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“Properly, properly awesome.” - Patrick Garratt – VG247.com

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“...set in 2025 on a futuro-archipelago called The Ark, which may be humanity’s last outpost on a flooded earth - a teambased, objective-driven, story-packed first-person shooter... BRINK impresses from pretty much every angle.” – Eurogamer

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THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES

Issue 565 Friday November 27 2009 £3.25

04 Sega spends big The publisher steps up its biggest ever marketing campaign in the UK

09 Hornby and EA team up Toy giant says it wants to use the publisher’s IP for future products

22 Noughties but nice MCV continues its look back at the past decade: This week, 2001 and 2002

WITH THIS ISSUE We take an exclusive peek at Nintendo’s latest Zelda game on DS, Spirit Tracks

EVERY BUYER  EVERY BRANCH  EVERY INDIE  EVERY WEEK

INCORPORATING

Consoles set for extinction claims Square Enix’s Wada Trade must prepare for switch to digital distribution and server-based games, says Japanese CEO  Formatholders ready for evolution behind the scenes  Square begins growing business into social and browser markets by Michael French SQUARE ENIX chief Yoichi Wada is preparing his firm for the demise of physical media – and potentially the death of home consoles. In an exclusive interview with MCV, the CEO of the publisher – which now owns Eidos and is famous for its epic disc-based Final

Wada warned that “all the distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact” from a new era in which interactive entertainment switches from software run on hardware in the home to serverbased offerings, game streaming and digital distribution. He claimed that formatholders including Sony and Microsoft are already prepared

In the past, the platform was hardware. Now it’s the network. A time will come when hardware isn’t needed. Yoichi Wada, Square Enix

Fantasy games – said that a dramatic change will come in the next decade offering more opportunity for market growth, but fundamentally transforming the traditional industry. “In ten years’ time a lot of what we call ‘console games’ won’t exist,” he said.

for the shift – and that thirdparties must follow suit. “Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers’ strategy shifted,” he said. “In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore.

FINAL FANTASY NOT FORGOTTEN

Wada says that a console-less future will create an ‘enormous’ market

“With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.” He explained that Square Enix is preparing for this change by ramping up

production of social and browser games at its Japanese studios, and also closely monitoring 2010’s beta roll-out of PS3 MMO Final Fantasy XIV. “Social and browser games are going to grow dramatically – especially in areas like Asia which does not have as big a console market,” he said.

So where does a traditional boxed product like Final Fantasy fit into Wada’s vision of the industry's future? The CEO said that as the publisher’s flagship brand, “there is no way Square Enix will relax its attitude” towards the venerable RPG, and that whatever happens to games distribution “there will always be a co-existence of something old and new”. But he stressed that the firm remains more than committed to the existing console market. And that Square Enix will tailor the franchise towards big, attention-grabbing global software releases – as it plans to do for Final Fantasy XIII on Xbox 360 and PS3 when it hits Europe and North America on March 9th.

Ubisoft withdraws from exclusive distribution Assassin’s Creed II publisher already moving Christmas stock through Gem, as it drops agreement with Trilogy by Tim Ingham GIANT PUBLISHER Ubisoft has left its exclusive UK distribution deal with Trilogy Logistics, MCV can reveal – and is already delivering

stock to retail through an open arrangement. Numerous trade sources have informed us that Ubisoft has struck an eleventh hour deal with Essex firm Gem to handle Christmas stock – but

that the publisher is also maintaining a working relationship with Trilogy and other disties. It is unclear whether the firm is interested in signing a new exclusive deal in the territory.

Ubisoft first signed with Trilogy in June, 2007, when it left its long-standing exclusive contract with the now-defunct Pinnacle. Ubisoft was not available for comment when contacted by

MCV. The publisher hit No.2 in the ELSPA-GfK-ChartTrack All Formats Top 40 with Assassin’s Creed II this week.

PERSONNEL 26 RETAIL BIZ 31 NEW RELEASES 37 HIGH STREET 38 CHARTS 40


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[LEADER] DON’T IGNORE WADA’S WARNING WHEN MCV broke the story that Square Enix was sniffing around Eidos a year ago, it was admittedly a strange rumour. We said as much at the time. But a savvy £80m swoop later has proven Square Enix to be one of the most cunning and surprising companies operating on the global games stage. So CEO Yoichi Wada’s comments to us this week about the potential death of the home console should not to be dismissed as outlandish. He says the trade’s bread and butter sales and distribution forces will be hit hard by the oncoming tidal wave of browser games and online distribution. That’s a given. The many discussions we’ve had in these pages over the last few months – and at the London Games Conference - certainly prove that the power and scope of online forces are clearly not to be underestimated. But will the industry make an absolute transition towards social games and streamed titles? No one is really sure – Wada himself told me that the specific timeline is a bit wooly, and said that there is never a perfect solution where an industry ‘switches cleanly from A to B’.

“Wada isn’t saying we’re doomed. He’s asking how we rise to the challenge.” However a vision where ‘any terminal’ is a games platform isn’t unbelievable. The opportunity for the industry lies during the switch over to that potentially purely digital era. So the lion’s share of the industry in 10 years could be occupied by a TV with built-in Xbox Live, that disc-drive-less PlayStation Phil Harrison once fondly talked about, or a Wii HD – where the HD doesn’t mean hi-def, but a ten terrabyte hard drive. Each would be served by a big, fat internet pipe – and maybe some memory stick-based purchases bought in-store at a GAME download kiosk. Alternatively there’s plenty of scope for the smaller, scrappier upstarts to drive changes at the top level. Only this week, GameStop bought UK-based Jolt to drive its digital strategy, after all. And arguably new streaming services OnLive and Gaikai generate headlines on consumer sites because they are new and exciting and challenge the establishment. Wada himself admits it – and on our cover isn’t saying the industry is doomed, more asking how we rise to the challenge. And I bet he isn’t alone amongst industry CEOs in wanting to find (and maybe buy) businesses that pioneer online gaming who are, in his words, based anywhere in the world. Just look at the big money swoop EA made for Kensington-based Playfish on the same day it said it couldn’t afford 1,500 of its workforce. So while leaders like Wada can forewarn us of the potential broad trends, when it comes to many other things about how the industry harnesses online, all other bets are off. Michael.French@intentmedia.co.uk

Sega kick-starts ‘biggest Publisher sponsors Winter Wonderland and GMTV  250,000 units by Christopher Dring SEGA’S BIGGEST ever marketing campaign, for Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, has kicked up a gear in the build up to Christmas. The firm has sponsored the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park with a branded ice rink and a game sampling area – with a total of two million visitors expected to play the game at the event before it closes on January 4th. Mario & Sonic is also sponsoring GMTV/Toonattik until January 10th 2010 with a series of ads between shows. This joins Sega’s main threemonth TV campaign, which features extensive advertising around high rating shows including The X Factor, Coronation Street and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. On top of this the publisher has begun a shopping mall advertising blitz that will run up until Christmas, which includes posters and HD digital screens in key locations. The firm’s cinema campaign is also still on-going, with 30second spots set to appear before upcoming kids

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games has sold through over a quarter of a million units to date. John Clark, Sega

blockbuster Where The Wild Things Are. “We are delighted with the success of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, which has sold through over a quarter

of a million units to date,” Sega’s UK MD John Clark told MCV. “Last week saw sales increase 24 per cent week-onweek as our Christmas campaign launched and with

ELSPA applauds new Digital Bill ELSPA HAS come out in support of the Government’s new Digital Economy Bill, which was ushered into Parliament with the Queen’s Speech last week. The Bill officially recognised PEGI as the new ratings system for video games in the UK. It also looked to crackdown on file-sharing. ELSPA director general Michael Rawlinson (pictured) told MCV: “We are happy with the content of the DEB where it refers to the games industry. We are delighted to see the

government including its commitment to PEGI as a single classification system for games. “We are also pleased with the commitment made by the Government via the Bill to tackle the widespread problem of online copyright infringement

through more effective legal action and consumer education. “In principle we support the Government’s efforts to address IP theft through the Bill and we are pleased to see it finally taking the issue seriously. However we understand that there are technical difficulties and consumer sensitivities around the solutions proposed. We hope the Government thinks carefully and listens to all stakeholders while debating this to ensure that creativity is not curtailed and consumers respectful of IP are not punished.”


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ever’ ad drive of new Mario & Sonic title already sold in UK

Gamespot launches new ‘what’s hot’ data service by Tim Ingham

Mario & Sonic is featuring in a number of high-profile outdoor creatives

GIANT consumer site Gamespot has launched what it claims is the UK’s first dedicated real-time tool to measure consumer interest in video games. GameSpot Trax will follow the behavior of more than 4.5 million UK gamers on the site, allowing the firm to create UK-specific data on ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ amongst consumers.

activities – into user trend graphs that show the effectiveness of their efforts in building mindshare. The service was originally launched in the US in 2003, providing data and analysis at a global level. “Last year the UK video games market was worth over £3.8bn, and for the first time ever video games are out-selling DVD and BluRay discs” said UK commercial

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 FINAL FANTASY XIII PS3 SQUARE ENIX

2. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 ......................................CAPCOM

3. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION PS3 ..........................................SONY

4. GOD OF WAR III PS3 ..........................................SONY

5. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 360 ......................................CAPCOM

6. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PS3 ..............................................EA

the increase in marketing activity – such as winter wonderland, GMTV/Toonattik sponsorship and outdoor advertising alongside our already existing TV and cinema campaign – we are confident that this trend will continue with consumers seeing Mario & Sonic as a must-have Christmas purchase.’’ Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games hit

shelves on October 9th, and has been a mainstay in the ChartTrack Top 10 ever since. Ahead of its launch, Sega’s UK MD John Clark told MCV that he feels the title is a good contender to be 2009’s Christmas No.1 game. Sega: 020 8995 3399

The tool monitors daily how UK gamers are responding to gaming products and brands, and benchmarks them against their competitors at each of the five major stages of the buying cycle, including awareness, consideration, trial, purchase, and post-purchase engagement or feedback. Marketeers can set parameters for a daily feed, mapping their own and their competitors’ activities – such as ad campaigns and PR

director at CBS Interactive, Julian Childs. “The stakes are incredibly high for publishers, and the need for a tool providing comprehensive information and insights – specific to the UK market – has never been greater. GameSpot Trax UK provides a whole new level of intelligence on the true dynamics of the UK video games market, and gives unique insight into future sales performance.” Julian.Childs@cbs.com

7. ROGUE WARRIOR 360 ....................................BETHESDA

8. BAYONETTA 360 ..........................................SEGA

9. RESIDENT EVIL: DARKSIDE WII........................................CAPCOM

10. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY Week ending November 21st Source: SHOPTO.COM  Turn to page 39 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 by 40 per cent, as the industry came down from the Modern Warfare 2 launch week. Value for the week dropped from £103.1m to £61.4m, while unit sales fell 30 per cent to 2,406,756.  Despite the fall, the market is significantly up over the week prior to Modern Warfare 2’s launch – by over 25 million units. Sales were driven this week by Activision’s FPS, as well as new releases Assassin’s Creed II, Left 4 Dead 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.  The release schedule quietens down as we head towards Christmas, with Zelda: Spirit Tracks, EA Flips, Tony Hawk: Ride and Ubisoft’s Avatar December’s only major releases. But sales are sure to rise as consumer spending ramps up ahead of the festive period.

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

[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE] 120 Week Ending November 21st 2009

£61.4m

100 80 60 40 20

£34.7m

£103.1m

£61.4m

1,532,255 Units

3,422,625 Units

2,166,981 Units

0 Modern Warfare 2 held on to the top spot this week

Week Ending November 7th

Week Ending November 14th

Week Ending November 21st


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Woolies owner expects Xmas sales boost for games category Shop Direct Group triples share of games market after increasing software range in response to demand by Christopher Dring HOME SHOPPING and online retail giant Shop Direct anticipates a strong Christmas for games after tripling its share in the software market. The firm, which bought the rights to the Woolworths brand

cent higher than any previous title sold at Shop Direct. “Gaming is hugely popular with our customers and after listening to them, we have increased our range of games and accessories,” said the company’s product director Justin Young.

Gaming is hugely popular with our customers and, after listening to them, we have increased our games range. Justin Young, Shop Direct

earlier this year, has bolstered its games offer in 2009 with an even bigger range of products. It also appointed former Woolworths category boss Gerry Berkley as trading manager for entertainment, which has paid dividends for the firm – with pre-orders of Modern Warfare 2 200 per

“We are able to offer our customers a unique way of transacting with us, which is different from many of the traditional retailers. “Our customers are able to spread the cost of high value purchases, interest free, over a period of time, making gaming accessible to all.”

Shop Direct this week announced it is looking to bring the Woolworths brand back to the High Street

The Shop Direct Group is the largest online and home shopping retailer in the UK, with brands including Empire Stores, Littlewoods, Very.co.uk and Woolworths.co.uk.

The company has always been a big seller of video games hardware, with an increasing presence in the software market, and is the fourth largest electrical retailer in the UK.

The firm also announced this week that it’d like to bring Woolworths back to the High Street as a franchised chain. Shop Direct: 0844 292 1000

Tradewest Games signs up new partner for UK NEW PUBLISHER Tradewest Games has signed a deal with Austrian IP holder JoWooD to handle sales for the firm’s games in the UK.

“We are happy to extend our co-operation in order to cover the UK market,” said Martin Spiess, CEO of Tradewest Games.

With our joint efforts to deliver quality distribution services, we’ll do whatever it takes to support JoWooD.

Martin Spiess, Tradewest Games

Tradewest will also manage the company’s titles in other European markets – building on its existing agreement to handle JoWooD products in France.

“JoWooD is a strong partner, well known for innovative and appealing products on all relevant platforms. With our joint efforts to deliver high

quality distribution services, we’ll do whatever it takes to support JoWooD successfully in the UK marketplace.” Stefan Berger, JoWooD head of publishing, added: “After the great co-operation with Tradewest France as our sales agent, we are very pleased to include the UK market into our partnership. Together with the team of Tradewest, we are convinced we can deliver the best possible performance.” Tradewest’s work on JoWooD titles begins with Yoga for Wii. The new fitness game uses the Balance Board and is released today (November 27th).

Martin Spiess continues to expand Tradewest Games’ operations

Tradewest was formed by CEO Spiess at the end of the summer following the closure of Midway Europe.

Two weeks ago the firm promoted Nick Howard to UK managing director. Tradewest: 020 7382 7720


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Activision Christmas sampling tour targets nation of families Publishing giant showcases major family releases across UK’s key shopping centres by James Batchelor ACTIVISION BLIZZARD is currently touring Britain’s hottest retail locations to raise awareness of its familyorientated Christmas line-up. The publisher has been showcasing titles such as DJ Hero and Tony Hawk: Ride to a wider audience at major shopping centres every weekend since October 31st.

prizes, such as consoles and copies of Tony Hawk: Ride and DJ Hero. “The tour is supported by Microsoft and has taken place across six sites, including Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries, Newcastle’s Metro Centre, Birmingham’s Bullring and Milton Keynes’s MK One.” The publisher’s stand is split into two focussed sections: one demonstrating DJ Hero and

We consider this activity an integral part of our marketing plans, as it enables shoppers to experience our products. Keith Cox, Activision Blizzard

“The Activision Nationwide Shopping Tour aims to offer consumers the opportunity to trial some of our key familyfocused titles in the run-up to Christmas,” said trade marketing manager Keith Cox. “In addition to providing trial opportunities, we will also be staging a variety of fun competitions on the stand, offering the chance to win

Band Hero, and the other for Tony Hawk and Bakugan – all shown on Xbox 360. Cox went on to explain how important the sampling tour is to Activision Blizzard, hinting that additional tours are a dead cert for several Christmases to come. “We consider activity like this an integral part of our marketing plans, as it enables consumers to experience our

Activision’s sampling tour has engaged with gamers of all ages

products in an accessible environment,” he said. “We have conducted similar activities during the Christmas period for the past three years and, with consumer interest as keen as ever, it certainly looks as though will look to repeat these tours in future.”

The tour has two more sites to visit. It will be in Bristol’s Cabot Circus this weekend (November 28th – 29th), before travelling to Essex’s Lakeside shopping centre for December 5th and 6th. Activision: 020 3060 1000

Marketing boss Macario leaves GAME LONG-STANDING GAME Group marketing head Anna Macario has left the retailer, MCV can reveal. The popular exec leaves her position as the company’s marketing director, a role that she has held since August 2004. Macario originally joined the group as head of marketing in November 1998. Previous to her time at GAME, Macario worked elsewhere in the industry as European marketing manager at Sega for two years.

GAME Group commercial and supply director Tricia Brennan told MCV: “Anna has been with us for 12 years, starting from 114 stores through to a multinational 1,400 stores and she has been integral to our success. “She has seen us through the launch of the Reward Card, the integration of EB to GAME, followed by the integration of GAME and Gamestation. “She has always been there as a friend and colleague to everyone she has worked with,

Anna Macario was instrumental in GAME’s growth

both at GAME Group and within the industry. “Anna really will be missed by all of her friends at GAME and we would like to wish her the very best of luck for the future, keep in touch.” It is currently unknown whether Macario – whom Brennan described as “quirky, genuine and very kind with a strange affection for mad cats” – is planning to pursue to a new position elsewhere in the video games industry. GAME: 01256 784000


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Livingstone: Pre-owned trade threatens future of boxed market Growth of second-hand business is encouraging developers to bypass High Street channel, warns industry legend by Tim Ingham UK DEVELOPMENT legend Ian Livingstone has raised concerns over the growth in preowned sales on the High Street – suggesting the practice may force publishers and studios to bypass traditional retail.

download for added content – ensuring that anyone that bought the game second-hand would lose out on a chunk of the title. “You can’t exactly claim that the [second-hand] practice is good for publishers or developers,” Livingstone told

Long term, if no revenue share of pre-owned is offered to developers, there may be less boxed product. Ian Livingstone, Eidos

Speaking exclusively to MCV, Eidos life president Livingstone predicted that IP owners will begin looking to online activation codes and other tactics to ensure gamers don’t re-sell their titles. This month, EA offered consumers of Dragon Age: Origins on PC a one-time

MCV. “Development costs continue to rise and content creators need to benefit from the sales of their goods wherever they occur. “If no revenue share is offered by retail on sales of pre-owned titles, content owners will develop creative online ways to ensure

Livingstone believes that development teams and publishers are becoming tired of witnessing the growth of pre-owned at retail

consumers retain ownership of their games. “In the short term this might be authorisation codes, identification codes or essential online data necessary to play. In the long term, there will be less boxed product.” Livingstone has a long history with boxed product, having overseen the flotation and merger of Domark with Eidos Technologies back in 1995. He served as executive chairman of Eidos’ Board until 2002, and has earned a BAFTA and OBE, and acts as chairman for the Computer Games Skills Council. He was promoted to life president at Eidos earlier this year. MCV revealed in October that pre-owned is likely to account for a third of GAME Group’s revenues in the first half of next year. The category generated 25.7 per cent of the firm’s sales in H1 2009.

Nintendo ready to take Zelda mainstream NINTENDO believes it can draw new gamers to the Zelda series for the first time with upcoming DS release Spirit Tracks. The game, which hit shelves on December 11th, is being backed by Nintendo with a wide-scale TV campaign – as the firm aims to capture ‘occasional gamers’ who have previously picked up Brain Training and Professor Layton. “This is certainly a Zelda title that can be expanded out to a broader audience,” product manager Roger Langford told MCV in this week’s Recommended Extra.

“Initially at launch we will be concentrating on our passionate Zelda fanbase, ensuring that they all know that the latest title is out there. Moving forward we can leverage the DS installed

elements of Spirit Tracks.” The entire Zelda series has sold more than 59 million units to date, according to Nintendo. The first Zelda was released on the NES in Europe in 1987.

Sprit Tracks is a Zelda game that can attract fans of Brain Training and Professor Layton to the series. Roger Langford, Nintendo

base and broaden the demographic out so that hopefully those that enjoy our titles such as Brain Training and Professor Layton will be exposed to the adventure and puzzle

The last entry in the series to be released was another DS game – The Phantom Hourglass, which hit shelves back in 2007. Nintendo: 01753 483 700

Nintendo’s Roger Langford says new Zelda will attract DS owners


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Sponsored by

Hornby commits to EA tie-in Need For Speed Scalextrix just the first of several partnerships between the two firms by James Batchelor HORNBY HAS revealed it will be bringing more Electronic Arts properties to toy shelves in 2010. The company is already seeing strong sales from its Need For Speed Scalextrix range, which launched in July, and is now working on additional joint ventures with the games publisher. “The Need For Speed products are performing above expectations, so we anticipate a good level of interest over

EA: The Beatles: Rock Band will benefit from a second, Christmas-orientated marketing campaign, with a new TV spot designed to further drive sales. SQUARE ENIX: IO Interactive has revealed Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days will be released on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in 2010 under Square Enix’s Eidos label.

We are discussing further collaborations with EA for 2010. The Need For Speed products are performing well. Paul Chandler, Hornby

Christmas,” said marketing manager Paul Chandler. “We are already discussing further collaborations with EA for 2010. Further details will be announced in January.” Hornby acquired the Need For Speed licence for use with

their Scalextric brand earlier this year. While the deal is generic and does not relate to a particular instalment of the racing series, the products have benefited from the release of NFS: Shift and Nitro.

“Younger video game fans may not have experienced the thrill of Scalextric racing, which requires a different skill set to that of a video game expert,” said Chandler. “Both EA and Hornby hope the partnership will introduce fans from both categories to each other and thus enhance interest from new audiences. It is a curious mix of virtual, visual excitement and physical, cause-and-effect action.” The EA agreement complements the licensing deal

Hornby has already arranged with long-term partners Lamborghini and Nissan. Chandler added that Hornby and EA have supported each other in terms of marketing to ensure that both the Need For Speed games and toys reach as wide an audience as possible. He said: “Hornby and EA have worked very closely to ensure the partnership works for both parties and the strength of both brands combined offers a very strong proposition.”

Interactive Ideas boss Breeze is ‘delighted’ with CTA contract

Breeze. “Interactive Ideas looks forward to supporting CTA Digital’s expansion into the UK.” I. Ideas: 020 8805 1000

TOTAL DISC REPAIR is to ramp up awareness for its disc cleaning machines with an instore marketing campaign. The firm will release posters, counter boards, flyers, t-shirts, mugs and floor displays into independent retail, and have also created two consumer websites. The first site, www.playlikenew.com, promotes the benefits of disc repair, while www.trade4new.info focuses on trade-in software. “The market research we did earlier in the year highlighted the lack of

NAMCO BANDAI: Sky Crawlers: Innocent Aces, a dogfighting title based on a Japanese anime film, will be released on Wii in February. CAPCOM: The movie rights for Dark Void have been picked up by Plan B Entertainment, a company owned by Hollywood star Brad Pitt. NINTENDO: The platform holder is celebrating after New Super Mario Bros Wii scored a maximum 40/40 from Japanese games bible Famitsu.

Hornby: 01843 233 500

Interactive Ideas signs TDR reveals new indeal with CTA Digital store marketing blitz INTERACTIVE IDEAS has signed a distribution contract with accessories vendor CTA Digital. The distributor will now handle CTA’s products across all formats as the vendor looks to strengthen its presence in the UK. CTA boasts 15 years of experience in the market. “By this agreement with CTA, we are delighted to be able to offer a wide range of gaming peripherals across all platforms which are able to meet today’s increasing gamer demands,” said Interactive’s marketing director Michael

MICROSOFT: The world exclusive premiere of Bungie-developed Halo: Reach will be aired in the US on Spike TV during this year’s Video Game Awards on December 12th.

PLAYLOGIC: The Dutch publisher has announced increased net loss for the nine months to September 30th – up to £6.7 million from the £2 million loss announced in 2008.

TDR has created a range of promotional material for retail

awareness of both trade-in and disc repair with the public,” said Total Disc Repair marketing manager Clare Elvy. "Of the people surveyed over 70 per cent said they would use one or both services.” TDR: 01202 489 500

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


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EEK W E H T F O N IG A P M CA E AVATAR: THE GAM One of the biggest movie releases of the year is James Cameron’s 3D epic, Avatar. And Ubisoft’s movie tie-in promises to be just as spectacular, complete with monster marketing campaign…

RELEASED: DECEMBER 4 FORMATS: 360, PS3, WII, DS, PSP, PC PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL

TV Television advertising forms the main part of Ubisoft’s Avatar campaign. The publisher’s creatives will reach 71 per cent of 1634 year-old males, who will have the chance to see the advertisement 3.8 times. The ads will appear around shows appealing to boys, dads and cinema-goers. As the game debuts ahead of the movie, the firm plans a two-phase campaign that will intertwine with Fox’s movie campaign. Fox’s activity will be extensive, and appear in the cinema, in the national press and on TV.

PRICE: VARIOUS PRINT AND ONLINE Ubisoft has booked print activity in the Official

DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

magazines, but is primarily focussing its specialist and mainstream activity online. Creatives and video ads will run across specialist games sites like Gamespot, Videogamer, Total Video Games, Eurogamer, VG247, Gametrailers and Console Monster. They will also target mainstream, male-oriented

sites such as FHM, MSN Zootoday, Sky Sports Network, and Miniclip.com. The publisher expects to hit 12 million impressions throughout both November and December. POS The firm has prepared A2 posters, giant dummy boxes, and standees of

RDA human soldiers and Na’vi warriors. OUTDOOR Ubisoft is keen to dispel the myth that movie licensed games are poor, with presentations and hands-on demos appearing at many gaming events, including last month’s Eurogamer and MCM Expo.

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NEWS

Ubisoft eyes wider franchise potential for Assassin’s Creed New novel and online movie will spur more game sales, says firm  Publisher to produce further films by Michael French UBISOFT HAS ditched the traditional ‘fire and forget’ model for its latest triple-A release – and reckons that a new Assassin’s Creed movie and book can help drive sales of the game sequel. Assassin’s Creed II was released last week, and shot straight to number two in the UK All Formats chart – held back from number one only by

According to brand manager Jan Sanghera, having the book available in stores and the short films available online can help increase game sales and keep the title high in the minds of gamers. “Releasing the book and film helps to enrich our product offering,” she told MCV. “They help to increase awareness and interaction with the Assassin’s Creed franchise.” The AC: Lineage movie

We hope to explore other media options and we may use cinema for future projects. Jan Sanghera, Ubisoft

the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sales juggernaut. Publisher Ubisoft is tipping the game for long-term sales success – like its eight millionselling predecessor – thanks to brand extensions. These include a new spin-off novel published by Penguin Books and a selfproduced Assassin's Creed: Lineage movie that debuted on YouTube to millions of viewers.

The Assassin’s Creed short movie debuted on YouTube, and had 1.7 million views in the first 24 hours

debuted first in smaller episodes on YouTube – getting 1.7 million views in just 24 hours – and the full 40 minute piece, which mixes live action with highend CG, went live just before the game arrived in stores. The film was made by Hybride, a special effects studio Ubisoft bought last year. Assassin’s Creed: Resistance, meanwhile, was published yesterday by Penguin

– and Ubisoft and Penguin are already looking at how retailers can cross-promote and sell both products. Sanghera told MCV that Ubisoft is considering how it

can internally create new ways to grow the source material for all its properties – which means more movies: “Assassin’s Creed: Lineage is Ubisoft's first film project. However, as mentioned, the company has

ambitions to become an entertainment provider. Therefore, we hope to explore other media options and may potentially use cinema for future projects.” Ubisoft: 01932 578 000

Rising Star Games looks to ‘best ever year’ RISING STAR GAMES has predicted that 2010 will be the best year in its history – as the publisher announces its bumper release slate for Q1. The firm’s first quarter lineup includes one title from affiliate label Gamebridge and the company’s first Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games.

“With seven games released from February to April, we’re about to embark on Rising Star Games’ busiest period to date,” said Rising Star Games COO Martin Defries. Highlights in Feburary will include PSP RPG Half-Minute Hero, DS puzzler Animal Kororo and Way Of The

Q1 is set to be Rising Star’s busiest period for new releases

Samurai 3 – a Gamebridge title for 360 and PS3. March sees the release of Wii adventure game Fragile Dreams, as well as Avalon Code and My World My Way (DS), as well as Rune Factory Frontier (Wii). “It’s a real case of quality and quantity,” added Defries.

“With Fragile Dreams, HalfMinute Hero and our first PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles, it’ll be a brilliant start to what will be our best year ever.” Rising Star is also set to publish Grasshopper’s upcoming Wii blockbuster No More Heroes 2 next year. RSG: 01582 433700


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THE ROAD TO FINAL FANTASY XIII

The Final frontier Final Fantasy is one of the video games industry’s longest running and most successful franchises. Christopher Dring takes a closer look at the series ahead of the triple-A launch of Final Fantasy XIII… THE TITLE OF Square Enix’s upcoming monster sequel, Final Fantasy XIII, is a deceptive one. There has actually been over fifty games in the 22 year-old series, taking in the main titles, direct sequels and spinoff franchises (see A Fantasy timeline). And that’s not including the two feature films, animated TV episodes, novels and – in Japan, at least – a radio series. In total the Final Fantasy games have sold more than 85 million units worldwide, on platforms including the NES, PlayStation, Game Boy, Wii and iPhone. The brand has grown to such a

made it inevitable for the series to be released outside of Japan.” Indeed Japan has always been the home of Final Fantasy. Although the series launched in 1987, it wasn’t until the early ‘90s that it reached US shores, and it wasn’t until 1997 that European gamers got in on the act. “The big step for Europe came with the release of Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation in 1997 – the first official release of a numbered Final Fantasy title in the region,” continues Arnese. “It’s still considered the most famous and loved title in the whole series.”

The big step for Europe came with the release of Final Fantasy VII, it’s still the most loved title in the whole series. Adrian Arnese, Square Enix

size that merchandise and special edition hardware is released to coincide with each new game in the series. “There are so many key moments for the Final Fantasy series, with each numbered release in particular being classed as a major entertainment launch,” says Square Enix’s senior brand manager Adrian Arnese. “Without a doubt the success of the first game – while not officially released in Europe – created a momentum that

Following the release of Final Fantasy VII the brand hit the mainstream. In the same year Square Enix released Final Fantasy Tactics, taking the series into an entirely different genre for the first time – something the publisher continues to do to this day. And in 2001 the first theatrical movie, Advent Children, was released worldwide. But why has Final Fantasy managed to be such a major hit across the globe when rival Japanese RPGs have struggled?

A FANTASY TIMELINE 1987 Final Fantasy debuts in Japan on NES. 1988 The sequel, Final Fantasy II, arrives a year later. 1990 Final Fantasy III hits NES in Japan, as the US finally gets in on the act with the original Final Fantasy. A Japanese Game Boy RPG series called Sa-Ga is re-branded Final Fantasy Legend in North America. 1991 Super Nintendo title Final Fantasy IV

is the first game in the series to get released in the US and Japan during the same year. A side-story called Final Fantasy Adventure for Game Boy hits shelves in the US, while Final Fantasy Legend II is also released on the Nintendo handheld. 1992 Final Fantasy V is launched in Japan on Super Nintendo, as the US gets the third in the Final Fantasy Legend series. 1993 Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is released on SNES. The game is designed to appeal to Western audiences as an entry-level RPG.

1994 Final Fantasy VI hits the Super Nintendo in Japan. 1997 Final Fantasy moves from Nintendo to Sony with the epic Final Fantasy VII. Meanwhile, two spin-off games are released on PlayStation in Japan: Final Fantasy Tactics and Chocobo Mystery Dungeon. 1999 Final Fantasy VIII launches on PlayStation worldwide, as US

PlayStation gamers are able to play classic FF games for the first time in Final Fantasy Collection and Final Fantasy Anthology. Also released this year is the spin-off game Chocobo Racing on PlayStation.

2000 Final Fantasy IX arrives for PSOne. 2001 Final Fantasy X is released on PlayStation 2. The franchise hits the silver screen with the worldwide release of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.


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THE ROAD TO FINAL FANTASY XIII

“There are certain notable promotional and positioning factors to mention,” explains Arnese. “These include the way that the series has been introduced to the market over time to an ever increasing mass audience, before other similar brands had a real foothold. “Also the series theme, based on what the game is sometimes interpreted as in Japan: ultimate fantasy, is an experience everyone wants. “Having this kind of universal theme that everyone can buy into easily really helps the acceptance of content.” LUCKY NUMBER 13

Next up for Square Enix is Final Fantasy XIII, which had its full European and US

2002 Online game Final Fantasy XI launches in Japan. It hits the US in 2003 and Europe in 2004. Spin-off series Kingdom Hearts is released, featuring Disney and Final Fantasy characters 2003 The franchise’s first direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, lands on PS2. Square and Nintendo make up, resulting in the release of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance on GBA and a spinoff series called Crystal Chronicles on GameCube.

2006 Final Fantasy XII is published on PS2. Square continues the FFVII story with a third person shooter: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII on PS2. Meanwhile, the movie Final Fantasy VII Advent Children is released in the West. 2007 It’s a big year for Final Fantasy. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII turns up on PSP. Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings lands on DS. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is released on PSP. And Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced 2: Grimoire of the Rift appears on DS.

game and still coming in during times of media blackout.” Of course Square Enix is taking the European launch of FFXIII very seriously. Not only is the firm planning a big budget marketing campaign but UK pop sensation Leona Lewis is featured on the game’s soundtrack with the song My Hands, which comes from her upcoming second album. “The theme song is anticipated to get media interest and pick-up by more mass audiences in addition to core gamers and seasoned fans of the series,” concludes Arnese. “The promotional campaign to support the game is in line with the epic nature of the title and is set to reach huge audiences, with a budget like that

The promotional campaign for Final Fantasy XIII has a budget like that of a blockbuster entertainment launch. Adrian Arnese, Square Enix

reveal earlier this month. The game is due to arrive in both territories on March 9th – just three months after the Japanese release – and expectations are naturally sky high. “The coverage given to the November 13th video reveal has been spectacular and widespread, with huge support from so much of press, retail, first party and other partners that we’re really grateful for,” adds Arnese. “Final Fantasy XIII is expected to be a landmark release for this generation. We’re already seeing great results through our pre-orders, with orders dating back from the initial announcement of the

of a blockbuster entertainment launch. “Further announcements between now and release are also expected to raise the hype level even further.” Final Fantasy XIII looks certain to continue the franchises’ legacy of big sales numbers and high review scores, and there’s still much more to come – including the release of Final Fantasy XIV, an online game that was revealed during Sony’s E3 press conference in June. And with a wealth of new spin-off titles already in development for all formats, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about the series as it heads in to its 23rd year.

2008 Tower defence spin-off series Crystal Defenders begins life on iPhone, WiiWare, PSN and Xbox Live Arcade. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Rings of Fates is brought to market on DS. City building game Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King is distributed via WiiWare. Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon materialises on Wii.

2010 and beyond Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles: Crystal Bearers will launch on Wii on February 5th. Final Fantasy XIII will arrive on PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 9th. Other games based on the Final Fantasy XIII universe are also planned, including Final Fantasy Agito XIII on PSP and Final Fantasy Versus XIII on PlayStation 3. Both titles currently do not have a release date. After FFXIII, the next big game in the series is Final Fantasy XIV: Online, which is due to hit PlayStation 3 in Japan during 2010.

2009 Beat ‘em up Dissidia: Final Fantasy lands on PSP, as the Crystal Chronicles series returns with Echoes of Time on Wii and DS. Finally, WiiWare game My Life as a Dark Lord is made available.


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MCV INTERVIEW DAN SLINGSBY, GAMES ADDICT

A man for all regions DNA Publishing founder Dan Slingsby took the best regional games columnist accolade at the Games Media Awards last month for Games Addict. Christopher Dring asks the questions… Slingsby has spent time working for EMAP, Future, Highbury and Imagine Publishing

Why do you feel you won the award for regional games columnist? I was up against some pretty stiff competition from the Press Association, Metro and The Scotsman, so I didn’t think I stood a chance, if I’m being honest. Still, quality rises to the top and all that, so I guess the column must be doing something right. One of Games Addict’s unique selling points is that it provides succinct reviews of the four biggest video games of any particular week and that the column appears in print on the day the games are released. I could never understand why other columns would review games that had been out for weeks, when the opportunity was there to be as up-to-date as possible. Who have been your biggest influences over the years? Well, having worked at EMAP, Future, Highbury and Imagine, I’ve been around the block a bit, so you can’t help but meet some hugely talented and creative individuals. Greg and Jane Ingham when they were at Future were an

inspiration – they both had an enthusiasm for writing and magazine craft that I’d never really encountered before. There was also my first editor, Ben Orme, who I worked with at Northern & Shell. He taught me to never settle for second best. It’s a maxim I’ve tried to incorporate into everything I do.

Other highlights would include having a gun pulled on me by a Russian soldier in Star City – who didn’t realise we’d got permission to go and play on the full-size MIR Space Station simulator before the cosmonauts could have a go, working for Garry Williams when he was a publisher at EMAP, and setting up

What has been the Attitudes are changing. A highlight of your career new generation of editors are so far? more receptive to carrying a Well, I wouldn’t call it a games column. highlight, but my most memorable moment was Dan Slingsby, Games Addict sitting at a desk for twoand-a-half days making sure a launch I DNA Publishing, the company that was working on would make its print publishes Games Addict and a number slot. It was just me and an art editor and of other syndicated columns. we decided we wouldn’t leave the building until the magazine was finished. DNA Publishing produces content Sixty hours later, after eating our body for regional papers. Why do you feel weight in takeaways, the mag was sent it is important for regional media to to the printers on time and we were feature games? both utterly knackered. But I look back It’s a legitimate pastime, so if they’re on the experience with an immense covering the latest DVDs, cinema feeling of satisfaction, and it’s still some releases and music downloads, they of the best work I’ve ever done. should also be carrying video game

reviews. It’s a tough sell, though, as the majority of regional newspaper editors simply don’t ‘get’ games. They’re only really interested if there’s a sensationalist angle to something. We try and educate them as best as we can, with regular mail shots extolling the virtues of gaming, but the way some of them go on you’d think games were the work of the devil. That said, attitudes are changing. A new generation of editors have grown up with gaming and are much more receptive to the idea of carrying a games column.

What are your aspirations for the future of Games Addict? Obviously, I want to see it in as many regional newspapers as possible, but it’d be nice to make some return on it, too. It’s still not profitable, despite appearing in 16 newspapers, although we’re almost at the breakeven point. Luckily, we have other profitable columns in the portfolio, so they effectively subsidise it at the moment.


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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2001

2001 FLASHBACK

Continuing our series of retrospective articles covering the ‘noughties’, Michael French looks back at the key industry happenings in 2001. And turn over for our look at what happened the following year, too…

[THE BIG STORY]

GBA: THE BIG BOY DEBUTS

AFTER TEASING MCV in 2000 with pictures of a rendered ‘next-gen Game Boy’, Nintendo made good on its promise to upgrade its ten-year-old games format. The Game Boy Advance

and its interconnecting Game Cube sister were actually unveiled later that year – but it wasn’t until 2001 when the handheld was released, arriving as Nintendo overhauled its distribution

strategy to start selling direct. At the time, talk of 750,000 units sold in a year and a super-low price of £79 seemed like madness. But Nintendo knew what it was doing. When the handheld arrived in

summer 2001, the GBA claimed the title of ‘most successful games hardware launch’ (ruffling Sony’s feathers – they firm had only just released PS2) with 81,000 sold in week one.

GameCube would arrive (and as Nintendo and Microsoft built their local teams) PlayStation forged on. By the end of the year PS2 was at 5m units in Europe meaning that whatever Nintendo and Microsoft did next year, their battle was

always going to be for second place rather than supremacy. (More on that over the page.) Arguably it was here where format-holders were given the first warning that staggered territorial launches had stopped working.

[MEANWHILE, THE BATTLELINES ARE DRAWN]

OF COURSE, Nintendo’s dominance of the handheld market came thanks to the fact it had comprehensively cornered that part of the sector. Things were different in console hardware. PS2 was still in the

ascendance, and slow movement by Microsoft and Nintendo as they prepard for their European launches pretty much meant that the market was left wide open for Sony. So while the trade fretted about what Xbox might cost and when/if


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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2001

[SEGA SAGA] IN EARLY 2001 Sega confirmed that it was calling it quits on games hardware, and that it would switch from being format-holder for the Dreamcast to a third-party publisher. It was a defining time for Sega’s business globally. In Europe, numerous key staff left – including boss Kazutoshi Miyake – as the company shrank and regrouped. Not everyone lost hope, though. While Sega threw its weight behind Xbox, UK distributor Planet was convinced there was still a market for the console, and took over distribution of all the remaining stock for the following 12 months.

[CHART ATTACK] REGULAR WEEKLY SALES charts are the staple of every major entertainment sector – but in 2001 that all came under threat. Grumbling retailers said they were unhappy the weekly charts contained competitive sales data, and wanted them scrapped. Thankfully, crisis talks between ELSPA, publishers and retail hammered out a deal that saved the weekly list but dropped sales details. It might still jar a little today – given the free flow of information and values in the music, book and box office charts – but it’s better than nothing.

[GRAND THEFT AUTEUR] THIS YEAR ALSO saw the launch of Grand Theft Auto III. As hype built for rival machines, Sony was quick to act: Previous releases had been a big hit on PC, PSX and Dreamcast, so it squirreled year-long exclusivity rights to the game. It was a good call. GTAIII became one of the fastest selling launch games ever (for the time) – although the real success would be seen the following year with the quick release of sequel Vice City (turn over for more on that).

[ECTS EXAMINED]

[LEND US A TENNER?] ACTUALLY, DON’T – JUST leave it right there. Continuing our trawl through games marketing’s weirdest moments, we’ve unearthed this gem. Well, if gems are able to melt human eyes with a single glance, that is. Picture the scene: with software for the first PlayStation still selling quick at bargain prices, publishers were milking the market by rereleasing classic games at under £10. One such publisher was Codemasters, which was doing a roaring trade with cheap Colin reissues. So what better way to show all of that off – along with a bunch of other curiously smooth and hairless things, it seems – than getting Codemasters CEO David Darling to strip off?

2001 SAW THE cracks appear in the foundations of another industry staple, too – trade show ECTS. It had been running since 1988, but its 14th outing was met with mixed opinions. Despite a stronger international contingent, the lack of big product unveilings, poor ExCeL venue and weakened UK attendance sparked concerns over the show. Of course the real trouble wouldn’t start until ELSPA launched a rival show a few years later. These retrospectives still have that to look forward to. Yay…

[2001: THE TOP TEN GAMES] Title

Publisher

Format

1 Harry Potter: Philosopher’s Stone EA

PSone, PC, GC, GBA

2 Grand Theft Auto III

Take 2

PS2

3 FIFA 2002

EA

4 Gran Turismo 3

Sony

5 Pokémon Gold

Nintendo

6 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Activision

7 Pokémon Silver

Nintendo

8 The Simpsons Wrestling

Fox Interactive

9 Championship Manager 01/02

Eidos

10 Theme Park World

EA

PS2, PSone, PC PS2 GC GBA, PSone, DC, PC, GC, Mac GC PSone PC, Mac PSone, PC, PS2, Mac


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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2002

2002 FLASHBACK

Continuing our look at the formative games industry events of the decade, we look back to 2002, when the war between format-holders began to heat up…

[THE BIG PICTURE]

XBOX vs GAMECUBE: THE FIGHT FOR SECOND PLACE THE ARRIVAL OF Microsoft and Nintendo’s new consoles in Europe during spring 2002 (after a late 2001 North America roll-out) wasn’t ever going to dominate when PS2 was doing so well. But that didn’t stop the two getting locked in a bitter battle to become the nation’s second-favourite console. Both made some ridiculous claims; Microsoft with its pointlessly long controller cables, and Nintendo saying its joypad’s many buttons made it highly versatile (a far cry from its Wii strategy a few years later). But both had some surprises up their sleeves, as we outline below…

MICROSOFT & NINTENDO: HEAD TO HEAD FEBRUARY 2002: A month ahead of the Xbox rollout Nintendo drastically undercut the Xbox’s £299 RRP by telling retailers its console would be around £150. It was a huge statement of intent, and despite sparking some stores’ ire it was wisely timed; Retailers had just found out they were also having to pay extra delivery costs on Xbox shipments as the hardware was so heavy... MARCH 2002: But Xbox managed to get its moment in the sun on launch, however, with a respectable launch where 48,000 consoles were sold at £299. APRIL 2002: But £299 was too much money to ask – and Microsoft knew it. So it quickly shaved £100 off the price to make the desirable console more accessible. MAY 2002: The price cut didn’t make much immediate difference for Xbox, however – and when GameCube officially launched, Nintendo sold 400,000 across Europe. That was almost ten times more than Xbox could muster on its debut, and twice the (at the time) Microsoft installed base for Europe of 200,000. JUNE 2002: Publishers knew another way Microsoft could cut prices to keep punters happy – and called on the format-holder to lower the RRP of software to £39.99. SEPTEMBER 2002: But one thing Microsoft understood about making headway in the games industry was that real success lies in currying developer favour – and using that to win over hardcore gamers. So at its X02 event it detailed a raft of studios on board, including plenty of UK teams. Oh, and Rare – it spent $375m on buying the studio Nintendo owned a key stake in. Fanboys went wild – but Xbox had proven it knew what had to be done to stay competitive.


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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2002

[PLAYSTATION STEALS THE SHOW]

[CAMPAIGN TRIAL]

NO MATTER what Microsoft and Nintendo tried, there was no catching Sony. In 2002 its PS2 had hit a UK installed base of 2m, driven by 2001 releases GT3 and GTAIII and 2002’s Metal Gear Solid 2. Even the PSone was outselling the GameCube and Xbox. In August, Sony made it very clear the throne would not be relinquished: it cut the price to £169.99, driving its software catalogue of 145 available games further.

[CRIME PAYS]

IF THERE’S ONE thing the industry prides itself on today, it’s the fact so many publishers, retailers and developers claim to have an open dialogue with consumers. So when a small lobbying group of gamers started the Fair Play campaign for cheaper video games in late 2002, what did the industry do? Go mental, slag them off and try and shut them down of course! Sure, it was run by lunatics from the internet, and they were making spurious claims – but in retrospect the industry’s old dinosaur reaction hardly characterises the trade of days gone by as confident.

[SCREAM-WORTHY ADVERTISING]

ONE OF THE big drivers for PlayStation 2 was the Grand Theft Auto franchise, which Sony scored as a timed platform exclusive in 2001. By November 2002 GTAIII had sold over a million units in a year in the UK (a considerable feat back then). Its follow up Vice City debuted during the same month selling over 300,000 in two days on sale in the UK. Sony managed to secure further exclusivity on future GTAs although the follow-up San Andreas didn’t appear until 2004, leaving GTAIII and Vice City to dominate in the meantime.

[THE ‘ART OF THE INDUSTRY] EVEN MICROSOFT DABBLED in controversial marketing. Its TV ad for the Xbox launch featured a new born child shooting from between his mother’s legs, and drastically aging as he sailed through the air – before landing in his early grave. ‘Life’s short, play more’ said the slogan – a they-thought-it-was-clever-at-the-time way to show why people should be buying Xbox. Complaints to the Independent Television Commission that it was distasteful and scary promptly led to it being pulled. A bit of an over-reaction really – the only frightening thing about the Xbox launch was the stupidly high £299 price tag.

[2002: THE TOP TEN GAMES] Title

Publisher

1 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Take 2

2 FIFA 2003

EA

3 Grand Theft Auto 3

Rockstar

4 Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets EA

2002 was a watershed year for hardware, but arguably the real winners were third party publishers, who were faced with a wider market than ever. EA specifically had reason to cheer – it broke industry records by generative over $1.7bn in revenues during the year. “The industry is full of pretenders trying to mimic what they perceive to be EA’s strategy, but it took us 20 years to get here,” a bullish CEO John Riccitiello (pictured) told MCV at the time.

Format PS2 PS2, PSone, Xbox, PC, GC, GBA PS2, PC

PS2, PSone, GBA, PC, GBC, GC, Xbox

5 Medal of Honor: Frontline

EA

PS2, Xbox, GC

6 LOTR: The Two Towers

EA

PS2, GBA

7 Metal Gear Solid 2

Konami

PS2

8 Gran Turismo 3

Sony

PS2

9 Spider-Man

Activision

10 Monsters Inc

Disney

PS2, GBA, GC, Xbox, PC GBA, PSone, GBC, PS2, PC


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PERSONNEL

Bug-Tracker expands European branch Klingel named general sales manager  Hawkes heads up Datascope mobile team  Hansoft hires Wynn BUG-TRACKER GROUP  As the company continues to expand its presence in Europe, WOLFGANG KLINGEL has been named the new general sales manager for the territory. Klingel will be tasked with extending the Group’s foothold in the European games market and improving its exposure to publishers and developers in the region. He will also strengthen ties between his own branch and those established in North America and Asia. He has over 15 years of experience within the games industry, having served as

Klingel will grow Bug-Tracker’s European business

general manager at Vivendi Games Germany. He was also vice president for Europe at Enzyme Testing Labs, gaining plenty of valuable experience in the QA and localisation sector.

“Wolfgang will greatly help reinforce and grow our presence in the market we startedout in 10 years ago,” said CEO and founder ANTOINE CARRE. “He will bring together and integrate key components of Bug-Tracker’s worldwide studios, in order to shape, lead and help to create new market opportunities. “Adding an accomplished European video game business veteran such as Wolfgang to our sales team demonstrates our company’s commitment to continuously fortify our leadership role in the QA and localisation industry.”

DATASCOPE  MATTHEW HAWKES has joined the ranks of Datascope Recruitment as the firm launches its dedicated mobile technology desk. Hawkes will head up the new service as the company improves its support for various clients and their increasing workload in the mobile arena. He is an experienced technical recruiter specialising in the wireless technology space, including mobile software and content.

He boasts a comprehensive technical knowledge of the mobile telecoms sector and an global network of contacts. HANSOFT  The firm has named CHRIS WYNN as its new senior production expert, who will head up Hansoft’s new mobile technology desk. Wynn’s primary role will be to aid development studios around the world becoming more productive through training and consultation. He boasts over 12 years of experience with production, having shipped over a dozen triple-A titles.


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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES  PRICE CHECK  CHARTS  NEW RELEASES

WITH THIS ISSUE We take an in-depth look at Nintendo’s epic DS game, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

SUPER MARIO FIGURINES P34 Re:Creation’s collection of Super Mario products are the ideal stocking fillers DROP ‘N’ CHARGE STATIONS P34 Exspect’s popular charging stations for 360 and Wii roll out in time for Christmas

FLIPPIN’ ACE.. EA brings a selection of bestselling children’s novels to DS with its new Flips range. P32

DIVINITY II: EGO DRACONIS P35 The critically-acclaimed RPG finally arrives in the UK via publisher Mastertronic YOUR SHAPE P36 Ubisoft continues its foray into fitness with this innovative camera-based Wii release JUST DANCE P36 Wii gamers are invited to dance away this Christmas in Ubisoft’s latest party game HIGH STREET P40 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, and check retail prices


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RETAILBIZ: FLIPS 32 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

ENID BLYTON Tales of young children who discover the magical Faraway Tree, with its fairytale characters and a ladder into constantly shifting mystical lands. Books include: The Enchanted Wood; The Magic Faraway Tree; The Folk Of The Faraway Tree; Enchanted World – Petal And The Eternal Bloom; Enchanted World – Melody And The Enchanted Harp; Enchanted World – Silky And The Rainbow Feather.

TOO GHOUL FOR SCHOOL Adventures with students who take it upon themselves to protect their high school, which is haunted by the ghosts of the plague victims buried beneath it. Books Include: Silent But Deadly; The InSpectress Call; Ghoul Dinners; The Bubonic Builders; Attack Of The Zombie Nits; School Spooks Day; French Fright; Terror In Cubicle Four.

EA brings an e-books series to DS that draws on familiar names to encourage children to read…

by James Batchelor

fiction, the publisher is confident a large target audience has already been established.

WITH THE RISE of e-readers and Amazon’s Kindle, books are quickly finding their This range provides a great place on portable screens. present opportunity for The DS has already seen its book-like structure used parents looking to pass on for Nintendo’s own 100 their love of reading. Classic Book Collection Alice Brandvik, EA and – now EA is seeking to make its own (book)mark. “We know there are a huge number The Flips range, announced last of kids in the UK who already own a month, offers younger DS owners a DS and the Flips range is aimed at those selection of popular children’s tales on who love playing with the console but each card. Having signed up some of the might not necessarily pick up a book,” most recognisable authors in young says product manager Alice Brandvik.

“The first titles in the range – Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree Stories, Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and the Cathy Cassidy and Too Ghoul for School collections – bring the popular kids books to life in a truly unique and interactive way. “Launching just before Christmas, we also think that the range provides a great present opportunity for parents and grandparents looking to pass on their love of reading to kids who are reluctant readers but keen DS users.” While lobbyist groups will no doubt be unhappy that publishers are digitising


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RETAILBIZ: FLIPS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 33

EOIN COLFER The Artemis Fowl series follows the exploits of the titular teenage criminal mastermind whose ‘get rich quick’ schemes land him in trouble with the fairies. Books include: Artemis Fowl; Artemis Fowl And The Arctic Incident; Artemis Fowl And The Eternity Code; Artemis Fowl And The Opal Deception; Artemis Fowl And The Lost Colony; Artemis Fowl And The Time Paradox.

CATHY CASSIDY Assorted stories written for young girls following the adventures of teens, their families and their dreams of happiness. Books include: Scarlett; Angel Cake; Sundae Girl; Shine On Daizy Star; GingerSnaps; Driftwood.

the written word and drawing children away from the joys of genuine books, EA is keen to point out the benefits of its Flips range. Not only does it allows kids to take their favourite books with them in a single portable package, the software also serves as a learning aid. “We’ve had really great feedback from people we’ve shown the product to,” says Brandvik. “Kids have been really engaged with it and parents like the educational angle. We’ve had some really great coverage from earlier announcements, not only in gaming press but also mainstream and book press so the appeal is already showing to be pretty far reaching.”

Of course, there’s more to Flips than just the stories. As users read through each book, they earn tokens hidden throughout the text that unlock interactive extras, such as links to character profiles, sound effects and animations. FLIPS SERVICE

Each title also features exclusive content tailored to suit the stores. For example, the Enid Blyton product has recipes and activities while the Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl title features extra stories. Users can also share a chapter with friends via the DS’ wireless functionality – and are rewarded with more unlocks.

Given the target audience of young children, the affordable price, the value for money and the educational prospect, the range looks a perfect proposition for the festive season. EA is working hard to raise awareness of the Flips range among parents as Christmas approaches. “We’re looking to launch the products with a really strong PR programme to educate parents on the features of the titles,” says Brandvik. “We’re keen to make sure that these aren’t mistaken for games of the books – 80 to 90 per cent of what kids will be doing while using them is reading, but obviously the interactive elements are a

RELEASED: DECEMBER 4 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA BRIGHT LIGHT PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 2858

real draw to keep them engaged and encourage them to keep reading. “We’ll be targeting gifters through press and online, but we’re also looking to ensure we have a clear presence at retail with POS wherever possible to range the product and highlight the key features to parents looking for the perfect Christmas gift.”


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RETAILBIZ: RE:CREATION/EXSPECT 34 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

The peripherals firm pushes its range of stocking fillers that are sure to please the avid Nintendo fans…

Gamers can be sure of constantly fresh batteries thanks to Exspect’s Drop ‘N’ Charge stations… by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: WII, XBOX 360

by James Batchelor

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: N/A

GIVEN MARIO’S iconic status among all generations of gamer, Re:Creation’s range of collectible figurines will be sure to bring a smile to anyone this Christmas. The toys range from two to four inches high, crafted in high quality vinyl, and are modelled on a number of notable Mushroom Kingdom denizens. Naturally, the centrepiece of the range is the man himself: Mario has been sculpted in his familiar airpunching pose. His slimmer brother Luigi and trusty cannibalistic steed Yoshi accompany him. There are even a range of enemies to collect, including Paragoomba, Bullet Bill and Bob-omb. The figures continue the success of Re:Creation’s previous products, such as five-inch fully adjustable action figures, which unfortunately have sold out due to popular demand. Also available is a DS holder modelled on Mario, which allows players to literally

PUBLISHER: RE:CREATION PRICE: £3.99 DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 0118 973 6222

leave their handheld’s safety in the plumber’s hands. “The appeal of these characters is that everyone remembers and loves the Super Mario brand,” says Re:Creation press officer Kavita Verma. “Whether you’re 50 or five years old, you can relive your childhood memories with these characters. “They are will made and brightly coloured figures. They boast great price points, and are perfect for stocking fillers or a big bundle gift.” The figurines are all sold separately, but a special double pack is available for fans of Bowser’s minions, featuring Paragoomba and Bob-omb.

THE CURRENT consoles’ dependency on wireless controllers has ramped up consumer costs in batteries, and peripherals firms are working hard to provide more viable alternatives. Exspect’s answer to finite battery life is the Drop ‘N’ Charge station, a device that tops up the special rechargeable battery packs within three to four hours and provides enough power to keep controllers working for around 10 hours. Drop ‘N’ Charge is available for Xbox 360 and Wii, with additional battery packs available for the Wii Balance Board. The packs are charged through RF waves that transmit electrical current, charging up to two batteries simulataneously. This means players don’t even have to detach the battery pack or remove any silicone skins or MotionPlus add-ons that are attached. They simply place the controller on the charging pad and wait for the LED indicators to show when the battery is full. The Drop ‘N’ Charge station is also highly energy efficient. Once battery packs are fully charged, the device stops

VENDOR: EXSPECT PRICE: £29.99 / £9.99 (BATTERY PACKS) DISTRIBUTOR: GEM CONTACT: 01279 822 800

transmitting the electrical current, so gamers can leave their controllers on the charging pad as long as they like, without wasting energy. “Wireless controllers have really enhanced the gaming experience, so it comes as little surprise that gamers frequently find themselves running out of power,” says head of development Mike Sanderson. “With our Drop ‘N’ Charge Range gamers can now quickly and easily re-charge their controllers, whilst reducing their energy consumption and saving money on batteries all at the same time.” Each Drop ‘N’ Charge station comes with the charging pad itself, one battery pack, a USB charge cable and an AC charge adaptor. For £9.99 each, gamers can pick up additional battery packs designed for Wii Remotes, the Wii Balance Board and Xbox 360 controllers.

accessories The heart of your gaming world For more information on our full range of products contact Mel Jones:Email: mjones@playwithhubb.com or your Trilogy Logistics account manager


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RETAILBIZ: DIVINITY II WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 35

The bestselling European RPG arrives on UK shelves, working to build on its previous continental success… by James Batchelor

console’s smaller RPG library means Divinity II should perform well, both within Microsoft’s demographic and in the busy holiday season. “We’re not facing heavy competition in the RPG genre on Xbox 360,” says licensing director Garry Williams. “The target audience for these types of games

NOTHING SUMS up fantasy adventures better than a dragon. The mere sight of one sets the tone for an epic Tolkienesque jaunt through realms of swords and magic, so fans of such tales will know what to expect from Divinity II: Ego Draconis. The sequel to Divine Divinity II stormed the Divinity, this pits players European sales charts, and as a legendary Dragon picked up numerous awards Knight – warriors who have the ability to along the way. transform into a dragon Garry Williams, Mastertronic and fights with their enemies in the skies. are very active and will seek out a wellAll of the classic RPG mainstays are respected title of this quality.” present, from in-depth character Mastertronic head of marketing Kirsty customisation to upgradeable skills. The Payne adds: “At this time of year, a very ability to play as a dragon bring a new crowded Christmas release schedule dynamic to the gameplay as gamers means it will have to fight for attention. ambush their foes from the skies with However, Divinity II is a very impressive fiery attacks – although the inability to RPG and has the credentials, pedigree communicate with humans while in this and excellent gameplay to perform well.” form can present greater dangers. REIGN OF FIRE While RPGs have often fared well on PC, the genre has a considerably smaller The publisher is confident Divinity II will recreate the success it has seen in audience on the Xbox 360. However, Europe, where it met with critical the game’s unique mechanics and the

acclaim and high sales in both Germany and France. “Divinity II stormed the European sales charts picking up numerous awards on the way,” says Williams. “The European specialist press have been unanimous in their view of Divinity II: Ego Draconis. “When it was released in Germany, the PC version soon sold more than 50,000 units and is still selling well today. It also entered the Xbox 360 charts at No.5, and has been a consistent performer since then.” Divinity II’s success on the continent has led to a high awareness of the game among UK RPG fans, especially on the PC. The main hurdle for Mastertronic is driving the release of the Xbox 360 version – a challenge the firm has eagerly accepted. “A mass of available information and consumer opinions on the internet means that public awareness is often ahead of retail action,” says Payne. “The PC version is already very well known to the gaming community as Divinity II represents a third outing on

RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: XBOX 360, PC PUBLISHER: MASTERTRONIC DEVELOPER: LARIAN STUDIOS PRICE: VARIOUS DISTRIBUTOR: OPEN CONTACT: 0207 502 4450

the format. It’s a newer concept for the Xbox 360 audience, although one that has already grabbed the hearts and minds of the European audience.” With a potential userbase already established, Mastertronic is focusing its efforts on further raising awareness of the game’s UK debut. To accomplish this, the publisher has drawn up a heavily targeted campaign that reaches Divinity fans through relevant media. “We’ve put together a specialist online campaign for Divinity II that runs for a number of weeks, targeting well-informed consumers across the UK online gaming press,” says Payne. “We’re focusing on the strong Divinity brand awareness and getting the message out there that the latest, eagerly awaited Divinity instalment has landed in the UK.”

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RETAILBIZ: YOUR SHAPE/JUST DANCE 36 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Ubisoft advances the field of video game fitness with Just Dance seeks to reinvigorate the dance game its camera-based workout title… genre by introducing real routines… by James Batchelor UBISOFT UPS THE ANTE for digital workouts with Your Shape, the first controller-free fitness title. The game uses special camera tracking technology to monitor players as they exercise unhindered by peripherals. “Your Shape comes with a motionsensing camera that scans your body and detects your moves very accurately in real time,” explains brand manager Ombeline Wallon. “For the first time on Wii, you can exercise 100 per cent controller-free and still get immediate and precise feedback to make your workouts more efficient.” BODY LANGUAGE

Once the camera has scanned players into the game, programmes are tailored to your individual body shape and goals. The wide variety of exercises allows Your Shape to give fully customised training plans. “Thanks to the exclusive camera, Your Shape is a very innovative title on the fitness market,” says Wallon. “It really brings something different in terms of consumer experience as they are finally able to exercise controller-free and still get feedback in real time. We

think this will really make Your Shape stand out in this now busy market.” While fitness titles can sell throughout the year, the market is becoming busier in the run-up to Christmas. As a result, Ubisoft is working hard to ensure that Your Shape attracts its target audience and fends off competition from rival titles. “To make the most of our release date, our marketing will last from launch to the end of January, covering both Christmas and New Year,” Wallon says. There will be two bursts of TV ads: one at launch and one in early January. This will be supported by print ads in women’s magazines such as Fabulous, Head, Grazia and Zest, which will last throughout December and January. This will all be complemented by a PR campaign, and the endorsement of Zoe Lucker, who starred in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing. RELEASED: DECEMBER 4 FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT BARCELONA RESPONDESIGN PRICE: £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769

by James Batchelor JUST DANCE DOES AWAY with peripherals and lets players follow more ambitious and yet accessible routines. Rather than stumbling around a dance mat, players hold the Wii Remote in the hand and mimic the moves shown on screen – simple as that. It’s a charming concept with broad appeal and is perfectly in tune with the Wii’s demographic – and Ubisoft is confident it will be a hit. “We are expecting good things from Just Dance,” says brand manager Rachel Grant. “There has been an extremely positive reception for the game from both consumers and retail alike. “Retailers should expect strong demand on this game. It will be heavily supported above the line once people play it, they love it.” Another key selling point is that all of the dance routines are based on genuine performances. The accessible controls ensure that anyone can master these and will soon be dancing like a pro – or a drunken dad at a wedding. “Just Dance is the one and only video game where you will perform actual dance moves in your living room,” says Grant. “There is no button mashing, no

moves that make you look like you’ve got two left feet and no compicated peripherals. “Just Dance gives players the freedom they need to just feel the beat and move their feet. It’s all about real dancing, real choreography and real fun.” DANCE OFF

Gamers can even inject their own style into routines and Just Dance will reward them. There are a variety of multiplayer modes and the setlist matches the game’s universal appeal. Classic dance tunes have been handpicked to motivate every generation of gamer, with hits from the likes of Elvis Presley, Kylie Minogue, MC Hammer and Katy Perry. Grant adds: “It is just the perfect party game and ice-breaker, bringing together friends through classic tunes that everyone will want to dance along to – whatever their music tastes are.” RELEASED: OUT NOW FORMATS: WII PUBLISHER: UBISOFT DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MARCEAU PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: TRILOGY CONTACT: 0845 362 7769


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RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 37

Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more

Top new IPs ring in the New Year The rush of new Christmas releases may be coming to an end, but there is plenty to look forward to in the New Year. Amongst the upcoming releases is a wealth of new IP, including Bayonetta, Darksiders, Dark Void and Dante’s Inferno... TITLE

FORMAT

GENRE

PUBLISHER

TELEPHONE

DISTRIBUTOR

DECEMBER 4th Easy Piano FLIPS: Cathy Cassidy FLIPS: Enid Blyton FLIPS: Eoin Colfer FLIPS: Too Ghoul For School Game Party 3 Girls Life Sleepover Party Imagine Beauty Stylist Jambo! Safari James Cameron's Avatar: The Game Peppa Pig Petz: Nursery Playmobil: Knights Scene It? Bright Lights Big Screen! The Saboteur Tony Hawk: Ride Touchmaster 3 Your Shape

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

Music Non-games Non-games Non-games Non-games Mini-games Simulation Simulation Simulation Action Mini-games Simulation Action/Adventure Quiz Action Sports Puzzle Self-Improvement

Namco Bandai EA EA EA EA Warner Games Ubisoft Ubisoft Sega Ubisoft Ubisoft Ubisoft Mindscape Warner Games EA Activision Blizzard Warner Games Ubisoft

0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0845 362 7769 0870 027 0985 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

Advantage Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy Trilogy Centresoft Trilogy Trilogy Trilogy Koch Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Trilogy

Wii / DS PSP DS

Action/Adventure Fighting RPG

Majesco Namco Bandai Nintendo

0117 373 6151 0121 506 9585 0870 027 0985

Open Advantage Koch

DS

Puzzle

Nintendo

0870 027 0985

Koch

PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360

Action Action

Sega THQ

0121 625 3388 0121 506 9585

Centresoft Advantage

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

FPS Action Action/Adventure Action Casual

City Interactive EA D3Publisher Capcom Zushi

0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 0121 625 3388 01279 822 800

Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem

Wii Wii

Survival Horror Simulation

Capcom City Interactive

0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

Centresoft Trilogy

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

Action/Adventure Strategy FPS RPG Puzzle/RPG

Ubisoft Zushi Zushi EA Ubisoft

0845 362 7769 01279 822 800 01279 822 800 0121 625 3388 0845 362 7769

Trilogy Gem Gem Centresoft Trilogy

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

Action/Adventure Action Strategy Casual Racing MMORPG Action/Adventure

D3Publisher Zushi Slitherine Zushi THQ Atari Disney Interactive

0121 506 9585 01279 822 800 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800 0121 506 9585 0121 506 9585 0121 625 3388

Advantage Gem Koch Gem Advantage Advantage Centresoft

DECEMBER 11th Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakwal Tekken 6 The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

DECEMBER 18th Nintendo Presents Crossword Collection

JANUARY 8th Bayonetta Darksiders

JANUARY 15th Alcatraz Army Of Two: The 40th Day Astroboy 2009 Dark Void Love is... in Bloom

JANUARY 22nd Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero Combat Wings: The Great Battles Of World War II

JANUARY 29th Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard BC Kings Exodus From The Earth Mass Effect 2 Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes

FEBRUARY 5th Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks Chicken Blaster History Engineering an Empire Egypt Jig-a-Pix: Love is... a Puzzle MX vs AV Reflex Star Trek Online The Princess And The Frog

MUSTSTOCK ..................................DARKSIDERS Released: January 8th Format: PS3/Xbox 360 Publisher: THQ Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

THQ takes inspiration from the Bible for its epic action game Darksiders. Players control War, one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, who must find out why the end of the world took place prematurely. The game is said to be similar to The Legend of Zelda series.

MUSTSTOCK ..................................BAYONETTA Released: January 8th Format: PS3/ Xbox 360 Publisher: Sega Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388

Reviews for Platinum Games’ hack and slash have been very impressive, with a 9/10 on Eurogamer and an incredible 40/40 from Famitsu. Expect Devil May Cry fanatics to go mad for this one when it hits shelves in January.


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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 38 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

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

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30% No

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RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 39 Sponsored by

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

9. FORMULA 1 2009

WII ..........................................................CODEMASTERS

10. MASS EFFECT 2

360 ..........................................................................EA Week ending Novemebr 20th Source: SHOPTO.COM

FROM THE FRONTLINE Nindie.com speaks to Roy’s Toys owner Roy Wenman… What makes your store unique? Roy’s Toys is unique in that it focuses exclusively on selling Nintendo merchandise rather than the more common generic video game retailer. What are the challenges facing your store? The biggest hurdle is attracting consumers to our new website: roystoys.net. Drawing sufficient interest in the site has been the biggest challenge as traffic is an essential component of any online retail outlet and can make or break a business.

[PRE ORDERS]

TOP 10 NEW SUPER MARIO BROS WII NINTENDO 2. ASSASSIN’S CREED II

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

3. ASSASSIN’S CREED II

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

“Online retailers offer free shipping, which is not an option for Indies.”

How much of a threat do online retailers pose to your new site? Since they’re so large and diverse, not only is it difficult to compete with them on prices – because they can afford to buy in vast quantities – but their range of products is also an issue. Diligent shoppers may surf around for the best deal, but there are plenty of people who will stick to one site simply because it’s well known and is almost guaranteed to stock all the items they are looking for, even if they aren’t the cheapest. Many of the larger online retailers now also offer free shipping on most goods, which is an option simply not available to smaller indies.

4. LEFT 4 DEAD 2

360 ..........................................................................EA

5. WE SING: WITH MICROPHONES

WII ..........................................................NORDIC GAMES

6. LEFT 4 DEAD 2

PC ............................................................................EA

7. ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS

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

8. THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES

PC ............................................................................EA

9. POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: SKY

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

10. LITTLEBIGPLANET

PSP ......................................................................SONY Week ending Novemebr 20th Source: AMAZON.CO.UK


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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 40 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM

OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[1] [FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE STYLE BOUTIQUE DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING COOKING MAMA 3 RHYTHM PARADISE MARIO KART DS CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE LEGO INDIANA JONES 2: CONTINUES

2 4 6 3 14 5 7 9 NEW

DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

SEGA NINTENDO NINTENDO NINTENDO

NEW

ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3

NINTENDO

3

NEW

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii

NINTENDO

4

2

WII SPORTS RESORT Wii

NINTENDO

5

4

WII FIT PLUS Wii

NINTENDO

6

3

FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP

DISNEY LUCASARTS

[3] PUBLISHER

PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY JAK AND DAXTER: LOST FRONTIER SONY TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD DISNEY SING IT: POP HITS DISNEY

PSP THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA

LITTLEBIG PLANET

2 3 4 5

2 3

FIFA 10 FIFA 09 GRAN TURISMO FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

6 7 8 9 10

6 4 5 8 9

RE

LAST WEEK

TITLE

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY

PUBLISHER UBISOFT

EA

7

NEW

8

6

LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360, PC MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYPMICS Wii

EA SEGA

9

5

FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360

10

7

LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP

WARNER BROS

11

NEW

F1 2009 Wii, PSP

CODEMASTERS

12

8

MARIO KART WII Wii

MICROSOFT

NINTENDO

13

9

PURE 360, PS3, PC

DISNEY

14

11

PES 2010 360, PS3, PC

KONAMI

15

14

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO

16

NEW

LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS

17

13

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC

EA

18

17

NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC

EA

19

15

SINGSTAR TAKE THAT PS3, PS2

20

16

WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP

PC CD-ROM [5]

1 1

[4]

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION

2

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

FORMAT: 360, PS3, PC

NINTENDO

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6 7 9 8

1

505 GAMES

1 NEW

[2]

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

THIS WEEK

FIFA 10

2 3 4 5

TOP 40ALL

PUBLISHER

PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX

[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

1

SONY THQ

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

PUBLISHER

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 FDEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

EA

2

2

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010

EA

3

NEW

THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES

EA

SONY

4

NEW

LEFT 4 DEAD 2

EA

SEGA

5

3

DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS

EA

GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: SQUADRON LUCASARTS WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT EA

6

4

THE SIMS 3

7

5

CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2010

8

9

FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION

9

8

WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING

10

6

EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR

SEGA

EA EIDOS BETHESDA

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SEGA


40,41 MCV565_final:54-55 MCV553

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RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 41

from Assassin’s Creed II and New Super Mario Bros Wii – despite an 86 per cent drop in sales after its record-breaking launch week. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II took second place, outperforming the week one performance of the original by 12 per cent. New Super Mario Bros holds its own with a debut in third.

F1 2009 just missing out on the Top 10 as it settles for 11th. LEGO Indiana Jones 2 places 16th, with no new entries until The Sims 3: World Adventures at No.36. Finally, the launch of the PSP version bumps Sony’s LittleBigPlanet back up to 38th. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

PS3 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

Highest New Entry

10

22

GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360

26 12

FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC

24

22

WII FIT Wii

25

40

26 27

ROCKSTAR

PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS

23

NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO

STYLE BOUTIQUE DS

NINTENDO

25

DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS

NINTENDO

23

LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS

28

24

WII PLAY Wii

29

18

UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3

NINTENDO SONY

30

19

COD 4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, Wii ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

31

29

BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC

32

37

GUITAR HERO 5 360, PS3, Wii, PS2

33

20

TEKKEN 6 360, PS3

2K GAMES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD NAMCO BANDAI

34

33

HALO 3: ODST 360

35

27

DJ HERO 360, PS3, Wii, PS2

36

NEW

THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES PC

EA

37

34

LEGO INDIANA JONES PSP, 360, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC, DS

LUCASARTS

38

NEW

LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3, PSP

SONY

39

30

EYEPET PS3

SONY

40

38

RABBIDS GO HOME Wii, DS

PC CD-ROM THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

UBISOFT

TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

ASSASSIN’S CREED

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

14 5

MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES: EDGAR

NEW

CIVILIZATION IV COMPLETE

6 3 20 2

TREASURE SEEKERS 1 & 2: COMPLETE

NEW

MORTIMER BECKETT AND THE PARADOX GSP/AVANQUEST

7

DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PUBLISHER: FOCUS GSP/AVANQUEST

BEJEWLED TWIST

FOCUS 2K GAMES MASTERTRONIC

MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER WOMEN’S MURDER CLUB: BLUE MOON

JEWEL QUEST III

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

FOCUS

GSP/AVANQUEST ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

GSP/AVANQUEST

PUBLISHER

1

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ASSASSIN’S CREED II FIFA 10 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS TEKKEN 6 WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 LEGO INDIANA JONES 2: ADVENTURE CONTINUES

NEW

2 4 3 5 NEW

6 8 NEW

WII THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA KONAMI SONY EA EA NAMCO BANDAI THQ LUCASARTS

[FULL PRICE] TITLE

PUBLISHER

1

NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

WII SPORTS RESORT NINTENDO MARIO & SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES SEGA MARIO KART WII NINTENDO F1 2009 CODEMASTERS WII FIT NINTENDO WE SING NORDIC GAMES CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FIFA 10 EA RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT

1 3 2 NEW

4 NEW

5 7 8

DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO

XBOX 360

[BUDGET PRICE]

WOW: BATTLE CHEST

WEEK ENDING 21/11/09

with EA’s Left 4 Dead 2 at No.7 and Codemasters’

L FORMATS 21

Five other new entries entered the Top 40,

top of the charts, fending off strong competition

THIS LAST WEEK WEEK

[FULL PRICE]

TITLE

1

COD: MODERN WARFARE 2

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ASSASSIN’S CREED 2 LEFT 4 DEAD 2 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 FIFA 10 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY HALO 3: ODST DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 DJ HERO

NEW NEW

2 3 4 6 5 7 9

(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack

MODERN WARFARE 2 fortifies its position at the

PUBLISHER

DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA MICROSOFT EA ROCKSTAR MICROSOFT EA THQ ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

[SOURCE]

[ANALYSIS]


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 42 MCV 27/11/09

WWW.MCVUK.COM

International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA

ESTONIA

ISRAEL

RUSSIA

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

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

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

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

AUSTRIA

FINLAND

ITALY

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

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

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

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

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

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

Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil

BELGIUM

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

FRANCE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BENELUX

NETHERLANDS

SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

INNELEC MULTIMEDIA

EBS-Benelux...........................................Bunschoten

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

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

mail:games@computerland.rs

Email purchase: f_alglave@innelec.com

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

website:www.computerland.rs

GAMEWORLD

Email export sales: g_armspach@innelec.com

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

Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel

Tel: 00.33.1.48.10.55.55

NEW ZEALAND

Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: rishi@gameworld.nl

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

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

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

NORWAY

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

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

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

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

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

SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg

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

SPAIN

Lorentzweg 1

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

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

3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg

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

EBS Benelux

The Netherlands

GREECE

Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID

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

Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00

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

POLAND

Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01

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

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

E-mail: info@ebs-benelux.com

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

PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE

Website: www.ebs-benelux.com

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

CYPRUS

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

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

GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD

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

1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /

INDIA

tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy

ul. Jana Szczyrki 12, 54-426 Wroclaw, Poland

ICELAND

Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus

TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.

E-mail: business@techland.pl

Barcelona, Spain, Tel: +34 93 492 08 89 distributioninteractive@planetadeagostini.es www.planetadeagostini.net

Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10

VIRGIN PLAY

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

Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11, 28046 Madrid, Spain Tel: +34 91 789 35 50

DENMARK

Web: www.virginplay.es

DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid

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


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INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM

MCV 27/11/09 43

The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

RUSSIA

UAE

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: info@gameoutlet.se 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: marketing@alesayi.ae U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com

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

DESPITE reports to the contrary, Activision Blizzard has firmly denied that its recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been banned in Russia thanks to its controversial terrorist level – which, fittingly, is called ‘No Russian’. “Reports that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been banned in Russia are erroneous,” a statement from the firm said. “Activision only released a PC version of the game in Russia which went on sale on Tuesday November 10th.” Instead, it turns out that the version of the game released in the territory does not include the infamous level. Activision, however, has told Eurogamer that the decision to edit the game was its own: “Other countries have formal ratings boards that we regularly work with, but Russia does not have a formal ratings entity. As a result, we chose to block the scene after seeking the advice of local counsel.”

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

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

PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE

USA

www.pluto-games.com

TURKEY

Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112

ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul

EA HAS launched specific retail stores for its Sports Active range of games in the US. The shops are in Boston and San Francisco, and opened on November 15th. The stores are open seven days a week, and will close on December 14th. EA UK told MCV that the initiative is currently only taking place in the US.

Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul

UNITED STATES

 GAMESTOP has announced its customers will soon be able to purchase DLC at the tills. The retailer will trial be trialling the new program early next year, which will work in conjunction with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. The scheme will enable customers to pay for digital content in stores, and the download will be available when they return home. GameStop COO Paul Raines said: “A large market for full game downloads is not imminent, but the add-on downloadable market will grow.” Further details have not been given at this stage, but it likely to be available in the form of DLCspecific codes, similar to those sold through Amazon.

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: sales@bascodistribution.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com

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

JAPAN

THE FORMER chairman and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Ken Kutaragi, has established a new company in Tokyo. A report from leading Japanese news group Nikkei claims that Kutaragi-san’s new company is called ‘Cyber AI Entertainment’. Kutaragi, widely known as the ‘father of PlayStation’, has a purported 90 per cent stake in the new firm. Reports also indicate that Cyber AI Entertainment has raised YEN 20m (£134.4m) in capital. The start-up firm will work in the field of internet services, though it is currently unclear exactly how the business will operate and if it will overlap with the game industry.

PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


44-49 MCV565_FINAL:Layout 1

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR

DIRECTORY

DISTRIBUTION

KEY CONTACTS

DISC REPAIR ELM-DIGITALIA UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 TDR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01202 489 500 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 Keyne Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01908 821047 Logic3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471 000 Meroncourt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01462 680060 Trilogy Logistics . . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 456 6400 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21

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

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

THE NEW FORCE IN ENTERTAINMENT

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

DISCSTRIBUTION . . . . . . . +44 (0)845 430 8735 . . . . . . . . . www.discstribution.com GAMING ACCESSORIES

...bringing you all the right lines Nyko DSi Zoom Case

GAMING ACCESSORIES Pinpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558 428 LOCALISATION Partnertrans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 Testronic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 653 722 Universally Speaking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01480 210621

Enigma Multi-Console Power Kit

GameDr Premier Laser Lens Cleaner General enquiries:

01606 558 428

or email: enquires@pinpointce.co.uk

STORE FITTINGS AMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01924 507217 Retail Entertainment Displays . . . . . . . 01733 239001

Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group

PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

"Looking for a new reliable supplier? Look no further!"  Trading for over 8 years, with over 20 years of industry knowledge within the company  Software and hardware distributor  All top platform new releases in stock  Flexible next day delivery to the UK and most European destinations  Over 500 different products in stock at all times  Terms of trading will be 30 days on insured Customers  Shipping is by Customers account, or on our UPS - Fedex or DHL account.  The fastest growing independent distributor in the United Kingdom

Tel: +00441908 821047 Fax: +00441908 821048 Email: carl@keynedistribution.co.uk web: www.keynedistribution.co.uk Unit C105, MKTWO Business Centre, 1-6 Barton Road, Water Eaton Ind Est, Milton Keynes, MK2 3HU

KEYNE DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . 01908 821047 . . . . . . carl@keynedistribution.co.uk

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


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK DISTRIBUTION

EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY DECEMBER 4th

TERRITORY REPORT: INDIA India is one of the most interesting markets for video games in the world. Despite rife piracy and under-developed infrastructure, India’s video games industry continues to grow – not least in terms of mobile. MCV takes a closer look at one of the world’s most intriguing emerging markets.

CHRISTMAS GAMES MARKETING The festive period is upon us and the major publishers are preparing their Q4 marketing campaigns to ensure their latest titles are on the Christmas lists of everyone and anyone. MCV takes a look at the latest marketing initiatives dominating the sector, from extensive TV activity to shopping centre tours. FRIDAY DECEMBER 11th

SPORTS GENRE FOCUS From the ongoing battle between FIFA and PES to the rise of more unorthodox titles such as Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Winter Games, the sports genre has never been stronger. We look at the key titles from this popular sector that are certain to be filling consumers’ stockings this Christmas.

ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY MCV publishes the results of its annual retail survey, quizzing a huge number of retailers for their views on the games industry in 2009. We’ll ask retailers which products have been key, how confident they are in their business and their thoughts on what the next 12 months have in store.

NOVEMBER CHARTS We take an in-depth look at the games industry’s performance during the busiest month of the year. With more new releases hitting shelves than in any other month, including blockbusters such as Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin’s Creed II, which titles dominated sales? Were there any surprise hits? And which September and October releases, such as FIFA, PES and Guitar Hero, continue to hold their own as the battle for Christmas No.1 heats up? FRIDAY DECEMBER 18th

REVIEW OF THE YEAR It has been a dramatic year for the UK video games industry – from a brand new PEGI rating system to significant mergers and acquisitions, involving the likes of Eidos and Midway. In this special feature, MCV runs through the highs and lows of 2009 and takes a close look at what we can expect from 2010. Our review of the Noughties concludes too. FRIDAY JANUARY 8th 2010

50 THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2010 Let’s face it, 2009 wasn’t the easiest year, but with so many major blockbusters planned for 2010 – and in the first quarter as well – there is still plenty to look forward to. To prove it, MCV’s first issue of the year will list 50 things that you should be looking anticipating in the New Year, and if you’ve got any suggestions, then why not let us know?

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

CHRIS.DRING@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION

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

STUDIOS Epic Games ...................................................+1 919 870 1516 nDreams...........................................................01252 375754 Realtime Worlds ...............................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Razorback ...........................................www.razorback.co.uk Stainless Games.......................jobs@stainlessgames.com TOOLS Blitz Games Studios ......................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx ..............................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Crytek ........................................................+49 69219 77660

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

SERVICES amBX UK Ltd. ...............................................www.ambx.com Ian Livingstone..................................+44 (0) 1483 421 491 Imagination Studios..............................+46 (0) 18-106930 Onteca................................................+44 (0) 151 709 0028 Partnertrans.......................................+44 (0) 1753 247 731 TC Associates.................................+44 (0) 7768 883 808 Testology .......................................................07919 523 036 Universally Speaking .......................+44 (0) 1480 210 621 Xaitment............................................+49 6897 - 600 80-0 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 katie.rawlings@intentmedia.co.uk. All subscription requests should go to mcv.subscriptions@c-cms.com CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

The Producers and Trilogy have joined forces to offer a full supply chain management service covering manufacturing, warehousing, fulfilment and distribution Save money - Pay in £ not € - Flexible Inventory

Contact Rob Gross on: +44 (0)845 456 6400 – rgross@trilogy-uk.com

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

TRILOGY LOGISTICS . . . . +44 (0)845 456 6400 . . . . . . . . . . . . www.trilogy-uk.com


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ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK STORE FITTINGS

DISC REPAIR

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

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ELM-DIGITALIA UK. . . . . . . . . 0845 6436021 . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.elmdigitalia.co.uk

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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK LOCALISATION

DIARY DATES ‘09 From the MCV Awards to our next Pub Quiz, here are all the essential industry dates to get in your diary…

DECEMBER GAME CONNECTION EUROPE Tuesday, December 8th – Thursday, December 10th Lyon, France www.game-connection.com PARTNERTRANS . . . . . . . . . . . . 01753 247731 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.partnertrans.com

FEBRUARY

LOCALISATION

Quality Matters

CASUAL CONNECT EUROPE Wednesday, February 10th – Friday, February 12th Hamburg Congress Centre, Germany europe.casualconnect.org

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.

DICE SUMMIT 2010 Wednesday, February 17th – Friday, February 19th Red Rock Casino, Las Vegas, US www.dicesummit.org

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

MIDLANDS MCM EXPO 2010 Saturday, February 20th – Sunday, February 21st Telford International Centre www.mcmexpo.org

MARCH

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

GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Wednesday, March 10th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com/conference/ai.html

LOCALISATION

JUNE

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

E3 2010 Tuesday, June 15th – Thursday, June 17th Los Angeles Convention Centre www.e3expo.com

JULY CASUAL CONNECT SEATTLE Tuesday, July 20th – Thursday, July 22nd Benaroya Hall, Seattle, US seattle.casualconnect.org

AUGUST GAMESCOM Wednesday, August 18th Sunday, August 22nd Cologne, Germany www.gamescom-cologne.com

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

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, the quiz 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.

DEVELOP INDUSTRY PUB QUIZ Monday, December 21st Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk The game development community will reunite at the Sway Bar in Holborn this Christmas for the Develop pub quiz. Once again Develop’s Ed Fear will host the evening, as coders, testers and artists complete for pretty substantial prizes – and the honour of being the biggest brains in games. It’s also a smart networking event, with developers and outsource agencies rubbing shoulders at the bar.


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MAILBOX

‘The worm has turned’

This Worms ad is just one of many unforgettable Virgin Creatives that appeared in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s

This week, Ubisoft marketing boss Murray Pannell looks back at a ’what were we thinking’ advertising moment – as a retailer turns his hand to journalism…

I LOVED the Noughties retrospective this week. Especially the flashback on Page 17 – although you namechecked the incorrect publisher (it was actually one of the greats from the short time I was at Virgin Interactive).

You are, though, probably right that it was a ‘bit strong’. God, it’s still a funny ad – Louise Gaynor and I have just spend the afternoon giggling about it over e-mail. I’m sure anyone that looks will find there were a whole

bunch of suitably insane Virgin ads over this period... they might even warrant a special review section one week when there’s not much news to report! Cheers, Murray Pannell Ubisoft

‘I heart Football Manager’ I THINK I’ve discovered a new games reviewer for MCV (see below). It’s from Ben Ancell, our trading assistant… never before have reviews been so eloquently written. Duncan Cross Asda

DO YOU have a family? A girlfriend? Or significant other? If so, you probably shouldn’t buy Football Manager. I would regard Football Manager as the most addictive gaming franchise of all time; the package should probably

carry a health warning: “Married Men – do not open, as this case carries a divorce”. I recall playing the 2008 edition, and guiding my beloved Leeds back to the Premier League (just where they belong). After one strong season and a cup final, Ken Bates didn’t renew my contract, wanting to take the club in another direction. It was like my girlfriend saying she had cheated on me. What direction is that? Back to League One? I was devastated. I didn’t play the game for three months. I found myself thinking “How

could he?” Like the girlfriend, it took me a while to get over. Now, the above story probably says a lot more about me than it does about the game, but how true to life is this? Ken Bates probably would do that. But those who have played the various iterations over the years will recall the great finds from Sweden, Germany, or even Scotland. Who will forget Stefan Selkavoic, Mark Kerr, Patrik Lomski – none reached the greatness we dreamed for them. Every now and again you will be sat with your mates

watching some international match, and up will pop the Albanian right back, and you will promptly shout: “he’s a right player”. Of course, he isn’t. He shanks it into the crowd, but he was for ten years at Leeds – believe me. That is the true beauty of this game. It can make you forget how poor your team really is, and dilutes reality. You are, after all, the best manager the world has ever seen. The hall of fame says so. Ben Ancell Asda

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

MOBILE.MCVUK.COM


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Off The Record

This week, a LEGO Indiana Jones saves a damsel in distress as Sega celebrates Q4’s arrival with its own Winter Wonderland...

PIC OF THE WEEK There are many pitfalls that Indiana Jones can save a beautiful maiden from – as shown by this promotional shot for LucasArts Indiana Jones 2. However, judging by ex-Blue Peter beauty Zoe Salmon’s predicament, he can’t save you from getting sand in your knickers.

COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION COMPETITION MCV has teamed up with EA to give two lucky readers four Flips e-books on DS. To be in with a shout, simply answer this simple question: Which of these authors’ books feature in Flips? A. Enod Blumton B. Enid Blyton C. Noam Chomsky

SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO FLIPS@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK


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QUOTE OF THE WEEK “Can anyone tell me why MW2 keeps glitching and having time lapse? Come on Xbox Live – [you’re] not usually like this.”

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

LISA MORGAN, GAME

England striker Darren Bent, via Twitter DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION DON MCCABE, CHIPS TIM ELLIS, HMV KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM SARAH JASPER, THE HUT JON BIGGS, MORRISONS AZEEM SADIQ, COMET

FESTIVE GREETINGS... Sega’s takeover of Hyde Park for its Mario & Sonicthemed Winter Wonderland got into full swing last week, with the iconic characters meeting kids and families on a special ice skating rink. The poor buggers. We can imagine the reaction from the actors behind the suits on getting the job: “Yep, I know who Mario is. Working with kids, yep – fine, I’ve no problem with that. What? You want me to dick about on ICE?” We feel for them – and the bruises they’ll pick up between now and January.

IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE Since this photo was taken in 1996, they’ve gone on to become one of the UK’s most lusted after pin-ups – and a staple of any celebrity-obsessed tabloid. But enough of Eidos’ Ian Livingstone – pictured here at ECTS celebrating the launch of Tomb Raider. Recognise the girl sat on his left knee? Why, it’s none other than I’m A Celebrity evacuee Katie Price, looking actually pretty healthy and (dare we say it?) normal. MCV cannot confirm the rumour that one of the other two ‘Laras’ went on to become fellow IACGMOOH contestant and How Clean Is Your Home? alumnus Kim Woodburn.

GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON PETER WILLIS, DSGI IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK JOANNA HUNT, TESCO GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S

Sponsored by

November 20th 2009


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! IN W

: DA EL S Z K F C O RA D T EN IT G IR LE SP

Just in time for Christmas, Nintendo is giving you a chance to win one of five copies of one of the games of the year, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. To be in with a shout, simply answer the following question:

Time flies by when Link’s the driver of a....

A) Bus B) Train C) Renault Espace Send your answer to spirittracks@intentmedia.co.uk

EDITORIAL: 01992 535646



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

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

Please address all enquiries to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Staff Writer: James Batchelor James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk

Production Manager: Suzanne Powles Suzanne.Powles@intentmedia.co.uk

Retail Editor: Ben Parfitt Ben.Parfitt@intentmedia.co.uk

Business Development: Dave Roberts Dave.Roberts@intentmedia.co.uk

US Editor: Colin Campbell Colin.Campbell@intentmedia.co.uk

Contributing Editor: Samantha Loveday Samantha.Loveday@intentmedia.co.uk

Contributors: Ed Fear, Andrew Wooden, Will Freeman, Rob Crossley

Circulation & Marketing: Hannah Short Hannah.Short@intentmedia.co.uk

ADVERTISING: 01992 535647



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

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

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

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

www.intentmedia.co.uk

ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2008

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


“This is the future of shooters.” - PSM3 Magazine

“BRINK has shot to the upper end of 2010’s most wanted list.” - The Telegraph

“BRINK has so many fresh ideas, and backs them up with some equally heavy-duty combat.” - Official Xbox Magazine

“In essence BRINK merges single-player and multiplayer experiences. And it does so beautifully.” - PC Zone

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®

Brink™ © 2009 ZeniMax Media Inc. Brink, Bethesda Softworks, ZeniMax and related logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of ZeniMax Media Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Developed in association with Splash Damage Ltd. Splash Damage and the Splash Damage logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Splash Damage Ltd. All Rights Reserved. “2“, “PS3” and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Windows, the Windows Vista Start button, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies, and ‘Games for Windows’ and the Windows Vista Start button logo are used under license from Microsoft. All Rights Reserved.

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MCV565 November 27th 2009