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THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

FRIDAY AUGUST 21 2009 £3.25


THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 551 Friday August 21 2009 £3.25

Expect a 'significant' sales spike for PS3, says House SCEE boss confident that £249.99 slimline console will give dramatic boost to retail when it arrives next month by Michael French SONY SAYS RETAILERS should expect a major increase in PS3 sales when the slimmer, cheaper version of the console hits stores in just two weeks. Speaking to MCV at Gamescom this week, SCEE president Andrew House said

The machine will retail for £249.99 – £50 off the current RRP. It will sell for €299 in Europe and $299 in the US, where the price has been reduced by €100 and $100 respectively. PS3's new iteration rolls out around the world in the first week of September, but in the

We’re competing very seriously with Microsoft. This gives us the opportunity to do that more aggressively. Andrew House, SCEE

that the firm was closely tracking its prior activity on PS2 and PSOne by introducing new hardware at lower prices. As expected after months of internet leaks and speculation, Sony unveiled the slimline PS3 at a Gamescom press conference earlier this week.

HOUSE PROUD: The SCEE boss is “quietly confident” about PS3’s performance this Q4

meantime the price of older units has also been reduced. House said: “Experience has told us that you only get a few opportunites to address price for the consumer [in a console’s lifetime] – and the way to make the most of that is with a significant reduction

that gets as much impact and momentum as possible. “We have very high hopes for the new PS3 and think it will deliver a significant increase in our sales.” Speculation is now rife that Microsoft is waiting to clear the channel of 360 stock ahead of its own price cut. "We’re competing very seriously, head-to-head, with Microsoft in Europe – and this gives us the opportunity to do that more aggressively,” said House, adding that retail can expect a hassle-free transtiton from stocking the old model PlayStation 3. “I'm very pleased with how we have managed our inventory system on the existing model. We’ve done that very well in the European market. There are trucks and trailers leaving right now - it's on the road.”

Buoyant Gamestation marches into Europe by Tim Ingham THE GAME Group has opened its first Gamestation store outside of the UK, MCV can reveal. The firm has unveiled a mall-based store in Alcala de Henares in Central Spain, 20 miles East of Madrid. GAME currently owns 1,342 stores across the UK, France, Spain, Scandinavia and

Australia. In the last financial year to January 31st, 2009, it opened 112 non-UK stores – but none of these carried the Gamestation brand. A Gamestation spokesperson told MCV: “Even with the global economic slowdown, Spain’s PC and video games market remains robust. “We are trialling our Gamestation brand in Spain to establish whether a dual brand

More Gamestation European store openings are now expected

strategy can meet the level of games coverage that the mall owner demands.” In June 2001, The GAME Group purchased CentroMAIL, Spain’s leading specialist retailer of computer software and video games, which at the time had around 70 stores. This chain now has over 140 outlets, 102 of which are owned, with the rest being franchised. However,

Gamestation’s USP of being a store for the ‘hardcore’ gamer sets it apart from any other offering in The GAME Group’s portfolio. Further openings would be a key weapon in GAME’s global battle with US giant GameStop. After purchasing French market leader Micromania in October 2008, Gamestop took its total European store count up to 1,077.

PERSONNEL 39 RETAIL BIZ 41 NEW RELEASES 52 HIGH STREET 54 CHARTS 56


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[LEADER] A VERY FINE MESSE All the way through Cologne's debut trade fair this week, publisher heads praised Gamescom. Sony’s Kaz Hirai even called it “the third major date on the industry calendar”. Of course they would say that: They were the ones who wanted to up sticks and move the show away from Leipzig in the first place. But this week it was clear the European territory has found the best solution to providing something that caters for both the Western-ised, retail focused part of the global games market, whilst being tailored to local tastes. It also fulfills a joint purpose, with the marketing on the ground useful for getting messages across to the trade, as well as the thousands of gamers expected to turn up later in the week. Comparisons to Tokyo Games Show are particularly apt. Perhaps there’s still a way to go – a few slick product announcements do not a trade fair make, after all. The High Street still needs a little bit of convincing that attendance is worthwhile, for one thing – UK retail was the one area of the trade noticable by its absence. And it was too early to say at the time of writing if the droves of consumer crowds promised for the end of the week would turn up – and make the amount spent on stands and demos by publishers pay off. Nevertheless, Gamescom certainly felt like it had some purpose from the get go. While the German-centric GDC Europe – which preceeded Gamescom in Cologne – probably needs to find its feet in the years to come (San Francisco, it ain’t), the overall standard of what was going on within Koelnmesse was slick and reassuring. Certainly, it felt more relevant – and above all, worth the journey – than certain more introspective and, arguably, self-indulgent industry events.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS The decision by Eidos and its Beautiful Game Studios to sell the next Championship Manager’s digital version for a penny no doubt raised some eyebrows this week - moreso than the unveiling of the new slimline PS3 in some quarters. Okay, so it’s really being sold for £2.51, given there's a ‘transaction fee’ added into the mix, but it’s still the lowest ever price for a new game release. It’s not strictly an original move – misery rock band Radiohead did a similar thing with its 2007 album In Rainbows - but it’s new for our industry. From one point of view, it’s a gimmick to remind people that the game exists in a genre so dominated by Sega and Sports Interactive’s Football Manager. From the other, it’s a sign that Eidos, reinvigorated after the Square buyout and enjoying positive buzz for Arkham Asylum, is genuinely trying something innovative – a rare commodity in our trade these days. More importantly, at a time when pricing is such a big issue for everyone, it’s a brave move – despite the assurances that the parallel retail release will include lots of extras in the box. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Sainsbury’s in console Grocery giant aims to grab five per cent of UK market in 18 months by Christopher Dring SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has pledged to triple its games-related ad spend in an attempt to drive hardware sales this Christmas. Speaking during the firm’s entertainment conference last week, games manager Gurdeep Hunjan revealed Sainsbury’s games strategy for Christmas 2009 and beyond – which it believes will help it claim five per cent of the UK market.

Sainsbury’s in history – and drive hardware and accessories harder than ever. We will be supporting this with two to three times more marketing investment year-on-year. “Selling hardware is very important to us, it drives loyalty and it drives repeat purchases. About 25 per cent of our customers buy software from us three months after buying hardware. “From a hardware and accessories perspective, the

We’ll have the biggest product launches in Sainsbury’s history – and drive consoles harder than ever. Gurdeep Hunjan, Sainsbury’s

Marketing will feature in specialist and women’s magazines, direct mail outs, national press, as well as money-off vouchers, and tie-ins with publishers. He said: “We will have a much better Christmas, simply because we can go big and have less concerns on stock. “Our plans are to have the biggest launches on product at

business at board level recognises hardware as the gift for Christmas 2009. We have agreed that hardware will be the No.1 priority in non-food space at corporate level in the run-up to Christmas. This will be massive. This means we will have a pallet at the front of store in over 300 sites, we’ll have full corporate level POS, including car park banners. We

HUNJAN: Sainsbury’s games boss is confident the retailer can grow its market share

will have national press advertising and hopefully a Sainsbury’s TV advert. “We may even get Jamie Oliver singing on the next SingStar commercial.” Sainsbury’s was one of several retailers severely affected by the collapse of EUK

Future ‘open’ to single-game mags FUTURE PUBLISHING has told MCV it will consider creating other magazines dedicated to a single game – after the announcement of its global World Of Warcraft publication yesterday. As revealed by MCVUK.com (Newsflash 20/08), Future’s quarterly WoW magazine will be available to consumers quarterly via a yearly subscription. The publisher has decided against stocking the title in stores. The mag will be headed up by games media veteran Julian

Rignall, assisted by PC Gamer editor Tim Edwards in the UK, and won’t carry advertising. An annual subscription to the Official World Of Warcraft Magazine will cost consumers £29.95/€34.95. “There are some precedents for Future in terms of single-

software products – not least, of course, the Official PlayStation, Nintendo and Xbox magazines,” publishing director James Binns told MCV. “But World of Warcraft’s scale is unique – it has 11.5 million subscribers. If we did this for a game with a hundred thousand, it wouldn’t be so great. However, where we see opportunities, we’ll always be open to this sort of deal. WoW is the best possible product you’d ever want to do it with, though. We’re certainly starting at the top.” Future: 01225 442 244


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marketing blitz

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

 Games marketing spend tripled for Xmas

HALO 3: ODST 360 MICROSOFT

Borderlands ‘can rival GTA and Halo’

last year, and like its rival Asda, the firm has bolstered its buying team. The company has also raised £445 million for new floorspace, half of which will be dedicated to non-food items. The grocer’s games departments is set to improve with more in-store screens, major new game launches, promotions placed outside of its non-food areas and format branding.

“Our aspiration is to be five per cent of the market in around 18 to 24 months,” added Hunjan. “We are not in it for the short-term. “Our objective is to build a long-term profitable games business by working closely with suppliers to drive a targeted offering for our entertainment customers.” Sainsbury’s: 020 7695 6000

2K BELIEVES its new IP Borderlands can “stand shoulder-to-shoulder” with this Christmas’ biggest games, which include Call of Duty, Halo and GTA. The Bioshock publisher told MCV that it hopes Borderlands can become a long-term franchise for the firm, and may even spawn a new genre of shooter. “Borderlands is an incredibly strong offering for this Christmas,” said 2K’s UK marketing manager Simon Turner. “Created by veteran developer Gearbox, we think that Borderlands can stand shoulder-toshoulder with any game – it’s slick, fast-paced, tremendously polished, and incredibly stylish.

“We think that Borderlands could create an entirely new genre – RolePlaying Shooter. Think of Diablo in a Mad Max world and you’re close. “Our goal with all new IPs across our publishing label is to create longstanding franchises.” Borderlands it set to make the most of big name titles moving out of Q4, and 2K has planned a huge marketing push, including a heavyweight TV campaign on terrestrial and satellite channels, cinema ads, specialist press and a website take-overs on IGN, Eurogamer and Gamespot. Borderlands is scheduled for release on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 23rd. 2K: 01753 496800

2. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360 ..................................MICROSOFT

3. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 ..........................................SONY

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

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

6. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 ..........................................EIDOS

7. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360 ..........................................EIDOS

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

9. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI

10. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................EA Week ending August 16th Source: SHOPTO.COM

 Turn to page 55 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers

UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your new weekly guide to the UK games software market… THE UK WEEKLY games market value continues to tumble, falling to its lowest figure since May. According to MCV calculations, based on this week’s GfK-ChartTrack/ELSPA weekly report, the UK market dropped to £15.8 million for the week ending August 15th a seven per cent decline over the week before. Units also slipped slightly, falling four per cent to 816,196. It is the lowest the market has been since May, which in itself was the lowest weekly value in over two years. The lack of big new releases could be cited for the fall, with EA’s Madden NFL 10 the only big new release last week. However, Madden was the only big release this time last year when the market’s weekly value was at £25.8 million and units sales had hit 1,202,743.

[MARKET VALUE]

£15.8m

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

20

15

10

£18.3m

£17.0m

£15.8m

923,204 Units

849,443 Units

816,396 Units

5

Codemasters’ Ashes Cricket 2009 was No.1 in the All Formats chart for a second time this week

0 Week Ending August 1st

Week Ending August 8th

Week Ending August 15th


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Dirt 2 ‘Codemasters biggest ever game’ Publisher prepares its largest marketing campaign in history for massive Colin McRae release next month by James Batchelor CODEMASTERS has claimed Colin McRae: Dirt 2 is the most important title in the company’s history – and is backing it with its biggest ever marketing spend. Fresh from two weeks at the top of the ELSPA/GfK-

“We are especially confident about the game’s quality, as well as our unique branding: The high-impact green of the packaging will run throughout all campaign materials. “Releasing in early September also gives us a key advantage in the competitive autumn window. All the lights

Dirt 2 is the biggest game in our history, and will benefit from our biggest ever marketing campaign.

Julien Socquet-Clerc, Codemasters

ChartTrack All Formats chart with Ashes Cricket 2009, the publisher is confident Dirt 2 will outperform its predecessor, as well as other racing hits such as Codemasters’ own Race Driver: Grid. “Dirt 2 is the biggest game in Codemasters’ history and will benefit from our biggest marketing campaign ever,” said brand manager Julien SocquetClerc. “Expectations are really high, especially in the UK where there is a huge awareness of the brand.

Codemasters hopes that Dirt 2 can emulate the chart success of Ashes Cricket 2009

have now turned green for Dirt 2’s launch.” Dirt 2, which is released on September 11th, will be promoted with a variety of print ads in specialist games magazines and action sports publications. This will be supported by a major online push, with ads appearing on all key specialist games sites in the month leading up to the game’s release. In addition, a heavyweight three-week TV campaign will

target 16 to 34 year-old males with ads running across Channel 4, Five, E4, Dave and more. Codemasters has also prepared other large-scale marketing initiatives, such as public sampling at motoring events and launch events throughout September. Codemasters: 01926 814132

F1 WII BUNDLE ANNOUNCED Codemasters has revealed that the Wii version of another of its highly anticipated racing titles will be bundled with a specialised peripheral. F1 2009 will come with a limited edition Race Wheel. This white shell houses the Wii Remote and is modelled on the steering wheel of Formula One cars to make the game more immersive for gamers.

Fitness First flexes games licence INTERNATIONAL gym giant Fitness First has increased its presence in the ‘healthy gaming’ sector with a new range of official peripherals.

NewU is the first product of its kind to feature video ‘personal training’ throughout. And now major peripherals manufacturer Blaze has

Video gaming products like these, which enhance our core business, fit into our mission perfectly. David Langridge, Fitness First

In May, the firm put its name to Black Bean and Ubisoft’s Wii fitness title NewU, due for release next month. The publishers claim that

secured the exclusive worldwide rights to produce Fitness First-branded ‘exergaming’ accessories across all platforms (pictured).

David Langridge, head of group marketing at Fitness First said: “The group is on mission to make the world a fitter place so products which enhance our core business fit into this perfectly.’’ Blaze’s Fitness First-branded accessories range include a Silicon Skin, which enhances players’ grip, as well as a Wii Fit Yoga Mat, which it claims ‘reduces impact and lessens strain’. In addition, the pair will launch wrist and ankle weights and a full Wii Fit Workout Kit, which it says offers ‘the perfect

combination of resistance, safety and style’. Chairman of Blaze Europe Jason Cooper said: “We are delighted to be working with Fitness First. This is a great

chance for us to build on our reputation for quality accessories with the perfect brand for our fitness range” Fitness First is the largest privately owned health club group in the world with over 540 clubs worldwide reaching over 1.4 million members in 24 countries. Blaze: 01302 325225


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EA Sports advises trade how not to market games Peter Moore says short-term spending leads to failure – and that 24 hour promotion is key by Tim Ingham EA SPORTS president Peter Moore has warned the publishing community against using traditional logic when marketing their games – which he believes offers too little, too late to succeed. Discussing EA Sports’ turnaround since he joined the label two years ago, Moore said

making games, when we’d just lob the consumer a screenshot on the odd afternoon” he said. “It wasn’t enough. If you’re not talking [to your customers] every hour of every day, you’re not talking.” Speaking at the Edinburgh Interactive Festival last week, Moore said that he was constantly monitoring Google Analytics to see how often EA

You can’t market late. If you’re not talking to your consumers every hour of every day, you’re not talking. Peter Moore, EA Sports

that publishers were still making major mistakes in the way they promoted their games. He added that the firm was now marketing its games earlier, whilst allowing its community to interact with studios for the first time in its history. “We needed to get away from the [secretive] black art – the ‘dark science’ days of

Sports was discussed online, as well as reading reports from Nielsen Media Research each afternoon to measure the effectiveness of the label’s yearround strategy. “If you’re not doing these things, you’re failing,” he said. “You can’t market your way back a few weeks from launch. You need people talking about

MOORE: EA Sports boss believes publishers need to interact more with their consumers

your games all year round. “These days, you can see if consumers are talking about you on Twitter, Facebook and blogs.” Moore revealed that EA Sports developers use cameras to share work pics with the firm’s gaming community, and said

that having his own official EA blog had helped “break down barriers” with consumers. “I had to be thick skinned: I got called ‘ugly’ – but I knew that already,” he joked. “Now, we’re never not interacting with our community.”

Football Manager returns to retail SEGA WILL release Football Manager 10 on October 30th, MCV can reveal – setting up one of the publisher’s longestrunning marketing campaigns for the series. By announcing the game earlier than usual, Sega and developer Sports Interactive have bought extra time to communicate with the FM community – and help their bid for a return to the top of the UK All Formats chart. Football Manager 2010 features a brand new match tactics system, and the debut of a Match Analysis tool.

“We have worked very hard with the Football Manager community to target not only the areas of the game that needed re-working but also what we could add to improve what’s already there,” said Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson. “There has been a lot of polish to existing areas of the game but we’ve also introduced changes to answer some of the feedback. We’re very confident that we will deliver the very best Football Manager to date.”

JACOBSON: “We’re confident that we will deliver the very best Football Manager to date”

Sega senior product manager Ben Payne added: “This year’s Football Manager is the best yet. We’ll use our PR and community teams to communicate that to our massive fanbase. As ever, FM will be one of Sega’s biggest titles this Q4. “This year we will push Football Manager to as many potential customers as possible, as early as possible. “We expect FM10 to repeat last year’s success at launch and enjoy strong sales through next year’s World Cup.” Sega: 020 8995 3399

activision.com

© 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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THQ: New WWE will make us champ of the fighting genre Smackdown vs Raw publisher prepares epic reveal at this week’s Summerslam for its ‘biggest title of the year’ by James Batchelor THQ HAS declared WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2010 the biggest release of its financial year – and said that its release will cement its place as the fighting genre’s No.1 publisher. The firm will unveil the game this weekend at WWE event Summerslam – a show it

told MCV. “The game remains our biggest release this fiscal year and will be launching on six platforms on October 23rd. “Strategically the title is of crucial importance and will further cement THQ’s dominance of the fighting category, along with the launch of UFC 2009 Undisputed earlier this year in May.”

This title is of crucial importance for us. It will cement THQ’s dominance of the fighting category. Mark Cook, THQ

says emphasises the “crucial importance” of the title to its business. “WWE Smackdown Vs Raw 2010 is a pillar release for THQ this Christmas,” THQ’s product marketing manager for UK and Europe Mark Cook

For this year’s iteration, THQ has taken a more reserved approach to revealing the game’s features. “Our traditional campaign would be to announce the new title at Wrestlemania in March and then blow out the

EBS Benelux snaps up Favour Games EUROPEAN distributor EBS Benelux has acquired independent rival Favour Games. The takeover comes as EBS moves to strengthen its position as a distributor of home and portable entertainment products in the Benelux region. “We are very excited and proud to welcome Favour Games into the EBS family,” said EBS Benelux MD Ruud Severien. “The openness, speed and mutual trust with which

the acquisition came into play has created high expectations for all involved. “We now not only have a unique proposition for games publishers, but the acquisition opens up many other business opportunities too.” Favour Games’ operations will be integrated into the EBS Benelux central warehouse in The Nethelands. EBS Benelux: +31 625 010496

THQ product boss Cook (inset) is overseeing a campaign to “tease WWE fans and whip them into a frenzy”

feature set and start the PR campaign from E3 onwards,” Cook explained. “This year, we took a strategic decision to save the big reveal for Summerslam on August 23rd. It’s the biggest event of the summer for WWE fans and is a perfect platform for

us to deliver a fully integrated announce programme. “By holding back on the feature set for so long and teasing the fans with the upcoming PR initiatives, we have been able to whip the Smackdown Vs Raw gamer and WWE fan into a frenzy of

excitement and anticipation about the big reveal.” PR activity begins this weekend, including the first on-air gameplay footage on The Jimmy Fallon Show and a sponsorship deal for all WWE programmes on Sky Sports. THQ: 01483 724 500

Game Player starts phone business GAME PLAYER is offering fellow indies the chance to boost revenues by unlocking mobile phones. The retailer is selling equipment that enables stores to open phones to accept any network, providing technical support for a monthly fee. “The margin is 100 per cent,” said MD Gary Noakes. “You plug the phone in and the gear unlocks it for free, so indies can easily make extra income. It’s a massive market – everybody has a mobile.”

NOAKES: Game Player boss’s new indie business is growing

Noakes has already gained experience with the service by offering it to customers through his own stores, and now hopes to expand this

business. “I hope to provide a one-stop service for all phone-related items to help indies,” he said. “I aim to give a high quality service and our engineers can log into the clients’ PCs to assist with support. “I’m confident customers will love this service – it’s a chance to make 100 per cent profit for a small outlay. We can also provide a repair service so the business can decide how much they want to take on board.”

To take part in the UK's biggest sampling event, contact David Lilley david@eurogamer.net


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NEWS

Sponsored by

‘New music means new audiences’ EMI calls for a move away from classic artists in games, to engage a ‘whole new audience’ by Christopher Dring RECORD giant EMI has called on game makers to feature more new artists in titles such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero to attract the younger user. The British music company, manages new artists including Babyshambles, Lily Allen and Bat For Lashes, as well as classic acts such as The Beatles

More and more young people will buy games. If publishers use new music in software, it will engage this audience. Hywel Evans, EMI

and Queen. It has licensed its music and advised games publishers since the original Wipeout on PSOne, and has seen its interest in the sector grow with the rise in popularity of titles such as SingStar, Rock Band and Guitar Hero. EMI synchronisation boss Hywel Evans told MCV: “It would be great to see more new music used in

[IN BRIEF]

games. To date, a lot of the success of titles such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have relied on classic tracks, which obviously is great as EMI has a fantastic catalogue. But as more and more new and younger consumers buy games, providing them with the opportunity to interact with new music will engage a whole new audience.”

An NPD report revealed in July that music game sales in America had fallen by almost 50 per cent for the first half of the year – yet Evans is still optimistic for growth in the sector, particularly thanks to new iPhone applications and The Beatles: Rock Band. “We have worked closely with the games industry for many years since the first uses

EA: The Spore franchise will land on Wii and DS this year with Spore Hero and Spore Hero Arena respectively on October 9th. The games focus on action and combat. ROCKSTAR: Music creation software Beaterator – developed in collaboration between Rockstar and ‘super producer’ Timbaland – will be released on PSP on October 2nd. GRIN: The Swedish development studio behind Bionic Commando and Terminator Salvation has closed its doors after suffering financial difficulties.

IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU: EMI believes publishers are ignoring the chance to monetise music in games from new artists like Lilly Allen

of recorded music on PSOne games, through Dancing Stage to today’s Rock Band, Guitar Hero and SingStar franchises, and emerging platforms like the Tapulous iPhone app and

of course The Beatles: Rock Band. Games are a great way to generate revenue for artists and an exciting way to expose their music to new audiences.” www.emimusic.com

WARNER: A family-friendly take on the Lord Of The Rings licence, Aragorn’s Quest, will be released on Wii, DS, PS2 and PSP in Spring 2010. MAD CATZ: The peripherals specialist has teamed up with Activision Blizzard to produce officially-branded controllers and other accessories to complement Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 this November.

Need For Speed back on top, says EA ELECTRONIC ARTS believes Need For Speed: Shift will see the franchise reclaim its crown as king of the racers, after a disappointing showing in 2008. The company is preparing a major marketing plan to support the title when it hits PS3, Xbox 360, PSP and PC on September 18th. “Shift is a huge priority for EA,” product manager Kevin Flynn told MCV. “It will be treated to a triple-A launch campaign, as you would expect for such a prestigious title.

“We will be in all ATL areas with a significant TV campaign using a stunning high definition ad. We’ve been raising awareness of Shift for some time now and have had a presence at E3 and Cologne, as well as Gadget Show Live and the European Drifting Championships. “September 8th is only the beginning, however, and Shift will remain a priority through to Christmas this year.” Shift will be 2009’s ‘core’ entry in the racing franchise,

EA will market Shift to core Need For Speed racing fans

arriving ahead of new ‘casual’ racer Need For Speed: Nitro on Wii and DS. “We are confident that Shift will confirm Need For Speed as the premier racing franchise in the industry – it is a return to a quality and engaging racing game,” said Flynn. “With the racing pedigree and expertise of Slightly Mad Studios, combined with Black Box’s presentation skills, Shift should delight Need For Speed fans both old and new.” EA: 01483 463000

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Exspect celebrates official Sony deal Peripherals business delighted to be a part of 2009’s ‘PlayStation Christmas’  New products due next month by Christopher Dring GEM-OWNED accessories firm Exspect has heralded this week’s deal with SCEE a ‘significant milestone’ in the company’s development. The agreement will see Exspect launch a range of officially licensed screen

could be the biggest PlayStation Christmas for many years and also provides the market with the biggest new product range launch in the space,” he said. “These products will be available when PSPgo arrives and to a small extent we hope will play their part in the excitement around that launch.

The timing of this deal is critical. This could be the biggest PlayStation Christmas for years.

Neil Meredith, Exspect

protectors and cases for both PSP 3000 and PSPgo, with the first products due to hit shelves towards the end of next month. And Exspect’s commercial director Neil Meredith is excited at the prospect of being a part of the PSPgo’s launch on October 1st. “The timing of this launch is critical as we approach what

“Our main objective for this exercise is to demonstrate to SCEE and our partners that we understand the Sony consumer

and their needs by offering well designed, stylish products offering great value for money,” continued Meredith. “As a team we know we have delivered a compelling range of products that we can be very proud of. As a company that believes in, and focuses on, brands, we are a perfect partner for licensing partnerships in the accessory space.

“We see licensed accessory solutions for the PSPgo as a huge revenue attach opportunity for all channels and we feel confident that our range and offering will enable partners to have a great PSPgo launch.” The peripherals specialist is also optimistic that its partnership with SCEE will be the first of many.

“The expectation of style and quality in the product build runs deep within both our organisations and are cornerstones of both brands. “The initial reaction we are having from retailers and distributors across all PAL territories is very positive and we are excited about other initiatives in the pipeline too.” Exspect: 01282 684871

ON THE CASE: Exspect’s PSP add-ons will benefit from Sony’s Christmas plans

WEEK E H T F O N G I A CAMP FANTASY L A IN F IA ID S DIS

Square Enix unleashes an epic campaign to match the power of its upcoming PSP release Dissidia Final Fantasy, celebrating 20 years of the renowned RPG series…

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 4 FORMATS: PSP PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: SQUARE ENIX

Square Enix is working hard to make sure Dissidia Final Fantasy lives up to both gamers’ expectations and the strong performance of its predecessors. The marketing will also raise awareness of the Collector’s Edition, which features extra products such as a music CD and art book. PRINT Dissidia ads will run for three months across key specialist gaming and movie titles, including single page and double page ads, and unique breakout executions.

PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 7324 5200

TV A heavyweight TV advertising campaign is set

to run from launch, delivering an impactful 20second ad that Square Enix claims will target over two million 16 to 34 year-old males via key terrestrial and satellite channels. OUTDOOR An outdoor poster advertising campaign is set to run on the London Underground, engaging Square Enix’s target audience for two weeks after the game’s release. ONLINE Pre-release online advertising is already running, and is centred around a special online widget. This application can

be shared via leading social networking sites and keeps users fully engaged and upto-date with the game’s development. Content will be periodically released through this widget in the run-up to launch and beyond. Closer to the game’s release, online advertising

will feature creatives of various sizes and execution, including takeovers and rich media video on a range of gaming and movie websites. Square Enix will also be targeting relevant YouTube users with in-video advertising.


14 MCV 21/08/09

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MCV INTERVIEW STEPHEN MCGILL, ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR, MICROSOFT

MCGILL: Microsoft entertainment boss says that Halo 3: ODST is a ‘key title’ for the industry this year

You had us at Halo Microsoft’s flagship series returns next month with Halo 3: ODST. But can it be a global smash like its predecessor? James Batchelor grills Xbox boss Stephen McGill…

How important is Halo 3: ODST to innovative, high quality title. It was no Microsoft and to your Q4 plans? coincidence that following a great Halo 3: ODST is an absolutely key title showing at E3, Nielsen Media for us. As part of arguably one of the Research quoted Halo 3: ODST as the biggest video game, if not entertainment number one title that consumers should franchises of all time, Halo 3: ODST is very It’s no coincidence that after much something fans of E3, Nielsen Media Research blockbuster action titles quoted Halo 3: ODST as the are looking forward to. From a software top game to pre-order. publishing perspective Stephen McGill, Microsoft we’ve always believed in delivering the very best AAA pre-order in 2009. This has also been blockbuster gaming experiences, and reflected in the UK press: Recent Halo 3: ODST is no different, and we’re preview events have seen UK media extremely excited for the title. First off, incredibly excited and extremely it’s a Halo game in every sense of the positive about the title, so we know word, and we know that Bungie will there’s a huge amount of anticipation undoubtedly deliver another incredibly and excitement around the game.

Can ODST be the phenomenon Halo 3 was? I think Halo 3 had a unique moment in time – when it launched it truly was the biggest entertainment launch of all time, surpassing the biggest films and albums in terms of opening box office and day one numbers. Although overall market conditions are in a slightly different place today, we firmly believe Halo 3: ODST will be a fantastic success, and continue to drive the cultural phenomenon that is the Halo franchise. The title boasts an all new, fully comprehensive single player campaign, which puts fans in the shoes of an all new character from the Halo universe – that of an Orbital Drop


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MCV 21/08/09 15

MCV INTERVIEW STEPHEN MCGILL, ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR, MICROSOFT Shock Trooper. As part of the elite special forces that fight alongside the more familiar Master Chief, this offers a totally new and unique Halo experience. Firefight is also an all new game mode that we’re confident will resonate extremely well with both the established Halo core and newcomers to the franchise. Coupled with that, Halo 3: ODST also includes all of the Halo 3 multiplayer maps released to date as game add-ons on Xbox Live, as well as several new and exclusive maps.

phenomenon. We recently announced Halo Legends – a series of animated short films set in the Halo universe, helmed by the creators of some of the most imaginative and innovative anime movies of recent times. We’re also creating a Halo-specific experience on the Xbox Live dashboard called Halo Waypoint. This will house exclusive content and keep fans up to date with the latest happenings in the Halo universe – again, the first time we’ve done anything like this around a game

Fans will only be able to play the Halo: Reach Beta through the ODST disc. That’s a compelling reason to buy it. Stephen McGill, Microsoft

Halo 3 is still the most consistently played game on Xbox Live, so we know there is a very active and engaged audience out there hungry for more Halo experiences. Looking forward, what about Halo: Reach? How big a title can that be for you? Launching in 2010, Halo: Reach will be the next title from Bungie set in the Halo universe. We’re not talking too much about it right now, but we have confirmed there will be a multiplayer Beta launching ahead of the game’s release. The only way to access this beta will be through the Halo 3: ODST disc, so we feel there’s another extremely compelling reason for both fans and newcomers to the franchise to experience Halo 3: ODST. We saw the success of this mechanic with the Halo 3 multiplayer beta that came on the Crackdown game disc and the continued sales momentum and excitement generated around that title throughout its lifecycle, and we fully expect Halo 3: ODST to exceed that achievement. It’s a great way to extend the shelf life of the title at retail, and allows us to deliver some cool and creative sustained marketing activity around the game throughout 2010. In addition to the existing products available and the upcoming launch of ODST, there are even more reasons arriving in the coming months that cement Halo’s position as a true entertainment and cultural

title, and Halo 3: ODST is a great way title to kick this off. Trade and media buzz is extremely positive. Pre-orders are looking very healthy at the moment, so yes, we’re very excited.

Will the marketing rival that of Halo 3? What do you currently have planned? We’ve got an extremely robust and exciting marketing campaign in place that will do a great job of building and delivering the already incredible amount of consumer demand out there today. From a media perspective we’ve got a fantastic, highly targeted plan in place, including TV. A heavyweight online campaign in specialist media has already driven great pre-order momentum, and this will continue throughout the launch period, incorporating homepage takeovers and re-skinning of multiple specialist and men’s consumer online sites. Specialist print and men’s consumer print are comprehensively covered in the run-up to launch and beyond. TV is, of course, a critical part of the plan – we’ll be delivering multiple TVRs weighted throughout specific targeted programming, along with the takeover and sponsorship of select shows and programming events. Given the nature of the Halo 3: ODST

consumer and their appetite for all things Halo we’re also creating a compelling, interactive branded digital experience that supports the existing Halo content on Xbox.com. Retail buzz kicked off with the preorder mechanic – fans who pre-order the game will get an exclusive playable character in the form of Sgt Johnson – an unsung hero of the previous Halo games. This is the first time Bungie has done anything like this for one of their titles, and we ensured we had the standout POS to convey this messaging.

In the run-up to launch we’ve got a ton of cool and innovative POS, standees, posters and kiosk wraps ready to activate that will drive home the fact this is yet another blockbuster title from the Halo universe. As mentioned before, the PR campaign continues to gather momentum following off the back of an extremely impressive E3 showing and preview events. Media feedback has been incredibly positive so we feel great about the game meeting our quality expectations. As we near launch, PR will activate bespoke review events, multiple preview and review front cover features in the specialist press, promotions and features across national and consumer media, along with some very cool and exciting tactics to be announced soon. When it’s released on September 22nd, we’re aware we’ve got a fantastic opportunity to own consumer mindshare before we hit the more traditionally crowded release schedules later in the year. However, this gives us a great opportunity for a second burst of activity in the run-up to the critical Christmas buying period, along with the sustained marketing activity offered throughout 2010 with the launch of the Halo: Reach beta. Who is the target audience – established fans or newcomers? How will the game appeal to newcomers? We definitely feel both. As mentioned, existing Halo fans have an incredible appetite for all new content around the Halo universe. We know the anticipation for Halo 3: ODST around these guys is extremely high, and they’ll relish the chance to play both as an all new character and in a totally new game mode within the game. However, by including all of the Halo 3 multiplayer content released to date on the disc, and coupled with the fact you don’t need the original game to play them, we feel there’s a great opportunity to talk to consumers completely new to the franchise, and that Halo 3: ODST offers the perfect introduction to the Halo universe.


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Jul. Print Online Trade PR Promotion

Aug.

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Dec.


The european expert

in games Automated pick pack and ship operations Customisation ready for retail Point of sale packaging and assembly Product bundling Fast delivery to all european destinations Reverse logistics, product refurbishment, stock management, secure destruction

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Lee Patterson : lee@mpo.co.uk Keith Young : keith@mpo.co.uk www.mpointernational.com


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MCV 21/08/09 19

TERRITORY REPORT: GERMANY KEY RETAILERS Saturn, Media Markt, Amazon, Galeria Kaufhof, GameStop

Euro Currency

Berlin Capital LANGUAGE German

$44,660

82,060,000

GDP: (per capita)

Population

DISTRIBUTORS Groß Electronic Otto Group Playcom Software Vertriebs Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel Koch

Going Deutsch Germany is one of Europe’s video game powerhouses, home to one of the world’s biggest trade shows and the European base for publishing giants such as Nintendo. Christopher Dring takes a closer look at the German games market, its continued growth and the challenge surrounding its strict censorship laws…

THE GERMAN games market grew 14 per cent in terms of sales during 2008, with more than €1.5 billion spent on games in the territory last year. Although the economic downturn has had its impact, it was announced last week that Germany is one of the first countries to escape the recession and its games market is expected to grow even further this year (see German Efficiency) – particularly in terms of software sales. “The German games industry is able to look back on an unprecedented success story,” says MD of the German Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment (BIU) Olaf Wolters. “With constant double-digit growth figures, it has developed into the dynamo of the

media industry over the last few years. More than 55 million games passed over the counters last year – more than ever before. Drivers for growth in recent years are clearly the latest console systems – Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony Playstation 3 – as well as the handhelds Nintendo DSi and Sony PSP.” Sales director for Koch Germany Dietmar Toenges adds: We are in a very fortunate position in Germany in that the recession has not really reached the games market in the same way as it has other areas of consumer purchasing. The sales figures for computer and video games are still at an acceptable level at the moment.” Germany has always been at the heart of the European games industry. For years the


20 MCV 21/08/09

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TERRITORY REPORT: GERMANY

GERMAN EFFICIENCY: FORECAST FIGURES 2008 actual

2009 forecast

Year on year growth %

Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.0m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -4.3% Xbox 360. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.3m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -18.7% PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.5m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.6m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.2% Software value ¤m Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.6% Xbox 360. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120m. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2% PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15.0% Installed base market share Wii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51% Xbox 360. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22% PS3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27% © Screen Digest, 2009

country has been the base for Nintendo and Konami’s European operations, it has housed some of the continent’s top development talent, such as Crytek, and even plays host to Europe’s biggest video games trade show. In fact, it is the country’s location that has been a major benefit to its continued success. “Geography works to our advantage,” offers Iris Ludolf, international operations director for German-based localisation specialist Partnertrans. “Not only is the country fairly small compared to the US, which brings people close together, but being located in the heart of Europe has its advantages in dealing with international contacts.” Although console sales are high in Germany, the territory’s growth has largely been for PC gaming. And not just PC boxed products either; the country has become a serious player in the MMO market too. “Although the German market is primarily focused on PC gaming, this year it has been rather stagnant and Germany is rapidly becoming Europe’s leading MMOG developer and publisher,” explains Marie-Laurence Amigues, executive president of localisation firm Anakan. “Other important game platforms are still rather neglected in this region and

compared to last year Anakan has localized fewer DS games.” Ludolf agrees: “I think Germany is not much different from other countries. We follow the trends like everyone else, we have even heard about those nextgen console thingies. “Right now, browser and online games are the big thing here in Germany. The German companies Bigpoint and Gameforge are the pioneers in that sector and both companies have grown massively since the early days.” VIOLENT DEBATE

Despite the growth and success, there are still many obstacles facing games in Germany. The country has always adopted strict policies on violent video games, but this has intensified further following shootings in a German school in March – shootings which were linked to both Counter-Strike and Far Cry 2. “There is an issue with what are widely known in Germany as ‘killer games,’ continues Ludolf. “Unfortunately, the overzealous press is always quick to attribute teen violence, especially very rare killing sprees, to the killers playing violent computer games. I think Counter-Strike is a word 90 per

cent of Germans know, even if only from the press. And as there is always another election just around the corner, politicians are happy to jump on the bandwagon and demand stricter ratings or even banning all remotely violent games from shelves altogether.” Toenges adds: “We agree that young people should not be exposed to images

per cent in terms of retail and online sales to $3.7 billion (excluding hardware). However, although games certainly boost the country’s economy, the German Government has yet to offer the sector the level of support seen in Canada or the UK. “Germany is still not the first choice for European headquarters when it comes to international games companies,” Being located in the heart of concludes Amiques. Europe has its advantages “A lot of potential when it comes to dealing with investment and business international contacts. opportunities are lost in this way. When it comes to Iris Ludolf, Partnertrans the German studio sector, that are unsuitable for their age. for example, there is a lot of diversion of However, video games are an development resources into cheaper or entertainment product in the same way subsidised territories. that movies are an entertainment “One can still notice a rather strong product. A reliable and robust rating presence of the social stigma attached to system for all games should prevent video games in Germany, which was young people from experiencing content recognised as a valid media industry aimed at adults.” only last year. Governmental and Although the concern over violent academic support for the games industry software in Germany has dominated is quite limited. headlines around the world, the “The level of support from national territory’s games market is a strong one and regional governments and public that continues to grow. funds should be more substantial. This According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ could prevent large publishers relocating Global Entertainment and Media Outlook to subsidised territories, and qualified 2009-2013, the market will grow five labour migrating with them.”


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24 MCV 21/08/09

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TRADE UPDATE

European Champions ELSPA boss Michael Rawlinson believes that Gamescom is the perfect place to catch up with the body’s continental counterparts...

ELSPA NEWS UK CHART: Codemasters’ Ashes Cricket 2009 has become the first game from a British publisher to top the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 for two years. The last title to achieve the feat was Eidos’ Battlestations Midway in early 2007. DIGITAL CHART: An ELSPA forum took place on Wednesday, July 29th in which publisher bosses discussed the possibility of setting up a download-only chart. GfK-ChartTrack told MCV that it was keen to implement the chart ‘as soon as possible’ – but MCV understands it has met resistance from one or more US portals.

ELSPA representatives will meet with trade bodies from France, Germany, Italy and other European countries at Gamescom this week

GAMESCOM in Cologne is a great opportunity for ELSPA to meet with its European counterparts – the other trade bodies that are part of ISFE. It’s an opportunity to share experiences and to align our approaches on particular policy issues for the benefit of the industry as a whole. These include age classification, IP protection, the tax issues, skills and so on. I do not want to revisit PEGI here – we’ve discussed that plenty on these pages – but there were a couple of countries waiting to see what Britain would do when it came to a decision on game classification before acting themselves. Now we’re on the road to getting PEGI backed by law here, countries such as France and Italy can move forward with their own governments. We’ll also look at how different markets understand and perceive games. The UK

industry does not face the same level of hostility as, say, Germany – where there’s a very strong call for violent or ‘killer’ games to be banned. Thankfully, we live in a more tolerant society that does not single out ‘adult’ in a different way to other forms of entertainment. As the first games trade organisation in Europe – and, indeed, the world – ELSPA is

years’ research into the use of games by teachers were presented. There were five territories around Europe that featured in that research, and we’ll be talking with our fellow colleagues about how we can further drive the use of standard and bespoke games in the classroom. In the beginning when the industry was trying to establish a relationship with

We’ve got a lot to share with our colleagues from Europe – not least how we’ve approached the Government. Michael Rawlinson, ELSPA

perfectly placed to lead and encourage this sort of discussion and debate. Another thing we are sure to touch on is the use of games in education. There was a conference back in May, SchoolsNet Project, at which the results of two

the UK Government, it was about being heard. Now we don’t shout and make demands, we offer solutions that help the industry and Government. Now we build a strategy and campaign which involves talking to political advisors and civil servants

behind the scenes, as well as Ministers themselves. We’ve got a lot to share with our colleagues around Europe about how to build those relationships with their own governments. Talking of Europe, we have some strong contacts and supporters in the European Parliament. New Europe Minister Glenys Kinnock and Michael Cashman MEP have both been great defenders of our industry and supported our campaign for PEGI. Gamescom is a great opportunity for the European games trade bodies to come together and discuss the burning issues affecting all of us in this business. Once again we will be sitting around the table together, speaking the same language and helping one another. This is something we hope to be doing more often – two, three or four times a year going forward.

GRADUATES: Director General of ELSPA Michael Rawlinson has called on the Government to encourage more young people into science and maths degrees to maintain Britain’s leading position in the digital economy. Rawlinson addressed the Westminster Media Forum’s seminar, Priorities for Digital Britain, on Thursday, July 9th – focusing on the future role of the gaming industry in Britain. MERGER: ELSPA has batted away suggestions that it and development trade body TIGA should merge. The suggestion came from top Tory MP and shadow Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey. 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 Government. However, for the moment the two groups often have different perspectives, so it is perfectly reasonable that they are represented by different organisations.” NEW COMMITTEE: The Government is to create an all-new ‘video games committee’ – featuring crossdepartmental representatives. The decision was a result of ELSPA’s first formal meeting with new Minister for Creative Industries Siôn Simon in July.


WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 25

TRADE UPDATE

A day in the life… EA boss and ELSPA board member Keith Ramsdale on the body’s day-to-day duties…

FULL LIST OF MEMBERS 505 Games Activision Blizzard

How often do ELSPA meetings take place – and in what forms? Every four to six weeks, for three or four hours, usually at the ELSPA offices. Have you noticed more engagement with Government from ELSPA in the last 12 months – and do you feel your concerns are being heard? Yes to both. ELSPA is having frequent and regular meetings with Government officials, Ministers and politicians. ELSPA’s strategy is to use a public affairs consultant for this specific area of expertise which we don’t have in-house – and this allows me to call out our very strong political advisor who has helped us navigate the Westminster corridors. In our ELSPA Board meetings, the policy agenda is normally our first item for discussions and can often take up most of the meeting. We are here to represent the industry’s needs and right now the Government holds some important keys to unlock the answers for those needs. Most of the Board members have been directly involved with senior politicians and I have personally had a number of meets with various Secretaries of State and Ministers as well as the supporting departments. This

problems that have been discussed by the board in recent months? The Ashes are getting a good airing right now, much to Mr. Yarnton’s frustration and torment! But to be frank we only have time to cover the critical and pressing issues. Mike and his team manage the smaller matters on a daily basis. Clearly a key agenda point is what our digital future looks like and what that means for us all. We are starting to have a good picture of the key areas to address.

RAMSDALE: EA boss says that ELSPA meets are “anything but an old boys club”

I have never seen a single act of selfishness. Andy Payne is a formidable Chairman. He has the rare ability of allowing everyone their voice but moving the agenda along effectively. He is often bizarre and always very, very funny. But above all he steers the Board to conclusions

Keith Ramsdale, EA

How would you characterise the average ELSPA meet? First off we are there to represent the industry and not our individual companies.

CD Team CDV Software Capcom CentreSoft Codemasters D3Publisher of Europe Disney Interactive Studios Eidos Electronic Arts Fidelity Investment Services Focus Multimedia Fox Point Capital Management Frontier Future Publishing GAME Group Gamebridge Hasbro Intent Media

I have never seen a single act of selfishness at ELSPA. There is disagreement, but decisions are made on merit.

has certainly been an education and while somewhat intimidating at the start it became clear very quickly that if you are straight with them and offer clear fact-based solutions, they listen.

Avanquest Software

extremely well. There is nearly always disagreement and debate but a decision is always made on merit after that debate. Our industry and its future is complex and it is the debate that is a necessity for us to formulate a sensible direction. Every member is allowed their voice. We tend to discuss more about that complex future and less about the here and now.

What benefits do ELSPA member lunches offer? I think one of ELSPA’s shortcomings has been communicating with our members. We are not in ELSPA just for our own businesses; we are there for the industry yet we have failed to tell the industry what we are doing. We have recognised this and these interviews are one small part of the solution. I would encourage members to join our lunches and especially the AGM. Do you glean any useful ideas for the running of your own business from these meets? Not really. The discussion points aren’t about learning commercial advantages from each other. The agendas are built on regulatory and strategic industry-wide matters. We hear lots about the major issues at ELSPA (tax breaks, piracy, PEGI, skillset etc), but could you name some more minor

Please describe an average ‘day in the life’ for you as an ELSPA board member... Train to London, coffee and a takeaway bacon roll. Our ‘hellos’ are normally accompanied with a decent round of abuse and then it’s down to business. Andy chairs and gets us through the agenda. Mike Rawlinson gives a briefing on the agenda point and the debate starts. I should say here that I think the world of Mike. He has settled straight into the leadership chair with a flourish. I don’t know if the industry takes the Board and management seriously and to be honest before I got involved I didn’t either. I saw it as one of those ‘old boys’ clubs and other than the fact that some of the Board are indeed quite old (!) it is anything but. Our only treat is a coffee and the odd chocolate digestive. It’s always insightful, engaging and valuable and I get to spend a few hours a great bunch of very smart people.

Intuit Kingdon Capital Management Koch Media Koei Konami Lago SRL Lovells LucasArts Majesco Europe Manches Mastertronic Microsoft Midas Interactive Namco Bandai Games Europe NCSoft Europe Nintendo UK Nordic Games Publishing Oxygen Interactive PlayV Rising Star Games Roxio Sega Europe SCEE Sony DADC Square Enix Symantec (UK) THQ International Take Two The Game Factory The Stationery Office Twentieth Century Fox Ubisoft Warner Bros Zenimax Europe /Bethesda Zushi Games

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FUTURE PUBLISHING

Looking to the Future It’s been a dramatic week for Future, following the closure of PSW and its decision not to release six-monthly ABC figures. Christopher Dring speaks to publishing director James Binns…

So why have you decided not to release ABC figures this time? We have not ABC’d this half year, which is in context with what we’ve been doing in the PC games market already. Instead we will be publishing full year figures for January to December ‘09 at the start of 2010 On a company-wide level we’ve made the decision to only ABC three of our titles from our UK portfolio. It’s mainly a cost saving measure; it costs a lot of money to audit and we thought the money would be better spent driving our titles. Not many games publishers would think that the January to June period was representative of their software sales.

BINNS: Future’s publishing director believes on-console media is primed to enjoy a boom period

What other cost cutting measures are you looking at? We are being very careful across the business. And the teams are having to work harder than they ever have before. Make no mistake, we’re feeling the same economic wind as everyone else. That has meant that PlayStation World has had to face closure this month.

FUTURE PUBLISHING Publications Official Nintendo Magazine Official PlayStation Magazine Official Xbox 360 Magazine NGamer PSM3 Xbox World 360 Gamesmaster Edge PC Zone PC Gamer Computerandvideogames.com Gamesradar.com Publisher James Binns Ad Manager Poorvi Smith Telephone: 01225 442244

Might you have to close more? We’re feeling pretty good about our portfolio. What we are trying to achieve is the number one and two position in every sector. We operate in five sectors: multiformat, PC, Xbox, Nintendo and PlayStation. We have number one or two positions in most of the markets and it’s neck-and-neck in terms of Xbox and PlayStation.

have been great. Edge celebrated its 200th issue, and that was an amazing success. Top sales grew by 60 per cent, and we were delighted by the feedback from our clients. Specialist media is always more resilient in an economic downturn as it’s about not about a general thing – it’s all about your hobby.

We’ve actually had an

What is your online amazing half-year. On some strategy for the future? of our titles, an ABC figure Our web strategy is pretty would have been great. much the same as everyone else’s. Drive James Binns audience, drive unique users and turn it into a successful platform to market Are there different challenges facing products. CVG and Gamesradar have games media than lifestyle mags? never been better than they are now. The best mags and websites are We’ll develop Edge Online more over specialist, and they have a more loyal the next year. readership. If you are about girls and football and have a games page in the Which mags have performed well back, you’re not really about anything. for you this half year? Gaming is still poorly treated by the We’ve had an amazing half-year actually. mainstream media. There are no games On some of these titles, an ABC would TV shows and games media in

newspapers is limited. So for a gaming fix, the specialist magazines are the only way to go. Do you anticipate any major changes in the games media over the 12 months? The biggest changes will be the drive behind on-console media. We are already putting content onto Xbox Live with our Official Xbox brand and there’s a lot more to come.

How have you adapted to meet ‘new’ gamers? The games that drive success at retail are still games for engaged consumers. GTA, FIFA, PES, Call of Duty, Halo, Mario, Sonic, World of Warcraft, Sims and so forth. Really the products we make are bought by core gamers, and we haven’t redesigned our products to chase after the ‘super-puppy-girlcheerleader’ audience. We have to make sure we are about the games that our consumers buy.


MEDIA SPECIAL 30 MCV 21/08/09

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IMAGINE PUBLISHING Imagine’s games portfolio continues to grow, following the online launch of Now Gamer. Christopher Dring speaks to the publisher’s editor-in-chiefs Rick Porter and Nick Jones…

Imagine that Jones (left) and Porter (right) believe Imagine is well equipped to deal with the technological evolution of video games journalism

IMAGINE PUBLISHING Publications 360 X360 Play PowerStation Retro Gamer Total PC Gaming GamesTM NowGamer.com Publisher Damian Butt Ad Manager James Haley Telephone 01202 586200

What are your thoughts on the ABC results? Nick Jones: With a decent first half of the year for game releases, it’s not a surprise that the Xbox mags have shown a slight improvement over this period. We’re especially pleased that 360 has responded to its move to a threeweek frequency and is now selling better than The ever before. Rick Porter: Imagine’s titles continue to perform well. I’m extremely pleased with what’s been achieved.

Facebook, or whatever – and the passion this industry has for its subject matter ensures we move with the times. The coming year will be no different, and while mags that have a dedicated following will continue to deliver to the core, innovation and competition online will be greater than ever.

role of ‘games journalist’ has changed rapidly. It’s almost unrecognisable from what it was ten years ago.

In what ways has the games media changed for you so far this year? RP: Over recent years I’ve seen the video game industry embrace every opportunity offered up by breakthroughs in information technology. If you want to appeal to the masses then every avenue needs to be explored to its fullest – be it through blogging, Twitter,

Nick Jones, Imagine

Have ‘new gamers’ had much of an impact on your publications? RP: Thanks to demographic changes, our roles have shifted from largely informing those already invested in gaming to reporting everything to everyone. There will always be a need to provide for the core gamers out there – but it’s now just as important to serve the newcomers and those with a passing interest. Imagine is fully equipped to deliver to the swelling number of gamers, no matter what their tastes.

NJ: There has been rapid change to the role of ‘games journalist’ over the last couple of years. It’s almost unrecognisable from what it was ten years ago. Games journalists have to be all-round broadcasters these days, able to write for a monthly publication, write a daily blog and use Twitter, as well as produce podcasts and present internet TV shows.

NJ: I wouldn’t say that games print media necessarily has to change – it’ll never move outside its core audience – but maybe mainstream media does. Online is a different story. Your audience has the potential to be far wider. If games websites are prepared to talk to these new gamers on their level, then they’ll reap the benefits. Which is why one of NowGamer’s edicts is to write for all gamers.

RESULTS AT A GLANCE Title June 2009 December 2008 June 2008 360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,518 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12,939 ...............................................................................13,007 X360 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,092 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,068 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30,203


NEWS NETWORK SPECIAL REPORT – 360 GAMER:16,527

360 GAMER surpasses 23,800 sales per month et again 360 GAMER announces a successful ABC result! Since its launch in October 2005, 360 GAMER magazine has gone from strength to strength, boasting year-on-year growth ever since. 360 GAMER serves up Xbox 360 game reviews, previews, exciting features and prompt insider news – every three weeks. It’s edited by industry veteran Simon Phillips, “It’s been a joy to have played a small part in the continued success of 360 GAMER. The last six months have been a tremendously challenging time for videogame magazines, so it’s testament to the hard work and dogged determination of Uncooked Media that it has weathered this storm so well. I look forward to seeing the magazine continue to perform above and beyond everyone’s expectations in that all-important run-up to Christmas.” Now the Xbox 360 is set to hit more of the mainstream than ever before! After initially establishing itself firmly

Y

amongst core gamers, Project Natal is set to take that strategy to the next stage, which is great news for the magazine. 360 GAMER’s well-travelled deputy editor, Ian Collen, has the enviable task of playing all the games as soon as the code is ready, “The great thing about being an entirely independent magazine is that we’re always free to give coverage to the games we want to see and what we think gamers really want to read about.” His role frequently takes him around the world, and no place is too far if it means the mag has the first hands-on with an exciting new game release. The mag can be found in WHSmith, Tesco, Asda and independent newsagents – plus all HMV outlets that take magazines. Don’t forget that if you’re on the move and want to fulfil your Xbox 360 fix, then you’ll find 360 GAMER in newsagents at all major airports and motorway services. And when you’re online, there’s complimentary content at 360-gamer.com and its sister-site Gamer.tm.

14,830 360 23,581 X-360

22,661 360 GAMER UK monthly newsstand sales of ABC-audited titles

At Uncooked Media we aim for 360 GAMER to genuinely enthuse consumers about games. We always expect to improve at what we’re doing, and many would argue it’s one of the best indie publications around. A games magazine’s job is to help the consumer with their purchasing decisions, and the evolving gamers influence how we target that information. But in terms of product reviews and ratings, that same simple principle applies – you can’t beat a good honest independent videogame magazine like 360 GAMER!

INDUSTRY INSIDERS… “We’re really pleased with the four-cover promotion we did with 360 GAMER for Batman Arkham Asylum in May. It gave the title excellent stand-out and coverage and I’m sure will compliment our marketing for Batman brilliantly” PAUL BENJAMIN, PRODUCT MANAGER, EIDOS INTERACTIVE

“We were Àrst in the queue at WHSmith the day 360 Gamer’s Borderlands cover-issue hit, and we were absolutely thrilled with the results. The foil treatment really stood out on the shelves, and the top-notch visual quality was mirrored by the professionally-penned feature within. Hats off to the 360 Gamer team on a great job, and an excellent magazine.” - SIMON TURNER, UK MARKETING MANAGER, 2K GAMES

IT’S OFFICIAL

88

5

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GROWTH SINCE LAUNCH

Editorial Enquiries: Simon Phillips / 07968 894949 / simon@360-gamer.com To Advertise: Rob Cox / 01202 606390 / rob@uncookedmedia.com Retailers should contact WMMD 01217 883112 to stock the magazine


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UNCOOKED MEDIA

Cooking up a storm Uncooked Media’s games portfolio may be small in comparison to its rivals, but its single print magazine was the only publication to post yearon-year growth in last week’s ABC results. Christopher Dring speaks to sales director Tarik Alozdi on 360 Gamer’s triumph and his hopes for the future…

UNCOOKED MEDIA Publication(s): 360 Gamer, 360-gamer.com, gamer.tm Editor: Simon Phillips Ad Manager: Rob Cox Telephone: 01202 606389

What are your thoughts on the latest ABC results for 360 Gamer? For 360 Gamer the number has grown again year-on-year. The magazine’s core strengths have not changed, and the same mix applies. And, as we’re coming into that more release-heavy time of the year, we should now see growth in the ABC number again by Christmas. Our rival magazines might position themselves closer to 360 Gamer from time to time as an attempt to neutralise the magazine’s competitive advantages. But this just reveals how successfully 360 Gamer targets gamers. For instance, in January this year another Xbox 360 magazine dropped its coverprice and went to a three-weekly frequency on a schedule to coincide with 360 Gamer’s street dates. However, the gulf has widened during this period, with 360 Gamer’s ABC now clearing 360 Magazine’s by 5,000 readers. So this is a good 47 per cent higher, compared to 39 per cent clearance last period. And this basically proves which magazine Xbox 360 gamers prefer to read.

Alozdi discusses his faith in the printed medium and points to recent ABC success as proof of 360 Gamer’s ability to secure readers

What are your thoughts on the current state of games magazines? When games consumers want bang upto-date news and statistics, they can use any number of websites that are out there – including our own of course. So in that case, print magazines should always present coverage to their readers in an entertaining and exciting way that online media simply does not. It can’t be underestimated – printed media is still way ahead of online in terms of convenience and accessibility. It’s true websites are delivering a lot of page impressions for advertisers, but how much of the content is being enjoyed and absorbed in the same way as readers who have purchased a magazine?

that had much of an impact on your publication so far? The Xbox 360 is hitting more of the mainstream than ever before after initially establishing itself firmly amongst the core gamer community. Project Natal is set to take that strategy to the next stage, which is great for 360 Gamer. We can continue to explore new distribution channels, and in terms of product appeal there’s even more choice for our front covers, for the features, and it just allows us to be more creative with it and enjoy publishing all the more.

The demographic of games players has changed greatly over the last few years, with younger and older consumers getting involved. Has

What are your plans for the future of 360 Gamer magazine? Considering the growth in mainstream consumers, will you be looking at changing how

you rate and review video games moving forward? At Uncooked Media, we aim for 360 Gamer to genuinely enthuse consumers about video games. We always expect to improve at what we’re doing, and many would argue it’s one of the best independent publications around. To some extent any video games magazine’s job is to help the consumer with their purchasing decisions. And, as those gamers evolve, that influences how the publication targets them with information. But in terms of product reviews and ratings, that same simple principle applies – you can’t beat a good honest independent video games magazine like 360 Gamer.

RESULTS AT A GLANCE Title June 2008 December 2008 June 2009 360 Gamer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18.073 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,527


MEDIA SPECIAL 34 MCV 21/08/09

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ONLINE SPECIALISTS

A web of

change Print magazines may grab the headlines during ABC week, but it is the online players that are seeing the biggest changes. Christopher Dring takes a closer look… THE ONLINE games media continues to grow and evolve at an alarming rate. Print publications certainly still have their place, but for up-to-date news, features and analysis, the internet is the only place for gamers to go – and the continued success of giants such as GameSpot, IGN, Eurogamer and Gamesradar is testament to this. However, the online games media space is a congested world to inhabit. Alongside the big boys, there is a wealth of equally successful blogs and sites, from Kikizo to VG247, past Now Gamer and Kotaku. And standing out from the crowd is one of the biggest challenges facing the online media today. Kikizo’s director Adam Doree explains: “On the ad-driven publishing side, the online landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, and survival for small publishers can be tricky. “Kikizo has been around for 11 years in one form or other, but doing things the old way no longer works – there’s so much noise out there it needs to be about more than just great content.” Gary Swanston, managing partner of Yukay Media, which looks after a series of sites, agrees: “Entering a market that is dominated by a number of big players has been the key challenge for us. “Getting people away from their tried and tested partners and convincing them to utilise new channels is what we have needed to do and have been successfully doing through PR, marketing, recruiting new sites and offering something new; by utilising the strength of that website, it’s individual user base and its editorial team’s passion.”

The sheer quantity of websites meant gamers were spoilt for choice in terms of E3 coverage back in June. The games media was well prepared for one of the biggest E3s in years, with websites running blogs, video feeds and instant analysis, while others were quick to type up news to ensure they got their cut of the E3 traffic. However, although amateur websites continue to crop up, Eurogamer’s MD Rupert Loman feels that the market has saturated and that we won’t be seeing any big new sites anytime soon. “I think most magazines and websites have found their place in the market and I don’t anticipate there being many significant new launches,” he says. “A few smaller publications will go out of business but it seems like most sites and magazines are happy to be holding their own and everyone’s gearing up for a busy Q4 and Q1.” CASUAL CONNECT

One of the key challenges for the online games media is capitalising on the growth in mainstream gamers. Print publications appeal to the core consumers, who are willing to spend money on their hobby. However, online has a much broader audience. So how have the big web players adapted to the rise in the casual consumer? “Part of the beauty of our offering is that there’s a breadth of sites that targets different demographics,” says Swanston. “We have the likes of Pocketgamer, a respected website that targets the casual gamer with its mobile and handheld

The growth in mainstream consumers means that the likes of Kikizo are looking to evolve its offering

The games playing audience has changed dramatically over the last year and the games media needs to quickly adapt in order to survive and grow. Justin Keeling, IGN

focus, and outside of gaming, the likes of DailyMotion.com, a recognised leader in the online video entertainment space.” “Put simply, we don’t look to recruit any old website, but are constantly looking to extend and evolve our reach.” Doree adds: “The changing face of the games market has had a definite of impact on our business. “In terms of the casual market, our April launch of FlytrapGames.com with AOL is one direct response. The wealth of free and paid casual games – whether in browsers, on Facebook or iPhone – has helped put us ahead of the curve in reaching the gamer who’s too busy for epic console games.” Indeed, the games market has evolved drastically over recent years, and the games media is having to respond, with several exciting developments expected to occur over the coming months. IGN Europe’s general manager Justin Keeling concludes: “There’s no doubting that gamers have changed dramatically and the games media needs to quickly adapt in order to survive and grow. “It’s important to recognise that even the core users are consuming media differently. It’s simply no longer relevant to refer to hardcore or casual gamers; the market is much more complex and we’re developing both new standalone products and re-engineering current site features to better reflect that complexity. “This is a very dynamic sector and publishers need to listen closely to their own users to ensure their own continued relevance.”


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Publisher: Bethesda Softworks LLC Developer: Artificial Mind & Movement Platforms: Xbox 360速 /PLAYSTATION速3 system

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MARKETING HIG

TV • OUTDOOR • PRINHLIGHTS T • ONLINE TV A heavyweight TV cam paign, will be executed from launch, supportin g retail until Decembe r. Sponsored Cult Week end, at launch. Programming highli ghts to include, Kill Bill, Heat and Desparado . 30" & 20" spots will run from launch, acros s key channels for one month. 3 month SCI FI chan nel Sponsorship, with Dollhouse, featuring , Eliza Dushku from October - December.

OUTDOOR 2 week National Bus campaign at launch, targeting all major co nurbations.

PRINT A comprehensive tw o month print campaig n, utilising single and do uble page executions , will run in specialist and lifestyle print.

ONLINE An extensive online campaign, is core to the marketing activity, an d begins with a preawareness viral camp aign, followed by banners and takeove rs across key speciali st and mainstream sites, running until October.

wet.bethsoft.com

WET™ © 2009 Artificial Mind and Movement Inc. Published by Bethesda Softworks LLC, a ZeniMax Media company. Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax and related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. WET and related logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Artificial Mind and Movement Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. All Rights Reserved. “ “, “PLAYSTATION”, “PS3“ and “ “ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


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MCV 21/08/09 39

PERSONNEL

Freeform.London. expands digital team Design agency recruits Downie and Darwish  Empire’s Ewen joins Majesty House  Zeebo recruits Yuen FREEFORM.LONDON  The design agency has continued to boost its numbers with the appointments of JOHN DOWNIE and LAILA DARWISH. Downie takes up the head of digital role, overseeing the latest addition to Freeform’s new digital offering. He will work on client briefs for digital media services across web, multimedia and video. He held similar responsibilities in his previous position at YardPartners, where he gained experience in creating and implementing digital solutions and strategies

Fresh blood comes to Freeform: John Downie and Laila Darwish

for a variety of consumer products. Darwish joins the design team, boasting plenty of experience from her time at a range of major theatrical creative agencies. She has worked on design creative for

iconic films that include One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Jaws. “Laila’s extensive theatrical knowledge and experience is a real asset to our team,” said Freeform’s head of creative, VINCE NEWLAND.

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MAJESTY HOUSE  PETER EWEN has joined Majesty House, parent of Midas Interactive and Ghostlight, as account manager. He previously worked as national account manager at now defunct publisher Empire Interactive, as well as gaining sales experience at FMCG, BP, Castrol and Mitsubishi. He will now be responsible for UK sales for both Midas and Ghostlight. ZEEBO  MIKE YUEN has left his position at the telecommunications specialist

Qualcomm to join Zeebo, the Brazilian wireless games console, with which he worked extensively in his previous role. As senior vice president of worldwide content and services, he will be instrumental in the pan-Brazilian roll out scheduled for the device this autumn, as well as future launches in other countries. “I feel lucky and honoured to have been part of the incredible Qualcomm experience,” said Yuen. “And if the situation presents itself, I certainly look forward to working together again as I begin my new role with Zeebo.”


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WET P44 Bethesda launches an original IP that mixes swordplay and gun fights CLOUDY WITH MEATBALLS P46 Ubisoft brings Sony Pictures Animations’ latest movie to consoles everywhere WACKY WORLD OF SPORTS P47 Sega explores the world’s weirdest sports for its latest mini-game collection ACADEMY OF CHAMPIONS P48 Legendary footballer Pelé teams up with Ubisoft in this Wii exclusive release CHAMPIONS ONLINE P50 Atari invites player to don their tights in this new superhero MMO MAHJONGG: ANCIENT MAYAS P51 Rising Star offers puzzle fans another entry point into addictive Mahjongg gaming SPACE INVADERS EXTREME 2 P51 Square Enix revisits an arcade classic, with a musical twist keeping the gameplay fresh

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX Nintendo’s Professor Layton returns to stimulate gamers with a spot of lateral thinking in his second DS adventure, Pandora’s Box... P42

NEW RELEASES P52 MCV provides a rundown of all the games waiting to be placed on your shelves HIGH STREET P54 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, and check retail prices


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The old favourites are back with new inventive puzzles, more dazzling cut-scenes and incredible intrigue

There’s murder afoot, but it’s not enough to sour the highly anticipated return of Nintendo’s Professor Layton as he seeks out one of history’s most dangerous relics… by James Batchelor

compelling storyline that gave brain teasers context. It’s a formula that millions of gamers worldwide took an instant shine to, with the title racking up impressive sales in all major territories. Demand for more rose, and Nintendo has promptly

designed to encourage lateral thinking in gamers, with clever but not THROUGH ITS Touch Generations necessarily obvious solutions to all of titles, Nintendo has expanded the them. Puzzles are controlled with the audience of the DS beyond the stylus, making for a comfortable system traditional hardcore handheld followers that can be played anywhere, be it on and into the mainstream. Over the past the couch at home or on the daily few years, tales of the commute. success Brain Training As with the original, There are more than 150 continues to build upon gamers are not required to puzzles in the new game. have become commonplace tackle every puzzle they They encourage lateral and countless publishers encounter in order to thinking, with clever but not have tried to tap into the complete the game and same market by offering solve the mystery. While necessarily obvious solutions. more cerebral experiences key teasers will be for the gamer on the go. responded with the first of two sequels. mandatory if they wish to progress, the Nintendo raised the bar once again Entitled Professor Layton and Pandora’s majority of puzzles will be optional. for such titles with Professor Layton Box, the game holds true to everything If players miss a puzzle on their and The Curious Village, released last that made the original such a smash hit, journey, it will end up in Granny’s November. As well as providing deeper while bringing in plenty of fresh puzzles Shack, where they can attempt any of puzzles than those found in Dr to satisfy fans’ insatiable appetites. the game’s challenges over and over to Kawashima’s titles, the game wove There are more than 150 puzzles in their heart’s content. Also, following the them into a rich narrative, creating a the new game. Once again, they are all example of The Curious Village, fresh

puzzles will be available for download via wi-fi every week after the game has been released. In addition to the puzzles, Pandora’s Box also introduces a number of minigames that can be accessed through the Professor’s bottomless trunk. These can range from guiding a hamster around a chessboard to brewing the perfect cup of tea, and items collected throughout the rest of the game will be incorporated into these, providing gamers with new solutions. Connecting these puzzles is a gripping storyline flavoured with murder. Professor Layton receives a letter from his mentor, Dr Schrader, who


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MCV 21/08/09 43

has discovered an artefact known as the Elysian Box, which is said to kill anyone who dares to open it. As Layton and his young apprentice Luke arrive at the man’s home, they find two things: the Doctor’s dead body and a ticket for the Molentary Express. THE EXPRESS TRAIN TO MURDER

Professor Layton and Luke start the adventure by getting on a train to look for a killer

Boarding this elegant train in search of the killer, the two heroes travel to a fictional European countryside, visiting a variety of villages and speaking with the locals to discover anything that will help them find the box. Once again, players wander the train and other locations with the stylus,

tapping objects and people to interact with them. Doing so is the best way to uncover new puzzles, items and find the answers to the mystery. Major storyline events are still told through charming full-motion animated videos, with quality voice acting that vividly brings the characters to life. Since this feature proved to be so popular in the original, Pandora’s Box boasts more voice work and movie scenes than The Curious Village, promising an even more complex and well-developed storyline. Nintendo will be heavily promoting this throughout Q4 in all forms of media, raising awareness of the sequel

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985

to the colossal audience already gathered by the first game. The recognisable brand of Professor Layton will ensure plenty of interest from both loyal Nintendo fans and more casual DS owners, while bundling opportunites will more than likely see Pandora’s Box drive sales for the handheld in the run-up to Christmas.


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RETAILBIZ: WET WWW.MCVUK.COM

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Bethesda sets the scene for A2M’s original IP Wet, an acrobatic adventure that combines swordplay and gunfights… by James Batchelor

along walls, firing and slashing all the time. It’s a combination of gameplay styles the developer is particularly proud of. “We started creating a prototype with a highly acrobatic character,” explains Winkler. “We referenced a great deal of Parkour actions and drew inspiration from acrobatic street performers. While we had a large variety of moves in the mix we felt that there was still something missing. “Then the idea of shooting with dual pistols during these actions came up. We took one of the moves – specifically running on walls – and implemented a basic shooting mechanic to test the waters.

When this happens, the screen goes blood red and hell is unleashed in a BETHESDA’S WET is a highly-stylised frenzy of violence. Every kill counts and over-the-top third-person shooter for more and enemies die in even featuring a hot new character and more gruesome ways, melting and breathtaking fight scenes from start to exploding in front of you. These are finish. Developed by A2M, Wet blends intense and draining set-pieces in a gunplay and sword skills with game that is destined to shock and incredible acrobatics in a game that amaze. lets players go anywhere and shoot “While dedicated gamers and anything. certainly fans of the genre will be It mixes violence with humour, and more likely to pick up a copy of Wet, retro visuals and a ‘70s soundtrack we have always had the philosophy of with cutting-edge 21st century creating a game that is easy to pick up technology. Sitting on top of the whole but hard to master,” says Winkler. package like a glistening cherry on a “There are several difficulty levels gorgeous cake is the star of the show, that cater to all sorts of gamers. Casual Rubi Malone, played by Hollywood gamers will be able to play the game actress Eliza Dushku. Wet and feel a sense of is her story. accomplishment as they Bethesda understood the “Rubi is a blue collar take out enemies while mood and tone we were gun-for-hire who is performing Rubi’s going for. They believe in the dedicated to getting the exhilarating acrobatic job done,” says A2M’s actions. However, project as much as we do. senior game designer Avi hardcore gamers will be Avi Winkler, A2M Winkler. “She had built challenged to use those up a reputation and is the ‘go to’ girl Immediately we knew that there was actions in stylish ways as they link the for problems you may need fixed. something unique and liberating about actions together. Chaining the moves is She’ll do everything and anything she this gameplay. an essential part of the game.” has to do to get the job done. If you The game was originally due to be “It brought a whole new element to get in her way, you’ll be in a world of published by Vivendi, but was dropped the genre. Many third person shooters hurt.” during the Activision Blizzard merger. focus more on acrobatics or heavily on It begins when Rubi is asked by a With Bethesda now at the helm, shooting. Our goal was to create a wealthy man to find and bring back Winkler is confident that Wet will game that allows the player to shoot his son – by any means necessary. To achieve the success it has waited so anytime, anywhere, and completely Rubi, an experienced gun for hire, it long for. merge the two mechanics into a new seems a simple job. The reality turns “We were looking for a publisher and refreshing experience.” out to be anything but. Her employer who would give Wet the attention and The body count, inevitably, is high. isn’t who he seems to be. He turns on support that a new IP needs,” he says. In fact, Rubi’s goal is to leave a trail of Rubi and leaves her for dead. “Bethesda immediately understood the destruction. Her aim is maximum kills She’s now simultaneously on the mood and tone we were going for using maximum skills. Yep, this is an run and hunting down the man who with Wet. It’s wonderful working with assassin that scores points of stylistic double-crossed her. Her chase takes a publisher that believes in the project interpretation, as well as plain old her to various locations around the as much as we do.” execution. world – both sleazy and spectacular. So, when she combines her Her weapons include two customshooting and swordplay with her made Colt Pythons and a sword she acrobatics, she can blast through levels RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 uses for grizzly and deadly effect at and big up maximum points to help FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3 close quarters. continue her quest for bloody revenge. PUBLISHER: BETHESDA Rubi’s key weapon, however, may And then there’s Rage mode. This DEVELOPER: A2M be her acrobatic agility. Some of her takes an over-the-top game several PRICE: £39.99 moves are literally death-defying. She dangerous steps further. Certain things, DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE can climb on ledges, slide under you see, push Rubi over the edge, CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 obstacles, swing on poles and run psychologically speaking.


RETAILBIZ: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 46 MCV 21/08/09

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RELEASED: SEPTEMBER FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, DS, PSP, PC PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT SHANGHAI PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

The forecast calls for high sales as Ubisoft cooks up a companion title to the upcoming family flick from Columbia and Sony by James Batchelor THE ADVANCES in computer animation since Toy Story first hit cinemas have resulted in countless films that manage to delight and entertain families and young children around the world. But while a two-hour stint at the cinema is limited in how long it will keep the little ones quiet, bringing the magic of these films into the home can satisfy young consumers even more. Such movies translate perfectly to the video game medium, so it will come as no surprise that the latest flick from Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation has a companion title hitting retail shelves alongside its silver screen debut in September. Placed in the capable hands of Ubisoft, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs recreates events from its cinematic namesake, itself based on a popular chlidren’s book. Players are invited to take up arms alongside the

film’s heroes and save the world from food-based destruction. The publisher has already proven itself with the game adaptations of Sony Pictures Animation’s previous family films, Open Season and Surf’s Up. Players take on the role of the nerdy Flint Lockwood, a young inventor who yearns to create something so phenomenal it will improve everyone’s lives. After several failures, he discovers a way to convert water into food and, in an effort to solve world hunger, unleashes his invention on the atmosphere. Initially, the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator seems to be a success as food begins to rain down on the world at regular and convenient intervals. However, things soon take a turn for the worse when the weather begins to escalate out of control. Soon the citizens are forced to seek safety as their homes are laid to waste by tomato sauce tornados and public

institutes such as the local school are crushed beneath gigantic pancakes and maple syrup. MUCH ADO ABOUT STUFFING

Gamers, as Flint, must use every invention at their disposal to try and reverse the damage or seek a solution that will restore the world to normal. Only by using these crazy gadgets will they be able to melt, punch, slice and dice the giant foodstuffs that threaten to cover the levels they explore. They also have to contend with more hostile food, as the mutation process leads to certain delicacies gaining a life of their own. Quick reflexes are required to evade attacks from walking roast chickens and miniature spaghetti twisters, with players bringing down their foes with a jab of a giant fork or a well-flung hamburger. The action takes place across more than 20 levels from the movie and the developers’ own imaginations. Whether

exploring the halls of Jelly Castle or scaling Ice Cream Falls, fans of the film will love the elaborate environments that are all in keeping with the film’s unique art style and universe. Of course, players don’t have to go it alone. Flint’s faithful companion Steve The Monkey also makes an appearance and can be used as a playable character in the two-player co-op mode, allowing friends to work through the game together. Steve has his own unique abilities that can not only give Flint an advantage in combat but also open other areas. Both of Sony Pictures Animations’ previous pictures, Open Season and Surf’s Up, were box office smashes so great things are expected from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Likewise, Ubisoft’s games under this partnership have proven to be highly successful in the past, so expect this title to be no different when it hits shelves this September.


RETAILBIZ: WACKY WORLD OF SPORTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 47

If you hanker after some Extreme Ironing, there’s only one game that’s going to offer it to you

Sega continues to build on its success with sports-based party games, now offering an entertainingly obscure collection of events for players to enjoy…

by James Batchelor BUNDLING THE original Wii Sports in with Nintendo’s best-selling console created an insatiable appetite for collections of sports-based mini-games among Wii owners. As the chart-topping sequel has proved, consumers are still willing to dip into their disposable income for such antics. In the three-and-a-bit years between Sports and Resort, there have been so many compilations that every sport imaginable is now playable in some form on the Wii. Or so you would think – until you read the list of events in Sega’s upcoming Wacky World Of Sports. The publisher, working with developer Tabot, has sought out the most obscure and unorthodox – but, crucially, genuine – sports from around the world. The challenges on offer range from golfing on the ice or racing to trim the most grass on lawnmowers, to the quirky but charming, such as tossing a large tuna hammer throw-style or rolling cheese. There are even completely insane sports, such as extreme ironing – trying to iron as many shirts as possible while skydiving at 1,000 feet. “Wacky World Of Sports brings you a collection of hilarious mini-games based

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: TABOT PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388

on real-life events – a far cry from golfing, tennis, swimming or hockey,” says Sega’s product marketing assistant, Kate Billingham. “It’s a fun-packed journey around the world’s wackiest sports, giving you and friends the chance to try your hand at mud-sliding, ice golf and lawnmower racing. “With a collection of ten over-the-top mini-games, you can choose from a variety of unique characters and

Naturally, the game makes full use of the Wii Remote’s unique contol system with each event seeing players recreate the relevant gestures, whether it’s swinging the remote around for tuna tossing or sliding it back and forth for extreme ironing. Wacky World Of Sports has been developed with its own visual style rather than aping the design of Nintendo’s Mii characters. Over a dozen eccentric characters are playable, with more to be It’s a fun-packed journey unlocked as players around the world’s wackiest progress. sports, giving you the chance Aside from the competitive multiplayer, to go Lawnmower Racing. the main attraction will be Kate Billingham, Sega the World Tour mode. compete in either single-player tour Here, single players can work their way mode, or go head-to-head with friends through events, honing their skills and and family in four-person multiplayer. defeating a range of tough opponents to Plus there are advanced stages for the become the champion athlete. champions amongst you.” The success of both the genre and The ten activities have a lot of variety Sega’s past titles, such as the multiand combine a range of gameplay styles. million selling Mario & Sonic, ensures From the calmer experience of ice that this will be a quality release, and golfing and cheese rolling, dependent on launching at the start of the busy Q4 aim and precision, to the likes of system gives it plenty of time to rack up furniture racing, which taps into more sales in the run-up to Christmas. traditional racing skills. It even features “The multi-sport party game genre some cerebral gameplay in the form of has proven a big hit on the Wii,” says card boxing, where players must win a Billingham. “We expect fans of the card game in order to earn the chance genre to flock to their Wii remotes and to hit their opponent. start cheese rolling.”


RETAILBIZ: ACADEMY OF CHAMPIONS 48 MCV 21/08/09

Ubisoft approaches the pitch with its first foray into the sports market, recruiting a legendary footballer to head up Academy Of Champions…

WWW.MCVUK.COM

by James Batchelor

designed to stand out from rival titles when it hits shelves this September. Academy Of Champions shies away from the premiership pitches and international leagues of its competitors,

SPORTS HAS ALWAYS been a particularly lucrative market for the video games industry. Year after year, both EA and Konami rack up millions of sales with Footy fans take on the role of their annual updates of students at a fictional FIFA and PES, while football academy, where they Take-Two and THQ thrive on the success of will learn all the skills of the their basketball, hockey Beautiful Game. and wrestling titles. It is odd, then, that some publishers instead inviting players to experience are less active in this area, particularly the very roots of the sport. Footy fans such industry giants as Activision and take on the role of students at a fictional Ubisoft. The latter, however, now seeks football academy, where they will learn to rectify this matter with the release of all the skills of the Beautiful Game. Academy Of Champions, a football title Of course, unlike Mr Beckham's developed exclusively for Wii and educational institute, the esteemed

Brightfield Academy is not just some glorified warehouse at the side of the Thames. It is an outlandish environment, built with the level of imagination you would expect from a Wii game. In addition to more traditional pitches, you'll find wilder arenas where the goals are the gaping maws of monsters and medieval castles look down on the action from either side. It’s a creative art style that is perfectly in keeping with the Wii's audience and carries across to the character design. All of the students from Brightfield Academy and the various other schools they face off against have a cartoonish look that makes the game instantly


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appealing to younger gamers and gives Academy Of Champions its own personality. Ubisoft has even dipped into its back catalogue and introduced more familiar characters, redesigning them to fit in with the game’s artistry. So when they’re not running round the pitch as a bunch of plucky young child prodigies, players can fill the boots of Assassin’s Creed’s Altair, Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, Beyond Good And Evil’s Jade, Rayman and, of course, those notorious Raving Rabbids. Further distancing Academy Of Champions from more serious football simulations, all of the students have a range of special moves that can give them an advantage. These are a mixture of both offensive and defensive and

MCV 21/08/09 49

range from the more mundane, such as speed boosts and the ability to glide past the defence, to more acrobatic moves that include bending the ball around the keeper and a spinning tackle that knocks everyone flying. THEY’VE GOT THE MOVES

Even the Ubisoft characters have special moves that play on their antics in their own video games. So, Sam and Altair have stealth attacks while Jade can stun the enemy team with her camera flash and the Rabbids can fire plungers that deliver the ball straight to the back of the net. With celebrity endorsement very much the norm in sports games these days, it is to be expected that most of the game’s special skills are passed on

from the true star of Academy Of Champions. Legendary Brazilian football star Pelé serves as the Academy’s headmaster. He teaches players everything there is to know about not only playing the game, but mastering it. The majority of the gameplay takes place in five-a-side tournaments. Gamers must use every trick available to overcome the opposing team, progressing through the single-player mode’s storyline. As they advance through each match, they earn money to buy new equipment and upgrade their abilities. Alternatively, there are 12 footballrelated mini-games to entertain players, challenging them to show off their skills at goalkeeping, shooting, passing,

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT VANCOUVER PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

tackles and more. There is also a range of multiplayer modes supporting up to four players that allows friends to enjoy Academy Of Champions together. As Ubisoft’s first major football title, Academy Of Champions has all the ingredients to make it a stand-out title, both in its genre and on the Wii. It’s wide appeal, fresh take on the sport and accessibility make it a strong contender for chart success when it arrives on shelves this September.


RETAILBIZ: CHAMPIONS ONLINE 50 MCV 21/08/09

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Atari gives players the chance to live out their superhero fantasies in Cryptic Studios’ latest MMO, Champions Onilne… by James Batchelor ASIDE FROM spending a fortune on spandex, video games are the only way to make yourself feel like a superhero. Atari offers a more cost-effective solution with the latest title from MMO expert Cryptic Studios, Champions Online. Drawing on its experience from established superhero MMO City Of Heroes/City Of Villains, the developer’s reputation alone is enough to get gamers excited about this new release. “Right now, there is a fantastic groundswell of excitement for Champions Online,” says UK product manager Lauren Bradley. “It is dominating the PC preorder charts – at the time of writing, it is No.1 on Amazon and No.2 on Play.com. Alongside that, Cryptic has achieved very high registration numbers on the community, which is growing exponentially on a daily basis. “Fuelled by Marvel and DC Comics’ huge film productions, the superhero genre has never been more popular and looks like it is set to remain this way for the foreseeable future. And given Cryptic’s legacy, you could say that our expectations combat system is much more active than are very high indeed.” the usual slow, calculated iterations in Players can completely customise rival titles. There is more of an emphasis their superhero in every detail. Not only on frantic attacking than waiting for do they choose the name and design the powers to recharge. costume, they also get to select which “This is the first ever action MMOG,” powers their character can use and even says Bradley. “We all know there is a what colours those powers are. If that huge and growing MMORPG market weren’t enough, they can even design and There is a fantastic amount customise an archenemy of excitement for Champions for their hero to battle Onilne. Our expectations are throughout the game. very high indeed. Once done, aspiring heroes must explore the Lauren Bradley, Atari world of Champions Online, fighting evil and generally being and Champions Online is set to also a do-gooder across cities, mountains, appeal to RPG players who will be forests and even in outer space and converted to the world of online alternative dimensions. gaming.” A key difference between this and Atari has really pushed the boat out other MMOs on the market is that the on this title, with a comprehensive

marketing campaign ensuring awareness of Champions Online’s arrival is as high as possible. Throughout August the company is launching various demos and beta promotions, and a 12-month PR campaign has made the game prominent in key PC gaming publications. Additional advertorials will run in non-gaming specialist press, such as SFX. Online, a massive preawareness beta campaign will see activity across a range of leading sites, such as IncGamers, VG247, Eurogamer and Google’s content network. Takeovers have also been arranged on major gaming sites closer to launch, and a beta key giveaway through online publication PCGamerZine saw 10,000 beta keys claimed in the first hour.

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 4 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ATARI DEVELOPER: CRYPTIC STUDIOS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585

The publisher has also been utilising a range of social media, with Champions Online news appearing regularly on Facebook and Twitter. The game also has a dedicated blog, developed in association with Intent Social Media. Key retailers are helping to promote the game with UK exclusive pre-order offers, giving early adopters head-start access to the game’s content and unique in-game items. Finally, Atari will be sending promotional emails to more than 30,000 users in its database, as well as those of on various retailers.


RETAILBIZ: SPACE INVADERS EXTREME 2/MAHJONGG WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 51

Square Enix rejuvenates its musical take on the classic Space Invaders experience, with enhanced gameplay and new features…

The ancient oriental tile game comes to DS in the hopes of capturing a wider audience and becoming a long-term success…

by James Batchelor

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OCTOBER 2 FORMATS: DS

SPACE INVADERS is one of the oldest and most recognisable video game experiences known to the industry. Yet developer Taito still finds ways to make the gameplay fresh, entertaining and addictive. The best example of late is Space Invaders Extreme, a version of the classic arcade game that introduces musical elements to give it a more upbeat atmosphere. While the triedand-tested gameplay remained preserved, the new tweaks meant players essentially created music as they obliterated rows of belligerent aliens. It’s a feature that made the game particularly popular and has prompted the release of a sequel. LOVING THE ALIEN

“From initially modest expectations, the original Space Invaders Extreme on DS proved to be a huge success and stocks were rapidly depleted at retail,” says Square Enix sales director Doug Bone. “We are still receiving re-orders for the original and to be able to now release this incredible sequel into the market is perfect timing.”

PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: TAITO PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 7324 5200

Space Invaders Extreme 2 features brand new stages. The music-infused gameplay remains largely the same, but tweaks made to the battle system and other gameplay elements provide a fresh challenge for veterans. Even newcomers can enjoy themselves with the new Beginners’ Course. Square Enix’s main marketing focus for Extreme 2 will be online, with a mini-game incorporated into banner ads, which will channel consumers to the game’s website. Single page print ads will also appear in Nintendo gaming publications. The publisher will be communicating with its loyal Space Invaders and shooter fans by targeting the Square Enix and Taito databases with email marketing. Finally, a combination of specialist and lifestyle PR will raise awareness of the Space Invaders brand among the mass market audience.

THE LIKES of Solitaire and Poker are well known to Western audiences, but many mass market gamers are still learning the intricacies of Mahjongg. Though often compared to dominoes due to its tile-based nature, the game is more akin to card games as players must try to match symbols and build hands in order to outwit the other players. Rising Star is the latest publisher to help ease the game into the UK mindset through the medium of video games. Mahjongg: Ancient Mayas introduces players to the rules and conventions, creating an addictive puzzle game.

RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR DEVELOPER: CERASUS MEDIA PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242

be replayed in all their nostalgic glory. “What we are offering here with Mahjongg: Ancient Mayas is another reason to immerse yourself in an addictive yet simple game that is presented at a competitive price point, something that should appeal to both retail and consumers alike.” MARKETING MAHJONGG

HOOKED ON CLASSICS

“You can play through the main game in Mahjongg, which features some new ideas and ways to play a classic game,” says Hau. “There are over 300 levels in all so that will keep the player busy for some time. “Then, when you have mastered all 300 levels, players can return to the classic modes of play, which are unlocked as you progress through the main game. Here, all the past iterations of the popular Mahjongg mechanic can

Marketing for Mahjongg will be predominantly through the online and community route. Rising Star will focus heavily on promoting the game directly to consumers via forums and community sites, as well as its recently established community area, Hoshi. “Following the continued sell-through of Cradle Of Rome – made by the same developers – since its release late last year, we are expecting similar results from Mahjongg,” says product marketing assistant Yen Hau.


RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 52 MCV 21/08/09

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Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Games retail comes into its Prime The summer draught is over, Christmas is a mere 18 weeks away, and the release schedule start to bulk up, with the likes of Metroid Prime Trilogy and Dissidia Final Fantasy calling gamers back from the beach and into stores... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

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

Action Action Action Adventure Simulation Action Imagine Action Sports Mystery Action Simulation Fighting Racing Racing Sports Sports

Ghostlight Eidos South Peak Majesco Excalibur Publishing Zushi Ubisoft Playlogic Ghostlight City Interactive City Interactive Excalibur Publishing Ubisoft Midas System 3 Midas Blade Interactive

01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0117 373 6151 01869 338833 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 01376 555333 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 01869 338833 0845 362 7769 01376 555 333 0121 625 3388 01376 555 333 0870 027 0985

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

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

Simulation Self-Improvement Self-Improvement MMORPG RPG Survival Horror Fighting Action Mini-games Kids Simulation Action Mini-games FPS Action Adventure Action

First Class Simulations City Interactive City Interactive Atari Koei Deep Silver Square Enix 505 Games Rising Star Games 505 Games 505 Games Nintendo Zushi South Peak Koei Disney Interactive 505 Games

01869 338833 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130 0870 027 0985 020 7324 5200 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585

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

XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii

Music

EA

0121 625 3388

Centresoft

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

Racing Simulation Simulation Simulation Action RPG Kids

Codemasters Ghostlight 505 Games City Interactive City Interactive Warner Games Ubisoft

01279 822 800 01376 555333 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

Gem Open Advantage Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Trilogy

DS / Wii DS / Wii PC DS PC Wii

Kids Kids Simulation Music Simulation Simulation

Midas Midas Just Flight Deep Silver Kalypso Media Zushi

01376 555 333 01376 555 333 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800

Open Open Mastertronic Koch Advantage Gem

AUGUST 28th Allied Ace Pilots Batman: Arkham Asylum Brave: A Warrior's Tale Escape The Musuem Farming Simulator Garfield Gets Real Imagine Teacher: School Trip Infernal: Hell's Vengeance International Athletics Mary Celeste Navy Seals Pole To Pole Soul Calibur Broken Destiny Super Speed Machines SuperCar Challenge 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 Dissidia: Final Fantasy 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 Warriors Orochi 2 Wizards Of Waverly Place Zorro: Quest For Justice

SEPTEMBER 9th The Beatles: Rock Band

SEPTEMBER 11th Colin McRae Dirt 2 Mary King's Riding School 2 Mean Girls Party Girl Smartbox Stealth Game Teen Queen: The Clique Tracy Beaker

SEPTEMBER 18th Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies Clever Kids: Pet Store Constellation Professional DJ Star Dogfighter Love Is... In Bloom

MUSTSTOCK ...............METROID PRIME TRILOGY Released: September 4 Format: Wii Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985

Bundling all three Metroid Prime titles together, this compilation is likely to be a massive hit with the hardcore Wii owners. Whether veterans of the trilogy seeking new content or newcomers keen to see what all the fuss is about, Metroid Prime Trilogy represents great value for money.

MUSTSTOCK .............DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY Released: September 4 Format: PSP Publisher: Square Enix Distributor: Open Contact: 020 7324 5200

Celebrating 20 years of Final Fantasy, Dissidia brings some of the most popular heroes and villains together in a battle for the universe. Bringing in many of the traits from the RPG combat system, this strategic beat â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;em up has the most indepth battles of its genre.


RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 54 MCV 21/08/09

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Sponsored by

RETAIL BIZ:

NEWS

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

89%

Madden NFL 10 EA, PS3

81%

79%

75%

71%

EA Sports Active EA, Wii

Prototype Activision, PS3

Ashes Cricket 2009 Codemasters, 360

Tiger Woods 10 EA, PSP

*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press

DEAL OF THE WEEK

HIGH STREET CHEAPER THAN XBOX 360 GAMES-ON-DEMAND Good news for bricks and mortar retail – MCV research shows that nearly all of the titles due to arrive on the Xbox Live Games On Demand service can be sourced for significantly less on the High Street. Joystiq reports the initial line-up of titles that will form the debut offering for Microsoft’s new download service will cost between 1,600 MS Points (£13.50) and 2,400 MS Points (£20), MCV used online price comparison site GamesTracker and phoned a number of GAME outlets to find how much physical copies currently cost. The highest price for a title came in at £14.99 for Assassin’s Creed and Fight Night Round 3, while others were available for as little as £4.99, including Perfect Dark Zero and Rockstar Table Tennis. The results show retail is competitive with Microsoft’s price. However, one obstacle that High Street retail might face

GAMESTOP RECRUITS DIGITAL BOSS GameStop has hired Chris Petrovic as general manager of digital media. He is tasked with driving digital sales and overseeing the growth and acquisition of digital platforms. Petrovic was previously VP of digital media at Playboy Enterprises.

SHOULD SUPERMARKETS EMBRACE PRE-OWNED SALES?

68%

TITLE/FORMAT

NO

PUBLISHER

WII SPORTS RESORT FORMAT: Wii

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

2

NEW

ASHES CRICKET 2009 PS3

CODEMASTERS

3

NEW

ASHES CRICKET 2009 PS3

CODEMASTERS

4

2

THE SIMS 3 PC

5

4

WII FIT Wii

6

3

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 PS3

EA

7

6

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360

EA

8

7

9

RE

PROTOTYPE PS3

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 PS3

10

RE

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED PS3

EA NINTENDO

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ

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.

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

32% YES

MARGIN MAKER

In the wake of Asda announcing its intentions to incorporate trade-ins into its games offering, two thirds of the users who take part in the MCV online survey are opposed to supermarkets entering the pre-owned market.

The Hori Pad 3 Turbo is the first wireless PS3 controller to feature a Turbo function. The gamepad has both Turbo and Turbo Hold switches and three settings: five times per second on slow, 12 times per second on normal

and 20 times per second on fast. The controller features everything else found on the standard PS3 pad, except Sixaxis, and is available in red and silver. Antigrav: 01932 454929

le at b a l i a All Av

For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251

NINTENDO DS, IS A TRADEMARK OF NINTENDO.

1

TEKKEN TO ARRIVE OCTOBER 30TH Namco Bandai has announced that Tekken 6 will hit UK shelves on Friday October 30th. The Arcade Stick set, which includes a 100-page art book, copy of the game and a speciallydesigned wireless Hori fighting stick, will retail for £149.99. The Collector’s pack will cost £69.99, and contains the art book, game, exclusive poster and a sweatshirt designed by the development team. The normal game has an RRP of £49.99.

MCV POLL

INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK

is shelf space and stock availability. MCV was unable to obtain prices for two games – Prey and Viva Pinata 2 – as none of the ten stores contacted had any stock of either.

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

Microsoft fans can pick up an Xbox 360 Elite with Gears Of War 2 and Halo Wars for 239.99 at GAME – a saving of over £65.

THIS WEEK

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


RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 55 Sponsored by

FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 HALO 3: ODST 360 MICROSOFT

2. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3

360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT

3. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES

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

4. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

FRONTLINE Nindie.com speaks to Ryan Burchett from online indepependent retailer PowerPlay Direct… What makes your site unique? We have a large section of back catalogue games, CDs and DVDs which our customers can browse. We offer an excellent service with an easy-to-use website which we believe is very important when running an online store.

360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

5. GRAN TURISMO 5

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

6. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

PS3 ......................................................................EIDOS

7. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

What has been performing well? With the biggest triple-A titles so far this year, PlayStation 3 has sold extremely well, with the usual Wii and DS being constant sellers.

360 ......................................................................EIDOS

8. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

9. PES 2010

What has been underperforming? PSP. The console is on a constant decline at the moment, although, with the recent

PS3....................................................................KONAMI

E3 announcements this should hopefully pick up. What are the biggest challenges facing your busines at present? The biggest challenges are trying to compete in such a hugely competitive market. Going up against some of the biggest names in online retail is sometimes quite daunting, but, when we do get better online prices, it keeps our

spirits high across the company. How has the market been for you so far this year? It has been a difficult year so far. With the current economic crisis we have seen a slight decrease in sales over last year, but we still have high hopes that sales will pick up by the end of the year, especially with the enormous line up of games due to be released.

10. FIFA 10

PS3 ..........................................................................EA Week ending August 16th Source: SHOPTO.COM

PRICE CHECK

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10

Ashes Cricket 2009 Wii, Codemasters

GI Joe: Rise of Cobra

Active Health: Carol Vorderman

360, EA

DS, Nintendo

Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans

Summer Athletics 2009

Wii, Slitherine

360, Ubisoft

IN STORE: TELFORD

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

PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

£34.99

£34.99

£39.99

N/A

£29.99

£34.99

£34.99

£24.99

£24.99

£29.99

£39.99

£29.99

£34.99

N/A

£24.99

£34.29

£34.99

£38.99

N/A

N/A

£27.99

£26.99

N/A

£23.99

N/A

£27.99

£29.99

£32.99

£17.99

£23.99

£26.62

£29.99

£34.08

£17.96

£22.47

£29.99

£26.99

£29.99

£24.99

£24.99

3. HALO 3: ODST

360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT

4. ASSASSIN’S CREED II

360 ..................................................................UBISOFT

5. CHAMPIONS ONLINE

PC..................................................ATARI/NAMCO BANDAI

6. AION: THE TOWER OF ETERNITY

PC ....................................................................NCSOFT

7. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

DS..................................................................NINTENDO

8. ASSASSIN’S CREED II

PS3 ..................................................................UBISOFT

9. FIFA 10

ONLINE

PS3 ..........................................................................EA

10. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

PC ..................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD Week ending August 16th Source: PLAY.COM

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


RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 56 MCV 21/08/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

1

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE

2 3 4 5 6 7

1 2 4 5 6 20

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE POKÉMON PLATINUM MARIO KART DS G-FORCE DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING ACTIVE HEALTH: CAROL VODERMAN

NINTENDO

2

2

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

8 9 10

11 8 9

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO RHYTHM PARADISE NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES SEGA

3

3

WII FIT Wii

NINTENDO

4

7

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD

5

4

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3

6

8

MARIO KART WII Wii

7

11

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

8

NEW

9

9

DEVELOPER: 1ST PLAYABLE PUBLISHER: DISNEY

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO DISNEY

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA G-FORCE DISNEY BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GHOSTBUSTERS SONY INDIANA JONES: STAFF OF KINGS LUCASARTS ICE AGE 3: DAWN OF DINOSAURS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[3]

DEVELOPER: KROME STUDIOS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

[4]

TITLE

FORMAT: Wii, PS3, PC, 360

LAST WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY FIFA ‘09 EA NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. G-FORCE DISNEY

DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM

[5]

PUBLISHER

360, PS3, PC UBISOFT

EA NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

MADDEN NFL 10 PSP, PS2, PS3, XBOX 360, WII G-FORCE 360, Wii, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP

EA DISNEY

10

6

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

11

17

[PROTOTYPE] PC, PS3, 360

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

12

5

FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3

EA

13

10

THE SIMS 3 PC

EA

14

13

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

15

15

WII PLAY Wii

NINTENDO

16

12

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

17

23

CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS

EA 2K PLAY

18

16

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

19

19

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

20

27

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

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: GUSTO GAMES/TRANSMISSION GAMES PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS

TITLE

PC CD-ROM

[FULL PRICE]

MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE

4 2 5 3 8 6 7 10 9

1 THIS WEEK

NINTENDO

TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN

4 2 3 5 6 16 7 9 8

[2]

ASHES CRICKET 2009

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

WARNER BROS.

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

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 COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR ASHES CRICKET 2009 CODEMASTERS ARMA II 505 GAMES SPORE: GALACTIC ADVENTURES EA

2 3 5 6 4 7 9 8 12

DEVELOPER: THE SIMS STUDIO PUBLISHER: EA


RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 57

in overall unit sales, dropping four per cent, as

2009, in what was a quiet week for new releases. The highest new entry in the charts this week is Electronic Arts’ American football sim Madden NFL 10, which debuts in eighth place. Meanwhile, Ubisoft’s Call of Juraez: Bound In Blood leaps from seventh spot into fourth position, its highest position so far.

value falls even further, down by seven per cent.

PS3

FORMATS Highest New Entry

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest Top 40 Climber

21

18

MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS

22

14

EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii

SEGA EA

23

24

CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS

24

20

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO

25

21

POKÉMON PLATINUM DS

NINTENDO

26

25

MARIO KART DS DS

NINTENDO

DISNEY

27

26

MYSTERY STORIES DS

28

35

LEGO STAR WARS PS3, 360, Wii, DS,

29

32

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

30

28

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

31

RE

ACTIVE HEALTH: CAROL VORDERMAN DS NINTENDO

32

RE

TOO HUMAN 360

33

31

MY FITNESS COACH Wii

34

RE

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS

NINTENDO

35

37

RHYTHM PARADISE DS

NINTENDO

36

33

GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC

ROCKSTAR

37

30

RED FACTION: GUERRILLA 360, PS3

38

RE

NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360, PS3, WII, PC, PS2, DS EA

39

22

UFC 2009: UNDISPUTED 360, PS3

40

RE

TRIVIAL PURSUIT 360, Wii, PS3, PS2

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2 1 3 5 12 8 11 14 7

The quiet week for new games has meant a fall

top of the ChartTrack Top 40 with Ashes Cricket

GSP/AVANQUEST LUCASARTS D3P NINTENDO

MICROSOFT UBISOFT

THQ

THQ EA

TITLE

PUBLISHER

ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 DEVELOPER: FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS PUBLISHER: MASTERTRONIC WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: TEAR GSP/AVANQUEST WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS THEME HOSPITAL SOLD OUT CIVILIZATION IV MASTERTRONIC MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER FOCUS

which is followed by a series of big release weeks, with titles such as Batman, Dirt 2 and The Beatles Rock Band set to hit shelves. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

ASHES CRICKET 2009

2 3 4 5 6 7

3 4 6 5

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD MADDEN NFL 10 FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 [PROTOTYPE] INFAMOUS

11 7 12

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE TERMINATOR SALVATION

8 9 10

2

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: TRANSMISSION GAMES PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS

TITLE

WII SPORTS RESORT

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ASHES CRICKET 2009 WII FIT MARIO KART WII EA SPORTS ACTIVE TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 GRAND SLAM TENNIS MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE G-FORCE

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

TITLE

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD MADDEN NFL 10 [PROTOTYPE] CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE HALO WARS GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR

6 7 2 4 5 9 10

EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SONY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WARNER BROS

CODEMASTERS NINTENDO NINTENDO EA EA EA SEGA EA DISNEY

[FULL PRICE]

ASHES CRICKET 2009

3

EA

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

1 NEW

EA

PUBLISHER

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 7 10

UBISOFT

[FULL PRICE]

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

However, things should start to pick up next week with the release of Activision’s Wolfenstein,

1 NEW

WEEK ENDING 15/08/09

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

CODEMASTERS enjoys its second innings at the

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: TRANSMISSION GAMES PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS UBISOFT EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MICROSOFT ACTIVISON BLIZZARD

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES

sourcebook WWW.INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK/SOURCEBOOK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Safari 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

gaming accessorieS

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

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

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

Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz

Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com

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

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

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

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

RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com

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

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

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

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

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

LO

TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS


In association with

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

LOCALISTATION QA AND TESTING

legal services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net

software development

Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 60 MCV 21/08/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

ESTONIA

ISRAEL

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

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

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

AUSTRIA

FINLAND

ITALY

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

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

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

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

BELGIUM

v.2 PLAY. LDA

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

FRANCE

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

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

Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno

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

Newave Italia...................................................Firenze

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

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

BENELUX

NETHERLANDS INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

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

45 rue Delizy,

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

93692 PANTIN Cedex, France

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

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

GAMEWORLD

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

Tel: +31 10 298 3838

NEW ZEALAND

GERMANY

NORWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo

Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

GREECE

POLAND

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

Centric ...............................................................Athens

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

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

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

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

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

The Netherlands

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD

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

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

INDIA

www.greatgames.com.cy

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

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

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

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

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

ICELAND

tel. +357 22 666612

Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5

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

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

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0

SOUTH AFRICA

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

CYPRUS

Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -

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

Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

EBS Benelux

Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –

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

Web: www.techland.pl

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

Phone: +48 71 354 46 10

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

Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

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

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

DENMARK

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) dt@gatewaydistribution.dk www.gatewaydistribution.dk

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain,

VIRGIN PLAY

Tel: +34 93 492 08 89

Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,

distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es

28046 Madrid, Spain

www.planetadeagostini.net

Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es

TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE


INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 61

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...

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas

UAE

Mazur reveals IQ Publishing has set its sights on new European markets

JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona

ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY

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

Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: marketing@alesayi.ae U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com

GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: info@gameoutlet.se Website: www.gameoutlet.se

PLUTO GAMES Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111

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

Fax: +971 4261 8112

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

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

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

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

UNITED STATES

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

U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 info@usgamesdist.com www.usgamesdist.com

IQ Publishing is a Polish distribution and publishing company, which is well known for its fitness, dance mats and Hubert the Bear series of products. Christopher Dring speaks to CEO Tomasz Mazur on the company’s future…

NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai

TURKEY

INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

PO Box 10705, Office 103-104

What are IQ Publishing’s longterm ambitions? Our priority is the Polish market. We are a leading accessory distribution company, and a trailblazer of introducing unique PC controllers and computer games, mostly due to our co-operation with Big Ben Interactive. Our goal is to create a distribution centre with a wide range of products for gamers. Next step would be to expand our area of business to other Central European countries such as Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. We aim to broaden our dance mat product ranges, and introduce other products for different formats. What makes IQP stand out? As a company with extensive game industry expertise, we maintain a fresh point of view on video game products. This enables us to maintain high quality, while also retaining uniqueness of our product offer,

introducing a breath of fresh air to a market lacking new ideas, save for Nintendo. For us, industry standards always meant high quality at affordable prices, and our flexibility enables us to quickly adjust our product offer to follow changes in customers’ needs. When developing new games, we usually seek expert advice, such as an instructor’s opinion for fitness games, or child development specialists’ opinion on games for kids. This way of proceeding ensures high substantial value and playability of our products. What are your expectations for your upcoming products? High market presence of our products remains crucial in our business strategy. Hubert the Bear 3 will feature a full story with significantly more educational tasks. We also intend to continue developing the My Fitness series.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES Game Player .............................07887 710686

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

DISTRIBUTION Creative Distribution ...........020 8664 3456 DVD Technology .......................01189 215 999 Discstribution ........................0845 430 8735 Gem ............................................01279 822800 GLS...............................................01708 725742 Ideal Software..........................01767 689 720 Logic3 ........................................01923 471 000 Meroncourt ..............................01462 680060 Revive ........................................01462 483555

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

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

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

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

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

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

DISTRIBUTION

GAME PLAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07887 710686 . . . www.gameplayervideogames.com

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

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

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

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


ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY AUGUST 28th

GAMESCOM REVIEW With Germany’s Cologne-based trade show over, deals have been struck, announcements have been made and European retailers are now well prepared for the Christmas run-in. MCV provides a comprehensive run-down 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 do 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 shoot for the top of the charts. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 11th

GUIDE TO GMA 2009 FINALISTS We offer an in-depth rundown of the finalists in this year’s Games Media Awards, where the cream of the industry will be recognised and rewarded for their talents. Be sure to check out the full listings of nominations across all categories and profiles for each finalists, charting their greatest triumphs and why they have earned their place in the shortlist. 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 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. FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 25th

SELF IMPROVEMENT & NON-GAMES SOFTWARE Thanks in no small part to the success of titles such as Wii Fit and Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training on Nintendo formats, the non-games software sector has never been in such rude health (and boasting toned abs and an increased IQ, no doubt...). MCV takes a look at this area of the market, offering a guide to the key titles set to hit retail during Q4.

BRAND LICENSING EUROPE With the show (Olympia, September 30th to October 1st) this year boasting a dedicated interactive entertainment section, Brand Licensing Europe has never been more relevant to developers and publishers. MCV takes a look at the licensed games sector, its successes and its challenges. FRIDAY OCTOBER 2nd

LGC: WHY YOU NEED TO BE THERE We offer a preview of the London Games Conference, run in association with ELSPA. The event will offer an insight into the future of digital distribution and networking opportunities.

FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . www.uksales@logic3.com


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 . . . . . . . . . . . jobs@stainlessgames.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 sales@dvdtech.com 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 sam.robinson@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com DISTRIBUTION

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

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

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


ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

DISC REPAIR

GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . wholesale@glsgames.com GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

OCTOBER HANDHELD LEARNING Monday, October 5th – Wednesday, October 7th The Brewery, Barbican, London www.handheldlearning2009.com MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com

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

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, London dave.roberts@intentmedia.co.uk EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS Friday, October 30th London www.goldenjoystick.com

NOVEMBER GAME ON! LONDON Saturday, November 14th – Sunday, November 15th Earls Court 2, London www.gameonlondon.com

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

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

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


WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 67

MCV FORUM

Xomy’s MD Adam Harris is confident retailers have nothing to fear from the likes of Microsoft’s Games On Demand service

‘Digital won’t replace retail’ This week, a leading online independent retailer discusses the future of digital downloading…

IN RESPONSE to recent reports that future games machines could become digital-only – I’m just not convinced. Let’s face it, the concept of digital downloading has now been around for several years on the most accessible digital platform in existence – the PC. Publishers would not dream of stopping disc-based sales, which still grossly outnumber digital sales on the PC. Then look at the busiest period of the year, Q4, when 70 per cent of disc-based sales are bought as gifts. Consumers are not going to give a digital download away as a present any time soon – I have yet to see a Steam gift card on the shelves in my local supermarket next to the iTunes ones. The only change I’ve noticed since the introduction of digital downloads has been a drop in retail price – with the average PC game now priced at £30.

Certainly digital downloads will become an option, but I just can’t see it having this massive impact on next-gen platforms that everyone is worried about. We are talking about games starting at 5GB and reaching 50GB. Most broadband customers have a fair use policy of just 3GB.

So now we come to the PSPgo, where digital distribution makes perfect sense. Piracy is rife on both the DS and PSP, games are tiny (as little as 5MB on the DS). It’s the same reason the likes of portable CD, mini-disc or cassette players are dead – a smaller, lighter, higher capacity

Publishers won’t stop discbased sales, and consumers are not going to give a digital download away as a present. Adam Harris, Xomy

Everyone is watching very carefully as the BBC negotiate with Internet Service Providers over iPlayer traffic, with the best solution being BBC putting their own equipment in ISP exchanges and advanced caching techniques – the latter is certainly a promising option for games distribution.

Anyway, better do some work now – seeing as all us indies are obviously all going to be closing within three years due to a rise in digital distribution. Adam Harris, Managing Director, Xomy

digital music player makes far more sense. That doesn’t stop us having high-end music systems at home though, or DVD and Blu ray players – where portability and accessibility is not an issue. It’s not a hassle changing a CD in your living room, but it is on the Tube into work.

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


68 MCV 21/08/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Off The

Record Source: Chris Peach

This week, we catch up with a self-cloning indie, as celebrities stick their beaks into the creative process of two of the year’s biggest games. Elsewhere, Activision gives you the chance to win one of the most anticipated superhero titles of 2009...

HELLO THERE, DANNY... In the first of this week’s famous-types-invading-games stories, it turns out Dave Gorman buddy and bespectacled middle class hero Danny Wallace is to voice a character in Assassins Creed II. According to Danny, he’s going to play ‘Shaun’, who shares Danny’s naturalistic voice. We do hope you can club him.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK ONO! WHAT A PAIN... According to reports this week, SVP of MTV Games Paul DeGooyer has revealed that Yoko Ono’s late-in-the-day demands gave Harmonix “hell” during the development of The Beatles: Rock Band. How authentic can one game get? Remember, she did the same thing to Paul McCartney 40 years ago...

“We could not stop playing Rock Band! It was ridiculous – whenever we had lunch. I sucked at the drums.” High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens discusses the gaming habits of the crew of new film Bandslam


WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 21/08/09 69

RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD

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

DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA

MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION

DON MCCABE, CHIPS

TIM ELLIS, HMV

PIC OF THE

KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM

WEEK

CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT

JON BIGGS, MORRISONS

We’ll admit, most pictures we get from indie retailers for our High Street profiles lack, well, a little innovation. Not so Julian Slater, from Maccesfieldbased indie Bits and Pieces. We counted 13 of him here, in this craftily Photoshop-enhanced image. At least, we hope it’s Photoshop. If these are real-life POS cut-outs, Julian, you’ve lost your mind.

DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON

PETER WILLIS, DSGI

IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO

SANDS OF TIME... Is there nothing Sony’s worldwide PR force can’t turn their hand to? The first ever Korean sand sculpting championships took place last week. Nothing to do with video games there, right? Wrong. SCE sent along two fillies and - presumably - a far uglier sand-building expert to model a to-scale giant PS3 and PSP. Of course, the boys and girls at Sony UK could try this at Bournemouth or Great Yarmouth. But then you’d not only have rain to contend with, but quite probably dog excrement and used prophylactics clogging up your sandy disc drive.

ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS

STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK

JOANNA HUNT, TESCO

GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS


COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETI

TM

Win one of 5 copies of the Marvel : Ultimate Alliance 2 game on console of your choice.

HOW MANY ASTONISHING NEW FUSION POWERS CAN YOU UNLEASH IN MARVEL : ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2? A. 5 B. 10 C. 250 TM

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO: ALLIANCE2@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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

Please address all enquiries to:

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy Editor: Christopher Dring Chris.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk

Design: Adam Butler Adam.Butler@intentmedia.co.uk

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

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647

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



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

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

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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.

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

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

www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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MCV551 AUGUST 21ST 2009