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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Friday June 26 2009 £3.25


Š Deep Silver, a division of Koch Media GmbH, Austria. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo.

Call Sales Now on Koch Media Ltd t 5IF#VMM1FOT .BOPS$PVSU )FSSJBSE )BNQTIJSF3(1) t Tel  t Fax  t www.kochmedia.com

0870 027 6515


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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 543 Friday June 26 2009 £3.25

04 PS3’s price drop

12 House in order

Activision boss Bobby Kotick called for a cut – but does UK retail think the time’s right?

SCEE’s new president talks PSP, PS3 – and staying ahead of the competition

06 Clone rangers

16 Digital watch

LucasArts discusses its high hopes for new Star Wars: Clone Wars title

MCV provides a full guide on what the Digital Britain report means for games

07 Microsoft on Crack

20 Special focus: Peripherals

Platform holder reveals data on huge audience for sequel Crackdown 2

We take a special look at the highly lucrative accessories sector

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK KICKED OUT: If publishers don’t follow PEGI’s new rules they risk being ousted from European retail

INCORPORATING

SUPPORT POURS IN FROM TRADE Leading industry figures this week backed the new rules of the PEGI system: Ian Curran, Worldwide VP, THQ

PEGI gets tough Body bares teeth as ELSPA warns publishers: ‘Abuse new system and risk your future’ by Tim Ingham ELSPA HAS quashed any suggestion that the PEGI classification model will be ‘weaker’ than the BBFC regime – warning publishers they risk bankruptcy if they try to cheat the system. Under the new model, publishers will fill in a questionnaire on the content of their game and submit it to PEGI and the Video Standards Council – who will then decide on an appropriate rating. Publishers caught telling lies in their questionnaire will face fines of up to €500,000 – and could even see their games stripped from the shelves of all European retailers.

“I’m confident that publishers will be truthful,” ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson told MCV. “We will all lose out as an industry if this system is not seen to be absolutely transparent and

publishing on all major platforms in Europe.” Director of communications and public affairs at ELSPA Tim Wapshott added: “If you deliberately mislead us, you will be thrown out. In the

If a publisher deliberately misleads PEGI, they will be fined up to 500,000 Euros – and have their games pulled. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA

absolutely followed by the publishing community. “More importantly, if a publisher misleads PEGI, they will be fined up to half a million Euros – and be refused official ratings. That will prevent them from

worst-case scenario, you will be disqualified from releasing a game anywhere across Europe. That means we effectively bankrupt you as a profit-making organisation. No other system [such as the BBFC] could say: ‘You know what? You’ve just

lost about a third of the world’s sales in one go. And we don’t owe you anything to say we’ll ever change our mind.’” However, Rawlinson also moved to reassure publishers who make an honest error when filling out the PEGI questionnaire. He added: “If there’s a genuine mistake then you shouldn’t be worried. In fact, PEGI has always been available to assist publishers in the completion of the process. “Before your game’s finished, if you need advice or help, PEGI is always happy to look at pre-release code. “If people approach it genuinely and say, “I’m not sure”, that’s fine. It’s when they deliberately mislead that the problems arise.”

INTRODUCING… PEGI 2.0 PEGI went through a ‘rebirth’ in May in an attempt to create a stronger games classification system than the BBFC’s alternative. ‘PEGI 2.0’ requests that the publisher must supply a copy

of its game and a video of the most extreme content, along with a walkthrough, cheat codes and other materials that assist the examiner. Unlike linear film ratings methodology, PEGI does not

allow extreme content to justify a lower age rating because of context. This is because games often force a single instance of extreme content to be seen many times over.

After an extensive examination process, the administrator (usually the VSC; NICAM for children’s games) determines the age rating that must be used by the publisher.

“I am delighted to hear that common sense has prevailed in this matter and that the PEGI rating system has emerged as the way forward for the Industry. A lot of people have worked very hard to secure this outcome on behalf of all games publishers and I would like to thank them all for their efforts and for securing this great result. Well done.” Ray Maguire, UK MD, Sony “We welcome the decision to support PEGI. We think this is evidence that the Government has listened to us and is, hopefully, indicative of a wind of change that we as an industry are being taken more seriously. Of course there is still much work to be done, in terms of helping parents to understand what the ratings mean and helping them to make the correct judgements as to which games are suitable for the children in their care.” Andrew Brown, UK MD, Activision “Activision fully supports the move towards clarity when it comes to choosing appropriate games targeted towards appropriate audiences.“ Kim Bayley, Director General, ERA “We’re very pleased that the Government has recommended one body. Ultimately, that was what we wanted. It gives the system real legal teeth, and gives the retailers the certainty they need to enforce it.”

PERSONNEL 34 RETAIL BIZ 35 NEW RELEASES 42 HIGH STREET 44 CHARTS 46


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[LEADER] ENJOY THE SILENCE... No screaming headlines, no fights, just the Government making a correct decision. Happy days. As the dust continues to settle on a consultation process that took many months to reach its definitive conclusions about video game classification in the UK, all parties should be proud of themselves. The Government listened and took its time. The UK games industry responded professionally, and an enhanced PEGI system for age ratings – to be backed by law – appears the best solution by far. No one could really argue with it, which is why over the past week and a half, no one really has. Even Tanya Byron, speaking at the recent Digital Safety conference, offered her support to a system following many of the recommendations made in her original Bryon Review way back in March 2008. The ELSPA Board has worked patiently and diligently for many months. It has helped to rebuild many things, from ISFE (PEGI) resource to the Government’s trust in the games business. And given that this whole affair started as such a wild storm, it must be hoped that the industry remembers and respects those who helped steer a course to calm waters.

...BUT THE WORK STARTS HERE The future of game classification was never a fight for victory between groups or organisations. It was more important than that. This was about setting up a system that is correct, economic and enforceable. And the key thing about the findings in the Digital Britain report, as ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson wisely points out in an exclusive MCV interview next week, is that PEGI is “the right decision for child safety.” Process must now be followed. Boxes may even start carrying the new ratings and colour codings within a matter of weeks, as ISFE told MCV. The legal back-up will take until 2010, but it will come. So let’s hope that the rest of the games industry will now be as diligent as the ELSPA Board. We must all strive, in our own way, to keep the current momentum of an ‘orderly marketplace’. This is an evolving entertainment business that is understood and highly regarded by the Government. Let’s keep it that way.

‘We want PS3 price drop,’ Trade urges Sony to consider September cut following Activision’s

by Christopher Dring UK GAMES retail has joined calls for Sony to slash the price of PlayStation 3 this autumn. The news follows Activision Blizzard boss Bobby Kotick’s startling demand that Sony must reduce the cost of the machine, or the firm may have stop supporting it. HMV’s commercial manager for games Jonathan Hayes told MCV: “I do still expect a PlayStation 3 price cut and I do want one. “Sony has to re-price this year. It is just a question of how deep they will go, and then what bundles retailers are able

to offer to drive the PlayStation 3 market forward. “Microsoft did a good job last year in driving hardware sales on hardware and Sony

system: “With the big build up to Christmas starting soon we are expecting a price drop, around September to try and capture the Christmas shoppers.

Sony has to re-price this year. It is just a question of how deep they are willing to go and what the bundles are. Jonathan Hayes, HMV

needs to be at a competitive price this Christmas.” ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta agreed that a September cut would be a timely boost for the

“Making a price drop at this time will also allow retailers to strategise their big PS3 push for the busiest sales period of the year and hopefully drive more

BROOKER’S GAMESWIPE COMMISSIONED

...AND HERE, MR STRINGER? Comments on the MCV website flew in as Activision’s global boss Bobby Kotick challenged Sony and its CEO Howard Stringer to cut the PS3 or risk this leading US publisher ditching the format. Power to the publishers! Is this the dawn of a new shift in the balance of power? With no shortage of new routes to market on their way over the next five years, beware the console maker that doesn’t listen to its third party licensees. Unless, of course, you are Nintendo. It’s never really worried about such detail, after all... Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

Guardian columnist and former PC Zone journalist Charlie Brooker has revealed that his proposed Gameswipe TV show has been commissioned. The new series, which is a spin-off of his popular Screenwipe and Newswipe programmes, was confirmed via Brooker’s Twitter account. The presenter promised more details on Gameswipe ‘nearer the time.’


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says UK retail…

…but Sony stands firm on console cost

threat to halt PlayStation 3 game development

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD (From left to right) HMV’s Jonathan Hayes, ShopTo’s Igor Cipolletta, Play.com’s Keith Sharpe and CHIPS’ Don McCabe

hardware into homes and increase the install base.” CHIPS joint managing director Don McCabe added: “I expected a price cut at Easter, but now I anticipate one for Christmas. I believe the situation with the exchange rates has caught Sony out, so they’ll hold on until the situation is better. “Hardware always needs constant action from the platform holder, be it in terms of new features, bundles or indeed a price cut.” However, Play.com games buyer Keith Sharpe said he understood Sony’s need to hold onto PS3’s premium price point: “Although retailers

always welcome price drops it is also a positive to retain value in consoles for as long as possible. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one more Christmas with game and Blu-ray bundles, which were very successful for all of us last year, instead of a price drop.” Activison Blizzard’s CEO Bobby Kotick told The Times newspaper last week that he was ‘concerned’ about the PS3, and that Sony must cut the price to boost attach rates, warning that if there isn’t an upturn in sales then Activision will have to stop publishing games for the system. The latest PlayStation 3 bundle includes a copy of InFamous for £299.99. In comparison, Xbox 360 Arcade with a copy of Sega Superstars Tennis costs just £139.99, while Nintendo Wii with Wii Sports has a suggested retail price of £169.99.

2. MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ..........................................ACTIVISION

3. MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ..........................................ACTIVISION

4. GRAN TURSIMO 5 SCEE PRESIDENT Andrew House has told MCV that Sony will only cut the price of the PlayStation 3 when the time is right. The company is currently focused on returning its PlayStation business to profitability, and House is confident that European gamers look at the full package when considering what console to buy, and not just the price. “Not to harp on about it, but the PlayStation 3 has a ten-year life cycle and there are issues of cost and profitability,” said House.

“We will make that move on price when all those factors are aligned. “Would people buy more when they are cheaper? Of course. But on the other hand there is an inherent marketing challenge. In Europe I think people do see the value of the machine, the Blu-ray and network services and take that all into consideration instead of just focusing on price. “But we will look at price and will address it when the time is right.”  For the full interview with Andrew House turn over to page 12

PS3 ..................................................SONY

5. FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 PS3 ......................................................EA

6. FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360 ......................................................EA

7. OP. FLASHPOINT: DRAGON... 360 ......................................CODEMASTERS

8. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..........................................MICROSOFT

9. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 PS3 ..............................................KONAMI

10. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ....................................NAMCO BANDAI Week ending June 26th Source: SHOPTO.COM

Sony: 020 7859 5000

[MARKET VALUE]

£20.2m

GAME France hails pre-owned THE MD OF GAME’s French business has hailed its preowned offering as one of the key ingredients that has seen the retailer’s store base grow by 500 per cent in the last eight years. Philippe Wehmeyer said that the firm’s second-hand product section helped it to battle the country’s hypermarkets – which dominate the retail landscape in the territory. “As with other countries, many new customers are

entering the games market. Nintendo in particular is very popular and strong in France. We have a great relationship with all the local supplier teams and have worked hard with them to attract new customers and spread the appeal of games to new customers,” he told MCV. “Our teams are very customer

focused and offer great service and advice; we drive customer loyalty with the GAME Reward card and pre-order campaigns – and of course pre-owned helps us to offer excellent value for money.” GAME France has grown from 37 stores in 2001 to 198 today. “This has been driven by a

combination of factors including the increasing number of mass market customers, the consumer understanding of pre-owned, the reach of the GAME brand, and the competition against supermarkets and other specialists,” added Wehmeyer. “The hypermarkets are very strong in France, but each of GAME’s specialist services is maximised to ensure we can compete hard and grow our presence in the market.” GAME: 01256 784000

25

20

15

10

5

£23.5m

£21.3m

£20.2m

959,166 Units

913,015 Units

873,096 Units

Week Ending June 5th

Week Ending June 12th

Week Ending June 19th

0

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


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Lucas targets Clone Wars sales triumph Republic Heroes scheduled for September  Video games to play major part for fledgling Star Wars brand by Christopher Dring STAR WARS: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes will hit shelves on September 18th, MCV can confirm. The new game follows last year’s Clone Wars titles for Wii and DS, but this time LucasArts is expecting big things,

He went on to describe how the entire franchise, including last year’s film, is being used as a vehicle to expand the Star Wars universe’s audience. “Clone Wars is the younger person’s Star Wars, introducing the franchise to a new audience, while parents can enjoy it too,” said Kudirka.

LEGO Star Wars was a big success, so we are hoping to capture a lot of that audience with Republic Heroes. Vince Kudirka, LucasArts

releasing the game across all platforms to appeal to the widest possible audience. “Video games are a huge part of the Clone Wars brand,” said LucasArts associate producer Vince Kudirka. “We wanted to go bigger with this Clone Wars title compared to last year’s games. The franchise is a huge success, so this time we wanted to release it on all formats, because it is big enough to support that. We want to capture as wide an audience as possible.”

“LEGO Star Wars was also a big influence. That game was a big success for us. So we are hoping to capture a lot of that audience with Clone Wars – Republic Heroes.” The Clone Wars franchise has become a huge success for LucasArts, especially in the US where it is the No. 1 toy licence, kids brand and TV show for young boys. The show is also the top Cartoon Network show worldwide, and is shown in over 166 countries. And Kudirka feels the franchise

WAR DECLARATION: Kudirka predicts success and big things for the future of the Clone Wars franchise

can keep on running for years to come. “Clone Wars has a lot of leg,” he said. “It is super

popular – just look at the viewership we get and the expectations for this game. The show just keeps getting

better and better as it goes along. So this is a brand that will be around for a long time.” Activision: 020 3060 1000

Accessory firms braced for Project Natal NEW peripherals based around Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming motion-sensing controllers are expected to drive the accessory market forward.

both revealed at E3 earlier this month to much acclaim. “One of the biggest challenges for peripherals firms is keeping up with changing technology,

Competition is not always a bad thing, though – it keeps us constantly striving to improve and innovate. Mel Jones, Hubb Accessories

At least that’s according to the specialists, who are already turning their attention to Microsoft’s Project Natal, as well as Sony’s new motionsensing controller, which were

particularly the trend toward interactive gaming started by Nintendo and now embraced by Microsoft’s Project Natal,” said dreamGEAR’s COO Richard Weston.

Logic3’s sales manager Paul Croucher added: “From all the recent revelations at E3 for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, motion sensing devices and add-on accessories for these devices will be the main focus in the future.” The success of Nintendo’s Wii has provided a significant boost for the peripherals sector, with big sales of add-on accessories such as tennis racquets, guns and fitness aids. And as a result, a number of new competitors have entered the sector looking to capitalising on its success.

“With the continued growth in the accessories sector there are more manufacturers around bringing products to market,” explained Hubb Accessories sales manager Mel Jones. “Such competition is not always a bad thing, of course – it keeps us constantly striving to improve and innovate our products to stand out from the crowd. You don’t get anywhere by standing still.”

MOTIVATION: Micrsoft’s Natal inspires peripherals vendors

 For the latest on the peripherals sector, plus a look at some of the new accessories set to hit shelves this summer, head on over to page 20.


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HOTLIST

‘Pre-owned proves potential sales power of Crackdown 2’ Microsoft studios boss said Xbox Live stats reveal huge audience waiting for sequel Out Now

by Michael French

NDS, WII, PS2, PS3, X360, PC

THE GAME might not be due until next year, but Microsoft is already tipping Crackdown 2 as a major seller for Xbox 360. According to the formatholder, Xbox Live usage figures show that the original’s official global sales number is dwarfed by data which shows millions more played pre-owned copies. “We sold 1.7m and if you look at the number of Live users and the pre-owned market there are a lot of people who have put Crackdown in their 360 and played that game – well over two million have played it on Live, and that doesn’t include the offline players,” Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Game Studios, told MCV. Crackdown 2 was first announced at E3, but Microsoft only showed a brief trailer for the game. The title is in development at Dundee, Scotland-based Ruffian Games, a new start-up founded by the lead designer

Join Ice Age’s unlikely herd of prehistoric pals for their wildest, wackiest, most exciting adventure yet! For the first time, play as six beloved Ice Age characters as they embark on a rescue mission across melting snow to the mysterious Dinosaur World - an all-new, fur-raising jungle of carnivorous plants, lush foliage and fierce dinosaurs.

TEASED: Little is known about Crackdown 2 so far, but hopes are high given the first game’s success

It would have been easy to chase the money, but we want to gain avid customers to nurture.

Phil Spencer, Microsoft Game Studios

of the original game, developed at nearby Realtime Worlds, which was released in 2007. Spencer reckons that leaving some time between the original game’s release and its follow-

up has allowed Microsoft to make sure the game has a devoted audience – meaning that Crackdown 2 will be a bigger commercial hit than its popular predecessor.

“It would have been easy to chase the money, but I want to make sure that anything we work on has a chance to take hold and gain avid customers to nurture,” he explained. “We own the IP and we could have easily just found another developer out there and done something called Crackdown 2 but we wanted it to be special.” MICROSOFT: 0870 601 1000

Out Now 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!

Champ Man 2010 sneaks out early CHAMPIONSHIP Manager 2010 creator Beautiful Game Studios believes it has taken a potentially embarrassing blunder, and turned it into an advantage over rival Football Manager. The developer, a subsidiary of Eidos, decided to can Championship Manager 09 – originally due this summer – and instead concentrate all of its efforts on getting out sequel CM10 in September. It believes that timing the release early in the season – as opposed to releasing CM 09 at the end of the last season – will give it a headstart on Sega’s FM. “The September release date puts us as close as we can to

the football season, and means we will be first to market,” said Championship Manager boss at BGS Roy Meredith. “We want to be out the blocks first – because that’s when football’s at its highest interest point for fans, and because it fits with the seasonal nature of the real-life game. “Championship Manager 09 is now Championship Manager 10, with extra work we’ve done on top of it. We needed to do some more work on it.’” The new game includes ‘revolutionary’ feature CM Season Live, which allows players to update their season with real-life stats each month,

MATCH FIT: Meredith discusses how CM10 will fend of rivals

for six months, such as signings, transfers and injuries. Players can then begin their game at

various points that mirror the real-life season. “Previously when we’ve released a January transfer window patch, you update your data with stats from halfway through the real-life season, but you still start in July,” added Meredith. “That’s a big flaw in the realism. If this was for last season, for example, you could have taken over Newcastle halfway through the season and save them – in a way Alan Shearer sadly could not.” The CM Season Live functionality will go live on October 15th.

Out Now PS3, PSP, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, NDS (autobot and decepticon skus) Become the ultimate Autobot ™ or Decepticon™ in TRANSFORMERS™: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, the official game of one of 2009’s biggest blockbuster films. Unleash your power to determine the fate of Earth as the ultimate war rages across the globe. Every second counts as you experience TRANSFORMERS like never before!

EIDOS: 020 8636 3000

Activision.com


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THQ reshuffles marketing team Re-shaped marketing and PR team delighted by UFC 2009 and Red Faction success

a personal lifestyle coach to help you track your activity and calorie intake and help you improve your diet and exercise routine. We feel that this range of products on DS, coupled with Wii Fit, offers a fitness solution for everyone.” During E3 earlier this month Nintendo announced the next in its Wii Fit franchise, Wii Fit Plus, will hit shelves this Christmas as a standalone SKU and as a bundle with the Wii Balance Board.

UK GAMES industry charity GamesAid has revealed the first companies to join its Company Partnership Scheme. Intent Media, Gem, Codemasters, Eurogamer, Fink Creative, Nintendo, Mastertronic, Logitech, SCEE, THQ, Relentless Software, Osborne Clarke, The Producers and Gem Creative are the first firms to sign up. Participating companies will provide services and financial contributions for the charity. GamesAid chairman Andy Payne commented: “GamesAid is all about inclusiveness and raising awareness, whilst at the same time keeping our running costs as low as possible. This partnership scheme recognises those companies who have committed to help GamesAid by raising both awareness and funds, as well as contributing services on a pro bono basis.” The Partnership Scheme comes after the launch of the individual membership scheme, and companies in the games industry can find out how to become a partner at gamesaid.org. GamesAid is a charity for children and young people. Its next event is a charity poker tournament at the Grosvenor Casino, Brighton, due to be held on Tuesday, July 14th during the Develop Conference and Expo.

Nintendo: 01753 483700

Contact: 07710 171933

RESTRUCTURE: (Pictured left to right) Jon Rooke, Richard Williams, Sam Forrest, James Docherty and Huw Beynon drive THQ forward

by Christopher Dring PUBLISHER THQ has finalised its UK and European marketing department, following the firm’s global restructure at the end of last year. The new team is headed up by Richard Williams, who has stepped up from European marketing director to vice president of European marketing, following nine years at the firm. Former European head of marketing Jon Rooke has extended his remit to include the UK, in his new role of head of marketing, while Huw Beynon has been promoted to

head of digital marketing for UK and Europe. In the PR team, Sam Forrest has become head of PR for UK and Europe. Meanwhile, a new face joining the team is James

year stint at SCEE, where he held the role of market analysis manager. In his new role Docherty will take responsibility for building and developing a European market analysis,

After a challenging 2009, it’s fantastic to see the new UK & European team driving THQ from strength-to-strength. Richard Williams, THQ

Docherty, who has signed up as the publisher’s head of European market insight. Docherty joins THQ following a seven and a half

research and planning function. The new look team has already been responsible for the release of UFC 2009: Undisputed, the first THQ UK

No. 1 in over two and a half years, and Red Faction: Guerrilla, which secured second place when it launched earlier this month. “After a challenging 2008, it’s fantastic to see the new UK & European team pulling together to effectively drive THQ from strength-tostrength,” said Williams. “It’s very clear that the amazing results we have seen with both Red Faction: Guerrilla and UFC 2009 Undisputed truly speak for themselves and reflect the hard work and commitment the entire team have given.” THQ: 01483 767656

Nintendo committed to fitness revolution FITNESS GAMES are the most important part of Nintendo’s DS and Wii line-up, the platform holder has told MCV. The revelation follows the incredible long-tail success of Wii Fit, and ahead of upcoming DS game Active Health, which has been made in conjunction with celebrity Carol Vorderman. “Fitness products have become very popular and are of paramount importance to Nintendo,” explained product manager Roger Langford. “We aim to offer our customers a

range of fitness products designed to meet the needs of everyone and help you maintain a much healthier lifestyle. “A good example of this are the two new products available for Nintendo DS. The recently released

Walk With Me offers users the chance to kickstart an active lifestyle and aims to get friends and families out and about comparing their activity data recorded by the bundled compact Activity Meters. “Conversely Active Health, released August 7th, offers you

GamesAid launch partners confirmed


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Sponsored by

Ubisoft’s Wii range sells half a million Publisher celebrates successful first year for Playzone range with two new titles by James Batchelor UBISOFT has announced that its Playzone range has sold over 500,000 units, ahead of the release of two new games in the series. The budget label began life with the release of Sports Party in July last year, and was backed by a full marketing push. And now the company is set to extend that with the launch of

almost half a million units across the range, which is a very solid result for this range. “The products were tailored for this platform and this audience. Our marketing support generated the awareness needed to reach our consumers, and finally, the price point and in-store activity encouraged the actual act of purchasing. “We are releasing two more games this summer – Fun Park

We are happy with the performance of Playzone, and we are still exploring the genre to grow the range Ombeline Wallon, Ubisoft

Fun Park Party, Summer Sports Party and the recently announced Knockout Party. “Overall, we are happy with the performance of the range,” offered UK brand manager Ombeline Wallon. “In just under a year we have sold

Party and Summer Sports Party – and at E3, we also announced and showed Knockout Party, which will be out this winter,” said Wallon. “So as you can see, we are still exploring the genre and growing our range.”

[IN BRIEF] TAKE-TWO: A new bundle hits stores on July 10th, containing BioShock and Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The compilation will be on 360 and PC, with RRPs of £29.99 and £19.99. CODEMASTERS: England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been announced as the face of Codies’ upcoming sports game, Ashes Cricket 2009. He will be the game’s cover star and joins Ricky Ponting, Shane Warner and Sir Ian Botham on the roster of featured cricketers. IN THE ZONE: Brand manager Ombelline Wallon praises upcoming Playzone titles

While the label is a success, Wallon says it is unlikely that Ubisoft will bring these titles or similar products to the Wii’s rival formats. “Playzone was created with the Wii player in mind,” she explained. “From the themes to the gameplay mechanics, it

is 100 per cent developed for this platform and for this audience. Saying that, we are always looking ahead to find new opportunities.” Ubisoft: 01932 578000

Simon Lee moves on from Gem GEM’S COMMERCIAL and marketing director Simon Lee has left the company’s ranks, MCV can reveal. Lee joined Gem from former distributor EUK, and oversaw departments such as Purchasing and Gem Creative. He was also responsible for the product management team, which involved working with key vendors, securing potential new vendors and sourcing and launching new products and distribution deals. Taking over his role is former general sales manager Tracey Tennison, who has been promoted to head of purchasing

with immediate effect. Tennison joined Gem’s sales team in 2005, following ten years of sales experience, and was responsible for all sales activity in the National Accounts, Catalogue, Leisure and Business sales departments. In her new role, Tennison will report to Gem managing director Chris Peacock. “I would like to thank Simon Lee for his contribution to the amazing success that Gem has enjoyed in the last three years,“ commented Peacock. “I am confident that Tracey Tennison will prove to be a more than capable replacement

DEPARTING: Simon Lee leaves Gem for pastures new

as we continue to develop the business and our supplier relationships in a professional and structured manner.“ The changes are part of a restructure to Gem’s purchasing and product management teams. The distributor is currently recruiting a head of national accounts and a general sales manage to replace Tennison’s previous sales roles. 2009 has been a triumphant year for Gem, with the firm celebrating its 25th year in business earlier this year. Gem Creative also triumphed at this year’s PC Retail Awards. Gem: 01279 459072

MICROSOFT: Xbox 360 owners who pre-order Halo 3: ODST will receive a code to unlock an exclusive multiplayer character, Sergeant Avery Junior Johnson. Microsoft also confirmed the price of the game – £39.99 in the UK. SONY: Long-term PSN favourite Pain has been released on Blu-ray this week, with an RRP of £19.99. The disc contains most of the DLC made available for the game to date, including new levels and additional playable characters.

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NEWS

Mastertronic launches new indie label World Of Goo to mark debut of Great Indie Games as Mastertronic sets sights on untapped indie community by Phoebe Oldham MASTERTRONIC is launching Great Indie Games – a new label created specifically, as the name suggests, to bring indiedeveloped games to a wider retail audience. This marks a new move for the firm, which has traditionally

we can add real value to indie games by getting them in front of a mainstream retail audience and shouting from the rooftops about the fruits of their considerable labour.” Payne added that the publisher believes the PC market has both the audience and space for games produced

We believe Great Indie Games can add real value to indie games, bringing them to a mainstream retail audience. Andy Payne, Mastertronic

specialised in republished software. The first game signed up to the label will be World of Goo, developed by 2D Boy. Mastertronic’s managing director Andy Payne said: “We at Mastertronic have always wanted to work more closely with developers and we believe

INDEPENDENCE PLAY: Mastertronic will roll out World Of Goo and other titles under the new label

with a lower buget than the more traditional releases. He also pointed to the heritage of indie games. “The games industry grew out of indie pioneers, so it is about time we helped them get back to

where they belong,” he said. “Great Indie Games is a great vehicle to make this happen and I am proud to be representing this talent. “We are on the lookout for more indie games so any studios who want their games sold at retail should definitely get in touch with us.”

Neil McKenna, who heads the publishing team at Mastertronic, added: “I am really pleased that we have decided to put this market down and build an indie games label. Mastertronic has always concentrated on bringing great value core PC games to a retail audience and this is a natural progression for us. There are a slew of ‘pick up and play’

EEK W E H T F O N G I CAMPA

DOM UNITE E E R F R E T N U MONSTER H

In Capcom’s quest to recreate the Japanese success of Monster Hunter in the UK, the publisher rallies its forces to herald the arrival of Freedom Unite, even setting up a hall for warriors in our capital…

PRINT Capcom has arranged a full print campaign that will see Monster Hunter ads appear in kids’ and national press. As with the rest of Freedom Unite’s marketing, these will emphasise the multiplayer aspect.

family programming, targeting the game’s intended audience of 12 to 15 year-old males. A cinema campaign will also kick in over the summer, with ads appearing before some of the biggest blockbusters, such as the new Harry Potter flick.

ONLINE The official website has been live for a few weeks and features the Encyclopaedia Gigantica, which offers information on the game and answers potential buyers’ questions. Elsewhere, site takeovers have been arranged for The Sun, Nickelodeon, ebuddy and MSN, while banners, skyscrapers and MPUs will be hosted on the likes of the MTV, Turner and ITV networks.

OUTDOORS Capcom has set up a Gathering Hall on London’s Charing Cross Road. This will be open every day from 10am after July 3rd and free to enter for those who buy Freedom Unite, offering Monster Hunter fans a place to team up together and work through the game’s multiplayer mode. Over the summer, the publisher will be offering exclusive downloadable quests and expert tips.

TV/MEDIA There will be four weeks of 30second TV spots running during key children’s and

RETAIL Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is already an integral part of Sony’s campaign to reinvigorate

HUNTING SUPPLIES: Sony and Capcom have worked together to produce this special Monster Hunter-theme PSP bundle

interest in the PSP over the summer. It is also the subject of a new PSP bundle, which includes a copy of the game and a Mystic Silver PSP-3000. Retaliers will also be able to get a range of POS from Centresoft, including posters and flyers that encourage gamers to set up their own Monster Hunter meetings so they can quest together.

games on the market, some good, some not so good. “World of Goo is simply fiendishly addictive and a game for everyone. I am sure that this will be a hit with our retail partners and consumers alike.” World of Goo will released in UK & Ireland in early July, with an RRP of £14.99. Mastertronic: 0845 234 4242


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MCV INTERVIEW ANDREW HOUSE, PRESIDENT, SCEE

House Proud At E3, Sony impressed attendees with its new PSPgo and Motion Sensor hardware, plus a raft of new software. And now new SCEE boss Andrew House tells Michael French that he plans to back that all up with a renewed focus on network games…

How’s the first month at SCEE been? Absolutely great. It’s a fantastic team and a business with real longevity. It’s a return for me and it’s nice to be back home. It’s been more interesting for me because now I have a dual perspective of the wider Sony Corp and its perspective on things. Europe is very diverse, and very different to the States. That lends a great fascination to the job. And it’s a good time to come back. After our E3 announcements there is a real sense at Sony of strength given our line-up.

Anything at SCEE you plan to change? It’d be very arrogant of me to come in an say ‘Right. We’re changing things.’ SCEE is a tremendous business that was run expertly by David Reeves, and Chris Deering before him. But one real area of fascination for me has been the Network business. There is a consumer base Originally I was charged now – my children included – with investigating how which is comfortable with just we could do that on PS2. Now on PS3 and downloading their content. PSP we have 24m Andrew House, SCEE accounts registered – and it has huge untapped potential. Networking gaming specifically is businesses separately and also manage poised for tremendous growth. I think it them transparently for developers and needs something of a renewed focus for publishers. us, either organisationally or, more So it’s an ambitious approach – but a importantly, changing the relationship sensible and measured one. with the consumer. I come from a consumer marketing background, Do you think the new PSP so know a lot about that addresses the problems on that – but it’s a learning format such as publisher support experience for us. drying up and piracy? The PSPgo is the PSPgo aside, one of the big takeaways first constantly from E3 was that there was already a evolving network renewed focus from publishers and device that Sony developers – and first parties around the has put into the device – about supporting the PSP over market. This the long-term. puts us at the The PSPgo adds to that message and forefront of says that from a platform perspective we learning what are committed to it in the long term, that means for committed to innovating and finding consumers and that new ways to serve the consumer. Yes, relationship. digital addresses things like piracy but it is more about responding to a lifestyle PSPgo, as you say, ties into change amongst consumers, and that closely. What’s the choosing to do that at the right time, as

GO FOR IT: House says that the PSPgo shows Sony ‘taking a leadership position’ in the digital download space

message around this device to the industry, specifically retail, about a platform that is digital only? It puts us in a position of taking a leadership stance. There is a consumer base out there – my children included – which is very comfortable with just downloading their content. The onus is on Sony, on SCEE, and I think all of the industry, to get in front of that change and harness it, rather than get dragged along by it in ways that other entertainment industries have frankly suffered from. But at the same time it is a measured approach – this is an extension to the PSP line-up, not a replacement. There is a perfectly viable packaged media business still there for consumers who want that offering. But we have to be exploring new ways to deliver that content as well. We will manage both

opposed to being reactive – holding back might lead us down a bad path. There’s a clear price difference there, too. Are you charging more for the PSPgo to protect retail margins as they won’t be selling software? Or to cover R&D costs? Those aren’t the factors. When you introduce a new piece of hardware you have the opportunity to say there is a certain premium that is associated with it, and we took that into account. As with all hardware launches you look at the business model, the cost structure, and the necessarily level of profitability, and you use that to set the wholesale price. Much as we do with any other hardware. Who is the target audience? Our opportunity is on multiple vectors. If the current PSP, as you move through the traditional cycle of console hardware, moves towards younger owners and the mass market, the PSPgo has the opportunity to appeal to a slightly older demographic. And there is a significant opportunity for those who currently enjoy the PSP and are looking at upgrading to new hardware. There is also a significant tweens opportunity – with two of my own, I know they are consuming their content that way.

Do you think Sony changed the industry’s perception of the company at E3 The previous two years’ events weren’t the platforms’ best. Has the scepticism has gone? I think so. The tone of our presentation was one of a fair amount of humility and also some quiet confidence. We struck the right balance between new and different experiences and a view of a networked device balanced with great games people want to play. I think that you are starting to see, not just reluctance gone away, but a genuine belief in that we offered a ten year lifecycle on PSOne, and PS2, and that PS3 is similarly here for the long term. For a third party publisher looking to ride out the different platform


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MCV INTERVIEW ANDREW HOUSE, PRESIDENT, SCEE lifecycles, we are a really good bet, and poised for much bigger market expansion in the next year or so.

HOUSE IN ORDER: The new SCEE president told MCV that Modnation Racers and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (inset) are key exclusives for PS3 and PSP respectively

What about price? Many expected some movement on PS3. The strategy there is to say that, not to harp on about it, the device has a 10 year lifecycle and that there are issues of cost and profitability. We will make that move on price when all those factors are aligned. Would people buy more when they are cheaper? Of course. But on the other hand there is an inherent marketing challenge. In Europe I think people do see the value of the machine, the Blu-ray and network services and take that all into consideration instead of just focusing on price. But we will look at price and will address it when the time is right. You announced next year’s ‘Sony Motion Sensor’ at E3 too. Talk us through the plans for that. It lengthens the experience and the variety on PS3 even further. The technology is fun; we showed, very tangibly, how it becomes part of games experiences we know and love, but also adds new ones. The goal for us is to bring in new technology at a point in our lifecycle where we think it’s right to do so and really make a difference. For years people asked us when we would go into portable gaming – and the answer was that we would do it when we have a revolutionary device that will change the business and I think we’ve demonstrated we have that with the Motion Sensor. That device and the PSPgo – you’re asking consumers to spend even more on PlayStation hardware. Does that not conflict with the fact we are in a recession? Clearly the industry as a whole has seen some impact from the recession. I think everybody would agree we’ve held up tremendously well in the circumstances. On balance we are still a good value for money entertainment form, especially in terms of dollars per hour spent. So I don’t think there is a conflict – you have to be clearly sensitive to consumers’ perceptions right now. I am something of an optimist; I think there will be a turnaround within this calendar year.

WHO IS ANDREW HOUSE? House took over as president, CEO and COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe on May 1st. He joined Sony Corp in 1990 for a corporate communications role based in Japan. In April 1995, he joined the marketing and communications

division of SCEI, contributing to the marketing and promotion of the original PlayStation In March 1996, he was promoted to VP of marketing at SCEA. From 2000, his remit in North America widened to include leadership of the Third Party

Relations and Developer Support divisions. He was appointed chief marketing officer at Sony in 2005. As new SCEE head he is now responsible for managing the PlayStation business across nearly 100 countries in the Europe/PAL territories.


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DIGITAL BRITAIN: THE FACTS

The MCV Guide to From education to piracy, game certification to broadband speed, MCV’s Rob Crossley lists the key proposals

BROADBAND

GAME CERTIFICATION

SKILLS

What the report said: 1) The Government is aiming to give broadband access to “virtually every household” in the UK, all with a minimum speed of 2Mb/sec, by no later than 2012. 2) 90 per cent of the UK will receive “next generation” broadband by 2017.

What the report said: The Government will use a “strengthened system” of game classification which will be based on the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) standard.

What the report said: The Government will strongly support graduate and post-graduate courses that feature ‘hard’ science, technology and mathematical skills. It will also consider a new Usability Centre for Video Games.

In context: Soon the UK will drop its BBFC games ratings and progress forwards with PEGI’s. This need for single classification and labelling system was outlined in last year’s Byron Report. The Video Standards Council have been called in to act as an enforcer. The group will oversee ratings and will be given the authority to ban games that don’t meet guidelines, as well as crack down on developers who may try to exploit the self-declaration process. Furthermore, MCV has revealed that the VSC is now hiring three content experts – a clinical psychologist, a media psychologist and a media lawyer – to ultimately decide if a game should be banned from UK retail. Games suspected to have fallen foul of the Video Recordings Act will ultimately be sent to the group for review. With regards to online content control, meanwhile, a number of ‘safeguards’ will be established to “help parents and children determine what content is appropriate”. These measures range from a seal-of-approval system for “content filtering” software, to the nascent PEGI Online system.

In context: The refocus on hard sciences is in fact part of a wider shift in the UK’s Higher Education Framework – with a new emphasis on meeting recognised skill gaps. The announcement marks a positive response to the ongoing concerns from within the UK games industry, which have criticised the current Higher Education courses for not arming the industry with the best-trained talent. “Universities are not producing enough of the type of people we need,” said Eidos life president Ian Livingstone back in January. “The industry needs mathematicians, physicists and artists.” As well as focus on a new set of courses to aid the industry, the Labour Government’s Usability Centre for Video Games is being considered for use as a ‘national resource’ with all UK developers able to use the available facilities. “The primary aim of such a Centre is to address issues around skills development offering graduates the work related training necessary to enable them to secure their first job in the industry and helping to bridge the current gap,” said the report.

In context: This broadband access entitlement will be partly funded by the £200 million left over from the recent UK switch to digital television. However, the Government needs considerably more money to reach its goals, so every resident and business with a phone line in the UK will be taxed an additional 50p per month. The Digital Britain report also acknowledged that the UK needs to see speeds far greater than 2Mb/sec, to which the private sector is already leading the way in. However, the report also forecasts a “future fibre divide” where around 60-70 per cent of the population will enjoy fast net access with the remainder left out. To solve this, Digital Britain proposes a ‘Final Third Project’ which sets a 2017 deadline for fast broadband access in 90 per cent of UK homes. This will also be partfunded by the 50p charge. What it means for the industry: Perhaps more than you think. Such growth in high-speed internet access is a necessary step in the potential cloud-gaming revolution. Faster speeds will also help stimulate the popularity of services such as Steam, PSN, Xbox Live and WiiWare, as a wider number of consumers become more ingrained in net culture. It should be noted that the minimum connection speed needed for OnLive is 1.5Mb/sec, while HD gaming requires 5Mb/sec.

What it means for the industry: Other than the obvious ramifications for retail and publishers, early plans indicate that developers will be given the power to selfdeclare a rating for PEGI to consider. The VSC’s new authority to monitor the process is clearly a necessary measure in ensuring that submitting companies don’t try their luck. MCV has revealed that this ‘execution panel’ will reduce the chances of a game ban being successfully appealed.

What this means for the industry: A better selection of graduates will slowly trickle in as ‘hard’ sciences gain more prominence in UK Universities. While Abertay University in Scotland remains a core education centre for the industry, the proposed Usability Centre for Video Games, if it is greenlit, would further train students with more relevant skills and experience in game production. Tiga CEO Richard Wilson told MCV sister mag Develop that the new skills proposals were encouraging for studios: “So often, when we talk about skills shortages in the games industry a lot of the debates seem to revolve around games courses. So it’s really good to see the Government recognising that some of these more traditional ‘hard’ sciences are really important to the sector.”


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DIGITAL BRITAIN: THE FACTS

Digital Britain in the Government’s high-profile report on UK technology’s future, offering analysis and opinion on each…

PIRACY

DEVELOPMENT TAX BREAKS

What the report said: The Government wants to cut down unlawful filesharing by a staggering 7080 per cent in the UK within two on. The Government denounced the use of filesharing, but added that most people “much prefer not to do wrong” if given a reasonable choice. It has therefore launched a wide-ranging solution on illicit filesharing that spans ISP monitoring, education, and stimulating the growth of legal markets.

What the report said: The Government has “committed to work with the industry to collect and review the evidence for a tax relief”. Plans are in place to “promote the sustainable production” for ‘culturally British video games.’

In context: Central to the Government’s fight against piracy is the new role given to the independent regulatory body, Ofcom. ISPs have always argued that it is not their job to hunt down illicit file sharers who use their internet channels. Ofcom will now be able to enforce those ISPs to find and contact persistent piracy offenders. Those that illicitly download a noticeable amount of copyrighted property will get a letter through the post, requesting they desist. Twelve months later, after handing out said notifications, Ofcom will examine whether the system has worked. The body will count the total number of people it sent a letter out to, and add up all their illicit filesharing usage. If there is a 70 per cent reduction in illicit filesharing use, things will continue as planned. If there’s anything below this target, Ofcom will be given new, more aggressive powers. After an unsuccessful twelve months, and a Government consultation, the group will eventually be able to reduce the speed of users’ internet access, block off certain addresses that allows access to torrents, and cap bandwidth use. The Digital Britain report chose not to use the word ‘banning’, after backing away from France’s controversial and contested ‘three-strikes’ system. Irrespective of the twelve month system, Ofcom has the power to identify the ‘minority’ of major piracy offenders, so that content holders can more easily sue them.Aside from dealing with punishment, the White Paper also promoted the use of innovative online service which aim to make the legal choice the easiest choice. What it means for the industry: For content owners, developers and publishers, piracy remains the single most important issue raised in the Digital Britain report. Games like Spore have reportedly lost close to half of their total market through piracy. Yet illicit file sharing remains a global problem, not a UK one. Even if the Paper’s ambitious plan to cut piracy in the UK by 70 per cent was met, it would fail to have a noticeable effect on the hugely popular game torrents. People who illicitly download video games also tend to be the people who know how to mod a console, how to use a crack file and how to find a keygen. They are embedded in a culture which seems more resistive to a letter through the post, as it has been resistive to all copyright protection measures in the past.

In context: Of all the measures outlined for the games industry, this proposed review is certainly the most awash with ambiguity. Delaying tactic or not, industry group Tiga is delighted by the measures outlined in the final Digital Britain report. In an interview with MCV sister magazine Develop, Tiga CEO Richard Wilson said the announcement of a review was a “major step forward”. “We weren’t getting this a year ago, two years ago, three years ago,” he said. “In the past we’ve had some Government Ministers suggest that if developers don’t like the tax regime in the UK they should simply leave the country. So this really is progress.” The measures certainly continue to convey a general change in perception on video games throughout Westminster. The interim report made – literally – just one brief mention of the video game sector. The full report offers, in bold, written plans to consider reforming the game tax system, expressing its respect for the medium [see quotes]. The timing of the taxation review process will reveal just how serious the Government is. With a general election due in spring next year, there has little time to spare. What it means for the industry: UK developers who exercised their voice to stimulate change should be proud for making an impact on the Government’s decisions, regardless of the unknown result. The Government has asked for more time, during which publishers will continue to move their work to cheaper talent bases, bigger vacuums will be created in the UK development workforce, and developers will continue to look to work overseas. Yet thanks to a number of groups and bodies, particularly Tiga, the relationship between the Government and the games industry has never been tighter. And so there has never been a more likely time for Westminster to answer the calls of the development community. Furthermore, if tax breaks are introduced to the game sector, there is a chance that they will only be available to a certain type of game. As the Digital Britain report states: “In film, a system of cultural tax credits has long helped to sustain a wide range of films that speak to a British narrative, rather than the cultural perspectives of Hollywood or multinational collaborations. Other countries such as Canada, for similar reasons, extend the model of cultural tax relief to the interactive and online worlds.” Bearing in mind that the Paper stated that a review was being considered for ‘culturally British video games’, there ay be a real chance that any game tax breaks will shift which types of games come from the region.


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IDEF 2009

Cannes do IN JUST FOUR years IDEF has become a major date in the calendars of publishers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors throughout Europe. The three-day event, which runs this year from Tuesday June 30th to Thursday July 2nd at the Palais Des Festivals in Cannes, has always been a popular destination for French and Italian game buyers. But this year is expecting to attract a large quantity of retailers from Benelux, Spain, Russia and even the UK. “In three years, IDEF has become the trade fair bringing together console and component manufacturers, publishers, and distributors to meet the major buyers in the trade for a three-day

The fourth Interactive and Digital Entertainment F off in Cannes. Christopher Dring takes a closer l to find out what’s in-store for Europe’s leading r

show,” says IDEF Generale Delegate 2007. And this year’s exhibitor list is its Jean-Claude Larue. most impressive yet, including big “These condensed meetings have names such as Atari, Activision, become an event no one in the trade Blackbean, Capcom, Codemasters, can afford to miss. In the run-up to the Disney Interactive, Eidos, EA, Koch, end-of-year bonanza, IDEF gives exhibitors a IDEF 2008 attracted over chance to show off their 800 buyers of 13 nationalities latest products. – more than doubling the “The event’s nowfigures in three years. established drive has propelled IDEF into its Jean-Claude Larue, IDEF position as the annual business-to-business gathering for video Konami, Microsoft, Bigben, Nintendo, games and entertainment software.” Sega, Sony, Take-Two, Ubisoft, THQ and Last year was a big success for IDEF, Warner Bros. with the number of exhibitors rising by IDEF 2009 boasts more than 100 over 45 per cent when compared with exhibitors who will be presenting their

end-of-year line-ups, and the event’s organisers are expecting over 700 European buyers to hold more than 3,500 meetings over the three days. GLOBAL APPEAL

IDEF is especially keen to see a rise in UK buyers at this year’s show, while the event organisers have announced that stores and distributors from Canada and Israel will be attending. But it’s not all about retail meetings, there are a series of other events, conferences and roundtables taking place over the three days, including a conference with GfK and an explosive


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IDEF 2009

Over 100 exhibitors will be showcasing their fourth quarter line-ups at this year’s IDEF, with over 700 European buyers expected to visit the show, as well as visitors from Israel, Canada and Russia

t Festival is about to kick r look at this year’s event retail buyers…

show evening, both of which take place on Tuesday June 30th. Furthermore, the Italian Game Awards take place on Wednesday July 1st. “The first three sessions demonstrated an excellent level of business,” concludes Larue. “IDEF 2008 attracted over 800 buyers, whether invited or accredited, of 13 different nationalities, more than doubling the figures in three years. “The forthcoming meeting in Cannes, will be the key gathering for the video games market across Europe. “We’d like to thank those that have trusted us to make this gathering an ideal venue for business and sharing, as well as a great media event.”


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SUMMER PERIPHERALS: OVERVIEW

Accessorise all areas Peripherals took centre stage at E3 earlier in the month, with new tech from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Christopher Dring speaks to the key manufacturers on life in the increasingly competitive accessories market…. THIS YEAR’S E3 was a veritable hotbed of exciting new accessories. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony grabbed the headlines with the Wii Vitality Sensor, Project Natal for Xbox and Sony’s new motion controller. But there was also a wealth of first party products from EA and Activision too, including Beatles instruments, DJ Hero turntable and a Tony Hawk skateboard. The technology on display in LA further demonstrated how far the peripherals market has come. Today’s accessories are able to command the sort of prominent shelf space normally reserved for your triple-A software, and the competition has never been fiercer. “The main growth in the peripherals sector has been generated by the increased competition,” comments Blaze MD Jason Cooper. “The surprise has been in the size and quality of some of the companies that have entered the market. This has mainly been Activision with their Guitar Hero franchise and EA with Rock Band. These competitors are welcome as it increases the overall opportunity for further add-on products.” Interactive Ideas’ senior marketing executive Andrew Miles adds: “We have seen an increase in competitors, which is fantastic as they push the envelope, bringing products of an everincreasing level of quality and innovation.”

With new manufacturers entering the peripherals market on an almost weekly basis, competition is certainly tough. And this has driven the leading companies to work harder in creating the best accessories around. “As with any crowded marketplace, standing out is very important,” says Pinpoint’s product development manager Tom Armstrong “We always ask ourselves why? Why would a customer want this and why should the retailer stock this?”

Hubb Accessories sales manager Mel Jones agrees: “The competition keeps us constantly striving to improve and innovate so our products stand out. You don’t get anywhere by standing still.”

TECHNICAL ADVANCES: An impressive line-up of new peripherals including the DJ Hero turntable (above) dominated E3

ECONOMIC WOES

Increased competition aside, another big challenge for the peripheral specialists is the economy. Retail is integral to the success of the accessories market – and the loss of retailers like Woolworths and Zavvi would have certainly been felt.

THEIR DAY IN THE SUN: THOSE E3 ANNOUNCEMENTS...

Wii MotionPlus Launched earlier this month, MotionPlus is set to play a major part in Wii’s future. The accessory allows gamers’ actions to be represented more accurately on screen, and is compatible with Wii Sports Resort, Virtua Tennis and Red Steel 2.

PlayStation Motion Controller Sony’s unnamed motion sensing prototype was demonstrated at E3, and works with the PSEye. The device appears to behave in a similar way to Nintendo’s Wii Remote and boasts advanced ‘sub-millimetre accuracy.’

Project Natal Fully endorsed by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, Project Natal combines an RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone and custom processor, and is designed to remove the need for controllers altogether.

Tony Hawk’s Skateboard Set for release with Tony Hawk’s Ride, the skateboard combines accelerometers and motion sensors, and allows gamers to perform various gestures on the board that translate to tricks in the game.


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“The main issue in the current climate has been understanding the position of retailers and managing these credit limits,” admits Venom’s marketing manager Tom Hodge. “The economic conditions have been difficult for everyone on the High Street.” Logic3’s sales manager Paul Croucher continues: “The peripherals sector has always been competitive and in the current economic climate even more so. Retailer credit has been withdrawn or reduced, cost of materials has risen and that’s on top of currency fluctuations.” Despite the challenges, the peripherals market is still a huge growth area for the

technology was announced for manufacturers to get involved with. “One of the biggest challenges is keeping up with changing technology, particularly the trend toward interactive gaming started by Nintendo,” says DreamGear’s COO Richard Weston. Exspect general manager Neil Meredith adds: “We have got to be careful that we don’t become faceless white plastic bits manufacturers. E3 threw up lots of opportunities to innovate but as history has shown great innovation doesn’t always translate into peripheral sales.” However, not everyone is convinced that technology should lead the way, as

We have got to be careful that we innovate and don’t become faceless white plastic bits manufacturers. Neil Meredith, Exspect

industry. Licensed products, from Ben 10 PSP cases to Hello Kitty styluses, are now a regular feature on shop shelves, and their sales are driven by gaming’s new mass-market audience. “2009 has been a continuation of last year,” says AntiGrav MD Robert Orchard. “The emphasis is still on using accessories to enhance the gaming experience, while the move towards more licensed products continues.” FUTURE TECH

New hardware has also benefited the market this year. The launch of DSi in April was joined by a plethora of accessories, and the same can be expected for the release of PSPgo. Meanwhile, at E3 a whole host of new

New Concept Gaming MD Brendan Ludden explains: “With ever advancing technical developments there is a danger of letting it drive peripheral innovation. We think a challenge will be focussing on what is fun and not getting carried away with the tech.” The peripherals market is continuing to grow. Over the next few pages MCV details some of the products set to hit shelves this summer, from new DSi cases to improved methods of control. And you can guarantee that the manufacturers will be well underway inventing and perfecting the next range of accessories to work alongside the likes of Project Natal, Wii MotionPlus and whatever else the industry may throw up next.

play it... enjoy it... new from

Wii Wand

Wii Wand Action Pack

Wii Charge Station Quad

Multi Format Metal Pedal

Also available

...bringing you all the right lines DJ Hero Turntable Activision’s other new peripheral is an impressive deck for its upcoming DJ Hero. The turntable features a sleek and attractive design, and all the buttons and knobs you’d expect from a real set of decks.

Wii Vitality Sensor Revealed at E3 by Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata, the Wii Vitality Sensor attaches to gamers’ fingers and the Wii Remote, and is designed to check stress and help users to relax.

For general enquiries contact:

01606 558 428 or email:

enquires@pinpointce.co.uk Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group


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SUMMER PERIPHERALS: PROFILES

Venom’s Sonic-branded products are certain to prove popular among Sega’s loyal fans and veteran gamers

ACCESSORIES for DSi and DS Lite are amongst the biggest selling peripherals on the market, and it’s in this area that Venom leads the way. Handheld consoles are also particularly popular during the summer months, with consumers taking their machines on holidays, and Venom has just the products to make sure they come back in one piece.

One such item is the Safety Pack for DSi, which is available in both pink and black. The affordable bundle features a durable EVA carry case that can hold your console plus three game cases, screen protectors, a stylus saver, wrist strap, neck strap and earphones. The firm also sells a variety of officially licensed aluminium cases, including its latest blue Sonic case. The

case is nigh on indestructible and perfectly secure, and has room for games, earphones, and the console. The aluminium box also features a blue and stylish Sonic-based design. Also in Venom’s Sonic range is the Sonic Speed Pac for Nintendo DS. The Speed Pack features everything a DSowning Sonic nut could want, including a branded EVA storage case four game

cases, two replacement stylus pens, two screen protectors, earphones, a wrist strap and cleaning pad. Completing Venom’s key summer DS peripherals is the DSi and DS Lite AC adaptor and car charger. Both products are perfect for holidays, with the car charger ideal for those long journeys and the AC adapter a good companion to it. Venom: 01763 284181

Antigrav’s lucrative partnership with Cartoon Network and Ben 10 ensures success this summer

THE BEN 10 juggernaut doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon. The Cartoon Network-owned animated series is aired in over 160 different countries, there has been two series’ and a movie, and Ben 10 toys top the best-selling lists around the world. In terms of games, D3P’s Ben 10: Protector of the Earth has sold over 2.5 million copies globally, and was a mainstay in the UK charts throughout 2008.

Meanwhile, the publisher has repeated its success with the sequel, Ben 10: Alien Force, which is still in the Top 40 since its release earlier this year. So it comes as no surprise that AntiGrav has decided to distribute official Ben 10: Alien Force accessories into the UK market. The peripherals distributor has a wide array of products for Ben 10 fantatics,

including a wireless and wired PS2 Alien Force Controller, which comes with a Ben 10: Alien Force design. For DS, the firm has a Alien Force DS pack, which includes two branded stylus’, three game cases, screen protectors, spring strap, skin stickers and a bag. The firm also has a hardcase for DS Lite, which features a drawer that can hold three games. Finally for DS Lite and DSi, AntiGrav has a Omnitrix

console dock coming soon. For Wii, AntiGrav has a variety of Ben 10 products, including a Wii Alien Force Wireless Nunchuk complete with Ben 10 design, a Wireless Wii Remote and a Nunchuk and Remote grip set. Finally in AntiGrav’s Ben 10 range is the PSP 8-in-1 pack, that includes an Eva bag with strap, a spring strap and cleaning cloth, car charger and more. AntiGrav: 01932 454 929


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The Compact Racing Wheel fills a gap in the PS3 market, granting racing fans a more immersive experience

THE RACING genre is continuing to go from strength-to-strength this year, with new titles from Codemasters, Activision Blizzard and Sony. And peripherals giant Accessories 4 Technology has lined-up the perfect product for PS3-owning racing nuts, the Compact Racing Wheel. Racing cradles have been a big hit on Wii, driven by the success of Mario Kart

Wii, and the decision to create a similar device for PlayStation 3 certainly makes sense, with so many top PS3 games making use of the Sixaxis control. Some of the format’s biggest selling boxed racing games, including F1, Ridge Racer, Burnout Paradise and Motorstorm make full use of Sixaxis control, while popular PSN titles such as Toy Home also makes use of the control method.

Released under the 4Gamers brand, the officially licensed Racing Wheel is certainly an attractive object with its chrome effect finish, and will fit alongside other top PlayStation accessories. It’s a sturdy cradle too, and features soft rubber grip, which is comfortable to hold and means your hands won’t slip as your prepare to take that hairpin bend. The cradle is fully compatible with both

the Dual Shock and Sixaxis wireless controllers too, and all buttons are easily reached from where it sits in the centre of the wheel. However, the wheel is not compatible with racing games that do not use Sixaxis control. The device is out now and A4T has told MCV that the retailers are already very excited by the cradle’s prospects. A4T: 01204 369 220


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SUMMER PERIPHERALS: PROFILES Interactive Ideas has a wide range of accessories varied enough to appeal to any audience

INTERACTIVE IDEAS has been rather productive of late, expanding its range of accessories for Nintendo’s formats. Leading the way is the company’s Wii Fit 6-in-1 Kit, which comes with an exercise mat, silicon cover and a carry case. It also features a rechargeable battery pack and there are two pairs of textured yoga socks included. Wii owners will also appreciate the iiMotion Dual Charging Station, which charges two remotes simultaneously.

The stand has been designed not to block the Wii Remote’s extension port, so there’s no need to unplug to the Nunchuk or MotionPlus. The Tennis Duo Pack contains two authentic tennis rackets that house the Wii Remote. These double as genuine rackets, with a soft foam ball included to encourage young gamers to experience the real thing. DSi owners will find needs satisfied by Snakbyte’s DSi Travel Pack, which

contains everything a gamer on the go will need this summer. As well as a robust carry case, the pack includes replacement styluses, screen protectors, game cases, earphones, a car charger and USB charger. Of course, Microsoft fans haven’t been forgotten as Interactive Ideas rolls out Turtle Beach’s latest gaming headset. The X1 offers clear sound quality for Xbox 360 owners using voice chat, and its special microphone ensures that no

other sound is picked up during tense gaming sessions. Powered via a USB cable, the headset is also compatible with PCs. Appealing to owners of all formats, Game Dr’s Premier Laser Lens Cleaner boasts a unique ten-brush Cyclone Clean process and Zero Clearance technology to ensure the console’s laser lens is kept clean. The cleaning disc comes with its own storage case. Interactive Ideas: 0208 805 1000

Logic3 focuses on enabling console and handheld fans to enjoy music through quality audio solutions

LEADING LOGIC3’S summer line-up is a duo of comprehensive devices that provide Nintendo fans with the ultimate charging, storage and audio solution. The company’s SoundStation range caters to Wii and DS owners, serving the needs usually satisfied by several accessories with a single product. The SoundStation for Nintendo Wii houses the console itself, with room either side to account for controllers,

speakers and more. The device has two docking stations for Wii Remotes, which charge the specialised batteries that are included in the package. There are also two speakers, which provide quality audio playback, and once these are raised, storage space is revealed that has been designed for the Nunchuks. The product’s design with soft blue light illumination on the speakers, complements the Wii’s white

with blue motif. A remote control for speaker volume is also included. The DSi version is available in both black and white. This houses the DSi itself and has been designed to create a ‘mini theatre’ for users that take advantage of the handheld’s musical capabilities. The SoundStation for DSi charges Nintendo’s dual-screened phenomenon, whether it is in use or not, and doubles

as a storage case thanks to its foldable design. Its soft touch rubber finish also offers protection for the DSi against everyday wear and tear. The station is powered by the DSi’s standard power adaptor or four AA batteries. The product also includes an emergency charger, which uses AA batteries to recharge the handheld’s internal one. Logic3: 01923 471 000


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WHILE THE industry has been stunned by recent advances in motion control, such as Microsoft’s Natal and Nintendo’s MotionPlus, Re:Creation has its own innovative gem currently impressing Wii owners at retail. jOG: The Body Motion Controller is a unique peripheral that translates gamers’ real life footsteps into in-game movement. Unlike MotionPlus, this is actually compatible with a wealth of existing Wii games, including Super Mario Galaxy, the LEGO games, The Legend Of Zelda:

Twilight Princess and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. “With most of the industry focusing on upper body motion and handheld controllers, we are continuing to enjoy another year of developing jOG relatively free of direct competitions,” says developer New Concept Gaming’s business manager Aarani Kaneswaran. “jOG works fantastically in conjunction with handheld motion controllers and provides a more immersed and healthy gaming experience.”

Gamers simply connect the device between the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, and tuck the pedometer-like device onto their belt. jOG then detects their movement as they jog on the spot and translates it into in-game steps, moving their character forward. It provides players with immersive experience that so many crave these day from video games and transforms any title, hardcore or casual, into a self-improvement game. With the growing popularity of fitness games, this enables players to work out

while playing the games they usually enjoy. An average gaming session with jOG brings gamers closer to the recommended 10,000 steps adults should be taking per day. Perfectly suited to Wii, jOG isn’t limited to a single-player experience either. Many of the Wii games that are compatible with this technology support multiple players, meaning everyone can use a jOG controller to get their in-game characters moving. Re:Creation: 0118 973 6222

DreamGear gives veteran gamers the chance to enjoy today’s games with more traditional joypads

DREAMGEAR has set about improving the control options of PlayStation 3 with an array of new third party pads and arcade sticks. One such new product is the Shadow 6, a wireless PS3 pad that swaps the left analogue stick with the d-pad, similar to how the Xbox 360 controller is designed. The movements mean that the left analogue stick is closer to the user’s thumb than before, offering

gamers improved control. The pad also features Sixaxis wireless controllers, enhanced L2 and R2 triggers that prevent finger slipping, and rubberised grips for better comfort. The controller also contains wireless technology, dual rumble motors, a built-in rechargeable battery and a mini USB cable, just like the first party PS3 pad. DreamGear also had lined up a series of arcade sticks for PS3. One such

product is the Arcade Fighter Micro, which is a compact set that features all the buttons and features a fighter fan will need but without the bulk or weight. However, DreamGear also offers a full sized arcade stick entitled the Arcade Fighter, recreating the style of the early beat ’em up cabinets. The Fighter boasts a traditional arcade stick design and was designed using actual arcade cabinets,

and is perfect for games such as Street Fighter IV. The final PS3 controller on its way from DreamGear is the Arcade Fighter Classic Pad. The pad boasts an old school design with no analogue sticks, and is reminiscent of classic Mega Drive and SNES controllers. The pad is ideal for fighting games, with its six-button layout and enlarged analogue sticks. DreamGear: +1 310-222-5522


BRIGHT IDEAS t’s the holiday season again and Interactive Ideas can keep gamers playing come rain or shine. Whatever you need when you are away – headsets, lens cleaners, charging stations, DSI travel packs, a game of tennis whatever the weather, even a six-pack for the beach with the Wii Fit 6 in 1 kit – the best ideas are Interactive.

I

GAMEDR PREMIER LASER LENS CLEANER

SUBSONIC II MOTION DUAL CHARGING STATION (WII)

SNAKEBYTE DSI TRAVEL PACK

PAIR & GO WII FIT 6 IN 1 KIT

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TURTLE BEACH X1 HEADSET (XBOX 360)

DOWNLOAD our latest magazine FREE Find out more about our award-winning range of products www.interactiveideas.com/corporate/CONSUMER_RETAIL

SOFTWARE AND PERIPHERALS FOR EDUCATION, ENTERTAINMENT AND BUSINESS

Authorised distributor for:

Tel: 0208 805 1000 email: sales@interactiveideas.com web: www.interactiveideas.com For a full list of publishers and manufacturers that Interactive Ideas represent, visit www.interactiveideas.com

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The new range of Hubb game accessories will be joined by Artwizz’s high quality iPod products

OWN-BRAND peripherals manufacturer Lygo has entered the third party accessory fray with its new range of Hubb products. The first set of Hubb peripherals includes a Wii Fit starter pack, different coloured metallic cases for PSP and DSi, extended styluses for DS and DSi, mini keyboard for PS3, and a light-up battery for Wii Fit. The products will be distributed in partnership with Trilogy.

“Hubb has produced products for bundle activity and standalone sales, which are designed to deliver increased profits to retail,” says Hubb Accessories sales manager Mel Jones. “Hubb products not only look good but the consistent quality and excellent margins on offer will stand them apart from the competition.” “Stock of the first products in the range is now available in the logistics

centre in Darlington. Service to customers is one of the key elements behind Hubb’s launch, along with the commitment to retailers that they should be able to receive stock when they need it.” Hubb has also signed a distribution deal with Berlin-based accessories firm Artwizz, which will see the company’s high quality iPod accessories arrive in the UK market.

The products are designed to have a wide consumer appeal, with packaging made from recycled material. The cases are also available in various funky designs and materials. Artwizz’s products are often reviewed on the iLounge website, and they receive regular high scores, while the iPhone SeeJacket Crystal case was the runner up for Product of the Year 2008. Hubb: 01642 204343

Wii and DS products make up the bulk of Pinpoint’s line-up, along with an impressive metal drum pedal for Guitar Hero and Rock Band

PINPOINT enjoyed a successful 2008 with its line of Nintendo products, and the firm has expanded this range as it looks to grow in 2009. One such new product is the Nyko Wii Wand, which allows for control of all Wii games, and features motion controls, built-in speaker, vibration feedback, rubber B-trigger, larger 1 and 2 buttons and a re-worked d-pad. The Wand also boasts Trans-Port technology, which enables attachments – such as the specifically designed pistol grip – to integrate better with the controller.

Also from Nyko is the metal drum pedal for Rock Band and Guitar Hero: World Tour, which is compatible with all console formats. The pedal offers superb durability, an extra-sturdy base and a unique rock design, perfect for Rock Band and Guitar Hero fanatics. Finally, Pinpoint has a range of new products for DSi, including the DSi Zoom Case, which not only protects the console from bumps and scrapes but includes a removable 8x optical zoom

lens. The company also has a full accessories pack for DSi, which contains earphones, a console case, stylus, game cases, USB charge cable, car charger, a lanyard carry strip, cleaning cloth and screen protectors. “The success we achieved last year has continued into 2009, with Nintendo formats heavily dominating this space,” says Pinpoint’s product development manager Tom Armstrong.

“However, we have always had a balanced approach to our offering and whilst we have significantly increased our Nintendo range with the introduction of the Nyko Wii Wand with its revolutionary Trans-Port technology and the recently announced DSi Zoom Case, it has not been at the expense of other formats. Consumers have ever increasing needs and we must continue to delivery exciting products to match these needs – whatever the format of choice.” Pinpoint: 01606 558428


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We’re in motion are you?

• Twin Packs & bundles • Wii™ Motion Compatible • Durable Design

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PERSONNEL

Koch Media goes hardcore with new hires Three take new roles at Koch  PC Gamer’s Tim Edwards becomes editor  CG.biz bags new ad manager KOCH  The UK publisher and distributor has made two appointments to its marketing team, who will focus on hardcore titles, whilst also promoting a member of its sales team. GARY CHANTLER has taken up the position of marketing executive for hardcore games. Having worked in the games industry since 1999, Chantler rose from testing software at Vivendi to marketing titles such as F.E.A.R, Bourne Conspiracy and Ghostbusters. After a ten-month absence from the industry, SUZANNE

PANTER joins Koch as UK PR manager. She previously worked on hardcore titles such as Call Of Duty and Doom during her eight years serving on the PR team at Activision. On the sales team, GREG WHALLEY has been promoted to senior national account manager for hardcore games. An established face at Koch,

his career at the company started when he joined as key account manager in 2004. “We now feel we have a well-balanced team in place to take Koch Media’s product to our consumer, whether they are looking for hardcore games or one of our casual titles,” said Koch’s managing director CRAIG MCNICOL.

Make The Most Of Your Casual Games Titles CasualGaming.Biz is the only B2B site for casual and family titles, helping to sell your games into retail and via download.

Total reach of 40,000 trade readers every month via website and email. – April 2009, Google Analytics

Contact Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk for more information

FUTURE  TIM EDWARDS has been promoted to editor of PC Gamer. Edwards has worked on PC Gamer since joining Future in 2002 as a staff writer. He has previously served in a number of roles on the publication, including features editor and deputy editor. He now takes over the role of editor after his predecessor Ross Atherton departed for a position on Activision Blizzard’s European PR team. “PC Gamer is the world’s biggest PC gaming media brand and I’m truly excited to get the chance to run it,” said Edwards.

“At the heart is a phenomenal magazine with a strong team that I’m proud to lead. “My first job as editor is to ensure that our new look and feel is properly bedded in, while ensuring that our stratospheric standards remain in place.” INTENT  LESLEY BLUMSON has been named advertising manager on MCV’s sister site CasualGaming.biz. She will be responsible for securing ads on CG.biz, as well as maintaining her responsibilities on MCV and Develop. To contact her, email lesley.blumson@intentmedia.co.uk


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES FEEL THE FORCE Disney brings its first ever stereoscopic 3D title to market...

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RYGAR P38 Rising Star Games’ revisits the classic action RPG franchise - with a modern twist TALES OF VESPERIA P39 The popular JRPG frachise gets its first high definition release in the UK on Xbox 360 CAKEMANIA 2 P39 Majesco brings to market the sequel to one of the most popular casual games of all time ONE PIECE P40 The first of two adventures on the Wii from Atari based on a popular manga series NEW RELEASES MCV provides a comprehensive list of all upcoming releases in the UK

P42

HIGH STREET P44 This week, we catch up with an indie, check your prices and show off the deal of the week


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RETAILBIZ: G-FORCE 36 MCV 26/06/09

Disney Interactive Studios takes video games forward with the release of the first title to use stereoscopic 3D technology…

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by James Batchelor WHEN DISNEY’S G-Force arrives on shelves next month, it will be one of the most significant video games released for many years. While it may initially seem to be a traditional film tiein, the title is actually a pioneer for our industry as it is the first game to use stereoscopic 3D technology. Already seen in Ubisoft’s Avatar and at various trade events this year, this technology uses special 3D glasses to recreate the effect of stereoscopic projectors that are being introduced to theatres, creating visuals that seems to extend beyond the screen. But Disney has now trumped the French publisher by incorporating the technology into its latest moviebranded release. “G-Force utilises the latest in stereoscopic 3D technology on Xbox 360 and PS3, with two pairs of 3D glasses included in-pack, further

immersing the player in the game and offering a greater sense of depth,” explains product manager James Thornaby. “There has been a rise in popularity in 3D entertainment recently and this offers a great way for the family to experience video games in a new way and helps to differentiate G-Force from the competition.” The game is based on the upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer family film of the same name, which will also be

The popularity of 3D entertainment is rising. It will help differentiate G-Force from the competition. James Thornaby, Disney presented in stereoscopic 3D, marking the first time the renowned producer has used the technology in his films. G-Force follows the exploits of a team of secret agents comprised mainly of guinea pigs. These diminutive but fearless creatures are sent on various

missions to protect the world. Disney’s companion game puts players in control of both Darwin, the squad’s leader, and Mooch, his housefly sidekick. While the gameplay is based on platforming, there is an emphasis on puzzle solving. Gamers must use Darwin and Mooch’s abilities, switching between them on the fly, whilst manipulating enemies and their environment. There will also be intense driving sections. The pair will take control of the Rapid Deployment Vehicle as they steer and shoot their way through enemy-infested environments. The game features the vocal talents of the film’s Hollywood cast, including Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau and Bill Nighy. Not only does G-Force authentically recreate the world of the movie, it also explores the characters’ enviroment further by introducing tools, enemies


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RELEASED: JULY 31 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PS2, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS DEVELOPER: EUROCOM (CONSOLES) / KEEN (PSP, DS) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

and locations exclusive to the game. “The game takes the player beyond the movie,” says Thornaby. “There are 26 appliances created specifically for the game to accompany the seven that appear in the film. “Likewise, a further 13 gadgets and weapons are exclusive to the game. This stretches the consumer’s experience of G-Force and allows them to take on an evil vacuum cleaneer as a guinea pig with a jet pack and an electro whip.” FEEL THE FORCE

As with any of Disney’s cinematic releases, G-Force will have plenty of hype and attention surrounding it as it hits the silver screens. The accompanying game can only stand to benefit from this, as well as generating its own hype through its role as the flagship for true 3D gaming. “There will be excellent awareness of the G-Force property this summer with the launch of the action-packed Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

theatrical release,” believes Thornaby. “We are positive about G-Force because whilst benefiting from this buzz, the game features a wealth of additional exclusive missions, enemies and gadgets that means the gameplay stands alone and the player can extend their film experience.” Given the family-focused nature of the film, the G-Force game is certain to perform well on Nintendo platforms, just like so many Disney properties before it. However, Thornaby is confident that the added pull of the groundbreaking 3D technology ensures that the game will see success across all formats, making it the publisher’s biggest game of the summer. “We’d expect the game to perform strongly on Wii and DS,” he says. “However, we saw with Bolt earlier in the year that as the market broadens movie properties are performing better on Xbox 360 and PS3 and the addition of stereoscopic 3D on these formats will aid this.”

MARKETING FORCE As Disney product manager James Thornaby points out, public awareness will already be high as the movie arrives and Disney has prepared an extensive marketing campaign to ensure the game is just as prominent.  Print advertisements and competitions will appear in key children’s publications. Additionally, demo sampling and video CD promotions will appear in national newspapers and kids magazines closer to launch.  A two-week online campaign has been drawn up to target children’s

websites and will kick off when the game is released.  TV ads will be run for two weeks as part of a national campaign that focuses on kids programming.  A range of spy-themed POS will be available to retailers, featuring characters from the movie.  Press coverage has appeared in a number of mainstream publications, starting with a 3D feature in The London Lite. Further coverage is expected in national newspapers, kids publications and through broadcast before the game is released.


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RETAILBIZ: RYGAR: THE BATTLE OF ARGUS 38 MCV 26/06/09

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Rising Star resurrects a classic arcade franchise and introduces it to a brand new audience with this epic Wii adventure... by James Batchelor FOLLOWING the likes of Punch-Out!! and Bionic Commando, Rygar becomes the latest ‘80s arcade title to receive a 2009 update. Tecmo’s fantasy action RPG returned after a lengthy absence with a PS2 version and now Rising Star brings the franchise to the Wii. Donning the armour of its titular character once more, players once again take up the legendary Diskarmor shield and battle evil in an epic quest to rescue a princess. Rygar’s heritage and appealing gameplay are just two reasons for the publisher’s faith in The Battle Of Argus. “We are quietly optimistic about the potential of Rygar this summer; the game has a wealth of history and pedigree that has not been fully experienced on current gaming formats,” says Rising Star’s product marketing assistant Tyrone Walcott. “Rygar: The Battle For Argus is a standout action game, which rejuvenates a well-respecting name into the mass audience of the Nintendo Wii era. A dark atmosphere, non-stop action and theatrical special moves allow Rygar to stand out as a high octane title to entice a casual audience.” The focus of the game is on action. Players battle enemy hordes with the help of the series’ familiar mainstay, the Diskarmor shield. This round, metal shield can be unleashed against foes with various gestures with the Wii Remote, and as players progress they can upgrade this powerful weapon to gain new attacks. The Diskarmour also has other uses, such as defence and transportation, and with the elemental power-ups such as fire, ice and lightning, warriors will have access to over 40 devastating combo attacks. The shield will also be essential to solving puzzles as gamers explore the island of Argus in search of the missing princess.

Rising Star has placed particular emphasis on its marketing activities in 2009, and Rygar is certain to benefit from this. That said, the publisher deems Rygar-specific initiatives will best serve the title as they try to target the game’s intended audience. “With Rygar, we will be taking a different approach when marketing, focusing more on highlighting the game’s strengths to our community rather than blanket adverts,” explains Walcott. “We believe that Rygar is very much a title that will benefit from direct communications to consumers instead of a general advertisement; leading to what we believe will ensure Rygar stays in prominent positions on retailers’ shelves and ultimately increasing sales.”

HEROIC RETURN: Musclebound warrior Rygar is set to hit shelves once more after a lengthy absence since his PS2 outing and decades after his arcade debut

Rygar has all the signs of being really successful at retail, public response is great and we are fully committed to keeping our fans happy. Tyrone Walcott, RSG

RELEASED: JULY 3

CALLING ALL WARRIORS

FORMATS: WII

With the summer months approaching, the company will also be supporting the advertising with targeted outdoor activities, as well as making use of its new Hoshi club to contact its loyal fans. “Using Rising Star Games’ loyal fanbase as advocates, we will be using

PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: TECMO PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERONIC ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 01582 433700

the summer to get people playing Rygar together in outdoor social areas and doing audience-engaging sponsored events,” says Walcott. “During the London MCM Expo last month playable code was available to play for the first time in the UK and it drew consistent attention. “Communicating through Hoshi will provide otaku old and new with a home to socialise. The site will embody the passion that current fans have for our games, including Rygar, as well as the world and culture they inhabit, while new fans will have their questions answered about this explosively colourful and absorbing world.” This will all be supported by a full marketing and PR programme heavily featuring targeted online advertising, aimed at the 16 to 24 year-old male Wii owners. There will also be specialist and mainstream media print ads running through the last week of June. Walcott adds: “Rygar has all the signs of being really successful at retail, public response has been great and we are fully committed to keeping our fans happy.”


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RETAILBIZ: TALES OF VESPERIA & CAKE MANIA 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 26/06/09 39

Namco Bandai’s popular JRPG series makes its Xbox 360 debut with a much-loved title… by James Batchelor LIKE MANY Japanese RPG franchises, the Tales Of games may not light up the charts with each release, but they still show a strong performance thanks to a loyal fanbase that is always expanding. To grow this audience further the latest instalment, Tales Of Vesperia, has set out to win over RPGstarved Xbox 360 gamers. Vesperia maintains the anime visual style, which now looks better than ever thanks to Microsoft’s hardware. In fact, this is the first high-definition entry in the franchise. Also present is the intense real-time combat system that elevates the Tales Of games above their turn-based rivals and ensures players find every battle engaging. As with previous Tales Of titles, the main draw will be the rich narrative. Vesperia is set in Terca Lumireis, where the citizens are growing uneasy with the Empire that protects them. RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £44.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

“Part of the popular and long-standing Tales Of series, Vesperia is considered to be the best so far and was Japan’s best-selling 360 game in 2008,” says Atari’s UK product manager Lauren Bradley. “We see this game appealing to RPG fans and those into more hardcore games looking for something different. It’s received some great review scores with an average Metacritic rating of 81.” STING IN THE TALE

Given the rarity of RPGs on Xbox 360, Atari has worked hard to raise awareness of Tales Of Vesperia’s arrival in order to draw out fans of both the series and the genre. This began with full page print ads appearing in both gaming magazines and specialist press, such as anime magazine Neo. Online marketing includes banners and MPUs on the Giant Realm network’s anime and gaming communities. Trailers and artwork have also appeared across a range of social media and series fan sites. Tales Of Vesperia was on display at the MCM Expo in May, too. “Retailers should expect a solid level of pre-awareness from fans of the series who have been waiting for this game for a while,” Bradley adds. “The nextgen graphics and sounds will also appeal to any RPG and anime fans.”

Casual hit Cake Mania returns to the DS as gamers are presented with more culinary challenges… by James Batchelor COOKING MAMA isn’t the only best-seller with one foot in the kitchen. The Cake Mania series has also enjoyed considerable success on a variety of formats, and now Majesco seeks to build on that success further with the release of a sequel to the DS version. Given the first Cake Mania’s performance, the publisher is confidant its latest release will sell like hot cakes. “The original was a great product for us and has been an excellent seller – not just in the UK but Europe and worldwide,” says Majesco’s marketing manager international John Merchant. “We sold through 50,000 units of Cake Mania DS in the UK and Majesco have sold close to 500,000 across the range worldwide. We fully expect to see Cake Mania 2 repeating its previous performance at retail, while pulling in plenty of new gamers along the way.” RELEASED: AUGUST 7 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: DIGITAL EMBRYO PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3908

Once again, players guide protagonist Jill through a variety of scenarios and challenges that can all be solved with a little skill and a lot of baking. BAKING HOT

Majesco’s promotional initiatives and plenty of press coverage have already led to a number of early adopters staking their claim to a slice of Cake Mania 2. “It’s already pre-ordering very well,” says Merchant. “It’s an IP with a proven track record, regardless of platform. Over 35 million people have played the original PC game worldwide, so the IP has enjoyed amazing visibility. “Naturally, there’ll be plenty of support in terms of in-store visibility for launch,” adds Merchant. “We’re also working closely with women and kids media. They loved the first game for obvious reasons, so we’re planning on some good exposure across the board. “The subject matter is obviously instantly appealing to all. We’ll also be doing some targeted online activity during the run-up to launch to ensure that consumers know that the time has finally arrived to have their cake and play it.”


40 MCV543_final

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RETAILBIZ: ONE PIECE 40 MCV 26/06/09

Atari prepares its first entry in a duo of One Piece games, giving anime fans plenty to look forward to over the summer…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

“Although there is an incredibly dedicated following within the niche IT IS FITTING that the latest video anime fan community, the game’s story game to bear the One Piece licence is to is set apart from the anime so it has the be released in two instalments. Whilst potential for a much wider appeal. The largely known as a popular anime TV graphics and fun Wii gameplay will appeal series, the franchise was originally a to all kinds of gamers,” adds Bradley. serialised manga that debuted in As a result, Atari will be promoting this Japanese in 1997. title aggressively, with a comprehensive Twelve years on and Atari’s One campaign designed to raise awareness PIECE OF THEIR MIND Piece Unlimited Cruise pays homage to among the franchise’s fans and followers The game follows Luffy and his crew as its source material’s origins with an of this cult genre. To this end, the they discover a mysterious creature adventure that is so epic, it is spread publisher has garnered plenty of press called Gabri who leads them to a set of across no less than two separate coverage, such as features and islands where a legendary treasure has releases. Starting this month with competitions, in specialist gaming, reportedly been hidden. the first episode, The Treasure Beneath anime and children’s publications. The Waves, this One Piece There will also be fullstoryline will finish page ads with a focus on This game’s storyline is set in October with Awakening specialist anime titles Of A Hero. such as Neo. Online apart from the original anime For those not in the know, marketing will be heavily version, which gives it a One Piece is a Japanese targeted at fans, with the much wider appeal. cartoon that follows the publisher making full use Lauren Bradley, Atari adventures of Monkey D of social media and Luffy, a boy with supernatural powers community management support. Combat makes use of the Wii’s and aspirations of piracy. He captains Trailers and art will also appear on key motion controls and recreates some of the good ship Thousand Sunny as leader anime fan sites, and an email was sent the special attacks that will be familiar of the lovable Straw Hat Pirates, who round to the entire Manga UK database to regular One Piece viewers. The sails the seas in search of the ultimate announcing the game’s release. control set-up has been designed to be treasure, the One Piece. The title also boasted a heavyweight as intuitive as possible, ensuring that “With over 140 million copies sold presence at the recent MCM Expo in gamers of any age will be able to hold worldwide, One Piece is the third May, where the public was able to play their own, whether battling against rival highest-selling manga in the history of it for themselves, whilst picking up free pirate hordes or the colossal bosses. the legendary anime magazine Weekly posters and goodies. Sh nen Jump,” says Atari’s UK product manager Lauren Bradley. “It is considered their most acclaimed and all-time third best-selling title in Japan. The IP has built up a cult following in the UK and judging by the reaction we’re receiving online and at the MCM expo, the fans are incredibly excited about this release.”

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: NAMCO BANDAI PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585


xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1

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42 MCV543_final:43 MCV467

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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 42 MCV 26/06/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Guns and Balls strike as July arrives Ubisoft’s Call Of Juarez and EA’s Tiger Woods mark a strong start to July as the summer release schedule begins to thin out. There’s still plenty to look forward to, though, such as Harry Potter, Wii Sports Resort, and G-Force... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

PC PC PC PC PC PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS PSP / DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / 360 DS PC DS / Wii Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 Wii / DS Wii XBOX 360 / PS2 / PS3 / Wii / PSP XBOX 360 / PS2 / PS3 / PSP

Puzzle Casual Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Casual FPS Mini-games Action FPS Mystery Cooking Action/Adventure Action Mini-games Mini-games Golf Sports

Focus Multimedia Focus Multimedia City Interactive City Interactive Focus Multimedia Ubisoft City Interactive EA Rising Star Games Focus Multimedia Mindscape Rising Star Games THQ Activision Blizzard Ubisoft EA THQ

01889 570156 01889 570156 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 01889 570156 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01582 433700 01889 570156 0870 027 0985 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585

Open Open Trilogy Trilogy Open Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Open Koch Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Advantage

PC PC

Music Mystery

Activision Blizzard Focus Multimedia

0121 625 3388 01889 570156

Centresoft Open

PC PS3 / XBOX 360 DS Wii Wii / DS

Simulation Action Puzzle Self-Improvement Adventure

Just Flight South Peak Deep Silver Ubisoft Ubisoft

0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769

Mastertronic Centresoft Koch Trilogy Trilogy

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

Mini-games Strategy Kids Kids Chess Action Mini-games

Zushi Ubisoft Midas Midas Deep Silver Disney Interactive Nintendo

01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0845 234 4242 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985

Gem Trilogy Mastertronic Mastertronic Koch Centresoft Koch

DS / Wii PC DS / PC / Wii

Action Action Puzzle

Zushi City Interactive Zushi

01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 01279 822 800

Gem Trilogy Gem

Wii DS / Wii Wii Wii

Casual Kids Shooter Music

Majesco Blast Majesco Majesco

0117 373 6151 0845 234 4242 0117 373 6151 0117 373 6151

Open Mastertronic Open Open

Self-Improvement Kids

Nintendo Slitherine

0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985

koch Koch

Self-Improvement

Mindscape

0870 027 0985

Koch

JULY 3rd Azada Be Rich! Brain College: Call Of Atlantis Brain College: Magic Shop Cake Mania 3 Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood Farm Frenzy 2 Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Moon Mystery Chronicles: Murder Among Friends Ready, Steady, Cook: The Game Rygar: The Battle Of Argus Saints Row 2 Platinum/Classic Space Camp Summer Sports Party Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 WWE SmackDown Vs RAW 2009 Platinum/Classic

JULY 10th Guitar Hero: World Tour Mystery Case Files: Return To Ravenhearst

JULY 17th Flying Club II Hail To The Chimp Line Rider: Freestyle My Fitness Coach: Cardio Workout Peppa Pig

JULY 24th Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree City Life Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Fritz Chess G-Force Wii Sports Resort

JULY 31st Big Foot Collision Course Code Of Honour 3: Rise Of The Desert Devil Puzzle Kingdoms

JULY MISC Cake Mania: In The Mix! Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger Pack Major Minor's Majestic March

AUGUST 7th Active Health with Carol Vorderman (with activity meter) DS Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans Wii / PC / DS

AUGUST 14th Gardening Guide ñ How To Get Green Fingers

DS

MUSTSTOCK ...........................CALL OF JUAREZ Released: July 3rd Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: Ubisoft Distributor: Trilogy Contact: 0845 362 7769

Gamers seeking Wild West shootouts need look no further than Bound In Blood, the sequel to Ubisoft’s 2007 FPS Call Of Juarez. Telling the tale of two brothers who desert their troops during the American Civil War to save their home, this frantic shooter will satsify FPS fans.

MUSTSTOCK ..........TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 Released: July 3rd Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP Publisher: Electronic Arts Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

The world’s foremost man of golfing returns to the green in a fresh annual challenge. With a revised presentation style, new features and modes, and support for MotionPlus, PGA Tour 10 offers the deepest, most authentic golf experience available to date.


17/6/09

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■ YOUR HOST

co nt ac t: jo di e. Ho ld w ay @ bh pr .co .u k

SE TA LL BL IN ES GO UT

Develop Awards 2009 Ads.qxd

Jason Manford – Star of TV’s 8 Out of 10 Cats and one of Britain’s best live stand-ups

Wednesday July 15th, 2009 ■ Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, UK For tickets, table sales and sponsorship opportunities contact Jodie.Holdway@bhpr.co.uk • (0)1462 456 780

■ STUDIO CATEGORY SPONSOR

■ EVENT PARTNER

■ EXCLUSIVE DRINKS RECEPTION PARTNER

■ DEVELOPMENT LEGEND AWARD SPONSOR

■ EVENT PARTNER

Categories ■ CREATIVITY

■ TECHNOLOGY & SERVICES

■ STUDIOS

■ SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Best New IP Best Use of a Licence or IP Visual Arts Audio Accomplishment Publishing Hero

Technical Innovation Best Tools Provider Best Engine Best Recruitment Company Services Creative Outsourcing

Best New Studio Best Handheld Games Studio Business Development Best Independent Developer Best In-house Developer

Development Legend Grand Prix


44,45 MCV543_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 44 MCV 26/06/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ: NEWS

OFFERING NEW SERVICES THE BIGGEST challenge we’re all facing right now is a drop in footfall. I’m combating this by offering a wide range of services to increase sales that way. One area that is either overlooked or can’t be implemented due to the complexity of it, is phone unlocking. There is big money in phone unlocking and repairing. We unlock most phones on-site and open the phone up to any network. We even sell pre-owned phones and accessories. I am also launching a new service for indies to supply the equipment and full live technical support via MSN. Once you have bought the equipment, which is not expensive, the outlay is over and the money you take is pure profit. The

“I firmly believe we should be spending our money and time developing this add-on services if we are all to survive and increase our sales during the recession.” main issue with this has been acquiring the necessary knowledge, as it is a complex topic and unlockers never reveal the secrets. I firmly believe we should be spending our money and time developing these add-on services if we are all to survive. New releases may be one tempting area to get people in, but the recession has taught people to be very price conscious. They simply go to the cheapest place for each item and sell low to get extra sales. This doesn’t work any more – at least not in the way it did. Just think about Zavvi and Woolworths, if you need reminding. If anybody is interested in offering these services and making a lot of extra cash, contact me and I’ll be happy to help you. Gary Noakes Proprietor of Game Player

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

PROTOTYPE FORMAT: 360

DEVELOPER: RADICAL ENTERTAINMENT PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

2

1

2

NEW

THE SIMS 3 PC

4

2

RED FACTION GUERRILLA 360

THQ

5

3

RED FACTION GUERRILLA PS3

THQ

6

4

POKÉMON PLATINUM DS

7

RE

PROTOTYPE PS3

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED PS3

8

6

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED 360

9

RE

WII FIT WII

10

8

STAR OCEAN 360

MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street... TESCO’S UK SALES UP 4.3 PER CENT The UK’s biggest retailer Tesco posted another strong set of numbers for the 13 weeks ending May 30th 2009 that show both domestic and international growth. Like-for-like UK sales for the period were up 4.3 per cent excluding petrol, with total growth reaching 9.3 per cent. Tesco’s non-food business saw “modest growth” with categories including electricals and toys seeing improved performances. International sales increased by 11.4 per cent at constant exchange rates, with European sales managing to climb 1.9 per cent despite the tough economic climate in the Euro sector. Asian growth hit a staggering 43.8 per cent, whilst US sales went one better, jumping by 174 per cent. Total Group sales for the period excluding petrol were up by 12.6 per cent. GAME ON TRACK DESPITE TOUGH HIGH STREET The UK’s largest dedicated games retailer GAME assured investors that its performance to date in 2009 is in line with its expectations. In the period between February 1st and June 13th, the GAME Group opened 23 new stores bringing its total outlet base to 1,365 across ten countries and across its two brands – GAME and Gamestation. In addition, GAME confirmed that the integration of the Gamestation chain, including its IT and distribution networks, will be fully completed by September. As of May 30th 2009 the Group’s net debt was £86m, up from the £57.8m at the same stage in 2008. It predicts that net debt for the year ending January 31st 2010 will be around £60m. ANALYST: MODERN WARFARE 2 TO OUTSELL ALL 2009 RELEASES A Janco Partners analyst recently estimated that sales of Activision Blizzard’s Modern Warfare 2 will surpass 11.1 million units by the end of 2009. The firm’s Mike Hickey suggested the game will be “the largest video game release” for the year, and will rack up $338 million in sales on its first day. In his analysis on the game, Hickey said: “We anticipate the sell through to consumers of 11.1 million units for an estimated retail value of $803 million and sell-in approximating 12.4 million units.”

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

MCV POLL ARE YOU ATTENDING GAMESCOM IN COLOGNE?

74%

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

YES

NINTENDO THQ THQ NINTENDO SQUARE ENIX

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.

26% NO

The organisers of Gamescom have triumphed over their Leipzig-based rivals in the fight to be Europe’s flagship games trade show, and now participants of our latest online MCV study prove they have an audience supporting them.

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

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

[RETAIL REACTION]


44,45 MCV543_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 26/06/09 45 Sponsored by

MARGIN MAKER VENOM’S PS3 Pyramid Charger offers a quick and easy way for Sony fans to charge their controllers. The unique charging station boasts a stylish pyramid form that complements the sleek, black design of the console itself, with soft lighting that indicates when the joypads are fully charged. The compact device can house two controllers

FROM THE

FRONTLINE

What are the biggest challenges affecting your portal? Maintaining such a broad range of products and ensuring that the pricing is in line with or ahead of competition is a constant challenge but a fun one – and with an online store the rewards come quickly.

Nindie.com interviews Neil Muspratt from SimplyGames.com… What makes your website so unique? As one of the longest established specialist online games retailers, SimplyGames.com has excellent heritage. The brand has been in existence for well over ten years now and being a ‘virtual veteran’ is of great comfort and reassurance to customers old and new. What are the advantages of running an online store? Against a High Street store, an online store clearly has a much greater ‘reach’. We trade nationally and internationally, with a broad base of customers across Europe and beyond. However, a greater level of reach also means a significantly greater level of competition, and staying ahead is a constant challenge.

simultaneously and doesn’t take up as much space as rival, larger charging solutions. Charging time is minimal, ensuring that players can have at least one controller fully charged and ready to use at all times. The Pyramid Charger is powered by the PS3, either via the included USB charging cable or a PSP power cable. Venom: 01763 284181

week to week. Right now we’ve got some market leading deals on Wii Fit, so as we speak now, that’s what’s leading our chart.

What products are performing particularly well for you at the moment? The stronger formats for us are Wii and PS3 and across those formats we sell a very wide range of products. Promotional activity (especially price-led promotions) tends to shape sales to a greater extent with an online store, which means our sales chart changes significantly from

How do you try to keep customers coming back for more? We use the usual tactics such as email communication and special offers to existing customers but at the risk of using an aged-old cliché, the best way to get customers to return is simply by providing excellent service and I believe we achieve that. What sort of promotional activity do you do to encourage new customers? Potential customers shopping online are very often lead by price and we use a significant base of affiliate partners to help promote the SimplyGames.com offering. From there, conversion is king and we have some very exciting plans.

PRICE CHECK

InFamous

Prototype

PS3, Sony

PS3, Activision Blizzard

EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis Wii, EA

Indiana Jones: Staff of Kings

LEGO Indiana Jones

Wii, Activision Blizzard

Wii, Activision Blizzard

IN STORE: READING £39.99

£39.99

£44.99

£34.99

£24.99

£39.99

£42.99

£49.99

£34.99

£19.99

£39.99

£39.99

£34.99

£34.99

£19.98

£39.99

£39.99

£49.99

£39.99

£17.98

£36.99

£36.99

£42.99

£27.99

£32.99

£37.73

£37.73

£42.73

£32.73

£31.73

£37.97

£39.97

£44.97

£29.97

£34.97

£36.99

£37.89

£44.99

£32.99

N/A

ONLINE

DEAL OF THE WEEK

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

Toys ‘R’ Us is throwing in a free Wii MotionPlus add-on for everyone who buys a Wii and a copy of EA Sports’ Grand Slam Tennis. The total price for this bundle is £194.96.

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


46,47 MCV543_final:54-55 MCV525

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 46 MCV 26/06/09

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

1 4 5 7 3 8 9 10 11

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE 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 FIFA 09 EA GUITAR HERO: METALLICA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P GHOSTBUSTERS SONY GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD EIDOS

NEW

6 7 10 8

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

FORMAT: PC, PS3, 360

2

1

THE SIMS 3 PC

3

4

WII FIT Wii

4

NEW

GHOSTBUSTERS PS3, PS2

5

7

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

6

3

RED FACTION: GUERRILLA 360, PS3

THQ

7

5

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED 360, PS3

THQ

8

6

EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii

9

11

VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 PS3, 360, PC, Wii

10

13

GRAND SLAM TENNIS Wii

[4]

TITLE

4 6

RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION ROCK BAND UNPLUGGED FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SBK 09 SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPS

3 5 7 8 9

BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ LEGO BATMAN WARNER BROS.

[5]

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA SONY EA SEGA BLACK BEAN

PUBLISHER EA NINTENDO SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

EA SEGA EA

11

18

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

12

10

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

13

32

INDIANA JONES STAFF OF KINGS Wii, PS2,PSP,DS LUCASARTS

14

15

MARIO KART WII Wii

15

14

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

16

8

POKÉMON PLATINUM DS

EA

NINTENDO

NINTENDO

17

12

GUITAR HERO: METALLICA Wii, PS2, PS3, 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

18

9

INFAMOUS PS3

19

NEW

20

RE

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: RADICAL PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

LAST WEEK

SONY

ARMA II PC

505 GAMES

RESIDENT EVIL 5 360, PS3

PC CD-ROM

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

PROTOTYPE

THIS WEEK

[3]

[FULL PRICE]

1 2

1

DEVELOPER: A2M PUBLISHER: LUCASARTS

FIFA 09

NEW

[2]

[FULL PRICE]

INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS

2 1 5 3

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO THE MYSTERY OF THE MUMMY UBISOFT WALK WITH ME! NINTENDO MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST MARIO KART DS NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

CAPCOM

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

THE SIMS 3

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ARMA II 505 GAMES FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA PROTOTYPE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR THQ GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA

NEW

2 4 3 5 6 13 9 8

DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA


46,47 MCV543_final:54-55 MCV525

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 26/06/09 47

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD triumphs, with Prototype

sales. The title outperforms Sony’s previous

becoming the publishing giant’s first number one

release InFamous, which managed fifth place in

seller of 2009. The game’s sales fell by 20 per

its debut week.

cent in its second week, but the 49 per cent

The lower echelons of the Top 10 is riddled

decline in The Sims 3’s sales allowed the

with sports titles, with a 27 per cent drop in sales

superhero title to take the top spot.

knocking EA Sports Active down to No.8, joining

Meanwhile, Ghostbusters arrives in the charts at No.4, primarily driven by the PS3 version,

Sega’s Virtua Tennis, which leaps to No.9 after the release of the Wii MotionPlus version.

which accounts for 98 per cent of the game’s

21

17

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

22

22

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

23

23

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

24

16

TERMINATOR SALVATION PC, 360, PS3

25

19

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

26

25

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

2K PLAY

27

29

THE MYSTERY OF THE MUMMY DS

UBISOFT

28

36

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

29

26

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP

30

27

STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE 360

31

39

WALK WITH ME! WALKING ROUTINE DS

32

28

SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS Wii, 360, PS3, PS2, DS

33

24

FUEL 360, PS3, PC

34

31

MYSTERY STORIES DS

SEGA

WARNER BROS.

NINTENDO SEGA SQUARE ENIX NINTENDO SEGA CODEMASTERS GSP/AVANQUEST

33

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

36

21

SACRED 2: FALLEN ANGEL 360, PS3

KOCH MEDIA

37

20

JILLIAN MICHAEL’S FITNESS ULTIMATUM Wii

KOCH MEDIA

38

35

BIG FAMILY GAMES Wii

39

40

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2009 Wii, PS3, 360

40

RE

LEGO BATMAN 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

1 3 2 4 5 6 9 RE

16

ROCKSTAR

THQ KONAMI WARNER BROS.

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

GHOSTBUSTERS

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

PROTOTYPE INFAMOUS UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR RED FACTION: GUERRILLA VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE RESIDENT EVIL 5 KILLZONE

1 2 3 6 4 5 8 17 10

DEVELOPER: TERMINAL REALITY PUBLISHER: SONY

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1

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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

EA SPORTS ACTIVE GRAND SLAM TENNIS MARIO KART WII NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES DONKEY KONG: JUNGLE BEAT GUITAR HERO: METALLICA INDIANA JONES AND THE STAFF OF KINGS

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RED FACTION: GUERRILLA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE STAR OCEAN: THE LAST HOPE VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 RESIDENT EVIL 5 FIFA 09 GUITAR HERO: METALLICA

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[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 48 MCV 26/06/09

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 26/06/09 49

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

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UNITED STATES

SINGAPORE

TURKEY

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

ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

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

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

MAY PROVED to be another tough month for US games retailers, with market research body NPD stating that the territories suffered a 23 per cent year-on-year drop in revenue in the period. Sales reached $863.3m – significantly down on the $1.12 generated in May 2008 and the first time the monthly total has failed to pass the $1bn mark since August 2007. “The video games industry continues to struggle with difficult comparisons to last year,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier explained. “May is typically one of the lowest revenue-generating months in any given year for the industry in general.” Mirroring the overall decline, hardware sales for the period suffered a sharp fall – year-on-year sales of consoles dropped 30 per cent, hitting $302,500. Software was on the decline, too, albeit by a lesser extent. Compared to May 2008 total software revenue was down 17 per cent at $448,900. Still, some things don’t change, and it’s Nintendo that continues to dominate both the handheld and console markets. The DS sold a whopping 634,000 units in the month, far ahead of any of its competitors.  Elsewhere, Microsoft has lowered the price of an Xbox Live Gold subscription to $1 for the first month. Once the first month has expired, gamers will be automatically charged for the next 11 months at the regular price. They will be able to opt out of this if they wish. This limited time offer allows Silver members in the US to upgrade to a full Gold account, granting them access to everything Xbox Live has to offer.  Meanwhile, Future US president Jonathan Simpson-Bint is to step down on August 31st. In a memo to staff, Simpson-Bint wrote: “I’m leaving now simply because the time is right for me. I’ve never made any secret of my desire to start my own business and — like a lot of people — I believe the current economic climate is actually a great time to start a business.” It is understood that Future is actively searching for a replacement. In the interim, an executive team led by CFO John Sutton will manage the company’s day-to-day operations. Simpson-Bint joined Future in 1991 and helped the publishing house to launch Playstation Magazine, IGN.com and DailyRadar.com.  In further US appointments news, iPhone games developer Ngmoco has moved to hire former Sega of America’s president and CEO Simon Jeffery. He will take charge of a brand new dedicated publishing arm at the developer dubbed Plus+ Publishing, which will aim to partner with other iPhone developers and encourage wider use of its Plus+ Network – which some sources are calling ‘the Xbox Live of mobile social-network gaming’.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES Wrapstar.................................(0)7778 204970

GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd .......087 19 18 17 21

DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution ...........020 8664 3456 DVD Technology .......................01189 215 999 Discstribution ........................0845 430 8735 Gem ............................................01279 822800 Ideal Software..........................01767 689 720 Logic3 ........................................01923 471 000 Meroncourt ..............................01462 680060

LOCALISATION Partnertrans................................01753 247731 Testronic....................................01753 653 722 Universally Speaking................01480 210621 STORE FITTINGS AMA ............................................01924 507 217 Retail Entertainment Displays01733 239001 DISC REPAIR TDR ...........................................01202 489 500

Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games

www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

DISCSTRIBUTION +44 (0) 845 430 8735 Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts

DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . simonbrown@googlemail.com

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

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 JULY 3rd

GAMES RETAIL BUYERS GUIDE The High Street is a fast moving sector, with personnel trading places continually. At the same time, new retailers enter the market or expand their games departments. And so, to give you a helping hand in identifying the movers and shakers of the High Street, MCV is providing a comprehensive guide to all the key executives responsible for getting your titles out to the market/negotiating you down on margin.

GO TO COLOGNE As the inaugural Gamescom approaches, we offer industry members an in-depth guide to why they should be attending the games trade event in Cologne. We look at the benefits the show will provide, as well as everything else Gamescom offers the games market. FRIDAY JULY 10th

IDEF REVIEW MCV reflects on this year’s Interactive & Digital Entertainment Festival, one of Europe’s key interactive entertainment trade shows. We report back on the companies and games in attendance, speaking to key players in our industry and other exhibitors.

DEVELOP CONFERENCE MCV provides a guide to the major UK development event taking place in Brightonwhere the developer community come together to learn from each other and share experiences. This will include a preview of the Develop Awards. FRIDAY JULY 17th

TERRITORY REPORT: SOUTH AMERICA In the latest MCV Territory Report, we look to the developing countries of South America and their growing video game industries, charting the course these markets are taking to improve themselves. We discuss what challenges publishers face bringing their products to thie market and who the key retailers in the region are. FRIDAY JULY 24th

BUDGET SOFTWARE SPECIAL FOCUS With the economy still suffering, MCV looks at how publishers can take advantage of the budget software market. We look at the growing trends and recent success stories, as well as exploring the advantages value software offers everyone from retailers to consumers.

DEVELOP AWARDS SPECIAL MCV offers the complete guide to the biggest awards evening of the development community’s calender. In addition to a full run-down of the winners in each category, we’ll have interviews with some of the key companies and discuss their success. FRIDAY JULY 31st

GAMESCOM PREVIEW We offer the definitive guide to the biggest European games trade event of the year. Expect to find a complete overview of Gamescom as it makes its debut in Cologne, including what exhibitors will be attending and what the industry expects to see from this year’s show.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month. STUDIOS Blitz Games Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Broadsword Interactive. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1970 626299 Denki . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.denki.co.uk Lightning Fish Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 817 666 nDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44(0) 1252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821 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

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

X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999 European Sales: ......01189 215 916 sales@dvdtech.com DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com CREATIVE & PROMOTIONAL SERVICES

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 236 9992 Air Edel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 486 6466 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 High Score . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1295 738 337 Ian Livingstone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 421 491 Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 amBX UK Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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 sam.robinson@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com WRAPSTAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 7778 204970 . . . . . . . . www.wrapstar-skins.com DISTRIBUTION

DISC REPAIR

CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk

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


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

DISC REPAIR

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

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

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

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


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

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

JULY IDEF Tuesday, June 30th – Thursday, July 2nd Palais des Festivales, Cannes, France www.idefexpo.com PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION

Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing

For further information, please contact sales-tl@testroniclabs.com www.testroniclabs.com

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

JULY GAMES CONVENTION ONLINE Friday, July 31st Sunday, August 2nd Leipzig Messe, Germany www.leipziger-messe.com

AUGUST MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, August 7th – Monday, August 10th Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire www.mfestival.com EDINBURGH INT. FESTIVAL Monday, August 10th – Sunday, August 16th TBC, Edinburgh www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com GDC EUROPE Monday, August 17th Wednesday, August 19th Cologne, Germany www.gdceurope.com

The Develop Conference and Expo is where the European developer community come together to learn from each other and share experiences, be inspired by renowned experts and gurus, get up-to-date with the latest development tools and techniques, make new contacts and catch-up with old ones. Last year, over 1,200 developers from every level of the development community descended on Brighton to meet, learn, share and network with their peers.

GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 19th Sunday, August 23rd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com

SEPTEMBER BRAND LICENSING 2009 Wednesday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st Olympia, London www.brandlicensingeurope.com

OCTOBER GAMES MEDIA AWARDS Thursday October 15, 2009 Jongleurs, Camden, London dave.roberts@intentmedia.co.uk MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com

UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

DEVELOP CONFERENCE 2009 Tuesday, July 14th – Thursday, July 16th Hilton Metropole, Brighton www.developconference.com

DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS Wednesday, July 15th Hilton Metrople, Brighton jodie.holdway @bhpr.co.uk The biggest awards night on the game development industry calendar. While there are a number of awards in this industry, the Develop Awards are the only peer-voted prizes for UK and European games developers which focus purely on creativity, teamwork, and inspiring innovation.


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MCV FORUM

‘Ringer’ allegations kick off The recent MCV and Xbox 360 GamesFives event was enjoyed by all who took part in the tournament. D3P’s Real So So Bad team romped home to victory – narrowly edging out Rocksteady Games. But bickering has broken out on the MCV website over the ‘industry credentials’ of some of the players… “WELL, ANOTHER year passes in the tournament and I again notice the competition is not just open to the industry but obviously nationwide. I heard many stories on Friday claiming players have been drafted in by certain companies: about four D3P players and Rocksteady’s Glenn Garner to name a few.” Jimithy Marley

“I think it is a bit off that you have a few teams who don’t take the competition seriously and decide to field illegitimate players instead of actual industry employees. The day was fantastic and most of the players had fun and a bit of a kickaround. However, I feel that D3P and Rocksteady should be banned from ever taking part in any industry events for not getting into the spirit of the competition. In fact, I’d be willing to setup a petition to get them banned.” James “A very enjoyable event – my legs still feel like jelly. I’d like to

thank the organisers for a great day from all at Gamespod. We started off with some good results until our legs gave way and then the team with the girl beat us.” Gordon “I think next year that all players entering should have to prove they work for the company (i.e.

someone scoring 47 goals – that is just plain ridiculous.” AKA “As much as the day was very enjoyable and I thank Microsoft and MCV greatly for it, next year proof of employment must be asked. It’s sad that it has come to this and trust is not enough, but drafting in pros to

I think it’s unfortunate that most of the comments are about ringers rather than praising an excellent event. Luiz Ferrreira, PlayV

produce their contract and castiron written and signed confirmation from their MD that they work for the company they say they do). That way it will only be industry people taking part in an industry tournament. Or everyone has to provide a passport photo verified by their boss on the back. I mean,

a friendly industry tournament is low, very low. Especially when each man walked away with a brand new console.” Kris “Glenn Garner is a semi-pro footballer, but that does not mean he cannot work. He’s not a pro, he’s a semi-pro, a player who trains twice a week and

plays on a Saturday for tuppence. I actually agree that a payslip or some sort of proof of ID should be taken. But, I know from someone at Rocksteady that Glenn does work there.” Puffin “I didn’t really want to get into a debate about ringers as I certainly don’t need to justify myself or the team to people who post anonymous comments. “However, it’s unfair to make unsubstantiated comments without the facts. “The Real So So Bad team is made up of employees who work for smaller companies in the games industry as not every company has loads of employees to choose from. “The Real So So Bad team is made up with people from PlayV, D3P and A4T, amongst others. In the past we have also had people from other publishers and distributors. “So in real terms we are guilty of picking the best players from a group of smaller companies,

which by the way was cleared with the organisers. I have no problem with providing evidence that people work for who they say they work for. “I can’t talk about other teams because I don’t know but I think it’s unfortunate that most of the comments are about ringers rather than praising what was an excellent event.” Luiz Ferreira, PlayV

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DEVELOP QUIZ SCOREBOARD 1.

WATERFRONT GAMES ......................57

2.

SPLASH DAMAGE ..........................................56

3.

MARJACQ MAN ..............................................54

4.

DOLBY LABORATORIES................................49

4=. LIGHTNING FISH GAMES - TEAM 1.............49 6.

JUST ADD WATER..........................................47

6=. ZOE MODE LONDON......................................47 8.

LIGHTNING FISH GAMES - TEAM 2............45

9.

BETHESDA .......................................................44

9=. SARASSIN ........................................................44 11.

PERFORCE ........................................................41

11=. JAGEX ................................................................41 13. AIRPLAY...........................................................40 14. MODIS ...............................................................38 15. PEPPERMINT P ...............................................36

1. WATERFRONT GAMES

16. OPM RESPONSE .............................................34 16=. BIG HEAD GAMES...........................................34

Off The Record

18. AMBX .................................................................33

Platinum Sponsor

We take a look back at last week’s Develop Quiz, sponsored by Bethesda, where Waterfront Games reigned supreme – run close by Splash Damage and Marjacq Man...

4. DOLBY LABORATORIES

2. SPLASH DAMAGE

4=. LIGHTNING FISH GAMES - TEAM 1

3. MARJACQ MAN

6. JUST ADD WATER


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MCV 26/06/09 57

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... 6=. ZOE MODE LONDON

8. LIGHTNING FISH GAMES - TEAM 2

LISA MORGAN, GAME

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

9. BETHESDA

9=. SARASSIN

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

11. PERFORCE

11=.JAGEX

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

13. AIRPLAY

14. MODIS PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

15. PEPPERMINT P

16. OPM RESPONSE STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS

16=. BIG HEAD GAMES

18. AMBX


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PLEASE EMAIL US YOUR FUNNIEST INDUSTRY PICTURES AT

OFFTHERECORD@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK

THE TALENTED MR. YATES

SONY’S SINGSTAR

Nintendo sales guru, MCV Award winner and all round nice guy Andy ‘fashion icon’ Yates was discovered prancing about on a table at the Royal Ascot ladies day last week. The industry veteran was in fact showing off his catwalk skills to enraptured Ascot staff, complete with Wii-white shirt, SNES-grey jacket and trousers, N64-black shoes, belt and glasses, and of course GameCube-purple tie. Expect the revolutionary new attire to be the best selling outfit at Burtons and New Look, and to single-handily drag the fashion industry kicking and screaming further into the mainstream...

She’s not even started her new role as SCEE’s European product manager for the SingStar franchise, but former PR guru Carly Byron is already getting in the groove, donning a pair of oversized sunglasses and a ridiculous wig at a recent SingStar party, all in the name of music-based fun.

THE OVER-LADIES If releasing three new Overlord titles on the same day just wasn’t enough, Codemasters went and invited those pesky journalists to a launch event, deep in the bowls of London town. Attendees were then encouraged to wear Overlord helmet and pose with the Overlord mistresses (right).

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