WITH THIS ISSUE MCV has teamed up with EA Sports and FIFA 10 to present our annual guide to the Premiership fixtures, complete with opinions and predictions from industry fans
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 549 Friday August 7 2009 £3.25
Trade turns Scrooge for Christmas period Fewer games, higher prices for consumers this Q4 as publishers push back key IP to 2010 by Tim Ingham THE GHOST of unprofitable Christmas past will hit consumers this Q4 – as retailers keep software prices high and publishers shunt more triple-A titles than ever to next year. A swathe of massive games – including 2K’s Bioshock 2 and Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction – have had their release dates uprooted to Q1 2010, as publishers avoid doing battle with Activision’s Modern Warfare 2. That leaves the door open for unfancied titles to stake a claim in the Christmas top ten – doing battle with the likes of FIFA, PES, The Beatles: Rock Band, Need For Speed, Modern Warfare 2 and GTA: Episodes From Liberty City – and sets up a mouth-watering scrap for 2010. But with retail being forced to stick to RRPs in the recession, that spells bad news for consumers – who have grown accustomed to an avalanche of huge new games in Q4 and widespread price cutting.
Disney’s Christmas Carol game adaptation could enjoy more exposure at retail this Q4 – as rival titles slip to 2010
Rob Cooper, UK MD, Ubisoft “It’s clear that the video games industry learned a lot from last Christmas which had an incredibly heavy release schedule and certain quality titles suffered from that. It’s a question of adapting to this year’s circumstances. We think that we’ve made the right decision for our titles and for our business by choosing to move certain key games out of the holiday period. Rather than projecting a loss of sales, we’re anticipating this will benefit our overall performance.” Mike Hayes, President, Sega West
Last Xmas was a bloodbath. This Q4 offers better value for publishers and retailers. Only consumers will lose out. Sean Brennan, Bethesda
“Last Christmas was a veritable bloodbath at retail, with far too many triple-A rated titles competing for consumer cash,” Bethesda MD Sean Brennan told MCV.
WHAT’S BEEN MOVED TO NEXT YEAR? The list of games previously due for a 2009 release that have been moved to next year points to a bumper 2010:
Alan Wake........................Microsoft Aliens: Colonial Marines ......Sega Bayonetta.................................Sega Bioshock 2 .....................2K Games Dark Void ...........................Capcom Heavy Rain...............................Sony
MAG............................................Sony Red Dead Redemption .Rockstar Red Steel 2 ..........................Ubisoft Singularity ......................Activision Splinter Cell: Conviction..Ubisoft Starcraft 2 ..........................Blizzard
* Any possible delays announced in EA and Activision’s Q1 results not included
“Retail prices were trashed to a level that made a mockery of the development costs. This year the recession will mean there will no doubt be less money available, as this industry does not exist in a vacuum as we like to sometimes believe. So publishers and retailers will generate greater value with post-Xmas launches. The only real losers are consumers who will not benefit as much from cheapened product. It also makes the market less seasonal, which can only be positive.”
Other key industry players have praised the new trend – which will help ensure that top games won’t get ‘lost’ in the Christmas sales frenzy. “If you take a longer-term view, this will have no negative impact on the market,” commented Activision UK MD Andrew Brown. “There are still a large number of titles coming to market this year, but there is a limit to the ability of retailers to give stand-out to every launch. Also, moving some titles out of 2009 will give them more exposure when they do come to market.” Eidos life president Ian Livingstone commented: “Blockbusters are not Christmas dependent. It makes sense to spread the big titles out over the year.”
“Is the moving of games to Q1 next year a good or bad thing? I guess the answer lies on which side of the fence you stand! For those of us that have key titles in calendar Q4 then this is good news for our sales. But then again for those of us that have big titles in the first quarter of 2010 then these moves could be quite risky. At the end of the day we can only launch when titles are ready and there are by far and away enough releases before Christmas to create a buoyant market.” Rod Cousens, CEO, Codemasters “Q4 is a congested period, which has resulted in wastage amongst quality products in the past – which may have fared better outside of the window. This year will still offer compelling and exciting content to draw on the consumer wallet and make for year-on-year growth. There are a number of ‘tentpole’ products which remain on track to bring Christmas cheer for some.”
PERSONNEL 30 RETAIL BIZ 35 NEW RELEASES 44 HIGH STREET 46 CHARTS 48
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[LEADER] DELAYING TACTICS The games industry is often guilty of putting a good spin on bad news. Title pushed to next year? Well, it’s just getting more development time to make it better. Consoles not selling as quickly as planned? It’s okay, we’ve got a long-term strategy that doesn’t rely on short-term sales spikes. Yet news that so many bankable games have been pushed away from the busy Christmas season really isn’t such a bad thing. Sure, this means that retailer tills and publisher balance sheets have to wait until they can cash in on surefire hits like Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Red Steel 2 or God of War 3. But there’s still a huge number of juggernaut titles on their way this year, and that’s without mentioning that Activision game. FIFA 10, Assassin’s Creed II, The Beatles: Rock Band, Halo: ODST and many others are sure to please consumers. And the retailers selling them. And a lighter release schedule means that some new IP and more opportunistic publishers might get their moment in the spotlight this winter. Games like Bethesda’s new Wet and Wheelspin, 2K’s promising Borderlands, and EA’s Brutal Legend now have breathing room to compete. Of course, it also puts more pressure on those new IPs; the potential blow of failure is no longer cushioned by the guaranteed hits. And there will be no scope for those ‘it was too crowded a market’ excuses this year. But ultimately, this Christmas will be just as important as any other. Because even if the pressure on range has decreased, the pressure to part customers from their cash hasn’t eased up one bit.
FORM AN ORDERLY Q1 The side effect of having a quieter Q4 means that currently Q1 2009 is – in theory, at least – pretty packed with important releases. And, in the same way that moving those titles away from the holiday season creates opportunities for new IPs this side of Christmas, it places pressure on those now positioned to do well after it. This probably won’t harm the original games with very good prospects – such as THQ’s Darksiders and Disney’s Split/Second – that were designed to take advantage of this time and were hyped accordingly. Instead, publishers now face decisions on whether they take a gamble and see if March and Easter-time doesn’t become ‘the new Christmas’. Those looking for inspiration might want to take a look at Capcom’s strategy. This year it launched three major franchise episodes – Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV and the latest Monster Hunter – at atypical seasons, and has the chart figures and market share to prove it knows what it’s doing. Here’s hoping that there’s no ironic twist and those same big hitters such as Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Red Steel 2 or God of War 3 end up cannibalising each other’s sales when they arrive next year. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
UK retail anxious Trade concerned by inflated price and digital-only model But as by Christopher Dring THE UK HIGH Street has expressed reservations over Sony’s PSPgo, but the platform holder has moved to reassure retailers that they still matter to its handheld business. Play, HMV, ShopTo, CHIPS and Asda have all admitted to MCV that the machine’s digitalonly model is a concern for them, and that PSPgo’s success
“However even if Sony do give retail a solution there are still questions to be answered on the RRP which needs to be below £200.” CHIPS joint-MD Don McCabe added: “Customer reaction to PSPgo is currently a no-go. I can’t see anybody going for it if Sony confirm a high price tag. If we get customers through the door we will sell it, but that remains to be seen.”
The PSPgo looks like a great new console. Our concerns are with the non-retail model of downloading games. Jonathan Hayes, HMV
could hinge on the console’s reportedly high price. “From E3 we all thought that the PSPgo looked like a great new console at a size that makes it truly portable,” said HMV’s commercial manager for games Jonathan Hayes. “Our concerns are obviously with the non-retail model of downloading games.
PSPGO: Sony’s latest handheld arrives in October – but ditches physical formats for purely digital releases
PSPgo is due for release on October 1st, with full launch details expected at Gamescom. Despite their concerns, UK retailers have welcomed news that Sony remains committed to UMD releases for PSP 3000. “Sony have been re-affirming the message of how important PSP is to them for some time now and I have no qualms
Activision boosted by Nickelodeon NICKELODEON believes it can give Activision’s familyfocused games range a huge boost after granting it global distribution of the official game for kids’ TV hit iCarly. The global deal takes Nickelodeon’s official games publishing partners to three, with 2K Play and THQ already established distributors of titles based on franchises such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora The Explorer and Avatar. iCarly, a web show within a TV show, averages nearly 26m total viewers each week. “On this particular brand, on DS and Wii, we’re confident Activision will perform on
target for all international markets,” VP of interactive games, Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products Arwed Ralf Grenzbach told MCV. “If you see the product roster of Activision, they are putting a lot of emphasis into the international markets. There are so many SKUs on their release schedule, I wouldn’t say we’re driving their business, but it’s great for them to have this TV brand.” Activision’s iCarly game allows gamers to make ‘webisodes’ of the show and features minigames, presented as show skits. Grenzbach said the firm is key to forge new relationships,
too: “Even though we have solid and long-lasting relationships globally, we are screening the marketplace and looking for the best partners.”
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about PSPgo’s launch
TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
handheld hype builds, a confident Sony says retailers are still ‘a key part of our plans’ L-R: Jonathan Hayes (HMV), Don McCabe (CHIPS), Keith Sharpe (Play.com) and Igor Cipoletta (ShopTo) have all raised questions about PSPgo
2. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
3. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ......................................................SONY
4. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
about that,” said Play.com’s games buyer Keith Sharpe. “There are a number of exciting things coming to fruition on the format and it feels like Sony are almost relaunching it. Potentially the next two years could be very good for PSP, especially with titles like GT5 and LittleBigPlanet on the way.” ShopTo’s Igor Cipolletta added: “Despite the levels of piracy on the machine we still manage to do small business on the PSP and we’re thinking that the majority of our current users won’t upgrade to the new model. So we do hope that Sony keep their word and support boxed UMD product.”
A Sony spokesperson reiterated the company’s commitment to retail: “In terms of the 3000, we’re undertaking an unprecedented amount of activity throughout the summer and Christmas periods, highlighting the new range of colours, and for the first time in a long while, a range of first and third party software titles that really showcase the power and full potential of the PSP hardware. “I’d argue that this commitment, from a marketing, sales and PR perspective, demonstrates our long term investment in the platform, and we see retail as a key part of these plans.”
5. PES 2010 PS3 ....................................................KONAMI
6. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..............................................MICROSOFT
7. FIFA 10 PS3 ..........................................................EA
8. OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON 360 ..........................................CODEMASTERS
9. HEAVY RAIN: ORIGAMI KILLER PS3 ......................................................SONY
10. ASSASSINS CREED 2 PS3 ..................................................UBISOFT Week ending July 31st Source: SHOPTO.COM
Ex-MTV boss targets games TV £18.3m THE FORMER president of MTV Europe is looking to turn his company into a games equivalent of the music channel – as it launches a games-focused new show. Game Face kicked off on Bravo last weekend. The show was created by Ginx TV, which was founded by former MTV boss Peter Einstein. Game Face includes reviews and is presented by Julia Hardy. The show is broadcast in various prime time slots on Bravo’s channels, and followed international weekly review show The Ginx Files. “I believe that the viewing figures for Game Face will
build over time as gamers find the show and look forward to connecting with us each week to enjoy what’s going on in their gaming world,” Einstein told MCV. As well as working with partners such as Bravo, Ginx TV describes itself as being ‘the first international 24/7 TV channel that turns video gaming into mainstream entertainment TV’. Added Einstein: “There could be multiple reasons that games TV shows have failed in the past – which could even be linked to management, cost overruns, not just necessarily the channel format.
Einstein says his TV firm can help make games mainstream
“From what we’ve seen in the past a lot of the focus has been more outside of the games, with presenter reviews, stats, interviews with creators and only a bit about the games themselves – as one assumed that you only ‘play’ games you can’t ‘watch’ them. “By taking the rich production values of many games today, using the story line or game objective, Ginx creates a TV production from a TV viewers point of view. We feel this concept provides a fun, entertaining TV event which is appealing mostly to the casual gamer.” www.ginx.tv
Week Ending July 18th
Week Ending July 25th
Week Ending August 1st
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
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Xmas 2009 to feel the ‘Disney Difference’ Publisher targets the whole family in upcoming holiday trading season with fresh range of console software by James Batchelor DISNEY Interactive Studios has unveiled its Christmas lineup – highlighting its unique ability to appeal to to families through ‘The Disney Difference’. The firm’s key titles were showcased at a Christmas In July event in London last week. MCV spoke to Disney’s head of marketing for UK and
and boys singing masterclass in the Sing It! Pro mode, with all their favourite Disney artist, as well as top pop artists such as Duffy and Coldplay. “Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure follows our successful DS title Tinkerbell from last year, again targeting a different market, where you can create and customise up to five of your own fairies and decorate
We’re immensley proud that we can deliver great family games, set apart by our ‘Disney Difference’ values. Keely Brenner, Disney
Europe Keely Brenner about what the publisher has to offer this festive season. “Our strength lies in the range of games and the fact that there is something for every member of the family,” she explained. “For instance, Toy Story Mania can be played by the family together and the 3D glasses add a real unique and fun element to the game. “Meanwhile, Disney Sing It!: Pop Hits gives tween girls
their homes. This second instalment of the franchise coincides with the release of the upcoming DVD from our Walt Disney Home Entertainment division.” Other notable releases include A Christmas Carol, Wizards Of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana: Rock Out The Show. The publisher is confident all of its titles will stand out this Christmas, thanks to the
BRENNER: Disney marketing boss says firm’s range sets it apart from other family games publishers
company’s focus on providing fresh experiences. “Our games always have the ‘Disney Difference’, setting them apart from other products on the market,” Brenner told MCV. “A Christmas Carol, for example, isn’t just another film tie-in – it also contains the full
classic novel, as well as a virtual advent calendar,” “We’re immensely proud that we can deliver great games for the family this
Christmas with fun, innovative and quality titles that sets us apart with our Disney Difference values.” Disney: 020 8222 1413
US label Graffiti Pitt-Stanley moves up at 505 expands to Europe AMERICAN PUBLISHER Graffiti Entertainment has shrugged off the threat of consolidation by expanding its presence to Europe. The firm has set up a new office in London, and hired former CDV and Jester man Terry Malham as head of business development. Malham will aid the San Francisco-based publisher in its bid to sign and distribute products for the US and
European markets. Previously, Graffiti published and developed both original IPs and games based on kids' licences such as Jakers and Moomin. “The current round of consolidation amongst publishers has made it difficult for developers to get their games to market; a new publisher offering access to the two major markets has to be good for game industry” Malham told MCV.
505 GAMES HAS promoted Ralph Pitt-Stanley to the position of commercial director, UK/ROE, as it gears up for a busy second half to the year. Formerly UK/ROE sales director, the popular PittStanely, along with general manager Ian Howe and marketing manager Alison Mitchell, was part of the small team that set up 505 Games in 2006. Since then, in no small part thanks to the Cooking Mama phenomenon, the publisher has grown rapidly. Pitt-Stanley’s new remit includes the UK plus all European territories where
Pitt-Stanley: Former sales director moves up at 505 Games
there is no fully-fledged satellite office. Currently that consists of everywhere except France, Italy and Spain, but also
stretches to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Pitt-Stanley told MCV: “My new role moves from being strictly sales-focused to looking at our PR, marketing and sales functions and optimising our commercial opportunities. I am also tasked with maximising our global direct-to-market opportunities and establishing long term third party distribution partnerships.” As a result of the move, 505 will be appointing a new UK sales director. The firm said an announcement is expected ‘very shortly’. 505: 01908 607 772
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Shadow Culture Minister calls for single trade body Ed Vaizey recommends ELSPA and TIGA merge to become ‘The Video Game Association’ by Tim Ingham SHADOW Cultutre Minister Ed Vaizey has recommended that industry trade bodies TIGA and ELSPA merge – to form ‘The Video Games Association’. Both organisations have met together with Government in recent months as part of video games roundtables, discussing issues that affect both publishers and developers.
He said: “From a policy maker’s perspective, it’s easier to deal with one body. “I’m aware that TIGA represents developers and ELSPA works for publishers. But this ‘Video Games Association’ would do what it said on the tin. Politicians would know exactly what they were, rather than with [the acronyms] TIGA and ELSPA, which don’t mean anything unless you’re au fait with the
From a policy maker’s perspective, it’s easier to deal with one body. One voice carries much more weight.
These subjects have included age ratings, tax breaks for studios and the ‘skillset’ that students need from universities to break into the industry. However, Mr Vaizey told MCV that he believed having both bodies arguing similar cases under one name was “slightly odd”.
Ed Vaizey MP
industry. If they were one voice, it would carry much more weight.” Director general of ELSPA Michael Rawlinson said: “ELSPA and TIGA agree on around 95 per cent of issues and, due to co-operation between the two bodies, we usually mirror each other’s thinking when speaking to
Out Now PS3, PSP, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, Wii, NDS (autobot and decepticon skus) Become the ultimate Autobot ™ or Decepticon™ in TRANSFORMERS™: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN, the official game of one of 2009’s biggest blockbuster films. Unleash your power to determine the fate of Earth as the ultimate war rages across the globe. Every second counts as you experience TRANSFORMERS like never before!
VAIZEY: The Tory MP would like to see ELSPA and TIGA merge
Government. However, for the moment the two groups often have different perspectives, so it is perfectly reasonable that they are represented by different organisations. Compared to other high profile industries such as the alcohol sector – which has at least ten representative bodies – we are
practically Siamese! As technologies and the industry as a whole develop we might well see the trade bodies moving towards amalgamation. Until this time the common thinking between ELSPA and TIGA on the vast majority of issues ensures that we are properly represented in Whitehall.”
Out September 4th NDS, Wii Use the Wii Remote to swing a baseball bat, golf club and tennis racket, throw an American Football and baseball, spike a volleyball and kick a football. Put your athletic skills to the test! Beat the best in a variety of skill challenges to become the ultimate champion.
D3P reveals new Shaun the Sheep PUBLISHER D3P has announced that Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head is set to arrive on DS this autumn. The game is the follow-up to last year’s original, and once again features all the characters from the popular Aardman Animation, including Shaun, Timmy, Shirley, Bitzer, as they attempt to rescue the farmer’s missing toupee. “Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head is the highly anticipated sequel to the first Shaun the Sheep game, bringing the personality and humour of the series to life once more” said
D3 Publisher’s European MD Adam Roberts. “With all new gameplay elements and the familiar sheepish humour the series is known for; Shaun the Sheep: Off His Head can be enjoyed by pre-schoolers, tweens, teens and adults alike.” Aardman licensing manager Rob Goodchild added: “We are delighted with this brilliant new offering from D3. Our in-house creative team have collaborated closely with D3’s development team to
create a fantastically farcical storyline, which really captures the essence and, above all, the humour of the show. “With 40 new episodes in production and some exciting new product launches across 2009 and 2010, we are expecting a strong
cross-category performance for the Shaun the Sheep brand as a whole.” The Shaun the Sheep TV show has been sold in over 150 countries, and is shown on the BBC in the UK. Aardman are currently working on a second series of the cartoon, while a pre-school spin-off series called Timmy Time is also in development. D3 Publisher: 01223 322015
Out September 25th DS, Wii, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 The largest army of Super Heroes is back...and being torn apart! Forces collide as Super Heroes take sides over having to register with the government. Harness the power of over 24 playable heroes and villains with exciting new character and team upgrades.
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Big brands back October’s Games Media Awards event Games journos to get WET and SAW on big night out, as Konami and Bethesda sign up to sponsor bash BETHESDA and Konami have become the latest publishers to back the Games Media Awards. The GMAs will take place at Jongleurs in Camden on the evening of Thursday, October 15th. They will reward the very best from the specialist and mainstream games media in print and online. Bethesda has signed up as a Silver Sponsor and will be highlighting its original third party shooter, WET, in front of
Bethesda’s Wet and Konami’s Saw will sponsor this yer’s Games Media Awards
GMAS 2009: THE CATEGORIES
As well as rewarding the very best, this is a way of thanking the games media for promoting our industry. Sarah Seaby, Bethesda,
pretty much the entire UK games media. The firm’s European marketing and PR manager Sarah Seaby commented: “The Games Media Awards are now a big date in the industry’s
diary, and a unique gathering of journalists from all quarters. “As well as a platform for rewarding the very best from the UK media, it’s also a way of thanking the entire games press for the work they do in
promoting the industry throughout the year.” Konami, meanwhile, has stepped forward to sponsor the Best Games Coverage in a National Newspaper category, utilising its horror movie spinoff game, SAW. Marketing manager Rosemarie Dalton said: “The GMAs have become a great way of rewarding the best people and brands in the games media. The fact that it recognises the mainstream press as much as the specialists
Games Broadcast or Podcast
Specialist Games Writer (Print)
Specialist Games Writer (Online) Games Coverage in a Mainstream Magazine Regional Games Columnist
is crucial, and it’s why we’re very happy to use our upcoming mass market release, SAW, to sponsor the National
Games Coverage in a National Newspaper Games Media Legend Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org
Newspaper category. The competition will be fierce, and we look forward to toasting the overall winner.”
Ubisoft: We’ll become ‘serious player’ in football genre PUBLISHER Ubisoft has revealed details of its massive marketing campaign for Wii game Academy of Champions – and claimed its unique appeal to younger gamers can help it become a ‘serious player’ in the soccer genre. The title is aimed at six to nine year-old kids, with promotional activity planned across radio, TV, online and print – including mags aimed at young females such as Go Girl.
“Academy of Champions Football is a party football game for kids and sits perfectly with the Wii audience,” said senior brand manager Phil Brannelly. “With a focused marketing campaign and a clear launch window coinciding with the beginning of the football season, I am confident we will sell loads and establish Ubisoft as a serious player in the football genre.”
Football legend Pele has signed up to endorse Academy Of Champions
The TV advertising campaign is set to run between Wednesday, September 2nd
and Sunday September 27th, and is expected to reach four million four to 15 year-old consumers. Ubisoft has also booked online coverage on Cartoon Network and Disney XD, complete with features and a minisite. In print, previews and reviews are expected in the specialist press, as well as kids publications such as Beano, Dandy, Kick and Jetix. The title
is also fully endorsed by football legend Pele. In addition, a collaboration with Talk Sport revolves around a special football tournament aimed at dads, with online activity, a microsite, advertorials in Talk Sport’s digital magazine and the chance to win signed Pele prizes. The game will hit shelves on Friday September 4th. Ubisoft: 01932 578000
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Huq spearheads heroic Drawn To Life Blue Peter presenter fronts major campaign for THQ’s highly anticipated sequel for DS by James Batchelor
with celebrities as heroes,” said THQ’s head of marketing for UK and Europe Jon Rooke. “We felt Konnie Huq would be both appealing to the younger audience and seen as a trusted celebrity by the parental audience. “She will be the face of the ‘Your Hero’ promotion and will support the promotion through all channels.”
THQ has signed up ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq to head up its ‘Your Hero’ marketing campaign for upcoming title Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter. The game is the sequel to the 2007 hit Drawn To Life, which allowed DS owners to create their own protagonist.
Konnie Huq both appeals to a younger audience and is seen as a trusted celebrity by parents and guardians. Jon Rooke, THQ
The new iteration marks the series’ debut on Wii, and THQ is going all out to raise awareness in time for its release. “When we first set upon the idea of the Drawn To Life ‘Your Hero’ campaign, we wanted to have a known celebrity spearhead the campaign as kids often identify
[IN BRIEF] BEST BUY: Former Tesco and Boots boss Scott Wheway has been named as Best Buy Europe’s new CEO. THQ: Red Faction: Guerrilla, the third instalment in Volition’s ambitious FPS series, has sold more than a million copies worldwide. SONY: Previously only confirmed for a European release, PlayStation Eyeenabled title EyePet has been confirmed for a 2009 release in the United States.
The Drawn To Life ‘Your Hero’ promotion centres on a nationwide competition in which young gamers design their own hero. Consumers will then vote on their favourites online, with the regional winning entries being brought to life in the creator’s local town as a giant billboard.
THQ’s Rooke (inset) is pleased with the signing of Konnie Huq
Konnie Huq will be on the panel of judges and will award the national winner with their prize at a London press event. “Children have great imaginations and look to express this in fun, interactive and exciting ways,” said
Rooke. “Drawing is fundamental to every child’s development and children relate to heroes. This promotion focuses on that concept: creating a hero and seeing that hero brought to life.” THQ: 01483 767656
Handa rises at Gem
Dads biggest games buyers
GEM MARKETING manager Neil Handa has been promoted to the role of head of marketing. Handa will report directly to Gem MD Chris Peacock, and will manage added value division Gem Creative as the department expands. Handa will oversee the development and expansion of Gem Creative, promoting its retail and trade marketing services to new and existing partners. Peacock said: “I am very happy to be appointing Neil as head of marketing. Neil has
FATHERS MAKE up the largest segment of the UK’s games market, boasting a value share of 32.4 per cent. That’s according to the latest research from TNS Worldpanel Entertainment, which also reports that fathers represented a higher value and volume share of the Wii’s audience than mothers in the year ending June 21st. Gaming fathers also favour the PS3 over its rivals, giving Sony’s console 44.5 per cent among the group, compared to 29.3 per cent for the Xbox 360.
made significant contributions to Gem and its marketing over the years and his new position will allow us to engage new relationships with key vendors and customers as we grow the Gem Creative division”. Gem: 01279 822800
Mums favour Nintendo formats, but their purchasing value and volume share for the UK market have fallen when compared to the same period last year, according to TNS Worldpanel. However, they still hold onto 20.7 per cent value share of the DS. Overall the games market has seen penetration growth of 11.4 per cent over the last 52 weeks. The main contributors to this increase have been 20 to 25 year-olds, who have multiplied by 20.3 per cent. TNS: 020 8967 1473
MICROSOFT: The highlyanticipated Forza Motorsport 3 will be released on October 23rd. A Collector’s Edition will include extra in-game content and a 2GB USB stick. NAMCO BANDAI: DS title Easy Piano will teach gamers the basics of piano playing when released in November. ACTIVISION: Guitar Hero 5 will allow Xbox 360 owners to use their Avatars as playable characters, with the enhanced Create-A-Rocker mode allowing them to customise their creations.
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The Hut: We’ll raise sales by 800% Ambitious web store aims to eclipse Play and Amazon – and become Europe’s biggest online entertainment retailer by Christopher Dring THE HUT HAS vowed to become Europe’s No.1 online retailer, following a multi-million pound investment and a string of high profile new recruits. The firm plans to extend its white label business globally,
new UK warehouse following the appointment of Simon Parker as operations director. Parker joins The Hut from Centresoft, where he spent six years managing the distributor’s warehouse team. “Simon has a huge amount of knowledge in operational
The next few weeks and months will see some dramatic improvements to The Group’s operations. Simon Parker, The Hut
with a target of increasing its turnover by 800 per cent from £25 million to £200 million over the next 12 months. The Cheshire-based company has recently hired Play.com veterans Gian Luzio and Richard Chapple, and has opened a
efficiencies and warehouse management, and will bring ideas and practices that will improve our overall customer experience,” said The Hut Group CEO Matthew Moulding. “Simon is a brilliant addition to the board of directors and
Simon Parker is the latest high-profile retail veteran to join The Hut
will assist in delivering our ambition to be Europe’s number one online retailer.” Parker added: “The Hut Group has recently become the great success story in online retail and I am really looking forward to joining the team and bringing my expertise to the table.
“The next few weeks and months will see some dramatic improvements to The Group’s operations which will help take the company from £25m turnover to £200m in the next year. I am hugely excited by the opportunity to work with the most experienced team in UK online retail.”
The Hut’s retail websites include Thehut.com and Zavvi.co.uk. The specialist also produces white label sites for the likes of Woolworths, WHSmith, Asda and Tesco, as well as handling the games offering for CHIPS and mobile specialist Phones4U.
gaming and lifestyle sites. Codemasters will aim to engage with 16 to 44 year-old men who are interested in cricket. Mass-market press advertising will coincide with the third and fourth Ashes tests, with U-Surrounds and bookends in male-targeted London free-sheets (Sport and Shortlist), as well as a full page ad in the Observer Sports Monthly. Codemasters estimates these will hit over 1.6 million readers.
OUTDOOR The game’s release will be celebrated with a Wii-focused launch event at HMV’s Oxford Street branch, featuring cricket legend Shane Warne. A targeted fly-poster campaign has been arranged, which will see ads appearing around Ashes venues. At a screening of the fifth Ashes test in London’s Regent’s Park, Codemasters will be sampling the Wii game to an expected 10,000 visitors.
The Hut: 01629 826942
E WEEK H T F O N G I A P CAM 2009 T E K IC R C S E H AS Codemasters rolls out an extensive campaign to raise awareness of the upcoming Ashes game among the cricketloving public, focusing on the Wii version…
RELEASED: AUGUST 7 FORMATS: WII/PS3/360/PC PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS DEVELOPER: TRANSMISSION GAMES / GUSTO GAMES PRICE: VARIOUS
TV/MEDIA A Wii-specific TV campaign, in collaboration with Nintendo UK, will run for four weeks from this week. The ads will be focused around Ashes coverage on Sky Sports and Channel 5, as well as showing on Channel 4, E4, FX, Bravo, Dave, Sky 1, Comedy Central, Virgin 1, ITV4 and MTV. A week-long promotion with talkSPORT will see Ashescentric sequences airing during the Ronnie Irani Breakfast and Darren Gough Drivetime shows during the week before release. PRINT/ONLINE A heavyweight online campaign will target a variety of sports,
DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822800
Nationwide Experiential Gaming. p4wnd. Play. Experience. Shop. Coming to 47 hmv stores this year. Virtua Tennis 2009 All formats - SEGA
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HALO 3: ODST XBOX 360 - Microsoft
Freeplay & Competitions at all gamerbase stores Joining this impressive roster of tennis stars are hmv customers all over the country competing for exclusive prizes! Promotion during Wimbledon Fortnight and again in early August.
Game of the Month & Competitions
Providing gamers with the most authentic Ashes experience possible without having to don their whites! Freeplay promotion at all gamerbase venues nationwide.
Exclusive Microsoft & hmv esports tournament kicks off with a freeplay promotion tied in with pre-order. All preorders receive 2 hours of free time at gamerbase venues and the competition prizes are to die for!
Boost your sales with new editions of the official DSA range of best-selling CD-ROMs and DVDs Car Drivers
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Fun interactive DVD quiz to help learners prepare for their multiple choice theory test. Hosted by Fifth Gear’s Vicki Butler-Henderson.
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ISBN 9780115530708 £29.99
To keep up-to-date with all the latest publication news from TSO, sign up to receive free email alerts at www.tsoshop.co.uk/signup
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TSO (The Stationery Oﬃce) is proud to be DSA’s oﬃcial publishing partner. Prices, covers and publication dates are correct at time of going to press but may be subject to change without notice. The Stationery Oﬃce Limited is registered in England No. 3049649 at Clifton House, Worship Street, London, EC2A 2EJ *Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack Reference Chart June 2009. Listings based upon previous edition sales.
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WWW.SUPERCAR-CHALLENGE.COM SuperCar Challenge © 2009 System 3 Software Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Published and Distributed by System 3 Software Ltd. “2“,“PlayStation”,“PS3” and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “Blu-ray Disc” and “BD” are trademarks. All Rights Reserved. Produced under license of Ferrari S.p.A. FERRARI, the PRANCING HORSE device, all associated logos and distinctive designs are trademarks of Ferrari S.p.A. The body designs of the Ferrari cars are protected as Ferrari property under design, trademark and trade dress regulations. All names, images and logos identifying Aston Martin are proprietory marks of Aston Martin. The McLaren name and logo are trademarks of the McLaren group of companies. Pagani, Zonda, all associated logos and distinctive designs are trademarks of Pagani Automobili S.p.A. All Rights Reserved. Koenigsegg and its logo are trademarks of Koenigsegg Automotive AB. All Rights Reserved.
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15,16,17 MCV549_final:Layout 1
MCV 07/08/09 15
MCV INTERVIEW DUNCAN CROSS & FERGAL GARA, ASDA
CROSS & GARA: The duo pushing games to the forefront at Asda’s stores across the UK – and increasingly online
It Asda be progress The supermarket giant announced exciting new plans for games at its annual entertainment conference last month. Chris Dring was there and sat down with head of games buying Duncan Cross and category director Fergal Gara…
Tell us about the new store concept at Asda. DC: We started opening the ‘future concept’ stores in June last year. We have now launched 190 of them to date, and we’ll have done about 230 by the end of the year. Our target is to have these concepts in 320 of Asda’s 350 outlets.
Also, with the increased space, it is about getting a more branded presence. We want to have a point-of-difference between the fixtures. You’ve seen the Nintendo and Xbox branding on our new mocks-up; we are really keen to bring gaming to life.
We’ve had £100,000 placed
How will they evolve? on our loyalty cards. This has DC: We are looking at far exceeded expetations in interactive touch screens terms of our targets. with a company called Duncan Cross Retec. These screens let customers understand trailers, and we can recommend titles through it, so if a Is staff training a key part of this? person likes Title A we can recommend DC: Absolutely. It is great having this Title B. We can also explain what each sort of kit, but you need the colleagues console does. This lets us demonstrate to educate customers and to try and upfantastic gaming products to the sell and grab sales for both ourselves customers in a visual way. and the publishing community.
What about the loyalty cards you’ve introduced? DC: We’ve had £100,000 placed onto those cards. It has far exceeded our expectations in terms of our targets. We’ve rolled out the Mario Kart gift card, and it enables customers from different points in the store to touch music, video and games. It is a great call-out, and enables us to get that particular brand and franchise in front of the customers. It also solves those gifting problems some customers have, when they’re just not certain what to buy.
This was something that Woolworths did in the past... DC: They did it very well. And we want to follow that. We’ve got a
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16 MCV 07/08/09
MCV INTERVIEW DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA heritage in it; Asda has done it and Wal-Mart has been doing them for years, but not for games before. You’ve made some big hires – like Gamestation’s Andrew Thompson and Frazer Locke as head of new business and head of online, respectively. Is it fair to say you’re in better shape staff-wise than ever before? DC: We are over the moon. It is great to get some specialist industry knowledge to evolve our online and our other new businesses in games. Our online strategy, in particular, we need to get right, so it is fantastic to get them on board. Have you benefited much from the closure of Gamestation’s York office? DC: We have secured six heads from Gamestation. Jenny
Leach is one of our key senior buyers, and she worked at Gamestation for four years and dealt with the platform holders. So that’s a key acquisition for our trading team. There have been some new recruits from Gamestation for our supply team and in merchandising planning Neil Tomlinson came from Gamestation as well. So we’ve got some key individuals in key functions, and we can benefit from their seasoned knowledge. And the appointment of Andrew and Frazer is, of course, great news, as well. Are you still hiring? DC: We’ve got everyone we need in the short term. Never say never, but we’ve got what we need for now. What’s your current evaluation of Asda’s online games business? DC: Within food we have a very good online business, but we haven’t yet exploited it in games. We are fairly open with this. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to catapult it forward. But because it is run as two separate businesses, as in the in-store is my team and online is a different team,
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MCV 07/08/09 17
MCV INTERVIEW FERGAL GARA, ASDA that gives us some real challenges. Capability at the moment is not where it needs to be, but we have some very aggressive plans to put this in place. Are you looking at a move into the pre-owned arena? FG: It is not top of the agenda, but it is one to watch. If we want to be a serious player in this market, then that is a huge part of the business for the specialist, and is not one we can ignore. There are no launch plans at present, but preowned is an area we have to watch. What do you make of the price rises on certain games? FG: It is a worry. We don’t think this is the time to take up the price of products for customers in a recession, in a market that is already down. We are worried what affect this will have on the market, and clearly when you operate on the narrow margins that we do, then how we make this up in our business is a concern for us What are your thoughts on the number of releases this Christmas? DC: The huge volume of titles is a challenge for us. We have had to look hard at our chart lengths and the capability we’ve got to take through a high volume of titles in a few weeks. I guess we’d like them to be spread out further. But it’s part and parcel how the industry operates. Will you stock PSPgo? DC: We will stock it. We will continue to look at PSP along with other forms of hardware. We are talking to Sony
at the moment on what the forecasts are. But we will stock it. Are digital downloads a concern? DC: It is obviously a concern. We operate in the physical market. But we’ve got to expand our operations online and in the digital market. So it is one to watch for us as well. That’s where the market is evolving too, so we need to keep am eye on that. FG: It is very early days in the digital market, especially for games. I think Sony selling their own games through their own outlet is not unreasonable, because we’re not able to do it. As the market develops we need to consider how we approach the digital sector, not just for the games but across entertainment. And we will look to work with Sony and with others when that capability is in place. What are your online plans? FG: We’d like to deliver some improvements this side of the year. We’re not going to change the world in a few months. But what we can realistically expect before Christmas is better joined-up activity with Asda.com. What we need to do very quickly behind the scenes is look at the whole infrastructure. We need to look at the partnerships, the business model and next year you’ll see some notable differences to what we’re doing online. Are you chasing the former Woolworths customers? DC: Most of Woolies customers have distributed to other places. But there is a huge proportion of the Woolworths market that only comes in at the seasonal peaks. Woolworths used to make a loss every year except for Q4, when they had a massive final surge. So it is our responsibility to lay our stall out very clearly and very early, so we can pull in a lot of that Christmas spend.
© 2009 Id Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Published and distributed by Activision Publishing, Inc. under license. Wolfenstein™ is a trademark and ID® is a registered trademark of Id Software, Inc. in the United States and some other countries. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. ‘2’ and ‘PLAYSTATION’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and ‘Games for Windows’ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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MCV 07/08/09 21
SOFTWARE FOCUS: BACK TO SCHOOL
Lessons to be
September approaches and with it comes the Back To School trading season, a potentially underused segment on the retail calendar. James Batchelor speaks with publishers about how the industry can make the most of the opportunities this period presents…
AS THE SUMMER draws to a close, the focus of the High Street shifts away from the holiday mentality and cinema blockbusters and prepares itself for the run-up to Christmas. However, before retailers start encouraging consumers to deck the halls, the nation briefly turns its attention to the beginning of the next academic year. Like Easter, the Back To School trading period is remarkably brief, spanning late August and early September, but it has a similar impact on retail. Almost every type of store imaginable heralds the end of the summer holidays with promotions and new product ranges designed to prepare kids for their return to full-time education. The inherent increase in footfall is significant, and provides a boost to High Street sales that the games industry is still learning to capitalise on. While strong sales can be expected from educational software, such as The Stationary Office’s Official DSA series and Focus’ Encyclopaedia Britannica range, other self-improvement and casual titles can also benefit. Young gamers are showing increasing demand for more educational titles, ensuring “The Back to School period offers publishers have a strong market to experiment with publishers and retailers a fantastic opportunity to deliver volume sales at predominantly played by women aged much earlier in the season must also be the end of what is a traditionally quiet over 30, many mums are going to be taken into consideration.” period in retail,” says Simon Reynolds, making time for the next Bejeweled or DOING YOUR HOMEWORK European games director at Avanquest. Mystery Case Files game.” The key to successfully engaging “The overall category is huge, Slitherine’s marketing director Marco consumers during this time is to offer covering everything from Back To Minoli adds: “We like to think of this software that is relevant to children’s School essentials like pens, pencils and period as a new start for the year, studies. However, as recent clothing to books, toys, years have shown, these titles games and software etc. We like to think of this period do not necessarily have to be “With massive inas a new start for the year, solely reference-based. store promotional but it is becoming harder to “We’ve created titles that activity across multiple battle for shelf space. help children develop core categories, store traffic education skills and prepare increases dramatically Marco Minoli, Slitherine for learning at school,” adds along with a parent’s Reynolds. “Rather than being based propensity to spend.” especially because retail has so many around specific subjects they Focus’ PR and marketing manager promotional opportunities and we concentrate on problem-solving, early Grant Hughes says: “When the kids go manage to get more visibility literacy and numeracy along with back to school, many mums will be considering the type of products we creativity, music and memory skills.” having a well-earned rest from publish. Nevertheless it is becoming Minoli says: “The boundaries entertaining and cleaning up after their harder to battle for shelf space, and the between education and pure little loved ones. As casual games are fact the Christmas releases keep coming
entertainment are now slimmer than ever. Games like Professor Layton, for instance, are a great example of how one can mix in a really good way the two elements and Warner’s Scribblenauts is another fantastic example. “Horrible Histories Ruthless Romans is based on these very same concepts, where educational elements are key to gameplay, but never happen to be in the way of the entertainment experience.” PLATFORMS FOR LEARNING
While educational titles have been predominantly PC-based in the past, the rise of the Wii and DS has prompted publishers to expand their Back To School ranges onto new formats. In future, several companies believe this shift will continue as they seek to capture larger audiences, even evaluating the potential of less casual platforms such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. “If you look at the plethora of PC titles that are available there are an incredible amount of ranges, brands and licenses available,” says Sam Collins, Midas’ head of sales. “On console this has been a relatively new and untapped market until the Nintendo DS and Wii consoles appeared. Having said that, there are still plenty of opportunities in certain market segments on these formats.” “There are actually huge opportunities to develop concepts like the quiz ones of Buzz and Scene It into even more educational experiences,” says Minolil. “In general I think there is more of an opportunity to explore platforms where this approach hasn’t landed yet.” Each year, the potential for the Back To School market grows a little more and publishers are continuing to innovate in this space, from the likes of Focus’ more traditional reference titles to Slitherine’s Horrible Histories games. The end of the summer is marked by a brief burst of promising titles before the onslaught of Christmas begins, but it has become a market in its own right.
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22 MCV 07/08/09
SOFTWARE FOCUS: BACK TO SCHOOL [COMPANY SPOTLIGHT] THE STATIONARY OFFICE DRIVING SOFTWARE specialists ensure they have official publications “2009/2010 will see the The Stationary Office are a prime to revise from.” advancement and development of The example that products directly related However, the company is working Stationary Office publications to ensure to schoolwork aren’t the only hard to ensure all of its products are customers receive good value for educational titles that see a boost at up-to-date for the new academic year. money, easy-to-use software, in the this time of year. While September TSO’s long-running partnership with format they demand. Progressing and may mark the nation’s return to the Driving Standards Agency is a developing products with the learner school, it also holds significance for great advantage and guarantees that in mind is paramount to TSO and those learning to drive. DSA’s marketing ethos and “This period in the academic long-term strategy.” “Progressing products with the year is paramount for DSA It’s a tried and tested learner in mind is paramount to TSO business publications,” says marketing model, and one and DSA’s marketing ethos and executive Laura Searle. TSO won’t be abandoning long-term strategy.” “September is always the any time soon. Searle implementation date for highlights the company’s changes to motorcycle and car theory the publisher can continue to release faith in this niche market it currently tests – in previous years it has been relevant products to retail. dominates, and assures retailers the when new question banks have taken “Presently DSA are in the process of Official DSA range will be going strong effect. making changes to the way that we for many years to come. “For 2009, September is the month learn to drive,” says Searle. “These “Our product development process is when the new case study-style changes to driving tests means lots of essential to refresh the range, to ensure multiple choice questions are scope for new products and formats for that DSA products are functionally introduced for car drivers and official DSA software going forward. superior to competitor products and to motorcyclists. This shift affects all Driving products will always have deliver DSA information in formats that learners and is even more reason why huge potential in the marketplace and are demanded by new learners, as well learners who are returning to school to learners are constantly seeking a as experienced drivers and riders,” begin their driving lessons need to pass mark. she adds.
“As new customers enter the market all the time, they take to the roads and, year-on-year, demand more technologically advanced product offerings. These learners are more technologically savvy and find new formats which they want to use for all areas of learning, which provides exciting product development opportunities for DSA and TSO.” The evergreen nature of driving theory software means that TSO’s Official DSA series sells well throughout the year, but the Back To School season is still important to its success. As a result, the publisher continues to promote its work as September arrives. TSO: 01603 696876
Laura Searle Marketing Executive The Stationary Office
[COMPANY SPOTLIGHT] FOCUS MULTIMEDIA FOCUS MULTIMEDIA is renowned names over the years by constantly exceptional value for money, for its budget, casual and value keeping its educational titles up-tocontaining three separate libraries software titles, but the company is also date. which are tailored for school children, one of the leading publishers for “We are able to offer retailers wellstudents and adults. It’s a trusted educational software. Of course, as known and trusted educational brands, resource for homework, school strong as its reputation is, the company and advise them wherever possible to projects, fact-finding and essays.” is still keen to raise awareness of its cater for the different age ranges,” says As with its other, more gamerreference range during the optimum Hughes. “Our educational range centric offerings, Focus Multimedia has trading seasons. concentrated its educational “Back To School and Easter range primarily on PC. “We’re able to offer retailers are the key promotional periods Reference and selftrusted educational brands, and for educational software and we improvement software that is advise them wherever possible to are always keen to run sales relevant to those in school cater for the different age ranges.” are appearing with promotions around these times,” says PR and marketing increasingly frequency on manager Grant Hughes. “Many of our includes two consumer brands that consoles and handhelds. However, retail partners find that our educational have recently been classed as Hughes maintains that the home software fits in well with their existing ‘Superbrands’, valued for their quality, computer is the ideal platform for Back To School promotions.” reliability and distinction. these titles. A crucial factor in Focus’ success “Firstly, we have Jump Ahead, an “Every child uses a computer at with this genre is the familiar brands evergreen, impulse price range of early school and the PC is still the most the company has created. As well as learning products. We also have popular learning and revision tool in using well-known licences from other Encyclopaedia Britannica, a premium the home,” he explains. reference sources to draw in product which provides the retailer “For example, Driving Test Success consumers, the publisher has built on with good margin. At £39.99, All Tests on PC which, despite its own IP to establish recognisable Britannica 2009 Ultimate Edition is increased competition on Nintendo
DS, remains the UK’s best-selling driving test software across all formats, outselling most PC games week in, week out. “To stay at the top All Tests has continued to evolve and innovate over time. The latest version lets consumers practise for their theory test just about anywhere, on their iPod or mobile phone, as well as their PC or laptop.” As a veteran of this market, Focus stands well to rack up impressive sales as schools open once more. Far from being complacent, the company is working to not only improve the performance of its educational titles but also seize any opportunities presented to its casual ranges. Focus: 01889 5701156
Grant Hughes PR and Marketing Manager, Focus Multimedia
xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1
SNAP TO IT WE’RE BACK!
Monster game madness returns to the capital from October 24 — be part of the fun! Confirmed events include: London MCM Expo 2009 · Oct 24 - 25 London Games Conference · Oct 27 Golden Joystick Awards 2009 · Oct 30 Eurogamer Expo 2009 & GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair · Oct 30 - 31 Check out www.londongamesfestival.co.uk for the latest news and information on all our events. If you are interested in being part of the festival, then please contact David Smith: email@example.com
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MCV 07/08/09 27
EIF: FULL GUIDE As the industry’s attention turns to Scotland’s finest games showcase, MCV provides a rundown of all the events and discussions taking place...
THURSDAY, AUGUST 13th 2009
FRIDAY, AUGUST 14th 2009
10.00 – 10.15 Introduction Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive
09.45 – 10.00 Welcome Back and Introductions Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive
10.15 – 11.00 Keynote: The Challenge of Reinventing the Iconic Sports Brand Game Peter Moore, President of EA Sports A session on how the brand has been reinvigorated through consumer insight, technology innovations, global partnerships and the launch of new product categories. 11.00 – 11.45 The More Things Change, Sean Dromgoole of GameVision A session that will show not only how the market for games has expanded demographically in the last four years but also where the value now lies within the new market place. 11.45 – 12.30 Sound Only Games Martin Owen, CEO of Smalti Technology This session will focus on the power of sound and music on stimulating the imagination. 12.30 – 13.30 Lunch 13.30 – 14.15 Lessons from Social Games Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Co-founder of Playfish (whose ‘Pet Society’ is the leading game on Facebook with five million daily players) A discussion on how social games have experienced explosive growth and are at the forefront of broader industry trends such as free-to-play, games as a service, social game design, user-generated content and digital distribution. 14.15 – 15.00 It’s All in the Browser Timo Soininen, CEO of Sulake Corp (Habbo Hotel) Simon Guild, Chairman of Bigpoint Games, Simon Seefeldt, Head of Business Development of Jagex Ltd (Runescape)
A panel session which will look to answer the secrets to the success of browser-based games. 15.00 – 15.45 Grow Up and Stop Playing with Yourself! Mike Bennett, CEO & Creative Director of Oil A look at how social media and playable stories can be used to engage and educate young audiences around tough topics. 15.45 – 16.15 Comfort break 16.15 – 16.45 Today’s Games Industry – The Search for Profits Ed Williams, MD of BMO Capital Markets A look at the rising development costs and higher licensing fees that games companies are currently experiencing. 16.45 -17.45 What If? Cliona Kirby, Partner at Olswang, Ian Livingstone, Life President of Eidos (Chairman) A look at how tax breaks might apply to video games, now that the main political parties are promising the industry ‘Smarties’ leading up to the next election. Cliona will be cross examined by Fred Hasson and Ian Livingstone. 17.45 – 18.30 The Great Debate – This Conference proposes that the Great Age of Big Blockbuster Games is Coming to an End Ian Livingstone, Life President of Eidos (Chairman), Peter Moore, President of EA Sports, Ray Maguire, Head of Sony UK, Kristian Segerstrale, CEO & Cofounder of Playfish, Sean Dromgoole, CEO GameVision Industry veterans battle it out on a particularly hot topic using the power of speech and argument. 18.30 – 19.00 Edge Award
10.00 – 10.45 Let Avatars Speak For Themselves Rob Seaver, MD of Vivox This session will look at the business and social implications of adding voice to games. Beyond in-game changes, social networking is extending and moving more of the gaming community to 3rd party sites. How can game developers capitalise on these changes and build stronger more profitable communities. 10.45 – 11.30 Evolution of Branded Games Peter Cowley, MD of Digital Media, Endemol UK (Big Brother, Deal or no Deal) Peter Cowley will cover games that support TV shows, the rise of social gaming and the convergence of TV game shows within games. 11.30 – 12.00 Improving the Multiplayer Experience Through Social Technology Jim Crowley, President & CEO of Turbine Inc A look at the multiple types of virtual environments that exist today, and how community is key. 12.00 – 12.30 Light snacks and comfort break 12.30 – 13.00 Stop Telling Tales Margaret Robertson, Industry Consultant What if someone told you that you could make fans just as happy for a fraction of the effort and cost? 13.00 – 13.45 What’s On Gamers’ Minds? Kieran O’Neill, MD & Co-founder of Playfire An in depth look at real time information about the games people are playing...what they like, what they don’t like and how that translates into the game choices they making right now. 13.45 – 14.00 Summary and thanks Chris Deering, Chairman of Edinburgh Interactive
28 MCV549_final:Layout 1
28 MCV 07/08/09
MCV INTERVIEW DAVID DAVIES, NATIONAL ACCOUNTS MANAGER, VENOM
Hardware evolution As former Exspect man David Davies settles into his new position as national accounts manager at Venom, James Batchelor asks about the future of the peripherals firm and the challenges facing the market… What plans do you have for Venom? Venom has grown significantly over the past three years and I’m enjoying working closely with the team to help continue this growth by introducing new exciting products to our ranges. We are finding gaps in the market and we are working hard to ensure we can find a solution. This can be anything from adding extra value to an existing line, like our new Xbox 360 Twin Battery Pack, or developing a totally new product like the Wii Fit Step Up Pack that will be launching in the near future. Venom is going in to new territories, including iPhone, iPod and Blackberry, which is a market I have a strong background in and will give us the opportunity to build new relationships with new partners going forward – something we are all excited about. What lessons have you learned about the accessories industry? Exspect was a great company to work for. The guys showed me all areas of the accessory industry – not just for gaming but many different markets – where accessories play a huge part. I learned different styles of account management, which helped me to develop my own skills and style. Working for Gem for many years has given me a wide understanding of the distribution industry, which is so important for accessory companies, in my eyes.
Does the emphasis on first-party controllers, e.g. the Wii Remote, Microsoft’s Natal, pose any threat to your business? Not at all. It’s a good thing that there are first-party accessories out there. Our job is to offer alternative solutions and see how we can enhance the overall gameplay experience for our customers. What opportunities do these new controllers present? New controllers are always very exciting for an accessory companies as it gets the creative juices flowing for new ideas on how we can enhance the consumers’ overall experience. Venom has been working hard on new ranges for Wii MotionPlus, which has been challenging, but we are really pleased with the end results – and our customers will be seeing these very soon.
DAVIES: Former Exspect man is excited by the possibilities new technologies offer Venom
How has the peripherals sector changed over the last five years? I think hardware and technology has been the biggest change over the
increase in the number of third party companies in the market today.
What is the one thing would you change about the What are the biggest accessories market? I’d like to see fewer indies challenges facing today’s For a start, I would like to disappearing. Our accessories peripherals companies? see fewer independent really help our customers The biggest challenges are businesses disappearing coming up with new and from the market. increase their margins. innovative products that add Everyone’s adapting to David Davies, Venom that ‘point of difference’ – the current financial and being first to market is always key. years, with Nintendo and Sony climate and our customers understand Venom is constantly working on product introducing motion sensor technology the benefits of focusing on accessories. development as well as seeking into their gameplay. This product sector really helps them potential licensing partnerships. We In addition, the announcement of increase their overall margins, which is must be up-to-date with what’s Microsoft’s Project Natal. It makes our key to survival. I would like to see more happening in the market and keep jobs more fun and helps us to be more people maximising bundling ahead of the game to continue our creative when thinking about how we opportunities, as the benefits are strong position within this very can increase the overall end users much higher for both our customers and competitive market. experience. There’s also been a big the end user.
How important are licensed products to your business? Licences are a huge asset to our products as it gives us the edge over our competitors. People are always looking for that point of difference and strong licences have helped Venom to do just that. What is you opinion on the growing dependency on peripherals in games, e.g. Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Tony Hawk’s Ride, etc? It’s a joy to see peripherals being essential for gaming software as it gives accessory companies a higher opportunity for attachments. We highly welcome these to the market. Where do you see the accessories market heading in the future? There are some amazing new technologies, which we are finding ways of integrating. This gives a great outlook to the future of accessories as it shows we are all moving with the times. There will always be a need for accessories. They are a great way of offering consumers the option to personalise their experience.
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30 MCV549_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 30 MCV 07/08/09
Three in, one out at Disney O’Donohue-Hill leaves as trio of new hires join Midway’s Cook joins THQ BBC’s Waters takes PR role
CHANGING FACES: (From right to left) O’Donohue-Hill, Purchase Daniel, Matti and Chesson
DISNEY FAYE O’DONOHUE-HILL leaves her role as UK PR manager to pursue new opportunities. She will now do freelance and consultancy PR work, as well as embarking on other ventures. In the wake of her departure, three new faces
join the Disney team. CHARLENE PURCHASEDANIEL will be taking over the role of operations coordinator from MARILISE STEENKAMP, who has taken maternity leave. NICOLA MATTI takes up the role of PR and marketing
assistant. She will only be working at Disney for a year before she returns to her studies at Brighton University. Finally, ROSIE CHESSON joins as sales assistant. Like Matti, she will work for a year before returning to Bournemouth University.
Vacancies at Gem Gem, a leading software and hardware distributor, is currently expanding its team. We are currently recruiting for the following positions: .LULYHS:HSLZ4HUHNLY 5H[PVUHS(JJV\U[Z+P]PZPVUHS4HUHNLY 5H[PVUHS(JJV\U[4HUHNLY 1\UPVY.YHWOPJ+LZPNULY 79 4HYRL[PUN(ZZPZ[HU[ -VYTVYLPUMVYTH[PVUVU[OLHIV]LWVZP[PVUZ WSLHZL]PZP[^^^NLTJV\RPUMV To apply, please send your CV [VYLJY\P[TLU['NLTJV\R
THQ Former Midway exec MARK COOK has joined THQ as product marketing manager for UK and Europe. He is currently working on a seven-month marketing campaign for upcoming action title, Darksiders: Wrath Of War. “We’re delighted to have someone of Mark’s calibre join the THQ marketing team,” said head of marketing for UK and Europe, JON ROOKE. “Mark brings with him a wealth of industry experience, a passion for video games and a drive to deliver compelling marketing
programmes that make THQ products stand out in the marketplace.” “I’m delighted to join the THQ team at such an exciting time,” said Cook. “The upcoming line-up is loaded with high quality, engaging product and I look forward to helping bring them successfully to market.” BBC DARREN WATERS has left his position as a BBC technology correspondent to head up a PR firm. He now works as managing director for Monument PR, a London-based company specialising in tech and digital comms.
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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
MINI NINJAS P38 Eidos’ brand new IP is a family-friendly action adventure from IO Interactive SECTION 8 P40 Southpeak’s large scale, sci-fi first-person shooter hits Xbox 360 and PC KILLING FLOOR P42 Iceberg Interactive brings this co-op survival horror to PC – for a budget price MAD DOG MCCREE P43 Majesco revitalises one of the all-time classic on-rails shooting games on Wii
ALL ABLAZE 505 Games’ flight sim-cum-combat shooter IL-2 Sturmovik hits retail off the back of some impressive review scores... P36
NEW RELEASES P44 MCV provides a rundown of all the games waiting to be placed on your shelves HIGH STREET P46 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, and check your prices
RETAILBIZ: IL–2 STURMOVIK 36 MCV 07/08/09
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 4 FORMATS: 360, PS3, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES DEVELOPER: GAIJIN ENTERTAINMENT (XBOX 360/PS3) DIP INTERACTIVE (DS) SME DYNAMIC SYSTEMS (PSP) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
505 Games reaches beyond its usual target market and looks to the skies as it mobilises IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey to capture the hardcore audience…
by James Batchelor
visuals, the accuracy and its range of planes and combat scenarios. “Originally developed by 1C: Maddox Games in 2001, IL-2 Sturmovik is one of the most
in high definition and bring the epic airborne battles of World War II to the THE GAMES market is a broader handhelds for the first time.” church than ever before. It encompasses The latest version opens the franchise everything from grans and toddlers up to a far wider audience, singing pop songs to vast, acknowledging the rich, online communities of mainstream nature of the IL-2 Sturmovik isn’t just a hardcore gamers losing changing market, flight sim, but an aerial themselves in other worlds. adapting to become more combat title. We call it Call Of The flight combat genre accessible (instantly has traditionally belonged at accessible, in fact), but Duty in the skies. the hardcore end of the retaining the elements Ralph Pitt-Stanley, 505 Games scale. It is a sector where that make it a true flight depth and detail count. And it’s a sector established and well-loved brands in combat sim and a fans’ favourite. that has been most closely associated flight-sim gaming,” says 505’s sales IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey will be with the PC. director Ralph Pitt-Stanley. “Previously a published by 505 Games in One of the leading franchises over staunchly PC brand, with numerous collaboration with 1C Company on the last eight years has been IL-2 from iterations under its belt and franchise PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS Russian publisher 1C. It has earned a sales to date of two million, IL-2 and PSP. It is based around large-scale stellar reputation amongst critics and Sturmovik: Birds of Prey sees this much aerial combat over the main military gamers based on the richness of its vaunted property explode onto consoles operations of World War II.
RETAILBIZ: IL–2 STURMOVIK WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 37
BATTLE PLANS The mass market potential of IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is highlighted by a marketing strategy that covers off core gamers at pre-launch and launch with impactful online and print, as well as broadening the audience later down the line with a strong second wave involving TV:
Players take the controls of fighters, battle planes or heavy bombers and participate in some of the most famous conflicts and daring missions. There are six main theatres of war: Stalingrad, Berlin, Sicily, Korsun, The Battle of the Bulge and The Battle of Britain. All are represented by the most realistic landscapes ever seen in any flight combat title. The advanced environmental visuals are complemented by equal levels of realism in the planes themselves and an all new damage effects engine. Players can see real time damage to their aircraft, such as holes in wings and trail lines during dogfights. “There is a real opportunity to tap into a huge installed base of gamers who are crying out for a good, solid air combat title,” adds Pitt-Stanley. “The
WWII genre is still massively popular and the level of realism and longevity in IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is unsurpassed in the genre. “The important thing is that IL-2 is not just a flight sim, but an aerial combat title which caters for all skills and gaming abilities. We call it Call of Duty in the skies.” IL-2 HOT TO HANDLE
A distinguishing feature of IL-2 is the sight of literally hundreds of airplanes in the midst of a huge firefight. It’s a game that is detailed and accurate, but also breathtakingly spectacular. Another nod to a wider audience comes with the ability to scale gameplay according to skill levels. In Arcade mode, players can jump straight into the action with some automatic control assistance.
In Realistic mode this assistance is turned off for a better ‘feel’ to the handling and combat. Simulator mode is not for the faint hearted, as the action and flying is as real as it gets with total control of the planes flaps and trim and only the cockpit view to play from. 505 has put considerable weight behind its marketing initiatives (see Battle Plans, right). Explains Pitt-Stanley: “The team at 505 Games knows that when you’ve got a game as good as IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey in your arsenal, the worst thing you can do is not to back it with triple-A marketing. “It’s time to back it in earnest, and give it the best chance of success. The primary strategy is to convey the intense nature of the gameplay and show off the genre-busting graphical detail through every visual medium on offer.”
A comprehensive two-month print campaign includes high visibility DPS ads, driving the consumer to pre-order campaigns with retail partners, followed up by impactful DPS ads throughout launch month. Titles include Official PlayStation Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine, Games TM, Play and X360. Extensive pre-awareness activity driving consumers direct to online retail sites, followed by high impact launch activity and frequency driving executions from launch through to the end of September. All creatives will capitalise on the stunning visuals of the game and video formats will be utilised wherever possible. To broaden the audience, 505 will execute a heavyweight 30” TV campaign, targeting males 16-34, across all key channels from late November to mid-December.
RETAILBIZ: MINI NINJAS 38 MCV 07/08/09
Hitman developers IO Interactive branch out with this family-friendly adventure, in which a team of Mini Ninjas team up to save the world…
by James Batchelor EVERY COMPANY likes to branch out, to prove it is capable of more than just churning out the same titles over and over again. Lest we forget, Neversoft shied away from Tony Hawk’s to work on a little-known game called Guitar Hero. It’s the best way for a developer to grow, and now IO Interactive is taking a more adventurous approach to its next project. Before returning to the world of Agent 47 in the long-running Hitman series, the studio is putting the finishing touches on a brand new IP, Mini Ninjas.
we’ve created characters, a story and a world that has as much depth and emotion as any blockbuster animated movie out there,” says Eidos’ UK marketing director Jon Brooke. “As a result, we firmly believe that we’ll be releasing a fantastic kids game into the market, designed and created by a great developer in IO Interactive, with the additional bonus that adults will get just as much enjoyment out of the game as their children.” As with all original IPs, Eidos is optimistic about Mini Ninjas’ potential. The game already bears the polish of an established franchise and should it
The time is right to bring out a game designed and built for today’s market - people are going to love Mini Ninjas. Jon Brooke, Eidos
Published by Eidos, this title has a considerably wider appeal than the Hitman franchise, targeting an audience more akin to that of Disney/Pixar films. The gameplay is much more accessible, taking the form of an action adventure in which players take on hordes of monsters and enemy ninjas. Mini Ninjas tells the tale of Hiro, a talented young warrior on a quest to save the world from the Evil Samurai Warlord, who has laid waste to the ninja’s homeland, intent on world domination. On his journey, Hiro teams up with other mini ninjas as they build up their strength ready for an assault on the villain’s Evil Fortress Of Doom. It’s a simple but engaging tale, and one that the developers have taken care to make as enjoyable as possible. The cute artstyle of the characters gives the game a unique look, and the publisher is certain that the narrative will delight families everywhere. “With Mini Ninjas, we feel that
prove to be successful at retail, the company is hopeful that the brand could be expanded in future. “The unique art-style, quality of characters, depth of the backstory and the personality and charm of the animation certainly offers us the potential to take this product wider than just a video game, but let’s take one step at a time and make sure it’s a successful game first,” says Brooke. “We feel the time is right to bring out a game that’s designed and built for today’s market, one which appeals to a wide audience. “There aren’t that many new brands coming to market, so when they do emerge, you know the publisher has a good feeling about. I
Gamers of all ages are sure to find Hiro and his other friends to be endearing characters, improving the appeal of Mini Ninjas
RETAILBIZ: MINI NINJAS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 39
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 11 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, DS, PC PUBLISHER: EIDOS DEVELOPER: IO INTERACTIVE PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
have a good feeling about Mini Ninjas – I think people are going to love it.” Players control Hiro and his five companions, using their individual abilities and strengths to progress through the colourful environments. Only by employing each character’s skills and the agile moves of a ninja will they be able to progress, as well as accessing secret areas. Enemies can be defeated in melee combat or gamers can use their ninja skills and magic spells to be more creative. For example, stealthier ninjas can take control of animals and use them for surprise attacks. THE TACTICAL APPROACH
Given that Mini Ninjas is new to the industry, Eidos is working particularly hard to raise awareness of the game’s upcoming release. An extensive marketing campaign has been prepared that will promote the game to both avid gamers and families through a variety of media. “We’ve put a lot of work into the marketing campaign and believe we have a really well developed and exciting plan,” Brooke explains. “Essentially we are using the school holidays to build early awareness to the characters and the product. We’ll do this with a 60-second cinema advert in all the major summer family movies. “Alongside this, there will be a dedicated TV sponsorship and a summer of experiential events with our costume characters and gaming pods. Additionally, there will be a fully integrated online layer to the campaign that covers the most heavily trafficked kids siets with a mix of traditional ad formats, as well as mini-games ringtones and wallpapers. “As we move out of the summer holidays and into the new school term our campaign shifts to launch advertising. As this stage we introduce TV advertising into the mix as well as an in-school, outdoor and leafleting layer. Overall, it’s a really comprehensive campaign, which will defiantly launch Mini Ninjas as a must-own, must-play game.” Expect this one to perform well when it arrives on shelves in September.
RETAILBIZ: SECTION 8 40 MCV 07/08/09
South Peak’s Section 8 brings FPS fans one of the most intense action titles released to date…
by James Batchelor ONE OF THE most popular areas of gaming today is online multiplayer. Deathmatch modes that allow gamers to compete with other players from around the world are one of the key factors driving sales for the likes of Call Of Duty and Gears Of War. And now South Peak seeks to capitalise on this with its latest FPS. Section 8 is a sci-fi shooter with an emphasis on massive battles between two factions: the Eighth Armoured Infantry and the Arm Of Orion. Players join squads of heavily armoured troopers and fight for control of alien worlds. However, South Peak is keen to
stress that this is far from your traditional online fragfest. “Section 8 is going to redefine the way multiplayer shooters are played,”
shooter and the genre needs to evolve. Section 8 is that evolution and will deliver an unrivalled online experience.” Rather than focusing on concentrated battles, Section 8 removes many of the Gamers want something limitations found in rival different from shooters. The titles to give gamers genre needs to evolve. much more freedom. For example, rather Section 8 is this evolution. than spawning in on the Ed Blincoe, SouthPeak ground level at a says European marketing director Ed specified place, they begin by leaping Blincoe. “We’re really expecting this from a dropship high above the game to break out into the mainstream battlefield, allowing them to land and take a lot of ground away from wherever they want. other first-person shooters who are still “Section 8 has several killer reliant on the traditional core features,” explains Blincoe. “We’re mechanics of the genre. Gamers want rewriting the traditional rules of a firstand need something different from a person shooter by letting people spawn
RETAILBIZ: SECTION 8 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 41
RECRUITMENT DRIVE South Peak has prepared an extensive campaign to encourage gamers to join the struggles of the Eighth Armored Infantry. From simple advertising to sampling opportunities, the company is working hard to raise awareness before the game hits shelves in September: A combination of single-page and double-page spreads will appear in key specialist and consumer press throughout August, over launch and pushing through to the end of September. A three-week satellite TV spot campaign will run across core Sky channels (Sky 1, 2 and 3, Sky Sports, Sky Movies), as well as FX, Sci-Fi, Dave, Bravo, ITV 2 and 4, E4, Film 4, MTV channels, NME and more. South Peak has secured a twoweek sponsorship of Classic Sci-Fi on Virgin 1, with over 100 hours of programming and 800 ten-second sponsorship bumpers. A huge online campaign covering all major specialist websites will run throughout August all the way to the end of September, pushing pre-order and beta heavily through August in all advertising.
into the game anywhere on the map they like and giving players access to all weapons from the outset. “Section 8 also allows them to take any combination of weapons they want onto the battlefield through customised loadouts, and call down vehicles and equipment whenever they want with instant deployables.” PEAK OF ITS POWERS
However, with this freedom comes a need for tactical strategy. Players can only select new weapons and vehicles by earning credits based on their ingame performance. Once accessible, they must use these advantages sensibly – it’s no good calling in a dropship to deliver a tank while in an area surrounded by enemy
anti-air turrets. Anyone that tells you different is a nincompoop. While the game boasts an extensive single-player campaign and Instant Action mode, allowing offline players to battle the competitive AI, the key selling point will be the multiplayer mode. South Peak will be working hard to raise awareness of the online options available during its comprehensive marking campaign (see Recruitment Drive, right). “We’ll be running our own dedicated servers from launch, giving Xbox 360 gamers 32-player matches and PC owners 64-player matches,” explains Blincoe. “These will be ranked servers and players will be able to track their gamerscores against people from all over the world on the newly-launched
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 4 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PC PUBLISHER: OUTH PEAK DEVELOPER: TIMEGATE STUDIOS PRICE: £44.99/£34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
website and community hub at www.joinsection8.com. “Section 8 will be a core title for retail over Q3 this year. We’re releasing at the right time for the game to take hold and will be backing that up with a huge marketing pre-awareness campaign that takes in key opinion formers right through core gamers to the mainstream that will make Section 8 a must-have title for gamers who get their kicks online.”
Additional online advertising will feature interactive rich media units with expandable units and site takeovers being put in place over launch. Core Xbox 360 gamers will also be targeted through the Dashboard and Xbox Live as a whole. Section 8 will have a massive trade presence, again with an emphasis on pre-orders. South Peak be offering some exclusive in-and-out-of-game pre-order items from selected retailers along with various POS items. The company will also be offering several mass sampling opportunities for Section 8, starting with M Festival at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire, where over 4,000 hardcore gamers will be gathering in early August. From August 10th, gamers all over Europe will be able to check out Section 8 in the PC open beta. An Xbox 360 demo will also be released shortly afterwards.
RETAILBIZ: KILLING FLOOR 42 MCV 07/08/09
New publisher Iceberg Interactive guns for the hardcore PC audience with Killing Floor, a cooperative zombie shooter that looks to make its mark on the genre…
Basic monsters will simply try to claw players’ faces off, while the more advanced zombies are equipped with everything from chainsaws to chainguns and rocket launchers. To fight back, gamers have access to a variety of weapons, ranging from knives and fire-axes to shotguns, rifles and flamethrowers. There are even tools to help them survive longer, such as body armour, medical kits and a welder. Additionally, players can use the experience they earn by achieving certain feats, such as killing a set number of enemies with a specified weapon, to buy persistent perks, which permanently improve their character’s skills and abilities.
by James Batchelor ZOMBIES ARE currently a popular flavour in video games, with the last 12 months seeing strong performances from several undead shooters, including Resident Evil 5, House Of The Dead: Overkill and Left 4 Dead. Now fledgling Netherlands-based publisher Iceberg Interactive is looking to enter this genre with its new title Killing Floor. A zombie-riddled FPS with an emphasis on co-operative play, the game pits trigger-happy players against waves of the undead and other hideous abominations. “Killing Floor is pitched directly at the Left 4 Dead market and stacks up very well,” says Iceberg’s sales director Howard Newmark. “It’s also considerably cheaper than Left 4 Dead and has a six-player co-op against Left 4 Dead’s four-player mode. There are also more weapons. We believe it will do incredibly well at retail.”
Killing Floor is pitched directly at Left 4 Dead’s audience. But it’s considerably cheaper. We believe it will do incredibly well at retail. Howard Newmark, Iceberg
The game should resonate particularly well with online FPS fans as it is based on a concept developed by gamers themselves. Killing Floor originated as a mod for Unreal Tournament 2004 and has been expanded over the years until the creators presented it to Tripwire. As a result, Iceberg’s title will have an extremely strong presence at retail, with consumers certain to flock to a game developed by people who understand what they’re looking for in a new shooter. Killing Floor’s feature list reads like a checklist of ‘must-haves’, with gameplay mechanics that hardcore gamers are guaranteed to go nuts for. “It’s hard to pinpoint one particular feature that we’re most proud of – probably the automatic ZED time slow motion feature that works even in sixplayer co-op mode,” says Newmark.
FIREPOWER: Killing Floor offers a six-player co-operative mode
RELEASED: AUGUST 7 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ICEBERG INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: TRIPWIRE INTERACTIVE PRICE: £14.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE/PDQ CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
“But it could be the fabulous range of weapons, gross range of zombies or clever use of the giant environments.” The game’s developers have also created a strong narrative that makes the action far more engaging. Players are pitted against the specimens from a secret government programme to breed super soldiers. When these experiments escape, it’s up to teams of gamers to clear up the areas they have infested – in a nice change of pace for the USdominated genre, environments are all based on the UK’s most iconic towns.
Taking all this into account, Iceberg has a strong release on its hands as it enters the UK market. The publisher is in no doubt that heritage of Killing Floor, the game’s hardcore appeal and the various marketing initiatives that have been set up will spell success at retail. “Hardcore online gamers will be asking retailers for Killing Floor – it’s reputation precedes it and it has great review scores,” says Snippe. “Browsers will be engaged by the strong packaging and gross screenshots. “We are marketing Killing Floor via printed ads, online banners, retail trade marketing, direct mail, merchandising, and the social media landscape such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace,” explains senior development manager Raymond Snippe. “We are also creating extra visibility at international LAN parties by setting up Killing Floor tournaments, sweepstakes and contests.”
RETAILBIZ: MAD DOG MCCREE WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 43
plenty of variety. In Mad Dog McCree, they must fight through a gang of outlaws to rescue the mayor’s daughter, while The Lost Gold sees them hunting down Mad Dog himself. Finally, the Last Bounty Hunter sees them fill the cowboy boots of an anonymous bounty hunter seeking to bring down four outlaws who are terrorising local towns. In addition to the single-player modes, the Gunslinger Pack features some brand new multiplayer options that allow friends and families to enjoy Wild West shootouts together. Posse mode sees them working together to achieve the best possible high score, while Rebel mode will pit them against each other, as they
Majesco brings classic arcade games to the Wii, providing consumers with a unique shooting experience two decades after the titles’ debut… by James Batchelor IN 1990, American Laser Games released a live-action arcade game that truly allowed gamers to feel like a Wild West hero. Mad Dog McCree shunned the cardboard cutouts and primitive sprites of previous shooters in favour of real video footage that responded to players’ real-life actions. Almost 20 years later, Majesco Entertainment has taken the responsibility for bringing this classic title to new generations of gamers in the form of the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack. Wii owners will be able discover – or revisit, in the case of arcade fans – the joy of fighting live action enemies and put their quick-drawing skills to the test with new content. As the name suggests, this not only includes the original game but other titles as well. Gamers will be able to enjoy the original Mad Dog, as well as its sequel Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and fellow live-action shooter The Last Bounty Hunter.
Mad Dog offers a world that everyone can engage with. It’s the most accessible and universally enjoyable shooter on Wii. John Merchant, Majesco
A DOG’S LIFE
Majesco is confident the distinctive style of these titles will make Gunslinger Pack stand out when it hits shelves. “The fact that it’s so unique in the market as the first live-action shooter on the Wii makes it a very attractive proposition,” says Majesco’s international marketing manager John Merchant. “Such a massive level of confidence from retail has meant that we’ve had to raise our expectations significantly. “There are three games on one disk, as well as a wealth of multiplayer content, so the value for money there is terrific. We’ve no doubt Mad Dog will make a huge gun-toting impact in August.” The decision to release the game on Wii allows the developers to truly
MADNESS: Majesco’s revisit of the Mad Dog series includes three full iterations
RELEASED: AUGUST 28 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: DIGITAL LEISURE PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3908
recreate the arcade experience of Mad Dog in gamers’ homes, with the Wii Remote forming the perfect substitute for the traditional light gun. “Using their Wii remote and their sharp shooting skills, players must take aim and bring down the notorious outlaw Mad Dog McCree and his henchmen,” says Merchant. “The game consists of real footage and actors – making it completely unique.” Each game in the Gunslinger Pack guides players through a storyline performed by actors on screen, offering
compete to rack up the most points in a series of intense gunfights. “There’s a real buzz about Mad Dog at the moment,” Merchant says. “Consumers are hugely excited, and retail, particularly the supermarkets, have recognised the game’s obvious appeal and have been overwhelmingly supportive. “Mad Dog communicates itself very well, with a world everyone can engage with and inclusive gameplay that makes it the most accessible and universally enjoyable shooter on Wii. This game really will be ‘Wanted’ in true Wild Western style upon release.” With Mad Dog being such a visual title, Majesco will be supporting it with an extensive TV campaign. The publisher will also be targeting mainstream and lifestyle media both in print and online, and is preparing plenty of POS activity at launch.
44 MCV549_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 44 MCV 07/08/09
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
Gamers ready to cry Wolfenstein Activision’s classic FPS returns reborn, boosted by a wide-ranging and impressive marketing blitz. Elsewhere, Eidos’ Batman: Arkham Asylum finally lands at retail after chalking up some stunning review scores in the specialist press... TITLE
DS DS PSP/Wii/PS3/PS2/360 Wii / DS PC
Self-Improvement Self-Improvement Sports Mini-games Action
Atari Mindscape EA Sports Mindscape South Peak
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Advantage Koch Centresoft Koch Centresoft
DS PC DS PC Wii Wii PC/360 Wii / DS PS3 PSP PC/PS3/360
Sports RPG/Action Music Simulation Shooter Mini-games FPS Puzzle Racing Action/Adventure FPS
Oxygen Kalypso Media Deep Silver Excalibur Publishing Majesco Ubisoft South Peak Playlogic System 3 Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard
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Centresoft Advantage Koch Open Open Trilogy Centresoft Koch Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft
DS PC/PS3/ 360 Wii/360 Wii PC DS DS DS 360 Wii PC PC PC PSP DS DS Wii
Action Action Action Adventure Simulation Action Simulation Imagine Action Sports Mystery Action Simulation Fighting Racing Sports Sports
Ghostlight Eidos South Peak Majesco Excalibur Publishing Zushi Mindscape Ubisoft Playlogic Ghostlight City Interactive City Interactive Excalibur Publishing Ubisoft Midas Midas Blade Interactive
01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0117 373 6151 01869 338833 01279 822 800 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 01376 555333 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 01869 338833 0845 362 7769 01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0870 027 0985
Open Centresoft Centresoft Open Open Gem Koch Trilogy Koch Open Trilogy Trilogy Open Trilogy Open Open Koch
PC PC PC PC PS3 Wii 360 DS DS PSP/DS/PS3/360 Wii DS PC/360 DS/PC PSP DS DS
Simulation Self-Improvement Self-Improvement MMORPG RPG Survival Horror Action Mini-games Kids Simulation Action Mini-games FPS Puzzle Action Adventure Action
First Class Simulations City Interactive City Interactive Atari Koei Deep Silver 505 Games Rising Star Games 505 Games 505 Games Nintendo Zushi South Peak Deep Silver Koei Disney Interactive 505 Games
01869 338833 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585
Open Trilogy Trilogy Advantage Open Koch Advantage Centresoft Advantage Advantage Koch Gem Centresoft Koch Open Centresoft Advantage
AUGUST 14th Driving Theory Training 2009-2010 Edition Gardening Guide: How To Get Green Fingers Madden NFL 10 Ready, Steady, Cook: The Game Roogoo
AUGUST 21st All Star 5-A-Side Football Dawn Of Magic 2 DJ Star Euro Truck Simulator Gold Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger Pack Peppa Pig Raven Squad Sudoku Ball Detective SuperCar Challenge Transformers: The Game (Platinum) Wolfenstein
AUGUST 28th Allied Ace Pilots Batman: Arkham Asylum Brave: A Warrior's Tale Escape The Musuem Farming Simulator Garfield Gets Real Groovy Chick: My Fashion World Imagine Teacher: School Trip Infernal: Hell's Vengeance International Athletics Mary Celeste Navy Seals Pole To Pole Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Super Speed Machines World Cup of Pool WSC Real 09: World Snooker Championship
SEPTEMBER 4th Lancaster Brain College 3 Brain College 4 Champions Online Cross Edge Cursed Mountain Guilty Gear II: Overture Happy Party with Hello Kitty & Friends I Did It Mum! Doll's House IL2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey Metroid Prime Trilogy Oktoberfest Section 8 The Humans Warriors Orochi 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Zorro: Quest For Justice
MUSTSTOCK ................................WOLFENSTEIN Released: August 31st Format: PS3/360/PC Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The title that effectively created the first-person shooter is back – with a sexy 21st Century makeover. Activision’s pretty update features many of the classic enemies from the original game, including Hans Grosse and everyone’s favourite robotic Nazi, Mecha-Hitler.
MUSTSTOCK ..........BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM Released: August 28th Format: PS3/360/PC Publisher: Eidos Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The Dark Knight swoops onto consoles in one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year. The title – which honours classic DC comic books – sees Batman doing battle with The Joker and many more of his arch enemies, such as Poison Ivy and Killer Croc.
LGC Advert_v2:Layout 1
Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London Conference: 4:30pm – 7:45pm Networking and dinner: 8:00 – Midnight
Digital Distribution & The Future of the European Games Market • Exclusive Research • Sony, Xbox, Nintendo Panel + Q&A • Technology Session • The Case For Retail • Digital Marketing For Digital Distribution
If you need to understand digital distribution, you need to be here. And if you don’t think you need to understand digital distribution, you really need to be here. in association with
*SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER Book now to secure your place for £195 – 15 per cent off regular price. Offer lasts until Friday, September 4th. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Rob Baker on 01992 535646 For more information contact Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 46 MCV 07/08/09
MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Pokémon Platinum Nintendo, DS
Grand Slam Tennis EA, Wii
ARMA 2 505 Games, PC
Bionic Commando Capcom, PC
Star Ocean: Last Hope
Square Enix, 360
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
DEAL OF THE WEEK
SAINSBURY’S UPS NON-FOOD ASSAULT ONLINE National supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has lifted the lid on a brand new non-food initiative that drastically increases the range of goods it offers. The likes of kitchenware, home furnishings, home electronics and garden furniture are fronting the new online selection which, for the time being at least, doesn’t include video games or consoles – despite the presence of a ‘Computing & Gaming’ section, which is currently offering PC goods. “Our aim is to offer more choice and greater availability in non-food than what is in our stores,” director of direct channels Tanya Lawler stated. “We are able to offer the bigger, bulky items online that would just take up too much room in stores. We will monitor our competitors to make sure our prices are very competitive for all ranges.” The range is expected to nearly double in size by September.
Sales for the period climbed overall, reaching $4.65bn – up from $4.06bn in the same quarter a year before. Profit, however, was down ten per cent at $142m. Flat sales of media goods such as games, music and books were pegged as the chief offenders for the lower than expected numbers. “You're seeing an industry slowdown in video games and consoles,” CFO Tom Szkutak warned. DEAD SPACE WII GRANTED 18 RATING The concern that the Nintendo console is not a suitable platform for mature-rated games will be tested yet again later this year with the news that the BBFC has granted EA’s upcoming Wiiexclusive Dead Space: Extraction an 18 certificate. No cuts were made to the game, which is an on-rails take on the successful debut outing for the series that wowed critics upon its release on Xbox 360 and PS3 last year. Dead Space: Extraction is due out on Wii this October. HIGH STREET SALES EXPECTED TO FALL IN AUGUST Retail sales fell once again in July, making it the third consecutive month in the year to record a decline. Business lobby group the CBI expects this trend to continue in August. According to the CBI’s Distributive Trades Survey, 47 per cent of retailers reported that year-on-year sales volumes decreased in the year to July.
Argos customers save £60 when they buy the Ultimate Bestsellers pack (Halo 3, Halo Wars and Forza 2) with any Xbox 360: Arcade (£156.96), Premium (£186.46) or Elite (£244.76).
GAMES BLAMED AS AMAZON’S PROFITS FALL Despite a 14 per cent year-on-year increase in Amazon’s Q2 revenue at online retail colossus Amazon, the website reported lower than expected profits for the last 12 months – and video games were named as one of the chief culprits.
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
WII SPORTS RESORT FORMAT: WII
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
THE SIMS 3 PC
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 PS3
POKÉMON PLATINUM DS
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 PS3
WILL RECESSION BRING AN END TO PRICE-CUTTING FROM RETAILERS THIS YEAR?
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FALLOUT 3: THE PITT & OPERATION ANCHORGAGE 360
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.
More than half the participants in the latest MCV online survey are convinced the High Street will suffer from pricecutting and the inherent price wars this Christmas, although over a third of respondents are more optimistic.
Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
ble at a l i a v All A
For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251
NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 47 Sponsored by
FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]
TOP 10 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY 2. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ....................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
3. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................................SONY
4. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ....................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
5. PES 2010 PS3........................................................KONAMI
6. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..................................................MICROSOFT
FRONTLINE This week, Nindie.com speaks to Neil Platt from Sega Supplies… How has the market been for you so far this year? The market has changed this year. A lot more people have started to ask for used games. They want to swap a large bag of old games for one or two newer games. If you aren’t careful you can quickly collect a lot of old worthless stock. New releases have changed as well. Some titles will sell well on both 360 and PS3 and some will only sell on one machine. It makes it very hard to pre-order in large numbers. What makes your store/site unique? We have traded from the same shop since 1991. Most of the 15-20 year-olds who buy from us have parents who bought Mega Drive software off us when
they were kids. I think it helps having myself in the shop front every day. What has been performing well? What has been underperforming? PS3 has always done very well for us, 360 is about the same but Wii and DS software has slowed down a lot. So many people discount these games that it’s very hard to justify stocking new releases. Since the Wii console price increase (which hasn't affected any supermarket) we haven’t been able to stock them
What are the biggest challenges facing your store/site? Prices. It is almost impossible to price match supermarkets and online stores. How much of a threat do supermarkets pose to your store/site? Supermarkets are dangerous, they advertise stupid prices, even though they don't always have the stock. They don't seem interested in serious sales. They just use the gaming industry as a cheap advertising gimmick to get people in-store.
7. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................................EA
8. OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON
9. HEAVY RAIN: ORIGAMI KILLER PS3 ..........................................................SONY
10. ASSASSINS CREED 2 PS3 ......................................................UBISOFT
Wii Sports Resort
Week ending July 31st Source: SHOPTO.COM
MARGIN MAKER With more games franchises heading to iPhone, Exspect’s new Gaming Grip makes the experience of playing on Apple’s revolutionary handheld device much more comfortable for avid gamers. This sleek, high-grade silicone grip makes the gadget similar to hold to a traditional games handheld, without adding too much to the iPhone’s original size. Exspect: 01282 684 871
Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince DS, EA
Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
PSP, Activision Blizzard
IN STORE: DERBY £19.99
NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
48,49 MCV549_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 48 MCV 07/08/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3 2 5 7 8 4 9 13 11
 [FULL PRICE]
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND THE CURIOUS VILLAGE DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA MARIO KART DS NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO THE MYSTERY OF THE MUMMY UBISOFT MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
WII SPORTS RESORT FORMAT: Wii
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WII FIT Wii
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3
HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, PS2 EA
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3
TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
THE SIMS 3 PC
UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED 360, PS3
EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii
CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD
MARIO KART WII Wii
DEVELOPER: KROME STUDIOS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA G-FORCE DISNEY ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF DINOSAURS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GHOSTBUSTERS SONY INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS GUITAR HERO: GREATEST HITS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
WII PLAY Wii
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
2 3 4 7 RE
5 6 8 10
PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5
3 2 5 4
FIFA ‘09 EA HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
6 7 8 9 10
6 8 7
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P SBK-09 SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPS CODEMASTERS X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM
EA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
[PROTOTYPE] PC, PS3, 360
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
POKÉMON PLATINUM DS
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA 360, PS3, PC UBISOFT
MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE
THE SIMS 3
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARHAMMER 40,00: DAWN OF WAR II THQ EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA
2 3 4 6 8 5 12 7 9
DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA
INTERNATIONAL CRICKET CAPTAIN 09: ASHES P2 GAMES
ARMA II 505 GAMES COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SPORE: GALACTIC ADVENTURES EA GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR
48,49 MCV549_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 49
NINTENDO’S LATEST sales sensation Wii Sports
popularity bodes well for its sequel, Wii Fit Plus,
Resort continues to live up to its early billing as one of this year’s biggest releases, cementing its position at the top of the All Formats Charts with a six per cent rise in sales. However, the MotionPlus-bundled sports package has a long way to go before it rivals Wii Fit, which continues its evergreen performance, rising two places to second spot. The game’s
which hits shelves this Christmas.
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 PS3, 360, PC, Wii
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber 2K PLAY SEGA
RED FACTION: GUERRILLA 360, PS3
RACE DRIVER: GRID 360, PS3, PC, DS
MARIO KART DS DS
G-FORCE 360, Wii, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS
DISNEY SONY UBISOFT DISNEY
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
MYSIMS RACING DS, Wii
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DS, Wii, PS2, PSP
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 PC, PSP
LEGO BATMAN PC, PS3, 360, WI, DS, PS2, PSP
GRAND SLAM TENNIS Wii
SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS Wii, 360, PS3, PS2, DS
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
GUITAR HERO: GREATEST HITS WII, PS2, PS3, 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
RHYTHM PARADISE DS
MYSTERY STORIES DS
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
3 5 10 2 8 9 11 4 13
Woods, Harry Potter and Fight Night. Meanwhile, the only new entry in the Top 40 this week is Disney film tie-in G-Force, which debuts at No. 26. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 INFAMOUS CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE GHOSTBUSTERS TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN [PROTOTYPE] KILLZONE 2
6 1 3 5 7 8 4 10 11
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA THQ UBISOFT EA SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY
Nintendo’s resurgence means EA has to make do with third, fourth and fifth position, with Tiger
EA SEGA ROCKSTAR
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT EA SPORTS ACTIVE MARIO KART WII TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE GRAND SLAM TENNIS MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES VIRTUA TENNIS 2009 TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
2 3 4 5 6 7 10 9 8
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
[BUDGET PRICE] PUBLISHER
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE CHEST DEVELOPER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 2 SOLD OUT HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER FOCUS THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE FOCUS WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO EA NINTENDO EA EA EA SEGA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD RED FACTION: GUERRILLA [PROTOTYPE] HALO WARS CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR
3 6 4 1 5 8 7 9 10
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
WEEK ENDING 01/08/09
DEVELOPER: EA CANADA PUBLISHER: EA EA THQ ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT THQ ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES
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 PR 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
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
TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS
In association with
Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com
LOCALISTATION QA AND TESTING
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
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
52,53 MCV549_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 52 MCV 07/08/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
v.2 PLAY. LDA
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
NETHERLANDS INNELEC MULTIMEDIA
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
45 rue Delizy,
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Email purchase: email@example.com
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: email@example.com
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Hitzona.............................................................Moscow Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow Soft Club..........................................................Moscow Vellod...................................................................Mitishi
SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95 Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96 mail:firstname.lastname@example.org website:www.computerland.rs
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
tel. +357 22 666612
ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 email@example.com
MILESTONE INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE LIMITED Pramukh Plaza, 2nd Floor, Cardinal Gracious Road,
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
Chakala, Andheri East,
Gateway Distribution ApS
Mumbai 400 099, INDIA.
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
Tel: +91 22 28203319
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Fax: +91 22 28203334
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,
28046 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
52,53 MCV549_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 07/08/09 53
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...
USA DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St.
#2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393
UAE GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB
Sony has announced Uncharted 2: Among Thieves will be released in the US on October 13th. Several US retailers have gained the rights to exclusive pre-order incentives. Amazon.com is offering consumers an official treasure map, which will allow players to discover hidden treasures in game, while Game Crazy customers will receive an in-game currency multiplier. Those who pre-order at GameStop will be the first to gain access to the multiplayer demo and a downloadable ‘Revenge Attribute’, which is usually unavailable until the end of the multiplayer campaign. Finally, Best Buy customers will receive a golden AK-47 for use in multiplayer mode.
PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden
ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY
Phone: +46 54 854750
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East
Fax: +46 54 854759
P.O BOX 16999
Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E.
Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
Group Website: www.alesayi.com
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul
PO Box 10705, Office 103-104
The latest NPD data shows that almost all 2009 releases on Wii have been outsold by games launched in previous years. EA Sports Active is the only title in the top five best-selling Wii games of the year to be released since January. It came in fourth place behind Wii Fit, Wii Play and Mario Kart Wii – two of which were released in 2008, with Wii Play released in 2007. Wii Fit sold 3.06 million units between January and June 2009, while Wii Play shifted 1.5 million units and Mario Kart Wii sold 1.4 million units. These all outperformed the highest-selling titles on rival formats Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. EA Sports Active sold 630,000 units, despite only being available for two months. Almost all PS3 and Xbox 360 chart toppers were 2009 releases.
Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE
www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
DREAMGEAR, LLC 20001 S. Western Ave. Torrance, CA 90501 Phone: 310-222-5522 x 111 Fax: 310-222-5577 Contact: Moris Mirzadeh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GHOSTBUSTERS: THE VIDEO GAME has sold over one million copies in North America. Unlike in Europe, where the game is currently exclusive to PS3 and PS2, this figure accounts for sales across Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2 and PC. “We are very pleased with the performance of Ghostbusters,” Atari CEO Jim Wilson stated. “I credit the game’s quality as well as the incredible support from both the established and new fanbase all helping to make this a retail success. “Ghostbusters appears to be a strong and relevant movie-based franchise video game independent of a brand-new theatrical release. We look forward to the continued success of the title as interest and acclaim increase across North America.”
SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT chairman Kaz Hirai is to keynote the upcoming Tokyo Game Show in September. Hirai’s address is entitled ‘New Tactics for 2009’. The CEO will take the opportunity to discuss the new directions Sony is taking its home console (soon to feature ‘true’ motion control), and the firm’s new PSPgo handheld.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution ...........020 8664 3456 DVD Technology .......................01189 215 999 Discstribution ........................0845 430 8735 Gem ............................................01279 822800 GLS...............................................01708 725742 Ideal Software..........................01767 689 720 Logic3 ........................................01923 471 000 Meroncourt ..............................01462 680060 Revive ........................................01462 483555
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd .......087 19 18 17 21
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
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
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY 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 speak to the publishers and developers and offer a guide to where this market leading genre is heading. FRIDAY AUGUST 21st
TERRITORY REPORT: GERMANY One of Europe’s largest video games markets is also one of the most important, with Europe’s premier trade show occurring within its borders every year. Fresh from this year’s GDC Europe and Gamescom in Cologne, MCV takes a closer look at the German games sector, speaks to key developers, retailers and publishers, and will also run through the latest charts and discuss the country’s concerns over violent software.
GAMES MEDIA FOCUS MCV analyses the latest statistics from the Audit Bureau of Circulation, looking at the high and lows of 2009 so far. We speak to leading figures from the industry about any major developments and their forecasts for the rest of the year. FRIDAY AUGUST 28th
GAMESCOM REVIEW With Germany’s Cologne-based trade show over, deals will have been struck, announcements made and European retailers are now well prepared for the Christmas run-in. MCV provides a comprehensive rundown of the key products, the big announcements and the best moments from this year’s Gamescom. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4th
FOOTBALL GENRE FOCUS With FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer preparing to battle once more with thier 2010 editions, we take a look at why the genre has proven so durable throughout the history of video games. We speak to the key publishers in this space about where the relationship between video games and football is heading, and what we can expect to see from this year’s offerings as they bid for the top of the charts. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 18th
Q4 2009 PREVIEW MCV provides a comprehensive guide to the busiest trading season of the year. We take a look at all of the major titles due to hit shelves from October to December, identifying those that are certain to perform well and highlighting potential surprise hits. We also speak to publishers about how they will make their products stand out from the crowd in the run-up to Christmas.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS Lightningfish Games . . . . www.lightningfishgames.com Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Crytek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516
Distributors of CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-Ram, Micro-SD, and lots, lots more...
X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999 European Sales: ......01189 215 916 firstname.lastname@example.org DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com DISTRIBUTION
SERVICES 3D Creation Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 345 9551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1753 247 731 Testology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07919 523 036 Testronic Labs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)1753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1480 210 621 COURSES Skillset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 713 9800 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 email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . email@example.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
AMA DISPLAYS . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1924 507217 . . . . . . . . . www.ama-displays.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
AUGUST MULTIPLAY M FESTIVAL Friday, August 7th – Monday, August 10th Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire www.mfestival.com
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
EDINBURGH INT. FESTIVAL Thursday, August 13th – Friday, August 14th Edinburgh, Scotland www.edinburghinteractivefestival.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.testroniclabs.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 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
MCV AND XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, September 24th Sway Bar, Holborn Orlaith.Kennedy@intentme dia.co.uk 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 owning the biggest brains in games. It’s also, of course, a very smart networking event, with numerous buyers and publishers, editors and agencies all rubbing shoulders at the bar.
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com
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 LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net
UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
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.
59 MCV549_final:47 MCV443
MCV 07/08/09 59
‘Price hikes should aid new IP’
THE LIKES of Call of Duty, GTA and Assassin’s Creed don’t need a retail price of £70 to be a success. In fact, these titles would make incredible profit at £25 a pop. So any talk of ‘blockbuster games’ needing to go up in price is rubbish. The problem, how I see it, lies with new IP. These games barely hold their value, especially with the supermarkets cutting prices. And if they don’t sell in the millions, then they are considered a commercial flop. And you can’t raise the price of new IP – gamers may be willing to spend £55 for Modern Warfare 2, but will they be willing to spend so much on an unproven title like Blur? I think not. It’s frustrating that Modern Warfare 2 costs so much, because my customers think I’m ripping them off. But I do understand Activision’s need to do it. In the grand scheme of things, they need to make as much money as possible to fund other titles, such as Singularity. But a better solution, instead of raising prices, is forcing the supermarkets and the big retailers to hold value for longer. I know gamers these days who won’t spend over £35 for a new game… and that’s a result of Asda and Tesco’s ridiculous pricing. It’s not just unfair for indies and specialists, it’s damaging the industry as a whole.
The industry continues to vent over pricing worries sparked by Modern Warfare 2’s high price point.
‘Industry model is not future-proof’ This week, a fellow industry stalwart agrees with Chris Deering’s point that today’s boxed games pricing stucture is under significant pressure… CHRIS DEERING has made a very good point about the pricing of ‘blockbuster’ games. Revenues and sales figures seen by publishers have been declining, but this is largely due to preowned. Perhaps the solution is to raise the price of games under the existing model much as
they are doing with Modern Warfare 2, or further still as Chris Deering is suggesting, but at the same time bring in new versions at a much lower price point (say an RRP of £29.95), which are ‘not for rental/resale’. This way, with two versions side-by-side, we move to a very
similar system used for DVDs and Blu Ray discs for video, where the ‘for rental/resale’ copies are considerably more expensive than the retail ‘not for rental/resale’ copies. Pre-owned still happens, but only on the more expensive versions of each game, so the
industry is effectively getting a slice of the action. Additionally, those players like me who like to keep our games would be able to do so by buying the cheaper versions. David Braben,
60 MCV 07/08/09
Off The Record
THE START of the new football season is nearly upon us and hope fills the nostrils of every redblooded footy fan. By October, of course, for most of us, that hope will have been ground down into purest despair. So, the arrival of FIFA 10 on the 3rd will be a very welcome distraction and a timely reminder of just how beautiful the game can be. To celebrate the new season and the new game, MCV has once again teamed up with EA Sports to create a FIFA 10branded, industry-slanted guide to the Premiership fixtures, complete with predictions from pundits throughout the business. You’ll find your copy of the booklet bundled with this issue, but here’s a taster of what our ‘experts’ think...
MCV 07/08/09 61
Keith Sharpe Play.com
Gurdeep Hunjan Sainsbury’s
Arsenal Estimated league position: 1st League champions: Arsenal Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
Liverpool Estimated league position: 1st League champions: Liverpool Nailed on to be relegated: Man utd
James Cooke Best Buy
Tim Ingham MCV
Aston Villa Estimated league position: 6th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Stoke
Manchester City Estimated league position: 6th League champions: Chelsea Nailed on to be relegated: Wolves
Peter Willis DSGI
Steve Staley Gameseek
Birmingham City Estimated league position: 17th (at very best) League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Wolves
Man Utd Estimated league position: 1st League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Steve Watts Coca-Cola
James Turner Electronic Arts
Blackburn Rovers Estimated league position: 17th League Champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley (Haha!)
Portsmouth Estimated league position: 16th League champions: Chelsea Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Duncan Cross Asda
Wesley Underwood GAME
Bolton Estimated league position: 12th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Stoke City Estimated league position: 15th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
John Gallemore The Hut
Ben Lowery GAME
Burnley Estimated league position: 17th League champions: Man City Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
Sunderland Estimated league position: 12th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Gian Luzio The Hut
Ian Hollamby GAME
Chelsea Estimated league position: 1st League champions: Chelsea Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Tottenham Estimated league position: 6th League champions: Man City Nailed on to be relegated: Stoke
Michael Bembridge GAME
Richard Keith Future
Everton Estimated league position: 5th League champions: Chelsea Nailed on to be relegated: Wolves
West Ham Estimated league position: 8th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
Patrick Kelly Play.com
Steve McKevitt Making Things Happen
Fulham Estimated league position: 10th League champions: Man Utd Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
Wigan Estimated league position: 14th League champions: Liverpool Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
Keith Hallet GAME
Ricky Groom Gamestation
Hull City Estimated league position: 19th League champions: Chelsea Nailed on to be relegated: Burnley
Wolves Estimated league position: 17th League champions: Liverpool Nailed on to be relegated: Hull
62 MCV 07/08/09
MERRY XMAS! Don’t worry – you read that right. Disney put on a marvellous show last week at its ‘Christmas in July‘ event in London. MCV got a sneek peek at games such as Toy Story Mania and A Christmas Carol... But the Xmas trees and festive paraphernalia did leave us a little disconcerted....
[INSERT YOUR OWN JOKE ABOUT BALLS AND STUMPS HERE] It’s not all cracking down on piracy and earnest conversations with Cabinet Ministers over at ELSPA Towers, you know. The body’s director general Mike Rawlinson and chairman Andy Payne enjoyed a bit of virtual cricket with legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne, all in the name of Codemasters’ Ashes ‘09. Kudos to the pair – but shame on the organisation’s top secret pun division, which sent us an email entitled ‘ELSPA-B-W’. Ouch! (Okay, we admit, we were a little impressed).
EDITORIAL: 01992 535646
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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
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MCV is a member of the Audit Bureau of Circulation and the Periodical Publishers Association. Membership of the ABC and PPA provides our advertising partners with confidence in our circulation statements. For the 12 months ending December 2008, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,833. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.
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SAXON HOUSE, 6A ST. ANDREW STREET, HERTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND SG14 1JA Intent Media specialises in trade-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.
ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008
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