THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday August 28 2009 £3.25
The Live Your Dreams competition To celebrate the new Nintendo DS releases in the Imagine range, Ubisoft will be giving one lucky girl the ultimate prize - the chance to live her dream! The winners experience will be ﬁlmed and made into a three minute TV ad! Not only that, but the ad will be shown on CITV on the same day as the X Factor Final! It’s simple to enter – girls should visit www.imaginemydream.com from 12th September, and let us know their dream. It can be absolutely anything they dream to be, whether they want to be an artist, teacher or a rock star, the choice is theirs!
Play the role of a teacher during a fun school trip! Participate in thrilling outdoors activities with your pupils and discover all about nature.
Open your own beauty salon and become the most famous Hairdresser & Make-up artist by successfully managing your salon and keeping your customers happy.
Fill the shoes of an undercover high school detective - solve fun and sometimes thrilling mysteries by playing smart and varied mini games and close each case by posting your ﬁndings on your blog.
You play as an aspiring party planner and work in an agency that handles everything to create the perfect party.
Become the best journalist in town. Keep your ears & eyes wide open to catch the latest scoops. Track the news, record interviews & take the best pictures.
Your pet hospital is also a sanctuary for abandoned animals. Starting as an intern, take care of many different animals and ﬁnd new owners for them, and ﬁnally learn how to be a real animal expert!
Live the life of an artist in the making! Learn to draw, paint, and make collages through various fun minigames and lessons. Manage your career as you complete art projects for client.
Get ready to take part in a thrilling outdoor adventure ﬁghting for one of Earth’s last conservation areas. Play as a young woman whose passion for animals has lead her to travel the world.
© 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Ubisoft, Ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. © 2006 Nintendo.
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 552 Friday August 28 2009 £3.25
04 DS targets pirates Nintendo hires former Warner Bros man to head European anti-piracy efforts
20 The best of both worlds Sega West’s new boss Mike Hayes on managing both the US and UK offices
35 Retail Biz Microsoft’s Halo 3: ODST and EA’s Need For Speed: Shift previewed
WITH THIS ISSUE MCV previews Cooking Mama 3, the I Did It Mum range, Hair Salon and many more
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Fresh Start for PS3… £18m UK warchest ready for heavy-duty PlayStation marketing PSP promo spend doubled to £6m for Q4 New campaign ‘The Game Is Just The Start’ starts charm offensive on ‘lapsed gamers’ and Wii owners by Michael French SONY SAYS it will win over lapsed gamers, Wii owners and former PlayStation 2 gamers with its mammoth marketing push for PS3. Earlier this week the format holder revealed plans to spend over £80m on European marketing efforts for the redesigned console, which arrives on Tuesday, September 1st priced at £249.99. MCV can reveal that £12m in total is to be spent in the UK on marketing, which includes a heavy-duty TV campaign and in-your-face outdoor ads. £6m of that is dedicated to a new brand initiative and SCEE’s ‘The Game Is Just The Start’ slogan. Key first party games EyePet, Uncharted 2 and Singstar Take That will be supported with up
SCEE marketing director Alan Duncan and UK marketing manager Adam Boita have readied a farreaching marketing effort, dubbed ‘The Game Is Just The Start’, to reignite consumer interest in PS3
The target audience is PS2 owners who have moved away from gaming or own a Wii and now want to upgrade. Alan Duncan, SCEE
to £2m each, while a national sampling push will reach over 5m consumers. Now Sony thinks it can ‘convert’ Wii gamers into
PlayStation 3 owners: “This campaign is the end of a two year journey for Sony in repositioning the PlayStation brand and making it more
open and inclusive,” SCEE marketing director Alan Duncan told MCV. “With this campaign we are being much more direct.” Sony also plans to promote music service VidZone, Blu-ray playback, iPlayer integration and its movie download service. UK marketing manager Adam Boita explained: “Last year was about proving to consumers the strength of
software; this year we are talking about both that and the wider proposition PS3 offers. “We’re reaching out to those not used to gaming – not just core male gamers.” Added Duncan: “Until now, the ‘buying journey’ for PS3 consumers was a long one – they would really consider what it entailed and why to buy. It was treated like buying a car. We’ve needed something that makes it much simpler. The lowered price and new PS3 helps make that statement. “For us the big audience is PS2 owners who have either lapsed and moved away from gaming altogether, or moved to Wii and now want to upgrade. There is a massive opportunity to appeal to those who still don’t have a next-gen console. That’s why we’ve gone for a very invitational campaign.”
HANDS ON MARKETING SONY IS ALSO SPENDING a further £6m on promoting the PSP 3000 and PSPgo. Sony has doubled its spend over 2008 as it hopes to reach multiple new audiences with the two devices. With the PSPgo aimed at more mature players, “the PSP 3000 is skewing younger, and that’s important as we grow,” said UK marketing manager Adam Boita. “We now have a range of PSPs that appeal to different parts of the marketplace. The two products complement each other and have appeal to different people.”
…as Xbox tries to scupper Slim launch with cut MCV EXPECTS Microsoft to finally announce a price cut for Xbox 360 today as a spoiler move ahead of the slim PS3’s arrival in stores next week, on Tuesday, September 1st.
According to our sources, allocations for the consoles are limited, with the Pro SKU expected to be phased out. The move supports retail speculation that Microsoft is
planning to clear the channel of current 360 stock before dropping its Elite SKU to a sub£200 price tag. The format-holder has allegedly already briefed
retailers about an upcoming new Xbox 360 SKU, although the specifications are unknown. However the format holder seems to be carefully managing inventory before announcing it.
Last week, sources told MCVUK.com that Microsoft was ready to cut the price during Gamescom, but held back at the last minute in a move to clear remaining stock.
PERSONNEL 30 RETAIL BIZ 35 NEW RELEASES 46 HIGH STREET 48 CHARTS 50
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[LEADER] SONY REMINDS US OF ITS REAL POWER For some, it’s been very easy to be cynical about PlayStation 3. A while ago the price was too high, the format lacked key games, and it just didn’t have much impetus at retail. For the rest, there has been a polite tolerance. Retailers accepted the price was high, but that didn’t stop them urging it to fall. The console’s new price cut and redesign addresses many of the quibbles on both sides. But while it’s all well and good Sony saying that the sales will now pick up (as Andrew House did in MCV last week – and discusses in more depth on page 16), what’s more fascinating is how Sony plans to make that happen. This week’s news of an £80m marketing drive for Europe – with £12m alone spent in the UK – plus the firm’s designs on ‘converting’ Wii owners looking to try something in HD, is bold and ambitious. About bloody time. Sony’s been careful to shake off an unfortunate image of arrogance in recent years – I’m sure the same accusations are now levelled at current generation incumbent Nintendo – but now it has every right to be boastful. All of which means the battle to win back market share (regardless of whether or not Microsoft tries to spoil the arrival of the slim PS3) is going to be interesting to watch.
KEEPING PIRATES AT BAY Gamescom last week was a great opportunity to speak to all kinds of people in the games industry. But from Yves Guillemot to small indie developers, one theme regularly emerged when you talked about Nintendo’s DS platform – piracy. It’s now conventional wisdom in the games industry that illegal ROM downloads and cards they can be played on are damaging the device’s software sales, making investment in smaller titles impossible. You can just log on to the web, order an R4 card from some sites and then start downloading games from others. It really is that easy. So it’s interesting to see Nintendo's reaction is to hire a specific anti-piracy expert for Europe in a move to step up its activity (see story right). Neil Boyd hails from the music industry – a sector that knows all too well the disruptive nature that piracy can have. Hopefully the real issue around piracy he can help Nintendo address – and by extension the rest of the games industry – is consumer awareness. It became cheap and easy to steal music off the web because the perceived value of it was always in a massive state of flux. Taping the Top 40 off Radio 1 was always technically illegal, but we all did it. What the games industry needs to do is find a way not just to stop mechanisms for piracy, but address the issues around why people want to pirate games. The answers might not be pleasant (and will probably involve the price of games and release dates), but the industry has to face up to them if it wants to take the issue seriously. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
Nintendo UK snares Neil Boyd heads new attack on sale of R4 cards New signing notifies by Tim Ingham NINTENDO HAS hired Warner Bros’ anti-piracy boss to crush UK retailers that continue to sell DS piracy equipment. Neil Boyd, who leaves his role as Warner’s director of anti-piracy in Europe, this week warned stores that if they continue to stock R4 cartridges they face permanently
MCV can reveal that Boyd joins Nintendo UK in the role of European anti-piracy counsel, as the firm bolsters the department with a string of signings. These include former Universal exec Jonathan Tully, who is hired as a legal advisor and Mattius Damm, who takes the same role in Germany. Boyd will work under Jodi Daugherty – Nintendo’s senior global director for anti-piracy.
ISPs should put pressure on consumers not to download illegally. They can do more – and everyone knows it. Neil Boyd, Nintendo
damaging their relationship with Nintendo – as the platform holder steps up its fight against ‘piracy enablers’ in the region. Digital expert Boyd also called on ISPs to put more pressure on consumers they know are illegally downloading games.
“The four key areas in our fight are legal enforcement, consumer awareness, technology and lobbying,” said Boyd. “Without all those coming together, we won’t solve piracy.” He warned online and High Street stores who are still selling the R4 device that Nintendo had “more eyes and ears”
PDP becomes software publisher ACCESSORIES giant PDP is set to publish its first video game following the acquisition of In2Games last year. The firm will release Squeeballs Party on DS, Wii and iPhone this Christmas, with other versions due in 2010. And the company is throwing its marketing muscle behind the title with a huge TV campaign, and is even looking into developing accessories, toys and a TV show. “We think Squeeballs is the best motion party game to date on Wii,” said PDP’s VP of
PDP is already working on future Squeeballs projects
software development and publishing Harry Holmwood “Needless to say it will be one of the most heavily promoted this Christmas.” PDP is not just confident in Squeeballs, but also feels its
ability to develop both hardware and software gives it an edge over its rivals as it looks to grow in Europe. “Squeeballs is a good illustration of the kind of stuff we can do that others can't. We’re already working with developer Eiconic on the sequel, and are looking at other ways we can expand Squeeballs – be it toys, TV, accessories or other products.” “We’re looking to leverage the unique combination of skills that PDP now has.” www.pdp.com
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Warner’s anti-piracy guru retail that platform holder will pursue stockists – and calls on ISPs to step up online fight BOYD: Nintendo’s new European piracy boss claims that illegal activity on Wii is “less mainstream” than on DS
PIRATES, BEWARE Nintendo’s Neil Boyd has a keen interest in the case of popular BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay, which allows users to illegally send games, music and movie files to their peers. The four owners of the site were sentenced to a year in prison in April by a Swedish court – but have now appealed. Boyd told MCV: “Everybody welcomed the sentences handed to the owners – which are now up for appeal. These guys has been going a long time and annoyed a lot of people. But they’d made a significant income from it as well. Most of the public found that fact quite interesting when the details of the case came out – that they weren’t quite the Robin Hoods they’d previously led people to believe. The fight continues to try and take that site down.” As MCV went to press, news broke that the site’s ISP had cut its internet connection
than ever on the street – and would be swift to issue cease and desist notices. Daugherty added: “[Stocking these games] damages your sales, and it’s going to damage your relationship with us. “We have no problem pursuing customers that continue to take steps to hurt the company.” Boyd – who also previously worked as a digital piracy advisor in the music business – added that he wants ISPs to take more action against consumers of BitTorrent sites. “The ISPs are in an ideal position to deal with any infringements,” he said. “They already intervene in preventing paedophile sites and exchanges of Spyware and Trojans, so we know the technical means are there. “Their willingness to discuss it is a problem. They can do a lot more – and everyone knows they can do a lot more.” Nintendo has taken legal action against 79 R4 cartridge manufacturers in China this year.
TOP 10 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 EIDOS
2. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360 ..........................................EIDOS
3. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 ..........................................SONY
4. PES 2010 PS3........................................KONAMI
5. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY
6. HALO 3: ODST 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
7. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. FIFA 10 PS3 ..............................................EA
9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
10. FIFA 10 360 ..............................................EA Week ending August 23rd Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 48 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… THE UK WEEKLY games market value continues its August slide, slipping to under £15 million for the first time in three months. According to MCV calculations, based on this week’s Gfk-ChartTrack/ELSPA weekly report, the UK market dropped to £14.8 million for the week ending August 22nd, a five per cent drop over the week before. Units also slipped, falling seven per cent to 778,634. The UK games market has been in decline since the release of Wii Sports Resort in July, with very few new releases hitting shelves. However, that all changes this Friday with the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum, while September sees the release of The Beatles: Rock Band, Halo 3: ODST, Guitar Hero 5, Dirt 2, Need for Speed, Professor Layton and more big games.
Nintendo’s Wii Sports Resort returned to the top of the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack Top 40 this week
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
0 Week Ending August 8th
Week Ending August 15th
Week Ending August 22nd
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Guitar Hero pre-orders turned up to 11 Publisher arranges ‘amazing’ Rolling Stones and World Tour incentives to drive sales of fifth entry in series by James Batchelor ACTIVISION BLIZZARD has underlined the importance of retail in the success of Guitar Hero 5. The publisher has arranged to have a strong in-store presence, as well as some appealing pre-order incentives to drive customers to retailers on September 11th. “Retailers are absolutely crucial to every Guitar Hero
launch, we also have a number of amazing pre-order and launch offers. “We have found our customers enjoy exclusive offers, and pre-orders allow us to give them exactly that.” Consumers who pre-order the guitar bundle or purchase it on day one will receive a free copy of Guitar Hero: World Tour. For those only pre-ordering the software, Activision is
We have found our Guitar Hero customers enjoy exclusive offers. Pre-orders allow us to do just that. Ian McClellan, Activision
launch,” senior brand manager Ian McClellan told MCV. “Whenever we ask consumers about what influences them to buy our titles, the in-store environment is a key motivator. “As with all Guitar Hero titles, we are investing in-store to show our continued commitment to the Guitar Hero franchise. For this
offering a number of music variety gifts. GAME customers, for example, will be rewarded with two exclusive Rolling Stones tracks to download. The publisher has also arranged a partnership with the owner of Playboy to promote Guitar Hero 5, following the success of 2008’s viral Heidi Klum ads.
Activision has once again recruited model Heidi Klum to assist with the promotion of Guitar Hero
“We have enlisted the help of Hugh Hefner and his Playboy bunnies for the TV advertising, which should appeal to our fans – and also guarantees their attention, at
least for duration of the advert,” said McClellan. “We saw from our work with Heidi in the previous creative that enlisting the help of true talent for our
advertising can spread the Guitar Hero name virally. Our director’s cut of the Heidi TV ad still remains one of the most viewed on YouTube.” Activision: 020 3060 1000
Sainsbury’s to stock games online SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s will sell video games through its non-food website within weeks, the grocery giant has told MCV.
including games – and is available to pick up in-store and is also being distributed to subscribers to the grocer’s Fresh Ideas magazine.
Games is a key category within our non-food offer and will feature on our website over the coming weeks. Gurdeep Hunjan, Sainsbury’s
The news follows the launch of a special 100-page catalogue to support its new online initiative. The catalogue features just over 20 per cent of Sainbury’s non-food range –
“Video games is a key category within our non-food offer,” said Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan. “It will certainly grow, but it’s essential to drive profitable
sales so that we can compete for space in-store against the other non-food categories “A brand new Sainsbury’s non-food website has just launched and a video games offering will feature within this over the coming weeks.” Sainsbury’s began selling entertainment items through its website last month as a part of the retailer’s plans to dramatically increase non-food sales. The new site currently features nearly 5,000 non-food items, and this is set to rise to 8,000 in the autumn. Along with the new website and catalogue, Sainsbury’s
Sainsbury’s will sell a full range of games and hardware online soon
announced last week that it is planning to increase in-store space for all entertainment items, while video games is set to benefit from a major
increase in marketing spend. For more information on Sainsbury’s growth plans for games, turn to page 26. Sainsbury’s: 020 7695 6000
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Namco reveals ambitious European growth plans Western IP in the works as firm attempts to break into Europe’s top five publishers by Christopher Dring JAPANESE games giant Namco Bandai wants to be one of Europe’s top five publishers within five years by releasing a string of new Western-specific IP. The firm’s ambitious plans follow the acquisition of Atari’s European distribution business in July, and a series of new game announcements at last
John Galloway, Namco Bandai
week’s Gamescom event. During the Cologne-based consumer and trade show, Namco Bandai revealed they would be publishing movie tiein Clash of the Titans and Game Republic’s Majin: The Fallen Realm. It also announced a partnership with Heavenly Sword developer, Ninja Theory. “This is only the starting point,” Namco Bandai Partners’
X360, PS3, PC
vice president of UK and Nordic John Galloway told MCV. “Going forward there will be heavy investment into game development more suited for European gamers. This makes Namco Bandai a formidable force going forward. “We aim to grow our market share to be one of the top five publishers in Europe over the next three to five years. To achieve this we will
There will be heavy investment into game development more suited for European gamers.
Wolfenstein brings the Nazi dark obsession with the occult to life with epic action and harrowing shooter combat. Move between the Nazi’s sinister reality and yours as you battle through occupied Eisenstadt. Unleash the Nazi’s own dark powers and perverted science against them with supernatural weapons and firepower.
deliver on great game quality, something Namco Bandai has always done, and more mass market products to compete in this market space.” Namco Bandai is one of several Japanese games companies looking to grow in Europe, with its acquisition of Atari’s distribution arm following the formation of Tecmo Koei Europe and Square Enix’s buyout of British publisher Eidos.
Namco Bandai’s John Galloway is looking to grow the publisher’s European business
“Japanese companies need to grow out of Japan, and Europe is the next key market,” added Galloway. “For many years they have released their games via a distribution company
and Europe responded very well in terms of sales – sometimes better than the US. It is an obvious next move for them.”
Out September 25th DS, Wii, PS2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360 The largest army of Super Heroes is back...and being torn apart! Forces collide as Super Heroes take sides over having to register with the government. Harness the power of over 24 playable heroes and villains with exciting new character and team upgrades.
Namco Bandai Partners: 020 8222 9700
Codies: Quiet Q4 will help Flashpoint CODEMASTERS believes its Operation Flashpoint sequel will benefit from fellow publishers moving major rival game releases from Q4 to Q1 next year. The firm has revealed that it will be backing the title with an ‘explosive’ Christmas marketing blitz, which will concentrate on exposure in nationwide cinemas. Brand manager Dan Robinson said: “The marketing drive is all about maximising the consumers’ opportunitiesto-see in the right channels
and this game has had a two year publicity build, and now is launching in a relatively clear launch window for shooters. “The campaign launches an early barrage online to hit core gamers and culminates with an explosive cinema campaign to impact and inspire the mainstream. “Operation Flashpoint’s ‘Think You’re Ready?’
campaign is executed with believable, documentary, gritty, unnerving and visceral creative work. The online activity runs for two months around launch across top tier online gaming sites and a raft of hardcore gaming networks. The ‘Sound of War’ cinema campaign then runs for two months and targets three million impressions. Critical reaction has been very positive too.”
Codemasters is also confident that the game will perform well critically, according to brand director Hayley Holland. “Three years ago the dev team set out to take players as close to war as they’ll ever want to get and challenge expectations,” she said. “The result is the most accessible, immersive, sandbox wargame seen in recent times.” Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising is due for release on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 on October 9th.
Out Autumn 2009 X360, PS3, PSP, Wii, NDS, PC LucasArts follows up with a sequel to last year’s Clone Wars videogame. Structured in parallel to the show, the new action platformer will let the millions of Clone Wars fans fight alongside their family and friends and live out firsthand the heroic Clone Wars adventures.
Codemasters: 01926 814 132
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New Layton given Christmas boost Nintendo backs highly anticipated DS sequel throughout Q4 with one of its biggest campaigns of the year by James Batchelor NINTENDO is preparing one of its biggest marketing campaigns of 2009 for Professor Layton and Pandora’s Box, which it is confident will also increase sales of the original title in the series. A heavyweight TV campaign that will air in two bursts is the main focus.
after the fantastic reactions we have seen since the announcement at E3. “Already pre-orders for the title are proving to be strong showing that there is a great deal of appetite for this title and the buzz being generated by the legions of fans online is spectacular. “When you take into consideration that the sales of
This is one of our largest campaigns of the year. We are feeling really positive after the reaction at E3. James Honeywell, Nintendo
Firstly, ads will run in the weeks surrounding the game’s release on September 25th. Nintendo will then run a secondary campaign further into Q4 to maintain sales momentum at retail as Christmas approaches. “This will be one of our largest campaigns this year,” senior product manager James Honeywell told MCV. “We are feeling really positive about the upcoming launch of this sequel
the first instalment in the series are now over 600,000 in the UK according to ChartTrack GfK data and still growing, we really hope that everyone will want to explore the next exciting instalment.” As Pandora’s Box represents the second part of a continuing story, Nintendo expects to see an increase in sales of the original Professor Layton, with the advertising campaign converting any consumers who
The original Professor Layton sold 600,000 in the UK – and Nintendo has high hopes for its successor
have refrained from picking up The Curious Village so far. “This was seen to dramatic effect in Japan where, as each sequel has been launched, it has increased sales of the
previous titles significantly,” Honeywell told MCV. The company marketed the original Layton game as an ideal gift solution for both Mother’s Day and
Father’s Day, even creating a special retail bundle for the latter. Retail ran out of stock of the game due to unprecedented demand. Nintendo: 01753 483 700
TDR offers bargain Pinpoint unleashes Wii Wand disc repair to retail DISC REPAIR specialist TDR is inviting MCV readers to make them an offer for any disc repair machine in their range. As long as the offer is not too low, retailers can grab themselves a machine such as the Disc-GoDevil, the TDR Compact Plus or the Elite 60 for a bargain price. To name a price for a TDR machine, retailers can ring the firm or drop them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
between Friday, September 4th and 18th. “Since April we have been heavily investing in campaigns to raise awareness of disc repair and trade-in and the feedback we are getting is that the campaigns are working,” said TDR marketing manager Clare Elvy. “As we see the demand for these services increase, we want to ensure the demand can be met.” TDR: 01202 400 935
ACCESSORIES specialists Pinpoint Consumer Electronics has announced two new products in time for the busy final quarter of the year. Both under the Nyko label, the Metal Pedal and Wii Wand will be released in stores over the coming months. The Metal Pedal is compatible with all drum controllers for Rock Band and Guitar Hero: World Tour. The metal plating on top makes the pedal particularly durable, while rubber feet keeps the
pedal firmly in place. It also features a unique hard rock design, which Nyko says is ‘reminiscent of rock icons past and present’. Also announced is the Wii Wand, Pinpoint’s own version of the Wii Remote controller.
It is compatible with a range of other Nyko products, including the Pistol Grip, Rumble Kama and Type-Pad. “The initial reaction to these new lines from retailers has been overwhelmingly positive and already we have some really strong sales figures and placement,” said product development manager Tom Armstrong. Pinpoint: 01606 558 428
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Sega undaunted by ‘mature’ game sales challenge on Wii Failure of MadWorld hasn’t put firm off strategy – as it beats chest over The Conduit by Tim Ingham SEGA HAS vowed to plough on with its strategy of creating adult games for Wii – despite the commercial failure of MadWorld earlier this year. The Platinum Gamesdeveloped title did not make an impact on the UK and US charts, but won critical praise
on Wii just because we launched one that didn’t hit right away would be arrogant. We have other teen and mature games we will be launching on the Wii platform.” Hayes was upbeat about recent Wii shooter release The Conduit, which he pointed out had shipped 300,000 units worldwide since launch.
I don’t know why MadWorld didn’t sell so well. But to argue all mature games on Wii don’t work is arrogant. Mike Hayes, Sega
and heavy marketing support. However, Sega West president Mike Hayes told MCV this week that the firm is not deterred, and is confident fellow Platinum game Bayonetta will suffer a similar fate. “I don’t know why MadWorld didn’t sell so well,” he said. “Perhaps it was the black and white graphics or the violence, but to argue mature games don’t sell well
Verrey. “Nintendo has created some of our industry’s most recognisable and timeless characters, loved by millions of gamers around the world. “This deal shows how committed we are to growing our licensing strategy and to producing quality products. We’re confident that our licensed Nintendo products will be embraced by gamers everywhere.” The deal will allow Mad Catz to use certain intellectual properties in its products, such as popular Nintendo characters like Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Bowser and Samus. While no specific products
KONAMI: A new iteration of Pro Evolution Soccer will arrive on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 22nd. The PS2 and PSP versions will follow on November 5th, with the Wii version due for release on November 19th.
SQUARE ENIX: Final Fantasy XIII will be released on Xbox 360 and PS3 simultaneously in spring 2010. The Xbox 360 edition is likely to ship on three discs. NINTENDO: A report from CompaniesAndMarkets shows Nintendo has overthrown Mattel as the world’s leading toys and games company in terms of annual revenue.
HAYES: Sega boss says he is happy with The Conduit’s performance
vs. Predator and Bayonetta are both due for release in Q1 next year. In addition, multimillion selling PC title Football
Manager is due for release on October 30th. To read our interview with Mike Hayes, turn to page 20
Mad Catz secures Nintendo licence MAD CATZ has announced a new partnership with Nintendo of America to produce officially licensed accessories for the company’s various platforms. Under the new agreement, the peripherals vendors will be able to develop and market a range of products for Wii, DS and DSi. These will then be distributed throughout certain territories, including North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. “This is an extremely important licence for Mad Catz,” said global PR and communications manager Alex
EA: Action adventure Dante’s Inferno arrives in the UK on February 12th, the publisher has revealed. Battlefield Bad Company 2 has also been dated for March 5th.
“Show me another new IP that has done those numbers, bearing in mind the Wii market has been a little slow this summer,” he added. “If you compare The Conduit with other core IP that’s been launched in the last three years it’s tracking well above.” Sega’s upcoming line-up for Q4 includes Mario and Sonic At The Winter Olympics and Alpha Protocol, whilst Alien
Mad Catz’s Verrey says products will be “universally embraced”
have been announced, Verrey expects the first fruits of the new partnership to be announced soon.
“We are working closely with Nintendo to ensure that our licensed range will be worth the wait,” he said. This licensing deal is one of many Mad Catz has unveiled in recent months. “We recently announced a range of licensed Kukuxumusu accessories and that we will be offering a full range of licensed Modern Warfare 2 accessories in time for launch,” said Verrey. “We also have a range of licensed Raving Rabbids, Rock Band and Street Fighter IV products. We hold an enviable portfolio and look forward to sharing further news.” Mad Catz: 01908 336 538
SEGA: Napoleon: Total War, the newest entry in the best-selling PC series, was unveiled at Gamescom and will arrive in spring 2010. ZEPPOTRON: Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe has been confirmed as a one-off 50-minute special. According to Brooker’s Twitter, the programme will air soon.
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EK E W E H T F O N G CAMPAI ASYLAM M A H K R A : N A BATM
The caped crusader’s latest video game is already enjoying incredible critical acclaim, and publisher Eidos is set to unleash a marketing blitz for Batman: Arkham Asylum…
RELEASED: AUGUST 28 FORMATS: PS3/XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: EIDOS DEVELOPER: ROCKSTEADY
PR Review scores for Arkham Asylum have been positive, including 96 per cent in GamesMaster, 95 per cent in Xbox World 360, 9/10 in Official PlayStation and five stars in Total Film, Daily Mirror and 360 Magazine. Batman will also see lead reviews in prime positions in major national and lifestyle publications, while award winning script writer Paul Dini is flying to the UK to undertake a round of TV, radio and print interviews. He will also be signing copies of the game at lunch time on launch day in GAME on Oxford Street.
PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
PRINT AND ONLINE A five-month print campaign that is set to reach over 3.5
million consumers is already under way. Eidos is also taking over the majority of major gaming and male lifestyle websites, which is set to deliver 10 million impressions on sites such as Gamespot, IGN, Sky Sports, FHM and MSN. CINEMA A wide-reaching cinema campaign is already underway, with 30-second trailers appearing before GI Joe, Inglorious Basterds and Final Destination 3D. The cinema campaign is set to reach five million adults. TV The firm’s heavyweight TV campaign began earlier this week, with a major spread of TV ads appearing over
the first weekend alone. Highlights include the match between Manchester United Vs. Arsenal on Sky Sports 1, the Kevin Bishop Sketch Show on Channel 4, and the Miami Vice movie on ITV1. After the initial splash the TV campaign continues for two more weeks with two different creatives, one centred around Batman and one around The Joker.
OUTDOOR Eidos has a number of experiential and community events that will help raise awareness and give gamers a chance to try the game for themselves. Batman will also be advertised at the Reading and Leeds Festival, while the firm’s in-store pre-order campaign has been a major success, with the Collector’s Edition selling out.
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NEWS ANALYSIS: PAY WHAT YOU LIKE
KEEPING PIRATES AT BAY? Radiohead’s decision to release In Rainbows for a nominal price online was partly motivated by a keenness for people who would have ‘stolen’ the album for free from BitTorrent sites to make a legitimate purchase. Eidos is hopeful it can emulate EMI’s success – especially as some have put the level of piracy at nine tenths of the game’s audience. “It’s certainly a secondary benefit of doing this,” says Roy Meredith. “Some DRM activities work reasonably well and others hamper the efforts of genuine players. We saw what EA did with Spore and how it frustrated genuine fans – and we felt for them. Then a few months later, it was declared one of the most pirated games anyway. There’s an advantage of doing things this way, particularly in territories where piracy is rife like Brazil. It almost costs the same as a pirate copy, and is guaranteed to be free from bugs, glitches and viruses. It’s a secondary advantage, but not our main motivator for the price.”
THE PENNY DROPS You can ‘pay what you like’ for Eidos’ new Championship Manager. A brave new step in games’ business model – or a headline-grabbing gimmick? Tim Ingham reports… YOU DON’T GET something for nothing. But for a penny? The world’s your oyster. Radiohead and EMI’s decision to ask fans to ‘pay what you like’ for the digital version of Mercury Music-nominated album In Rainbows two years ago was a leftfield move, even for a band known for their sonic experimentalism. It left the music business – particularly EMI’s fellow LP distributors – reeling. Would it work? How many more albums would it sell? How many sales – let alone column inches – would it attract? Now, of course, that shock pricetag (and those panicked questions) have reached the games industry, with last week’s news that Eidos is asking fans to pay just a penny for its new Championship Manager. The firm is hopeful it can attract exactly the sort of attention – and subsequent No/1 success – that was thrust upon the Oxfordshire band when they released their near-gratis LP. “When the idea was first discussed internally, the In Rainbows move was brought up, obviously,” explains Roy Meredith, boss of the games creator Beautiful Games Studios. “But it wasn’t a direct copy of that. We were aware a good deal of publicity
Meredith says that Eidos is looking to tempt in two groups of gamers with the move: committed Champ fans, and lapsed CM gamers. (He also admits that he wants Football Manager acolytes to try the title, but politely adds that he has no interest in “deteriorating their fanbase”). But just how much attention will the move get the game? And, more importantly, what effect could it have on the pricing structure of the industry as a whole? Music Week editor Paul Paul Williams, Music Week Williams remembers the day Radiohead made their announcement well – but says the news indestructible Radiohead made their had very little effect on anyone but, announcement at the top of their game, Championship Manager looked nearwell, Radiohead. certain for another season in the “It was a huge surprise,” he says. dugout of chart success before Eidos’ “But so far, a couple of years on, it’s shock move. remained an isolated incident. No acts The title has long sat in the shadow of any real standing in terms of how of rival Football Manager – and even much they sell have repeated the suffered the shame of being exercise. It’s worth noting that the same conspicuous by its absence on shelves album came out at full price a month last year, when Eidos skipped the later at retail, and sold just as many as chance to rush out an unfinished CM previous Radiohead releases in that form. ’09. If one game could do with turning “The biggest benefit was the the heads of penny-pinching fans and awareness it created as a marketing and the media this September, it’s CM. PR stunt. came from EMI and Radiohead’s move, and that was a factor. But the reason we’re doing this is we spent two years on the game, and wanted to reward our fans for sticking by the franchise. The two scenarios are quite different.” He ain’t kidding. For while the consistently enigmatic, commercially
Radiohead got great PR when they sold their album for 1p. It created new interest in their other material.
“The Sun, The Mail, The Mirror and others who wouldn’t have written about the album except in a review were discussing it at length. “That would have increased interest in Radiohead and their back catalogue. Think of it like a supermarket loss leader – they got people ‘through the door’ with this deal, and then they picked up more, previously unlikely sales from them as a result.” Eidos will be hopeful that previously Champ-adverse consumers will form an allegiance to the game after trying it on the cheap, and invest in future titles year-in-year-out. But, should the games industry follow the music business, it looks as though Eidos’ decision is perhaps not quite the industry-changing drama it may have been. One thing looks certain, however: It may not be a fully original move, but the press attention enjoyed by Radiohead may yet be mirrored, on a smaller scale. You don’t get something for nothing? Try telling Eidos that; as it watches the revival of interest over a flagging franchise – and the column inches – tot up. As Williams says: “I wouldn’t be having this conversation with MCV if it didn’t get the press talking.” Quite.
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MCV INTERVIEW ANDREW HOUSE, PRESIDENT, SCEE
House pricing Last week, Sony confirmed at Gamescom that it was introducing a new, slimmer PS3 model – and dropping £50 off the UK price, taking it down to £249.99. Michael French speaks to SCEE president Andrew House to find out about Sony’s thinking behind the cut and its hopes for a sales uplift… Why was now the right time to drop the price? It’s simple: we have been able to secure a full redesign. It’s the point in the PS3 lifecycle that allows for some critical cost reductions. In keeping with past formats this price cut is about passing on as much of our cost savings as possible to consumers. It’s consistent with what we said before; that we would do it when the price was right. The other point I would make is that experience in past lifecycles has told us that you get few opportunities to address price, and the way to make the most of it is by having a significant price reduction to get as much impact and momentum as you can. Is £50 a significant amount to consumers? There’s a different mindset or attraction to bigger numbers like £100 – in the US and Europe the machine has come down by €100 or $100. I do think £50 is still significant. Is 100 better than 50? Of course, consumers will always say yes to that. But within the current regiment we have right now we have passed on as much as we could. There was much demand for a price cut and lots of speculation. Did that create adverse pressures for Sony in the wait for the cost-reductions? No, that’s part and parcel of being in the hardware business. There are always expectations on new iterations of the hardware and expectations on delivering value for the consumer. We’re just as conscious of that as anyone else is. But as we said at E3, we had to wait for a number of different factors to align; the cost of making the units had to come down, as did the lead time for manufacture. A fairly radical amount of design work has gone into addressing the lower weight, lower power consumption as well as the physical form factor.
There’s been a year-on-year decline in PS3 console sales. Will the new price and model reverse that trend? I hesitate right now to make predictions for a couple of reasons. We haven’t yet launched the console – but we have very high hopes for it and think it will deliver a significant increase on our sales. Vis-a-vis the competition, especially in Europe we are competing quite heavily head-to-head with Microsoft and this gives us an opportunity to compete even more aggressively with them. The other factor that leads me to be hesitant to make predications is that we are in a seasonal business, and I think it would be wrong to make predictions based on the summer seasonality we’ve seen so far. Several people have also asked me if we’re seeing an impact from the economic crisis – there are some reports in the US that say the industry is, but I think it’s too early to say how we are affected until we’ve seen the full year figures.
shifted the lifecycle from the short-form toy lifecycle to a more sophisticated, electronics device lifecycle. Consumers are more receptive to that – after all, people only upgrade their TVs every five years or so. We’ve got a very future proof machine that I think consumers will appreciate. So is there even an opportunity to outlive the rival consoles? I don’t want to make predictions about the other consoles lifecycles. But what I do know is that we are on track for a lifecycle of over 10 years.
So there’s still an opportunity in your eyes to convert that PS2 audience to PS3? Definitely – our early successes on PS3 will have come from those dedicated consumers who saw the device as an extension of what they wanted. For us it’s a question of knowing what will prompt consumers to migrate to a new platform – it’s a case of key titles, the age of consumers, the move to hi-def movies and price.
If, come October, retailers were to say that the PS3 still isn’t selling the way they want, what opportunities are there It’s a question of knowing for Sony? Can you lower what will prompt PS2 the price more? consumers to migrate to the I will make a prediction there – I don’t think we new platform. will be having too many of Andrew House, Sony those discussions. But let’s talk in a few weeks once we’ve seen There’s talk of another 360 price how well the machine has sold – there cut – and Microsoft’s machines are will be a lot to say then, I think. already cheaper than PS3. Are you comfortable with the PS3 still being There seems to be a quiet at the premium end of the market? confidence about that statement. I’d rather wait before giving you a full Sony talked often of the 10 year If we look back at when we made answer to that, until I know what the plan – is that still an active strategy? similar price moves on PS2, there was a competitors’ offers might be. What I Or is the price and new form factor significant uplift in the business. will say is that sales for PS3 and even evidence of you tweaking that plan? Obviously I don’t want to be overly PSP have been bang on track with what This is exactly as we planned it. In fact I we expected this year – so our price cut confident, we are in a different lifecycle think it’s the ‘10 years plus’ plan. With and a different set of economic will take them even higher. We have this new device there is the opportunity circumstances – and we will be mindful something of an advantage as a company to exceed the existing lifecycle of the of that. But when we moved the price in that we benefit hugely from PS2, the PS2. What I am excited about with the before, it really delivered – so I’m numbers are far ahead of where we PS3 business is that now that we have hopeful that will happen this time. expected them to be. It sells very well this new model we are able to offer a in many markets, especially North new value proposition to consumers What about stock of the new America, and that’s something coming on board for the first time. At console – will there be enough? publishers recognise and are mindful of. the same time, because we have a That’s one prediction I will go out on a network device and are continually limb on – I’m very pleased with how So there are new games for PS2 this refreshing and improving the network, we have managed our inventory on the year? Or is it just back catalogue? we are able to add value for existing existing model. We’ve done that very There are a decent number of releases users. Those two trends are very well in Europe and have had fantastic heading for it this year – and going beneficial for the consumer and bodes support from our parent company to forward there is an opportunity for us to well for the business. deliver good supply. There are trucks work with publishers to keep those It’s no secret that since Sony has been consumers who haven’t yet walked and trailers leaving right now – it’s on in the games business that we have the road. And not under wraps any more. away from that device satisfied.
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MCV 28/08/09 17
MCV INTERVIEW ANDREW HOUSE, PRESIDENT, SCEE SCEE president Andrew House is confident that come October, retail will be pleased by the sales of the new, slimmer PS3
With this new slimmer model there is the opportunity for us to exceed the exisiting life cycle of PlayStation 2. Andrew House, Sony
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MCV INTERVIEW MIKE HAYES, PRESIDENT, SEGA WEST
The best of both worlds Mike Hayes has a lot on his plate after stepping up from his Euro role to oversee Sega’s entire Western business. Colin Campbell asks him how he’s finding life in his new San Francisco office – and handling the tricky job of managing two territories... TWO YEARS AGO, Sega moved its US HQ from swanky downtown San Francisco, to the up-coming Potrero Hill neighbourhood; a blue-collar district best known as the home of Anchor Steam Beer. It's a practical, unpretentious place, peppered with old warehouses from the dockland days, and with a good view of the Bay Bridge. For Mike Hayes, head of Sega of America, Potrero Hill is also a sub-$30 ride to SFO airport, useful when he pops back to his other office – in Brentford, Middlesex. There, he’s also head of Sega Europe. Phew! Stamina, and an ability to get stuck into some good old-fashioned hard work, is going to count for Hayes and for Sega in the months and years ahead. Since the departure of former US boss Simon Jeffery and a management restructure, Hayes has been given responsibility for both Sega’s EMEA and American businesses, known informally as Sega West. His job is to run Sega’s operations in all major territories outside Japan. This is cause for a rolling up of sleeves. Sega has much to do, including energising its key franchises to take advantage of both young/new consumers and retro-platforms like digital/iPhone as well as hauling itself into profitability. Parent company Sega Sammy dropped the best part of $100 million last year. With much of the loss Pachinko-based, and with a stagnant Japanese games market, the onus is on Hayes to deliver. Although not at liberty to divulge details, he says that Sega West “performs very well” within the group’s diverse operations, and is upbeat about the games industry as a whole and Sega’s place within the business, which he’s been working for 20-odd years.
across the pond. But this is his first time intimately involved in the US. He talks about some of the major differences between North America and Europe with the caveat that they share more similarities and, when you compare the US with the UK, the differences (scale aside) become most difficult to spot. “The most interesting difference is the retail market. In EMEA we sell to more countries than there are customers UNITED THINKING [retailers] in North America. There are a Naturally, the availability of these few customers in the US who dominate potential revenue streams is no the games market which is different guarantee of success, but with its rich from many countries, but increasingly heritage and undoubted development the way the UK is becoming.” abilities, Sega inhabits a unique place. The US is ahead when it comes to how highly powerful, info-rich retailers run the The markets are so different. business. “There’s a shift In EMEA we sell to more towards what the consumer velocity of sale countries than there are is going to be at an early retailers in North America. period rather than ‘let’s Mike Hayes, Sega take as much stock as we can and see what sells’,” he explains. “We have to use our resources wisely “The level of sophistication of and intelligently to make sure that we information and tracking is advanced are getting those profits,” says Hayes. here compared to most of Europe. It’s “Now is a good time to be doing that as all about hard data on what the long as costs begin to stabilise and as consumer wants and what the long as the market remains buoyant.” consumer expects.” He is confident that, despite a quiet Buzz, as measured by metrics, as well summer in the games industry, the as pre-orders, ordain games. The packaged goods part of the business will marketing does the work, not the match calendar 2008, not including salesperson. “Retail becomes so digital and iPhone sales. For Sega, once important to us because of the channel a hardware company in its own right, marketing that they can do and making the correct strategy is to embrace as sure that product is front and centre so many distribution platforms as possible. that when we are ready to launch a “To think that we are going to get a big game the consumer is there. It’s very return on one format would be a fragile much a marketing business in terms of strategy,” says Hayes. getting sales success.” Hayes spent some time working the Hayes acknowledges some of the oftUS market during his Codemasters days, cited clichés about America and Europe, when the company was bringing its the former being slightly more hardcore biggest turn-of-the-Century franchises and the latter a bit more family-centric. “Of course profitability is what we are all after. But it’s worth looking at where the business is right now. A few years ago we were providing games for PlayStation 2 and a GameBoy device. Now we have three viable home console platforms; for us, a vibrant PC market with Total War and Football Manager; two great handhelds, Apple iPhone, digital and casual games. We have so many different market outlets.”
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MCV INTERVIEW MIKE HAYES, PRESIDENT, SEGA WEST
HAYES: The new boss of Sega West says tracking data in the US is ‘more sophisticated’
But he says these are oversimplifications that do not take into account real and very rapidly developing shifts in the market as defined by the consumer and by the way he or she is buying and playing the product. Sonic is as good an example as any, of Sega’s attempts to grasp different consumers across different demographics and genres, while always keeping a global outlook and taking advantage of those all-important economies of scale. Sonic’s role as an icon has taken it all over the place in terms of demographic placement – hip and happening to very young and cute right up to edgy and brash. Sega is taking a more moderate route now, following the Nintendo model of placing its icons into different gaming contexts in order to define them. “It’s interesting that when Sonic first came out, it’s what the core gamers were playing, while Mario was a
He says: “Show me another new IP that has done those numbers, bearing in mind that the Wii market has been a little slow this summer. If you compare The Conduit with other core IP that’s been launched in the last two or three years it’s tracking well above.” He says Sega will definitely return to tough-edged Wii games, despite MadWorld’s difficulties. “I don’t know why it didn’t sell so well. Perhaps it was the black and white graphics or the violence, but to argue that mature games don’t sell well on Wii just because we launched one that didn’t hit right away, would be arrogant. So we have other Teen and M titles that we will be launching on the Wii platform.” Sega’s upcoming line-up also includes that Winter Olympics follow-up to Mario and Sonic (“I expect it to be top five this Holiday,” says Hayes.). There’s also Bourne-esque RPG Alpha Protocol, shooter Alien vs. Predator (both non-
Show me another new IP on Wii that has done The Conduit’s numbers this year. It’s tracking above average. Mike Hayes, Sega
bouncing, toy-orientated character. But the world has moved on. Mario has been consistent for the past 20 years, providing the same value that it always did. Sonic has changed and that’s why we have to make sure that Sonic is aimed at the right audience through particular games.” RISKY BUSINESS
Sega hit big with Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games and a Winter follow-up is due this autumn. But it’s also mining the character through retro activities on iPhone, casual and digital as well as standalone games and vehicles such as sports and racing titles. It’s a well-worn path that’s proven to point in the right direction. But people love Sega because it has a history of taking risks, not just rehashing past glories. This year we’ve seen the likes of MadWorld, which despite positive reviews failed at retail, and, more successful, teen Wii shooter The Conduit which Hayes says has shipped 300,000 units worldwide and sold more than half that number.
Japanese developments) and Bayonetta (from Japan), which has recently been moved from Q4 to Q1 2010. Hayes says the line-up requires a concerted international effort. With rare exceptions (Football Manager Live or Daisy Fuentes), Sega games play equally well in the Americas as in Europe. But Hayes says neither America nor Europe will get the upper hand in the corporate relationship: “As a rule of thumb if a game is being made in America the brand is controlled from America and if a game is being made in Europe the brand control is in Europe. If it’s being made in Japan we pre-agree who is going to own the brand. That works well for us. The amount of friction that exists is relatively minimal and because it’s a Japanese company – neither European nor American – the dominance of either one of those blocks to tell the other one what to do is not there.” A process, aided no doubt, by the same person running both blocks, shuttling between the very different neighbourhoods of Brentford, Middlesex and Potrero Hill, San Francisco.
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FOCUS ON F1
position This year’s F1 season has b een one of th most captiva e ting in recent memory – an Codemasters d has taken it u pon itself to bring that drama to con so les. Christopher Dring takes a closer look…
DURING THE 2008 Formula One season, Lewis Hamilton became the youngest ever F1 champion and a new racing superstar was born. 12 months later and the sporting sensation has been overshadowed by one of the most bizarre and exciting F1 seasons in history. Take for example the rise of Jenson Button, who is currently leading the Drivers’ Championship, with Hamilton languishing in eighth place. Or the nearmutiny by some of F1’s biggest teams, who threatened to walk out and create their own tournament following a proposed budget cap. And of course there was Felipe Massa’s horrific life-threatening crash in Hungary – and the near-return of F1 legend Michael Schumacher, all of which secured much media space over the past few months. DRIVING AWARENESS
“The F1 2009 season has pretty much everything, hasn’t it?” says Codemasters brand manager for F1 2009 Paul Waters. “There’s been plenty of front page news but it’s the back page stuff we really focus on. You’ve got the Brawn team rising from the ashes of Honda and a Brit totally dominating the first half of the season. Then the rise of Vettel and Webber, both putting in stunning
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FOCUS ON F1 Codemasters’ F1 2009 game will feature stars of the sport such as Red Bull’s Mark Webber
performances to get wins for Red Bull. You couldn’t write it – but it certainly doesn’t hurt the sport’s popularity.” Indeed, for all the off-track drama, it is what’s happening during the race that has seen some of the most thrilling moments – and Codemasters is set to replicate that excitement after picking up the F1 licence earlier this year. “As the world’s leading motorsport brand F1 is huge,” continues Waters. “If you look at Codemasters’ racing heritage, the quality of the games we produce, the BAFTA won for Race Driver: GRID, I actually think the licence fits very well with everything that we’re doing here. As for market expectations, I’m bullish. We’ve had a ton of great feedback on the code, a major campaign in the planning and, of course, the popularity of the sport is just growing and growing.” The first game to arrive via Codemasters is based on the 2009 season and is coming to Wii and PlayStation Portable this year, courtesy of developer Sumo Digital. Meanwhile, Codemasters’ in-house team is working on a high-definition version based around the 2010 season, which will be released next year. “When we were signing the licence, we discussed if it was possible to
produce a Codemasters quality F1 game across all platforms in 2009,” adds Waters. “Relatively speaking, it’s far quicker to produce a great game on Wii and PSP than it is on the other platforms. So, that’s why we’re leading with really high quality Wii and PSP titles in autumn 2009.” SECRET FORMULA
Codemasters’ strength in racing games is well documented, with the firm winning awards and achieving critical acclaim with its Colin McRae and Race Driver franchises. Yet despite the success, does working on such a big licence cause any extra pressure for the publisher? Especially when you consider the large amounts of money and media attention involved in the sport? “It’s the expectations of the F1 fans, rather than the money, that creates the pressure,” admits Waters. “Not wanting to sound trite, but you’ve got to see that pressure as a privilege. The fact that so many people care about what we’re doing provides even more motivation to deliver the games that will not only meet, but exceed expectations.” Formula One fans are well-known for their love of the sport so the pressure is
on for Codemasters to create an authentic experience. So what’s the secret to making a game that resonates with those who like nothing better than to spend their Sunday in front of the telly? “By keeping the fans front of mind with everything we do,” explains Waters. “We know that the millions and millions of them want an authentic F1 game that does justice to sport they love. We also know that they want to be able to share that passion with friends and family who perhaps aren’t so familiar with F1. So, we’ve built an authentic game that’s also accessible and shareable. “Add to that all the things that have never been in an F1 game before – the KERS boost button, the Singapore night race and Lewis Hamilton – and we’ve got something that will really get people into stores. “Last but not least, there’s a specific special racing wheel accessory that will be bundled with every copy of the Wii game. “We revealed that recently and everyone I’ve shown it to has said the same thing: ‘When can I get one?’” F1 2009 will be released on Wii and PSP this Christmas. F1 2010 will arrive on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC next year.
Millions of fans just want an authentic F1 game that does justice to the sport they love - and that’s exactly what we’ve built. Paul Waters, Codemasters
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Learning Spells fun for kids! New!
From the hit ra nge
26 MCV 28/08/09
Playing the Last year Sainsbury’s suffered a setback following the demise of EUK, and is now looking to make up for lost time. Christopher Dring speaks to the supermarket’s games boss Gurdeep Hunjan about its Christmas plans... SAINSBURY’S WAS one of those retailers
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hit hard by the collapse of EUK. It was an event that the various Sainsbury’s execs promised not to talk about during the grocer’s 2009 entertainment conference – yet still they managed to bring it up every five minutes. And you can understand why. In video games alone, EUK’s demise meant Sainsbury’s was out of stock on seven of the ten biggest titles of 2008, and the retailer’s hopes to catch up with its supermarket rivals had almost completely de-railed. Yet 2008 wasn’t a total disaster for the firm – in fact far from it. Between January and December 2008 Sainsbury’s grew its game sales by 42 per cent yearon-year, and doubled its hardware sales. The grocer also significantly increased its games buying team and now has its very own supply unit.
“ OUT SEPTEMBER 2009
Sales: 0121 506 9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org
505games.co.uk Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. Designed and developed by puzzle.tv.©2009 Nithbridge Ltd.
During his presentation, Hunjan promised that Sainsbury’s would be spending more than ever on Christmas marketing, with the prospect of TV promotions, direct mail-outs, advertising in the specialist press, in-store banners and trailers – and he even called on publishers to support them with TV activity of their own.
The release slate for the first quarter of 2010 feels like one of the biggest ever for that period of the year. Gurdeep Hunjan, Sainsbury’s
As we approach Christmas 2009, the Sainsbury’s games team is preparing for its most exciting time yet, with increased marketing, store space and sales expectations. “Our strategy is to convert more of our food and non-food shoppers into buying our ranges,” explains Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan. “We will be driving this through big displays, front of store activity and sales incentives combined with a variety of targeted marketing tools.”
“Marketing is very important,” he continues, “Our customer footfall is at an all time high and advertising makes a huge difference as it helps convert our customers into purchasing games, along with their usual grocery shop.” Much like rivals Asda and Tesco, Sainsbury’s is substantially increasing its floor space for non-food items. Earlier in the year the chain obtained £445 million for new space, half of which will be for entertainment properties. And each non-food division, including books,
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MCV 28/08/09 27
Having fun while helping Mum! New! From the hit ra
Sainsbury’s games manager Gurdeep Hunjan (top right) has revealed that the retailer expects to account for five per cent of the games market in 18 months
DVDs, games and music, must compete with each other for this space. “Games is a key category within our non-food offer,” says Hunjan. “It will certainly grow, but it’s essential to drive profitable sales so that we can compete for space against the other non-food categories such as DVD. “Hardware, accessories and promotional/mid-priced products are areas that warrant more space, so that will be a priority for us.” Indeed, hardware has become central to Sainsbury’s video game growth plans. At board level, the firm has decided that consoles is the No.1 priority for the whole of non-food, with huge outdoor and in-store promotional plans. “Hardware is absolutely critical – the more hardware we sell, the more software we sell,” adds Hunjan. “Our sales data clearly demonstrates that we get repeat purchase of software very soon after sales of hardware.” LOOKING AHEAD
Sainsbury’s has certainly got a tough job with rivals such as Asda – by far the most aggressive supermarket in terms of
grabbing video game market share. But Sainsbury’s has managed to hold its own. During the fiscal year-to-date the firm has seen its software sales grow 47 per cent, and this is set to improve further in Q4. Hunjan and his team are looking to secure ten per cent market share on ten of this Christmas’ biggest games, while games are finally set to make their way onto Sainsbury’s website. But the team is looking further ahead still. The grocery giant wants five per cent of the UK games market in 18 months, and is even keeping a close eye on the pre-owned and digital space. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is preparing for what looks like a highly-promising and busy first quarter in 2010. “The release slate in Q1 feels like one of the biggest ever over that period,” concludes Hunjan. “The quarter always works very well for us, because it is driven by additional footfall around seasonal events such as the January Sale, half-term and Easter. A combination of offers, gifting and big new releases should see this as being the biggest quarter to date for us over this period.”
Play as Emily the doll and help mum and dad out around the house. You da can feed the ﬁsh, lay the table, buil to lots re’s The e! mor h jigsaw and muc se! Hou l’s Dol be done in this ¬n s¬¬&ULLY¬CUSTOMISABLE¬$OLLS¬(OUSE decorate every room! TO¬ s¬/VER¬¬MINI GAMES¬AND¬¬ROOMS¬ unlock and explore CTS s¬,EARN¬EDUCATIONAL¬AND¬RANDOM¬FA
OUT SEPTEMBER 2009
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Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com
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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
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ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de
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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
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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
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30 MCV552_final:46 MCV515
Sponsored by 30 MCV 28/08/09
Double editorial boost for Intent Media Nicky Trup and Gemma Messina recruited Financial veteran Robert Chamberlain named PopCap CFO INTENT MEDIA NICKY TRUP and GEMMA MESSINA have bolstered the ranks of Intent Media in editorial roles. Trup is joining MCV sister publication PC Retail as staff writer, reporting directly to editor ANDREW WOODEN and working across all aspects of the brand. She previously worked at Sydney-based newspaper The Australian, and most recently freelanced for various publications, including private equity website AltAssets. Gemma Messina joins as sub-editor, reporting directly to
Messina (left) and Trup (right) strengthen Intent publications
editorial production manager HELEN FRENCH. She will aid in the workflow on various Intent Media magazines, providing support to the editorial and design teams.
Messina previously worked as an account executive and writer for Publicity Engineers, a PR consultancy for the interior design industry based in Hoddesdon.
POPCAP ROBERT CHAMBERLAIN has been hired as PopCap Games’ new chief financial officer. He has held similar roles at F5 Networks, Onyx Software and Watchguard Technologies, as well as various other software and services companies. Throughout his career, he has racked up more than 20 years of experience in the technology sector and over 30 years as a financial executive. “We’re thrilled to have a seasoned financial veteran like Bob joining our management team and overseeing finances,” said CEO DAVE ROBERTS.
“He’ll oversee a sizeable team of finance and accounting professionals while also providing critical expertise to our overall expansion plans. As we mature into a sizeable corporation, it will be invaluable to have him guiding our financial future in every key respect.” Chamberlain added: “PopCap’s something of an anomaly in the software business and a rarity in the technology sector as a whole. Profitable from day one while growing to nearly 250 fulltime employees in ten years and never taking outside funding is a major accomplishment. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
SEPTEMBER 11th 2009
“ONE OF THE MOST BANKABLE GAMES OF THIS YEAR, IN ANY GENRE ”UK PLAYSTATION OFFICIAL
WITH EXTREME SPO
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35 MCV552_final:43 MCV462
RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
WITH THIS ISSUE We take an exclusive look at 505 Games’ exciting new line-up, which includes Cooking Mama 3 and Spellbound Party
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT P38 EA’s classic racing franchise returns in its strongest outing for years ORDER OF WAR P40 Square Enix looks to boost PC market with this cinematic real time strategy WW2 title FITNESS FIRST RANGE P42 Blaze brings the gym’s branded line-up of ‘healthy gaming’ peripherals to retail MEDIEVAL GAMES P43 Bethesda’s Wii mini-game collection goes back to the days of knights and dragons LUMINOUS ARC P43 The sequel to Rising Star’s Japanese RPG, which comes with a bonus soundtrack CD
RETURN OF THE KING... Time to say ‘Halo’ to a little friend – as Microsoft’s mega-franchise returns in potential smash FPS Halo 3: ODST... P36
EXSPECT PSP CASES P44 The peripherals firm launches official screen protectors for Sony’s handheld BLOOD BOWL P45 A fantasy American Football title from Games Workshop’s Warhammer franchise
RETAILBIZ: HALO 3: ODST 36 MCV 28/08/09
Microsoft’s flagship Xbox retail phenomenon returns with a twist after two years’ absence – as Halo 3 ‘’prequel’ ODST drops Master Chief for a new, stealthier take on the hugely popular franchise… by James Batchelor SEPTEMBER 2007 was dominated by the release of Halo 3. The game not only outperformed all other titles on Xbox 360, but even smashed records – generating more revenue in its debut week than Hollywood’s biggest ever releases. Now Microsoft looks to build on that success further with the next instalment in the series, Halo 3: ODST. As the name suggests, this is not a true sequel, instead depicting the events that led up to Halo 3. But that doesn’t make it any less significant as a new release.
“Halo 3: ODST is an absolutely key “We firmly believe Halo 3: ODST will be things go more than a little pear-shaped title for us,” says Microsoft’s Xbox and a fantastic success and continue to drive and you become separated from your Entertainment director Stephen McGill. the cultural phenomenon that is Halo.” team and stranded in a city overrun by “As part of arguably one of Covenant forces. the biggest video game, if In addition to this epic We’re extremely excited about not entertainment, new single-player ODST. It’s a Halo game in franchises of all time, campaign, the renowned ODST is very much Halo 3 mulitplayer modes every sense of the word – and something fans of return. As well as standard should be a huge success. blockbuster action titles are deathmatches, the new coStephen McGill, Microsoft looking forward to. operative Firefight mode “We’re extremely excited about pits four players against waves of ODST. It’s a Halo game in every sense Players take on the role of a rookie enemies in a variety of tight arenas. of the word, and we know that Bungie Orbital Drop Shock Trooper on a If players tire of the core ODST will undoubtedly deliver another mission to New Mombasa. As is often stages, there is even a bonus disc incredibly innovative, high quality title. the case with sci-fi space marine stories, included with the game that contains all
RETAILBIZ: HALO 3: ODST WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 37
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 22 FORMATS: XBOX 360 PUBLISHER: MICROSOFT DEVELOPER: BUNGIE PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822800
of the Halo 3 multiplayer maps released to date. Shying away from the all-out gunfights of the mainstay Halo games, ODST takes on a much more open structure. New Mombasa serves as an open world hub, which players must explore in order to find clues about what occurred here. Finding those clues triggers flashbacks where players switch to the perspective of other members from the ODST team. As they relive the events that led to the rookie’s predicament, the game becomes more of a detective story, with gamers piecing together the plot from these scenes. Naturally, the presence of a new Halo title on the shelves will be enough to catch the attention of the hardcore gaming consumers, but Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to ensure that awareness of ODST is at an all-time high by September (see Retail Assault, below left). THE LONG GAME
RETAIL ASSAULT Obviously, as the biggest release of the year for Microsoft, Halo 3: ODST will benefit from a mammoth promotional effort to raise awareness and drive interest in the hugely popular series’ return. “We’ve got an extremely robust and exciting marketing campaign in place that will do a great job building and delivering the already incredible amount of consumer demand out there today,” says Microsoft’s Xbox and Entertainment director Stephen McGill. A heavyweight online campaign in specialist gaming media has already driven pre-order momentum, which is expected to continue throughout the launch period. This includes a mixture of homepage takeovers and reskinning of multiple gaming and men’s consumer websites. Print ads will run in specialist games and men’s consumer
publications in the run-up to launch and beyond. Multiple TV spots will run throughout specifically targeted programming in the run-up to Halo 3: ODST’s arrival. Microsoft has also arranged the takeover and sponsorship of key shows and programming events. An interactive Branded Digital Experience will support the established Halo content on Xbox.com. Interest in pre-orders has been given a massive boost by the inclusion of an exclusive playable character, Sergeant Johnson, for early adopters. A range of POS material for retailers, including standees, posters and kiosk wraps, has been designed to emphasise this preorder bonus.
Not only does Microsoft’s McGill believe the game can dominate the charts in the run-up to Christmas, he is also confident it will rack up strong sales next year and beyond. “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,” he says. “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.” While the target audience is obviously the established Halo fanbase, Microsoft hopes to expand the franchise’s influence further by
emphasising ODST’s potential as an entry point to the series for newcomers. “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,” adds McGill. “However, by including all of the Halo 3 multiplayer content released to date on the disc, and couple 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 shows them that Halo 3: ODST offers the perfect introduction to the Halo universe.”
RETAILBIZ: NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 38 MCV 28/08/09
NOT TYRED: Shift spearheads EA’s revitalised trio of Need For Speed games
The reinvention of Need For Speed begins with Shift, the core offering in the series’ new trilogy...
by James Batchelor ONE OF THE shock announcements at the beginning of 2009 was that Electronic Arts would be revitalising its long-running racing series Need For Speed with not one, but three releases this year. The move is a reaction to some below-par reviews in recent years – despite the fact that the games have always performed well at retail. And one glance at Shift strongly suggests EA has a real contender for racer of the year on its hands. Need For Speed: Shift is considered to be the ‘core’ edition of three new titles in the series, which all cater to different audiences. NFS: Nitro and NFS: World Online will be targeted at wider audiences later this year. With Shift arriving in late September, EA is working hard to raise awareness of the new edition, as well as emphasising that the Xbox 360, PS3,
PC and PSP release is the Need For Speed experience that hardcore gamers know and love. “We are confident that Shift will confirm Need For Speed as the premier racing franchise in the games industry,” says product manager Kevin Flynn. “With the racing pedigree and expertise
game’s release window and through until Christmas.” The key selling point to Shift is authenticity. As with previous Need For Speed titles, the game accurately recreates a variety of the world’s hottest cars and, more importantly, the sensation of driving them. There are over 70 licensed cars available to We’re confident that Shift will choose from, including confirm Need For Speed’s the Pagani Zonda F, Audi place as the premier racing RS4 and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and all recreate franchise in the industry. the handling of their realKevin Flynn, Electronic Arts life counterparts. of Slightly Mad Studios combined with The world around the cars and the Black Box’s presentation skills, Shift way in which the two interact has also should delight Need For Speed fans been developed as realistically as both old and new. possible. Players burn rubber around 15 “It is a return to a quality and real world locations, including iconic engaging racing game and our racing tracks such as Willow Springs, confidence in Shift is such that we’ve Laguna Seca and Brand’s Hatch, as well been showing the code off to press, key as fictional circuits based on exotic influencers and consumers since cities such as Tokyo and London. January. Retailers should expect to see For the true experience, gamers will Shift achieve massive profile during the want to choose the cockpit view that
RETAILBIZ: NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT WWW.MCVUK.COM
Players can test their driving skills in Shift’s 15 real world locations
MCV 28/08/09 39
puts them right in the driver’s seat. It’s here that the true digital trickery takes effect, as the HUD begins to mimic the driver’s head movement and the effects of inertia and G-forces. The depth of field even changes depending on the speed of the car. While this keeps the adrenaline pumping when gamers are performing well, it also works against them should they crash. Upon impact, a combination of visual and audio effects will recreate the sensation of being involved in such a collision, leaving players disorientated and disrupting the race. And, of course, the damage is rendered realistically on what is left of the car. “Shift is all about the true driver’s experience,” says Flynn. “Everything from the stunning in-car view, the sense of speed and the punishing audio and visual effects of crashing. “Through extensive racing driver input we believe it brings to life the athleticism and brutality of track racing. But it’s also remarkably accessible: the
unique Driver Profile system, which rewards players for their own specific style of racing, offers a great experience for any level of gamer.”
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: 360, PS3, PC, PSP PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: SLIGHTLY MAD STUDIOS BLACK BOX
New to the series, the Driver Profile system tracks each player’s performance and rewards them appropriately. Monitoring their performance in both career and online modes, the mechanic creates a driver personality that suits the gamer, based on how aggressive or precise their driving style is and how successful they are in each race. As they progress, players earn badges that recognise their achievements and points that can be used to unlock more content. The publisher is making no secret of how important this release is to its Q4 plans, and as such is not holding back when it comes to marketing. Need For Speed: Shift will have an extensive marketing campaign to support it, targeting the well-established fanbase and other avid gamers.
PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
“Need For Speed: Shift will be treated to a triple-A launch campaign as you would expect from such a prestigious title,” says Flynn. “Shift is a huge priority for EA and as such we will be in all above-the-line areas with a significant TV campaign using a stunning high-definition ad. “We’ve been marketing Shift for some time now and have had a presence at all the key dates in the gaming calendar, such as E3 and Cologne, as well as at Gadget Show Live and the European Drifting Championships. September 18th is only the start, however, and Shift will remain a priority for EA all the way through to Christmas this year.”
RETAILBIZ: ORDER OF WAR 40 MCV 28/08/09
Square Enix releases its highly-anticipated WW2 RTS – even more notable for being its first Westerndeveloped game...
approaching a resolution. Players command the armed forces as the Allies launch two major operations that would drive back Germany’s armies on both the Western and Eastern Fronts at once. To ensure players get the full experience of leading the charge in the closing months of the Second World
“Order Of War not only raises the bar for the RTS sector, but will also pull in SQUARE ENIX has been working hard new customers unable to resist such an to expand beyond its traditional remit of incredibly cinematic gaming Japanese RPGs and Final Fantasy games. experience,” says product marketing One need only look at the wealth of manager Ned Browning. diverse IP the publisher has gained Differentiating itself from other through its acquisition of Britsoft WW2 RTS titles, Order Of War company Eidos to see how does away with the things are changing. traditional top-down Order Of War not only raises Order Of War is the next perspective and instead the bar for the RTS sector, stage in Square’s evolution, presents battles in a but new gamers will be taking the publisher into a special cinematic new genre – real time camera mode. unable to resist it. strategy. It is also the first As the armies move Ned Browning, Square Enix time the firm has released a across the map, the Western-developed game outside of War, there are two separate campaign camera swoops into the middle of the Japan. Casting aside its usual floppymodes. In one, armchair generals battlefield and takes players closer to haired teens and oversized swords, the command America’s military might as the action. This also allows players to company now turns to tanks, bombers they seek to secure victory in the West, command troops over a huge area and a ruined European countryside. while the other gives them the without detracting from any of the The game is a World War 2 strategy responsibility of defending Germany details rendered as the two sides fight. caper, specifically set in the summer of from the seemingly unstoppable Red The game prides itself on historical 1944 – when the conflict was Army offensive in the East. accuracy. The two campaigns follow
by James Batchelor
RETAILBIZ: ORDER OF WAR WWW.MCVUK.COM
Square’s Order Of War takes place in 1944 – when WW2 was nearing its fateful conclusion
MCV 28/08/09 41
some of the most crucial operations of 1944, challenging players to relive some of the key battles of World War II or rewrite their outcome as they see fit. Historical accuracy also carries across to the various types of units at gamers’ command. The weapons and vehicles operated by the troops on the battlefield are all rendered with a great level of detail and truly recreates the sensation of fighting this conflict, using technology and firepower considerably less powerful than that found in more modern RTS titles. Players are able to command up to 1,000 of these units at any given time, highlighting Order Of War’s emphasis on massive battles rather than minor skirmishes. They must use a range of soldiers, tank divisions, armoured vehicles, artillery and even the air force in order to accomplish their objectives.
Aside from the two single-player campaigns and the different storylines those follow, there are a range of multiplayer modes to keep budding tacticians satisfied. Gamers can take on their rivals online in scenarios such as Deathmatch and Skirmish as they compete for supremacy. MADE TO ORDER
While its Final Fantasy titles may have an established audience, Square Enix is working hard to attract gamers to its newest IP. As such, the company will be running a comprehensive marketing campaign across all forms of media in the weeks leading to the game’s result. Extensive print advertising will appear in a range of specialist gaming and lifestyle publications, and this will be supported by a heavyweight online media campaign based around numerous pre-launch activities.
RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: SQUARE ENIX DEVELOPER: WARGAMING.NET PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 020 7324 5200
At retail, Square has arranged exclusive pre-order and item-withpurchase mechanics with all key retailers, and promotional partnerships have been set up with Alienware, nVidia and Gamespy. “With production values, detail and depth that are truly second to none, Order Of War stands out as one of the landmark releases for the second half of the year,” concludes Browning. “The word of mouth from consumers will position this as one of the top ten PC titles from now through to Christmas and it will become an evergreen brand for months to come.”
RETAILBIZ: FITNESS FIRST RANGE 42 MCV 28/08/09
After co-creating its own title, worldwide health and gymnasium giant Fitness First continues its interesting move into the gaming sector with a range of new ‘workout’ accessories developed with Blaze Europe… by Christopher Dring THERE’S NO denying the impact the fitness genre has had on the video games industry. Wii Fit is the biggest game in the world today, with nearly 20 million copies sold worldwide. And its many emulators have sold millions of copies too. So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Fitness First move so aggressively into the games space. It is, after all, the world’s largest gym, health and fitness group, with some 550 clubs worldwide complete with 1.4 million members. The group is present in 19 countries, and in the UK alone boasts 164 clubs with 425,000 members. The company’s first move into games comes via Blackbean with NewU: Fitness First Personal Trainer for Wii, which is due for release in September. Yet the firm hasn’t stopped there, as it has teamed up with peripherals giant Blaze – the same team behind
The Fitness First-branded products will be compatible with Wii Fit and other ‘healthy titles’
RELEASED: Q4 FORMATS: WII VENDOR: BLAZE PRICE: VARIOUS CONTACT: 01302 325 225
the massively popular Sega retro range – to launch a selection of Wii Fit accessories, with the aim of bringing the home and gym fitness markets together. “We are delighted to be working with Fitness First,” said Blaze Europe’s chairman Jason Cooper. “This is a great opportunity for us to build on our established reputation for
We are delighted to be working with Fitness First. This is a great opportunity for us to build our reputation. Jason Cooper, Blaze Europe quality accessories with the perfect brand for our fitness range” Fitness First has embraced the Wii Fit phenomenon, with many of its members using the game to track their fitness progress. However, what’s really key
for Fitness First is to attract the millions of Wii Fit gamers who have never even stepped into a Fitness First club. Fitness First’s head of group marketing David Langridge added: “The group is on a mission to make the world a fitter place so products which enhance our core business fit into this perfectly.’’ Blaze and Fitness First are planning to launch a series of accessories especially designed for Nintendo’s best selling Wii Fit. The first phase of products includes skins for the Wii Balance Board, a mat for performing Yoga and weights that strap onto the wrist and/or ankles. The Fitness First Silicon Skin fits over the balance board to provide a non-slip surface for the board. The product offers better grip and improved comfort, with its soft silicon material, which is also durable enough to withstand intense workouts. The Yoga Mat is
again designed for Wii Fit, and is constructed of three soft and durable layers. The product is designed to reduce impact and lessen the strain placed on muscles and joints, while the textured surface offers gamers improved traction during vigorous Wii Fit sessions. WELL FIT
The next product due for launch is the Fitness First Wrist and Ankle Weights. These weights are designed to increase resistance during Wii Fit workouts. The weights can be strapped to either the wrist or ankle and should maximise a gamer’s workout. The products are said to be comfortable and will even add a touch of style to proceedings. On top of all this, Blaze has combined all the above accessories into one pack entitled the Fitness First Wii Fit Workout Kit. Although there is a wealth of great Wii Fit accessories on the market already, being able to use a name as established and respected as Fitness First is certain to give a boost to Blaze’s new range. So if any of the 20 million Wii Fit owners out there happen to shop in your store, then the Fitness First Wii Fit range could be the perfect margin maker for you this Christmas.
RETAILBIZ: LUMINOUS ARC 2 & MEDIEVAL GAMES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 43
Rising Star’s popular DS RPG returns with a sequel that boasts an even bigger adventure – and a particularly unique retail offering… by James Batchelor LUMINOUS ARC 2 is the latest JRPG to hit Nintendo’s handheld from the halls of Rising Star. The game improves upon the original with a brand new storyline, new quests, voice-acted custscenes and multiple endings. Gamers take on the role of Roland, a young knight in training who gets caught up in a war against witches and beasts. As you do. QUICK OFF THE ARC
In an interesting twist, the game will be bundled with a bonus soundtrack CD as standard. Every copy of Luminous Arc 2 comes with a disc boasting some of the best tunes in the game, making it a rare retail proposition and one that is sure to stand out on shelves. Those who preorder even receive an art book with concept art from both games. “Retailers should expect an excellent response from fans of Luminous Arc,” says product marketing assistant Yen Hau. “We have already had many enquiries as to its release date, so the pick-up should
be very positive when it becomes available at retail. “We will be promoting Luminous Arc 2 heavily. The added value of the fantastic CD soundtrack will provide consumers with another incentive.” He adds: “We will target fans of JRPGs directly and create a targeted marketing campaign through online seeding and digital comms. “Luminous Arc 2 will benefit as being one of the first wave of titles to be promoted through Rising Star Games’ Hoshi experience, a community strategy that brings together fans of all our titles. “Partnered with our growing relationship with core otaku publications, such as Neo magazine, this will result in our core message reaching our targeted audience in an open and friendly manner.” RELEASED: OCTOBER 9 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: MARVELOUS ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242
Bethesda tries its hand at creating a mini-game compilation for Wii, merging storybooks and board games to create a knightly party game… by James Batchelor THE WII’S SOFTWARE library is rife with mini-game collections and as long as they keep selling, publishers will continue to supply this demand. In October, Bethesda enters this sector of the market with its upcoming title Medieval Games. Although not known for its casual, family-friendly titles, Bethesda is an established name, which should give Medieval Games an advantage over rival compilations. The game is based on the typical bedtime stories of this age, with dragons, knights and fair maidens in need of rescuing. The fun takes place in the land of Valoria, ruled over by King Falderol. Gamers take part in a range of over 30 mini-games either based on activities laid on by the kingdom, such as jousting tournaments, or designed as short adventures, such as battling monsters. Rather than following the standard structure of mini-game collections, Medieval Games shares the board game formula seen in titles such as Mario Party. Players must travel across three different game boards, choosing from a
selection of mini-games every time they land on a particular space. MEDIEVAL GENIUS
Each activity makes full use of the Remote’s motion sensitivity. Gamers will get to experience frantic sword fights, trying to knock another horseman to the ground with their lance or batting a dragon’s fireballs back at the creature. As they progress around the board, different adventures unfold. Every move brings them one stop closer to unlocking the clues to the dangers that blight the kingdom, defeating the pig-napping troll or battling the evil Black Knight. As with all party games, multiplayer is a focus. Players can challenge up to three opponents in multiple competition modes, such as free play and tournament. Online, they can invite up to three friends to join them in multiplayer action. RELEASED: OCTOBER FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: BETHESDA DEVELOPER: N FUSION INTERACTIVE PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
RETAILBIZ: EXPECT’S PSP RANGE 44 MCV 28/08/09
Exspect’s new range of protective screens, slip cases and other add-ons offers retail the chance to create unique bundles
With Sony’s PSPgo heading to shelves in little over a month, Exspect has formed an official new partnership with the platform holder to support the upcoming handheld… by James Batchelor GEM’S PERIPHERALS division Exspect has unveiled an extensive lineup for both the current PSP-3000 and the upcoming PSPgo, making it one of the first accessories companies to support Sony’s new handheld. The firm has formed a new partnership with Sony that has allowed it to bring a vast range of slip cases, protective screens and other add-ons to retail shelves – a deal Exspect is immensely proud of. “This new agreement between ourselves and SCEE is one of the most important milestones in our young company’s history, and to mark the launch of the first products from this relationship we have worked hard to develop a range of products that will provide consumers with the best of both brands,” says commercial director Neil Meredith. EXSPECT THE BEST
move, with the flip closure design ensuring the device can’t escape the case. Like its standard PSP predecessor, there is a hole in the back to show off the console’s logo and the case is made of high quality leather. A hemp version of the Flip Case is also available, made from 100 per cent recyclable material.
Leading the range is the PSPgo Leather Slip Case, which houses the diminutive new device and protects it from wear and tear when on the move. The case has been designed This official agreement with to fit the PSPgo’s form and SCEE is one of the most features an innovative pullimportant milestones in our up tab that makes removing the handheld much easier. young company’s history. That’s not to say the Neil Meredith, Exspect standard PSP has been forgotten. Slip Cases are also available Like many of Exspect’s PSP products, for the PSP-3000 and PSP Slim & Lite, the Slip Case is available in a variety of offering the same level of protection and colours, including black, white, red and convenience for owners of the pink, while the Flip Case is available in original iteration. There is also a Hemp black and pink. The hemp case is only Slip Case available. available in one standard colour. Alternatively, the PSPgo Leather Flip Also available for the PSPgo are Case offers a more secure storage Mirror Screen Protectors, which not solution for the handheld when on the only guard the LCD display but also
transform the handheld into a mirror. Applied to the screen, the protective film becomes reflective when the console has turned off, but gains transparency again when it is switched off. The Mirror Screen Protector is also available for the PSP-3000. All this and more will be available to retailers by the time the PSPgo launches in the UK. Exspect is keen to support the new handheld’s debut with this range of products, and is confident that innovative retailers will be able to use them as efficient margin makers. “We want to give our partners a very clear and concise message so they can stock the product with confidence. So we have 14 products in stock from launch,” adds Meredith. “We are also offering colour
RELEASED: OCTOBER FORMATS: PSP, PSPGO VENDOR: EXSPECT PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01782 748 732
variants of every product excluding the hemp models. These colour options offer channel partners exclusivity opportunities, as well as the chance for unique bundles. “The timing of this launch is critical as we approach what could be the biggest Christmas for PlayStation for many years and also provides the market with the biggest new product range launch in the space. These products will be available at the launch of the new PSPgo and to a small extent we hope will play their part in the excitement around that launch.”
RETAILBIZ: BLOOD BOWL WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 45
An entirely different breed of ‘football’ is coming home – as the worlds of the American pursuit and Games Workshop’s Warhammer franchise collide to create the deliciously violent Blood Bowl… Blood Bowl fans in the UK,” says head of marketing for UK and Europe Jon Rooke. “It also delivers an exciting and new real-time play version of the game that will appeal to a wider audience that may not be as familiar with turn-based strategy titles.
by James Batchelor
TWELVE YEARS ago, a curious variation on traditional fantasy tabletop games was created in Britain. While it still featured Warhammer-like creatures such as orcs, elves and dwarves, the structure of the game was based on American football The UK is the home of Blood rather than the standard Bowl. We are confident we strategy battles. can emulate the success it The game, Blood Bowl, had in France and Germany. soon became popular – and is now finally heading Jon Rooke, THQ to retail shelves in video game form. Already published “Added to that is full support of throughout Europe by Focus Home online leagues and tournaments, which Interactive, Blood Bowl now arrives in have already fostered a strong Blighty in the safe hands of THQ. community in other European markets. Released on handhelds and PC, with The PSP and DS versions of the game a console version in the works, Blood will enable fans to fine-tune their Bowl holds true to its tabletop strategies and advance their teams up counterpart, challenging players with a the league tables on the go, as well as turn-based strategic romp that gives new allowing for ad hoc multiplayer games.” meaning to the term ‘fantasy football’. Players control a team of fantasy “The team at Cyanide have done a creatures and work to carry the ball to fantastic job of accurately recreating the their opponent’s scoring zone as many turn-based play mechanics of the times as possible before the game ends. tabletop game that will be familiar to Far from sticking to standard football
practices, this is a much more violent game as teams set out to literally massacre each other. Given THQ’s previous retail successes with titles in this vein of fantasy, the publisher is confident it is well equipped to build upon the success of the original tabletop Blood Bowl and take the franchise to new heights. “We have a great understanding of the Games Workshop consumer from our years publishing the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War titles, which have now sold in excess of four million copies worldwide,” says Rooke. “We plan to utilise that insight into the Games Workship consumer to laser-target our campaign and excite the fans.” Direct mail and other similar initiatives will be the cornerstone of THQ’s campaign, not only targeting the audience through its sizeable database, but also through partnerships with Games Workshop and the publisher’s retail partners. A heavyweight PR campaign has been running for some time, most notably
with weekly top-slot placements on Gametrailers.com for a series of eight ‘Meet the Champions’ videos showcasing the different teams available in the game. The first three of these have already enjoyed over 100,000 views. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Focus Home Interactive to bring Blood Bowl to the UK,” adds Rooke. “The game has been critically acclaimed and enjoyed huge commercial success in other European markets since its release in June – most notably France, where it was the second best-selling title throughout July, and Germany, where it came fourth in the charts. “The UK is the home of Blood Bowl and we are confident that we will see a very similar level of success with the title on its home turf.” RELEASED: SEPTEMBER 18 FORMATS: PC, DS, PSP PUBLISHER: THQ FOCUS HOME INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: CYANIDE STUDIOS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
46 MCV552_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 46 MCV 28/08/09
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
The sky’s the limit in September Whether soaring over the cities in Champions Online or dogfighting in IL-2 Sturmovik, gamers will have plenty to choose from as September arrives. Retailers will also be on Cloud Nine with The Beatles: Rock Band and Halo nearing release... TITLE
PC PC PC PS3 Wii PC PSP XBOX 360 DS DS PSP / DS / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii DS PC / XBOX 360 PSP PS3 PSP DS DS
Self-Improvement Self-Improvement MMORPG RPG Survival Horror Action Fighting Action Mini-games Kids Simulation Action Mini-games FPS Fighting Racing Action Adventure Action
City Interactive City Interactive Atari Koei Deep Silver Mastertronic Square Enix 505 Games Rising Star Games 505 Games 505 Games Nintendo Zushi South Peak Ubisoft System 3 Koei Disney Interactive 505 Games
0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 01462 476 130 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242 020 7324 5200 0121 506 9585 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01462 476 130 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585
Trilogy Trilogy Advantage Open Koch Open Open Advantage Centresoft Advantage Advantage Koch Gem Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Open Centresoft Advantage
XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii
0121 625 3388
PSP / DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii DS DS DS PC
Racing Simulation Simulation Simulation Action Strategy
Codemasters Ghostlight 505 Games City Interactive City Interactive Mastertronic
01279 822 800 01376 555333 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 234 4242
Gem Open Advantage Trilogy Trilogy Open
PSP / DS / PC DS / Wii DS / Wii PC DS PC Wii DS DS XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC / PSP Wii PC / XBOX 360 PC PC Wii DS DS / PC Wii Wii PS3 / XBOX 360 DS
Sports Kids Kids Simulation Music Simulation Simulation Puzzle Simulation Racing Self-Improvement FPS Action Survival Horror RPG RPG Puzzle Mini-games Sports Action Racing
THQ Blast Midas Just Flight Deep Silver Kalypso Media Zushi Rising Star Games 505 Games EA Ubisoft South Peak THQ Capcom Disney Interactive Warner Games Deep Silver Disney Interactive Sega Bethesda Zushi
0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 01376 555 333 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800
Advantage Mastertronic Open Mastertronic Koch Advantage Gem Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Koch Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Gem
01279 822 800
SEPTEMBER 4th Brain College 3 Brain College 4 Champions Online Cross Edge Cursed Mountain Devil May Cry 3 Special Edition Dissidia: Final Fantasy Guilty Gear II: Overture Happy Party with Hello Kitty & Friends I Did It Mum! Doll's House IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds Of Prey Metroid Prime Trilogy Oktoberfest Section 8 Soul Calibur Broken Destiny SuperCar Challenge 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 Stronghold Crusader Extreme
SEPTEMBER 18th Blood Bowl Casper's Scare School - Spooky Sports Day Clever Kids: Creepy Crawlies/Pet Store Constellation Professional DJ Star Dogfighter Love Is... In Bloom Mah-jongg Ancient Mayas My Pet Parrot Need For Speed: Shift NewU Fitness First Personal Trainer Raven Squad Red Faction: Guerrilla Resident Evil 5 Spectrobes: Origins Teen Queen: The Clique The Humans Toy Story Mania! Wacky World Of Sports Wet Yamaha Supercross
SEPTEMBER 22nd Halo 3: ODST
MUSTSTOCK .......................CHAMPIONS ONLINE Released: September 4 Format: PC Publisher: Atari Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585
Cryptic’s latest MMO allows gamers to experience the life of a superhero. Customising their spandex-wearing character, and with a nefarious archenemy for them to battle, players battle evil wherever they go. Champions Online also features a real-time combat system.
MUSTSTOCK ...........................IL-2 STURMOVIK Released: September 4 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, DS, PSP Publisher: 505 Games Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 0985
Recreating some of the key aerial battles of World War II, 505 Games’ comprehensive flight sim delivers dogfighting action to players of any ability. The customisable difficulty makes the game much more accessible than other air combat titles.
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Thursday October 15th
2009 Jongleurs, Camden
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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 48 MCV 28/08/09
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
Wolfenstein Activision Blizzard, PS3
Madden NFL 10 EA, Wii
Virtua Tennis Sega, 360
Ashes Cricket 2009 Codemasters, PS3
G-Force Disney, Wii
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
DEAL OF THE WEEK
PSN VOUCHERS COMING TO RETAIL Sony has announced iTunes-style vouchers for its PSN service at Gamescom. During the company’s press conference, it was confirmed PlayStation Network Voucher Cards worth e20 and e50 Euros will be heading to retail. These will enable consumers to purchase content from the PlayStation Store without the need for a credit card. The Voucher Cards are due to arrive on shelves in September. SCEE president and CEO Andrew House said: “PSN opens up a genuinely unique entertainment experience. This is no longer just for hardcore gamers, but for everyone. “We believe that everyone enjoys entertainment differently and should have the choice as to what entertainment they consume and exactly how they consume it. PlayStation is the gateway to this variety of entertainment.” House also announced that PSN has racked up over 560 million downloads, generating revenue of over $280 million.
PSP RETAIL BUNDLES ANNOUNCED The PSP version of LittleBigPlanet will be bundled with the Turquoise Green edition of handheld when it launches. Sony unveiled a number of new colours for the PSP-3000 at its Gamescom press conference, revealing the companion to its PS3 game creation title, announced earlier this year, will be included with the green model. The Lilac Purple model will be bundled with Hannah Montana: Rock Out The Show, as was announced at E3, while the Blossom Pink will come with an unspecified game. All three colours will be available as standalone units. ARGOS PRICES HIGHER IN IRELAND Argos has come under criticism for charging Republic of Ireland customers an average of 24 per cent more for its products than those in the UK. Some prices were up by as much as 200 per cent in Ireland, but Argos claimed it is “impossible” to make a direct comparison, according to Retail Week. An survey found 99 per cent of Argos’ products were more expensive in Ireland than in Britain.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
HMV customers can save over £40 when they buy a Wii with EA Sports Grand Slam Tennis and Mario Kart Wii for £199.99.
WHICH TITLE WILL WIN 2009’S BATTLE OF THE BANDS? 20% Guitar Hero 5
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK
WII SPORTS RESORT FORMAT: Wii
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
ASHES CRICKET 2009 360 MADDEN NFL 10 360
ASHES CRICKET 2009 PS3
THE SIMS 3 PC
ASHES CRICKET 2009 WII
MADDEN NFL 10 PS3
WII FIT Wii
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 PS3
CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD 360
CODEMASTERS EA CODEMASTERS
11% LEGO Rock Band
9% SingStar: Take That
4% Disney's Sing It!: Pop Hits
Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
EA CODEMASTERS EA NINTENDO EA UBISOFT
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.
Kart racers and other vehicular delights are very popular on Wii, so Pinpoint is releasing the Engima Wii Racing Wheel. With an RRP of £4.99, this product offers value for money and is a great impulse buy for Wii owners seeking an extra wheel.
As with rival wheels, Pinpoint’s version houses the Wii Remote, has a smooth white finish and makes racing games feel more immersive as players use the motion sensitivity to steer. Pinpoint: 01606 558428
ble at a l i a v All A
For more information contact sales - 01256 385 251
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
The Beatles: Rock Band
Almost half of the participants from the latest MCV online survey are confident The Beatles: Rock Band will be the dominant music game of the year, although there is still plenty of support for Guitar Hero 5.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 49 Sponsored by
pre-owned market that is doing well for us, especially the retro games. As the larger game retailers dump formats, they become the bread and butter of indie stores like us.
FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]
TOP 10 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PS3 EIDOS 2. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
3. UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
4. PES 2010
5. GRAN TURISMO 5
6. HALO 3: ODST
7. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
8. FIFA 10
9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
What are the biggest challenges facing your store? As always our biggest challenge will be explaining to people how shopping with the supermarkets and online-only retailers is going to eventually kill our town centres and ultimately freedom of choice when shopping.
This week, Nindie.com speaks with Close Encounters’ Jeff Chahal... How has the market been for you so far this year? We’ve actually seen an increase in game buyers. During these harsh financial times people want cheap entertainment, which is something we have in abundance. Unlike some retailers, we don’t charge new prices for used goods and as the recession begins to bite people are looking for bargains. As an indie retailer on the same road as GAME, Gamestation, CEX and WH Smiths we have to be very aware of our pricing structure. That said, price is not the best place to compete. What people really want are quality products at a sensible price from retailers that aren’t just pushing the rubbish the head office is telling staff to sell.
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
What makes your store unique? Close Encounters is one of a very small number of game and comic retailers in the UK. Not only do we provide the latest games on day one but we also have weekly deliveries from the US of the latest comics, manga and graphic novels. What has been performing well? What has been underperforming? In the current financial climate, it is the
What is the one thing you would change about games retail? Personally I would like to see a much higher level of quality control on the games released, especially the licensed rubbish that is vomited forth for every movie release. Have you noticed any changes in your customer demographic over the last twelve months? None at all. We have always catered for a good mix of people and find it changes very little if you make sure you look after your customers.
10. FIFA 10
360 ..........................................................................EA Week ending August 23rd Source: SHOPTO.COM
Madden NFL 10 360, EA
Virtua Tennis 2009
Wii Sports Resort
Ashes Cricket 2009
UFC 2009: Undisputed
IN STORE: CRAWLEY
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2. HALO 3: ODST
3. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. CHAMPIONS ONLINE
5. ASSASSIN’S CREED II
6. AION: THE TOWER OF ETERNITY
7. BATMAN: ARKHAM ASSYLUM
8. FIFA 10
9. PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX
10. FIFA 10
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
Week ending August 23rd Source: SHOPTO.COM
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
50,51 MCV552_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 50 MCV 28/08/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
MARIO KART DS
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DISNEY POKÉMON PLATINUM NINTENDO DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. NINTENDO G-FORCE DISNEY MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST SHERLOCK HOLMES: THE MUMMY UBISOFT ACTIVE HEALTH: CAROL VODERMAN NINTENDO
2 1 3 6 8 5 11 13 7
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD G-FORCE DISNEY HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD PRINCE EA 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
WOLFENSTEIN 360, PS3, PC
ASHES CRICKET 2009 Wii, PS3, PC, 360
WII FIT Wii
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD
MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE
2 3 4 5
4 3 2 5
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA FIFA ‘09 EA RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY HARRY POTTER & HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA
6 7 8 9 10
6 9 7 8 10
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD G-FORCE DISNEY
DEVELOPER: CAPCOM PUBLISHER: CAPCOM
CODEMASTERS NINTENDO ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 360, PS3, PC UBISOFT
MARIO KART WII Wii
TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 360, Wii, PS3
FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 360, PS3
[PROTOTYPE] PC, PS3, 360
HARRY POTTER: HALF BLOOD 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PC, PS2 EA
LEGO BATMAN PC, PS3, 360, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
G-FORCE 360, Wii, PS3, 360, PS2, PSP
THE SIMS 3 PC
FIFA ‘09 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC
WII PLAY Wii
NINTENDO EA EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WARNER BROS. DISNEY EA EA NINTENDO
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, DS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES Wii, DS
EA SPORTS ACTIVE Wii
MADDEN NFL 10 PSP, PS2, PS3, XBOX 360, Wii
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
PUBLISHER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
DEVELOPER: REBELLION PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII SPORTS RESORT
COD: WORLD AT WAR
1 4 3 5 6 7 8 9 10
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THE SIMS 3 EA FOOTBALL MANAGER 2009 SEGA WOW: WRATH OF THE LICH KING ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR SEGA COD 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GRAND THEFT AUTO IV ROCKSTAR WARHAMMER 40,00: DAWN OF WAR II THQ SPORE EA HEARTS OF IRONS III ASCARON
1 2 3 6 5 7 4 12 NEW
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
50,51 MCV552_final:54-55 MCV525
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 51
second place. The game missed out on defeating
top spot after two weeks being outperformed by
Wii Sports Resort by as little as 2,000 sales. Wolfenstein secured the top spot in the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC charts. Both Nintendo and Activision Blizzard now have three titles each in the Top 10. Thanks to a price promotion, Call Of Duty: World At War was the only title in the Top 10 to see a rise in sales. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
Ashes Cricket 2009. The MotionPlus game outsold Codemasters’ sports game despite a 12 per cent decline in week on week sales. Nintendo has now held first place in the All Formats chart for 15 weeks so far this year. The only new entry for the week, Activision Blizzard’s Wolfenstein, debuted in a respectable
L FORMATS Highest New Entry
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest Top 40 Climber
TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN 360, PS3, PC, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR PS3, Wii, 360, PS2 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
MARIO KART DS DS
ASSASSIN’S CREED 360, PS3, PC
LEGO STAR WARS PS3, 360, Wii, DS,
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC GAMES Wii, DS
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
GUITAR HERO: ON TOUR DS
POKÉMON PLATINUM DS
MYSTERY STORIES DS
BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE DS, Wii, PS2, PSP
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV 360, PS3, PC
CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE DS
GSP/AVANQUEST D3P ROCKSTAR
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
DEAD SPACE 360, PS3, PC
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. DS
NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER 360, PS3, Wii, PC, PS2, DS EA
NINTENDO EA NINTENDO
MY FITNESS COACH Wii
SEGA SUPERSTAR TENNIS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2, PC
PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 2 11 3 6 7 NEW
UBISOFT SEGA THQ
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ASHES CRICKET 2009 CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 [PROTOTYPE] TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 INFAMOUS MADDEN NFL 10 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
CODEMASTERS UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA SONY EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
JEWEL QUEST MYSTERIES: EMERALD DEVELOPER: IWIN PUBLISHER: GSP/AVANQUEST ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON 3 MASTERTRONIC WOW: BATTLE CHEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD MYSTERY CASE FILES: MADAME FATE FOCUS MYSTERY STORIES GSP/AVANQUEST HIDDEN EXPEDITION: AMAZON FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST FOCUS MYSTERY CASE FILES: SUSPECTS FOCUS WORLD OF WARCRAFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD WOW: BURNING CRUSADE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
WII FIT ASHES CRICKET 2009 MARIO KART WII EA SPORTS ACTIVE TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC GAMES GRAND SLAM TENNIS HARRY POTTER & THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE G-FORCE
3 2 4 5 6 8 7 9 11
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
SAINTS ROW 2 360, PS3, PC
1 1 2 8 4 6 5 7 3 9
WEEK ENDING 22/08/09
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO CODEMASTERS NINTENDO EA EA SEGA EA EA DISNEY
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR ASHES CRICKET 2009 CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD [PROTOTYPE] FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 4 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 10 MADDEN NFL 10 GUITAR HERO: WORLD TOUR
5 1 2 4 6 8 7 3 10
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
NINTENDO’S WII SPORTS RESORT returns to the
DEVELOPER: RAVEN SOFTWARE PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS UBISOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA EA ACTIVISON BLIZZARD
52,53 MCV552_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 52 MCV 28/08/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
v.2 PLAY. LDA
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
NETHERLANDS INNELEC MULTIMEDIA
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
45 rue Delizy,
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
Email export sales: email@example.com
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Tel: +31 10 298 3838
Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
Massemedia AS...........................................Notteroy Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Lorentzweg 1 3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
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:firstname.lastname@example.org website:www.computerland.rs
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland E-mail: email@example.com
tel. +357 22 666612
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
SPAIN Ardistel. S.L..................................................Zaragoza
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Phone: +48 71 354 46 10
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) firstname.lastname@example.org www.gatewaydistribution.dk
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034, Barcelona, Spain,
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,
28046 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 789 35 50 Web: www.virginplay.es
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
52,53 MCV552_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 28/08/09 53
The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
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
July proved another tough month for video games retailers in North America, with the overall value of the market declining 29 per cent year-on-year with a total value of $1.19bn. Hardware sales were hardest hit, falling 37 per cent to $281m. Software sales also declined – a 26 per cent drop saw them dip to $437m. Accessory sales fell 12 per cent to $150m. “The US video games industry declined for the fifth consecutive month, bringing year-to-date sales to $8.16 billion, down 14 per cent from the same time period last year,” NPD’s Anita Frazier said.
Fax: 00971 4 883 5175
Despite the hardware market’s overall decline, Xbox 360 saw sales climb by 0.93 per cent, shifting 20,900 units. Its sales were not far behind Wii, which notched up 252,500 unit sales in July – though this number was 54.5 per cent down on the same month in 2008.
E-Mail: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.gameoutlet.se
Meanwhile, Nintendo of America has revealed that the DSi, the third iteration of its twin-screened handheld hit, sold 1.7m units in its first three months on sale in North America – the best performance from a Nintendo machine in recent times. The original DS sold just under 1.38m in the same timeframe and the DS Lite just over 1.07m. Even the Wii could manage just 1.52m, making the DSi’s achievements all the more impressive. Total DSi sales now stand at 6.86m worldwide.
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com Tel: +971 4261 8111
Fax: +971 4261 8112
SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
TURKEY ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
BASCO, INC. VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
Tom Crago, the president of the Game Developers Association of Australia, has labelled the country’s video games classification system as “ridiculous and antiquated” following the decision to ban Piranha Bytes’ Risen owing to references to sex and drugs. Risen was refused a certificate as its adult content was deemed unsuitable for those under the age of 15. And since Australia currently lacks an ‘Adult’ or ‘Mature’ certificate for games, the title has now effectively been banned. “We are once again caught in this awful, ridiculous web of the antiquated classification system that we all have to endure,” said Crago. “We are looking at a video game industry that is very different from what it was 20 years ago. We are the butt of a lot of jokes. I travel a lot, talking to other developers and publishers and people cannot believe it that we still have this ridiculous system here in Australia, designed 20 or 30 years ago, and hasn’t changed since. “The sooner that changes, the better. It is a battle to ensure common sense prevails. We will get there eventually, but until then gamers in Australia will suffer. To be honest, we are embarrassed at how backward our government is.”
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
...bringing you all the right lines Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online Wii Wand Action Pack
THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT
Wii Wand Multi format Metal Pedal
01606 558 428
or email: email@example.com Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
+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
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com
GAME PLAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07887 710686 . . . www.gameplayervideogames.com
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4th
FOOTBALL GENRE FOCUS With FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer preparing to do battle once more with their 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 an in-depth preview of the London Games Conference, run in association with ELSPA. The event will offer an insight into the future of digital distribution from panels of leading industry figures and also serves as a great opportunity for networking.
FPS GENRE FOCUS With the Christmas charts likely to be dominated by the likes of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 3: ODST, we take a look at how publishers can survive in this increasingly competitive genre. We also speak with leading companies about the key titles due to hit shelves throughout Q4 and how they will stand out from their rivals.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT:
CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS NDreams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01252 375754 Razorback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.razorback.co.uk Realtime Worlds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1382 202 821 Stainless Games . . . . . . . . . . . email@example.com Strawdog Studio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1332 258 862 TOOLS Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Crytek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516
Distributors of CD, DVD, Blu-ray, SD-Ram, Micro-SD, and lots, lots more...
X-Box 360 - Wii - DSi - PS3 new release games & accessories UK Sales: ...............................01189 215 999 European Sales: ......01189 215 916 firstname.lastname@example.org DVD TECHNOLOGY . . . . . . . . . 01189 215 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.dvdtech.com DISTRIBUTION
SERVICES 3D Creation Studios . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 345 9551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Onteca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0151 709 0028 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 University of Hull . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1482 465 951
To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and every week in MCV) contact email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . email@example.com
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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Insider’s | Guide
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
This week, MCV speaks to Eiconic’s managing director Graeme Monk…
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk STORE FITTINGS
What makes Eiconic unique? We are a small group of extremely talented individuals who excel at distributed development; that is, the ability to develop projects in diverse locations. We’re based out of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire area and welcome remote working. What we have is where we believe game development will be in the next five or so years. How has business been in 2009 so far? Busy. We are currently putting to bed our first two titles – Squeeballs and Polar Panic. Squeeballs has received high praise for its character design and gameplay at its launch at E3. It uses the new motion controller from PDP for the Xbox 360, along with Wii as well. Polar Panic is our first
RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com
Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network game, the first of a series of games that we have planned over a three-year period. What are your targets for the rest of the year? With the current climate we’re concentrating on keeping our heads down and cracking on. That said, we are looking to recruit additional development staff as there are a number of projects that are in the pipeline. When these come off, and we get the right team members, then we will be extremely well placed for the end of the year and proceeding in to 2010. What’s the best thing about your job? Talking to people about how we develop our games. We try to make developing games as much fun as playing them.
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION
DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…
SEPTEMBER TOKYO GAME SHOW Thursday, September 24th – Sunday, September 27th Makuhair Messe, Tokyo tgs.cesa.or.jp/english
PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com
BRAND LICENSING 2009 Wednesday, September 30th – Sunday, October 1st Olympia, London www.brandlicensingeurope.com
Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing
For further information, please contact email@example.com www.testroniclabs.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
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 LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, London firstname.lastname@example.org 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
DECEMBER MCV/XBOX 360 PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn email@example.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 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.
GAMES MEDIA AWARDS Thursday, October 15th Jongleurs, Camden, London dave.roberts@intent media.co.uk Now in its third year the Games Media Awards returns to the Jongleurs Comedy Club in Camden and will once again hail the best brands and individuals from the specialist and mainstream sectors, both in print and online. Last year’s Games Media Awards saw wins for the ‘big three’ of Future, Imagine and Eurogamer, whilst there was also awards for FHM and The Guardian. The event is free to enter for the media.
59 MCV552_final:47 MCV443
MCV 28/08/09 59
Supermarket price cuts could destroy the new PS3’s potential for specialist and indie retailers
‘Please don’t cut on PS3’ After Tesco slices 30 off the SRP for PSPgo, one retailer is more than a little concerned that a supermarket will kick off ‘pointless’ price wars on Sony’s new machines – and really damage retail…
IT’S WHAT we were all hoping for. A double hardware launch from Sony in time for Q4 – and at a fairly agreeable price (at least, from our side of the till). For a few days after Sony’s press conference at this year’s Gamescom, me and the fellow owners of my stores were something approaching giddy. We’ve always done very well on Sony bundles with our consumers – many of whom sneer at the sight of Nintendo’s ‘family’ offerings – and the PS3 Slim, in particular, looks like exactly the sort of console to turn heads. And so it was with great disappointment I saw on MCVUK.com this week that Tesco has already cut the price of PSPgo, without it even existing in stores. Brilliant, chaps. Well done. Really smart move. The one thing we indies can’t possibly compete on is price – and you know it. It’s bad for the trade, bad for competition and, yes, bad for me.
Luckily, in this case, I’m not convinced that a digital console is in our best interests anyway. Sure, we’d make a bit on the hardware sale. But the usual spike in software that follows would be non-existent. (We’ll stick with PSP-3000, and stitch together some interesting bundles that will draw in game-hungry consumers – who
our initial glee has been ruined. We’re flicking through The Sun every day, waiting to hear when the first supermarket will cut £50 off the already attractive £249.99 pricetag Sony has set for PS3 – and force the rest of the High Street to follow suit. Pointless price-cutting ahoy! I just hope these mugs realise that the set price is more than
Morgans of this world will be doing the same. But I really hope for once, they’ll be a bit responsible. I long for the days when these behemoths won’t bugger up hardware launches for us all. Unfortunately, it’s looking increasingly likely that idea is no nothing but a distant dream. Yours, A ‘pissed off indie’
I just hope supermarkets realise that the set price is more than attractive enough to pull in consumers. A ‘pissed off indie’
look for overall value than just price destruction.) But when it comes to PS3 Slim, I’m nervous. This is a console that could really do wonders for our business and, yes, ‘save’ us this Christmas. It’s no secret that times are tough out there and a lower priced, more attractive machine is a Godsend. So now, thanks to Tesco’s reckless move on PSPgo, all of
attractive enough to pull in consumers for us all, rather than displaying the needless one-upmanship that threatens to spoil Q4 for us all. Of course, if the likes of Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s do slice a chunk off the new PS3 price, it’s not all depair. I’ll just have my staff run down there snapping us as many units as possible, as quickly as possible. And I’ll bet money the Lisa
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60 MCV 28/08/09
Record This week, we wave the flag for MCM Expo – whose world record stands undefeated despite the best attempts by Cologne’s Gamescom. Elsewhere, the Exspect team get their runing shoes on for charity and 505 Games offers you the chance to win a copy of Cooking Mama 3 on Nintendo DS...
PIC OF THE
Time to beat our jingoistic chests over the news that Germany’s Gamescom failed to defeat MCM Expo’s World Record-breaking gathering for CosPlay devotees last week. We doff our cap to the 376 dedicated nutcases here (and right) – who couldn’t be beaten by Cologne’s 311. Apparently, this lot are going to try and top their own record at the next MCM in October. Please, take care on the Tube that night.
MY WORD, PSP... PSP is perhaps a worthier console than many – especially when it comes to children’s literacy, what with Sony’s work in UK schools. So imagine MCV’s surprise to see the company promoting text speak in its latest US ad for the console, aimed specifically at girlies. What next? ‘PSP made me LOL 4 time, til my nglish xam FAIL’.
WE EXSPECT YOU TO DONATE... ‘ONE DAY, WE CAN BE JUST LIKE HIM’... Here’s a photo from the latest issue of Famitsu, chronicling the presentation that followed the World Pokemon Championships earlier this month. That is all.
Time to dig deep, folks: The guys and gals at Exspect are once getting together this summer to raise money – this time for a local charity, the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust. Last year the team raised over £3,000 in sponsorship money for the Hope House Hospice, by undertaking a gruelling 15 mile walk around Ambleside and the surrounding area of the Lake District. And they’re looking for your sponsorship to help them do it all over again. Visit: www.justgiving.co.uk/exspect2009
MCV 28/08/09 61
RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are... LISA MORGAN, GAME
DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA
MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION
DON MCCABE, CHIPS
TIM ELLIS, HMV
KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM
CAROLINE AUSTEN, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
DEBBIE O’NEILL, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I’m not one for sightseeing. I prefer to stay in and play video games. Right now I like Pro Evo and CoD.” World Record-smashing sprinter Usain Bolt tells the BBC why he didn’t see much of Berlin whilst captivating the globe at the World Athletics Championships this month
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURYS
MPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION
Ahead of the release of Cooking Mama 3 on DS, 505 is giving you a chance to win one of five delicious copies all for yourself. To be in with a shout, just answer this question:
HEY, GOOD LOOKING, WHAT YOU GOT.... A. All down your shirt? B. Cooking? C. That stupid smile on your face for? Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
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MCV has an exclusive media partnership with Famitsu - Japan’s leading video games analyst and news source
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