start, we invested £8m in our eommerce systems last year in order to make it better for our customers. That investment was spent in two areas: firstly core logistic areas so we could improve our direct to home service, and secondly investing in the actual sites themselves for both GAME and Gamestation to meet the level of standards customers already expect from what they experience in-store.
How can you take that further? We saw sales growth of 84 per cent last year, which is quite phenomenal – we’ll be pushing hard for further growth. Online is something like 5 per cent of our total revenues, but it certainly has been a key part of our focus for a number of years because customers are showing us they want to buy products in stores and online. So it’s important to be there to look after them. The results also said that Gamestation exceeded your expectations – can you elaborate on that and tell us more about how that integration has gone? The Gamestation integrations is going extremely well. Last year we delivered synergies of around £10m from the integration – this year we’ve said we’ll deliver around £6m in synergies. We’re delighted with how it’s going – not only from the strong sales in the Gamestation part of the group, but the benefits that having that as part of our business has provided the rest of the team here. And you have recently detailed preowned revenues for the first time –
Morgan says the in-store experience at GAME and Gamestation explains why it retains customers; (Inset) GAME and Gamestation staff collected three MCV Awards last month
Pre-owned is a key component of our customer offer. Tradein is more important today than at any other point in time. Lisa Morgan, GAME
what prompted that? Pre-owned is of growing importance in our business and we thought it was important to be transparent in order for our partners to better understand our business model. We will now continue to report against it and its progress. Can this dispel the myths around pre-owned? You’re effectively pointing out that 82 per cent of your sales are from new product. That’s the exact point I would make. And likewise when you have a business that is worth £2bn, it’s clearly an important part of it. And you said your pre-owned sales were up £100m year-on-year – do you see that growing further? In terms of participation the actual levels were pretty similar year-on-year, as we added around 200 stores last year. But we still consider pre-owned is a key component of our customer offer. Tradein is probably more important today than at any other point in time – it allows customers a way to get access to new games by using older games as currency. That is key to driving new sales right now.
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MCV 08/05/09 23
LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL
............................ ............................ ............................
Translating the future
As publishers turn their attention to emerging markets, the QA and localisation firms are growing in demand. Christopher Dring speaks to the specialists about the latest developments affecting the industry…
................................................................................... ................................................................................... U-TRAX
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? We have seen increasing volumes of projects. Unfortunately, in-house localisation teams have remained the same size, or have been dismantled. This means that people who had too much on their plate now have to do even more. Last minute work, less organisation and tighter deadlines equal less quality.
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? Publishers and developers are increasingly cutting corners wherever they can, such as by shortening the allocated time for QA and localisation and thus making it impossible to do good and full tests.
current. We’re always at the end of the production process, but it seems we are at the end of budgets too. The result is both publishers and localisation vendors are cutting on labour costs by hiring people who lack the linguistic skills that are required for a top-notch translation. The results can be dramatic, to put it mildly.
“Xbox Live, WiiWare, PSN and Steam will give power to the small independent studios.”
Richard van der Giessen, President-owner
Are publishers asking for more languages? In Europe we have seen an increased demand for languages like Polish and Russian. The industry is also taking the Latin American Spanish speaking part of South America more seriously. And we continue to see Western publishers trying to get a foot in Asia. However, publishers focussing on these new territories just neglect other markets. They are switching languages rather than adding new ones.
Richard van der Giessen Switching languages is another symptom of cutbacks. The languages we see most affected by this are Dutch, Portuguese and Nordic languages. What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and Q/A? I’m a bit pessimistic on the current state of quality. Working in localisation and QA is like swimming against the
What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? Once this economic storm is over, I am confident all parties will focus on longterm strategies again. And quality is always the best long-term strategy. I also think the trend of selfpublishing will become a factor of importance. Channels like Xbox Live will give power to small independent studios. That is why U-Trax is offering special deals for indies, where we offer them a service normally reserved for the big publishers.
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24 MCV 08/05/09
LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL
................................................................................... ................................................................................... UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING
Thorsten Heinze, Head of QA
Alex Bush, Head of Localisation
Loreto Sanz Fueyo, Senior Localisation Project Manager
What have been the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? The biggest changes in QA and localisation have been tighter deadlines and bigger multi-region simultaneous shipments, with more languages outside the usual becoming increasingly popular. These include Japanese, Polish, Czech, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese and Dutch. The complexity per title has increased, which requires a different approach than in the years gone by, handling bigger volumes of information, builds and different databases for different projects. This has also created new challenges for HR departments when finding temps and perms in these new languages, especially in peak season.
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? It is a mixed bag. Publishers take it more seriously as games that have bad reviews get lower sales. But due to
mediocre localisation and a lot of bugs being published, which affects the sales. I expect that due to the tight market, publishers will focus on getting their products in better shape within their budget to achieve their goals. Thinking about localisation and QA early on and including QA in the schedules from the beginning allows for better planning and higher quality.
“In the future we expect to see growth in the Asian and Eastern European markets.” Loreto Sanz Fueyo the economic reality they face budget cutbacks. This requires more efficiency. The likeliness of game features getting cut out has also increased. What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and Q/A? We still see a lot of games with
What do you expect from the future of Q/A? I expect the volume of content for the games to grow dramatically for both localisation and QA. We expect to see new testing tools from the console manufacturers for current and upcoming generations. We also expect to see a further growth into the Asian and Eastern European markets.
................................................................................... ................................................................................... SERCO GAMES RESEARCH
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? We work within the user testing side of QA. We work with prototypes to make sure that there are no points at which users become completely stuck so that the fun disappears. We usually work with platform holders. However, we’re being increasingly asked if we’re available to work for publishers and developers. I think it’s a sense that as the market becomes more competitive they need to make sure the standard of their games is higher.
There are not many companies that perform the work in-house, so there’s not much to cut back on. Companies that already do usability testing as part of their development process are not laying people off, and some are taking people on. However, it is difficult for an external agency to go
but everyone I’ve ever met that is, is doing it very well. The classic ‘oh we’ve done user testing’ line, is for someone in the company to get three of their mates in to play a game, and then ask them about it afterwards – which isn’t the best method. Ideally you want to get in a small number of people who are unconnected to the product developers and designers. People who may like the genre but are fresh to the particular game.
“The value of usability testing is increasing as the competition to create a popular game increases.”
Ben Weedon, Principal Consultant
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? The value of usability testing is increasing as the competition to create a popular game increases.
Ben Weedon to a firm that’s not done any usability testing before, because they have no experience on how good it is. What is your opinion on the current quality of usability QA? There’s not that many people doing it
What do you expect from the future of usability Q/A? I can see it expanding in the sense of developers doing internal usability testing, and in terms of the larger publishers starting to outsource it, especially as they begin to understand the benefit it can bring.
................................................................................... ................................................................................... BABEL MEDIA
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? For QA it has been the expansion of platforms like WiiWare and all the ecommerce billing aspects, which all needs to be properly tested. What are you now being asked for by publishers? Miracles! Large projects on tight timelines, extra languages added late on in a project, and iPhone games – everyone is looking at iPhone apps.
Keith Russell, VP Sales and Marketing
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? Publishers are looking to effectively use their budgets. Now more than ever they want companies that are willing
the project. When talking with our new partner Entalize in Japan, they echoed the same issues that when a project is rushed the quality is affected. For QA, the requirements for submissions to the platform holders are becoming greater, especially with all the online features being used, so having a bunch of developers do a bit of testing on their dev kits no longer cuts it to get a title through submission.
“Publishers are asking for miracles – larger projects on tight deadlines,with extra languages thrown in.”
What about new languages? Definitely, publishers are looking more seriously at Eastern Europe. We are doing a lot of Russian work as well. Also territories like India are emerging with Hindi versions, and the Middle East – we have done several titles in Arabic recently.
Keith Russell to take a risk/reward approach like we do. That way they know that we have a financial interest in getting a title through submission. What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and Q/A? With localisation, the key factor is being given enough time to complete
What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? More languages, more complexity, more growth as publishers realise that they don’t need 400 testers on staff. Hollywood studios got the concept that having lighting technicians on staff all year was a waste, and now games is going through the same change.
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MCV 08/05/09 27
LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL
................................................................................... ................................................................................... ANAKAN GMBH
What have been the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? With regards to localisation, we are increasingly working on online games. Meanwhile, for QA testing, we have been working on fewer DS titles than last year, but once again there’s been more online games testing.
any difference caused by the current economy. Q/A is taken as seriously as it was last year from our clients, and we have actually received even more requests in this department. What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and Q/A? And
party, to be included in the development process at an earlier stage. What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? I’m expecting a change of habits from the gamers. For example, online games are increasing their penetration on the market so this could affect the games consoles sector. For us, this could means less audio recording per project, but an increase in the volume of text. I am also expecting to see less original IP. Due to the economic situation the developers are not getting the credit that they need from the banks. Therefore, we will see the consequence in two years of less original software. For us, it could mean that we will work on more similar games than we are currently.
“Quality can be improved with time. But what counts even more is the communication.”
Marie-Laurence Amigues, Executive President
Are publishers asking for more languages? Apart from the most commonly requested languages of English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, languages such as Brazilian, Turkish and Polish are now being requested for full localisation.
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? At the moment, we have not noticed
Marie-Laurence Amiques how can it be improved? Time is usually how the current quality of games can be improved. But what counts even more is whether the communication between the developer and the publisher is working smoothly. Also it is important for us, as a third
................................................................................... ................................................................................... LOCALSOFT
Randall Mage General Manager,
José Ramón Sagarna, Head of Localsoft’s Testing department
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? Randall Mage: This year companies are cutting down on costs, so localisation vendors are reviewing internal processes to offer more competitive solutions. Publishers are asking for the same quality and quick turnaround at lower prices. However, localisation requires a structured approach and skipping processes impacts quality.
Polish, Czech, Korean and Thai are being requested now. South America is a little different, because clients are asking not only for translation but also for cultural localisation.
What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? JRS: Testing, especially linguistic testing, needs to find its place within the development cycle. New markets are opened through localisation, and linguistic testing plays an important part in the QA role. Many people are new to localisation and they need to know that there will be quality checks on their localised deliverables so users can get the same feeling as if the game were created in their native language.
“Rather than cutting back on services, publishers are seeking more efficient ways of testing.”
Are publishers keen to translate their games into new languages? José Ramón Sagarna: Yes, there are three areas that are emerging and evolving: Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. The first two had some languages more or less established, such as Russian and Japanese, but
José Ramón Sagarna Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? JRS: Rather than cutting back, companies are seeking more efficient and innovative ways of performing testing methodologies. Companies are on the lookout for proactive ways to improve their processes.
RM: In terms of localisation we will see a growing demand for additional languages, higher quality expectations and a market consolidation regarding localisation standardisation and best practices.
................................................................................... ................................................................................... PARTNERTRANS
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? Money is becoming more of an issue. Saving costs in localisation translates into value loss for your product. When the project – and it doesn’t matter if it is a small mobile application or a huge MMO – is handled with the utmost care, word of that gets around within the gamer base. When a publisher has the reputation of poorly localised games, it will be hard to get good sales figures for future titles.
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously, or are they cutting back? Let’s face it – localisation and QA have seldom ranked very high on the expense list. It is not so much that
I don’t know of many localisation companies that really strive for quality. Most companies try to get more clients by lowering their prices, which of course means that they have to use cheap resources to get the job done. In my experience, the best result was always preceded by good dialogue between developer and the localisation agency. This way both know what the other one needs and expects and can work on a solution that works for both sides.
“When a publisher has the reputation for poorly localised games, it will be hard to get good sales of future titles”
Iris Ludolf, International Operations Director
Are publishers keen to translate their games into new languages? Yes, especially in the mobile sector. Latin America and Vietnam seems to be moving more in to focus. We are servicing 44 different languages at the moment and more are being asked for.
Iris Ludolf they are cutting back on services, but rather using cheap service providers in India and Eastern Europe instead, which in the cases that I know of, puts a deep dent in the meaning of quality assurance. What is your opinion of the quality of localisation and Q/A, what do you feel can help improve it?
What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? The technical aspect will become more complicated. New formats will rise and need to be adapted to quickly. Also the demand for new languages will also increase.
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28 MCV 08/05/09
LOCALISATION AND QA SPECIAL
................................................................................... ................................................................................... TESTRONIC LABS
What are the biggest changes to QA and localisation this year? We’ve found that even though there is an economic downturn, clients are still outsourcing localisation and QA. They are just looking for better value. Interest in online and casual games is increasing. What’s more, localisation projects seem to include a greater integration of ingame text, website marketing and manuals. In fact, web work is now a regular feature of projects as clients see the translation of a few web pages as a great marketing investment. iPhone translation projects are also popular.
German and Spanish. For many games the potential return on investment is now high enough for other languages to become standard including Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Russian, Korean and Chinese. We’ve also found that Asian publishers are looking to localise games for the West.
cannot rest on our laurels but QA is a wise investment. What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and QA? Some games are brilliantly localised but on the other hand about 40 per cent of games are not up to standard. We have to assume that this is a result of cost cutting. We encourage clients to improve quality by getting the basics right.
“We have found that Asian publishers are looking to localise games into Western languages.”
Filipe Samora, Localisation Manager
Are publishers keen to translate their games into new languages? Two years ago over half of the demand was for English, Italian, French,
Filipe Samora Considering the current economy, are publishers taking QA more seriously or are they cutting back? We believe that successful publishers have always taken QA seriously. However, clients are working out where they can make efficiencies. We
What do you expect from the future of the QA and localisation industry? The trend to publish many, smaller games is certain to continue over the next year. Also, the trend for new versions of classic games is likely to continue because of new ways of digital downloading.
................................................................................... ................................................................................... ORANGE STUDIOS
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? Casual games and more casual games. It’s becoming a huge thing. Translation-wise, casual games require an improved linguistic accessibility. If a hardcore game allows a certain degree of jargon, casual gaming need translators to better focus on their audience: young or aged people, who are probably playing for the first time. You must be very attentive to detail in order to make yourself understandable.
Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back? We’ve noticed a reduction of localisation requests, but I guess this is connected with the general cut in productions.
There are exceptions. Some developers are attentive to localisation issues, but even when they are, tighter development schedules often do not allow enough time for a job well done. What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? Standardisation is the word. This job cannot be left entirely in developers’ hands, they already have enough to worry about. Each major publisher should have a dedicated localisation department, responsible for addressing all issues to/from dev teams, requesting that all materials and tech specifications conform to certain standards. Whenever the localisation process is somewhat standardised, everyone’s work becomes much easier.
“Casual games is a huge thing and, translation-wise, casual games require an improved linquistic accessibility”
Gabriele Vegetti, General Manager
Are publishers keen to translate their games into new languages? Eastern European languages are popular. It was mostly Russian and Polish until last year, but now languages such as Hungarian and Romanian are requested.
Gabriele Vegetti What is your opinion on the current quality of localisation and Q/A? General quality is average, with positive and negative peaks. Most publishers still regard localisation as an accessory, and limit the time allotted for translation to a minimum. I guess this won’t change soon, as it has been like that for the last 15 years.
................................................................................... ................................................................................... KEYWORDS INTERNATIONAL
What are the biggest changes to Q/A and localisation this year? An increasing number of customers are relying on us for a one stop service for all their localisation needs – localisation, localisation QA, functional QA and platform compliance – all provided by our talented teams of native language professionals.
investments in their titles across as wide an audience as possible. Considering the current economy, are publishers taking Q/A more seriously or are they cutting back?
What is your opinion of the current quality of localisation and Q/A? There is still much to be done to raise the quality of localised games to the level of the original language version. Often localisation Q/A is not given enough time or budget to ensure an optimum result. Too often, compromises are made, resulting in games being released in local markets, which instead of drawing rave reviews receive a lukewarm reception due to the substandard localisation.
“There is still much to be done to raise the quality of localised games to the level of the original language version.”
Andrew Day, CEO
Are publishers asking for more languages? To maintain growth the industry needs to tap into new markets. The trend is to localise games for an increasing set of languages. At Keywords we continue to see a steady demand for the Nordic, Latin American and Eastern European languages. We anticipate that this demand will continue through the current economic climate as publishers seek to leverage their
Andrew Day We have not seen publishers cutting back on QA, in fact the reverse is true. We’ve seen an increased emphasis on quality. Specifically, those publishers who have adopted a strategy of concentrating their efforts on a smaller number of titles, as they are making special efforts to ensure those titles are of the highest quality.
What do you expect from the future of Q/A and localisation? The trend towards the best quality localisation will continue. Consumers are demanding and discriminating between well localised and less well localised games.
Relax. Getting your games to market on time can be stressful, with top quality translations, desktop publishing, voiceovers, testing... Localsoft offers a one-stop solution for all of your localization needs saving you valuable time and enabling you to sit back and relax. Contact us now for more information: email@example.com www.localsoftgames.com
TRANSLATIONS: Project management, in-game text, manuals, scripts TESTING: Localization testing, functionality testing, compliance testing AUDIO: Pre- /Post-production, multilingual voiceovers, in-country studios DTP: Text-ďŹ‚ow, layout, font management
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MCV 08/05/09 31
MCV AWARDS 09: THE VIDEO
5IVE: The MCV Awards boyband (clockwide from left: Sega’s John Clark, Gamestation’s Martyn Gibbs, ELSPA’s Michael Rawlinson, Nintendo’s David Yarnton and Ubisoft’s Murray Pannell; (inset) Activision’s Gary Sim gets rocking
You’re in the movies… Some of the UK trade’s most important execs did us all proud – and went rather silly - for this year’s MCV Awards video. But what was it like behind the scenes? Tim Ingham reports…
THE UPROARIOUS giggles emanating through The Brewery in EC1 last month as the official MCV Awards 09 video first aired confirmed that the production was a success. The thousands of hits it has since garnered on YouTube has hinted that it’s in danger of becoming a mini-phenomenon. The popularity of the hilarious vignette is well deserved – as a huge amount of hard work went into it from creator PMA and, of course, the cast. Industry heavyweights such as Ubisoft MD Rob Cooper, Nintendo general manager David Yarnton and Gamestation boss Marytn Gibbs strutted their stuff alongside execs from EA, Activision, GAME. Codemasters and more. But, as naturalistic movers as we all know these execs to be, they didn’t just
walk on set, do a few turns and leave. No, before they ‘got on up’ (as boyband 5ive’s backing track famously insists) there was a back-breaking process of choreography to work through. PMA used a complicated series of green screens to superimpose a futuristic
But once we all got into it, a real team spirit developed. STRICTLY COME DANCING
“Our choreographer Farouk Bhimji was fantastic, really putting a polish on some rough material. The finished result of the video was fantastic. It’s amazing what a green The video was fantastic. screen, CGI and good Everyone was a great mover. editing can produce. Everyone was also a great Well, except me, John Clark mover. Well, apart from and Murray Pannell... me, John Clark and Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA Murray Pannell...” Other than David Yarnton’s boyband series of ‘rooms’ that lent itself to plenty of ‘in’ humour – not least Activision and skills, the quality of the video was the biggest shock of the entire evening at EA battling it out on their respective the MCV Awards. PMA says that it rhythm action titles, Guitar Hero and applied the same professional approach Rock Band. to editing the piece as it would its more “It was a great day,” recalls ELSPA mainstream offerings. director general Michael Rawlinson. “It “In terms of quality, this is no was daunting to start with – nobody different than the sort of thing we’d wanted to make an idiot of themselves.
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MCV AWARDS 09: THE VIDEO produce for a commercial partner to use on TV, like L’Oreal,” explains PMA joint MD Mark Cluer. “We produce quite lot of pop music videos, things that are very hi-tech. These guys weren’t professional musicians or actors, but other than that you could well envisage the quality of the MCV Awards video being shown on MTV.” Being well used to working with prefab popstars and your typical ‘daarling’ actors, PMA enjoyed spending the day with our more laid back industry types. “We realise these guys have important jobs within the games industry on a day-to-day basis, but it was really refreshing to see them leave any ego at the door,” adds director of the shoot Lauren Pushkin. “They were the best sports. When we do pop videos, for instance, we can get some Prima Donnas. Whether it was the general manager of Nintendo, or Sega’s top sales guy, you couldn’t hope for a better group of people.” Believe it or not, Pushkin even has a word of praise about our industry’s natural ability as pop stars. No, seriously. “Considering these guys are usually desk jockeys, they did a fantastic job,” she says. “Not only were they dancing, they were miming to the songs at the same time. Most pop acts can’t do it
properly, and the games guys only had had an hour of choreography tuition. Despite the dodgy moves by some – we won’t mention any names – they did very well indeed.”
TWO OF THE MCV AWARDS 09 VIDEO’S FINEST PROTAGONISTS GIVE US AN INSIDER’S VIEW:
BEST. THING. EVER.
The video enjoyed over 5,000 hits on YouTube after just 36 hours online – and has won the praise (and light mockery) of consumer sites around the world. As promotion for the rhythmic skills of messrs Yarnton, Gibbs, Clark, Pannell, Ramsdale et al, it’s perhaps not quite up to professional scrutiny (even if it will give you a hearty chuckle). But as an advert for a thriving, together industry, we’ve never seen better. For once in MCV’s ‘industry only’ pages, we’ll leave the last word about the MCV Awards 09 video to two everyday gamers. Not only that, they’re from the US, writing on Kotaku’s comments thread. Trade specialists they ain’t. But we think they sum it all up rather well: “Serious question: Can you imagine any American company executives doing this? You have to love the British.”; “Could this be the best thing to ever come out of the gaming industry ever? Erm, yes.”
“It was brilliant fun, great to be involved with and I felt happy to be part of such a funny, inventive and entertaining video. “Atari did our own choreography and I must say it was excellent! There’s not too much to running though! The bottle of Vodka that Jeremy Wigmore brought with him helped me through… Only kidding. I thought the boyband was great and David Yarnton and the gang did an excellent job. It was a genuine classic.” Lee Kirton, Atari
MCV AWARDS 09: THE CAST THE BOYBAND
John Clark ..........................................Sega
Michael Rawlinson .........................ELSPA
Ian Hollamby ....................................GAME
Murray Pannell ..............................Ubisoft ROCK BAND RACING DRIVER
Simon Smith-Wright .............................EA Penny Humphrey...................................EA
FIFA Shaun White ...........................................EA
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL
Keely Brenner .................................Disney
Lee Kirton ...........................................Atari DSI AND PSP PLAYERS FALLOUT 3
Sean Brennan ............................Bethesda
Rob Saunders .............................Nintendo
“I loved it, though I would like to see the director’s uncut version! It is easy to mock, but it wasn’t easy. I had to learn the moves, then try and remember them while stopping myself from singing. All the while the camera stares at you – with Martyn Gibbs and John Clark sniggering in the background. That’s without mentioning being in a cheerleading outfit, desperately trying to hide your bum and other assets with 2 pom poms. Honestly, I would like to see other people try it. Mind you, now I’m picturing John Clark in a cheerleading outfit…” Keely Brenner, Disney
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Exclusive Capcom Distribution Partner. Contact the
Centresoft Capcom Team. Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 121 625 3818
36 MCV536_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 36 MCV 08/05/09
Livingstone takes life president role Eidos promotes executive following Square Enix buyout Davies joins Venom Berkley joins Shop Direct EIDOS IAN LIVINGSTONE OBE has been promoted by new Eidos owners Square Enix to the role of life president. Livingstone moves up from his position as creative director at the firm. “My new role entails being the spokesperson for the Eidos group, dealing with public affairs along with company and industry speaking engagements and UK government relations,” said Livingstone. “I will also be a member of the CEO Executive staff group and a member of the group’s Green Light committee – which means that I’ll be having
LIVINGSTONE: Takes on new role at Square-owned Eidos
creative input on Eidos franchises and generally putting my finger in everybody else’s pie!”
VENOM The peripherals specialist has hired DAVID DAVIES as National Account Manager, following a stint at Gem-owned Exspect. "After seven good years working for Gem I am really looking forward to working for Venom UK,” said Davies. “They are a great brand with an impressive offering of licensed and non-licensed video gaming accessories" Venom sales director SUE DAWSON added: “We are delighted to have David on board at Venom, he brings
THE ACADEMY OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC WORLD LEADERS IN MUSIC INDUSTRY EDUCATION School for Rock and Pop Musicians is looking to employ a
MUSIC BUSINESS LECTURER
to teach one of the modules on our new Higher Diploma course, commencing in September 2009 Pay Rate: £27 – £29.50 per hour (Hourly Rate is Dependant on Level of Course Taught and Relevant Teaching Qualifications) Interactive Entertainment This module looks into the world of leading Computer Games specialists, the legalities governing classification and ratings; and the moral, ethical and social issues that the interactive entertainment business brings. The module aims to develop students’ understanding of the infrastructure of this market segment by exploring the process of creating, developing, publishing and marketing of such products. Students will examine the role that music plays in interactive games; along with the eagerness of record companies and recording artists to be involved. Candidates must have reputable experience of working in the areas of new media and/or label management. It is envisaged that the above module will require a lecturer to teach a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 hours a week (spread over 1 or 2 days), term time only. Exact hours and days will vary on a termly basis and will be dependent on the School’s timetabling. Please note that teaching may be comprised of either lessons or tutorials; or even both. More details of the exact hours will be given on application. The ability to build and influence positive relationships with the students and other staff members is imperative. Past teaching experience and qualifications (i.e. PGCE, PTLLS or CTLLS) is desirable. If you are interested in the above post then please send your CV, along with a covering letter including two reference details, to Rachel Sherfield (HR Manager) ACM, Rodboro Buildings, Bridge Street, Guildford, GU1 4SB or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Closing date for all applications: 30th April 2009
with him great enthusiasm, product and industry experience. David is clearly a team player who loves the games industry and will be a tremendous asset to us.” SHOP DIRECT Former Woolworths games boss GERRY BERKLEY has returned to the industry as trading manager for entertainment at the Shop Direct Group, which owns Littlewoods, Choice and Empire Stores, as well as Woolworths.co.uk.
MICROSOFT Xbox strategy boss RICHARD TEVERSHAM has quit the firm to join arch rival Apple. SEGA The publisher’s Northern Europe and UK boss ALAN PRITCHARD has been promoted to European managing director. At the same time, erstwhile sales director JOHN CLARK is stepping up to the role of UK managing director. Meanwhile, former head of marketing at Atari AMANDA FARR has joined Sega as UK marketing director, filling Tina Moore’s former role.
MCV Pub Quiz_final:Layout 1
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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
HIGH SOCIETY The most successful games series of all time returns, as EA unleashes The Sims 3...
POKEMON PLATINUM P42 Nintendoâ€™s follow-up to the best-selling Diamond and Pearl games hits shelves POPCORN ARCADE SILVER P44 DDI readies Urban Extreme, Crazy Mini Golf and Farmyard Party on Wii HAPPY BAKERY P46 Gamebridge brings a cooking game designed for young kids to market NEW RELEASES P49 MCV gives you all the vital information on every upcoming games release HIGH STREET P50 This week, we talk to Grainger Games in Byker and look at the latest indie charts
RETAILBIZ: THE SIMS 3 40 MCV 08/05/09
The most successful video game series of all time is back for a third outing, as EA unleashes what is sure to become one of the biggest PC titles of the year…
by Christopher Dring A YEAR AGO EA announced that The Sims franchise had sold 100 million software units worldwide. The series, which began life in 2000, has spawned countless expansion packs, console spin-offs, laptop editions, an online game, and most recently, the MySims series. But there hasn’t been a full Sims sequel since The Sims 2, which hit shelves way back in 2004. But this June that is about the change, with the long-awaited The Sims 3, which the publisher promises will be the best Sims game yet. “It will be nothing short of the biggest PC title of the year,” insists product manager Kerri West. “The Sims is a cultural phenomenon and there are tens of thousands of Sims
“There’s just so much more to a Sims life in The Sims 3,” continues West. “Not only can they now explore the neighbourhood and become immersed in their local community, they can also work towards fulfiling their destiny… or not. As always in The Sims, their fate is left up to the player to decide. “Players will also now have more godly freedom to create the way they want to. The customisation and design options for Sims, houses, cars, clothes, furniture and more are practically limitless and so much easier to use than in The Sims 2. However, one of the most significant advances of The Sims 3 is the new AI. “There are dozens and dozens of funny and compelling personality traits that players can pick to create unique personalities for their Sims. There are
With more intuitive features than ever, I expect The Sims 3 will acquire a whole new generation of fans. Kerri West, EA
fans across the country hungry to be reunited with their favourite franchise and to explore all the new features they’ve been wishing and waiting for. Furthermore, the game’s tools and features are more intuitive and accessible than ever so I expect The Sims will acquire a whole new generation of fans.” The latest in EA’s mega-franchise boasts your usual Sims gameplay, but now the houses and neighbourhoods blend seamlessly without loading times, there are even more customisation options, and the AI has also been drastically revamped. And that’s not to mention the updated visuals and extra online options, all designed to delight the franchise’s massive fanbase.
hundreds of possible combinations meaning each Sim will behave and react differently making them unpredictable and captivating.” The PC market may be seemingly in decline, but the format’s established franchises are continuing to achieve huge numbers. Empire: Total War was a chart topping hit for Sega back in March, and last year World of Warcraft and Football Manager performed remarkably during an overcrowded November release month. Furthermore, The Sims titles continue to dominate the PC charts,
“It’s been important ever since we announced The Sims 3 to reach out to our core fans, and in recent months we’ve been getting them even more excited by inviting these consumers to exclusive, invite-only preview events,” explains EA product manager Kerri West. “From early May we’ll be running a teaser campaign online and then from mid-May on TV to give the release the epic feel it deserves.
“We then build into our mainstream cultural roadblock with the ‘Let There Be Sims’ campaign. “Fans have already been teased with outdoor executions in the States and the internet is buzzing from it. “Early June is when you’ll see this attention-grabbing campaign hit the UK. We’ll be taking it across TV, online takeovers, print, radio and outdoor media all declaring ‘Let There Be Sims’.”
PROMOTING THE SIMS The phenomenal success of The Sims means that the game has already racked up a lot of press in mainstream and specialist media. And EA has been supporting this with invite-only preview events and media exclusives. Then as we approach the game’s launch EA is set to unleash its hard hitting Let There Be Sims campaign, which will hit all forms of media, from outdoor advertising to TV and radio.
RETAILBIZ: THE SIMS 3 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 41
LIFEPLAN: EA says that gamers can ‘work to fulfilling their life destiny’ in The Sims 3
RELEASED: JUNE 5 FORMATS: PC, MAC PUBLISHER: EA DEVELOPER: MAXIS/ THE SIMS STUDIOS PRICE: STANDARD EDITION £39.99 COLLECTORS EDITION £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 01483 463500
and so The Sims 3 is fully expected to be yet another big seller come release. The Sims also has the benefit of enjoying true mass market appeal. The game’s customisation options are certain to appeal to the more core gamer, while the title has been a hit with the casual market too, with an army of female fans. “The great thing about The Sims is that it draws a core audience at launch who have been eagerly anticipating the next outing for The Sims,” concludes West. “But it will also then continue to perform for years to come, reaching out to new audiences and delivering an on-going business model that retail can rely on.” With a visual overhaul, brand new customisation options, big marketing push (see Promoting The Sims, below) and an already established fanbase, The Sims 3 is set to be one of this summer’s biggest chart topping PC hits.
HOT SUMMER: EA will begin blanket marketing for The Sims 3 in June, which it will take to TV, radio, online and outdoor media, centred on its ‘Let There Be Sims’ campaign
RETAILBIZ: POKEMON: PLATINUM VERSION 42 MCV 08/05/09
The Pokémon phenomenon is set to accelerate to new heights on May 22nd with the release of Pokémon Platinum, exclusively on the Nintendo DS…
by Christopher Dring POKÉMON remains one of the biggest video game franchises in the world. Globally the licence has shifted over 180 million units, whilst five Pokémon titles can be found in the overall top 100 DS charts. And that’s not to mention the phenomenal success of the card game, the movies, the cartoon series, toys, clothes and even music CDs. “In the UK the Pokémon franchise has been a staple for all Nintendo handheld consoles since Pokémon Red and Blue were launched in Europe back in 1999,” says product manager Robert Langford. “Our most successful release, Pokémon Yellow, launched at the height
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: GAME FREAK PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
and Distortion World, which is governed by neither time nor space. Nintendo claims this ‘presents a radical new gameplay challenge’. The epic story of Pokémon Platinum revolves around the legendary renegade Pokémon, Giratina, appearing in its new Forme, the Origin Forme. Plenty of other legendary Pokémon also feature, including Dialga and Palkia and the powerful Lake trio of Uxie, Azelf and Mesprit. POKEMON... AND ON...
Dedicated collectors will be especially excited to learn that one of the rarest and most popular Pokémon, Shaymin, appears in a new Forme in this new adventure. Shaymin was previously only available in Pokémon Diamond and
This will be one of the biggest releases of 2009. We’re going to continue to promote it all year round. James Honeywell, Nintendo
of the Pokémon craze in 2000, sold just over 900,000 copies.” Pokémon Platinum is the companion piece to the multi-million selling Diamond and Pearl, and has already been a sensation in Japan, where 2.4 million copies have been sold so far, including one million within the first three days of launch. The game is a sweeping new adventure set in the Sinnoh region of the Pokémon world, packed with new features and revolutionary ways to play, including a whole new online world accessible in-game at the Wi-Fi Plaza. Other breakthroughs certain to delight long-term franchise fans and newcomers alike include the Vs Recorder, which allows you to capture your greatest victories for posterity,
Pokémon Pearl through special events. When transferred from these versions, he appears in a new Sky Forme, with a new appearance, new attributes and special powers. In fact, all the Pokémon appear in new garb, wrapped up warm to survive the freezing cold of wintry Sinnoh. The main meat of Pokémon Platinum is a quest to stop the sinister Team Galactic – a task that includes tacking a series of side missions and contests, plus, of course, some serious battles. As you’d expect, it’s the battles that really pack a punch. The all-new Battle Frontier is a custom-built home for challenges and tournaments that becomes accessible after defeating the ‘Elite Four’ and the Pokémon League
Champion and taking a ferry to the Fight Area. The Battle Frontier contains five different Battle facilities, with each awarding Battle Points that can be traded for fantastic prizes. Furthermore, the Global Trade Station from Diamond and Pearl has been expanded and renamed the Global Terminal. This is where players can check out each other’s battles, with videos listed by popularity to make it easy to find great content. Online play, competition and sharing content are all at the heart of Pokémon Platinum, which itself represents a huge step forward and shift in tone for this classic series. In the basement of every Pokémon centre is a Wi-Fi Plaza where up to 20 players can connect and play together in real time. They can trade and battle with friends (as long as they’ve exchanged Friend Codes) and there are mini-games to play together at the Wi-Fi club. PLATINUM CREDENTIALS
Considering all these new gameplay elements, plus the continued popularity of the Pokémon machine, Platinum is set to be one of the DS’ biggest releases of 2009. Nintendo is also backing the game will a full marketing push (see Catch The Marketing, below), so retailers should feel confident that Platinum will be a chart-topping hit. “Overall this will be one of our biggest releases this year, with full yearlong promotional activity planned,” says senior product manager James Honeywell. “We hope that, with the launch of the greatest Pokémon game so far, that we can open this series of games to a much wider audience and ensure its success for the next ten years.”
CATCH THE MARKETING The marketing around Pokémon Platinum will serve to both whet the appetite of Pokémon fans and gamers, as well as open up the franchise to those not yet familiar with Pokémon. Nintendo is set to continue support for the game right throughout the summer as well, with a proposed tour due later in the year. “Our planned activity for Pokémon Platinum isn’t just limited to the launch period, we have activity coming
throughout the summer holidays and on into the peak season which will give this title one of our biggest ever campaigns,” explains senior product manager James Honeywell. TV Platinum will have a heavyweight twoweek TV campaign from launch running through until the end of May, targeting both adults and kids. As part of the promotional focus on kids there
will also be sponsorship with Jetix. However, this is not the start of the TV activity. Throughout March there was a pre-order campaign to hype up the launch of Platinum, which also targeted both adults and kids through the recent Easter break.
ONLINE From the beginning of the pre-order TV activity right through to the summer, there will be an online presence for Pokémon Platinum across gamer and kids websites. POINT OF SALE Platinum will offer a range of assets, from wobblers and countertop standees to FSDUs and cubes. The main POS features the mysterious Giratina.
RETAILBIZ: POKEMON: PLATINUM VERSION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 43
CATCH ‘EM ALL: In total, 180 million units of Pokemon merchandise have been sold over the years
RETAILBIZ: POPCORN ARCADE RANGE 44 MCV 08/05/09
Data Design Interactive’s budget Wii range Popcorn Arcade returns, delivering golf, racing and party-based games for the console…
“Popcorn has been a huge worldwide success for us with over two million units sold. The range was perfectly suited to the time and market, but where we originally went wide we now need to go focused and deep.
by Christopher Dring
THE POPCORN ARCADE series has been a big hit for Data Design Interactive. The franchise, that consists of over 30 different family friendly games, has sold well in excess of two million units, and has even Crazy Mini Golf moved boosted the publisher, 200,000 units in the US. We allowing DDI to expand its staff and open new expect the same recordpremises in the UK and US. breaking sales in the UK. And now the publisher is Stewart Green, DDI set to expand its Popcorn Arcade line-up with its Silver range. “Our Popcorn Arcade Silver range “We got the business right last time will continue the hugely successful round, which made it a hard act to impact we have made in the Wii value follow and improve on,” says DDI market, with an increased focus on CEO Stewart Green. “But our new increased content, quality and fun. Silver Popcorn Arcade range manages to These games will expand our market do just that.” presence and benefit all involved.”
The latest titles to join the hit Popcorn Arcade range includes Crazy Mini Golf, Farmyard Party and Urban Extreme, which are all designed to appeal to the ever-widening Wii consumer base. Crazy Mini Golf features four tropical locations with a whopping 72 inventive mini golf holes. The game’s NuYU character editor is designed to literally draw the players into the game, while a full four player multiplayer mode is also included. “Crazy Mini Golf was released at Christmas in the US,” continues Green. “And with 200,000 units sold, it has already beaten the sales of all our other titles. We completely expect to see the same record breaking sales in the UK.”
RETAILBIZ: POPCORN ARCADE RANGE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 45
THREE’S COMPANY: DDI is confident that its trio of new titles will be a sales success amongst casual Wii gamers
Next up is Farmyard Party, which is a new mini-game collection for Wii based around farm animals and iconography. Options in the game include farmyard challenges, a party mode and a full four player multiplayer option. Gamers are encouraged to master the speed, power, skill and all-round ability categories to unlock bonus characters, new game modes and much more. Farmyard Party is also aimed at the younger gamer market, with cartoon visuals that are sure to appeal to the whole family. The final game in the Silver range is upcoming racer, Urban Extreme. Although the title is still aimed at the whole family, with your usual multiplayer options, DDI has broadened its horizons by targeting this game at the older 12-plus market. The title invites gamers to race and chase for
RELEASED: MAY 22
FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: DATA DESIGN INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: DATA DESIGN INTERACTIVE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
money, so they can buy and sell cars, and take part in the Carnage mode, where everything can crash and burn. Urban Extreme also invites gamers to take out speed cameras before they get flashed and fined. The Silver range is certain to be a great impulse buy for the casual Wii gamer. And the range will also benefit from DDI’s extensive marketing campaign (see Popcorn Promotions, right). Keep an eye on this range when it hits shelves later this month.
As one of the leading casual brands on Wii, DDI is supporting its new range with a big print, online and TV marketing push. Farmyard Party, Urban Extreme Street Rage and Kidz Sports: Crazy Mini Golf will all benefit from the promotion. “Last year we backed up our titles with four big multi-channel TV campaigns, magazine promotions, and instore POS,” says DDI CEO Stewart Green. “This is major support for a valuepriced impulse range. For this range our customers can look forward to even stronger marketing driven sales and impulse purchases across the Popcorn line up.” TV Data Design Interactive’s TV campaign for the three games is set to run during the summer, between
the end of May and end of June, with videos showcasing the best features of the titles. The channels these ads will appear on include Sky 1 (around The Simpsons), Nickelodeon, Nick Toons, Cartoon network, Jetix, Pop and Citv. PRINT Each game in the new Silver range will receive full page ads in popular comics during May and June. The advertisements will appear in the Star Wars Comic, The Simpsons Presents Bart, The Terminator comic and the Transformers comic. PR DDI will be running reviews and competitions across national and regional press. The firm’s extensive PR push is also set to target sports, driving and golf media.
RETAILBIZ: HAPPY BAKERY 46 MCV 08/05/09
Rising Star and Gamebridge promise to bring authentic Japanese gaming to the UK, and kicks that off next week with the release of Happy Bakery…
where Happy Bakery is positioned. The Nintendo DS, hands down, has established itself as a perfect platform to launch such a title. “As this is the first release from Gamebridge we are working hard to generate a real impact for the game. This is a huge opportunity and a perfect time to establish the Happy Series brand.” Gamebridge’s Happy range is the name of its younger gamer product line, and the publisher is confident that
by Christopher Dring
THE MASS-market success of the DS has resulted in a plethora of weird and wonderful new genres. From maths-based games to baby raising titles, the DS has seen its fair share of unusual software, and one of the most successful new genres has been the cooking sim. Cooking Mama has been one of the most successful third party DS games on the market, and the Imagine Games label has Happy Bakery is a lightalso dipped its toes into hearted introduction to the cooking. And now genre. It’s for kids who could Gamebridge is hoping to only watch Cooking Mama. capitalise on this, with the first in its Happy series, Tyrone Walcott, Rising Star Happy Bakery. “Brands like the Imagine range and Happy Bakery is accessible enough for Cooking Mama series have found children to play with their parents. success targeting a specific audience,” “We expect Happy Bakery will be a says Rising Star Games’ product successful title for Gamebridge and marketing assistant Tyrone Walcott. Rising Star Games due to the positive “Happy Bakery has a different feedback from our trade partners and proposition with similar core values of market research amongst our casual these established brands. We have found target groups,” adds Walcott. that young gamers love to watch these “Happy Bakery is a light-hearted games but cannot participate as they are introduction to cooking games for a too complicated for them and this is this younger audience that allows them to
RELEASED: MAY 29 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: GAMEBRIDGE DEVELOPER: GAMEBRIDGE PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE/ MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0121 506 9585/ 0845 234 4242
interact with their customers as well as gathering recipes, creating a more social and enjoyable experience. To promote the game, Rising Star and Gamebridge are targeting parents, as well as children, in order to maximise sales. The firms are set to embark on a series of events throughout the summer, and coverage of the title will appear in a variety of print press as well as on TV. “The focus for promotion is very much to ‘mums and nans’ as well as the kids themselves of course,” concludes Walcott. “To achieve this we will combine our traditional support for retail with a series of events and advertising initiatives that include mum and toddler groups, cooking classes, theme park sampling and possible cross promotion with a leading pre-school brand. “In a first for the company, we will also be getting involved with traditional family activities throughout the summer school holidays – including sampling at school and country fetes. We are seeing great support across the regional and local press as well as the ‘mum media’ and schools and family TV.”
Sourcebook advert:Layout 1
coming this summer
SOURCEBOOK 2009 THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT AGENCIES AND SERVICE COMPANIES
Sourcebook 2009 is the essential print and online guide to interactive entertainment agencies and service companies. Sourcebook '09 is published on July 10th with MCV. It is also inserted into Develop, Mobile Entertainment and PC Retail.
ADVERTISERS BENEFIT FROM: • Huge 20,000 print circulation, including distribution at Develop Conference in Brighton, Brand Licensing Show and London Games Conference • Two-page entry: Advertising & Editorial • Free additional page advert in any Intent Media title • 50 week logo and contacts in MCV Sourcebook DPS • All-year promotion on Sourcebook microsite
Sourcebook is a low-cost promotional tool. Sectors covered include Creative & Promotional Services, Distribution & Logistics, International Distribution, Legal Services, Localisation, QA & Testing, Manufacturing Services, Recruitment and Software Development. You can attract new business all year round with for an investment of just £1,750.
TOTAL PRINT RUN: 20,000 copies + year-round print and online support
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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
THQ, Inc. | Gametech | IGN Entertainment | Nyko Technologies | MTV Ga | Microsoft Corporation | DDR Game | Digital River | Hi Rez Studios Majesco Entertainment | THQ, Inc. | Scanavo LTD | Epic Games, Inc. CH Products | Electronic Arts | Take-Two Interactive | Ubisoft Ente | Gamers First | Activision | Brady Games | ation | Warner Bros. Interactive
E3 Expo is a trade event and only qualified industry professionals may attend. No one under 17 will be admitted, including infants. Visit www.E3Expo.com for registration guidelines.
ÂŠ Entertainment Software Association 2009
49 MCV536_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 49
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Codemasters’ FUEL gets May motoring Off-road racing title from the creators of GRID and DIRT screeches into retail at the end of the month, arriving on the same day as the latest Guitar Hero and Sony’s much-anticipated action adventure InFamous... TITLE
PC DS PC XBOX 360 DS / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360
Action Mini-games Brain Training Compilation Rhythm Action
Atari Rising Star Games Focus Multimedia Atari Konami
0121 506 9585 01582 433700 01889 570156 0121 506 9585 020 8987 5730
Advantage Centresoft Open Advantage Open
DS / Wii Wii Wii PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS Wii PC PC DS / PC / Wii DS DS / Wii PC Wii / DS DS Wii Wii Wii Wii Wii DS PC PC PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii
RTS Puzzle Mini-games Adventure Action Music Sports Simulation Casual RTS Imagine Puzzle Adventure Self-Improvement RPG Sports Mini-games Racing Fighting Simulation Adventure Action Strategy Fighting Kids
Ubisoft Ubisoft THQ Focus Multimedia Codemasters 505 Games EA Just Flight Focus Multimedia Slitherine Ubisoft Deep Silver Focus Multimedia 505 Games Nintendo DDI DDI DDI Nintendo Deep Silver Ubisoft Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia THQ Blast
0845 456 6400 0845 456 6400 0121 506 9585 01889 570156 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 01889 570156 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 0870 027 0985 01889 570156 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0845 456 6400 01889 570156 01889 570156 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242
Trilogy Trilogy Advantage Open Gem Advantage Centresoft Mastertronic Open Koch Trilogy Koch Open Advantage Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Trilogy Open Open Advantage Mastertronic
PC Wii PS3 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 PS3 Wii DS DS DS DS / Wii Wii Wii PC PSP PS3 / XBOX 360
Compilation Action Chess Racing Music Action Self-Improvement Jump and Run Compilation Puzzle Sports Adventure Adventure Simulation RPG Sports
JoWood DDI Deep Silver Codemasters Activision Blizzard Sony Deep Silver JoWood JoWood JoWood Oxygen Zoo Digital Zoo Digital Just Flight Rising Star Games Sega
01273 202 220 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0121 6253388 0870 027 0985 01273 202 220 01273 202 220 01273 202 220 020 8309 3600 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 0845 234 4242 01582 433700 0121 625 3388
Lace Koch Koch Gem Centresoft Centresoft Koch Lace Lace Lace Pinnacle Gem Gem Mastertronic Centresoft Centresoft
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii DS PS3 / XBOX 360
Action Sports/Action Music RPG
Capcom South Peak Deep Silver Deep Silver
0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985
Centresoft Centresoft Koch Koch
MAY 15th Demigod Happy Bakery Mindscape's Maths Trainer Namco Museum Virtual Arcade Rock Revolution
MAY 22nd Anno Create A New World Aqua Panic Big Family Games CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Hard Evidence Damnation Diva Girls: Making The Music EA Sports Active FScene X Hidden Expedition: Amazon Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans Imagine Movie Star Line Rider: Freestyle Lost Mind, Body & Soul: Nutrition Matters Pokemon Platinum Popcorn: Crazy Mini Golf Popcorn: Farmyard Party Popcorn: Urban Extreme Street Rage Punch-Out!! Purr Pals Sherlock Holmes: The Mystery Of The Mummy Silent Hunter 4 - Wolves of the Pacific The Settlers - Rise of an Empire UFC Undisputed Bob the Builder: Festival of Fun
MAY 29th 30:1 Blu-Ray Compilation Battlerage: The Robot Wars (with 3D glasses) Fritz Chess Fuel Guitar Hero: Metallica InFamous Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 Moorhuhn: Atlantis Moorhuhn: The Pharaoh's Treasure Neighbours From Hell PDC World Championship Darts Story Hour Adventures Story Hour Fairy Tales Trainz Simulator 2009 Valhalla Knights Episode 2 Virtua Tennis 2009
MAY MISC Bionic Commando Pirates vs Ninjas Dodgeball DJ Star Sacred 2: Fallen Angel
MUSTSTOCK ............................................FUEL Released: May 29 Format: PS3/360/PC Publisher: Codemasters Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822800
Codemasters’ new racing title contains 5,000 square miles of terrain – all inspired by North America’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. The firm calls it ‘the biggest racing environment ever created’. And the producer of GRID and DIRT knows what it’s talking about.
MUSTSTOCK ....................................INFAMOUS Released: May 29 Format: PS3 Publisher: Sony Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
One of the most anticipated titles of the year, Sony’s answer to GTA IV has sat atop retail pre-order charts for weeks now. The game’s protagonist, Cole, becomes a modern day superhero who has the ability to harness the power of lightning. Undeniably cool.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 50 MCV 08/05/09
RETAIL BIZ: NEWS
[RETAIL REACTION] TRIALS OF AN INDIE CHAIN Over the last five years my brother and I tried to grow Playtime into a profitable business by opening a new store every six to 12 months. Why do that? Well, the bigger you are the more we could benefit from economies of scale, such as marketing with publishers, professional branding, merchandising in-store and so on. Five years ago, we also saw the big indies doing well – Software Store and Eplay were winning awards and going from strength-to-strength. So why didn’t it work? Well, we were going well until last summer, when some American invented the words ‘Credit Crunch’ and by the time Christmas was over, we just weren’t selling as many games as we needed to.
“In retail you either do it all yourself with a store or two, or you open lots of stores to cover the costs of having a head ofﬁce. From our experience, there is no in-between.” It is ironic that of the 10 stores we had when we shut, nearly all would still be profitable – if they were run by an owner operator, like most other indies. We found that we could run a couple of stores fine on our own, but as you expand you need to employ managers to do it for you – and good managers cost money. And then you need area managers, purchasing managers, marketing managers, personnel managers, and the list goes on. When you have the costs of a head office to cover, you need a lot more than 10 stores to make it work. This is the crux – in retail you either do it all yourself as indies across the country still do – or you need to have lots of stores to cover the costs. From our experience, there is no in-between. Gareth Rowbotham Former manager of Playtime Multimedia
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK
WII FIT FORMAT: WII
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
THE GODFATHER 2 360
THE GODFATHER 2 PS3
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
RESIDENT EVIL 5 360
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA 360
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA PS3
SEGA MEGADRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION 360 WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360 DYNASTY WARRIORS: GUNDAM 2 360
GAME FREEZES STAFF WAGE REVIEW Despite announcing impressive profits only a week ago, top games retailer GAME Group has told employees to expect a pay freeze for the year ahead. GameBiz has received a copy of a letter to employees, from GAME COO Terry Scicluna, warning workers at the retail giant that “we have made the decision to freeze annual pay reviews for all employees, including directors.” Scicluna says the course of action is “about protecting our future in uncertain and difficult times”. He wrote about a “difficult economic climate” and “tougher trading conditions,” he points out that inflation is running at “close to zero.” GAME’s pay reviews usually take place in October. HMV WEBSITE IMPRESSES IN LATEST ONLINE RETAIL LISTINGS Entertainment retailer HMV is the star games performer in a new comparison of the nation’s leading retail websites, according to survey conductor The Retail Bulletin. HMV was one of the star performers, with the technical performance and functionality improvements seen on its website helping it jump 49 places to become the UK’s 25th ranking retail portal. Play.com also saw its position improve 17 places as it jumped to 61st, though the popular portal was criticised for some potentially serious code issues. Leading games retailer GAME held firm in 91st spot. 12 MORE WOOLIES STORES SNAPPED UP Value retail chain Poundland has today announced that it has purchased 12 exWoolworths stores. 100 former Woolies staff have been taken on by the firm following the acquisition, which forms part of Poundland’s planned expansion. The retailer is committed to opening at least 30 new stores in the UK this financial year, with 15 in Scotland, creating more than 1,000 new jobs.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
MCV POLL WILL THE PIRATE BAY COURT DECISION PUT PEOPLE OFF ILLEGAL FILE SHARING?
Despite the victory in the courts over Pirate Bay’s activities, the UK High Street doesn’t believe it will make a blind bit of difference, with 84 per cent saying it won’t put people off illegal file-sharing.
CAPCOM SEGA WARNER BROS KOEI
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.
LET’S WAIT AND SEE
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.
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 51 Sponsored by
MARGIN MAKER The recently launched Nintendo DSi prompted a flood of new peripherals on the market, catering to the needs of the busy handheld gamer on the go. Some of the best-selling accessories are storage cases, which offer varying levels of protection for portable gaming devices against the wear and tear that is unavoidable when carrying them on a long journey.
Venom now adds to its range of protective cases with its Metal DSi case. Available in pink or black, these boast a metallic finish and are hardy enough to protect the sophisticated handheld from scratches and other forms of damage. The cases are slim and lightweight in design, ensuring that they don’t take away from the similarly lightweight nature of the DSi. Built with convenience in mind, the cases boast ports all around allowing access to each of the DSi’s key features, such as the SD and game card slots. Venom: 01763 272927
DEAL OF THE WEEK
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
Clothes retailer Next is offering the perfect Wii bundle for active gamers via its website. For £320, fitness freaks can pick up the Wii (complete with Wii Remote, Nunchuk and a copy of Wii Sports) bundled with Wii Fit, My Fitness Coach and a Wii Fit accessories kit.
FRONTLINE We speak to Chris Lennox, manager of Grainger Games’ newly opened Byker branch… How did the launch of the new Grainger store go? The launch of the new store was great, and sales on the opening weekend were well above expectation.
are looking to capture with some great deals and offers specifically for this area.
What do you hope to accomplish in Byker with your store? In Byker we are hoping to grow the Grainger brand and introduce new customers to us who are not already familiar with the company. It is also a great shop that fits in nicely with our current portfolio of stores. It has a good surrounding student population which we
What makes the Byker branch stand out? The Byker store stands out simply because of the amazing quick turnaround in getting it open. This was due to the commitment from our inhouse maintenance and shop fitting teams. We dictated the deadline and when the shop needed to be open. Its
positioning is also a great element with a brilliant catchment area and student population. What are the main challenges in opening a new branch these days? All stores deal with challenges when first opening. However, we usually find that due to the company already being successful, we don’t come across too many new challenges that we have not already addressed in the past.
Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena PS3, Atari
Pikmin 2 Wii, Nintendo
Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust 360, Microsoft
Little King’s Story
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2
Wii, Rising Star
IN STORE: CAMBRIDGE £39.99
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
52,53 MCV536_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 52 MCV 08/05/09
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 6 3 4 7 NEW
8 5 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
FIFA ‘09 EA MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA 4 ATARI TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ
8 5 6
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
7 6 5 9
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA SONY SEGA D3P KOEI
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE SEGA ACTION PACK (RIVAL SWORD, DRIVER 76, R6V) UBISOFT
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
X-MEN: WOLVERINE 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
WII PLAY Wii
RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360
MARIO KART WII Wii
EA NINTENDO CAPCOM NINTENDO
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ATHENA PS3, PC, 360 ATARI
THE GODFATHER II 360, PS3, PC
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
KILLZONE 2 PS3
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS
WSC REAL 09: WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPS PS3, 360, PC BLADE
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DYNASTY WARRIORS: STRIKEFORCE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P
1 2 4 3
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE
3 2 4
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO IMAGINE: DOCTOR DS
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SPORE EA
2 4 3 6 5 15 7 10 9
DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
52,53 MCV536_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 53
WII FIT’S TRIUMPH over Activision Blizzard’s X-
and Mario Kart Wii seeing a 47 per cent and 15 per
Men Origins: Wolverine is truly put into perspective by the individual format charts. Despite topping the PS3 and Xbox 360 charts, and securing a position in the Top 10 for PS2 and PSP, the Marvel title was unable to match Nintendo’s fitness phenomenon in sales. Nintendo also enjoyed a sales boost for both the Wii console and two of its key titles, with Wii Play
cent increase in sales respectively.
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber SEGA ROCKSTAR
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 Wii, PS3, 360
HALO WARS 360
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP
SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2
LEGO INDIANA JONES PS3, PS2, Wii, 360, PSP, DS, PC
MARIO KART DS DS
WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3
SINGSTAR POP EDITION PS3
MONSTERS VS ALIENS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
TOM CLANCY’S H.A.W.X. 360, PS3
GUITAR HERO III PS3, PS2, Wii, 360
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ SONY
THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3
GTA: CHINATOWN WARS DS
GEARS OF WAR 2 360
PUZZLER COLLECTION DS
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
RACE DRIVER GRID 360, PS3, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
MIDWAY/UBISOFT ROCKSTAR MICROSOFT UBISOFT EA
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT MYSTERYVILLE 2 GSP/AVANQUEST WOW: THE BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER FOCUS AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS THE SECRET OF MARGRAVE MANOR GSP/AVANQUEST MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT EA MEDIEVAL II: TOTAL WAR - GOLD ED SEGA
Microsoft’s Halo Wars re-enters to the Top 40 after a 75 per cent sales increase. More recent releases, such as Riddick and Godfather II saw a dip in sales. firstname.lastname@example.org
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
KILLZONE 2 RESIDENT EVIL 5 FIFA ‘09 THE GODFATHER II STREET FIGHTER IV SINGSTAR POP EDITION CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA LITTLEBIGPLANET SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
4 2 5 1 10 NEW
3 7 6
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
SONY CAPCOM EA EA CAPCOM SONY ATARI SONY SEGA
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO KART WII MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES RAYMAN RAVING RABBIDS TV PARTY SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 MARIO POWER TENNIS
2 4 3 7 6 5 9 8 14
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
1 1 6 4 5 3 7 8 13
cent increase in sales, leaping to No.11. Similarly,
Retail promotions have also spelled success for Capcom’s Street Fighter IV, which saw a 97 per
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA UBISOFT SEGA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA KONAMI NINTENDO
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FIFA ‘09 CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA RESIDENT EVIL 5 THE GODFATHER II HALO WARS CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR STREET FIGHTER IV GEARS OF WAR 2 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
4 1 3 2 9 6 13 5 10
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
WEEK ENDING 02/05/09
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ATARI CAPCOM EA MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CAPCOM MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
54,55 MCV536_v1:Layout 1
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
54,55 MCV536_v1:Layout 1
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 08/05/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
POLAND CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
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
GREECE Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
TECHLAND Sp. z.o.o.
Ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,
Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS TM
Gateway Distribution ApS
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: email@example.com
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
54-426 Wroclaw, Poland
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,
Chakala, Andheri East,
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,
Tel: +91 22 28203319
08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Cardinal Gracious Road,
Fax: +91 22 28203334
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
45 rue Delizy,
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
93692 PANTIN Cedex
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
Email export sales: email@example.com
GERMANY CYPRUS Gibareio.............................................................Nicosia
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
v.2 PLAY. LDA
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
56,57 MCV536_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 08/05/09 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...
VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
20001 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577
Contact: Moris Mirzadeh
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
16700 Schoenborn St.
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Tel: +1 818 920 9393
UAE VIRGIN PLAY
Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
TICKETS FOR Cologne-based games trade show Gamescom have gone on sale. To buy tickets, trade execs should visit the Gamescom website. E-tickets can be printed out, allowing execs to bypass queues at the event. The tickets give holders free travel on the transport networks in and around Cologne of operators VRS and VRR. The advance ticket price for trade visitors is 25.50 euros. NEVER DOUBT the appetite for all things Final Fantasy in Japan – sales of PS3 rocketed last week after the arrival of a playable demo of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII on the Blu-ray release of CGI movie Final Fantasy: Advent Children Complete. Sales of Sony’s machine hit 62,527, up a massive 274 per cent on the week before. All other consoles, in contrast, saw week-on-week sales decline. Sony’s PSP was the second best-selling machine, with unit sales reaching 40,065 (down two per cent). Closely behind was the DSi with 38,287 sales – if the 6,438 sales of DS Lite were added then Nintendo’s machine would win the weekly portable hardware battle. Wii shifted 13,221 units (down one per cent), the Xbox 360 8,652 units (-14.62 per cent) and the PS2 4,320 units (down seven per cent). Elsewhere, Nintendo’s entry into the video on demand service will hit Japan on May 1st, though in typical Nintendo style the ‘Wii no Ma’ channel is set to be far more than simply a video portal. Andriasang reports that the channel will take the shape of a virtual living room where up to eight Miis can exist. Services are accessed from this virtual hub, with the TV being the portal to the downloadable video content.
Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE. www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
DISGRUNTLED HD-DVD customers in the US are being offered the chance to modernise their film collection thanks to Warner and a new scheme entitled Red2Blu, Home Cinema Choice reports. Owners of HD-DVD discs will be able to mail up to 25 sleeve inserts to Warner, who will in turn send out Blu-ray replacements. All users have to pay is the shipping costs and $4.95 per title.
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
JUST DAYS after a Swedish Court sentenced the four owners of BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay to jail, allegations have surfaced that could see the case returned to trial, according to The Guardian. The lawyer representing The Pirate Bay has stated that he is considering demanding a retrial after it emerged that the judge who oversaw the case sits on the board of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property, as well as being a member of the Swedish Copyright Association.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
58-62 MCV536_final:Layout 1
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
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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY 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. FRIDAY MAY 29th
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.
INTERNATIONAL SERVICES GUIDE MCV takes a closer look at the leading services, QA and distribution companies working outside of the UK, including firms from India, Spain, North America, Australia, Germany, Benelux and more. 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. FRIDAY JUNE 19th
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.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862
TOOLS Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516 Fork Particle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00 (1) 925 417 1785 bluegfx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 467 200 Natural Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1865 250575
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. All subscription requests should go to email@example.com
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
MCV speaks to Arvato’s business development manager for games Liam Chivers… Tell us about your company. With more than 8,000 staff based in 18 countries, we are a leading provider of integrated solutions that includes every step of the value chain. AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
What services do you offer? More games customers demand integrated solutions from postproduction, replication and final assembly to supply chain management and electronic distribution. We cover this. We offer all customary disc copy protection methods and an effective online piracy solution called mbargo. Tell us something we didn’t know about your company. We were set up 50 years ago as Sonopress, a vinyl pressing plant for Bertelsmann Music Group. Since then we’ve manufactured
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
formats such as video, CD, laserdisc, floppy disc through to Blu-ray. On our 50th anniversary, we re-branded as Arvato Digital Services. What’s the best part of working at Arvato? We’ve developed relationships with publishers and as the sales face of Arvato it is great helping bring titles to market. We are best known for working with Microsoft and as a keen gamer, it’s nice to get the odd freebie. Any exciting new developments happening? Yes, many. From our relatively new plants in emerging markets such as Australia and Russia, to Blu-ray production and our mbargo solution, we are constantly adding new products and services to our portfolio.
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
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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MCV 08/05/09 63
DANCING HAPPY: The new Change4Life TV ad celebrates the role of active games in a healthy lifestyle
Finally, Change has come… This week’s MCV messageboards have been stuffed with industry execs discussing the Government’s new, games-friendly ad – the latest in its (previously pillared) anti-obesity Change4Life campaign… Well done guys, for making a stand and helping the Government see both sides of the debate. I realise that the last ad was not funded by Change4Life (it was three independent charities) but it's still great to see the Department for Health responding to the industry, and seeing that we can make a positive difference to helping families keep fit. Really well done. Nicholas Lovell,
Gamesbrief A huge thank you is in order to both Mike Rawlinson and Phil Snape at ELSPA who made the right moves when the balloon went up and used the power of debate and diplomacy with the Department of Health. Without their direct action, the
UK Government may not have listened to th industry. It proves that talking can work, provided people are prepared to listen to reason. Well played. Andy Payne,
surprise) get a big stamp of approval. Any credibility this campaign had (and it’s been a huge stretch since square one) has just gone out the window. It’s a victory for the gaming industry, however at what
This goes to show it was worthwhile rattling the Government’s cage over the last Change4Life ad. Don McCabe, CHIPS
This smells of corruption. Wasn’t it just over a month ago that it was reported that the first video game company (Nintendo) was coming to the party as far as sponsoring the Change4Life campaign? The next thing you know there’s a huge change of direction and consoles like the Wii (surprise,
cost? Is the moral of the story that you have to pay up to be treated the same as the other entertainment sectors and junk food companies? If so, it's a sorry state of affairs.
AnthonyH do? Complain about it. Belt up AnthonyH, take your negativity elsewhere. ‘JH’
over the last ads. Well done to ELSPA, MCV and anyone who lodged a complaint over the last ad. Don McCabe,
You should know that the Department of Health listened to the arguments in favour of active gaming and changed their position BEFORE Nintendo got involved in supporting the campaign. You only have to walk down the street to know that some people have a problem with their weight, and we as an industry should use what we have, active video games, to play our part in a healthy and active lifestyle.
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64 MCV 08/05/09
Off The Record This week, we witness an industry type risking life and limb in the name of altruism, while the Venom boys enjoy a night on the tiles...
PIC OF THE WEEK IGA’s Ed Bartlett is in the process of becoming an ambassador for fantastic charity War Child and, in the line of duty, will be competing in what is billed as ‘the most dangerous mountain bike race in the world’. Called ‘Megavalanche’, it takes place in The Alps. He’s mental, obviously. But he definitely deserves your cash for his death-defying efforts. Visit www.justgiving.com/edwinbartlett
MCV 08/05/09 65
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
A VENOMOUS OUTING To the naked eye, this just looks like a bunch of blokes, but in fact it’s... alright, it’s a bunch of blokes. But these Venom sales boys’ colour-coding is no fluke - it’s to represent a company charity outing all in the name of St. George’s Day. One company insider cheekily told us: “This one was taken before we left. Any images during or after the event are probably not printable.” He’s probably right. There’s no way it can get any more exciting than this.
lives HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?
You will find me watching rugby matches, swimming, or mostly running a taxi service for my children.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Favourite album: Zenyatta Mondatta by the Police. Favourite film: Terminator 2. Favourite game: Wii Sports. WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY? Most recently watching Paul Quirk’s face, who I’ve worked with for many years as ERA Chair and ERA Deputy, get a Music Week Award and only twig they were
TIM ELLIS, HMV
RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM
This week, we get all cosy and personal with the director general of the Entertainment Retailers’ Association, Kim Bayley…
CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
talking about him three quarters of the way through the speech.
WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET?
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
My ten year-old nephew – if he’s not on your screen in another decade’s time, I’ll be surprised.
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG – BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
n lectured a “My nine year-old so how the on Tesco till operator works...” em age ratings syst
Personally my grandfather who was the fairest, most hard working man I have ever known and professionally... my grandfather, who inspired me to achieve and always aim higher. WHEN WERE THE ‘GOOD OLD DAYS’?
There’s absolutely no such thing. The truth is that every day is good, if a little more challenging!
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE?
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
When I watched my nine year-old son explaining the BBFC age ratings to a Tesco till operator who didn’t know if she should be selling him the U-rated Disney film Wall-E!
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS
66 MCV 08/05/09
PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT
BORN RASTAS MCV was delighted to meet up with EA PR gents Jon Goddard and Simon Smith-Wright – along with Square Enix’s Ned Browning - for a gig by Beatles, Pink Floyd and Radiohead reggae/dub reworkers The Easy Star All Stars last week. The Caribbean sonic output was even more infectious than the airbourne London swine flu, which can only explain why we’ve been answering the phones with our embarrassing “whas gwanin?” patois ever since. Cheers to all concerned.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR We offer help on how a company could enhance their blog in order to boost their SEO results... by using hotwords tied to the current biggest news. This week, it’s the turn of EA studio Pandemic…
26/04 This week PANDEMIC launched our VIRAL marketing campaign for our new secret project, codenamed ARMAGEDDON. Buzz is SPREADING about PANDEMIC’S plans. The VIRAL campaign has now reached MEXICO, the US, UK, NEW ZEALAND and more.
27/04 Sadly, our web guy Tom is off ILL this week. He’s really SICK apparently, but here at PANDEMIC we’re very understanding. It’s FLU we think, so he’s likely to be laid off for a week, but it’s no STATE OF EMERGENCY or anything. We’ve just had to push the VIRAL campaign back.
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28/04 Just read that some dude from Digivision has criticised PANDEMIC’S VIRAL campaign. It’s not the first time. He’s such a SWINE.
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