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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday F id May M 22 2009 £3.25 £3 25

5 JUNE TheSims3.com

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Two week TV blipvert teaser campaign across E4, TMF, MTV, Comedy Central and Living channels to excite fans and drive intrigue with new fans. Supported by extensive online advertising and social networking applications including SimSideKick, SimFriend, SimSocial and a dedicated iPhone application.

Broad mainstream media campaign from June 1 including TV, outdoor, online takeovers at launch, print campaign in Heat, Closer, Empire and Metro, XFM and Galaxy radio promotions reaching our to 16 to 24 year olds to drive mass awareness of the launch of The Sims 3 on June 5.

“So play the game the way you like “ it and treat it as a guilty pleasure.”

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 538 Friday May 22 2009 £3.25

04 New PSP at E3? Sources tell MCV that the new handheld is imminent, and retailers offer their view

WITH THIS ISSUE An exclusive guide to Codemasters’ key titles for 2009 and beyond

07 Creed campaign kicks off

International Media Partner

Ubisoft’s begins Assassin’s Creed 2 marketing assault months before release

09 Another Shocker 2K explains why BioShock 2 will be ‘the most exciting release of the year’

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

Nintendo cripples R4 piracy threat on DS Finally, eBay and Amazon ban sale of illegal cards  411,000 dodgy devices confiscated by Christopher Dring NINTENDO has revealed a major breakthrough in its fight against the pirate cards that are wrecking DS software revenues – as online giants Amazon and eBay finally agree to prohibit the sale of the devices. The illegal cards, which include the notorious R4, allow pirates to download DS games via their PC and play them on the handheld. MCV first drew attention to the R4 crisis in July last year, when leading publishers declared that the device was seriously hurting sales of DS software. Independent retailers pledged to stop selling the card as a result, but eBay and Amazon continued to allow consumers to offer the product through their respective marketplaces. However, in a major blow to the manufacturers of the cartridges, both sites this week told MCV that they had changed their policy to support the format holder. “Nintendo is pleased with the co-operation it has received from both eBay and Amazon to prevent the sales of game copying devices,” Nintendo of America’s global head of antipiracy Jodie Daughtery told MCV this week. “Nintendo has been aggressive in curtailing the sales

Nintendo is moving to stamp out devices which run pirate games on DS

INCORPORATING

DS: THE THREAT Often misleadingly sold as peripherals for the playback of eBooks, MP3s, videos and homebrew games, the R4 card isn’t the only illegal piracy device for DS on the market. Here, MCV provides a rundown of similar, less popular cartridges that can still be bought via some online retailers and indies. Avoid at all costs... EDGE Once the most popular DS piracy device on the market, the R4-like EDGE cartridge accept a variety of MicroSD cards. CycloDS The most expensive DS cards of them all, this unit even allows gamers to access walkthroughs while playing.

of these devices on a global scale, from manufacturers in Asia to internet webshops and retail operations across Europe and the UK.

been seized by authorities in 170 actions since 2008.” An eBay spokesperson added: “eBay prohibits sellers from listing any hardware or

We have been aggressive in curtailing the sale of these devices on a global scale, from manufacturers to retail. Jodi Daughtery, Nintendo

“Since January 2008, Nintendo has coordinated over 560 actions and confiscated approximately 411,000 game copiers. In the UK, Nintendo collaborates with ELSPA and takes independent actions. Over 225,000 devices have

software that allows people to make unauthorised copies of copyrighted games, including the R4 DS cards, and we are taking steps to remove the few listings found on the site.” And Amazon UK’s games director Chris Poad

commented: “As you know, Marketplace items are sold by third parties. We have a ‘notice and take down’ process at Amazon. So where a third party believes that their IP has been infringed, they can highlight it and we can take it down. This is what happened in the case of the R4.” MCV reported last week that display advertising for one card had appeared on social network Facebook. MCV has contacted the site for comment. Late last year, MCV revealed that the new DSi was incompatible with R4 cards. However, since then new devices, including the R4i, have been built for use on Nintendo’s updated handheld.

M3 Series The M3 Simply and M3 Real have been around for several years now, and are among the best-selling SD adapters. Their manufacturer also has a range that fits into the GBA slot to enable movie playback. N5 Nigh on identical to the R4, the N5 works on the original DS and DS Lite. Acekard The Acekard 2 was released last year. Its successor was one of the first cards to work with the new DSi. DSTT Ironically, the DSTT has been a victim of theft; rival manufacturers have released similar devices under the same name to cash in on its popularity.

PERSONNEL 26 RETAIL BIZ 27 NEW RELEASES 40 HIGH STREET 42 CHARTS 44


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[LEADER] ARE DS PIRATES LOSING THE WAR? In July last year MCV revealed that the popularity of R4 cards, and similar piracy devices, were severely impacting sales of DS games. In that story we highlighted three UK retailers where these devices were freely available – Amazon, eBay and Simplygames.com. As these stores provided a direct channel for these harmful catridges, Nintendo could only tell us that they were ‘monitoring the situation’. Less than 12 months later, and all three of the websites have pulled these cards from the virtual shelves. And Nintendo has revealed the extent of its ‘aggressive’ battle against the R4 menace. It’s certainly great news. However, this isn’t the time for champagne and backslapping. A quick search on Google brings forth an army of websites that continue to sell R4 devices, while GTA: Chinatown Wars appears to be the latest victim of intense piracy. Scan through torrent websites and you will find hundreds of files for Rockstar’s masterpiece, many of which have been downloaded thousands of times. Don’t get me wrong – today’s front page is great news for the industry. But we still have some way to go before piracy on the DS becomes a thing of the past.

PORTABLE MYSTERIES Sony, on the other hand, has a different solution to combating the piracy problem – by removing media formats and turning to DRM instead. The mere idea of a digital-only console is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many a retailer. But what exactly Sony has in-store for its UMD-less PSP, and its plans for retail, still remains a mystery. For example, what can High Street retailers expect in terms of margins? And what other opportunities are there for accessories, points cards and in-store promotions? One thing that’s certain is that this is a brave new step for Sony, a company that’s never been afraid to push the boundaries. Put simply, the success or failure of this new PSP could be an indication of what to expect from the future of video games.

ORIGINAL VISION Another company unafraid to take a few risks this year is Activision Blizzard. MCV was privileged to see some of the publisher’s 2009 line-up at its pre-E3 event in London last week – and the firm appears to have spent the cash it’s obtained from Call of Duty and Guitar Hero sales on some impressive-looking new IP. Blur, DJ Hero and Singularity were among the stars, while even Tony Hawk has been given a significant re-boot, which just goes to show that even in the face of recession, we’re still one of the few industries willing to take risks in order to grow our business. Here’s hoping it pays off. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

How will retail handle UK outlets debate merits of download-centric redesign  New model by Michael French THE NEXT PSP might not be unveiled for another two weeks, but retailers are already debating the merits of the device. Sources have confirmed to MCV that the next iteration of the PlayStation Portable, which will feature a cosmetic facelift and ditches the UMD disc format, will form a key part of the format holder’s press conference at E3 on June 2nd. Games for the device, which sports a new compact ‘slide open’ design that conceals the controls under the screen when not in use, will be primarily available through the Store on the PlayStation Network. MCV also understands that select developers and publishers have already been briefed on the device. Speaking in an interview published today, Sony's European studio boss Michael Denny reiterated that the platform holder is planning to introduce new IP to the device later this year. He said: “We are looking for new and innovative PSP titles all the time. We already have

DIGITAL FUTURE: Sony will announce a disc-free PSP at this year’s E3

Customers will tell us the way in which they want to shop. Today, a growing number want ecommerce. Lisa Morgan, GAME

downloadable content on the platform and are encouraging more of that as well. It’s the same as we have done on PS3.” But leading games retailers are already asking questions about what that strategy might mean for them.

Online independent ShopTo told MCV that it is wary of a download service becoming the main way to supply games to the device. “I do not see why a retailer should push users towards going to an official site to

PES Industry Tournament returns with new features THE POPULAR MCV PES Industry Rankings Tournament is back, with a new chance to trounce all comers at the Basement Bar in Clerkenwell House, London, next Thursday (May 28th). Now established as a regular, informal networking event as well as the industry’s own battle for personal PES supremacy, this time around there will be a pool tournament thrown into the intensely athletic mix. The PES competition is a single player affair, with 16

places up for grabs, split into groups of four. It will then follow the classic tournament format, with two from each group going through to the knockout stage. The winner will pick up £300 of Amazon vouchers, with £100 of the same to the runner up. Even the winner of the pool tournament gets £50 of vouchers. You can register to enter at: www.pesrankings.com/ industry


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the new PSP? will be announced at E3 early next month

HANDS ON Whatever happens with the next iteration of the device, Sony is still committed to the current retail proposition for the PSP. MCV understands that the format-holder is still keenly working with stores on promotions for PSP-3000 and is even potentially lining up new hardware and software bundles for the handheld.

download a game,” said the site’s Igor Cipoletta. “There’s the risk that next time they’ll go directly to them again, unless Sony and the publishers are going to run an affiliate programme for the retailers.” But bricks and mortar retailers are nevertheless optimistic about any upgrade to the device. Should the device properly eschew software sales at retail, Asda’s Jon Biggs added, retailers will have to carefully examine how to position the

device: “It would certainly need careful consideration to understand the viability of a hardware platform as a retail proposition without the ability to bring consumers back to the store for software.” But a level-headed GAME says it is keen to work with Sony and keep watching and learning what consumers want when in comes to digital distribution – and it isn't worried about digital sales harming its business just yet. “We recognise that digital distribution will be part of the way consumers shop in future – we will just work very closely with the hardware manufacturers and the publishers as we do today and look at the ways in which we can ensure that we are driving the best value from our marketplace going forward," said CEO Lisa Morgan She added: “Regardless of all of these things that are evolving in terms of distribution streams, customers will tell us the way in which they want to shop. “Today, customers predominantly want to shop in our stores and a growing number want ecommerce.”

Codemasters bets on Wii success

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 inFAMOUS

by Tim Ingham CODEMASTERS is targeting older Wii owners with its upcoming roster of games – in an attempt to grow its market share on the format. The publisher is set to release Overlord Dark Legend, Cricket 09, Dirt 2 and Formula One for the Wii this year. “Nintendo benefits from broad support as demonstrated by the offerings piling into it,” Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens told MCV. “The typical demographic is well served and it could be said is spoilt for choice. “Our research suggests moving beyond that and appealing to an older element with a game design that reflects that but targeted to the family as a whole. “Each game in our upcoming range for Wii has been specifically designed for the format and our presence on the platform may well increase as a consequence. We pick our bets.” Codemasters’ line-up on other formats this calendar

PS3 SONY

2. INFAMOUS LIMITED EDITION PS3 ..................................................SONY

3. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED PS3 ....................................................THQ COUSENS: Codemasters boss optimistic about ‘great line-up’

year includes Overlord 2 and Minions, Cricket: The Ashes, Dirt 2 and Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising. “That’s a great line-up,” added Cousens. “It plays to our strengths, has global appeal for the most part, the emphasis is on quality and it gives the consumer very high entertainment value. “We’re not complacent, and we’re respectful of our competitors. But we also believe that we will take some beating in certain segments – and that is something that our employees should take pride in.”

4. UFC 2009 UNDISPUTED 360 ....................................................THQ

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

6. THE SIMS 3 PC ........................................................EA

5. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ............................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8. GHOSTBUSTERS PS3 ..................................................SONY

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

10. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ....................................NAMCO BANDAI Week ending May 16th Source: SHOPTO.COM

C’masters: 01926 814132

NOW WAL-MART TURNS TO PRE-OWNED

[MARKET VALUE]

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AMERICAN retail giant Wal-Mart is the latest chain to offer a trade-in offer on games. Last week the outlet started trailing a new vending machine which automatically takes used games and refunds their value to a debit or credit card. In recent months, Amazon, Toys’R’Us and RadioShack have all started moving into the sector traditionally dominated by GameStop in the US.

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


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Sony gives SingStar fans the chance to perform at Glastonbury Festival New deal with club superbrand Guilty Pleasures announced  Nationwide competition launched for consumers by Michael French SONY IS celebrating SingStar’s fifth anniversary by giving fans the opportunity to sing at Glastonbury this summer. The format-holder has teamed up with clubland brand Guilty Pleasures to run a series of Road to Glastonbury

them from home via the official SingStar site. Selected winners will get PlayStation prizes and the chance to sing on stage at Glastonbury in June as part of a special VIP trip. The promotion is also tied to the recent release of SingStar Pop Edition for PS3.

As the franchise evolves, we will look for new ways to help ensure that SingStar appeals to everyone. Corrie Fenner, Sony

events across the UK. Events have already taken place in London and Manchester, with a final two to take place in Brighton this weekend and another in London the following week. Punters are invited to record themselves at the events singing their favourite ‘guilty pleasure’ songs – or upload

commented Corrie Fenner, junior product manager of SingStar at SCE UK. “As the franchise evolves, we will look for new ways to help ensure that SingStar appeals to everyone, and by doing so, acts as a gateway which helps bring in gamers from across the spectrum.”

The competition is the latest in Sony’s successful attempt to court wide audiences during the franchise’s five years on the market. “SingStar is equally important to the male and female markets, and we’d like to think it’s a title that's entertaining for, and loved by, all generations and genders,”

Sony: 020 7859 5000

New card ‘integral’ to HMV’s games offering HMV BELIEVES its new customer loyalty scheme can tempt games consumers away from other retailers – and become an ‘integral’ part of the firm’s category offering. The retailer announced Pure HMV last week, a new loyalty card that offers members the chance to snap up a range of limited edition or hard-to-find items not available on the High Street. And the firm told MCV this week that it has enjoyed a good reaction from games suppliers, who were keen to be involved with the initiative – and that prizes might even allow customers to influence the development stage of new games.

commitment. Suppliers have realised that we'll be able to promote their offers to our Pure HMV database as it grows.

“Games buyers are actually among our biggest-spending customers, and we want to thank and reward them for

We’ve had a great response from games publishers to Pure HMV. We’ve had lots of pledges of commitment. Tim Ellis, HMV

their custom, which we will never take for granted,” said HMV’s head of games Tim Ellis. “We’ve already had a great response from games publishers. We presented an update to Pure HMV at our recent supplier conference, and since then we’ve had lots of pledges of

“One idea we’re exploring, for example, is ‘writing in’ a Pure HMV member into a games storyline – that kind of thing. Of course, we’ll also be getting lots of signed product in – including a ‘my inspiration’ poster of Will Wright.” HMV: 020 7432 2000

PURE GOLD: HMV says games suppliers have backed its new loyalty scheme


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HOTLIST

Early start for Creed sequel ads Ubisoft kicks off Assassin’s Creed 2 push with TV campaign and Play.com pre-order deal by Michael French THE GAME may not be out until the end of the year, but marketing has already started for Assassin’s Creed 2. Ubisoft is looking to engage both fans of the best-selling original plus a wider audience in a promotional push that includes TV ads, a retail deal – and even more revelations to be made at E3. A debut trailer for the game was aired last week on UK

November 2007 and eventually sold in excess of seven million units globally. “We wanted marketing to work alongside communications initiatives to help drive a strong start to the campaign,” Assassin’s Creed 2 brand manager Jan Sanghera told MCV. The online debut of the game last month included the use of Augmented Reality technology. Fans were asked to find cryptical symbols that the

We want this marketing campaign to be as fun as possible – with Assassin’s Creed fans at the heart of it. Jan Sanghera, Ubisoft

terrestrial channel Five during the premiere of The Da Vinci Code, following on from the game's unveiling in April. Play.com has already started a pre-order campaign for the game, even though its release isn’t expected until winter 2009. The original arrived in

game’s website would recognise via web cam. “We’d really like the campaign to be as fun and interesting as possible; with Assassin’s Creed fans at the heart of it. In addition, we’d like the message about AC2 to reach out to a wider

Out 12th June 2009 X360, PS3, PC BECOME ANYTHING… CHANGE EVERYTHING! You are Alex Mercer, the PROTOTYPE™, the ultimate shape-shifting weapon. With no memory and no mercy, hunt your way to the heart of the conspiracy which created you, making those responsible pay!

Ubisoft has promised a number of Creed-related surprises at E3

Out Now X360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PSP, PC

audience,” added Sanghera. “We will continue marketing AC2 in the same way we’ve started. Our next

step is E3, when we’ll reveal further details and even a surprise or two.” Ubisoft: 01932 578000

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.

Logic3 secures Lexar distribution deal PERIPHERAL specialist Logic3 has become the official distributor for Lexar’s range of gaming memory products. Lexar is one of the leading specialists in memory cards, and its gaming line includes 2 and 4GB SD cards, Jumpdrive Firefly USB sticks and Memory Stick PRO Duo. “The majority of the new generation of consoles incorporate the ability to play movies and music and even take photographs,” explained Logic3 director Michael Kirkham. “Therefore, adding the Lexar brand to our extensive catalogue is a logical move, giving us the ability to

completely fulfill our customers’ gaming accessory requirements.” The SD cards are fully compatible with Wii, DSi and PS3 consoles, and can store downloaded games, cheats, saves, pictures, video and more. Meanwhile, the

Memory Stick PRO Duo is designed for use on PlayStation 3 and PSP consoles, but are also compatible with other Sony electronics, including camcorders, MP3 players, TVs and computers. Finally, the Jumpdrive Firefly USB sticks are ultra-portable

flash drives designed for storing, transferring and sharing digital media, video, MP3 files and photos. The Firefly Drives are available in varying sizes, including two, four, eight and 16GB Logic3 has already added significant new products to its range during 2009. Earlier in the year the specialist released its range of colourful Wii Nunchuks, called Funchuks, while a line of Nintendo DSi accessories were rolled out last month. This range included comprehensive accessory packs, AC power adapters and car charging adapters.

Out Now X360, PS3, PS2, Wii Guitar Hero’s most explosive game yet! Take to the stage as Metallica, with the band fully motion captured, and on some of their most iconic stages. With 28 of Metallica’s definitive tracks, plus 20 guest acts - and with the new ‘Expert+’ mode, that supports 2 bass pedals, you can drum like Lars or play as the full band. This May, rock with Metallica to an explosion of metal!

Logic 3: 01923 471 000

Activision.com


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Centresoft snaps up Majesco account Distributor to handle the entire catalogue of publisher’s reborn European HQ  Over 30 games due in 2009 by Tim Ingham CENTRESOFT has signed an exclusive deal to become Majesco’s distribution partner in the UK. The firm will handle the release of Majesco’s major new movie tie-in, Night At The

Other Majesco titles due this year include classic light-gun shooter Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack, NES-remake The Boy and His Blob, and the Go Play series, which are all set for release on Wii. Meanwhile DS consumers can look forward to motorcycle

We’ve got over 30 titles launching this year, so our distribution network needs to be world class. Jason Dutton, Majesco

Museum 2, as well as future titles that include Major Minor’s Majestic March and Cake Mania 2. Centresoft commercial director Margeret Pearson said: “We are pleased to represent Majesco at retail. “Majesco has a great line-up of products for 2009 and we are delighted that this ambitious publisher has recognised the value that Centresoft can bring to its business in the UK.”

racer Powerbike, the natureinspired Puffins Island Adventure and virtual 3D board game Drama Queens. Managing director of Majesco Europe Jason Dutton added: “Partnering with Centresoft gives us the solid paths to retail that we will need in order to build on our presence in the UK market. “We’ve got over 30 titles launching throughout this year, including hugely significant licences such as the

COMING SOON: Majesco has a huge line-up of Wii and DS games due this year, including movie tie-in Night at the Museum 2

official tie-in for Twentieth Century Fox’s highlyanticipated Night At The Museum 2, so our distribution network absolutely needs to be world class. “Centresoft is the obvious choice to service this.” Majesco last month announced to MCV that it would set up as a direct European publisher. The firm, which was responsible for ‘discovering’ the multi-million selling Cooking Mama and publishing the game in the US, is focusing its efforts on releasing games for Nintendo formats. Majesco: 0117 373 6151

MCV sister website receives fresh new look MCV SISTER publication PCR has been given a new lease of life online – with an exciting new look for its website. The news follows a redesign for monthly magazine PCR, formerly PC Retail – which now features three new sections: hardware, software and consumer electronics. The sleek upgrade to the website reinforces PCR’s position as the leading UK computing and IT channel website and print publication, featuring news, industry comment, interviews with leading names in the trade – and a vast resource for retailers and resellers within the Marketplace section.

This includes an array of content for the trade, from previews of upcoming products, plus a useful directory of UK distributors and vendors. The new site also offers a customisable news feed, an

team, while email news alerts are now easier to read. “This new website is the final piece of PCR’s new lease of life,” commented PCR managing editor Lisa Foster. “With a fresh design and a

The fresh design and new content cements PCR’s position as the leading site for the computer and IT channel. Lisa Foster, PCR

improved comments system and more ways to digitally read PCR’s print magazine. In addition, a new blog area features all the opinion pieces written by the PCR editorial

wealth of new content, it truly cements PCR’s position as the leading source of news and information for IT resellers, retailers, system builders, distributors and vendors.”


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2K: ‘BioShock 2 will be the most exciting video game of the year’ Publisher targets the Top Five for FPS sequel with its biggest ever marketing push by Christopher Dring BIOSHOCK 2 is on course to be one of the biggest games of the year and will be backed by a spectacular marketing push, 2K has told MCV. The sequel to the 2007 smash hit will go head-to-head with big name sequels such as Modern Warfare 2, Mario and

“We have taken extraordinary strides in terms of the development of this game, opening up the world of Rapture in ways that’s been described as ‘breathtaking’ by the UK press. “We know BioShock is a hard act to follow, which is why we’ve worked hard to develop an even more

The marketing campaign for BioShock 2 will be the biggest in 2K history. Expect something spectacular. Simon Turner, 2K

Sonic and Assassin’s Creed 2. The original was the fastest selling third party Xbox 360 game at launch, and the publisher is just as optimistic about the sequel. “2K expects BioShock 2 to be one of the top five games of the year,” said UK marketing manager Simon Turner.

compelling storyline. We are looking forward to launching one of the most exciting video games of the year. “The marketing campaign for BioShock 2 will be the biggest in 2K’s history. When you consider the company has released titles such as Oblivion and the original BioShock, you

BioShock 2 is one of the most anticipated video games of the year

can expect something pretty spectacular in terms of execution and reach. Keep your eyes open across the UK’s biggest TV channels and outdoor landmarks. “The BioShock franchise is central to the core values that define 2K. As a young label we’ve tried a few things, but

we’ve now reached the point where we know exactly what we’re about – innovation, quality and immersive gameplay. We hope that our desire to produce something truly aweinspiring in BioShock 2 will help take the industry forward in new and exciting ways.” 2K: 01753 496800

FORMATS: WII, 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SUMO DIGITAL PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3817

SEGA: Resonance of Fate will arrive in Europe in spring 2010 on PS3 and 360. The game is developed by the team behind Star Ocean: The Last Home and boasts ‘Hollywood-style action sequences,’ a unique story and realistic gunplay.

Online Sega has teamed up with Eurogamer for wide ranging channel and homepage activity both at the game’s launch, and during the Wimbledon tournament. The publisher has also worked with Sky Sports to give an online offering across its entire site, with activity surrounding the French open. TV As is usual for a big Sega launch, a TV marketing campaign is planned for Virtua Tennis. The TV ads will be 20 seconds in length, and will hit a

EA: The upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince game will be released on July 3rd in the UK. NINTENDO: John Lewis has revealed the Wii is now one of the top 20 most popular items to appear on wedding lists. The Telegraph reports the Nintendo console joins tech gifts such as iPods or flat-screen TVs, and traditional items such as crockery and cooking items. LUCASARTS: Krome Studios is working on Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes for PS3, 360, Wii and DS. The game is based on the cartoon and will be released in September.

IS 2009 VIRTUA TENN

RELEASED: MAY 29

[IN BRIEF]

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD: The reinvention of the Tony Hawk franchise has finally been revealed – and it’s called Tony Hawk: Ride. The game will use a skateboard peripheral that can sense tilt and yaw. It also boasts a number of buttons on the side of the unit that players will need to access by mimicking real-life moves.

EEK W E H T F O N G I CAMPA Sega’s award-winning tennis simulator returns, and the publisher has a big campaign planned to make it one of this summer’s major sport releases…

Sponsored by

range of sports and men’s lifestyle channels including Channel 4, Dave, E4 and Sky Sports. Programmes include The Simpsons, Scrubs, Top Gear, Premiership Football, Test Cricket and La Liga. Outdoor Sega is set to back its TV and online spend with outdoor activity. The campaign consists of big sheet posters that will appear nationwide. PR and Retail Along with impressive review scores, the PR campaign includes a variety of activities occurring across retail.

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

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Football MMO scores Premium retail release CYBERSPORTS has unveiled the boxed Premium edition of its upcoming sports MMO, Football Superstars. And the publisher is calling on retailers to help boost the online game by stocking the new SKU, which offers players exclusive added content and other incentives. “In our quest for global domination within the sports MMOG space, we are currently looking for the support of retailers and distributors Europe-wide,” said Cybersports’ head of business development Andy Law. “The Premium version of Football Superstars offers unrivalled consumer value and already enjoys a significant fanbase numbering in the hundreds of thousands.” Football Superstars is an MMO that allows players to create, customise and train up virtual footballers in a playermanaged club, facing off against other gamers’ teams from around the world. The Premium edition comes with three months’ free subscription and 40 FS Bonds, which can be converted into FS Dollars and spent on training points,

Timing

is everything In the first of a regular column, analyst Nick Parker discusses the waiting game...

LAW: Cybersports’ head of business is looking for retailers to stock the firm’s new SKU

clothes and fame for ingame footballers. There will also be a range of exclusive Puma-branded in-game equipment, including a training kit and speed boots, which will increase a character’s speed on the pitch – while one of four unique animated skills will give gamers an edge on the pitch. www.cybersportsworld.com

Testronic bolsters its international operations QA AND LOCALISATION specialist Testronic Labs has increased its presence in the US and Japan with new staff, MCV can reveal. The firm, which has offices in Pinewood UK, Belgium and Poland, has recruited Haru Takahashi of Interarrows as Japanese liaison director, with the intention of developing a presence in the Japanese market. Meanwhile in the US, the specialist has appointed Dan Chisholm as vice president of business development for games. “Geographically, we are rapidly expanding into the US and Japanese markets and are very positive about the opportunities to deliver real value to our customers,” explained business line manager for games Alastair Harsant.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

“We have received enthusiastic feedback from our research in these territories and have worked hard to define our offering before entering these markets. “Recently we appointed Dan Chisholm. This has opened up our US offering and foundations are in place for growth. “In Japan, we are now represented by Haru Takahashi of Interarrows. He was previously marketing and sales director at Eidos. Haru is supported by Tomoko Yamahatsu, our Japanese co-ordinator based in the UK, which enables us to offer a full service to the Japanese market. We believe that Japan will be of considerable significance to us over the coming months.” Testronic: 020 7593 2264

FOR THE FIRST of my new regular columns, I’m going to discuss timing. From stand-ups to chat-ups, to battle planning, to sport and to business, the most effective aspect of strategy is timing. The unattainable can become attainable and the unavailable, available. Have patience, wait it out, it’s all about timing. In our industry, timing is crucial, yet we see so many times the harm done by getting it wrong. Games pile up in the peak period with no means to raise their heads above the parapet unless marketing funds are disproportionally allocated to quality of product. Some of the best known and most successful titles have been launched during the nine months before the final quarter for a lot less expenditure – Resident Evil, Gran Turismo and GTA, for example. Optimising profit and loss accounts is therefore more trouble free when the timing is right. Sometimes we don’t always know when the timing will be right because we’re still unaware of when the stars will align to provide the best market or technological environment for our product. This will be the case for digital distribution. We are still guessing when the ‘iPod moment’ for games downloads and streaming will happen; not the experimental phase of the S curve we are now in, but the tipping point moment when consumers embrace wholeheartedly a new means to acquire games. In this case the stars required for alignment will be a) broadband proliferation to double digit megabit per second speeds and more everywhere; b) intuitive plug and play technology; c) quick catalogue discovery engines; d) much larger

hard drive storage on consoles and PC; and e) a fair retail price structure. When this happens, most likely before 2012/2013, it will change our value chain shape and management forever. PICK YOUR MOMENTS In the meantime, it is worthwhile progressing the experimental phase by developing downloadable/ streamed games or enhancements to existing titles and by building relationships with technology providers and online content aggregators. Clear communication to consumers and brand building for this new world can begin too. Achieving the exact timing will not be straightforward; going too early when there is no market could leave money on the table. Leave it too late and your brand could be playing catch-up for years to come. You win battles by knowing the enemy’s timing and using timing which the enemy does not expect. As Sony’s David Reeves once said: “Zig while others zag.” This will be relevant in the new distribution economy as well. However, as Gary Ryan Blair, a top strategic thinker, offered, you cannot always afford to wait for perfect conditions; goal setting is often a matter of balancing timing against available resources. Opportunities are easily lost while waiting for these perfect conditions. For digital distribution, the optimal point of bandwidth speed versus size of game in order to provide a reasonable access time (less than an hour) could be some time off, but there are means to reduce this if you acquire or marry up with the right technological solution. Start now.

You win battles by knowing your enemy and using timing that they don’t expect. As David Reeves once said: “Zig while others zag.”

Nick Parker is the founding partner of Parker Consulting Ltd, the industry’s foremost advisors in strategic planning, business intelligence and research. Contact nick@parkerconsulting.biz


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Proudly presented by

For independent sales, please contact Advantage Distribution on 0121 506 9585 www.risingstargames.com


For national accounts enquiries, please contact Mastertronic on 0845 234 4242 Published under license from Mastiff.Copyright Š Renegade Kid. All rights reserved. Licensed to and published by Gamebridge Ltd.


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BETHESDA’S SALES SUCCESS

Beyond the Fallout Bethesda’s Fallout 3 was one of the biggest success stories of 2008 – bagging the company an MCV Award last month. Christopher Dring speaks to the man behind the sales numbers, Paul Oughton... RELEASED on Halloween last year, Fallout 3 quickly became a critically lauded sensation. The Xbox 360 edition enjoys a Metacritic rating of 93 per cent (91 on PC and PS3), and the game has claimed countless awards, including game of the year from Gamesradar, Gamespy, Official Xbox, IGN, Gamasutra and at the Game Developer Choice Awards. It was also nominated in five categories at the BAFTA video game awards in March. Yet Fallout 3 was more than just a critical hit. In just a week, Bethesda shipped 4.7 million copies of the game in the US and UK – representing a retail value of $300 million. It’s a remarkable achievement when you consider there hadn’t been a traditional Fallout game released for ten years. In fact, including the game’s spin-offs, Fallout 3 outsold the combined life-time sales of all the other Fallout titles in just seven days. And this during a release period that saw the likes of Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, Fable II, LittleBigPlanet and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King hit retail shelves.

“What we learnt with Fallout is that even with a triple-A rated game you have to compete effectively at retail, not just at launch but in the run-up to Christmas as well,” adds Oughton. DIGITAL FALLOUT

‘OUT OF THIS WORLD

So perhaps it was no surprise that the title claimed the Sales Triumph accolade at last month’s MCV Awards. “It's always nice to receive positive recognition and to receive this from your customers and peers is fantastic,” says Bethesda’s sales director Paul Oughton. “I had it down as a one-in-

extended to us and retail had the faith to support our aspirations. In the end, the code delivered, the faith paid off and we all have a lovely warm feeling.” Despite the game’s first week sales, the team at Bethesda had to contend

Even with a triple-A, wellreceived release like Fallout 3, you have to compete effectively at retail. Paul Oughton, Bethesda

three chance between us and two others, so put £20 on each. “The key to Fallout 3’s success started with Oblivion. The market already had belief in the ability of Bethesda to produce great games. There was a huge amount of goodwill

with one of the most congested video game release schedules in history. To ensure the game didn’t disappear into obscurity, the publisher spent much of its whopping £2.5 million UK marketing spend on a campaign that lasted right up to Christmas.

OUGHTON: Bethesda sales boss says Fallout is very reliant on retail – which is why the publisher is releasing a boxed compilation of its DLC packs

2009 rolled around, and it became clear that Bethesda still hadn’t finished with Fallout 3, as it unveiled three downloadable content packs. The first, Operation Anchorage, arrived in January. The Pitt followed in March, while Broken Steel hit Xbox Live and PC just last week. These DLC packs are also set to be bundled together onto disc and sold through retail channels. “As a brand extension, DLC gives consumers a longer playing experience and helps maintain the profile, sales and shelf-life of the original game,” explains Oughton. “Outside the UK, online connectivity rates are not as high, so in these territories the boxed product is a primary route to market. Even in the UK a large element of consumers still want a tactile product in a box. Fallout managed to break out from purely a hardcore of gamers and it’s this broader market that is less likely to download.” Fallout 3 has come a long way from its Game of the Show performance at E3 last year, but there’s still much more to come from the franchise. Although the initial batch of DLC is available to download, Bethesda has hinted there’s more digital content to come. A movie and TV series have both been suggested, while a Fallout 3 spin-off named New Vegas, is set to hit retail early next year. “We have a number of releases this year both at retail and via DLC to support and extend the brand and its lifecycle, while next year we have Fallout: New Vegas coming out,” concludes Oughton. “Unfortunately, we canned the lingerie range and no-one liked my idea of a 17-episode TV series starring me and Sienna Miller locked in vault 101 with nothing to do but each other.” Never mind, Paul. Maybe next year.


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SONY’S CONTENT QUEST

Ready to Play As VP of Sony’s European studio operation – and the man who greenlit Buzz and the hotly-tipped Heavy Rain – Michael Denny is one of the more influential men at the format-holder. Here, he chats with Michael French about Sony’s strategy for signing more content as the company prepares for E3…

Sony is being closely watched ahead of E3, and the fortunes of the PlayStation format are these days always under some scrutiny. Has that impacted much of your product strategy this year? Our strategy is very clear. We have big franchises we want to expand and need new IPs. We still have three active platforms that we are supporting. PlayStation 2 is worldwide at over 130m units, and that format will get new games – MotorStorm and WipEout Pulse. There are 16 SKUs coming for it, including another Buzz game. On PSP we just announced new games from large franchises, with new games on the way too. Big titles for PS3 made in Europe include EyePet, Heavy Rain, plus more Buzz and SingStar productions. And then there are also huge titles like Uncharted 2 and God of War 3. So the line-up from us will be bigger and more original than ever. Our plan is

to give further reasons for people to buy into PlayStation. Your division published Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet. Do you have any specific mandate to find ‘the next LBP’? Deals like the one with Media Molecule are the lifeblood of the industry: a bunch of talented guys come to the industry with a big idea and a lot of passion, and getting funding to take it to the next level and it exploding into a huge success. New teams and new IPs – that’s what we want to see keep coming into the industry and have always taken that view. Of course as a publisher we like to arrange an amount of portfolio planning – but within Sony what we want to do is allow for disruptive products, differentiators, and something that’s innovative. And you ask if we’re looking for the next one – well, that’s difficult to prescribe for, that’s down to talented teams and their visions. It’s our being


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SONY’S CONTENT QUEST

Sony continues to look for new IPs and supports its established franchises with new online content, says Worldwide Studios VP Michael Denny

able to help them deliver on the big idea – they need someone like Sony to fund and guide a project. And we pride ourselves on offering different routes to market for publishers and developers. PSN has been great for the independent community – it allows developers to be as creative as they like. But iPhone and Facebook have become popular amongst independent developers as well. Hasn’t that stolen a march on SCE’s activity? Not at all, I think it’s a great thing and it encourages that same attitude – it’s allowing for more entry points for the creative talent that wants to be successful in games. Of course Sony does have its own view on casual games through areas like PSN. I think anything that encourages starting points for new business is only good for the industry. Ray Maguire recently told MCV about a new strategy for ‘snacking games’ on PlayStation Portable this year. Can you elaborate on that? In terms of our PSP strategy, clearly we are looking for new and innovative titles all the time. We already have downloadable content on the platform and are encouraging more of that as well. It’s the same as we have done on PS3.

Other things we want to encourage on PSP is interoperability with PlayStation 3, and two major franchises – Motorstorm and LittleBigPlanet – are on the way to the format too. We do have new, big IPs to announce for PSP this year – but in terms of the essence of games for PSP we want them to be designed specifically for the PlayStation Portable. So sometimes those shorter, more snack-sized gaming

At the moment we have six internal teams in Europe and what is right and proper is that when we establish franchises like SingStar, with over 20m unit sales and 400m download tracks, we have to extend them into the network arena. Same with Buzz, which now has over 10m unit sales and is growing quickly. In terms of new IPs look at a game like Heavy Rain – in relative terms that

The line-up from us will be bigger and more original than ever. We’ll give more reasons to buy into PlayStation. Michael Denny, SCEE

experiences fit well with the handheld device. But we don’t want to be too prescriptive on new IPs. We want people to be able to bring their own new ideas and concepts to the platform that they think suit it. Last year SCE WWS president Shuhei Yoshida said there was a new approach at Sony to smaller scale new IPs. How is that strategy developing? We don’t have hard and fast rules on what budgets are available for what genres, it’s always about new IP and strength of the concept.

is a big budget new IP and something we are excited about. It really can reinvent the adventure genre. The developers of that game, Quantic Dream, have a great reputation. They are a very talented bunch of guys with a clear vision on what they want to make. In terms of innovation and relevance it’s something that can deliver everything – it really pushes the PlayStation 3 format. There will be new playable version of the game shown at E3. It’s a new genre. Will it help further define the scope of PS3? Because so far the key games for it have been great

racing titles and action games like Killzone 2… PlayStation 3 is a broad platform, and we have games with different appeal, from LittleBigPlanet to SingStar. Heavy Rain is a game that can appeal to different audiences – I can’t wait until the industry gets a chance to see more of it and consumers get to play it. It’s a title that is played in your head; it’s not about skill, twitch gaming or controlling the pad, it’s about decision-making, and the right choices. It’s designed to draw players in. Has the recession had an impact on the games Sony is signing up? It’s interesting; if you look at the history of economic downturns some of the most innovative and creative ideas are born in these times. So in times like this we are still keen to talk to new studios and help carry those ideas forward. The PS3 installed base is still behind other formats. Do developers ask what you’re going to do to increase it? I’d say to them that as a first party publisher, publishing on our systems allows for a certain amount of focus. Just look at LittleBigPlanet, a new game in a new genre, you can sell over two million units within six months of that IP launching – and it won a number of awards because it had that focus.


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MCV INTERVIEW DUNCAN CROSS, GAMES BUYING MANAGER, ASDA

DIRECT APPROACH

Asda was on course to become a dominant force in games, with increased shelf space and aggressive price promotions. But that was before its distributor EUK collapsed. Christopher Dring speaks to category boss Duncan Cross about the supermarket’s revitalised bid to become the UK’s biggest non-specialist retailer… Asda was enjoying a great year last year in games, but then your supplier EUK went under. How did this affect you? It was a good year, set to be a great year, but EUK gave us a load of new challenges. It didn’t come as a complete surprise, and we were working on a contingency plan – although having it happen in late November inevitably gave us big challenges. But our team responded in true Asda style. We set up our contingency plan in a matter of days, while it has taken other retailers 18 months. We set up our own distribution network, and our own supply chain team, and extended the trading team. Turning around from having no supply chain to getting product on shelves in ten days was remarkable considering it was early December.

Now that we have come out of the first quarter, it is clear we have our direct trading model, and we are the only grocer to successfully deliver that. But there’s a lot more to do, lots more to learn as we go, and we are working with partners to continue this growth.

How is the direct trading model suiting you? Have you had to expand your team? The biggest difficulty has been how products flow through the chain and hit the shop floor. We have had to rapidly expand our team; we now have around 14 heads on the games section, which has grown from four. That’s not just in the core buying team – we now have a new

supply team, new distribution team, and a new merchandise planning function. So bringing all those teams together internally has been challenging, but it is starting to pay dividends.

Games retail is highly competitive – everyone wants their slice. But ‘bring it on’ is our message. Duncan Cross, Asda The other challenge is starting those direct relationships with suppliers, which I see more as a great opportunity to get closer to publishers. We now no longer have a middle man, so we can really trade aggressively, strike deals and grow products by giving great value to our customers.

EUK’s closure also saw some of the distributor’s top personnel join some of your rivals, including Tesco and Sainsbury’s. What do you make of your rivals’ recent push into the games sector? It is no surprise that retailers, regardless of whether they are in the grocery sector, are increasing their games presence. Every retailer is seeing games as the growth engine. Look at the amount of marketing investment retailers are spending to go after games, be it John Lewis, GAME, Tesco, through to Asda – everyone is trying to get their piece of the pie. It makes it a highly competitive industry, which does bring its challenges, but ‘bring it on’ is our message.


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MCV INTERVIEW DUNCAN CROSS, GAMES BUYING MANAGER, ASDA Also, it is no surprise that so many talented individuals from EUK have found themselves at other retailers. We ourselves are really pleased to have brought in some representation from EUK, and the wider team within Asda has had a number of recruits from Gamestation up in York. So we have a good mix of Asda people, ex-EUK people and some industry experience from Gamestation. How significant do you feel supermarkets like yourself can be to the growth of the games industry? There is no doubt with the huge footfalls supermarkets experience that they can play a significant role in growing the games category. We have been in the games industry for the best part of a decade, and we are here for the long-term, and we are here to grow the market. You only have to think about the customers coming into Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons – we appeal to the mass market.

MEET THE TEAM Alongside a new distribution, supply and merchandise team, Asda’s games buying team has also expanded since the fall of EUK. “In the trading team there are now five buyers,” explains Asda’s games buying manager Duncan Cross. “We have John Taylor who has joined from EUK, we have Laura Lister who has risen through the ranks and is now our accessories buyer. “We have James Yelland who manages Nintendo and Activision, Andy McFie looks after Sony, Sega, EA and Ubisoft. And we have got Alistair

The growth in digital over the past few months has been rapid – with talks of a digital-only PSP and Amazon selling Xbox Live Arcade games. What do you make of these latest developments? Right now it is not our priority, but we are obviously keeping an eye on the digital market. We need to make sure we are reacting as quickly as possible within the confines of a supermarket

(From left to right) Asda’s Islip, Yelland, Taylor, Lister, Pritchard and McFie

Islip who has also joined from EUK and he looks after Disney, Microsoft, Konami and THQ.” “We’ve got a nice mix of EUK and Asda people here now. We have also brought in a new trading assistant called Ben Encell, who supports that

retailer. It is something we need to be aware of, but it’s not something we’re planning a radical overhaul of, at least in the next year or so. How far is Asda off from being the ‘largest non-specialist games retailer?’ That still remains our goal to be there for 2010. This year is our year. Asda is enjoying a phenomenal time, and games is benefiting from that improved footfall.

team. We have also got a games marketing manager. “We’ve never had that before, and we brought in Laura Pritchard who has previous experience at Tesco and Marks and Spencers. We are really chuffed to get her on board.”

We need to focus on getting our in-store execution right, and the fact we were up for MCV Awards is very pleasing. But bringing new people in brings new ideas, and we want to stay ahead of the market. It is an exciting journey, but there is a lot to improve on. Selling consoles is going to be one of our key fundamentals. We have a good heritage in software, so cracking the hardware market is our next challenge.


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THE BIG QUIZ

THE The second Xbox 360/MCV Industry Pub Quiz of the year took place in London’s fashionable West End this week (full details and flattering pics in Off The Record soon), but as ever, the Microsoft team and assorted Round Sponsors didn’t want any of you not-so-fashionable readers to miss out… MICROSOFT launched its Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace in December 2007 – and since then literally hundreds of films have been made available through the online site. A slew of new blockbusters has recently been added to the range, including James Bond: Quantum of Solace, Yes Man, Mamma Mia and Tropic Thunder. These will be followed by Gran Torino and The Tales of

Despereux in June and Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler in July, all of them in HD. All genres are covered, from comedy to thrillers, family to horror. There are also art house titles such as Hunger and music videos and full length live concerts featuring major bands, including Franz Ferdinand and Bullet For My Valentine. The result is hundreds of high definition titles at your fingertips.

1) FINGER-LICKIN’ TV CHEF NIGELLA LAWSON IS MARRIED TO WHICH FAMOUS ART COLLECTOR?

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3) WHICH ONE IS NOT A VENUE FOR ONE OF THE FOUR TENNIS GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENTS?

A) Charles Saatchi B) Charles Schulz C) Maurice Saatchi

A) Braun B) Brawn C) Brains

A) Wimbledon B) Roland Garros C) Queens

THE BOOTY BANK Courtesy of Big Quiz sponsor Microsoft and eight round sponsors, one lucky winner will bag this lot…


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THE BIG QUIZ

BIG QUIZ 4) WHICH BEATLES FILM FEATURES THE FAMOUS ROOFTOP CONCERT? A) Let It Be B) Let It Bleed C) Let It Rot

5) WHICH BOND FILM HAS JUST BEEN RELEASED FOR DOWNLOAD VIA THE XBOX LIVE VIDEOSTORE? A) Puddle of Silence B) Lagoon of Soiltude C) Quantum of Solace 6) WHICH REFEREE TURNED DOWN CHELSEA’S 87 PENALTY APPEALS AGAINST BARCELONA IN THE RECENT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL? A) Tom Henning Ovrebo B) Tim Henman Overbite C) Graham Poll 7) BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S NEW ALBUM IS CALLED… A) Working on a Lathe B) Working on a Dream C) Working on a Shed 8) WHICH TV CHANNEL IS THE HOME TO BEN 10? A) Cartoon Network B) BBC 2 C) Dave

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO THEBIGQUIZ@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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MCV INTERVIEW SHIGEKI TAKEUCHI, CEO, GAMEBRIDGE

BRIDGING THE GAP: Takeuchi says Gambridge will “act as a channel to bring interesting European games to Japan” – and vice versa

How did Gamebridge come to be? Gamebridge comes from our desire at Interchannel to expand our business beyond the boundaries of Japan. I’d worked with Bergsala before and knew that we shared common goals and practices so it made sense for us to team up to form Gamebridge. The motivating vision that led us to the creation of Gamebridge was building a bilateral bridge between Japan and Europe, and bringing Japanese culture to Europe and vice versa through the diffusion of game media. What do you hope to achieve in the UK and Europe? Our goal is to establish Gamebridge as a publisher of fun entertainment, mainly coming from Japan, to the UK and European markets. We plan to bring to Europe a different category of funny

Gamebridge will be positioned as a source of entertainment for young kids and casual gamers in Europe. Shigeki Takeuchi

Japanese games, initially oriented to families and kids. Furthermore, true to its vision, Gamebridge will also act in the near future as a channel to bring interesting European games to Japan.

Bridging the gap Gamebridge, the joint venture between Tokyo-based developer Interchannel and Nordic Nintendo distributor Bergsala, released its first game Happy Bakery last week. Christopher Dring speaks to Gamebridge CEO Shigeki Takeuchi about the new publisher’s ambitions…

Are you confident that there is a hungry market for Japanese games in the UK and Europe? I definitely believe there is a market for Japanese games in Europe, and that that market is furthermore divided into several different genres and niches. By targeting our own specific market segment, we are confident we will not compete with other Japanese games brought into Europe by bigger Japanese publishers. I do believe that European countries, especially France, UK and Italy, have developed a certain affinity with the Japanese pop-culture and anime cute iconography in the last decade, and


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MCV INTERVIEW SHIGEKI TAKEUCHI, CEO, GAMEBRIDGE Gamebridge will position itself as a source of entertainment for young kids and casual gamers who are increasingly interested in playing with the very same cute images they are used to seeing in animation productions and comics. Additionally, the Japanese kawaii lifestyle has been already widely accepted in the European fashion markets aimed at kids and teenagers. And by establishing the Happy series brand, Gamebridge wants to propose the very same kawaii values in a very simple and enjoyable way. Our Happy games will be simple, yet fresh and, most importantly, we hope they will trigger laughs and fun with kids and parents, making them happy for a while.

into European languages with very tight restrictions. In some very specific cases, adapting exceedingly Japanese content to European tastes is also a very important challenge that weighs on our shoulders, rather than the developer’s. You’ve announced three titles for Europe. What are you doing to ensure that these games are a success in this market? We are carefully choosing the products that we bring to the European market and are working closely with Rising Star Games to ensure that they get maximum exposure. We are making great efforts together in order to plan in advance a

We will branch out to release a title for DSi and a sequel of an extremely successful Japanese game on Xbox 360. Shigeki Takeuchi

This approach will eventually help us to create a new specific market segment that has been already casually explored by different publisher and products, but has never been formalised and branded as the interactive expression of the Japanese kawaii culture. How will Rising Star help achieve this ambition? Firstly, Rising Star Games has very similar goals to our own due to the similarity of the two companies. Secondly, RSG have already established themselves as a reliable brand and business entity. Their campaign, the ‘Home of Japanese Games’, is perfect for our image and proposition. Teaming up with Rising Star Games allows us to lean on their expertise and infrastructure to get our products to market in a professional way with minimal fuss. What are the biggest challenges in bringing Japanese games into these markets? Without any doubt, some of the biggest challenges are standing out from the crowd and getting the market to try something different or new. Other challenges include that of managing Japanese developer expectations and translating games from Japanese

THE GAMEBRIDGE LINE-UP The first set of announced titles from Gamebridge includes Happy Bakery, Happy Party with Hello Kitty & Friends! and Moon, all for Nintendo DS. Here, Gamebridge CEO Shigeki Takeuchi provides a run-down of what to expect from each game in the range...

COOKING UP A STORM: Happy Bakery lets kids make a variety of tasy treats

HAPPY BAKERY Release date: Out Now “Happy Bakery is a cute cooking game suited to Europe’s younger casual market,” says Takeuchi. “Every recipe is a loveable character that gives the game a very unique charm. Kids can mix ingredients together to make gingerbread men, apple pie, croissants, doughnuts, pizzas etc.”

solid strategy of constant promotion for all the titles falling under the Happy series brand. It is extremely important to orchestrate the release dates of products so that all the promotional efforts of each single title will form a constant stream of visibility and presence for the final audience. What are your targets for 2009 and the years beyond? Will you be branching out onto non-Nintendo platforms at any stage? We are planning on bringing several other games to the market by the end of this year, branching out to include other platforms. Although we have not officially announced anything yet, I can reveal that we will bring to the market a new original game that takes advantage of the unique features of the Nintendo DSi and a sequel of an extremely successful Japanese title on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Our short-term goal is to establish ourselves in Europe as a publishing entity, as well as achieving conservative but steady growth during these tough market conditions and establishing Gamebridge as brand that both retailers and gamers can trust as a source of good entertainment.

WALKING ON THE MOON: Gamebridge’s sci-fi FPS is aimed at both children and adults

MOON Release date: June “Moon is a real technical and gameplay gem for boys who always wanted to live a thriller space adventure in first person on their portable console.” “Moon is developed by Renegade Kid, the team behind Dementium: The Ward which was acclaimed as one of the best first person shooters games on the Nintendo DS. “We are confident that Moon will deliver hours of emotions and fun to kids and also traditional gamers in search of some nostalgic experiences on their favourite portable console.”

PUSSY GALORE: Gamebridge’s Hello Kitty title will arrive at the end of the summer

HAPPY PARTY WITH HELLO KITTY & FRIENDS! Release date: September “Happy Party is a collection of fun mini-games for girls. In the game, the player will have to help Hello Kitty in preparing a big party with the help of all the most popular Sanrio characters, friends of Hello Kitty. “Preparing a dress, ironing it, doing shopping, cooking delicious meals, preparing decorations, sending invitations, are just some of the cute activities that little girls will enjoy throughout the game.”


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PERSONNEL

Bethesda Hatches new PR manager Fallout 3 publisher hires ex-Sega man in Euro role  GAME appoints new finance director  nDreams recruits four BETHESDA  ALISTAIR HATCH has been snapped up as Bethesda Softworks’ new European PR manager. The former Indigo Pearl man was recently account manager at the PR agency, and boasts a wealth of experience from previous stints as European PR manager at Gamecock, European PR executive at Sega and European communications executive at Atari. “I’m really pleased to have joined Bethesda Softworks at this point in their growth,” said Hatch. “They’re a company who I admire greatly and they have a very bright future

HATCH: Former Sega and Gamecock exec joins Bethesda

ahead of them. I’m looking forward to the challenge and responsibility of working on their tremendous internal brands and the exciting externally developed titles they have signed.”

NDREAMS  The developer has taking on four new members of staff, across a range of positions. Former Eidos employee, MIKE SOUTO joins the team as senior producer. He brings over a decade of experience in the industry, having worked on titles such as TimeSplitters 2,

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Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the Commandos series. ANDY GIBSON takes on the role of lead artist. He has previously worked at studios such as Gusto, Core and Revolution on a range of titles including Tomb Raider, A Bug’s Life and In Cold Blood. He is joined by PETER NICHOLSON, who will work as an artist, bringing experience from Lionhead and EA. Finally, BABI MADHIKARMI has been recruited as a programmer, with over 15 games to his name from his time at Sprite Interactive and Glu Mobile.

GAME  BEN WHITE is set to join the leading UK games retailer as group finance director. He replaces DAVID THOMAS, who leaves to take up the same position at Barratt Developments, and will begin his new role on July 2nd. GAME chairman PETER LEWIS said: “I am delighted to welcome Ben to the Board as group finance director. He brings invaluable experience from his variety of senior financial roles within the group and elsewhere. Ben’s comprehensive knowledge and understanding of our business will be of great value.”


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

BATTLE ROYALE Two of the summer’s biggest action games go up against each other at retail: Sony’s InFamous and Activision Blizzard’s Prototype

Pages 28 & 32

EA SPORTS TENNIS P34 EA aims to become dominant in yet another sports genre with this Wii title BOB THE BUILDER P35 Blast’s latest kids’ game comes to Wii, full of fun mini-games for pre-schoolers LEGO BATTLES P37 Warner brings classic LEGO tribes Pirates, Castle and Space to video games STAR OCEAN P38 Square Enix moves the RPG genre into sci-fi territory with its latest release NEW RELEASES P40 MCV takes a look at all of the titles that will soon be landing on your shelves HIGH STREET P42 We interview online indie Startup Software and check up on your prices


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RETAILBIZ: INFAMOUS 28 MCV 22/05/09

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RELEASED: MAY 29 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SONY DEVELOPER: SUCKER PUNCH PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Sony’s take on the comic book superhero approaches, where every use of players’ superpowers has untold consequences on the city they protect…

by James Batchelor THE SUMMER is a time for superheroes. In both games and films, the likes of Wolverine, The Transformers, Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man and various other men in tights often make their latest appearances when the sun is highest, so the time is ripe for Sony to unleash a new type of superhero on consumers everywhere. Infamous is the tale of Cole, an everyday guy, who gains electrical superpowers after being caught in a mysterious explosion. On the run from the authorities, believed to be responsible for the disaster, Cole must learn to control his new powers and find out who was truly behind these events. The game takes on the structure of an open world game, with players exploring the fictional metropolis of Empire City as Cole. While many games, particularly in the superhero

responsibility of protecting the public – if they so choose. Gamers can walk either side of the law as they play, offering a much greater level of control over their character. “Do you play as a true-blue hero, like Captain America or Superman, or do you play as the anti-hero guy (like Batman, We believe that Infamous has Wolverine or Punisher), all the right elements to be who simply gets things the PlayStation 3’s major done irrespective of the game this summer. cost?” explains Lynch. “For example if there’s Phil Lynch, Sony a police station under attack, do you carefully take out all the that will set it apart from all other thirdbad guys without harming innocents? person sandbox style games,” says SCE Or do you blast everyone UK’s product manager Phil Lynch. indiscriminantely, in an ‘end justifies the WALK ON THE WILD SIDE means’ kind of way? The choice is The emphasis is on the non-linear way entirely up to the player.” in which players can progress through Cole’s behaviour will actually dictate the game. Sony is keen to highlight the the changes that become apparent in his moral ambiguity embedded in every appearance and his abilities. This action players take as they learn to manifests visually through blue or red balance the use of their powers with the electric powers as well as the type of genre follow a similar formula, Sony is confident Infamous has what it takes to stand out on the shelves. “Open world, sandbox games are not a new genre but I believe that with Infamous, Sucker Punch has developed a really engaging gaming experience


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RETAILBIZ: INFAMOUS WWW.MCVUK.COM

powers and upgrades available to Cole as players progress and gain experience points. The approach players take to the game will also affect the hero’s relationship with the citiens of Empire City, whether they treat him with respect, aggression or fear. The relationship maintained with key characters will also guide the narrative of the overall plot. Perhaps the most interesting extension of this mechanic is that the entire ecology of the city will evolve with gamers’ actions. The general population of Empire City will react differently to Cole and the various streets, buildings and landmarks of the city will develop organically in a different way depending on how the game is played. As they progress, Empire City can grow into anything from a beautiful, vibrant metropolis to a run down, derelict ghetto. However, Lynch is keen to stress there is “no right or wrong way” to play Infamous – it is entirely up to the player.

MCV 22/05/09 29

PS3 fans have been waiting eagerly for this title for some time now, as Infamous looks set to be as impressive and as successful as other Sony firstparty titles this generation. SENDING THE RIGHT MESSAGE

CITY LIMITS: Players must defend Empire City from a variety of frightening threats

When marketing this title, Sony plans to emphasise the game’s focus on choice and consequence in order to differentiate Infamous from other superhero 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,” says Lynch. “The moral ambiguity of the game will be prevalent in our advertising as users will be invited to make decisions based on the information at hand. The creative will then illustrate to the viewer what the consequences of their actions are.”

For the publisher’s press campaign, double page spread ads will appear in lifestyle and specialist press, which will announce the release of the game as well as direct viewers to the PSN to download the demo or to go to the game’s website to find out more. The online campaign will be interactive and Sony are working with a good balance of wide-reach lifestyle sites as well as specialist gaming sites. The campaign will use a mixture of the unique comic book style as well as the beautiful visuals from the game footage. “We have great expectations for Infamous both commercially and critically,” says Lynch. “It is previewing very well, it got a great response at GDC 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.”


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RETAILBIZ: PROTOTYPE 32 MCV 22/05/09

Activision Blizzard’s parkour-powered, reluctant superhero Alex Mercer makes his debut in the upcoming smash hit Prototype…

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by James Batchelor SUPERHEROES have to put a lot of effort into hiding their identity. SpiderMan, Batman and the X-Men have to wear figure-hugging costumes and masks, Superman has to make sure he doesn’t forget his glasses and Bruce Banner has to make sure he controls his temper. For Alex Mercer, star of Activision Blizzard’s Prototype, the answer is much simpler: he changes shape.

PRO EVOLUTION

The fact that Prototype is one of the few titles that survived the Activision and Vivendi merger shows the promise the publisher sees in the title. Claiming to shake up the superhero sandbox genre, the game allows players to

unleash themselves on New York City with a variety of devastating powers. Gamers take on the role of Mercer, a man who has no knowledge of his past but instead has a range of shape-shifting abilities. As they explore the Big Apple

The key to the game is Mercer’s array of attacks. His ability to change shape manifests itself in a range of offensive capabilities, each of which will be crucial if he is to survive the dangers of the infected city. From slashing his enemies with sharp claws to pounding them with his Mercer has an array of hammerfist, Mercer has the attacks. His ability to change upper hand in any battle. shape manifests itself in a These can all be upgraded range of offensive powers. as players progress, so improving the claws with a in search of answers, players soon ground spike enables Mercer to burrow discover Mercer is part of a conspiracy under his enemies and erupt from the that originated 40 years ago. Not only ground beneath them. do they have to uncover these secrets, Of course, our mutated hero isn’t players also have to deal with a strange invulnerable so players will need to be viral outbreak, known as the Infected, careful to maintain his defensive powers and the ruthless Blackwatch troops that as well. These range from transforming will mercilessly slaughter innocent his arm into a sturdy shield of bone to civilians in their efforts to stop its spread an entire armoured exoskeleton that by any means necessary. makes Mercer completely bulletproof


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RETAILBIZ: PROTOTYPE WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 22/05/09 33

HEROIC RELEASE RELEASED: JUNE 12 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC

and capable of barging through crowds of enemy soldiers. POWER UP

BATTERY POWERED: Gamers will need to ‘charge’ their hero before he can use his special abilities

These powers need to be charged up before they can be used. To do so, Mercer can consume and absorb any and every person he encounters. This process has a range of handy side-effects, as the protagonist gains his victims memories and any special abilities or powers they have. Not only does this improve his own abilities, the knowledge he absorbs also brings him closer to discovering the truth. This ability can even be used to give players a new way of approaching the game. Rather than running around the city streets in broad daylight, drawing unnecessary attention to themselves, players can assume the shape of their last victim.

PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: RADICAL ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

All they have to do is consume some poor, unsuspecting passer-by and they can blend into the crowd, pursuing their objectives without being hassled by Blackwatch forces. However, the majority of gamers are certain to travel with a little more style. Mercer can traverse the city in the style of a super-powered Parkour runner, sprinting up walls and swinging between buildings, making for exhilarating chases through the iconic city. Prototype is set to impress gamers the world over, with the action-packed gameplay and intriguing storyline certain to be a draw. In the summer of heroes, this game is guaranteed to pack a special punch at retail.

As well as being one of the most high-profile releases of the summer, Prototype is also one of the most significant titles of the year for Activision Blizzard. “Prototype is our first new IP launch of 2009 and has been highly anticipated since we first announced it last year,” says the publisher’s senior brand manager Gary Sims. “The feedback we have received from press and retail who have played the game has been very positive which strengthens our confidence in the brand.” Activision has dedicated plenty of resources to marketing Prototype to ensure the game lives up to these expectations. An aggressive above the line campaign has been planned to incorporate all forms of media, along with some innovative promotions on social networking sites like Facebook. The campaign will target the core gaming community, with the aim of driving awareness and establishing Prototype as a new IP. The key element of both the PR and media strategy is their focus around the character, Alex Mercer, and the mystery surrounding him.


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RETAILBIZ: EA SPORTS TENNIS 34 MCV 22/05/09

Electronic Arts seeks to revolutionise the tennis genre – with the help of the Wii’s MotionPlus peripheral and a wealth of recognisable talent…

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by James Batchelor AMIDST THE wealth of games that have been released since the console’s launch, Wii Sports Tennis still proves to be the most popular choice for Wii owners everywhere. This year, the sport is truly gaining momentum on the format with no less than three tennis titles due for release within the first six months. However, while Sega’s Virtua Tennis is a multi-platform modern update of a classic and Nintendo’s Mario Power Tennis is a modified GameCube port under its New Play Control! range, EA Sports’ Grand Slam Tennis can proudly declare itself to be the first all-new tennis game dedicated to the Wii in 2009. Developed specifically for the Wii, Grand Slam Tennis is the latest entry to the EA Sports library. The label boasts that the game will ‘deliver the most authentic, immersive tennis experience on the console so far’. The key unique selling point is Grand Slam Tennis’ Wii MotionPlus compatibility. As one of the first thirdparty games to make use of Nintendo’s highly anticipated peripheral, the game will be able to deliver one-to-one motion controls and give players the most realistic tennis experience so far. In an added coup, EA will even be offering consumers a Grand Slam

RELEASED: JUNE 12 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PRICE: £39.99 (SOLUS), £49.99 (WITH MOTIONPLUS) DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

Tennis and MotionPlus bundle, a move that stands to significantly improve the game’s potential sales as MotionPlus buyers will be seeking relevant software with which to test the new add-on. Even without MotionPlus, the game’s controls still offer a level of depth unavailable in the original Wii Sports take on tennis. With relevant gestures of the Wii Remote, players can perform a variety of shots, including lobs, slices, flats, drop shots and top spins. Only by mastering these techniques will gamers be able to become a master tennis player. These skills can be further tested in the Grand Slam Career mode, which

range of tough opponents, and every success helps to improve their chosen player’s abilities. SERVING UP AN ACE

As with any EA Sports range, Grand Slam Tennis boasts a roster of the world’s best and most well-known pros in its field. Tennis fans can fill the sweaty trainers of stars such as Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and more, as well as facing off against them in the career mode. The level of authenticity in the game’s roster can also be seen in other areas. In addition to realistically rendered venues, the digital pros will show off Grand Slam Tennis offers the same play styles as plenty of options that their real-life counterparts. EA has even gone to the promise to make it as popular length of recording audio as Nintendo’s own Wii titles. from the previous Grand Slam competitions and using it in-game to deliver the rich challenges players to enter and win the atmosphere of the tournaments. most renowned tennis tournaments in Naturally, multiplayer is another the world, including the Australian highlight and Grand Slam Tennis shows Open, Roland Garrod, the US Open off plenty of options that promise to and, of course, Wimbledon. In fact, this make the game as addictive to friends is the only game that allows gamers to and families as the likes of Nintendo’s take to the clay of Britain’s hallowed own sports games. tennis court. As well as playing standard matches, Only a handful of professional tennis multiple players can enjoy around a players have won all four of these dozen party games. There are even competitions and now gamers have the online multiplayer options, allowing chance to joins their ranks. As they singles or doubles to take on other progress through each tournament, they opponents around the world. will face a number of challenges and a


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RETAILBIZ: BOB THE BUILDER WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 22/05/09 35

The world’s most popular plasticine construction worker has yet to dabble in motion-controlled gaming but Blast Entertainment believes it can ‘fix it’ with Bob The Builder’s first Wii outing… by James Batchelor FAMILIAR CHARACTERS have always been the key to success with children’s products and there are none so familiar to today’s youth than Bob The Builder. For the last decade, this hard hatwearing hero has taught kids the joy of dedication, hard work, health and safety and even given tools an identity. Now Bob makes his debut on the Wii, bringing motion controls to his escapades for the first time. When a festival is announced for Sunflower Valley, Bob and the Can-do crew enlist young gamers to help clear the area and build the stage before enjoying the event’s frivolities. While the mini-games and challenges are simple enough for children to enjoy on their own, as they saw, dig and hammer their way to success, publisher Blast is keen to emphasise that the new game is an experience designed to be enjoyed as a family. “Bob The Builder is a really young brand aimed at pre-school children,” says Mastertronic’s marketing manager Kirsty Payne. “The collaborative aspect of this game positively encourages parents and children to work together in order to complete tasks, making this a particularly great choice for parents with young children.

“We don’t have hard evidence to suggest that pre-school aged children are playing the Nintendo Wii but we do know that Wii Fit is selling fantastically well and attracting a whole new breed of console owners. The nature of the Bob The Builder game, which has been extensively focus group tested to make it enjoyable and practical for the target age group, contains various parental play modes, which include co-operative play between the parent and child.” There is also a range of competitive versus modes, four-player levels and single-player tasks. However, the game is designed to be played collaboratively and not as a ‘babysitting’ tool for children to play alone.

Blast is confident that Festival Of Fun will perform well – reaching beyond the traditional games outlets. “We expect this game to sell well in the usual An aggressive price point and outlets, online, the Bob The Buider brand’s supermarkets and nongreat pedigree will ensure traditional routes as well as traditional toy retailers,” this is a long-term seller. says Payne. “Because of its Kirsty Payne, Mastertronic wide appeal and brand “The key to this game’s success is awareness, it could sit happily alongside getting the message out that this is a traditional toys and Bob The Buildernew breed of software aimed at both branded retail sections rather than just parents and young children to play the gaming areas. together,” Payne explains. “So with the “It’s Bob The Builder’s 10th collaborative play, the extremely anniversary this year, so there is a huge aggressive price point at £19.99 and the amount of anniversary events going on. Bob The Builder brand having such a We’ll be attending Bob The Builder strong following and pedigree makes celebrations to promote the game by this game something that will sell well providing sampling and Wii playing consistently over a long period of time.” areas for parents and children.”

The main message Blast will be communicating in its marketing will be the collaborative gameplay between parent and child. The publisher will also be targeting parenting websites and magazines, as well as running promotions that will appear throughout high circulation women’s weeklies. This will be backed up with ads in pre-school children’s magazines and websites. In addition, Blast will be running Bob The Builder cross promotions with HIT Entertainment. RELEASED: MAY 22 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: BLAST! ENTERTAINMENT DEVELOPER: ATOMIC PLANET PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 00845 234 4242


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RETAILBIZ: LEGO BATTLES WWW.MCVUK.COM

Warner Bros ‘bricks’ new ground in the handheld strategy genre, revisiting classic kids’ toys with LEGO Battles on DS…

MCV 22/05/09 37

by James Batchelor BEFORE LEGO ensnared generations of young children with licensed characters, overly complex sci-fi models and successful video games, there were simpler, more classic themes to the build-it-yourself sets. Among these, some of the most popular were LEGO Castle, LEGO Pirates and LEGO Space. Anyone who remembers flicking through the colourful catalogues of these themes will remember the epic battles depicted on each page, and now Warner Bros allows DS gamers to bring those battles to life. LEGO Battles is an action strategy game that allows players to build and battle these timeless toys. Using the pre-constructed characters, weapons and buildings, gamers must build their home base and an army to protect it. As well as focusing on their defence, they will have to aggressively pursue their objectives if they are to literally shatter the enemy forces.

RELEASED: JUNE 26

KING OF THE CASTLES

FORMATS: DS

There are six different storylines to play through, each revolving around a specific theme, be it Castles, Pirates or Space. In over 70 missions, players will need to make the best use of each theme’s sets, from pirate ships to medieval dragons. As they progress,

PUBLISHER: HELLBENT GAMES TRAVELLER’S TALES DEVELOPER: WBIE PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3896

they’ll be able to mix and match these models, bringing the level of customisation LEGO has been famed for since it first appeared on toy shop shelves. Using the DS touch screen interface to tweak every detail to suit their preferences, gamers are then free to experiment as they attempt to create the ultimate LEGO squad. The results can range from pirate swordsmen fighting alongside wizards and aliens, or spaceships providing covering fire for pirate ships and knights. As with the previous LEGO games, Battles will be best enjoyed with multiple players. DS owners can

LEGO Battles is the latest release from the awardwinning team behind LEGO Batman and Indiana Jones. Spencer Crossley, Warner test each other’s strategic mettle in a range of scenarios via a wireless multicard connection. Thanks to its touch screen and stylus, the DS is perfectly suited to LEGO Battles’ strategy-based gameplay, and the family friendly style of the game’s characters and artistry is in keeping with the handheld’s demographic. More importantly, the game is set to continue the success of the previous toybranded blockbusters. “LEGO Battles is the latest game from the fantastic, award-winning team

behind LEGO Batman and LEGO Indiana Jones,” says Warner’s head of games Spencer Crossley. “With trademark LEGO fun and charm, LEGO Battles combines three classic LEGO themes to create a unique extension of the LEGO build-and-play experience that stays true to the customisation and humour that are the foundation of LEGO video games.” BLOCK PARTY

Battles is being targeting specifically at younger gamers, though older fans are certain to appreciate the title equally. Magazine print ads and engaging advertorials will be appearing across major kids’ publications. These will include reviews, features, competitions and front covers. Online marketing will comprise rich media advertising across kids and family sites, once again using a mixture of reviews, features and competitions. Finally, a TV campaign has been arranged for a range of children’s channels, such as CiTV. LEGO games have proven to be consistently strong sellers since LEGO Star Wars burst onto the scene. While the single format release means it may not quite match the success of its predecessors, the enticing premise, irrepressible LEGO style and wide appeal ensures that Battles is certain to emerge triumphant at retail.


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RETAILBIZ: STAR OCEAN 38 MCV 22/05/09

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Square Enix moves into sci-fi territory with new RPG Star Ocean: The Last Hope, set during a fight for survival after the climax of World War III...

by James Batchelor WHILE SQUARE Enix is perhaps best recognised for its Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest series, sci-fi RPG franchise Star Ocean has proven to be just as successful for the Japanese publisher. Having already gathered an impressive loyal following on the PS2 and performed well with the PSP remakes, Star Ocean is now set to make its mark on an entirely new audience. Marking the franchise’s debut on the current generation of consoles, Star Ocean: The Last Hope serves as a prequel to the previous games, giving Xbox 360 gamers an insight into the early events of the saga’s storyline.

As with the previous Star Ocean titles, the storyline is the most impressive feature and the Xbox 360 hardware has enabled the developers to bring the action to life like never before. FIGHTING TALK

The real-time combat system allows players to unleash spectacular combos and counter-attacks via up to four characters. They can even switch between these characters on the fly to take advantages of their unique skills. Rather than depending on the prestige of the franchise to entice the Xbox 360 audience, Square has prepared extensive marketing plans to raise awareness.

This is a visual tour de force that pushes Xbox 360 to its limits. We’ll be advertising right through to launch. Adrian Arnese, Square Enix

As the dust settles from World War III, the surviving members of the human race unite in a final bid for survival. With the Earth devastated and uninhabitable, mankind sets its sights on the stars, with a few key pioneers entrusted with the considerable burden of finding a new home for the species. “In the series’ first appearance on Xbox 360, Star Ocean: The Last Hope reveals the origins of the legendary Star Ocean saga,” explains Square Enix’s senior product manager Adrian Arnese. “Pushing the hardware to its limits, respected developer tri-Ace delivers a visual tour de force and some exhilarating real-time battles in this hotly anticipated prequel designed to appeal to series newcomers and Star Ocean veterans alike.”

“The advertising campaign has already kicked off and will continue right through launch,” says Arnese. “Close to two million impressions of online advertising will be served via the major gaming sites, including Gamespot, Eurogamer, IGN and more. This will be achieved with teaser ad takeovers on forums through to 15-second video ads, overlays, site re-skins and an innovative animated video skin on Gamespot. “Single and double-page advertising featuring a blockbuster-style creative will be hitting a range of the leading specialist gaming, film and sci-fi magazines from May to July. TV advertising will arrive on a host of terrestrial, satellite and cable channels from day of launch and run for three weeks – reaching some 2.6 million 16

FULLY EQUIPPED: Star Ocean offers players real-time combat and damaging combos

RELEASED: JUNE 5 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: TRI-ACE PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 7324 5286

to 34 year-old males with a highly impactful, cinematic creative.” Square’s UK sales director Doug Bone adds: “Having already enjoyed huge success in the US and Japan, the UK trade can expect a storming start to the summer when Star Ocean hits shelves,” “The brand is one of the most respected within the genre and its nextgen debut is already achieving some incredible pre-orders across the trade. The game’s quality raises the benchmark for next-gen RPGs.”


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 40 MCV 22/05/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Destruction is the name of the game Players with a penchant for bringing down the house are certain to find something for them in the upcoming line-up, whether it’s EA’s block-busting Boom Blox Bash Party or THQ’s colony-levelling Red Faction: Guerrilla... TITLE

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Casual Casual Action Music Casual Mystery Mystery Cards FPS FPS Puzzle RPG Simulation Self-Improvement Strategy

Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Mastertronic Deep Silver Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia Mastertronic Mastertronic THQ Focus Multimedia Deep Silver EA Nintendo Mastertronic

0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242

Mastertronic Mastertronic Open Koch Mastertronic Mastertronic Mastertronic Open Open Advantage Mastertronic Koch Centresoft Koch Open

PSP

Music

EA

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

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

Kids Kids Kids Sports Sports Action Action RTS

Blast Midas Midas EA Sports 505 Games 505 Games South Peak Slitherine

0845 234 4242 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985

Mastertronic Open Open Centresoft Advantage Advantage Centresoft Koch

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 Dr Kawashima's Brain Exercise Fritz Chess FUEL Guitar Hero: Metallica Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge Imagine Movie Star inFAMOUS 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 Story Hour Fairy Tales Terminator: Salvation Trainz Simulator 2009 Valhalla Knights Episode 2 Virtua Tennis 2009

JUNE 5th Be Rich! Cake Mania 3 Devil May Cry 3 (Sold Out) DJ Star Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects Mystery Chronicles: Murder Among Friends Poker Academy 2.0 (Sold Out) Rainbow Six III: Ravenshield Gold (Sold Out) Red Faction: Guerilla Rubik's Cube Challenge Sacred 2: Fallen Angel The Sims 3 Walk With Me! Do you know your walking routine? Worms 4 Mayhem (Sold Out)

JUNE 9th Rock Band Unplugged

JUNE 12th Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies Clever Kids: Pet Store EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis Galactik Football Guilty Gear II: Overture Hail To The Chimp Horrible Histories: Rotten Romans

MUSTSTOCK ...............BOOM BLOX BASH PARTY Released: May 29th Format: Wii Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

The sequel to EA’s endearing and addictive Wii block-toppler, Boom Blox Bash Party adds new features and concepts, such as the altered gravities of spaceand underwater-based levels. Multiplayer options have also been expanded, making this a title all families must have.

MUSTSTOCK ..............RED FACTION: GUERRILA Released: June 5th Format: Xbox 360, PS3 Publisher: THQ Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

The third instalment in THQ’s ambitious FPS series, Guerrilla delivers on the Red Faction promise of fully destructible environments. Players can decimate everything in sight, carving and blasting their way to their objective rather than following pre-set routes.


MCV Develop Advert 3

13/5/09

10:26

Page 1

be inspired

14 -16 JULY 2009

The Develop Conference is an inspiring place – over 80 great sessions given by a host of international development experts and around 1200 developers getting together to share ideas, learn from each other and socialise.

evolve

Plus this year there’s innovative new content with the launch of Evolve – a new one-day event which will open the Develop Conference on Tuesday 14 July and a new track within the conference on Wednesday 15 July.

Here’s a taste of this year’s programme: Conference Keynote David Jones, Founder, Realtime Worlds

KEYNOTE

Keynote The Art of LittleBigPlanet - A Big Medley Kareem Ettouney and Mark Healey, Co-founders, Media Molecule

ART

Keynote The Runtime Studio in Your Console:The Inevitable Directionality of Game Audio Guy Whitmore, Director of Audio, Microsoft Game Studios

AUDIO

BUSINESS

CODING

DESIGN

Keynote Out of the Box(ed Product): Thinking for an Online Age Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer, Mythic Entertainment Open Software for Closed Hardware Steve Goodwin, SGX Engine Keynote Building LEGO Worlds - online, offline, and everything in between Jonathan Smith, Development Director, Travellers Tales

Keynote Resetting the Game David Perry, Industry Consultant

EVOLVE

Keynote Bridging The Gap Experiences Learned with Agile Project Management across Multisite, Multicultural and Multilingual Project Lisa Charman, Ubisoft and Patric Palm, Hansoft

PRODUCTION

Making Videogames History: Starting the National Videogames Archive Iain Simons, National Videogame Archive

THE DEN

Other speakers confirmed include: Autodesk • Bizarre Creations • Blitz Games • Chillingo • Climax • Creative Assembly • comScore • Crytek • Denki • Disney Black Rock Studios • Eutechnyx • Fishlabs • FluffyLogic • Glu Mobile • Google • Guerrilla Games • Gusto Games • ICO Partners • Kerb • Lightning Fish Games • Lionhead • Matmi • MySpace • Nokia • Mediatonic • Microsoft • ngmoco • Playfish • Rare • Team 17 • The Mustard Corporation • Silicon Knights • Sidelines • Tag Games • Zoe Mode

Make sure you stay ahead of the game – come to Develop in Brighton!

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Organised by


42,43 MCV538_final

15/5/09

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Page 1

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 42 MCV 22/05/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ: NEWS

[RETAIL REACTION] ASPIRATIONS OF AN INDIE MY FOCUS is to make Game Player a brand. Many of the services and products we offer are unique compared to our fellow indies: phone contracts, repairs, console repairs and even Kodak instant photos. In the current climate I feel it’s all about value and service but really, these points have always been vital to the success of any retailer, but many have realised too late. At Game Player, I have always treated the company as a huge chain coupled with the service power of a small company to ensure we always give top service. Prices are checked to ensure we are buying in correctly and with the right margin and any deal is beaten be it the market leaders or a small phone shop.

“Every day I ask myself what I can do to improve the business. Nothing distracts me from my missions to makes us the best and one day, I hope we become a national.” I want us to be the best within our field of preowned specialists. You wont see any old ‘tat’, we focus on the quality products, not old bits of PC components or old videos and so on. We know what our customers want because we talk to them. I often give out my mobile number to customers even if it is a £5 repair and I’ll stay in touch with them every step of the way. Every day I ask myself what I can do to improve the business. I never stop, I think about it 24 hours a day, I read, I learn, I visit competitors – nothing distracts me from my mission to make us the best and one day become national. So to get this big, I have to think big and work hard and hopefully I am doing it right. Gary Noakes Proprietor of Game Player

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE FORMAT: 360

DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2

3

WII FIT Wii

3

2

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE PS3

4

NEW

5

RE

6

6

THE GODFATHER 2 360

7

4

CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: DARK ATHENA PS3

8

RE

9

9

10

RE

VELVET ASSASSIN 360 FIFA 09 360

LEFT 4 DEAD 360 FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC WANTED: WEAPONS OF FATE 360

GUITAR HERO OUTSELLING ROCK BAND 10:1 IN EUROPE Following impressive financial numbers, Activision Blizzard’s Mike Griffith stated that the Guitar Hero franchise now accounts for the majority share of music game genre sales in Europe and North America – in other words, it’s beating Rock Band. The publisher also revealed that 34m DLC tracks have been downloaded by Guitar Hero players, with 14m pieces of user generated content being uploaded. More good news for the IP comes in the confirmation that the latest iteration, World Tour, was the best selling third party title in dollar terms in both Europe and North America last year. The series has now passed total sales of $2bn. KATAMARI FOREVER TO BE A BOXED GAME IN EUROPE Publisher Namco Bandai has told our sister site CasualGaming.biz that the upcoming PS3-exclusive Katamari Forever will be a boxed title in Europe. Earlier reports had suggested that the game will mirror recent moves from the likes of Capcom and be download only. It’s not known whether the game will also ship on Blu-ray in North America and Japan. Due out this autumn, Katamari Forever is the fifth console instalment in the cult franchise. It will boast a number of graphical filters designed to provide the title with a unique look, and will also boast 1080p HD visuals. 54 WII TITLES SELL OVER A MILLION As part of its recent financial results, Nintendo revealed some impressive sales numbers that demonstrate the true impact of leading IPs such as Wii Fit and Brain Training. In its last financial year, Nintendo sold 26m Wii consoles, bringing its lifetime sales to over 50m. 31m DS consoles were sold in the period, too. On the software front 220m Wii games were sold across the world along with 180m DS titles. Wii Fit had a sensational year, seeing its lifetime sales reach 18.22m. There was also good news for Mario Kart Wii, which has now sold 15.4m. Sales of Animal Crossing and Wii Music stand at 3.38m and 2.65m respectively.

FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ

MCV POLL CAN INCREASINGLY AGGRESSIVE SUPERMARKET PROMOTIONS HELP WIDEN THE GAMES MARKET?

57%

NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

YES

SOUTHPEAK

While supermarkets pose a significant threat to indies and specialist retailers alike, the majority of participants in the latest MCV online study believe their aggressive promotions will prove to be beneficial for the industry.

EA EA ATARI EA SEGA WARNER BROS

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.

33% 10% MAYBE NO

 Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

THIS WEEK

MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...


42,43 MCV538_final

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Page 2

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 22/05/09 43 Sponsored by

MARGIN MAKER SHURE’S LATEST range of high quality earphones are now available in a range of colours to complement consumers’ individual styles. Now in blue, black, pink and red, the SE115 earphones retain everything that makes the company’s products superior to rival audio accessories. The SE115s use a dynamic microspeaker to provide detailed warm sound with enhanced bass that was previously unavailable without a smaller driver. This works with special sound isolating technology to prevent outside noise from interrupting the listening experience. Now available in this new variety of colours, the earphones have the added hook of being that little bit more fashionable. As with other Shure products, these have been designed for comfort and includes a Shure fit kit, allowing users to customise them with the interchangeable earphone fit and cable options. Gem: 01279 822800

trade-ins for new games, like the larger retailers do, but there is still plenty of demand for the exchanges. People like not having to think about what their games are worth, and how much their games have depreciated. They just want to come in, pick another game they want to play and pay a flat-rate fee – almost like a rental fee but obviously they keep the game.

FROM THE

FRONTLINE This week’s Frontline interviewee is Neil Cain, manager of Aberdeen’s Solid Gold Games…

How will the likes of Carphone Warehouse expanding their games offer affect your business? Well, they’ll just be doing new stuff so it shouldn’t affect us too badly. Roughly three-quarters of our business is secondhand. I assume they’re trying to compete against the likes of Asda and Game, so I don’t think that will affect us whatsoever.

Tell us about your games exchange program. We charge a flat fee to change one game for another, rather than getting involved in varying trade-in prices. We’ve been doing this since 1992 when we first opened – back then this is all we did. We had a selection of games and we didn’t buy or sell second-hand ones – we just did exchanges. People just came in and paid £5 to swap one game for another.

What is the one thing you would change about games retail? Everyone complains about the lack of big releases in the summer and then everything arriving at Christmas. People generally only buy one game a month, so they’re starved all summer and then they get 20 games all at once – but they only buy one of them. If companies spaced them out a bit, customers would buy every title.

What advantages does this have over the mainstream pre-owned system? Admittedly, we have started to do a lot of

PRICE CHECK

Guitar Hero: World Tour (Solus)

Wii Fit

PS3, Activision Blizzard

Wii, Nintendo

Velvet Assassin 360, South Peak

Rhythm Paradise

Rock Band 2

DS, Nintendo

PS3, EA

IN STORE: WORTHING £69.99

£44.99

£37.99

£29.99

£39.99

£67.99

£37.71

N/A

£22.87

£38.87

£69.99

£44.99

£39.99

£24.99

£49.99

£69.99

£34.98

£34.99

£24.99

N/A

£68.49

£24.99

£29.99

£23.97

£24.99

N/A

£39.43

£37.73

£23.93

N/A

£67.99

£37.99

£29.99

£22.99

£37.99

£59.99

N/A

£38.99

£23.99

N/A

ONLINE

DEAL OF THE WEEK

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

GAME customers can pick up a family friendly Xbox 360 bundle, including an Arcade unit, Sega Superstars Tennis, Lego Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda for £149.99, saving them £80.

TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


44,45 MCV538_final:54-55 MCV525

18/5/09

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Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 44 MCV 22/05/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3 2 6 4 5 9 8 7 12

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA MONSTERS VS ALIENS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA PERSONA 4 SQUARE ENIX NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA 4 ATARI

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

FORMAT: Wii

2

3

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

3

2

X-MEN: WOLVERINE 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

4

7

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

5

5

MARIO KART WII Wii

6

6

RESIDENT EVIL 5 PS3, 360

7

9

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

8

8

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

[4]

TITLE

FIFA 09

2 3 4 5

3 2 5 4

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

6 7 8 9 10

8 6 10 9

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA DYNASTY WARRIORS: STRIKEFORCE KOEI ACTION PACK (RIVAL SWORD, DRIVER 76, R6V) UBISOFT MIDNIGHT CLUB: L.A. REMIX TAKE 2 LEGO BATMAN WARNER BROS

SEGA SONY D3P ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO CAPCOM

WII PLAY Wii

SEGA

9

4 NEW

BATTLESTATIONS: PACIFIC xx

11

16

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

12

10

RHYTHM PARADISE DS

NINTENDO

NINTENDO EIDOS

13

17

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

14

19

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

15

14

SONIC UNLEASHED PS3, 360, Wii

16

13

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

UBISOFT SEGA 2K PLAY

17

21

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

18

18

HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE 360, PS3, PS2, WII

19

11

STREET FIGHTER IV 360, PS3

20

24

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[5]

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

PUBLISHER

10

PC CD-ROM PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

LAST WEEK

[3]

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

WII FIT

THIS WEEK

DEVELOPER: MONKEY BAR GAMES PUBLISHER: D3P

1 RE

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

5 1 3 4 8 6 7 12 9

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA MARIO KART DS NINTENDO MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR BIG BRAIN ACADEMY NINTENDO

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

D3P DISNEY CAPCOM ROCKSTAR

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA C&C: RED ALERT 3 EA WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA BATTLESTATIONS: PACIFIC EIDOS SPORE EA

2 5 3 4 6 8 7 NEW

10

DEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA


44,45 MCV538_final:54-55 MCV525

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS MCV 22/05/09 45

FITTINGLY, NINTENDO has show real stamina with flagship game Wii Fit. It might be over a year old now, but it has held seven consecutive weeks at number one – it’s been at the top a total of 16 times since it came out. It just needs two more weeks at the top to equal record holder Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Elsewhere, a number of older titles have risen up the charts as well, including EA’s FIFA 09, which

PS3

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

21

12

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

THE GODFATHER II 360, PS3, PC

22

23

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP

23

22

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 Wii, PS3, 360

EA SEGA KONAMI

24

25

SEGA MEGA DRIVE COLLECTION 360, PS3

25

27

WWE LEGENDS OF WRESTLEMANIA 360, PS3

26

32

THE WHEELMAN 360, PS3

27

15

KILLZONE 2 PS3

28

26

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

29

29

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP

30

35

MONSTERS VS ALIENS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PC, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

31

37

GEARS OF WAR 2 360

32

30

MARIO KART DS DS

NINTENDO

33

RE

HALO 3 360

MICROSOFT

34

34

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

SEGA

MIDWAY/UBISOFT SONY

EA

MICROSOFT

THQ

39

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

LUCASARTS

36

20

HALO WARS 360

MICROSOFT

37

RE

MYSTERY CASE FILES: MILLIONHEIR DS

38

38

TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD 360, PS3, PS2, WII, PC, DS EIDOS

39

28

CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK: ATHENA PS3, PC, 360 ATARI

40

31

WSC REAL 09: WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPS PS3, 360, PC BLADE

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 3 7 9 11 12 6 5 4

TITLE

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FIFA 09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE KILLZONE 2 RESIDENT EVIL 5 LITTLEBIGPLANET SEGA MEGA DRIVE ULTIMATE COLLECTION CALL OF DUTY: WOLRD AT WAR STREET FIGHTER IV CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE THE GODFATHER II

1 2 4 6 9 10 5 14 7

WEEK ENDING 16/05/09

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY CAPCOM SONY SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

THQ

35

PC CD-ROM

moves to No.2, and Activision’s Call of Duty: World at War climbing up to fourth. Sega also steps up the list with evergreen title Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games up to No.7. There’s only one New Entry in the Top 40 this week – Eidos’ Battlestations: Pacific, for PC and Xbox 360, which makes an impressive debut at No.10. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

NINTENDO

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

1

WII FIT

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 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR SHAUN WHITE SONWBAORDING PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7 9 15 10

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE] PUBLISHER

MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST DEVELOPER: BIG FISH GAMES PUBLISHER: FOCUS MULTIMEDIA WORLD OF WARCRAFT BLIZZARD WARHAMMER 40,00O: DAWN OF WAR II THQ COMPANY OF HEROES: TALES OF VALOR THQ WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WOW: THE BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MEDAL OF HONOR: ALLIED ASSAULT EA ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 ATARI FALLOUT 3 BETHESDA THE SIMS 2: MANSION & GARDEN STUFF EA

PUBLISHER

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

FIFA 09

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE BATTLESTATIONS: PACIFIC RESIDENT EVIL 5 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR GEARS OF WAR 2 HALO WARS CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE WHEELMAN GRAND THEFT AUTO IV

1 3 6 5 4 10 13 14

SEGA UBISOFT DISNEY NINTENDO SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT KONAMI

[FULL PRICE]

1 NEW

NINTENDO

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EIDOS CAPCOM ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MIDWAY ROCKSTAR

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

WWW.MCVUK.COM


46,47 MCV538_final:Layout 1

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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 46 MCV 22/05/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

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,

Norresundby, Denmark

South Australia 5031

Phone: +45 70277640

Tel: +61 8823 41355

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

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

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o. ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: business@techland.pl

HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest

Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

ICELAND

AUSTRIA

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

PORTUGAL

Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann

INDIA

ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS

TM

Gateway Distribution ApS

BELGIUM

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

BENELUX

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 distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

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

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA EBS Benelux

45 rue Delizy,

Lorentzweg 1

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

The Netherlands

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI) Digital Bros spa................................................Milano

GERMANY

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 /

email: s.lass@dtp-entertainment.com

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

Web: www.dtp-entertainment.com

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

SERBIA

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

NETHERLANDS

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

www.greatgames.com.cy

08034, Barcelona, Spain,

email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com

ITALY

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

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,

FRANCE

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

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:games@computerland.rs website:www.computerland.rs

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 22/05/09 47

The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

USA

SINGAPORE

TURKEY

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

ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul

WITH THE fifth game in the Cooking Mama series having recently arrived at UK retail, North American publisher Majesco Entertainment revealed that total sales of the franchise in the region have now passed the four million unit mark.

Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

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

Elsewhere, M2 analyst Wanda Meloni revealed 8,450 game makers have been laid off since July 2008, with 75 per cent of job reductions happening in the US. This means that 12 per cent of the US games industry is out of work. There have also been at least 13 studio closures, she notes in her latest briefing. Victims include the likes of 3D Realms, Ensemble, and Microsoft's ACES. Others are ‘on life support’.

UNITED STATES

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

SPAIN

BASCO, INC.

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

VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Tel: 1-917-627-3000

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

Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

DREAMGEAR, LLC

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

20001 S. Western Ave.

www.planetadeagostini.net

Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

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

info@usgamesdist.com www.usgamesdist.com

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: info@gameoutlet.se 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

CANADA

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 figures began in 2002. 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. “It may be tempting to attribute the decline in sales to the current state of the economy but on closer inspection the first quarter of 2009 lacked the number of blockbuster titles that drove sales during the same period last year,” NPD group manager Matthew Tattle stated. “Guitar Hero and Rock Band experienced very strong sales in early 2008 while the release of Super Smash Bros Brawl helped bolster overall first quarter sales for the category.” Meanwhile, Vancouver-based start-up group BigPark will soon be added to Microsoft Game Studios’ reduced network of first-party developers. Microsoft has stated its intent to purchase the online gaming developer, which was originally co-founded by Xbox’s Interactive Entertainment Business chief Don Mattrick. The group has been working on an unannounced project for around a year, and is expected to reveal its title at E3. Microsoft stated that BigPark has a workforce comprised of a number of industry veterans. The Group’s CEO Hanno Lemke formerly served at Electronic Arts and Distinctive Software, where he was involved in high-profile projects such as Need For Speed and Skate. Following the acquisition, Lemke will report to Phil Spencer, general manager at Microsoft Game Studios. Spencer said that the BigPark team “is composed of some of the most experienced and creative minds working in the industry today.”

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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

ACCESS SOURCEBOOK ONLINE AT: WWW.INTENTMEDIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Pixel Tel: 01275 831676 www.thepixel.com

Ăœber Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

RECRUITMENT

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

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

ELSPA Tel: 0207 534 0580 www.elspa.com

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

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com

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

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

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

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

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682363 www.realtimeuk.com

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

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

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

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


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ok

In association with

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

.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK Specialmove Consultancy Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com Volt Europe Tel: +44 (0)1737 774100 www.volteurope.com

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

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

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

partnertrans Tel: 01753 247731 www.partnertrans.com

MANUFACTURING SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEGAL SERVICES

OK Media Tel: +44 (0)20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.biz

BRIFFA Tel: 0207 288 6003 www.briffa.com U-Trax Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

Technicolor Home Entertainment Services Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

Sheridans Tel: 0207 079 0103 www.sheridans.co.uk

UK DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS

Total Console Repair Tel: 0871 9181721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

LOCALISATION, QA AND TESTING

Games Without Frontiers Tel: +44 (0) 845 430 8735 www.gameswithout.com

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION

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 – 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

Harbottle & Lewis LLP Tel: 020 7667 5000 www.harbottle.com

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 Localsoft Tel: +34 952 92 93 94 www.localsoftgames.com

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

PlayV Email: lferreira@playv.co.uk 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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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

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

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


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

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

MAY MARKET SHARE REVIEW With so many high profile releases this month, including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hannah Montana: The Movie Game, and EA Sports Active, we crunch the numbers to see what effect they have had on the market. We also look at what gaming trends are emerging, which titles continue to exceed expectations and which platform holders and publishers are triumphant as the summer truly begins. 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 attend. 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 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.

STUDIOS Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000

Distributors of CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-Ram, Micro-SD, and lots, lots more...

X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories

Broadsword Interactive. . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1970 626299

UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999

Denki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.denki.co.uk

European Sales: ......01189 215 916

Lightning Fish Games . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 817 666

sales@dvdtech.com

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 . . . . . . . . . . . jobs@stainlessgames.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862

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

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

DISC REPAIR

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 jaspreet.kandola@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com

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


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

Insider’s | Guide

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

CREATIVE: Josie Davis explains why Fluid will never lose its love for design

We speak to Fluid’s communications and development manager Josie Davis…

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

What does Fluid do? We’re an integrated creative agency and we are really proud of our long-standing relationship with the games sector. We offer complete branding solutions for all, or any individual part of a campaign: from brand identity to design and art direction, print and online adverting, point of sale and more. We also have a proper coffee machine so if you come and visit us we can offer you a decent cuppa. Tell us something we didn’t know about your company. Fluid is really active in the wider creative community. Everyone who works here has their own external projects going on, which is really how we came to our new ethos: ‘never not creating’. For example, James (our director) is busy with the Plus International

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

design festivals he helped set up while Lee (our artistic director) is currently exhibiting at a gallery in Edinburgh. What’s the best part about working at Fluid? It’s a fantastic, forward thinking company to work with. They produce amazing campaigns and a big part of my job is letting people know about the work we do. I’m given a lot of freedom to be creative in my role and when you really believe in what you’re doing, it’s always a pleasure to promote. What are you currently working on? The next 12 months should be an exciting time. We’re working on some massive titles – keep your eyes peeled for the Fluid stamp on Monster Hunter, Lets Tap, Dirt 2 and Infamous.


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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 Excel, London www.londonexpo.com

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

E3 Tuesday, June 2nd – Thursday, June 4th LA Convention Center, Los Angeles www.e3expo.com GAME ON! LONDON Tuesday, June 23rd – Wednesday, June 24th Olympia Exhibition Centre, London www.gameonlondon.co.uk GAME HORIZON CONFERENCE Tuesday, June 23rd – Wednesday, June 24th The Sage, Newcastle www.gamehorizonconference.com

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.

IDEF Tuesday, June 30th – Thursday, July 2nd Palais des Festivales, Cannes, France www.idefexpo.com

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

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Hilton Metropole, Brighton www.develop-conference.com DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Hilton Metropole, Brighton www.developmag.com GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig Messe, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com

AUGUST EDINBURGH INT. FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th TBC, Edinburgh www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

THE DEVELOP QUIZ Thursday, June 18th Sway Bar, Holborn jaz.kandola @intentmedia.co.uk The latest outing for this essential networking event will pit 20 teams of five against each other. Studios, publishers, QA, recruitment and localisation companies are all invited to attend, with a full night of entertainment and competition on offer. First prize is a £2,000 advertising credit in Develop print or online, plus a trophies and bottles of champagne.


Idef2009_AP 230x315_UK:Mise en page 1 05/05/09 14:23 Page1


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Off The Record This week, we take a look behind the scenes of the GamesAid Spa and Golf Day, as a popular Warner Bros PR waves goodbye to the industry...

PIC OF THE WEEK



Like a games industry Where’s Wally?, this pic of all participants at last week’s GamesAid Golf and Spa day is full of hard-to-spot faces. Ten points each for Nintendo’s David Yarnton, Codemasters’ Jeremy Wigmore, Gem’s Paul Donnelly and Chris Peacock, The Hut’s Gian Luzio, Gamestation’s Jorden Jones, EA’s Keith Ramsdale, D3P’s Adam Roberts and many more besides. A fantastic effort by all raised over £30,000 for charity – but that didn’t stop the day becoming ever so-slightlycompetitive, as shown by Sega’s frustrated John Clark and EA’s determined Shaun White (see right).

PADDINGTON BARE

Over £1 million of GamesAid’s cash helped launch The Paddington Academy, which offers young people of all backgrounds the chance to get their hands on top-notch education in a wealth of areas. A new online video profiles the relationship between the two, and what happens to your GamesAid donations. You can find it at: www.vimeo.com/4637085. It shows just how much of a difference your cash really does make to ambitious kids’ lives in the UK. Even Off The Record can’t take the piss out of that.

ON YOUR BIKE



We’re not known for charity fatigue in this industry, and it’s just as well. A team of industry types including Microsoft’s Chris East, Sam Leigh, Marialine Cifre and Laura Disney; Konami’s Rosie Dalton, Jon Murphy, Richie Churchill and Su-Yina Farmer; and 2K’s Emily Britt will be riding 26 miles to raise cash for Leukaemia Research in the 2009 London Bikeathon on Sunday 19th July. You can donate at: http://www.justgiving.com/excitebikers


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RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

RICHARD CHAPPLE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

1C KEEPS IT UP A congratulations of sorts to Flackwell Heath Under 13’s, sponsored by 1C, which narrowly avoided the drop on the last day of their season. A heroic 0-0 draw with the mighty Bucks CC last weekend secured their safety. And, presumably, kept the boys in video game-related bonuses for another season.

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS


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PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

NORTH COUNTRY GIRL Way-ay man, Warner Bros’ Geordie PR darling Charlene Allen is skipping off from the industry to return to North of the Watford gap – and she threw a bangin’ party last week to celebrate. Fellow Warner PR man Mark Ward joined the likes of Imagine’s Rick Porter, Simon Miller and Ryan Butt and a host of other industry med-y-a types at London’s 20 Million Postcards. We wish you all the very best of luck, Charlene – but warn you... people rarely stay away from this industry for very long...

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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Please address all enquiries to:

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

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

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

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

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

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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


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MCV538 22nd May 2009