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Friday July 17 2009 £3.25

THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

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Inside Front

NEW REL EAS ES

AUGUST 2009

GUIDE Ready Steady Cook

Wii / DS

New series starting Autumn 2009 The UK’s longest running cookery show with mass market family appeal Fastest growing kitchenware range in the UK and other successful merchandise, including cook books Pick your ingredients and cook along with 1 of 5 chefs against the clock

Wii ÂŁ24.99RRP

DS ÂŁ24.99RRP

Family Fortunes

Wii / DS

Prime time TV show attracting over 5 Million viewers

OCTOBER 2009

New series starting in Autumn 2009 True adaptation of the show with commentary by Vernon Kay Play the infamous Single, Double or Big Money rounds!

Wii ÂŁ24.99RRP

DS ÂŁ19.99RRP

Countdown

Wii / DS

The show is aired 5 times a week, and has transmitted over 4600 episodes New Hosts Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley have sent ratings soaring by 11% on Channel 4 Battle your wits playing against a virtual opponent, practice mode or with a friend Highly addictive game play!

Wii ÂŁ29.99RRP

DS ÂŁ19.99RRP

NOVEMBER 2009

The Ultimate Red Ball Challenge

Wii

The official Wii game of the popular BBC One show Total Wipeout The most watched entertainment show on Saturday, attracting 6.6 million viewers Special introduction by Richard Hammond Conquer the Total Wipeout obstacles including Sucker Punch, The Sweeper and The Big Red Balls

Wii £29.99RRP I’m A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

Wii / DS

The show ranked in the top 5 most watched TV shows in 2008 A teasing marketing campaign by ITV starts in October for the November launch Take on challenges that put your bravery, resilience and intelligence to the test Take care of the camp by surviving tasks and avoid being eliminated

OUT 2010

Wii ÂŁ29.99RRP

DS ÂŁ24.99RRP

Coronation Street

DS

The world’s longest running TV show, and a well recognised trusted brand The show consistently attracts an average of 10 million viewers Play as an undercover detective trying to solve the case from a TV episode of the show Become friends with Street characters such as; Ken, Maria and many more‌

DS ÂŁ29.99RRP

Š 2009 Mindscape. READY STEADY COOK logo Š Endemol 2004. BBC logo Š and TM BBC 1996.2008 Endemol USA Inc./Endemol UK Plc licensed by Endemol International B.V. – all rights reserved. Š 2003 Endemol International B.V. / Endemol UK plc, DEAL OR NO DEAL is a registered trademark of Endemol International B.V. – used by permission – all rights reserved. Golden Balls logo and design Š Endemol UK Plc 2007 – used by permission – all rights reserved. Golden Balls registered trade marks are used under licence from Golden Balls Limited. Family Fortunes (R) FremantleMedia Ltd. Licensed by FremantleMedia Enterprises. â€?Countdownâ€? Š and format owned by Armand JAMMOT / France TĂŠlĂŠvisions. “Countdownâ€? ™ & Š Yorkshire Television 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. I’m A Celebrity‌Get Me Out Of Here! ™ & Š ITV Studios Ltd 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. Coronation St. ™ & Š ITV Studios Limited 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

Call Sales Now on

0870 027 6504

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

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 546 Friday July 17 2009 £3.25

04 Phil the power

14 ‘Boxing clever

Harrison crowned as a Legend at Develop Awards as Media Molecule clean up

Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer discusses Project Natal, Live and much more

06 You’ve been ‘ad

18 Fighting fit

Publishers told to ‘watch the violence’ by Advertising Standards Agency

MCV takes a special look at the health and fitness software market

07 Western ambition

25 Retail Biz

Namco Bandai sets sights on market share after Atari Europe takeover

We preview Activision’s Wolfenstein and Koch’s new casual range

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Publisher price hike gets frosty reception at retail Development costs and currency pressures push game prices skywards  Modern Warfare 2 RRP set at £54.99 by Christopher Dring & Tim Ingham CONSUMERS will pay more than expected for new game releases this Q4, as the weak pound and record development costs force publishers to increase trade prices. Activision has confirmed that the eagerly-awaited Modern Warfare 2 will carry a hefty RRP of £54.99 – and retailers have been warned that other publishers are likely to follow suit. Indeed, one major Japanese publisher has told MCV it has already raised trade prices once in 2009 and may be forced to do so again. “Exchange rates between the Euro and the pound are making it very difficult for publishers to show an acceptable operating margin in the UK,” THQ worldwide VP Ian Curran told MCV. “You can’t continue to trade as normal when the biggest

Activision has been criticised by retail for raising Modern Warfare 2’s trade price – but other publishers have defended the firm’s decision

EA: ‘NO RISE FROM US’

up and I feel this will continue across more key titles. “Also, development costs for next gen software has increased at a time when the take-up on these machines is slower than

I’m not surprised to see MW2’s price rise. I think it will happen to more key titles this year. Ian Curran, THQ

territory in Europe has seen cost of goods increase by 30 per cent due to the strengthening of the Euro. Publishers somehow need to offset this drastic increase in costs. I’m not surprised to see the [Modern Warfare 2] SRP go

expected and therefore the opportunity to sell more units is limited. The increase in cost of goods due to the weak pound has added to this burden, and therefore something has to happen to ensure publishers’ return on their investment.”

However, a top games buyer at one of the country’s biggest retailers said: “A couple of months ago a few publishers mentioned that they were being hammered because of the Euro. To combat this they decided that certain titles would have a higher RRP. “You can guess the reception this got from retail. The fundamental problem is that the customer will feel conned that the latest triple triple-A is £50 at retail when last year it was only £40.” Nintendo drew attention to the exchange rate problem in March, when it raised the cost price of Wii hardware. Major retailers told MCV they believed it was ‘inevitable’ that other prices would rise.

Publishing giant EA insists it will not follow Activision’s lead. A company spokesperson told MCV: “There has been no change in our trade pricing policy and there will be no change in RRP.”

THE PUBLISHER'S VIEW One UK boss of a top global publisher spoke to MCV – and defended Activision's position: “Retail moans to MCV, because they want a massive game like Modern Warfare for next to nothing. 90 per cent of a publisher’s business is done from barely 10 per cent of titles. In these tough times, these games cost a lot of money to develop – up to £50 million. With that pressure to see a return on their investment, I can sort of understand where Activision are going. If you look at the amount it costs to see a movie at the cinema or play a DVD, you

watch it once and you’re done. A £55 game of this quality is far, far better value. Will this affect consumers? I don’t think so. If a title is this good, will they spend an extra £5? Of course. You can’t blame Activision. They’re entitled to do this – they’ve invested huge amounts. I’m not sure the weak pound is the main reason for the rise. I think it’s because Activision knows they’ve spent a huge amount to offer the best entertainment, at the best value money can buy – even if they do add a fiver to the price.”

PERSONNEL 24 RETAIL BIZ 25 NEW RELEASES 32 HIGH STREET 34 CHARTS 36


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NEWS

[LEADER] THE PRICE IS RIGHT WITHOUT QUESTION, Modern Warfare 2 is set to be one of the biggest games of the year. And now, following news that Activision has raised the trade price of the game, it’s set to be one of the most expensive as well. (Outside of the music peripheral games sector, that is). Is that a crime? In the eyes of some, yes. Activision played the poker face and said it doesn’t publicly discuss pricing when asked about the issue. But EA, for one, has emphatically denied it will raise prices this year. The last games company to do this – Nintendo, when it pushed up the price of the Wii hardware – blamed currency conversions for the squeeze on its costs. But will that excuse wash here? Whatever the grumbles, the fact is, Modern Warfare 2 is set to be one of the biggest games of the year – and its price now reflects that. It’s safe to assume that behind closed doors Activision staff know there are only two or three games out there for which a publisher could get away with raising the price – and it happens to own one of them. Millions of people want Modern Warfare 2. Millions upon millions of pounds have been spent on its production. And the game is said to offer an experience as gripping as its predecessor. Ergo: It’s worth more to Activision, whether or not anyone else agrees.

THE PRICE IS WRONG The problem for retail over the MW2 price isn’t just the wash of ill feeling that comes with each unit carrying a higher cost price but generating no extra revenue. (Which is a bit rich – you’re already bound to sell hundreds of thousands of units for the biggest game of the year, and you want more profit?). No, the real issue is how this could upset the perceived value of the games around MW2. If that game is £54.99, does that mean the games priced at £39.99 are worse? Of course not, but you’d forgive less discerning punters from thinking that. Tensions around pricing aren’t new in the games industry, and now the prospect of telling cashconscious punters that the year’s most wanted title will actually cost a few more quid in what’s supposed to be the tail-end of a recession isn’t going to be particularly welcome at retail. Then again, consumers swallowed the slight price increases that came with each new Harry Potter books – even when the page counts fell, meaning consumers got less content per penny. So maybe the boundaries of what consumers will tolerate on price haven’t been toyed with enough in games? Luckily, we won’t have to see such experiments play out that often. There are only a handful of games out there that a publisher could do this with, so it’s far from something that will become the norm. So while pricing is still the ultimate sensitive issue for publishers and retail – as long as no one tries their luck and thinks of trying to hike the price of secondtier games – this could just be a blip. Fingers crossed. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Phil Harrison crowned Plus Media Molecule picks up five wins at this year’s Develop Awards FIFTEEN DIFFERENT companies or individuals walked home with Develop Awards at a packed ceremony in Brighton earlier this week. Media Molecule took home five prizes – for Best New IP, Visual Arts, Technical Achievement, Best New Studio and Best Independent Developer. Phil Harrison, who signed the studio’s LittleBigPlanet

whose Leeds team won Best Handheld Studio while its North studio took home Best In-House Studio. Retired agent Jacqui Lyons was also given a special Lifetime Achievement Award for representing top developers since the 1980s via her company Marjacq. Meanwhile, Codemasters, secured the Grand Prix in

Other big winners included Rockstar, Playfish, Audiodesk, Lionhead and retired agent Jacqui Lyons.

during his long tenure at Sony Computer Entertainment, received the Development Legend prize in acknowledgement of his contributions to the industry through a career of 20 years and counting. Other big winners on the night included GTAdeveloper Rockstar,

celebration of almost 25 years at the heart of British games development and its major growth in recent years. Over 500 video games development execs attended to see the winners – which also included Playfish, Autodesk and Lionhead – collect their prizes. “This year’s

Develop Awards were fiercely contested, illustrating the rude health of the creative industry at the moment,” said Develop

MARIO & SONIC MOUNT LONDON ASSAULT

SEGA IS PLANNING to take over Trafalgar Square this October to promote the long-awaited Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games in time for the Christmas gifting period, MCV understands. It is believed that the title, due out on October 16th, will benefit from a high-profile showcase during the busy London Games Festival – which kicks off on Saturday, October 24th.


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NEWS

Develop Legend

Nominate now for the

 Grand Prix award handed to Codemasters THE NOMINATIONS process for this year’s Games Media Awards is now open. You can vote for yourself or your own brand, a colleague or one of your favourite writers or titles. You can vote in as many or as few categories as you like. You don’t need to include any exposition, just send the names of who or what you’d like to be in the running at this year’s event to gma@intentmedia.co.uk. See the box below for the full list of categories. What happens next? Well, in a few weeks we will announce shortlists of roughly five finalists in each

category. A 100+ panel of judges comprising representatives of the games industry and the games media will then vote to decide the ultimate winners. The only exception to this is the Games Media Legend Award, which will be announced in splendid isolation on the night itself, but, that said, do feel free to send your suggestions.  The Games Media Awards takes place at Jongleurs in Camden on Thursday October 15th. The event is sponsored by Xbox 360, New Super Mario Bros Wii, DJ Hero, F1 2009 from Codemasters, EA and Sega.

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY

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

3. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY

4. MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ..................................ACTIVISION

5. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI

6. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..................................MICROSOFT

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

CATEGORIES: Phil Harrison was amongst the big winners at this year’s event, receiving the Development Legend award

 Games Magazine

 Games Blog

 Games Website

 Games Broadcast or Podcast (TV, radio or online)

 Specialist Games Writer (Print)  Specialist Games Writer (Online)

editor-in-chief Michael French. “We salute the winners, and pat the shoulders of those who were nominated – but

everyone in the business should be rightly congratulated for what has been yet another stellar year.”

 Games Coverage in a Mainstream Magazine (Please vote for the title, not an individual)

 Regional Games Columnist

development pipeline for its handheld games machine. Which means that by the time Sony’s disc-less PSPgo arrives on retail shelves this October, there will be a large number of quality,

low-price PlayStation Network titles ready for download from launch. “Sony’s been working very hard to find our position in the digital marketplace,” explained Zeno Colaço, head of developer relations at SCEE. He added: “Things have changed – the best products don’t necessarily have to come from a retail box.” Over 50 European developers are already devising content for the new initiative – and Sony thinks the move will help attract a wider base of development support. Added Colaço: “On PlayStation Portable we are

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

 Rising Star

9. TEKKEN 6

 Games Coverage in a National Newspaper

PS3 ............................NAMCO BANDAI

(Again, please vote for the title, not an individual)

10. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2

 Games Media Legend Send your nominations to gma@intentmedia.co.uk

Sony throws its weight behind digital THE SONY PSP WILL boast a revamped download store packed with affordable, digitalonly video games by the end of the year. In Sony’s latest commitment to the download space, the firm told MCV sister magazine Develop that it is streamlining the

8. HEAVY RAIN: ORIGAMI KILLER

trying to reduce the barriers to entry some developers have had in the physical goods route to market. “We’re very excited about how existing developers on other PlayStation platforms will contribute to this and how those from other mobile platforms, or even those who haven’t worked on the console before, will come to it. “This is not the start of a project, it’s an evolution to look at what other markets are doing and how consumers are changing. We’ve got a real international mix of developers working on games for PSPgo.” Sony: 020 7859 5000

PS3 ......................................UBISOFT Week ending July 10th Source: SHOPTO.COM

[MARKET VALUE]

£18.7m 25

20

15

10

5

£20.3m

£20.1m

£18.7m

851,924 Units

836,461 Units

825,244 Units

Week Ending June 26th

Week Ending July 3rd

Week Ending July 10th

0

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


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Easy on the violence, publishers warned Fresh ASA guidelines encourage games companies to consider ‘wider context’ of adult TV advertising by Tim Ingham PUBLISHERS need to consider the ‘wider context’ of ads for violent games if they don’t want to see them banned from TV. That’s according to the Advertising Standards Agency, which will next week release new guidance for games publishers and their ad agencies.

next Thursday (July 22nd), entitled ‘Advice – Video Games Advertising’. The ASA this week told MCV that less than one per cent of games advertising had been upheld as inappropriate in the last 12 months – with just an Eidos ad for Kane and Lynch and a Sega vehicle for Condemned 2 both being pulled from screens.

Depictions of violence are the main problem that we see in games advertising on TV. Esra Erkal-Paler, ASA

MCV understands that this will encourage publishers to think beyond just satisfying regulatory rules – and ask them to consider whether their creatives could still cause distress to viewers. The new guidelines – which have been constructed with help from ELSPA – will be announced at an ASA event

“Games has a high level of compliance to the rules – it’s certainly not an industry in crisis – but we felt we should qualify the existing guidance to help publishers avoid problems in the future,” ASA director of communications and marketing Esra Erkal-Paler told MCV. “Depictions of violence keep coming up [as the main

Eidos had a TV ad for Kane & Lynch pulled after the ASA received complaints from viewers

issue with games]. When we look at some advertising content, it’s been likely to offend and cause distress – regardless of whether it’s pre or post-watershed. “Creators of this content need to take into account the wider context of the impact

their ads have – rather than just of the bare minimum of the ASA requirements.” The event will offer games marketers expert help to avoid attracting complaints to their ads. ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson will give a keynote speech.

The ASA’s official regulations are currently being reviewed – with changes expected to be implemented across its critera in early 2010.  For more information about ‘Advice – Video Games Advertising’, email: events@cap.org.uk

Key execs signed for Edinburgh Moore returns with PLANS ARE building for August's Edinburgh Interactive Festival. Taking place on Thursday, August 13th and 14th, the two-day event will open with a keynote from EA Sports boss Peter Moore. Key names from Endemol, Playfish, Jagex, BMO Capital Markets, Turbine and German games giant Bigpoint are all signed up to talk at the event, which this year has widened its remit to include subjects like social networking. Running alongside the industry conference is the Game Play Area and Games Screenings Sessions for members of the public. These free consumer areas attract

outsource marketing

consumers from Scotland and the North of England. This year’s exhibiting publishers include Nintendo, Sony, Eidos and Disney Interactive. The event is also timed to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs

from Friday August 7th to 31st in the Scottish city.  Those interested in booking a place at the event should head to www.edinburgh interactivefestival.com or contact Jodie.holdway@bhpr.co.uk

FORMER Sega marketing director Tina Moore (nee Hicks) has set up a company offering project work for companies looking to keep down their marketing overhead. Moore has held key roles at UbiSoft, Take 2, Microsoft and Sega over the past 15 years and brings a wealth of experience and contacts. The new firm taps into the increasing requirement for publishers, developers and accessories companies to outsource marketing and tightly control costs. “Some companies would rather avoid the overhead of a fully resourced in-house

MOORE: Heading up new agency

marketing team,” said Moore. “I am available to offer short or long-term project solutions, working on specific products or brands across the UK.” Contact: Tina_Moore@btinternet.com


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NEWS

HOTLIST

Namco Bandai sets sights on domination of Europe Purchase of Atari’s PAL business completed  Company aims to become major global force by Christopher Dring JAPANESE giant Namco Bandai has its eye on a top five market share position in Europe, following the completion of its buyout of Atar’s PAL distribution business. The new company is tasked with growing Namco’s established franchises, including Tales of Symphonia, Tekken and Katamari, in Europe, and wants to be amongst the Top Five

We want to make a bigger impact on the global market. Our objective is to be a stronger global force. Olivier Comte, Namco Bandai

distributors in every region it operates in. “For some time Namco Bandai Games Europe has wanted to make a bigger impact on the European market with the objective of becoming a stronger global

Out August 14th

force in video games,” Namco Bandai Partners vice president Olivier Comte told MCV. “In the context of the successful PAL distribution relationship they enjoyed with Atari over a number of years, when the opportunity arose for them to purchase the PAL distribution operation it was something that was clearly very interesting to them. “The deal equips Namco Bandai Games Europe with all the tools they need to grow

their boxed goods business in all the PAL territories.” The firm has already signed several key European distribution agreements with publishers such as Bethesda and Monte Cristo, and is on the hunt for more partners.

X360, PS3, PC Wolfenstein brings the Nazi dark obsession with the occult to life with epic action and harrowing shooter combat. Move between the Nazi’s sinister reality and yours as you battle through the streets, rooftops and sewers of occupied Eisenstadt. Unleash the Nazi’s own dark powers and perverted science against them with supernatural weapons and firepower.

COMTE: Namco Bandai Partners boss wants expanding firm to become a ‘major player’ in Europe and other PAL territories

“Namco Bandai Partners’ aim is to achieve a top five distribution market share as soon as possible in all the territories where we operate,” continued Comte. “To achieve this, we will leverage the Namco Bandai portfolio and our agreements with third

party publishers such as the recent deal struck with Bethesda. We expect to be working with other publishers in the near future and will also be working hard to grow the relationships we already have.” Namco Bandai: 020 8222 9700

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!

Natal will ‘relaunch’ 360 in 2010 MICROSOFT GAME studios boss Phil Spencer has told MCV that the new Project Natal controller will effectively relaunch the 360 when it arrives next year. Speaking to MCV in an exclusive interview, Spencer likened the arrival of the camera-based kit – which senses player movements and requires no physical games controller – to the launch of a new system. “When Natal comes out it will feel like a new generation has arrived,” he said. “I see it as like the launch of the Xbox 360 back in 2005 – there will

be a launch portfolio of games to support it.” Spencer also rubbished the idea of launching new console

We want consumers and developers to know that we are all going to make a huge return on that original

When Project Natal comes out, it will feel like a new generation has arrived. Phil Spencer, Microsoft

hardware onto the market, saying the format holder was happy with the positioning of the multi-SKU 360. “Consumers don’t want another $400 box right now.

investment in the 360 hardware – the one Microsoft made in building it, the one developers made in making games for it, and the investment consumers made in

buying it. In the current climate that’s something people are going to appreciate. “That’s why we are just adding functionality [with Natal] and broadening the console’s appeal, with the best games. The mix we have of content, software and hardware is perfect. “And it’s only year four for the 360. Look at the history of the industry, when does that happen? When before has there been a console that hasn’t peaked and is still growing in its fourth year?"  Read MCV’s full interview with Phil Spencer on page 14

Out Now NDS, WII, PS2, PS3, X360, PC 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.

Activision.com


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New publisher sweeps into UK US firm Mamba Games gains direct access to UK market, signs up Lace for sales and distribution services by Tim Ingham US PUBLISHER Mamba Games is to begin releasing titles in the UK, following a sales and distribution deal with Lace Digital Media Sales. The US company began copublishing with European firms after being founded by former THQ commercial director Robert Neilsen last year – but will now enjoy direct distribution in the territory. Mamba is a PC specialist publisher, but plans to branch into console formats next year, MCV understands. Its last release in Europe was The Lost Crown: A Ghost Hunting Story, copublished with Dutch firm Lighthouse in March. Commercial director at Mamba Jason Codd said: “We have had a really successful six months throughout Europe and we are now in a position to expand our portfolio and distribution networks further afield.

“The UK is a huge part of our business plan and LDMS have really impressed us with their knowledge of the market. We are excited to be working with LDMS in the UK and Ireland and we are sure that our partnership will be a success.” Independent DVD sales and distribution firm Lace Digital

pressure that publishers were under since the collapse of larger sales and distribution companies such as EUK and Pinnacle. He commented: “The games business is very similar to the DVD business in many ways, not least of which being the limited number of options to

Our focus and tailor-made service is unique. We’re very proud to be working with Mamba Games. Adam Lacey, LDMS

announced plans to move into the games market in February, when it signed up JoWood as its first games client. The company specialises in helping global content owners, producers and DVD publishers to release their product in the UK and Eire. MD of LDMS Adam Lacey said he understood the

securing a successful path into the market place. “Publishers need to know that their sales partners have the knowledge, skills and passion to deliver every time. Our focus and tailor made service is unique and we are very proud and excited to be working with Mamba.” LDMS: 01273 202220

EEK W E H T F O N G I CAMPA ESORT WII SPORTS R Nintendo’s biggest Wii release of the year is being supported by the company’s most impressive marketing campaign yet…

PRINT A major press takeover will raise awareness of Wii Sports Resort, with cover wraps appearing on Metro, Daily Star and Shortlist on the game’s day of release. Advertorials will be also used in Sport and the Observer Sport. TV/CINEMA The three-month TV campaign has already begun, which will reach the broadest possible audience. The ads are targeting 16 to 44 year-olds and will appear during all major primetime family viewing throughout the summer. The TV creative is focussed on showing off the abilities of MotionPlus. Various sporting professionals have been brought

on board to demonstrate the precision the add-on brings to Wii Sports Resort and later ads will see these stars competing to show how enjoyable the multiplayer mode will be. Ads will also be shown before Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, reaching more than 5.1 million moviegoers. ONLINE Online takeovers have been planned for all major gaming sites, including MSN, delivering more than 4.3 million impressions across the two weeks of launch. RETAIL A major sampling campaign will see a makeshift WuHu

Island touring the country, with more than ten gameplay areas. Nintendo staff will be visiting nine key locations over the summer, demonstrating MotionPlus’s capabilities and giving consumers the opportunity to get to grips with the various mini-games available in Wii Sports Resort. Meanwhile, a dual-phased POS campaign has already kicked off, starting with preawareness POS and following this up with creative focussed on the July 24th launch window. An array of POS items are available, including window posters, FSDUs, wobblers, deco cubes and more, all designed to recreate the atmosphere of WuHu Island in stores.


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Sponsored by

Bizarre: ‘Blur will reinvent racers’ Innovative IP could mimic World of Warcraft and Call of Duty sales, says racer studio by Christopher Dring DEVELOPER Bizarre Creations expects Blur to revitalise the struggling racing genre, the firm has told MCV. The new IP mixes arcade gameplay, vehicle combat and real world cars in a bid to be

“It is very frustrating. Many of the racing games out there are for the simulation market, which is really inaccessible for those that haven’t played a racing game for a long time. Hopefully by addressing this we can see more people play Blur, appreciate it, and we can

If this is not the racing genre’s comeback, then it will at least be the point where it does something different. Ben Ward, Bizarre Creations

more accessible to new players. And the studio’s claim follows similar assertions from Activision Publishing’s CEO Mike Griffith, who told MCV that the game will ‘do for racing what Call of Duty did for shooters’. “Why has the FPS genre and the MMO market had these massive massive games, and why hasn’t racing?” asked Bizarre’s head of studio communications Ben Ward.

[IN BRIEF] EA: Command & Conquer 4 is currently in development and will be released in 2010. Developed by Electronic Arts’ LA studio, the game will conclude the series’ Tiberium storyline. KONAMI: New Wii horror title Calling is due for release in early 2010. The game uses the Wii Remote as a mobile phone to scare players with mysterious calls as they progress through the plot.

push it forward. This is the start of something new.” Blur isn’t the only new racing IP designed to re-boot the racing scene. Codemasters has an extensive range of new titles on the horizon, while Black Rock and Disney’s Split Second is due early next year. “All these exciting new racers coming out is a great thing,” insisted Ward. “Competition makes for better games. It is a reinforcement

SONY: MCV understands Media Molecule is working on a LittleBigPlanet Game Of The Year edition. The title is set for release by the end of the year and will include much of the downloadable content already available for the game. Bizarre’s Ben Ward is confident Blur will revitalise the racing genre

that we’re doing the right thing in trying to reinvent the racer, with everyone else seemingly trying to do the same thing. Our business people may not agree, but it is definitely a positive thing.

“We really believe in the underlying concept of Blur. If this is not the racing genre’s comeback, then it will at least be the point where it does something different.” Activision: 020 3060 1000

Average selling price falls in ‘09 THE LATEST research from TNS Worldpanel Entertainment suggests that the average selling price for video games has fallen over the last year. In the 52 weeks ending May 24th 2009, the average price across all formats fell to £21.97, a decline of two per cent, according to the firm. The same figure for the Xbox 360 also fell over the course of the year, with an estimated year-on-year decrease of 16 per cent bringing the selling price down to £26.27. However, Microsoft’s platform

showed the smallest decline in average consumer expenditure, with the average Xbox 360 owner spending £104.57 in the last 52 weeks.

Conversely, PC games have actually seen a rise in the average selling price, up from £12.97 last year to £13.97. However, the market declined in both value and volume.

Overall expenditure for the industry rose when compared to the same time last year, as did the number of units sold. Gamers spent an estimated £1.88 billion in this period, an increase of 12 per cent, with 85.6 million games sold, up by 14 per cent. The games market saw an eight per cent penetration growth in the last year, with 20 to 25 year-olds identified as the main contributors to this increase, up by 19 per cent. Nintendo continues to be the primary driver behind the

industry, with the Wii accounting for 80 per cent of the console market’s growth. Meanwhile, the PS3 has a strong year with a 49 per cent increase in value and now represents 18 per cent of the games market’s total spend. In the retail sector, only music and video specialists, supermarkets and specified chains saw their market shares decrease. Online retailers showed the most significant increase, up from a share of 21 per cent to 25.1 per cent. TNS: 020 7160 5957

ACTIVISION: Infinity Ward’s upcoming Modern Warfare 2 has been rebranded as part of the Call Of Duty series once more. IMAGINE: NowGamer.com owner Imagine Publishing has launched NowGamer Network, a community of video games websites that expands the NowGamer.com brand and audience.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: JAPAN

THE NATURE OF THE EAST MCV columnist and celebrated industry analyst Nick Parker discusses Japan’s gaming market and the reasons behind the territory’s steady sales decline in the last 12 months... consoles which also peaked in their first or second year. The Wii launched in 2006 in Japan and peaked in 2007. It was launched in the same year in Europe but was still growing sales in 2008. However, year-todate sales show a decline in some European territories, with the largest Wii market, the UK, occupying a third of Western European unit sales, down by 29 per cent year on year to the end of June. This European fall off is primarily due to strong comparables in the same period of 2008 and stronger competition from Xbox 360 which has become more appealing to the Wii demographic as its base model price is lower than the Wii.

titles, three DS and two Wii (both third party). In the Top 20, 15 games were on portable devices, whilst the Wii took up three of the remaining five. The other two were on PS3 and PS2.

Wii games are not bought in the same numbers by the family demographic as core games are by core gamers.

TURNING JAPANESE The installed base of the Wii has hit over eight million in Japan – 32 per cent of homes with children. In Western Europe, its stands at 17 million – representing a 25 per cent penetration of homes with children. The slowdown of sales in Japan has been considered by some observers as a result of a saturation of homes with children, the target demographic but 32 per cent is hardly saturation. The top ten sellers in Japan in May included six DS titles (which also filled the top five positions), two PSP titles, one PS3 game (Dynasty Warriors 6) and one Wii (Wii Fit). In the next ten best sellers, there were a further four PSP

Wii games are not bought in the same numbers by the family demographic as core games are on core gaming platforms. Wii could become a family event pastime where only one or two games are required. Wii Fit has sold over three million units, just under a third of the Wii installed base.

It would be extremely unfair to suggest that the Wii is in interminable decline. Before the arrival of a Wii 1.5 in the next year, there is a robust roster of titles expected during the remaining half of the year and some way to go on price point reductions in this cycle; oh yes, and don’t forget that despite challenging trends, the Wii is still the best selling TV based console. What remains unknown is whether the ‘family gamer’ demographic is viable long term – and if it will remain hungry for more of the same software and drive hardware sales?  Nick Parker is the founding partner of Parker Consulting Ltd, the industry’s foremost advisors in strategic planning, business intelligence and research. nick@parkerconsulting.biz

JAPAN UNIT SALES AND YEAR ON YEAR UNIT SALES COMPARISONS

(Source: Famitsu)

THERE’S A LOT of fun and games going on in Japan just now – but will the territory’s trends migrate to Europe? PSP has flip flopped with the DS over the last year to fight for bestselling hardware device, as Japan becomes the land of the handheld. The Wii has been in year-on-year decline since the middle of last year and the PS3 is finding new heart among its faithful home crowd. The resurgence over the last 18 months of the PSP in Japan just underlines the impact of high quality titles on hardware to such an extent that it was outselling the DS Lite in all of the period of 2008 until the arrival of the DSi in November. This would be unimaginable in Europe but annual sales reveal a tenacity which has lead to an installed base in this region of 14 million units. As for the PS3, it seems to be the subject of the Alice In Wonderland song: ‘Will you join the dance’. But gamers want the platform to succeed in Japan and should flock back when the price is right. The combined factors of the introduction of the DSi, a paucity of new desirable Wii software and competition from other platform vendors has seen Wii sales fall since the summer of 2008 (down 61 per cent year-on-year) in Japan. Interestingly, the Wii has mirrored the same shape lifecycle curve as the N64 and the GameCube, with the peak sales year occurring in the first or second year after launch, with a decline thereafter. In Europe, the curve has been the same shape for all of these Nintendo


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MCV INTERVIEW PHIL SPENCER, GENERAL MANAGER, MICROSOFT GAME STUDIOS

Natal attraction The Xbox 360’s new camera-based controller had a dramatic unveiling at E3 last month. But why should the industry be excited? Michael French spoke to Microsoft Game Studios head Phil Spencer to find out… Some say Microsoft ‘won’ E3 with Natal. When did work on the new device begin? We started looking at controller-less gaming about four years ago. So it’s been quite a while. The great thing about Microsoft is that we are a big software company – and almost everything in Natal is software driven. Obviously there is some hardware that enables the console to ‘see’, but the research division at Microsoft has done a lot of work on facial recognition, voice recognition, skeletal mapping – I’m talking PhD people in Cambridge and China – which has all contributed to the software powering it. We have long been committed to making this work – that is, empowering players and removing the entire concept of needing a controller – but have taken our time to find the right solution. If Microsoft is ‘a software company’ how do you strike the balance between peripheral design and software creation? For us – the people who love and play games and who make and sell them – the method is to get the creative people involved very early. That way we can make sure that the software is well developed by the time we launch the hardware; it’s a result of the strength we have by putting a strong internal base of creative leaders alongside great platform leaders. In time, we found the right platform for an ambitious software idea – and that’s something Microsoft has regularly done. I’d draw the same analogy between Halo 2 or Project Gotham Racing and Xbox Live. There’s a synergy between hardware and software which, when you get it right, truly captivates an audience. At Xbox, that’s always our strategy – in our office, I sit opposite [Xbox Live chief] Marc Whitten and we, every day,

talk about things we need to enable on the hardware to let innovative software come to the fore, be that in things we develop or the software developed by third parties. Another great example was Rare designing the Avatars for the New Xbox Experience – our efforts to maintain momentum on hardware only worked thanks to our great software innovations. The Natal camera launches towards the end of 2010 and was unveiled at E3

Sony also announced a new motion controller at E3, a different kind of controller to Natal... We don’t have a controller. We are controller-free. You are the controller. Okay, so is that the key message you need to get across to developers and publishers about why they should care about Natal? We started showing Natal to people earlier this year, and to a great reception. The thinking is that when you completely remove the need to have a controller, all you need is what is in your head. All you need is your body. We’ve put players in front of the games with a car, or a football, and told them ‘Do what you feel you need to do’. And minutes later they are playing it, kicking the ball or driving the car. There is no mapping your expectations through a device onto the screen as you would with a pad or other controller. Our catchphrase for Natal is ‘the only experience you need is life experience’. That sounds a little marketing-speak but it’s actually a core message from a design standpoint: we want to encourage people to do what they would naturally do. Lionhead’s Milo is a great example. You just walk up and talk to him. He

reacts to you, and you don’t have to think about how he might react to some ball on the end of a stick. You are the interface and that resonates extremely well.

With Natal there is no mapping your expectations on a pad. You’re not holding some ball on the end of a stick. Phil Spencer, Microsoft

Xbox boss Don Mattrick said that Natal replaces the need for a next-generation Xbox… Well, as I said, software is our heart and soul. I’ve been here 21 years and started as a programmer. We effectively reinvented the Xbox once already when we rewrote the dashboard. It’s not about trying to sell consumers a new piece of hardware at the wrong time, it’s about evolving the platform continuously. And we are going to find things, like Natal, that are hardware related to also do that. But when Natal is added to 360, which is already an online-enabled


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MCV INTERVIEW PHIL SPENCER, GENERAL MANAGER, MICROSOFT GAME STUDIOS powerful box, it starts a new generation of entertainment. So that’s no to an ‘Xbox 720’, then? Do we need to sell a new console at some point? I don’t think we ‘need’ to right now. We’ll wait until our experiences are at the right point, like we have done with the Natal camera. We’ll wait until everyone is ready for it from a software perspective. What Don was saying was that when Natal comes out it will feel like a new generation has come. I see it as like the launch of the Xbox 360 back in 2005 – there will be a launch portfolio of games to support it. And in terms of putting more hardware on the market, what else can we do? Put more memory in it? I don’t think that’s enough. We like where we are at with the box – 360 currently has a great price point. Consumers don’t want another $400 box right now. We instead want consumers and developers to know that we are all going to make a

HEY BIG SPENCER

The Natal camera senses full body movement – right down to fingers, says Microsoft

huge return on that original investment in the hardware – the one Microsoft made in building it, the one developers made in making games for it, and the investment consumers made in buying the console. In the current climate that’s something people are going to appreciate much more. That’s why we are just adding functionality and broadening the

console’s appeal, with the best games. The mix we have of content, software and hardware is perfect. And it’s only year four for the 360; look at the history of the industry, when does that happen? When before has there been a console that hasn’t peaked and is in its fourth year still growing and offering so much potential?

Phil Spencer stepped up as head of Microsoft Game Studios last year, replacing Shane Kim who took a more global business role at Xbox. He moved over after spending two years building the Microsoft Game Studios operation in Europe. “When I took the new position there were things I wanted to optimise for – it was about focus,” he tells MCV. That included cutting back and downsizing a few studio operations – to make room for the reinvigorated push around Natal: “I cut back on a few things I thought were nice, but not necessarily strategically aligned with where we were going. That meant also making investment in the areas that were important: Natal, Live and core games.” On the last point, he singles a mix of first party game, including Halo: ODST, plus third party hits like The Beatles: Rock Band and Modern Warfare 2 as key for 2009: “Even if you ignored what we showed from Natal, at E3 if you looked across our platform and at all the first and third party titles, it’s very impressive.”


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FRANCHISE PROFILE: COOKING MAMA

COOKING UP A STORM: Over two million Mama games have been sold across Europe

Mama Mia!

Since its launch the Mama brand has become a commercial smash hit, selling millions throughout the world. Christopher Dring meets Cooking Mama Ltd’s President and CEO Takeshi Nagashima to find out more about the franchise’s history – and what the future holds for the studio that created it… FORGET LARA CROFT. Mama is the games industry’s new leading lady. Since she first appeared in 2006, the domestic goddess has appeared in no less than five games – which have sold more than six million units combined across Europe and the US. The series’ commercial exploits has made Mama a household name – and resulted in big profits for publishers Taito, Majesco and 505 Games. After big sales of the first game, its developer re-branded itself Cooking Mama Ltd, with the intention of creating new titles based on the Mama brand. MAKING MAMA

The Hong Kong-based studio is a fiercely private team. The team rarely gives press interviews and has no website of its own, instead leaving the talking to its various publishers – and, indeed, Mama herself. “We are a developer company and we deliver our message to the players through our games,” explains the studio’s CEO Takeshi

Nagashima. “We don’t need to promote about innovating with the character ourselves – we use the publisher for now, and finding new ways to play with that. We just want to focus and work Mama as opposed to following the same hard on producing a good game.” formula again and again.” As a character, Mama has managed to The Mama franchise has successfully transcend the games she appears in. found a niche in an ever-diversifying When PETA criticised the series for its industry. It has benefited from Nintendo meat-based menus, the We could make use of publisher issued a release PlayStation’s motion from the character herself stating: “I would never put controller and Project Natal rat in my Ratatouille.” for future Mama games. And Mama has Takeshi Nagashima, been used in various Cooking Mama Ltd other press statements too. DS’s huge install base amongst young Yet, despite Mama’s early girls – and now the developer is looking success, surely focusing on to extend the series to new platforms. one brand is a risky MORE MAMA strategy for any developer? “I started Cooking Mama because I was “I don’t feel there’s a excited by the DS touch screen and the risk,” insists Nagashima. Wii’s controller,” explains Nagashima. “What I feel appeals is “The hardware is very important and so the Mama character. All children we’re only working on Nintendo today. all around the world love Upon saying that, I am looking at the their Mama. PlayStation motion controller and “She delivers the right Microsoft’s Project Natal. We could message to kids, and we’ll keep certainly make use of these.” using her in different games. It’s

There’s certainly much to look forward to for Cooking Mama Ltd. The firm is currently preparing sequels for both its Cooking and Gardening Mama games, as well as an unannounced new project. Meanwhile, the studio is also keen to bring the brand to the digital download space, and hasn’t ruled out creating an entirely new IP either. “Coming up we have Cooking Mama 3 for DS and we’re planning Gardening Mama 2,” concludes Nagashima. “We’ve also got a new Mama concept coming, which we showed to a select few at E3, for which the feedback was good. “Also, we are interested in the digital market. We planned to use the DSi Ware service for Cooking Mama 3, but haven’t been able to for several reasons. But we do plan to use the community functions in the future. “We are a very small company, and we have just the one team working on Mama concepts. However, in the future we would like to try our hand at developing some entirely new games.”


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FITNESS GAMES

Fighting Fit Wii Fit’s success has created an entire genre – and now more and more companies are turning to fitness games. James Batchelor speaks with leading publishers about the reasons for this genre’s impressive growth and find out how they plan to capitalise on Nintendo’s success… AS MCV REPORTED last week, Wii Fit is so far the best-selling game of 2009. And it launched over a year ago. Where other games see their sales trail off a month or so after their debut, Nintendo’s Balance Board flagship was still riding the upper echelons of the charts in the run-up to Christmas and into this year. The effect Wii Fit has had on the games industry is far from unnoticeable. As with Brain Training before it, the game has helped publishers identify a new and lucrative audience. And since the beginning of 2009 alone, retailers have seen the arrival of countless fitness

Active shifted a remarkable 600,000 units globally within its first two weeks on sale. So why is there such a sustained demand for these titles? “Health, fitness and well-being are always present in people’s minds as the pressure to look good increases,” explains Ubisoft’s UK brand manager Ombeline Wallon. “We can see this reflected in the sales of fitness DVDs or in the increase of gym subscriptions. “Consumers see games consoles as a new platform for them to practice and achieve

We aim to offer customers a range of products designed to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Roger Langford, Nintendo

titles, such as My Fitness Coach, EA Sports Active, Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum and Nintendo’s own Walk With Me. In just a year, a new market has been formed. “Wii Fit proved unequivocally that the home player is no longer always a stereotypical 14 year-old adolescent in their bedroom buying beat-‘em-ups,” says Data Design Interactive artist Rob Dorney. “Wii Fit’s continued success at retail has proved that the market is hungry for fitness products and is a lot more open-minded towards active selfdevelopment products.” A WORK OUT

Proving that Wii Fit was not a one-off hit, several of its rival titles have been met with similar success upon release. Ubisoft proudly says that My Fitness Coach: Get In Shape has sold 200,000 units since its debut, while EA Sports

their objectives. It’s a new way to get fit that combines many advantages, ranging from accessibility to price and flexibility. As long as the products answer people’s needs and bring something innovative, there will be an interest.” “Keeping fit has long been a trend outside of gaming,” adds Koch’s head of marketing Amy Curtin. “The ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude of the ‘80s has evolved organically into something that fits in completely with day-to-day life for some people. Having the ability to work with a known trainer, get results and the variety of workout you don’t get form a DVD – and all from the comfort of your living room without the need for expensive gym memberships – is appealing to many people. Curtin also points out that with the ongoing discussion around childhood obesity parents are looking at new ways


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FITNESS GAMES

to get their children moving. What better way than to mix exercise with one their favourite hobbies? FITNESS PLAN

With the benefits for the consumers more than apparent and the charts proving demand is high for such titles, publishers have poured more resources into this new market (see Retail Workout). And Nintendo says there is no reason to move away from this genre any time soon. “Fitness products have become very popular and are of paramount importance to Nintendo,” says product manger 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 healthy lifestyle.” Likewise, some of the biggest thirdparty publishers are upping the ante to

While Nintendo, Ubisoft and EA are relying on their own brands to make the most of this market, and essentially creating new household names in doing so, other publishers are using established ones to attract a wider audience. THQ, for example, has bagged the licence to popular fitness TV show The Biggest Loser, while Black Bean has joined forces with nationwide gym chain Fitness First. It’s a tactic that has worked wonders for the fitness DVD industry, which brings in actresses, singers and other celebrities to be the face of each year’s workout, and it’s likely to become a more regular occurrence as the market for fitness games develops. In fact, there are many trends from this industry that will translate to games retail. As with previous casual hits, fitness titles stand to sell well at any point of the year, free from the peaks and

With so many fitness titles set for release, expect the opening months of 2010 to be a lucrative time for retail.

establish themselves with fitness gamers. Electronic Arts has even introduced an entire division to its operations dedicated to this area. “We are very much committed to the virtual fitness segment and see the potential for continued growth,” explains Monique Gomel, director of marketing for EA Sports Active. “We have created a sub-brand to live under the EA Sports umbrella that is devoted to developing a line of virtual fitness products that fit the needs of our consumers.” Adds Ubisoft’s Wallon: “Fitness is an area of growth in the games marke. We have launched two fitness titles and have more coming for this year. Our focus is always on innovation and opportunities to widen the market, and fitness games are a part of this.”

troughs felt by more hardcore games that tend to rely on the busier seasons, such as Q4. At the same time, My Fitness Coach (released in June) and EA Sports Active (which arrived just before summer’s bikini season) have proven that the best time to launch is when the public’s desire to get in shape is high. So the post-Christmas lull has the potential to become a key trading period for games retailers. January and February are usually devoid of strong sellers, but not only did My Fitness Coach make its successful debut during this time, but Wii Fit also saw a significant boost. With the wealth of self-improvement titles currently due for releases by the end of the year, expect the opening months of 2010 to be just as important to this market. As the season of plenty comes to an end, consumer interest in fitness products increases, be it DVDs, games or gym memberships. If publishers can raise awareness of these games’ effectiveness, value for money and convenience, fitness games could become as synonymous with our industry as first-person shooters.

RETAIL WORKOUT There are plenty of fitness games due for release by the end of the year, so retailers would be well advised to clear plenty of shelf space as the genre really starts to take off. ACTIVE HEALTH WITH CAROL VORDERMAN Format: DS Publisher: Nintendo The sequel to recent hit Walk With Me, this DS title not only helps users monitor their regular walking activity but also advises them on a healthy diet and exercise regime. NEWU FITNESS FIRST PERSONAL TRAINER Format: Wii Publisher: Black Bean Boasting the official licences of leading gym chain Fitness First and Channel 4’s You Are What You Eat, NewU guides Wii owners through a rigorous workout. MY PERSONAL GOLF TRAINER Format: Wii Publisher: Data Design Interactive A unique take on fitness games that uses golfing, the Balance Board and MotionPlus to create a more immersive experience. Further Personal Trainer games are planned. YOUR SHAPE Format: Wii Publisher: Ubisoft Ubisoft’s newest fitness property will use a motion-sensing camera to pick up users’ movements as they workout, offering a fresh alternative to Balance Board games. EA SPORTS ACTIVE EXPANSION PACK Format: Wii Publisher: Electronic Arts The follow-up to EA’s best-selling fitness title, the expansion pack will introduce 30 new exercises, a warm up and cool down feature and a sixweek challenge mode. THE BIGGEST LOSER Format: Wii/DS Publisher: THQ Based on the popular US TV series, The Biggest Loser will mark Jillian Michaels’ second outing in games industry as she and Bob Harper aim to transform players lives. WII FIT PLUS Format: Wii Publisher: Nintendo The follow-up to the phenomenon that started it all, Wii Fit Plus will expand upon its predecessor’s work. This should at least match the early sales records made by Wii Fit.


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ASHES 2009

Beyond the boundary With top-notch celebrities, advanced gameplay and an enthusiastic publisher behind it, could Ashes Cricket 2009 be the game fans have waited 20 years for? Tim Ingham reports… WHICH SPORTS game enjoys the most impressive celebrity endorsements? Easy, right? FIFA. From Rooney to Ronaldinho, it’s got the biggest names in the biggest sport in the world. If not that, surely another of EA’s gargantuan sports properties: NFL, or NBA perhaps. And yet, if we judge these boasting rights by the sporting cognoscenti a publisher manages to draw to its games, Codemasters could well have a shout with Ashes Cricket 2009 – a title made about a very British sport, by a very British publisher. It’s got the mandatory England legend, Ian Botham, alongside today’s Brit superstar – Kevin Pietersen. (Okay, so he’s South African born, but we need all the help we can get). Then there’s the all-time world great, Shane Warne. And last but not least the classic foe – and fellow Aussie – Ricky Ponting. CREAS-ING UP

The support from these cricketing greats is a sign of how far the genre has come in its chequered history.

With the Ashes series already to do this, and that approach carried underway and hype building, right through to both the Brian Lara Codemasters reckons it could have the Cricket and EA’s games. biggest sports game of the summer on “In the last couple of years, even its hands – and the biggest cricket game more control has been added. The of all time. analogue sticks have enabled even more “For me Cricket games started on the Amiga The game looks fantastic and with Graham Gooch’s I’m sure both England and World Class Cricket,” Australia fans are going to says producer of Ashes Cricket 2009 Jamie Firth. relish the chance to take part. “Of course in those days Kevin Pietersen we were talking about one joystick with one button, so it was control over both batting and bowling. basic, but great fun. However, I think in doing this casual “As the consoles have developed, cricket-game fans may have found it a there’s been a move towards more bit too much to handle, which is what buttons, seeing more control we’re trying to address with the over what you want to control system in Ashes do: I think Super Cricket 2009. International Cricket “In the game there on the SNES are default, was the automatic controls first for the more casual

player, and more depth on toggles available for more advanced players.” Perhaps the biggest advancement in modern day cricket has been the rise of the Twenty20 game, which has given Codemasters extra options that previous cricket video games have never had. “Twenty20 is much closer to how the casual cricket fan wants their game to be: fast, fun and lots of big hitting,” adds Firth. “It’s basically given us that arcade game-mode in Ashes, alongside the test matches. “I know there are a lot of cynics on both sides: some prefer test and some prefer the short game. I don’t see any reason why both cannot co-exist. They are games that draw on the same sort of skill-sets in a different fashion. And that’s got to be a great thing for any fan of cricket.” Much like, it would seem, the release of Ashes Cricket 2009 this summer.

STARS IN THEIR EYES Kevin Pietersen “I am delighted to be involved with the official game of the Ashes. The game looks fantastic and I’m sure both England and Australia fans are going to relish the opportunity to take part in a virtual Ashes series. Representing your country in the Ashes is a huge honour and I can’t wait for it to start.”

Ricky Ponting “I think Ashes Cricket 2009 is going to be massive. There are guys all over the world playing against each other trying to re-create us playing against England at grounds like Lords. We have some bad memories from our last trip to England to play in the Ashes so we are desperate to put it right this time.”

Shane Warne “Recording commentary for the game was a lot of fun and I am really pleased with the results. It’s always good to have some banter with Beefy. I played in eight Ashes Series and it’s an amazing feeling to represent your country on the biggest stage. Hopefully Ashes Cricket 2009 will give cricket fans a taste of what that feels like.”

Sir Ian Botham “I’m sure cricket fans will have a lot of fun playing against each other. I’m very pleased to be involved in the game and hope that the people who play it enjoy the Legends Mode. In 2005 we all saw what kind of positive effect a successful Ashes series can have on the country and hopefully the boys can emulate that this year.”


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MCV INTERVIEW STEWART GREEN, MD, DDI

The Arcade game Data Design Interactive’s Popcorn Arcade range has been a phenomenal success for the publisher, and now the firm is experimenting with new software ideas, 3D development and Nintendo’s new MotionPlus accessory. Christopher Dring speaks to boss Stewart Green on the secret behind DDI’s success… Popcorn Arcade has sold over 1.5 million units worldwide. What has made this range so successful? It’s nearing two million units now. For our casual range we had extensive TV advertising last year – with eight weeks of advertising stretched out across the year. A few years ago all the major publishers were talking of 100 man teams and five years of development needed for next gen titles. We thought this was not only unnecessary but did not add up financially. We preferred a process based on smaller titles, sold at affordable prices, and every title we made would make a

moved into new larger offices last July and we have increased our UK workforce by 20 per cent. You’ve got several Wii MotionPlus titles on the way. What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s new add-on? This is what everyone thought the Wii Controller should have been in the first place. Nintendo should make this the standard Wii controller for all new sales and we are full of innovative ideas on how we can utilise it. The one-toone feedback is wonderful to use. Our My Personal Trainer series will fully utilise the hardware, with titles that

Nintendo’s MotionPlus is what everyone thought the Wii controller should have been in the first place. Stewart Green, DDI

small but reasonable profit. So we developed a reliable fast development process and published game after game, making continuous profits on each title. So do you feel the big-budget games model is stopping the games industry from growing? The games industry is continuing to grow, with a near 20 per cent increase on last year. However, while this is our most successful year in terms of size and sales, four of the five leading publishers have lost record amounts. Many in the industry just haven’t realised that the growth is in new gamers who want different types of products. Wii Fit and Brain Training are not products the hardcore gamers think of as next-gen, yet this is what the public want. Considering your success, how has DDI been expanding? We have opened a new US office in Florida, but while much of the UK development is being lost overseas, we are still UK based, and we are continuing to expanding our UK development. We

would not have been possible without this innovation. Is My Personal Trainer a big part of DDI’s line-up then? My Personal Trainer will bring more people into playing games. Each title in the My Personal Trainer series doubles as a sports game and a tutorial that can teach you how to play the real activity. The feedback is really accurate and there’s expert advice from the world’s best trainers on how you can improve your game. This technology would previously cost tens of thousands of pounds to buy, but we can provide the hardware and expert feedback for a fraction of this. So will each title feature its own high profile trainer? For golf we’ve got David Leadbetter. He has had 30 years of training experience and is top of the field. For tennis we’ve secured Nick Bollettieri, who is the world’s leading tennis trainer.

We’ve worked with IMG too, which is the world’s largest sporting academy, with 22 training facilities around the globe. They do golf, tennis, baseball, soccer and fitness. We are doing games on all these areas, with a top trainer in each. How would you be looking to sell these games? Can we expect to see them in sports stores? At E3 we met with Dicks, the largest golf specialist in the US. We are looking to do a deal with them to sell the game through their stores as professional training products. Would you be interested in releasing My Personal Trainer on nonNintendo formats? Possibly. The new Xbox camera is interesting. However, we are not sure it is accurate enough for Personal Trainer. At the moment, the only machine that has the hardware ready is Wii. Do you think you’ll surprise people with your new line-up? We came in early on the Wii market. We had 30 titles out in the first 12 months. The first games on a platform are never the best – especially as we were going for a casual market at a low price point.

Now we’ve had time to look at the hardware, see what the machine can do, and integrate the new accessories. You do develop your games quickly. What’s the secret behind that? Our GODS development system is similar to a car production line. Developers don’t need to keep re-inventing the code every time they make a game. No wonder it takes some companies two years to make a game. For our engines we’ve written modules and codes that are reusable and interlink with each other. And it is reliable as well. You don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel every time.


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24 MCV546_final:46 MCV515

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Sponsored by 24 MCV 17/07/09

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PERSONNEL

New managers streamline Grainger Caisley and Gee promoted  NowGamer.com appoints editor  Amiqus Games recruits veteran recruiter GRAINGER  Indie retailer Grainger Games has promoted two employees to help streamline store operations in regions where the firm has a strong presence. PAUL CAISLEY becomes area manager for the Northern region. Caisley originally joined the company in October 2003 and was voted employee of the year in 2008. JAMES GEE takes control of the Southern region. Gee joined Grainger Games in September 2003. He has worked at both store level and in the retailer’s head office.

Caisely (left) and Gee (middle) will work closely with former GameStation bod Moore (right) to strengthen their regions

“The directors of Grainger Games would like to express their personal congratulations and look forward to Paul and James tackling their future challenges in the same manner that they have to date,” said Grainger Games’ TONY BLENKINSOP. “It is a very

exciting time to be involved with Grainger Games, as further expansion plans are put into place.” Paul and James will be working closely with store managers and sales director PHIL MOORE, who recently joined from GameStation.

IMAGINE  NowGamer.com has named KEITH HENNESSEY as its new editor. Hennessey has previously worked on such publications as XBM, X360, Play and Total PC Gaming. “I’m thrilled to be working on another new and exciting Imagine initiative,” he said. “Since launching in February, NowGamer.com has been rapidly gaining the respect of gamers everywhere and the new NowGamer Network of websites should help establish it as the No.1 games portal for discerning gamers.

“With so many quality games publications and talented journalists supporting it, NowGamer.com will be a true force to be reckoned with in online entertainment.” AMIQUS  ALAN DIXON has joined Amiqus Games. He is responsible for building new relationships with existing developers in the UK. He has already successfully made placements at Universally Speaking and Kuju Studios. He previously worked recruiting within financial sectors.

Product Manager (Full-time) Area: Stoke-on-Trent. Salary: £Competitive – (Subject to suitability) An excellent opportunity to join a rapidly expanding business dedicated to developing a comprehensive range of high-quality design-led accessories in a number of technology fields. As a Product Manager you will be responsible for new product introductions to this fast-paced business. You will be part of a skilled development team based in Stoke on Trent working closely with our Hong Kong office, identifying new product opportunities for the company's product portfolio. We are looking for a team player with a flare for design and an eye for detail. Hitting deadlines is a pre requisite, whilst having an understanding and experience of everything within the gadget world. You will be able to multi-task and remain calm under pressure. Your daily responsibilities will be: UÊ "LÃiÀۈ˜}Ê̅iʓ>ÀŽiÌÊ>˜`ÊVœ“«ï̈œ˜Ê UÊ >˜>}ˆ˜}Êi݈Ã̈˜}ʏˆVi˜ÃiÃÊ>˜`ʏˆVi˜Ãˆ˜}ʜ««œÀÌ՘ˆÌˆià UÊ 7œÀŽˆ˜}Ê܈̅Ê̅iÊ`iÈ}˜ÊÌi>“]Ê>˜`ÊVœi>}ÕiÃʈ˜Êœ˜}Êœ˜}ʜ˜Ê˜iÜÊ>˜`ÊÊ existing product development UÊ >ÀÀވ˜}ʜÕÌʈ˜ÌiÀ˜>Ê«ÀiÃi˜Ì>̈œ˜ÃÊÀi>̈˜}Ê̜ʘiÜÊ«Àœ`ÕVÌà UÊ /À>ˆ˜ˆ˜}ÉÕ«`>̈˜}Êi݈Ã̈˜}ÊÃÌ>vvʜ˜Ê˜iÜÊ«Àœ`ÕVÌÃÊ>˜`Ê«Àœ`ÕVÌÊ`iÛiœ«“i˜ÌÊ UÊ œÃiʏˆ>ˆÃœ˜Ê܈̅Ê>ÀŽï˜}]Ê/iV…˜ˆV>Ê-Õ««œÀÌÊ>˜`Ê->iÃÊÌi>“ÃÊ}œL>Þʈ˜ÊÊ the identification and assessment of new product opportunities UÊ *Ài«>À>̈œ˜ÊœvÊÀi«œÀÌÃÊÀi>̈˜}Ê̜ʫÀœ`ÕVÌÊ`iÛiœ«“i˜Ì]ÊvœÀʓ>˜>}i“i˜Ì review meetings UÊ ÃÈÃ̈˜}Ê܈̅Ê>Êi˜µÕˆÀˆiÃÊvÀœ“ʈ˜ÌiÀ˜>Ê`i«>À̓i˜ÌÃÊÀi>̈˜}Ê̜Ê̅iÊÊ Ê Ê «Àœ}ÀiÃÃɏ>՘V…ÊœvʘiÜÊ«Àœ`ÕVÌÃʈ˜Ê`iÛiœ«“i˜Ì This is a fantastic opportunity to progress within a challenging and stimulating environment. If you are interested in this role please submit your CV to anned@gem.co.uk


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

AS SEEN ON TV P28 Koch’s family-friendly range of licensed titles hits Wii and DS GI JOE P31 EA brings the classic kids’ hero to console – just before he stars in a cinema adaptation ESCAPE FROM THE MUSEUM Majesco looks to build on its recent success with this puzzle game

P31

NEW RELEASES P32 MCV provides a rundown of all the titles waiting to be placed on your shelves

WOLF AT THE DOOR Activision updates its classic Nazi-oriented FPS with a science fiction twist

Page 26

HIGH STREET P34 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, and check your prices FULL UK CHARTS P36 MCV recounts the full All Formats Top 40 – as well as individual formats charts


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RETAILBIZ: WOLFENSTEIN 26 MCV 17/07/09

The veteran of the FPS genre returns to shelves to show more modern franchises how it’s done in Activision Blizzard’s Wolfenstein…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor

“This will be the first Wolfenstein launch since 2001’s Return To Castle Wolfenstein and the incredibly popular freeware release of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory in 2003,” says Activision Blizzard brand manager for UK and Ireland Simon Wells.

Wolfenstein holds true to everything the series is known and loved for. BEFORE Call Of Duty, before Halo, Players once again take on the role of before Duke Nukem, there was one-man army B.J. Blazkowicz as he Wolfenstein 3D. continues to battle the forces of the The game kicked off a phenomenon Fatherland. This time, the fiends are with its corridors and chambers filled attempting to unlock the power of an with Nazi soldiers, guard occult artefact known as dogs, mutant experiments and the Black Sun and it’s up Retailers understand that MechaHitler. Now the to our hero to stop them. Wolfenstein is a highly legendary series returns to Crucially, this is the shelves with a new first entry in the series recognised and respected Wolfenstein for a new where players can use brand among gamers. generation. the supernatural to their Simon Wells, Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard’s advantage. While they’ll Wolfenstein is the first to harness the “The game’s launch in August is one still have to battle against abominable power of current generation technology, of the most anticipated first-person mutants and undead creatures, they can and the publisher is certain this will shooter titles launching in 2009 and is use Black Sun’s energy to slip into an help it take the series to new heights. releasing in a relatively clear launch alternate dimension, known as the Veil. Not only are fans already tingling window, so expectations are high. “Wolfenstein always delivers on overwith anticipation at another epic shooter “Our leading indicators for the the-top sci-fi action,” says Wells. “Fastflavoured with Nazis and the occult, the performance of the title are ahead of paced, intense and incredibly high-energy, game’s timing means it should be a target so we expect Wolfenstein to the game will see an escalation of smash hit. command a very solid launch.” enemies from the regular Axis soldiers

RELEASED: AUGUST 14 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE / ID PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


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RETAILBIZ: WOLFENSTEIN WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 27

The new Wolfenstein features everything fans want – from World War II shootouts to supernatural horrors

EIN VOLK, EIN REICH, EIN SERIES The Wolfenstein series has been around since the early days of the FPS genre, so the new iteration has some pretty big (jack)boots to fill. CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN/BEYOND CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN (1981/1984) The Muse Software games that inspired id’s legendary franchise. These were 2D stealth games played from a top-down perspective that saw gamers sneaking through a Nazi castle to locate Germany’s war plans and escape unharmed. WOLFENSTEIN 3D (1992) The title that truly kicked off the FPS genre, Wolfenstein 3D is one of the most iconic video games ever released. Over the years, the game has moved beyond its shareware origins and been ported to the likes of the SNES, Jaguar, GBA, 3DO and, more recently, Xbox Live Arcade and the iPhone.

Players will face unimaginable terrors as they battle against the Germans’ hellish experiements

to experimental occult troops and, of course, the big bad bosses. Wolfenstein has consistently been one of the pioneering games in the first-person shooter genre and the quality in this title will be no exception in this longrunning franchise. “Strong brand heritage often proves to be a very compelling factor for gamers, especially in the current economic climate. Our retailers understand that Wolfenstein is a highly recognised and respected brand that is hotly anticipated this year. They can expect their shoppers and consumers to be provided with a really immersive gaming experience that brings in to play a modern version of the unique storyline and feature set that Wolfenstein is famous for.” RALLYING THE TROOPS

While the name on shelves will be enough to garner the attention of the gaming masses, Activision Blizzard is

pulling out all the stop to ensure that awareness of Wolfenstein is at an alltime high during this quiet season. “PR has been running for some time on this title and we’ve already seen three front covers within the specialist press,” Wells explains. “A strong appetite around the heritage of the game and a fondness for the franchise amongst gamers means that the buzz is really strong at the moment. “Our print campaign is targeting all key specialist press for two months over launch with high-visibility inside front cover placements driving pre-order, and the creative looks amazing. We have a very strong and disruptive online campaign around our launch window, both driving pre-orders and also the launch of the game. This is one of the strongest online campaigns ever run for an id Software title here in the UK and covers all the key gaming sites with massive takeovers.”

SPEAR OF DESTINY (1992) A PC-only prequel to the original Wolfenstein 3D. Unlike its episodic predecessor, this was available as a single, standalone game and held true to everything that made the original so popular. RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN (2003) After a lengthy absence, B.J. Blazkowicz returned in this PC, PS2 and Xbox FPS title. The game began with players escaping Castle Wolfenstein before carrying out a series of missions that would uncover the German’s occult activities. WOLFENSTEIN: ENEMY TERRITORY (2001) A multiplayer-only spin-off inspired by Return To Castle Wolfenstein’s own multiplayer mode. This title was successful enough to prompt the creation of another spin-off, combining these modes with another id franchise for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.


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RETAILBIZ: AS SEEN ON TV 28 MCV 17/07/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Koch delves into Britain’s TV schedules for some of the most popular and well-known gameshows and series for its upcoming releases… by James Batchelor HOLLYWOOD has a sizeable presence at games retail, with the summer’s biggest blockbusters lining the shelves in video game form – but now Koch tis turning to something a little closer to home. The company’s new As Seen On TV series brings some of the longestrunning and most beloved British TV programmes to video games for the first time, tapping into a established audience. “In line with Koch Media’s casual games strategy, we are expecting to expand our market share in casual games,” says sales and marketing director Paul Nicholls. “We’re using brands that are instantly recognisable by consumers and will attract an even more casual gamer, especially over the gift buying seaon.” The range kicks off in August with Ready Steady Cook. With Cooking Mama and similar titles already massive hits on Wii and DS, this recognisable brand stands to perform well. Gamers compete against one of five chefs to create the most impressive dish, and players will experience all the RELEASED: VARIOUS FORMATS: Wii, DS PUBLISHER: MINDSCAPE DEVELOPER: MINDSCAPE PRICE: £19.99 - £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

challenges of the cooking process. Once finished, fans even get to use the series’ famous green pepper and red tomato voting system to decide on a winner. FINGERS ON BUZZERS

A double helping arrives in October, with Family Fortunes and Countdown hitting both Nintendo formats. Family Fortunes recreates the familiar structure of the popular family quiz show, coinciding nicely with the start of the new series in September. Contestants work their way up through the usual rounds of Single, Double and Big Money. The game even features commentary from host Vernon Kay. Perhaps the most recognisable of the range’s gameshows, Countdown will bring word and maths puzzles to Nintendo gamers. With more than 4,600 episodes under its belt, players will be familiar with the rounds in the game. The next wave arrives in November with two titles that turn to more active series as their source material. First up is The Ultimate Red Ball Challenge on Wii, based on the BBC’s Total Wipeout, the most watched entertainment show on Saturdays with a weekly audience of 6.2 million viewers. Players use the Remote and Nunchuk to take on a range of outlandish, waterbased assault courses against the clock. Only by getting the quickest time will they reach the round, each of which is introduced by Richard Hammond.


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RETAILBIZ: AS SEEN ON TV WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 29

The names in Koch’s As Seen On TV range will be more than recognisable to the vast majority of consumers, ensuring the broadest possible estalished audience

Also arriving in time for the new series is I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here on Wii and DS, giving players the chance to see if they could survive the horrors washed-up stars go through every Christmas. Fans must tackle the Bushtucker Trials and can expect some of the most unorthodox mini-games, all of which no doubt involve creepy crawlies, as they attempt to secure food for the camp and avoid elimination. Finally, March 2010 sees the arrival of Coronation Street on DS, marking the video game debut for the world’s

seen in the four-tiered approach we have taken, which covers all major weekly TV publications, top lifestyles magazines, celebrity print and specialist publications, and has an estimated reach of over 14 million readers.” Extensive print advertising will appear in TV, lifestyle, celebrity and specialist publications from August to November, which will be complemented by an online campaign centred around reskins, banners and skyscrapers on key websites. A four-month PR campaign kicks off in September, aiming to get the As Seen On TV range featured in Christmas

The As Seen On TV range delivers high recognised experiences to retail and offers the ideal gift. Paul Nicholls, Koch Media

longest-running TV show. With an each episode boasting around 10 million viewers, this game has the largest established audience of the As Seen On TV titles. Players take on the role of a detective as they work through a brand new storyline and befriend the various characters from the Street, including Ken, Norris, Maria and Blanche. COMMERCIAL BREAK

Koch will be marketing the As Seen On TV titles as a range to get maximum exposure for all of its titles. “Our consumer marketing strategy has been created to target audiences that cover casual gamers and fans of the show,” explains Nicholls. “This can be

‘wish lists’, front of book editorials and competitions. As well as targeting quality publications, Koch will be arranging competitions with select radio stations. “The As Seen On TV range delivers highly recognised TV show gaming experiences to retail,” says Nicholls. “Suitable for the whole family, the range delivers great fun for all and offers the ideal gift for all the family no matter what the occasion may be. “Trade focus will take advantage of retailer gifting campaigns and dedicated in store space throughout the peak period. Opportunities to create visual impact instore for the range will be maximised and the key aim will be to bring the range together under an overarching gifting message in all channels.”


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RETAILBIZ: ESCAPE THE MUSEUM/GI JOE WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 31

Majesco brings a casual smash hit to Wii, giving the console its first hidden object game…

EA brings the real American hero to gamers everywhere, complementing a cinema release…

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

THE WII’S demographic is perfect for casual gamers yet to venture to the many online portals available. And Majesco is keen to supply this audience with the likes of its latest release, Escape The Museum – a title that has already caused a stir on the web. “Since Gogii Games’ Escape The Museum has already been a massive hit on PC download, there’s a huge amount of anticipation for its arrival to Wii,” says John Merchant, Majesco’s international marketing manager. “It’s had over two million PC downloads, been No.1 on five portals and in the Top 10 for over a year. We’re seeing plenty of enthusiasm for the title – particularly from retail – as it’s the first hidden object game on Wii in the UK.” CLOSE TO THE BONE

Players need to combine keen observation and wits to find their missing daughter and escape a museum that has been left decimated by an earthquake. Using the Wii remote, they must uncover exits and find valuable objects by solving puzzles and outsmarting the security systems across 25 detailed adventure sections and 12 hunt-and-find areas.

“Escape The Museum, and hidden object games in general, are an absolutely perfect fit for the Wii Remote: point, move, find and click,” says Merchant. To promote Escape The Museum, Majesco will be targeting the most popular casual gaming sites heavily, with ads in mainstream and lifestyle print and online publications. The launch will also be supported with plenty of in-store activity and POS. Majesco is also confident the release of Escape The Museum has been perfectly timed to capitalise on the hype surrounding recent family hit, Night At The Museum 2 – a property the publisher is ideally equipped to connect with this release. “Museums are obviously very popular right now – there can’t be anybody in the land who hasn’t seen the recent Night At The Museum 2 movie,” says Merchant. “Our recent success with the movie video game has been a perfect launch pad for this game.” RELEASED: AUGUST 28 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: VOID PRODUCTIONS PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3908

POPULAR ‘80s boys toy G.I. Joe hits the silver screen in August with The Rise Of Cobra, introducing the timehonoured brand to thousands of new youngsters across the globe. EA is preparing to mobilise the complementary game release, thanks to its close relationship with the makers of the original action figures, which has spawned games such as Monopoly and Hasbro Family Games Night. Not only is the anticipation surrounding the film working to the game’s benefit, EA is taking a different approach to movie tie-ins that should ensure this title is a hit. “The film awareness is picking up and for those who enjoy the film, the game picks up where the film leaves off with a unique storyline inspired by the film, cartoons and toy line,” explains EA’s UK product manger Alice Brandvik. The Rise Of Cobra takes the form of an accessible third-person actionarcade co-op shooter. Gamers can either work through events from the film and the new storyline that follows it on their own, or team up with a friend in the split-screen mode. The handheld version also has a few unique extras.

“The DS format has been created specifically for the platform with unique top-down action gameplay and the ability to create your own G.I. Joe versus Cobra battles for up to four players via the Wi-Fi DS connection,” says Brandvik. UNORDINARY JOE

Taking control of the elite G.I. Joe team, players fill the military boots of 12 of the main characters from the film, each with unique weapons and abilities. Not only will the roster appeal to long-time G.I. Joe fans, it will allow newcomers to get to grips with these action figure icons. Brandvik adds: “We really want to capture fans of the film as well as existing G.I. Joe comic book fans so we’re working closely with Paramount and Hasbro around the film and toy range launches to integrate our TV, print, online and cinema activity as closely as possible.” RELEASED: AUGUST 7 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PS2, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: EA DEVELOPER: DOUBLE HELIX PRICE: £24.99 - £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 32 MCV 17/07/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Heroes save games retail this summer Fearless icons both large and small lead the upcoming releases, with Warner’s Watchmen and Disney’s G-Force making their debut. Other notable releases include Active Health, Peppa Pig, SuperCar Challenge and Batman... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

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

Adventure Action Action Action RPG Puzzle Simulation Simulation

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Centresoft Open Open Koch Trilogy Trilogy Open Centresoft Trilogy Open Gem Open Koch

JULY 24th Calvin Tucker's Redneck Jamboree City Life Clever Kids: Farmyard Fun Clever Kids: Pirates Driving Theory Training 2009-2010 Edition Fritz Chess Tropico Reloaded Watchmen: The End Is Nigh Wii Sports Resort

JULY 31st Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle Big Foot Collision Course Code Of Honour 3: Rise Of The Desert Devil G-Force Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis Puzzle Kingdoms Ultimate Traffic 2 Your 3D Home Designer 2 - Deluxe Edition

AUGUST 7th Active Health with Carol Vorderman Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans Peppa Pig

AUGUST 14th Gardening Guide: How To Get Green Fingers Wolfenstein

AUGUST 21st Agarest: Generations Of War All Star 5-A-Side Football Dawn Of Magic 2 DJ Star Euro Truck Simulator Gold International Athletics Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger Pack Peppa Pig SuperCar Challenge

AUGUST 28th Batman: Arkham Asylum Cross Edge Farming Simulator Groovy Chick: My Fashion World Mary Celeste Navy Seals Pole To Pole Section 8 Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Super Speed Machines Ten Pin Alley World Cup of Pool WSC Real 09: World Snooker Championship

MUSTSTOCK ........WATCHMEN: THE END IS NIGH Released: July 24th Format: Xbox 360, PS3 Publisher: Warner Bros Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Warner Bros’ previously download-only Watchmen movie tie-in debuts at retail, bringing it to a wider audience. Players relive key moments from the hit film as Nite Owl, Rorschach and other characters strive to save a world that has grown tired of heroes.

MUSTSTOCK .......................................G-FORCE Released: July 31st Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP Publisher: Disney Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Disney’s groundbreaking title brings stereoscopic 3D technology to gaming for the first time. Tying in with the upcoming G-Force film, it tells the tale of an elite unit of guinea pig spies. Expect this one to be popular with fans of the movie.


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Europe’s developer-only website

100,000 unique development readers every month... and rising

JUNE STATS: Unique Users: 101,490 Page Views: 201,072

CONTACT Advertising Manager

Editor-in-Chief

Deputy Editor

Katie Rawlings Katie.Rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk 01992 535647

Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk 01992 535646

Ed Fear Ed.Fear@intentmedia.co.uk 01992 535646


34,35 MCV546_final

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Page 1

RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 34 MCV 17/07/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ:

NEWS

REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...

81%

Call of Juarez Ubisoft, PC

76%

74%

70%

72%

GH: Greatest Hits Activision, PS3

The Conduit Sega, Wii

Overlord: DL Codemasters, Wii

Moon Rising Star, DS

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

DEAL OF THE WEEK

UK WEEKLY GAME SALES REMAIN STEADY DURING HEAT WAVE According to MCV calculations, based on today’s GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA weekly report, £20.1 million for the weekend ending July 4th. Unit sales dipped two per cent to 836,461. Game sales are typically low during nice weather, which makes these results all the

Argos customers picking up a 60GB or Elite Xbox 360 – at £166.39 and £224.59, respectively – will receive a free wireless controller and four games, including Lego Indy, Sega Superstars Tennis and PGR4.

1

TITLE/FORMAT

PUBLISHER

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 FORMAT: PS3

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

2

1

3

NEW

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD PS3

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD 360

3

NEW

5

6

NEW

7

6

TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

8

8

OVERLORD II 360

9

NEW

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 PS3

10

NEW

ANOTHER CODE R: LOST MEMORIES Wii

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360

BLU-RAY SALES BOOM IN UK New numbers from the British Video Association showed that 3.1m of the hi-def discs have been sold so far in 2009 – that’s a 231 per cent increase on the same period last year.

MCV POLL WILL WII SPORTS RESORT DRIVE FOOTFALL AND SALES IN THE SUMMER MONTHS?

EA UBISOFT

5

PROTOTYPE 360

UBISOFT GRABS HEROES OVER EUROPE A third brand has joined Blazing Angels and Tom Clancy’s HAWX in Ubisoft’s flight simulator stable – former Atari title Heroes Over Europe. The game, a sequel to 2005’s Heroes of the Pacific, saw its initial release window come and go but should now at least have a secure route to market. “We are pleased to be bringing Heroes Over Europe to retailers worldwide,” Ubisoft’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Tony Key stated, according to Destructoid. “The action-packed gameplay and realistic imagery in Heroes Over Europe will help bring some of history's most exciting air battles to life for an experience that gamers will enjoy.” Heroes Over Europe will be out on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC this September.

UBISOFT

45%

The majority of MCV’s online users are clearly hopeful about Wii Sports Resort drawing customers to stores during the quiet summer period.

YES

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

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

CODEMASTERS EA

43%

NINTENDO

Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.

12%

NO

LET’S WAIT AND SEE

ble at a l i a v All A

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.

LAST WEEK

more remarkable, coming during a UK summer heat wave. Sales were aided by new releases including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Tiger Woods and Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood.

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

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS THIS WEEK

PRE-OWNED PURCHASES AT ‘ALL TIME HIGH’ New research from Nielsen claimed “used game purchasing is at all-time highs in 2009, looking back since 2006”. UK retailer GAME and US retailer GameStop have both reported similar findings in their recent financial updates. In addition, Nielsen claimed that gamers are playing more every week than last year, too, with the average hours spent in front of the screen each week now at 16.6 – up from the 16 hours or less reported in the same period in 2008. However, none of this has dampened the enthusiasm of the games buying public, it seems. 74 per cent of those surveyed stated that the credit crunch will not lessen their games spending, even though half of them admitted that times were tough at the moment. “35 per cent of gamers claim they are spending more money or plan to spend more on gaming this year than last year and 39 per cent claim they are spending the same amount,” the report added.

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


34,35 MCV546_final

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 35 Sponsored by

FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY 2. MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ..................................................ACTIVISION

3. GRAN TURSIMO 5 PS3 ..........................................................SONY

4. MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ..................................................ACTIVISION

5. PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 PS3........................................................KONAMI

6. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..................................................MICROSOFT

FRONTLINE Nindie.com chats to Sarah Gibson, manager of Grainger Games in Sunderland… How has the market been for you so far this year? The market has again been busy in the opening part of the year, although there have been no major releases like last year’s Wii Fit and GTA. We are constantly looking at new offers and deals on both new and pre-owned stock to keep or business successful and competitive. Has the loss of Woolworths and Zavvi been a benefit to you at all? I think this will have given us some extra sales and customers, but we didn’t really see either of these companies as direct competition. What they had to offer on the gaming front was pretty poor, from pricing through to service.

What has been performing particularly well for you? UFC: Undisputed by THQ has performed amazingly well and I think this is due to the strong marketing campaign that has supported the title. What’s been underperforming? Wii consoles are really slow at the moment so to push these through we are doing

some really competitive pricing on both the solus console and when bought in a bundle package. What makes your store so unique? We tend not to see our store as unique. We try and be more like a national store in all areas of the business, as the nationals tend to do really well so this is the kind of service we try to offer.

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

8. HEAVY RAIN: THE ORIGAMI KILLER

PRICE CHECK

PS3 ..............................................................XX

9. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ............................................NAMCO BANDAI

10. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2 PS3 ......................................................UBISOFT

Harry Potter: Half Blood Prince

Week ending July 10th Source: SHOPTO.COM

Wii, EA

Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood Ubisoft, PS3

Fallout 3: Anchorage & The Pitt 360, Bethesda

Street Fighter IV

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10

PC, Capcom

Wii, EA

IN STORE: LOWESTOFT

MARGIN MAKER

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

These Disney-licensed DSi carry cases are made from water-repellent material and feature a practical carry handle to prevent kids from dropping their DSi. The cases feature a range of characters from the Disney family and Winnie-the-Pooh. Inside, there are separate compartments for the DSi, game cards and stylus pens. Meroncourt: 01462 68 00 60

£31.77

£37.87

£22.97

N/A

£42.77

£29.99

£39.99

£14.99

£24.99

£44.99

£34.99

£39.99

£12.99

£29.99

£44.99

£39.99

£42.99

£14.99

£29.99

£49.99

£29.99

£39.99

£14.99

£17.99

£44.99

£28.99

£36.99

N/A

£23.99

£42.99

£32.95

£35.95

£12.95

£17.95

£44.95

£29.99

£35.96

£14.99

£17.96

£44.96

ONLINE

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


36,37 MCV546_final:54-55 MCV525

14/7/09

14:35

Page 1

RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 36 MCV 17/07/09

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

2 14 6 6 7 3 4 6 32

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA MARIO KART DS NINTENDO TRANSFORMERS: AUTOBOTS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LEGO BATTLES WARNER BROS. CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO THE MYSTERY OF THE MUMMY UBISOFT RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

[2]

1

PUBLISHER

FORMAT: WII, PS3, 360, PSP, PS2

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

THIS WEEK

LAST WEEK

2

1

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3

3

3

TRANSFORMERS 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP

4

10

HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC EA

5

6

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD 360, PS3, PC UBISOFT

6

4

WII FIT Wii

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10

[3]

TITLE

PUBLISHER EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

NINTENDO

7

9

VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 PS3, 360, PC, Wii

8

7

THE SIMS 3 PC

9

12

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

10

8

[PROTOTYPE] PC, PS3, 360

SEGA EA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

1

HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

11

5

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED 360, PS3

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

12

11

GRAND SLAM TENNIS Wii

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD SQUARE ENIX EUROPE ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF DINOSAURS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GHOSTBUSTERS SONY INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2009 THQ

13

14

EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii

14

16

MARIO KART WII Wii

15

13

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

16

15

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

1 4 5 7 9 10 8 6 11

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5

3 2 5 4

TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA ‘09 EA HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY

6 7 8 9 10

6 8 7

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCK BAND UNPLUGGED EA

9

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

[5]

EA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

17

17

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

EA

20

POKÉMON PLATINUM DS

NINTENDO

19

25

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

20

21

WII PLAY Wii

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

EA

18

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE

RE

[4]

THQ

NINTENDO

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

THE SIMS 3

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA ARMA II 505 GAMES WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SPORE: GALACTIC ADVENTURES EA EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD UBISOFT WARHAMMER 40,00: DAWN OF WAR II THQ COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THE SIMS 2: DOUBLE DELUXE EA

3 2 5 4 10 6 11 8 9

DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA


36,37 MCV546_final:54-55 MCV525

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 37

improve too, with the latest movie only just

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 replacing Fight Night Round 4 at No. 1. The boxing sim remains in second place, despite a 45 per cent drop in sales, while Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince is the publisher’s shining star, moving up six places into fourth place with a 71 per cent sales leap.

hitting cinemas nationwide. So retail can expect

PS3

22

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

RED FACTION: GUERRILLA 360, PS3

THQ

22

27

FALLOUT 3: GAME ADD-ON PACK 360, PC

BETHESDA

23

26

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

SEGA

24

24

INFAMOUS PS3

SONY

25

19

GHOSTBUSTERS PS3, PS2

SONY

26

33

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

SEGA

27

RE

BUZZ! MASTER QUIZ PSP

SONY

28

23

GUITAR HERO: GREATEST HITS 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 ACTIVISION

29

NEW

THE CONDUIT WII

SEGA

30

32

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

31

NEW

ICE AGE 3 DS, WII, PS3, PS2, XBOX 360, PC

32

RE

MARIO KART DS DS

NINTENDO

33

18

OVERLORD II 360, PS3, PC

CODEMASTERS

34

RE

TRANSFORMERS: AUTOBOTS DS

35

30

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

36

34

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

37

40

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP

2K PLAY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

38

28

MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE PSP

39

36

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

40

31

SEGA CAPCOM ROCKSTAR

MYSIMS RACING Wii,. DS

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

UBISOFT

1 7 4 3 5 20 8 12 6

EA

TITLE

PUBLISHER

FALLOUT 3: GAME ADD-ON PACK DEVELOPER: BETHESDA PUBLISHER: BETHESDA WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER FOCUS BEJEWELED TWIST FOCUS WOW: THE BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB FOCUS

throughout July. Elsewhere, Sega’s The Conduit debuts at No. 29, while Call of Duty 4 re-enters the Top Ten again, with a 10 per cent sales rise. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED INFAMOUS GHOSTBUSTERS CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE [PROTOTYPE]

3 2 7 9 4 8 5 10 6

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA

TITLE

WII FIT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

GRAND SLAM TENNIS EA SPORTS ACTIVE TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 MARIO KART WII HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 THE CONDUIT MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

NEW

11 9

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SEGA THQ SONY SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO EA EA EA NINTENDO EA SEGA SEGA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE [PROTOTYPE] UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE

6 4 3 7 5 2 9 8 12

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 8 6

UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

EA’s games line-up to be a key sales factor

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

21

WEEK ENDING 11/07/09

dominate the ChartTrack Top 40 this week with

L FORMATS Highest New Entry

The boy wizard’s performance can only

EA’S SUMMER HEAVYWEIGHTS continue to

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA UBISOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


38,39 MCV546_final

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Page 1

YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES

sourcebook WWW.INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK

creative and promotional SErvices 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net

Indigo Pearl Tel: +44 (0)20 8964 4545 www.indigopearl.com

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

AN.X Ltd. Tel: 020 7785 7156 www.anxagency.com

JR DESIGN Tel: +44 (0) 7824 506436 www.joeryandesign.co.uk

The Pixel Tel: 0800 043 1040 www.thepixel.com

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

Media Safari Tel: 01225 731 388 www.mediasafari.co.uk

Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com

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

More Creative Tel: 020 7561 6010 www.morecreative.co.uk

gaming accessorieS

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

Multiplay Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 1337 www.multiplay.co.uk

Gfk Chart-Track Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585 www.chart-track.com

Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz

Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

PMA Marketing Tel: 020 7483 0568 www.pmamarketing.com

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

RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Tel: +44 (0)20 8254 5300 www.rainbowproductions.co.uk

FEREF Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6330 www.feref.com

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com

FINK Creative Ltd Tel: 01480 302350 www.finkcreative.com

Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com

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

Shorewood.Blueprint Tel: 020 7183 9666 www.shorewood-blueprint.com

Freeform.London Tel: 020 7183 6664 www.freeformlondon.co.uk

Side Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 4800 www.side.com

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

SKYSKRAPER® Tel: +44 (0)20 7252 3288 www.skyskraper.net

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

Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0) 1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com

AntiGrav Media Ltd Tel: 01932 454929 www.antigrav-media.co.uk Hubb Accessories Tel: 01642 204343 www.playwithhubb.com Logic3 plc Tel: 01923 471000 www.logic3.com Pebble Entertainment GmbH Tel: +49 (231) – 477 927 0 www.pebble-entertainment.com/en Pinpoint Consumer Elec. Tel: +44 (0) 1606 558 428 www.pinpointce.co.uk

international distribution ComputerLand doo Tel: +381 11 309 95 95 www.computerland.rs CURVEBALL LEISURE Tel: 01792 652521 www.thegamecollection.net Funtastic Tel: +61 3 9419 5444 www.funtastic.com.au GameStreamer, Inc. Tel: 001-813-527-0383 www.gamestreamer.net

LO

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS


38,39 MCV546_final

13/7/09

12:26

Page 2

In association with

Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com

LOCALISTATION QA AND TESTING

legal services

4-Real Intermedia GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 69809088 - 0 www.4-real.com

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

Harbottle & Lewis Tel: +44 (0)207 667 5000 www.harbottle.com

Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com

Partnertrans Tel: +44 1753 247731 www.partnertrans.com

Marriott Harrison Tel: +44 (0)20 7209 2000 www.marriottharrison.co.uk

ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de

PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net

software development

Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com

Testronic Laboratories Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1753 653722 www.testroniclabs.com

Cenega Poland Sp.Zo.o Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com

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

Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229-9999 ext.312 www.enzyme.org

U-TRAX Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com

ChaYoWo Games Tel: +1 917.650.0010 www.chayowogames.com Crytek UK Tel: +44 115 949 0808 www.crytek.com Data Design Interactive Tel: +44 0 1384 44 79 00 www.datadesign.uk.com xaitment GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 6897-600 80-0 www.xaitment.com

manufacturing services Arvato digital services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com

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

DISCHROMATICS LTD Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk

Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

MPO UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8956 2727 www.mpo-international.com

The Producers Limited Tel: 0845 234 2444 www.theproducers.co.uk

Multi Media Replication Ltd Tel: +44(0) 1264 336330 www.replication.com

Total Console Repair Ltd Tel: 08719 181 721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk

uk distribution and logistics Discstribution Tel: + 44 (0) 845 4308735 www.discstribution.com EntaTech Tel: 0333 101 1000 www.entaonline.com Gem Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk Meroncourt Europe Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 www.trade.meroncourt.co.uk

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

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

Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com/games

Specialmove Consultancy Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com

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

GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT: ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01992 535647


40,41 MCV546_final:Layout 1

13/7/09

12:20

Page 1

INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 40 MCV 17/07/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

DENMARK

INDIA

PORTUGAL

All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre

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

AFA INTERACTIVE

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS

MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED

66 Hughes Street, Mile End,

+44 1279 408 665 (UK)

Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor,

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

South Australia 5031

+45 7026 0870 (DK)

Cardinal Gracious Road,

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D,

Tel: +61 8823 41355

dt@gatewaydistribution.dk

Chakala, Andheri East,

08034, Barcelona, Spain,

www.gatewaydistribution.dk

Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Tel: +91 22 28203319

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Fax: +91 22 28203334

www.planetadeagostini.net

AUSTRIA

ESTONIA

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

Andrico ..............................................................Tallinn

email: distribution@milestoneinteractive.com website: www.milestoneinteractive.com

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

BELGIUM

FINLAND

ISRAEL

Panvision Oy.......................................................Turku

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

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

ITALY

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

BENELUX

v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -

FRANCE

Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate

Lisbon, Portugal

EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg

Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)

Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0

Digital Bros spa................................................Milano

Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno Newave Italia...................................................Firenze

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago

RUSSIA

NETHERLANDS

Hitzona.............................................................Moscow

GAMEWORLD

45 rue Delizy,

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel

Soft Club..........................................................Moscow

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

Micromedia BV...........................................Nijmegen

Vellod...................................................................Mitishi

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Favour Games..................................................Tilburg

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep

Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow

SERBIA

NEW ZEALAND GERMANY

Gamewizz..........................................................Albany

EBS Benelux

Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach

Lorentzweg 1

Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg

NORWAY

3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt

Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen

The Netherlands

Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt

COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

MPX.no .......................................................Sandefjord

Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

Platekompaniet....................................................Oslo

Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy

mail:games@computerland.rs

GREECE

Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

website:www.computerland.rs

Centric ...............................................................Athens Nortec Multimedia.........................................Athens

POLAND

Zegetron S.A....................................................Athens

CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

CYPRUS

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

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

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD 1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 / Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

ICELAND Sena ................................................................Reykavik

SOUTH AFRICA TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,

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

54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: business@techland.pl Web: www.techland.pl

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

tel. +357 22 666612

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

www.greatgames.com.cy

Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

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

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 17/07/09 41

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

JAPAN

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

DREAMGEAR, LLC

Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,

20001 S. Western Ave.

Barcelona, Spain,

Torrance, CA 90501

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

Fax: 310-222-5577

www.planetadeagostini.net

Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: moris@dreamgear.net

VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,

 Elsewhere, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is set to become the first Cero Z rated title for Nintendo’s DS in Japan. A Cero Z rating is much the same as the ESRB’s AO (Adults Only) rating seen in North America, though unlike in the US where many retailers will not stock AO games, a Cero Z certificate does not pose the same sales barrier in Japan – all of the GTA games to date have been Z rated. In other Rockstar news, Grand Theft Auto IV is getting the budget treatment in Japan with news that the Capcom-published title is to be ushered in to the PlayStation Best discount range.

28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC.

Web: www.virginplay.es

16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

Tel: +1 818 920 9393

Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas

info@usgamesdist.com

JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo

www.usgamesdist.com

Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

SWEDEN

UAE

Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka

Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB

 Meanwhile, Capcom has revealed that over 3.5m copies of its PSP hit Monster Hunter Freedom Unite have now been shipped in Japan – the first PSP title to reach such a landmark in the region. The game was first released in March of last year, propelling PSP to the top of the hardware sales charts and going on to be the best selling PSP title of 2008 in Japan. Since the arrival of the budget PSP Best SKU in October the game has added a further 1m sales to its total.

PLUTO GAMES

PO Box 5083

PO Box 10705, Office 103-104

S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden

Emirates Islamic Bank Building,Dubai, UAE.

Phone: +46 54 854750

www.pluto-games.com

Fax: +46 54 854759

Tel: +971 4261 8111

E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se

Fax: +971 4261 8112

Website: www.gameoutlet.se

Panvision....................................................Stockholm

Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia

SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg

NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai

THE BAD news continues for the troubled Japanese games industry. New stats from Enterbrain show that the total value of the region’s games market is down 24.4 per cent year-on-year for the period between December 29th and June 28th 2009. A slump in hardware sales of 27.6 per cent is the chief offender, though software sales were also down sharply by 21.8 per cent. The DS was the best selling machine, shifting 1.62m units. PSP came second with sales of 1.18m. In the home console race, Wii lead the charge with sales of 640,000 units followed by PS3 (550,000) and Xbox 360 (210,000). Total market value reached YEN 218bn (around £1.4bn).

Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt

SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs

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

UNITED STATES BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

CANADA

GLOBAL video games publisher Ubisoft has further bolstered its presence in the subsidy-friendly East-Canadian region by establishing a new studio in Toronto. Ubisoft already has studios based in the country in Quebec and Vancouver. In fact, its Quebec operations boasts over 2,000 staff, split between two studios; one deep in Montreal city, the other on the outskirts of Quebec. Though that number suggests astronomical overheads, Canada’s world-beating tax-relief policies – where developers can claim back as much as 40 per cent of total development costs – is visibly encouraging publishers such as Ubisoft to focus more and more of its resources in the region.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

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

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

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

www.discstribution.com

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

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 24th

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 in bringing their products to the market and who the key retailers in the region are.

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

DEVELOP AWARDS REVIEW MCV offers the complete guide to the biggest awards evening of the development community’s calendar. 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. FRIDAY AUGUST 7th

BACK TO SCHOOL SOFTWARE FOCUS As the summer holidays draw to a close, parents and children turn their attention away from leisure and entertainment titles and towards preparing for the new academic year. MCV investigates what part video games can play in this and what opportunities the sudden need for school supplies can present to both publishers and retailers.

TERRITORY REPORT: NORTH AMERICA The United States and Canada form the biggest and most influential video games market in the world. MCV analyses this gargantuan market, speaking to key players in the territory about how the sector is performing and the changes seen in the territory over the past 12 months. FRIDAY AUGUST 14th

GAMESCOM SHOW SPECIAL The inaugural Gamescom trade show opens in Cologne, and there will be an extra 3,000 copies of MCV available at the event. Amongst the features tucked inside one of the biggest issues of the year, will be a plethora of high profile interviews with UK and European publishing bosses, maps of the halls, a list of exhibitors, a full guide to Cologne and a look at the products set to take the show by storm.

MUSIC GENRE FOCUS MCV takes a look at this ever-expanding genre with Activision Blizzard’s Hero franchise branching out into new fields and EA bringing the world’s most iconic band to games in the latest Rock Band. We offer a guide to where this genre is heading and the key titles on the way.

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

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

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

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

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

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

Crytek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660

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

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

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

nDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44(0) 1252 375754

sales@dvdtech.com

Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk

DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com

Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821

DISTRIBUTION

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

TOOLS bluegfx. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 467 200 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516

SERVICES 3D Creation Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 3459551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 Ian Livingstone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1483 421 491

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

Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Testology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07919 523 036 Testronic Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1753 653 722 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

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


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

Insider’s | Guide

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

x

This week MCV speaks to Testronic’s business line manager for games, Alastair Harsant… Could you tell us about Testronic Labs? Testronic is an independent third party QA company with a long history of successful services to the games and entertainment industry. AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk STORE FITTINGS

What services do you offer? As a company we offer a vast range of QA and consultancy services. Our games business incorporates localisation and localisation QA, functionality QA, compliance, PC compatibility, usability and focus groups and New Player Experience (NPE) testing. We do this across all major platforms. Could you tell us something about Testronic that we didn’t know before? Testronic is part of Catalis, which is listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange – actually, that’s

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

a dull fact. Perhaps more interesting is that we had a fivea-side team participating in the recent MCV tournament for the first time. Also, the author of this text is a British record holder for a little known endurance indoor rowing event. Any exciting developments happening at the moment? Managing the next stage of our rapid growth while providing excellent service and value for money is the most exciting aspect of our work. We are always interviewing to find the best people in the UK, Poland and Belgium and are in the process of expanding our Polish functionality testing facilities. What is the best thing about your job? The variety and challenge – no two days are the same.


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

AUGUST 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

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

SEPTEMBER

The MCV and Xbox 360 Pub Quiz returns to the rather swanky Sway Bar in Holborn. Once again the event brings together the market’s leading publishers, retailers and media to compete for some pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games. It’s also, of course, a very smart networking event, with buyers and publishers, editors and agencies all rubbing shoulders at the bar.

TOKYO GAME SHOW Thursday, September 24th – Sunday, September 27th Makuhair Messe, Tokyo tgs.cesa.or.jp/english BRAND LICENSING 2009 Wednesday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st Olympia, London www.brandlicensingeurope.com

OCTOBER HANDHELD LEARNING Monday, October 5th – Wednesday, October 7th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.handheldlearning2009.com MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds http://expo.eurogamer.net UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com

MCV AND XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, September 24th Sway Bar, Holborn Orlaith.Kennedy@intentme dia.co.uk

GAMES MEDIA AWARDS Thursday, October 15th Jongleurs, Camden, London dave.roberts@intent media.co.uk Now in its third year the Games Media Awards returns to the Jongleurs Comedy Club in Camden and will once again hail the best brands and individuals from the specialist and mainstream sectors, both in print and online. Last year’s Games Media Awards saw wins for the ‘big three’ of Future, Imagine and Eurogamer, whilst there was also awards for FHM and The Guardian. The event is free to enter for the media.


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MCV FORUM

Discount is the danger Following last week’s letter from a publisher on the threat posed by preowned sales, an indie has written to MCV about a far greater peril...

JUST READ the latest issue and in particular the article in MCV forum from a publisher concerning the sale of preowned games. I am an independent game shop manager and obviously trade in pre-owned as well as new. Whilst I am sure there is truth in the article, what I think is a greater threat is the discounting of new games. For the last six months or so, game selling prices have been all over the place with huge discounting if a game does not sell well. This is even followed in some cases by prices being increased again. As an independent, we get no special price protection or ‘sale or return’. We have to bear the loss if a game falls in price. We have shelves littered with loss-making games from when we were over optimistic of a game’s popularity. Like many other indies, we’ve become wary of the number of games we buy as the forced discount means that we only probably make around £2 or £3 on a new game. If this game then falls in price we are quickly losing money. It is not the independents doing the price discounting. We just have to follow the trend. Therefore here are some thoughts on the matter: 1) Sales of new games are often funded by part exchanging previous games. This is more so in a recession. So the writer of the previous article would need to consider whether stopping

As mainstream retailers discount the selling price on new releases, indies are forced to follow suit

It is not the independents doing the price discounting. We just have to follow the trend in order to survive. Steve Hinchliffe, GameCentre2

pre-owned games sales would actually increase or decrease sales of new games.

weeks of release, then they are bound to wait for the price drop before purchasing.

2) The present drop in sales of new games on release is partly due to the volatile price of new games. Consumers are not stupid – if they see new games being heavily discounted within

3) I firmly believe the way to generate more sales is to offer some price protection to indies either by sale or return, or price protection for a credit if the price drops.

We indies really need to start our own buying cooperative – after all, we surely account for more sales in volume than any one national outlet. Steve Hinchliffe, GameCentre2, Scarborough

‘MCV is beating rivals online’ One PR hails the success of MCV and its sister publication...

I THOUGHT I’d drop you a line to congratulate you on the fine work MCV and Develop is doing online. I have been checking out my viewing statistics on

GamesPress recently and thought I’d share some info with you: the traffic coming from MCV and Develop is double that of your nearest rival. It’s not just a one-off

either – and I’m sure I’m not the only PR to have noticed. It’s consistent, so keep on keeping on. Alison Beasley, Lincoln Beasley PR

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


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48 MCV 17/07/09

Off The Record

PIC OF THE

WEEK

A sweaty bravo goes out to all industry execs who managed to raise a whopping 68,000 Euros for a French children’s charity at IDEF the other week. A sponsored 5km run organised by high flyers such as Patrick Melchior (Eidos), James Rebours (Sega) and Rory Donnelly (THQ) was attended by over 200 participants. You can still donate at: www.jeudonne.org/en

WWW.MCVUK.COM

This week, some industry vets get running for charity as Tim Westwood (yes THE Tim Westwood) sells on his much-loved console...


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MCV 17/07/09 49

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

BRIGHT VAN MAN... After years of pimping other people’s rides, 53 year-old, Cambridge professor’s son – and occasional Radio 1 hip-hop ‘authority’ – Tim Westwood this week decided to advertise his own blinged-up van, replete with PS2 console and other gadgets not entirely appropriate for a moving vehicle. Unfortunately for him, the ad, boasting a ‘celebrity owner’ got picked up on the ‘net – and sent round various news sites. We hope to God it’s snapped up by another millionaire. And burnt to the ground.

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

We take a look back at the most troubling/exciting/dumb observation of the industry from the past seven days...

“They said mixed martial arts wasn’t a real sport... They’ve changed their tune.” UFC boss Dana White says EA missed the chance to negotiate a game, before THQ came in for the licence

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS


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LOOK HERE... And the award for most ridiculous licence slipping under the radar this week goes to... US publisher Legacy Interactive’s Murder She Wrote on PC. We’re fascinated to know how this one plays out. The press release says: “Inspect the screenshots. Are they gorgeous 3D renderings or are they crime scenes?” Erm, could they be neither? But as we’re resurrecting silly detective shows, we’d like a Columbo game, please. Complete with “just one thing...” bonus rounds.

SOCK IT TO ‘EM... Some of MCV’s lucky games media friends were invited to witness a launch event for Koei’s Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 a few weeks ago – and offered the chance to win a shiny PS3. All they had to do to be in with a chance was take the most imaginative, funny photo of themselves in a pair of complementary ninja socks. An early frontrunner is Sebastian Strange from German mag Play3, above. But where are the Brits? Return to these hallowed pages in a couple of weeks to see if ‘our boys’ toppled ze Germans - or if Koei has an overseas delivery to make...

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

Advertising Manager: Lesley Blumson Lesley.Blumson@intentmedia.co.uk

Please address all enquiries to:

Editor-In-Chief: Michael French Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Advertising Executive: Rob Baker Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk

Associate Editor: Tim Ingham Tim.Ingham@intentmedia.co.uk

Art Director: Stuart Moody Stuart.Moody@intentmedia.co.uk

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

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

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk



FAX: 01992 535648 Finance Director: Hilary Cole Finance Manager: Michael Canham Michael.Canham@intentmedia.co.uk

Managing Director/Publisher: Stuart Dinsey Stuart.Dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk Telephone: 01992 535688

Printed By: Pensord, Tram Road,Pontllanfraith Blackwood, NP12 2YA

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

ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS United Kingdom £150 l Europe £175 l Rest of the World £250 To order your subscription via Visa, Mastercard, Switch or AMEX or to make changes to your subscription details, contact mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com or call 01580 883848.

SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-dedicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Intent publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Mobile Entertainment, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two online-only brands: CasualGaming.biz, dedicated to the growing mass market video game sector, and Licensing.biz, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.

www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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


Inside Back

Marketing and PR Highlights

OUT 2010 JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

Print : Online : Trade : PR : Print :

Extensive advertising with publications covering top TV listings, lifestyle magazines, celebrity and specialist print

Online :

4 month range campaign including full re-skins, banners and sky scrappers across key mainstream sites

Trade :

Create visible in store awareness online and via retailer press throughout September December period in order to drive gifting purchases

PR :

4 month campaign targeting all Christmas “wish lists�, front of book editorial, competitions in quality publications and on air competitions with select radio stations

For more information on the As Seen On TV range call our sales team NOW on

0870 027 6504 ALSO AVAILABLE

Š 2009 Mindscape. READY STEADY COOK logo Š Endemol 2004. BBC logo Š and TM BBC 1996.2008 Endemol USA Inc./Endemol UK Plc licensed by Endemol International B.V. – all rights reserved. Š 2003 Endemol International B.V. / Endemol UK plc, DEAL OR NO DEAL is a registered trademark of Endemol International B.V. – used by permission – all rights reserved. Golden Balls logo and design Š Endemol UK Plc 2007 – used by permission – all rights reserved. Golden Balls registered trade marks are used under licence from Golden Balls Limited. Family Fortunes (R) FremantleMedia Ltd. Licensed by FremantleMedia Enterprises. â€?Countdownâ€? Š and format owned by Armand JAMMOT / France TĂŠlĂŠvisions. “Countdownâ€? ™ & Š Yorkshire Television 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. I’m A Celebrity‌Get Me Out Of Here! ™ & Š ITV Studios Ltd 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. Coronation St. ™ & Š ITV Studios Limited 2009. Licensed by Granada Ventures Limited. All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.

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

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For more information on the As Seen On TV range call our sales team NOW on

0870 027 6504

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MCV546 July 17th 2009