THE INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Friday December 4 2009 £3.25
THE MARKET FOR COMPUTER AND VIDEO GAMES
Issue 566 Friday December 4 2009 £3.25 14 Sparkling Wada
04 Good GAME
The Square Enix CEO talks new online business models – and Final Fantasy’s future
The retailer teams up with Activision, Xbox and others for the Warchild charity
08 Capcom: The Movie
05 All Worth it Woolies replacement Allworths pledges to grow store count in the UK
The publisher discusses how to expand on IP following new film deal
06 Stream ticket
24 Past masters
Playcast becomes the latest ‘streaming console’ after OnLive and Gaikai
MCV takes a look back at what defined the industry in 2003 and 2004
EVERY BUYER EVERY BRANCH EVERY INDIE EVERY WEEK
Commercial breakdown UK games trade reduces annual Q4 marketing spend by 30 per cent Advertising industry revenues fall £1bn by Christopher Dring THE UK games industry has slashed a third off its Q4 marketing spend for this year – as the economic slowdown wounds the trade in its most crucial period. MCV estimates show that 2009’s Q4 figure is over 30 per cent down compared to
“We’ve definitely been looking to get better value for money,” said Ubisoft’s marketing director Murray Pannell. “Whereas in the past we may have included one or two extravagant elements in our marketing mix, this year we’ve been looking to ensure that every pound we spend has some effect in terms of driving
Marketing departments have faced real pressure on profitability. We’ve made the most of every pound. Murray Pannell, Ubisoft
last year’s astronomical £139m total rate card spend – and can be partly attributed to the cheaper cost of advertising and a lack of new releases this Q4. Publishers have also been tighter with their marketing budgets this year as they come to terms with the global economic downturn.
brand awareness or direct product sales. “A return on investment has never been more important in marketing departments as the challenging marketplace has put pressure on margins and profitability in many sectors.” HMV’s games advertising planner Al Hunter added:
UK marketing teams have had to fight harder than ever for return on investment this Q4
“Whilst we believe passionately that investment in advertising and other forms of promotion will always deliver real benefits, we also have to be mindful of the trading environment, as this inevitably
has an impact on the budgets that are made available to the marketing team.” It’s been a rough year for the UK advertising sector. Industry estimates suggest that ad revenues across the board
in the UK have declined from £8 billion to £6.75 billion between January 1st and the end of October. And this has meant the cost of advertising has tumbled, allowing UK games publishers to benefit from cheaper marketing. “From a media buying perspective we have been able to take advantage of the significant deflation in market prices – our money has gone further than it did last year,” admitted SCE UK marketing director Alan Duncan. Sega’s marketing director Amanda Farr agreed: “The economy has had a positive impact on our ability to gain share of voice and deliver more consumers for every pound that we spend. The number of advertisers outside of gaming has declined this year. The TV market, up to December, was showing deflation and so the cost of reaching our target market has been lower than last year – which applies to most media.”
Wii hits six million in the UK System becomes fastest-selling console in territory’s history by Tim Ingham NINTENDO’S WII has become the fastest-selling home console in the history of the UK, surpassing six million sales after just three years on the market. According to GfKChartTrack upweighted data, the console hit the milestone in week 48 this year – exactly
two years and 51 weeks after it went on sale. The console was given a boost by the launch of the black Wii in mid-November. “Wii launched in December, 2006 and sold 185,000 in just a few weeks,” explained GfK-ChartTrack director Dorian Bloch. “In calendar year 2007, it sold 1.81 million – but really took
off in 2008, with 2.73 million sold. So far in 2009, it’s hit 1.31 million – but it’s got a few weeks to build on that before Christmas.” The Wii still has some way to go to catch the UK’s bestselling console of all time, which at last count was Sony’s PS2. The system has sold through a whopping 10 million units to date.
Nintendo’s Wii is now the fastest-selling console in UK history
PERSONNEL 35 RETAIL BIZ 37 NEW RELEASES 43 HIGH STREET 44 CHARTS 46
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[LEADER] SMART SPENDING Last year MCV estimated that the games industry had spent nearly £140m on marketing over Christmas. At the time we called this ‘the figure that says it all about the rude health of video games.’ 12 months later and the story is a little different. Budgets are tighter, the release schedule is lighter and advertising costs have fallen. £97 million is still a mighty big number, but a 30 per cent year-on-year drop shows what a tough year it has been, and how scrutinised spending is today. But marketing spends haven’t ceased completely. You can’t change channel on TV at the moment without seeing Ant and Dec prance around on a Wii or Microsoft promote its new Xbox Live services. And that’s not to mention the sheer number of ads for Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted and Mario & Sonic. Overall there is more judicial spending going on. Activision’s new GAME for Good campaign is one such more considered push. Pairing Modern Warfare 2 up with a charity will not only drive awareness, but generate good will at the right time of year – a nice antidote to other more negative pieces in the press.
MEET THE NEW WOOLIES You can’t help but notice the absence of Woolworths on the High Street this Christmas. Others have tried to fill the gap; Tesco and Asda have been promoting their non-food departments, and even GAME has started stocking CDs (more on that next week). But it’s not quite the same, especially if the centrepiece to your High Street is a pound store, an Iceland, or worse… nothing at all. So it’s with wide arms that we welcome Alworths to the retail fold. It’s not been an easy ride for Andy Latham’s new chain. One of the original architects, Tony Page, left the project early on, while Shop Direct – owner of Woolworths.co.uk – is threatening legal action over the use of the name Alworths. But with five new stores opened last month – each with a good range of games – and another 17 due in 2010, there’s reason to believe Alworths could become a big High Street player in the years to come.
Trade Called to back War Activision aims to drive 1m Modern Warfare 2 gamers onto Xbox by Christopher Dring ACTIVISION has called on the games industry to get behind its GAME For Good Modern Warfare 2 charity push. The firm is trying to encourage a million Modern Warfare 2 owners onto Xbox Live this weekend (Saturday December 5th and Sunday December 6th). A huge flux of online players will trigger a payout from the publisher of up to £250,000 for War Child. The more gamers online the more money the publisher will pledge to charity. “Our motivation has always been to share the commercial success we were confident in
GAME for Good constitutes the largest single UK investment in Call of Duty outside of the launch period. David Tyler, Activision
achieving with MW2 and to give something back to a charitable cause directly connected with the effects of war,” said Activision UK’s marketing director David Tyler.
“The whole team here at Activision has been incredibly motivated to pull this campaign off and make it a massive success. We hope that the whole games industry will respond and
rally around this initiative to help support War Child. “We believe that one million MW2 players on Xbox Live during the course of the weekend is a stretching, but achievable objective.” Activision has teamed up with GAME and Xbox for a heavy-duty marketing campaign to support the initiative. The campaign will take in TV, online and print activity. Meanwhile gamers can also
FIFA EDGES CLOSE TO 5M MARK
6M REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL Congratulations to Nintendo for hitting the six million mark on Wii hardware in the UK this week. Despite global pressures, the console is still selling well and trending ahead of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With a wealth of top content due over the next 12 months, there’s every reason to believe Wii will still be the industry’s top format come Christmas 2010.
GEM’S SMART SWOOP Finally, as we go to press MCVUK.com has broken the news that Gem has moved to rescue Trilogy. It’s pleasing to see one of the greats of UK distribution look Sto rescue a struggling rival’s assets – and, most importantly, save jobs. Now to win back that exclusive contract with Ubisoft.. Christopher.Dring@intentmedia.co.uk
IT HAS ONLY been on shelves for two months, but the newest FIFA title is already close to breaking the five million sales barrier. EA this week confirmed the game has sold 4.5m units worldwide after eight weeks on the market in Europe and five weeks on sale in North America. The game became the fastest selling sports game in Europe after shifting 1.7m units in week one. EA is now planning to keep consumer interest high through the release of its FIFA Ultimate Team DLC in February.
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Live this weekend for charity initiative
SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV PS3 CAPCOM
2. FINAL FANTASY XIII
buy GAME For Good wristbands in-store at GAME. “The campaign will be unmissable in the run up to launch weekend,” added Tyler. “We really are pulling out all the stops to maximise the donation amount to War Child, help them drive awareness for their work and get people very excited once again at the prospect of MW2 doing something interesting so soon after a massive launch.
“The GAME for Good programme constitutes the largest single investment we have ever made on the Call of Duty business in the UK outside of the direct launch period,” Tyler said. “Our total investment is on a par with our launch week for MW2 and the majority of 18 to 40-year-olds who are in the UK in early December will know what GAME for Good is all about.” Activision: 020 3060 1000
Alworths plans to open 200 stores
PS3 ................................SQUARE ENIX
by Christopher Dring
WOOLWORTHS’ FORMER development boss has told MCV he will open up to 200 Alworths stores throughout the UK – and games will be stocked in all outlets. Andy Latham – MD of the new retail chain – launched the first five Alworths stores last month. He has hired a team to handle the firm’s entertainment offer, which includes a range of DS, 360, PS3 and Wii product. “We’ve opened five stores pre-Christmas and we’re looking for a minimum of 17 more next year,” said Latham. “I believe there is an opportunity for 100 to 200 stores in market town locations. We won’t be in
city centres, as we offer convenience and variety. “Other retailers have been closing, and there has been a public clamour for people to re-invest in High Street. “The response so far has been absolutely fantastic. We are carrying some of the ranges that were missing from the High Street.” The new chain’s games range is centred on familyfriendly software for the four leading platforms, while third party accessories outfit iGlobe is supplying the retailer with peripherals. “We will stock some of those can’t resist games, but we expect our family range to be the focus – with Wii and DS at the centre of our offer.” Alworths: 01737 852 266
3. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION PS3 ..........................................SONY
4. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV 5. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION PS3 ..........................................SONY
6. BAYONETTA 360 ..........................................SEGA
7. ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS......................................NINTENDO
8. GRAN TURISMO 5 PS3 ..........................................SONY
9. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2 PS3 ..............................................EA
10. FINAL FANTASY XIII 360 ................................SQUARE ENIX Week ending November 28th Source: SHOPTO.COM Turn to page 45 for more pre-order charts from leading online retailers
UK SOFTWARE SALES MONITOR Your weekly guide to the UK games software market… The weekly value of the UK software market has risen slightly as we head towards the peak Christmas trading period. Sales rose one per cent to £61.8 million, while unit sales rose eight per cent to 2,589,873. The market’s rise was once again driven by Modern Warfare 2 – despite sales of the game falling 32 per cent. Both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Assassin’s Creed II also enjoyed another big week of sales. Weekly sales are expected to climb as we head towards Christmas, with still a couple of big name titles still set for release – including James Cameron’s Avatar from Ubisoft and Nintendo’s DS hopeful The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
[WEEKLY MARKET VALUE]
Total UK Software Sales Source: ELSPA/ChartTrack and Intent Media
Week Ending November 28th 2009
100 80 60 40 20
0 Modern Warfare 2 held on to the UK No.1 slot this week
Week Ending November 14th Week Ending November 21st
Week Ending November 28th
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GAME details two-tiered Xmas marketing assault on gamers Retail giant prepares separate campaigns for GAME and GameStation brands targeting consumers directly by Christopher Dring RETAIL GIANT GAME has detailed a huge TV, cinema and print pre-Christmas marketing campaign for its two chains. For its Gamestation brand, the group has booked consumer print, TV and national press advertising, with the tagline: ‘Talk to the gamers’.
firm’s “most exciting media campaign to date”, with new media activity including ad vans and cinema marketing. All of the above the line marketing will be accompanied by in-store and online branding. “For both brands, our Christmas marketing is all about the customer and what we can offer them that they
Our Christmas marketing is all about the customer and what we can offer them that they will not get elsewhere. Martyn Gibbs, GAME Group
The TV advertisement will feature a mixture of 30 and 20second ads, and will promote Deals of the Week, bundle offers, pre-owned multibuys, as well as individual products. Meanwhile, the firm’s GAME campaign targets core gamers with the strapline ‘Start here.’ Once again there will be a variety of special in-store and online offers as well as the
will not get elsewhere,” said GAME Group’s customer and brand director Martyn Gibbs. “It reinforces our specialist experience and credentials. We are currently working in close partnership with our suppliers to make sure that both brands are full of product and some great deals to help customers find exactly what they want at great prices.
Gamestation’s extensive campaign will promote the retailer’s customer service and product knowledge
“This is the first Gamestation brand campaign based on the ‘Talk to the gamers’ tagline. It
is based purely on our staff, their knowledge, what they can offer our customers and is
something that no other retailer can compete with.” GAME: 01256 784 000
Horrid Henry to get second Christmas boost SOUTH PEAK is to give Horrid Henry: Missions Of Mischief a shot in the arm with a renewed marketing push. The publisher has drawn up a second marketing campaign to raise awareness of the Wii version, which hits shelves today. The move has also been prompted by the success of the DS and PC versions, released on October 30th. “The DS version is definitely living up to – and exceeding – our expectations, but as with any strong brand, we believe the sales curve is long and it’s
not all about the day one ship and sales,” said managing director Jonathon Hales. “Since launch we’ve seen week-on-week increases in sell-through and we expect this to continue right through to Christmas. “We’re definitely anticipating the Wii version to perform well, thus creating additional demand for all formats.
“Also, from December 4th – to coincide with the Wii launch – we’ll be hitting a
range of high profile children’s TV channels with fantastic creative, which will definitely drive awareness even more.” Hales added that the licence has “performed exceptionally” for South Peak, earning plenty of positive feedback from various retailers. He said: “In fact, many were surprised by the overwhelming initial demand and have been
frantically reordering stock, which is fantastic.” The South Peak boss also said that, should this demand continue and the Wii version provide the expected boost, Missions Of Mischief won’t be the last we see of Henry. “It’s still early days,” he said. “However, let’s just say we are all talking about the options available.” Horrid Henry: Missions Of Mischief is currently available on Wii, DS and PC. South Peak: 0203 176 0417
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New video games streaming service promises publishers long-tail success PlayCast allows gamers to play new titles without the need for a console, brings pay TV model to games by Tim Ingham AN ISREAL-BASED company that directly provides streaming games to set top boxes has claimed its service will offer publishers long-term revenue opportunities when it launches next year. PlayCast allows modern video games to be played live via on-demand TV providers
“If you’re a movie studio, you have your film play in the cinemas, then three months later it’s out on DVD. Three months later again it’s on Sky Box Office, then on Sky Movies, then two years later it’s out on terrestrial. There are six or seven different windows to monetise your product. “But if you’re an EA or an Activision, you are restricted
The reaction has been very positive from publishers. It’s a new way to market. Russel Barash, PlayCast
such as BT and Virgin Media, without the need for a console. The company also claims its streaming service suffers from no latency issues. “The reaction has been very, very positive from publishers,” UK MD of PlayCast Media Russell Barash told MCV. “To them, it’s a new way to market back catalogue.
by one burst of seven or eight weeks when you release a new game in GAME or HMV before it falls off the cliff. You’ve spent millions of dollars on it, but only one real opportunity to make money back. “We allow publishers to keep that retail window, but after a few months they can put it on PlayCast a la carte.
PlayCast’s streaming service opens new release windows to publishers, similar to Sky’s pay TV model
“A few months later again, it drops down another tier on our service, and later it is eventually put it in our basic package of games. We’re essentially bringing the pay TV model to games.”
However, Barash said that once this business model had proven a success, the firm would also look to launch new games ‘day and date’ – simulateneously with their retail release.
His comments come after Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada questioned the future of console hardware in MCV last week in light of the rise of server-based games streaming. www.playcast-media.com
Retailers praise initial U-Sing sales boom U-SING HAS become a big hit on the High Street, as supermarkets and specialist retailers give special support to Wii’s first karaoke game. Universal Music and publisher Mindscape have told MCV they are delighted by the support for the initial instalment of their franchise USing: U’ve Got Talent. Mindscape’s UK general manager Mark Stanger said: “We’ve been greatly encouraged by the support given to U-Sing: U’ve Got Talent.”
The title is being supported by the likes of Asda, Tesco, Game, Morrisons and HMV along with the leading online entertainment retailers. Said Stanger: “These are high quality retailers and we value and appreciate their support in launching the USing franchise with us.” Asda games buyer Laura Lister added: “We have been delighted with the initial results on U-Sing, which is one of our best-selling Wii games. “We’re excited to be involved with the launch of an exciting
U-Sing is one of the Wii’s best-selling titles, according to Asda’ Lister
new brand in our category. It’s a fantastic title that fits well with our customers.”
Universal Music’s Didier Semah added “Universal Music is proud to be involved in the
development of the first karaoke game for Nintendo Wii. “As the real leader in the music industry, Universal Music wants to make U-Sing the leader of all the karaoke games sector. “The first sales results and the strong support from retailers show that we are on the right track.” Mindscape and Universal Music said they would give more details in the coming weeks of their plans to extend the U-Sing franchise in 2010. www.mindscape.co.uk
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Capcom cultivates Hollywood relationships Book and toy spin-offs of Dark Void all possible, says publisher – after Brad Pitt buys rights to franchise by Christopher Dring CAPCOM has confessed it is in regular talks with Hollywood studios to drive interest in its new properties. The firm has already enjoyed cross-media success with its Resident Evil series – and is hoping for something similar with Dark Void, which was last month optioned by Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment production company.
We’re really pleased our core properties can be extended into other mediums and entertainment experiences. Michael Pattison, Capcom
Pitt is now in line to play the lead in the sci-fi game’s movie spin-off. The Resident Evil series spawned three popular films which have grossed over $379m between them. “We’re constantly in touch with production companies
the game before we make decisions on extensions.” He added: “A lot of Capcom properties have proved to be popular amongst consumers not only as video-games but also across several other media such as mobile games, PC online games, character-based goods and merchandise, books, DVDs, trading cards, and even orchestra concerts and theatrical plays. “We’re really pleased that our core properties – namely the video game – can be extended into other mediums within the umbrella of entertainment experiences. “As we all know people are looking for a wide-range of entertainment experiences and we aim to satisfy these needs.” Dark Void is due to hit Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on January 15th, 2010.
regarding our properties,” senior marketing director Michael Pattison told MCV. “When Plan B came in and expressed an interest we were very happy to listen to their thoughts on the property. In all honesty, we were overwhelmed by their knowledge of the game and their enthusiasm was unparalleled. We’re looking forward to this developing.” Pattison added that Capcom would wait to see how well
Dark Void would be receieved by the gaming public before confirming its potential as a long-term franchise. “We’re certainly in a position to further extend the property into other areas, but as mentioned before, we need to gauge consumer reaction to
Capcom: 020 8846 2566 Time will tell if Dark Void has franchise potential, says Pattison
Licensing deals to drive new IP Jig-A-Pix ZUSHI GAMES plans to drive sales for its new DSi puzzle brand Jig-A-Pix with a range of high profile licensing deals. The Jig-A-Pix series is the newest IP from the publisher, and tasks players with rebuilding picture puzzles with the stylus. No less than five entries are due for release before March. “We have high hopes for JigA-Pix and the future of the brand,” marketing executive Chris Walton told MCV. “Following the Brand Licensing Show in October, we are now in discussions with a number of household brands to further broaden the appeal and reach of the brand.
The Jig-A-Pix range supports the DSi’s built-in camera – something Zushi sees as a key selling point
“We already have the second phase of launches lined up in Jig-A-Pix Love Is… and Jig-A-Pix Smiley World, which will release in February. Also expect to see the Jig-A-Pix brand expanded into the younger market with titles branded JigA-Pix Kids during 2010.”
A key selling point for the Jig-A-Pix range will be the camera functionality. While each edition will contain plenty of preset puzzles for DS Lite owners, DSi users will be able to create their own with the handheld’s built-in camera.
“The unique functionality of the DSi is central to the wide appeal of the Jig-A-Pix range,” Walton explained. “The ability to take a picture of anything and create any one of a variety of puzzles from it is not only a first for the format but also exactly what the
game-playing public is looking for in the new DSi console. “We only have to look at the new Nintendo TV ads to see that this new functionality is exactly what the consumer is looking for when considering a DS or DSi. “I can assure you that we have seen very strange puzzles being put together with Jig-APix and it’s the first thing everyone wants to do when they pick up the game.” The first instalments in the Jig-A-Pix series – Pets, Wonderful World and Wild World – were released towards the end of last month. Zushi: 0114 263 6030
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Batman bundle boosts Warner 2008 family hit enjoys new chart success as Xbox 360 bundles drive sales resurgence by James Batchelor WARNER BROS is delighted that LEGO Batman is enjoying a new lease of life, racking up sales that put it head to head with the likes of Forza 3, GTA and Mario & Sonic. Despite being released back in September 2008, the game has seen renewed success thanks to its inclusion in various Xbox 360 bundles.
the Top 10 of the GfK ChartTrack All Formats Charts. Warner is understandably pleased with this success and is confident the current bundles will continue to sell well. The publisher will also be looking for similar retail opportunities and partnerships in the future to help boost its back catalogue titles. “We’re committed to offering consumer programs
The sales success of the LEGO Batman bundle shows how well such initiatives can work in the marketplace. Spencer Crossley, Warner Bros
LEGO Batman: The Video Game, along with Disney’s Pure, is available with a wireless controller in Microsoft’s Wireless Entertainment Pack. The two games are also included in one of the platform holder’s newest Xbox 360 Elite hardware packages. Strong 360 bundle sales have driven LEGO Batman to new heights, propelling it back into
Spencer Crossley expects even greater success from future LEGO titles
UBISOFT: Assassin’s Creed II has sold than 1.6 million units in its first week on sale – 32 per cent more than the first title in the same period. ACTIVISION: Broadpoint analyst Ben Schachter has estimated that Activision could generate as much as $140 million in revenue from the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 DLC, due for release in the spring.
and joint initiatives like the LEGO Batman bundle, and the ongoing sales success demonstrates how well it is working in the marketplace,” said sales and marketing director Spencer Crossley. “The LEGO video game franchises are extremely strong for WBIE and we will be building on that wide appeal with LEGO Rock Band this
SQUARE ENIX: Just Cause 2 will be published in the UK under the company’s Eidos label on March 26th, 2010.
Christmas and LEGO Harry Potter in 2010.” For the week ending November 14th, the title reached seventh place in the charts, outselling some of this
Blu-Ray repair firm targets UK ELM-DIGITALIA is working to expand its presence in the UK by promoting its range of Blu-ray repair machines. The company’s Eco series has sold more than 4,000 machines in its home market of Japan and ELM is working hard to raise awareness of the range in order to recreate this success in Britain. “We are doing some advertising both in print and online but the games industry is very close knit and so most of our brand development is viral,” said general director Joaquin Abati. “Some of the new and successful chains, such as
CEX, are already virtually exclusive ELM customers. In our experience, once someone has used ELM machines, they never want to use any other manufacturers.” Some models of the Eco series are already available to retailers,
MICROSOFT: More than two million people have logged into Facebook with the Xbox Live social media update. More than one million users have set up Last.FM profiles, and over 1.7 million have watched videos from the new Zune marketplace.
having previously been under the RTI brand. Now back under the ELM label, the devices still repair scratched Blu-ray discs by carefully shaving micrometers off the Blu-ray coating. The Eco-Super machine repairs 500 discs at a time, and repairs up to 240 per hour. The firm claims it provides consistently perfect results on both DVD and Blu-ray repairs. Also available is the 50-disc Eco-Master and single-disc Eco-Clever. ELM-Digitalia: 0845 6436021
year’s biggest triple-A releases, including PES 2010 and Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City. Warner Bros: 0207 984 6718
ICE joins forces with Daily Mirror ICE GAMES have signed a deal with Trinity Mirror Group to provide gaming editorial for the Daily Mirror website. The firm’s Cheats Unlimited website was integrated into the Mirror’s website – which boasts eight million unique users per month – last week. “The Mirror deal is part of many exciting partnerships lined up by ICE Games, and shows our commitment to growth and expansion within the online media industry,” said ICE MD Michael Halton. www.ice-games.co.uk
NINTENDO: Reggie FilsAime claims nine million female gamers regularly play on their Wii, compared to an additional two million spread across the other formats. EA: There are now more than 1,000 songs available for download on the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii editions of EA’s Rock Band series. SONY: LittleBigPlanet has won a BAFTA Children’s Award, fending off rivals from EA, Rare and THQ.
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Sega elated by Bayonetta scores Publisher prepares to usher in 2010’s first triple-A release as action adventure title garners critical acclaim by James Batchelor SEGA HAS called Bayonetta the first triple-A launch of 2010 following its perfect score from Edge Magazine. The action adventure title developed by acclaimed studio Platinum Games is due for
time,” said senior product manager Ben Walker. “On hearing Famitsu’s 40/40 score last month and the buzz that review created, we were confident of seeing a similar response from the UK gaming press and we have not been disappointed.
We could not be better positioned and we are confident Bayonetta will perform to our expectations. Ben Walker, Sega
release on January 8th in Europe, and has also received a 40/40 from Famitsu and 9/10 from Eurogamer. And Sega will be using this critical acclaim as a part of its upcoming bumper Bayonetta marketing campaign. “We’ve known Bayonetta is a quality product for some
“Edge’s 10/10 is an amazing achievement considering how rare an event that is. We also scored a 9/10 from Eurogamer, and having three fantastic scores from three of the most influential specialist media outlets in the world has put Bayonetta well and truly on the gaming radar.
Bayonetta’s visuals and gameplay have won over critics worldwide
“The launch campaign will be an accolade driven campaign with heavy weight TV, online and print advertising. It is a campaign that reflects the confidence that we have in this title.” Bayonetta will kick off a busy Q1 period for the games
industry, which features major new releases including BioShock 2, Mass Effect 2 and Final Fantasy XIII. But Walker is confident that Bayonetta’s reviews will allow it to rise above the competition. “Releasing in Q1 was a strategic move taken some
time ago and Bayonetta will be the first triple-A release of 2010,” he added. “It’s clearly a very busy start to the new year. However, we could not be better positioned and we are confident Bayonetta will perform to our expectations. Sega: 020 8995 3399
EEK W E H T F O N IG A P M CA
IT TRACKS IR P S : A D L E Z F O THE LEGEND
Nintendo prepares an extensive campaign as the Legend Of Zelda series steams back onto High Street shelves…
RELEASED: DECEMBER 11 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
TV The main focus of Spirit Tracks’ marketing will be the TV campaign, which begins on the game’s release day. During the following weeks TV spots will run across various channels, conveying the magic of the Legend Of Zelda series and the rich visual style of the game. The ads will raise awareness
among established Zelda fans about the franchise’s return and entice gamers yet to experience Link’s adventures. ONLINE The online advertising will support the TV spots, with site takeovers arranged with all major gaming portals.
The creative will focus on the familiar characters and artwork, as well as featuring a trailer to show off the game’s key features. Each online ad will link back to the official Spirit Tracks website, which provides more information on the game. RETAIL A wide range of vibrant POS will be available to retailers, showing off the eye-catching Spirit Tracks imagery. Available POS includes standees, chocolate boxes, cubes and wobblers.
ÂŠ 2009 Activision Publishing, Inc. Activision, Call of Duty and Modern Warfare are registered trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved. War Child is an international charity that protects children suffering from the brutal effects of war and its consequences. War Child is a UK registered charity no. 1071659. *Measurement of unique online players will include both special ops and multiplayer game modes.
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14 MCV 04/12/09
MCV INTERVIEW YOICHI WADA, PRESIDENT & CEO, SQUARE ENIX
Wada’s vision How does one of the world’s oldest games publishers build its reputation on the global stage and prepare for the online tidal wave that will up-end the console business? Michael French speaks to the head of Square Enix to find out… IT’S EASY BUT UNFAIR to paint to cater to the numerous platforms as publisher CEOs as ruthless, profitwell. We have to take in a lot of genres hungry monsters. But on paper Yoichi – that explains our regional spread.” Wada is cut from that very cloth. The biggest challenge for Square Enix The former chief financial officer of is a commen theme: harnessing online. Square ascended to the role of CEO at And, as we revealed last week, Wada the start of the decade to maneuver the believes that in the long term content firm through three audacious deals. The delivered to TVs and computers by highfirst was a merger with RPG rival Enix seed internet will grow so potent as to in 2002, followed by the acquisition of make consoles redundant. Space Invaders firm Taito three years “In 10 years time what we later. He completed the triumvirate this traditionally call ‘console games’ simply May by securing a strong Western won’t exist,” he explains. “Somewhere operation via the acquisition of Eidos. around 2005 the console manufacturers’ Square Enix is now one of the biggest strategy shifted. In the past the platform publishers in Japan, and a global was hardware, but that switched to the heavyweight. network. A time will come when the So yes, on paper that reads like the hardware isn’t even needed any more.” work of a master strategist. And it is. But He’s not just talking about the current spend just a few minutes with Wada and fad of social games (even though he has he’s clearly more than an opportunist – charged a team in Japan with working he has a clear vision for the future of the industry. On the surface Final Fantasy One minute he remarks might seem exhausted – but on the irony of a busy we create different, highly boss not having enough immersive stories with each. time to play his team’s creations, the next he’s Yoichi Wada, Square Enix passionately defending claims that the Japanese market is in a on social games for that market), but the slump (he’s also the chairman of Japan’s wider issue of delivering content to ELSPA-equivalent CESA). connected platforms. “Depending on who we talk to the THE BIG VISION issues around social and browser games Right now, Wada’s big preoccupation is is risky,” he says, adding that even the keeping Square Enix relevant globally. term ‘social games’ is too specific. Games have never been so popular to so “But it is a an important area to many different audiences, and never address because it isn’t related to any been spread across so many platforms. consoles and doesn’t need specific Wada wants his firm to be there on hardware to run it, just applications, on every one, and courting every gamer. the client-side. I believe that these types “Games as a form of entertainment of games are going to be spreading and only have only 20 years of history, but it growing dramatically – especially in areas is something that will be penetrating all like Asia which does not have as many over the world in the years to come,” penetration of consoles. Its penetration he tells MCV when asked about his power and destruction capability mean decade spent expanding the publisher. it’s an area we must tap into.” “It can penetrate into all sorts of Destruction capability – Wada demographics, so we have to base our chooses his words carefully, but even corporate strategy on this. There are a then the answer is dramatic. He is lot of cultures to address, and we need convinced that a transformation is due.
CHANGE OF PACE
Emphasis has been placed on both growing the Square Enix business and spicing up its heartland property Final Fantasy. Hence on the one hand the Eidos buy, new social games development, and studio collaboration between its entrenched Tokyo and new Montreal teams – while pushing Final Fantasy XIII as a highly massmarket property and releasing new MMO Final Fantasy XIV. “Final Fantasy is our flagship title – so there is no way we will relax our attitude to it,” Wada asserts when asked how such a traditional franchise vies with the new digital frontier. He also baulks at the idea that Final Fantasy, which has been countlessly iterated, is getting tired. “I have thought about this for a while and a when a game has a good backstory and game world it’s something we cannot exhaust,” he says. “On the surface it might seem exhausted, but it’s what behind it that counts – we create different, highly immersive stories with each game. Take Mickey Mouse, he doesn’t seem exhausted. There are a lot of stories associated with him.” Final Fantasy XIII is one of those big, epic stories – but now it has subtle tweaks such as a Leona Lewis soundtrack to give it more Western appeal.
Beyond that, though, comes PS3 MMO FFXIV. It’s not Square Enix’s first such game – it successfully run FFXI on PS2, Xbox 360 and PC over the last six years, but it was outshone by World of Warcraft, the genre’s posterboy. Yet come next year Square Enix will be having to fight not just Blizzard, but also EA, LucasArts, Atari and others claiming to have the next big MMO. Wada won’t rock the boat too much, though – the shrewd accountant in him says the business model for FFXIV will
WADA, WADA EVERYWHERE: The CEO of Square Enix has overseen the company’s keen expansion in Japan through two mergers, and in the West via its Eidos acqusition earlier this year
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MCV 04/12/09 15
MCV INTERVIEW YOICHI WADA, PRESIDENT & CEO, SQUARE ENIX be the now-traditional mix of subscriptions and item transactions, plus sales of the game on disc. “The basic model hasn’t changed.” But he says the firm has learnt lessons. “In our first MMO we didn’t set up the transaction model that well. We thought that it would be a benefit for users, but that we wouldn’t have to charge. We soon learnt that there are a lot of people who want that kind of model, so we would like to introduce more pay-as-you-use items into the game.” As the industry gears up for that new wave of MMOs, Wada sees an opportunity: He reckons that when WoW players look to switch, it won’t necessarily be to another Blizzard MMO. “WoW is a tough competitor – they are very good. But whether you are talking about EverQuest, Ultima or Lineage there has never been a company that has continuously had the successful number one and two MMOs,” he says. DESTRUCTIVE CAPABILITY
That leads back to his view that nothing can be taken for granted in the online space. But does he really think consoles will die out? Isn’t that a problem for the ecosystem of format-holders, developers and publishers the industry has cultivated? “First of all the distributors and sales firms will see a big negative impact,” he concedes. “But since 2000 the format holders have known this shift was coming. Instead of relying on the hardware layer, the network becomes the operating system. That move away from clients to the network is something Microsoft has done – moving from clients to the server is something Sony has done. “That is an over-simplified explanation, but philosophically it is how we distinguish what is happening in those companies.” Press him on a larger timescale, however, and then he plays it safe. “It’s tough to say at this moment,” he says, referring to the looser ten year timescale – but makes it clear the transition’s inevitability appeals to his hunger for expansion. “The exact timing at which [consoles] will go away is hard to determine – but it will happen. With that you can see that any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform in which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential growth of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”
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© SEGA. SEGA, The SEGA logo and BAYONETTA are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation. Developed by PlatinumGames Inc. (PS3 Version Converted By SEGA) “2”, “PlayStation”, “Ã” and “À“ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
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18 MCV 04/12/09
THE BIG QUIZ
THE MCV once again teams up with the generous folks at Xbox 360 and fellow Pub Quiz sponsors to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a plentiful bounty of incredible prizes. Best of luck, folks... THE MCV/XBOX 360 Christmas quiz took place this week at London’s Sway Bar, with third party publishers, leading retailers and various media types all battling out to be the biggest festive brains in games. But, for now, here’s the chance for all our readers to join in the fun – or at least win all the booty... And so this is Christmas. And what have you done? Another year older? Well, yes, obviously John, thanks. But, if
you’re Xbox 360, you’ve done a whole lot more than let 365 days click round. You want bullet points? We’ve got bullet points: European installed base reached 10 million Socal apps Twitter and Facebook added to Xbox Live Sky Player added to Xbox Live LastFM added to Xbox Live Elite Xbox 360 ERP dropped to £199
1) WHO WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO LEAVE I’M A CELEBRITY THIS YEAR? A) KATIE PRICE B) CAMILLA DALLERUP C) GEORGE BERNARD
THE BOOTY BANK Courtesy of Big Quiz sponsor Microsoft and eight round sponsors, one lucky winner will bag this lot…
Halo ODST Lips Number One Hits Forza Motorsport 3 Project Natal unveiled at E3
The effect was of a format continuing its path from games machine to social hub, with music, TV, movies and networking all being moved up in the mix. Natal, of course, was a nod to the future. But Chrimble’s a time for
looking back, not forward. Most importantly, it’s a time for rampant consumerism and crippling levels of gluttony. With that in mind, have a crack at the following questions and see if you can scoop the rather wonderful stash of prizes listed below. Then, you can either greedily keep them all for yourself, or use them as Christmas presents and use the money you save to drink yourself stupid...
2) WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE RECENT FILM ABOUT JOHN LENNON?
3) WHO WERE THE ‘SINGING’, ‘DANCING’ TWINS THAT BECAME FAMOUS ON X FACTOR?
A) BIG JOHN, LITTLE JOHN B) LIVERPOOL ECHOES C) NOWHERE BOY
A) JOHN AND EDWARD B) ROUMULUS AND REMUS C) BILL AND BEN
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MCV 04/12/09 19
THE BIG QUIZ
BIG QUIZ 4) WHO BEAT MANCHESTER UTD AT OLD TRAFFORD IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LAST WEEK? A) PORTO B) BESIKTAS
C) INTER MILAN
5) WHICH CHAIN OF BOOZE SHOPS RECENTLY WENT BUST IN THE UK? A) THRESHERS B) THRASHERS
6) IN CULTISH TV SHOW HARPER’S ISLAND WHO TURNED OUT TO BE THE KILLER? A) THEY ALL DID IT B) THE POLICEMAN
7) THE FIRST CARRY ON FILM WAS CALLED CARRY ON... A) SERGEANT B) NURSE C) BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE IS DEATH 8) WHAT’S THE ERP OF AN XBOX ELITE? A) £299 B) £249 C) A QUITE ASTONISHINGLY REASONABLE £199
SEND YOUR ANSWERS TO THEBIGQUIZ@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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20 MCV 04/12/09
MCV INTERVIEW IAN LIVINGSTONE, LIFE PRESIDENT, EIDOS
No ‘stone unturned A hero of British publishing and development for the past four decades, Ian Livingstone finds himself at the centre of Square Enix’s ‘new’ Eidos. Tim Ingham catches up with Lara Croft’s right-hand man… Can you give us a general impression of how the Square UK ‘merger’ has gone – and how it’s changed the company’s strategy? Internally, everybody agrees that the merger has gone really well. We are seeing lots of collaboration within the combined business. The job now for Square Enix Europe is to grow the European market with our combined portfolio of products. What are Eidos’ key titles moving into Christmas? For a title to become a big hit it is no longer a requirement for it to be released at Christmas. Some people say Q1 is the new Q4... But going into Christmas we hope to have continued success with Batman: Arkham Asylum and we will also be launching Pony Friends 2, the much-awaited sequel for fans of the original hit title. In the New Year we are looking forward to releasing Just Cause 2. 2010 is going to be exciting not just because of the Eidos label games, but also for the Square Enix label games being released, notably Final Fantasy XIII on 9th March.
What are the strengths in Eidos’ portfolio – and which gaps would you like to fill... Eidos has a great history of creating single player action adventure games with original characters and strong storylines. Clearly we are in a changing games world as more and more content is not only being delivered online but is also being played online. Personally I would like to see more co-op and multiplayer options in our games, both offline and online. Going forward, online functionality must be a necessity rather than just a nice option to have. By that I mean fully-functional multi-player online play. It will also be important to have more social network elements tied into our product offerings.
Can adult titles succeed on Nintendo formats? Have the ‘glory’ times passed for third parties like yourselves on Wii and DS? Both the Wii and the DS have been spectacular successes. Nintendo has proved that success comes from creating a gameplay experience to match the functionality of the consoles. There is no point doing straight ports of PS3/360 titles onto Wii and expecting them to sell in huge numbers. Why bother? The Wii focuses on its unique gameplay created by the motion controller, not graphics. If somebody wants a graphics-intense game, they will buy it on PS3 or 360. However, the rush to publish on Wii and DS has resulted in too many titles
Facebook app and watching movies through Blu-Ray. This console cycle is likely to have a long tail so yes; the best is yet to come for PS3.
PSPgo hasn’t been the ‘explosion’ some were predicting. What do you think the future holds for the console? PSPgo is a great piece of hardware. But it’s software that sells hardware and PSPgo is yet to offer the exclusive musthave titles it needs to fight the competition. Perhaps ‘minis’ will make it happen, offering bite-sized chunks of gaming to compete with the iPhone, a device that has jumped into the handheld space with 100,000 iApps, many of which are great little games. And of course innovative titles on the DS are still When 3D gaming can be selling very well. achieved without ‘should have PSPgo’s future is not gone to Specsavers’ gags, it without its challenges but at least the platform will have a real chance. holder is taking a Ian Livingstone, Eidos progressive step to that are just not good enough or challenge the network-only devices. appropriate for the platform. Inevitably the number of new titles 2009 is very much the year that coming out will shrink over time but digital distribution came into its really innovative titles can still be hugely own. How do you see this market successful, even for third party publishers. maturing in the next few years? Have some boxed products/retail avenues had their day? What do you make of the potential It has been reported that disc-based of PS3? Is the best yet to come from delivery of interactive content is likely the console in terms of sales? to disappear within ten years and high It feels like the dawn of a new age for PS3. This hardware cycle saw Sony slow speed fibre optic networks will facilitate delivery and consumption of games. I’m off the mark, not only third to market not so sure it’s that black and white. It’s but also launching the most expensive partly a matter of taste. console. But recently there have been Whilst there will be an eversome significant gains; excellent titles increasing demand for online digital coming out, the slim version and a price gaming, some people will still want drop. Offering BBC iPlayer functionality boxed games. Some will still want single is a big plus. player offline games. The PS3 wants to become the Look at books. In their physical form entertainment hub of the living room; they have hardly been wiped out by used for playing games, social gaming digital books. It’s a historical inevitability with SingStar, gaming and commerce that there will be a decline in sales of through PSN, social interaction using its
boxed products, but it’s nowhere near dinosaur time yet. Has Xbox 360 broken out of its ‘core’ audience? Xbox 360 is in a similar position to the PS3 in that it is more than just a games console. The 360 now has Twitter functionality, Sky Player, streams HD movies, has great online gaming, Live Arcade for the more casual games and user-generated games. It’s a multiple entertainment device with the added attraction of Natal on the horizon promising to deliver new games experiences for wider audiences. The 360 is definitely trying hard to broaden its appeal and I believe it is succeeding. However, it now faces stronger competition from PS3.
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MCV 04/12/09 21
MCV INTERVIEW IAN LIVINGSTONE, LIFE PRESIDENT, EIDOS
Will games retail exist on the High Street in a decade? Without doubt there will still be games stores on the High Street in a decade. They might have a different product mix, selling more time cards and gamesenabled/related devices and peripherals as well as games, but retail will remain an important distribution point and consumer-facing flagship for the industry. Project Natal: Revolutionary technology or gimmick? What do you predict for the accessory’s future? Maybe both – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Certainly Project Natal is a very impressive and compelling piece of technology. The question will be how to make bespoke games and interactive
Livingstone believes Project Natal has great potential – but that developers still have to solve how to make nongimmicky bespoke games for it
entertainment as amazing as the technology promises today. Project Natal needs to be the facilitator of an entertainment experience that can’t be had elsewhere. That’s the challenge. Right now the signs are excellent. Can 3D become an industry standard? Or do you think titles like Ubisoft’s Avatar will be remembered as a distraction rather than a brave new world? For me, having to wear glasses is not a great pleasure. And I have to wear them in everyday life. When 3D can be achieved on screen without having to listen to all the ‘should have gone to Specsavers’ quips, then it has a real chance.
What do you make of the rise of pre-owned at companies such as GAME? You can’t exactly claim that the practice is good for either publishers or developers. 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 preowned titles to developers or publishers, these content owners will develop creative online ways to ensure consumers retain ownership of their video 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 products.
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2003
MCV’s look back at how the games industry fared during the last decade continues with a focus on what happened in 2003. Michael French flicks through the archives…
[THE BIG PICTURE]
THE LAUNCH, CRASH AND BURN OF N-GAGE IT WAS POTENTIALLY one of the most exciting moves into games – and one of the boldest. Nokia was keen to tap into the handheld market made lucrative by the Game Boy Advance and stabilise the shaky world of mobile games. The solution: launch a games-dedicated phone. The N-Gage was first unveiled in 2002 but Nokia’s attack plan didn’t actually kick in until 2003. It certainly knew, on paper at least, how to do things on our turf. Kick things off with an E3 press event, spend big on marketing (1), work closely with publishers for key content and launch games, sign up one of the best games industry distributors to move the contract-free hardware (2), and get retail on board (3). But things weren’t meant to be. A stupidly high price, and a series of public relations gaffes (a silly launch event on the London Eye and even sillier E3 presser) pretty much killed demand. The ads were strange – boasting about about sexy acts in car parks is something we save for industry events, not consumer marketing, after all (4). Non-sensically criticising ChartTrack when the device didn’t sell was a bone-headed move, too (5). Of course it probably didn’t help that the handset was truly awful. You had to open it up to change game cards, and it wasn’t a very good phone either thanks to and awkwardly-placed earpiece and microphone. Excitement for the GBA and rival PSP proved that at the time the best people to make games formats were games companies, not new pretenders. A 2004 redesign tried to fix the handset, and the brand eventually became a (now dead) distribution platform. But it was the debut mistakes of 2003 which made N-Gage’s failure an inevitability.
[2003: THE KEY GAMES RELEASES] Beyond Good and Evil Ubisoft It’s a cult hit, but it did well enough to ensure a) lots of affection from the hardcore and b) a sequel, unveiled last year.
EyeToy Sony This UK-made camera and software bundle laid the foundation for new interfaces in games – years before Wii.
EVE Online CCP The Icelandic-made MMO made a quiet debut in 2003 – but today it is one of the hottest MMOs.
Championship Manager 4 Eidos Sports Interactive’s last take on the sports franchise before the studio’s split with Eidos was the year’s biggest PC launch.
The Simpsons: Hit and Run VU Games It may be missing from 2003’s bestseller list, but this one went on to become a sales juggernaut in the years to follow.
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2003
[CUBE IN CRISIS] THE GAMECUBE FELT the biggest pinch in 2003 – it was Nintendo’s darkest year. Retailers started cutting back shelf space as sales momentum slowed, leading publishers and developers to likewise turn away. Nintendo Europe tried to block indies from selling imports and refused to change the price until late in the year, which didn’t help goodwill, either. Key first party releases kept the platform viable – but not as a real contender opposite the established PS2 or the increasingly popular Xbox. But the GBA remained popular – buoyed by the surprise release of the GBA SP, which addressed criticisms of the original device’s badly-made screen Of course, as we know now, Nintendo was learning lessons fast, and was hard at work on some unique new hardware releases that would pick it out of the doldrums in the following years…
[THE ANGEL OF DEATH]
PUTTING THE 2003 Lara Croft game in our list of the year’s key releases would seem a bit cruel – the only thing important about Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was that it spelt one of the lowest points in Eidos’ history. The firm was so hamstrung by its financial timetable the publisher forced internal studio Core Design to quickly finish up its work on Lara’s already-delayed first PS2 outing and release it for summer. The result, a buggy badly-reviewed game, sold well at first but prompted all sorts of chaos – including the movement of developement to US sister studio Crystal Dynamics, and a restructuring for Core. Not UK games development’s proudest moment.
[‘AD ENOUGH YET?]
WITH PLAYSTATION 2 a global hit, Sony struck while the iron was hot at E3 2003 by revealing it was working on a handheld version, the PSP. No images were released, but we did get tech specs boasting about something that developers could take advantage of called NURBS (a fancy way to draw curves, it turns out). An investors meeting later in the year let slip the above render, along with details of a plan to put PlayStation at the centre of the Sony business as it prepared for a long-term switch to digital distribution. Sure, hindsight means we know how things went (slowly, and financially troubling) for Sony – but at the time this was bold, cutting edge stuff.
[2003: UK’S BEST-SELLING GAMES] Title
1 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
2 FIFA 2003
3 Grand Theft Auto 3
4 Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets EA
WE’VE SPENT A fair bit of space in these retrospectives slagging off bad/stupid industry ad campaigns and we’ve already written off the N-Gage ones (left) so let’s single out a genuinely great one. This funnier-than-most treatement for SoulCalibur II saw respectable business men fight it out using foodstuffs to represent the outlandish flamboyancy of the fighting game. There’s a decent beat ‘em up in the idea of unemployed city traders trading blows with their lunch. Fighting Mama, maybe.
Format PS2 PS2, PSone, Xbox, PC, GC, GBA PS2, PC
PS2, PSone, GBA, PC, GBC, GC, Xbox
5 Medal of Honor: Frontline
PS2, Xbox, GC
6 LOTR: The Two Towers
7 Metal Gear Solid 2
8 Gran Turismo 3
10 Monsters Inc
PS2, GBA, GC, Xbox, PC GBA, PSone, GBC, PS2, PC (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
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26 MCV 04/12/09
NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2004
Continuing our look through the history of games this decade we look back to the Manhunt furore, arrival of the DS, and demise of UK games trade shows…
[THE BIG STORY]
DAILY MAIL SPARKS PR NIGHTMARE ALTHOUGH MANHUNT ACTUALLY hit in late 2003, it wasn’t until mid 2004 that the Rockstar game grabbed headlines. And not through any volutary choice by the developer’s usual skirting on the edges of controversy. ‘Murder by PlayStation’ screamed The Daily Mail’s front page one day, followed by ‘Ban these evil games’ the next. Rockstar’s game stood accused of being the persuasive force in a tragic murder – and the tabloid wanted to set its own agenda on the matter. It was also a classic case of the media outside of games not really getting the medium. And of course not letting the facts get in the way of an easy story. Reports claimed 17-year-old murderer Warren LeBlanc was obsessed with Rockstar’s game – but the hearing soon uncovered that it was actually the 14-year-old victim Stefan Pakeerah who owned and played game. Any links between the 18-rated game and the case itself have since been long quashed, but at the time the whole incident was a public relations crisis for the trade, as ELSPA, retailers and publishers all tried showing a united force against the bad press. Of course, the discussion around how those gamers under 18 were able to get their hands on adult-rated games wouldn’t rear its head until the sequel to Manhunt arrived in 2007 and in turn sparked The Byron Review…
[2004: THE KEY GAMES RELEASES] Far Cry Ubisoft, PC 2004 was a big year for PC games. Ubisoft’s shooter was the first in a set of big titles hitting the platform.
World of Warcraft Blizzard, PC The world’s most popular MMO also made its debut, solidifying Blizzard’s role as one of the industry’s smartest studios.
Half-Life 2 Valve, PC Meanwhile, Valve’s latest didn’t just offer a genre-defining FPS, but a game-changing digital distribution platform, too.
GTA: San Andreas Rockstar, PS2 Just two years after the launch of Vice City, the newest GTA broke sales records around the world. It topped the year’s chart.
Halo 2 Microsoft, Xbox It arrived in the shadow of San Andreas, but Halo 2 still did strong numbers, and primed the world for the Halo 3.
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NOUGHTIES RETROSPECTIVE: 2004
AFTER A DISASTROUS 2003, Nintendo came out fighting to reveal it was working on a new handheld. One with… two screens. It wasn’t an obvious strategy, and initial confusion wasn’t helped by a bamboozling initial press release. “Players can look forward to being able to manage their game progress from two different perspectives, enhancing both the speed and strategy of the challenge,” Nintendo said – without actually saying anything. “Nintendo DS makes it possible to perform tasks in real time by simply glancing from one screen to the other.” Despite the fact more retailers were ditching the GameCube, the firm had the last laugh. An impressive showing at E3 (using a rough-around-the-edges prototype – pictured above) started to help the tide turn away from the PSP.
[ONLINE GAMING COMES OF AGE]
2004 OFFERED THE clearest indication that online games were no longer a niche part of the games industry. Sure, the debut of World of Warcraft towards the end of the year helped the already-established MMO category hit mainstream status – but the bigger signs came earlier, thanks to growing momentum for Xbox Live, which launched in 2003. Microsoft boasting that London was one of the biggest Live-using cities was one thing – more impressive was the news that retailers were ramping up preorders for Live-enabled games in order to satisfy demand. It was a key development for the format which helped Xbox outshine GameCube and cement its status as a worthy, feature-packed rival to the bestselling PS2.
[WARNER WADES IN]
IF YOU WANTED evidence that the games market can be hamstrung by its reliance on physical product look no further. With PS2 so popular, and Sony driving interest with a new slimline model, the last thing anyone needed was for stock to run out – which promptly happened just in time for Christmas. The closure of trading routes through the Suez Canal, of all things, were cited for the logjam, with Sony having to fly in emergency supplies. Xbox and GBA stocks also started to water down – with pundits saying around £50m in sales were lost thanks to empty shelves.
WE WON’T DWELL on this one for long, but 2004 is also best remembered amongst the UK trade as the year which saw a dissatisfied ELSPA launch a rival to longrunning tradeshow ECTS. The battle wasn’t particularly pretty, with publishers, developers and the media caught in the middle of an ugly tussle. We hate it when mum and dad argue. Ultimately no one won: both shows died off, rather than offer one event for the industry to get behind.
[2004: THE TOP TEN GAMES] Title
AT THE START of the decade, Big Media had all but withdrawn from games – the collapse of Hasbro Interactive proved that interactive entertainment is best handled by actual interactive entertainment companies. Warner still wanted a slice of the action, and 2004 saw it open its WBIE division. A few false starts meant it wasn’t until 2007 that it became a publishing force we could take seriously; but the bolshy debut soundbytes from gregarious CEO Jason Hall meant that while Warner didn’t have the product in ‘04, it certainly had the intent.
1 GTA: San Andreas
2 FIFA 2005
PS2, PSone, Xbox, PC, GC, GBA
3 Need For Speed: Underground 2 EA
PS2, Xbox, PC, GC, GBA
4 The Simpsons: Hit & Run
5 Pro Evolution Soccer 4
6 Sonic Heroes
7 Spider-Man 2
8 Need For Speed: Underground
9 Halo 2
PS2, Xbox, GC, PC PS2, Xbox, PC PS2, Xbox, GC, PC PS2, Xbox, GC, PC, GBA, Mac PS2, Xbox, GC, PC, GBA Xbox PS2, Xbox (c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
29,30 MCV566_FINAL:Layout 1
MCV 04/12/09 29
TERRITORY REPORT: INDIA
All the Raj IN TERMS of potential India is probably the most exciting emerging market for video games. There is a huge potential audience with just under 1.2 billion inhabitants. It is also one of the largest Englishspeaking nations, so there’s no pressing need to localise into a new language. And thanks to investment from the likes of Sony and Microsoft, the territory’s games market is beginning to grow. “The consumer gaming market in India is slowly moving from its nascence stage to the growth phase,” says SCEE country manager Atindriya Bose. “The growth is happening across all the broad categories of gaming, including online, mobile, PC and console games. This
India is a potential goldmine for the games industry, and leading publishers and platform holders are starting to take notice. Christopher Dring investigates…
indicates a fast adoption of gaming by PSP is a good example. We have also set the Indian consumers.” up the Indian School of Gaming – a This rapid adoption has been driven training institution to develop local by a number of factors, including the talent who can program on consoles.” falling price of hardware and software, DEVELOPING NATION better visibility of retail game zones, India’s games development sector is a improved distribution and the growth in small one but it’s growing. Many of the localised content. studios in the territory work on mobile In fact localised content could be key platforms with only a handful of to pushing games into the mainstream. developers working on console Although much of the population do products. But Ahuja feels that this could speak English, games designed specifically change in the near future. for Indian gamers – such as SingStar “Game development can only grow Bollywood – are the sort of titles that have with the development of the Indian been attracting consumer attention. gaming ecosystem,” he said “Gameshastra is working with SCEE on local content – games designed by Indian developers I predict that in a couple of for the Indian consumer,” years you will see says Gameshastra CEO blockbuster games being Prakash Ahuja. developed in India. “Desi Adda for PS2 and
Prakash Ahuja, Gameshastra “This is a slow process – in the mature markets kids grow up playing games and start programming at an early age, with a career in gaming as a desirable option. This has still not happened in India – and will only occur when Indian console gaming takes centre stage and people realise that you can make money creating games. “This has already happened in Bollywood, which is now mainstream. My guess is that in a couple of years you will see blockbuster games being developed in India, which will tie together its rich cultural heritage and vibrant film making industry.” EMERGING PROBLEMS
For all India’s promise, the market is plagued with a series of challenges. There is still a rampant grey market, which is particularly notable when local
INDIA Population: 1,198,000,000 Capital: New Delhi Language: Hindi, English Currency: Indian Rupee GDP: (per capita) $2,780
pricing isn’t competitive with the US, and there is a high import tax on hardware and software. Games is also still a niche pastime. Outside of PC the most successful console is PS2, which is present in just 0.3 per cent of households. And piracy is absolutely rampant, even though there are now aggressive measures designed to curb IP theft. “Piracy is definitely an issue in India but it can be controlled,” adds Bose. “Strong anti-piracy regulations exist, local judiciary and police systems are always helpful in taking steps against piracy, and various organisations like the Motion Pictures Association and Indian Music Industry are actively participating in anti-piracy raids.” Despite the challenges, there is definitely money to be made in India, but a longterm strategy is required inorder to succeed. Both Sony and Microsoft have invested heavily in the market, which has paid dividends for them. Sony in particular have performed very well, and this has been driven by locally-developed software, such as Hanuman: Boy Warrior on PS2, as well as Sony’s aggressive strategy on pricing. “Given the Indian purchasing power, the price of consoles and games play an important role,” concludes Bose. “PlayStation has started local replication for PS2 games in Sony DADC India, which creates a price advantage and allows PS2 games to be sold at economy prices. The same facility has also been extended to other publishers for the Indian market. “We are also in discussion with the Government through established industry bodies for a rationalisation of the duty structure on consoles and games.”
Distributors Milestone Interactive E-xpress Interactive Software Worldwide CD Roms Excel Productions Origin Marketing Reddington
Key Retailers Croma, Planet M, Landmark, Crossword, Odyssey, Music World, Reliance Retail, Sony Worlds, Shivam, E Zone, Maya Toys, Next, Jumbo
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30 MCV 04/12/09
TERRITORY REPORT: INDIA GAMES MARKET VALUE (e)
SOFTWARE MARKET SPLIT 2008 e116m
4% 5% 360
(Figures are at retail prices, includes estimates for greys but do not include accessories) Source: Industry Estimates
INSTALLED BASES TODAY
Forecast for March 2009 incl. Grey Imports Source: Industry Estimates
600k 500k There are approximately 6-8m home PCs (3% of households)
0 Household Penetration Est % of grey units included in the total
INSTALLED BASES IN 2012 Forecast for March 2012 incl. Grey Imports Source: Industry Estimates
Chris Stanton-Jones Catapult Business Solutions Culturally, gaming is a new phenomenon for the Indian market. Although it has been present in India since the early days, games have traditionally been quite niche with PC the largest format. It has also been dominated by high piracy and a very under-developed retail environment, while the main import channel was previously an uncontrolled grey one. Furthermore, it has been quite difficult for games to emerge from the overpowering dominance that Bollywood holds over entertainment in the home and getting acceptability from the parents has and will continue to be one of the key challenges to making the market mainstream. Nevertheless, what is clear now is that the games market is advancing with substantial growth in the last two years and further growth predicted. Although there is no official data, industry estimates value the market at a substantial €40m with it expected to double to €80m in the next two years. NASSCOM, India’s trade body for IT, had an even more upbeat
prediction that the console gaming market would be €96m in 2010. There are several factors that have helped the market growth, including the drastic rise in disposable income, the increasing mall culture, the organised presence of Sony, Microsoft and EA, release date parity with Europe, and platform holders heavily subsidising console pricing. In a highly pirated market, software pricing is also key and locally replicated PS2 games can now sell for the magic price point of 499 INR (€8). Furthermore, Sony have invested in localised content of their own games (including SingStar Bollywood and Buzz Maha) and heavily encouraged local game development with the first result emerging in the form of PS2 title Hanuman. There are still some market concerns including a largely negative economical mind-set, a lack of clarity on Nintendo's plans, high piracy and a current low rate of return for third party publishers – although revenues and profits are sure to increase as the market grows further. Going forward, however, the future is very bright and the Indian games market will continue to be one of the fastest growing in the world pushed heavily by investments from the key players such as Sony.
TOP TIPS ON BEING SUCCESSFUL IN INDIA
1. India is one of toughest markets to be successful in, but also one with probably the highest long-term potential.
6. There’s no need to localise in-game text to Hindi, but localised content would work well on PS2 and PC.
2. Pricing is key and trade prices will have to be much lower than in Europe to compete with piracy, greys and other home entertainment. 3. It is not a get-rich-quick market. Players should treat this as a long term investment.
7. Gaining broad distribution is key. The high level of retail fragmentation means your distributor must have access to a large number of channels. It is worth working with your distributor to develop new routes to market, such as to under-developed rural areas.
4. PS2, PSP and PC titles will be your main revenue and focus.
8. Choose a distributor who can help manage the local replication process for PS2.
5. Exploit the high PS2 installed base with low priced back catalogue titles.
9. Support local bodies who push anti-piracy and other government lobbying activities.
0 Household Penetration
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ÂŠ 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All rights reserved. Ubisoft, Ubi.com and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of the Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other products, company names, brand names, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.
ÂŠ 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Your Shape logo, Ubisoft and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. Based on a license to use the underlying original work created by Respondesignâ„˘, Inc., ÂŠ2005.
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ÂŠ 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All rights reserved. Ubisoft, Ubi.com and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of the Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. SCRABBLEÂŽ and associated trademarks and trade dress are owned by, and used under license from, J.W. Spear & Sons Limited, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. ÂŠ 2009 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. All other products, company names, brand names, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.
35 MCV566_final:46 MCV515
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MCV 04/12/09 35
Microsoft appoints new CFO Peter Klein promoted as Liddell leaves Trilogy’s Burry joins EverythingPlay TIGA appoints advisors MICROSOFT PETER KLEIN has been promoted to chief financial officer at Microsoft, as former CFO CHRIS LIDDELL prepares to leave the firm at the end of the year. Klein joined Microsoft in 2002 and currently works as CFO for the Business Division. He has previously served as CFO for Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business. Liddell has worked for Microsoft since 2005, and has served as CFO at International Paper, and CEO at Carter Holt Harvey. He will work closely with Klein until December 31st.
KLEIN: Long-term Microsoft exec takes top role at firm
“Chris and his finance team have accomplished a great deal over the past fourand-a-half-years,” said CEO STEVE BALLMER. “Peter brings great finance and operations expertise and a
deep understanding of the company, and I am looking forward to a smooth transition that continues our commitment to cost containment and finance excellence.” Klein added: “I’m honoured to take on the role of Microsoft CFO. I’ve learned a lot working with Chris, and I’m excited about the opportunities ahead for Microsoft. “We have an incredible pipeline of products, we have strong financial and operational accountability, and we feel that we are wellpositioned for growth as the economy recovers.”
EVERYTHING PLAY CRAIG BURRY has left his position of sales supervisor at Trilogy for his new role as online purchasing manager at EverythingPlay.com. He worked on the distributor’s sales team for three years, and joins an upand-coming online UK indie, which boasted a turnover of almost £3 million this year. MD TONY WEST said: “We are thrilled about Craig joining us. He will be focusing on targeted buying, which will in turn help our online
prices tumble over the next few weeks. “These are really exiting times for us and we are going through large expansion plans over the next 12 months. This is just the first addition to our team of key people in the industry that we have had our sights on a while now.” TIGA The trade association has named two new educational advisors: PROFESSOR CARSTEN MAPLE from the University of Bedfordshire and MARK EYLES from the University of Portsmouth.
Ads-GS_MCV:230x315mm 15/10/09 10:48 Page1
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RETAILBIZ RECOMMENDED GAMES PRICE CHECK CHARTS NEW RELEASES
THE RETURN OF A LEGEND Link and Zelda are back in Nintendo’s latest epic adventure on DS P38
ICEBERG COLLECTION P40 A range of chilling new adventure games come to PC via publisher Iceberg Interactive TOUCHMASTER 3 P41 Midway’s popular DS mini-game series is back courtesy of Warner Bros ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS P41 The video game tie-in to the world’s first movie squeakwal lands at retail ARMY OF TWO: 40TH DAY P42 The sequel to EA’s hit 2007 co-op action shooter is back for a second helping in 2010 HIGH STREET P43 We round up the most important Metacritic scores of the week, check the latest retail prices and speak to independent retail
RETAILBIZ: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS 38 MCV 04/12/09
Nintendo fans rejoice as the latest Zelda adventure arrives on the DS, with the platform holder looking to entice new gamers to the series…
by James Batchelor NEW IPS have come and gone over the past few years, and yet certain franchises continue to delight gamers of all ages with each new iteration. With 59 million units sold to date since the 1987 original, it’s safe to say The Legend Of Zelda is one such series. With the ever-ravenous Nintendo fans scouring the internet for the merest hint of the next Wii instalment, the platform holder is keeping its audience satisfied this Christmas with a brand new DS adventure. “Building on the success of Phantom Hourglass, The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks sends hero Link on a brand new adventure,” says product manager Roger
Langford. “This title provides fans with a new story, more puzzles and even a new mode of transportation.” The story takes place 100 years after Phantom Hourglass. The latest in a long line of Zeldas and Links are once again
is separated from her body. As a demonic minion carries away her physical form, her royal ghostliness decides to accompany Link on his journey to retrieve it. THAT’S THE SPIRIT
From here on out it becomes your typical Zelda fare – venture into the world’s dungeons solving intricate puzzles and battling with colossal Roger Langford, Nintendo bosses in order to collect the necessary macguffins that lead to thrown together on a quest to save the the final confrontation. world – this time from the evil Demon Of course, Nintendo has included King that has been buried beneath the several additions that keeps the gameplay Tower of Spirits for hundreds of years. fresh and challenges players in new During a pre-emptive jaunt to the ways. The most notable of which is the Tower to prevent the King from ability to travel around Hyrule by rail. escaping, Zelda is attacked and her spirit
We can leverage the multimillion DS installed-base and attract those that enjoyed Brain Training and Layton.
RETAILBIZ: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS WWW.MCVUK.COM
Not only does this help Link travel between dungeons, it is also used in surprising ways to open new areas – as Langford says, “travelling by train offers up new possibilities for problem solving.” Much like Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks has several mechanics that take advantage of the DS’ unique functionality. For example, the boomerang can once again be controlled by drawing a path with the stylus, and this technique can also be used to control the new Phantom knights. The spirit of Princess Zelda can be instructed to possess these knights, which not only stops them from attacking Link but also makes them obey his commands. Players can direct Phantoms to block hazards, carry Link through dangerous areas, distract enemies or even take out tougher foes.
MCV 04/12/09 39
“Those familiar with Phantom Hourglass will immediately feel at home, as the presentation of Spirit Tracks and the control mechanisms are similar,” Langford says. “All the new gameplay elements have ensured that Spirit Tracks is an evolution of Phantom Hourglass, giving fans the classic Zelda gameplay they have become accustomed to.” RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRACKS
That’s not to say Spirit Tracks has a niche audience. As with Phantom Hourglass before it, Nintendo is confident that Spirit Tracks is accessible enough to appeal to the wider demographic the DS prides itself on. “This is certainly a Zelda title that can be expanded out to a broader audience,” he explains.
“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 multi-million DS install 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 elements of Spirit Tracks.” To that end, Nintendo has prepared a marketing campaign designed to reach both series’ fans and a wider audience. In order to communicate the simplicity of the multi-faceted gameplay, the platform holder has concentrated its promotional efforts on visual media. “The marketing for Spirit Tracks will focus around a TV campaign starting at launch, encapsulating the magic and
RELEASED: DECEMBER 11 FORMATS: DS PUBLISHER: NINTENDO DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PRICE: £34.99 DISTRIBUTOR: KOCH CONTACT: 0870 027 0985
mystery of Zelda as well as displaying the rich and varied environments of the title itself,” says Langford. “We want to ensure that all Zelda fans are aware of the title at launch with this heavyweight TV campaign. The ads will be coupled with online takeovers on all major gaming sites.” The quality of the product, coupled with the marketing and the fact that this is the first new Zelda game in two years, should ensure Nintendo have yet another festive DS hit on its hands.
RETAILBIZ: ICEBERG INTERACTIVE COLLECTION 40 MCV 04/12/09
RELEASED: VARIOUS FORMATS: PC PUBLISHER: ICEBERG INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER: DARKLING ROOM SHADOW TOR STUDIOS PRICE: £7.99 - £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: ADVANTAGE/PDQ CONTACT: 0121 506 9585
Iceberg Interactive delivers plenty of chills to gamers this Christmas in the form of three new horror titles… by James Batchelor
Classic Edition, and Lights Out: Director’s Cut. All have been remastered since their original, individual releases. Not only do they work with newer versions of Windows, they also boast a range of additional features, such as new graphics, music and effects, previously unseen puzzles and more ghostly encounters. Adventures In Terror also includes a soundtrack CD comprised of tracks from
UP-AND-COMING publisher Iceberg Interactive seeks to keep horror fans satisfied over the Christmas holidays by expanding its established range of horror titles with three new chilling titles for PC users. All of the games take on a Myst-like first-person perspective and task players with cautiously exploring abandoned creepy and haunted environments, interacting We are heavily supporting with everything from the range in specialist furniture and objects to magazines. These games corpses and ghosts. should stand out on shelves. Atmospheric lighting and effects are guaranteed Erik Schreuder, Iceberg to send shivers down gamers’ spines, while the well-scripted the three games. There are also official encounters with frightening ghosts and companion guides for each title that other spectres are sure to make them includes the full walkthroughs, words jump out of their skins. from the creators, hints and tips, maps, Offering perhaps the most value for Easter eggs and more information on money is Adventures In Terror, available the games’ back stories. this month. This triple pack of Iceberg “Adventures In Terror is a great thrillers contains Barrow Hill and the looking luxury slipcase pack that first two titles in the publisher’s radiates a 1950s/1960s-style creepy acclaimed Dark Fall series: The Journal: comic feel and should definitely stand
out on shelves,” comments Iceberg CEO Erik Schreuder. Lights Out: Director’s Cut Edition also hits shelves today as a standalone product. Based on real events, players seek to solve the mystery of Fetch Rock Island and the strange disappearances connected with this place. As they journey around the island, following the clues that lead to the old lighthouse, gamers will soon find themselves pulled through time to four different historic periods, giving this adventure a much bigger scale. “Lights Out is a Director’s Cut version that many players of the original release will definitely pick up, as it contains plenty of extra content and a low price point,” says Schreuder.
Of more interest to fans of Iceberg’s horror games is Dark Fall: Lost Souls. Released at the beginning of November, this is the final adventure in the Dark Fall series and allows players to discover the answers to all of
the unsolved mysteries from the first two games. Unlike The Journal and Lights Out, Lost Souls boasts a brand new engine that allows a greater degree of exploration and movement as players navigate the dark halls of a derelict hotel and train station. As the newest original entry in Iceberg’s range, the publisher has particularly high hopes for this one. The company will be heavily marketing Lost Souls and the other games to fans of horror titles in order to raise awareness of Dark Fall’s epic conclusion. “Dark Fall: Lost Souls is the brand new release fresh out of development, finishing the Dark Fall saga,” says Schreuder. “We think this one will do very well and are heavily supporting the game with advertising and banners in specialist magazines, such as SFX, Paranormal, Fortean Times and Gorezone. “There will also be banners on known adventure websites, lots of interviews and developer diaries, as well using modern media such as Twitter, Facebook and forums.”
accessories The heart of your gaming world For more information on our full range of products contact Mel Jones:Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or your Trilogy Logistics account manager
RETAILBIZ: ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS & TOUCHMASTER 3 WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/12/09 41
The Chipmunks return for another shot at stardom, inviting gamers along for the ride…
Warner Bros brings Midway’s popular puzzle series back to retail for a third iteration this Christmas...
by James Batchelor
by James Batchelor
RELEASED: DECEMBER 11 FORMATS: WII/DS
AS STUPID as the film’s name may seem, it certainly sticks in your mind. So too will Majesco’s companion title as the publisher brings Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel to shelves. Look past the questionable suffix and you’ll find a promising title that stands to sell well in the odd lull between the last of the year’s triple-A releases and Christmas Day. And with a major motion picture raising public awareness, Majesco is confident Alvin’s second video game outing will be a hit. “Given that the first Alvin film grossed $360 million worldwide, our expectations for this title are understandably high,” says international marketing manager John Merchant. “Fox are going all out to establish the already well-loved Chipmunks as a powerful franchise. Make no mistake, The Squeakuel will be this winter’s biggest family blockbuster.” Demo pods for the game are going to be present at the film’s Leicester Square premiere on December 5th, as well as appearing as part of Fox’s A-Factor retail tour, promoting the film to
RELEASED: DECEMBER 4 FORMATS: DS
PUBLISHER: MAJESCO DEVELOPER: IMAGINENGINE PRICE: £24.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
thousands of families at the nation’s key shopping centres. MUNK OF LOVE
The game will also benefit from Fox’s marketing campaign for the movie, which will be supported by a highly visible TV and cinema campaign, as well as extensive print and online activity from December 7th. Fox has also arranged over 40 different types of merchandising including McDonalds Happy Meal toys, which will be promoted with dedicated TV spots from December 16th to January 26th. “You’re not going to be able to escape the Chipmunks this Christmas,” says Merchant. “The huge amount of marketing will translate into plenty of consumer awareness for the title, especially once the film is released.”
EVERY TAKEOVER comes with its prizes, and Warner Bros’ acquisitions of Midway’s assets included such rewards as the Touchmaster series – a successful range of DS games for the latter, nowdefunct publisher. So it’s understandable that Warner is expecting great things from Touchmaster 3, the newest edition in the franchise and the first to be published since the fall of Midway. The game holds true to everything that made the originals so popular and addictive and adds enough new features to appeal to Touchmaster veterans. “Touchmaster has performed well, time and time again, and has proved itself to be a top selling non-first party puzzle title,” says sales and marketing director Spencer Crossley. “With 20 new games, our expectations are for Touchmaster 3 to build on the ongoing success of the franchise and to become an ideal stocking filler for Christmas.” Games come in five varieties, including puzzle, action, card, strategy and word games. All are fairly self-
"I'm looking for the perfect job with an award winning publisher." "According to this OPM have loads of those."
PUBLISHER: WARNER BROS DEVELOPER: HIJINX STUDIOS PRICE: £19.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
explanatory and the intuitive layout means that players will know what to expect from the likes of Bumperball, Domino Run, Dice King 2 and so on. MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Each game can be played as a singleplayer experience or serve as the arena for up two players, either across a wireless connection or with the Download Play option. Single-players will be rewarded for high scores in each game with trophies and badges which eventually unlock wizard points. Earning all 500 wizard points earns them the title Grand Touchmaster. “Touchmaster is a proven franchise and fans of the first two releases, as well as puzzle and casual gamers, will find this title particularly appealing,” says Crossley. “This is the ultimate pickup-and-play game for everyone.”
OPM Response Ltd Tel: +44(0)1206 21 44 21 www.opmjobs.com
RETAILBIZ: ARMY OF TWO: THE 40TH DAY 42 MCV 04/12/09
EA mobilises its twoman army to kick off the New Year with its newest co-operative shooter… by James Batchelor MULTIPLAYER is a massive selling point in most games these days, and cooperative modes have proven to be particularly popular – although still surprisingly rare compared with the abundance of traditional Deathmatch modes. Electronic Arts caters to those craving for teamwork with Army Of Two: The 40th Day. In the sequel to the 2008 original, players once again take up arms as mercenaries Salem and Rios as they shoot, stab and fist pound their way through waves of terrorist thugs. The publisher is confident that The 40th Day will surpass its predecessors decent critical performance – and even match its No.1 standing in the All Formats chart. All of the game’s key mechanics have been refined and expanded, while new additions help to realise the franchise’s true potential. “Army Of Two: The 40th Day is a major improvement from the original game, and is really delivering on the promise of that original IP,” says EA product manager Kevin Flynn. “The co-op playbook has been expanded and the moves refined for a much slicker experience. Add to that the new four new multiplayer modes and a brilliantly written story and we’re delivering a very well rounded, intelligent and adult co-op shooter.” IT TAKES TWO
or even mock surrender in order to get closer for a surprise attack. When playing with friends, gamers can even tag the thugs they are going after in order to avoid confusion in the midst of a battle.
In The 40th Day, Salem and Rios are caught up in the midst of a series of disasters and attacks that threatens to bring Shanghai Army Of Two: The 40th Day to its knees. Together they is a major improvement from must battle their way across the city if they’re the original game, and ever to find out who or delivers on the IP’s promise. what is behind this. Kevin Flynn, EA As with the first game, players must use their character’s combat specialities and coThe ability to customise guns returns, operative moves to defeat entire armies of allowing players to modify their enemy gunners. They can attack groups weapons with everyday objects found of foes in order to distract attention from around the streets and alleyways of their teammate, or snipe from afar while Shanghai. These can be as effective as he keeps them occupied. they are comical, allowing gamers to New additions allow gamers to take stab their foes with a screwdriver enemies hostage, keeping the others at bayonet, or take them down silently bay while their partner ambushes them, with a soda can silencer.
One factor of Army Of Two that met with a divisive reception was the attitude of protagonists Salem and Rios, boasting a light-hearted comradery that some felt jarred with the gameplay and scenario. While 40th Day maintains this, Flynn assures fans it has been toned down appropriately to appeal to a wider audience. “One of the defining features of Army Of Two was the tone,” he says. “The frat-boy humour was loved by some and hated by others. In The 40th Day, that tone is much more in the players’ control. We expect a very positive reaction to this and the fact the within the co-op game space, there are very few alternatives as polished as this.” As EA’s first major release of 2010, the publisher is not holding back with
the game’s promotion, working to raise awareness of the game in time for post-Christmas impulse buying. “We’re treating The 40th Day like a Q3 release in terms of the marketing approach so we’ll be launching on a large scale with various facets to the campaign and we’ll be supporting this in stores, online and within our community,” says Flynn. “There is also a significant investment being made in the UK for bespoke viral content using the main characters. You’ll see more of this very soon.” RELEASED: JANUARY 15 FORMATS: XBOX 360/PS3/PSP PUBLISHER: ELECTRONIC ARTS DEVELOPER: EA MONTREAL PRICE: £29.99 - £49.99 DISTRIBUTOR: CENTRESOFT CONTACT: 0121 625 3388
43 MCV566_final:43 MCV467
RETAILBIZ: NEW RELEASES WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/12/09 43
Check out MCVUK.COM/RELEASE-DATES for more
BioShock returns to UK retail February is jam-packed with major new releases for the hardcore gamer, not least 2K’s highly-anticipated FPS sequel BioShock 2. Meanwhile, consumers can also look forward to Splinter Cell Conviction and Dante’s Inferno... TITLE
Wii / DS PSP PSP DS
Action/Adventure Action Fighting RPG
Majesco Ubisoft Namco Bandai Nintendo
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Open Trilogy Advantage Koch
0870 027 0985
PS3 / XBOX 360 PS3 / XBOX 360
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PC PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 PSP / DS / Wii / PS2 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii Wii
FPS Action Action/Adventure Action Casual Simulation
City Interactive EA D3Publisher Capcom Zushi City Interactive
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Trilogy Centresoft Centresoft Centresoft Gem Trilogy
Puzzle/RPG Survival Horror
0845 362 7769 0121 625 3388
DS / PC / Wii / PS3 PC PC
Action/Adventure Strategy FPS
Ubisoft Zushi Zushi
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Trilogy Gem Gem
XBOX 360 / PS2 / Wii / DS / PSP DS / Wii Wii PSP / DS / PC DS PSP / DS / PS3 / XBOX 360 PC DS / Wii
Action/Adventure Action RPG/Action Strategy Casual Racing MMORPG Action/Adventure
D3Publisher Zushi Square Enix Slitherine Zushi THQ Atari Disney Interactive
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Advantage Gem Open Koch Gem Advantage Advantage Centresoft
PC / PS3 / XBOX 360
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DS PS3 / XBOX 360 PC / PS3 / XBOX 360 Wii
Adventure Action RTS Simulation
City Interactive Koei Slitherine Zushi
0845 362 7769 01462 476 130 0870 027 0985 01279 822 800
Trilogy Open Koch Gem
DECEMBER 11th Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakwal James Cameron's Avatar: The Game 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 Combat Wings: The Great Battles Of World War II
JANUARY 22nd Might And Magic: Clash Of Heroes Resident Evil Archives: Resident Evil Zero
JANUARY 29th Arthur And The Revenge Of Maltazard BC Kings Exodus From The Earth
FEBRUARY 5th Ben 10: Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks Chicken Blaster Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers History Engineering an Empire Egypt Jig-a-Pix: Love is... a Puzzle MX vs AV Reflex Star Trek Online The Princess And The Frog
FEBRUARY 9th BioShock 2
FEBRUARY 12th Adventures To Go Bleach: The Third Phantom Dante's Inferno Indianapolis 500 Evolution Jonas Phantasy Star Zero Star Ocean: The Last Hope International The Whispered World
FEBRUARY 19th Art Of Murder Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce History Great Battles: Medieval Reel Fishing: Anglers Dream
MUSTSTOCK ...................................BIOSHOCK 2 Released: February 9th Format: 360, PS3, PC Publisher: 2K Games Distributor: Gem Contact: 01279 822 800
The original BioShock was a commercial and critical smash hit in 2007, and expectations are sky high for 2K Game’s sequel. BioShock 2 will be backed by significant marketing, and boasts a thrilling new storyline and a multiplayer mode.
MUSTSTOCK ........................DANTE’S INFERNO Released: February 12th Format: PSP, PS3, 360 Publisher: EA Distributor: Centresoft Contact: 0121 625 3388
EA’s new action-adventure has been getting plenty of press attention for its gameplay and unique marketing initiatives. Players take control of Dante who tries to find his love Beatrice and free her soul from Lucifer. The game is inspired by The Divine Comedy.
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET 44 MCV 04/12/09
POLL ARE THERE TOO MANY TRIPLE-A GAMES COMING OUT IN Q1 2010?
REVIEW SCORES MCV provides the most important average review scores of the last few days – all sourced from Metacritic...
LittleBigPlanet PSP, Sony
Sims 3: Adventures, PC, EA
EA Sports Active, Wii, EA
COD: Mobilized, DS, Activision
LEGO Rock Band, PS3, Warner Bros
WHILE the UK games industry’s release slate usually calms down after Christmas, the trade is facing one of the most congested Q1 periods ever in 2010 – with several triple-A releases hitting shelves before March.
Far from buckling under the pressure, a little under two thirds of retailers in the latest MCV online survey are actually looking forward to the first quarter of 2010. Take part in MCV’s next poll at www.mcvuk.com
*Metacritic scores correct at the time of going to press
MARGIN MAKER INDIE CHARTS - ALL FORMATS 1
Following the success of its Street Fighter IV range, Mad Catz unleashes its new Marvel Vs Capcom 2 Arcade FightStick: Tournament Editions. Designed to complement the popular XBLA game, these controllers feature authentic artwork of characters from both universes. The Tournament Edition boasts arcade quality components sourced from notable Japanese manufacturer Sanwa Denshi. Components include a Japanese-style ball-handled joystick, 30mm action buttons and a layout that matches some of the most popular beat-‘em-up cabinets. Mad Catz: 01908 336 538
ASSASSIN’S CREED II FORMAT: 360
DEVELOPER: UBISOFT MONTREAL PUBLISHER: UBISOFT
ASSASSIN’S CREED II PS3
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 360
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA NINTENDO
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PS3 DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS PS3
DEAL OF THE WEEK
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD EA
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2 PC
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360
Charts compiled by Game Guide/Complete EPOS Solutions. For more information about Complete EPOS Solutions call 01543 370002. For more information about the Game Guide call 01606 836347.
Zavvi is offering a Black Wii bundled with Wii Sports Resort, Off Road, Wheelspin, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Mario Kart Wii and two steering wheels for £244.95 – a saving of £85.
Introducing the new
Exclusively Distributed by
Accessory Pack for the Nintendo DS Available for Christmas
Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / E1 Entertainment UK Ltd 2003. All Rights Reserved. Developed and Produced by Asylum Entertainment Ltd. The names Pinnacle, Pinnacle Software and Pinnacle Entertainment Ltd and associated logos as used in this game are under license to P2 Games Ltd. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. Nintendo DS is a trademark of Nintendo.
To order CALL NOW on
0870 027 8700
RETAILBIZ: HIGH STREET WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/12/09 45 Sponsored by
PRICE CHECK [PRE ORDERS] Assassin’s Creed II PS3, Ubisoft
New Super Mario Bros. Wii Wii, Nintendo
Left 4 Dead 2 Xbox 360, EA
F1 2009 (Wheel Bundle) Wii, Codemasters
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 PS3, Activision
TOP 10 FINAL FANTASY XIII
IN STORE: BOURNEMOUTH
PS3 SQUARE ENIX
2. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV
3. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION
4. SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV
PS3 ..................................................................CAPCOM PS3 ......................................................................SONY 360 ..................................................................CAPCOM
5. GOD OF WAR III
7. BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 2
8. ROGUE WARRIOR
9. FINAL FANTASY XIII
360 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX
10. LEGO ROCK BAND
360 ..................................................................WARNER Week ending Novemebr 27th Source: SHOPTO.COM
FROM THE FRONTLINE Nindie.com grills Take The Game’s David Hulley… What makes your particular site unique? We only sell new, genuine UK stock – no imports or pre-owned games – and only offer stock for sale that is actually in-hand (excluding preorders). Compared to the offshore sites, our delivery times are consistently faster. What has been performing well? The big triple-A releases seem to perform less well than smaller ‘niche’ releases. Our best-seller this year has probably been the new superslimline PS2 consoles of which relatively very few were available.
TOP 10 PEPPA PIG: THE GAME WII P2 GAMES/UBISOFT 2. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SPIRIT TRACKS DS..................................................................NINTENDO
3. MAG: MASSIVE ACTION GAME
4. GRAN TURISMO 5
What are the biggest challenges facing your site? Getting better placement on search engines and competing with the offshore VAT-free sites.
5. TOUCHMASTER 3
6. HORRID HENRY: MISSIONS OF MISCHIEF
7. WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM
“The VAT loophole gives some online retailers an unfair advantage.”
How much of a threat do other online retailers pose to your site? The offshore companies pose a large threat to smaller independent UK based ones, due to the VAT loophole. This gives an unfair advantage in our opinion and I would like to see the UK government close this loophole.
8. XBOX 360 WIRELESS NETWORK ADAPTOR 360 ..............................................................MICROSOFT
9. MASS EFFECT 2
10. FINAL FANTASY XIII
PS3 ............................................................SQUARE ENIX Week ending Novemebr 27th Source: PLAY.CO.UK
46,47 MCV566_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS 46 MCV 04/12/09
Check out RETAILBIZ at WWW.MCVUK.COM
OFFICIALUKCHARTS NINTENDO DS THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
 [FULL PRICE]
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYMPICS PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE COOKING MAMA 3 STYLE BOUTIQUE MARIO KART DS LEGO INDIANA JONES 2: CONTINUES CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: SKY
5 2 3 6 4 8 10 9 16
DEVELOPER: LEVEL 5 PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
PLAYSTATION 2 THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
NINTENDO SEGA NINTENDO 505 GAMES
ASSASSIN’S CREED II 360, PS3
NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII Wii
FIFA 10 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS, PC, PSP
WII FIT PLUS Wii
WII SPORTS RESORT Wii
MARIO & SONIC: WINTER OLYPMICS Wii
LEFT 4 DEAD 2 360, PC
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ COD: WORLD AT WAR ACTIVISION BLIZZARD SINGSTAR MOTOWN SONY TRANSFORMERS: FALLEN ACTIVISION BLIZZARD BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE D3P HARRY POTTER: HALF-BLOOD PRINCE EA JAK AND DAXTER: LOST FRONTIER SONY GUITAR HERO 5 ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
DEVELOPER: EA PUBLISHER: EA
2 3 4 5
GRAN TURISMO FIFA 10 ASSASSIN’S CREED: BLOODLINES FIFA 09
5 9 7 6 8
6 7 8 9 10
DEVELOPER: SCE CAMBRIDGE STUDIOS PUBLISHER: SONY
PUBLISHER UBISOFT NINTENDO EA
FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 360
F1 2009 Wii, PSP
MARIO KART WII Wii
LEGO INDIANA JONES 2 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
MICROSOFT CODEMASTERS NINTENDO
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX DS NINTENDO
LEGO BATMAN PC, DS, PS3, 360, Wii, PSP
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 360, PS3, PSP, PC
PES 2010 360, PS3, PC
WARNER BROS EA KONAMI
WWE SMACKDOWN 2010 360, PS3, Wii, DS, PS2, PSP
DR KAWASHIMA’S BRAIN TRAINING DS
PURE 360, PS3, PC
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS 360, PS3, PC
PC CD-ROM 
1 4 2
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION
FORMAT: 360, PS3, PC
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 7 8 13 6 9
PROFESSOR LAYTON: PANDORA’S BOX
[ENTERTAINMENT - ALL PRICES]
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 FDEVELOPER: SPORTS INTERACTIVE PUBLISHER: SEGA
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
THE SIMS 3: WORLD ADVENTURES
THE SIMS 3
LEFT 4 DEAD 2
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 SEGA WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 THQ PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 KONAMI GTA: CHINATOWN WARS ROCKSTAR STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT: SQUADRON LUCASARTS
DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS
FALLOUT 3: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION
EMPIRE: TOTAL WAR
WOW: WRATH OF LICH KING
EA BETHESDA SEGA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD 2K GAMES
46,47 MCV566_final:54-55 MCV553
RETAILBIZ: RETAIL CHARTS WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/12/09 47
third week in the top spot, despite a further 32 per cent drop in sales.
Assassin’s Creed II and New Super Mario Bros Wii are also non-movers, holding onto second and third place respectively. Nintendo still holds the most positions in the Top 10, with Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort taking No.5 and No.6, with Sega’s Mario & Sonic
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
Highest New Entry
DJ HERO 360, PS3, Wii, PS2
GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY 360
RABBIDS GO HOME Wii, DS
LEGO STAR WARS: SAGA 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, DS, PSP LUCASARTS
WII PLAY Wii
TEKKEN 6 360, PS3
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2010 PC
WII FIT Wii
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD ROCKSTAR UBISOFT
NAMCO BANDAI SEGA NINTENDO SONY
MARIO & SONIC: THE OLYMPIC GAMES Wii
LITTLEBIGPLANET PS3, PSP
SINGSTAR TAKE THAT PS3, PS2
PROFESSOR LAYTON: CURIOUS VILLAGE DS
COD 4: MODERN WARFARE 360, PS3, PC, Wii ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
LEGO INDIANA JONES PSP, 360, Wii, PS3, PS2, PC, DS
UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES PS3
COOKING MAMA 3 DS
LUCASARTS SONY 505 GAMES
BORDERLANDS 360, PS3, PC
STYLE BOUTIQUE DS
HALO 3: ODST 360
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ASSASSIN’S CREED II FIFA 10 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT UNCHARTED 2: AMONG THIEVES TEKKEN 6 PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 2010 WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 DRAGON AGE: ORIGINS DJ HERO
2 3 6 5 8 4 9 7 15
WEEK ENDING 28/11/09
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA EA SONY NAMCO BANDAI KONAMI THQ EA ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
At The Winter Olympics making a hat-trick of Nintendo properties at No.7. While Modern Warfare 2 still dominates the console charts, it loses out to Sega’s Football Manager 2010 on the PC. Handheld titles Invizimals and Cooking Mama 3 are the only new entries into the Top 40, despite releasing earlier in November. James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 3 8 2 5 6 10 4
AMAZING ADVENTURES: LOST TOMB
DEVELOPER: VARIOUS PUBLISHER: 2K GAMES
MIDNIGHT MYSTERIES: EDGAR
TREASURE SEEKERS 1 & 2: COMPLETE
MYSTERY IN LONDON: JACK THE RIPPER JEWEL QUEST III CIVILIZATION IV COMPLETE
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
[FULL PRICE] TITLE
GSP/AVANQUEST 2K GAMES FOCUS
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 RABBIDS GO HOME UBISOFT FIFA 10 EA CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LEGO INDIANA JONES: ADVENTURE CONTINUES LUCASARTS
2 3 4 5 6 10 9 8 12
DEVELOPER: NINTENDO PUBLISHER: NINTENDO
WOW: BATTLE CHEST
THIS LAST WEEK WEEK
COD: MODERN WARFARE 2
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
ASSASSIN’S CREED 2 FIFA 10 FORZA MOTORSPORT 3 LEFT 4 DEAD 2 GTA: EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY HALO 3: ODST DJ HERO WWE SMACKDOWN VS RAW 2010 NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT
2 5 4 3 6 7 13 9 10
(c) ELSPA, Compiled by ChartTrack
CALL OF DUTY: Modern Warfare 2 racks up a
DEVELOPER: INFINITY WARD PUBLISHER: ACTIVISION BLIZZARD UBISOFT EA MICROSOFT EA ROCKSTAR MICROSOFT ACTIVISION BLIZZARD THQ EA
YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO SERVICE COMPANIES
creative and promotional SErvices 3DI Tel: 0845 4582898 www.threedi.net
Indigo Pearl Tel: +44 (0)20 8964 4545 www.indigopearl.com
The Audio Guys Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1788 565230 www.theaudioguys.co.uk
AN.X Ltd. Tel: 020 7785 7156 www.anxagency.com
JR DESIGN Tel: +44 (0) 7824 506436 www.joeryandesign.co.uk
The Pixel Tel: 0800 043 1040 www.thepixel.com
Ark VFX Ltd. Tel: 0114 268 4999 www.arkvfx.net
Media Safari PR Tel: +44 (0)1225 471 202 www.mediasafari.co.uk
Über Tel: 0114 278 7100 www.uberagency.com
Barrington Harvey Tel: +44 (0)1462 456780 www.bhpress.co.uk
More Creative Tel: 020 7561 6010 www.morecreative.co.uk
uk distribution and logistics
Bastion Tel: +44 (0)20 7421 7600 www.bastion.co.uk
Multiplay Tel: +44 (0)20 7100 1337 www.multiplay.co.uk
Gfk Chart-Track Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 20 8741 7585 www.chart-track.com
Parker Consulting Ltd Tel: 07771571639 www.parkerconsulting.biz
Dilute Recordings Tel: 01483 306834 www.diluterecordings.com
PMA Marketing Tel: 020 7483 0568 www.pmamarketing.com
Eye-D Creative Ltd Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 1440 www.eye-dcreative.co.uk
RAINBOW PRODUCTIONS Tel: +44 (0)20 8254 5300 www.rainbowproductions.co.uk
FEREF Tel: +44 (0)207 292 6330 www.feref.com
RealtimeUK Tel: 01772 682 363 www.realtimeuk.com
FINK Creative Ltd Tel: 01480 302350 www.finkcreative.com
Richard Jacques Studios Tel: 07831 756977 www.richardjacques.com
Fluid Tel: +44 (0)121 212 0121 www.fluidesign.co.uk
Shorewood.Blueprint Tel: 020 7183 9666 www.shorewood-blueprint.com
Freeform.London Tel: 020 7183 6664 www.freeformlondon.co.uk
Side Tel: +44 (0) 207 631 4800 www.side.com
Frontroom Tel: 020 7384 5400 www.frontroom.com
SKYSKRAPER® Tel: +44 (0)20 7252 3288 www.skyskraper.net
Game Frontier Ltd Tel: 0870 420 2424 www.gamefrontier.com
Studio CO2 Tel: +44 (0) 1483 414 415 www.studioco2.com
Discstribution Tel: + 44 (0) 845 4308735 www.discstribution.com EntaTech Tel: 0333 101 1000 www.entaonline.com Gem Tel: 01279 822822 www.gem.co.uk Meroncourt Europe Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 1462 680060 www.trade.meroncourt.co.uk Trilogy Logistics Ltd Tel: 0845 456 6400 www.trilogy-uk.com
international distribution ComputerLand doo Tel: +381 11 309 95 95 www.computerland.rs CURVEBALL LEISURE Tel: 01792 652521 www.thegamecollection.net Funtastic Tel: +61 3 9419 5444 www.funtastic.com.au GameStreamer, Inc. Tel: 001-813-527-0383 www.gamestreamer.net
TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS
In association with
Tel: +44 1 480 210 621 www.usspeaking.com
LOCALISTATION QA AND TESTING
4-Real Intermedia GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 69809088 - 0 www.4-real.com
Orange Studio Tel: +39 051 588 04 50 www.orangestudio.it
Harbottle & Lewis Tel: +44 (0)207 667 5000 www.harbottle.com
Absolute Quality Tel: +44 (0)141 220 5600 www.absolutequality.com
Partnertrans Tel: +44 1753 247731 www.partnertrans.com
Marriott Harrison Tel: +44 (0)20 7209 2000 www.marriottharrison.co.uk
ANAKAN GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 30531420450 www.anakan.de
PlayableGames Tel: 020 7421 6487 www.playablegames.net
Babel Tel: 01273 764100 www.babelmedia.com
Testronic Laboratories Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1753 653722 www.testroniclabs.com
Cenega Poland Sp.Zo.o Tel: +48 22 574 2578 www.cenega.com
Universaly Speaking Tel: +44 1 480 210621 www.usspeaking.com
Enzyme Labs Tel: +1 (450) 229-9999 ext.312 www.enzyme.org
U-TRAX Tel: +31 30 293 2098 www.utrax.com
ChaYoWo Games Tel: +1 917.650.0010 www.chayowogames.com Crytek UK Tel: +44 115 949 0808 www.crytek.com Data Design Interactive Tel: +44 0 1384 44 79 00 www.datadesign.uk.com xaitment GmbH Tel: +49 (0) 6897-600 80-0 www.xaitment.com
manufacturing services Arvato digital services Tel: 0121 502 7800 www.arvatodigitalservices.com
OK Media Tel: +44 (0) 20 7688 6789 www.okmedia.com
DISCHROMATICS LTD Tel: 01495 243222 www.dischromatics.co.uk
Technicolor Tel: 0208 987 7829 www.technicolor.com
MPO UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 8956 2727 www.mpo-international.com
The Producers Limited Tel: 0845 234 2444 www.theproducers.co.uk
Multi Media Replication Ltd Tel: +44(0) 1264 336330 www.replication.com
Total Console Repair Ltd Tel: 08719 181 721 www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk
gaming accessorieS AntiGrav Media Ltd Tel: 01932 454929 www.antigrav-media.co.uk Hubb Accessories Tel: 01642 204343 www.playwithhubb.com I-Globe Accessories Ltd Tel: 01332 756610 www.i-ga.co.uk Logic3 plc Tel: 01923 471000 www.logic3.com
recruitment Aardvark Swift Tel: 01709 876877 www.aswift.com
Game Options Ltd Tel: +44 (0)1382 731909 www.gameops.co.uk
Pebble Entertainment GmbH Tel: +49 (231) â€“ 477 927 0 www.pebble-entertainment.com/en
Amiqus Tel: 01925 252588 www.amiqus.com/games
Specialmove Consultancy Ltd Tel: +44 (0) 141 585 6491 www.specialmove.com
Pinpoint Consumer Elec. Tel: +44 (0) 1606 558 428 www.pinpointce.co.uk
GUIDE PLEASE CONTACT: ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK OR 01992 535647
50,51 MCV566_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION 50 MCV 04/12/09
International Distribution Guide AUSTRALIA
All Interactive.................Helensvale Town Centre
Koch Media GmbH...............................Rottenmann
Cidiverte Spa ...............................................Gallarate
Noviy Disk .......................................................Moscow
Play Art Multimedia Handels GmbH....Rankweil
Coop Italia..........................................Sesto F.NO (FI)
Digital Bros spa................................................Milano
EMC GROUPE CASINO..........Croissy Beaubourg
Leader Spa.................................Gazzada Schianno
Horelec S.A. ...........................................Bruxelles
CLD Distribution S.A. .........................Fernelmont
Promovideo SRL ...........................................Senago
SERBIA COMPUTERLAND DOO Kumodraska 45 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel:+381(0)11 309 95 95
45 rue Delizy,
Gameworld BV............................Capelle A/D Ijssel
Fax:+381(0)11 309 95 96
93692 PANTIN Cedex, France
Email purchase: email@example.com
Email export sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rigu Sound B.V................2153 GB Nieuw Vennep
Cornusbaan 1, 2908 KB Capelle A/D IJssel
Tel: +31 10 298 3838 Web: email@example.com
SINGAPORE Replay Interactive....................................Singapore
GERMANY Groß Electronic .......................................Rohrnbach
Otto Group ...................................................Hamburg
Pan Vision Norway.....................................Trollasen
Playcom Software Vertriebs .......................Erfurt
Vitrex Multimedia Großhandel.....................Erfurt
SOUTH AFRICA Midigital ..............................................Johannesburg Nu Metro Interactive ......................Johannesburg
3752 LH Bunschoten-Spakenburg
Pan Vision Norway..............................................Oslo
Distribuciones Videográficas Digitales ....MADRID
Lamee Software S.L. .....................................Madrid
Phone: +31 (0)33 201 21 00
Fax: +31 (0)33 201 21 01
CD Projekt Sp. z o.o......................................Warsaw
PLANETA DEAGOSTINI INTERACTIVE
Diagonal, 662-664, 3ª planta D, 08034,
HUNGARY Antec .............................................................Budapest
ICELAND GOODTONES GREAT GAMES LTD
1 Alkaiou Street / Office 1 /
Engomi / Nicosia 2404 / Cyprus
TECHLAND Sp. z o.o.
Tel: +34 93 492 08 89
ul. Jana Szczyrki 12,
54-426 Wroclaw, Poland
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.techland.pl Phone: +48 71 354 46 10 Fax: +48 71 354 46 10
VIRGIN PLAY Paseo de la Castellana 9 – 11,
tel. +357 22 666612 www.greatgames.com.cy
28046 Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 789 35 50
ecofilmes...............................Sao Joao Da Madeira
DistribucionesVideográficas Digitales ....Madrid Distribuye Palmera................................Las Palmas
GATEWAY DISTRIBUTION APS
v.2 PLAY. LDA
JC Distribuciones .............................................Getxo
Gateway Distribution ApS
Studio Office Marquês de Pombal –
Shine Star, S.A...........................................Barcelona
+44 1279 408 665 (UK)
Avenida de Loulé nº 123 1069-152 -
+45 7026 0870 (DK)
Tel. 00351 21 31 46 51 0
Fax 00351 21 31 61 12 5
TO ADVERTISE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION GUIDE
50,51 MCV566_final:Layout 1
INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION WWW.MCVUK.COM
MCV 04/12/09 51
The International Distribution Guide is dedicated to promoting companies outside of the UK. If you are looking for new customers overseas, then look no further...
ALESAYI UNITED COMPANY GAME OUTLET EUROPE AB PO Box 5083 S-650 05 Karlstad, Sweden Phone: +46 54 854750 Fax: +46 54 854759 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.gameoutlet.se
Video Games Distributor in the Middle East P.O BOX 16999 Jebel Ali Free Zone Dubai U.A.E. Tel: 00971 4 883 5960 Fax: 00971 4 883 5175 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org U.A.E. Website: www.alesayi.ae Group Website: www.alesayi.com
AUSTRALIA Panvision....................................................Stockholm SIBA AB ...................................................Gothenburg
SWITZERLAND ABC Software GmbH.......................................Buchs
PLUTO GAMES PO Box 10705, Office 103-104 Emirates Islamic Bank Building, Dubai, UAE www.pluto-games.com
Tel: +971 4261 8111 Fax: +971 4261 8112
ARAL Import..................................................Istanbul Nortec Eurasia...............................................Istanbul
Modern Pluto Trading LLC...............Saudi Arabia
Red Entertainment Distribution ..................Dubai
BASCO, INC. Tel: 1-917-627-3000 Fax: 1-718-228-4401 Email: email@example.com Web: www.bascodistribution.com
U.S. GAMES DISTRIBUTION, INC. 16700 Schoenborn St. #2 North Hills, CA. 91343 Tel: +1 818 920 9393 firstname.lastname@example.org www.usgamesdist.com
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN attorney-general Michael Atkinson is to appeal against Modern Warfare 2’s 15+ rating in the country. Atkinson accused the Australian classification board (OFLC) of trying to ‘get games under the radar’ on a national radio program, and called it’s decision to approve Modern Warfare 2 ‘wrong’. He later told Gamespot in a statement: “I worry about any game that encourages gamers to perpetrate extreme violence and cruelty on screen, but this game [Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2] allows players to be virtual terrorists and gain points by massacring civilians. Expecting game designers to be responsible by not glorifying terrorism will always lead to disappointment.”
NXT Global LLC .................................................Dubai Pluto Derinton Games LLC............................Egypt
VIDEO GAMES DISTRIBUTOR
FOLLOWING the handheld’s Japanese launch on November 22nd, numbers from stats body Enterbrain show that the DSi LL sold 103,524 units in its first two days on sale. By comparison, Sony’s PSPgo sold 28,000 units in its first 48 hours on the market. The DSi LL failed to trouble the numbers boasted by the DSi, which shifted a huge 170,000 in its opening weekend. The DSi XL, as it will be known outside of Japan, is currently scheduled to launch in Europe some time in Q1 2010.
NINTENDO of America’s Denise Kaigler has left the company, having worked as the firm’s vice president of corporate affairs. Nintendo is seeking a replacement. An official statement read: “Denise Kaigler has been a valuable part of the Nintendo of America team for the last two years. She’s made a personal decision to spend more time with her family in New England. We wish her all the best in this next chapter of her life, and we look forward to continuing to deliver great Nintendo experiences to people of all ages as we head into this holiday season.” U.S. PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA has unveiled an education campaign designed to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in children’s education. A raft of companies and charity foundations announced their support including Time Warner, Discovery, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Sony Computer Entertainment America. SCEA has pledged to back a $2 million contest called the National STEM Game Design Competition, which will seek to persuade developers to create kids’ games that promote STEM education. The contest is also being backed by the Entertainment Software Association. Games based on Sony’s LittleBigPlanet will form part of the competition.
PLEASE CONTACT ROB.BAKER@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK
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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 The Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (0) 7774 672891 GAMES CONSOLE REPAIR Total Console Repair Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21
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Road One, Winsford, Cheshire CW7 3QG www.pinpointce.co.uk Part of the Pinpoint Group
PINPOINT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01606 558428 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . www.pinpointce.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
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Tel: +00441908 821047 Fax: +00441908 821048 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 . . . . . . email@example.com
MERONCOURT . . . . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1462 680060 . . . http://trade.meroncourt.co.uk
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EDITORIAL PLANNER Some of the special issues coming up in MCV, the only trade publication that covers all sectors of the market... FRIDAY DECEMBER 11th
ANNUAL RETAIL SURVEY MCV publishes the results of its annual retail survey, quizzing a big cross-section 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. 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? FRIDAY JANUARY 15th 2010
RECRUITMENT SPECIAL AND GAMES SALARY GUIDE As the job market picks up after the Christmas and New Year lull, employees often think about changing careers. MCV’s recruitment special takes a look at the sector and dispells the money myths with our in-depth games salary guide.
GENRE FOCUS: MMO The massively multiplayer online genre has got a big year ahead of it in 2010, with an array of new games including Star Trek Online, Final Fantasy XIV, The Old Republic, APB, The Secret World, DC Universe Online and Free Realms all set for release. MCV takes a look at the history of the MMO and what we can expect from its future. FRIDAY JANUARY 22nd 2010
TERRITORY REPORT: TURKEY Turkey is a little-known emerging market for the games industry, but a promising one with plenty of opportunities for growth. In MCV's latest territory report, we talk to the leading figures in the Turkish games industry, study the sales charts and find out how the country is looking to become a future video game superpower. FRIDAY JANUARY 22nd 2010
IN-GAME ADVERTISING Certain companies have been talking up the value of in-game advertising for years, but is the sector ever really going to take off? In MCV’s detailed analysis, we will investigate the sector, speak to the leading players in the market and discuss where the revenue stream is expected to flow in the future.
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT: LOGIC 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 471000 . . . . . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
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TO ADVERTISE CONTACT ROB BAKER ON: 01992 535647 OR DISTRIBUTION
Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,000 request-only subscribers every month.
STUDIOS Epic Games ...................................................+1 919 870 1516 nDreams...........................................................01252 375754 Realtime Worlds ...............................+44 (0) 1382 202 821 Razorback ...........................................www.razorback.co.uk Stainless Games.......................email@example.com TOOLS Blitz Games Studios ......................+44 (0) 1926 880 000 bluegfx ..............................................+44 (0) 1483 467 200 Crytek ........................................................+49 69219 77660
CURVEBALL LEISURE . . . . . . 01792 652526 . . . . . . . firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. All subscription requests should go to firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION. . . . 0208 6643456 . . . . www.creativedistribution.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
The Producers offer a full supply chain management service covering manufacturing, warehousing, fulfilment and distribution Save money - Pay in £ not € - Flexible Inventory
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RETAIL ENTERTAINMENT DISPLAYS . . 01733 239001 . . . . . . . www.reddisplays.com STORE FITTINGS
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Rob.Baker@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647 TOTAL DISC REPAIR. . . . . . . . . . 01202 489500 . . . . . . . . . www.totaldiscrepair.co.uk
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Insider’s | Guide
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This week, we speak to Hubb Accessories’ sales director Melanie Jones… Could you tell us a little bit about Hubb? Hubb manufactures and supplies quality gaming accessories for all formats. With no compromise on quality, we are confident that our products are among the best in the market today.
launch of the Nintendo DSi XL. We aim to continue offering our customers the best and most innovative products to suit those advances. We are also very excited about adding to our already extensive range of products by introducing a new range of mobile accessories.
Could you tell us something we didn’t know about Hubb? We have over 12 years of experience in the gaming industry. With over 30 full time staff and offices in the UK and Hong Kong, we are always ready to face the challenges in an ever-evolving market.
What’s the best thing about working at Hubb? Working with a group of people that get on so well personally and work so well together is a real pleasure. This has created a unique environment where, as a team, we get involved in all aspects of the business from the initial product creation to the point it arrives with our customers. We are looking forward to the challenges that 2010 will bring.
What plans does Hubb have for the future? We are already seeing exciting changes for next year with the
TOTAL CONSOLE REPAIR . . . . . . 087 19 18 17 21. . . . . www.totalconsolerepair.co.uk DISTRIBUTION
IDEAL SOFTWARE . . . . . . . +44 (0) 1767 689720 . . . . . . . . . . www.idealsoftware.net
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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
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
TESTRONIC LABORATORIES . . . +44 (0) 1753 653 722. . . . www.testroniclabs.com LOCALISATION
JUNE 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
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.
MARCH GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Wednesday, March 10th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com/conference/ai.html
For further information, please contact email@example.com www.testroniclabs.com
DEVELOP INDUSTRY PUB QUIZ Monday, December 21st Sway Bar, Holborn orlaith.kennedy@ intentmedia.co.uk
GDC 2010 Tuesday, March 9th – Saturday, March 13th Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, US www.gdconf.com The biggest developer event in the world returns for another stab at bringing together the development community to connect, share techniques and showcase the hottest upcoming technology. 2010’s GDC will no doubt follow convention with a heaving line-up of talks by industry luminaries, networking opportunities thanks to the packed roster of sponsored parties and a massive expo floor that covers both the Moscone North and West halls.
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Marketing made simple This week, The Hut’s Gian Luzio simplifies the ‘meaning of modern marketing’ – and put it in terms we can all understand… I HAVE thought long and hard about MCV’s request for someone to define what modern day marketing is all about. Now, after many hours of scouring the internet for the answers, I believe I’ve found a definition of marketing that will make sense to everyone. Picture the scene: You see a stunning girl while at a party. You walk straight up to her and say: “I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Direct Marketing. You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a stunning girl. One of your friends goes up to her and, pointing at you, says “He’s fantastic in bed.” That’s Advertising. You see a stunning girl at a party. You go up to her and get
her telephone number. The next day, you call her and say “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Telemarketing. You’re at a party and see a stunning girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink. Later, you open the door for her, you pick up her bag after she drops it, and you offer her a ride. Then you say: “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Public Relations. You’re at a party and see a stunning girl. She walks straight up to you and says “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.” That’s Brand Recognition. I want brand recognition now!
Another budding young marketing exec tests out Luzio’s First Law of Direct Marketing.
Gian Luzio, The Hut
‘Both systems have their merits’ Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada’s comments that server-based gaming and digital distribution spell the potential demise of home consoles sparked debate on MCVuk.com this week... EVERYONE knows the change is coming but not for many more years. The PSPgo is the best example of things moving too fast. I think prices for games would have to be hugely reduced for people to be attracted to digital downloads. Jon
I DO NOT quite understand his idea that consoles will no longer be required. What exactly is it we’ll be playing games on? Playing games form a server sounds a bit like PC gaming to me, and the problem with that is ensuring that the hardware you use is capable of running the game. That’s the advantage of a console. It’s a fixed
hardware platform with a game designed and built to run on it – as opposed to PC games, which normally require some of the most powerful graphics cards and such to work. Chris
I DON’T SEE a problem with this. The future is coming whether or not we want it to or not, but the only problem I see is that only a small amount of people (as surprising as this is) actually have the internet in their homes. There is still a very
large amount of people that don’t have it so if game distribution becomes downloadonly, how will
those people get the game? This is why the PSPgo failed before it was released. Jeremy
ANYONE that’s been following the technological market even a little bit would know that those comments couldn’t possibly be further off the mark. Digital distribution is not ready to take over in five, ten or even 20 years. Physical media will not be replaced during out lifetime – I’d put money on that. David Macphail
I THINK the death of the console will
greatly benefit the publishers and benefit customers but if there is no download option and all games have to be played streaming, it will have drawbacks for the consumer. What if your ISP goes down? Mike
BOTH SYSTEMS have their merits. I think that DLC and full product downloads will continually grow and at some point in the future it will surpass physical media. People still buy LPs, and some artists prefer the format. Some people drive cars that are over 25 years old. But these will fade out one day, as will discs. Earl
BTHA_TF10 MCV[Dec]ad:Layout 1
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OLYMPIA GRAND HALL 26TH-28TH JANUARY 2010
Pre-register for your FREE visitor entry badge at: www.toyfair.co.uk from 1st September 2009 For further information on exhibiting and sponsorship contact: Simon Pilling, Fairs and Events Manager, by telephone: +44(0)20 7701 7127 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately members of the public are unable to attend.
www.toyfair.co.uk for further information
60 MCV 04/12/09
Off The Record
This week, MCV mourns the loss of a hirsute chunk of legend as some major names turn out for Ubisoft’s Just Dance launch...
CARE TO DANCE? After Modern Warfare 2’s celeb-tastic launch, it’s nice to see yet more famous types turn out for the release of Ubisoft’s Just Dance. From Calvin Harris to choreographer-to-the-stars Brian Friedman, many of the guests had a ‘dance’ connection – including former Strictly judge Arleen Phillips (who foxtrots all the way to the Job Centre these days, we hear – ho ho). Other guests included TV presenter Jenny Falconer, singer Lemar, actor Matthew Horne (him again!) and craggy-rocker-spawn Kimberly Stewart. The other ladies pictured here, we don’t recognise. Apologies. However, we are pretty sure one of them has a penis.
MCV 04/12/09 61
PIC OF THE
WEEK Ladies and gentlemen, a momentary respectful silence if you may. This week, the UK games industry lost a legend; a pillar of uniqueness in a Cobra-quaffing world of me-too humans. Feel free to shed a tear for the shock demise of James Honeywell’s ponytail. As our exclusive shot (left) shows, the Nintendo man has finally been shorn of his torchbearing locks and now looks... well, much more like the rest of us. For shame. We briefly wondered if a Samson-like fall in job performance is on the cards, but then we looked at DS’s preChristmas sales...
MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues of the day. The current members are...
LISA MORGAN, GAME DUNCAN CROSS, ASDA MARTYN GIBBS, GAMESTATION DON MCCABE, CHIPS TIM ELLIS, HMV KEITH SHARPE, PLAY.COM SARAH JASPER, THE HUT JON BIGGS, MORRISONS AZEEM SADIQ, COMET GRAHAM CHAMBERS, AMAZON
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“He would spend all his time glued to them. In the end she just got fed up with it. She wanted more.” A‘source’ tells The Sun how games ruined tennis star Andy Murray’s relationship
PETER WILLIS, DSGI IGOR CIPOLLETTA, SHOPTO ANTHONY STOCKER, ARGOS STEPHEN STALEY, GAMESEEK JOANNA HUNT, TESCO GURDEEP HUNJAN, SAINSBURY’S
November 20th 2009
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OFF THE RECORD
BACK TO SCHOOL Loyal MCV reader, we know we usually throw a wealth of boozy, celeb-obsessed and close-to-the-bone imagery at you on these pages, but sometimes – just sometimes – we offer you something that’s just... nice. Like Rising Star Games marketing manager Raul Nieto providing a stack of the Far Eastern-loving publisher’s games to the North London Japanese Saturday School, at a special fundraising event. See: Don’t you feel better?
HERO-IC DEEDS Activision’s recent shopping mall tour for Band Hero offers us some shock evidence: Real girls, playing real games! Under no duress from marketing types and/or Bioshockobsessed boyfriends whatsoever! What’s next? Games achieving genuine mainstream success? Maybe even smashing entertainment revenue records? Oh, hold on a minute...
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