THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 560 Friday October 23 2009 £3.25
04 FIFA scores big EA claims dominance of football market as latest hit storms past 1m UK sales
06 Creative minds Modern Warfare creator Infinity Ward on effectively promoting your own game
15 Nintendo on Q4 The platform holder discusses its strategy for DS and Wii this Christmas
PAGE 27-37 COMPLETE GUIDE TO THIS YEAR’S KEY INDUSTRY EVENT INCLUDING Full show guide and timetable; Guide to all delegates and sponsors; Digital market data; Speaker profiles; Plus an exclusive glimpse into Sony’s download strategy
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Is retail dumbing down? Publisher cries foul as the struggle to get new IPs and more niche titles onto High Street shelves intensifies by Michael French HIGH STREET RETAILERS have been accused of locking new IPs out of the market this Christmas – and limiting consumer choice by only dedicating shelf space to ‘formulaic sequels’ and preowned games. In a letter to MCV, Rising Star Games’ MD and COO
UK chains to not stock Rising Star’s new release Muramasa: The Demon Blade. The title has enjoyed a good critical and commercial performance in Japan and the US. It has a Metacritic average of 80 and sold 52,000 in its first week of US sales; whilst in Japan it sold 30,000 units in its first week and was second in the country’s weekly chart.
Retail is reducing the variety for consumers. New games content is frowned upon. Martin Defries, Rising Star
Martin Defries said that “new content and variety is frowned upon” by retailers. Buyers’ claims that new IPs are too marginal and unproven mask the truth that stores will only trust ‘safe bet’ top-tier titles and second hand stock, he added. Defries’ comments follow the decision by some
“Here in the UK, the game will not be available to buy in the majority of games retail outlets,” Defries explained. “Evidently this is not because of game quality, nor because it is delayed or suffers from an absence of pre-release public relations. It is because retail is becoming increasingly
choosy and actively reducing the variety that is offered to consumers. If it is not firstparty, a sequel or supported by a multi-million pound advertising spend, they are just not interested.” Even worse, he said, is the fact that Muramasa might make it onto shelves eventually – but only when it is exchanged second-hand for another release by consumers. “Stores will happily accept Muramasa as part of a trade-in deal and the game will retail for half its price,” Defries continued. “Is this a dumbing down of the medium? When the industry and its consumers cry out for originality and innovation, it is a great pity for these wonderful Japanese games that there is little support in the retail market for them – and that formulaic sequels and ‘me-too’ titles are preferred. “Consequently the consumer has little or no exposure to a rich and different gaming experience.”
DEFRIES: Rising Star boss has hit out at retail’s ‘narrow’ product mix
He added: “Publishers’ route to market has always been retail, but if that pipe continues to narrow what choice do we have? Online only?”
Only three games in this week’s GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 were new IP: Brutal Legend, Scribblenauts and last year’s LittleBigPlanet.
Online retail braced for postal ‘nightmare’ by Christopher Dring GAMES RETAIL has drawn up contingency plans ahead of strike action by Royal Mail staff, MCV can reveal. Disruption to delivery services has been affecting parts of the UK already, which has forced online specialists including Play, Amazon, Gameseek, ShopTo, SimplyGames, The Hut and Zoombits to source rival postal firms.
“Royal Mail strikes have had a big effect on one of this year’s biggest titles,” said ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta. “As a result we have had over a thousand copies of FIFA 10 returned.” Zoombits MD Jonathan Ruff added: “It’s really been a nightmare, and there’s very little you can do about it. There’s not many other options to Royal Mail if you want to offer free shipping.”
STAMPED OUT: This week’s postal strikes may hurt retail
Play and Amazon have drawn up back-up plans, with the latter reportedly pulling the plug on its lucrative Royal Mail contract. “We will be doing everything we can to ensure that Amazon customer orders are not disrupted including routing orders through our other carrier partners,” said an Amazon spokesperson. A Play.com spokesperson added: “We have put
contingency plans together to manage our response to the Royal Mail postal strike. Play.com works with a network of carriers and will ensure we do all we can to maintain our award-winning level of service.” Online retailers are desperate to ensure pre-ordered games reach consumers on release day. If they fail, they risk potentially pushing customers offline and onto the High Street.
MCV WOULD LIKE TO THANK CENTRESOFT AND GAME FOR HELPING US BEAT THE POSTAL STRIKE
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[LEADER] IP FREELY Retailers refusing to stock riskier new releases in favour of oldreliable IPs and high-margin second-hand stock might seem like a fairly cut-and-dry issue. Whether in fashion, food or video games, the High Street isn’t just a route to market, it’s a way to gauge customer response. Shops offer a barometer on what consumers want. So when a retailer declines a new release, it’s just a polite way of saying ‘not right now’ or ‘no one’s going to be interested’. After all, book stores don’t stock every book in print, right? And music stores don’t stock every album available, do they? Well, of course they don’t – but games cost more per project, and offer their makers less chances to recoup that expense than other entertainment. They require significant cash from the first day of production right through to the last day of the marketing campaign. Retail is a key part of the elaborate mechanism that has been built up by this industry to help find a return on all that investment. By ducking out of the equation, stores reluctant to take a punt perhaps leave the impression that the entire model is just a massive racket; only support the mega-titles, cream off the top when those releases boomerang back as trade-ins, and leave no room for the little guy. That’s a gross, distorted simplification, yes – but it is how some of the smaller players are starting to see things. When this week’s All Formats chart boasts only three original IPs – only two of which (Brutal Legend and Scribblenauts) were released this year – it’s hard not to sympathise. Amongst the shadow of a recession it has become conventional wisdom that there is no room on the market for new properties. But who decided this? The industry – both cash hungry publishers and playing-it-safe retailers – needs to make sure this doesn’t turn into a self-fulfiling prophecy where only franchised games and sequels survive. All franchises need to start somewhere, after all. So take Martin DeFries comments not as stone throwing, but as a warning. If retailers want to start being picky about what games to have on their shelves, they can’t moan when publishers start being equally choosy, and cut them out in favour of digital downloads, or exclusive deals with supermarkets and mail order specialists.
CREED THE WORLD IF YOU want proof that taking a chance on a new IP pays off, look no further than Assassin’s Creed II, which returns to retail next month. Ubisoft put a lot into its first episode, and even more into the follow-up. But it has also made an up-front confession that if felt there was room for improvement on the original game (see our feature on page 20) – even when it sold over eight million copies. Which goes to show that even if a new IP isn’t perfect, with the right support it can do the numbers first time around – and even come back for seconds. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk
EA Sports: We think Publisher hails FIFA as ‘undisputed’ king of football games market – as by Tim Ingham EA HAS claimed that FIFA is the ‘undisputed’ No.1 football game on the market – after this year’s iteration surpassed a million UK sales in less than three weeks. FIFA 10 celebrated its third week at No.1 in the ELSPA/GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Chart on Monday – holding off major new releases including Sony’s Uncharted 2 and Sega’s Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games. The title hit the million mark in record time – three weeks before predecessor FIFA 09 managed the feat. Marketing manager for EA Sports Trevor Uzice told MCV: “We are delighted with the success of FIFA 10 to date and thrilled to reach sales of over a million units in just three weeks – a record launch for the FIFA franchise. “The studio has truly moved the FIFA experience forward and delivered the most complete football product ever released. The commitment to quality stands out: We are the undisputed No.1-rated football
FIFA 10 is the most complete football product ever released, now with a million sales. We are the undisputed No.1. Trevor Uzice, EA Sports
title on console with Metacritic scores of 91 per cent on both PS3 and 360. In addition, we’ve seen a
staggering 33 million online games played across Europe since launch, which is extremely encouraging.
Will tax stifle digital revolution? THE GOVERNMENT’S plans to fund the spread of high speed broadband through taxation is unfair – and could put games’ potential digital renaissance in jeopardy. That was the view from Shadow Culture Minister Ed Vaizey this week, speaking ahead of his keynote address at London Games Conference on Tuesday (October 27th). Treasury Minister Stephen Timms last month said he was keen to
implement a £6 annual broadband tax for households before the next election – which must take place by May 2010. The Government has pledged to install 2MB broadband in every UK home by 2012. Vaizey disputed the need for a tax to fund the expansion. He told MCV: “The UK is a world-beater when it comes to IP creation, and the games sector plays a key part in this. We are second only to the US.
“We ought to be in a prime position to exploit possibilities offered by global networks that allow these assets to be traded freely. “The cable revolution happened without a cable tax. The satellite revolution happened without a satellite tax. Simply introducing an extra tax is an old economy solution to a new economy problem. “The Conservatives will oversee wholesale deregulation of the broadband infrastructure. We should not rely solely on BT to build this new network.”
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it’s all over
franchise enjoys its biggest release in history
PES 2010 PS3 KONAMI
2. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
Trade’s Q4 line-up is the ‘best ever’
HELD OFF: EA says FIFA is inarguably ahead of Pro Evolution Soccer and other rival titles amongst football games fans
“However, the launch to date is just the beginning and we look forward to further engaging with our FIFA players and community with ongoing content throughout the football season.” The title is second favourite to be Christmas No.1 behind Modern Warfare 2, according
to Paddy Power – with odds of 5/1. Uncharted 2 hit No.2 in this week’s All Formats chart, with Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising dropping one spot to third. Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games debuted in fifth position.
UBISOFT believes that the industry’s Q4 line-up could be its best ever – but has admitted that there will be less choice for consumers than there was last year. The publisher releases the sequel to flagship release Assassin’s Creed on November 20th – currently fourth favourite for the Christmas No.1 spot at 12/1, according to Paddy Power. Major titles such as Activision’s Blur, 2K’s Bioshock 2 and Ubisoft’s own Splinter Cell: Conviction were previously due to be released this Q4, but have now been moved back to Q1 2010. “There are certainly fewer triple-A games than last year,” Ubisoft brand manager for core games James O’Reilly told MCV. “The
market won’t be as saturated this year, but the competition is still fierce and if anything the quality of the titles being released seems to be higher than ever. “That said we are confident that our game and the level of marketing support will cut through.” The original Assassin’s Creed, released in 2007, became the fastest selling new IP in video game history. The Hut’s Sarah Jaspar told MCV that the online retail firm had seen “massive interest” in the game, and that it was only second in preorders this year to Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Turn to page 20 to read our full feature on the muchanticipated release of Assassin’s Creed II
360 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
3. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 ....................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
5. TEKKEN 6 PS3 ............................NAMCO BANDAI
6. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION PS3 ..........................................SONY
7. FORZA 3: LIMITED EDITION 360 ..................................MICROSOFT
8. PES 2010 360........................................KONAMI
9. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2 360 ......................................UBISOFT
10. BORDERLANDS 360 ....................................2K GAMES Week ending October 17th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 105 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… This week’s UK software sales fell once again, down five per cent to 26.5 million, while units also dropped slightly – slipping three per cent to 1,114,416. The results come as a surprise, with triple-A releases including Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves arriving at retail – along with other new releases such as Brutal Legend and Fallout 3: Game Of The Year Edition. The big driver at retail is FIFA 10 for the third week in the row, despite dropping 51 per cent in sales. However, EA’s football sim faces stiff competition from Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer which hits shelves next week.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending October 17th 2009
FIFA 10 held on at the top of the Charts this week
Week Ending October 3rd
Week Ending October 10th
Week Ending October 17th
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Infinity Ward: ‘Publishers should let developers do the marketing’ The team behind Modern Warfare 2 feels rival studios should take more responsibility for their products by Christopher Dring CALL OF DUTY creator Infinity Ward has called on developers to ‘cut out the middleman’ and promote their own video games. The acclaimed production house has been directly
I don’t think any developer should lose control of how their game is presented or marketed to consumers. Robert Bowling, Infinity Ward
involved in all the marketing and PR activities for its upcoming Modern Warfare 2 – working with Activision on when and how details should be given to the press. “We know everything there is to know about Modern Warfare 2,” Infinity Ward’s
networks, and he was even on hand to showcase the various Modern Warfare 2 special editions on the Infinity Ward YouTube channel. “I think it is essential for developers to have that power,” he added. “I don’t think any developer should not have control of how their game is presented or marketed or communicated. And they should take control of that a lot, lot more. “It is why I started the Twitter account in the first place. I have direct line to our audience and the press. Many editors will follow me, and they can direct message me and I can clarify things. There is no middleman. We are responsible for what we say and what we do, and we can be held accountable for our successes and failures.”
community manager Robert Bowling told MCV. “Not only do we know the game but we know the gamer. We know what to expect from them and what they expect from us. So it helps us guide design decisions and decisions overall, including with PR.”
“There are certain things that are good for a press release and there are some things that are good if we presented them in a casual way – such as through Twitter.” Bowling himself has been responsible for revealing game details to fans through social
Bowling is involved in the PR and marketing for Modern Warfare 2
Activision: 020 3060 1000
Codemasters plots F1 success Pizza Hut promo for Jambo! Safari
CODEMASTERS’ F1 2009 is shaping up to be a “perfect storm” as the company pulls out all the stops to make it a must-have hit this Christmas. The game is due for release on November 20th, and the publisher claims a combination of extensive marketing plans and the popularity of the sport will drive sales in the upcoming holiday period. “Our expectations are justifiably huge,” said brand manager Paul Waters. “In many ways, the game is a perfect storm. Firstly, the Formula One licence is massive, especially with a British World Champion. “Secondly, we’ve got a great game – early feedback from
Codemasters has teamed with Nintendo for its F1 TV ad campaign
gamers and F1 fans has been incredibly positive. We’re also bundling a F1-style race wheel peripheral with the Wii version, creating a must-have Christmas gift.” Codemasters is backing F1 2009 with a heavyweight TV ad push at launch – as the publisher has partnered with
Nintendo for its biggest ever UK TV campaign for a Wii title. The ads will run around programming aimed at three audiences: fathers and sons, housewives and children, and 16 to 34-year-olds. The first TV spots will run in mid-November. Codemasters: 01926 816 000
SEGA HAS teamed up with Pizza Hut to promote its upcoming Wii and DS title Jambo! Safari. The publisher has prepared 850,000 Jambo! Safari-themed Pizza Hut menus, packed with 15 pages of puzzles, artwork, world searches, competitions and more. The company has also signed up with National Geographic Kids on a half price subscriptions offer. “Pizza Hut is a mass market brand with nearly seven hundred restaurants nationwide,” said
Sega’s PR and marketing executive Kate Billingham. “They were very enthusiastic about Jambo! Safari and receptive to the way it educates children about wild animals. “It’s a family-fun title that appeals to people young and old, which fitted in well with Pizza Hut’s own customer targeting. “We have four menu types, filled with pictures and puzzles. We hope they’ll prove good fun for all of Pizza Hut’s customers – including the grown-ups.” Sega: 020 8995 3399
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Nintendo targets lapsed gamers with ‘male Wii’ Platform holder puts faith in black hardware to draw back ex-consumers UK receives new bundle ahead of Europe
Sony: Digital is prolonging video games’ shelf life by Tim Ingham NINTENDO believes that its new sleek black Wii console can single-handedly lure hard-to-reach consumers back into gaming. As revealed by MCVUK.com this week
all in black – as well as Wii Sports Resort game and the original Wii Sports. “As the new colour launches just a few weeks before New Super Mario Bros. Wii there is potential to attract lapsed gamers who are coming back to gaming
The black Wii has the potential to attract lapsed gamers who are coming back to us. Rob Lowe, Nintendo
(20/10), the console will be launched in the UK and Ireland on November 6th – two weeks before mainland Europe. The move has widely been seen as a way to lure in male consumers. The Limited Edition console will come bundled with a Wii Remote, Wii MotionPlus and Nunchuk –
for the first time in a number of years who like the look of the hardware,” Nintendo senior product manager Rob Lowe told MCV. “New colours have worked really well for us in the past on Nintendo DS as it provides additional choices for consumers who may want different coloured
hardware to make a statement or express their personality though the things they use in their everyday lives. “It may attract people to purchase a Wii if they like the new colour or even people who might want to change from white to black.” Wii Sports Resort, which is bundled with the new black Wii, has already sold well over one million copies across Europe – a territory to which Nintendo UK says its central office is committed. “Nintendo has always taken the European market seriously and this isn’t the first time a product has launched in the UK or Europe before the US,” added Lowe. “We are keen to launch the black Wii in time for the Christmas sales season and this starts slightly earlier in the UK and Republic of Ireland.” Nintendo: 01753 483 700
PUBLISHERS’ fight to keep their video games on retail shelves has been given a boost by digital downloads, according to Sony. In a converse benefit to the company’s boxed product, Sony has found that digital add-ons and DLC have increased the shelf life of its software.
alive and on shelves for a longer period of time as consumer interest is prolonged.” Rutter also discussed Sony’s strategy with PlayStation 3’s online hub Home, which he calls “a great learning experience for us”. “The intention for Home was to create a 3D, online
Add-on content helps keep a title alive and on shelves for a longer period as consumer interest is prolonged. Simon Rutter, SCEE
SCEE’s SVP of sales and marketing Simon Rutter told MCV in this week’s magazine: “[Digital add-ons] have major implications on the longevity of the marketing campaign. To a degree, the promotional activity of a title now starts when the game is released as opposed to this being the midpoint of the campaign. “Add-on content places pressure on the marketing process, but it has great advantages in keeping the title
world, where gamers could get together and share their experiences with each other and add value to their PlayStation life,” he added. Sony released the critically acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on PlayStation 3 last week, but premium downloadable content is yet to be confirmed. To read the full interview with Simon Rutter, turn to page 36 Sony: 020 7859 5000
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Drawn To Life conquers the classroom THQ teams up with primary schools nationwide to engage artistic children with innovative Wii, DS platformer
Pupils around the UK have been encouraged to explore creativity with Drawn To Life
by James Batchelor DRAWN TO LIFE is being used in schools around the country in a bid to encourage children to take a greater interest in art. The Wii and DS platformer, which sees players drawing their own protagonist and other game elements, was published last week by THQ. “THQ has been working closely with a number of primary schools to trial using Drawn To Life: The Next
is an obvious next step for them. We have installed debug Wii and DS units into classrooms and at several schools
Chapter to help engage children in art,” UK and Europe PR manager Simon Watts told MCV.
At several schools, Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter has been part of the syllabus for over a month. Simon Watts, THQ
“Schools are embracing more and more technological approaches to teaching so this
the game has been used as part of the syllabus for over a month.
“I visited one of the schools myself last week to see how the children were getting on with the game and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback both from the pupils and the teachers. We are delighted to be able to engage with our audience in this way.” The use of the Drawn To Life sequel in the classroom has also helped to drive THQ’s Draw Your Hero promotional competition, with dozens of primary schools registering entire classes as participants.
When asked if more THQ games could be used for educational purposes, Watts was optimistic. “A number of recently published studies have found that video games can have a positive impact on a child’s development. So, given the right product, further ventures like this could be a possibility,” he said. “However, there are no further plans set in stone at this current time.” THQ: 01483 767 656
‘101-in-1 Wii has evergreen sales potential’ THE HIGH STREET could have a new evergreen hit on its hands in the form of Nordcurrent’s upcoming Wii
NordCurrent is confident the Wii edition will sell consistently well in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.
101-in-1 Party Megamix is probably the best Christmas gift. Retailers can expect steady sell-through numbers. Alexander Bravve, Nordcurrent
title, 101-in-1 Party Megamix, according to the publisher. The game is the next entry in the 101-in-1 Megamix series, which started with 2008 DS title 101-in-1 Explosive Megamix.
“Retailers can expect steady sell-through numbers,” said head of publishing Alexander Bravve. “With 101-in-1 Party Megamix Wii, we are expecting to outperform 101 DS. It is a brand new, fun
party game that appeals to all ages and is probably the best Christmas gift.” The DS game has been one of the company’s greatest successes, shifting more than 150,000 units worldwide and often appearing in the Top 20 of the DS Budget Charts throughout the year after its release. 101-in-1 Party Megamix presents its mini-games in the style of TV shows, with challenges spread across a range of fictional challenges. All of these activities support up to four players and make full use of the Wii’s motionsensitive controls.
101-in-1 is one of the biggest mini-game collections on Wii
To ensure the Wii game lives up to the success of its predecessor, Nordcurrent is pulling out all the stops to promote the title. “We are planning an extensive marketing campaign for 101-in-1 Party Megamix,” Bravve said. “It will cover national and regional press, lifestyle, specialist and kids magazines, online press, radio, Christmas gift catalogues, and so on. “There will also be competitions, previews, reviews and advertisements to ensure our audience will be well aware of this title.” email@example.com
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Online retail start-up takes on Amazon, Play and ShopTo GameGears confident of £2m annual turnover in coming year after major investment by Tim Ingham AN AMBITIOUS online games retailer believes it will be able to steal “considerable” market share from Amazon, Play.com and ShopTo.net this Christmas after a major investment in its site.
The firm told MCV that it will be running a launch week promotion on titles such as Tekken 6, EyePet and Modern Warfare 2 – which it claims will offer the cheapest prices in the UK on selected games. MD Sam Karam said: “Due to our recent growth, we
We’re confident that we will achieve a considerable market share within six months. Sam Karam, GameGears
GameGears.co.uk is eyeing a £2 million turnover for the next calendar year, after striking deals with publishers such as Activision for offers and branded sub-sites. The Surrey retailer has been trading since January 2008 and claims to have generated a turnover of close to £1 million this fiscal year. The newly revamped GameGears (pictured) is set to go live next month.
“This device opens up unthinkable gaming possibilities allowing you to interact and become one with the hottest PS3 sporting and action titles.” Two of the games set to make use of Blaze’s new device are Sega Superstars Tennis and titles from Electronic Arts’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour series. “Sega Superstars Tennis becomes a whole new ball game when you use the controller to smash your opponent into submission, effortlessly and consistently firing deadly accurate backhands and meteoric
MICROSOFT: Halo 3: ODST has sold more than 2.5 million units worldwide sales since its recent release on September 22nd, generating $125 million in revenue.
CAPCOM: Consumers who pre-order a copy of Dark Void will be rewarded with an exclusive golden jetpack for use in-game. CODEMASTERS: Siege Of Mirkwood, the second expansion pack for The Lord Of The Rings Online, will arrive on December 3rd. A range of pre-order incentives has been announced.
GameGears will run a launch week promotion on Modern Warfare 2
An Activision spokesperson added: “We will offer GameGears customers an Activision online store coming in November. This will be a hub for all Activision/Blizzard
Blaze beats Sony to market with its PS3 motion controller
EA: The publisher is showing its support for National Breast Cancer Awareness month with an exclusive download package at the EA Sports Complex in PlayStation Home.
fans who want to benefit from competitive pricing, dedicated customer service, monthly competitions featuring fantastic gifts, weekly deals and more.”
SEGA: The famous Glenn Hoddle Academy has been revealed as the final officially licensed club in Football Manager 2010.
GameGears: 01276 501 727
FUTURE: For the first time in the event’s 27-year history, more than one million votes have been registered for this year’s Golden Joysticks Awards.
Blaze reveals PS3 motion sensing controller BLAZE WILL release a motion-sensing controller for PlayStation 3, MCV can reveal. The Blaze PS3 Motion Freedom 3D Controller boasts a design similar to Nintendo’s Wii Remote, but features a directional D-pad, analogue stick and a full selection of controls found on the traditional PS3 pad. “The Blace PS3 Motion Freedom 3D Controller thrusts the PS3 gamer into the very heart of the action by employing the latest motion sensing technology which before now has only been the reserve of Nintendo Wii gamers,” said a Blaze spokesperson.
WARNER: LEGO Rock Band has been given a UK release date of November 27th.
decided to take our business to the next level. “This will feature never seen before features for our customers and we will aim for the site to rival some very large retailers like ShopTo.net and Amazon. “Although this may sound ambitious, we are confident that we will be able to achieve a considerable market share within the next six months.”
volleys,” added the firm’s spokesperson. “With the Tiger Woods golf series, you can put yourself on the virtual golf course when you use the Freedom 3D controller as your club of choice to send the ball home with pinpoint accuracy.” Blaze’s PS3 Motion Freedom 3D controller arrives ahead of Sony’s own motion sensing device, which uses the PlayStation Eye to track positioning. The device was unveiled during Sony’s E3 2009 press conference and is scheduled to arrive in spring next year. Blaze: 01302 325 225
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EEK W E H T F O N G I CAMPA
TER GAMES IN W IC P M Y L O AT THE TV CINEMA MARIO & SONIC
Released last week, Mario & Sonic is easily Sega’s biggest game of the Christmas season, and given the success of the original, the publisher is keen to remind everyone that the series has returned…
RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: WII, DS PUBLISHER: SEGA DEVELOPER: SEGA PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
Sega has booked a four-month TV campaign, with ads running alongside the likes of The X Factor. At launch the publisher displayed ads on seven kids channels at the same time. Sega estimates that 93 per cent of housewives and 88 per cent of kids will see the advert 11 times each, while 80 per cent of 16 to 34-year-old adults will see it eight times each.
A five-month campaign has already begun, with 30-second ads running before family blockbusters. This will rack up eight million admissions over the duration of the campaign. PRINT Sega has secured five front covers on various publications, supported by three months of print advertising.
ONLINE Ads have been booked across key specialist and lifestyle sites and will run for four weeks. TRADE Sega has prepared its biggest retail campaign to date and will run until February 2010. A full range of premium POS has been made available, which will be supported by competitions and online features.
THE FUTURE BEGINS 30.10.09
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MCV INTERVIEW ROB LOWE, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (WII), NINTENDO
The Lowe down Nintendo’s exciting E3 announcements bear fruit this Christmas, with a cracking line-up. In part one of our interview with the platform holder, James Batchelor asks Wii’s UK manager what the trade can expect… How would you evaluate your Wii line-up this Christmas? We think this is the strongest festive line-up we've had yet on Wii – we’ve got New Super Mario Bros Wii for the families and gamers, Wii Fit Plus for women and the older audience, and Wii Sports Resort for pretty much everybody. We’ve also got Ant and Dec as the face of Nintendo, and we think that this combination will be a winning formula this Chistmas for the Wii format. It’s a ground-breaking campaign that really heralds the move of gaming from a niche pursuit into the mainstream consciousness – we hope everyone enjoys experiencing it as much as we enjoyed
like FMCG products and less like traditional video games. As we are continually bringing people into gaming – they shop in a very different way from the more active, hardcore gamers – and will not rush out day one to buy the game. Therefore we have to keep communicating to them throughout the lifecycle of the product to try and fuel their interest in the title to nudge them into making the purchase. You will see continual marketing for all our key products – Wii Fit Plus, NSMB Wii, Mario Kart and Wii Sports Resort – continuing well into 2010.
New Super Mario Bros is a triple-A launch for us. It’s a busy time for releases, but its quality will shine through. Rob Lowe, Nintendo
making it. It is also our biggest joint TV and online campaign that really sees us moving into the digital media arena in an innovative and different way. New Super Mario Bros DS and Wii Fit are two of your biggest selling products of the last few years. Can the sequels replicate this success? We hope so. NSMB Wii includes a fourplayer mode that really moves it on from the DS original – as well as a massive new single-player adventure that harks back to traditional Mario 2D platformers. On Wii Fit Plus we have doubled the amount of content in the game, with 21 new exercises, new training modes that target specific problem areas of the body, as well as preset and user-defined routines that can be set against how much time you have, or how many calories you'd like to burn off. It’s a real step on from the original. Will you back them continually with marketing spend? That’s our current plan – the sales curves on our titles are much more
Do you expect New Super Mario Bros Wii and Wii Fit Plus to be in the mix for the Christmas No.1 spot come the end of the year? I actually think Wii Sports Resort might be a bit of a dark horse, especially as it also comes with the Wii console now. It’s a really tough one to call. Of course being No.1 is not the most important goal for us this Christmas.
What are you expectations for New Super Mario Bros Wii? This is a triple-A Mario launch. We hope it will perform strongly, and surprise and delight Wii owners this Christmas, and then into 2010 and beyond. It’s a pretty busy month in terms of releases, but we hope that the quality of the title
and the strength of the Mario brand will shine through. How are you marketing the title? We will initially be doing 10-second teaser TV ads in the two weeks leading up to launch, and then that will crescendo into a huge mainstream TV campaign over November and December. We have TV advertising that features both CGI Mario animation, and also creative that shows genuine Mario fans having their first go on New Super Mario Bros Wii. We will be mainly targeting families with this part of the campaign. We are also planning a huge takeover of kids’ media for the launch weekend of the game, with a massive TV campaign on children’s channels and programming on terrestrial channels – whilst also doing takeovers on most major gaming and kids’ websites for the launch week. We’ll also be doing cover-wraps and gatefolds on all the major kids’ magazines and publications that are on shelf when the game launches. All in all, it’s the biggest Mario launch we’ve had on Wii yet.
LOWE: Wii senior product manager says Nintendo’s customers respond to FMCG-style marketing
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MCV INTERVIEW JAMES HONEYWELL, SENIOR PRODUCT MANAGER (DS), NINTENDO
All in hand Nintendo’s senior product manager is confident that DS has a rosy future ahead. Tim Ingham asks the questions... Do you feel that you have enough ‘must have’ elements to the DS – including software – on the horizon to set you apart from other devices out there? Nintendo has always been very clear not to become involved in the video game ‘arms race’. For us, it’s about creating compelling and exciting hardware and software in ways that offer people new and enjoyable experiences whether they’ve been playing for two days or 20 years. People have been voting with their feet and with GfK-ChartTrack figures showing nearly ten million DS consoles
innovative and easy to use hardware is just as important as the machine itself. The DS library of software from Nintendo and third party publishers offers ideas, creativity, interactivity and most importantly fun that is hard to find elsewhere. It’s important that the software line up is diverse and appeals to a broad range of people, as we know people have wide and varied tastes and habits. We hope our software reflects this – whether it's training your brain in Brain Training, taking your virtual dog for a walk with Nintendogs, defeating a phantom in The Legend of Zelda, taking first place on the line in Mario Kart or
Our job is to create compelling software and hardware. DS is not involved in any kind of ‘arms race’. James Honeywell, Nintendo
sold to date in the UK, there are a large number of people who feel that Nintendo DS is a good system for them. The recently launched DSi has also been very well received and offers those who want it the choice of additional functionality such as a camera, web browser, music playback via SD Card, and the newly launched DSiWare store that enables anyone to purchase and download software from our ‘virtual store’. We feel we have a strong line up for Christmas, some fantastic software coming and some great activity to promote them to the UK that we hope will surprise and excite everyone.
hitting 180 playing darts on 42 All Time Classics. Offering something that appeals to a seasoned gamer who wants something indepth and engrossing is as important as giving a total non-gamer a hugely enjoyable and engaging first experience with one of our Touch Generations titles. We feel they can get this with Nintendo DS.
What does the DS offer this Q4 that consumers can’t get elsewhere? Whilst the DS console itself offers things that people can’t get anywhere else in terms of its touch screen and dual screen gaming, it’s wrong to think the machine on its own is the solution. Great software encourages people to purchase hardware and creating compelling software that utilises
Could 2009 be the best year in the DS’s history – not necessarily just in terms of sales, but the quality of the content offered? It’s too early to tell, but we’ve got a great line-up for Christmas, some fantastic software coming and some great activity to promote them to the UK that we hope will surprise and excite everyone.
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www.u-sing-thegame.com ÂŠ 2009 Mindscape. All rights reserved. ÂŠ2009 Universal Music Online. All rights reserved. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo & Wii are trademarks of Nintendo.
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20 MCV 23/10/09
ASSASSIN’S CREED II: SPECIAL FOCUS
Killer Instinct The bestselling new IP of all time returns next month – with Assassin’s Creed II pitched to wow consumers and retailers once again. MCV spoke to publisher Ubisoft to find out what makes the sequel so special… IF SOMEONE told you that one of this generation’s best selling games would turn out to be a political thriller set in the ancient Middle East that touched on sensitive issues about religion and history, you’d have laughed. But in 2007, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed introduced a mix of the familiar and unexpected, debuted to strong reviews, and an even more powerful consumer reaction. The game combined developer Ubisoft Montreal’s talents in action-adventure (it’s also responsible for Splinter Cell and Prince of Persia) with an original story that took players both back in time and to the high-tech future, and an open-world combat that mixed the best of GTA with acrobatics and adventure. That combination clearly has mass appeal: with over eight millions copies now sold since November ‘07, Assassin’s Creed II carried
the biggest sales momentum of any original title. Ever. No pressure for the sequel, then.
“The development team has methodically reacted to all of the feedback from the original Assassin’s Creed and we’re confident that review scores will reflect this,” says James O’Reilly, group brand manager. The production studio in Montreal says the game features more variety to its missions, and the new setting – players are now running around 15th Century Venice instead of 12th Century Jerusalem – promises to make the title even more gripping. All of which should help Assassin’s Creed II as it makes the transition from new IP to established franchise. When
GOOD CREED-ENTIALS Assassin’s Creed II arrives in the UK on November 20th. As you can imagine, the launch of a sequel to one of the biggest games ever isn’t being taken lightly. Ubisoft has planned a wide-reaching marketing campaign with all the expected bells and whistles. But more on that campaign in a bit – the starting point for any launch is the game itself. And in the move to Assassin’s Creed II the publisher and its studio acknowledged The development team has that there was still room methodically reacted to all for improvement over the the feedback. Review scores first game. Despite earning an will reflect this. enviable Metacritic score James O’Reilly, Ubisoft of over 80 the first time around, Ubisoft has moved to the first game arrived, Ubisoft had the up the ante for the second luxury of boasting the season’s most outing. unique and original game; this year the marketing and promotional effort will focus on explaining how much it has developed in the two years since. O’Reilly explains there are both challenges and advantages to bringing this kind of sequel to market: “The challenge is in showing that Assassin’s Creed II is a true sequel and a genuine development on the first iteration. Our marketing campaign is focused on highlighting these developments and ensuring that both retail and consumer confidence is high in what
Assassin’s Creed II will deliver as a gameplay experience. “The main advantage is that people know and have confidence in the Assassin’s brand.” SCALING NEW HEIGHTS Building anticipation for the sequel, however, has seen Ubisoft go above and beyond a usual game launch. Promotion of the game started early – back in May, in fact, before a big showing at E3 where it hogged the limelight during Sony’s press conference. “Our objective was to create real buzz for Assassin’s Creed II,” says Jan Sanghera, the game’s brand manager.
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MCV 23/10/09 21
ASSASSIN’S CREED II: SPECIAL FOCUS
“We used PR and digital to kick start awareness and supported this with tactical advertising spots on TV and online around key events and content releases. Pre-order initiatives were also set up earlier to help build demand.” And as the release nears the marketing machine will go into overdrive, she adds. Premium position advertising in specialist and mainstream magazines has been running from the start of this month and will continue until launch. That will be joined by online activity amongst specialist sites from the end of October up to launch, with mainstream websites hit during launch week. A big TV push is planned too, including a teaser campaign running in conjunction with Five’s The Gadget Show, and on Virgin and Sky throughout this month – followed by an extensive TV launch campaign on terrestrial and digital/satellite, running from early November right through to December. Ubisoft is also renewing its deal for sponsorship of Lovefilm envelopes during launch week. The publisher
pioneered the approach when the postal rental and online retailer decided to target the gaming audience back in November 2007. Ubisoft’s plan is to ensure all marketing channels are covered when the game arrives. Explains O’Reilly: “All areas are equally as important as they form part of our 360-degree engagement strategy. We’ve spent a lot of time on both the TV strategy and the creative execution as it is the best way we can inform and engage a mainstream audience.” The marketing message centres on lead character Ezio and all the unique things about the franchise, says O’Reilly: “We’re pushing everything that makes Assassin’s Creed II unique – the engaging narrative driven storyline, the Renaissance period, the beautiful gameplay and stylish combat. Ezio embodies many of these qualities so naturally the focus is on him.” MODERN ADVENTURE Of course, you can’t really talk about one of November’s biggest games without acknowledging the other juggernaut title sat on shelves alongside it for the Christmas season. Yet Ubisoft is more than confident that Assassin’s Creed II can compete
REACTION Leading retailers expect great things from Assassin’s Creed II… Jason Brooks, New Release Manager, HMV While the Christmas line-up is one of the strongest we’ve seen it’s also one of the most diverse with a huge range of genres covered. Those looking for a quality action title will be out for the big three this year – Call of Duty, GTA and Assassin’s Creed II. We certainly see Assassin’s Creed in our top five this Christmas. The first game promised much and delivered a graphically stunning environment. From what we’ve seen so far Ubisoft has succeeded in putting together more diverse gameplay in the last two years. Pre-orders are certainly in line with expectations – but we think these will go into overdrive once the marketing blitz ramps up as the media campaign we have seen looks fantastic.
Danielle Fleming, Category Manager, DSGi I am very excited about Assassin’s Creed II: the details, effects and graphics are outstanding. We have our pre-orders set up and initial interest has been high. Both customers and store colleagues are waiting for this game.
Sarah Jasper, Product Marketing Manager, The Hut Group
HEROICS: Sanghera (left) and O’Reilly (right) are confident Assassin’s Creed II will beat its predecessor both critically and commercially
Assassin’s Creed II is awesome. The guys in Montreal have done an amazing job on improving on the original. The Venetian location, new moves and improved dialogue make the game a much improved experience. Since the trailer was released at E3 we have seen massive interest which explains why it’s our second biggest pre-ordered title of the year behind Call of Duty.
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ASSASSIN’S CREED II: SPECIAL FOCUS
with all-comers, Modern Warfare or not. In fact, the game’s mix of compelling story, varied gameplay and overall scope make it a perfect foil to any other title out there, claims Ubisoft. “Assassin’s Creed was the fastest selling new IP in video game history,” says Sanghera. “We’ve established a brand that is strong and unique and the demand is there for a sequel. Assassin’s Creed II has all the qualities needed to be a stand out game regardless of the competitive landscape.”
period saw the release of games that were certain to secure core fanbases: Call of Duty 4, Halo 3, Uncharted, The Orange Box, Super Mario Galaxy, and the yearly stalwarts FIFA, PES, Need For Speed… and yet Assassin’s Creed took them all on and established a place for itself in the market. Even with fewer top-tier games out there this year, Ubisoft says it has worked hard to ensure Assassin’s Creed II goes beyond its predecessor. Says O’Reilly: “There are certainly
Assassin’s Creed II has all the qualities needed to be a stand out game regardless of the competitive landscape. Jan Sanghera, Ubisoft
Adds O’Reilly: “Both [Modern Warfare and Assassin’s Creed II] are very different games and offer contrasting experiences. Assassin’s Creed II offers the opportunity to explore cities such as Venice and Florence during the Renaissance period. This environment and depth of experience is something quite unique for a video game.” And remember, the first Assassin’s Creed arrived in one of the most jammed release quarters of all time. The
The sequel puts players in the role of an assassin once again – this time based in ancient Italy
When it arrives on November 20th, Assassin’s Creed II won’t just be available on consoles – it has dedicated handheld versions, too. “There’s quite a few titles under the Assassin’s brand but the objective is to allow consumers to enjoy a high quality experience regardless of the console they have,” explains the game’s brand manager Jan Sanghera. Unique special editions are also exclusively available through major retailers. The Black Edition includes three bonus quests, a book on conspiracies, game soundtrack, videos and behind-the-scenes interviews, plus a figurine of lead character Ezio, and is exclusive to Play.com. The White Edition includes one bonus quest and Ezio figurine and is exclusive to GAME. Explains Sanghera: “Both will appeal to those who’d like to extend their Assassin’s game experience.”
fewer triple-A games than last year. The market won’t be as saturated this year, but the competition is still fierce and if anything the quality of the titles being released seem to be higher than ever. That said we are confident that the quality of the game and the level of marketing support will cut through.”
CREED ALL ABOUT IT
Assassin’s Creed II is currently a darling of the press, scoring covers on games mags across the world – the mammoth production team working on the title even graced the cover of our sister magazine Develop. And Ubisoft is particularly proud of its PR campaign this time around.
Although the game wasn’t announced until April this year, Ubisoft was arranging coverage for the game from the start of 2009. “Our strategy was based on a massive assets drop and anticipation in planning all the coverage in advance,” explains Stefano Petrullo,
PR Manager of Ubisoft. “We first met the press in January to prepare everything and see how we could maximize the coverage – and how to show the evolution of the game after listening to all the critics from community and press. I think another key element was showing what is the
game is all about in complete transparency with press.” So far Assassin’s Creed II has scored over 200 pages of specialist press coverage and 16 cover stories focusing on a variety of aspects of the title, from gameplay right through to profiles of the development team.
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© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision, Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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MCV 23/10/09 27
LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE
Conference calling Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, retailers, leading developers and pioneers of digital distribution unite at the inaugral London Games Conference. Over the next seven pages MCV provides a detailed guide to the event, including a profile of the speakers, the latest market data and an examination of SCEEâ€™s active digital strategy...
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LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE: GUIDE LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE
THE FULL SCHEDULE 4:30pm Registration 5:05pm Opening Address
Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister for Culture The man who may well be the games industry’s next voice in government talks directly to the London Games Conference for the event’s opening speech. 5:10pm The Future of Digital Distribution
Nick Parker, Parker Consulting Where are we headed next? One of the games market’s most respected analysts outlines the current digital distribution landscape and offers up exclusive pointers to the future of the sector. 5:35pm Daddy, What’s a Disc? A panel discussion on the death of physical media and the business models that will soon replace them. Host: Phil Harrison, Former president of Sony Worldwide Studios Panellists: Kristian Segerstrale, CEO and cofounder, Playfish; Mark Gerhard, CEO, Jagex; Thomas Bidaux, CEO, ICO Partners 6:10pm Tea and Coffee 6:30pm The New Food Chain Video games will still be made, sold and distributed. But not like they have been. This panel discussion will look at the new lines of demarcation between development, retail, publishing and distribution. Host: Andy Payne, ELSPA Panellists: Charles Cecil, CEO, Revolution Software; Nick Pili, Network Director, SEGA; Gian Luzio, Product Director, The Hut; Rich Keen, Marketing Director, Direct2Drive 7:00pm Charting the Progress of PC Downloads
Dorian Bloch, GfK-ChartTrack The man behind the UK games sector’s invaluable sales charts (and holder of vast amounts of market data) talks on how digital distribution is the future of the PC games market – and makes a forceful case for a industry download chart. 7:20pm Outside the Box Key figures from the market’s three established format holders discuss their roles in the brave new digital future. Host: Tony Mott, Edge Panellists: Pete Edward, Director, PlayStation Home, SCE; Neil Thompson, Senior Regional Director, UK & Ireland, Microsoft; TBA, Nintendo 8:00pm Dinner and Networking
HOW TO GET THERE The London Games Conference takes place at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly. Closest tube stop is Piccadilly.
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MCV 23/10/09 29
LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE: GUIDE
Capital ideas The London Games Conference invites the games industry to the UK’s biggest city to discuss the hottest issue facing the games industry: digital distribution. Here we offer a preview of the show…
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WHO WILL BE THERE? Key firms from across the industry are backing the London Games Conference as sponsors. They are… Platinum sponsors
in association with
Delegates also hail from across the sector. They include: 1C Publishing, 505 Games, AN.X, Antigrav Media, Arete Research, Arvato Digital Services, Aurel BGC, Barrington Harvey, Beacon Multimedia S.A, Beggars Group, Black Rock Studios, Blitz Games Studios, BSKYB, Cavendish Corporate Finance, CD-Media S.A, CD Team, Character Communications, Classic Media, David Reeves Consulting, Direct2Drive, Disney Interactive Studios, Distinctive Developments, Doublesix, e4e/AQ, Eiconic Games, Eidos Interactive, ELSPA, Electronic Arts, Entertainment Retailers Association, Exient Ltd, Focus Multimedia, Future Publishing, GAME, GDI Game Domain International, Gem, GfK-ChartTrack, Glu Mobile, GOG.com, ICO Partners, iGAME Family, Incomm Europe, Invest Quebec, ISIS EP LLP, Jagex, Koch Media, Konami Digital Entertainment, Kuju Entertainment, Lick Creative, Live Social, Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, Marriott Harrison, Maverick Media, Microsoft, NC Soft, Nexway, Nick Parker Consulting, Nintendo, NLGD Foundation, Nordic Games Publishing, OGPlanet, OK Media, Olswang Solicitors, OPM Response, Orange, Osborne Clark, OUTSO, Pan Vision, Play.com, Playfish, PlayReplay, PLAYSTOS, Pluto Games, Dubai, Quebec Government Office, Relentless Software, Revolution Software, SCE, Sega, Sitel, Soccer Matrix, Sony DADC, TC Associates, Testronic Labs, The Delta Group, The Hut, THQ UK, Veritas Research, Virtual Air Guitar Company Oy, Warner Bros, Winning Moves UK, Xplace, Zattikka, Zoonami
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LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE: MARKET ANALYSIS
Digital Data EVERYONE KNOWS that digital distribution is an important part of the games industry food chain. But just how important is it to consumers? New data from the National Gamers Survey 2009 proves the power of downloaded games, mobile games and games accessed via game portals. The survey, conducted by TNS, quizzed gamers from the US and Europe and investigated a raft of gaming habits including downloading of games. According to the results, 25 per cent of all console users in the UK have downloaded and paid for complete games or extra levels via their console.
cent respectively; 25 per cent for Nintendo Wii. When buying complete new games, seven per cent of all console players states they usually do so directly via the console. 14 per cent of PC gamers pay and download games directly. As can be expected, percentages are even higher in the younger age groups. (see ‘Download Habits’, below). PORTALS AND MOBILE
19 per cent of the UK population plays games on their mobile phone. 44 per cent actually downloads new games and pays directly via their handset. The enormous reach of casual game portals – used by 32 per cent of the total UK
Online distribution is not only a factor in purchasing full titles. 25 per cent of gamers say the availability of a demo is crucial to buying decisions.
Seven per cent state that, when acquiring new games, they usually buy the game directly via their console. That number doubles to 14 per cent when it comes to PC games. It’s clear that gamers who play on their home computers and laptops are accustomed to buying and downloading directly online. In the US, that jumps even higher – figures from American respondents to the same questions shows 16 per cent of gamers have downloaded games for their console and and 23 per cent have downloaded PC content. Read on for more data from the survey: CONSOLE AND PC GAMES
55 per cent of the UK population plays games on consoles and 35 per cent state they play PC games. 27 per cent of UK console players state they download levels or complete games via their console, almost all have experienced paying for this. For Xbox 360 and PS3 the figures go up dramatically: 51 per cent and 55 per
population – is due to the fact most games are free, but 20 per cent of UK game portal players state they spend money on the portal. In the US this is even higher, at 33 per cent. Paid subscriptions are the most popular in both countries but already six per cent of all UK and US game portal players frequently buy premium games online.
Want to know more about the download habits of console and PC gamers? Read on for exclusive data…
VIDEO CONTENT AND DEMOS
55 per cent of the UK’s population play video games, according to the National Gamers Survey – 27 per cent say they actively pay for downloadable content
Online distribution is not only a factor in purchasing games. Almost 25 per cent of UK console game players state that the availability of a downloadable trial version or demo is a crucial factor in their buying decision. This is close to the 30 per cent for PC gamers that traditionally have online access. 45 per cent of PS3 users downloads or accesses video content via their console. This is 41 per cent for Xbox 360 and a mere 22 per cent for Nintendo Wii. nationalgamerssurvey.co.uk
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MCV 23/10/09 33
LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE: SPEAKER PROFILES
The London Games Conference boasts the cream of the games industry as key speakers. Here’s a rundown of those on board…
Ed Vaizey Shadow Minister for Culture
Phil Harrison Former president of SCE Worldwide Studios
Nick Parker Founder and Director, Parker Consulting
Stuart Dinsey Managing Director, Intent Media
Kristian Segerstrale CEO and co-founder, Playfish
Ed Vaizey was elected as the MP for Wantage and Didcot in May 2005. Since November 2006, he has been the Conservative Party’s Shadow Minister for Culture. He is already well known within the games industry for having strong views on its cultural and commercial significance. He tells MCV: “I’m delighted to be speaking to the London Games Conference. The games sector is one of the most successful creative industries in the UK, but it has been forgotten by Government. “While Canada and France aggressively compete to attract talent, all our politicians can talk about is video games violence. “Yet games should be a dream for a politician – it recruits people qualified in difficult subjects, like maths and computer science; it’s regional; and it’s successful and worldbeating. Government backing should be a nobrainer.”
In 1992, Phil Harrison became the the first employee of Sony’s game business in Europe. Over the next 16 years he held senior management positions in Europe and the US and played a key role in the launch of PlayStation 1, 2 and 3 as well as the PSP. In 2000, after a four year spell as vice president at Sony Computer Entertainment America, he returned to Europe as executive vice president of SCEE’s development resource. In this position, he oversaw the introduction of game-changing franchises such as EyeToy and SingStar – now deservedly looked back on as the time casual console gaming was born. In 2005 he became president of SCE Worldwide Studios. He left Sony in 2008 a modern development legend – but soon reemerged as president of a reinvigorated, onlinefocused Atari alongside David Gardner. Although he resigned from day-to-day management of the publisher a year later he continues to serve as a board member of the public company. He currently divides his time between looking after his young family and advising various entertainment, media and technology companies.
After a spell as head of business analysis for Nintendo, Nick Parker joined Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as the division’s ‘numbers man’ (otherwise known as VP, strategic planning) and was instrumental in the launches of the PlayStation and PS2. He then set up Atari’s online casual gaming site, gamenation.com, before founding Parker Consulting. The company is now recognised as the European games industry’s foremost strategic business consultancy specialising in research and forecasting.
A business journalist and media owner for 23 years, Stuart Dinsey entered the video games industry via Computer Trade Weekly (CTW) in April 1986, becoming editor in 1988 and holding the role for a further ten years. Dinsey founded entertainment and leisure specialist Intent Media in 1998. His first launch was the market-leading publication and B2B website, MCV. Intent Media has developed into one of the UK’s leading business media specialists. Via a mixture of organic launches and acquisition, Dinsey has developed Intent’s print, online and events portfolio across a variety of sectors.
Playfish is one of the largest and fastest growing social games companies in the world – and, if reports are to be believed, one of the most watched by industry giants hungry for an acquisition. As an experienced games entrepreneur, company founder Kristian Segerstrale brings strategic vision and expertise in leadership of creative teams and corporate growth to the company. Prior to founding Playfish in late 2007, Kristian was a cofounder and later managing director of Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) for Glu Mobile, a leading global publisher of mobile games. During his tenure there he forged key licensor relationship across Europe with leading companies such as Konami, Celador and Codemasters among others.
Mark Gerhard CEO, Jagex Mark Gerhard joined Jagex in February 2008 from GTECH where he served as the principle security architect for the National Lottery. He has over 14 years’ experience in the technology sector.
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LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE: SPEAKER PROFILES
Thomas Bidaux CEO, ICO Partners
Andy Payne Chairman, ELSPA
Charles Cecil Managing Director, Revolution Software
Rich Keen Marketing Director, Direct2Drive
Nick Pili Network Director, Sega
Thomas Bidaux started his games career more than ten years ago at France Telecom, within the GOA team, which went on to produce the most successful MMORPG on the market at the time, Dark Age of Camelot. In 2004, he left to set up the European subsidiary of the online game giant NCsoft in the UK. As the director of development for the company, he managed the team responsible for bringing several major MMOs to the European market, including Guild Wars and City of Heroes. In April 2008, he founded consulting agency ICO Partners, which guides indie studios seeking to enter the online games market.
The Chairman of ELSPA since 2005, Andy Payne has been working in the games industry since 1986. He founded the ELSPA Digital Distribution Group and also serves on the BAFTA games committee and is chairman of GamesAid. He is also managing director of the Mastertronic Group, which has labels Just Flight and Just Trains, Blast, Sold Out, PC Gamer Presents. He recently founded digital distribution specialist Get Games with Eurogamer. In addition, he founded The Producers in 1988, which is a turnkey fulfillment and digital distribution company that is part of the Mastertronic group.
Revolution is Europe’s leading adventure game developer and Charles Cecil himself has been a key figure in the games industry for over 25 years. Its Broken Sword series, which sells an average of a million units per iteration, is the most successful adventure franchise to have appeared on any games console. In 2006 Charles was awarded the status of ‘industry legend’ by Develop, Europe’s leading development magazine. In 2009 he created Revolution Pocket, a division dedicated to digital distribution and self-publishing.
Working out of Direct2Drive’s London office, Rich Keen has been instrumental in growing the business over the last 12 months, developing it into one of the UK’s leading digital distribution retailers. Prior to Direct2Drive, he was at Dennis Publishing, following eight years in the music business, where he held executive roles in both marketing and talent management.
Nick Pili has worked in the video games industry for ten years, managing all aspects of online services. He launched his first digital download title back in February 2002, Codemasters’ Operation Flashpoint: Red Hammer. Since then he has launched a raft of digital download content for franchises that include Colin McRae Rally, TOCA Race Driver and Lord of the Rings. For the last three years Pili has worked as network director for Sega, managing US and European PC digital download strategy, covering franchises such as Total War, Football Manager and Olympic Video Games.
Gian Luzio Product Director, The Hut
Dorian Bloch Business Group Director, GfK Chart-Track
Tony Mott Editor-In-Chief, Edge
Pete Edward Director, PlayStation Home
Neil Thompson Head of Xbox UK and Ireland
Gian Luzio has been involved in the games industry for over 15 years, working for publishers and retailers. He established Play.com as the largest UK games e-tailer before taking up his current position as product director at The Hut Group. The Hut Group provides e-commerce solutions for a number of the largest UK retailers and in September won The Sunday Times Tech Track. Luzio has been working with leading UK download providers and content owners to create a full download solution for consumers.
Dorian Bloch was a founding partner of ChartTrack in 1996 – the wellrespected UK independent specialist entertainment research firm that recently became part of the GfK Group. Recently he helped set up an exhaustive database of game developers (every game sold in the UK in the past decade) on which The Develop 100 is based. He has been instrumental in the formation of a new panel tracking mobile phone game downloads. Currently he is exploring the world of PC game digital downloads.
Since starting out in the video game industry in 1987, Tony Mott has worked as as a pixel artist, producer, marketer and journalist. He now works at Future as editor-in-chief of Edge magazine.
Pete Edward joined Sony Computer Entertainment in 2000 as a producer and boasts a discography that includes The Getaway: Black Monday and SCEE’s first ever online multiplayer game, Hardware: Online Arena. He is responsible for the development, support and operational running of the PlayStation Home service.
Neil Thompson has overall responsibility for Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Division in the UK and Ireland – including the sales and marketing of all of Microsoft’s products sold through retail. He has also overseen the impressive growth in Microsoft’s online gaming service, Xbox Live, throughout the territories. Thompson previously held the same role for Central & Southern Europe (Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa).
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MCV INTERVIEW SIMON RUTTER, SVP SALES AND MARKETING, SCEE
Hard ‘Work PlayStation Network has made Sony the format-holder most open to digital distribution. So Michael French spoke to Sony’s Simon Rutter to find out more about the company’s online services plus PS3 Home and the PSPgo… What would you say is the single to ignore them. However consumer biggest issue surrounding digital expectations for content such are also distribution that the games industry demanding – high definition, collectors’ has to address? editions with extra content, scale-able Digital distribution has a number of experiences and more, so this also hills to climb, ranging from technical to affects how the contents are delivered. behavioural and legal. All are significant There will be a need for packaged so I’m not sure whether one is bigger goods for some time to come. than another. Forecasting the future is It’s clear that the traditional and always difficult; in the digital area this digital will co-exist for the foreseeable is even more pronounced as user future and our challenge is making sure behaviour, content and business models that consumers are fully engaged in are all emergent. There’s little historic whatever way they wish to receive their data to help planning or forecasting. content. It will mean that all the PlayStation’s approach is to stakeholders – format holders, publishers continually track our user and publisher and retailers – will have to review the communities in order to anticipate way we interact and service them. current and future needs and try to satisfy them It’s clear there is an appetite rapidly. To some degree for digital distribution as this is trial and error, but some consumers are just there are few ‘rules’ in more comfortable with it. this business and failures are sometimes as Simon Rutter important as successes. Sony has tried simultaneous From Sony’s point of view, how digital/physical releases. How do much of the market is digital? Can you see that developing in future? you share any projections? The most important thing to us is that In lieu of any other data points, our we provide our consumers with as analysis of the market is based purely on much choice as we can. Therefore, if the activity on the PlayStation Network. someone wants to buy a game digitally, Although I can’t share numbers with then we want to give them that option. you, it’s very obvious that growth is However, broadband penetration and exponential. It would also seem growth services vary considerably across the is largely incremental to the traditional PAL territories, so as long as there is a business – as much of the digital demand for traditional disc-based content and user behaviour augments gaming, we will continue to deliver our rather than replaces existing activity. content that way too. We have already shown with games such as GT5: Is Sony still adamant that digital Prologue that we are committed to downloads will be a bigger than this. And with the launch of PSPgo, we retail within the next ten years? have shown that simultaneous releases Whether it will be bigger or not is very on disc and via download are a reality. hard to predict. It is clear that there is appetite for digital distribution as some How does marketing change when consumers are far more comfortable it comes to digital releases? with this arrangement. Since we are all It depends on the type of download. in the business of satisfying consumer The biggest change is in the types of needs and desires, it would be foolish download that augment an existing
title. On the PlayStation Network they are called ‘add-ons’ – extra levels and so on. What we now have is an ongoing relationship with our consumers, and buying the game is only the beginning of that relationship. This has major implications on the longevity of the marketing campaign. To a degree, the marketing of a title now only starts with the game release as opposed to this being the mid-point of the marketing plan. Add-on content provides a requirement for sustained marketing activity for as long as content is released. Although this places pressure on the marketing process, it has great advantages in keeping the title alive and on shelf for a longer period of time as consumer interest in it is prolonged. We have not observed any particular difference in audience profile – audiences change primarily according to the IP and this is the same whether a piece of content is bought digitally or not. Basic marketing best practice remains the same and online channels of communication are important for many reasons, not just to promote digital content. The online channel allows us to talk directly to our audiences, and we take advantage of this opportunity as much as possible. A great example of this would be for SingStar, where we have created a huge networked community via PS3, Facebook, SingStargame.com and Home in addition to a traditional above the line campaign. Each audience is different and requires a unique approach.
How has Home helped support Sony's digital strategy? Home has been a great learning experience for us. The intention for Home was to create a 3D, online world, where gamers could get together and share their experiences with each other
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MCV INTERVIEW SIMON RUTTER, SVP SALES AND MARKETING, SCEE and add value to their PlayStation life. What we have seen is that those within Home are very comfortable with this type of communication and interaction, and are hungry for content that enhances their experience, be it free or premium content. Other companies have seen the benefit of using Home as a channel to communicate with a generation of gamers who are clearly very comfortable in this digital world. Whilst the current Home audience may be made up of the same people who are already downloading content from PlayStation Store, what we hope will happen is that as Home continues to grow and offers more and more varied content, it will attract a wider range of people who will become accustomed to the digital culture.
Are episodic games a viable model or will it remain an indulgence for just one or two developers? We dipped our toes into this area with Siren: Blood Curse last year which was released on the PSN in three packs with
There are few ‘rules’ when it comes to digital distribution – and failures are sometimes as important as successes.
What makes a different to a digital release different to a physical one? There are the obvious logistical differences of manufacture and physical distribution, together with localised price considerations. One key difference is the ability for specialist retailers to educate their customers – the digital environment is essentially ‘self service’ and requires some degree of consumer knowledge to make an informed judgement. But retailer interaction is a very important part of marketing which requires particular attention and support from the publisher.
RUTTER: SCEE’s marketing chief says digital distribution means all of the industry’s stakeholders – format holders, publishers and retailers – ‘will have to review the way we interact and service consumers’
data allows performance benchmarking which will ultimately lead to better products. Win-win for all! There will be numerous barriers that need to be overcome, such as independent monitoring – and we still have issues obtaining all the information for disc-based sales throughout the PAL territories. That said, however, I think that before we get caught up in those issues, the digital marketplace needs a little more time to develop.
Does the industry need a more structured approach to how it shares and talks about digital sales? I am sure something like this will be necessary eventually. At the moment investment decisions for development, marketing and other resources are being made without true visibility of the total market. This is OK whilst the digital channel is still embryonic, but as growth continues a more structured approach is necessary. It’s equally important to contextualise digital and traditional together, as ultimately it is one business, just different delivery mechanisms. Of course from a consumer perspective, having visibility to market
four episodes per pack, and was later released on BD. It’s certainly an area that has potential. The idea that people could be anticipating and discussing the next episode of their game in the same way they look forward to Lost or Heroes is really exciting and I think we’ll see more and more developers experimenting with this over the next few years. What opportunities do PSP Minis afford the industry? Minis, like most things we are doing, are about consumer choice. PSP users want the opportunity to choose whether they immerse themselves in a triple-A game such as GT or Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines, or whether they simply dip in and out of a more snackable game. Minis are the solution to the second option; they also bring more developers into the PSP world than ever before, making the platform more accessible than ever. We hope that Minis will help expand the portable gaming market and bring a new creativity to the platform. Once again this is the type of content that is not economic to offer in the traditional way. Early indications are that the introduction of Minis has not cannibalised sales of existing content – traditional or digital – but added to it.
Collect over 35 Bakugans. Plus there’s 19 human characters which can be customised
24 action packed levels, with 6 unique arenas
Over 200 playing cards and more than 250 unlockables
© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision is a registered trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BAKUGAN, BATTLE BRAWLERS, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks and copyrights of Spin Master Ltd. and Sega Toys. NELVANA is a trademark of Nelvana Limited. CORUS is a trademark of Corus Entertainment Inc. Used under license by Activision Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Game developed by NOWPRODUCTION Co., Ltd. ‘2’ and ‘PlayStation’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. Bakugan ™ 2008 Spin Master LTD & Sega Toys.
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LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL: THE LINE-UP
Best of the Fest The London Games Festival is back for its fourth year, with more exciting events than ever…
THE BAFTA ANNUAL VIDEO GAMES LECTURE, In association with GAME: Peter Molyneux
LONDON MCM EXPO
LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE
When: Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th
When: Tuesday, October 27th
When: Wednesday October 21st 2009, 18:30
Where: Excel London, Royal Dock, E16 1XL
Where: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN
Price: Adult Ticket (15 years old and above): £10. Child Ticket (11 to 14): £5. Early Entry tickets: £13 Per Day
Price: £7.50 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org This year’s BAFTA lecture will be given by Peter Molyneux – founder of Lionhead Studios and creative director at Microsoft Games Studio. The man behind Black & White, Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Populous and Fable will discuss his vision for the future of the games industry.
Contact: email@example.com et The consumer show that combines video games, movies, anime, manga and more will kick off proceedings. Publishers including Ubisoft, Warner, Namco Bandai, Capcom, EA and Sega will attend.
Where: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, W1J 9LN Price: £229 Contact: Rob.Baker@intentm edia.co.uk For more information on the London Games Conference, check out our detailed preview beginning back on page 27
GAMEHORIZON PRESENTS ‘BEST OF BRITISH’ When: Wednesday, October 28th Where: Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG
EUROGAMER EXPO 2009
GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS
When: Friday October 30th – Saturday, October 31st
When: Friday, October 30th
Where: Old Billingsgate, 16 Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6DX
Where: London’s Park Lane Hilton, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1BE
Contact: justin@boomdialogu e.com
Price: £150 + VAT Contact: nicky.wilkinson@cod eworks.net The Best of British conference will feature an overview of where the British games industry is heading. Speakers include Revolution Studios MD Charles Cecil, TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, Kuju CEO Ian Baverstock, MD of Tag Games Paul Farley and Ubisoft Reflections studio head Gareth Edmondson.
Contact: http://expo.eurogam er.net More details on the consumer show can be found in our special preview on page 40
The oldest gaming awards ceremony returns for its 27th year. This year’s event will be hosted by award winning stand up comedian Sean Locke, and has already eclipsed last year’s voting tally – fast approaching one million votes. The Golden Joystick Awards boasts 15 gamer-voted categories.
PLAYFUL When: Friday, October 30th Where: Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, WC1R 4RL Price: £40 Contact: www.londongamesfr inge.com Playful is a one-day event that focuses on alternative gaming. It aims to debate the nature of video games and what they mean to different people both inside and outside of the industry. The event will also ask what designers can learn from other creative arts and what other entertainment mediums can learn from video games.
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EUROGAMER EXPO: PREVIEW
Everything a ‘gamer could ELECTRONIC ARTS
Army of Two: The 40th Day Brutal Legend Battlefield Bad Company 2 (London only) Dante’s Inferno Dragon Age Origins FIFA 10 Left 4 Dead 2 Mass Effect 2 Need For Speed: Nitro Need For Speed: Shift Saboteur
Rogue Warrior WET Wheelspin
Dark Void Lost Planet 2 Monster Hunter 3 Tri Street Fighter IV Arcade Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
Assassin’s Creed II James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game Rabbids Go Home Red Steel 2
“We’re looking forward to this year’s Eurogamer Expo and really pleased to be such a big part of it,” said EA marketing director Stuart Lang. “We’re showcasing a large number of highly anticipated games including Mass Effect 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Left4Dead 2, Army of Two 40th Day, FIFA 10 and Brutal Legend. The Eurogamer audience is totally passionate about games and so it’s superb that they have an event like this to get hands on with so many great games. It’s important for us and our studios too to get feedback from our fans.”
“The Eurogamer Expo is a great event to be part of, as it is the only event in the UK in which the industry can directly reach, core gamers and opinion formers,” added European marketing and PR director Sarah Seaby. “I attended last year’s event, and am looking forward to being part of it this year, with Bethesda titles, getting products in the hands of our real consumers.”
Capcom is looking ahead with its Eurogamer Expo line-up, featuring some of 2010’s hottest new releases including Dark Void, which was moved out of Q4 into early next year, and the highly anticipated sequel to Lost Planet.
“Following on from the success of last year’s Expo, we’re looking forward to showcasing some of our key titles for this Christmas,” says Ubisoft’s group brand manager James O’Reilly. “We’ve got an extremely strong line up this year including Assassins Creed II, Avatar, Rabbids Go Home amongst others and we expect the expo attendees to come away impressed with the quality of our titles. “We fully expect Assassin’s Creed II to blow them away and furthermore demonstrate to them that we listened to their feedback from the first Assassin’s Creed, and hope that they continue to be vocal and passionate in their support of our products after the event.”
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EUROGAMER EXPO: PREVIEW ON WITH THE
Rupert Loman, MD, Eurogamer
The popular consumer show Eurogamer expo returns this month, this time with events in both Leeds and London. Christopher Dring provides a run-down of what attendees can expect…
AND THE REST… SEGA
Aliens VS. Predator Bayonetta
God of War III Heavy Rain MAG Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
“Sega are very excited about showcasing Aliens Vs. Predator and Bayonetta at the forthcoming Eurogamer Expo, especially as this will be AVP’s UK multiplayer exclusive and we believe the multi race online gameplay will deliver a compelling experience which can be likened to little else within the FPS genre,” comments Sega UK’s senior product manager Ben Walker. “Eurogamer’s audience will be great barometer for what are two of Sega’s most important games of the year.”
“Last year’s Expo satisfied the needs of core gamers, with low ticket prices, great content and knowledgeable staff – and satisfied the industry with a bar,” comments SCEE marketing director Alan Duncan. “By sticking to these simple principles we believe this year’s event will be even better.”
Microsoft will be showcasing its Q4 line-up at the event, including the recently-released Halo 3: ODST and Forza Motorsport 3. 2K Games has signed up to bring Borderlands to the Expo, while Konami will be showing off its Saw movie tie-in. Furthermore, Disney’s promising racer Split/Second will be on display as will Namco Bandai’s brawlerTekken 6. Other titles at the show include Medieval Games (Vir2L), Global Agenda (Hi-Rez Studios), Blue Toad Murder Files (Relentless) and Star Trek Online (Atari).
ALSO AT THE SHOW: The Career Fair: Incorporating the BAFTA surgeries, the Career Fair in London will be attended by Crytek, Game Republic, RARE, Sega, Starbreeze, Ubisoft Reflections, Other Ocean and Relentless. At Leeds, Game Republic, Leeds Metropolitan University, Team 17, Ubisoft, University of Bradford and the University of Huddersfield will be in attendance. Indie Game Arcade: Organised with the help of Pixel-Lab, the Indie Game Arcade will be present at both the Leeds and London legs. A range of games will be on show, including the latest projects from Tunatech, Robert Fearon, Hayden ScottBaron, Rudolf Kremers and Alex May, as well as Introversion. Developer Sessions: The Leeds leg of the Developer Sessions will feature Team 17, Revolution Studios, Splash Damage, Introversion, Rockstar Leeds and Just Add Water. Meanwhile in London, Black Rock, Splash Damage, Quantric Dreams, Nvidia, Introversion, Valve and EA Montreal will appear. Many of these developers will be showing exclusive footage of new games.
“The Eurogamer Expo is all about the games. Our founding principle was to create a show for UK gamers that lets them get quality hands-on time with the biggest games coming out this Christmas and beyond. No gimmicks, no hype, no booth babes. “We’re delighted to have the support of 16 of the industry's biggest publishers this year. As a result, attendees to the shows in both Leeds and London will be among the first gamers in the UK to go hands-on with titles like God of War III, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Left 4 Dead 2, Dante's Inferno, Assassin's Creed II, Heavy Rain, Split/Second and many more. But it's not just about the multi-million dollar blockbusters. “We’re delighted to have the support of the independent games community and thanks to Pixel-Lab, we have 13 brilliant new games available to play within the Indie Arcade. “There’s also the Career Fair where students can find out more about the industry and anybody can talk to recruiters from the likes of SEGA, Crytek, Ubisoft, Starbreeze and Team 17. “Top developers from the UK and abroad will be giving talks, such as British studio Splash Damage who will present the first UK showing of new shooter Brink. “Over 10,000 tickets have already been sold and with the support of HMV (who are also selling games at the show) and all three platform holders we think we have managed to produce a show that UK gamers can finally be proud of. “We’re really looking forward to seeing how we can work together with even more of the industry next year as we continue to grow the event.”
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS
With the public still feeling the strain of the recession as the Christmas season approaches, gift buyers will be seeking alternatives to blockbuster titles to satisfy the gamers in their lives. James Batchelor takes a look at what the peripherals market has to offer this Q4â€Ś
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS ANTIGRAV MEDIA AS ANY parent knows, kids’ attentions are most often grabbed by familiar characters, logos and names when passing the shelves at Christmas. So it makes sense that licensed peripherals will perform particularly well in the coming months. As such, Antigrav is offering young Nintendo gamers a variety of accessories branded with some of the most popular properties on the market. Wii owners can treat themselves to Thrustmaster’s Toy Story Ray Gun. This plastic shell houses the Wii Remote and is shaped in the
style of those found on Disneyland’s Toy Story Mania ride. The product has been designed for gamers who pick up Disney’s official game based on the ride, but suits any family-friendly shooter. Also available is the Ben 10 Alien Force Omnitrix DS Lite Charging Dock. Shaped like the gadget seen in the TV series that transforms the titular teen into a variety of alien forms, this allows DS owners to keep their handheld fully charged – it even glows green while charging. Older DS owners and motoring fans will be more interested in the licensed Lamborghini range. A stylish
storage case bears the familiar emblem, and complementary extras are also available in bundles, such as stylus pens, game card cases and chargers. Of course, Antigrav has plenty of unlicensed products to offer consumer this Christmas, catering for gamers across all formats. Perhaps the most notable is the Hori Licensed Fighting Stick. Perfect for the likes of Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV, this controller recreates the sensation of playing the arcades of old. Manufactured by notable Eastern arcade experts Hori, this Fighting Stick features
the same components and materials and those used on beat-‘em-up cabinets for added authenticity. The controller also features an expansion port for the official Microsoft headset, allowing gamers to taunt their opponent as they battle. Finally, the Orb PS3 Wheel is ideal for racing fans on Sony’s console, making titles such as MotorStorm and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue much more immersive. Like the Wii editions, this sturdy wheel houses both the original PS3 controller and the DualShock 3 wireless edition.
Antigrav’s licensed range includes Ben 10 and Toy Story merchandise
ANTIGRAV: 01932 454 929
BDA’s Xmas line-up has been created with Nintendo formats in mind
BDA THIS CHRISTMAS BDA is focusing on its range of products for Nintendo games, with a variety of products developed for both Wii and DS. Whether consumers are seeking for charging solutions or storage and transportation cases, the firm has something for everyone. DSi owners will be particularly interested in the DSi Guard Case. The product has been designed to protect the handheld with its aluminium exterior, without hindering any of the DSi’s functionality. While it fits the handheld snugly, holes and gaps in the casing allow for access to the camera and all
of the ports and buttons. The Guard Case is available in black, silver, teal blue and green. For those who have yet to upgrade to DSi, the DS Lite 12-in-1 Everyday Starter Kit provides everything a handheld gamer could ask for. Starting with a protective carrying case – which not only stores the DS Lite but also has room for three game cards and the replacement stylus pens included in the pack. The bundle also features screen protectors, earphones, a car charger a separate case for storing up to four game cards. The pack is available in
a variety of colours, including black, blue and pink. The Wii Power Surface allows console gamers to recharge two Wii Remotes quickly and easily. Using special battery packs included with the charging station, players just place the controllers or the battery packs on the surface and wait for them to charge. There’s no need to physically connect the controllers with any form or port or socket, and the station even takes into account Remotes with MotionPlus units mounted or covered in silicone jackets. LED indicator lights
show when the batteries are fully charged. Meanwhile, the Wii Carry All bag is perfect for anyone taking their console to friends’ or families’ homes for a gaming party. With multiplayer sessions definitely on the menu this Christmas, gamers will appreciate the ability to carry the Wii, all the required cables, two Remotes, two Nunchuks and three games. All items have their own padded compartments to ensure their protection while in transit, and additional storage space can be used for extra controllers or games.
BDA: +1 425 492 2522
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS EXSPECT EXSPECT is touting products developed across all current formats this Q4, including DSi and PSPgo. Owners will find a selection of cases and accessories packs. For Xbox 360 gamers, the firm is focusing on providing unhindered gaming sessions, through the Xbox 360 Black Play & Charge Battery. This powerpack plugs into the controller and is connected to the console’s USB port, charging the controller as gamers play. This is complemented nicely by the Xbox Gaming Headset, which fits comfortably over the head and allows players to
communicate with their friends over Xbox Live during heated multiplayer sessions. There are controls for both volume and microphone so gamers can define how much they want to contribute to the vocal proceedings. Owners of the new PSPgo have a range of options when it comes to protecting their new handheld. The company has redesigned its familiar Leather Slip Case to fit the device’s form, and is available in several colours such as red, white, grey, blue, pink, purple, grey and black. It’s even available in hemp for the environmentalists among us.
Similary, Exspect’s DSi Leather Play Case offers gamers a unique way to store and carry their new Nintendo device. The smart-looking cover for the handheld opens up to reveal the DSi itself and slots for two game cards, an SD card and a stylus. This is also available in a variety of colours, and the alternative Shell Protection Kit forgoes additional storage for stronger protection of the handheld’s exterior. The DSi Essentials Pack features a more traditional storage case along replacement stylus pens, a wrist strap, game card case and high quality earphones.
Meanwhile, the Media Storage & Transfer Kit makes it easier to transfer music and photos between the DSi and PC thanks to its plugand-play USB SD card reader. The Wii Drop ‘N’ Charge Station allows Wii owners to recharge their controllers without attaching them to connection ports or removing silicone jackets and the Wii MotionPlus add-on. Likewise, the Wii Motion 15-in-1 Accessory Pack features a variety of sportsthemed shells for the Remote, including tennis rackets and golf clubs, which also allow for MotionPlus to stay connected.
EXSPECT: 01782 748 732
Exspect’s range of products offers something for owners of all major consoles
HUBB FORMED this year, Hubb is working hard to establish itself in the peripherals market as a fresh and notable brand. The company already boasts a product range that stretches across all formats, including some nongaming platforms. Despite the effect the economic climate has had on the traditional growth of the games market, Hubb reports that both its sales and its confidence have remained high. The company is planning to expand its business further and strengthen its relationships with retail partners in 2010.
For Christmas, the firm is focusing on its selection of Wii accessories, supporting owners of Nintendo’s bestselling console with everything they need. The Wii Fit Light Up Battery serves as a rechargeable battery pack for the Wii Balance Board. It fits snugly into the battery compartment beneath the board, and is charged with a USB lead. Indicator lights signify when the battery is fully charged or needs to be recharged. For Wii Sports Resort fans, the Wii MotionPlus Sports Pack offers a range of fun Remote shells to transform
your controller into the appropriate equipment. The pack includes two tennis rackets, a golf club and a baseball bat, and all of the shells allow room for the MotionPlus add-on. Similarly, the company’s Wii MotionPlus Steering Wheel has been designed to hold the Wii Remote with or without the MotionPlus addon attached. Obviously built with accessibility in mind, the wheel also features an innovative clip-on Button Bridge that puts the allimportant ‘1’ and ‘2’ buttons within easy reach of even the smallest hands.
The company also caters for multi-format gamers with products such as the Hubb HDMI cable, which delivers 1080p resolution and high quality colour through a high definition TV. It is compatible with all HDMI-equipped games consoles, Blu-ray players and Sky HD and fully supports HDCP for content-protected Blu-ray and Sky HD broadcasts. Hubb has even teamed up with German firm Artwizz to create a selection of iPod and iPhone accessories, all of which are released in fully recycled packaging to appeal to environmentallyconscious consumers.
HUBB: 01642 204 350
Newcomer Hubb’s Christmas line-up includes Wii, BluRay, Sky TV and iPhone accessories
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS I-GLOBE WHILE MANY of the companies that grace these pages have been operating in the peripherals market for a long time, there are also some up-and-coming firms that are determined to make their mark on the sector. i-Globe Accessories has only emerged this year, but has gained recognition with its Orb brand of products, catering for gamers across all formats with such items as the PS3 Media Remote, Xbox 360 Wired Headset, Wii Wired Nunchuk and various storage cases and replacement stylus pens for DSi. “i-Globe and the Orb brand has become a strong player
in the peripherals market in 2009 and aim to grow further still,” says the company’s head of business development Paul Hay. “The team has over 20 years experience in the retail and peripherals markets. “We have learnt that offering a core range of good quality products across all formats at a good price together with valuable endto-end category management service to our customers has led to them having great success and increasing profits as a result.” The category management service has been key to the company’s early growth and
is something i-Globe is particularly proud of. Clients essentially receive their own dedicated business development manager that works alongside them to select products that will best suit their market, as well as offering ongoing support. i-Globe is also confident it is fully prepared for the upcoming Christmas season – a period the firm see as critical to both its own business and its partners’. Hays says: “The critical trading season is both in the lead-up to Christmas but also immediately after with the key to success being planning, forecasting and
clear communication to our customers to ensure that when the key trading peaks, businesses are able to capitalise on it and this has certainly been our focus for the upcoming Christmas season.” i-Globe is expecting great things from 2010 as the company continues to expand its presence and grow the Orb branding. Having established itself in the UK and European markets, the firm is looking to enter new markets in its ongoing mission to become, as Hays puts it, “a recognised and authoritative brand amongst consumers”.
i-Globe’s Orb range offers something for gamers across all major formats
Interactive Ideas’s peripherals work with Rock Band, Aion, Wii Fit and many more games
INTERACTIVE IDEAS THROUGH its own labels and its partnerships with other peripherals vendors, Interactive Ideas has a selection of products designed to meet the requirements of individual games genres rather than general platforms. The Snakebyte Premium Fitness Board, for example, is an alternative to Nintendo’s own Wii Balance Board and is compatible with all fitness and sports games on the format. The board’s wireless connection works through advanced Bluetooth technology and its four sensors can handle a maximum weight limit of
180kg. An integrated digital weight scale means it can also be used when the Wii is powered down, allowing fitness fans to monitor their progress. Music fans will enjoy Nyko’s Multi-platform Metal Drum Pedal. Compatible with a range of Rock Band and Guitar Hero titles across Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii, this heavy metal themed pedal features a hard rock design with reinforced metal plating. Interactive Ideas even provide peripherals designed for specific games, such as SteelSeries’ Limited Edition Aion Zboard Keyset. Designed for the best-selling Zboard – a keyboard that
allows gamers to swap interchangeable layouts developed for individual games – this keyset grants quick access to key functions in NCsoft’s recent release Aion: The Tower Of Eternity. The layout has been designed with intense battles in mind and features 69 labelled keys for actions, commands and menus, with an additional 24 emote keys for gestures. These can all be customised and the product features official artwork from the game. Also available is a limited edition Aion Asmodian-branded mousepad, allowing for
smoother mousework during the game. The company also has plenty of general peripherals, including Nyko’s Wii Wand Core Pack. This bundle includes Nyko’s own iterations of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk – the Wand and Kama respectively – boasting a stylish white, blue and red design. Both incorporate TransPort Technology to recreate the functionality found in Nintendo’s own controllers, as well as vibration feedback – which makes the Kama the industry’s only rumblecompatible Nunchuk for the Wii.
INTERACTIVE IDEAS: 020 8805 1000
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS LOGIC3 LOGIC3’S Christmas range is focused largely on audio experiences, with a variety of products designed to make the most of your music – no matter what format it’s on. Leading the way is the firm’s SoundStation range for the Nintendo platforms. Available for both the Wii and DSi, these devices boast high-quality speakers that allows gamers to play music directly from their console. The DSi edition doubles as a storage solution, housing the handheld inside and folding shut when finished with. Using the AC adapter, the station even charges the DSi while in use, although it
can also be powered by four AA batteries when out and about. The Wii version also acts as a charging station, powering two Wii Remotes, in addition to providing clear sound through the speakers. The device houses the console itself and the folding speakers reveal additional storage space. Alternatively, the USB Metal Speaker offers a portable audio solution that is ideal for laptop and netbook owners, or even PC and Mac users. Consumers simply plug it into any USB port and the sound is channelled through
the built-in USB soundcard. As it is powered through USB, there is no need for an AC adapter or batteries, making it easy to store and perfect for taking with you on the go. Of course, it’s not all about music. Logic3 has plenty to offer average gamers on any format, including the new PSPgo with the PSPgo Starter Kit. This collection features a nylon carry case for storage and transportation, as well as a wrist strap and earphones. There is also a screen protector and cleaning cloth to keep the screen free from dirt, dust and scratches.
Finally, racing fans can pick up the Wireless TopDrive RF Steering Wheel. Compatible with PS3, PS2 and PC, this device works over a wireless 2.4Ghz RF connection to provide an immersive gaming experience unhindered by messy cables. The 10-inch steering wheel boasts a rubberised grip and all of the function buttons from the PlayStation controllers. It features adjustable steering sensitivity, allowing gamers to suit their driving style, and offers vibration feedback when used with PC and PS2. A realistic gear stick is also included.
LOGIC3: 01923 471 000
Logic 3’s latest range is focused on audio products
MADCATZ/SAITEK MAD CATZ has spent much of 2009 securing high-profile licensing deals, giving the company a Christmas line-up that boasts some of the most recognisable names in gaming. From the hardcore Modern Warfare 2 and Street Fighter IV to the more casual Rabbids property, it offers something for every gamer. Its Modern Warfare 2 products arrive alongside the hugely anticipated game in November. Most notable is the Combat Controller, available for both Xbox 360 and PS3. This joypad boasts a camouflage-style design, rubber grips and a soft touch finish for comfort.
There are two extra buttons on the rear of the controller that can be remapped as action buttons or thumbstick commands, such as sprint or melee. The PS3 version is wireless, while its Xbox counterpart has a fully braided connection cable for latency-free gaming. Also available from this range is the Throat Communicator – based on authentic military design for clear communication – the Wireless Bluetooth Headset and the Sniper Mouse, with adjustable DPI and a built-in weight cartridge for a completely customisable experience.
Following on from its successful Street Fighter products released earlier this year, Mad Catz’ Street Fighter Round 2 range brings more collectible packaging and exclusive artwork to its arcade-style controllers. Xbox 360 and PS3 owners can choose from the retro FightPad or the more authentic Arcade FightStick: Tournament Edition. The latter is also available as part of Mad Catz official Marvel Vs Capcom 2 range. Mad Catz also caters for Wii owners with the likes of its Rayman Raving Rabbids range. The stand out product from this series is the
Rabbids Dual Charger, which features a replica Rabbid who will clutch up to two Wii Remotes, both charging them and storing them when not in use. The eyes even light up red while charging before turning blue when the batteries are full. The company handles a variety of Saitek products, such as the Aviator Flight Stick for Xbox 360 and PS3. This joystick features all the features of its PC rivals, including combat trigger, point-of-view analog stick and throttle level, and has been fully tested to work with titles such as Tom Clancy’s HAWX.
MAD CATZ: 01908 336 538
Mad Catz’ standout licensed peripherals include spin-offs from Rock Band, Street Fighter and Rayman Raving Rabbids
GET INTO THE GAME nteractive Ideas offers a range of top-quality peripherals to help gamers keep one step ahead of the opposition and enhance their enjoyment. For PC gamers, we have stylish customised keysets for topselling PC games like AION. For Wii gamers we offer the very best in sports, balance board and gun controllers. We also offer official controllers and accessories for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the forthcoming Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. For all gamers, the best ideas are interactive.
STEELSERIES ZBOARD LIMITED EDITION KEYSET AION PAIR & GO WII SPORTS RESORT PACK
SNAKEBYTE WII FITNESS BOARD
SUBSONIC PS3 ARCADE STICK
NYKO WAND & PERFECT SHOT
MAD CATZ MODERN WARFARE 2 GAMEPADS The magazine
DOWNLOAD our latest magazine FREE Find out more about our award-winning range of products www.interactiveideas.com/corporate/CONSUMER_RETAIL Celebrating 15 Years of Interact ive Ideas www.interactiveideas.com
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS MERONCOURT THE UK distributor will be delivering a wealth of peripherals to shelves this Christmas from various vendors and labels, such as the Roccat range featured in MCV (02/10). Another notable Meroncourt label, Speedlink, has also got a number of promising items that should sell well in the festive season. The Wii Fit Protect & Carry 4-in-1 Bundle certainly holds potential given the imminent arrival of Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus. The package boasts everything a Wii Fit user could want in terms of storage, transportation and power.
The accessories come in a special bag designed to carry the Wii Balance Board, and includes a rechargeable battery pack, silicone skins for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk and a soft mat that sits atop the Board to make workouts more comfortable. Next, the Duo Microphone Kit for Wii bundles two microphones together for karaoke titles such as U-Sing and We Sing. The mics have been developed to suppress background noise and sit comfortably in players hands. The three metre cable ensures players have enough freedom to move while crooning.
Nintendo owners will also enjoy Speedlink’s DSi Carry Case. Built to fit the DS Lite or DSi, this padded storage case and hard plastic exterior protects the handheld from damage while in transit. The case features a cute design of a sleeping tiger. PlayStation 3 gamers have also been catered for with the label’s 5-Port USB Expansion. With today’s models of the PS3 featuring only two USB ports rather than the original four, this innovative gadget allows users to connect up to five USB devices to their console.
Designed to complement the PS3’s style, this sleek black attachment blends into the console and enables gamers to use an external hard drive, TV tuner, USB Controllers and Guitar Hero or Rock Band instruments simultaneously. Finally, Speedlink’s Flexible Arm for PSP will be ideal for drivers who use their handheld as a SatNav system. The adjustable arm houses the PSP (both the 2000 and 3000 model) and attaches it securely to the dashboard or any similar surface, allowing for clear display of the Go!Explore navigation system.
Meroncourt offers accessories for PSP, Wii Fit and more
MERONCOURT: 01462 680 060
PDP’s roster for Q4 includes Pokemon and Nerf-branded products
PDP IT’S NOT JUST the locals that will dominate the shelves in the coming months. American firm PDP – which, incidentally, stands for Performance Designed Products – will also have a strong in-store presence as Christmas arrives. One of the many products the firm will be pushing during this busy time is its range of Energizer Power ‘N’ Play Station chargers. Devleoped in conjunction with notable battery manufacturers and bunny fans Energizer, these charging systems are available for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii.
Each device charges two controllers simultaneously in just two and a half hours, although the PS3 iteration can charge up to four joypads using USB cables and a separate Wii version is available that houses four Remotes. While the PS3 and Wii editions come with special rechargeable battery packs, the Xbox 360 edition is also compatible with Microsoft’s official rechargeable battery. PDP also has close ties with familiar toy label Nerf to create such products as the Nerf Wii Wheel. Like many racing wheels for Nintendo’s best-selling console, this
comfortably houses the Wii Remote. However, crucially, the wheel boasts a thick layer of authentic Nerf foam to make it the most comfortable of its type on the market. Similar Nerf accessories are also available for Wii, including a Nerf Wii Sports pack, which features tennis rackets, golf clubs and baseball bats, and the Nerf Resort Swords Two Pack, which features shells modelled on the red and blue swords seen in Wii Sports Resort. Of course, the company has plenty of non-licensed products to offer, and is
expecting good things from its DS range in particular. For example, the DS mini backpack allows gamers to take their DS or DSi systems wherever they go. The backpack features a safe slot that holds the handheld, as well as plenty of extra storage for games. It comes in a range of colours. There is also a range of Pokémon stylus pens available. These each feature a sculpted Pokéball and a model of a Pokémon on top. Given the hundreds of Pokémon available, there are plenty of pens to choose from, ensuring that every monster-hunting fan will be satisfied.
PDP: 01908 847 580
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS PINPOINT LIKE MANY companies this Christmas, Pinpoint Consumer Electronics is concentrating its efforts on Nintendo formats. And given the previous success of its products in this market, the firm is expecting good things. In particular, the Nyko Wii Wand Action Pack is expected to perform well. This new SKU for Nyko’s own iteration of Wii Remote features the thirdparty controller and its exclusive Trans-Port Technology that allows it to recreate the functionality of the standard Remote. The Action Pack throws in a few extra items alongside the controller, including a
protective silicone skin and a wrist strap to ensure the Wand doesn’t slip out of the gamer’s hands. A pistol-style shell is included too, in order to make gaming sessions more immersive for shooter fans and features customisable trigger functions. Wii owners will also be interested in the Wii Quad Charge Station, which includes a charging device and four compatible rechargeable battery packs. The station can charge up to four official Wii Remotes simultaneously, with indicator lights to show charging status, and even comes with four
interchangeable coloured battery hatch covers. DS owners are catered for with a range of products developed specifically for the newest member of Nintendo’s handheld family, the DSi. The company’s popular Enigma accessory packs have been redesigned to account for the new device, with storage packs that ensure the camera is well protected. These packs include all the usual products, including USB chargers, replacement stylus pens, game storage cases, screen protectors and cleaning cloths.
Also made for the DSi is the Nyko Zoom Case. This skin not only fits tightly around the handheld, protecting it from knocks and scratches, it also mounts an adjustable lens over the exterior camera, delivering 8x optical zoom for clearer pictures. Lastly, the company has expanded its care, maintenance and cleaning lines, following the success of SkipDr and CleanDr with the new GameDr. This laser lens cleaning disc works with any games system, as well as Bluray and HD DVD players, to keep the lens free from dirt, dust and scratches.
PINPOINT: 01606 558 428
Pinpoint has concentrated on Wii and DSi with its Q4 line-up
POWER PLAY FOR ALL THE benefits and millions of sales that have emerged from the such titles as Wii Fit and EA Sports Active, fitness gaming is still not as effective as it could be. According to Power Play, the key factor missing from gaming workouts such as these is resistance: after all, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk don’t exactly take a lot of effort to lift.
The US peripherals manufacturer thinks it has the solution in the form of its Riiflex weight shells. Due to hit shelves in late November, these hefty plastic products transform both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk into dumbbells, making them perfect for any weight-based workout. The dumbbells boast the durability fitness buffs come
to expect from their equipment and the innovative design makes them just as comfortable to use as the standalone Remote and Nunchuk controllers. An ergonomic grip ensures gamers will have a secure hold on the weights as they workout, no matter what motion their fitness software of choice demands.
The Riiflex weights will initially only be available in 1kg varieties at launch. However, in the early stages of 2010, Power Play plans to release additional iterations of 0.5kg and 2kg weights alongside its initial product, giving players the option to customise and vary their workout routine. A Balance Board Fitness Step is also planned.
POWER PLAY: 01606 881 633
Power Play is releasing dumbbells for fitness-focused Wii consumers
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XMAS PERIPHERALS: SPECIAL FOCUS RE:CREATION Re:Creation’s smart device jOG means that gamers have to run on the spot to play their software
WITH the public’s growing awareness of the need to slim down during and after the season of plenty – that’s Christmas, as if you needed telling – anything that allows gamers to exercise is sure to attract interest at retail. Re:Creation and their partners at New Concept Gaming belive that they have the ideal solution. The groundbreaking controller, jOG, allows Wii and PS2 owners to exercise while enjoying the
games they usually play – with no need to buy dedicated workout software. Naturally, Re:Creation is mostly highlighting the Wii version. This pedometer-like device plugs in between the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk and attaches to players’ trousers at the hip. It can only be powered by jogging on the spot, which means gamers will be working out throughout their entire gaming sessions. While the game they are playing is still controlled with the Nunchuk’s thumbstick,
jOG essentially inhibits the signal, preventing the onscreen character from moving unless the player is jogging. If they stand still, so will their virtual avatar. And we bet he or she won’t be happy about it. The jOG peripheral has been extensively tested and is compatible with almost every game on the Wii that requires the Nunchuk. This means the jOG software library stretches far beyond other fitness titles, from launch titles such as The Legend Of Zelda:
Twilight Princess and Red Steel to the latest summer blockbusters such as G-Force and Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. As a cheaper alternative to the likes of Wii Fit Plus and EA Sports Active: More Workouts, Re:Creation is confident that this innovation will already be attracting attention as Christmas shopping gathers momentum The fact that the jOG device allows kids to play their existing games may make it particularly appealing to health-conscious parents.
RE:CREATION: 0118 973 6222
VENOM THE PERIPHERALS vendor is hoping to generate strong sales this Christmas with a healthy line-up of products that cater for gamers across all formats. Whether a young handheld gamer, a hardcore PS3 players or a casual Wit Fit yoga student, Venom has something for everyone. Perhaps most notable is the company’s extensive DSi range. Venom is well known for its popular Flip ‘N’ Play Leather Cases, with new editions released earlier this year, and the company has even begun to roll out licensed editions, such as the Sonic The Hedgehog range and the Purple Ronnie
edition, graced with the prominent stick figure. The Purple Ronnie licence is also used for accessories packs. Ronnie’s Purple Pack, for example, features a rigid carrier bag and storage case, both with the familiar Purple Ronnie design, and accompanying purple peripherals, including screen protectors, cleaning cloth, headphones, wrist and next strap and spare stylus pens. Additional storage cases are available under other brands, such as homeware label Cath Kidston. A Media Storage Case provides DSi owners with space for three games, two SD cards, a free
stylus and a plug-and-play USB SD Card Reader. Venom has a dedicated range for Wii Fit owners that is sure to attract high interest as Wii Fit Plus arrives, thanks to products such as the Step Up Pack. This bundle features four sturdy plastic cone-like supports for the Wii Balance Board that elevates the innovative Nintendo peripheral to make exercises more of a challenge, and therefore workouts more beneficial. Step Up fans will also be interested in the Wii Fit Pro Pack. This bundle features a Wii Fit Board Bag for easy transportation, a silicone
cover to make the board more comfortable and a Wii Fit Battery Pack to keep it fully charged. The pack even includes some nifty sports socks, for those who don’t like to exercise while barefoot. That’s not to say PS3 or Xbox 360 gamers have been forgotten. Both formats have been catered for with Twin Charger stations, which charge up to two controllers simultaneously. Xbox 360 owners can also pick up the Twin Rechargeable Battery Packs, which allow gamers to charge their controllers while playing or can be charged via USB cable in just two-and-ahalf hours.
VENOM: 01763 284181
Venom’s range includes Purple Ronnie, Sonic The Hedgehog and Cath Kidson-branded items
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Sponsored by 58 MCV 23/10/09
Magnificent seven join nDreams UK studio adds new staff members to its programming, art and web teams Premier Public Relations hires Byron NDREAMS British development studio nDreams has recently expanded its team with the addition of seven new members in various departments. Three of these hires join the firm’s coding team, with ANGELO ORLANDO CAFAZZO taking up the role of senior programmer – whilst STEVEN CANNAVAN and PETE BONERS are hired as programmers at the firm. In the art department, ANDREW MADDEN and KATIE-LOUISE TALBOT join as artists.
nDreams has welcomed seven new employees to its Guildford HQ
Elsewhere, JINGWAN SUN has been appointed as nDream’s new web engineer
and LYNNE OLIVER is drafted in as the studio’s new finance manager.
PREMIER London-based Premier Public Relations has hired SIMON BYRON to head up its new video games division. Byron is perhaps best known as the former director of Barrington Harvey PR and co-host of radio show One Lide Left. Premier PR is a 60-strong agency that has handled the likes of 24 and Ashes To Ashes and is currently working on the new series of Doctor Who. “Games PR agencies have traditionally come in two flavours: those that know games, but lack the mainstream
experience to really push them beyond the gaming press – or larger agencies who can’t tell a PS3 from a 360,” said Byron. Premier chairman JOHN REISS added: “As leaders in the field of entertainment PR, we are perfectly placed to bring games into the mainstream. The appointment of Simon sends a clear message that we intend to be the best in this area.”
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
They came, they drank, they sang – and a lucky few won some awards. The cream of the video games media was out in force last week for the third annual Games Media Awards. And for those who couldn’t be there on the night, MCV brings you a full run-down of the winners…
The Write Stuff
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F1 2009 from Codemasters
SILVER SPONSORS GAMES MEDIA LEGEND: PATRICK GARRATT
Sponsored by Namco Bandai Partners Main Bar Sponsor
“Thank you so much for voting for my team and our site, and for me personally, and thank you to everyone that hugged me or shook my hand. I’m completely overwhelmed.” Patrick Garratt, VG247
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SCRIBBLENAUTS software © 2009 WB Games Inc. Developed by 5TH Cell Media, LLC. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo. All rights reserved. SCRIBBLENAUTS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. WB GAMES LOGO, WB SHIELD: ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s09)
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
“It's a hat-trick for us now. Thank you so much to everyone for reading our games section. And thanks to all those who contribute to it.” Steve Boxer, The Guardian
COVERAGE IN A NATIONAL PAPER: THE GUARDIAN
Sponsored by Saw
Mike Channell, Official Xbox 360 Magazine
RISING STAR: MIKE CHANNELL, OFFICIAL XBOX 360 MAGAZINE
“This is a particularly tough award as I like and know everyone in this category. Thanks so much to everyone for this recognition.”
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
“We were going to make a joke about being three time losers, but now we’re only two time losers, and we’ve lost our only joke. Thanks very much to everyone who voted and to our team.” Ste Curran, OneLifeLeft
GAMES BROADCAST/PODCAST: ONELIFELEFT
“I just want to say a thank you to everyone who voted for us and to our very dedicated readers.” Patrick Garratt, VG247 GAMESMEDIAAWARDS WINNERS...
GAMES BLOG: VG247
Sponsored by Scribblenauts
FORMULA 1 FOR EVERYONE FORMULA1-GAME.COM © 2009 The Codemasters Software Company Limited (“Codemasters”). All rights reserved. “Codemasters”® and the Codemasters logo are registered trademarks owned by Codemasters. An ofﬁcial product of the FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. This product is for HOME USE ONLY – no commercial use permitted. , , FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, F1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and translations thereof are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula One Group Company. Licensed by Formula One Administration Limited, a Formula One Group Company. All rights reserved. All other copyrights or trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are being used under license. Developed by Sumo Digital Limited for Codemasters. Published by Codemasters. Wii is a trademark of Nintendo. ““ and “PlayStation” are registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. ““ is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Codemasters GMA CONGRATS F109 AD V1.indd 1
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
“I'm absolutely shocked, it’s brilliant. Thanks so much and thanks to everybody who is behind the show.” Dan Slingsby, Games Addict
REGIONAL GAMES COLUMNIST: DAN SLINGSBY, GAMES ADDICT
“This is immensely flattering and it really means a hell of a lot. So thanks very much.” Patrick Garratt, VG247 GAMESMEDIAAWARDS WINNERS...
BEST SPECIALIST WRITER, ONLINE: PATRICK GARRATT, VG247
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
“I've got very little to do with this award so I’d like to congratulate everyone in the team. Their games coverage earned a great deal of this.” Andrew Dickens, ShortList
COVERAGE IN A MAINSTREAM MAGAZINE: SHORTLIST
Sponsored by Ubisoft
“I’m not very good at this, so all I am going to say is thank you to everyone who voted for me.” GAMESMEDIAAWARDS WINNERS...
SPECIALIST WRITER, PRINT: JON BLYTH
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GAMES MEDIA AWARDS
“If this award belongs to one person it’s the editor Tom Bramwell. It’s a privilege to work with people that love their jobs that much and work that hard and are that dedicated.” Oli Welsh, Eurogamer
BEST GAMES WEBSITE: EUROGAMER
“Thank you very much for this award. We passed issue 200 this year and we’ve got some changes happening next year. It’s brilliant to know we have your support.” Alex Wiltshire, Edge
BEST GAMES MAGAZINE: EDGE
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E N O Y R E V E C I S THE MU S E V O L & S W O KN OUT NOVEMBER 6TH BANDHERO.COM
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Wireless Guitar Controller
© 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Guitar Hero and Activision are registered trademarks and Band Hero is a trademark of Activision Publishing, Inc. Patents Pending. ‘2’, ‘PlayStation’ and ‘ ’ are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Nintendo DS and Wii are trademarks of Nintendo. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. ACTIVISION AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS ACTIVISION GAME ONLY IN COMBINATION WITH CONTROLLERS PROVIDED BY ACTIVISION OR OTHER AUTHORIZED CONTROLLERS. ACTIVISION ALSO AUTHORIZES USE OF THIS CONTROLLER ONLY WITH AN ACTIVISION GAME PRODUCT OR OTHER AUTHORIZED PRODUCT. ANY OTHER USE IS PROHIBITED AND NO OTHER LICENSE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS GRANTED. NDS game differs from console, 30 tracks included, visit guitarhero.com for full track listing
One Wireless Drum Kit Controller
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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
MODERN WARFARE: REFLEX P82 The original Modern Warfare makes its long-overdue appearance on Nintendo’s Wii JU-ON: THE GRUDGE P84 Rising Star’s social horror video game arrives on Wii this Halloween COOKING MAMA 3 P86 505 Games’ hugely popular cooking title returns for a fifth outing on DS BATTLEFRONT: ELITE P88 The spin-off to the popular Star Wars Battlefront series comes to PSP and DS RATCHET AND CLANK P89 Outrageous weapons and superb visuals return in the third Ratchet and Clank on PS3
IT’S HERE! Infinity Ward’s epic first person shooter prepares its all-out assault on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC... P80
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY P90 Two completely new adventures set in the GTA IV universe head to retail BAND HERO P93 The Hero brand expands further in this family-orientated game featuring pop music HARVEST FISHING P95 This Harvest Moon-inspired fishing game targets the younger DS gamer HAIR SALON P97 Aimed at young girls, Hair Salon is the first title in the UK that only works on DSi SQUEEBALLS PARTY P98 PDP enters the publishing fray with its promising Wii and DS party game TEKKEN 6 P100 The mega-popular brawler is back for a sixth round on PS3 and Xbox 360
RETAILBIZ: MODERN WARFARE 2 80 MCV 23/10/09
The hugely anticipated shoot-‘em-up finally approaches shelves…
“Expectations are extremely high and rightly so,” says Activision’s UK marketing director David Tyler. “The calibre of the team at Infinity Ward and the sheer quality of the game fuels a very positive acknowledgement throughout the marketplace of everything we do in relation to Modern Warfare 2.
by James Batchelor
CALL OF DUTY: Modern Warfare 2 is not just the biggest games release of the year – it’s one of the biggest events. Originally revealed in an Activision Blizzard company earnings call back in December 2008, Modern Warfare 2 was officially announced to universal acclaim at this year’s Games Developer Expectations are extremely Conference in March – high and rightly so. The sheer and has dominated the quality of the game fuels a headlines since. positive feeling in the market. The entire industry David Tyler, Activision has been waiting for it. From gamers to retailers, everyone has been pouring “We work very closely with our over every trailer and every screenshot Global Brand Team in the US and – and now the game is mere weeks sometimes with the studio directly to away. No pressure, Activision. construct marketing, trade and PR Obviously, the publisher is confident programmes that are as hard-hitting as about Modern Warfare 2, assuring fans we can make them.” that the game’s quality will more than The game is, naturally, the direct live up to the anticipation that has been sequel to the critically acclaimed, steadily building since the original award-winning and multi-milion selling Modern Warfare debuted two years ago. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Like
its predecessor, it shuns the franchise’s traditional World War II setting in favour of today’s grittier, more dangerous battlefields. Once again, players join the likes of Captain ‘Soap’ MacTavish as they progress through an intense singleplayer campaign that picks up where the original Modern Warfare left off. As the global conflict escalates, players will find themselves fighting for survival all over the world, from the politically troubled developing countries of South America to the blizzardstricken icy Russian wastes. In terms of marketing, Activision has been running an extensive high-profile PR campaign to raise awareness of the game’s arrival since May, encompassing all forms of media including print, TV and online. Central to this campaign’s message is the game’s release date, which was revealed surprisingly early in March – which has helped to build momentum for demand.
RETAILBIZ: MODERN WARFARE 2 WWW.MCVUK.COM
“It really helps from a retail perspective,” says UK senior sales director Roy Stackhouse. “One of the biggest criticisms form retail is that a date can come so late that it’s difficult – unless you’re a games specialist – to react. “To have a date set so far out and to know what the strategy is great for everybody involved – from building the product, to getting the in-store right, to talking to the consumer.” RETAIL REINFORCEMENTS
Not only has the game established itself as an event in terms of the public mindset, it will also have phenomenal in-store presence with multiple SKUs making it a significant occasion for retail. Perhaps the most notable MW2 offering is the Prestige Edition, which is exclusive to HMV. The package includes a copy of the game, a collector’s bust of MacTavish, a special edition Steelbook, an art book, a code to download the original Call Of Duty and – most
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There are a variety of Modern Warfare 2 special editions available from UK retailers
impressively – a fully-functional pair of Night Vision Goggles. The Prestige Edition sold out a month after its unveiling, forcing HMV to seek additional stock. Activision is particularly pleased with demand for this SKU, pointing to how its contents had been tailored to appeal to the series hardcore fans. “That edition is for people who are really fans of a franchise and spend a lot of time playing it,” says UK MD Andrew Brown. “Modern Warfare is their pastime, it’s their hobby, so there is a demand for something a bit unique and different – be it more content or something they can put beside them while playing. If you’ve got a hobby, you enhance that by buying something you enjoy.” Elsewhere, consumers can pick up the Hardened Edition, which features a copy of the game, a Steelbook case, an artbook and the downloadable version of the first Call Of Duty. The GAMEexclusive Veteran Edition not only comes with all this, but also features a
RELEASED: NOVEMBER 10 FORMATS: XBOX 360, PS3, PC PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
unique gift box and a statue of the popular MacTavish in full snow camo gear. There will even be plenty of MW2branded hardware on the shelves, not the least of which is a special 250GB Elite Xbox 360 console. Exclusive to GAME and GameStation, this machine boasts a warzone design, two wireless controllers, an Xbox 360 headset and, of course, a copy of Modern Warfare 2. A standard 250GB Elite is also available bundled with the game. Finally, Mad Catz has a range of officially licensed Modern Warfare 2 accessories that cater for gamers on all formats, with consumers able to pick up everything from controllers and mice to headsets.
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RELEASED: NOVEMBER 10
FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
Don’t be fooled into thinking the DS has been left out of all the Modern Warfare action. Also arriving on November 10th is Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare: Mobilised, developed specifically for the dualscreened wonder. Once again brought to Nintendo’s handheld by n-Space, which handled the impressive portable offerings of Call Of Duty 4 and World At War, Mobilised boasts its own storyline that fits seamlessly into the Modern Warfare universe. The DS’ unique functionality is used to great effect, with the touch screen granting gamers a good level of precision over their aim and the Wi-Fi and wireless connections enabling multiplayer battles.
DEVELOPER: TREYARCH PRICE: £39.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
The original Modern Warfare masterpiece makes the transition to Wii – carrying a new ‘Reflex’ moniker… by James Batchelor THERE IS NO question that the anticipation surrounding Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would be nowhere near as high if it wasn’t for the success of its predecessor. In November 2007, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success to become one of the biggest first-person shooters ever released. The game is still just a popular today, being spotted regularly in the upper echelons of the charts and remaining one of the most played online games on Xbox 360 and PS3. In the two years since it first arrived on shelves, Modern Warfare has received more than 50 combined Editors’ Choice and Game of the Year Awards.
As its successor is poised to take seize its crown, Activision proves Call Of Duty 4 still has plenty of fight left in it with Modern Warfare: Reflex for Wii. The release brings the original Modern Warfare to Nintendo console
The release of COD 4 Modern Warfare: Reflex brings Activision’s award-winning title to Wii for the first time. gamers for the first time, spreading the title’s influence yet further. The entire single-player campaign, heralded as one of the best in the genre, has been recreated on Wii, as gamers follow the events surrounding US and SAS forces in a split storyline that features plenty of twists and turns. Wii owners will be able to experience the
same tense battles as their counterparts on other formats, although they will do so in a whole new way. REFLEX-OLOGY
Developer Treyarch has drawn on its experience with last year’s Call Of Duty: World At War and created a motion-based control scheme that is ideally suited to firstperson shooters, giving players more precision than ever before. In a similar move to that of Sega’s summer hit The Conduit, Reflex also allows a huge level of customisation over the control setup and sensitivity, enabling hardcore shooter fans to tweak the game to suit their own style and preferences. Also recreated relatively unscathed is the hugely popular multiplayer mode.
Gamers can engage in a variety of scenarios, including Search & Destory, Domination and Free-for-all. These are playable both locally and online, with the latter catering for up to ten players – an improvement over World At War’s eight. The Wii version also features an exclusive co-operative setting, known as Squadmate mode. This allows two players to work through the single-player campaign together, with one playing as normal and the other aiming the Wii Zapper or Wii Remote at any enemies the first has missed – similar to an onrails shooter. Wii owners that have yet to try Modern Warfare now have the ideal opportunity to do so, while Call Of Duty 4 veterans will find the revamped controls and Squadmate mode a fresh challenge.
Activision - GMA Congrats advert:Activision
RETAILBIZ: JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 84 MCV 23/10/09
RETAILBIZ: JU-ON: THE GRUDGE WWW.MCVUK.COM
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Rising Star Games brings a new twist to the Halloween market – with a scary social game that’s accessible enough to frighten a mainstream audience… by Tim Ingham IT’S NOT THE easiest thing in the world, making a scary game for a mainstream audience. But, according to early previews, that’s what Rising Star Games have managed – with a perfect release for the Halloween season. JU-ON: The Grudge retains the haunting atmosphere from the original Japanese movie that inspired it – which went on to become the inspiration for a Western version with Sarah Michelle Gellar (remember her?). But instead of blood, guts and hideous monsters, the team behind the game have created something much more subtle, which that will make everyone, young or old, jump out of their skin – and laugh about it afterwards. “Let me set this straight, JU-ON isn’t a typical horror title in the vein of Silent Hill
such as an abandoned warehouse, a dimly lit hospital and a mannequin factory. With a story revolving around the unfortunate Yamada family, JU-ON: The Grudge features a new unique gameplay mechanic that measures your movements during play – the more gamers flinch and jump, the worse their success rate becomes. SCARE TACTICS
The creator and director of the original movie was heavily involved in the creation of the game, and it shows. Takeshi Shimizu has helped created a claustrophbic game with scares coming at every turn – and when gamers least expect them. Rising Star has chosen a Halloween release for obvious promotional reasons, but the publisher believes JU-ON can prove itself to be an evergreen title at retail. Explains Hau: “Due to Halloween falling on a weekend this year, we expect it to perform very well during
Let me set this straight: JU-ON isn’t a typical horror title like Resident Evil. You don’t attack or kill anything. Yen Hau, Rising Star Games
or the old Resident Evil series,” explains Rising Star Games product marketing assistant Yen Hau. “You don’t attack or kill anything, it is very much designed to make the player feel uneasy and scared. Every journalist I have shown the game to personally have responded just as expected at some point during the game, they all jump or flinch on cue which is the highest praise you can give it. This proves that the scares work and, coupled with the real sound effects and haunting atmosphere, really comes together to give a full ‘ghost train’ effect.” Using the Wii Remote as a flashlight, JU-ON: The Grudge has players move forward with the touch of a button and explore haunted areas
this time. But we are not just releasing a game for one season. Its social nature and easy gameplay mechanics, plus the targeted market, means that JU-ON has the potential to perform well at all the key holidays such as Christmas and Easter, but also when people choose to gather or play together. “Realistically we do expect it to perform well during key seasonal times right through 2010. “We have spent the past two months getting the message out about the type of game that JU-ON is and have secured several national press coverage so we do expect sales on day one to be very respectable.” RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: RISING STAR GAMES DEVELOPER: FEELPLUS PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC CONTACT: 0845 234 4242
HAUNTING THE CONSUMER Rising Star’s Yen Hau explains the firm’s marketing strategy for JU-ON: “The core message for JU-ON is to really emphasise its social nature and differentiate it from the horror genre, something which is very difficult to do successfully though print advertisements. As a result, and with our recent campaigns proving very successful in this area, we have concentrated our efforts not on media spend but on targeted PR activities. “Since the nature of the game suggests that it will be more casual players than core gamers who will be interested in what JU-ON has to offer, we have embraced this sector and specifically approached the national newspapers, key lifestyle and culture magazines, not to mention continuing our strong relationship with otaku bible NEO magazine. The likes of The Times, The Independent, Total Film, Deathray, Mixmag, Stuff… these are all examples of the types of publications we have focused our energy on. “Of course, we have also continued to build on our expanding online community through our site at RSG.com and [Rising Star community hub] Hoshi and the title will be a featured game on our stand at the London MCM Expo.”
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505 Games’ mega-franchise returns to the system that made its name – Nintendo DS… by Tim Ingham WHEN MAMA first burst on the scene back in 2006, you could hear the sniggers from here to… well, everywhere really. A wide-eyed, bizarre looking chef with a particularly robotic approach to culinary export, few believed she could become even a mild success – let alone a cultural phenomenon. Being on the plasticky DS didn’t help either – kids’ toy that it was. Whatever happened to that console anyway? Of course, thanks to some sterling work from 505 Games’ sales and marketing teams in Europe, retail took a cheeky punt on the software. And boy did it pay off. Multi-million sales (and a welldeserved MCV Award) later, and here we are – at the third iteration in the series. COOKING UP A STORM
So what’s changed? 505 Games product manager Juliette Fielder explains: “Cooking Mama 3 offers gamers a brand new gameplay experience, improved graphics and up to four players’ multiplayer. The game also boasts over 80 recipes and 200 minigames, with three new modes: Let’s Cook, Let’s Shop and Cooking Contest. “The most defining feature though, has to be the fact that players can wirelessly transfer the fruit and vegetables that they have grown in Gardening Mama to Cooking Mama 3 to cook up a tasty dish.” Since Mama’s debut and the second iteration in the Cooking Mama series – which was one of the Top 50-selling games in 2008, remember – expectations have naturally risen at 505. Adds Fielder: “Mama is, of course, a very important brand for us and 505 Games have huge expectations for Cooking Mama 3. “Across Europe, 505 Games have established Mama as hugely successful RELEASED: NOVEMBER 13 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: COOKING MAMA 3 DEVELOPER: COOKING MAMA LTD PRICE: £29.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
brand, well-loved among our consumers and retail partners alike. Particularly here in the UK, Mama has entered the big league and is ready to go toe-to-toe with the Christmas heavyweights. “We are committing a massive trade, media and PR campaign to the release of Cooking Mama 3, not only for a high impact launch but to continue that pressure throughout 2010 to take Mama to a broader audience.” The publisher says that this year – Mama’s first outing at Christmas – has seen the game’s biggest ever ship out to retail here and in the US. Which all bodes well for Cooking Mama 3 knocking up some tasty sales for the High Street this Q4.
RETAILBIZ: COOKING MAMA 3 WWW.MCVUK.COM
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505 Games believes that Cooking Mama 3 can go “toe to toe” with other major Christmas releases
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The long-running action shooter series brings that familiar galaxy far, far away to handheld platforms… PSP once more but also marks its debut on Nintendo DS. “Following the great success we had with Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, we aim to further cement the franchise within the handheld market and deliver an exciting experience for fans of the Star Wars universe,” says Activision brand manager Simon Wells.
by James Batchelor
NOBODY WATCHED the Star Wars films for the political commentary, moving love stories or literary quality. No. We watched them for the battles. When the scrolling prologue had faded into the distance, all you wanted to see was dogfighting space ships, intense gunfights and the expertly A LONG TIME AGO choreographed lightsaber battles. The main meat of the game is a story So why should the franchise’s video game offerings be any different? Some of campaign that stretches across all six the biggest Star Wars titles ever released have With the deepest, most been focused solely on action-pack Star Wars the conflicts that span experience to date, the public the saga, and perhaps the reaction has been fantastic most notable is the Star Simon Wells, Activision Wars Battlefront series. The Battlefront games movies and beyond. Players take on the have now spanned consoles and even role of X2, a clone trooper created from dabbled in handheld action with 2007’s the DNA of a Jedi Master. Renegade Squadron on the PSP. Having been tasked with assassinating Now LucasArts has decided to bring the remaining Jedi during Order 66, the the series back to gamers on the go in clone decides to abandon his ruthless the form of Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Imperial masters and joins the ranks of Squadron. The upcoming action shooter the Rebellion. not only sees the franchise return to
As he fights to restore peace and freedom to the Galaxy, he not only has to contend with his former superiors, he also has to battle with X1, his clone brother, who is also force sensitive and has chosen a much more sinister path. It’s a complex storyline that it is hoped will entice Nintendo gamers yet to play a Battlefront title. “While bringing back the franchise to loyal PSP fans, the campaign will also introduce new fans to the highly successful Star Wars Battlefront series on the Nintendo DS,” says Wells. “With the deepest and most action-packed Star Wars Battlefront experience to date, the public reaction has been fantastic and the title is eagerly awaited by handheld owners.” Like its predecessors, Elite Squadron takes the Battlefront series’ combat one step further. While gamers have previously been able to fight on the ground, in the air, in orbit and on capital ships, they have never been able to seamlessly traverse all of these domains in a single match before.
In addition to the gripping singleplayer campaign, both versions have a range of multiplayer modes. The PSP iteration supports up to 16 players, while DS owners can engage in skirmishes of up to four players. Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron will be mainly promoted through a strong two-week TV campaign. The TV spots will be heavily supported by Sony to promote the PSP version and will run on a wide variety of UK and Irish TV channels, targeting the nation’s 16 to 34-year-old males. Wells adds: “With battlefields that span ground, space and capital ships, a robust original storyline and expanded gameplay features, this is certainly the biggest and most comprehensive Battlefront experience to date.” RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 FORMATS: PSP/DS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: REBELLION INTERACTIVE (PSP) / N-SPACE (DS) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: RATCHET AND CLANK: A CRACK IN TIME WWW.MCVUK.COM
Sony’s intergalactic duo return in a highlyanticipated release from Insomniac Games…
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by Tim Ingham THE POTENTIAL use of puns in games is, in MCV’s humble opinion, woefully under-represented. So it’s nice to see that the latest in the typically comical Ratchet And Clank series from Sony doesn’t disappoint. And, like all the best puns, it’s accurate. Because Ratchet And Clank: A Crack In Time (Cracking Time, geddit?) promises the best action platform experience this side of… well, the last Ratchet And Clank game. (Our favourite ever pun? As you ask so nicely, it’s SUPER CALEY GO BALLISTIC, CELTIC ARE ATROCIOUS in The Sun – describing Caledonian’s surprise defeat of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. Anyway, back to the matter at hand…). Players can control both Ratchet and Clank as they attempt to reunite and save the universe – as per usual. This time round, Ratchet discovers that Clank’s disappearance has been
engineered by Dr. Nefarious. As he races to rescue his best friend, he discovers that Clank’s capture is just the beginning of Nefarious’s latest diabolical plot – and the duo have to take on their oldest nemesis once again. The eponymous duo will have new abilities at their disposal, such as
This promises to be the best action platform experience since... well, the last Ratchet and Clank game. Ratchet’s Hoverboots, which allow him to travel at high speeds and soar to new heights around the galaxy. Meanwhile, all-new Clank gameplay means that players can utilise special timemanipulation abilities in an effort to thwart. Nefarious – who is attempting to control time itself. The latest addition to the best-selling series will answer some of fans’ mostasked questions as it concludes the story arc from Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools
of Destruction and Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (still one of our favourite game titles of the last ten years). The game allows players to travel freely through non-linear levels with new space gameplay that allows players to engage in space battles, explore the surrounding star system, and discover hidden items and collectables. And fans of the franchise’s laughable-yetdeadly weapons will be pleased to see that the eponymous duo’s renowned arsenal gets even larger with new weapons including the Cryo-Bomb Glove, Plasma Striker and Sonic Eruptor, along with classics such as the Negotiator and Buzz Blades.
RELEASED: NOVEMBER 6 FORMATS: PS3 PUBLISHER: SCEE DEVELOPER: INSOMNIAC GAMES PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
RETAILBIZ: GTA: LIBERTY CITY EPISODES 90 MCV 23/10/09
Everyone’s favourite criminal caper returns – with two previously online-only add-ons coming to retail…
by Tim Ingham
And, then, Rockstar bought a bit of pink to proceedings, by announcing its second batch of DLC – The Ballad Of Gay Tony. The add-on centres on another a new protagonist, Luis Fernando Lopez – a member of the Northwood Dominican drug dealers and bodyguard of Anthony ‘Gay Tony’ Prince. But with the buzz around any GTA release, Rockstar knew it couldn’t keep
episodes. They are standalone titles with all the unique wit, humour, action, WHEN IT WAS announced last year new characters, music and great story that Microsoft had paid megabucks for lines that fans have come to expect the exclusive rights to GTA IV’s DLC from GTA titles. packs, its hardcore fans understandably “GTA EFLC is incredible value for had some questions to ask. fans with two complete episodes in one Could it live up to the universallybox for £34.99. This is the first time applauded genius of the games itself? ever a new GTA has launched on the Would it be worth the money? Is this just Xbox 360 platform exclusively. a cheap add-on or does it “We will be executing a You don’t need to have genuinely bring something massive marketing new to the table? campaign with platform played GTA IV to enjoy these They needn’t have holder support, as once episodes. They have unique worried. The first episode, again Rockstar are very wit, humour and action. The Lost And The pleased to be working with Neil Stephen, Rockstar Damned, was roundly Xbox to ensure this a acclaimed. It featured a popular new the dual release solely digital. So this major event launch.” protagonist, Johnny Klebitz – a month – in the same period that Gay A new standalone GTA title for retail prominent member of Liberty City biker Tony hits Xbox Live – the publisher will in time for Christmas? We’re pretty sure gang The Lost. Klebitz was well known be releasing both add-ons on a single you don’t really need MCV to predict to GTA IV fans, having featured in retail disc, dubbed Episodes of Liberty the result of that one. missions throughout the original game. City. And the best part is, players RELEASED: OCTOBER 29 Additions to the game included don’t even need the original GTA IV to FORMATS: XBOX 360 new weapons, such as a grenade play them. PUBLISHER: ROCKSTAR launcher, Automatic Pistol, half of a “Fans will not need an Xbox Live DEVELOPER: ROCKSTAR NORTH pool cue and pipe bombs, as well as connection or a copy of GTA IV to play PRICE: £34.99 sawn-off and automatic shotguns and the game,” explains Rockstar UK MD DISTRIBUTOR: GEM new vehicles, such as Johnny's customNeil Stephen. “You don’t even need to CONTACT: 01279 822 800 made motorcycle. have played GTA IV to enjoy these
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RETAILBIZ: BAND HERO WWW.MCVUK.COM
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Activision Blizzard expands its already massive Guitar Hero fanbase with Band Hero, which brings the popular gameplay formula to a more mainstram audience – just in time for Christmas… by James Batchelor THE FINAL entry in this year’s Hero trilogy approaches in the form of Band Hero. With Guitar Hero already establishing itself amongst a mainstream audience, this title takes the franchise one step further, with much more family-friendly music and a significantly broader appeal. The game gives kids the chance to open the ears of parents and even grandparents to the likes of Lilly Allen, Snow Patrol and Robbie Williams, while the elderly gamers can rediscover bands such as the Rolling Stones, Jackson 5 and Duran Duran. “Band Hero is about bringing the magic of Guitar Hero to all the family,” says brand manager Jon Edney. “New stars will be born in living rooms across the country this Christmas as young and old come together to enjoy today's hottest hits alongside an array of classic anthems.” UNSUNG HERO
“As well as a groundbreaking track list, Band Hero will incorporate all the innovative new social gameplay features that recently helped take Guitar Hero 5 to the top of the UK gaming chart. A new and improved drum kit is also being introduced, further enhancing the look, feel and realism of the full band experience. In short, it’s a game of firsts for all the family.” New modes include Party Play and Rockfest, as well as a new Sing-A-Long mode for those looking for that pure karaoke experience. Band Hero will also see the arrival of multiple exclusive game modes for Nintendo fans that actually work across both Wii and DS. Roadie Battle, for example, sees DS players attempt to sabotage their Wii guitar opponent’s performances, while Freestyle Stage Manager asks them to shape the filming and appearance of the Wii guitarist’s set. Wii owners can now even learn to air drum and for the first time ever have their very own customised Miis performing onscreen in a Hero title. “The Guitar Hero series is going from strength to strength as it continues to evolve and innovate with every title,” says Edney. “Guitar Hero Metallica, Guitar Hero 5 and DJ Hero this year signalled the franchise’s commitment to
making artists’ work across the entire musical spectrum accessible to all to interact with and enjoy, and Band Hero is just another step along this road. “As a title it will be attracting a large number of first time music gamers to the category, something we are extremely excited about and we hope retailers will be too. “Band Hero is to receive all the instore support that the industry has come to expect from a Guitar Hero title with an array of high impact point of sale and powerful pre-order incentives tailored for this new audience.” The prominence of the Hero franchise in the public mindset will already help to drive sales for Band Hero, but Activision is still arranging a comprehensive marketing campaign to raise awareness of the game. Drawing inspiration from its efforts with DJ Hero, the publisher is also in the process of securing partnerships with notable celebrity ambassadors. Band Hero already features Taylor Swift in game – an artist widely tipped to take the UK by storm this Christmas having sold over 10 million albums worldwide, joining Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as a playable character. “Having artists intimately involved in the development of our titles – not just the advertising –
Band Hero will receive the same instore support that we expect for a Guitar Hero title. Jon Edney, Activision
gives them a genuine passion for the game and in turn its promotion,” Edney says. “Jay-Z, Eminem and David Guetta are examples of global music icons that have got 100 percent behind DJ Hero. Band Hero’s supporting cast will be of an equally high calibre.” In addition to a heavyweight TV campaign the franchise continues to pursue breakthrough marketing activities. Along this theme, Activision is also arranging some standout experiential activity for Band Hero. RELEASED: NOVEMBER FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, PS2, DS PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DEVELOPER: NEVERSOFT (360, PS3) VICARIOUS VISIONS (WII, DS) BUDCAT (PS2) PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
The DS version comes with a dedicated peripheral for the handheld
RETAILBIZ: HARVEST FISHING WWW.MCVUK.COM
Rising Star takes the long-running Harvest RPG series in a new direction – swapping hoes for rods…
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by James Batchelor
storyline into the simulation-based gameplay. The plot revolves around a young man attempting to wake his younger sister from her slumber. Legend tells of the mysterious River King, whose scales can be used to cure anything, so the game’s hero sets of to catch him. Players journey across rivers, swamps, ponds and hidden fishing spots as they search, making friends with the creatures they meet along the way and
THE HARVEST MOON titles have grown in popularity over the last decade, marrying exploration and character interaction with management skills. Having brought this concept to both the fantasy and sci-fi genres, Rising Star now takes the best-selling formula into a new realm of entertainment. As the name implies, Harvest Fishing revolves around wrenching aquatic beings Rising Star Games is aiming from bodies of water. And to make Harvest Fishing a while the tranquillity of great price proposition for fishing may not enthral Christmas and beyond. everyone, the game shows typical Harvest charm. Tyrone Walcott, Rising Star “Rising Star Games is extremely confident in the potential of unlock their special abilities. They can Harvest Fishing, in no small part due to explore the world of Harvest Fishing the great responses we are getting from freely or enter tournaments in order to our market research,” says product earn money to upgrade their equipment. marketing assistant Tyrone Walcott. There is even a range of mini-games to “We are aiming to make Harvest enjoy, and since time is a factor for Fishing a great price proposition for which fish are available, the game also Christmas and beyond and give young features night-fishing. fans of the Harvest Moon series a As with previous Harvest titles, pickup and play angling experience.” Fishing boasts highly accessible controls Perhaps key to the Harvest series’ for more casual gamers, with the game’s appeal is its ability to weave an engaging fishing mechanics operated by using the
RELEASED: OCTOBER 16 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: RISING STAR DEVELOPER: MARVELOUS ENTERTAINMENT PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: MASTERTRONIC ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0845 234 4242 0161 506 9590
touch screen. There are plenty of customisation options, allowing gamers to amass a vast collection of baits, lures, rods and more. “Our planned activity is to support retail by offering a great price, extensive PR for Harvest Fishing will continue vigorously right up until launch,” says Walcott. “We have extensive marketing and PR objectives, which will increase the awareness for Christmas.” There will be an ongoing campaign across kids print media and Rising Star is even looking into the possibility of using angling magazines to assist parents that are looking to introduce the children to the timeless sport, thereby covering both of the game’s target audience. “The Harvest brand is enormous across the world and has a stable fan base,” adds Walcott. “Harvest Fishing has been long awaited but we are very happy with the fan responses for the title. What makes the game so special for us is the brand is easily recognisable to parents, carers and gift buyers as a child friendly Nintendo DS product and will attract new and established fans.”
xx MCVxxx_v1:Layout 1
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505 rolls out the first DSi-exclusive title, inviting young girls to fashion their own hair and make-up in search of the hottest look… by James Batchelor THE DSI HAS been on the market since March this year, and while there are games in development that use the unique functionality of its two cameras, we’re yet to see a boxed retail product that has been made exclusively for the new handheld – until now. 505 Games is currently putting the finishing touches to Hair Salon, a game for girls that can only be played with the DSi thanks to camera-centric mechanics. The game’s release means the Cooking Mama publisher has beaten rival software houses – including even Nintendo – to market with the industry’s first DSi-only title, something the firm is very proud of. “Hair Salon for Nintendo DSi is a key title for 505 Games this Christmas season,” says product manager Emily Bryce-Williams. “We are the one of the first publishers to take full advantage of the new market opportunity the DSi offers – Nintendo has confirmed that Hair Salon will be the first DSi-exclusive title to be released in Europe.” Like many titles on the DS, the game has been developed with young girls in Of course the big selling point is the mind, giving them the chance to open a camera functionality. Hair Salon allows salon and turn it into a successful players to take a picture of their face, business. Players progress through the allowing them to experiment with main campaign by creating new hairstyles hairstyles and make-up to discover great and mastering the art of make-up in order new looks for themselves. Again, images to keep a string of customers happy. Being first to market with a The game uses the DSi-exclusive release is a touch screen to apply and major advantage. It gives us adjust make up or cut and a real unique selling point. style hair, with enough options to make a possible Emily Bryce-Williams, 505 Games 15,000 fashionable combinations available. Girls can even taken in this mode and the subsequent save up to five of the best creations, and combinations can be shared wirelessly. swap them with other Hair Salon players. “The game’s defining feature is its DSi content: the ability to take your RELEASED: NOVEMBER 13 picture and style your hair and make-up FORMATS: DSI in real time on your own image,” says PUBLISHER: 505 GAMES Bryce-Williams. “Hair Salon is also the DEVELOPER: SONIC POWERED first game to use the ‘automatic face PRICE: £24.99 recognition’ functionality afforded by DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE the DSi unit. This is a under-utilised CONTACT: 0121 506 9585 technical innovation that will
automatically take a user’s picture once their face is in shot ensuring a perfect picture every time.” 505 Games is working hard to promote Hair Salon as the first DSi-only game, with the publisher’s primary marketing drive focusing on trade customers and PR media partners. These partnerships represent 505’s most direct communication channel to the DSi userbase, and it is through PR that the game’s unique features will be communicated most effectively to the target audience. “Being first to market with a DSiexclusive release is a major advantage,” says Bryce-Williams. “It gives us a undisputed unique selling point against all the other offerings. This is a fact Nintendo has acknowledged and rewarded us with dedicated online exposure. This recognition is also being reflected amongst consumers.”
Hair Salon allows players to share their creations with fello DSi owners
RETAILBIZ: SQUEEBALLS PARTY 98 MCV 23/10/09
Peripherals vendor PDP branches into game publishing with this humourous toy-smashing mini-game collection… by James Batchelor
ex-Traveller's Tales guys responsible for some massive titles in the past.” The quality tests take the form of mini-games, putting the Squeeballs in a variety of scenarios that will not be entirely unfamiliar to Wii owners. The key difference is that as players bat, bowl, cook, grind, grate, shoot, blend and explode, it is the spherical creatures
has a humour and panache that is unusual for a family party game, and EVEN IN TIMES of recession, gaming appeals to both young boys and girls. offers a lucrative return for the smart “The game combines elements of movers. Peripherals specialists PDP bowling, golf, shooting, cooking and found their golden ticket by acquiring much more, all with very high In2Games last year – and is now production values and characters that preparing to publish its first title. everyone will love. We think these factors Squeeballs Party is a mini-game make it a really distinctive game which, collection about quality combined with our TV-led assurance. Sounds an marketing campaign, will We’ve made a game that’s unlikely subject, but stick make it stand out this family friendly but naughty – with us. The game centres Christmas. It’s the perfect you dispatch Squeeballs in all around the Squeeballs, an gift for a family with kids manner of grisly ways. adorable bunch of cuddly aged seven to 12.” Harry Holmwood, PDP toys manufactured on a Given that this is PDP’s secret island in the Pacific. first release, the company Before they can be sold to the public, that bear the brunt of the consequences. is working hard to market Squeeballs players are required to test these The whole affair is presented in such an and gain the recognition it deserves, products thoroughly – to the point of amusing style, it will be hard for any targeting its intended audience carefully. destruction. It’s a quirky concept that fun-loving families to resist doing As Holmwood says, TV advertising will PDP is confident will be well received. terrible things to the Squeeballs. be instrumental in this effort, reaching “We're expecting great things from “We've worked hard to make a game out to families in their own homes. Squeeballs Party,” says Harry that’s family friendly but also slightly “The marketing centres around a TV Holmwood, PDP’s vice president of naughty – you’re dispatching the campaign, running from October 31st – software development and publishing. Squeeballs in all manner of grisly ways,” the day after launch – through until “It's the first game from Eiconic, a says Holmwood. “It’s never gory – early December, on multiple TV hugely talented UK studio founded by we’re PEGI 7+ rated – but the game channels including Five, GMTV, Disney,
Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and many others,” he says. This will be supported by an extensive product placement and competitions programme to raise awareness of the Squeeballs brand. The company has arranged a major PR campaign that will target non-specialist publications within the children’s, women’s and family press in order to reach the game’s target audience. Online advertising will appear across a range of leading specialist and non-specialist websites, as well as leading social media domains. As part of this, a viral video campaign has been drawn up that will feature the Squeeballs in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and other exotic locations. RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: WII, DS PUBLISHER: ZEN UTD/PDP DEVELOPER: EICONIC (WII) HELDHAND (DS) PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: PDP CONTACT: 01908 847 580
CELEBRATE THE GAMES 18 â€“ 22/8/2010 COLOGNE
gamescom sends its congratulations to the winners of the Games Media Awards.
14.10.2009 17:11:52 Uhr
RETAILBIZ: TEKKEN 6 100 MCV 23/10/09
RETAILBIZ: TEKKEN 6 WWW.MCVUK.COM
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The original goliath of the 3D fighting genre returns to retail in its most impressive outing yet… by Tim Ingham ATARI – AS WE knew them in Europe, folks – had some pretty big titles over the years, remember? From Chronicles of Riddick to Alone In The Dark and Test Drive Unlimited, the publisher wasn’t shy of proper, triple-A product. Since then, Namco Bandai Partners has taken on the firm’s distribution business in Europe – filled with ex-Atari staff. So when that company’s top execs tell us that Tekken 6 is the biggest game they’ve dealt with for years, it gives you an idea of just how huge it is. “Tekken 6 is undoubtedly Namco Bandai Partners’ biggest release of the year and for the – largely ex-Atari – UK team, the biggest release for several years,” explains Namco Bandai Partners UK marketing manager David Miller. FIGHTING TALK
The game’s biggest unique selling point is its full 1080p High Definition display, the first time the Tekken franchise – nay, almost the whole next generation fighting genre – has reached such crystal clear heights. The title contains the largest-ever array of characters, stages and moves the franchise has ever seen – which should be more than enough to keep players busy for months. Also included is a retro-style campaign mode, reminiscent of classic ‘80s side-scrolling action games – which can be played solo or co-op. And alongside the standard 360 and PS3 SKUs will sit a very special limited edition Hori arcade-stick bundle pack and a Collector’s edition, which will contain an art book, poster and branded hooded sweatshirt. Unsurprisingly, with RELEASED: OCTOBER 30 FORMATS: PS3/360/PC PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI DEVELOPER: NAMCO PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
such a massive release on its hands, Namco Bandai Partners isn’t skimping on the marketing spend. Well over £1 million will be spent to “ensure Tekken 6 is on every gamer’s lips in the run up to Christmas,” according to Miller. He adds: “The What Do You Fight For marketing campaign we have crafted is already helping to position the title as a Christmas Top 10. “Every touch-point of the campaign will enforce the message, whether through our massive TV and print campaigns, the ground-breaking Twitter game, the amazing viral videos or the 17-date nation-wide tour and tournament that will crown a new King of the Iron Fist in early November and give one lucky gamer the chance to travel to Japan to meet the team and become immortalised in gaming history.”
TEKKEN UP MEDIA SPACE Namco Bandai’s What Do You Fight For campaign is the biggest promotion in the firm’s short history, with several key highlights: Over £1m media spend between launch and Xmas 17-date nation-wide tour and tournament grand final in London on November 7th and 8th Major presence at October MCM Expo and Eurogamer Expo Social media activity includes Twitter game, viral videos, micro sites, Facebook pages and YouTube channel Pre-order campaigns running with all major retailers, offering several enticing deals and goodies for consumers 12-month PR campaign that has already achieved large-scale coverage and many front covers
Immediate opportunities in games: Production Licensing Finance HR
Account Management Marketing Sales PR
Please apply to email@example.com or call 01206 214417
OPM Response Ltd Tel:+44(0)1206 214421 www.opmjobs.com
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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES 102 MCV 23/10/09
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
DJs and Dragons mix in November TITLE
Wii Mini-games PS3 RPG DS Action Wii Mini-games Wii / DS Quiz PS3 Casual PSP / DS / Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 Racing DS / PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Mystery DS Adventure Wii / PS3 / PS2 / XBOX 360 Music DS Adventure Wii Action PC RPG PC Simulation PC Simulation PC Chess Wii Mini-games Wii Mini-games XBOX 360 Action DS / PC / Wii Mini-games Wii Horror PC Sports Wii Sports DS / Wii Action/Adventure DS Action/Adventure PC Action Wii / DS Mini-games Wii / DS Mini-games PS3 / XBOX 360 Beat-'em-up PC FPS Wii Music Wii Self-Improvement PC Action
Nordcurrent Ghostlight Midas Activision Blizzard Mindscape Sony THQ Ubisoft Disney Interactive Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Namco Bandai JoWood First Class Simulations Sega Excalibur Publishing Majesco Majesco Rockstar Asylum Entertainment Rising Star Games THQ Activision Blizzard Mindscape Mindscape City Interactive Activision Blizzard Zen United Namco Bandai City Interactive Nordic Games Nintendo Deep Silver
0845 362 7769 01376 555333 01376 555333 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 01273 202 220 01869 338833 0121 625 3388 01869 338833 0117 373 6151 0117 373 6151 01279 822 800 0203 176 0417 01582 433700 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01908 847 580 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985
Trilogy Open Open Centresoft Koch Centresoft Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Advantage Lace Open Centresoft Open Open Open Gem South Peak Centresoft Advantage Centresoft Koch Koch Trilogy Centresoft PDP Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Koch Koch
PS2 / PSP
020 8987 5730
Wii Wii Wii / DS PC / DS Wii / DS Wii DS / Wii DS XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC DS PC DS / PC / Wii / XBOX 360 DS Wii / DS PC Wii Wii / DS DS DS DS
Platformer Music Simulation Mystery Adventure Action Quiz Adventure RPG Action Casual Action Casual Mini-games Casual Mini-games Mini-games Imagine Casual Casual
Majesco THQ Activision Blizzard City Interactive Activision Blizzard City Interactive Mindscape Disney Interactive EA Namco Bandai Mastertronic Atari Ubisoft EA Mastertronic Mindscape Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Zushi Zushi
0117 373 6151 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585 0845 234 4242 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 01279 822 800 01279 822 800
Open Advantage Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Trilogy Koch Centresoft Centresoft Advantage Open Advantage Trilogy Centresoft Open Koch Centresoft Trilogy Gem Gem
OCTOBER 30th 101-in-1 Party Megamix Wii Agarest: Generations Of War Allied Ace Pilots Arcade Zone Beat The Intro Buzz!: Quiz World Cars: Race O Rama CSI: Deadly Intent Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure DJ Hero Dolphin Island 2: Underwater Adventure Dragon Ball: Revenge Of King Piccolo Dungeon Lord - The Orb and the Oracle Flight Deck 6 Football Manager 2010 Fritz 12 Chess Go Play Circus Star Go Play City Sports Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City Horrid Henry Ju-on: The Grudge League Of Leagues Mountain Sports Playmobil: Circus Playmobil: Pirates Rage Of The Dead Science Papa Squeeballs Party Tekken 6 Terrorist Takedown 3 We Sing Wii Fit Plus X3 Gold
NOVEMBER 5th Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
NOVEMBER 6th A Boy And His Blob All Star Cheerleader 2 Animal Planet: Vet Life Art Of Murder: Cards Of Destiny Barbie and the Three Musketeers Combat Wings Countdown Disney's A Christmas Carol Dragon Age: Origins Dragon Ball Z: Attack Of The Saiyans Frankenstein Ghostbusters: The Video Game Girls Life Makeover Hasbro Family Game Night Volume 2 Hollywood: The Director's Cut I'm A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here iCarly Imagine Wildlife Keeper Jig-a-Pix: Pets Jig-a-Pix: Wild World
MUSTSTOCK ........................................DJ HERO Released: October 30 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS2 Publisher: Activision Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
The most unique offering of Activision Blizzard’s 2009 Hero trilogy boosts the multi-million selling franchise by introducing new genres of music to the fold. Players mix and scratch a range of tunes using the turntable controller in order to become the world’s best DJ.
MUSTSTOCK ..................DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS Released: November 6 Format: Xbox 360, PS3, PC Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
Renowned developers BioWare return to their roots in this fantasy tales of violence and betrayal. RPG fans will love the depth of the character customisation system and the profound effect every choice can have on the outcome of their hero’s story.
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MCV 23/10/09 103
Activision Blizzard and Nintendo finish off October with DJ Hero and Wii Fit Plus, while EA’s Dragon Age: Origns and the non-PlayStation editions of Atari’s Ghostbusters mark the start of November. Also hitting shelves is GTA, Football Manager, Tekken, PES 2010 and, of course, Modern Warfare 2... TITLE
Jig-a-Pix: Wonderful World Knockout Party Madagascar: Kartz North American Hunting Extraganza Peppa Pig Planet 51 Rabbids Go Home Rapala: We Fish Secrets Of The Vatican: The Holy Lance Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron The Ultimate Red Ball Challenge Treasure Seekers 1 & 2 U-Sing Wire Way Women's Murder Club: Games Of Passion World Of Zoo
DS Wii XBOX 360 / PS3 / Wii / DS Wii Wii DS / PC / Wii / PS3 / XBOX 360 DS / Wii Wii PC PSP / DS Wii PC DS / Wii DS DS DS / PC / Wii
Casual Mini-games Racing Adventure Mini-games Action/Adventure Adventure Simulation Casual Action Action Casual Music Puzzle Mystery Simulation
Zushi Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Zushi Ubisoft Sega Ubisoft Activision Blizzard Mastertronic Activision Blizzard Mindscape Mastertronic Mindscape Konami THQ THQ
01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 234 4242 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0845 234 4242 0870 027 0985 0208 987 5706 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585
Gem Trilogy Centresoft Gem Trilogy Centresoft Trilogy Centresoft Open Centresoft Koch Open Koch Open Advantage Advantage
Wii DS XBOX 360 / PS3 / PC
FPS FPS FPS
Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard Activision Blizzard
0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388
Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft
DS PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii PC DS DS Wii DS PSP / DS / Wii / XBOX 360 Wii DS / Wii
Casual Action Mini-games Simulation Simulation Simulation Racing Action/Adventure Kids RPG Self-Improvement
505 Games Atari Zushi First Class Simulations Ubisoft 505 Games Ubisoft Mindscape THQ Namco Bandai THQ
0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 01869 338833 0845 362 7769 0121 506 9585 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585
Advantage Advantage Gem Open Trilogy Advantage Trilogy Koch Advantage Advantage Advantage
Wii / DS
0121 625 3388
020 8987 5730
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP DS DS PC PC PC DS DS / Wii Wii / PS3 Wii Wii / DS Wii DS PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360 XBOX 360 / PC DS
Action Action/Adventure Action/Adventure Mini-games Simulation Simulation Simulation Music Racing Music RPG/Action Simulation Platformer RPG Survival Horror Quiz Adventure Puzzle
Ubisoft Ubisoft Ubisoft Disney Interactive First Class Simulations First Class Simulations First Class Simulations Namco Bandai Codemasters Konami Rising Star Games South Peak Nintendo Nintendo Konami Warner Games Ubisoft Ubisoft
0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 01869 338833 01869 338833 01869 338833 0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 0208 987 5706 01582 433700 0121 625 3388 0870 027 0985 0870 027 0985 0208 987 5706 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769
Trilogy Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Open Open Open Advantage Gem Open Centresoft Centresoft Koch Koch Open Centresoft Trilogy Trilogy
NOVEMBER 10th Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Call Of Duty: Mobilised Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
NOVEMBER 13th Cooking Mama 3 Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast Family Gameshow Fly The Boeing Fleet Girls Life Sleepover Party Hair Salon Monster 4X4 Stuntrace Playmobil: Knight SpongeBob: Truth or Square Tales Of Symphonia: Dawn Of The New World The Biggest Loser
NOVEMBER 17th Need For Speed: Nitro
NOVEMBER 19th Pro Evolution Soccer 2010
NOVEMBER 20th Assassin's Creed 2 Assassin's Creed: Blood Lines Assassin's Creed: Discovery Club Penguin: Limited Special Edition Discover Arabia Discover Europe Dubai Airport: Gateway To The World Easy Piano Formula 1 Karaoke Revolution Murumasa: The Demon Blade My Baby 2 New Super Mario Bros Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers Of the Sky SAW: The Game Scene It? Bright Lights Big Screen! Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack The Ripper Take A Break's Puzzle Master
MUSTSTOCK .............................GHOSTBUSTERS Released: November 6 Format: Xbox 360, Wii, DS, PC Publisher: Atari Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585
Microsoft and Nintendo gamers finally get to see how good bustin’ feels as Ghostbusters makes it to shelves. With the vocal talents of all four of the Ghostbusters, players seek to save New York from a wave of paranormal activity, taking care not to cross the streams.
MUSTSTOCK .................................WII FIT PLUS Released: October 30 Format: Wii Publisher: Nintendo Distributor: Koch Contact: 0870 027 0985
The expanded edition of one of the biggest casual games of all time brings new exercises and mini-games to shelves. Once again, gamers use the Wii Balance Board in a variety of workout modes in order to learn how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 104 MCV 23/10/09
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
Forza Motorsport 3 Microsoft, 360
Brutal Legend, PS3, EA
Wii Fit Plus, Wii, Nintendo
Operation Flashpoint, PC, Codemasters
Mario & Sonic: Winter,
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
DEAL OF THE WEEK
XBOX BUDGET RANGE CUT TO £15 Microsoft has cut the price of selected titles in its Xbox 360 Classics line to £14.99. The platform holder has also added GTA IV, Midnight Club Los Angeles: Complete Edition and BioShock to its budget range – although these titles are being sold at the usual RRP of £19.99. Games cut to £14.99 include Ubisoft titles Splinter Cell Double Agent, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft marketing director John Parkes said: “We are happy to bring some our best IPs to this Classics range, these titles offer some of the best gaming experiences, now made available for even more people to enjoy.” DRAGON AGE COLLECTOR’S EDITION IS GAME-EXCLUSIVE Leading High Street games retailer GAME has secured the exclusive rights to sell the Collector’s Edition of Electronic Arts’ upcoming Xbox 360, PS3 and PC RPG in the UK.
WILL SUPERMARKET PRICE CUTS BE DETRIMENTAL TO CHRISTMAS TRADING THIS YEAR?
OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
FIFA 10 360 OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 PS3
FIFA 10 PS2
GRAN TURISMO 5 PSP
PROFESSOR LAYTON AND PANDORA’S BOX DS
HALO 3: ODST 360
As the debate continues to rage, it seems two thirds of the voters in the latest MCV online survey are convinced supermarket price slashing spells doom for the upcoming holiday period.
Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
EA CODEMASTERS EA SONY NINTENDO MICROSOFT
KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 360
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT PS3
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.
Continuing to establish itself as a quality provider of peripherals across all formats, Hubb is rolling out its Wii MotionPlus Steering Wheel in time for Christmas. Like many wheels for the format, this happily houses the Wii Remote.
However, Hubb’s product also allows space for the MotionPlus addon, future-proofing it for any Wii racing titles to be released in the years to come. The wheel also features an innovative button bridge. Hubb: 01642 204 350
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.
MIYAMOTO SEES SUCCESS FOR NSMB Shigeru Miyamoto expects New Super Mario Bros. Wii to continue to selling well into 2010 and beyond. According to Andriasang, Miyamoto was on hand to present the platformer to the trade in Japan and told lucky attendees: “It's a Mario that will continue selling even after one year has passed.” The game is scheduled for release on November 20th in the UK. It is one of three titles released this year that Nintendo expects to sell over ten million units.
INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS LAST WEEK
Included are three pieces of in-game content – Bergens Honour, Grimoire of the Frozen Wastes and Final Reason. Also included is the in-game Blood Dragon Armour which will also be usable in EA’s upcoming Mass Effect 2. In addition, the bundle includes an extra in-game quest and a bonus ‘making of’ DVD. Dragon Age: Origins is due out on Xbox 360 and PC on November 6th and for PS3 on November 27th. The console versions of the Collector’s Edition will retail for £49.99 with the PC outing costing £39.99.
FOR UP-TO-DATE NEWS ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS ON THE UK HIGH STREET, CHECK OUT: WWW.MCVUK.COM/RETAIL-BIZ
Game customers save over £85 when they pick up a 250GB PS3 Slim with Ratchet & Clank: Tools Of Destruction, LittleBigPlanet, FIFA 10 and Need For Speed: Shift for £309.99.
MCV offers a weekly digest of the latest news on the High Street...
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 23/10/09 105 Sponsored by
FROM THE [PRE ORDERS]
TOP 10 PES 2010 PS3 KONAMI
2. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
FRONTLINE Nindie.com speaks to Lee Taylor, of Grainger Games’ Peterlee Store… How has the market been for you so far this year? We have only been open for a short time, but already we have developed a strong following. We are very pleased with the market so far.
3. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3
5. TEKKEN 6
PS3 ........................................................NAMCO BANDAI
6. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION
7. FORZA 3: LIMITED EDITION
8. PES 2010
9. ASSASSIN’S CREED 2
What makes your store unique? We promote our name very well. The Grainger Games brand, which is visually striking is well know in the North East. Our store is in a prominent position and our reputation for offering great value helps us immensely. What has been performing well? New releases have been selling very well. We also continue to trade very strongly
on our pre-owned stock, which offers the best value to our customers. What are the biggest challenges facing your store? Although Grainger Games is well known, we must develop as a store and maintain our own personal relationship with our customers. If we can continue to offer the best value and back this up with good customer service and advice, then I believe we can thrive.
How much of a threat do you believe that supermarkets pose to your store? We believe that our product range and customer service is far superior to any supermarket in the local are. We also think that most gamers recognize that as an independent retailer we can offer a far superior service – and of course our trade-in offer makes our overall value much better than any supermarket could manage.
360 ................................................................2K GAMES Week ending October 17th Source: SHOPTO.COM
Star Wars: Republic Heroes PS3, Activision Blizzard
Scribblenauts DS, Warner
Cities XL PC, Namco Bandai
Operation Flashpoint: DG 360, Codemasters
Spore Hero Wii, EA
IN STORE: BATH
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3 SONY 2. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
360 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
3. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
PS3 ................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
4. WII FIT PLUS
5. FORZA MOTORSPORT 3
6. BRUTAL LEGEND
7. FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010
8. PES 2010
9. COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
PC ..................................................ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
10. DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
Wii AND THE Wii LOGO ARE TRADEMARKS OF NINTENDO.
Week ending October 17th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK
TO TAKE PART PLEASE CONTACT: JAMES.BATCHELOR@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
106,107 MCV560_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 106 MCV 23/10/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS NINTENDO SCRIBBLENAUTS WARNER BROS. PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE NINTENDO FIFA 10 EA MARIO KART DS NINTENDO KINGDOM HEARTS 358/2 DAYS SQUARE ENIX MYSIMS AGENTS EA UP THQ
2 4 NEW
8 3 5 16
DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UP THQ DISNEY SING IT: POP HITS DISNEY BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P SCOOBY-DOO! FIRST FRIGHTS WARNER BROS. NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER EA
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
2 3 4 5
2 3 4 5
FIFA 10 DISSIDIA: FINAL FANTASY NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT MOTORSTORM: ARCTIC EDGE
6 7 8 9 10
MONSTER HUNTER: FREEDOM UNITE CAPCOM HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA RESISTANCE: RETRIBUTION SONY STAR WARS: CLONE WARS - REPUBLIC LUCASARTS BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
DEVELOPER: POLYPHONY DIGITAL PUBLISHER: SONY
OPERATION FLASHPOINT 2 360, PS3, PC
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
MARIO & SONIC: WINTER GAMES Wii
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO
HALO 3: ODST 360
FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR PS3, 360, PC
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC
BRUTAL LEGEND PC, PS3, 360
WII FIT Wii
SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL Wii
STAR WARS CLONE WARS 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3 ,Wii, PS2
MARIO KART WII Wii
GRAN TURISMO PSP
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NINTENDO SONY
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV PC, PS3, 360
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 360, PS3 ,Wii, DS, PSP
UP WII, PS3, 360, PC, PSP, PS2,
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
FORMAT: PS3, 360, DS, PSP, WII, PS2
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
2 3 5 6 9 12 7 10 8
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING DEVELOPER: CODEMASTERS PUBLISHER: CODEMASTERS
THE SIMS 3
CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR II
FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NCSOFT SEGA KOCH MEDIA EA THQ
106,107 MCV560_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS MCV 23/10/09 107
A GLUT OF new releases this week couldn’t stop
FIFA 10 from securing a third straight No.1 in the weekly All Formats charts. While FIFA 10 saw a drop in sales – down 54 per cent – it still sold enough copies to hold off Sony’s acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, which debuts in second place. That title’s performance is a big improvement over the original Uncharted, which peaked at No. 22 in 2007.
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
PEPPA PIG: THE GAMES DS, Wii
MYSIMS: AGENTS Wii, DS
WII PLAY Wii
P2 GAMES EA NINTENDO
CARNIVAL: FUNFAIR GAMES WII
LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS NINTENDO
SONIC UNLEASHED 360, WII, PS3, PS2
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 WII, DS, PC, 360
BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM 360, PS3
KILLZONE 2 PS3
SEGA SUPERSTARS TENNIS 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PSP, PS2, PC SEGA
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
COD: WORLD AT WAR 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC
PUZZLER COLLECTION DS
MARIO KART DS DS
COD4: MODERN WARFARE 360, Wii, PS3, DS
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT NINTENDO
LEGO INDIANA JONES PSP, 360, WII, PS3, PS2, PC, DS
TOY STORY MANIA! Wii
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
EA SONY LUCASARTS
DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIO
WOW: BATTLE CHEST DEVELOPER: BLIZZARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
ESCAPE THE MUSEUM
JEWEL QUEST III
4 5 3 14 6 13
MYSTERY CASE FILES: RAVENHEARST
SONIC MEGA COLLECTION PLUS
BRAIN COLLEGE: TOPICAL LOST ISLAND CITY INTERACTIVE WORLD OF WARCRAFT BRAIN COLLEGE: BLOOF TIES
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
FIFA 10 OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT FALLOUT 3: GAME OF TEH YEAR EDITION BRUTAL LEGEND INFAMOUS BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 GUITAR HERO 5
5 4 6 9
DEVELOPER: NAUGHTY DOG PUBLISHER: SONY
WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
EA CODEMASTERS EA BETHESDA EA SONY EIDOS CODEMASTERS ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CITY INTERACTIVE GSP/AVANQUEST
WII SPORTS RESORT
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
MARIO & SONIC: OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES WII FIT SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL MARIO KART WII FIFA 10 TOY STORY MANIA GUITAR HERO 5 STAR WARS: CLONE WARS - REPUBLIC HEROES MYSIMS AGENTS
2 6 4 3 5 7 16 8
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
1 1 2 3
WEEK ENDING 17/10/09
Also new this week is Sega’s Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games, which jumps into fifth place, EA’s Brutal Legend at No. 7 and Bethesda’s Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition, which makes tenth place. Finally, the ever-selling Wii Sports Resort continues to perform admirably, with a 17 per cent rise in sales driven by the official Wii bundle. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
OPERATION FLASHPOINT: DRAGON RISING HALO 3: ODST BRUTAL LEGEND NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT FALLOUT 3: GAME OF TEH YEAR EDITION GUITAR HERO 5 COLIN MCRAE: DIRT 2 STAR WARS: CLONE WARS - REPUBLIC HEROES BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM
6 5 11 8
NINTENDO NINTENDO EA DISNEY ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LUCASARTS EA
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA CODEMASTERS MICROSOFT EA EA BETHESDA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD CODEMASTERS LUCASARTS EIDOS
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 108 MCV 23/10/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
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
SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
45 rue Delizy,
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Email purchase: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email export sales: email@example.com
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: firstname.lastname@example.org
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
GERMANY Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 email@example.com www.planetadeagostini.net
Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
PORTUGAL ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS Gateway Distribution ApS +44 1279 408 665 (UK) +45 7026 0870 (DK) firstname.lastname@example.org www.gatewaydistribution.dk
v.2 PLAY. LDA Studio Office Marquês de Pombal – Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
Lisbon, Portugal Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0 Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
SWEDEN Bergsala AB............................................Kungsbacka
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
108,109 MCV560_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 23/10/09 109
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...
ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE
SCEA exec Patrick Seybold told Kotaku that three days after the PSPgo’s debut, the firm’s “top retail partners” reported a 300 per cent increase in PSP hardware sales when compared to the previous week. He also said the launch had prompted a “significant increase in revenue for PlayStation Network, driven by a 200 per cent life in PSP game downloads purchased from PlayStation Store”. The new handheld, supported by download-only games, has proven to be controversial with several UK retailers expressing their reservations, with other international outlets in territories, such as Australia and Holland, refusing to stock it.
Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
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
SEGA’S MASANAO Maeda has been promoted to COO of the Japanese publisher’s American arm. Maeda has previously been instrumental in developing Sega’s western business, such as playing a pivotal role in the acquisition of UK developer The Creative Assembly. In his new position, he will oversee day-to-day marketing and sales for both North American and European markets. Sega of America CEO Mike Hayes said: “Maeda carries a wealth of knowledge about Sega and the Sega properties with him thanks to his many years with Sega of Japan. His accomplishments in Tokyo are a testament to the quality of leader we anticipate him being here as he helps to take Sega of America to new heights in the video game market.” Maeda added: “I am looking forward to working at Sega of America and getting to work more closely with the team there. Though I have worked with Sega of America a great deal over the past 18 years, I look forward to the opportunity to be more closely involved with the development process for the Western markets.”
ELECTRONIC ARTS’ upcoming Left 4 Dead 2 has been classified for release in Australia. The game was banned in the territory last month for its violent content, but the Australian Classification Board’s website now shows it has been given the maximum rating of MA 15+. A Valve spokesperson told Kotaku that the build of Left 4 Dead 2 granted classification for the region was an “adjusted version”. He added that the developer is hoping the standard Left 4 Dead 2 could be cleared for release before the game is due to launch. “We are still awaiting the decision on the rest of world/standard version and remain optimistic about being able to ship this version in November,” he said. “However, we are now able to ship a version of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia. So the question is no longer if Left 4 Dead 2 ships there, but which version.”
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR
DISC REPAIR TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500
Distributors of DVDs, Blu-Ray, Music CDs and Video Games
www.discstribution.com Over 100,000 Different Items to Order Online
DISTRIBUTION BDA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688 Creative Distribution . . . . . . . . . 020 8664 3456 Curveball Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01792 652562 Discstribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 430 8735 Gem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742 Ideal Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01767 689 720 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060
THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT
DISCSTRIBUTION +44 (0) 845 430 8735 Call Kevin, Ashley, Richie or Pete Accepted Payments - Paypal - Google Checkout - Credit Cards - Bank Tranfers and 30 Day Credit Accounts
DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com GAMING ACCESSORIES
...bringing you all the right lines
GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd. . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21
NYKO 360 Charge Base
GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking. . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621
SkipDr Premier Disc Cleaner Enigma DSi Necessity Kit
01606 558 428
or email: email@example.com Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
STORE FITTINGS Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . 01733 239001
For further online advertising information please contact
Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call
SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
110-115 MCV560_final:Layout 1
EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY OCTOBER 30th
30 UNDER 30 One of our most popular annual features makes its triumphant return. MCV provides the definitive round-up of the hottest up-and-coming talent that’s currently working within the UK video games industry. It will include promising young marketing managers, PR executives, journalists, retailers, games buyers, consultants and much more. Will you make it onto this year’s list?
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 and developers can survive in this increasingly competitive genre. We also speak with leading companies about the key titles due to hit shelves throughout Q4, how they will stand out from their rivals and where the future of this popular genre is heading. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 6th
LGC REVIEW MCV reports back from the first London Games Conference, providing you with an in-depth guide to the results of every panel. We interview the renowned speakers and key attendess, getting their thoughts on the matters discussed, from the future of digital distribution to the current online plans of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
TERRITORY REPORT: JAPAN The Japanese games market is in upheaval, with software and hardware sales in decline and the country’s publishing superpowers looking to Europe for its profits. MCV takes an in-depth look at the territory and speaks to distributors, retailers and publishers on the future of Japan’s legendary games sector. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13th
ELSPA TRADE UPDATE The UK trade body tells MCV’s readership what’s on its agenda – exclusively through your favourite weekly B2B. Recent topics have included piracy, age classification law, political parties, the inner workings of ELSPA and the organisation’s annual AGM.
DISTRIBUTION SPECIAL We take a look at the runners and riders in one of the UK games industry’s most vital sectors. Whether a pick’n’pack specialist or a multi-faceted sales and marketing behemoth, we’ll cover every major player in the distribution sector. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20th
ADVENTURE GENRE FOCUS With Uncharted 2, Brutal Legend, Mass Effect and Dragon Age all hitting retail in time for Christmas, we take a look at the still-veryhealthy adventure genre. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27th
TERRITORY REPORT: INDIA MCV goes behind the scenes of one of the most intriguing markets in the world. Despite rife piracy and under-developed infrastructure, India’s games market continues to grow – not least in terms of mobile.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS 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
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org DISTRIBUTION
TOOLS Blitz Games Studios. . . . . . . +44 (0) 1926 880 000 Crytek . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +49 69219 77660 Epic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +1 919 870 1516
SERVICES 3D Creation Studios . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 151 345 9551 Air Studios. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 207 794 0660 amBX UK Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01483 421491
CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk
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 GEM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01279 822800 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.gem.co.uk
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Insider’s | Guide
GLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01708 725742. . . . . . . . . email@example.com GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR
This week’s Insider’s Guide interviewee is Oliver Hilton of Fink Creative...
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
What products/services does FINK Creative provide? Graphic and web design for anything games related, from packaging and its submission, through to marketing materials and online promotion. Here at FINK, we really know what we are doing when it comes to console artwork, which alleviates unnecessary costs and headaches for our clients during the submission process. Tell us something we didn’t know about FINK... Probably the company itself. We’ve been around in one form or another for 15 years, cutting our teeth on classic titles such as Sim City and Descent for Maxis and Interplay – remember those? And we are still consistently achieving great results for our clients, but have been somewhat under the
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
radar. Check out our new website at finkcreative.com to see our work. What are your hopes for Q4/Christmas? To be able to make more publishers lives easier by helping them to create and submit their titles with the minimum of fuss and to work on some really cool projects. Also to get given The Beatles: Rock Band so I can shake my moptop on Christmas morning. What is the best thing about your job? The great team I work with who have been personal friends for many years as well as work colleagues. Oh, and what would my working life be without Dale's choice cuts of glam rock tunes played throughout the day?
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RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com DISC REPAIR
TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
SUPPORT YOUR PRINT ADVERTISING WITH AN
WWW.MCVUK.COM For further online advertising information please contact
Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 BDA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0777 192 7688
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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…
OCTOBER MCM EXPO Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, October 25th Excel Centre, London www.londonexpo.com PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com LOCALISATION
Quality Matters At Testronic Labs, we help you produce great quality games. For us, quality means a game that exceeds the expectations of the players, a game that works on every platform and reads right in every language, a game that’s just right for its audience. We’re here to make it better. Testing on all major console, PC and iPhone platforms Functionality testing Translation and localisation Localisation testing PC compatibility Compliance testing MMO performance testing Usability / focus group testing New Player Experience (NPE) testing
For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.testroniclabs.com
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st London www.londongamesfestival.co.uk EUROGAMER EXPO Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st London and Leeds expo.eurogamer.net GAMECITY SQUARED Tuesday, October 27th – Saturday, October 31st Nottingham www.gamecity.org ACGI 09 Tuesday, October 27th – Thursday, October 29h Dubna, Russia www.acogi.org
Taking place at BAFTA and focused on digital distribution, London Games Conference will be the biggest standalone UK event dedicated to the issue that is currently top of the industry’s agenda. Highlights include Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft discussing their online gaming strategies in a panel chaired by Edge editor Tony Mott and a session hosted by erstwhile Sony development director Phil Harrison discussing the demise of physical media.
GAMEHORIZON: BEST OF BRITISH Wednesday, October 28th Kings Place, London events.gamehorizon.net GOLDEN JOYSTICK AWARDS Friday, October 30th London www.goldenjoystick.com
NOVEMBER DEVELOP LIVERPOOL Thursday, November 5th Arena/Conference Centre, Liverpool develop-conference.com/liverpool NEON DIGITAL ARTS FESTIVAL Thursday, November 12th Sunday, November 15th Dundee, Scotland www.northofnortheast.com SPIN Friday, November 13th Tuesday, November 17th Montreal, Canada www.spinmtl.com UNIVERSALLY SPEAKING . . . . . . . 01480 210621 . . . . . . . . . . . www.usspeaking.com
LONDON GAMES CONFERENCE Tuesday, October 27th BAFTA, London Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk
MCV/XBOX 360 INDUSTRY PUB QUIZ Thursday, December 3rd Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk Taking place every three months or so at the rather swanky Sway Bar in Holborn, it 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 a very smart networking event, with buyers and publishers, editors and agencies all rubbing shoulders at the bar.
116 MCV 23/10/09
Off The Record
Last weekâ€™s Games Media Awards gave the UK press the chance to get up and sing with a live band. It came as no surprise that they jumped at the chance...
MCV 23/10/09 117
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
AN INDUSTRY ON SONG Dotted around these pages – belting out classics from the past and present – you’ll find Sega’s Stefan McGarry, Eurogamer TV’s Johnny Minkley, One Life Left’s Simon Byron, Official Nintendo Magazine’s Chris Scullion and Bethesda’s Sarah Seaby and Alastair Hatch. Indigo Pearl’s James Beavan, however, shied away from the mic – preferring instead to send some quality time with 505 Games’ Mama (above).
SARAH JASPER, THE HUT
JON BIGGS, MORRISONS
AZEEM SADIQ, COMET
GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
PETER WILLIS, DSGI
IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO
ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS
STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK
JOANNA HUNT, TESCO
GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
118 MCV 23/10/09
DECKS APPEAL Activision Blizzard’s recent press trip to Ibiza gave the UK’s journos the opportunity to meet dance music legend David Guetta. And no-one was more excited than The Daily Star’s Paul Vale. Look at his face. Every pore is bursting with excitement.
iPhone App as part APP-Y CHAPPIES get Show to create an reforehired by FIVE’s The Gad were t-geeky-the The Mediatronic team delightful attractive-ye ition. Their captain? The of an on-show compet ky boys. perfect Suzie Perry. Luc
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