THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday May 15 2009 £3.25
with the ‘undefeated’ boxing champion
Joe Calzaghe & Joe Calzaghe Jr.
Out 22nd May NI1663_MCV_cover_wrap_PRINT.indd 1
CRITICAL RECEPTION OFFICIAL NINTENDO MAGAZINE: 91% “ This is as much a love letter to long-time Nintendo fans as it is a great experience for newcomers, making it a must-have for everyone.”
N-GAMER: 85% “ Brimming with character and super-slick. You’ll really feel every punch… suits the Wii perfectly.”
EUROGAMER PREVIEW “ Nostalgia, novelty, purity, approachability and depth – something that absolutely every Wii owner would enjoy… Nintendo and Next Level have done a minor classic with this update.”
© 2009 Nintendo TM, ® and Wii logo are trademarks of Nintendo.
www.nintendo.co.uk 11/5/09 13:05:43
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 537 Friday May 15 2009 £3.25
The UK’s Top 20 Indies MCV presents a rundown of the best independent retailers working today, chosen by our team and the country’s leading distributors Page 17
International Media Partner
h on wit ociati In ass
The list of the top 100 most bankable studios in the world have been named by MCV sister magazine Develop. Did your developers make the cut? Page 23
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Goodbye Atari, hello Namco Staff safely re-housed as Euro buyout nears completion Atari becomes US-only brand by Tim Ingham ATARI’S European operation will be history within weeks, as Namco Bandai swoops to complete its acquisition of the business, MCV understands. Atari Europe’s sales and marketing staff will be safely transferred to newly-formed business Distribution Partners – which will handle all Namco Bandai product in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Distribution Partners is even looking to grow the operation’s current headcount to strengthen its position as Europe’s latest publishing giant. Namco Bandai bought a 34 per cent stake in the Atari Europe business in March last year, and is expected to pick up the remaining 66 per cent from parent Infogrames next month. MCV understands that Distribution Partners will be headed up by former Take Two, THQ and EA exec John
Infogrames announced its acquisition of the Atari brand at E3 2003, but the firm looks likely to offload the label’s European operation before this year’s show
become the firm’s sole HQ, overseen by Infogrames CEO David Gardner. That business, still owned by Infogrames, plans to become an online-centric content
Atari’s online-centric US arm will become the firm’s sole HQ, headed up by David Gardner and Phil Harrison.
Galloway, and that the new deal has satisfied scrutiny from anti-competition bodies. “We believe that DP will become a wholly-owned Namco Bandai games company soon, but this process requires time and we will comment further when we have an anticipated closing date,” said Atari’s European marketing boss David Miller this week. Atari’s US division (Atari Inc) remains active – and will now
producer. It will continue to have a presence in the UK in the shape of the London studio it opened in September, managed by ex-SingStar boss Pauline Bozek. The firm also purchased MMO studio Cryptic in December last year. Meanwhile, Distribution Partners will exclusively handle Atari-produced boxed titles outside of the US until 2014 – which will include Ghostbusters on non-PS3 formats this year.
FROM A TO BANDAI How did Atari Europe become no more? Since the arrival of Infogrames CEO David Gardner, that’s how. MCV recaps the key moments: 31/01/08: EA stalwart David Gardner becomes CEO of Atari parent Infogrames, replacing outgoing boss Patrick Leleu. He pledges to “build an online platform for distribution and gaming, assemble a world-class management team and restore Group profitability through cost-cutting measures”.
Japanese giant looks to establish a new distribution business in the territories. Gardner calls the move “a significant development in Infogrames’ reinvention”. Gardner later tells MCV: “Namco Bandai will probably [eventually] own the majority of it... it will no longer be our responsibility.”
03/03/08: Sony development chief Phil Harrison joins Gardner as Infogrames and Atari’s president.
25/03/09: Atari Europe agrees to exercise its ‘put option’ to divest its remaining 66 per cent stake to Namco Bandai – effectively giving the Japanese firm the opportunity to fully own the company, reborn as Distribution Partners. “This will now allow Atari to focus its financial resources and creative energy exclusively on developing and publishing online-enabled games,” says Gardner.
01/05/08: Infogrames fully acquires Atari’s US operation Atari Inc, buying up the remainder of the US firm's stock for $11 million. 09/09/08: Infogrames sells 34 per cent of its European and Asian operation to Namco Bandai, as the
Empire in IP sale scandal? by Tim Ingham BOSSES AT Empire Interactive may have agreed a deal to sell its IP to Zoo Entertainment a week before it went into administration, new evidence has suggested. An email obtained by MCV from the CEO of Empire parent Silverstar Holdings, Clive Kabatznik – sent to both Empire and Zoo management on April 28th, 2009 – states that Empire was in the ‘final stages’ of completing a deal for Zoo to ‘acquire certain IP’, seven days before KPMG officially confirmed the publisher’s fall into administration. A third party, Dearfield, is referenced in the mail, but there is no mention of New World IP – which later bought the the assets from KPMG and sold them to Zoo. The news will be particularly curious for those that made bids for Empire’s assets post-administration – offers which were rejected by KPMG. 49 staff lost their jobs when the firm went under, after eight weeks’ work without pay. Kabatznik – who previously said he was “absolutely, unequivocally not related to or involved in New World IP” – admitted to MCV this week: “I introduced Zoo to New World IP, but again repeat I have no interest in or connection to New World.” Zoo Entertainment owns New York-based Zoo Games Inc, which announced it had acquired the rights to Empire’s IP on May 8th.
PERSONNEL 26 RETAIL BIZ 27 NEW RELEASES 41 HIGH STREET 42 CHARTS 44
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[LEADER] LITTLE WHITE LIES WHEN IT comes to quotes from games execs, you often have to do a lot of reading between the lines to find the meat of what they mean. So when someone says a big summer/Q4 blockbuster is delayed for ‘extra polish’ they mean ‘the game wasn’t ready for release next month, and we’ve wised up to that just in the nick time’. Certainly, the games industry is no stranger to spin. Or in other words, untruths. You might be tempted to think some of that lying went on when Atari/Infogrames, just a few months ago, told this publication how important retail was to its future plans and the growth of its distribution business… only to turn around, sell it all off and run for the online hills. But really this new deal – which finally gives Namco Bandai a legitimate presence in Europe beyond nonentity co-publishing deals, among other things – is one of the rare instances where the games sector gets to have its cake and eat it. The Phil Harrison and David Gardner-headed Atari (or whatever it will be called in future) can now forge a place at at the heart of the online world, but not at the expense of traditional distribution. On the flipside, projects like Ghostbusters, Tekken, Star Trek Online, Dead to Rights – and whatever the secret projects Atari London is creating – will find the right home, be that via retail or digital. Historically, the games industry doesn’t manage transition that well – so however Namco Bandai and Atari deal with what happens next, they are sure to be closely watched. As for the behind-the-scenes dealing that dismantled Empire… well, that’s harder to argue a legitimate defence for. In some instances you have to let the facts, and highly dubious quotes from ‘execs’, speak for themselves.
STARS IN OUR EYES In just a week, SingStar celebrates its fifth birthday. Since May 2004 this Sony title has reached out to millions of gamers and non-gamers around the world. Not bad for an idea originally devised by a bunch of Londoners as ‘a weird animal karaoke game’. Sure, the vast studio which the SingStar team is part of – Sony’s London Studio – might have dined out on that one franchise in recent years, but really the series’ achievements often go unacknowledged. Long before the Nintendo Wii had people in old folks homes standing up and shaking their Remotes, Sony was engaging new audiences. As an entity the franchise must have generated in excess of half a billion pounds globally over its half-decade and wellpriced 160 SKUs. Plus, it laid the foundation for Rock Band and Guitar Hero. So when you hear all the big corporate giants talk about chasing new audiences, ‘hybridised online/offline business models’ and the success of peripherals – remember that it was Sony and the Brits who got there first. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
‘Amazon will be ruthless on games pricing and range’ Online giant’s new UK games boss details his strategy and pledges to monitor US site’s recent digital and trade-in services by Christopher Dring AMAZON UK has vowed to stock the most video games of any UK retailer in a bid to grow industry market share, MCV can reveal. In his first interview since joining the online giant, Amazon games director Chris Poad has said that the sheer quantity of products on offer has been key to the company’s
compete in. For example, the PS2 category is a shrinking part of the games industry, but our broad selection means we can compete there. “We want to grow our selection, stock the most products, particularly at low prices, and maintain that level of customer service. If we focus on that, it will do us well.” This year Amazon in the US has launched a series of unique
We want to focus on the things Amazon believes in ruthlessly. Things like pricing and customer service. Chris Poad, Amazon
strong Q4 and Q1 results. He added that with the growth in the games sector, it comes as no surprise that so many bricks and mortar rivals are keen to get involved online. “Video games is a growth category, and I’m not remotely surprised that other people are entering online games retail,” said Poad. “All we can do is focus on what we are doing internally. It’s really pleasing that Amazon had such a strong Q4 last year and Q1 this year. International sales were up 28 per cent. And with this economy, these numbers are really pleasing.” “Moving forward, we want to focus on the things Amazon really believes in ruthlessly. These include pricing and customer service, but we really want to grow our selection. I think there are certain categories that the rest of the market will struggle to
initiatives, including an online trade-in service and the ability to purchase Xbox Live Arcade games through the company’s website. Poad added that the UK office is keeping a watch on how these services develop.
“It’s still early days for these services, but reaction from consumers has been really positive,” concluded Poad. “There’s currently no plans to bring it to the UK, but we are keeping a close eye on it.” Amazon: 020 8636 9280
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Facebook advertises ‘new R4’ SOCIAL networking site Facebook has allowed advertising for a new piracy-enabling R4-style card on its pages. Ads for the DSTT card appear on profiles of subscribers to the site who have shown an interest in gaming. Like the R4, the DSTT allows consumers to download pirated DS games via a Mac or PC onto an SD card, which then slots into the adapted console. The card does not work with the new DSi, but
Coders to capitalise on [PRE ORDERS] Ashes for Cricket 2009 TOP 10 inFAMOUS by Christopher Dring ASHES CRICKET 2009 will be the biggest sports game this summer, ahead of big-name rivals Virtua Tennis, Tiger Woods and Wii Sports Resort, says Codemasters. This year’s Ashes event is the first time the series has taken place in the UK since the fabled 2005 tournament, when
“If the phenomenal reception both the sport and the game received back in 2005, when the series was last played on UK soil, is anything to go by, then we’re looking at dominating the sports gaming market this
Ricky Pointing. Cricketing heroes Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne will also feature and will set players a series of technique challenges in a new Legends mode. Added Gittins: “The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC editions will feature full online multiplayer and support for local multiplayer games. While on Wii, players will be able to use the
2. INFAMOUS LIMITED EDITION PS3 ..................................................SONY
3. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ
4. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED 360 ....................................................THQ
5. THE SIMS 3 PC ........................................................EA
6. OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2: DRAGON 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS
7. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................ATARI
8. TEKKEN 6
MCV understands that new version of both cards - the DSTTi and R4i – are already on the market. A Nintendo spokesperson told MCV: “Nintendo takes protection of its IP very seriously and we will examine this to determine if IP infringement has taken place.” Facebook would not comment at the time of going to press. The UK trade joined Nintendo in MCV to call for a UK ban on the cards’ sale last summer. The Tokyo District Court in Japan granted an injunction against the sale of DS ‘piracy aids’ in February – effectively banning the country’s retailers from stocking them. The cards are still freely available on eBay, but have finally been pulled from Amazon’s marketplace after a complaint by a third party.
England reclaimed the Urn for the first time in 18 years. And Codemasters is optimistic that this year’s competition could be the most popular yet. “This year’s Ashes tournament is set to be one of the most exciting in its 127 year history,” says brand manager Richard Gittins.
summer and we’re backing the game with a perfectly targeted TV ad campaign.” In addition to the official matches, the game features all the players including Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and
Wii Remote to perform batting and bowling motions in single player or local multiplayer games.” Ashes Cricket 2009 will be released on 360, PlayStation 3 and PC this summer, with the Wii edition set to arrive later in the year.
BROOKER MAKING NEW GAMES TV SHOW… MAYBE
PS3 ....................................NAMCO BANDAI
9. GHOSTBUSTERS 360 ..................................................ATARI
10. WII SPORTS RESORT WII ............................................NINTENDO Week ending May 10th Source: SHOPTO.COM
Has Guardian columnist and former PC Zone journalist Charlie Brooker let slip the details about a new games TV show? Possibly. The critic, responsible for BBC Four shows Newswipe and Screenwipe, last week asked Twitter followers to offer ideas for ‘Gameswipe’. But don’t leap for the Sky+ button just yet: a representative of Endemol, owner of the Zeppotron production firm Brooker works for, told MCV: “Charlie’s got a lot of people excited by the prospect, but there’s nothing to say about Gameswipe – it’s not commissioned yet.”
Week Ending April 25th
Week Ending May 2nd
Week Ending May 10th
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
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John Lewis plots games expansion ‘Customers expect us to provide a coherent games offer,’ says retailer planning to tap into new audiences by Christopher Dring DEPARTMENT store giant John Lewis is planning to boost its games offer ahead of the Christmas period, MCV can reveal. The development follows news that John Lewis will invest £6 million in 30 new standalone stores that will focus on its home and
lounge as Nintendo has made it something families can enjoy together,” said John Lewis’ product development manager for entertainment systems, Tom C Smith. “We are also seeing the age range of the core gaming population spreading, as those who left it in their teens return to it in their late ‘30s. Grandparents are not just
Gaming has moved from the bedroom to the lounge as Nintendo has made something families can enjoy. Tom C Smith, John Lewis
electrical lines, with the first new store format set to open in Poole in October. The High Street retailer has stocked a limited quantity of consoles in the past, but is now intent on improving its software line-up as video games head further into the mainstream. “Over the last 24 months, gaming has very much moved from the bedroom to the
buying gifts at Christmas, they are buying for themselves. More and more John Lewis customers have gaming as part of their lives and expect us to provide solutions. “Gaming has been a focus over the last 12 months, not just to sell hardware, but investing in our relationships with software suppliers and looking at ways, with limited space, we can provide a
MARKET GROWTH: John Lewis’ Tom Smith wants the retailer to tap into gaming’s recent demographic explosion
coherent assortment. Are we there yet? No. But we will be a lot closer before Christmas. “Combine this with our award winning customer service from our store partners,
Gamebridge Moons retail NEW PUBLISHER Gamebridge is preparing a marketing campaign that will tie in with the anniversary of the original moon landing in 1969. The campaign will promote upcoming DS FPS Moon, which is released next month. “We are hoping to organise several activities that celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969,” said product marketing assistant Yen Hau at distributor Rising Star Games, which is handling the marketing. “The original landing on July 20th 1969 was a milestone in
human achievement and we take great pride in having a product that ties in closely with this remarkable feat.
“Moon is released three weeks prior to the 40th anniversary and we hope that the activities we are planning
will not only do the game justice but also remind people of what Neil Armstrong and his team achieved.” The company is also keen to emphasise the hardcore nature of the gameplay that differentiates Moon from the DS’ dominating casual software library. “Moon appeals to core gamers, and the FPS genre is under-represented on the DS,” said Hau. “Our marketing and PR strategy will remind core gamers that the DS is not just a home for puzzle games and brain trainers.” Rising Star Games: 01582 433700
taking you through what additional benefits the latest generation of consoles can provide, we believe we are
well placed to be part of this very exciting and rapidly changing market.” J. Lewis: 08456 049049
GamesAid launches membership scheme INDUSTRY charity GamesAid has launched an industry-wide membership scheme at www.gamesaid.org. The scheme will allow those working in the games industry to register for news updates and support fundraising events, as well as advocate their own chosen charities as recipients of GamesAid funding up until a closing date of June 14th. Voting for charities then opens for two weeks and successful nominations will be announced at the Develop Awards in Brighton in July.
“The GamesAid membership scheme really underlines our mission statement to operate the charity as an all inclusive part of the games industry, in an open and transparent way, engaging as many different industry professionals as possible,” commented Andy Payne, chairman of GamesAid. “GamesAid will continue to encourage individuals, teams and companies to contribute through fundraising and events. The new scheme will afford everybody a voice in how the industry’s charity is run.”
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‘InFamous is summer’s key title’ Platform holder says PS3-exclusive can beat out all-comers during packed season by James Batchelor SONY BELIEVES that upcoming action adventure Infamous can be PS3’s biggest game of the summer. The claim is a bold one in a bumper season for the platform that sees the release of bighitters such as Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum, plus Sony’s own Ghostbusters on the PlayStation 3.
and we’re also getting a lot of positive support from the community online since our PR guys released all the trailers and gameplay footage. “I believe when you stack up all of the releases, Infamous has all the right elements to be the major game of summer 2009 for PlayStation 3.” With Infamous entering such a popular genre, Sony is keen to model its marketing
Infamous has all the right elements to be the major game of summer 2009 for PlayStation 3. Phil Lynch, SCE UK
But the firm has told MCV it has ‘great expectations’ for Infamous, which involves an electrically-powered superhero in a city where both the landscape, the population and the hero’s abilities change depending on their behaviour. “We have great expectations for Infamous both commercially and critically,” said SCE UK’s product manager Phil Lynch. “It is previewing very well, it got a great response at GDC
Out Now Wii Arghhh Matey! Live the pirate life and play pirate-themed activities with your friends, as everyone battles for Blackbeard's booty! You’ll sail the seas on a quest to unearth the seven most infamous pirate treasures ever buried. Use the Wii Remote to plot a course for your ship as you sail from island to island, encountering sea monsters, sword fights, rough seas and other ships set to battle you to the bottom of the seas along the way!
campaign around the unique features that differentiate the game from rival titles. “Well, aside from the visuals, obviously Cole’s powers, the moral ambiguity and the openness of gameplay within Infamous are key features and we’re keen to use these aspects where we can in our marketing campaign,” added Lynch. Double page spread ads will appear in lifestyle and specialist press to announce
Out Now X360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PSP, PC IN THE SHOPS: Sony says that InFamous is the key game for PS3 this summer despite a busy roster of new games
the release of the game as well as direct viewers to the PlayStation Network to download the demo or to go to the game’s website to find out
more. For online, Sony says it is working with a good balance of wide-reaching lifestyle sites, as well as specialist gaming sites for its digital promotion.
Uncage Wolverine’s brutal, tragic past and discover how the ultimate weapon was created. Unleash the razor sharp adamantium claws, feral instincts and mutant regeneration power of the world’s fiercest hero.
Most bankable studios named by Develop MCV’S SISTER magazine Develop this week published its annual Develop 100 book, naming the world’s best game development studios. Activision Blizzard is arguably the big winner in the 2009 edition of the list – three of its studios make it into the top ten. World of Warcraft developer Blizzard takes the number one slot, with Call of Duty: World at War developer Treyarch at seventh, and CoD creator and Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward at eight. The Develop 100, sponsored exclusively by
Emergent, is an invaluable guide that throws light on the real winners in the world’s fastest-growing creative industry. The list is put together by the magazine’s editorial team, who have taken into account a variety of criteria including key sales charts made available by the likes of GfK-ChartTrack, NPD and Enterbrain, success of online business models, Metacritic scores and industry standing.
31 studios from across Europe feature in the list – 26 of them in the UK. These include Rockstar North (3rd), LEGO Star Wars developer Traveller’s Tales (11th) and LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule (18th). More details can be found at the dedicated microsite, found at www.develop100.com, and www.developmag.com. The Develop 100 is also included with certain reader codes of this week’s MCV. The list can also be found in full on page 25.
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.
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Indie retail booms as recession bites Independents look to category expansion and new stores and plan to fill the void left by Woolworths by Christopher Dring THE COUNTRY’S leading indies plan to expand their ranges and open new stores in a bid to defy the recession and capitalise on the demise of Woolworths. Grainger Games continues its rapid expansion this month as it prepares to open its 22nd store, while secondhand
confirmed. And looking at supplying a phone unlocking service to all indies.” N1 Games is another looking to grow. Store manager Sam Semaan explained: “Our business is defiantly up, and this is because one of our competitors is out of the way. Since Woolworths has closed we have been working our hardest to give the best price
Since Woolworths closes we have been working our hardest to give the best price possible to our customers. Sam Semaan, N1 Games
specialist Game Player is about to open its fourth shop, with the prospect of four more to come. “The new store opening is imminent,” said Game Player boss Gary Noakes. “I am also in talks over four more, but that’s yet to be
possible to our customers.” MCV also understands that other independents are looking to capitalise on empty High Street stores by moving premises, while others such as 1UP Games in Edinburgh are beefing up ranges to include DVD, action figures and comics.
HIGH STREET & MIGHTY: Independent retailers are looking to step up to the plate now that Woolies has gone by growing their store count and diversifying their range space
Game Guide editor Chris Ratcliff says the economy has forced many to be more cost effective: “I don’t think there has been an increase in the overall number of indies, more an adjustment of their ranks. There was an increase in the
Blast targets pre-school with Bob the Builder BUDGET publisher Blast is to celebrate Bob the Builder’s tenth anniversary with Festival of Fun – a game for a ‘new breed’ of pre-school gamers. The title hits shelves on Friday May 22nd, and Blast has targeted the usual outlets, as well as non-traditional stores, supermarkets and toy shops as potential stockists. “Bob the Builder is a really young brand aimed at preschool children,” says Mastertronic’s Kirsty Payne. “The Wii is now reaching a diverse range of people and age groups looking for a different experience. I think getting the message out there that this is a new breed of game aimed at
both parents and young children is the key to its success. “We expect it to sell well in the usual outlets, supermarkets and non-traditional routes plus toy retailers. Because of its wide appeal and brand awareness it could sit happily alongside traditional toys and Bob the Builder branded retail sections.” Blast is also set to promote the game alongside Bob The Builder anniversary events, with consumer sampling opportunities. Meanwhile, advertisements are planned for parenting and pre-school magazines and websites, along with cross-promotion with IP owner HIT Entertainment. Blast: 0845 234 4242
MASTERTRONIC HITS 500 GAMES The Mastertronic Group has now released 500 games under its Sold Out, MAD and Pc Gamer Presents budget games label. The group is celebrating its 500th PC release with a Monkey Madness competition, with £500 worth of games up for grabs every month at www.mastertronic.com. “We are proud of our history and have worked hard over the years to publish a fantastic range of games,” commented Mastertronic MD Andy Payne. “We have consistently released good quality PC games at great prices and will continue to do so. Bring on the next 500!”
number of enquiries for the Game Guide in the early part of the year, as the vacuum caused by the demise of some of the High Street encouraged individuals to consider opening shops. Hopefully, indies will use this summer to conduct an
overhaul of their businesses and adjust to the decrease in the spending money available to the general public.” Head on over to Page 17 for MCV’s countdown of the top 20 independent games retailers in the UK.
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Publishers prepare key titles for busy summer selling season Quality over quantity deemed crucial to success in summer 2009’s trading period by James Batchelor RETAILERS face a lucrative summer as publishers prepare one of the biggest line-ups for what is traditionally a quiet trading period. Upcoming hits include Ghostbusters, Infamous, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call Of Juarez Prototype, Red Faction, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Wii Sports Resort, EA Sports Active, Tiger Woods, EA Grand Slam Tennis and Damnation. Amongst those games, Activision releases Prototype and Transformers next month. The firm’s marketing director
students and kids. Gaming is a past time they really choose to
David Tyler, Activision
indulge in and enjoy over the summer, and the games market as a whole usually experiences particularly good sales performance on more
casual gaming platforms during this period.” Sega is releasing Virtua Tennis later this month. UK MD John Clark told MCV it is a difficult selling period but said that the summer trading period requires an emphasis on quality over quantity: “We tend to release fewer games, but the games we do release are quality titles. Last year, we had Beijing, which was a great success and we have another great sporting franchise in Virtua Tennis this year.”
Ubisoft plans to spend this summer pushing its family games and casual ranges. “For Games For Everyone, we do not have what I would call major new releases for this summer,” said brand manager Mark Slaughter. “However, summer and school holidays are a key period for kids and family ranges, so working our back catalogue and supporting Imagine, Combat Of Giants, and Petz titles will be key. As such we will be looking to go back on TV to support them.”
Trilogy signs City as new partner TRILOGY LOGISTICS has secured the contract as primary and secondary service provider to City Interactive. The deal lasts for three years, and covers City Interactive’s 2009 line-up, including point and click adventure Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer, the Brain College range of hidden item and puzzle games and the publisher’s first products on the DS format: Logic Machines, I Love Beauty: Hollywood Makeover and Sushi Academy.
[IN BRIEF] MICROSOFT: Gears Of War 2 has now sold more than five million copies worldwide, bringing the series’ total global sales to over 11 million units. To celebrate, Microsoft has announced Gears Of War 2: All Fronts Collection, a compilation of the full game and all DLC currently available which will arrive at retail on July 14th. UBISOFT: The publisher announced it will be holding an E3 Press Conference on June 1st, where it will unveil its line-up for Christmas 2009 and beyond. Confirmed titles that will be shown include Rabbids Go Home, Red Steel 2 and Assassin’s Creed II.
Gaming is a past time kids and students really choose to indulge in and enjoy over the summer holiday.
David Tyler told MCV that the summer is a ‘great opportunity to target gamers of different profiles and habits’. He said: “This is particularly true for
Trilogy will provide City Interactive with full primary distribution and logistics requirements, including warehousing, UK distribution,
reputation as being an independent company run by people from the industry who truly understand the needs of their partners.
refurbishment and returns, as well as all financial services. Trilogy will also service the independent retail channel via its independent division TRILOGYi. Trilogy has built a
Ex-THQ UK boss Roy Campbell joined City Interactive as global sales and marketing VP in January. The publisher’s UK sales manager Leonard Harding said:
“Trilogy is on the same wavelength as City Interactive in terms of understanding our short, medium and long term goals. We look forward to working alongside the team to bring our 2009 line-up to the marketplace. Trilogy client services director Stephen Duke added: “We are delighted to have won this contract and are looking forward to working with City. It is clear that the company has a passionate team with foresight and ambition to match their product portfolio.” Trilogy: 0845 362 7769
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: This autumn will see the release of three new entries in the Guitar Hero franchise, including two brand new IPs. Guitar Hero 5 will continue the success of its predecessors, while Activision Blizzard will also launch the long-rumoured DJ Hero and family-focused Band Hero. SONY: In a last minute coup, Ghostbusters: The Video Game will be a timed Sony exclusive, hitting PS3 and PS2 when it launches on June 19th. Atari will still be publishing the Xbox 360, Wii and DS versions, which it plans to release later in the year.
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FIVE YEARS OF SINGSTAR
SingStar Is Five In just five years Sony’s SingStar has conquered new demographics, sold millions of discs and helped firmly establish the music game genre. Will Freeman speaks to the development and product teams at Sony to find out how far the series has come…
WHILE NINTENDO is given much of about it,” explains Kevin Mason, the credit for the demographic explosion principle designer at Sony’s London in gaming, it is another platform holder’s Studio. “Then I played Who Wants To internal IP that long-ago primed the Be A Millionaire? with my nan, on the mainstream players the Wii courts. PlayStation. She had real problems with Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, the controller. So I got to thinking about SingStar struck a chord with consumers when it The music content is owned was released in 2004. by other people; convincing The singing game has them we will treat it with since converted huge reverence was a challenge. numbers of non-gamers to the PlayStation brand, Mike Haigh, London Studio and laid the foundations a game that my nan could play, and for Guitar Hero and Rock Band. came up with a weird idea for a karaoke PERFECT PITCH game that featured singing animals.” SingStar started life as an internal tech After tweaking and testing the demo at Sony that let users sing along concept Sony published the debut and see if they were in key. “I saw that SingStar disc in May 2004, and over the demo, and I went away and thought next year the brand found favour with
an increasingly interested fanbase. The developers’ knack for selecting just the right pop songs to sing along to helped, and London Studio’s experience with the EyeToy series was invaluable – but the ability to produce new compilation discs quickly, combined with a confident marketing campaign, is probably its biggest strength. A countless array of discs has meant that the series has reached out to new demographics and musical tastes. Explains UK product manager Lucy Duncan: “Looking back, when we first launched SingStar in May 2004, we'd already dipped our toe in the social gaming water with EyeToy Play and at that point were at the forefront of a new trend in gaming which has become an
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MCV 15/05/09 13
FIVE YEARS OF SINGSTAR
SINGSTAR’S GREATEST HITS Michael French looks back at the franchise’s highlights… May 21st, 2004 First version released in a bundle with mics, and some classics tracks like Careless Whisper and Take On Me. November 2004 The second disc, SingStar Party, arrives. May 2005 The first major sales milestone: in just a year, the franchise has shifted two million copies across Europe. At the same time, SingStar: Popworld arrives, featuring a cheeky intro from Never Mind The Buzzcocks host Simon Amstell (okay, yeah, and the irritating Miquita Oliver). November 2005 The franchise starts to diversify – SingStar ‘80s is released. April 2006 SingStar Rocks! released in Europe. 2006 also sees the release of SingStar Anthems (y’know for the gays), and SingStar Legends (classic tracks – y’know, for the mums and dads). November 2006 After much foot-dragging by the fools at SCEA, the franchise finally arrives in the US. Singstar Rocks! is the debut release. The Americans get localised versions of the other discs from this point on. 2007: A bumper year for SingStar PS2 releases in the UK – SingStar Pop Hits (April), SingStar ‘90s (August), SingStar Rock Ballads (Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love – yes!, September) SingStar Bollywood and SingStar R&B (October). December 2007 After a bit of a wait SingStar arrives for PS3, complete with online store and community features. The SingStore launches with only 41 tracks – but today over 500 are now available to download. The Americans have to wait six months for it. More fool them. 2008 More new SKUs this year: SingStar Summer Party (April), SingStar Country (October), and SingStar Boy Bands vs Girl Bands (October). April 2008 Massive milestone alert: 12 million copies sold globally by this point, with a million tracks already downloaded from the SingStore. November 2008 Perfectly timed to coincide with Mamma Mia!’s DVD success, SingStar ABBA arrives, in all territories – first in the UK then the US and elsewhere a few weeks later. It’s the first time the franchise gets close to a global day and date arrival. Oh, and SingStar Disney Singalong is released for the little ‘uns too. March 2008 Wireless mics arrive for the PS2 and PS3. April 2009 SingStar Queen released. We see what they’re doing there. Michael Jackson version next please, Sony. That or a Bond Themes one. May 2009 SingStar’s all growed up fifth birthday. To celebrate, Sony’s holding a competition. See page 27.
industry mainstay over the past few years. SingStar has helped attract a whole new audience to what was once a fairly male dominated gaming environment, and has opened people’s eyes to other gaming experiences they may once have not considered. “It’s this diversification that has allowed us to work with a selection of some of the world’s biggest music artists, but also secure other brand partnerships, with the current ‘Road to Glastonbury’ promotion we’re running being a good example of this.”
has built up strong central marketing and music licensing teams who work with individual territories and licence country-specific music artists to help establish the brand. “Just as the music industry varies from country to country in terms of taste, we realised the potential in releasing territory specific SKUs,” points out Duncan. Since its debut, SingStar has spawned 160 different discs across PAL territories and North America (see ‘SingStar’s Greatest Hits’ for a brief history). TAKE A BOW, RETAIL
SING WHEN YOU’RE WINNING
The team at Sony point to a number of timely factors as being fundamental to the success of the series, including the popularity of talent shows like Pop Idol when the series first began gaining sales momentum.
While the series evolves technically – wireless microphones recently launched and the PS3 version introduced online elements – Sony says physical retail has been and will remain key to its success. “We want to appeal to people who haven’t seen this product, as well as the
We want to continually attract new audiences and it’s at store level that many people will first see SingStar. Lucy Duncan, SCEE
But the most important reasons are more practical considerations which in time have helped reach new audiences – and won over the music industry. “Getting the microphone bundle to match the average RRP of games was essential, as was using original artists,” explains London Studio executive producer Dave Ranyard. “And of course the PS2 was at the right point in its life cycle too. There were 70m of them out there, and we could sell product to people other than the person who had originally bought the console. The brother or sister or mum.” London Studio development director Mike Haighs adds: “What was truly a challenge was the business. The content in SingStar is owned by other people, so convincing them we will treat their property with reverence, and won’t mess about with it – that was a challenge. Of course, being with Sony gave a great deal of credibility to us in those early meetings.” Luckily, the team at London Studio benefit from a close relationship (and proximity – they’re next door to one another) with colleagues in the marketing department, who help compile tracks lists and SKUs. Across Europe in the last five years the team
people who have already got it,” says Mike Haigh. “If you’re just online you’re not going to have the opportunity to do that. You need to have presence at retail. We want to keep supporting the people who attached to it through the online bit, but certainly, as far as the boxed product is concerned, that’s where people who have never seen SingStar before see it first.” Duncan adds: “Despite the much lauded transition to digital download, retail has helped make the SingStar franchise the success it is today, and will continue to play an integral role in helping drive it forward. We want to continually attract new audiences, and it’s at store level that many people will have their first SingStar experience. Disc sales have shown that there’s still a huge demand for physical media, and in terms of an entry point, the disc-based product is still an essential gateway into the SingStar world, for both offline and online play.” With a huge library of songs still to make use of, a healthy attitude to both online and retail, and a talented development team, it looks like five years is just the beginning for Sony’s benchmark studio.
Ofﬁcial game of the Ben Stiller blockbuster – backed by Majesco’s biggest marketing campaign to date!
It’s back! Sequel to the massively addictive and award-winning DS and PC smash-hit, with over 35 million players worldwide!
The hectic, hugely-popular Bake-em-up makes its debut on Wii with brilliant new co-op play and online features!
An arcade classic that blends live action and fast-paced blasting for an experience unlike anything else on Wii.
Rhythm-action heaven! It’s the long awaited Wii debut from the creative genius behind the classic, PaRappa the Rappa.
Solve perplexing puzzles and out-smart security systems! The popular Hidden Object craze comes to Wii!
Encounter drama at every turn as you juggle love, career and friendship, for a truly unique experience!
Discover the wonder of Pufﬁns in a DS animal adventure that offers more in the way of content quality and value.
Step right up! All of the fun and thrills of your favourite amusement parks and carnivals have now gone portable!
Are you a “righty” or a “lefty”? What if you could be both? Hone your mental skills to become truly ambidextrous!
Death-defying stunts and high speed chases! The dangerous world of street racing is about to get a whole lot more exciting!
For more details, POS or to place an order
call Centresoft - 0121 625 3908
Published and distributed by Majesco Entertainment Company. CakeMania® is a Registered Trademark of Sandlot Games Corporation. Night at the Museum 2 ™ & © 2009 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.All rights reserved. Developed by Pipeworks® Software, a Foundation 9 EntertainmentStudio. “THE THINKER” SCULPTURE BY AUGUSTE RODIN. © 2007-2009 NanaOn-Sha co., ltd. All Rights Reserved. Major Minor’s Majestic March is a trademark of Majesco Entertainment Company. © 2008 Rodney Alan Greenblat/Interlink. All Rights Reserved. Escape the Museum : Developed by Majesco Studios Santa Monica. ©2008 Gogii Games. All Rights Reserved. Powerbike : © 2008 Tornado Studios, Inc. All rights reserved. Developed by 2015, Inc.Trainwreck Studios is a trademark of 2015, Inc. “Drama Queens” is a trademark of Majesco Entertainment Company. Puffins Island Adventure DS : © 2008 Other Ocean Interactive. Developed by Other Ocean Interactive. Produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada. Wonder World Amusement Park is a trademark of Majesco Entertainment Company. “Left Brain Right Brain” is trademark of Majesco Entertainment Company. Published and distributed by Majesco EntertainmentCompany. ©2009 Majesco Entertainment Company. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. All Rights Reserved.
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.
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as a 2006 ilers t up in ndent reta e s s a e w p e s m e d c a .co e in trodu Nindie nity for th ice in smaller v r u e s comm ndo. The to aid ducts. te tions ro of Nin of innova ndo p e t er ell Nin s numb o h ers w m retail nindie.co w. w w
BRITAIN’S BEST INDIES
UK indies In the face of increased supermarket competition and economic uncertainty, the UK’s independent sector is continuing to thrive. Christopher Dring and Nindie.com take a closer look at the best indies in the the country...
1UP Games has quickly become an established independent store in Edinburgh since it opened in 2007. The outlet boasts a recently expanded ‘living room’ area, where gamers can sit on a couch and play the latest games on a large projector screen. The firm stocks the usual used and new titles and hardware, and also sells retro software. Moving forward, 1UP Games is looking to expand its range and will begin selling comics and figures so gamers can trade-in against these items as well.
Ronnie McColm opened the Stranraer-based independent in July 2003, and runs operations himself. One of the indie’s specialities is in getting stock that its rivals struggle to do, and it even had a quantity of Wii Fit stock when the product was in short supply. Alongside this, the majority of the firm’s revenues comes from pre-owned sales, with supermarket price slashing and stock shortages always proving a challenge for the Scottish indie. Discover is a large store, and offers a wide array of titles and a photocopy service.
Console Connections was established in 1992 by Mark Conacher and Fiona Stafford. There are two stores in the chain, the first in Truro, Cornwall and the other in Barnstaple, Devon. Both stores sell used and new games, accessories and consoles, boasts competitive pricing and offers a three-day exchange policy. All the staff are big gamers, and are more than happy to offer advice to their loyal customer base. The outlet boasts a professional look but with an independent feel.
Manager Simon Sharp runs GamePad in Bude in Cornwall. The store sells your usual console, PC and handheld titles, as well as accessories and consoles, and encourages gamers to trade-in their old games. One of the unique features in GamePad is that players can try before they buy, with a sixfoot HD projector and two 42-inch plasma TVs, with every console available to play. The firm also runs regular competitions, with 150 children taking part every year. GamePad also runs a store online.
0131 466 6400
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BRITAIN’S BEST INDIES
These 2008 MCV Award winners started up in 1997, initially as a market stall in Newcastle. The independent giant has come a long way since then, having surpassed its 20th store The chain boasts a distribution centre, a head office and a fleet of Hummer H2 vehicles. The company’s shops are branded with its unique orange look and boast high profile High Street locations. The firm hasn't stopped either, as it plans to open new stores in the weeks to come and grow its web offering.
Castle Games stores can be found in Chesterfield and Sheffield, and both sell your usual used and new games, console hardware, accessories and video game-related merchandise, including figures. The company, which is owned by Del Philipson, has continued to succeed despite the tough economic conditions because of its expert team, which is more than happy to share advise. Castle Games has suffered hardship too; several years ago it had to close its third store in Worksop following two large-scale burglaries in 18 months.
GameXchange in Stretford is a huge independent store. The store’s sheer size allows it to stock a massive range of games, while maintaining high merchandising standards and dedicating prominent areas to the latest video games. The whole Game Xchange empire consists of five stores, all owned by Andrew Parkes who started the business with Richard Moggridge. The firm has also invested in the GameIndie initiative, giving the firm its very own website at: thegamexchange.com.
The Lancashire-based independent was set up in 1994 by Steven Ireland, who has since hired a wealth of talent including a product manager, a driver and extra managers to drive the business forward. In 2002 the store had four sites in Blackpool, Cleveleys, Kirkham and Preston. Eclipse has since sold its Kirkham and Preston branches, but is still viewed as one of the premier UK independents. Eclipse prides itself on its excellent customer service and great relationships with its customers.
08707 466 070
DISKS AND DISCS
Disks and Discs in Stafford was set up back in 1995, and boasts a prominent High Street location, which gives the indie a large and varied customer base that includes female gamers. Owned by Andrew Rawlinson, the store offers a large range of new releases, back catalogue titles and pre-owned games. Although second hand is the main driver behind the firm’s profits, Rawlinson has placed an emphasis on Disks and Discs’ back catalogue range in order to compete more successfully with the supermarkets.
That’z Entertainment has been trading at Lakeside for the best part of 24 years, and also has a recently refurbished store in Romford. That’z is the only independent in Lakeside, and focuses on customer service. The store also keeps an eye out for niche products that are ignored by its competitors. As well as a GameIndie website, That’z sells hardware, games and accessories for all current consoles, as well as retro titles and a very strong pre-owned offer. That’z also offers repairs, mail order and technical assistance.
Games Connection in West Drayton is carefully managed by Av Kandola, and stocks both the latest titles, retro classics as well as pre-owned games, consoles, accessories and DVDs. The store boasts a competitive part-exchange offer and a staff of hardcore gamers, who are more than happy to dish out valuable advice. The store also sells mobile phones and accessories, and has a hardware and disc repair service. Gamers can also try out their potential purchases in-store, as long as they have a demo.
Nominated for the store manager award at this year’s MCV Awards, ex-GAME manager Gary Noakes is making waves with his Game Player chain. The fourth Game Player outlet in Hove will be open shortly (the others are in Crawley, Worthing and Littlehampton), with a potential four more in the works, and the chain offers a unique range of services, including Kodak photo kiosks, phone unlocking, console repairs and phone contracts. Game Player specialises in used software and also has a GameIndie website.
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GAME CENTRE 2.0
Located next door to Blockbuster, with a GAME and Gamestation just around the corner, GameTron certainly has its fair share of competition. However, the team uses this to its advantage, with all four stores sending customers to one another if they don’t sell the product the customer is after. GameTron, which once had a second store in Bedford, sells a variety of retro and import software, rare games and consoles, posters, cards, and other merchandise. The store also sells a variety of DVDs and CDs.
N1 Games can be found on Baron Street in London, and is run by Sam Semaan. The store stocks your usual current generation software, as well as hardware, accessories and older titles. The outlet prides itself on its customer service, with the shop staff offering honest advice to its customers. N1 Games also runs a professional-looking website at www.n1games.co.uk, which features a range of special offers and allows for in-store pick ups on preorders. The firm also runs a PSP repair service.
GamesCentre 2.0 is not your average independent. For starters, it boasts four floors, with a PC gaming arena and an internet café too. Not only that, but the Steve Hinchliffeowned outlet also has a floor dedicated to non-gaming collectables and DVD. Based in Scarborough, GameCentre has a lot of stiff competition nearby, with GAME, Gamestation and various supermarkets. However, the firm sees a lot of its customer come during the tourist season, with two nearby hotels.
Voodoo Consoles’ flagship store can be found in Loughbrough, with another store in Mowbray. The store stocks new and used games, accessories and consoles, and has worked hard to overcome the challenges of the credit crunch and supermarket price cutting. Voodoo Consoles boasts a ‘friendly atmosphere’ and a good relationships with its customers. The outlet is run by Jo and Dan Whitehead, the latter of which is also the games buyer for MBL, the distributor for Morrisons, WH Smiths, Co-op and more.
020 7713 7979
THE GAMES ROOM
The Bedford-based indie is part games specialist, part comic book retailer, with a second store in Northampton. The Bedford outlet has survived despite tough competition from GAME, Gamestation, and most recently, a Computer Exchange. The independent enjoys a great relationship with its rivals, with the Gamestation manager often joining the team for lunch. Both stores offer excellent customer service, and has a large amount of dedicated customers who visit on a daily basis.
The Games Room can be found in Tain, and counts amongst its customers the manager of Tain Thistle FC, the North Caledonian Football League club that made headlines last year when it appeared in Football Manger 2009. The store is just 75 miles from John O’Groats, making it the most Northern UK independent, and is a good 40 miles from the nearest specialist competition in Inverness. The store makes it into our Top 20 despite being under a year old, having been opened by manager Paul Raven in July last year.
Run by Gordon Crawford, Gamespod is an independently owned business based in Farnham, Surrey. The store opened back in 2003 and has a great reputation for its knowledgeable staff and friendly service, and that’s not to mention its competitive pricing policy. Like many of the independents in this year’s Top 20, Gamespod has its own website set up in association with GameIndie (www.gamespod.co.uk). Crawford also runs the yourgametrade.com eBay-like business.
Virtual Games started life in 1993 with its flagship store in Bracknell, with other stores located throughout the country. The firm has received praise for its very knowledgeable staff, while manager Paul Kenwright boasts that his stores offer a ‘high standard of after-sales service.’ Virtual Games sells a wide variety of games, and specialises in used software. The firm runs promotions throughout the year, including the recent Beat the Boss competition, where customers could win their purchases for free on the roll of a dice.
01252 727 563
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BRITAIN’S BEST INDIES
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TOP 10 ONLINE INDIES
Shopto.net One of the biggest online indies, ShopTo boast many unique services.
DVD.co.uk/BlahDVD Books, DVDs, games and gadgets are available at this rising indie.
Everything Play Run by gamers for gamers, Everything Play opened in 2007 and boasts a wide range.
Gameseek Stephen Staley’s popular Gameseek goes from strengthto-strength.
Simply Games The well-respected independent is now entering its eleventh year in business.
Powerplay Direct The DVD, game, gadget and CD specialist boasts impressive prices.
Game Connection The colourful website continues to grow thanks to competitive prices.
Startup Media A wide selection of games and consoles can be found on offer here.
Gameindie A white label service used by many of this year’s Top 20 UK indies.
CKS Entertainment sells a large quantity of new and retro games and hardware.
Total Disc Repair is giving indie retailers the chance to win one of their Disc-Go-Devil disc repair machine, a consumables starter pack and their marketing support to see how much money the winner can generate in six months using their disc repair machine. For more information on how to enter, head on over to page 58.
DS i & DS Lite ™
Silicon Glove Magic Stylus
DS Lite & DS i Licensed Accessories ™
(Polycarbonate Case and Silicon Glove DS™ Lite only)
Tel: +44(0)1763 284181 • email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nintendo DS™ is a registered trademark of Nintendo of America.
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DEVELOP 100: THE FULL LIST
A great century Our sister magazine Develop this week published its yearly 100 list of the world’s best studios. Here, we present a concise list of all the developers which made the grade…
DEVELOP 100: THE LIST IN FULL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
Blizzard Entertainment Nintendo Rockstar North EA Canada Capcom Ubisoft Montreal Treyarch Infinity Ward Epic Games Bethesda Softworks Konami Traveller’s Tales Sega Studios Japan LucasArts Neversoft Sora Kojima Productions Media Molecule Nexon EA Black Box Valve Lionhead Level 5 EA Tiburon Yuke’s Harmonix A2M EA Redwood Shores Jagex Game Freak Maxis Cat Daddy EA The Sims Studio Insomniac PopCap SCE London Studio Criterion Sports Interactive Ubisoft Paris Rockstar San Diego Krome Studio Gameloft Crystal Dynamics Square Enix Bandai Namco Black Rock Studio Relentless EA Pandemic Eurocom EA LA
www.develop100.com 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
Rebellion Luxoflux Bungie Atlus EA Mythic HB Studios Monkey Bar Games Codemasters The Creative Assembly Big Fish Crytek NCsoft Firaxis EA DICE Koei Relic Rare Digital Chocolate Club Penguin CCP Zoë Mode Evolution Volition Bizarre Creations The Cooking Mama Co. Heavy Iron EA Bioware Gearbox Sumo Digital EA Bright Light Polyphony Digital SCE Japan Studio Funcom Team 17 Silicon Knights EA Montreal Rockstar Leeds Grasshopper Manufacture Inis Amusement Vision Ubisoft Shanghai Beenox Blue Tongue Matrix Blitz Games Dimps Intelligent Systems Playfish Frontier Developments Q Games
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24 MCV 15/05/09
MONTHLY CHARTS: APRIL
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by GfK-ChartTrack
Easter delivers for EA The mega-publisher enjoyed a bumper month in April – not least because of the arrival of The Godfather 2. Elsewhere, Capcom gave another strong showing with Resident Evil 5, as Nintendo continued to dominate the sales charts... APRIL was perhaps more of a success than many had anticipated for EA, which enjoyed the second biggest-selling title of the month with The Godfather 2. The classic movie-aping release was kept off the top spot by Nintendo’s Wii Fit, which retained the No.1 position it took in March. EA’s success with software also included FIFA 09, which held on to a very respectful No.4 spot six months after its inital release. Need For Speed: Undercover and Command And Conquer Red Alert 3 also made the Top 50. This collection pushed EA back up two places in the revenue share table, into second spot with a 14.5 per cent chunk of the market – up from the 7.8 per cent it secured in March. THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 3 7 6 10 8 5 4 11
THIS LAST MONTH MONTH
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 4 3 6 7 2 10 5 9 8
–- –- –-
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY
NINTENDO ELECTRONIC ARTS UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA TAKE 2 THQ SONY CAPCOM DISNEY
15.1% 14.3% 11.3% 8.1% 7.2% 5.1% 4.6% 4.4% 3.5% 3.1%
SOFTWARE SHARE BY COMPANY
NINTENDO ELECTRONIC ARTS UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA CAPCOM TAKE 2 SONY THQ MICROSOFT
19.2% 14.5% 10.4% 8.8% 6.4% 5.5% 4.2% 4.1% 4.1% 2.9%
CAPCOM HOLDS ON A stellar second-month performance from Resident Evil 5 saw Capcom remain in the top ten-selling publishers list, both in terms of units and value. The survival horror romp on PS3 and Xbox 360 took the No.3 spot in the month’s best-selling games – helping the publisher claim 3.5 per cent of all unit sales and 5.5 per cent share in terms of value. Capcom was overtaken in the best-selling revenue list by the likes of Sega, still riding high from sales of the likes of Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games, and Activision Blizzard.
TOP 50 ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE 1.
Wii Fit Wii
The Godfather 2 PS3, 360, PC
Resident Evil 5 360, PS3
FIFA 09 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Wii
Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS
COD: World at War 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS
Mario Kart Wii Wii
Wii Play Wii
Street Fighter IV PS3, 360,
Carnival: Funfair Games Wii, DS
COD 4: Modern Warfare 360, PS3, PC, Mac
Wheelman 360, PS3, PC
Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training DS
Guitar Hero: World Tour Wii, 360, PS3, PS2
GTA Chinatown Wars DS
Ben 10: Alien Force PS2, PSP, Wii, DS
Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X PS3, 360, PC
Grand Theft Auto IV PS3, 360, PC
My Fitness Coach Wii
Club Penguin: Elite Penquin Force DS
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party Wii, DS
WANTED: Weapons of Fate PS3, 360, PC
LEGO Indiana Jones Wii, DS, 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC
Killzone 2 PS3
WWE Legends of Wrestlemania PS3, 360
Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection PS3, 360
Monsters Vs Aliens DS, PS2, Wii, 360, PS3, PC
Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, PC
Puzzler Collection Wii, DS, PSP
New Super Mario Bros. DS
Mario Kart DS DS
WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2009 PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP
Sonic Unleashed Wii, 360, PS3
Disney’s Bolt DS, Wii, PS2, 360, PS3
Football Manager 2009 PC, PSP
Kung Fu Panda 360, DS, PS2, Wii, PS3, PC
Need For Speed: Undercover 360, PS3, PSP, PS2, Wii, DS, PC
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Wii, PS2, PS3, 360, PC
LEGO Batman Wii, DS, PS2, 360, PSP. PS3, PC
Mystery Case Files: Millionheir Wii
WSC Real 09: World Snooker Championship PS3, 360, PC
Tomb Raider: Underworld 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
Gears of War 2 360
The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Athena 360, PS3, PC
Sonic and the Black Knight Wii
Scrabble Interactive: 2009 Edition DS
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 PS3, PC, 360
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Wii, DS, PS3, 360
Wall E Wii, DS, PS3, 360, PSP, PS2, PC
Nintendo EA Capcom EA Sega
Capcom 2K Activision Blizzard Midway Nintendo Activision Blizzard Rockstar D3P Ubisoft Rockstar Games Ubisoft
Warner LucasArts Sony
Activision Blizzard Konami Ubisoft
Disney Sega Activision Blizzard EA
Activision Blizzard Warner Bros Nintendo Blade Eidos Microsoft
Ubisoft EA LucasArts THQ
26 MCV537_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 26 MCV 15/05/09
Koei UK enlists sales veteran Gangat Ex-Sony and Virgin man joins Koei Vivendi CEO becomes ActiBlizz chairman Realtime Worlds hires Dale KOEI ABID GANGAT has been recruited as Koei’s new sales executive. He has previously worked at Virgin, Sony and Jack Daniels. His new responsibilities will include creating and building upon relationships with retailers and maintain the publisher’s relationships with its current database of clients. “My aim for Koei is to see each title we release finding itself in the Top 10 of its chart every time,” Gangat said. “I feel we have a strong and loyal customer base and it’s through building our relationships with our customers, and through
Gangat is set to create and improve retail relationships
listening to the feedback from our fans, that we will continue to grow and achieve great successes in the future. This is my vision and I truly believe it’s within our grasp.”
THE AUDIO GUYS STAFFORD BAWLER has joined the audio team as lead sound designer. Stafford previously worked at Codemasters, where he was audio lead on Colin McRae Dirt and GRID, but left in December 2007 to work with The Audio Guys on a freelance arrangement – he now joins on a permanent basis. “With the company now three years-old, and the workload steadily increasing year-on-year, we are delighted to have Stafford officially on
board,” said The Audio Guys director Tim Bartlett. “His experience will be vital as we diversify, and start to work with more developers across the world.”
of human resources. STEPHANE ROUSSEL will now take that role, having previously worked as head of human resources at Vivendi’s telecoms arm SFR.
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Vivendi CEO JEANBERNARD LEVY has been named as the new chairman of Activision Blizzard. He replaces RENE PENISSON, who is retiring as his mandate expires this year. ROBERT KOTICK retains his position as chief executive. Penisson joined Vivendi in 2002, where he was also head
REALTIME WORLDS GARY DALE has been appointed chief executive officer of Realtime Worlds, bringing 25 years of executive experience to the company. He will be responsible for driving the strategic direction for RTW, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations. He previously served as COO and executive VP for Take-Two.
PROMOTE YOUR JOB TO OVER 60,000 PEOPLE PER WEEK MCV print and online offer: • Quarter page Recruitment advert • Exclusive Job of the Week on MCVuk.com • Full Job listing on Jobs Board • Promoted via Email Newsflashes
Contact Rob Baker for more information T: 01992 535647 E: Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk
27 MCV537_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
KEEPING FIT EA expands its sports offering with a new Wii exercise game
ALSO THIS WEEK… NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 P32 Majesco serves up the games sequel to one of the highest-grossing family movies BIONIC COMMANDO P34 Capcom stretches some older IP into a brand new next-gen adventure IMAGINE MOVIE STAR P35 The latest in Ubisoft’s casual range puts players in the shoes of a celebrity TRUCK RACER/KART RACER P35 New games publisher Nordic Games rolls out two bargain-priced console racers DAMNATION P36 This new Codemasters action/adventure is a steam punk cowboy epic BIG FAMILY SPORTS P37 THQ’s best-selling Wii game spawns another family-friendly sequel GUITAR HERO METALLICA P38 The latest add-on disc lets players take on tracks by the gods of metal WALK WITH ME P38 Nintendo’s newest DS title lets players take their fitness routine on the road
RETAILBIZ: EA SPORTS ACTIVE 28 MCV 15/05/09
EA Sports Active will tap into the new fitness game sector, and comes bundled with its own Wii Nunchuck-holding leg-strap
RETAILBIZ: EA SPORTS ACTIVE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 15/05/09 29
Electronic Arts has long since been the king of sports games – but now it’s looking to conquer the fitness market as well… title will allow consumers to ‘get fit and have fun in minutes a day’. But EA Sports president Peter Moore says its influence could be much more important than that – forming a key role in the groundswell of ‘good’ games that challenge negative thinking about the industry. “I’m very proud of Active,” he tells MCV. “And I’m very cognisant of some of the abuse gaming gets, particularly here in the UK – people saying games are bad for you, especially in the tabloid press, most especially the Daily Mail.
by Tim Ingham
THE PHENOMENAL success of Nintendo’s Wii Fit has blown open a market that was previously untapped – the fitness-crazed female. EA is confident that it can take a big chunk of this newly-created market segment with EA Sports Active – which takes Wii Fit’s aims to the next level, with perhaps the most rigorous excecises ever connected to a console. In fact, the publisher is so happy with the product, it’s begun calling it ‘a new platform in itself’. The title, which ships I’m very proud of Active. It’s with a specially designed been very interesting to think leg-strap to hold the Wii’s about how EA Sports starts Nunchuck controller to talking to female consumers. track lower body movements, allows Peter Moore, EA Sports players to increase intensity levels. “Active is also the first game that I Most temptingly for the exercisewas around for its creation. It’s been hungry housewife will be the ability to very interesting to think about how EA count the calories you’ve burned – and Sports starts talking to female the set circuits that the target upper consumers.” body and lower body as well as cardio. The title features a 30-Day Challenge For instance, players will be able to – a fitness roadmap for players to reach start off with a run, followed by bicep their fitness goals with the guidance of curls before getting their heart beating a virtual trainer. The Challenge provides with some cardio boxing. EA claims the a new, 20-minute workout every time a
RELEASED: MAY 22ND
player exercises, including clear instruction, feedback on technique and positive encouragement throughout.
FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: EA SPORTS DEVELOPER: EA PRICE: £44.99
Users can also create their own bespoke workouts, which vary in activity, duration and intensity, whilst the Wii Balance Board adds functionality to many exercises. “This is more than a new franchise,” adds Moore. “I call it a new platform. We’re delighted as it doesn’t canabilise our existing business. I’m not making a FIFA consumer choose between products. This is a wife, girlfriend, mother market. “We spent a lot of time on how to build that brand architecture. It’s bigger than a product, it’s bigger than a brand. In the teeth of a recession, having a personal trainer in a box is a really good deal.” Expect a major marketing campaign from EA over the next few weeks, encompassing national TV, online and print. And, according to Moore, retailers should even keep some room
CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
on shelves in coming months and years for add-ons: “Think of expansion packs: a sport-specific version, core abs workout, yoga,” he says. “And we can build and release other peripherals around it. But we wanted a core fitness product first. “We’re also announcing new retail channels for this over the coming weeks. Where can we go with our brand? Stay tuned on that, and think along the lines of this is more than a game.”
SEAL OF APPROVAL EA boasts that Sports Active has been created ‘in conjunction with fitness experts’. These include Bob Greene. Never heard of him? Don’t worry, neither had we. But he’s the man responsible for getting Oprah Winfrey looking good, as her personal trainer. So there.
Download the free demo at the PlayStation速Store.
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RETAILBIZ: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 32 MCV 15/05/09
THE DARK NIGHT: Playing as Ben Stiller’s character Larry, gamers must explore a darkened museum to find pieces of a tablet in Majesco’s latest movie tie-in
Majesco and Ben Stiller team up to bring fans of Night At The Museum 2 a chance to relive the events of the movie for themselves, as they battle to restore the Smithsonian to normal…
After his favourite exhibits are shipped to the archives at the Smithsonian, Larry is warned that various evil men from the past, such as Napoleon, Al Capone and Pharaoh Kahmunrah are plotting to take over the museum, and then the world. Larry recruits his old friends and a range of
behind its source material, Majesco is understandably excited about this THE SUMMER season is the time for particular release. cinematic blockbusters, and films “This is the video game of the sequel targeted specifically towards children to the 50th biggest worldwide grossing often lend themselves perfectly to the movie of all time,” says Majesco’s medium of video games. marketing manager international John Among the kids’ flicks coming out Merchant. “There wasn’t a video over the next few months, game out for the first Night At The Museum 2 is movie so we naturally There wasn’t a video game of going to be a particular expect this one to explode the first movie, so we highlight, as the star-studded in the charts. naturally expect this one to cast and impressive legacy of “The game has really explode in the charts. the original film is certain to high production values John Merchant, Majesco draw customers towards any and is rammed full of the related products. excitement, magic and Retailers would be well-advised, then, new characters to help restore the adventure of the movie – and it to stock Majesco’s Night At The Smithsonian before dawn. launches the same day as the film, so Museum 2, the official game of the It’s an entertaining premise that we can really capitalise on that huge movie. Following the exploits of its should prove to satisfy fans both in the opening awareness.” silver screen counterpart, the game tells cinemas and on consoles, thanks largely the tale of unfortunate museum guard to its big screen cast of Ben Stiller, Robin BELONGS IN A MUSEUM Players take on the role of Larry, Larry Daley as he is once again troubled Williams, Ricky Gervais and Steve portrayed in the film by Ben Stiller. by exhibits that come to life. Coogan. With such household names by James Batchelor
RETAILBIZ: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM
Adding some star quality to the game, Stiller also lends his likeness and voice to Majesco’s adventure, ensuring fans get an authentic experience. The object of the game is to explore the various areas of the museum in order to collect the pieces of the Magic Tablet of Ankmenrah. Not only will this prove to be the key to the villains’ undoing, it will also unlock additional levels and help to solve in-game puzzles. If Larry gets stuck at any point, he has a number of options to help him progress. As a museum guard, he has access to his trusty key chain and flashlight, which will prove to be invaluable tools. He can also call upon the exhibits for their help, from historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart to dinosaurs and polar bears. There is even a hint system for younger games who are having trouble with the trickier mysteries of the museum.
MCV 15/05/09 33
Whilst drawing from the film for its content, Night At The Museum 2 takes its inspiration from the real-life Smithsonian, making the game an educational experience as well as an entertaining one. As they explore the museum, players will be able to access trivia questions, factoids and even ingame audio tours based on the Smithsonian’s exhibits. MAKING AN EXHIBITION
Despite only being the second film in the series, Night At The Museum 2 already has a substantial level of hype building around it, promising to be one of the strongest family films this summer. Subsequently, retailers will be sure to want to cater for fans of the movie, with Majesco confident about the game’s potential sales performance. “Hopefully retailers will be seeing a queue of people, all with the game in their hands,” says Merchant. “The DVD
of the first movie has just gone back into the Top Ten in the DVD retail charts, proving the evergreen pulling power of this franchise. We’re working closely with all of retail to ensure they have everything they need to have maximum visibility, including all the normal run of POS.” Naturally, promoting the game will be tied in with marketing plans for the associated movie. Nevertheless, Merchant reveals that Majesco is pulling out all the stops to maximise exposure for Night At The Museum 2, dedicating an unprecedented amount of resources to this title. “We’re committing Majesco Europe’s largest spend to date on a six-week 30second cinema campaign in over 500 cinemas, as well as a four-week TV campaign targeting kids on channels such as Jetix, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon,” he says.
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: XBOX 360/WII/DS PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: AMAZE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 0117 373 6151
The publisher’s PR company has been working solidly with the kids, games and lifestyle press to secure plenty of exposure and the film’s other partners will also help to promote the game. Fox UK reportedly have some “jawdropping” plans of their own in place and Majesco has even teamed up with Gameloft, who is releasing the mobile phone game. “Everybody wants to be a part of this juggernaut, says Merchant. “Fox’s PR campaign is about to kick into overdrive, so the franchise will be everywhere and anywhere by the time the game is released.”
RETAILBIZ: BIONIC COMMANDO 34 MCV 15/05/09
More than two decades after the original swung onto the NES, Capcom’s Bionic Commando returns, bringing retro values to innovative modern day gaming…
by James Batchelor PLENTY OF franchises in all areas of media have proved that it’s never too late for a comeback, and now it’s time for a popular Capcom property to return to retail. The original Bionic Commando appeared on the NES in 1988 to much acclaim – and the new iteration is set to take advantage of the various advances in gaming in the last two decades. With the game based on one of the publisher’s oldest IPs, Capcom is excited to be delving into its back catalogue for the new release. The company’s head of UK marketing Stuart Turner explains: “We’ve got high hopes for Bionic Commando. In most people’s eyes, this is a new IP despite the original game being released 22 years ago. But this is a re-imagining of the classic 2D NES version of the game, taking the ‘core elements’ of the original and bringing them to the present day.” GOING COMMANDO
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: XBOX 360/PS3 PUBLISHER: CAPCOM DEVELOPER: GRIN PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3818
Players take on the role of the original protagonist, ‘Nathan R.A.D’ Spencer: a soldier equipped with a bionic arm that features a grappling gun, allowing him to swing from buildings and ceilings. “This game is all about swinging,” says Turner. “Less what goes on behind net curtains of suburbia, more Spiderman without the spandex. Nathan’s armed
with a large bionic arm, a series of large weapons and a massive attitude. “His bionic arm enables him to traverse the city by grappling onto objects and swinging through the air. It brings on a whole new dimension to gameplay where you’re constantly having to move around all 360 degrees of a level to take out snipers, or throwing yourself off buildings 100 floors high during a boss battle.” Things have obviously changed since Nathan first came to consoles. While his latest outing holds true to the concepts and style of its predecessors, Capcom has been able to breathe new life into
the franchise with the features that, while common in today’s titles, weren’t available in the ‘80s. Not only is Spencer and his world portrayed in more detail than ever before, it also features a range of online multiplayer options that bring Bionic Commando fans a completely new experience. “It’s online where people will be most surprised,” Turner explains. “People might think they’ve seen games like a Deathmatch or Capture The Flag before, but these take on a whole new dimension. When people can traverse over massive distances incredibly quickly by swinging throughout a level,
or throw a car or object across the playing area, or even just pluck an opponent out of the air and slam them against a cliff face, you know that this isn’t a conventional online game.” GUNNING FOR RETAIL
Of course, after such a lengthy absence since the original game, Capcom is keen to raise awareness of Spencer’s return. While the XBLA and PSN remake of the first Bionic Commando have aided the publisher’s efforts, extensive marketing plans are also in place for the new game. “The TV campaign should see solid early sales but it’ll be word of mouth that will drive the title in the long term,” explains Turner. “We’re confident that we’ll have a considerable online community playing Bionic Commando from launch.” Ads will be running on various channels during the opening weeks of the game’s launch, targeting viewers of key sports events such as the FA Cup final, the Champions League final and the run in of the Premier League. There will also be pre-rolls appearing on Virgin’s On Demand system. Elsewhere, a major campaign will target a mixture of games websites and mainstream destinations, with site takeovers planned for such familiar online portals as MSN, FHM and Zoo. Retailers will also be able to order a full range of POS from Centresoft.
RETAILBIZ: IMAGINE MOVIE STAR & KART/TRUCK RACER WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 15/05/09 35
In these economically trying times, Nordic Games continues to offer value for money entertainment with the first entries in its new Racer series… The best-selling series sets its sights on Hollywood as Ubisoft’s Imagine Movie Star invites girls to enjoy the thrill of being a celebrity… by James Batchelor ARGUABLY THE key to the success of Ubisoft’s best-selling Imagine range is each title’s ability to explore and emulate the common fantasies of young girl gamers. The latest addition to this millionselling series adds another potential career to the roster. Imagine Movie Star allows girls to get a taste of the glamour and fun of being a Hollywood celebrity – an aspiration shared by virtually every young girl around the country. The object of the game is for players to maintain their status as an A-list celeb, rewarding them with invitations to elegant parties, the opportunity to hang out with other celebrities, or simply get snapped by the paparazzi at a nightclub or on a hot date. As with similar Imagine titles, the extensive customisation options cover the film star’s hair style and colour, as well as their clothing. They are even able to create designs with the stylus and apply them to their outfits. These options even extend to the celebrity’s home, which can be redecorated and improved as the game progresses. As girls accumulate more fame, the rooms of their home become ever more lavish and extravagant, reflecting the wealth they now own. However, to earn such riches and
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: POWERHEAD PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769
remain at the centre of the spotlight, players will have to manage their career carefully. Stars will be able to choose which movies they want to appear in, what roles they want to take and arrange photoshoots and interviews to raise their profile. THE LAY OF THE BRAND
Business-savvy starlets will even be able to use their fame to create a successful brand, that can then be applied to magazines, clothing lines and other merchandise. They will also be able to hire new members to their entourage, choosing from a range of applicants to fill the roles of manager and stylist. Only by selecting the right people will they be able to make it to the top. For all their hard work, they will be able to relax in a manner befitting celebrities. As well as attending fabulous parties and red carpet premieres, they can head to the swankiest nightclubs and even begin dating one of a range of Hollywood hunks.
by James Batchelor
RELEASED: MAY 29 FORMATS: WII/PS2/PC
WE ALL KNOW GAMES are still selling well, but the squeeze of the current economic climate means publishers have to be aggressive when enticing consumers. Up-and-coming firm Nordic Games has opted to produce games with a universal appeal and a competitively low price point. After releasing its first console titles in the form of the Dance Party Hits duo, the company now releases the first two entries in its new racing series: Kart Racer and Truck Racer. Each title bears a self-explanatory premise, and is sure to catch the eye of Wii and PS2 owners in particular, as the demographic of these consoles is often partial to bargain buys that will guarantee them hours of fun. Aside from the low price point, the key feature of the Racer titles is the authentic experience they offer gamers. Far from being the same game with different vehicles, Truck and Kart Racer have each been developed to realistically recreate the sensation of driving two very different types of machines. “Kart Racer has the feel of a racing kart, not a wayward shopping trolley, as is the case with many similarly titled games, whilst Truck Racer is really different, featuring everything from skips and white vans to fire trucks,” explains Nordic Games’ international sales manager Nik Blower. “Both have a solid racing engine behind them, and a fun theme to attract players looking for something new.”
PUBLISHER: NORDIC GAMES DEVELOPER: BRAIN IN A JAR PRICE: £9.99 – £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
Kart Racer takes the world of kart racing far more seriously than other gaming rivals. Players will find a range of tournaments and modes that take places on various traditional karting tracks, both indoors and outdoors, with karts that show realistic damage when they inevitably slam into that conveniently placed wall of tyres. For those wanting to get their hands on something far more powerful, Truck Racer puts players behind the wheels of some of the largest vehicles on the road, challenging them to take on eight unique tracks from countries around the globe. As with Kart Racer, Truck Racer boasts a Turbo Boost option that will truly test players reflexes. “Retailers can expect some interesting accessory add-on sales, especially on the Wii versions and as we have stripped away the costs on unnecessary licences, the chance of having to deal with overstocks and mark-downs is nil,” says Blower. “Nordic Games’ prices are aggressive from day one. Because of the aggressive pricing we’ve attached to the Racer games, we’re expecting the ‘give it a go’ players to try something new and a little bit a different.”
RETAILBIZ: DAMNATION 36 MCV 15/05/09
RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS DEVELOPER: BLUE OMEGA ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £44.99 (360, PS3) / £29.99 (PC) DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 824
Codemasters seeks to reinvigorate the action shooter by challenging players to traverse a steampunk world in an acrobatic manner…
dimensional plain that is always offered to the player. Damnation literally turns WHEN IT COMES to the action this idea on its head. All the levels in shooter genre, the vast majority of Damnation have been designed to fully THE WILD, WILD WEST improvements that developers make are make use of the daredevil acrobatic “The shooter genre has been done to to the weaponry. Most focus on moves with players having the death by video games,” explains reworking the ‘shooting’, but few really opportunity to travel as much along the Codemasters’ brand manager Leon explore the potential of the ‘action’. vertical Y-axis as the horizontal X-axis.” An often-overlooked way Damnation is set in a in which studios can steampunk world inspired Damnation turns the shooter reinvigorate the genre is by by the American Civil War genre on its head. It’s an taking a new approach to and harking back to the overcrowded market, but this movement. The likes of days of the Wild West. Mirror’s Edge and the Players take on the role of will genuinely excite fans. Prince Of Persia games Captain Hamilton Rourke, Leon Sanders, Codemasters have proven in the past a member of the guerrilla Sanders. “In the past, gamers will have that creating new methods of travelling resistance known as the Peacekeepers. can make a game far more engaging and shot everything from evil Nazis to crazy A veteran of the Great War, Rourke space marines whose bodies have been stand out from titles in a similar space. wages his own personal battles against taken over by aliens, both from a third This is the concept Codemasters has an unstoppable corporation known as and first person viewpoint. explored for Damnation, an action Damnation as he seeks to avenge the “The one thing that always seems to shooter with just as much emphasis on death of his wife. be the staple of the shooter genre ‘action’ as there is on gunplay. The During his travels, he must battle his though is the corridor-like, one game offers a more acrobatic experience opponents in vast environments that than rival titles, bringing a little variety into a genre that the publisher considers to be increasingly stale.
by James Batchelor
RETAILBIZ: BIG FAMILY GAMES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 15/05/09 37
up to three hours gameplay rising above them – with the final objectives always in view.” While other games have featured both acrobatics and frantic combat, Damnation seeks to keep the adrenaline pumping by constantly combining the two. While Rourke can use the environment to hunt down and ambush his foes, the enemy AI has the same abilities. Players are never safe and will have to use any means at their disposal to survive. “With miles of awe-inspiring, enemyflooded landscapes, players scale imposing buildings, leap across chasms and engage in spectacular gun fights against ruthless, intelligent AI who will hunt down Rourke and his fellow Peacemakers, attacking from all angles. “Players can choose to plot precise attacks using Damnation’s unique Spirit Vision to unveil hidden enemies, steam in all guns blazing or take charge of a range of unique vehicles, from wallriding motorbikes to steampunk-inspired armoured trikes.” LEAD US INTO DAMNATION
have been designed to make full use of all three dimensions. These arenas are so intricate that travelling from one side to the other, or from top to bottom, reportedly takes hours when moving on foot in the traditional way. Instead, players need to perform daredevil stunts and acrobatic feats in order to reach their objective. Using the environment and any objects in it, they can jump between ledges, swing on ropes and chains, slide down ziplines or climb their way around the cliff faces – all while exchanging bullets with enemies. “Combining huge open environments, daredevil acrobatics and vehicle-based stunts, Damnation breathes fresh air into the action genre as it takes the shooter ‘vertical’,” says Sanders. “Taking advantage of Rourke’s incredible dexterity, players are challenged to negotiate their own path through Damnation’s open, epic and vertigo-inducing levels, each containing
Damnation is enhanced with dropin/drop-out co-operative play and full online multiplayer options. Thanks to the unique scale and height of Damnation’s environments, traditional multiplayer Deathmatch and Capture The Flag modes, as well as a range of other new game modes, are given a vertical twist. Up to eight players engage in these chaotic shoot-outs where firepower and agility combine in elaborate maps where players can be kill or be killed from any direction. This title has been in the gaming public’s eye for some time now, but Codemasters has drawn up an extensive marketing campaign to ensure everyone is aware of Damnation’s arrival. “We have a print advertising campaign running in both specialist and consumer media, running parallel with an online campaign, which includes seeding across a broad range of key networks,” says Sanders. “In stores, we have partnerships planned for ‘gift with purchase’ incentives, in-game item giveaways, and in-store presence through posters, standees, etc. “With its mix of verticality, frenetic gun fights, daredevil acrobatic stunts and steampunk styling, we expect Damnation to genuinely excite fans of the popular, but overcrowded, shooter genre.”
THQ is planning a major marketing push for the sequel to the mega-selling Big Beach Sports… BIG BEACH SPORTS has become one of THQ’s most legendary games in the last year, remaining at the top end of the Wii charts ever since its release in June 2008. The title was such a success, it became last year’s 16th best-selling video game in the UK, according to GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA data. Now, THQ is plotting to become the ‘king of Wii mini-game collections’ with the follow-up – which relies on many of the hallmarks that saw the first game beat out the competion, but with a few fresh surprises thrown in to keep fans on their toes. Like its predecessor, Big Family Games will retail for a bargain price of £19.99, but this time the mini-games are given a slight tweak. 24 minichallenges include golf, tennis, ladder golf, lawn darts, horseshoes, bowles and more. BIG EXPECTATIONS THQ believes the title – which will be backed by a large-scale above-the-line and TV marketing campaign throughout the summer – can even outperform Big Beach Sports. “Big Beach Sports was a phenomenal success with life-to-date unit sales of 560,000, becoming the third biggest selling third party game on Wii last year,” said THQ’s UK head of marketing Jon Rooke. “We believe that the key factors to RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: THQ DEVELOPER: THQ PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
that success were the snack-sized gaming that Big Beach Sports offered, a compelling £19.99 price point, heavy ATL and TV support coupled with a sustained presence at retail. “We have taken that successful model for Big Beach Sports to the next level with four times as many games. As the Wii installed base grows, we hope to see Big Family Games eclipse the sales of Big Beach Sports.”
RETAILBIZ: GUITAR HERO: METALLICA 38 MCV 15/05/09
Metallica joins the line-up of bands to headline an edition of Guitar Hero…
Nintendo continues to roll out unique and innovative software for the DS, with Walk With Me! Do You Know Your Walking Routine?…
by James Batchelor
by James Batchelor
RELEASED: MAY 29 FORMATS: XBOX 360, WII, PS3, PS2
THE LATEST edition of Guitar Hero to be dedicated to a single band, Metallica features some of the best and most popular hits from the group, including Fight Fire With Fire, Seek And Destroy and Whiplash. There are almost 50 tracks available, with a mix of Metallica’s best music and that of other guest bands. “The developers at Neversoft are always evolving the Guitar Hero offer with each title, and Metallica is no different,” says Activision Blizzard’s senior brand manager Ian McClellan. “What we expect from Guitar Hero: Metallica is a game that really captures the speed and intensity of Metallica’s music. The band is fully motioncaptured in the game, and the look and feel of the gameplay is distinctly ‘Metallica’. “The band were fully involved in the creation of the game, and with 28 of Metallica’s greatest tracks, and also over 20 guest artists who have been chosen by the band themselves, we think this is our most explosive Guitar Hero game yet.”
PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: NEVERSOFT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3366
Metallica is a worthy addition to any Guitar Hero library. It is compatible with all previous instruments, and familiar modes all make a welcome return, such as Battle Of The Bands. YOU CAN’T KILL THE METAL
Guitar Hero has remained perfectly prominent over the last few years, but Activision is still working to raise awareness of this latest addition. There will be single and double page ads in specialist and mainstream publications, as well as an online campaign that will target important and respected sites by metal fans and five million impressions. TV spots have been designed to demonstrate the gameplay and offer a taste of the explosive music found on the disc, while an intensive CRM campaign will target Metallica fans.
NINTENDO has been a particularly pro-active publisher in integrating video games with unique hardware in titles such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit. Now the publisher brings this ethos to the DS. Already a haven for selfimprovement titles, such as Brain Training and Cooking Guide, the handheld is ripe for a game that helps its owners maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Walk With Me! Do You Know Your Walking Routine? helps users learn more about their walking routine, proven to be an essential part of keeping fit. The game comes with two specially designed pedometers called Activity Meters, whch are slim and light, and will fit into your pocket or handbag as you walk, so there’ll be no unsightly pedometer dangling from the hip or belt. The Activity Meters measure the user’s daily steps, minute by minute, and can store up to seven days worth of
RELEASED: JUNE 5 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: CREATURES PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
data. This information can then be transferred to the DS by simply pointing it like a remote control and pressing the single button. WALK THIS WAY
Players can then use the data gathered to set themselves a daily walking routine, with a basic recommended setting of 3,000 steps, although this limit can be increased to suit higher activity levels. Walk With Me! also features a variety of mini-games that help motivate users to walk more, as their collected step is used to unlock trivia, create images and find out how much electrical energy their walking would have generated during the day. They can also compare the data with friends and family.
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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
41 MCV537_final:43 MCV467
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MCV 15/05/09 41
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Bob The Builder arrives to fix it in May Blast! Entertainment readies the latest Bob The Builder outing for young gamers, arriving alongside titles such as Terminator: Salvation, Pokemon Platinum, EA Sports Active, Infamous and Guitar Hero: Metallica... TITLE
DS / Wii Wii Wii PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS Wii PC PC PC XBOX 360 DS / Wii PC Wii / DS Wii / DS / XBOX 360 DS Wii Wii Wii Wii Wii DS PC PC PS3 / XBOX 360
RTS Puzzle Mini-games Action Mini-games Adventure Action Music Sports Simulation Casual Casual Action Puzzle Adventure Self-Improvement Action RPG Sports Mini-games Racing Fighting Simulation Adventure Action Strategy Fighting
Ubisoft Ubisoft THQ Capcom Blast! Focus Multimedia Codemasters 505 Games EA Just Flight Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Activision Blizzard Deep Silver Focus Multimedia 505 Games Majesco Nintendo DDI DDI DDI Nintendo Deep Silver Ubisoft Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia THQ
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Trilogy Trilogy Advantage Centresoft Mastertronic Open Gem Advantage Centresoft Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Koch Open Advantage Open Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Koch Trilogy Open Open Advantage
PC PS2 PC Wii Wii PC PS3 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 PC DS PS3 PC Wii DS DS DS PC DS / Wii Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC PC PSP PS3 / XBOX 360
Compilation RPG Puzzle Action Puzzle Puzzle Chess Racing Music RTS Imagine Action Sports Self-Improvement Jump and Run Compilation Puzzle RTS Sports Adventure Action Simulation RPG Sports
JoWood Koei Focus Multimedia DDI EA Focus Multimedia Deep Silver Codemasters Activision Blizzard Kalypso Ubisoft Sony Empire Deep Silver JoWood JoWood JoWood Kalypso Oxygen Zushi Warner Games Just Flight Rising Star Games Sega
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Lace Open Open Koch Centresoft Open Koch Gem Centresoft Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Advantage Koch Lace Lace Lace Advantage Gem Gem Centresoft Mastertronic Centresoft Centresoft
0845 234 4242
MAY 22nd Anno Create A New World Aqua Panic Big Family Games Bionic Commando Bob The Builder: Festival Of Fun CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Hard Evidence Damnation Diva Girls: Making The Music EA Sports Active FScene X Hidden Expedition: Amazon Hidden Expedition: Everest LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Family Hits) Line Rider: Freestyle Lost Mind, Body & Soul: Nutrition Matters Night At The Museum 2 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
MAY 29th 30:1 Blu-Ray Compilation Ar Tonelico 2: Melody Of The Metafalica Azada Battlerage: The Robot Wars (with 3D glasses) Boom Blox Bash Party Bumps Fritz Chess Fuel Guitar Hero: Metallica Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge Imagine Movie Star Infamous International Cricket Captain 2009 Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009 Moorhuhn: Atlantis Moorhuhn: The Pharaoh's Treasure Neighbours From Hell Officers: World War II PDC World Championship Darts Story Hour Adventures/Fairy Tales Terminator: Salvation Trainz Simulator 2009 Valhalla Knights Episode 2 Virtua Tennis 2009
JUNE 5th Devil May Cry 3 (Sold Out)
MUSTSTOCK ..BOB THE BUILDER: FESTIVAL OF FUN Released: May 22 Format: Wii Publisher: Blast! Distributor: Mastertronic Contact: 0845 234 4242
Everyoneâ€™s favourite plasticine builder returns to the Wii, inviting gamers to help with his latest project. All of the familiar characters are on hand, helping young fans of the show to dig, saw and hammer with the Wiimote. A co-op mode allows friends to help each other.
MUSTSTOCK .............TERMINATOR: SALVATION Released: May 29 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Warner Bros Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Terminator fans rejoice as the latest movie arrives on the silver screen and with it comes this action-packed offering from Warner Bros. Taking on the role of John Connor, players fight in the early battles of the war against the machine forces.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 42 MCV 15/05/09
RETAIL BIZ: NEWS
[RETAIL REACTION] MOVIE MAGIC AT RETAIL
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
AS HOLLYWOOD’S traditional blockbuster season begins to build momentum, evidence that film licences are still a key area of the games market is evident everywhere. Half of the titles in the Top 10 of the Indie Charts are connected to movie properties, led by the newly released X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Marking a triumph for indies over larger retailers, Wolverine actually managed to secure the top two positions over Nintendo’s Wii Fit – a feat it was unable to achieve at mainstream retail. Interestingly, the other film-based titles in the Indie Charts, Riddick and The Godfather II, aren’t even connected to any recent silver screen releases, and yet have gone on to sell
SONY TO PUBLISH GHOSTBUSTERS Sony has negotiated a surprise 11th-hour deal to publish the official Ghostbusters game throughout PAL territories in June. A Sony spokesperson told MCV: “We will be releasing the title on June 19th, for PS3 and PS2, to co-incide with the release of the Blu Ray movie from Sony Pictures.” A PSP version will follow from Sony in the autumn. MCV understands that the title will still arrive on Xbox 360, DS and Wii, published by Atari. A rep from the publisher told MCV these SKUs will arrive later this year. HOME RETAIL GROUP PROFITS FALL BY 24 PER CENT Home Retail Group saw its profits slashed by a quarter, as the recession hit its Argos and Homebase brands. Profits at the group fell to £328m for the year to February 28th. However, the group recorded a loss of £402m due to write downs of £694m and what it described as 'onerous' lease charges. Total group sales fell to £5.9bn, with like for like sales at Argos falling by 4.8 per cent. Gross profit margins at the retailer were also heavily hit, down 100 points.
well – proving the games industry is not as dependent on current box office success as other forms of merchandising. Potentially a prime example of this is Ghostbusters: The Video Game, a title making its way to shelves a full 18 years after the last film. Sony’s last-minute announcement that it will be publishing the game on its own formats, and that these will boast exclusivity for a time, is sure to have an impact on retail - but can help drive PlayStation 3 sales this summer. With one blockbuster release now halved in terms of potential impact – thanks to the 360 and Nintendo versions being delayed until later this year – there is now more room for the likes of Wolverine, Coraline, and the upcoming Transformers, Ice Age, Batman and Harry Potter titles to dominate retail over the coming months. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE FORMAT: 360
DEVELOPER: XX PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII FIT Wii
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE PS3
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA PS3
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA 360
THE GODFATHER 2 360
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC
MARIO KART Wii
£311M RIGHTS ISSUE CONFIRMED BY DSGi DSGi confirmed to the Financial Times that a £311m rights issue is imminent, with the retailer saying the funds raised from it will go towards its store refit programme and alleviating cash flow problems being caused by credit insurers. It said that the move had been forced by its net debt rising quicker than it had anticipated, blaming it on credit insurers withdrawing backing for its purchases. 3D RESIDENT EVIL 5 COMING TO PC EA Sports may be turning its back on boxed PC releases, but rival publisher Capcom has announced that it will be releasing both boxed and digital versions of some of its biggest titles on PC this year. The headline title is next-gen hit Resident Evil 5, which will be released on the platform ‘later in the year’. It will be enhanced with support for Nvidia’s GeForce 3D Vision technology, which will require the use of 3D glasses.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
MCV POLL CAN GAMES CONTINUE TO BE A STRONG PERFORMER ON THE HIGH STREET?
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO
CAPCOM SEGA NINTENDO
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.
The industry remains optimistic in MCV’s latest online study, as an overwhelming majority believes games will continue to spell success for bricks and mortar retailers, with only a few naysayers and undecided participants disagreeing.
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
NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
“With one blockbuster release now halved in terms of potential impact, there is now more room for the other summer movie titles to dominate retail over the coming months.”
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MARGIN MAKER WHILE NEW hardware appears in the console market every half a decade, the PC stands by its trusty mouse and keyboard combo. The mouse in particular has evolved over the years, catering to gamers’ specifications in order to provide a smoother experience and even the mousemat is now customdesigned. The Mionix Saiph 3200 mouse offers consumers a high quality gaming mouse that boasts superior precision and plenty of customisable options. The built-in weight tuning system complements the adjustable sensitivity, with a laser sensor capable of anything from 400 dpi to 3200 dpi. It also features five programmable buttons. The Explorer 8000 dpi mousepad is the perfect companion to the Saiph, boasting patented Microptix technology that ensures better detection and amplification of the laser sensor’s signal. The micro pyramid-shaped surface reduces the amount of the mousepad’s surface that comes into contact with the mouse for smoother gliding and the non-skid base keeps the mousepad in place on the desktop. Meroncourt: 01462 680060
DEAL OF THE WEEK
NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
The Sims fans can pre-order the third iteration of Will Wright’s bestselling phenomenon at HMV for £29.99 and receive a free Sims 3-branded mouse and an exclusive pattern for use in-game on outfits, furniture, walls, carpets and more.
FRONTLINE This week’s interviewee is Geoff Gaunt, managing director of online indie Startup Software... How does Start Up Software stand out from other Indies? We’re very successful, especially on Amazon. It’s because we do the job right, or at least we try to. We’re proud of our attention to detail and our ability to keep people happy – we’ve always had good feedback on eBay and Amazon. We’ve got a lot of loyal customers, but we also get a lot of new ones as well. What are the main challenges of being an online-only retailer? The competition and pricing, really. It’s virtually impossible to compete on new games. I used to specialise in PC games, then we expanded into consoles and now
console peripherals, and we tend to do better with back catalogue deals. We can’t actually compete with sites like Amazon and Play.com, especially ones selling out of Jersey online with new releases. What’s performing particularly well? We still do very well with PC games, actually. We’re probably one of the biggest retailers in the UK for PC games. People say that sales in that sector are dropping off, but we don’t find that they are, it’s still quite strong for us.
Is the digital distribution or game download space something you have considered entering? It is, in the long-term or the mediumterm. I don’t think we’ll look into that immediately, but in the medium-term, we probably will. Whether it will affect us will remain to be seen – it depends what sort of titles are involved. If it’s new titles, it won’t bother us at all as it won’t affect us too much. But if they start putting up back catalogue games online, and bring in budget labels to online distribution, then that will hit us.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
360, Activision Blizzard
Gardening Mama DS, 505 games
SingStar: Pop Edition
Hannah Montana: The Movie Game
IN STORE: WORTHING £37.71
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
44,45 MCV537_FINAL:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 44 MCV 15/05/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7 2 3 9 6 4 5 8 24
 [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
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P FIFA ‘09 EA MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA 4 ATARI PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 KONAMI
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
WII FIT FORMAT: Wii
X-MEN: WOLVERINE 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
WII PLAY Wii
MARIO KART WII Wii
RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
2 3 4 5
2 3 6 4
RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE
6 7 8 9 10
5 7 8
DYNASTY WARRIORS: STRIKEFORCE PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX ACTION PACK (RIVAL SWORD, DRIVER 76, R6V)
SONY SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD D3P KOEI KONAMI EA TAKE 2 UBISOFT
CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
RHYTHM PARADISE DS
STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3
THE GODFATHER II 360, PS3, PC
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii
KILLZONE 2 PS3
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
CAPCOM EA 2K PLAY SEGA SONY NINTENDO
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE 360, PS3, PS2, WII
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
HALO WARS 360
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
1 2 3 4 8 6 10 7 9
RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY GARDENING MAMA 505 GAMES
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
DISNEY UBISOFT MICROSOFT
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ SPORE EA
2 3 5 4 7 8 9 6 10
DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 15/05/09 45
Wii Fit has scored the number one spot. The game has been number one 15 times since launch, and needs just three more weeks at the top to trump Eidos’ record with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. The Nintendo fitness title holds firm despite a slight seven per cent sales drop and a rise in weekon-week sales of 16 per cent for second-placed XMen Origins: Wolverine.
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE PS2, Wii, PSP, DS
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 Wii, PS3, 360
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3
KONAMI SEGA ROCKSTAR
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3
CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ATHENA PS3, PC, 360 ATARI
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP
MARIO KART DS DS
WSC REAL 09: WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPS PS3, 360, PC BLADE
THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3
RACE DRIVER GRID 360, PS3, PC
SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2
MIDWAY/UBISOFT CODEMASTERS THQ
MONSTERS VS ALIENS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
GUITAR HERO III PS3, PS2, Wii, 360
GEARS OF WAR 2 360
TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD 360, PS3, PS2, WII, PC, DS EIDOS
LEGO INDIANA JONES PS3, PS2, Wii, 360, PSP, DS, PC
BURNOUT PARADISE 360, PS3, PC
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT
WORLD OF WARCRAFT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN STUFF EA FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 ATARI COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SPORE EA
2 3 11 8 12 6 7 4 10
actually released last week but has seen a sales spike of 125 per cent. (It’s the same case for Disney’s Hannah Montana: The Movie, which jumps up to No.18 with sales up 154 per cent.) Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
KILLZONE 2 FIFA ‘09 RESIDENT EVIL 5 STREET FIGHTER IV LITTLEBIGPLANET THE GODFATHER II SINGSTAR POP EDITION SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION CALL OF DUTY: WOLRD AT WAR
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
SONY EA CAPCOM CAPCOM SONY EA SONY SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
[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 HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE ANIMAL CROSSING: LET’S GO TO THE CITY SONIC AND THE BLACK KNIGHT HOUSE OF THE DEAD: OVERKILL GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009
2 3 4 23 6 5 8 7 9
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
Meanwhile, the highest new entry at No.10 is Nintendo’s DS Rhythm Paradise, which was
1 2 4 3 6 9 5 7 10 13
WEEK ENDING 09/05/09
Sega climbs three places in the All Formats list to nine with Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA UBISOFT DISNEY NINTENDO SEGA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD KONAMI
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FIFA ‘09 RESIDENT EVIL 5 HALO WARS GEARS OF WAR 2 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR THE GODFATHER II STREET FIGHTER IV TRIVIAL PURSUIT CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
2 4 6 9 7 5 8 13 10
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
IT’S THE sixth consecutive week that Nintendo’s
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA CAPCOM MICROSOFT MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA CAPCOM EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
46,47 MCV537_final:Layout 1
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46,47 MCV537_final:Layout 1
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UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com
OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz
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 Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com Anakan Tel: +49 30 531 420 450 www.anakan.de 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
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
Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com
Serco Games Research Tel: 020 74216487 www.sercogamesresearch.com
Creative North Studios Tel: +44 (0)1484 487904 www.creativenorth.co.uk
BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com
Trilogy Logistics Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com
Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com
U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com
Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com
UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS
Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com
Gem Distribution Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk
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
Meroncourt Tel: +44 (0)1462 680060 http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
Entertainment Trading Tel: +45 70277640 www.entertainment-trading.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
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 48 MCV 15/05/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
POLAND CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
GREECE 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
Red Ant...................................Baulkham Hills, NSW
AUSTRIA Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o. ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: email@example.com
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik
ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK)
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
ESTONIA Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn
FINLAND Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku
GAMEWORLD Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel Tel: +31 10 298 3838
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road, Chakala, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 099, INDIA. Tel: +91 22 28203319 Fax: +91 22 28203334
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 firstname.lastname@example.org www.planetadeagostini.net
INNELEC MULTIMEDIA EBS Benelux
45 rue Delizy,
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Email purchase: email@example.com
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
Newave Italia...................................................Firenze Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen Favour Games..................................................Tilburg Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
CYPRUS DTP ENTERTAINMENT AG Goldbekplatz 3-5, 22303 Hamburg, Germany
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
Fax: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 10
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Tel: +49 (0)40 66 99 10 0
tel. +357 22 666612
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
RUSSIA Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
NEW ZEALAND Gamewizz..........................................................Albany
NORWAY Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96 mail:email@example.com website:www.computerland.rs
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
48,49 MCV537_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 15/05/09 49
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...
ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS3’s Japanese resurgence is showing no signs of abating with news that Sony’s console has successfully outsold Nintendo’s Wii for the second month on the trot in the territory. Reuters reports that Sony sold 108,530 PS3 consoles in April. That’s down on the 146,948 sold in March but still ahead of Wii, whose April sales totalled 67,116. Xbox 360, meanwhile, sold 27,381 units throughout the month, meaning Microsoft’s machine almost managed to shift 50 per cent of the number of Wiis sold – a sound achievement for Microsoft. PS3 was boosted in April by the release of a playable Final Fantasy XIII demo on the Blu-ray movie release of Advent Children Complete.
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
20001 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh
Stats from sales analyst NPD have shown that the Canadian video games market suffered a like-for-like fall in sales in Q1 – the first time the territory has shown an annual dip since research began in 2002. Edge reports that retail sales of hardware and software fell by 8.5 per cent for Q1 2009 compared the first quarter of 2008. Sales of portable hardware fell by 21 per cent whilst home console sales fell 14.5 per cent.
VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid
16700 Schoenborn St.
Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Tel: +1 818 920 9393
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
UAE Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
PLUTO GAMES GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759
PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE. www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia Panvision....................................................Stockholm
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
Nintendo’s infamous £134 million penalty for pricerigging throughout the 1990s has been reduced by some £27 million following an EU court ruling. In 2002 the European Commission fined Nintendo £134 million for breaching continental fair competition rules. The platform holder was found to be illicitly working with several distributors – such as John Menzies – to keep the prices of its goods artificially high. Nintendo had appealed the amount of the penalty, which today still stands as one of the biggest fines handed out by the EU’s fair competition authority. That appeal has been somewhat successful, with a court in Luxembourg declaring on Thursday that the charge will be cut to £107 million. A central convention of European Commission policy is to discount penalties to any group that cooperates in its investigations. This process is part of a broad strategy to allure whistleblowers and stir mistrust between parties involved in any related scandals. In 2002, when the Nintendo price-rigging scandal was uncovered, distributor John Menzies provided the Commission with documents and data to help its investigation. In return, John Menzies’ fine was cut. On Thursday in Luxembourg, the court heard that Nintendo had not been fairly awarded for its own level of co-operation during the investigation, before the judge awarded Nintendo a £27 million discount.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
50-54 MCV537_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 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 speaks to the men and women trying to bring the games industry to Africa, and the challenges they face with distribution and development. FRIDAY MAY 29th
E3 SPECIAL ISSUE 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.
ALL EYES ON COLOGNE As the industry comes down from its E3 high, we turn our attention to the next big games event in Cologne. MCV takes a closer look at the upcoming Gamescom to find out why the industry should go. FRIDAY JUNE 26th
SUMMER PERIPHERALS SPECIAL The accessories sector enjoyed a fantastic 2008, with the continued success of Wii, DS, Rock Band and Guitar Hero having a positive effect on the market. And now the leading peripherals firms are preparing to launch their latest range of items for the summer period. MCV provides a detailed run down of the latest products that are set to take the retail community by storm.
TERRITORY REPORT: FRANCE With Ubisoft and Infogrames, France is one of Europe’s biggest video game territories. MCV takes a closer look at how the country’s video game output is evolving, and speaks to the key retailers, developers and publishers on the current challenges affecting the region.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
50-54 MCV537_final:Layout 1
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
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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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 Tuesday, June 23rd – Wednesday, June 24th London, Olympia Exhibition Centre www.gameonlondon.co.uk GAME HORIZON Saturday, June 20th – Sunday, June 21st The Sage, Newcastle, UK www.gamehorizonconference.com
JULY DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Brighton www.develop-conference.com TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Brighton www.developmag.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com
AUGUST EDINBURGH INTERACTIVE FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
XBOX 360/MCV PUB QUIZ Thursday, May 21st Sway Bar, Holborn dave.roberts @intentmedia.co.uk The Xbox 360/MCV Pub Quiz is now firmly established as one of the industry’s favourite nights out. Taking place every three months at the swanky Sway Bar in Holborn, it brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games.
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.
55 MCV537_final:47 MCV443
MCV 15/05/09 55
‘We’ve been completely screwed!’
‘Let us say goodbye to Empire’ Empire staff have had a rough ride – working two months without pay before being laid off. Here, two ex-employees ask requests of MCV’s readership… WAVING GOODBYE to Empire was not an easy thing for any of us staff. The fact it has been dragged out and we’ve gone without pay – let alone being genuinely hurt by all of this IP buying business – has left all of us feeling low. I’m certainly not in the worst position. When you are thrust out of the world of work in the current climate, it’s always going to be hard to find employment. However, when you’ve been slogging away for more than eight weeks – and are then thrust out of the
world of work, without pay for that period, it starts to become desperate.
your readers’ heart strings? Well, no, actually. I’m asking for a party.
Because we’re in a horrible position, it would make all the difference if someone could throw a wake for Empire.
Many of us are signing on as I write. People are getting close to losing their houses. It’s pretty grim right now. In fact, it’s a horrible time. So why am I approaching MCV? To tug at
It’s because we’re all in such a horrible position (I can’t even risk using my phone, just in case I go beyond my means) that we can’t even afford to throw a wake for the company.
I’M A FORMER Empire employee and, frankly, I feel completely f**cked over. The pre-pack agreement secured with our administrators, KPMG, has done nothing to protect the staff – who are still owed two months pay. Before a company goes to pot, a pre-pack agreement allows firms to save any profitable sides of a business. It’s supposed to help staff either stay on in the business, or at least keep their employment rights. But here it feels like it’s been no benefit to us whatsoever. We’re all pushing for a creditors meeting from KPMG, but our best bet appears to be waiting for the Government redundancy – which is a pittance. We worked eight weeks without pay and now have to find a job immediately, which is not an easy task in this climate. I guess I’m writing to ask if there’s any legal advice anyone could give us through the pages of MCV. We feel screwed, we have no money and we need help. Anon
It would make the world of difference if the old staff of Empire could just get together with a few industry people to make this happen. So I’m asking anyone out there that feels a little for us… please could you throw us a small bash in a London pub? It really would raise the spirits. MCV has kindly said it will print any offer/date on its letters page – or publish an email address that we can get in touch with. Thanks for your time,
Bookmark us in your phone:
LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE
56 MCV 15/05/09
Off The Record
This week, we welcome a new member to the games industry, as whispers begin about a Gizmondo movie. Yes, you read that correctly...
PIC OF THE
WEEK Not enough of you have been procreating of late – and Off The Record is missing your baby snaps. Thank goodness, then, for Kalypso business development boss Charlie Barrett and wife Andrea, who have brought gorgeous baby girl Sofia Aiko into the world – replete with Arsenal strip. Fantastic work, guys – she’s a smasher. As for the rest of you, get breeding...
WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!? The unbelievable truth is that someone, somewhere thought these visionary gems were going to end up being classics: No.11: Gizmondo YEAR: 2005
BOSS MOVES Intent Media chief Stuart Dinsey’s punk band Eastside Jimmy raised the roof at a charity gig for Cystic Fibrosis at Club 85 in Hitchin. Rumours abound that a London gig for GamesAid is being considered, with other bands featuring industry types. You can check out Eastside Jimmy on YouTube, too. Great version of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow on there, sung by our very own boss. The old romantic.
Remember when we all went mental for this? A new dawn in handheld hardware? Yeah, right. The colossal faliure of Gizmondo has become newsworthy again this week, with a movie planned. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the picture is tentatively entitled Gizmondo’s Spectacular Crack-Up. Carry On Bankrolling might be more apt...
MCV 15/05/09 57
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
In this week’s ‘no-holds-barred’ section of the mag, we interview GamesTM editorin-chief Rick Porter...
LISA MORGAN, GAME
HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM THE OFFICE?
It’s only when you get asked questions like this that you actually realise that you’ve let many of your pastimes slip over the years. Deadlines and hobbies really don’t mix well. Predictable as it may be, I play a lot of video games at my spare time. I don’t get to play as many in work nowadays so to even stand a chance of keeping up with the kids in terms of knowledge and ability, I have to slog away in my free time. It’s awesome to have an excuse to put 40 hours into Fallout 3 and shirk other responsibilities. I’m also partial to the odd hand of poker. Texas hold-’em or five-card draw, usually. Not Strip. I don’t have the legs, chest or penis for it.
DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
TIM ELLIS, HMV
RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GAME, FILM AND ALBUM OF ALL TIME? Game For me it has to be Super Mario World. The number of hours I put into that was immense. Though I was 12 years-old and titles for the SNES were £60 a pop, so I guess the repeated play may have been partly due to me having no other games. Film I’d be lying if I didn’t say The Princess Bride. I used to have hair like Westly did at the start. Not because of the film, of course; it was just an unfortunate haircut that happened to look similar.
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are...
to hand draw an “I remember having sewer system from isometric map of a ” Enter The Matrix...
Album It’s a tie between Open Heart Zoo by Martin Grech and The Unbelievable Truth’s Almost Here. I refuse to pick between the two and you can’t make me.
a good year. It was also a time when I made many good friends, many of which I’m fortunate enough to still work with today. Actually... no, I’ve had a rethink. It was at the Games Media Awards in 2007 when Capcom’s Leo Tan shouted “I love you Rick Porter!” above the general ripple of applause while I was on stage. At the time I pretended not to hear, as if his cry was lost among the cheers, but it was actually the only thing I heard. I love him too.
WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF WORKING IN THE INDUSTRY?
WHO’S THE FUNNIEST PERSON YOU’VE EVER MET?
It’s probably when I first started in this industry. I was on the Xpert and Cube Solutions tips magazines when Paragon Publishing was alive and well, and although the work was wretchedly tedious – I remember having to hand draw an isometric map of a sewer system from Enter The Matrix – it was my start in an industry I honestly never thought I’d be able to break into. I think I had a gleeful smile slapped across my face for
I did have another answer all ready to go for this question, but then Stefano Petrullo from Ubisoft was doing a game presentation to me the other day and he proved himself to be an extremely funny guy. It takes a lot to draw a smile from me on deadline day but he somehow managed it. Of course, that particualr incident is still fresh in my mind so the answer to this question could change tomorrow.
WHO WAS YOUR INSPIRATION WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG? I always respect and learn from those above me and fortunately all the editors I have worked for in the past have been excellent and have taught me a lot. Without the input and encouragement from those guys I’d never be doing what I do now and I certainly wouldn’t be any good at it. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU LAUGHED UNTIL YOU WERE RED IN THE FACE? So, I was watching Fred Claus, right? Don’t judge me too harshly, I know it was a rubbish film, but the bit where Vince Vaughan is in that tiny bunk bed almost killed me. It was the inevitability of it. The camera hovers around his face and you think, ‘yeah, the bed’s going to be small because it’s an elf bed’, but then it cuts to the full shot and his legs are dangling over the edge, and the bed is so tiny, and he’s so big and… I don’t know, really. It was just really funny at the time.
PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT
CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS
58 MCV537_FINAL:Layout 1
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MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source
TV campaign s Heavyweight 400 TVR terrestrial and multi-channel TV campaign starring former undefeated world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe and his son s Full PR support with reviews and coverage in all gaming and malefocused lifestyle media
Punch-Out!! On tour s Full POS catalogue available featuring Joe Calzaghe and across-the-board Trade Marketing support s Big-screen sampling at Covent Garden over the Bank Holiday launch weekend
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A new round for Punch-Out!!™ If you don’t remember Punch-Out!!, chances are you didn’t own a NES. Little Mac is as much a part of Nintendo history as Mario; he just kept a lower proﬁle. Until now. The newly improved Punch-Out!! for Wii, endorsed by both undefeated boxing champion Joe Calzaghe and his son, presents a familiar single and multiplayer game in a stylish new package. Graphics (lush), gameplay (a real challenge, even for hardened fans of the series) and control (intuitive) are all seriously enhanced. In fact, it’s as if this is the game the Wii Remote™ and Nunchuk™ were designed for. Fans of the series will ﬁnd familiarity and innovation in equal doses; just the right ingredients to make this a real knockout.
Punch-Out!! is great fun and it felt like I was back in the boxing ring. The controls feel really natural, and throwing punches with the Wii Remote really connected with the different ﬁghters in the game. I was a former undefeated boxing world champion before I challenged my son on Punch-Out!! Now he’s the new undefeated Punch-Out!! champion in our family.
Out 22nd May © 2009 Nintendo TM, ® and Wii logo are trademarks of Nintendo.
Published on May 14, 2009